Category Archives: Humour

A million dollars or a lifetime of vacation?

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Well, the question was popped at me in an impromptu speaking contest that I lost.

I said vacation was far more meaningful if I can have all the experiences that I valued. There is no point in obsessing over accumulation of wealth. The actual question should be what experiences we want in life and then script those experiences! And, surprisingly the experiences that we cherish to have are either cheap or even free!

Bill Gates says he doesn’t have the need for all his wealth, Tim Ferris has written a wonderful book ‘4-day work week’ with this theme.

Bible succinctly puts this idea forward.

Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” (Luke 12:15 NLT)

However I lost to other guys who argued for money. I think I was too out-of-the-box.

When I mentioned this topic to an accomplished humorous speaker, he said: “What if I can have both?”

Follow these rules and people will follow you.

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I am talking about the principles mentioned in this book. The author correctly states – I think – that if you have a checklist of 21 laws and you are also able to check them all off, there is going to be a huge crowd following you wherever you go.

But I have a question for you and for myself: ‘who wants everyone to follow them? Is that the secret desire of everyone – to be followed?’

Well, I have a friend, who is a truck driver by name John. He is a very blithesome, cheerful guy who loves life. But the kinds of things he does are not all very much in the realm of popular social expectations of behaviour. For want of time and space, and for the better part of tact, I don’t wish to go into all the details, but I can assure you that he is a very decent gentleman. He even prays every day! His prayer consists of asking for forgiveness and for a good life for himself and his kids – fairly noble goals indeed. However, there are lots of things that he needs forgiveness from the good Lord every day. Now I am sure that he doesn’t want to be in the public light and be followed by a whole bunch of people wherever he goes! No way! That is the last thing he would need.

I have reasons to believe that there are lots of Johns out there. I don’t have the luxury of the numbers here – but let me make up a percentage for the sake of argument. Let us say, 95% of the people do not want to be followed by mobs or paparazzi or peeping Toms, which is a fair intuitive estimate. In that case, isn’t John C. Maxwell talking to the other 5% of the population only? Perhaps these five percent of the people are experts like Maxwell themselves so much so that they have a few laws and tips up their sleeves that are not in Maxwell’s book.

I am just taking my imagination down a tizzy path. For all I know, Mr. Maxwell has put together everything that there possibly is in his cute book.

Where have all the leaders come from?

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This is a counter question to Iacocca’s: ‘where have all the leaders gone?’

My surprise finding is:

From common relative obscurity.

In many cases the super, duper leaders were not conventional high-IQ, Ivy League, big-mo stuff.

In Jesus’s case, he speaks about him as the stone that the builders rejected becoming the cornerstone. He is talking about not playing even a normal role in society before he became the big guru that everyone sought after!

Iacocca himself says that crisis creates the leader.

Let me tell this about Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India. I remember reading about her Oxford student days – if the classmates were offered a guess at naming a future world leader from among them, Indira Gandhi would have beeen the last one of the list! Yet she was the one who made it!

Let me make a prediction about Justin Trudeau. Before his appearance on the scene, Liberal party was all but written off! Now there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm about the liberal party. Why is that?

Leaders are normal people who are born in the moment of a crisis and who are willing to take charge when opportunity presents itself.

“Where have all the leaders gone?” We retired them!

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Politics is a very unstable ground for leaders. I am talking about International Aid minister Bev Oda. I talking about Jean Charest, former premier of Quebec. I am also talking about ousted Toronto mayor Rob Ford. And indeed I am talking about former Montreal mayor Gerald Trembly. And of course, I am talking about former liberal leader Michael Ignatieff  too. I just remembered Hugh McFadyen, former leader of Progressive Conservatives in Manitoba. All of them left leadership positions over allegations or election defeats. And we are not to leave alone the beleaguered Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz, who is on the firing line right now: a recent Winnipeg Free Press opinion poll shows that the people favour his ouster.

All of the above leaders were extremely successful leaders once upon a time, but they were forced to change course, in some cases for flimsy reasons.

My favorite quotation is that of former Montreal mayor Gerald Trembly speaking after his resignation. ‘When I was a young man, my father told me never to get into politics because it was dirty and would destroy me.”

Hmm. Interesting..

So that is why I insist that the leaders have fled the scene because we pushed them out of the lime light.

Perhaps they wanted to stay and not run away. But the simple fact is that we didn’t let them stay. Are we, the public, and the journalists being too fussy about what a political or social leader should or should not do?

Where have all the leaders gone? Minneapolis!

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Lee Iaccoca asks the question in his book of 2007: “where are all the leaders gone? Actually the context is USA and he is talking about lack of leadership in manufacturing, businesses in general and politics. I like the question for the possibilities in brainstorming as it is at once provocative and tricky. Sounds like a trick […]