Perception – Short Story

A teacher teaching Maths to seven-year-old Arnav asked him, “If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?
“Within a few seconds Arnav replied confidently, “Four!”

The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). She was disappointed. “Maybe the child did not listen properly,” she thought. She repeated, “Arnav, listen carefully.. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?” Arnav had seen the disappointment on his teacher’s face. He calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that will make his teacher happy. This time hesitatingly he replied, “Four.”

The disappointment stayed on the teacher’s face. She remembered that Arnav liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn’t like apples and that is making him loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, “If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?” Seeing the teacher happy, young Arnav calculated on his fingers again.

There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Arnav enquired, “Three?”

The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained.

Once again she asked him, “Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?”

Promptly Arnav answered, “Four!”

The teacher was aghast. “How Arnav, how?” she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice. In a voice that was low and hesitating young Arnav replied, “Because I already have one apple in my bag.”

Moral: “When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect, don’t think they are wrong. There may be an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion. Most of the times, we do not try to understand the view of the other person and we find them wrong, but in reality it is just the matter of giving other person a chance to explain.”

Boards That Lead

Recommended book

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Boards That Lead

When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay Out of the Way

–by Ram Charan

Each of us has our own unique flaw……

An elderly Chinese man had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the man bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the man one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old man smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” “That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.” “For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

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Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

 

Mindset ………

As my friend was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a rope tied to their legs. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. My friend saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

 “Well”’ he said, “When they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” My friend was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. The powerful and gigantic creature has limited its present abilities by the limitations of its past.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life holding onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before? How many of us refuse to attempt something new and challenging because of our so called MINDSET?

Moral: Your attempt may fail, but never fail to make an attempt & CHOOSE not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past…