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Video: If by Rudyard Kipling

Winner01.stencil.facebook-photoI discovered this poem in one of my father’s poetry books when I was a young teen. I am not entirely sure we were taught this at school. But it has been a huge influence in my life. I simply would not be me without it, for sure.

 

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

When I was a teen it irked me that it is written for a male-dominated world. But I did not hold a grudge against Kipling and just put it down to him living in a whole different world to the 20th century I grew up in where women could do and be all the things that men could and be. Well most.

Please pass on to anyone who’d benefit from it.

I got the text from PoemHunter.com. You can read more Rudyard Kipling poems there.

Neither anger feel nor sorrow…

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Lines from Alexander Pushkin

Neither anger feel nor sorrow
At the mean tricks life can play.
Bear the anguish of today:
Joy shall surely dawn tomorrow.

It’s the future quickens hearts;
It’s the present is depressing:
All is fleeting, all departs,
And, when gone, receives our blessing.

1825

Translated by Peter Tempest

Mindculture for Kids and Adults – New Facebook Page

Mindculture for Kids and Adults - My New Facebook Page
Mindculture for Kids and Adults – My New Facebook Page

Dear All, I started a new Facebook page, Mindculture for Kids and Adults.

Your mind is your greatest asset.
This page is dedicated to sharing info on the art and science of mind culture from cradle to grave.

If your focus in self improvement is business oriented, you may also want to visit my Business Trainer Sri Lanka Facebook page.

Please visit, like and follow. And share the good news with your friends and family.

Thanks

Nilooka

 

A few thoughts on art…

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Amazing by Mel Bochner, 2011

Let’s put it this way. I am an art fanatic. This is mostly confined to looking, of course, and admiring others’ work. I actually spent my first three days in London inside the National Portrait Gallery (and almost got picked up by a charming old Scotsman) but I’ve not seen the usual London tourist spots like the Tower of London etc. Even my MBA thesis–which one would expect to be as far from art as possible–was based on the management issues of a Scottish art gallery.

I have eclectic tastes in art, as in the books I read. And I think that is great not to be able to be easily stereotyped. I really do not know much about art appreciation. Nor can I tell you much about art, artists, art history or different periods and styles. I just know what I like. Its all to do with emotions and little to do with anything else…

Sometimes I like things that just draw my eye. These are not the kind of things I’d go after, seeking out an exhibition or even visit a website for. But this piece, by Mel Bochner, which I saw in a NY Times slideshow really took my eye. So here I am sharing it with you.
It piqued my interest. This is why I visited the artist’s own website. That is even more interesting. Here are some visuals you will see… But I do recommend a visit, when you have a few minutes to spare.

Mindculture is about giving new experiences to our minds. And imagining what an artist was trying to convey, what was going though their mind, what made them come up with one piece or another is really something I enjoy. Giving flight to imagination is great for anyone’s mind.

Here’s an article from the New York Times about a current exhibition–Mel Bochner: Strong Language–at the Jewish Museum in New York.

Words have been the subjects and primary constituents of the enigmatic yet acerbically provocative paintings Mel Bochner has been creating over the past 12 years. “Mel Bochner: Strong Language,” an elegantly produced exhibition at the Jewish Museum, gives them their due and traces their roots back to text-based works that Mr. Bochner created in the ’60s and early ’70s, when he was one of New York’s pre-eminent Conceptual artists.

There is a great slideshow of a few works, including Amazing above.

Here are some other Mel Bochner works from different periods.

No, 2002

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Portrait of Robert Smithson, 1966

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Two Planar Arcs, 1977

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That is all for now. The artist’s website is really worth a visit.

Enjoy the visit!

And if you really enjoyed this feature, please let me know so I can do similar ones in the future.

How much stays unseen… A Poem By Ludmilla Shchipakhina

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Image by NilookaD; Pickingflowers

 

How much stays unseen when some eye on us gazes–

A sub-text may run under clear-sounding phrases

And sighs of delight or expressions of sorrow

May differ in meaning from poses they borrow.

We lie on the grass, watch the sunlight which spreads,

But what are the thoughts that go round in our heads?

We meet. Stroll along in the garden’s deep shade,

But what is our purpose? What plans have we made?

Our time throbs and shakes with the problems of ages,

But man and his soul are a book of sealed pages!

At sight we are simple. No need for much guessing,

But what are our feelings? Extatic? Depressing?

We lunch in cheap restaurants without star rating

But maybe a triumph we are celebrating!

And perhaps it’s not transport that gives us a ride,

But invisible wings, which don’t show from outside.

 

Translated by Eva Strauss

From: Soviet Literature, 1979; ISSN-0202-1870

 

 

 

Your Mindset Can Shape Your Future – A Great Link Plus a Growth Mindset Poem

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I’ve been posting multiple links about mindsets in my Facebook page after reading Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success which teaches how each of us can learn to fulfill our potential. Here’s a great summary of it.

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Also, here’s a poem I  came across in an old copy of Soviet Literature (1979).

Elegy

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by Alexander Pushkin

The long-spent madness of once joyous days

Is dull and heavy like a drunken daze.

But, just like wine, the grief of days gone by

Grows ever stronger as years swiftly fly.

My fate is sad. Hard work and woe’s grim lore

Is all the future holds for me in store.

And yet, dear friends, I do not pray for death,

To think and suffer life must give me breath.

And I believe, mid worries, grief and pain,

Sweet spells of bliss will come my way again:

I’ll feast my ears on harmony supreme,

Let over fantasy tears freely stream,

And it may be, my sunset’s gloomy isle

Love shall light up with short-lived farewell smile.

1830

Translated by Diana Russell

Don’t you think it reflects a growth mindset? And that is something which always bestows hope.

Do you get angry?

Refraction_of_light_2 Wikimedia Commons

Here are a few quotations to ponder on:

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
― Ambrose Bierce
* * *
“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
― Aristotle

* * *

“Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”
― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

* * *

“The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.”
― Sigmund Freud

* * *

“Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.”
― Henry Ward Beecher

* * *

“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.
― Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada [Verse 223]

* * *

“Get mad, then get over it. ”
― Colin Powell

* * *

“Poetry = Anger x Imagination”
― Sherman Alexie, One Stick Song

I wish that the last were true for me. As far as I am concerned Poetry = Misery x Imagination. That also explains why I no longer write poetry. Not miserable any more…

Do you judge a person by his questions or his answers?

This question was prompted by Voltaire’s “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
But it was also prompted by the book I am reading just now, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. Click on the link to read the FIRST LINES from the book to get an idea about its content.

Its an interesting book. And as expected prompting more questions than answers, and making me bold about asking ones of my own.

The author, Warren Berger quotes Joi Ito of MIT’s Media Lab saying “You don’t learn unless you question”.
And it matters how we question. We are likely to get different answers depending on whether we frame our questions as open ended ones or close ended ones.

Here’s some mind food on questions and questioning:

“Questions are infinitely superior to answers.”
~Dan Sullivan

* * *

“To get answers of life, ask questions”
~Sukant Ratnakar, Open the Windows

* * *

“Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limit of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.”
~Milan Kundera in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

* * *

“At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.”
~Leo Babauta

* * *

“Which would you rather be if you had the choice–divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?”
~L.M. Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables

* * *

“The most important questions in life can never be answered by anyone except oneself.”
~John Fowles in The Magus

* * *

“To ask the ‘right’ question is far more important than to receive the answer. The solution of a problem lies in the understanding of the problem; the answer is not outside the problem, it is in the problem.”
~Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Flight of the Eagle

* * *

“An empowered life begins with serious personal questions about oneself. Those answers bare the seeds of success.”
~Steve Maraboli in Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

* * *

“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.”
~Claude Lévi-Strauss

* * *

“How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round?
Probably half the questions we ask-half our great theological and metaphysical problems-are like that.”
~C.S. Lewis

* * *

“No where in ‘humpty dumpty’ did it say he was an egg. Maybe your inability to think outside of what others have taught you is what’s keeping you from putting him together again.”
― Darnell Lamont Walker

Now ask yourself this: Why are questions infinitely better than answers? Why do questions feel like open doors while answers feel like closed ones?

Happy questioning!