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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When many ask me "why do you do it?"

Discover Your Reason for Being

What are your greatest gifts? How can you best serve mankind? These are questions you must answer to find your true purpose in life.

Who am I?

What am I meant to do here?

What am I trying to do with my life?

These are powerful questions that can be difficult to answer. They sometimes surface during major life transitions such as family strife, job loss, spiritual awakenings, or the death of a loved one.

I feel fortunate to have found my purpose in life. I have that reason to get up in the morning and it fuels my passion. In one of the greatest compliments I ever received, someone said to me, “Hari, when you speak you’ve been blessed with the ability to connect with others…soul to soul.” I thought about those words and have chosen to shape my life around that gift. My purpose through speaking and writing is to “bring ideas to life” that will encourage and motivate people.

Every person is a unique being. There is only one of you in the universe. You have many obvious gifts and other gifts still waiting to be discovered.

I truly believe, however, that one of the most important questions you can ask yourself in your journey to find your purpose is, “How can I serve others?” Albert Schweitzer said it well: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

A person's Character

A man's character is his fate." - Heraclitus (c. 540 - c. 480 BC) - Greek

No amount of books and no amount of diplomas can produce integrity.
Integrity is not something that can be achieved in school, regardless of the
school's fame. But it is integrity that we need the most - especially in
positions of great responsibility.

Here are two real-life stories that I think is a must-read for all of us.
It's a little long but it's worth it.

*The First Story*

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Al Capone wasn't famous
for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in
everything from bootlegged booze to murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed
"Easy Eddie." He was his lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In
fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money
big, but also Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family
occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences
of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City
block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little
consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly.
Eddie saw to it that his young son had the best of everything: clothes, cars
and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And,
despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him
right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.

Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't
give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name and a good example. One day,
Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs
he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth
about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name and offer his son
some semblance of integrity.

To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the
cost would be great. So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie's life
ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street, but not before he
finally passed on a good name to his son.

*The Second Story*

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander
Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier
Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a
mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized
that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank He would not have enough
fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader
told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation
and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned his
blood cold, a squadron of Japanese aircraft were speeding their way toward
the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the
fleet was all but defenseless He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them
back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the
approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert
them from the fleet.

Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of
Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in,
attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out
of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until
all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault.
He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as
many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the
exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the
carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and related the event surrounding His
return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It
showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet He had in
fact destroyed five enemy aircraft.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became The
Navy's first Ace of World War II, and the first Naval aviator to win the
Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat
at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II
hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to
the courage of this great man.

So the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some
thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of
Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.

So, what do these two stories have to do with each other? ……Butch O'Hare was
Easy Eddie's son.