Life is a stage, so says the famous Williams Shakespeare. Everyone has a role to play in this Universe. Greatness in its entirety lies within one’s self, hence the path of exploring your potentials to attain greatness in your lifetime.

I came across a very interesting yet inspiring article (dramatic) by Bruce Kasanoff, and I thought I should share with you.  According to the author, it’s fiction. Trust me it is worth you time.


It’s seldom a good sign when you are 2,000 miles from home and the phone rings in the middle of the night. I grabbed for it, my stomach already clenching.

“Hey Bruce, it’s Lilly.”

Lilly? It takes me a few seconds, but I remember…

Lilly, who started a wine company, by walking around San Francisco and inviting restaurant owners to share a glass of her first vintage.

Lilly, who went to Africa to create more sources of clean water… the very same night the thought occurred to her.

Lilly, a friend of a friend, with whom I felt a bond that couldn’t be explained.

That Lilly.

“You busy?”

I smiled. “Lilly, it’s 4 a.m. here.”

“Yeah, I figured you’d have time to talk. Plus, I saw online you were on the road. You know I still read your stuff almost every day. If I have access, of course.”

Still half asleep in the dark, I almost blushed. It had been at least ten years since I’d seen Lilly. I would have guessed she’d forgotten me.

“Can you put on some music?”

“Now? On the call?”

“Yeah, I would, but I don’t have any.”

The thing about Lilly was that she was always making crazy requests, and people would just do them. Earlier in the night, I was listening to The John Butler Trio Live at Red Rocks, so I just started it up again.

“Much better. Nice choice. Hey, Bruce, I gotta tell you something. It’s pretty important.”

She paused for a long time, then continued.

“You’re so very close, Bruce.” She paused again.

“Not sure I follow you, Lilly.”

“You’re a good guy and you’re talented, and you have a great heart, and you work hard.”

A “but” was on the way, I could see it coming.

“Imagine, just imagine, what you could accomplish if you were always there. I don’t mean for an hour or two at a time. I mean day after day, week after week. How long could you keep it going? Could you spend a month in that state? A year? Maybe two? More? Could you? What would it take?”

Now she was talking in time to the music, tossing out words in spurts.

This wasn’t a completely foreign subject to me, although I rarely discussed it at 4 a.m. “You mean to be present, right?”

“Yeah, present. Completely present. 100%. Present. In the zone. It’s possible you know. You can do it. I’m not just blowing smoke at you. You could stay there for an incredibly, amazingly long time. You’ve got a good, long run in you. I’ve never said this to anyone else, and I just had to tell you. I wish I could have told you…”

Was she crying? She got quiet, and I thought I heard her starting to sob.

Then more silence.


“We both screwed up. I should have told you sooner, but you should have figured it out long ago. You aim too low, you know? You get a burst of inspiration, it lasts maybe 45 minutes, and you thank the heavens above. That’s trivial. Not even worth mentioning. That’s not a life, it’s a fast food stop. It’s a blip, an afterthought, a pale shadow of your potential. Do you understand your potential? I know you don’t, that’s why I had to call.”

She laughed.

“Hey, Bruce?”


“You’re not going to forget what I said.”

“Of course not, Lilly.”

“That wasn’t a question. You’re not going to forget what I said because your phone recorded this entire call. Sorry that I don’t have more time. Truly sorry. So long.”

Huh? I stared at the phone in my hand, then finally put it down and laid back in bed. A few minutes later, I jumped up and pulled out my laptop. I looked up Lilly on Facebook. Nothing. LinkedIn? Nothing. No Twitter either.

Then I found it, a short piece in the Kalamazoo news section on It was two weeks old.

Lilly Raymond, 47, died in a boating accident on Lake Michigan.

A sense of calm came over me, inexplicably strong. My normal reactions were no longer in play. My brain wasn’t spinning, my stomach wasn’t clenching. I took my time, but there was no doubt in my mind. I swiped down on my phone and searched for Voice Memos, an app I never use.

There was one recording there. I pressed Play.

“Hey Bruce, it’s Lilly.”handmade miniature roses

Hey, it’s me again, the real Bruce. I have a few questions for you.

  1. Has anyone ever tried to tell you something, but you weren’t ready to listen? Before you answer, think carefully. I bet it happens more than you realize.
  2. Have YOU ever tried to tell someone else that you believe in them – deeply – but they just weren’t hearing you?


That one idea that keeps popping up in your head can change the world for good and make you a huge success. Why not explore it?

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Teachers in China given highest level of public respect

20131003-181038.jpg Parents see off children who are going to take their college exam in Anhui province in China

Teachers in China have the highest levels of public respect, according to an international study comparing their status in 21 countries.

Teachers in the UK were in 10th place in the global index which was compiled by the University of Sussex professor Peter Dolton.

The study was based on surveys of 1,000 adults in each of the countries.

This examined public attitudes to professional status, trust, pay and the desirability of teaching as a career.

The study confirmed the high status of teachers in China, where there is a strong cultural emphasis on the importance of education.

“Teachers are revered,” says Prof Dolton.

A large majority of adults in China believed that students would respect their teachers – in contrast to most European countries where only a minority believed that students would show respect.

Classroom respect

In the UK, only about one in five adults believed that students showed their teachers respect in school.

And while teachers in China were compared with doctors, in the UK they were more likely to be bracketed with nurses and social workers.

In the US, people compared teachers with librarians and in Japan the feeling was that they were on a par with local government officials.

This reveals the cultural differences in how the role of teaching is perceived, says Prof Dolton, a professor of economics at Sussex University and senior research fellow at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.

The status of teachers in China was considerably above the next highest countries, which were Greece, Turkey and South Korea.

The study, published by the Varkey GEMS Foundation, also included some results that might be thought of as unexpected.

Finland, often seen as a model for recruiting high-quality, high-status teachers, was in the bottom half of the rankings, in 13th place. while Germany (16th) and Japan (17th) were ranked among the lowest countries.

No countries from sub-Saharan Africa were included in the survey.

The findings for the UK are based on a single national figure, rather than individual devolved administrations.

They show a positive picture in public attitudes, with much higher levels of trust in the education system than in the US and most other European countries in the survey.

There was a considerable level of public support for teachers – with a majority believing that they should be better paid and also underestimating the starting salary for teachers (currently about £22,000 in England outside London).

More people thought that teachers’ unions should have greater influence, compared with those who thought that they had too much influence.

But a large majority were sympathetic to the principle of performance pay for teachers.

Head teachers in the UK are particularly highly respected – more so than in any other of the countries surveyed.

Former education minister, Lord Adonis, said the rankings showed the importance of the role of teaching in education reform.

“To recruit the brightest and best, teaching needs to be a high status occupation, and we need to understand better what contributes to the social standing of teachers,” said Lord Adonis.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey GEMS Foundation, said: “It is my ambition that teachers are treated with as much respect as doctors. Sadly, in many countries around the world teachers no longer retain the elevated status that we used to take for granted.”

Prof Dalton says the public status of teaching will influence standards of education.

“This informs who decides to become a teacher in each country, how they are respected and how they are financially rewarded. Ultimately, this affects the kind of job they do in teaching our children,” he says.

Cash Kings 2013:The World’s Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Artists

When you can lose $1 million in a dice game and not bat an eye like Diddy did last week, chances are, your bank account is at epic proportions. As if you needed any more confirmation that the hip-hop mogul’s stash is on Scrooge McDuck status, Forbes releases its annual list of Cash Kings for 2013 and Diddy was once again at the top of the list. Puff raked in $50 million over the last 12 months due to his Bad Boy records label, Sean John clothing line, Blue Flame agency and his stake in Ciroc Vodka. Jay Z comes in second on the list pulling in $43 million from his business ventures in D’Ussé cognac, his Roc Nation label and management firm, tours and his most recent album Magna Carta Holy Grail for which he got $5 million up front from Samsung. Dr. Dre rounds out the top three with $40 million in revenue. There are some new additions to the list, and even some that might surprise you.

Check out the entire Top 20 list, below.
1. Diddy ($50M)
2. Jay Z ($43M)
3. Dr. Dre ($40M)
4. Nicki Minaj ($29M)
5. Birdman ($21M)
6. Kanye West ($20M)
7. Lil Wayne ($16M)
8. Wiz Khalifa ($14M)
9. Ludacris ($12M)
10. Pitbull ($11M)
11. Drake ($10.5M)
12. Snoop Dogg ($10M)
12. Eminem ($10M)
14. Kendrick Lamar ($9M)
14. Pharrell ($9M)
14. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ($9M)
17. Swizz Beatz ($8.5M)
18. Tech N9ne ($7.5M)
19. 50 Cent ($7M)
20. Lil Jon ($6M)
20. Rick Ross ($6M)
20. Mac Miller ($6M)
20. Jeezy ($6M)
20. Questlove ($6M)