Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant's beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant's debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.
The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.
They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant's garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.
What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.
"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked." Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a solution, sometimes we have to think about them in a different way.
Suddenly, a cockroach flew from somewhere and sat on her. I wondered if this was the cockroach’s response to all the glory that was spoken about it!
She started screaming out of fear. With panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started doing jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group got cranky to what was happening. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach to another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.
The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed and threw it out with his fingers.
Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior? If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos. It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.
I realized even in my case then , it is not the shouting of my father or my boss that disturbs me, but its my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.
It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.
More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that hurts me.
Lessons learnt from the story:
I understood, I should not react in life. I should always respond.
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.
Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always intellectual...
There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker.
One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound
and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court.
The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure.
The farmer replied,
amour Honor, I am primitive. I don't have a proper measure, but I do have a
The judge asked, "Then how do you weigh the butter?"
farmer replied "Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter
from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the
baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in
butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker."
is the moral of the story? We get back in life what we give to others. Whenever
you take an action, ask yourself this question: Am I giving fair value for the
wages or money I hope to make? Honesty and dishonesty become a habit. Some
people practice dishonesty and can lie with a straight face. Others lie so much
that they don't even know what the truth is anymore. But who are they
deceiving? Themselves. Source : http://www.thelivingtreasure.com Image source : http://hardmoneybankers.com
Everybody wants to improve. But the truth is that it’s easier said than done ! How to improve ?
The best way and the fastest way to improve is to learn from people who have gone through what we are going through and have succeeded. So instead of trying, experimenting on our own, failing and getting frustrated and demotivated, why not learn from people who are more competent than us ?
If you are currently at Level 1, you have 2 choices :
Keep on trying experimenting, failing, getting frustrated at Level 1
Ask, consult and copy from people at Level 1
If you do this, even if you succeed, you are still at Level 1. Your income and your condition have not improved SIGNIFICANTLY.
The more logical and obvious way is to seek help and advice from people who are already at Level 2. People who are at Level 2 are those who have gone through Level 1 (they have gone through what you are going through now), and they have succeed at Level 1. That is why they are now at Level 2. They have found the right way of doing things at Level 1. Therefore it is most logical to ask help from people who are already at Level 2. They are the people most competent to give us the right advice. If you learn from people at Level 2, you will immediately learn the right way, shorten your learning curve and achieve success and go up to Level 2 must faster right ? Better to improve vertically (from Level 1 to Level 2) rather than improving horizontally from Level 1 to Level 1. Makes sense ? Correct ?
Although logically this idea makes sense, in reality, it is sometimes not practical. Why ?
People at Level 2 are themselves struggling to succeed at Level 2. They have not found the “secret” of success at Level 2. They can advice you how to succeed at Level 1, but may not have discovered the right method at Level 2.
If you succeed and improve to Level 2, they may be threatened by your presence ! That is why they may be reluctant to really teach you and to help you.
So How ?
So what is the best solution if you want to quickly improve vertically to Level 2? One very effective way is to seek help from people who are already at Level 3 ! People at Level 3 are the most ideal to help you and most willing to help you because :
They have found the right way and have succeeded at Level 1
They have found the right way and have succeeded at Level 2
They are now already at Level 3 and they will not feel threatened if you move up to Level 2 because they are already 1 level above you !
Makes sense ?
This are the things that you have to do if you want to IMPROVE VERTICALLY
What Level are you now ?
Who do you know who is / are already at Level 3 ?
Are you friends with them ?
If No, then you must make friends with such people
If you are already friends with them, then seek their advice
After you have learnt the “secret”, quickly implement it
Then continuously update your friend about your progress
If you encounter any problems, continuously seek their advice
After you have succeeded, let them know. They will be happy that they have helped someone to achieve better results… and yet they will not feel threatened by your presence because they are still 1 level above you.
Keep Improving Vertically…
After you have reached Level 2, do you seek the advice of your friend who is at Level 2 to help you to improve to Level 3 ?
You look for people who are at Level 4, seek their advice and ask them to help you to improve vertically to Level 3.
So what is the lesson you have learnt ?
You may have to “change’ the friends that you are currently mixing with. They are nice to be with, but sorry, they may not be the right people to help you improve vertically
You need to make friends with people who are 2 levels above you. It may not be comfortable mixing around with them at first because you are of “different frequency” and you may feel inferior being with the. But these are the people who will help you to improve.
So stay comfortable but don’t improve,
Get out of your comfort zone and keep improving vertically ?
Saturday, December 07, 2013
You ultimately become what you repeatedly do. If your habits aren’t helping you, they’re
hurting you. Here are a few examples of
the latter that will steal your happiness if you let them:
everyone’s story except your own.
Don’t be so satisfied with the success stories of others and
how things have gone for them that you forget to write your own. Unfold your own tale and bring it to
life. You have everything you need to
become what you are capable of becoming.
Incredible change happens when you decide to take control. This means consuming less and creating
more. It means refusing to let others do
your thinking, talking, and deciding for you.
It means learning to respect and use your own ideas and instincts to
write your passage.
If you want your life story to soar to new heights, you’ve
got to clear a path, reduce the time-sinks and burdens weighing you down, and
pick up the things that give you wings.
Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and
dedicate time to them every day. If you
truly care about what you do and you work diligently at it, there’s almost
nothing you can’t accomplish.
2.Waiting for the
Don’t buy into the myth of the perfect moment. Moments aren’t perfect; they’re what you make
them. So many people wait around for the
stars to align to do what they’re here to do.
The perfect moment, the perfect opportunity, the perfect state of being,
etc. Wake up! These states of perfection are myths. They do not exist.
Your ability to grow to your highest potential is directly
related to your willingness to act in the face of imperfection. You will come to succeed not by finding a
perfect moment, but by learning to see and use life’s imperfections
perfectly. Read The Power of Now.
nothing more than a paycheck.
Work without interest is imprisonment. Even if you aren’t super-passionate about
your work, you’ve got to at least be interested in it. When you design a lifestyle in which your
work is something you suffer through daily strictly to pay your bills, you end
up spending your entire life wishing you had someone else’s.
Think about it. This
is your life; your work will fill a large percentage of it. It’s not all about the money; it’s about
you. Ignore the propaganda, especially
from people who say, “Don’t let your work define you.” Reverse this message and mediate on it: “I will do work that defines me.” When the essence of who you are defines at
least some slice of the work you do for a living, that work generates
Bottom line: Interest
in your work puts quality in your output and happiness in your mind. Don’t settle for a paycheck. Shuffle around until you find work that
As Martin Luther King Jr. so profoundly said, “Darkness
cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do
that.” Truth be told, when we harbor
feelings of hate, it eventually gets the best of us. It takes control of us. We forget why we hate, what we hate, and whom
we hate – we simply hate for the sake of hating. And then, naturally, we begin to hate
Everything and everyone you hate rents permanent space in
both your head and heart. So if you want
to eliminate something or someone from your mind, don’t hate. Instead, disconnect yourself, move on, and
don’t look back. Read The Mastery of
If you want to change your life and attract health, wealth, and success in your relationships, begin by focusing on what you are grateful for right now. You can live the life of your dreams. Begin by being grateful. Here are four ideas to get you started:
o Keep a Gratitude Journal
o Carry a Gratitude Stone in your pocket
o Notice what is going right each day
o Find a Gratitude Partner
Keep a Gratitude Journal:
You can do what I'm doing and begin a Gratitude Journal. Each day write something you're grateful for. Your attitude will shift as you focus on what you appreciate.
Carry a Gratitude Stone in your pocket:
A small stone or other small token that you keep in your pocket can be used as a reminder to think about gratitude and to give thanks for the abundance in your life. This is an old idea that was mentioned in the movie "The Secret." This is a wonderful movie, by the way, which explains about how the Law of Attraction works.
Notice what is going right each day:
If you focus on what is going right, rather than on what is going wrong, you will notice that your day is more pleasant and thinks that used to annoy you are now nothing more than background noise.
Find a Gratitude Partner:
Some people have a Gratitude Partner, with whom they share their grateful thoughts for the day. I think it's a great way to start the day and it helps you keep the good feelings going. A Gratitude Partner will help you focus on the positive. Consistently focusing on what you appreciate reshapes your mind. That's powerful!
I hope you'll try out these ideas and let me know how they work for you! I wish you the best of success in your pursuit of your dreams, Michelle
The Law of Attraction is working for you whether you realize it or not. If you want to attract good things into your life, begin by developing an attitude of gratitude. Here are four ideas to get you started.
Happy people do a lot of things. They spend time expressing gratitude, cultivating optimism, practicing kindness, nurturing loving relationships, committing to meaningful goals, savoring life’s little pleasures, and so on and so forth.
But they NEVER…
1. Mind other people’s business.
Forget about what others are doing. Stop looking at where they are and what they have. Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you. YOU are walking your own path. Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel. We listen to the noise of the world, instead of ourselves. So stop the comparisons! Ignore the distractions. Listen to your own inner voice. Mind your own business.
Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day. Don’t be scared to walk alone, and don’t be scared to enjoy it. Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama, or negativity stop you from being the best you can be. Keep doing what you know in your heart is right, for YOU. Because when you are focused on meaningful work and at peace within yourself, almost nothing can shake you. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
2. Seek validation of self-worth from others.
When you are content to simply be yourself, without comparing and competing to impress others, everyone worthwhile will respect you. And even more importantly, you will respect yourself.
How are you letting others define you? What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Truth be told, no one has the right to judge you. People may have heard your stories, and they may think they know you, but they can’t feel what you are going through; they aren’t living YOUR life. So forget what they think and say about you. Focus on how you feel about yourself, and keep walking the path that feels best under your feet.
Those who accept you are your friends. Those who don’t are your teachers. If someone calls you something and it’s true, it’s not your problem because it’s true. If someone calls you something and it’s not true, it’s not your problem because it’s not true. Either way, whatever they call you is not your problem. What other people call you is their problem…
What you call yourself, and who you decide to become, is your problem.
3. Rely on other people and external events for happiness.
Unhappiness lies in that gap between what we have now and what we think we need. But the truth is, we don’t need to acquire anything more to be content with what we already have. We don’t need anyone else’s permission to be happy. Your life is magnificent not because someone says it is, or because you have acquired something new, but because you choose to see it as such. Don’t let your happiness be held hostage. It is always yours to choose, to live and experience.
As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be. If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault. Take full responsibility for your own unhappiness, and you will instantly gain the ability to be happier. Stop seeking in vain to arrange conditions that will make you happy. Simply choose to appreciate the greatness that is yours in this moment, and the right conditions will start to line up around the contentment you seek.
The greater part of your happiness or unhappiness depends upon your outlook, and not upon our situation. Even if things aren’t perfect right now, think of all the beauty still left around you. A good reason to smile is always one thought away; choose to tap into it any time you like. (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)
4. Hold on to resentment.
Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghosts from your past. What happened in the past is just one chapter in your story; don’t close the book, just turn the page.
We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others, and while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. Feelings of resentment urge us to relive the same pain over and over, and we have a hard time letting go.
Forgiveness is the remedy. It allows you to focus on the future without combating the past. To understand the infinite potential of everything going forward is to forgive everything already behind you. Without forgiveness, wounds can never be healed and personal growth can never be achieved. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
5. Spend prolonged periods of time in negative environments.
You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable. So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people and the environments they inhabit.
When other people invite you to act like victims, when they whine and moan about the unfairness of life, for example, and ask you to agree, to offer condolences, and to participate in their grievances, WALK AWAY. When you join in that game of negativity you always lose.
Even when you’re alone, create a positive mental space for yourself. Make it a point to give up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just a few of them that have been troubling you, and see how doing that changes your life. You don’t need negative thoughts. They are all lies. They solve nothing. All they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason. (Read Buddha’s Brain.)
6. Resist the truth.
It is a certain deathtrap when we spend our lives learning how to lie, because eventually these lies grow so strong in our minds that we become bad at seeing, telling and living our own truth. Lives come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies. If you resist the truth, you will live a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night. You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next.
So don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to hide the truth with deception; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion of what’s popular. It is better to offer no explanation or excuse than a false one. It takes courage and strength to admit the truth, but it is the only way to truly live. Accept what is, embrace it fully, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead.
POST WRITTEN BY: MARC CHERNOFF Source : http://www.marcandangel.com
It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.
Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday."
Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
"Jack, did you hear me?"
"Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.
"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.
"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.
"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important... Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.
The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture... Jack stopped suddenly.
"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.
"The box is gone," he said.
"What box?" Mom asked.
"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.
"Mr. Harold Belser" it read.
Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.
Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:
"Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser."
"The thing he valued most...was...my time."
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.
"I need some time to spend with my son," he said. "Oh, by the way, Janet... thanks for your time!"
There was a small village where a boy and a girl were staying together. Once they were playing together in a small field. The boy had a collection of small marbles. The girl had some sweets with her. The boy told the girl that he would give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed.
The boy kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside and gave the rest to the girl. The girl gave him all her sweets as she had promised.
That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn't sleep, as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble.
Moral of the story: If you don't give your hundred percent in a relationship, you'll always keep doubting if the other person has given his/her hundred percent. This is applicable for all relationship like love, friendship, employer-employee relationship etc. Give your hundred percent to everything you do and drive home happily.
While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about -the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me. Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family. First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!” Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug. While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment. After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?” “Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked the man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile.”Two whole days!” Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!” The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!” With that, he and his family turned and strode away together. I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, “What’cha looking at?” Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, “My future!” - Author Unknown
There was a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her boyfriend.
One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her, “now that you can see the world, will you marry me?”
The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying:
“Just take care of my eyes dear.”
This is how human brain changes when the status changed. Only few remember what life was before, and who’s always been there even in the most painful situations.
Life Is A Gift
Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.
Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.
Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.
This may not be a prayer but it is all about prayer; about prayer and faith. Since I have no better way to express my gratitude, I wish to share these words with you:
Many of us have had their doubts. Many of us have had lives with intermittent periods of doubt and faith and in as far as grey cells are responsible for those doubts, intellect - from my perspective - may be a malady rather than a remedy.
For years I have not prayed for many of the things that people often pray for, for I have mainly prayed for more faith. Since faith cannot be purchased, since it has no price and since it is free, I experienced my prayer as humble and as if I wasn’t asking for much...
And so I have prayed for faith. For years and years I have prayed for more faith.
These past few months some incredible events have taken place in my life and all of those events have added immensely to my faith. After years of praying for faith, God has answered my prayers in His very own way, for rather than just sending me that faith, He poured out an overwhelming waterfall of events that gave me that faith whilst in the process fulfilling some of my dearest and most secret wishes that I most certainly would never have dared to pray for.
Whilst many of His gifts are still unfolding to the meanwhile increased perceptiveness that my strengthened faith has given me, I was driving along a highway yesterday whilst thinking about all that.
Suddenly it occurred to me that in giving me all that faith that I had prayed for (and possibly more) God had in fact given me a free eternal life insurance. Can you imagine! Not a life insurance but an Eternal Life Insurance...
And I don’t even have to pay a cent for the policy!
Here I was...all those years...believing that I was praying my most humble prayer and thinking that I was asking for something that was free and that thus I wasn’t asking for much whilst, in fact, I was praying for something that has no price because it is absolutely priceless...
I know that it sounds awfully inadequate but what else can I say but
Have you ever gotten inspired by reading a story about someone who overcame great obstacles in order to achieve their goal? What if you can make your life one that would inspire and motivate the people who knew about it? What if you could write your own motivational story? Well guess what? Whether or not your life will be one that will inspire someone, you are writing it right now.
There is just something magical that happens when someone is able to obtain the life of their dreams. We all had dreams when we were kids but because of one thing or another, as we grew up, those dreams started to fade away. We became stuck in the illusion of everyday life.
This illusion makes us believe that life is meant to be ordinary. We were meant to work at jobs we don’t like because after all, that is why they call it work. So we start to settle for what we can get instead of go after what we really want. We lose ourselves to the daily grind of life.
So what do these people in these inspirational stories do differently than the rest of us? They never lose sight of their dreams. Challenges are part of life. That's a fact that we just have to face. It isn’t something that we will ever get rid of. In fact, if you want to live an inspirational life, you must have challenges. The bigger the challenges you have to face, the better.
If you read a story about someone who had to overcome some simple irritation to reach his goal, would that inspire you? Wouldn't you be more inspired by someone who had to overcome challenges that would bring most people to their knees? Think about the stories you've read or the movies you've seen where the main plot of a hero defeating the bad guy to get the prize. If you ever noticed, the stronger the bad guy was, the stronger our hero had to become, and the more inspiring the moment was when our hero finally defeated the bad guy. Now if the bad guy was some puny weakling, then you're really just watching a comedy, aren't you?
You see, since you are writing your story as the days go by, in order to make it an inspirational one, you must take on those challenges that prevent you from living the life of your dreams. Your courage and determination can one day change the life of someone else. I think it's incredible when someone accomplishes a goal where they had to overcome such great adversity and when I read stories about those people, it inspires me to continue going for my own dreams and gives me hope that it's possible.
So, what kind of story will your life turn out to be?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.
It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls,
career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across
the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy
life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to
spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing
could stop him.
Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The
funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old
newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
"Jack, did you hear me?"
"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of
him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were
doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of
the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.
"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.
"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make
sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.
"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this
business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me
things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral,"
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his
hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no
children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to
see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing
over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house
was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture,
every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.
"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.
"The box is gone," he said.
"What box? " Mom asked.
"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I
must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell
me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered
it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had
"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better
get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from
work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required
on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within
the next three days," the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and
looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was
difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.
"Mr. Harold Belser" it read.
Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There
inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read
the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack
Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped
to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack
carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold
pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing,
he unlatched the cover.
Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time!
"The thing he valued most...was...my time."
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and
cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his
"I need some time to spend with my family," he said.