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So, which wolf are YOU going to feed?

March 19, 2010

In his book, The Power of Attitude, Mac Anderson tells a story about a Native American Boy talking with his grandfather, and it goes like this:

“What do you think about the world situation?” asked the boy. The grandfather replied, “I feel like two wolves are fighting in my heart. One is full of anger and hatred; the other is full of love, forgiveness and peace.” “Which one will win?” asked the boy. To which the grandfather replied, “The one I feed.”

I thought that this story perfectly describes the battle inside many people’s hearts at this very moment. I often read posts on social networking sites and more and more I’ve been coming across messages and comments that reflect the anger and the resentment about the current state of crisis. People are dashing out on governments and political parties and even criticizing what might actually be ideas that can help pull us out of these uncertain times. Yet, there is a desire to forget the difficulties and start over.  However, this desire for a new beginning seems to have the second place after the desire to take revenge and punish those who took part in the crisis or those who did not do much to remedy it. I want to think that this is just transitory but I feel as if the society is getting infected with a contagious disease whose effects are paralyzing as a whole. Yes, it’s no easy task to let go of negativity. Letting it go is a Catch-22.  Unless something positive happens, one doesn’t easily let it go, but at the same time, one cannot achieve something positive until he lets go of negativity and dark thoughts.  I personally think that we would be better off being proactive instead of just wishing for something good to happen.

Resentment and anger are like fresh logs to an already burning, bright fire. The more the anger and the resentment, the stronger the fire, that is to say, the stronger the pain and suffering of the society as a whole. And the result is a society that is stuck in the past and buried in thoughts about “would-haves” and” ifs” that have no real, present time value whatsoever.  What matters is now and the conscious choices we can make that will shape the future.  And, for that, we have to let go of negativity.

It is time to pay attention to our thoughts and make deliberate efforts to turn them into positive ones.  After all, isn’t it obvious that the more we feed the angry wolf inside our hearts, the less we are able to see the possibilities and abundance life could offer us?  So, make your choice today and decide which wolf should win.  You have the power to stop the fight in your heart and see the light.

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Face hardships with the courage of the Lion and the strength of the Unicorn!

March 4, 2010

The Argentine poet, Almafuerte wrote: “To the weak, difficulty is a closed door. To the strong, however, it is a door waiting to be opened.”  I couldn’t agree more with him.  In order to open the doors of difficulty, however, we have to answer some crucial questions: What is it that makes us weak and holds us back?  How do we unleash the necessary courage and strength to face the difficulties and take action? The answers lie in our way of thinking. Our thoughts and attitudes  shape our lives for good or bad.  It is our choice and ours only to decide how to direct our lives. Sometimes difficulties may slow us down.  We can get disheartened and choose to stay in our comfort zone.  But, wouldn’t the payoffs be greater if we took an extra step?  I can assure you they would be greater than you could ever imagine.  If we change our thoughts, visualize ourselves where we aim to arrive, and don’t contemplate on things that make our goals seem impossible, we can get unstuck and energized towards making full use of our potential.  I know from my own experiences that what I suggested just now works.  The power of thinking positively is really the key to unlocking our potential.

When I meet new people, I usually tend to get the comment:  “Oh, you’re so brave!” And I often think to myself:  “If they only knew!” Courage is a paradox really. People usually think that it is the absence of fear.  But, let me tell you, it really isn’t. Have I not felt fear?  You bet I have!  But I’ve always had faith that I would succeed no matter what and I did whatever I needed to do at any given moment.  If I was able to act upon my fears and face my challenges bravely, it was because I conditioned myself to think positively, and because I considered that my actions could benefit me, as well as those that I care about and even those that I had not even met.  It is because of my thoughts that I am where I am today.  And, having the awareness that my thoughts play a powerful role in my life, I am able to program myself for more great work that lies ahead.

I decided to write this post to inspire those of you who are unemployed or are experiencing other difficulties, to let yourself free of artificial boundaries, to explore your heart and find the inner strength that is surely there to help you continue your quest to accomplish your goals no matter how bad things may seem.  Don’t be disheartened by not receiving phone calls from potential employers. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get selected during an interview process.  There will be other doors to knock on.  Surely one of them will open and let you right through.  It’s a question of faith and perseverance.  Believe in yourself and believe in the power of your thoughts and imagination.  The courage to act will unveil itself naturally.

When I was looking for a title for this post, I had in mind using the courage of a lion, but then I felt as if I would leave something out if I just used lion as a symbol.  I felt the need to accompany lion with another symbol that represented something larger than courage because apart from courage, we also need imagination and perseverance if we are to accomplish anything. I researched for a while, and I magically came across an excerpt from Hymn of Buddha which inspired me:

Like a lion, without fear of the howling pack,
Like a gust of wind, ne’er trapped in a snare,
Like a lotus blossom, ne’er sprinkled by water,
Let me, like a unicorn, in solitude roam.

“The Unicorn is the only fabulous beast conceived not out of human fear but as the sole single creation of mankind’s fertile, positive and ever hopeful imagination, a legendary creature whose power is exceeded only by its mystery.”  Fierce yet good, a symbol of strength, endurance, agility, perseverance and wisdom, Unicorns are symbol of hope and unconquerable nature.  So, I say to you now, go ahead, face your hardships with the courage of the Lion and the mysterious inner strength of the Unicorn.  The doors are waiting to be opened!


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Are you going up or are you going down? The Elevator Ride

February 19, 2010

Let’s see, I’ve probably read close to 25 blogs about how to write an effective elevator speech.  Why is it that everybody repeats the same things over and over again? That you go into an elevator and it so happens that exactly who you wanted to meet enters right then into the elevator…And then  “Your elevator speech must answer the following list of questions: 1…2…3…4…5…6…”

I don’t know about you, but I am kind of tired of the same rhetoric. Especially, considering job-seeking situations, it is hard to imagine anyone adapting the same principles and putting them all into practice. What I do know though, is that somehow you need to stay top of mind.

I meet a lot of new people in my line of work and sometimes I meet people who use many of those methods that you find explained everywhere about how you should be introducing yourself with an elevator speech.   I start to think “Is it me or does everyone sound the same?!!”  The content sounds similar, all I hear is a list of things and the speech itself sounds way too practiced.  The moment loses all the spontaneity of what a first encounter is all about.

So, what should one do to stay top of mind?  You might have heard the saying “They might forget your words, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”  Why so? It’s because all the information that’s given to us as facts get recycled in the frontal cortex of our brains.  The life-span of this information is quite limited.  If we don’t hear it regularly, or if we don’t have a relatively immediate need for  it, it goes into “trash”. However, our feelings get stored in the amygdala and they are retained there for a very long time.  So, other than repeated exposure, the key to be top of mind is to create some type of feeling in the person who is hearing us.  In this post, I’m not going to give you a laundry list of things that you should do to prepare an elevator speech.  I’m going to suggest to you just one thing.  Keep in mind, next time you meet someone new, make them feel something.  Dare to be yourself, be spontaneous, use the surprise factor.  Catch the magic of the moment.

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Lessons from an oyster

February 17, 2010
Each one of us has a potential inside of us that when exploited can result in beautiful creations.  Despite difficulties and challenges, if we choose courage rather than fear, believe in ourselves, persevere  and work hard, we can achieve great success and happiness.

Lessons from an Oyster is a beautiful poem by an anonymous poet and it wonderfully explains that we should make the best of what we’ve got at hand. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.

Lessons from an Oyster

There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had gotten 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 sea 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 can 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.

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Welcome to Win-More & Prosper

February 15, 2010

I hereby dedicate Win-More & Prosper’s website to my father Said Erkin, my mother Günsel Erkin.

My father is the creator of the name Win-More & Prosper.  Win-More & Prosper has been a shared dream of ours  for a very long time and I am proud to put the idea in action and in service of others.  My father taught me the importance of having dreams; he taught me that knowledge is our most valued treasure; that we should expand our consciousness and try to make a difference.  I thank him for all his wisdom and all his support he gave me during this project.

My mother Günsel Erkin is a very special person in my life.  She is like no other person I ever met.  She has the kindest and warmest heart I’ve ever known.  When the world seems cruel sometimes, I just picture her in my mind.  She is a constant reminder to me that goodness does exist. She taught me that we can persevere and that we must be tolerant, accepting and forgiving.   I am proud to be the daughter of such an incredible man and such an amazing woman.

I am thankful for all my family, my sisters and nieces.  I feel fortunate that they never stop believing in me and always provide their unconditional love and support in the purest of forms.