Motivational Short stories for Success

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Published Date:01-07-2017
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SHORT STORIES FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR CAREER AND LIFE Lessons for Students to Help Them Succeed in School, Job, and Life To Minority Students and Their Families I appreciate their courage to change their careers and lives. Contents Module 1: Simple Lessons for Success 06 What Story Will You Tell Your Children? 08 What Is the Difference Between a Human and an Animal? 09 A Simple Way to Wisdom 11 The Unlimited Capital That Every Person Has 13 Quiz I 14 The Miracle of Goals 18 Seven-step Goal Setting Sheet 20 Twenty Thousand Dollar Idea About How to Get Things Done 21 Time Management 23 Paradigm 25 Quiz II 26 A Piece of Advice That Changed My Life 28 Time When Future Looks Dark 30 Hope and Trust 32 Possible and Impossible 33 It’s Not Worth It 35 Are Women Better Than Men? 37 Our Selection, Our Luck 38 Quiz III 39 Two Inventions That Made Europe Rich 41 The GI Bill – The Law That Changed America 44 Quiz IV Module 2: The Aims of Education 46 The Aims of Education 3 Module 1: Simple Lessons for Success What Story Will You Tell Your Children? The other day my seven-year-old daughter asked me to tell her a sto- ry. I thought that I could tell her my own story. Here is what I told her: I grew up financially poor in a tiny apartment in Pakistan, with my four brothers and two sisters. We were nine people, including my parents, living in two small rooms and most of us slept on the floor. We could afford new clothing only once a year. We could eat only a single piece of meat a day and although I would have liked to drink a glass of milk every day, I received only one glass a week since my parents did not have enough money to buy more meat or milk. My neighborhood was really bad— drugs were being dealt all the time and fights between people and gangs were going on almost eve- ry day. My parents could afford to send me only to public schools, and my high school education in particular was not very good. One problem was that all the courses were taught in Urdu, the native language of Pakistan while the children of rich families were getting taught in private schools where all courses were in English. Proficiency in English language was necessary to get a good job. It was very difficult to complete my Master’s degree because of the poor education background but I did it by working very hard. In my mind, failure was not an option. I was committed to completing my Master’s degree and I did this. But I still could not get a job because I was not proficient in English, and as a result had even less confidence in myself. 6 Fortunately, because of my good grades I was eventually able to get an education loan, and I came to the USA to study. I came here as a student and earned my Master’s in Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT.) Soon I got a job as a Systems Analyst. To earn more money, I started my own business. I also began writing books on computer network- ing and over a period of more than five years, working 16 hours a day, I wrote 17 books. Some of these books have since been used to provide computer training in colleges and universities, including New York University. Today, I have a good business, a nice home in a good neighborhood, and I drive a nice car. I have two nice children that have their own rooms and as much milk to drink as they want every day. What story will you tell your children about yourself? 7 What Is the Difference Between a Human and an Animal? People usually think that the main difference between a human and an animal is our brain, since it sets humans apart as the more intelli- gent species. This is true, but dolphins, whales, and chimpanzees are also very intelligent. It is a fact that scientists have trained animals to perform, not only different tasks, but also basic mathematical func- tions. Perhaps a trained chimpanzee that can perform basic mathe- matical functions is more intelligent than a human who has never used his brain. You may be surprised to know that whales can communicate with each other at distances of up to 500 miles. They can also sing a song together, stop the song in the middle while they travel, and then come back and start the song from the same point. If whales can accom- plish such a feat, then they may be at least as intelligent as many hu- mans. So what is the difference between a human and an animal? Howard H. Stevenson has answered it in his book Do Lunch or Be Lunch: The main difference between a human and an animal is that a human can change his future and an animal cannot. I agree with him wholeheartedly. For millions of years, animals have been living without changing their conditions. When things get bad they usually adapt to their environments, migrate to other areas, or just die. So we have to remember that as human beings, we have the ability to change our circumstances, no matter how bad they seem to be. Our future depends only on ourselves. 8 A Simple Way to Wisdom Once upon a time, a king told his men to search for a simple way through which people could learn wisdom. The king’s men scattered around the world to find it. After years of searching, they had gathered thousands of books that taught wisdom to people. But when the king looked at the large mound of books, he said, “It would take a whole lifetime to read these books. I need something much simpler than this.” So the king’s men selected the top 100 books, but still he was not satisfied. Then they narrowed it down to 10 books, but the king was still not satisfied. Finally a single book was selected. Again the king asked them to nar- row it down—first to a chapter, then to a page, then to a paragraph, and at last to just one sentence. For a long time the men searched for the single sentence of wisdom that would satisfy the king. The sen- tence they finally chose was this: There is no free lunch. It means that you must pay a price to get what you want in this world. I first read this story about 10 years ago, and since then I have thought about it many times. It still rings true to me, and I believe that if people can just understand this single sentence, they can learn wisdom. There is nothing free in this world. We have to work hard and pay a price to get what we want. If we try to get something for free, we are just fooling ourselves. It has been proven many times that people can get anything that they strive for— if they are willing to pay the price for it. 9 The Unlimited Capital That Every Person Has When people want to start a business, their first step is to look at how much capital they have. Then they consider the abilities they have that will help them succeed. The good news is that every person in this world is born with so much capital that even if they’re only able to use 10% of it, they will be a sure success. So why don’t they all succeed? To understand, we need to see just what this capital is and how can we use it. This capital is the human brain. If one tried to build a supercomputer that could do the same things a human brain does, it would probably cost untold millions of dollars. The human brain is the most complicated entity in the universe. It has a thousand billion neurons, or nerve cells, and there are hundreds of thousands chemical reactions taking place there every minute. Every nerve cell can interact with hundreds of thousands of other nerve cells in different ways. This means that your brain is able to generate far more thoughts than there are atoms in the entire universe. If you want to understand the tremendous power of the brain, look at how a child learns to speak a human language in a very short time. Almost all children learn to speak before the age of three. Think about it. When you are born you do not know what place this is, what the things are that are around you, or what all the noises mean. But in the short time from birth until the age of three, you get familiar with your surroundings. You learn that there are different words in the sentence “I love you very much,” and you learn what their meaning is. Before you are three, you not only start to understand the language, you also start to be able to speak it. 11 As time goes on people have invented things such as radio, airplane, television, computer and the Internetthings that seemed impossible but were made possible just by using their brainpower. It has been estimated that no one in the world (not even famous scien- tists) ever uses more than 10% of his or her full brainpower, and that the average person does not even use 1% of his brainpower. We have now estimated the abilities of our brains. Now the question is, how can we use this great power? We will learn this in the next lesson. 12 Quiz I Q1. The difference between a human and an animal is: a. Humans are more intelligent than animals b. A human can change his/her future and an animal cannot c. Humans can learn new skills but animals cannot d. Humans can think but animals cannot Q2. “There is no free lunch”, means: a. You cannot get lunch free b. You need to earn money c. You need to pay a price to get anything you want in life d. You need to get an education Q3. Most people use only ________ or less of their brain’s power. a. 10% b. 33% c. 50% d. 90% Q4. A supercomputer that is as powerful as the human brain is would cost about __________ to build. a. 10 million b. 33 million c. 50 million d. Untold millions 13 The Miracle of Goals The first step to optimizing the abilities of the human brain is to learn to focus. This means using all of your brainpower to solve a problem. It sounds difficult, but there is an easy way to focus: by setting goals. For example, if your annual income is 30,000, you can set a goal of increasing your income to 50,000 within two years. If you are firm in your intention and are ready to work hard to achieve your goal, then you will definitely increase your income to 50,000 within two years. How will you do this? The first step is to sit down and think of all the resources that can help you achieve your goal. Perhaps you need to get more training or to change your profession. You can start by collecting information from people who are earning 50,000 annually. You could collect information about different pro- fessions to find out how they can improve your earning power. If you have a business, you should think about ways to increase your sales. If you are unable to increase your sales in your present location, then perhaps you should think about opening another site. You have to think about your goal all the time and think of all the possible ways to reach it. Many people, for example, most students in a University have some goals but most of them, beyond identifying that they want to be a doctor or a professor or an attorney or whatever, really do not do that much towards goal setting for a long term success. You have to take proper steps to get productive results as mentioned below: 1. Identify exactly what you want. 2. Write it down. 3. Spell out why you want to reach these goals. 14 4. Think about the obstacles you will have to overcome to reach your goals. 5. Identify the people, the goods, and the organizations you need to work with to reach your goals. 6. Identify what you need to know or learn to reach your goals. 7. And finally, set a date when you expect to reach your goals. People who set goals for long term success and take all the steps needed to achieve their goals achieve much more financial and career success than people that do not set goals even if they have the same educational background. Now let me show you how I came to America and achieved my goals. In 1988, I completed my MS in Computer Science and started to work as a programmer. Until 1990, my income was about 40,000 per year, but I was determined to increase it. I did not want to be held back by any limits in my income. At the time, I mentioned to a friend that I couldn’t tolerate any limitation in my life (that’s still true to- day.) I need total freedom to be able to do everything I want to do. I do not want to hear that I cannot do something because I cannot afford it. If I want to own a Mercedes or a BMW, then I must be able to do it. Whenever I want to visit my family in my homeland or invite my parents over to visit me, I must be able to do it. I want to be able to buy the safest car for my children and send them to the best schools. I never wanted to hear from myself that I could not do something be- cause I could not afford it. This was my desire. A burning desire. I knew that in the job I had, I could not earn more than 45,000 a year. So I decided to start my own business. At the time I only had 4,000 in my bank account, be- cause I was also supporting my family in Pakistan. 15 I rented a 200-square-foot facility and started a business in computer training and consulting. At the time, I was not certain exactly what I wanted to do or how I wanted to do it, so in the beginning, things were not easy. In the first six months for example, my business only generated 100. So I was even paying the rent out of my own pocket. But at last, after a considerable amount of thought and planning, I succeeded. In 1992, I earned 41,000 a year. In 1993, my income was more than 100,000 a year. When my accountant marveled at this, I showed him my diary. In the entry dated January 1, 1993, I had written down my goal: I would increase my income to over 100,000 that year. From then on, every year I set goals, and achieve them. This has let me establish a multimillion-dollar business. Let me tell you that all of this did not happen due to luck. I worked very hard to achieve my goals. During the first five years of my business, I did not watch TV, read the newspaper, or even listen to the radio. I worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week. But I did read business books, and I also listened to motivational audio books while driving. If you can also focus like this, you can surely achieve your goals. To set and achieve them, you should always keep the following points in mind: • Set a goal that is realistic, one that you can reasonably achieve. For example, if you are earning 30,000 annually, then a goal of earning 50,000 two years from now is realis- tic. But achieving your goal in only six months may not be realistic. • Your goal must also be very clear. For example, it is not enough to say that you would like to increase your income in the future. You should have an actual figure in mind—for 16 example, decide that you would like to increase your income by 20,000 in two years. 17 Seven-step Goal-Setting Sheet Please complete this seven-step goal-setting sheet for your career and educational goals. Step 1&2: Know what your goal is and write it down. (Example: I want to learn skills and other qualities needed to obtain a job as a Network Administrator or Technical Support Specialist.) ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Step 3: Benefits of reaching this goal. Please write down three to five benefits, and be clear why you want to achieve this goal. (Example: I want to make more money and have a better career. I want to get an education and career so my children will do the same thing. I want to help people who are in a hospital so my life has a bet- ter purpose.) ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Step 4: Major obstacles to overcome to reach this goal. (Once you identify any obstacles or problems, you can think about solutions.) ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Step 5: Identify people (family, friends, mentors) and organizations that can help you to achieve your goal. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 18 ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Step 6: What do you need to know or learn to reach your goal? (Plan the actions to reach your goal. How you will be studying, num- ber of hours per day, per week. Methods of studying, making flash cards, making notes, hands-on practice, recording, etc.) ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Step 7: Completion Date _____________ (Without a deadline your goal is just a dream.) I am committed to do whatever it takes to make a better life for my- self and for my family. Name: ____________________ Date: ____________________ 19 Twenty Thousand Dollar Idea About How to Get Things Done People often set their goals but are then unable to focus on getting them done. In life, there are many things that can create obstacles. But there are also ways to overcome them. Let me tell you a simple idea that helped an employee and his company to become very rich. Many years ago, when Bethlehem Steel was a small up-and-coming factory, a young management consultant named Ivy Lee visited Charles Schwab, a manager at the steel plant. (Schwab later became the first man in history to earn a salary of 1 million a year. Obvi- ously Andrew Carnegie, founder of the company, liked Schwab’s ability to get things done.) Lee said that he could help Schwab find better ways to do the things that were necessary to make the company a success. Schwab told him that they already knew how to make steel and knew what needed to be done—but he added, they were not getting those things done. “Show me how to do the things we ought to be doing,” Schwab chal- lenged, “and we’ll pay you whatever you want.” Lee said that he could do that in 20 minutes. He even offered to let Schwab use the system and then pay Lee whatever the steel company executive thought it was worth, if anything. Schwab was impressed with Lee’s confidence and told him to proceed. Lee handed Schwab a piece of paper and said, “Write down the things you have to do tomorrow.” Schwab did as instructed. “Now number these items in order of importance,” Lee continued. Schwab did that. Then Lee gave Schwab his instructions. “First thing tomor- row morning, start working on 1 and stay with it until it is com- pleted. Next take 2, and don’t go any further until that is completed. Then proceed to 3, and so on. If you can’t complete everything on the schedule, don’t worry; at least you will have taken care of the 20 most important things before getting distracted by the items of lesser consequence.” Lee said that if Schwab completed every item on the list before the day was done, he should make a new list and start on that; or, if any items were left at the end of the day, they could be considered for the next day’s list. “The secret,” Lee continued, “is to do this daily, eval- uate the relative importance of the things you have to get done, estab- lish your priorities, record your plan of action, and stick to it. Test it for as long as you like and then send me a check for whatever you think it is worth.” In a few weeks, Charles Schwab sent Ivy Lee a check for 25,000. This was big money in the 1930s Schwab reportedly told his associ- ates that this was the single most valuable idea he had ever received. Time Management Using your time effectively is essential for success. Successful people understand that time is a unique and irreplaceable resource. It cannot be stored and the time that is gone will never come back. Every per- son gets the same amount of time, 24 hours per day, but successful people get a lot more done within this time than most people. To effectively manage your time, you need to follow the three-step process: • Record your time • Manage your time, and • Consolidate your time First step is to record or log your time-use to find out where it actu- ally goes. By recording time, you can identify time wasters that in- clude people and unproductive activities and better manage your time. Identify and eliminate the things that need not be done, the things that do not contribute toward your goals. To finish important 21 tasks, you also need to set aside large chunks of time when there are no interruptions and your energy level is high. I usually get most of my work done between 9:00 pm and 3:00 am when my energy level is high and there are no interruptions. (I take a nap during the daytime to recharge myself when I need to work late.) I also work in the morning for a few hours before going to office or take a day off sometimes and work at home where I do not have in- terruptions to get things done. Setting goals and then achieving them is not such a complicated task. Anyone who is willing to work hard can achieve his goals. However, people often feel they have to work too hard to achieve their goals, or they’re not motivated enough to set more goals after they achieve the first ones. Is there a way by which goal setting can become part of your nature so that you can work hard to achieve your goals without feeling it? Yes, there is a simple way that we will learn about in our next lesson. 22 Paradigm A major change or improvement comes in someone’s life when he understands his paradigm and changes it. You can change your life without changing your paradigm. You can change your attitude; you can make yourself a hard-working person. You can set your goals and achieve them. But to bring a major change in your life, you need to change your paradigm. Now the question is, what is a paradigm? The way you see this world is your paradigm. It is your worldview, and it comes out of your frame of reference. Everyone has a different frame of reference. To understand the frame of reference, consider the following story: In a small American Indian village, people were shown pictures of the Empire State building as evidence of the great advancements civi- lization has made. The first question that the Indians asked was, “How many sheep does it hold?” They asked the question because that was the frame of reference that came out of their experience. What is your paradigm? How do you see this world and yourself? Do you think of yourself as a victim of circumstances? Do you think that whatever the conditions are, you have to live with them because they cannot be changed? Or do you see yourself as someone who is de- termined to change your circumstances for better, who will get the best out of life and who will do a world-class job in whatever you do? People learn their paradigms from others, and they reinforce them with the help of others. Your paradigm is created and changed by your education, friends and the books you read. Whatever your paradigm is, it will shape your circumstances. In most cases, a person is responsible for whatever happens to him. To accept 23 responsibility for your conditions and circumstances is one of the first signs of adulthood. Have you ever thought about why children of well-educated people are usually also well-educated and children of less educated people are also less educated, in general? () There is a greater chance that your children will not complete college if you do not complete it, and the major reason is that children of well-educated people have a different paradigm than the children of less educated people. By getting an education, you are not only changing your paradigm, but the paradigm of your children as well. You will not have to work on their attitude or behavior about the edu- cation. It will come naturally to them. ________ Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and correlates with literacy development and, later on, with achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. The National Center for Family Literacy reports that research shows children’s literacy levels are strongly linked to the literacy levels of their parents, especially their mothers. Literate adults raise healthier and more successful children. As a mother's education increases, the likelihood is greater that her children are read to every day. In 1999, 70 percent of children whose mothers were college graduates were read aloud to every day. In comparison, daily reading occurred for 53 percent of children whose mothers had some postsecondary education, 44 per- cent whose mothers had only completed high school, and 38 percent for those whose mothers had not completed high school. (Source: First-generation students who started at four-year institutions in 1995–96 were less likely than their counterparts whose parents had bachelor's or advanced degrees to remain on track to a bachelor's degree in 1998 (58 percent versus 77 percent.) (Source: National Center for Education Statistics) 24

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