A biology teacher was teaching his students how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. He told the students that in the next couple of hours, the butterfly would struggle to come out of the cocoon. But no one should help the butterfly. Then he left.
The students were waiting and it happened. The butterfly struggled to get out of the cocoon, and one of the students took pity on it and decided to help the butterfly out of the cocoon against the advice of his teacher. He broke the cocoon to help the butterfly so it didn’t have to struggle anymore. But shortly afterwards the butterfly died.
When the teacher returned, he was told what happened. He explained to this student that by helping the butterfly, he had actually killed it because it is a law of nature that the struggle to come out of the cocoon actually helps develop and strengthen its wings. The boy had deprived the butterfly of its struggle and the butterfly died.
Apply this same principle to our lives. Nothing worthwhile in life comes without a struggle. As parents we tend to hurt the ones we love most because we don’t allow them to struggle to gain strength.
There is a story about a man who sold hot dogs by the roadside. He was illiterate, so he never read newspapers . He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His eyes were weak, so he never watched television. But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hot dogs. His sales and profit went up. He ordered more meat and got himself a bigger and a better stove. As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from college, joined his father. Then something strange happened. The son asked, “Dad, aren’t you aware of the great recession that is coming our way?” The father replied, “No, but tell me about it.” The son said, “The international situation is terrible. The domestic is even worse. We should be prepared for the coming bad time.” The man thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, and listened to the radio, he ought to know and his advice should not be taken lightly. So the next day, the father cut down his order for the meat and buns, took down the sign and was no longer enthusiastic. Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hot dog stand. And his sales started coming down rapidly. The father said to his son, “Son, you were right. We are in the middle of a recession. I am glad you warned me ahead of time.”
What is the moral of the story?
1. Many times we confuse intelligence with good judgment.
2. A person may have high intelligence but poor judgment.
3. Choose your advisers carefully and use your judgment.
4. A person can and will be successful with or without formal education if they have the 5 Cs: character
5. The tragedy is that there are many walking encyclopedias who are living failures.
There was a hunter who bought a bird dog, the only one of its kind in the world. That could walk on water . He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw this miracle. At the same time, he was very pleased that he could show off his new acquisition to his friends. He invited a friend to go duck hunting. After some time, they shot a few ducks and the man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. All day-long, the dog ran on water and kept fetching the birds. The owner was expecting a comment or a compliment about his amazing dog, but never got one. As they were returning home, he asked his friend if he had noticed anything unusual about his dog. The friend replied, “Yes, in fact, I did notice something unusual. Your dog can’t swim.”
Some people always look at the negative side.
There is a story about a wealthy farmer who was once offered all the land he could walk on in a day, provided he came back by sundown to the point where he started. To get a new start, early the next morning the farmer started covering ground quickly because he wanted to get as much land as he could. Even though he was tired, he kept going all afternoon because he didn’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to gain more wealth.
Late in the afternoon he realized the condition he had to fulfill to get the land was to get back to the starting point by sundown. His greed had gotten him far enough. He started his return journey, keeping an eye on how close he was to sundown. The closer it got to sundown, the faster he ran. He was exhausted, out of breath and pushed himself beyond the point of endurance. He collapsed upon reaching the starting point and died. He did make it before sundown. He was buried and all the land he needed was a small plot.
There is a lot of truth in this story and a lesson to be learned. Whether the farmer was wealthy or not, any greedy person would have ended the same way.
Monkey-hunters use a box with an opening at the top, big enough for the monkey to slide its hand in. Inside the box are nuts. The monkey grabs the nuts and now its hand becomes a fist. The monkey tries to get its hand out but the opening is big enough for the hand to slide in, but too small for the fist to come out. Now the monkey has a choice, either to let go off the nuts and be free forever or hang on to the nuts and get caught. Guess what it picks every time? You guessed it. He hangs on to the nuts and gets caught.
We are no different from monkeys. We all hang on to some nuts that keep us from going forward in life. We keep rationalizing by saying, “I cannot do this because . . .” and whatever comes after “because” are the nuts that we are hanging on to which are holding us back. Successful people don’t rationalize. Two things determine if a person will be a success: reasons and results.
Reasons don’t count while results do…
A flood was threatening a small town and everyone was leaving for safety except one man who said, “God will save me. I have faith.” As the water level rose a jeep came to rescue him, the man refused, saying “God will save me. I have faith.” As the water level rose further, he went up to the second storey, and a boat came to help him. Again he refused to go, Belying, “God will save me. I have faith.” The water kept rising and the man climbed on to the roof. A helicopter came to rescue him, but he said, “God will save me. I have faith.” Well, finally he drowned. When he reached his Maker he angrily questioned, “I had complete faith in you. Why did you ignore my prayers and let me drown?” The Lord replied, “Who do you think sent you the jeep, the boat, and the helicopter?”
The only way to overcome the fatalistic attitude is to accept responsibility and believe in the law of cause and effect rather than luck.
It takes action, preparation and planning rather than waiting, wondering or wishing, to accomplish anything in life.
Wilma Rudolph was born into a poor home in Tennessee. At age four, she had double pneumonia with scarlet fever, a deadly combination which left her paralyzed with polio. She had to wear a brace and the doctor said she would never put her foot on the earth. But her mother encouraged her; she told Wilma that with God-given ability, persistence and faith she could do anything she wanted. Wilma said, “I want to be the fastest woman on the track on this earth.” At the age of nine, against the advice of the doctors, she removed the brace and took the first step the doctors had said she never would. At the age of 13, she entered her first race and came way, way last. And then she entered her second, and third and fourth and came way, way last until a day came when she came in first. At the age of 15 she went to Tennessee State University where she met a coach by the name of Ed Temple. She told him, “I want to be the fastest woman on the track on this earth.” Temple said, “With your spirit nobody can stop you and besides, I will help you.”
The day came when she was at the Olympics and at the Olympics you are matched with the best of the best. Wilma was matched against a woman named Jutta Heine who had never been beaten. The first event was the 100-meter race. Wilma beat Jutta Heine and won her first gold medal. The second event was the 200-meter race and Wilma beat Jutta a second time and won her second gold medal. The third event was the 400-meter relay and she was racing against Jutta one more time. In the relay, the fastest person always runs the last lap and they both anchored their teams. The first three people ran and changed the baton easily. When it came to Wilma’s turn, she dropped the baton. But Wilma saw Jutta shoot up at the other end; she picked the baton, ran like a machine, beat Jutta a third time and won her third gold medal. It became history: That a paralytic woman became the fastest woman on this earth at the 1960 Olympics.
What a lesson to be learnt from Wilma. It teaches us that successful people do it in spite of, not in absence of, problems. When we hear or read stories of people who have turned adversity into opportunity, doesn’t it motivate us? If we regularly read biographies and autobiographies of such people, won’t we stay motivated?
There was a young boy who used to come for regular practice but always played in the reserves and never made it to the soccer eleven. While he was practicing, his father used to sit at the far end, waiting for him.
The matches had started and for four days, he didn’t show up for practice or the quarter or semifinals. All of a sudden he showed up for the finals, went to the coach and said, “Coach, you have always kept me in the reserves and never let me play in the finals. But today, please let me play.” The coach said, “Son, I’m sorry, I can’t let you. There are better players than you and besides, it is the finals, the reputation of the school is at stake and I cannot take a chance.” The boy pleaded, “Coach, I promise I will not let you down. I beg of you, please let me play.” The coach had never seen the boy plead like this before. He said, “OK, son, go, play. But remember, I am going against my better judgment and the reputation of the school is at stake. Don’t let me down.” The game started and the boy played like a house on fire. Every time he got the ball, he shot a goal. Needless to say, he was the best player and the star of the game. His team had a spectacular win. When the game finished, the coach went up to him and said, “Son, how could I have been so wrong in my life. I have never seen you play like this before. What happened? How did you play so well?” The boy replied, “Coach, my father is watching me today.” The coach turned around and looked at the place where the boy’s father used to sit. There was no one there. He said, “Son, your father used to sit there when you came for practice, but I don’t see anyone there today.” The boy replied, “Coach, there is something I never told you. My father was blind. Just four days ago, he died. Today is the first day he is watching me from above.”
This is a story of two brothers. One was a drug addict and a drunker who frequently beat up his family. The other one was a very successful businessman who was respected in society and had a wonderful family. Some people wanted to find out why two brothers from the same parents, brought up in the same environment, could be so different. The first one was asked, “How come you do what you do? You are a drug addict, a drunk, and you beat your family. What motivates you?” He said, “My father.” They asked, “What about your father?” The reply was, “My father was a drug addict, a drunk and he beat his family. What do you expect me to be? That is what I am.” They went to the brother who was doing everything right and asked him the same question. “How come you are doing everything right? What is your source of motivation?” And guess what he said? “My father. When I was a little boy, I used to see my dad drunk and doing all the wrong things. I made up my mind that that is not what I wanted to be.”
Both were deriving their strength and motivation from the same source, but one was using it positively and the other negatively.
Negative motivation brings the desire to take the easier way which ends up being the tougher way.