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The Toothpaste Principle

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This morning before brushing my teeth I once again entered into a daily routine. Rolling up the toothpaste tube from the bottom, I meticulously kept a tight roll so as to keep any paste from remaining in the tube. Once the tight roll reached the top, I put the opening between my middle and index fingers and then squeezed from the bottom with my thumb. Amazingly, a small line of toothpaste came out of the “empty” tube and onto the bristles of my brush…just like it had for the past 13 days!

Every morning this ritual is repeated and I think to myself, “There is no way any more toothpaste could be in that wrinkled up tube.” And yet, when crunch time comes, it digs deep and produces yet another small amount of breath-freshening goodness.

I’m pretty sure I went through the first 97% of that tube in one month and the last 3% has managed to survive for the last 2 months!

The example of the toothpaste tube applies to us in a lot of ways. It is pretty easy for us to be happy and motivated when life is good and full. But times come when we don’t have the same luxuries afforded to us. Maybe it is a problem at work, or school, or at home. Finances get tight, we don’t seem to have enough time, and we all know how our kids can leave us feeling sometimes. It might even be a combination of all the above. Those are the times when life starts to drain us of our energy and ambition. We start to feel empty. Like we just can’t give any more. Kind of like a tube of toothpaste that seems to have lost all it had inside.

The miracle is that no matter how much life squeezes us, we always have more to give. In fact, often times the best we have comes at the time when we are about to throw in the towel. History is full of incredible men and women who were about to give up but decided to give a little more, to hold on for one more day, to get up and try one more time.

stronger-than-you-thinkSo when you feel that life has left you with no more to give, remember that there is always more inside you. A little more effort, one extra step, one more day to hold on. Another solution or option will open up if you will hang on for a little longer. Sometimes we just have to be squeezed to get the best out of us.

And remember, you have much more inside you than just toothpaste!

Kris

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3 comments

  1. Love it – I often use dental care analogies when teaching about stress care. I never thought of one for persistence. Great! Gillian Tews

  2. I really liked this post too! It is very inspirational and perfectly explains how many people feel in life. Thank you for creating this blog. 🙂

  3. Nice post. thank you for sharing with us. I think it would be effective for all. I like this post indeed.
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