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Showing posts from February, 2012

Top Five Regrets of the Dying

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them. When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five: 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.  This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled…

Give up, or Fight Like Hell: Story of Lance Armstrong

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"When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: Give up, or Fight Like Hell."
On October 1996, Lance Armstrong was in the list of the world’s upper class racers. He had won The World Cycling Championship. He also won the US National Road Race Championship with the longest distance ever set in the history of road race, and he had just signed a two-year contract to support the prestigious French team for 2.5 million US$, but then on October 2, he suddenly turned into a patient of cancer.Early that week he vomited a lot of blood and found his testis enlarged to the size of an orange. Doctors revealed a testis cancer which had spread to the lungs and brain. An emergency surgery but than they admitted his life expectancy was actually only 3%.

But Lance was never a man who gave in easily. Raised by a hand-working mother in a modest outskirts of a town in Texas, he learned bicycle race since his younger age raced tria…

DANIEL DEFOE

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"One day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very  plain to be seen on the sand." (From Robinson Crusoe)
English novelist and author of ROBINSON CRUSOE (1719), a story of a man shipwrecked alone on an island. Along with Samuel Richardson, Defoe is considered the founder of the English novel. Before his time stories were usually written as long poems or dramas. He produced some 200 works of nonfiction prose in addition to close 2000 short essays in periodical publications.
 Daniel Defoe was born as the son of Alice and James Foe. His father was a City tradesman and member of the Butchers’ Company. James Foe's stubborn puritanism – the Foes were Protestants who did not belong to the Anglican Church - come occasionally comes through Defoe's writing. He studied at Charles Morton's Academy, London. Although his Nonconformist father intended him for the ministry, Defoe plunged…

Azim Premji - When you lose, Don’t lose the lesson

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The funny thing about life is that you realise the value of something only when it begins to leave you. As my hair turned from black to salt and pepper and finally salt without the pepper, I have begun to realise the importance of youth. At the same time, I have begun to truly appreciate some of the lessons I have learnt along the way.


The first lesson I have learnt is that, we must always begin with our strengths. From the earliest years of our schooling, everyone focuses on what is wrong with us. There is an imaginary story of a rabbit. The rabbit was enrolled in a rabbit school. Like all rabbits, it could hop very well but could not swim. At the end of year, the rabbit got high marks in hopping but failed in swimming. The parents were concerned. They said: "Forget about hopping. You are anyway good at it. Concentrate on swimming." They sent the rabbit for tuitions in swimming. And guess what happened? The rabbit forgot how to hop! As for swimming, have you ever seen a ra…