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If I Had My Life To Live Over…



Here is an inspirational article – If I had my life to live over – written (also known as ‘I’d pick up more daisies’) by Don Herold (1889-1966). It was first published in the October 1953 issue of Reader’s Digest. He was an American Humorist, writer, illustrator, and cartoonist who wrote and illustrated many books and was a contributor to national magazines.

If I had to live my life to live over…

Of course, you can’t unfry an egg, but there is not law against thinking about it.

If I had my life to liver over, I would try to make more mistakes. I would relax. I would be sillier than I have been in this trip. I know of very few things that I would take seriously. I would be less hygienic. I would go more places. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less bran.

I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary troubles.

You see, I have been one o those fellows who live prudently and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments. But If I had it to do over again, I would have more of them – a lot more. I never go anywhere without a thermometer, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute. If had it to do over, I would travel lighter.

It may be too late to unteach an old dog old tricks, but perhaps a word from the unwise may be of benefit to a coming generation. I may help them to fall into some of the pitfalls I have avoided.

If had my life to live over, I would pay less attention to people who teach tension. In world of specialisation we naturally have a superabundance of individuals who cry at us to be serious about their individual specialty. They tell us we must learn Latin or History; otherwise we will be disgraced and ruined and flunked and failed.

After a dozen or so of these protagonists have worked on a young mind, they are apt to leave it in hard knots for life. I wish they had sold me Latin and History with a lark.

I would seek out more teachers who inspire relaxation and fun. I had a few of the, fortunately, and I figure it was they who kept me from going entirely to the dogs.From them I learned how to gather what few scraggly daisies I have gathered along life’s cindery pathway.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted a little earlier in the spring and stay that way a little later in the fall. I would play hooky more. I would shoot more paper wads at my teachers. I would have more dogs. I would keep later hours. I’d have more sweethearts.

I would fish more. I would go to more circuses. I would go to more dances. I would ride omnivore merry-go-rounds. I would be carefree as long as I could, or at least until I got some care – instead of having my cares in advance.

More errors are made solemnly than in fun. The rubs of family life come in the moments of intense seriousness rather than in moments of light-heartedness. If nations – to magnify my point – declared international carnivals instead of international war, how much better that would be!

G. K. Chesterton once said, “ A characteristic of the great saints is their power of levity. Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. One ‘settles down’ into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness. A man falls into a ‘brown study’; he reaches at a blue sky.”

In a world in which practically everybody else seems to be consecrated to the gravity of the situation, I would rise to glorify the levity of the situation. For I agree with Will Durant that “Gaiety is wiser than wisdom.”

I doubt, however, that I’ll do much damage to my creed. The opposition is too strong. There are too many serious people trying to get everybody else to be too darned serious.

If you had your life to live over…
What would you do?

One Year to Live…

Anthony Burgess (February 25 - November 22 1993)

Anthony Burgess (February 25 – November 22 1993)

Anthony Burgess was 40 when he learned that he had only one year to live. He had a brain tumour that would kill him within a year. He knew he had a battle on his hands. He was completely broke at the time, and he didn’t have anything to leave behind for his wife, Lynne, soon to be a widow.

Burgess had never been a professional novelist in the past, but he always knew the potential was inside him to be a writer. So, for the sole purpose of leaving royalties behind for his wife, he put a piece of paper into a typewriter and began writing. He had no certainty that he would even be published, but he couldn’t think of anything else to do.

“It was January of 1960,” he said, “ and according to the prognosis, I had a winter and spring and summer to live through, and would die with the fall of the leaf.”

In that time Burgess wrote energetically, finishing five and a half novels before the year wad through (very nearly the entire lifetime output of E.M. Foster, and almost twice that of J. D. Salinger.)

But Burgess did not die. His cancer had gone into remission and then disappeared altogether. In his long and full life as a novelist ( he is best known for A Clockwork Orange), he wrote more than 70 books, but without the death sentence from cancer, he may not have written at all.

Many of us are like Anthony Burgess, hiding greatness inside, waiting for some external emergency to bring it out. Ask yourself what you’d do if you had Anthony Burgess’s original predicament.

If I had just a year to live, how would I live differently? What exactly would I do?



– Author Unknown

Profiles in Greatness: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 - 22 March 1832)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832)


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. He was a prolific and versatile writer at the same time. Prolific because he produced volumes of poetry, essays, criticism, a theory of colours, novels, and early work on evolution and linguistics. Versatile because he wrote on a number of diverse topics such as epic, poetry, essays, criticism, botany, anatomy and numerous other scientific and literary pieces. What is more, he was fascinated by mineralogy too. In fact, mineral goethite (iron oxide) is named after him.

Goethe became a literary celebrity by the age of 25 and was ennobled by Carl August, the Duke of Saxe-Weimar in 1792. Goethe had a great effect on the nineteenth century as he was the originator of many ideas, which became widespread.

Here are twenty-five gems from the numerous quotes. Read them, reflect on them for they provide valuable insights into life and living.

1. Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
2. The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.
3. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
4. None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
5. Behaviour is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
6. If you treat an individual.. as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
7. There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.
8. A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.
9. Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.
10. We don’t get to know people when they come to us; we must go them to find out what they are like.
11. Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.
12. Precaution is better than cure.
13. Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.
14. The coward only threatens when he is safe.
15. Love does not dominate; it cultivates.
16. It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.
17. We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
18. We know accurately only we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.
19. An unused life is an early death
20. Man is made by his belief. As e believes, so he is.
21. Nothing is worth more than this day.
22. Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.
23. What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.
24. Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
25. To rule is easy, to govern difficult.



Image: Wikipedia

Profiles in Greatness: Ralph Waldo Emerson



Ralph Waldo Emerson (

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882)


Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was one of the most renowned philosopher-transcendentalist poets writers of the 19th century. He rallied against conformity and taught a new way of life through his many essays and lectures on Self-reliance and self-realisation. He became known as the central figure of his literary and philosophical group, now known as the American Transcendentalists, who shared a key belief that each individual could transcend, or move beyond, the physical world of senses into deeper spiritual experience through free will and intuition.

Emerson’s beliefs and his idealism had strong influences on the work of his protégé Henry David Thoreau, a great philosopher and contemporaries like Walt Whitman, the famous American Poet and Margaret Fuller, and Amos Bronson Alcott.

Emerson was a prolific writer and speaker. He gave more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. His famous1837 speech, entitled, ‘The American Scholar’ was considered to be America’s ‘Intellectual Declaration of Independence’ by none other than Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr himself.

Here are twelve gems from the numerous quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Read them, reflect on them and you are sure to find great insights that have the power of transcending beyond the physical realm.

1. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
2. What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you.
3. For every minute you are angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
4. The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
5. A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
6. The only way to have a friend is to be one.
7. Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
8. Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year.
9. Always do what you are afraid to do.
10. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
11. You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
12. Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.           Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.



Image: Wikipedia

The Value of Time




All of us know the importance of time, at least conceptually. We all know that time and tide wait for no man. But do we really realise the importance of time? Here are three interesting perspectives on the importance of time that have been in circulation on internet for quite sometime. It’s worth reminding ourselves and reiterating our pledge to utilise this most important resource to the fullest.

Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day.

What would you do?
Draw out every cent of course!
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows you no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the records of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There’s no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow.
You must live in the present on today’s deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The Clock is running. Make most of today.

To realise the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realise the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realise the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper
To realise the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realise the value of one minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realise the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realise the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in Olympics.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

– Author Unknown


What We Can Learn from an Oyster




There was once an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into his shell.

It was only a grain,
but it gave him great pain.
For oysters have feelings
Although they’re so plain.

Now did he berate
the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?

Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the should
Have given him protection?

‘No,’ he said to himself
As he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.

Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate
Destiny stew.

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral,
for isn’t it grand
What an oyster could do
With a morsel of sand?

What couldn’t we do
If we’d only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.



– Author Unknown
Image – Wikipedia Creative Commons

I Believe…




I Believe… That Just because two people argue, that doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, that doesn’t mean they do love each other.

I Believe… That sometimes when I’m angry, I have right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe… that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I Believe…  that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe… That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I Believe… That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe…That it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe… That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe…That you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

I Believe… That we are responsible for what we do, no matter what we feel.

I Believe… that heroes are the people who do what has to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe… That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe… That my best friend and I can do anything to nothing, and have the best of time.

I Believe… that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you are down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe… That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had, and what you’ve learned from them… and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I Believe… That it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you’ve to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe… That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I Believe… That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe… That we shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I Believe… Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I  Believe… That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.

I Believe… That even when you think you have no more to give, if a friend cries out to you.. you will find the strength to help.

I Believe… That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe… That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe.

Do You?



– Author Unknown

Image: wikipedia

How Do You Balance Your Life?

Juggling Balls



How do you balance your life?

Brian Dyson, former President and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises gave an inspiring and memorable speech on how to achieve this in his Commencement Address on September 6, 1996 at Georgia Tech, one of the oldest and most respected universities in the United States.

Here is what he said:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit… and you’re keeping all of these in the air,.

You’ll soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for Balance in your life.


Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us each together.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chance that we learn how to be brave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings!

Don’t run throughout life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.

Don’t forget, a persons greatest emotional need is to be appreciated.

Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasury you can always carry easily.

Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way…



– Author Unknown

Image: M.S.V.K. Prasad











28 Secrets to Happiness




1. Live beneath your means and within your seams
2. Return everything you borrow
3. Donate blood
4. Stop blaming other people
5. Admit it when you make a mistake
6. Give all the clothes you haven’t worn in the last three years to charity
7. Every day do something nice and try not to get caught
8. Listen more; talk less
9. Every day take a 30-minute walk in your neighbourhood
10.Skip two meals a week and give he money to homeless
11. Strive for excellence, not perfection
12. Be on time
13. Don’t make excuses
14. Don’t argue
15. Get organised
16. Be kind to kind people
17. Be even kinder to unkind people
18. Let some one cut ahead of you in line
19. Take time to be alone
20. Reread a favourite book
21. Cultivate good manners
22. Be humble
23. Understand and accept that life isn’t always fair
24. Know when to say something
25. Know when to keep your mouth shut
26. Don’t criticise anyone for 24 hours
27. Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present
28. Don’t sweat the small stuff

– Author Unknown

How Heavy is Your Glass of Water?

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the ‘half empty or half full’ question.

Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired, “How heavy is this glass of water?”

The answers ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

The psychologist said, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “ The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything.”

It is important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them throughout the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!



– Author Unknown

Image: Wikimedia Commons