Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Jesus always stopped what He was doing to help those in need. He was constantly thronged by people, but He always found time to stop what He was doing at the moment. This is hard for us to do because we are so busy, but it is a lesson we must learn if we are really going to show people we care about them.
Jesus always acknowledged the person he was helping. He cared enough to do this. This is a type of how God cares about each of our needs no matter how small when we pray to Him. We must learn to acknowledge others who are hurting and in need of our help so we may be a good example as ambassadors of God's love.
Listen to the person who needs help. You won't get very far if you have preconceived ideas about what they need without listening. You will miss the mark of what they really need unless you care enough to listen. This was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a hospital chaplain---to listen and care and love that person I am talking to. I am still learning it.
Look for needs, voiced and unvoiced. The need the person is bringing to your attention may not be the need that really is driving them. We must care enough to look beyond the obvious as Jesus did in His ministry. Sometimes the person He was helping needed more faith beyond what they already had, but He loved them enough to help them with all of their needs, not just the most apparent ones.
Care enough, love that person enough to do something about the need presented. Even if you can't do anything personally, you can help them toward a solution. God does not expect us to meet every need in the world, but He expects us to help those He sends our way.
In Luke 8:41-56 Jesus was on the way to help Jairus' need of healing for His daughter. But He encountered another need along the way and helped both the woman and Jairus toward greater faith as a result. The point is that distractions are not always to be considered bad. They seem like a nuisance sometimes but it could be that God has a reason for that distraction to happen. We must be close to Him so we can see His hand in these types of situations.
Give God the glory for what you do. In John 7:14-18 Jesus admonishes us to do just that. There are other passages of Scripture that teach this also. If you notice the ministry of Jesus, He always gave His Father the glory for what He did. We must learn from this so we can be good examples of Christ's love.
Further study: Matt. 10:8: Mark 9:23: Mark 16:17-18. These are a challenge for us to use the tools God has given us so we may be instruments of love and caring in His hands. Now let's get going and look for needs as we go about our daily lives to show the Love God has for others. God loves you, but pass it on also.
"And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34)
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I saw a short interview with Jay Piccola, the president of athletic-wear giant Puma. He's a very interesting guy. He comes from a family of doctors - a 400-year tradition. When he joined Puma, the company was technically bankrupt. He said the problem was that it was run like a bureaucracy, with all the ideas and directives coming from the top. "Besides that, there was this idea that Puma was a German company and that the rest of the world should be happy to buy whatever German products it decided to create."
Piccola changed the business dramatically. First, he changed its nature from a German, inwardly focused company to an international, market-focused business. Next, he gave Puma a vision. They would reinvent their brand, combining sports (which had until then been primarily a functional idea) with fashion and lifestyle.
It worked very well - but that's not what Piccola attributes his company's success to. He gives credit to three factors - three very good business practices:
1. Giving his employees a great deal of liberty in design and marketing
Giving your employees the authority to make lots of decisions is essential if you want your business to grow big. Most managers are comfortable letting their subordinates make the ordinary, quotidian decisions but reluctant to allow them equal freedom in the creative and marketing spheres. That's a mistake, because product creation and marketing are the keys to growth.
Unless your employees can practice making good decisions in these key areas, your business will always be dependent on you for growth. That may feed your ego in the short term, but after a while you'll get tired of having to come up with all the answers, and sales will suffer because of it.
2. Listening to the market rather than dictating to it
Deciding what the market needs may be the most common and most deadly mistake entrepreneurs make. It's interesting that, according to Piccola, this was also a problem with Puma.
When you are new to a market, you are seeing it from the outside. Coming at it with fresh eyes, you may see a product gap that you want to fill. Usually, you will get very excited about your idea, because "nobody else is doing it right now." So you do everything you can to protect the idea. Later, when you launch your advertising campaign, it flops. So you try again. And again. A million dollars later, you are broke ... and you still haven't figured out what went wrong. It was because you never asked, "Why isn't someone already doing this?"
In Puma's case, the company was sturdily positioned in its market. But the executives who were running it insisted on sticking to the old marketing and design formulas because "they had always worked before." Yet market conditions change over time. The essential human personality doesn't change ... but the market does. To keep an existing business at a competitive advantage, you must be aware of what your competitors are doing and pay extra attention to the new businesses that are growing fast. Once a year, you should sit down with your creative team and ask, "What has changed? What is the same?"
3. Pushing the company forward on a Ready-Fire-Aim basis
Piccola doesn't believe in getting everything perfect before he launches a product. He understands something that all experienced businesspeople eventually learn: You can never get it completely right when you are starting out. There will always be after-market modifications. Trying to "do it right the first time" can slow your business down.
Be happy when you have 75 to 80 percent right ... and then test the idea in the marketplace. When it comes to staying ahead of the competition, speed is critical.
Did you know that, according to Michael Sky, "the real challenge (in life) is to choose, hold, and operate through intelligent, uplifting, and fully empowering beliefs"? Well, I believe him. Recognizing and believing in your own abilities is the core of self-image, and self-esteem.
The greatest hindrance to recognizing and developing your natural tendencies into talents and skills is fear: fear of uncertainty; fear of moving beyond your comfort zone; fear of disapproval; fear of loss; and, of course, self-doubt. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that these fears are counterproductive, self-destructive, and limit your ability to live a rich and rewarding life. So how do you move beyond fear to action? How do you face the fear and REFUSE to allow it to rule your life choices?
The answer lies in simply taking small steps and making daily, conscious choices to create new habits. Here is a guide that will show you how to assess your hidden talents, and set you on a path to purposeful living, in less than and hour!
To begin, you will need to get a journal or new notebook. This will be your "Life Lessons Workbook." Your first lesson will to determine what natural abilities you currently possess. To do so, create an "Activities List" by asking yourself these basic questions and writing down your answers in your Workbook.
1) What is your life's passion? (What have you always wanted to do?)
2) What activities make you happy and bring you joy?
3) What talents would you like to develop?
4) What things were you good at as a child?
Do not agonize over these questions. You should write down what immediately comes to mind, and you should not spend more than 10 minutes answering the questions.
Next, evaluate your Activities List. What talents and skills were needed (or will be needed) to engage in activities? As a child, did you need to be energetic, fearless, competitive, or creative to participate in the sports you liked or the clubs you belonged to? Are you now required to be a good communicator, fair, and nurturing to manage your own household and settle sibling disputes?
Are you the office problem-solver and decision maker? Are you ambitious and confident as the leader of your PTA? Have you adapted to change easily by moving? Do your neighbors see you as the fun-loving social coordinator?
During your evaluation, create an "Abilities List" on the next page. Create the list by answering the questions outlined above, and any others you believe are appropriate. Write down your answers, and don't be surprised when the list grows longer than you thought possible!
Now, your second lesson is a simple exercise: look at that growing list of abilities. Beside each item, write the sentence, "I AM (fill in the ability here.)" For example, if you have "problem-solver" on your Abilities List; write the sentence, "I AM a problem-solver."
You are probably asking yourself, why am I doing this? The reason is that the simple statement of "I AM" sets forth your intentions and your beliefs. It declares to yourself, your peers, your friends, your family, and the universe your self-image, and it allows you to OWN the abilities you have listed.
Once you own those abilities, you are then able to move beyond your fear. (Why be afraid when you KNOW you are dedicated, fun-loving, creative, and a good communicator?) You are able to look toward the highest vision of your greatest aspiration rather than sabotaging yourself with self-doubt and fear of failure.
The next lesson in this process is to create your "Personal Priorities List." To do so, you must again ask yourself some basic questions.
1) What are your current priorities? Is your family most important? Are you currently committed to advancing your career?
2) What do you most value about yourself and your life? Is honesty and integrity most important to you? Are you more motivated by status and prestige? Is it your spirituality, or your relationships?
3) Who do you most admire and why? What values guide their behavior? Do you agree? Do you want the same outcomes in your life that they have had theirs?
You should not spend more than 10 minutes answering these questions. The key here is to work with your first, true response. This response is usually an authentic response; a response from the person you truly are.
It is important to follow your authentic self, your authentic responses, because these are your true values, beliefs, priorities, and guiding principles. By knowing what they are, you have created a road map for your future. These keystones serve as the benchmarks of your future success and the beacons of your life's journey.
Your final lesson is to assess your current lifestyle. Are you using your abilities and talents to achieve your Personal Priorities? Ask yourself these questions to find out. Again, do not agonize over these questions. You should write down what immediately comes to mind, and you should not spend more than 10 minutes answering the questions.
1) Are you devoting your energies to your priorities, values, and guiding principles?
2) Where is realignment needed?
3) What skills need to be re-learned, improved, or attained to fully achieve realignment?
Again, write down these answers in your Workbook. This will now become your Life Lessons Workbook, your tool to document your current status and will serve to gauge your future progress.
Now, when you have completed this exercise, if you are like 99% of the world's population, you WILL find discrepancies between where you are now, and where you want to be. You WILL find inconsistencies between what you value and what you believe are priorities in your life, and where you are devoting your energy.
This is natural and normal. Each one of us is growing, learning, and changing every day. The question to ask yourself is whether you want to grow, learn, and change with direction. Or do you want to be ruled by the sea of society? Do you want to own the purpose for your life's journey? Or do you want to be a passenger who is along for the ride and does not know your destination?
If you want to own your own direction and take control of your life's course, then you simply need to continue working your Workbook lessons.
Go back to your Final Lesson. What discrepancies and inconsistencies did you find? Are there abilities that you need to develop, improve, or re-learn? Developing your natural abilities into talents can be as easy as trying out something new every month.
Each activity you undertake should be one that is aligned with your values, beliefs, priorities, and guiding principles. You should document each new activity in your Life Lessons Workbook, taking special note of the abilities that you are seeking to attain, improve, or re-learn. For example:
* To develop your communication and networking abilities, join your local Rotary or Toastmasters Club.
* To develop your nurturing and commitment abilities, join the local YM(W)CA or Big Brothers/Big Sisters Association.
* To develop your abilities to focus your energy and attention, learn karate, tai chi, or yoga.
* To develop your creative abilities, try your hand at painting, writing, or gardening.
* To develop your organizational abilities, choose a section of your office or your home each week to de-clutter and organize.
* To develop your time-management abilities, create a COMPLETE (business and personal) daily, weekly, and monthly schedule and ensure that you schedule time for self-development.
By working your Life Lessons, you will find that each time you complete this exercise, there will be less distance between where you are, and where you want to be. There will be less discrepancy between the person you are, and the PERSON YOU KNOW YOU CAN BE.
If you are faithful to your own Life Lessons and you consciously make choices aligned with your values, beliefs, priorities, and guiding principles, you will begin to live fully and purposefully. You will find talents and skills that you never knew you had, and you will be able to use those talents to succeed both professionally and personally.
© Copyright 2006 Amy M. Potavin
About the Author:
Ms. Potavin assists managers, executives, and entrepreneurs as a Professional Business and Life Coach to gain success through coaching, management consulting, e-learning, and on-site training. Her business provides the means to allow you to discover, unlock, and harness your hidden talents, inspiring you to live fully AND purposefully, and allow yourself to BELIEVE in your abilities and SUCCEED in your professional and personal life.
Hold on to your dreams; achieve them diligently and honestly. Never take the easy way or surrender to deceit. Remember others on your way and take time to care for their needs. Enjoy the beauty around you. Have the courage to see things differently and clearly. Make the world a better place one day at a time, and don't let go of the important things that give meaning to your life.
If we have God in all things while they are ours, we shall have all things in God when they are taken away.
Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns.
There are times when God asks nothing of His children except silence, patience, and tears.
I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.
I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.
You are what your deep driving desire is; As your deep driving desire is, so is your will; As your will is so is your deed; As your deed is so is your destiny.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
"Why not?" she asked."I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, they don't like me, and two, I don't like them."
His mother replied, "I'll give YOU two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church. One, you're 54 years old, and two, you're the pastor!"
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows."
The woman responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that's a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine."
Tech Support: "OK Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager."
Customer: "I don't have a 'P'."
Tech Support: "On your keyboard, Bob."
Customer: "What do you mean?"
Tech Support: "'P' on your keyboard, Bob."
Customer: "I'm not going to do that!"
Overheard in a computer shop:
Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please."
Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety."
Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"
I once received a fax with a note on the bottom to fax the document back to the sender when I was finished with it, because he needed to keep it.
Customer in computer shop: "Can you copy the Internet onto this disk for me?"
I work for a local ISP. Frequently we receive phone calls that start something like this:
Customer: "Hi. Is this the Internet?"
Customer: "So that'll get me connected to the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Yeah."
Customer: "And that's the latest version of the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Uhh...uh...uh...yeah."
Tech Support: "All right...now double-click on the File Manager icon."
Customer: "That's why I hate this Windows - because of the icons - I'm a Protestant, and I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well, that's just an industry term sir. I don't believe it was meant to-"
Customer: "I don't care about any 'Industry Terms'. I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well...why don't you click on the 'little picture' of a filing cabinet...is 'little picture' OK?"
Customer: "My computer crashed!" Tech Support: "It crashed?"
Customer: "Yeah, it won't let me play my game."
Tech Support: "All right, hit Control-Alt-Delete to reboot."
Customer: "No, it didn't crash-it crashed."
Tech Support: "Huh?"
Customer: "I crashed my game. That's what I said before. I crashed my spaceship and now it doesn't work."
Tech Support: "Click on 'File,' then 'New Game.'"
Customer: [pause] "Wow! How'd you learn how to do that?"
Got a call from a woman said that her laser printer was having problems: the bottom half of her printed sheets were coming out blurry. It seemed strange that the printer was smearing only the bottom half.
I walked her through the basics, then went over and printed out a test sheet. It printed fine. I asked her to print a sheet, so she sent a job to the printer.
As the paper started coming out, she yanked it out and showed it to me. I told her to wait until the paper came out on its own.
I had been doing Tech Support for Hewlett-Packard's DeskJet division for about a month when I had a customer call with a problem I just couldn't solve. She could not print yellow. All the other colors would print fine, which truly baffled me because the only true colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. For instance, green is a combination of cyan and yellow, but green printed fine. Every color of the rainbow printed fine except for yellow.
I had the customer change ink cartridges. I had the customer delete and reinstall the drivers.
Nothing worked. I asked my coworkers for help; they offered no new ideas. After over two hours of troubleshooting, I was about to tell the customer to send the printer in to us for repair when she asked quietly, "Should I try printing on a piece of white paper instead of this yellow paper?"
A man attempting to set up his new printer called the printer's tech support number, complaining about the error message: "Can't find the printer."
On the phone, the man said he even held the printer up in front of the screen, but the computer still couldn't find it.
And another user was all confused about why the cursor always moved in the opposite direction from the movement of the mouse. She also complained that the buttons were difficult to depress.
She was very embarrassed when we asked her to rotate the mouse so the tail pointed away from her.
Customer: "Hello? I'm trying to dial in. I installed the software okay, and it dialed fine. I could hear that. Then I could hear the two computers connecting. But then the sound all stopped, so I picked up the phone to see if they were still connected, and I got the message, 'No carrier,' on my screen.
An unfailingly polite lady called to ask for help with a Windows installation that had gone terribly wrong.
Customer: "I brought my Windows disks from work to install them on my home computer."
Training stresses that we are "not the Software Police," so I let the little act of piracy slide.
Tech Support: "Umm-hmm. What happened?"
Customer: "As I put each disk in it turns out they weren't initialized."
Tech Support: "Do you remember the message exactly, ma'am?"
Customer: (proudly) "I wrote it down. 'This is not a Macintosh disk. Would you like to initialize it?'"
Tech Support: "Er, what happened next?"
Customer: "After they were initialized, all the disks appeared to be blank. And now I brought them back to work, and I can't read them in the A: drive; the PC wants to format them. And this is our only set of Windows disks for the whole office. Did I do something wrong?"
For a computer programming class, I sat directly across from someone, and our computers were facing away from each other. A few minutes into the class, she got up to leave the room.
I reached between our computers and switched the inputs for the keyboards. She came back and started typing and immediately got a distressed look on her face. She called the tutor over and explained that no matter what she typed, nothing would happen.
The tutor tried everything. By this time I was hiding behind my monitor and quaking red-faced. I typed, "Leave me alone!"
They both jumped back as this appeared on their screen. "What the..." the tutor said. I typed, "I said leave me alone!"
The kid got real upset. "I didn't do anything to it, I swear!" It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud.
The conversation between them and HAL 2000 went on for an amazing five minutes.
Me: "Don't touch me!"
Her: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hit your keys that hard."
Me: "Who do you think you are anyway?!"
Etc. Finally, I couldn't contain myself any longer, and fell out of my chair laughing. After they had realized what I had done, they both turned beet red. Funny, I never got more than a C- in that class.
This guy calls in to complain that he gets an "Access Denied" message every time he logs in. It turned out he was typing his username and password in capital letters.
Tech Support: "Ok, let's try once more, but use lower case letters."
Customer: "Uh, I only have capital letters on my keyboard."
Email from a friend: "CanYouFixTheSpaceBarOnMyKeyboard?"
My friend was on duty in the main lab on a quiet afternoon. He noticed a young woman sitting in front of one of the workstations with her arms crossed across her chest, staring at the screen.
After about 15 minutes he noticed that she was still in the same position, only now she was impatiently tapping her foot.
He asked if she needed help and she replied "It's about time! I pressed the F1 button over twenty minutes ago!"
The next day it rained. A week later, the Indian went up to the director and said, "Tomorrow storm." The next day there was a hailstorm. "This Indian is incredible," said the director. He told his secretary to hire the Indian to predict the weather. However, after several successful predictions, the old Indian didn't show up for two weeks. Finally the director sent for him. "I have to shoot a big scene tomorrow," said the director, "and I'm depending on you. What will the weather be like?"
The Indian shrugged his shoulders. "Don't know," he said. "Radio is broken."
Then one day she met a guy and fell in love. When it became apparent that they would marry she thought to herself, "He is such a sweet and gentle man, he would never go for this carrying on." So she made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans.
Some months later her car broke down on the way home from work. Since she lived in the country she called her husband and told him that she would be late because she had to walk home. On her way, she passed a small diner and the odor of the baked beans was more than she could stand.
Since she still had miles to walk, she figured that she would walk off any ill effects by the time she reached home. So, she stopped at the diner and before she knew it, she had consumed three large orders of baked beans.
All the way home, she putt-putted. And, upon arriving home, she felt reasonably sure she could control it. Her husband seemed excited to see her and exclaimed delightedly, "Darling, I have a surprise for dinner tonight."He then blindfolded her and led her to her chair at the table. She seated herself and just as he was about to remove the blindfold from his wife, the telephone rang. He made her promise not to touch the blindfold until he returned. He then went to answer the phone.
The baked beans she had consumed were still affecting her and the pressure was becoming almost unbearable, so while her husband was out of the room she seized the opportunity, shifted her weight to one leg andlet it go. It was not only loud, but it smelled like a fertilizer truck running over a skunk in front of a pulpwood mill. She took her napkin and fanned the air around her vigorously. Then, she shifted to the other cheek and ripped three more, which reminded her of cabbage cooking.Keeping her ears tuned to the conversation in the other room, she went on like this for another ten minutes.
When the phone farewells signaled the end of her freedom, she fanned the air a few more times with her napkin, placed it on her lap, and folded her hands upon it, smiling contentedly to herself. She was the picture of innocence when her husband returned, apologizing for taking so long, he asked her if she peeked, and she assured him that she had not. At this point, he removed the blindfold.
There were twelve dinner guests seated around the table to wish her a Happy Birthday!
At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines, Iowa. I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons-something I've done for over 30 years.
Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability. I've never had the pleasure of having a prodigy though I have taught some talented students.
However I've also had my share of what I call "musically challenged" pupils. One such student was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single Mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys!) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.
But Robby said that it had always been his mother's dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student. Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor.
As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn.
Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say, "My mom's going to hear me play someday." But it seemed hopeless He just did not have any inborn ability. I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled but never stopped in.
Then one day Robby stopped coming to our lessons.
I thought about calling him but assumed because of his lack of ability, that he had decided to pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!
Several weeks later I mailed to the student's homes a flyer on the upcoming recital. To my surprise Robby (who received a flyer) asked me if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and because he had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said that his mother had been sick and unable to take him to piano lessons but he was still practicing. "Miss Hondorf I've just got to play!" he insisted.
I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would be all right. The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was packed with parents, friends and relatives. I put Robby up last in the program before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my "curtain closer."
Well, the recital went off without a hitch. The students had been practicing and it showed. Then Robby came up on stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked like he'd run an eggbeater through it. "Why didn't he dress up like the other students?" I thought. "Why didn't his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?"
Robby pulled out the piano bench and he began. I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #21 in C Major. I was not prepared for what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories. He went from pianissimo to fortissimo. From allegro to virtuoso. His suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent! Never had I heard Mozart played so well by people his age. After six and a half minutes he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone was on their feet in wild applause.
Overcome and in tears I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in joy. "I've never heard you play like that Robby! How'd you do it? " Through the microphone Robby explained: "Well Miss Hondorf . .. remember I told you my Mom was sick? Well, actually she had cancer and passed away this morning. And well, she was born deaf so tonight was the first time she ever heard me play. I wanted to make it special."
There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As the people from Social Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, noticed that even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil.
No, I've never had a prodigy but that night I became a prodigy. . . of Robby's. He was the teacher and I was the pupil For it is he that taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe even taking a chance in someone and you don't know why.
Robby was killed in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995. And now, a footnote to the story.
This story happened in the days of Lao Tzu in China, and Lao Tzu loved it very much:
There was an old man in a village, very poor, but even kings were jealous of him because he had a beautiful white horse. Kings offered fabulous prizes for the horse, but the man would say, "This horse is not a horse to me, he is a person. And how can you sell a person, a friend?" The man was poor, but he never sold the horse.
One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. The whole village gathered and said, "You foolish old man! We knew that someday the horse would be stolen. It would have been better to sell it. What a misfortune!"
The old man said, "Don't go so far as to say that. Simply say that the horse is not in the stable. This is the fact; everything else is judgement. Whether it is a misfortune or a blessing I don't know, because this is just a fragment. Who knows what is going to follow it?"
People laughed at the old man. They had always known he was a little crazy. But after fifteen days, suddenly one night the horse returned. He had not been stolen, he had escaped into the wild. And not only had he return, he brought a dozen wild horses with him.
Again the people gathered and they said, "Old man, you were right. This was not a misfortune, it has indeed proved to be a blessing."
The old man said, "Again you are going too far. Just say that the horse is back... who knows whether it is a blessing or not?" It is only a fragment. You read a single word in a sentence - how can you judge the whole book?"
This time the people could not say much, but inside they knew that he was wrong. Twelve beautiful horses had come.
The old man had an only son who started to train the horses. Just a week later he fell from a horse and his legs were broken. The people gathered again, and again they judged. They said, "Again you proved right! It was a misfortune. Your only son has lost the use of his legs, and in your old age he was your only support. Now you are poorer than ever."
The old man said, "You are obsessed with judgement. Don't go that far. Say only that my son had broken his legs. Life comes in fragments and more is never given to you."
It happened that after a few weeks the country went to war, and all the young men of the town were forcibly taken for the military. Only the old man's son was left because he was crippled. The whole town was crying and weeping, because it was a losing fight and they knew that most of the young people would never come back. They came to the old man and they said, " You were right, old man - this has proved a blessing. Maybe your son is crippled, but he is still with you. Our sons are gone forever."
The old man said again, "You go on and on judging. Nobody knows! Only say this, that your sons have been forced to enter the army and my son has not been forced. But only God, who sees the total picture, knows whether it is a blessing or a misfortune."
Judge not, otherwise you will never become one with the total. With fragments you will be obsessed, with small things you will jump to conclusions. Once you judge you have stopped growing. Judgement means a stale state of mind. And the mind always wants judgement, because to be in a process is always hazardous and uncomfortable.
In fact, the journey never ends. One path ends, another begins: one door closes, another opens. You reach a peak; a higher peak is always there. God is an endless journey. Only those who are so courageous that they don't bother about the goal, but are content with the journey, can be content to just live in the moment and grow into it; only those are able to walk in the total.
One of the world's richest men says there are four main reasons for his success in life.
Passion. Hard work. Seeing the big picture.
And the fourth?
"It doesn't hurt to go to college with Bill Gates," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, roaring with laughter. "In my case, that was helpful."
A vibrant man with an impish sense of humor, Ballmer spent Thursday in Fargo meeting with local employees and listening to updates on work being done at the Fargo campus.
Since 2000, Ballmer has served as Microsoft's CEO and assumed full management responsibility for the Redmond, Wash.,-based company. He joined Microsoft in 1980 and headed several of the company's divisions before being promoted to president in 1998.
He is now the 24th richest person in the world with a net worth of $13.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Ballmer, 50, grew up near Detroit before attending Harvard University to study math and economics. It was there he met Gates.
Ballmer later attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business in California, where he met Doug Burgum, who grew up in Arthur, N.D.
Burgum is now senior vice president of the Microsoft Business Solutions group based in Fargo.
Ballmer sat down with The Forum for an exclusive interview last week in Burgum's office.
(This story has been edited for length.)
Talk about why you're in Fargo.
I decided shortly after we acquired Great Plains (Software) that with as many people, as much important work as we're doing here in Fargo, it was important for me to try to get in regularly.
Basically, the time is kind of Doug's. He decides what we get into and talk about. If I have a particular topic of interest, we raise it.
This morning, I saw some fantastic demonstrations of work that's going on here that will show up in our Dynamics product line.
It's a pretty full day.
It's been five years since Microsoft acquired Great Plains. Do you still think that was the right choice?
I certainly am very convinced that the move to get into business applications was, for us, a necessary and right and important move.
I think that we certainly got ... not only a great product, but more importantly, we got a great set of talent in the Great Plains team.
Twenty-twenty hindsight, things haven't gone exactly the way we'd sketched out. We thought that some things that we'd be able to do in the marketplace we could do faster than we have.
But I'm still very, very pleased with the progress and incredibly happy that we did the acquisition.
What do you see for the future of the Fargo campus? How likely is an expansion within the next few years?
We've been growing the Fargo campus in a sense, I think, fairly steadily over the last several years.
We're always going to be smart about what's best done here, what's best done in other parts of the U.S., what's best done in other parts of the world. We have to be intelligent about that.
We also have to ask ourselves, in different disciplines, how much could we grow if we wanted to here?
But we've been growing steadily. We just added 30 new jobs that we're recruiting for here in Fargo.
I was teasing the guys here, that on a percentage of all people working basis, we employ a higher percentage of all people working in the state of North Dakota than we do any other geography. North Dakota is already No. 1.
Bill Gates announced this summer he's going to step back from the company's day-to-day operations over the next two years. What are your thoughts on that and what impact do you think that will have on the company?
Bill will be stepping out of the company and being part time.
He'll be chairman of the board. He'll be an adviser, and I know he'll be generous with me and the rest of the senior team with his time.
Two things I would say, which seem contradictory.
No. 1, you don't replace somebody like Bill Gates. Both because he's so famous and has so much history in the company and in the industry and has such a range of knowledge and is such a bright and talented person.
But with that said, I think our company is in better shape for the future than ever before in terms of the people and the talent that we have.
I don't think the company will in any way do anything but continue to accelerate in momentum.
How closely do you work with Gates?
I see Bill basically 80 percent, 90 percent of the days when we're both in town.
I've worked more closely with Bill Gates than any other person I've ever worked with, and he's worked with me much more closely than any other person he's ever worked with.
What is a typical work week like for you?
I sort of have two kinds of work weeks: one when I'm in Seattle, and one when I'm on the road.
I'm away from family about 68 nights a year - I keep a little spreadsheet budget on that.
When I'm in town, I drop my kids at the school bus or at school. I'm usually at work by about 8 a.m. Most of the time would be meetings, unfortunately, although I try to keep about one-third of my time in Seattle for myself - to think, to read, to work on projects.
My wife would tell you I'm home at 7 p.m. I would tell you I'm home at 6:30 p.m. The truth is probably someplace in between.
I do an occasional bit more work after the kids go to bed. I certainly always work Sunday night. After about 5 p.m., my wife and kids know they lose me because I'm going to go back into work mode.
I'm working 80, 90, 100 hours a week when I'm on the road. I'm mostly with customers, business partners and the like.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I do exercise fairly regularly, four or five days a week. I'm pretty good about that, whether on the road or in Seattle.
I enjoy playing golf ... that would be my only other hobby. I don't have a long list to give you, I'm afraid. (laughs)
What do you think is Microsoft's greatest achievement?
In a historical sense, I think you'd have to say somehow between us and Intel, we are the father and mother of modern computing and I think that's a great accomplishment
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
John Paul Getty became the richest man in the world by practicing a few basic principles of risk-taking and reward throughout his life. In this newsletter, you learn his key insight to risk reduction and success and how you can apply it to any decision you have to make. You learn a series of additional ideas that can help you to make better decisions and reduce the risks associated with success.
The Billionaire’s Strategy for Success
Remember Murphy’s Law: “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” There are several secondary laws to Murphy’s Law, such as “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible time” and “Of all the things that can go wrong, the most expensive thing will go wrong at the worst possible time.”
Another sublaw is “Everything takes longer than your best calculation.” In advising businesspeople, I suggest that they take their very best estimate of break-even for any business venture and then triple it to arrive at a more realistic number. Whenever businesspeople follow this advice, they are amazed to find that, in spite of their best initial calculations, it indeed takes about three times longer than they thought it would to start making money.
Always Add a Fudge Factor
Another sublaw is “Everything costs more than you can possibly anticipate in advance.” In minimizing risk in any venture, always add a “fudge factor” to account for the degree of uncertainty. Whenever I do a business plan, I always add 20 percent to the total of all costs that I can identify, to come up with the probable cost. Anything less than this, whether in business or your personal life, is likely to be an exercise in self-delusion and open you up for some unhappy surprises.
Once you have identified the worst possible things that could go wrong, make a list of everything that you could do to offset these negative factors. Engage in what is called “crisis anticipation.” Look down the road, into the future, and imagine every possible crisis that could arise as the result of changing external circumstances.
Be Intensely Realistic
Men and women who have achieved a high level of success are intensely realistic. They do not put their trust in luck. They carefully calculate every possible risk, and then think about what they would do should it occur. They always have a backup plan in case things do not go as they wish them to. They have a “Plan B” and options to that plan that take all kinds of variables into consideration.
Do the Things You Fear
One of the very best ways to develop your ability to take intelligent risks is to consciously and deliberately do the things you fear, one step at a time.
A very good way to overcome the fear of risk taking is to set clear, written, measurable goals for yourself, and then to review those goals regularly.
When you have clear goals and plans, and you continually work on them and evaluate your progress each day, you will see what you’re doing right and how you could improve your performance. You’ll feel more competent and capable and better about yourself. You’ll become more thoughtful and reflective and willing to take on even greater challenges. You’ll feel like the “master of your fate and the captain of your soul.” And your likelihood of success will become greater and greater.
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, take any worry situation in your life today and ask, “What is the worst possible thing that could happen?” Then go to work to make sure it doesn’t occur.
Second, look into the future in your life and determine the worst things that could happen. Engage in “crisis anticipation” regularly and continually be taking steps to guard against them.
Third, work from clear, written goals and detailed plans. Review them regularly. Consider alternatives and always look for ways to increase the likelihood of your success.
Friday, August 11, 2006
After many lengthy discussions (after all, the client is always right) an employee took the elderly woman to the president's office.
The president of the Bank asked her how much she wanted to deposit. She placed her purse on his desk and replied, "$165,000". The president was curious and asked her how she had been able to save so much money. The elderly woman replied that she made bets.
The president was surprised and asked, "What kind of bets?"
The elderly woman replied, "Well, I bet you $25,000 that your testicles are square."
The president started to laugh and told the woman that it was impossible to win a bet like that.
The woman never batted an eye. She just looked at the president and said, "Would you like to take my bet?"
"Certainly", replied the president. "I bet you $25,000 that my testicles are not square."
"Done", the elderly woman answered. "But given the amount of money involved, if you don't mind I would like to come back at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning with my lawyer as a witness."
"No problem", said the president of the Bank confidently.
That night, the president became very nervous about the bet and spent a long time in front of the mirror examining his testicles, turning them this way and that, checking them over again and again until he was positive that no one could consider his testicles as square and reassuring himself that there was no way he could lose the bet.
The next mornin g at exactly 10 o'clock the elderly woman arrived at the president's office with her lawyer and acknowledged the $25,000 bet made the day before that the president's testicles were square.
The president confirmed that the bet was the same as the one made the day before. Then the elderly woman asked him to drop his pants etc. so that she and her lawyer could see clearly.
The president was happy to oblige.
The elderly woman came closer so she could see better and asked the president if she could touch them. "Of course", said the president. "Given the amount of money involved , you should be 100% sure."
The elderly woman did so with a little smile. Suddenly the president noticed that the lawyer was banging his head against the wall. He asked the elderly woman why he was doing that and she replied, "Oh, it's probably because I bet him $100,000 that around 10 o'clock in the morning I would be holding the balls of the President of the Bank of Canada!"
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, 34, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. And all she had to cling to was her husband, Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again.
Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city. At first, this comforted Susan, and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task.
Soon, however, Mark realized the arrangement wasn't working. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But she was still so fragile, so angry - how would she react? Just as he predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again.
"I'm blind!", she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I am going? I feel like you're abandoning me."
Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened. For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day.
He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat.
Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus-riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, and his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... Each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself.
On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying the fare to exit the bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sure do envy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? Curious, she asked the driver, "Why do you say that you envy me?"
The driver responded, "It must feel good to be taken care of and protected like you are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and again asked, "What do you mean?"
The driver answered, "You know, every morning for the past week, a fine-looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you as you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one lucky lady."
Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't physically see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift of love that can bring light where there is darkness.
~ William Shakespeare
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The ending will surprise you
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the paint ing of the son The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"
There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"
Another voice angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
"We have $10, who will bid $20?"
"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."
"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"
A man s itting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What about the paintings?"
"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!"
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?"
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHO SO EVER BELIEVETH, SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE...THAT'S LOVE
Monday, August 07, 2006
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too.
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty(this is only one I could not make up initially, it's 'actually') uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.
Friday, August 04, 2006
An old drunk stumbles across a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river.
He proceeds to walk into the water and stand next to the preacher. The minister notices the old drunk and says, "Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?"
The drunk looks back and says, "Yes, preacher, I sure am."
The minister dunks the fellow under the water and pulls him right back up.
"Have you found Jesus?" the preacher asks."Nooo, I didn't!" said the drunk.
The preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up, and says, "Now, brother, have you found Jesus?"
"Noooo, I have not, Reverend."
The preacher, in disgust, holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time, brings him out of the water, and says in a harsh tone, "My God, man, have you found Jesus yet?"
The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher, "Are you sure this is where he fell in?"
Moral : Find Jesus in the WORD OF GOD.
Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat Disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible? and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt 7:11, "And if ye, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly father which is in heaven, give to those who ask Him?" As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words...PAID IN FULL.
How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? I trust you enjoyed this.
Pass it on to others. Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for...
IF YOUR GIFT IS NOT PACKED THE WAY YOU WANT IT, IT'S BECAUSE IT IS BETTER PACKED THAT WAY! ALWAYS APPRECIATE LITTLE THINGS; THEY USUALLY LEAD YOU TO ATTACHMENTS!
PLS SEND THIS TO ATLEAST TWO PEOPLE SO AS TO LET THIS GREAT LESSON FLOW AROUND. Have a nice day!
ALWAYS REMEMBER :
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
The boy saw the bottle and playfully went to the bottle fascinated by its color and drank it all. It happened to be a poisonous medicine meant for adults in small dosages. When the child collapsed the mother hurried him to the hospital. He died. The mother was stunned. She was terrified how she was going to face her husband.
When the distraught father came to the hospital and saw the dead child, he looked at his wife and uttered just five words.
1. What were the five words ?
2. What is the implication of this story?
The husband just said "I am with you Darling". The husband's totally unexpected reaction is a proactive behavior. The child is dead. He can never be brought back to life. There is no point in finding fault with the mother. Besides, if only he had taken time to keep the bottle away, this would not have happened.
No one is to be blamed. She had also lost her only child. What she needed at that moment was consolation and sympathy from the husband. That is what he gave her. If everyone can look at life with this kind of perspective, there would be much fewer problems in the world. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. And you will find things are actually not as difficult as you think.
MORAL OF THE STORY
This story is really worth reading. Sometimes we spend time in asking who is responsible or whom to blame, whether in a relationship, in a job or with the people we know. By this way we miss out some warmth in human relationship.
Have a nice and blessed day ....
Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.
Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says,
"Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"
"Reading a book," she replies, (thinking, "Isn't that obvious?")
"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.
"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."
"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."
"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.
"But I haven't even touched you," says the game warden.
"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."
"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.
MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.
By Patricia Reaney Mon Jul 31, 10:11 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - It's unlikely to occur by swallowing a pill or donning a special cloak, but invisibility could be possible in the not too distant future, according to research published on Monday.
Harry Potter accomplished it with his magic cloak. H.G. Wells' Invisible Man swallowed a substance that made him transparent.
But Dr Ulf Leonhardt, a theoretical physicist at St Andrews University in Scotland, believes the most plausible example is the Invisible Woman, one of the Marvel Comics superheroes in the "Fantastic Four."
"She guides light around her using a force field in this cartoon. This is what could be done in practice," Leonhardt told Reuters in an interview. "That comes closest to what engineers will probably be able to do in the future."
Invisibility is an optical illusion that the object or person is not there. Leonhardt uses the example of water circling around a stone. The water flows in, swirls around the stone and then leaves as if nothing was there.
"If you replace the water with light then you would not see that there was something present because the light is guided around the person or object. You would see the light coming from the scenery behind as if there was nothing in front," he said.
In the research published in the New Journal of Physics, Leonhardt described the physics of theoretical devices that could create invisibility. It is a follow-up paper to an earlier study published in the journal Science.
"What the Invisible Woman does is curve space around herself to bend light. What these devices would do is to mimic that curved space," he said.
Although the devices are still theoretical, Leonhardt said scientists are making advances in metamaterials -- artificial materials with unusual properties that could be used to make invisibility devices.
"There are advances being made in metamaterials that mean the first devices will probably be used for bending radar waves or the electromagnetic waves used by mobile phones," he said.
The devices could be used as protection mechanisms so the radiation emitted from mobile phones does not penetrate electronic equipment. It is guided around it.
"It is very likely that the demonstration for radar would come first and very soon. To go into the visual will take some time but it is also not so far off," Leonhardt said.