Source: About Fortune Cookies
I always feel excited whenever I can lay my hands on a fortune cookie. The cookies taste great, but my real interest lies in the tiny piece of paper inside it. Each tiny piece of paper feels like a precious discovery. In fact, at this very moment, I’m staring at one that says, “They say love is blind. How can it not be so when someone as dazzling as you are in front of me right now?” I’ll be lying if I say that it has lifted my spirits; because, it has actually done much more than that – it has made me feel ecstatic. Right now, I feel like a princess who owns the whole universe, and this is a precious feeling that one can feel only on rare occasions. So, I never fail to make the most of such occasions. I can’t say that I remember most of what these tiny scraps of paper have to say, except for the fact that they help my spirit soar every time, without fail. However, I do remember some of the rarest lines. For example, one tiny scrap of paper once said, “You are the tune that completes my song and lends meaning to it.” Another time, I got one that said, “You are the song in my every step…”. It’s a pity that I can’t remember the rest of it. What I do remember is the spirit of romance that takes possession of my soul on these rare occasions. Bad things happen to everyone, almost every day; but lightness of spirit is a rare blessing and should be made the most of. My heart and shoulders feel way lighter when I come across one of these messages scribbled across a piece of paper and hidden inside a cookie or wrapped around one. In these busy times, when people hardly find time to connect with their own families, when the idea of socializing has been reduced to sending messages over Whatsapp or posting bits of personal stuff on Facebook or other social networking sites, it feels absolutely great when I chance upon a good thought, no matter how small it is, from someone I don’t know, somebody who doesn’t know me, in the form of these scribbles hidden inside cookies. It makes me feel as if there might still be a ray of hope for humanity. It makes me want to believe that there is still some shred of goodness left in us. Most importantly, they make me feel very happy, as every time I grab a cookie, I relive the many fights I used to have with my kid brother, over fortune cookies, until what seems like only yesterday. Growing is a part of life and I’ve always welcomed and looked forward to it, but the one thing I regret about being a grown-up is the loss of innocence. Making a grab for a fortune cookie reminds me of that period of innocent joyfulness, that has been lost for ever, but the memory of which is potent enough to still make me feel happy every time, even when I’m in the blackest humour on the worst of days.
I am a leader – not the world’s greatest nor the best, but each little step helps me progress a little more along the path of leadership. I have realized that leadership is not a state of being; it involves constant changes in life. Leadership is not an end in itself; it is only a means to a greater end, which in my case is – trying to make the world a better place to live and dream in. I do not have the kind of experience that someone needs in order to act as a leader in an official position as a project-head or in other such positions; but, what I do have is a rare gift – a richness of experience about life itself. I have experienced the variety in life. I have experienced the deepest distress, gone through the darkest phases of depression, I have loved and lost and broken my heart in the process. I have also met people, built rare connections with many of them, listened to them, observed them, shared in their joys and sorrows and even their deepest fears. By connecting with others, I have been able to confront my own fears. As I have experienced so much of life in so short a span of time, I believe that I am a natural leader – I can lead with my experience. It has always been my mission to help others and help them to live better. So I started with my own friends. They trust me with their deepest sorrows and secrets. In return, I listen patiently and try to help them find solutions to the problems plaguing them. It never pleases me more than to find a friend come up to me and acknowledge that something I said or did or experienced and shared has helped him or her to feel better. It is my principle to practise first and then preach, because many people can advise, but few can act on their own advice. A true leader is one who can act on his or her own advice and I try to improve myself each day in small ways to become a true leader. It is a hard task becoming a leader but it is harder to remain one for long, unless one strives to better oneself in every possible way. Perhaps my greatest achievement has been the task of being a mentor to my students, with whom I have connected well, and whom I have been able to help with their little problems. I have tried to be a pillar of strength for those who had needed my support more than others. I firmly believe that there will, one day, be quite a few people who will remember me as having been a worthy guide and friend.
Source: An Essay On Achievement – II
Until recently, many people used to see me as an under-achiever. I am a slow-learner when it comes to learning about life and its battles. As a result, I was late in realizing my dreams. In fact, I have only just started. As I realize each dream, I set new standards for myself, because I have finally realized that no matter how high the standards that I set for myself, I will be able to reach them and keep reaching beyond. It is my goal in life to keep moving forward because moving forward means being alive and useful, while staying behind means the death of one’s dreams. Being alive is not an easy task; one has to fight every inch of one’s way to get where one wants to be. I am no different. I have had my fair share of problems, the chief among them being my own naivety. Four years ago, I was a young girl brimming with ideas and dreams but lacking in the resolution to put them into effect. I wanted to do so much and I couldn’t find ways to do so. I had nobody to share my hopes and fears with and nobody to turn to for advice. The lack of mentors and of advice are things that have cost me much valuable time and caused me much trouble. It was only when I started working as a teacher that I started to find ways to help myself while figuring out how to help my students. I started reading more of self-help books and books on meditation and these helped me to be optimistic, to channelize my energy in the right direction and to pursue my dreams with renewed vigour. I also started reaching out to people to give as well as to receive help because I realized that by giving away help, I was, in fact, gaining much more in the form of friends and acquaintances. While I continued to try and figure out ways to work more actively towards the realisation of my goals, I also started to try and improve my talents as a writer and a musician. Music and writing helped me come to terms with myself, my fears, my failures, in addition to helping me to express myself with clarity and honesty. Music and writing has helped me bear disillusionment and to forgive myself for all my wrong decisions. All the challenges that I had to face, I later realized, had been partly my own creation. However, they had also helped me emerge from my comfort-zone as a warrior and eventually, as a winner. Had it not been for the challenges that I had to face and the steps I had to take in order to get out of my comfort-zone, which had, in fact, become a burden that I had to carry around everywhere, I might never have connected with the amazing people who have believed in me and helped me with their insights and advice. Now, I am much more aware of my strengths and weaknesses and making a steady progress in my life. I believe that I have been able to make quite a few people, including my parents, proud.