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The Important Things

You’ve probably heard this story before but I think it is a good one to repeat because of the profound meaning it has for our lives:

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.… Read the rest!

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Drop the Poison!

Walking down the road one day an older gentleman in a tattered grey overcoat came upon a young man holding a bright green rock. A foul-smelling gas was coming from the rock as the young man held it tightly, examining it’s surfaces.

“Sir”, said the old man. “Did you know that what you are holding is very poisonous?”

The young man looked surprised. “It isn’t poisonous! It’s extremely rare and you can’t have it. It is all mine and I’m not letting go of it.”

“Trust me, it is not that rare. It is poisonous, however, and it will have a great affect on you.”

“Yeah right. Can you prove that it is poison?”

“Well, tell me how you found it.”

“This morning I was walking through the park, talking with an acquaintance.… Read the rest!

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You And Your Circumstances

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Have you ever noticed that people are always blaming their circumstances for what they are?

George Bernard Shaw said, “I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstance they want, and, if they can’t find them, they go out and make them.”

Some circumstances we chose and others were chosen for us but regardless of the circumstance we get to decide how we will act in every situation.

Jo Condert said, “Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never leave or lose. To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution.”

We have to work out our own destiny.… Read the rest!

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Optimism, Perspective and African Shoes

Perspective is a funny thing. It really defines our view of life and the events that happen every day.

You will perhaps have heard this very old story illustrating the difference between positive thinking and negative thinking:

Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential. The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here – nobody wears shoes.” The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.

In any situation we are presented with the opportunity to view it however we want to. The way we view it depends largely on our perspective. For example, when the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship last season, it was joyous news for those living in Miami.… Read the rest!

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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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Discipline

                            “Discipline is a choice. Its simply consistently choosing the hard right over the easy wrong.”

I love this quote from Rory Vaden, author of the book Take the Stairs. What a great description of discipline. Becoming disciplined is not easy and it doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It is slowly developed over time and requires consistency.

     When I think about discipline, I automatically think about some of the diets I have attempted. I can easily choose the carrots over the candy bar for a few days but it seems like after a week I am off the wagon and pounding breakfast burritos. No consistency. Diet Discipline comes from consistently choosing the hard healthy (carrots) over the easy junk food (candy bar).

     The diet analogy is applicable to just about anything we attempt in life.… 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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Just For Today…

In his book “Today Matters”, John C. Maxwell shares the following lines:

1. Just for today, I will choose and display the RIGHT ATTITUDE!
2. Just for today, I will determine and act on IMPORTANT P
RIORITIES!
3. Just for today, I will know and follow HEALTHY GUID
ELINES!
4. Just for today, I will communicate with and care for MY FAMILY!
5. Just for today, I will practice and develop GOOD THINKING!
6. Just for today, I will make and keep PROPER COMMITMENT!
7. Just for today, I will earn and properly manage MY FINANCES!
8. Just for today, I will deepen and live out MY FAITH!
9. Just for today, I will initiate and invest in SOLID RELATIONSHIPS!
10. Just for today, I will plan for and model GENEROSITY!
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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