Pearls of Wisdom: Excellence is a Habit and Chanakya’s Three Questions

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BOSTON—Twenty years ago when we bought our home, I set up a small home office in the basement. Those days we needed huge space to store papers, file cabinets, magazines and articles and a big desk to spread papers out.

Technology has changed everything. All we need now is a computer or may be just a smart phone and we carry our entire office and entertainment system in our pocket wherever we go. So, a couple of years ago, I set up a tiny table in a corner of my home upstairs (old habits die hard—still need a chair and table to sit and work), and decided to dismantle old big setup this weekend.

Upendra Mishra

As I was cleaning and throwing away things I don’t need any more, I came coming across so many surprises: my kids cards, their birthday wishes, father’s day cards, their school reports, precious photos and their report cards.

Moreover, I also came across a number of Bollywood songs I had scribbled on pieces of paper whenever they entered my psyche or I liked them while listening to them, or probably when I had a couple of glasses of red wine during those days of Friday ki Mehfil and chatted with friends and shared shero-shayaries during early days of Facebook on every Friday evening.

I also came across a few quotes I had tucked them here and there. In many ways, they inspired me, shaped my thinking, and my being in a way that unknowingly they became by habit. Today, I thought I will share some of those pearls of wisdom.

Here are some of them:

“Excellence is not a singular act; it’s a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.” –Donald Miller

“Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it yourself. It’s as they are showing you the way.” –Donald Miller

“Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.” –Margaret Mitchell

“That is what real love amounts to—letting a person be what he really is.” –Jim Morrison

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t know.” Bill Nye

“You are what your deep, driving desires is,

As your desire is, so is your will,

As your will is, so is your deed,

As your deed is, so is your destiniy.” –Brihadaranyak Upanishad

“If we are to live as truly dynamic men (women) in the world, we can only do so by being faithful to our true nature.”—Swami Chinmayananda

“When our motives are impure and our cause unjust, however well equipped we may be, our mind should necessarily feel restless and agitated.” —Swami Chinmayananda

“Why should I seek? I am the same as he. His essence speaks through me. I have been looking for myself.” (Not sure, but seems like Rumi said this.)

“Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions: (1) Why am I doing it, (2) what the result might be and (3) will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.” —Chanakya

“Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it opportunity.” —Bill Gates

“As soon as we understand that we have to change, we have to work at bringing about a change in ourselves immediately We need to tell ourselves that there is no better time than now when we can bring about a change. We, then, find ourselves successful in all we do.” –Unknown

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.” –Frank Herbert

“You must do the things you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” —Buddha

“Courage is the only friend with whom a person can dare to walk on a lonely and treacherous path and reach his/her destination.” –Unknown.

“Inner voice is a person’s true friend, selfless guide and the loving guardian. It never betrays, it never abandons and it never ignores you.” –Unknown.

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations; your conscious expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a great, new and wonderful world.” —Patanjali

(Mr. Mishra is managing partner of the Waltham, MA-based integrated inbound marketing and PR firm The Mishra Group. He writes about his three passions: marketing, scriptures and gardening.)


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