Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011-05 - I'm still growing…

Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Mount Everest. On May 29, 1953 he scaled the highest mountain then known to man-29,000 feet straight up. He was knighted for his efforts.
He even made American Express card commercials because of it! However, until we read his book, High Adventure, we don't understand that Hillary had to grow into this success.
You see, in 1952 he attempted to climb Mount Everest, but failed. A few weeks later a group in England asked him to address its members.
Hillary walked on stage to a thunderous applause. The audience was recognizing an attempt at greatness, but Edmund Hillary saw himself as a failure. He moved away from the microphone and walked to the edge of the platform.
He made a fist and pointed at a picture of the mountain. He said in a loud voice, "Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I'll beat you the next time because you've grown all you are going to grow... but I'm still growing!"
~ Brian Cavanaugh (The Sower's Seeds)

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"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak."
~ Thomas Carlyle
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011-04 - Hope…

As I ate breakfast one morning, I overheard two oncologists conversing. One complained bitterly, "You know, Bob, I just don't understand it. We used the same drugs, the same dosage, the same schedule and the same entry criteria. Yet I got a 22 percent response rate and you got a 74 percent. That's unheard of for metastatic cancer. How do you do it?"
His colleague replied, "We're both using Etoposide, Platinum, Oncovin and Hydroxyurea. You call yours EPOH. I tell my patients I'm giving them HOPE. As dismal as the statistics are, I emphasize that we have a chance."
~ William M. Buchholz, M.D. (Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul)

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"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
~ Albert Einstein
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011-03 - Learning to get back up…

Bringing a giraffe into the world is a tall order. A baby giraffe falls 10 feet from its mother's womb and usually lands on its back. Within seconds it rolls over and tucks its legs under its body. From this position it considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from its eyes and ears. Then the mother giraffe rudely introduces its offspring to the reality of life.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.
When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.
Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they'd get it too, if the mother didn't teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.
The late Irving Stone understood this. He spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, and Charles Darwin.
Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives of all these exceptional people. He said, "I write about people who sometime in their life have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished and they go to work.
"They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified, and for years they get nowhere. But every time they're knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they've accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do."
~ Craig B. Larson (Adapted from "Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching" from Leadership Journal)

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" I am thankful to all those who said NO to me… It’s because of them I did it myself."
~ Albert Einstein
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011-02 - Why we tell stories…

There was once a disciple of a great teacher. Day after day the disciple would sit at the feet of his teacher listening to his instruction. Many people would come to visit and inevitably the teacher would engage them by telling a story.
One day the disciple asked; "Guruji, why do you engage people by means of stories? Why don't you just give them your teaching straight out?"
The guru answered: "Bring me some water."
Now the disciple knew his teacher to be a very formal and disciplined man. He had never asked for water at this time of the day. Nevertheless, he went immediately to fetch it. Taking a clean brass water pot from the ashram kitchen, the disciple went to the well, filled the pot with water and returned. He offered it to his teacher.
"Why have you brought me a pot when I asked only for water?"
~ Author Unknown
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"The story is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind, for the purpose of gaining understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories."
~ Ursula K. LeGuin
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