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The content of this story has been shared. I’m not trying to beat up the old horse. It’s just something I came across today, expressed in my own words.

I was in a classroom, minding my own business when a pin-up made by a student caught my attention. It was a poster containing material by Tita H. Sityar, about having fun with math. At the same time it asks the fundamental question about life, and whether it would be possible to achieve great satisfaction out of life.

  • Does hard work ensure success and happiness in life?
  • Does gaining voluminous knowledge ensure that?
  • Quoting Napoleon Hill, what about positive mental attitude?
  • Pushing further, does God come into the picture?

First, let’s start from the fundamental benchmark – 100%. We all know this magic number is a score for maximum achievement or value. On this premise, let’s toy with the oft mentioned question, what does it mean to give more than 100%? We do hear people say they are giving more than 100% of their time and effort for this cause and that. Perhaps, we our selves too have been in situations when someone else wants you/us to give more than 100%.

How about achieving 101% That, is more than 100%. So now, we begin to ask if I did my best at work or school, would I qualify to have given 100%? If I have gained much knowledge graduating from Grade 12, would that qualify as having achieved 100%?

Now, let’s use MATHEMATICS to decipher our quibble for today. It’s only a number game. So, let’s enjoy this discovery.

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, like so:


Let’s assign a number in series to the order of the letters, like so:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  10   11  12 . . .  21  22  23  24  25  26

where A is 1, B is 2, and so forth till Z is 26.

Our first question. A graduating high school student, having spent 12 years in school,has acquired much knowledge. With the amount of knowledge acquired, would he/she be 100% contented with life? Let’s chop up “knowledge”:

K N O W L E D G E = 11 + 14 + 15 + 23 + 13 + 5 + 4 + 7 + 5 = 96 %

Apparently, knowledge alone, mathematically speaking, does not ensure one to have lived life to the fullest. If so, what about hard work? Let, decipher:

H A R D W O R K = 8 + 1 + 18 + 4 + 23 + 15 + 18 + 11 = 98%

Hard work gives a better score. So maybe our parents know a thing or two about industry and diligence. Hard work does pay, but that elusive 100% is 2% shy. Will having positive attitude help? Let’s see:

A T T I T U D E = 1 + 20 + 20 + 9 + 20 + 21 + 4 + 5 = 100%

Hmmm…. maybe this explains why even some poorest peasant who may have nothing from the materialistic world appears ever so contented with his/her life. Because he/she has the right attitude. And so, he/she can solve any challenging situations thrown at him/her.

But, when you are asked to give more than 100% to please your bosses or to achieve greater successes, what is that secret elixir that can push you there? I hear some people say you need to have the love of God. Whoa! Who would have the temerity and shameless gut to proclaim such? Allow God in your life and your life will be more fulfilled? Is that so? Let’s find out:

L O V E O F G O D = 12 + 15 + 22 + 5 + 15 + 6 + 7 + 15 + 4 = 101%

Yes, indeed if you have the love of God, you can, mathematically speaking, achieve 101%. You can be a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, or whatever religion you profess, and it seems expedient to include Providence in your life. This is the M-oil that will get your pistons in your engines going. This appears to be the Da Vinci’s code to happiness and fulfilment. WOW, 101% !!

While hard work and knowledge will get you close, and attitude will get you there, it is the love of God that will put you over the top.

So, then, my friends, it is up to you how to live your life. Diligence and hard work are good. Having knowledge is good too. But having a positive attitude keeps you in the ballpark. But, if you want to glow in the countenance of happiness and contentment, plus fulfilment in life, the secret recipe is to also include the love of God in your life. And, do enjoy Math. Math is fun for your life too.

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