Monday, February 26, 2007
The Greatest Thief Of All Time
Recently, I came across a story that detailed the greatest robberies in history. Let me share with you two of the documented robberies that caught my attention.
In March 2003, on several occasions beginning on March 18, the day before the United States began bombing Baghdad, nearly US$1 billion was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq. This is considered the largest bank heist in history. Approximately $650 million was later found hidden in walls in Saddam Hussein's palace by US troops. It is believed that this was the bulk of the stolen money. The remaining money is currently unaccounted for. Diyaa Habib al-Khayoun, general manager of the state-owned al-Rafidain Bank, claims that $250 million and 18 billion now worthless Iraqi dinars were also stolen, but by professional robbers unconnected to Saddam. Later, a hand-written note surfaced, signed by Saddam, ordering $920 million to be withdrawn and given to his son Qusay. Bank officials state that Qusay and another unidentified man oversaw the cash, boxes of $100 bills, being loaded into trucks during a five hour operation. Qusay was later killed by US troops in a firefight.
The Brinks Mat Robbery occurred on 26 November 1983 when six robbers broke into the Brinks Mat warehouse at Heathrow Airport, England. The robbers thought they were going to steal £3 million in cash; however when they arrived they found ten tonnes of gold bullion (worth £26 million). The gang got into the warehouse thanks to security guard Anthony Black, who was the brother-in-law of the raid's architect Brian Robinson. Scotland Yard quickly discovered the family connection and Black confessed to aiding and abetting the raiders, providing them with a key to the main door and giving them details of security measures. Tried at the Old Bailey, Robinson and gang leader Michael McAvoy were each sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for armed robbery. Black got six years, and served three.
I can share with you the names of several other robbers and thieves that have made world headlines. The list will surely be long. However, none of them can stand side by side with a thief that I know. In my opinion, it is the greatest thief of all times. It has stolen from Presidents as well as Chief Executive Officers. It has stolen from business men as well as entrepreneurs. It has stolen from the executives and legislators. It has stolen from the rich as well as the poor; from the young as well as the old; from cities as well as from whole nations. The interesting thing is that it is still at large! It has managed to stay out of the public glare. It has been smarter that the CIA, FBI and other security outfits. It has probably even stolen from them- right in their offices! Guess who/what I am talking about – Procrastination! Procrastination is the greatest thief of all time, and it is still at large! Guess what? It has stolen from you several times even without you knowing!
Everyone procrastinates. We put things off because we don't want to do them, or because we have too many other things on our plates. Well, we all suffer from procrastination at some point (often many points in our lives). Sometimes we can get completely paralyzed when we think of just how much we have to do. But however busy and well-organized we may seem to the outside world, most of us have things lurking around that stubbornly don't seem to get done: learning a new skill, sitting for an exam, clearing out the attic, defrosting the freezer, going to the dentist, reading a book e.t.c. Putting things off -big or small- is part of being human. Isn’t it?
Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life. Missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt are just some of the symptoms.
In the next couple of posts, I will be sharing with you the causes of procrastination and practical steps to overcome it. Watch out
You will succeed!