Everything we see, hear, say and do cannot be erased, it leaves a foot print in us. The more we watch, listen to, think about and do something, the deeper and the greater the number of foot prints become. Eventually, they create the path we will follow.
What foot prints are you making? What path will they take you on?
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Seed of Success
From: Mission Success – by Og Mandino
God, I thank you for this day! I know I have not accomplished as yet all you expect of me, and if that is your reason for bathing me in the fresh dew of another dawn, I am most grateful…
I will forget yesterday, with all its trials and tribulations, aggravations and setbacks, angers and frustrations… I can neither retrieve a single word nor erase any foolish deeds.
I will resolve, however, that if I have injured anyone yesterday through my thoughtlessness, I will not let this day’s sun set before I make amends, and nothing… will be of greater importance.
I will not fret the future. My success and happiness does not depend on straining to see what lurks dimly on the horizon but to do, this day, what lies clearly at hand… I will treasure this day, for it is all I have…
I will live… only in the moment. I cannot perform at my best today by regretting my previous act’s mistakes or worrying about the scene to come.
I will embrace today’s difficult tasks… I will remember that the busier I am, the less harm I am apt to suffer, the tastier will be my food, the sweeter my sleep, and the better satisfied I will be with my place in the world.
… Although I will plan this day in order to conserve my steps and energy, I will begin to measure my life in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not seasons; in feelings, not figures.
I will remain aware of how little it takes to make this a happy day. Never will I pursue happiness, because it is not a goal, just a by-product, and there is no happiness in having or in getting, only in giving.
I will run from no danger… because I am certain that nothing will happen to me that I am not equipped to handle with your help… I am certain to become more valuable through this day’s adversities, and if you close one door, you always open another for me.
… I will be a giver of gifts and deliver to my enemies the gift of forgiveness; my opponents, tolerance; my friends, a smile; my children, a good example…
I will waste not even a precious second today in anger or hate or jealousy or selfishness. I know that the seeds I sow I will harvest, because every action, good or bad, is always followed by an equal reaction. I will only plant good seeds this day.
I will treat this day as a priceless violin. One may draw harmony from it another, discord, yet no one will blame the instrument. Life is the same, and if I play it correctly, it will give forth beauty, but if I play it ignorantly, it will produce ugliness.
I will condition myself to look on every problem I encounter today as no more than a pebble in my shoe. I remember the pain, so harsh I could hardly walk, and recall my surprise when I removed my shoe and found only a grain of sand.
I will work convinced that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. To do anything today that is truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can.
I will face the world with goals set for this day, but they will be attainable ones, not the vague, impossible variety declared by those who make a career of failure…
I will never hide my talents. If I am silent, I am forgotten, if I do not advance, I will fall back. If I walk away from any challenge today, my self-esteem will be forever scarred, and if I cease to grow, even a little, I will become smaller. I reject the stationary position because it is always the beginning of the end.
I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today. I know that the world is a looking glass and gives back to me the reflection of my own soul. Now I understand the secret of correcting the attitude of others and that is to correct my own.
I will turn away from any temptation today that might cause me to break my word or lose my self-respect. I am positive that the only thing I possess more valuable than my life is my honor.
I will work this day with all my strength. Content in the knowledge that life does not consist of wallowing in the past or peering anxiously at the future… Whatever it offers, little or much, my life is now.
I will pause whenever I am feeling sorry for myself today, and remember that this is the only day I have and I must play it to the fullest. What my part may signify in the great whole, I may not recognize, but I am here to play it and now is the time.
I will count this day a separate life. I will remember that those who have fewest regrets are those who take each moment as it comes for all that it is worth.
This is my day!
These are my seeds. Thank you God, for this precious garden of time.
A carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer, a building contractor, of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life. His employer was sorry to see him go, but asked if he could build just one more house as a person favor. The carpenter said yes, but it was easy to see his heart was not in his work. He had lost his enthusiasm and direction, resulting in shabby workmanship and using inferior materials. A shameful way to end ones career.
When the house was finished, his boss came to inspect the new house. After doing so, he reached out and placed the key to the front door into his friend’s hand. “This is your house.” He said. “My gift to you for your service and loyalty over the years.” What a shock…what a shame… if only he had known. How often we echo these same words… “If only I had known. I would have done it so differently.”
So it is with us; we build our lives often in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting in given situations. Content at times to settle for the easier wrong in place of the harder right, then one day, in shock, we look at the situation we have created, and find we are now living in a house we built for ourselves none too well.
…This is the only life you have to build. Build it with character and integrity as you pursue your education, career and the families you will one day have. Build it with compassion and forgiveness… Your life now is the result of attitudes and choices made in the past; your tomorrow’s success, peace and happiness will be determined by the commitments you make today… never jeopardize your character or compromise your integrity.
…The most important person we must account to is that person looking back in the mirror.
The Starfish Story – by Loren Eisley
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”
I made a difference for that one.”
What effect does our environment have on who we become?
In an effort to find out, let’s follow the lives of twin brothers. They were born into a family where the father was a drunk and abusive to them and their mother. He couldn’t hold down a job and made the family’s life miserable. As a result the brother’s childhood was stressful, frightening and at times a challenge just to survive. Eventually their father abandoned all of them, never to be heard from again.
These two boys grew into men and took what they had learned and experienced out into the world.
The first brother had grown into a mirror image of his father. He had been married and divorced. He couldn’t hold down a job. He had a drinking problem and barely knew his children. His behavior was abusive and angry. To him life wasn’t fair and he simply abandoned all hope and responsibility.
The second brother was happily married. He had a successful career and worked hard to provide for his family. He was a loving and responsible husband, father and productive member of society. To him life was good and he enjoyed sharing his life with others. His life and attitude was a positive example for everyone.
The brothers were asked, “Why do you think your life turned out the way it did?”
They both gave the exact same answer.
“With a father like mine how could I have turned out any other way?”
Life is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you.
The choice is yours!
Nails in the Fence
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all.
He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, ‘ You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.
When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But it won’t matter how many times you say I ‘ m sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, ‘ My son, the battle is between two ‘ wolves ‘ inside us all.
One is Evil. – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. ‘
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘ Which wolf wins? ‘
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘ The one you feed.’