As a man was passing elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to getaway. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.
Each day, we build our own life, and sometimes without realizing it. The story of the old carpenter is a good example…
An old carpenter wanted to retire. He told his employer about his plans.
The employer was sorry to see his good carpenter leave and he asked him if he could build just one more house. The carpenter said yes, but it was easy to see that his heart was not into it. He was clearly not doing his best.
When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, “This is your house… my gift to thank you.”
The carpenter was shocked!
What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all much better.
Same happens with our lives. We build our lives, day after day, without doing our best. Then, with a shock, we realize we must live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.
But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a window, or erect a wall. Someone once said, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the “house” you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, build wisely!
What does this story inspire you to do differently?
Here is a powerful story about the importance of a positive mindset to make our dreams come true.
A group of frogs were walking in the forest. Two of them fell into a pit. When the other frogs saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs that the situation was hopeless.
However, the two frogs decided to ignore what the others were saying, and they tried to jump out of the pit.
The group of frogs at the top of the pit were still saying that they would never make it out.
Eventually, one of the frogs listened to what the others were saying, and he gave up. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to just give up and accept his certain death instead of suffering so much.
He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?”
The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
What you believe has a big impact on what you can achieve.
And you, do you sometimes doubt yourself?
An old Cherokee wants to give his grandson an important lesson about life.
Watch the video or read the lesson below:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is black – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is white – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith”
He added, “The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
His grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked him, “Which wolf will win?
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The emotions we nurture determine who we will become. And you, did it happen to you to be caught in a negativity cycle?
Maria was very upset. An old lady that she did not know kept banging at her door all day and night and would not leave. She was very stubborn and would come more than 10 times a day, asking to get inside the house. Maria was scared of her, so, at first, she tried to ignore her.
She put music loud and organized dinners with friends. She kept herself busy with activities she enjoyed like cooking and reading. She even went on vacation on a beautiful beach in the hope that the old lady will not be there when she returns. But whatever she did, the old woman always came back.
Then, Maria got angry at her, shout at her, told her not to come. But the old lady kept coming back, banging at the door in the middle of the night.
As nothing was working, Maria tried to bargain with her, “it’s ok you can come but only between 4 and 5 pm”. But the old lady kept coming anytime!
Finally, she decided to let the old woman in.
The old woman started to talk about her life, she had a lot of things to share.
At some point, Maria felt she had listened enough but she did not know how to make the old woman stop.
She listened a bit more until she was sure she had listened to it all. Then, she took the old lady by the hand, thanked her and brought her back to the door.
The old lady never came back.
Everyone in life faces hardships and sadness. What happens if you don’t listen to your emotions? What happens if you get overwhelmed by them? Keep the picture of this old woman banging at the door whenever you deal with grief, sadness and anger. Express them fully but then bring them back to the door.
Very often, we think no but say yes because we fear what other people may think of us… Read this story about an old man, his son and their donkey.
An old man and his grandson were living in a small village. They wanted to bring their donkey to the market.
First, both on them were walking and the donkey was not carrying anything. They could hear the neighbours talking: “Look at them, idiots, they have a donkey, feed it every day but don’t even use it…”
Then, the boy was on the donkey and the old man walking. The neighbours were loudly commenting: “Look at them, this boy is not respecting this old man, he lets him walk while he is resting on the donkey…”
So, they switched, the old man was on the donkey and the boy walking. The neighbours still made some comments: “Look at this poor boy walking while this man is resting…”
Then, they decided to both be on the donkey. They could hear the neighbours whispering: “Look at them, cruel and stupid people, they don’t realize this poor donkey is suffering and soon it will die because it gets too tired…
Finally, they did not know what to do and decided to carry the donkey on their backs! The neighbours laughed at them loudly and called them crazy. The donkey was uncomfortable and finally ran away.
The old man said to his grandson: “We learned that when we try to please everyone, we please no one at the end. What do we care what other people think!
And they went back home with this valuable lesson in mind.
You can also watch this story on YouTube.
The fifth day, they stayed at home and the old man asked his son. “Son, what did you learn this week?” and the son replied “What do we care what other people think! Whatever we do, they will always find something to say about it…”
And you, do you sometimes pay too much attention to what other people may think of you?
Mona has a dream. She lives in front of a tall mountain and her dream is to climb it. The issue is that Mona has a disease that makes her legs very weak.
So, for years, Mona would not even allow herself to look at the mountain or think about it. She was scared to be too disappointed if she tried and failed.
One day, she realizes that she will only live once and decides to climb it. She wants to minimize the risks of failing because with her fragile health, her life is at stake and she could die.
She makes some research and reads about SMART objectives to make your dreams come true. The same day she makes her plan. One of her objectives is to be able to walk up the 50 floors of her building by the end of the year in order to get daily exercising. Here is her plan (if you are not fit, ask for medical advice first, this plan may not suit you):
SMALL & SPECIFIC: walk up the stairs of the building instead of taking the elevator.
MEASURABLE: 5 floors once a day the first week, then increase each week by one floor until I can walk up 50 floors.
ACHIEVABLE: I know I can walk up 5 floors I did it before.
RESOURCED: I have access to my building’s staircase.
TIME BOUND: every day and increase each week by one floor.
The first 3 days, she finds it hard but she is very motivated so she keeps on.
After one week, her legs are so sore, she can barely walk. She realizes that she made a mistake, she can to walk up 5 floors but not every day. She gives herself a 3-day break to recover and she starts again with only 1 floor a day. This time she chooses an objective even easier to achieve than she thinks she can make it.
However, even with an easy objective, she has a lot of pressure at work and in the evening, she is really tempted to take the elevator…
One evening she gives up and takes the elevator. She calls her best friend and tells her about it. Her best friend reminds her of her dream and motivates her to start again the next day. With her friend’s support, she goes back to walking up the stairs every day.
Each month she books an appointment with herself to review her progress and for each additional 5 floors that she can climb, she gives herself a small reward like eating her favourite cake or buying a small inexpensive symbolic gift.
Still, some days are harder than others. For these days, she has her special tricks, like a playlist of her favourite songs that give her a lot of energy while walking up!
Day after day, she finds it easier and easier. She is so used to walking up the stairs that she does not even think about it anymore. It just became part of her normal daily life.
After one year and careful preparation, she is ready. She starts to climb early morning and after a few hours of walk, she is up! She made her dream come true and is so proud of herself!
And you, what do you do to make your dreams come true and achieve your objectives?
Read here more about the 10 best practices to make your dreams come true.
Why helping is not always the best option? This story will make you think twice before you offer your help…
Watch the video or read the story below
A little boy found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small hole appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to get out of the cocoon through that little hole. Until it suddenly stopped making any progress and looked like it was stuck. So, the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and removed the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then came out easily, although it had a weak body and small shrivelled wings.
The little boy didn’t think anything of it and sat there waiting for the wings to get bigger to support the butterfly. But that didn’t happen. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with tiny wings.
Despite the kind heart of the little boy, he didn’t understand that the cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself out were Nature’s way of preparing the butterfly for flying once it was out of the cocoon.
Our struggles in life develop our strengths. Without struggles, we never grow and never get stronger, so it’s important for us to tackle challenges on our own, and not be relying on help from others. We must also be careful not to make others dependent on us.
And you, how did you develop your own wings? Do you let your loved ones develop their own wings as well or do you help them too much?
Days go by so quickly. Make sure you know what your priorities in life are. They are probably similar to your dreams! Plan time for them in your morning ritual.
Watch the video or read the story below.
A professor stood before his class. When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty jar and without saying a word, he started to fill it with rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So, the professor then picked up pebbles and put 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. They agreed it was. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar. He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.” “Yes,” said the professor, “I want you to see that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be meaningful. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like the activities you enjoy doing. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.”
“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
And you, what are your rocks? Do you devote time and energy to them every day?
Why hoping for the best and working hard is not enough…
This is the story of two tourists, Hope and Plan. There are in Paris for only one day. They are so excited to see the Eiffel Tower but they have no map of Paris.
Hope is sure that she can find the Eiffel Tower easily. It’s so big, right? So, she just comes out of the hotel early in the morning and starts walking.
Plan also knows that she can walk for long hours. But it’s her only day in Paris, she wants to make sure to reach the Eiffel Tower! So, she takes the time first to ask for a map at the reception and to understand directions.
At the end of the day, Hope has been walking for 10 hours. At each crossroad, she was hoping to find the Eiffel Tower but she was always disappointed. She is exhausted.
Plan got a bit lost in the train, the road was longer than she thought but thanks to her map she finally reached the Eiffel Tower. She spent the rest of her day there, enjoying the beautiful view and taking pictures.
And you, what do you do in the city of life? Hope and work hard? Or hope, work hard and make a plan?