There were two childhood buddies who went through school and college and even joined the army together. War broke out and they were fighting in the same unit. One night they were ambushed. Bullets were flying all over and out of the darkness came a voice, “Harry, please come and help me.” Harry immediately recognized the voice of his childhood buddy, Bill. He asked the captain if he could go. The captain said, “No, I can’t let you go, I am already short-handed and I cannot afford to lose one more person. Besides, the way Bill sounds he is not going to make it.” Harry kept quiet. Again the voice came, “Harry, please come and help me.” Harry sat quietly because the captain had refused earlier. Again and again the voice came. Harry couldn’t contain himself any longer and told the captain, “Captain, this is my childhood buddy. I have to go and help.” The captain reluctantly let him go. Harry crawled through the darkness and dragged Bill back into the trench. They found that Bill was dead. Now the captain got angry and shouted at Harry, “Didn’t I tell you he was not going to make it? He is dead, you could have been killed and I could have lost a hand. That was a mistake.” Harry replied, “Captain, I did the right thing. When I reached Bill he was still alive and his last words were ‘Harry, I knew you would come.
Good relationships are hard to find and once developed should be nurtured. We are often told: Live your dream. But you cannot live your dream at the expense of others. People who do so are unscrupulous. We need to make personal sacrifices for our family, friends, and those we care about and who depend on us.
Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Enthusiasm and success go hand in hand, but enthusiasm comes first. Enthusiasm inspires confidence, raises morale, builds loyalty! and is priceless. Enthusiasm is contagious. You can feel enthusiasm by the way a person talks, walks or shakes hands. Enthusiasm is a habit that one can acquire and practice.
Many decades ago, Charles Schwab, who was earning a salary of a million dollars a year, was asked if he was being paid such a high salary because of his exceptional ability to produce steel. Charles Schwab replied, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.”
Live while you are alive. Don’t die before you are dead.
Enthusiasm and desire are what change mediocrity to excellence.
Water turns into steam with a difference of only one degree in temperature and steam can move some of the biggest engines in the world.
That is what enthusiasm helps us to do in our lives.
A farmer insulted his neighbor. Realizing his mistake, he went to the preacher to ask for forgiveness. The preacher told him to take a bag of feathers and drop them in the center of town. The farmer did as he was told. Then the preacher asked him to go and collect the feathers and put them back in the bag. The farmer tried but couldn’t as the feathers had all blown away. When he returned with the empty bag, the preacher said, “The same thing is true about your words. You dropped them rather easily but you cannot retrieve them, so be very careful in choosing your words.”
There was a farmer in Africa who was happy and content. He was happy because he was content. He was content because he was happy. One day a wise man came to him and told him about the glory of diamonds and the power that goes along with them. The wise man said, “If you had a diamond the size of your thumb, you could have your own city. If you had a diamond the size of your fist, you could probably own your own country.” And then he went away. That night the farmer couldn’t sleep. He was unhappy and he was discontent. He was unhappy because he was discontent and discontent because he was unhappy. The next morning he made arrangements to sell off his farm, took care of his family and went in search of diamonds. He looked all over Africa and couldn’t find any. He looked all through Europe and couldn’t find any. When he got to Spain, he was emotionally, physically and financially broke. He got so disheartened that he threw himself into the Barcelona River and committed suicide. Back home, the person who had bought his farm was watering the camels at a stream that ran through the farm. Across the stream, the rays of the morning sun hit a stone and made it sparkle like a rainbow. He thought it would look good on the mantle piece. He picked up the stone and put it in the living room. That afternoon the wise man came and saw the stone sparkling. He asked, “Is Hafiz back?” The new owner said, “No, why do you ask?” The wise man said, “Because that is a diamond. I recognize one when I see one.” The man said, no, that’s just a stone I picked up from the stream. Come, I’ll show you. There are many more.” They went and picked some samples and sent them for analysis. Sure enough, the stones were diamonds. They found that the farm was indeed covered with acres and acres of diamonds.
What is the moral of this story? There are five morals:
1. When our attitude is right, we realize that we are all walking on acres and acres of diamonds. Opportunity is always under our feet. We don’t have to go anywhere. All we need to do is recognize it.
2. The grass on the other side always looks greener.
3. While we are dyeing the grass on the other side, there are others who are dyeing the grass on our side. They would be happy to trade places with us.
4. When people don’t know how to recognize opportunity, they complain of noise when it knocks.
5. The same opportunity never knocks twice. The next one may be better or worse, but it is never the same one.
There was a man who made living selling balloons at a fair. He had all colors of balloons Including red, yellow, green. Whenever business was slow, he would release a helium filled balloons into the air and when the children saw it go up, they all wanted to buy one. They would come up to him, buy a balloon and his sales would go up again. He continues this process all day. One day, he felt something tugging his jacket. He turned around and saw a little boy who asked,” If you release a black balloon, would that also fly?” Moved by the boy’s concern, the man replied with empathy.” Son, it is not the Color of the balloon, it is what inside that makes it go up.”
The same thing applies to our lives. It is what is inside that counts. The thing inside of us that makes is go up is our attitude.
Once there was a lark singing in the forest. The lark stopped him and asked, “What do you have in the box and where are you going?” The farmer replied that he had worms and that he was going to the market to trade them for some feathers. The lark said, “I have many feathers. I will pluck one and give it to you and that will save me looking for worms.” The farmer gave the worms to the lark and the lark plucked a feather and gave it in return. The next day the same thing happened and the day after and on and on until a day came that the lark had no more feathers. Now it couldn’t fly and hunt for worms. It started looking ugly and stopped singing and very soon it died.
What is the moral of the story?
The moral is quite clear what the lark thought was an easy way to get food turned out to be the tougher way after all. Isn’t the same thing true in our lives?
Many times we look for the easier way, which really ends up being the tougher way.
A young man asked Socrates the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air. Socrates asked, ‘What did you want the most when you were there?” The boy replied, “Air.” Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it.” There is no other secret.
A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment.
Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results…
Failure is the highway to success. Tom Watson Sr. said, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.” If you study history, you will find that all stories of success are also stories of great failures. But people don’t see the failures. They only see one side of the picture and they say that person got lucky: “He must have been at the right place at the right time.”
Let me share someone’s life history with you. This was a man who failed in business at the age of 21 ; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at age 24; overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a nervous breakdown at age 27; lost a congressional race at age 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected president of the United States at age 52.
This man was Abraham Lincoln.
Would you call him a failure? He could have quit. But to Lincoln, defeat was a detour and not a dead end.
In 1913, Lee De Forest, inventor of the triodes tube, was charged by the district attorney for using fraudulent means to mislead the public into buying stocks of his company by claiming that he could transmit the human voice across the Atlantic. He was publicly humiliated. Can you imagine where we would be without his invention?
A New York Times editorial on December 10, 1903, questioned the wisdom of the Wright Brothers who were trying to invent a machine, heavier than air, that would fly. One week later, at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers took their famous flight.
Colonel Sanders, at age 65, with a beat-up car and a $100 check from Social Security, realized he had to do something. He remembered his mother’s recipe and went out selling. How many doors did he have to knock on before he got his first order? It is estimated that he had knocked on more than a thousand doors before he got his first order. How many of us quit after three tries, ten tries, a hundred tries, and then we say we tried as hard as we could?
As a young cartoonist, Walt Disney faced many rejections from newspaper editors, who said he had no talent. One day a minister at a church hired him to draw some cartoons. Disney was working out of a small mouse infested shed near the church. After seeing a small mouse, he was inspired. That was the start of Mickey Mouse.
Successful people don’t do great things, they only do small things in a great way.
One day a partially deaf four year old kid came home with a note in his pocket from his teacher, “Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of the school.” His mother read the note and answered, “My Tommy is not stupid to learn, I will teach him myself.” And that Tommy grew up to be the great Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison had only three months of formal schooling and he was partially deaf.
Henry Ford forgot to put the reverse gear in the first car he made.
Do you consider these people failures? They succeeded in spite of problems, not in the absence of them. But to the outside world, it appears as though they just got lucky.
All success stories are stories of great failures. The only difference is that every time they failed, they bounced back. This is called failing forward, rather than backward. You learn and move forward. Learn from your failure and keep moving.
Below are more examples of the failures of successful people:
1. Thomas Edison failed approximately 10,000 times while he was working on the light bulb.
2. Henry Ford was broke at the age of 40.
3. Lee Iacocca was fired by Henry Ford II at the age of 54.
4. Young Beethoven was told that he had no talent for music, but he gave some of the best music to the world.