Tuesday, May 5, 2020

2020-16 - Making the Best of You…

They say 'make the best of a bad situation.' But I believe the bad situation makes the best of you. Even the irritations of life can be useful. President Abraham Lincoln showed us how this is so.
One of his cabinet appointees, Edwin Stanton, frequently found flaws with the president and criticized him - sometimes in public. Lincoln seemed to show excessive patience with him. The president was asked why he kept such a man in a high level position.
Lincoln characteristically responded with a story. He told about a time he was visiting with an old farmer. He noticed a big horsefly biting the flank of the farmer's horse. Lincoln said he reached over to brush the fly away. As he did so, the farmer stopped him and cautioned, 'Don't do that, friend. That horsefly is the only thing keeping this old horse moving.'
Even life's many irritations and problems have their place. They may cause us to change directions. Or prod us to greater achievement. Or keep us moving along when it's easier to go nowhere.
Are you simply making the best of a bad situation, or will it make the best of you?
~ Steve Goodier

“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”
~ Tom Bradley

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

2009-46 - Approaching Each Day...

Approaching Each Day…
I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.
Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.
Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.
Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.
Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.
Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new job relationships.
Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to go to!
Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with knowledge and adventure.
Today I can dejectedly murmur because I have housework to do or I can feel grateful for shelter for my mind, body and soul.
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped, and here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
What today will be like is up to me. And I shall decide what kind of day I shall have!"
How will you live THIS DAY?
~ Author unknown
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
~ Robert Brault

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

2020-12 - Winners Never Quit!

A little girl - the 20th of 22 children, was born prematurely, with polio, and her survival was doubtful. When she was 4 years old, she contracted double pneumonia and scarlet fever. All these ailments contributed to a bad leg that some said would prevent her from ever walking.

At age 9, she removed the metal leg brace she had been dependent on and began to walk without it.

By 13 she had developed a rhythmic walk, which doctors said was a miracle. That same year she decided to become a runner. She entered a race and came in last.

For the next few years every race she entered, she came in last. Everyone told her to quit, but she kept on running.

One day she actually won a race, and then another. From then on she won every race she entered. Eventually this little girl - Wilma Rudolph, went on to win three Olympic gold medals.
Winners never quit!

~ Author Unknown

" Winners never quit and quitters never win."

~ Vince Lombardi

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

2020-11 - Don't Rest on Laurels

One day a field marshal requested an audience with Napoleon. As every good leader must, Napoleon agreed to hear him out. The field marshal brought news of a great victory he had achieved. He talked for a long time about his accomplishment, piling detail upon detail.

Napoleon listened closely throughout the entire narration, but said nothing. As the officer rambled on, Napoleon continued to listen politely, and the marshal interpreted this as encouragement. Surely, he thought, Napoleon will now give me the praise I so richly deserve.

When the marshal finally stopped talking, Napoleon asked him one question: "What did you do the next day?"

The field marshal was speechless. But the lesson was not lost on him. From then on, the officer understood that he should never rest on his laurels. So he left it to others to bestow the praise.

~ Brian Cavanaugh

Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.

~ Percy Shelley

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

2020-10 - Value…

This story is attributed to Swami Vivekananda.

A young man who hailed from a rich family and had completed his education, approached the Saint and said, "Swamiji, every young man only wants to earn, grab and get more and more. I wish to give to society instead of taking from it. I need your guidance how to give to society."  

The youth was shocked when Vivekananda told him, "Fine. First go out and start earning some money."

He protested, "I didn't expect you, a sage, to say this to me."

Swami Vivekananda replied, "You can never give away anything unless you have earned it. Learn how difficult it is to earn, and then decide whether you will give away even a part of it."

~ Author Unknown

“The value of a principle is the number of things it will explain.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2020-08 - Conformity...

One day a fairly intelligent fly came buzzing by a clean spider web. The spider called out, "Come in and sit." But the fly said, "No, ma'am. I don't see other flies in your house, and I am not going in alone!"

But presently the fly saw on the floor below a large crowd of flies dancing around on a piece of brown paper. It was delighted! It was not afraid as lots of flies were doing the same. So the fly came in for a landing.

Just before it landed, a bee zoomed by, saying, "Don'’t land there, stupid, that's flypaper!" But the fly shouted back, "Don't be silly, those flies are dancing. There's a big crowd there. That many flies can't be wrong." Well, you know what happened, the fly got stuck and died.

 Isn't it strange how some of us want to be with the crowd so badly that we end up in a sticky mess. What does it profit a fly (or a person) if it escapes the web only to end up stuck in the glue?

~ Author Unknown

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.

 ~ John F Kennedy

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

2020-07 - Faith Works...

There was an old man who operated a rowboat for ferrying passengers between an island and the mainland. One day a passenger noticed that he had painted on one oar the word "Works", and on the other oar the word "Faith". Curiosity led him to ask the meaning of this.

The old man replied, "I will show you," dropping one oar, rowing only with the oar named "Works". Of course, the boat just went around in circles. Then he switched oars, picking up "Faith" and dropping "Works". And the little rowboat went around in circles again... this time in the opposite direction.

After this demonstration, the old man picked up both oars "Faith" and "Works", and rowing with both oars together swiftly coursed over the water. He looked at the passenger and said, "You see, that is the way it is in life as well as in rowing a boat. You got to keep both oars in the water, otherwise, you'll just go in circles."

~ Mina Kompolis

We are twice armed if we fight with faith.

~ Plato

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

2020-06 - Perseverance

When he was still a young man, Beethoven decided to compose a few improvisations on a music by Pergolesi. He devoted months to this task and finally had the courage to publish it.

A critic wrote a full page review in a German newspaper in which he launched a ferocious attack on the music. Beethoven, however, was quite unshaken by his comments.

When his friends pressed him to respond to the critic, he merely said: "All I need to do is to carry on with my work. If the music I compose is as good as I think it is, then it will survive that journalist. If it has the depth I hope it has, it will survive the newspaper too. Should the people love it, I shall achieve immortality."

Beethoven was absolutely right.

Over a hundred years later, that same composition was played by a radio station in São Paulo.

~ Author Unknown

Perseverance is a great element of success.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

2020-05 - Quest for Gold

Quest for Gold...

The image that is seared into my memory is the face of the Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto, landing a triple somersault twist dismount from the rings, his face scrunched in pain, yet he never moved an inch as he stuck his landing - even though he landed on a broken right knee.

Earlier, Fujimoto had injured his knee during the floor exercise. At the rings, he was hoisted to grab the rings where he performed a near-flawless routine. Then, everyone watching waited for the dismount, which he would have to stick perfectly to secure the gold for Japan.

He twisted and somersaulted through the air and stuck a perfect landing. His face registered the pain tearing through his broken right knee. Cheers erupted - for his heroic performance of courage earned Japan the Olympic gold medal.

Later interviewed about his extraordinary feat, Fujimoto said, "Yes, the pain shot through me like a knife and brought tears to my eyes. But now I have a gold medal and the pain is gone."

~ Author Unknown

People do not decide to become extraordinary.
They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.

~ Edmund Hillary

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2020-04 - Stories…

Once upon a time, there lived a great teacher. Day after day his disciples would sit at the feet of this teacher listening to his instructions. Many people would come to visit and inevitably the teacher would engage them by telling a story.

One day a disciple asked, "Oh Master, why do you engage people by telling them these stories? Why don't you just give them your teaching straight out?"

The teacher answered, "Bring me some water."

Now the disciple knew his teacher to be a very disciplined man who had never asked for water at this time of the day. Nevertheless, he went immediately to fetch it. Taking a clean brass water pot from the kitchen, the disciple went to the well, filled the pot with water and returned. He offered it to his teacher.

"Why have you brought me a pot when I asked only for water?"

~ Author Unknown

Who are we if not the stories we pass down?

~ Carrie Ryan

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

2020-03 - The Little Things...

Should you ever take a New York helicopter cruise and pass over the majestic Statue of Liberty, pay special attention.

Lady Liberty's steel-frame-supported copper body stands 305 feet above sea level. As your helicopter circles closer, look down at the top of Liberty's head and see how every strand of hair has been painstakingly formed in careful and minute detail, just as is every area of the statue's gown and body. That delicate metallic coiffure on the top of her head undoubtedly required many hours of extra weeks at Auguste Bartholdi's shop in Paris, weeks that the great sculptor could have saved, because so far as he knew, no one would ever see the top of Lady Liberty's head!

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 by President Grover Cleveland. There were no airplanes in 1886! The Wright brothers wouldn't fly until seventeen years later. Bartholdi was well aware that only a few brave sea gulls would probably ever look down on the statue from above, and certainly no one would ever know if the strands of hair had not been meticulously shaped and polished. And yet, the master craftsman took no shortcuts. Every strand of hair, every curl, is in place.

~ Author Unknown

In the successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.

~ Lou Holtz

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2020-02 - Are You Waiting To Be Called…

A young man once applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. When he arrived, a sign instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were called. The young man filled out his form and sat down with the other applicants. After a few minutes, he stood up, opened the door of the inner office, and walked right in.

A few minutes later, the employer escorted the young man out and said, "Gentlemen, thank you for coming, but the job has just been filled." The other applicants began grumbling. One said, "We never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That's not fair!"

The employer said, "I'm sorry, but for the last several minutes while you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: 'If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.' None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his."

~ Author Unknown

Are you listening, or are you waiting to be called?

~ Howard Thurman