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Persistence and Hope

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
                                                                                                – Jacob Riis

There is probably nothing more important in our struggle for self-improvement than persistence and hope. Persistence produces the results, while hope pushes us to take another step. These two go hand in hand just the way faith and works do.

If I hope to reach a goal but give up trying whenever I face an obstacle, I will never reach any goal worth achieving.… Read the rest!

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The Boy Who Harnassed the Wind

Picture William Kamkwamba was born on August 5th, 1987 in a small village in Malawi. He was the only boy among seven children. William attended a small primary school until he was 14, completing the 8th grade. In 2001, harsh famine hit Malawi. William’s family lived in a small community maintained by the sale of crops. In a matter of a few months, the entire livelihood of the village literally dried up. Without crops to sell, there was no money to continue paying William’s yearly tuition of $80. William was forced to drop out of school at the age of 14.

William was determined to continue learning. He would walk a few miles to a community library in a nearby village and borrow whatever book he could.… Read the rest!

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Do it Scared!

Picture A story shared by one of my mentors, Rory Vaden. Enjoy!

I once heard a true story of a woman who was trapped in a burning building on the 80th floor. She had an intensive fear of heights and also an intense fear of closed in spaces. So when the fire alarm went off she absolutely refused to follow her colleagues into the stairwell to evacuate to safety.

She could not handle the thought of going down the stairs being able to look down in the middle all the way to the bottom. And the thought of being trapped inside the enclosed stairwell was just too much to endure and so instead she made a conscious choice to hide under her desk and wait to die.… Read the rest!

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The Longshot Linebacker

Picture        On a hot August evening in Mesa, Arizona, a player wearing jersey #24 runs onto the football field.  He is the starting middle linebacker for the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds. Underneath the pads and uniform, however, there is something different about this player; something that the crowd in the stands doesn’t realize. #24 is about to live his lifelong dream.

Lincoln Proctor is from St. John’s, Arizona, a small town near the New Mexico border. He played football in high school and then left the country to serve a 2-year mission for his church in Ecuador.

Upon his return, he worked for a company building custom iron fences.  In 2006, he started his own business in the iron fence industry. As the economy turned, so did the business and he eventually closed up shop. … Read the rest!

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Are You Fully Committed?


A friend of mine, Stuart Anderson, once told me a great story about commitment which I will try to share here:
To the left is the symbol known as the “Red Hand of Ulster”. It is found on the flag of Northern Ireland. Where did it come from?The legend goes that in about 500 B.C. the chief baron of Ireland passed away leaving no apparent leader to rule in his stead. Two men came forward claiming the throne. A man named McDermott and another man named Heremon O’Niell. The argument over who would be the leader threatened to divide the kingdom into warring factions.

As an alternative, the two men decided to have a race. Whoever could row their boat to the other side and touch the land on the far bank first would become the king.

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The Power of Make Believe

Picture     I was at Wal-Mart today and walked past some kind of Sony product. The box had their new slogan on it which was “Make.Believe”. I don’t really know the meaning they intended from the statement but to me it sounded like the perfect two-word formula for success. Make. Believe. Let me explain.

    The first step for a successful and meaningful life, business, or family is a vision. You have to be able to close your eyes and imagine exactly what it is you want out of life. Most people have never really done this. They say they want to be rich or live on the beach or own a company, but they have never taken the time to really imagine it or to write it down.Read the rest!

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The Day Michael Phelps Went Blind


The summer Olympics are almost upon us and I thought it would be a good time to reflect on one of my favorite moments in recent Olympic history.

We all remember the scenes from 4 years ago when Michael Phelps broke just about every Olympic swimming record there was. He won 8 gold medals in Beijing in dramatic fashion.

But the race that I found the most impressive was the 200-meter butterfly. In this race, Phelps was going for the 10th gold medal of his career, making him the winningest Olympian of all time.
    Phelps already held the world record in this event and was looking to improve on his previous time. All indications were that he would win by a comfortable margin.

    Then disaster struck.

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The Toothpaste Principle


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.… Read the rest!

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