The 30 Best
Inspiring Anecdotes of All Times
"I Can Make It Happen"
History abounds with tales of
experts who were convinced that the ideas, plans, and projects of others could
never be achieved. However, accomplishment came to those who said, "I can
make it happen."
The Italian sculptor Agostino d'Antonio worked diligently on a
large piece of marble. Unable to produce his desired masterpiece, he lamented,
"I can do nothing with it." Other sculptors also worked this difficult
piece of marble, but to no avail. Michelangelo discovered the stone and
visualized the possibilities in it. His "I-can-make-it-happen"
attitude resulted in one of the world's masterpieces - David.
The experts of Spain concluded that Columbus's plans to discover
a new and shorter route to the West Indies was virtually impossible. Queen
Isabella and King Ferdinand ignored the report of the experts. "I can make
it happen," Columbus persisted. And he did. Everyone knew the world was
flat, but not Columbus. The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria, along with
Columbus and his small band of followers, sailed to "impossible" new
lands and thriving resources.
Even the great Thomas Alva Edison discouraged his friend, Henry
Ford, from pursuing his fledgling idea of a motorcar. Convinced of the
worthlessness of the idea, Edison invited Ford to come and work for him. Ford
remained committed and tirelessly pursued his dream. Although his first attempt
resulted in a vehicle without reverse gear, Henry Ford knew he could make it
happen. And, of course, he did.
"Forget it," the experts advised Madame Curie. They
agreed radium was a scientifically impossible idea. However, Marie Curie
insisted, "I can make it happen."
Let's not forget our friends Orville and Wilbur Wright.
Journalists, friends, armed forces specialists, and even their father laughed at
the idea of an airplane. "What a silly and insane way to spend money. Leave
flying to the birds," they jeered. "Sorry," the Wright brothers
responded. "We have a dream, and we can make it happen." As a result,
a place called Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, became the setting for the launching
of their "ridiculous" idea.
Finally, as you read these accounts under the magnificent
lighting of your environment, consider the plight of Benjamin Franklin. He was
admonished to stop the foolish experimenting with lighting. What an absurdity
and waste of time! Why, nothing could outdo the fabulous oil lamp. Thank
goodness Franklin knew he could make it happen. You too can make it happen!
It Couldn't Be Done
Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle
That maybe it couldn't, but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so
"till he tried."
So he buckled right in
With the trace of a grin
his face. If he worried, he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: "Oh,
you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it."
But he took off
his coat and took off his hat
And the first thing he knew he'd begun it.
the lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle right in with a bit of
Then take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you
tackle the thing
That cannot be done, and you'll do it.
Edgar A. Guest
Keeper of the Spring
The late Peter Marshall was an eloquent speaker and
for several years served as the chaplain of the US Senate. He used to love to
tell the story of the "Keeper of the Spring," a quiet forest dweller
who lived high above an Austrian village along the eastern slope of the Alps.
The old gentleman had been hired many years earlier by a young
town councilman to clear away the debris from the pools of water up in the
mountain crevices that fed the lovely spring flowing through their town. With
faithful, silent regularity, he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and
branches, and wiped away the silt that would otherwise have choked and
contaminated the fresh flow of water. The village soon became a popular
attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated along the crystal clear
spring, the mill wheels of various businesses located near the water turned day
and night, farmlands were naturally irrigated, and the view from restaurants was
picturesque beyond description.
Years passed. One evening the town council met for its
semiannual meeting. As they reviewed the budget, one man's eye caught the salary
figure being paid the obscure keeper of the spring. Said the keeper of the
purse, "Who is the old man? Why do we keep him on year after year? No one
ever sees him. For all we know, the strange ranger of the hills is doing us no
good. He isn't necessary any longer." By a unanimous vote, they dispensed
with the old man's services.
For several weeks, nothing changed.
By early autumn, the trees began to shed their leaves. Small
branches snapped of and fell into the pools, hindering the rushing flow of
sparkling water. One afternoon someone noticed a slight yellowish-brown tint in
the spring. A few days later, the water was much darker. Within another week, a
slimy film covered sections of the water along the banks, and a foul odor was
soon detected. The mill wheels moved more slowly, some finally ground to a halt.
Swans left, as did the tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached
deeply into the village.
Quickly, the embarrassed council called a special meeting.
Realizing their gross error in judgment, they rehired the old keeper of the
spring, and within a few weeks, the veritable river of life began to clear up.
The wheels started to turn, and new life returned to the hamlet in the Alps.
Never become discouraged with the seeming smallness of your
task, job, or life. Cling fast to the words of Edward Everett Hale: "I am
only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do
something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something
I can do. " The key to accomplishment is believing that what you can do
will make a difference.
A lesson from a Mad Hatter
One of the first steps to accomplishing great things
in your life is to cease dwelling on the negative things in your past. Carefully
assess your present strengths, successes, and achievements. Dwell on those
positive events in your life, and quit limiting your potential by constantly
thinking about what you have done poorly. Alice and the Mad Hatter in Wonderland
had a conversation that illustrates this concept:
Alice: Where I come from, people study what they are not
good at in order to be able to do what they are good at.
We only go around in circles in Wonderland, but
we always end up where we started. Would you mind explaining yourself?
Alice: Well, grown-ups tell us to find out what we did
wrong, and never do it again
That's odd! It seems to me that in order to find
out about something, you have to study it. And when you study it, you should
become better at it. Why should you want to become better at something and then
never do it again? But please continue.
Alice: Nobody ever tells us to study the right things we do.
We're only supposed to learn from the wrong things. But we are permitted to
study the right things other people do. And sometimes we're even told to copy
Alice: You're quite right, Mr. Hatter. I do live in a
topsy-turvy world. It seems like I have to do something wrong first, in order to
learn from what not to do. And then, by not doing what I'm not supposed to do,
perhaps I'll be right. But I'd rather be right the first time, wouldn't you?
A Tragedy Or a Blessing?
Years ago in Scotland, the Clark family had a dream.
Clark and his wife worked and saved, making plans for their nine children and
themselves to travel to the United States. It had taken years, but they had
finally saved enough money and had gotten passports and reservations for the
whole family on a new liner to the United States.
The entire family was filled with anticipation and excitement
about their new life. However, seven days before their departure, the youngest
son was bitten by a dog. The doctor sewed up the boy but hung a yellow sheet on
the Clarks' front door. Because of the possibility of rabies, they were being
quarantined for fourteen days.
The family's dreams were dashed. They would not be able to make
the trip to America as they had planned. The father, filled with disappointment
and anger, stomped to the dock to watch the ship leave - without the Clark
family. The father shed tears of disappointment and cursed both his son and God
for their misfortune.
Five days later, the tragic news spread throughout Scotland -
the mighty Tittanic had sunk. The unsinkable ship had sunk, taking hundreds of
lives with it. The Clark family was to have been on that ship, but because the
son had been bitten by a dog, they were left behind in Scotland.
When Mr. Clark heard the news, he hugged his son and thanked him
for saving the family. He thanked God for saving their lives and turning what he
had felt was a tragedy into a blessing.
To Build a Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge that spans the river tying
Manhattan Island to Brooklyn is truly a miracle bridge. In 1863, a creative
engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea for this spectacular
bridge. However, bridge-building experts throughout the world told him to forget
it; it could not be done.
Roebling convinced his son, Washington, who was a young upand
coming engineer, that the bridge could be built. The two of them developed the
concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be
overcome. With un harnessed excitement and inspiration, they hired their crew
and began to build their dream bridge.
The project was only a few months under construction when a
tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling and severely injured
his son, Washington. Washington was left with permanent brain damage and was
unable to talk or walk. Everyone felt that the project would have to be scrapped
since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.
Even though Washington was unable to move or talk, his mind was
as sharp as ever, and he still had a burning desire to complete the bridge. An
idea hit him as he lay in his hospital bed, and he developed a code for
communication. All he could move was one finger, so he touched the arm of his
wife with that finger, tapping out the code to communicate to her what to tell
the engineers who were building the bridge. For thirteen years, Washington
tapped out his instructions with his finger until the spectacular Brooklyn
Bridge was finally completed.
Grind or Shine
Adversity is the grindstone of life. Intended to
polish you up, adversity also has the ability to grind you down. The impact and
ultimate result depend on what you do with the difficulties that come your way.
Consider the phenomenal achievements of people experiencing adversity.
Beethoven composed his greatest works after becoming deaf. Sir
Walter Raleigh wrote the History of the World during a thirteen year
imprisonment. If Columbus had turned back, no one could have blamed him,
considering the constant adversity he endured. Of course, no one would have
remembered him either. Abraham Lincoln achieved greatness by his display of
wisdom and character during the devastation of the Civil War. Luther translated
the Bible while enduring confinement in the Castle of Wartburg. Under a sentence
of death and during twenty years in exile, Dante wrote the Divine Comedy. John
Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress in a Bedford jail.
Finally, consider a more recent example. Mary
endured sixteen years of illiteracy because of unrecognized dyslexia, was
committed to a reformatory on two different occasions, and almost died of a
stroke while bearing a child. Committed to going to college, she worked at a
variety of odd jobs to save money, graduated with her high school equivalency at
eighteen, was named Oregon's outstanding Upward Bound student, and finally
entered college. Determined to become a doctor, she faced fifteen medical school
rejections until Albany Medical College finally accepted her. In 1984, Dr. Mary
Groda-Lewis, at thirty-five, graduated with honors to fulfill her dream.
Adversity - the grindstone of life. Will it grind you down or
polish you up?
Napoleon was involved in conversation with a colonel
of a Hungarian battalion who had been taken prisoner in Italy. The colonel
mentioned he had fought in the army of Maria Theresa. "You must have a few
years under your belt!" exclaimed Napoleon. "I'm sure I've lived sixty
or seventy years," replied the colonel. "You mean to say,"
Napoleon continued, "you have not kept track of the years you have
The colonel promptly replied, "Sir, I always count my
money, my shirts, and my horses - but as for my years, I know nobody who wants
to steal them, and I shall surely never lose them."
"If I Had My Life to Live Over"
If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more
mistakes next time. I'd relax, I'd limber up. I would be sillier than I've been
this trip. I would take fewer things seriously, take more chances, take more
trips. I'd climb more mountains, and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice
cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have
fewer imaginary ones. You see, I'm one of those people who lived seriously,
sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it
to do over again, I'd have more of them. I've been one of those persons who
never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a
parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than this trip. If I
had my life to live over, I would start going barefoot earlier in the spring,
and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances, I would ride
more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.
The Lion and The cougar
A pointed fable is told about a young lion and a
cougar. Both thirsty, the animals arrived at their usual water hole at the same
time. They immediately began to argue about who should satisfy their thirst
first. The argument became heated, and each decided he would rather die than
give up the privilege of being first to quench his thirst. As they stubbornly
confronted each other, their emotions turned to rage. Their cruel attacks on
each other were suddenly interrupted. They both looked up. Circling overhead was
a flock of vultures waiting for the loser to fall. Quietly, the two beasts
turned and walked away. The thought of being devoured was all they needed to end
Complain! Complain! Complain!
It takes a disciplined spirit to endure the monastery on Mount
Serat in Spain. One of the fundamental requirements of this religious order is
that the young men must maintain silence. Opportunities to speak are scheduled
once every two years, at which time they are allowed to speak only two words.
One young initiate in this religious order, who had completed
his first two years of training, was invited by his superior to make his first
two-word presentation. "Food terrible," he said. Two years later the
invitation was once again extended. The young man used this forum to exclaim,
"Bed lumpy." Arriving at his superior's office two years later he
proclaimed, "I quit." The superior looked at this young monk and said,
"You know, it doesn't surprise me a bit. All you've done since you arrived
is complain, complain, complain.
Exaggerated? Maybe. What if you were asked to share two words
that describe your Life? would your focus be the lumps, bumps, and unfairness,
or are you committed to dwell on those things that are good, right, and lovely?
The Whole World Came Together
The young mother was ready for a few minutes of
relaxation after a long and demanding day. However, her young daughter had other
plans for her mother's time.
"Read me a story, Mom," the little girl requested.
"Give Mommy a few minutes to relax and unwind. Then I'll be happy to read
you a story," pleaded the mother.
The little girl was insistent that Mommy read to her now. With a
stroke of genius, the mother tore off the back page of the magazine she was
reading. It contained a full-page picture of the world. As she tore it into
several pieces, Mom asked her daughter to put the picture together and then she
would read her a story. Surely this would buy her considerable relaxing moments.
A short time later, the little girl announced the completion of
her puzzle project. To her astonishment, she found the world picture completely
assembled. When she asked her daughter how she managed to do it so quickly, the
little girl explained that on the reverse side of the page was the picture of a
little girl. "You see, Mommy, when I got the little girl together, the
whole world came together."
Each of us has the responsibility to put our world together. It
starts by getting ourselves put together. We can become better parents, friends,
spouses, employees, and employers. The first step is changing our attitude.
The Whole World Stinks
Wise men and philosophers throughout the ages have
disagreed on many things, but many are in unanimous agreement on one point:
"We become what we think about." Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A man
is what he thinks about all day long." The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius
put it this way: "A man's life is what his thoughts make of it." In
the Bible we find: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."
One Sunday afternoon, a cranky grandfather was visiting his
family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun
by putting Limburger cheese on Grandfather's mustache. Soon, grandpa awoke with
a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, "This room stinks."
Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he
made his way outside only to find that "the whole world stinks!"
So it is when we fill our minds with negativism. Everything we
experience and everybody we encounter will carry the scent we hold in our mind.
Hang In There
Nicolo Paganini was a well-known and gifted
nineteenth century violinist. He was also well known as a great showman with a
quick sense of humor. His most memorable concert was in Italy with a full
orchestra. He was performing before a packed house and his technique was
incredible, his tone was fantastic, and his audience dearly loved him. Toward
the end of his concert, Paganini was astounding his audience with an
unbelievable composition when suddenly one string on his violin snapped and hung
limply from his instrument. Paganini frowned briefly, shook his head, and
continued to play, improvising beautifully.
Then to everyone's surprise, a second string broke. And shortly
thereafter, a third. Almost like a slapstick comedy, Paganini stood there with
three strings dangling from his Stradivarius. But instead of leaving the stage,
Paganini stood his ground and calmly completed the difficult number on the one
The 3M Company encourages creativity from its
employees. The company allows its researchers to spend 15 percent of their time
on any project that interests them. This attitude has brought fantastic benefits
not only to the employees but to the 3M Company itself Many times, a spark of an
idea turned into a successful product has boosted 3M's profits tremendously.
Some years ago, a scientist in 3M's commercial office took
advantage of this 15 percent creative time. This scientist, Art Fry, came up
with an idea for one of 3M's best-selling products. It seems that Art Fry dealt
with a small irritation every Sunday as he sang in the church choir. After
marking his pages in the hymnal with small bits of paper, the small pieces would
invariably fall out all over the floor.
Suddenly, an idea struck Fry. He remembered an adhesive
developed by a colleague that everyone thought was a failure because it did not
stick very well. "I coated the adhesive on a paper sample," Fry
recalls, "and I found that it was not only a good bookmark, but it was
great for writing notes. It will stay in place as long as you want it to, and
then you can remove it without damage."
Yes, Art Fry hit the jackpot. The resulting product was called
Post-it! and has become one of 3M's most successful office products.
From Candles to Soap
In 1879, Procter and Gamble's best seller was
candles. But the company was in trouble. Thomas Edison had invented the light
bulb, and it looked as if candles would become obsolete. Their fears became
reality when the market for candles plummeted since they were now sold only
The outlook appeared to be bleak for Procter and Gamble.
However, at this time, it seemed that destiny played a dramatic part in pulling
the struggling company from the clutches of bankruptcy. A forgetful employee at
a small factory in Cincinnati forgot to turn off his machine when he went to
lunch. The result? A frothing mass of lather filled with air bubbles. He almost
threw the stuff away but instead decided to make it into soap. The soap floated.
Thus, Ivory soap was born and became the mainstay of the Procter and Gamble
Why was soap that floats such a hot item at that time? In
Cincinnati, during that period, some people bathed in the Ohio River. Floating
soap would never sink and consequently never got lost. So, Ivory soap became a
best seller in Ohio and eventually across the country also.
Like Procter and Gamble, never give up when things go wrong or
when seemingly unsurmountable problems arise. Creativity put to work can change
a problem and turn it into a gold mine.
A Ten-Cent Idea
When young F. W. Woolworth was a store clerk, he
tried to convince his boss to have a ten-cent sale to reduce inventory. The boss
agreed, and the idea was a resounding success. This inspired Woolworth to open
his own store and price items at a nickel and a dime. He needed capital for such
a venture, so he asked his boss to supply the capital for part interest in the
store. His boss turned him down flat. "The idea is too risky," he told
Woolworth. "There are not enough items to sell for five and ten
cents." Woolworth went ahead without his boss's backing, and he not only
was successful in his first store, but eventually he owned a chain of F. W.
Woolworth stores across the nation. Later, his former boss was heard to remark,
"As far as I can figure out, every word I used to turn Woolworth down cost
me about a million dollars."
Time To Think
Henry Ford hired an efficiency expert to go through
his plant. He said, "Find the nonproductive people. Tell me who they are,
and I will fire them!"
The expert made the rounds with his clipboard in hand and
finally returned to Henry Ford's office with his report. "I've found a
problem with one of your administrators," he said. "Every time I
walked by, he was sitting with his feet propped up on the desk. The man never
does a thing. I definitely think you should consider getting rid of him!"
When Henry Ford learned the name of the man the expert was referring to, Ford
shook his head and said, "I can't fire him. I pay that man to do nothing
but think - and that's what he's doing."
If an impulse comes to say
un-thoughtful word today
That may drive a friend away,
Don't say it!
If you've heard a word of blame
Cast upon your neighbor's name
That may injure
his fair fame,
Don't tell it!
If malicious gossip's tongue
slander may have flung
On the head of old or young,
Don't repeat it!
Thoughtful, kind, helpful speech,
'Tis a gift promised to each--
This the lesson
we would teach:
Don't abuse it!
A Quiet Scolding
The late John Wanamaker was the king of retail. One
day while walking through his store in Philadelphia, he noticed a customer
waiting for assistance. No one was paying the least bit of attention to her.
Looking around, he saw his salespeople huddled together laughing and talking
among themselves. Without a word, he quietly slipped behind the counter and
waited on the customer himself. Then he quietly handed the purchase to the
salespeople to be wrapped as he went on his way. Later, Wanamaker was quoted as
saying, "I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have
enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that
God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence."
A businessman was highly critical of his competitors'
storefront windows. "Why, they are the dirtiest windows in town," he
claimed. Fellow business people grew tired of the man's continual criticism and
nitpicking comments about the windows. One day over coffee, the
businessman carried the subject just too far. Before leaving, a
fellow store owner suggested the man get his own windows washed. He followed the
advice, and the next day at coffee, he exclaimed, "I can't believe it. As
soon as I washed my windows, my competitor must have cleaned his too. You should
see them shine."
Confucius once declared, "Don't complain about the snow on
your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean."
A game warden noticed how a particular fellow named
Sam consistently caught more fish than anyone else, whereas the other guys would
only catch three or four a day. Sam would come in off the lake with a boat full.
Stringer after stringer was always packed with freshly caught trout. The warden,
curious, asked Sam his secret. The successful fisherman invited the game warden
to accompany him and observe. So the next morning the two met at the dock and
took off in Sam's boat. When they got to the middle of the lake, Sam stopped the
boat, and the warden sat back to see how it was done.
Sam's approach was simple. He took out a stick of dynamite, lit
it, and threw it in the air. The explosion rocked the lake with such a force
that dead fish immediately began to surface. Sam took out a net and started
scooping them up.
Well you can imagine the reaction of the game warden. When he
recovered from the shock of it all, he began yelling at Sam. "You can't do
this! I'll put you in jail, buddy! You will be paying every fine there is in the
book!" Sam, meanwhile, set his net down and took out another stick of
dynamite. He lit it and tossed it in the lap of the game warden with these
words, "Are you going to sit there all day complaining, or are you going to
The poor warden was left with a fast decision to make. He was
yanked, in one second, from an observer to a participant. A dynamite of a choice
had to be made and be made quickly! Life is like that. Few days go by without
our coming face to face with an uninvited, unanticipated, yet unavoidable
decision. Like a crashing snow bank, these decisions tumble upon us without
warning. Quick. Immediate. Sudden. No council, no study, no advice. Pow!
A Short Course in Human Relations
The six most
I admit that I was wrong.
The five most important words:
did a great job.
The four most important words:
What do you think?
most important words:
Could you please. . .
The two most important words:
The most important word:
The least important word:
You are Wonderful
The following true story captured our heart. It
happened several years ago in the Paris opera house. A famous singer had been
contracted to sing, and ticket sales were booming. In fact, the night of the
concert found the house packed and every ticket sold. The feeling of
anticipation and excitement was in the air as the house manager took the stage
and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your enthusiastic support. I
am afraid that due to illness, the man whom you've all come to hear will not be
performing tonight. However, we have found a suitable substitute we hope will
provide you with comparable entertainment." The crowd groaned in
disappointment and failed to hear the announcer mention the stand-in's name. The
environment turned from excitement to frustration.
The stand-in performer gave the performance everything he had.
When he had finished, there was nothing but an uncomfortable silence. No one
applauded. Suddenly, from the balcony, a little boy stood up and shouted,
"Daddy, I think you are wonderful!" The crowd broke into thunderous
We all need people in our Lives who are willing to stand up once
in a while and say, "I think you are wonderful. "
Two Kinds of People
There are only two kinds of people on earth today
Two kinds of people, no more I say.
Not the rich and the poor, for to know a man's wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health,
Not the happy and sad, for in life's passing years,
Each has his laughter and each has his tears.
No, the two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
In which class are you? Are you lifting the load
Of some overtaxed lifter who's going down the road
Or are you a leaner who lets others share
Your portion of toil and labor and care?
Ella Wheeler Wikcox
Wranglers and Stranglers
Years ago there was a group of brilliant young men at
the University of Wisconsin, who seemed to have amazing creative literary
talent. They were would-be poets, novelists, and essayists. They were
extraordinary in their ability to put the English language to its best use.
These promising young men met regularly to read and critique each other's work.
And critique it they did!
These men were merciless with one another. They dissected the
most minute literary expression into a hundred pieces. They were heartless,
tough, even mean in their criticism. The sessions became such arenas of literary
criticism that the members of this exclusive club called themselves the
Not to be outdone, the women of literary talent in the
university were determined to start a club of their own, one comparable to the
Stranglers. They called themselves the "Wranglers." They, too, read
their works to one another. But there was one great difference. The criticism
was much softer, more positive, more encouraging. Sometimes, there was almost no
criticism at all. Every effort, even the most feeble one, was encouraged.
Twenty years later an alumnus of the university was doing an
exhaustive study of his classmates' careers when he noticed a vast difference in
the literary accomplishments of the Stranglers as opposed to the Wranglers. Of
all the bright young men in the Stranglers, not one had made a significant
literary accomplishment of any kind. From the Wranglers had come six or more
successful writers, some of national renown such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
who wrote The Yearling.
Talent between the two? Probably the same. Level of education?
Not much difference. But the Stranglers strangled, while the Wranglers were
determined to give each other a lift. The Stranglers promoted an atmosphere of
contention and self doubt. The Wranglers highlighted the best, not the worst.
Sometimes when nothing goes just right
And worry reigns supreme, When heartache fills the eyes with mist And all things
useless seem, There's just one thing can drive away The tears that scald and
blind -- Someone to slip a strong arm 'round And whisper, "Never
mind." No one has ever told just why Those words such comfort
bring; Nor why that whisper makes our cares Depart on hurried wing. Yet troubles
say a quick "Good-day," We leave them far behind When someone slips an
arm around, And whispers, "Never mind." But love must
prompt that soft caress- That love must, aye, be true Or at that tender,
clinging touch No heart ease come to you, But if the arm be moved by love, Sweet
comfort you will find When someone slips an arm around, And whispers,
Everyone has heard of Murphy's first law: "If
anything can go wrong, invariably it will." But hardly anybody has even a
foggy idea of who Murphy was.
The search for Murphy's notebooks led to a garage in Toledo,
Ohio; an inventor's junk loft in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania; and the home of a
retired female blackmailer in Sarasota, Florida. It was learned that Murphy had
no first name, that he never could hold a job, and that his writings were
returned by the post office for insufficient postage.
It seems everything Murphy wrote about had some explanation for
why things go wrong. Consider a few more Murphy classics:
- Nothing is ever as simple as it first seems.
- Everything you decide to do costs more than first estimated.
- Every activity takes more time than you have.
- It's easier to make a commitment or to get involved in
something than to get out of it.
- Whatever you set out to do, something else must be done
- If you improve or tinker with something long enough,
eventually it will break.
- By making something absolutely clear, somebody will be
- You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of
the people some of the time, and that's sufficient.
Believe The Impossible
Every great achievement was once impossible until
someone set a goal to make it a reality.
Lewis Carroll's famous masterpiece Through the Looking Glass
contains a story that exemplifies the need to dream the impossible dream.
There is a conversation between Alice and the queen, which goes like this:
"I can't believe that!" said Alice.
"Can't you?" the queen said in a pitying tone.
"Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said.
"One can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the
queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why,
sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before
When you dare to dream, many marvels can be accomplished. The
trouble is, most people never start dreaming their impossible dream.
How High Can You Jump?
Flea trainers have observed a predictable and
strange habit of fleas while training them. Fleas are trained by putting them
in a cardboard box with a top on it. The fleas will jump up and hit the top of
the cardboard box over and over and over again. As you watch them jump and hit
the lid, something very interesting becomes obvious. The fleas continue to
jump, but they are no longer jumping high enough to hit the top. Apparently,
Excedrin headache 1738 forces them to limit the height of their jump.
When you take off the lid, the fleas continue to jump, but
they will not jump out of the box. They won't jump out because they can't jump
out. Why? The reason is simple. They have conditioned themselves to jump just
so high. Once they have conditioned themselves to jump just so high, that's
all they can do!
Many times, people do the same thing. They restrict themselves
and never reach their potential. Just like the fleas, they fail to jump
higher, thinking they are doing all they can do.
If You Think
If you think you are beaten, you
are. If you think you dare not, you don't! If you want to win, but think you
can't, It's almost a cinch you won't. If you think you'll lose,
you're lost; For out in the world we find Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of the mind. Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger and faster man, But sooner or later the man who wins Is the
man who thinks he can.
Walter D. Wintle
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