The Two Categories of Achievers – You’re In One of Them

Have you observed that all the people on earth who are qualified and skilled workers, and who have achieved a measure of success in their professions, can be placed in two categories?

The first category of people succeed in whatever is given to them to achieve. As long as they have someone to direct them and set work goals for them, and are given the opportunity to achieve them, they will keep on achieving, oftentimes to great levels of excellence. In this category you will find all types of people – professionals, executives, housewives, students.

The second category of achievers comprise those professionals who are always coming up with new ways to perform a task, or with offbeat concepts that result in innovative products or services. They dare to think beyond the parameters set by their revered teachers, mentors, and managers. They are never bound by traditional systems, rules, or boundaries. Their eyes are constantly looking around for new shapes and fresh avenues, their minds are continually pondering an unusual phenomenon or a novel concept. Their ears are ever sensitive to catch a new sound. Their fingers never desist from handling a never-before handled objects. These are the kind of people who daily live by the motto stated by that great advertisement copy I once saw on tv: ‘When was the last time you did something for the first time in your life?’.

The people in the second category are those who found new enterprises and keep them going from strength to strength through the decades with ever innovative products and fresher services. Among them you will find Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Herbert Kelleher, Lee Iacocca, Ralph Welsh, and even my fellow villager, Appu, who came up, in my young days, with a revolutionary way for yoked oxen to pull a cartful of burdens with less struggle.

Appu just placed a lining of rubber on the round surface of the wooden wheels of the ox carts. But what an awesome difference it made to the stressed oxen in my land, and what a difference it made to the ox drivers who now could have a far less bumpy ride to the market and back; there’s now no need for them to use their whip as frequently as before on the poor creatures’ already-split hides – split by the merciless lashes they received when they just couldn’t climb the steep country roads steadily with a ton of rice sacks bearing down on their napes!

For thousands of years, ox carts bumpy-rode over earth’s rough terrains on wooden wheels. And even after rubber was discovered, wooden wheels continued to be standard equipment for hundreds of years. Nobody had stretched their imaginations far enough to device a way to make cargo transport in my land more convenient, until Appu.

I suppose most human workers fall under the first category. They are good achievers on someone else’s ideas and opportunities. But when it comes to their discovering something on their own, or creating their own ideas, or creating new opportunities where none existed before, they are stumped.

Story of two achievers in my town

There are two achievers of the first type in my hometown. One of them is an excellent dressmaker with his own outlet. The other is a seller of excellent coffee powder.

Both of them were once enterprising businessmen, one respected for the excellence of his workmanship, and the other for the quality of his products.  The dressmaker gave his small tailorshop the apt name Expert Dressmakers. The coffeeseller went one step further. He named his modest sales shack ‘All India Coffee Industries’. Note, he named it ‘Industries’, not merely ‘Industry’. And for a confident reason: his coffee was so good he had no doubts that his present local joint would eventually become a conglomeration of national industries.

Courtesy: Mohamed

Many years after I left my land for beckoning pastures abroad, I returned to my hometown. The shops of the two entrepreneurs, which they set up 40 years earlier, were still in business. The dressmaker is aged, but his shop continues to churn out finely tailored dresses, just as he has been doing since my young days. He used to make the best suits in the town in those years. I just couldn’t forget the first suit that I wore proudly to the Gulf, a product of the expert craftsmanship of this mastertailor.

So, on returning to my hometown, I bought expensive material for a couple of suits and gave it to this noted dressmaker. And he made them with the same expertise and in the same style that he made one for me 25 years earlier.

Of course, I had to throw the suits in the garbage bin soon after trying them on once. The style was fashionable a generation ago, but today if I walk around in them, people would think that I had inherited the suits from my father.

As for the coffeeseller, his hair is all grey now but he still sits in his small shack, selling coffee powder whose aroma is still as tantalizing as it was to my nostrils eons ago. And he still has the same signboard ‘All India Coffee Industries’ outside his shop.

You see, these two achievers in my hometown are simply victims of the loss of their most creative opportunities as youngsters. They might have been good students at school, getting good grades in everything they learned from their teachers. They became skilled workers and experts with all the knowledge they were taught by someone else.

But once people stopped teaching and monitoring them, they stopped learning, and they stopped accomplishing anything new. They remained all their lives under the ceiling and within the parameters of what they were initially trained for. They did not know how to educate themselves beyond their taught ceilings. They couldn’t demolish the opportunity barriers erected around their imbibed knowledge boundaries and soar to new unexplored frontiers. They could think in new dimensions only if someone else’s thoughts blazed through old frontiers and took them there. They became skilled professionals and notable experts with all the knowledge they were taught by someone else. But when the times changed and with it the methods, these achievers continued to further hone their old skills, not develop new ones.

Thomas J. Watson is the most famous name in IBM’s history. He was the chairman of IBM in the 1920s to the 50s, and the main architect of making IBM an international company.

The first thing anyone saw on entering his office was a plaque on the wall above the head of the IBM chief. It had just one word written on it: THINK.

The IBM chief explained that the greatest fault he found in talented executives was that they did not think for themselves. Said Thomas J. Watson:  ‘ “I didn’t think” has cost the world millions of dollars.’

Many companies started following the IBM chief’s example and put up THINK signboards for their employees to ponder over. Then in the 1970s, long after Thomas J. Watson was gone, THINK signboards were pulled down from IBM walls.

Thinking, you see, began to lose its appeal since the 70s decade. In fact, today the chic thing to do is not think too deeply. You cannot buy a THINK wall slab anymore, but you can purchase another one over the internet. The company that makes that signboard and sells it in millions has given a rationale for their signboard. This is what their advertisement says: ‘This magnetic board can remind you of all sorts of things, from the dull meaningless existence that is your work life to a large number of tasks you have to do. As the sign reminds you, you are not paid to THINK…anything that eases the burden on your brainpower is surely a welcome addition to any home or office.’ Though obviously intended to be facetious, what the sign says is nevertheless symptomatic of our present age.

There is a worldwide conspiracy to thwart men and women of exceptional caliber from exerting brainpower beyond the sheepfold. Don’t be swayed by any awesome phenomenon or product that could distract your mind from generating its own innovative thoughts – whether it is a latest gadget that could make obsolete or redundant your mental skills, or a sweeping corporate fad that belittles a timeless virtue, or an alluring doctrine from spiritual gurus that rationalizes an aberrant lifestyle.

Beware of teachers, preachers and researchers who ease your need to think your own ideas and generate your own original ways to make your life and other’s lives more productive, enjoyable and meaningful. When you are an original thinker, constantly applying newer and more effective methods to make work more rewarding for yourself and others, you are automatically ensuring the perpetual usefulness of your achievements.

So, if you want to be an achiever whose work is always in demand, be constantly fresh and daring in your thoughts, and keep moving from one innovative level to a higher level. Think for yourself and you have already placed yourself on a future pinnacle of achievements where the usefulness of your work will last even beyond your generation.


Pappa Joseph



Have You Been Doing the Same Kind of Job the Past Seven Years?

Raise yourself from a mediocre state to the superlative level of existence



If you have been doing the same work for the past seven years – I mean, doing the same kind of activities in your job, receiving the same kind of rewards, going through the same level of life experiences – I am afraid you may be unwittingly living on the mediocre plane. Seven years is plenty enough for any ambitious person to start moving out of his or her present borders of accomplishment to new frontiers in their dreams. But I suppose a large percentage of people in any human endeavor are quite content working the same way they have been doing since the past many years, as long as their job is continuing to remunerate them with what they have been happily receiving from it all along.

But for a small percentage of people, mediocrity is the biggest thief of their human potential. These are the people who are always moving on, the ones who are always expanding their present borders and exploring uncharted territories. These are the relentless innovators who are always trying out new methods and untried strategies in their work. And such people do not remain long on any pinnacle of success they have attained.

One of the temptations in life to be guarded against is that of sinking into a spirit of complacence, to slack off. As we climb the hill of life, it is natural to rest a moment on reaching the summit of a ridge. The temptation is to stay there, satisfied with your efforts.   Lord Chatfield

In the sunset of your life, when you look back at all that you have achieved, your greatest sense of fulfillment comes from the bold and extraordinary initiatives you took in your job, in your personal life, and above all, in your relationships. You refused to be an ordinary bleating sheep in a familiar herd grazing contentedly within the fences erected by others, or even by yourself. Your spirit soared to new limitless pastures that your inner eyes had espied beckoning you from a distant shore.

The difference between a successful person and a very successful person is the size of his or her dreams.   Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad

If you resolutely decide that from today you will begin to break out of your ordinarily successful life and search for unexplored new frontiers in your professional and personal goals, then on this very day you have flapped your wings of aspiration and begun your ascend to the azure skies of your grand vision. And if you dont take your eyes of that distant shore, you are surely going to reach it sooner or later.

For a small percentage of people, mediocrity is the biggest thief of their human potential.

Perhaps, if you are a business executive, or a professional, you can start by trying to implement something extraordinary in your company – something that no colleague of yours was innovative and daring enough to try so far. If you are a decisionmaker, perhaps you can stretch your vision still further to include some seemingly ludicrous projects – until the world gasps at the fruition of what they once thought was merely your eccentric dream.

We must overcome the notion that we must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.   Uta Hagen

By the way, for the sake of some odd men whose wings are clipped not because of a dearth of imagination but because of another reason – a marital one – I give below an insight from a renowned person, of no ordinary achievement, among the fairer gender. I came across this quote soon after I finished writing the preceding paragraph. It will give all my male readers a new perspective on mediocrity:

Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as mediocre as possible.   Margaret Mead, US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 – 1978)


Pappa Joseph



Everything Exists for A Relationship


You and I are here today, wherever we are now, for one purpose – to have a relationship. Not just human beings, but every living thing on earth exists for a relationship – cat, dog, ant, plant. But that’s not all. Every single nonliving object on earth, created or manufactured – stone, river, pen, knife, computer – exists to facilitate and enhance a relationship. Now if some objects are used by man to destroy relationships it is not in any way the fault of the object.

The single most important activity in your life today is building relationships, starting with your loved ones.

Obviously, nothing exists for a relationship for a person to whom everything had its origin in a primordial nonrelationship. If everything is an offspring of a primeval accident or aberration, then everything can logically exist for one purpose only – to survive at the cost of every other existence by becoming the fittest, which is possible only by making others less fit than it.

Everything exists for only one purpose for the one who believes in that origin – to aid him, to please him, to comfort him and to give him pleasure in his relentless quest to make his survival as fit as possible.

But if you are among those who believe that the universe and all things in it, including you and the people in your life, were put here for a purpose that transcends the self, then you’d better be taking great care to ensure the continuance and health of your relationships. You’d better be always building and developing relationships all around you, otherwise the relationships are going to wane and eventually wither away. There is no middle ground in relationships. You build, develop and cherish, or you neglect, demolish and cast away.

Every uplifting word you speak today will go unswervingly on its ordained course to build a better relationship; every harsh word that you utter, if left unchecked, will be an avalanche gathering even harsher words and acts and crash in the abyss of a bitter relationship. This is the ultimate result of the universal law of cause and effect.

Far more than the law of gravity and the laws of motion, this causal law is more immutable and more inexorable than any other universal law. Immutable, because it cannot be altered or changed in any way; inexorable, because it cannot be stopped or avoided. The law of gravity is immutable but it is not always inexorable. A man who defies or does not believe in the law of gravity and jumps from a five-storey building to prove he is right suffers the inexorable consequence. But I have heard of at least one published case of two drunks opening what they thought was a door and falling from the French window down several floors, and then getting up from the ground and staggering arm in arm jovially away. But I am yet to see or hear of a case of someone escaping the effects of the causes he or she set rolling in es relationships.

As a parent, every word you speak to your child is going to enter his or her conscious and from there into es heart and boomerang to you in multiplied effect. Ever noticed that when a child screams at es parent it is always at about 50 decibels higher than it is when the parent shouts at em? The words that wound the child’s heart continue to have their domino effect even into his or her adulthood, spilling into es relationship with es spouse, es children, es colleagues, es fellow commuters, and even with es Dalmatian that jumps on em in affectionate greeting when he or she returns home after an unnice day at work. Put the blame on es father or grandfather, or somebody else up the line, who got the verbal cannonballs rolling down the generations.

As a husband or wife, every word you speak to your spouse is like a chunk of concrete falling from the ceiling of a beautiful edifice, or a polished stone that goes to further reinforce the foundation. Golden wedding anniversary celebrating 50 years of intimate relationship happen when all the words and acts of the husband and the wife have inexorably gone on to finally complete a celestial home for the couple. Divorce after 10 or 20 years is where the dagger-sharp words and deeds kept shedding vital pieces from off the marriage mansion year after year, until there was nothing left to live in, and the couple go looking for new mansions to live in.

‘I am a marvelous housekeeper’, said Zsa Zsa Gabor. ‘Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.’ The beautiful actress had nine mansions to keep, but not a single heart to weep with her.

May your every word go forth to soothe, and not to seethe. Let your fingers handle to bring the healing touch, to always caress and to fondle, and never to harass.

This website has one purpose in all its contents – that you and your family may go on to build beautiful lives and homes which you can pass on from generation to generation.

‘We have all made such a fetish of financial success and forgotten frequently that success of any kind, when it does not include success in one’s personal relationships, is bound in the end to leave both the man and the woman with very little real satisfaction.”   Eleanor Roosevelt


Pappa Joseph