Tuesday, December 28, 2010
It is that time of year when we reflect back on accomplishments and failures. It is a wrapping up and an unfolding all in one. The sentimental fool that I am keeps me deep in thought filling my days with mood swings easily compared to riding a roller coaster. Oddly, I love those ups and yes, even the downs. The happy thoughts remind me that life is good. The sad thoughts remind me that life is fragile. In the end I hope for more happy than sad, but still come out on top when the ball officially drops on New Year’s Eve, if I can at least find balance.
You may think this strange, too, when I say some of my best years turned out to be the years when I struggled, lost, failed and retreated into the darkness of that final night of the old year.
Job loss, car repossession, debt, divorce, a failed business, cancer in my family, death of loved ones, depression, all made life nearly unbearable. Still, the light of the new day, the new year, always seemed to be brighter than any other.
It was in falling down that I learned how to climb.
It was in losing that I learned how to win.
It was in struggling that I found strength.
It was in darkness that I learned to see again.
So, why was this man's response to me so perfect? This man had just lost his business. This man was struggling with finances, self-image, and hope. He was standing on the edge of a dismal past and desperately trying to see the possibilities in his future. Instead of dismissing everything as failure he chose to acknowledge the most important parts.
I asked him, "If you could take something with you into the new year, what would it be?"
"Time, faith, the love of my family and friends," he said. "If I have time I can begin again. I can build again. I can start over. If I have faith, I know I cannot fail. If I have the love of my family and friends, I have purpose."
~ Bob Perks
"Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes - of which all men have some."
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the quickie mart building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.
At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.
I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying 'I don't want my kids to see me crying!', so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, 'And you were praying?' That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, 'He heard you, and He sent me.'
I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fuelling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.
She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay the rent on Jan 1st, and finally, in desperation, had called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there. So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, 'So, are you like an angel or something?'
This definitely made me cry. I said, 'Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.'
It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.
Sometimes the angels fly so close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings...
~ Author Unknown
"…we can feel the real joy of giving when we're doing something for others knowing that we're simply doing it for ourselves - we're doing it for our own joy."
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
There is one particular blue flower that has always caught my eye. I've noticed that it blooms only in the morning hours, the afternoon sun is too warm for it. Every day for approximately two weeks, I see those beautiful flowers.
This spring, I started a wildflower garden in our yard. I can look out of the kitchen window while doing the dishes and see the flowers. I've often thought that those lovely blue flowers from the ditch would look great in that bed alongside other wildflowers. Every day I drove past the flowers thinking, "I'll stop on my way home and dig them." Gee, I don't want to get my good clothes dirty..." Whatever the reason, I never stopped to dig them.
One day on my way home from work, I was saddened to see that the highway department had mowed the ditches and the pretty blue flowers were gone. I thought to myself, "Way to go, you waited too long. You should have done it when you first saw them blooming this spring.
"A week ago we were shocked and saddened to learn that my oldest sister-in-law has a terminal brain tumor. She is 20 years older than my husband and unfortunately, because of age and distance, we haven't been as close as we all would have liked. I couldn't help but see the connection between the pretty blue flowers and the relationship between my husband's sister and us. I do believe that God has given us some time left to plant some wonderful memories that will bloom every year for us.
And yes, if I see the blue flowers again, you can bet I'll stop and transplant them to my wildflower garden.
“There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back”
~Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
"You're quite a character, Bob," my mother would tell me. So, for most of my life I thought being a character was the most important thing.
Then one day when I had been much too long in adulthood, I heard someone talk about my reputation. It wasn't very flattering. Most likely truthful to some extent, but not something I'd want my parents to hear at PTA. Being a charmer doesn't always work for good. I also discovered that being a character isn't as good as having character. Being a character is like being a clown, an actor of sorts. Having character involves morals and ethics.
During a discussion I was involved with one day, a man made a very strong point. One that lit the fire and sparked the desire for me to make changes in my life. He quoted Dale Carnegie, "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
That was it. If one focuses on their character, one need not worry about their reputation. Reputation is someone's interpretation of who they think you are. How they see you is based on their judgments, prejudices, and personal experiences. Like all other views and opinions in life, it all comes down to the way you see it, the way I see it and the way it is.
~ Bob Perks
“The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Fred decided what he really wanted to do - and he did it in his spare time. He joined the New York Road Runners Club and organized New York City's first marathon race. But what Fred truly wanted to do, even more than run, was to bring people together. And that is what he did. He believe that anybody should be able to run - people of all ages, any background, professional or amateur, and of any country. Today, more than 28,000 people of all backgrounds and nationalities compete in the NYC Marathon.
Not everyone in New York was excited about people running through their neighbourhoods. Fred was approached by a youth gang that warned him that nobody had better run through their turf. "That's great," Fred enthused. "I need someone to protect the runners in your area, and you look like just the fellows to do it." He gave them each a hat, shirt and jacket and that year, when the marathon went through their neighbourhood, these young men proudly guarded the runners along their way.
Fred decided what was truly important to him and he found a way to do it. He lived with intent. That single decision made his life remarkably different.
In 1990, Fred Lebow found he had a brain tumour. In 1992 he ran his final race. He crossed the finish line holding the hand of his friend and Norwegian Olympic medallist, Grete Waitz. A bronze statue was created of Fred in his running clothes, checking his watch. It is now placed at the finish line of every race. Fred died in 1994. But as one sports writer said, "Fate handed him a short race. With his gall, with his love of life, Fred Lebow turned it into a marathon."
Fred would say that it's not about how long you live, but how you run the race of life. Do you run it with intent?
~ Steve Goodier
"The man who is intent on making the most of his opportunities is too busy to bother about luck."
B. C. Forbes
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When my now 19 year old daughter was in Grade 3, all of Mrs. Mathews' students were given a small pot with a bean seed to plant. Green string beans it seems are pretty hardy and the perfect seed to use when promoting green thumbs in young children.
Once the bean plants had sprouted and flowered, their teacher allowed the kids to carefully transfer the precious cargo from school to home. Once home, Shanna scouted around for the perfect location and settled on a sunny south window sill and then proudly declared, "Soon I can feed the whole family!"
Shanna's sisters were envious and even our cat looked intrigued which should have been a warning to me because when I woke up the next morning, I saw that the bean plant had been maliciously ripped from its pot. It's leaves were frayed and it was quite unrecognizable from the day before. The plant, it seemed, was a goner.
I dreaded what I had to tell Shanna but as I gently began to explain that the bean plant had to be put in the compost, her reaction was not what I expected. She said, "Everything will be okay Mom, the plant will get better."
Without wasting a second in thought she secured the first aid kit from the bathroom returning with gauze, a tongue depressor, bandages and a deep belief that the pathetic looking, near-dead bean plant would live, thrive and even produce food!
I had mixed emotions knowing that she was postponing the plants inevitable trip to the compost bin but I went along with it and helped her wrap bandages. Days later, to my absolute surprise, the bean plant was standing tall and looking perky. It was also amazing to see that the one and only bean, had become plump almost completely masking the claw marks that had scarred it.
Just one week later we were able to take the bandages off and again we barely found evidence of an attack and there was even a new sliver of green where a second bean was forming. Back to the window sill it went but this time we built a fortress of heavy books to keep it safe until our day of bounty.
I set the table beautifully with all the fanfare of a Thanksgiving dinner. The beans were carefully divided by 5, which awarded each person 2 small pieces, claw marks and all. They turned out to be the best green beans I had ever eaten!
My daughter never quite understood my exuberance over the significance of the beans. In my work as a youth motivator I am brought together with kids and teens that all desperately need people to believe in them. Now, more than ever, no matter what I have been told about a child or a teen and their behaviour, I see everyone, no exceptions, with the same eyes and heart that my daughter used on her broken, beaten up bean plant.
I wonder if it's a coincidence that later that same week, I stumbled upon a most appropriate quote by Italian Poet Dante (1265-1351): "From a little spark, may burst a mighty flame."
~ Monique Howat
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
"It's not my secret," said the secretary, "it's his." Each time she did something for him, no matter how insignificant, she explained, he never failed to acknowledge and appreciate it. Because of this, she took infinite pains with her work.
~ Author Unknown
“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
~ Sam Walton
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Rush was raised 30 miles outside Detroit, not far from her paternal grand-parents and their Ontario reservation. When the teenage Rush visited the reservation for the first time, she was struck by the poverty and lack of hope. "I really wanted to make a difference," she says.
She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1982 and took a nursing job. But she was dismayed by the low pay, and within a year she was pursuing an MBA. That summer, she interned at an airfreight company, where the speed of package pickups and deliveries drove profits. "I thought I could do that better," Rush says.
She maxed out her credit cards and borrowed $5,000 from her parents to buy a van and two used pickups. She wooed clients, accepted every delivery job that came her way, and worked nursing shifts on weekends. Rush also kept a single-minded focus on meeting deadlines—no matter what. In the wake of 9/11, when increased security stalled traffic for hours on Detroit's largest bridge, she hired barges to get her trucks across the Detroit River.
By 2001, many of Rush's 1,000 employees were Native Americans, working alongside people of every background. But she felt she hadn't done enough. So she joined forces with a Canadian parts maker to design and assemble auto components, such as the dashboard instrument panels that go into Chrysler minivans. She located the plants near reservations, creating opportunities where they were needed most. By 2009, her auto parts business was generating $370 million in revenue.
~ Margaret Heffernan
"Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally."
~ David Frost
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
A year and a half after his diagnosis of prostate cancer he sits shaking his head ruefully. "It's like I stopped learning how to live after I was a kid. When I give my son a cookie, he is happy. If I take the cookie away or it breaks, he is unhappy. But he is two and a half and I am forty-three. It's taken me this long to understand that the cookie will never make me happy for long. The minute you have the cookie it starts to crumble or you start to worry about it crumbling or about someone trying to take it away from you. You know, you have to give up a lot of things to take care of the cookie, to keep it from crumbling and be sure that no one takes it away from you. You may not even get a chance to eat it because you are so busy just trying not to lose it. Having the cookie is not what life is about."
My patient laughs and says cancer has changed him. For the first time he is happy. No matter if his business is doing well or not, no matter if he wins or loses at golf. "Two years ago, cancer asked me, 'Okay, what's important? What is really important?' Well, life is important. Life. Life, any way you can have it. Life with the cookie. Life without the cookie. Happiness does not have anything to do with the cookie, it has to do with being alive. Before, who made the time?" He pauses thoughtfully. "Damn, I guess life is the cookie."
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
“Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.”
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
To have a friend, be a friend. Sometimes in life as you grow, your friends will either grow or go. Surround yourself with people who reflect values, goals interests and lifestyles.
When I think of any of my successes, I am thankful to God from whom all blessings flow, and to my family and friends who enrich my life.
Over the years my phone book has changed because I changed, for the better. At first, you think you're going to be alone, but after awhile, new people show up in your life that make it so much sweeter and easier to endure.
~ Author Unknown
“Birds of a feather flock together. If you're an eagle, don't hang around chickens: Chickens can't fly!”
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you would like to win but you think you can’t;
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself,
Before you can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go to the
Stronger or the faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins;
Is the man who thinks he can!
~ Waler D. Wintle
“If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right.”
~ Mary Kay Ash
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
"And, sir, what are they?"
"And how do you make right decisions?"
"And, sir, what is that?"
"And how do you get experience?"
"And, sir, what are they?"
~ Author Unknown
“Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.”
~ John Keats (1795 - 1821)
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like commission cheques and such.
I claimed to be so busy with things inside my zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.
If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile;
Success is there for you!
~ Author Unknown
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
~ Albert Einstein
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Honda's subsequent spirit of adventure and determination to explore the development of new technology had its roots in his childhood.
In 1938, while still in school, Soichiro Honda took everything he owned and invested it in a little workshop where he started to develop his idea of a piston ring. He wanted to sell his idea to Toyota Corporation, but was turned down by Toyota. He had to go back to school for two years as a result of his failure. With sheer persistence, after the two years Toyota gave him the contract.
As the Japanese government was preparing for war, he was not given the concrete needed to build his factory. Because of this he created his own form of concrete and managed to construct his factory. Unfortunately, his factory was burned down twice and a major portion of it was destroyed. Then, a major earthquake destroyed his factory and he finally decided to sell off his piston ring factory to Toyota. After this, he tried a few other business ventures but did not have any success.
In 1947, after the war, there was a gasoline shortage in Japan. He could not use his car, so he thought of an idea to attach a small motor to his bicycle. His neighbours were impressed with his motorized bicycle, and asked him to make one for them. He finally ran out of motors, and decided to start a factory to build his own motors.
In order to raise funds for his factory, he wrote to 18,000 bicycle owners and received 5,000 replies to provide him with the necessary capital. When the motorized bicycles were manufactured, the sales were not as expected because the motorized bicycles were too big and bulky. Later, he came up with the idea to improve the motorized bicycle, and finally introduced to the world the “Honda Cub”.
Today, Honda Corporation employs over 100,000 people in the USA and Japan, and is one of the world's largest automobile companies. Honda succeeded because one man made a truly committed decision, acted upon it, and made adjustments on a continuous basis. Failure was simply not considered a possibility.
~ Author Unknown
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
~ Malcolm Stevenson Forbes
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I think human beings are like grand pianos - incredible creations capable of producing wonderful music. But too often that potential goes untapped. We think that greatness is meant for someone else, that we don't have the talent (the looks, the money, the time, the breaks...) And so we live lives "of quiet desperation," occasionally entertaining thoughts of "what if...?"
What if Mozart had hidden his talent? (Or Bowie, or, moving from music, Edison or Gandhi or anyone else who has made a positive difference.) I'm not saying that everyone should feel compelled to live that big, but if one has that inkling... It seems a shame that, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "The average person goes to their grave with their music still in them."
Imagine a world where people felt free to share their grandest music and make a huge positive difference. Or, at the least, were free from the negativity that causes them to hurt themselves and others. Consider what would be possible. That's a future I want to help create.
~ Brad Yates
“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.”
~ Joel Barker
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I was going to climb the mountain today. But as I stared at the mountain in its majestic beauty, I knew I stood no chance of making it to the top, so I figured why even bother trying.
I have forgotten about climbing the mountain today; until a friend came by and asked me what I was up to lately. I told him I was thinking about climbing that mountain some day. I went on and on about how I was going to accomplish this task.
Finally, he said, "I just got back from climbing the mountain. For the longest time I told myself I was trying to climb the mountain but never made any progress. I almost let the dream of making it to the top die. I came up with every excuse of why I could not make it up the mountain, but never once did I give myself a reason why I could. One day as I stared at the mountain and pondered, I realized that if I didn't make an attempt at this dream all my dreams will eventually die."
"The next morning, I started my climb."
He continued, "It was not easy, and at times I wanted to quit. But no matter what I faced, I placed one foot in front of the other, keeping a steady pace. When the wind tried to blow me over the edge, I kept walking. When the voices inside my head screamed "stop!" I focused on my goal never letting it out of sight, and I kept moving forward. At times, I was ready to quit, but I knew I had come too far. Time and time again, I reassured myself that I was going to finish this journey. I struggled to make it to the top, but I climbed the mountain!"
"I have to be going," my friend said. "Tomorrow is a new day to accomplish more dreams. By the way, what are you going to do tomorrow?"
I looked at him, with intensity and confidence in my eyes, and said, "I have a mountain to climb."
~ Gary Barnes
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.
We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are we able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.
The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.
It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.
Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with... and remember that time waits for no one.
So, stop waiting…
--until you get a new car or home
--until your kids leave the house
--until you lose 10 lbs.
--until you get married
--until you get a divorce
--until you have kids
--until you retire
--until you die
There is no better time than right now to be happy.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So -- work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching.
~ Crystal Lloyd
“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.”
~ Groucho Marx
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
"You can go," said the lieutenant, "but I don't think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your own life away."
The lieutenant's words didn't matter, and the soldier went anyway. Miraculously he managed to reach his friend, hoist him onto his shoulder, and bring him back to their company's trench. As the two of them tumbled in together to the bottom of the trench, the officer checked the wounded soldier, then looked kindly at his friend.
"I told you it wouldn't be worth it," he said. "Your friend is dead, and you are mortally wounded."
"It was worth it, though, sir," the soldier said.
"How do you mean, 'worth it'?" responded the lieutenant. "Your friend is dead!"
"Yes sir," the private answered. "But it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive, and I had the satisfaction of hearing him say, 'Jim, I knew you'd come.'"
Many a times in life, whether a thing is worth doing or not really depends on how you look at it. Take up all your courage and do something your heart tells you to do so that you may not regret not doing it later in life. May each and every one of you be blessed with the company of true friends.
~ Author: Unknown
“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Having carried out the superhuman feat of traversing this furnace, it is discovered that one of the Arabs, Gasim, has fallen off his camel and is no doubt dying somewhere back in the desert. Lawrence is told that any idea of rescue is futile and, in any event, Gasim's death is "written". When Lawrence achieves the impossible and returns with Gasim still alive, Sherif Ali admits to him: "Truly, for some men nothing is written unless they write it".
As an impressionable teenager when this film was first released, I was stunned by Lawrence's courage and unselfishness in going back into the hell of the Nefud to attempt to find a man he hardly knew among the vast expanse of a fiery terrain and I was so moved by the sense of purpose of a man who is determined to take nothing as "written" but to shape his own destiny. This sense of anti-determinism and this belief that anything is possible has stayed with me always and continues to inspire me in small ways and large.
~ Roger Darlington
“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”
~ Tony Robbins
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The business philosophy is a simple four step decision making tool. It didn't tell people what to do or how to think, but it did give them a tool to use in all of their business dealings. The tool is now well known to anyone that has ever associated themselves with Rotary International. It is simple The Four Way Test. The tip is to use this simple decision making tool in your life and see if it doesn't make a difference. As people, we must all stand by our personal honesty and integrity. This is a handy and simple test of what you say, do, or think. Give it a try in your life.
The Four Way Test:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and better friendships?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
By the way, this tool made Herbert Taylor a multimillionaire in the 1930s. So it's also a very profitable way of doing business.
~ Author Unknown
“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”
~ Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
~ Unknown Monk, 1100 A.D.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
~ Victor Frankl
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
After the first few, he knew that they were worthless, showing not the least sign of artistic talent. But Rossetti was a kind man, and he told the elderly man as gently as possible that the pictures were without much value and showed little talent. He was sorry, but he could not lie to the man.
The visitor was disappointed, but seemed to expect Rossetti’s judgment. He then apologized for taking up Rossetti’s time, but would he just look at a few more drawings - these done by a young art student?
Rossetti looked over the second batch of sketches and immediately became enthusiastic over the talent they revealed. "These," he said, "oh, these are good. This young student has great talent. He should be given every help and encouragement in his career as an artist. He has a great future if he will work hard and stick to it."
Rossetti could see that the old fellow was deeply moved. "Who is this fine young artist?" he asked. "Your son?"
"No," said the old man sadly. "It is me - 40 years ago. If only I had heard your praise then! For you see, I got discouraged and gave up - too soon."
~ Author Unknown
"Correction does much, but encouragement does more."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Master only laughed and did not give a single answer.
To his disciples, who demanded to know the reason for his evasiveness, he later said, "Have you observed that it is precisely those who do not know what to do with this life, who want another that will last forever?"
"But is there life after death or is there not?" persisted a disciple.
"Is there life before death? - that is the question!" said the Master enigmatically.
~ Anthony de Mello (One Minute Wisdom)
“Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it.”
~ Eileen Caddy
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
who found that some sand had got into his shell.
It was only a grain, but it gave him great pain,
for oysters have feelings although they're so plain.
Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
that had brought him to such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government, cry for election,
and claim that the sea should have given him protection?
'No,' he said to himself as he lay on a shell,
since I cannot remove it, I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around, as the years always do,
and he came to his ultimate destiny stew.
And the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral, for isn't it grand
what an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?
What couldn't we do if we'd only begin
with some of the things that get under our skin.
~ Author Unknown
“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.”
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Their father decided to visit the employer. He listened to the confused father and said, "I will let the boys explain for themselves."
Jim was summoned to the supervisor's office and was told:
"Jim, I understand the Far East Importers has just brought in a large transport plane loaded with Japanese import goods. Will you please go over to the airport and get a cargo inventory?"
Three minutes later, Jim returned to the office. "The cargo was one thousand bolts of Japanese silk," Jim reported. "I got the information over the telephone from a member of the crew."
When Jim left, Frank, the $1,000 a month brother, was called. "Frank," said the supervisor, "I wish you'd go out to the airport and get an inventory of the cargo plane which was just brought in by Far East Importers."
An hour later, Frank was back in the office with a list showing that the plane carried 1,000 bolts of Japanese silk, 500 transistor radios, and 1,000 hand-painted bamboo trays. George, the $1,500 a month brother, was given identical instructions. Working hours were over when he finally returned.
"The transport plane carried one thousand bolts of Japanese silk," he began. "It was on sale at sixty dollars a bolt, so I took a two-day option on the whole lot. I have wired a designer in New York offering the silk at seventy-five dollars a bolt. I expect to have the order tomorrow. I also found five hundred transistor radios, which I sold over the telephone at a profit of $2.30 each. There were a thousand bamboo trays, but they were of poor quality, so I didn't try to do anything with them."
When George left the office, the employer smiled. "You probably noticed," he said, "that Jim doesn't do what he's told, Frank does only what he'd told, but George does without being told."
~ Author Unknown
“The future is full of promise for one who shows initiative.”
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Often during this time, I would be working on my laptop on the front porch and watched this professional team work in total synchronicity, moving from pole to pole in planned sequence. What was of extreme interest to me was the foreman of this well-oiled machine.
You could tell his crew really liked and had great respect for him. Although this was far from your typical 'lean on your shovel' squad, they still joked while working at a well-managed pace. Boss-man, was always doing something to speed things along, be it picking up refuse or spooling wire. In fact, while they were in the process of connecting my power, guess who was pruning the overgrown pine tree branches in my backyard to make it easier for his boys?
It was at this point that I brought my high-wire friends a sampling of my special blend coffee (I prepared this, just prior to 'lights out'), reserved usually for special company. Setting a tray down on the patio table, I engaged 'Jim' in conversation and remarked how much I enjoyed watching them work and how much it reminded me of my great production team when I owned a dry-cleaning business. Another well-oiled, and fun to run machine.
His sun-hardened face beamed with pride as he began telling me about what a great group of guys he had and how they were the most productive crew in this large company.
Our conversation was not a long one. Jim had to get his boys back to the matter at hand, and that was to get my power back. But it served to make me think that here was a man who loved what he does, made a positive impact on those around him and earned the sincere respect of those under, and, above him. I could only surmise that Jim also had a great family life.
Why do I tell this story? Simple. It's a simple story of real success! No, Jim is not famous. Probably never will be. Nor is he rich as I could tell, or any of those things that people usually associate with the term 'success.' If this man won the lottery today I'd bet the farm he'd be planting poles and stringing wire and having fun with his crew the very next week. He is, judging by my brief encounter with him, a simple man who possesses one of the true keys of success: He loves what he does!
~ Rick Beneteau
“Yes. I had 3 choices, and I chose what I loved, even though the other careers would have made me 2-3 times more money. I am happy for the choice I made.”
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
So: You have to find out who you are, and be that. You have to decide what comes first, and do that. You have to discover your strengths, and use them. You have to learn not to compete with others, Because no one else is in the contest of being you.
Then: You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness. You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions. You will have learned to live with your limitations. You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due. And you'll be a most vital mortal.
Dare to believe: That you are a wonderful, unique person. That you are a once-in-all-history event. That it's more than a right, it's your duty, to be who you are. That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish. And you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.
~ Author Unknown
“Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.”
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
He must have noticed my expression. It without a doubt said, 'I am tired, intimidated, scared and hungry.' You can't talk when walking in formation, therefore he whispered out of the side of his mouth as we passed...'Hang in there...you can do it.'
I turned to look at his face, but all I saw was the back of his head. Every night before I drifted off to sleep I replayed those words. I will never know that sailor's name. He will never know how it turned my attitude around 180 degrees. He will never know that years later I still remember the electricity of encouragement that shot through my body.
I knew that the only reason he knew what I was feeling is that because he had been where I was and felt how I felt. He had made it and wanted me to know that I could as well. I was eternally grateful.
Then it was my turn. On my graduation day I walked into a storage facility and saw three sailors leaning up against the wall. They were new and scared, intimidated, tired and hungry. I walked over to them and whispered, 'Hang in there...you can do it.' Within a second tears filled the eyes of the female sailor and one of the males clenched his first and gave me a million thanks with his eyes.
As I walked away I had goose bumps. I knew that my words would be motivation for the rest of the day and fuel every night to keep them focused on their goal of graduation when they wanted to quit. I hope they passed on the encouragement to another sailor before they graduated... and I know they did.
~ Ron White
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Bonnie Jean Wasmund
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Most people called her Doll. My father died when I was nine months old, making her a single mother and a widow at the age of eighteen. While I was growing up, there were times when we had so little money that we had to live on a few pounds of dried butter beans for a week at a time. While food was scarce, my mother’s love and devotion were abundant. Each night, she sat me on her lap and spoke the words that would change my life, ‘Kemmons, you are destined for greatness and you can do anything in life if you’re willing to work hard enough to get it.’
At fourteen, I was hit by a car and the doctors said I would never walk again. My mother took a leave of absence from her job at a meat packing plant and moved into my hospital room to care for me. Every day, she spoke to me in her gentle, loving voice, reassuring me that no matter what those doctors said, I could walk again if I wanted to badly enough. She drove that message so deep into my heart that I finally believed her. A year later, I returned to school-walking on my own.
Over the years, I experienced varying levels of business success. But the real turning point occurred on a vacation I took with my wife and five kids in 1951. I was frustrated at the second-rate accommodations available for families and was furious that they charged an extra $2 for each child. That was too expensive for the average American family, and I was determined to offer them an alternative. I told my wife that I was going to open a motel for families with a brand name people could trust that never charged extra for children. I figured about 400 nationwide motels would be the right number so that each one would be with a day’s drive of about 150 miles. There were plenty of doubters who predicted failure because there wasn’t anything remotely similar to this concept at that time.
Not surprisingly, Doll was one of my strongest supporters and among the first to pitch in. She worked behind the desk and even designed the room décor for the first hundred hotels. As in any business, we experienced enormous challenges. For years, we paid our employees Christmas bonuses with promissory notes because cash was short. But with my mother’s words deeply embedded in my soul, I never doubted we would prevail. Fifteen years later, we had the largest hotel system in the world, with one of the most recognizable name in the business.
~ Cynthia Kersey (Adapted from Unstoppable)
“You may not have started out life in the best of circumstances. But if you can find a mission in life worth working for and believe in yourself, nothing can stop you from achieving success.”
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Pretty soon, the caterpillar's immune system cannot destroy them fast enough. More and more of the imaginal cells survive. And then an amazing thing happens! The little, tiny, lonely imaginal cells start to clump together, into friendly little groups. They all resonate together at the same frequency, passing information from one to another. Then, after a while, another amazing thing happens! The clumps of imaginal cells start to cluster together!... A long string of clumping and clustering imaginal cells, all resonating at the same frequency, all passing information from one to another there inside the chrysalis.
A wave of Good News travels throughout the system - Lurches and heaves . . . but not yet a butterfly.
Then at some point, the entire long string of imaginal cells suddenly realizes all together that it is Something Different from the caterpillar. Something New! Something Wonderful!! . . . And in that realization is the shout of the birth of the butterfly!
Since the butterfly now "knows" that it is a butterfly, the little tiny imaginal cells no longer have to do all those things individual cells have to do. Now they are part of a multi-celled organism - A FAMILY who can share the work. Each new butterfly cell can take on a different job. There is something for everyone to do. And everyone is important. And each cell begins to do just that very thing it is most drawn to do. And every other cell encourages it to do just that.
A great way to organize a butterfly!
~ Norie Huddle
“The idea of transformation is most often symbolized by the butterfly which takes a completely different form, “trans-forms”, from one part of its life to the next. Individuals and organizations that have the “ways” and the courage to do this will emerge with greater beauty and capacity to soar to new heights of success.”
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The young man replied, "$3.00 for you and $3.00 for any kid who is older than six. We let them in free if they are six or younger. How old are they?"
Bobby replied, "The lawyer's three and the doctor is seven, so I guess I owe you $6.00."
The man at the ticket counter said, "Hey, Mister, did you just win the lottery or something? You could have saved yourself three bucks. You could have told me that the older one was six; I wouldn't have known the difference." Bobby replied, "Yes, that may be true, but the kids would have known the difference."
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying." In challenging times when ethics are more important than ever before, make sure you set a good example for everyone you work and live with.
~ Patricia Fripp (A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul)
“Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenceless if there isn't the will to do what is right.”
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
His tattered cloth jacket, patched trousers, worn out shoes, and warm personality made him stand out from the usual Saturday morning breakfast crowd. Unforgettable were his pale blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds, large rosy cheeks, and thin lips held in a tight, steady smile.
He stopped, turned with his whole body, and winked at a little girl seated by the door. She flashed a big grin right back at him. A young waitress named Mary watched him shuffle toward a table by the window.
Mary ran over to him, and said, "Here, Sir. Let me give you a hand with that chair."
Without saying a word, he smiled and nodded a thank you. She pulled the chair away from the table. Steadying him with one arm, she helped him move in front of the chair, and get comfortably seated. Then she scooted the table up close to him, and leaned his cane against the table where he could reach it.
In a soft, clear voice he said, "Thank you, Miss. And bless you for your kind gestures."
"You're welcome, Sir." She replied. "And my name is Mary. I'll be back in a moment, and if you need anything at all in the mean time, just wave at me!"
After he had finished a hearty meal of pancakes, bacon, and hot lemon tea, Mary brought him the change from his ticket. He left it lay. She helped him up from his chair, and out from behind the table. She handed him his cane, and walked with him to the front door.
Holding the door open for him, she said, "Come back and see us, Sir!"
He turned with his whole body, winked a smile, and nodded a thank you. "You are very kind." he said softly.
When Mary went to clean his table, she almost fainted. Under his plate she found a business card and a note scribbled on a napkin. Under the napkin was a one hundred dollar bill.
The note on the napkin read...
"Dear Mary, I respect you very much, and you respect yourself too. It shows by the way you treat others. You have found the secret of happiness. Your kind gestures will shine through those who meet you."
The man she had waited on was the owner of the restaurant where she worked. This was the first time that she, or any of his employees had ever seen him in person.
~ Steve Brunkhorst
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
At the height of the fire, Edison’s 24-year-old son, Charles, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him, calmly watching the fire, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind.
“My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67 — no longer a young man — and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, “Charles, where’s your mother?” When I told him I didn’t know, he said, ‘Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.’”
The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”
Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver the first phonograph.
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”
Charles R. Swindoll
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Neil’s first two interviews with Tim were conducted over the phone, and he passed those with flying colours. But when Neil met Tim for the first time, he was shocked when Tim told him he was legally blind. He began to lose his sight when he was in the third grade from a rare disease called macular degeneration. Tim acknowledged he would have problems entering orders into the computers, but he had a solution. He told Neil about a machine that he could hook up to magnify the letters on the screen to two inches high. Tim was willing to buy it if he could have the job.
After the conversation, Neil came to my office and explained the situation. Mac said, “Neil, let’s give him a chance,” but I must admit, I had serious doubts that Tim could do it. Well, we were dead wrong. We grossly underestimated Tim’s passion and his determination to succeed. Even though it took him much longer to enter the orders, Tim made it work. He came in early, he worked late. Whatever it took, he did it.
In 1991, Tim’s first year, he was number one out of ten experienced corporate sales reps, with over $500,000 in sales. In 1994 he was number one again with $700,000, and again in 1997 with $950,000.
His customers loved him because when you can’t see, you become a great listener. His peers loved him because of his caring, positive attitude. He was certainly an inspiration to me, too. I asked him one time, “Tim, how do you stay so positive?”
He said, “Mac, it’s unfortunate that I’m visually impaired, but I have to tell you that fighting through the adversity has made me a better person. I have come to realize that I have a lot more than I don’t have. I love my family, my work, and the people I work with. I’ve been blessed in many ways.”
~ Author Unknown
“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.”
~ Gary Ryan Blair
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Matt’s heart pounded when he saw Phil, one of his students, come toward him. Matt talks a lot about honesty and ethics and, as he feared, Phil was all too happy to catch him doing something wrong. Sure enough, with a big "gotcha" smile Phil loudly proclaimed, "You have too many items. That’s cheating."
On the scale of moral transgressions, misusing the express line is a misdemeanour. But the inconsistency between Matt’s words and actions can, nevertheless, seriously undermine his message about the importance of ethics and his personal credibility. Whether he’s officially "on duty" or not, a teacher is expected to set a good example. It’s the same for all people in authority, including parents and bosses. And when they fail to do so, there are consequences.
Yes, it’s unfair to judge a person’s character by such small offences, but many will. Though we judge ourselves by our best intentions and most noble acts, others are likely to judge us by our last worst act.
Here’s a simple strategy: act as if there’s a tiny TV camera on your shoulder broadcasting all your words and actions. If what you’re thinking of doing isn’t consistent with the image you want to convey, don’t do it.
~ Michael Josephson (Speaker and Radio Commentator)
“Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling.”
~ Valdemar W. Setzer
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I looked around the house for what I could use and I found a washed out old mayonnaise jar. You know the old style jars with the big open "mouth". I walked to a nearby pond and put the jar down in the soft dust-like mud of the water's edge with the open "mouth" of the jar facing toward the centre. I then stirred the waters a little and made them cloudy so that the fish would have trouble seeing me. Then I waited hovering over the jar. Gradually, cautiously a small fish would swim up to the clear jar to investigate the disturbance and when it swam into the jar I dropped my hand into the water and over the jar mouth. I caught a fish, then another.
I just let them all go and returned my jar to the cupboard. Then I decided to use wire "box trap" to go fishing and rigged a string to the door. This way I could drop the trap in the water and not have to "hover over" it like I did with the jar. I sat very relaxed on the bank of the pond and sure enough I caught a fair sized bluegill. I took it home in a water filled plastic waste basket to show my dad and afterward returned it to the pond.
When I told people about how I had caught the fish they just paused and laughed nervously. You see unlike these people, I didn't know that you couldn't catch fish in a jar. If I would have asked them they would have scoffed and said, "You can't catch fish in a jar or a box trap!" No one in my life had ever dreamed of telling me that so my belief system did not contain these words or the impact that they would have had on my "day of fishing". Only a free minded kid could come up with an idea of using a jar or a box trap to catch fish! No one had told me that this was impossible so I just used what I was familiar with and what I had available and I succeeded.
Maybe today finds you facing a situation that seems impossible. You have a desire but no visible way of bringing it into being. You may need to find that "kid" inside you who thinks "outside the box" and the normal ways of achieving things and let him or her catch that fish in a jar! See your situation from a different angle. Start looking at the resources that you already have and the things that you are already familiar with. A fresh perspective and a childlike sense of wonder may surprise you and there's no telling what you will come up with!
~ Jami Sell (Excerpt from Thought And Belief: How To Unlock Your Potential And Fulfill Your Destiny! © 2010)
“If you nurture your mind, body, and spirit, your time will expand. You will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more.”
~ Brian Koslow
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Mr. Rose calmly shared his philosophy with the throngs of reporters who were anxiously awaiting his reply to this seemingly boastful claim. "Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit! If I don't expect to get a hit, I have no right to step in the batter's box in the first place!" "If I go up hoping to get a hit," he continued, "then I probably don't have a prayer to get a hit. It is a positive expectation that has gotten me all of the hits in the first place."
When I thought about Pete Rose's philosophy and how it applied to everyday life, I felt a little embarrassed. As a business person, I was hoping to make my sales quotas. As a father, I was hoping to be a good dad. As a married man, I was hoping to be a good husband.
The truth was that I was an adequate salesperson, I was not so bad of a father, and I was an okay husband. I immediately decided that being okay was not enough! I wanted to be a great salesperson, a great father and a great husband. I changed my attitude to one of positive expectation, and the results were amazing. I was fortunate enough to win a few sales trips, I won Coach of the Year in my son's baseball league, and I share a loving relationship with my wife, Karen, with whom I expect to be married to for the rest of my life! Thanks, Mr. Rose!
~ Barry Spilchuk
“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, the eagle sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it.
The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When the storms of life come upon us - and all of us will experience them - we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief. The storms do not have to overcome us. We can allow the storm’s power to lift us above them.
~ Author Unknown
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
One of my patients told me that when she tried to tell her story to people often interrupted to tell her that they once had something just like that happen to them. Subtly her pain became a story about themselves. Eventually she stopped talking to most people. It was just too lonely. We connect through listening. When we interrupt what someone is saying to let them know that we understand, we move the focus of attention to ourselves. When we listen, they know we care. Many people with cancer can talk about the relief of having someone just listen.
I have even learned to respond to someone crying by just listening. In the old days I used to reach for the tissues, until I realized that passing a person a tissue may be just another way to shut them down, to take them out of their experience of sadness and grief. Now I just listen. When they have cried all they need to cry, they find me there with them.
This simple thing has not been that easy to learn. It certainly went against everything I had been taught since I was very young. I thought people listened only because they were too timid to speak or did not know the answer. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well intentioned words.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
“No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen.”
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water, and right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake.
As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and said to Buddha, “The water in the lake is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”
After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.
This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own and then you got clear water.
Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own.
You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”
~ Author Unknown
“I tell you one thing, if you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather learn to see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger; this whole world is your own.”
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
He walks painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play.
By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage to his chair. They remain reverently silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs. They wait until he is ready to play.
But this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke. You could hear it snap - it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what that sound meant. There was no mistaking what he had to do.
We figured that he would have to get up, put on the clasps again, pick up the crutches and limp his way off stage - to either find another violin or else find another string for this one. But he didn't. Instead, he waited a moment, closed his eyes and then signalled the conductor to begin again.
The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity as they had never heard before.
Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that, and you know that, but that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that.
You could see him modulating, changing, re-composing the piece in his head. At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them that they had never made before.
When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the auditorium. We were all on our feet, screaming and cheering; doing everything we could to show how much we appreciated what he had done.
He smiled, wiped the sweat from this brow, raised his bow to quiet us, and then he said - not boastfully, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone - "You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left."
~ Author Unknown
“To achieve great things, you must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Or be listed in "Who's Who,"
But every person, great or small,
Has important work to do.
For seldom do we realize
The importance of small deeds,
Or to what degree of greatness
Unnoticed kindness leads.
For it's not the big celebrity
In a world of fame and praise,
But it's doing unpretentiously
In an undistinguished way.
The work that is assigned to us,
Unimportant as it seems,
That makes our task outstanding,
And brings reality to dreams.
So do not sit and idly wish
For wider, new dimensions
where you can put into practice,
Your many good intentions.
But at the spot God placed you
Begin at once to do,
Little things to brighten up
The lives surrounding you.
If everybody brightened up
The spot where their standing,
By being more considerate,
And a little less demanding.
This dark old world would very soon
Eclipse the evening star,
If everybody brightened up
The corner where they are!
~ Helen Steiner Rice
“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.”
~ Helen Keller
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause. As Shakespeare uniquely observed, "The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves." We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth. They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth.
We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.
And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life - If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life - and it all begins with your very own power of choice.
~ Jim Rohn
“There are three constants in life... change, choice and principles.”
~ Stephen R. Covey
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
On the shelf there were many - which one would He choose?
"Take me", cried the gold one, "I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and lustre will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!"
The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
"I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your drink,
and I'll be at Your table whenever You dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You."
Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was wide mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
"Here! Here!" cried the vessel, "I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view."
"Look at me", called the goblet of crystal so clear,
"My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,
And I'm sure I'll be happy in Your house to abide."
The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
"You may use me, dear Master", the wooden bowl said,
"But I'd rather You used me for fruit, not for Bread!"
Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
"Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all Mine."
"I need not the vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;
Nor the one who is big mouthed and shallow and loud;
Nor one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might."
Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly. "There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you."
~ William Arthur Ward
“Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”
~ Wayne Dyer
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
And yet, during the course of each day most people let these things eat away at time that could otherwise be focused in more positive directions. Think about it. Does that make any sense at all?
The fact is, you can decide each day how your time will be spent. You can decide not to let yourself automatically react negatively. You can decide to devote all your priceless time to positive, fulfilling pursuits. You control your thoughts. You control your behavior.
Before you automatically react to something, ask yourself, "This morning when planning my day, would I ever have decided to devote my time to this?" You cannot control what happens to you, but you most certainly can control what you do about it.
Make each response a positive, productive one and enjoy the immense benefits of time well spent.
~ Ralph Marston
“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”
~ Author Unknown
Friday, January 1, 2010
Think a new thought; accept a new responsibility; memorize a new poem.
Try a new recipe; plan a new adventure; entertain a new idea.
Learn a new language; blaze a new trail; enjoy a new experience.
Make a new friend; read a new book; see a new movie.
Climb a new hill; scale a new mountain; launch a new career.
Find a new purpose; fill a new need; light a new lamp.
Exercise a new strength; grasp a new truth; practice a new awareness.
Add a new dimension; encourage a new growth; affirm a new beginning.
Discover a new answer; envision a new image; conceive a new system.
Dream a new dream; chart a new course; build a new life.
Open a new door; explore a new possibility; capture a new vision.
Start a new chapter; seek a new challenge; express a new confidence.
Write a new plan; turn a new page; follow a new direction.
Watch a new program; be a new person; radiate a new enthusiasm.
~ William Arthur Ward
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce