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Melody of the Heart - 101 Stories explaining life on a daily basis (HeartSpeak series - 3) - Have a peep into the book

Joji Valli

A story becomes so intimate to your heart when it touches your heart. I mean, when it makes fire in your heart. Melody of the Heart sets melody in your heart as you read and personalize it. HeartSpeaks series will enhance you and inspire you to live a life of happiness peace, unity and love. Thus, making this world a better place for each of us to live with the realization -- 'life is too short'.

3. Always give the best

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-builder of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.
He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The boss was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in this time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the boss came to inspect the house and handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home which was built with his shoddy workmanship.
So, it is true with many of us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built without giving the best from the heart. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.
Think of yourself as a carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.
The plaque on the wall says, “life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitude and the choices you make today.

“The door we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” — Flora Whittlemore
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.” — Anonymous

31. Excellence

A gentleman once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby.
Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?” “No,” said the sculptor without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.”
The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. “Where is the damage?” he asked. “There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his work.
“Where are you going to install the idol?” The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high. “If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” the gentleman asked.
The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I know it and God knows it!”

The desire to excel should be exclusive of the fact whether someone appreciates it or not. “Excellence” is a drive from inside, not outside. It is the drive that sprouts from the centre of the heart. Sometimes in our life too we must have come across a situation like this. How did I react to it? Did I compromise by saying, oh! it is ok for this particular situation? It is ok for the kind of money I am paid. Let us also ask us, just for the sake of performing am I doing it? Am I a duty for the duty sake person in my life?
God wants each of us to reach the peak of perfection and excellence. But if we are compromising at this journey to attain excellence which means we are not cooperating with the creator’s plan. Who can offer you ready-made solution for your life if you are not serious about your life. Yes. When you are ready and serious attaining excellence all the forces in the universe is there to support you in your journey.
Excel at a task today — not necessarily for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and partaking the co-creation with the Existence/God.!

“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” — Ralph Marston
“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” — John W. Gardner

82. Taking risk

Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.
The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth’s crust above me ... I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring ... I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!” And so she grew...
The second seed said, “I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts ... what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe.” And so she waited...
A yard hen scratching around the ground in the early spring for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

Taking risk is an integral part of success in life. Life is operated on uncertainty where nobody exactly knows what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is all about taking risks. Risk sounds to be a negative word to most of the people whereas when we say uncertainty the gravity reduces. However, essentially both are almost same but what makes a difference is the mindset with which we understand it. There are numerous opportunities before us but most of us either don’t see it or don’t go for it. Because it requires efforts and fearlessness to undertake the responsibility in one’s own shoulder. If it is somebody else providing you don’t have to handle the stress and tension of handling that responsibility. Thus, such people become good workers and not masters. If you are ready to handle stress of taking up the responsibility and willing to risk it, yes. you make a good master. You will be a successful person in whatever you venture into in life. Always remember, fortune sides with those who dare! Those of us who refuse to risk and grow get swallowed up by life.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Andre Gide
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy


“Life is a choiceless choice. World is so large, definitely you have a special place in the world. Find your place.” — JojiValli