Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009-51 - Gifts From The Heart…

According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.
Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: "Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?"
The teacher replied, "You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving kindness and nothing could be sweeter."
~ Michael Josephson
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“Gratitude doesn't always come naturally. After all, gifts from the heart are really gifts of the heart.”
~ Author Unknown
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2009-50 - He Became Man and Dwelt Among Us…

He Became Man and Dwelt Among Us…
Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn't a scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn't believe all that stuff about incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to declare that he did.
"I am truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer. "But I simply cannot understand this claim that God became man. It doesn't make any sense to me." On Christmas Eve, his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. "I'd feel like a hypocrite," he explained. "I'd much rather stay at home. But I'll wait up for you."
Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. "If we must have Christmas," he thought, "It's nice to have a white one." He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. It was quickly followed by another, then another. He thought that someone must be throwing snowballs at his living-room window.
When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window.
"I can't let these poor creatures lie there and freeze," he thought. "But how can I help them?" Then he remembered the barn where the children's pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter. He put on his coat and galoshes and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn't come in. "Food will bring them in," he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.
To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shoeing them in the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction--except into the warm, lighted barn. "They find me a strange and terrifying creature," he said to himself. "And I can't seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety..."
Just at that moment, the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. "Now I do understand," he whispered. "Now I know why you had to do it."
~ Author Unknown
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“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Bonnie Jean Wasmund
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2009-49 - You Arx A Kxy Pxrson…

You Arx A Kxy Pxrson…
One manager let his employees know how valuable they are with the following memo:
"You Arx A Kxy Pxrson"
Xvxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works vxry wxll -- xxcxpt for onx kxy. You would think that with all thx othxer kxys functioning propxrly, onx kxy not working would hardly bx noticxd; but just onx kxy out of whack sxxms to ruin thx wholx xffort.
You may say to yoursxlf -- Wxll, I'm only onx pxrson. No onx will noticx if I don't do my bxst. But it doxs makx a diffxrxncx, bxcausx an xffxctivx organization nxxds activx participation by xvxry onx to thx bxst of his or hxr ability.
So, thx nxxt timx you think you arx not important, rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr. You arx a kxy pxrson.
~ Author Unknown
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“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
~ Vince Lombardi
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009-48 - Always Remember Those Who Serve…

Always Remember Those Who Serve…
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
"How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.
~ Author Unknown
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“Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves.”
~ Helen Keller
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009-47 - The Bishop's Gift…

The Bishop's Gift…
Once a church had fallen upon hard times. Only five members were left: the pastor and four others, all over 60 years old.
In the mountains near the church there lived a retired Bishop. It occurred to the pastor to ask the Bishop if he could offer any advice that might save the church. The pastor and the Bishop spoke at length, but when asked for advice, the Bishop simply responded by saying, "I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is one of you."
The pastor, returning to the church, told the church members what the Bishop had said. In the months that followed, the old church members pondered the words of the Bishop. "The Messiah is one of us?" they each asked themselves. As they thought about this possibility, they all began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that that one among them might be the Messiah. And on the off, off chance that each member himself might be the Messiah, they also began to treat themselves with extraordinary care.
As time went by, people visiting the church noticed the aura of respect and gentle kindness that surrounded the five old members of the small church. Hardly knowing why, more people began to come back to the church. They began to bring their friends, and their friends brought more friends. Within a few years, the small church had once again become a thriving church, thanks to the Bishop's gift.
~ Author Unknown
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“Your perception determines your reality.”
~ Author Unknown
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2009-46 - Approaching Each Day...

Approaching Each Day…
I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.
Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.
Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.
Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.
Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.
Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new job relationships.
Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to go to!
Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with knowledge and adventure.
Today I can dejectedly murmur because I have housework to do or I can feel grateful for shelter for my mind, body and soul.
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped, and here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
What today will be like is up to me. And I shall decide what kind of day I shall have!"
How will you live THIS DAY?
~ Author unknown
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“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
~ Robert Brault
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2009-45 - I can sleep when the wind blows...

I can sleep when the wind blows...
A young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows."
This puzzled the farmer. But he liked the young man, and hired him.
A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm. They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace.
The young man slept soundly.
The farmer and his wife then inspected their property. They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements.
The tractor had been moved into the garage. The barn was properly locked. Even the animals were calm. All was well.
The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man's words, "I can sleep when the wind blows."
Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke. So when the wind blew, he was not afraid. He could sleep in peace.
~ Author Unknown
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“Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.”
~ Joseph Campbell
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2009-44 - Follow Your Bliss...

Follow Your Bliss...
Author Joseph Campbell often talked about "following your bliss". I heard of a bus driver in Chicago who does just that.
He sings while he drives. That's right... SINGS! And I don't mean he sings softly to himself, either. He sings so that the whole bus can hear! All day long he drives and sings.
He was once interviewed on Chicago television. He said that he is not actually a bus driver. "I'm a professional singer," he asserted. "I only drive the bus to get a captive audience every single day."
His "bliss" is not driving a bus, though that may be a source of enjoyment for some people. His bliss is singing. And the supervisors at the Chicago Transit Authority are perfectly happy about the whole arrangement. You see, people line up to ride his bus. They even let other busses pass by so they can ride with the "singing bus driver." They love it!
Here is a man who believes he knows why he was put here on earth. For him, it is to make people happy. And the more he sings, the more people he makes happy! He has found a way to align his purpose in living with his occupation. By following his bliss, he is actually living the kind of life he believes he was meant to live.
Not everybody can identify a purpose in life. But when you do, and when you pursue it, you will be living the kind of life you feel you were meant to live. And chances are... you will be happy.
~ Author Unknown
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“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
~ Joseph Campbell
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2009-43 - Look to the horizon, spread your wings, and fly...

Look to the horizon, spread your wings, and fly...
The nest of young eagles hung on every word as the Master Eagle described his exploits. This was an important day for the eaglets. They were preparing for their first solo flight from the nest. It was the confidence builder many of them needed to fulfill their destiny.
"How far can I travel?" asked one of the eaglets. "How far can you see?" responded the Master Eagle.
"How high can I fly?" quizzed the young eaglet. "How far can you stretch your wings?" asked the old eagle.
"How long can I fly?" the eaglet persisted. "How far is the horizon?" the mentor rebounded.
"How much should I dream?" asked the eaglet. "How much can you dream?" smiled the older, wiser eagle.
"How much can I achieve?" the young eagle continued. "How much can you believe?" the old eagle challenged.
Frustrated by the banter, the young eagle demanded, "Why don't you answer my questions?"
"I did."
"Yes. But you answered them with questions."
"I answered them the best I could."
"But you're the Master Eagle. You're supposed to know everything. If you can't answer these questions, who can?"
"You." The old wise eagle reassured.
"Me? How?" the young eagle was confused.
"No one can tell you how high to fly or how much to dream. It's different for each eagle. Only God and you know how far you'll go. No one on this earth knows your potential or what's in your heart. You alone will answer that. The only thing that limits you is the edge of your imagination."
The young eagle puzzled by this asked, "What should I do?"
"Look to the horizon, spread your wings, and fly."
~ Author Unknown
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“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009-42 - Balance...

Balance...
Once the great Anthony of the Desert was relaxing with his disciples outside his hut when a hunter came by. The hunter was surprised to see Anthony relaxing, and rebuffed him for taking it easy. It was not his idea of what a holy monk should be doing.
Anthony replied, "Bend your bow and shoot an arrow." And the hunter did so. "Bend it again and shoot another arrow," said Anthony. The hunter did so, again and again.
The hunter finally said, "Abba Anthony, if I keep my bow always stretched, it will break."
So it is with the monk," replied Anthony. "if we push ourselves beyond measure, we will break. It is right from time to time to relax our efforts."
~ Brian Cavanaugh
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“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends, and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
~ Author Unknown
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2009-41 - The Lesson of the Homeless...

The Lesson of the Homeless...
It was a cold winter's day that Sunday. The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked in the church.
As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He was almost laying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you could not see his face. He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet, with holes all over them, his toes stuck out.
I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the church.
We all fellowshipped for a few minutes, and someone brought up the man laying outside. People snickered and gossiped but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me.
A few moments later church began. We all waited for the Preacher to take his place and to give us the Word, when the doors to the church opened.
In came the homeless man walking down the aisle with his head down.
People gasped and whispered and made faces.
He made his way down the aisle and up onto the pulpit where he took off his hat and coat. My heart sank.
There stood our preacher...he was the "homeless man."
No one said a word.
The preacher took his Bible and laid it on his stand.
"Folks, I don't think I have to tell you what I am preaching about today. If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
~ Author Unknown
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“It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality.”
~ Arnold Bennett
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2009-40 - Jessie's Glove...

Jessie's Glove...

I do a lot of management training each year for the Circle K Corporation, a national chain of convenience stores. Among the topics we address in our seminars is the retention of quality employees - a real challenge to managers when you consider the pay scale in the service industry. During these discussions, I ask the participants,

"What has caused you to stay long enough to become a manager?" Some time back a new manager took the question and slowly, with her voice almost breaking, said, "It was a $19 baseball glove."

Cynthia told the group that she originally took a Circle K clerk job as an interim position while she looked for something better. On her second or third day behind the counter, she received a phone call from her nine-year old son, Jessie. He needed a baseball glove for Little League. She explained that as a single mother, money was very tight, and her first check would have to go for paying bills. Perhaps she could buy his baseball glove with her second or third check.

When Cynthia arrived for work the next morning, Patricia, the store manager, asked her to come to the small room in back of the store that served as an office. Cynthia wondered if she had done something wrong or left some part of her job incomplete from the day before. She was concerned and confused.

Patricia handed her a box. "I overheard you talking to your son yesterday," she said, "and I know that it is hard to explain things to kids. This is a baseball glove for Jessie because he may not understand how important he is, even though you have to pay bills before you can buy gloves. You know we can't pay good people like you as much as we would like to; but we do care, and I want you to know you are important to us."

The thoughtfulness, empathy and love of this convenience store manager demonstrates vividly that people remember more how much an employer cares than how much the employer pays. An important lesson for the price of a Little League baseball glove.

~ Rick Phillips (Heart At Work)

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“Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society.”

~ Confucius

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2009-39 - The Waste in Worry...

The Waste in Worry...
If we were to keep a record of all the things we worried about during a given period of time, we would discover - in reviewing them - that the great majority of our anticipated problems or troubles never come to pass. This means that most of the time we devote to worrying, even the constructive kind that prompts us to try to come up with a solution to what is troubling us, is wasted. Thus, we not only caused ourselves unnecessary mental anguish, but also took up valuable minutes and hours that could have been spent elsewhere.
To avoid this, it is often necessary to subject potential sources of worry to the coldly objective and analytical light of reason. Once, shortly before a major concert before a standing-room only audience, a member of Arturo Toscanini's orchestra approached the great Italian conductor with an expression of sheer terror on his face. "Maestro," the musician fretted, "my instrument is not working properly. I cannot reach the note of E-flat. Whatever will I do? We are to begin in a few moments."
Toscanini looked at the man with utter amazement. Then he smiled kindly and placed an arm around his shoulders. "My friend," the maestro replied, "Do not worry about it. The note E-flat does not appear anywhere in the music that you will be playing this evening."
The next time we find ourselves in the middle of worrying about some matter, we might be wise to stop and ask ourselves what the odds are of the problem really coming to pass. We may be able to go on to something more constructive.
~  Brad Stevens

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“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!”
~ Barbara Hoffman

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009-38 - An Abusive Story…

Lord Buddha was sitting under a banyan tree. One day, a furious man came to him and started abusing him.
The man thought that Buddha would reciprocate in the same manner, but to his utter surprise, there was not the slightest change in the expression on his face.
Now, the man became more furious. He hurled more and more abuses at Buddha. However, Buddha was completely unmoved. Actually there was a look of compassion on his face. Ultimately the man was tired of abusing him. He asked, "I have been abusing you like anything, but why are you not angry at all?”
Lord Buddha calmly replied, "My dear brother, I have not accepted a single abuse from you."
"But you heard all of them, didn't you?" The man argued half-heartedly.
Buddha said, "I do not need the abuses, so man should I even hear them?"
Now the man was even more puzzled. He could not understand the calm reply from Buddha.
Looking at his disturbed face, Buddha further explained, "All those abuses remain with you."
"It cannot be possible. I have hurled all of them at you," the man persisted.
Buddha calmly repeated his reply, "But I have not accepted even a single abuse from you! Dear brother, suppose you give some coins to somebody, and if he does not accept them, with whom will those coins remain?"
The man replied, "If I have given the coins and they are not needed by anyone, then naturally they would remain with me."
With a meaningful smile on his face, Buddha said, "Now you are right. The same has happened with your abuses. You came here and hurled abuses at me, but I have not accepted a single abuse from you. Hence, all those abuses remain with you only. So there is no reason to be angry with you."
The man remained speechless. He was ashamed of his behavior and begged for Buddha's forgiveness.

~ Author Unknown

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“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”

~ Catherine Ponder
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2009-37 - A Place to Stand…

If you have ever gone through a toll booth, you know that your relationship to the person in the booth is not the most intimate you'll ever have. It is one of life's frequent nonencounters: You hand over some money; you might get change; you drive off.

Late one morning in 1984, headed for lunch in San Francisco, I drove toward a booth. I heard loud music. It sounded like a party. I looked around. No other cars with their windows open. No sound trucks. I looked at the toll booth. Inside it, the man was dancing.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm having a party," he said.

"What about the rest of the people?" I looked at the other toll booths.

He said, "What do those look like to you?" He pointed down the row of toll booths.

"They look like... toll booths. What do they look like to you?"

He said, "Vertical coffins. At 8:30 every morning, live people get in. Then they die for eight hours. At 4:30, like Lazarus from the dead, they reemerge and go home. For eight hours, brain is on hold, dead on the job. Going through the motions."

I was amazed. This guy had developed a philosophy, a mythology about his job. Sixteen people dead on the job, and the seventeenth, in precisely the same situation, figures out a way to live. I could not help asking the next question: "Why is it different for you? You're having a good time."

He looked at me. "I knew you were going to ask that. I don't understand why anybody would think my job is boring. I have a corner office, glass on all sides. I can see the Golden Gate, San Francisco, and the Berkeley hills. Half the Western world vacations here...and I just stroll in every day and practice dancing."

by: Dr. Charles Garfield, Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul

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“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

- Albert Schweitzer
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2009-36 - Maintain Your Integrity…

A while back, there was a story about Reuben Gonzolas, who was in the final match of his first professional racquetball tournament. He was playing the perennial champion for his first shot at a victory on the pro circuit. At match point in the fifth and final game, Gonzolas made a super "kill shot" into the front corner to win the tournament. The referee called it good, and one of the linemen confirmed the shot was a winner.

But after a moment's hesitation, Gonzolas turned and declared that his shot had skipped into the wall, hitting the floor first. As a result, the serve went to his opponent, who went on to win the match.

Reuben Gonzolas walked off the court; everyone was stunned. The next issue of a leading racquetball magazine featured Gonzolas on its cover. The lead editorial searched and questioned for an explanation for the first ever occurrence on the professional racquetball circuit. Who could ever imagine it in any sport or endeavor? Here was a player with everything officially in his favor, with victory in his grasp, who disqualifies himself at match point and loses.

When asked why he did it, Gonzolas replied, "It was the only thing I could do to maintain my integrity."
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.”
Alan K. Simpson

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“The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”

Brian Tracy
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2009-35 - Life is like a Cafeteria…

A friend's grandfather came to America from Eastern Europe. After being processed at Ellis Island, he went into a cafetaria in lower Manhattan to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited for someone to take his order. Of course nobody did. Finally, a woman with a tray full of food sat down opposite him and informed him how a cafetaria worked.
"Start out at that end," she said. "Just go along the line and pick out what you want. At the other end they'll tell you how much you have to pay."
"I soon learned that's how everything works in America," the grandfather told a friend. "Life's a cafetaria here. You can get anything you want as long as you are willing to pay the price. You can even get success, but you'll never get it if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up and get it yourself."
~ Brian Cavanaugh

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“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can't do.”
~ Dennis Waitley
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