Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011-23 - The soldiers and the trench...

The story goes that sometime, close to a battlefield over 200 years ago, a man in civilian clothes rode past a small group of exhausted battle-weary soldiers digging an obviously important defensive position. The section leader, making no effort to help, was shouting orders, threatening punishment if the work was not completed within the hour.
"Why are you are not helping?" asked the stranger on horseback.
"I am in charge. The men do as I tell them," said the section leader, adding, "Help them yourself if you feel strongly about it."
To the section leader's surprise the stranger dismounted and helped the men until the job was finished.
Before leaving the stranger congratulated the men for their work, and approached the puzzled section leader.
"You should notify top command next time your rank prevents you from supporting your men - and I will provide a more permanent solution," said the stranger.
Up close, the section leader now recognized General Washington, and also the lesson he'd just been taught
~ Author Unknown

"Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it."
~ Marian Anderson

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011-22 - Attitude...

He was grinning as I came out of the airport and was holding a board, which had my name. He grinned even farther when he saw my scowl. "Rough flight?" he asked. "You bet," I said as I got into his car. I was there to address a group on the role of the press, but the journey had been anything but comfortable. I looked around at traffic jams and crowded roads and asked surly, "How's this place to live in?" He grinned farther and asked. "You want a story while I drive?" "Shoot!" I said and found his grin contagious.
"There lived an old man who owned a gas station," said my new friend as he drove, "every afternoon he sat in his rocking chair and greeted the motorists as they passed by. One day his granddaughter also sat next to him. A tall man who surely had to be a tourist began looking around as if he were checking out the area for a place to live and seeing the old man walked up to him and asked, "So what kind of town is this?"
"What kind of a town are you from?" asked the old man.
"Where I'm from," said the tourist, "everyone is very critical of each other. The neighbours all gossip about everyone. It's a real negative place and I'm sure glad I've left the place. It's not a cheerful place at all pardner!"
The old man in the rocking chair looked at the stranger and said, "You know, that's how this town is too!"
An hour later a family that was passing through stopped for gas. A mother jumped out with two small children and rushed to where the rest rooms were. The father who had been driving strolled over to the old man and his grand daughter and asked, "Is this town a pretty good place to live?"
"What about the town you are from? How is it?" asked the old man.
"Well," said the man as he watched his family return, "in the town where I come from, everyone is very close and always willing to lend their neighbour a helping hand. There's always a hello and a thank you everywhere you go. I really hate to leave the place, because I feel almost like we are leaving family!"
The old man in the rocking chair looked at the father and gave him a warm smile, "You know," he said, "that's a lot like this town!" and smiled at his wife and kids as they got back into the car and drove off waving.
"Hey granddad?" asked the puzzled granddaughter, "How come you told the first man it was a terrible place to live and the second it's a wonderful place?"
The old man looked lovingly at his granddaughter's wondering blue eyes and said, "No matter where you go, you take your attitude with you and that's what makes a new place wonderful or terrible!"
"So Tony ?" asked my new friend as he drove, "what were you saying?"
"Nothing!" I said and we both laughed out loud.
~ Author Unknown

"Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can't be done."
~ Bo Bennett

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2011-21 - Positioning...

Heron stands in the blue estuary, Solitary, white, unmoving for hours. A fish! Quick avian darting; The prey is captured.
People always ask how to follow Tao. It is as easy and natural as the heron standing in the water. The bird moves when it must; it does not move when stillness is appropriate.
The secret of its serenity is a type of vigilance, a contemplative state. The heron is not in mere dumbness or sleep. It knows a lucid stillness. It stands unmoving in the flow of the water. It gazes unperturbed and is aware. When Tao brings it something that it needs, it seizes the opportunity without hesitation or deliberation. Then it goes back to its quiescence without disturbing itself or its surroundings. Unless it found the right position in the water's flow and remained patient, it would not have succeeded.
Actions in life can be reduced to two factors; positioning and timing. If we are not in the right place at the right time, we cannot possibly take advantage of what life has to offer us.
Almost anything is appropriate if an action is in accord with the time and place. But we must be vigilant and prepared. Even if the time and the place are right, we can still miss our chance if we do not notice the moment, if we act inadequately, or if we hamper ourselves with doubts and second thoughts.
When life presents an opportunity, we must be ready to sieze it without hesitation or inhibition. Position is useless without awareness. If we have both, we make no mistakes.
~ Deng Ming-Dao

" Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunity. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them."
~ Orison Swett

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2011-20 - So much to do...

Do you have so much to do that is seems overwhelming? Then stop thinking about how much there is and start getting it done.
Feeling overwhelmed is merely a state of mind that you choose. And just as easily as you can choose it, you can choose to let it go.
A new day, a new month, a new year dawns and it can make you feel like time is quickly slipping away. But in fact, time comes to you just as quickly as it moves past.
And that means that each moment you get the opportunity to make a difference. Each moment, the best thing you can do is to make full and meaningful use of that moment.
That is how you get things done. Moment by moment, little by little, small tasks build into great accomplishments, and accomplishments build into a life with real fulfillment.
You don’t have to tackle everything all at once. Just do what you can, when you can, filling each moment with positive purpose and action.
And what once seemed overwhelming will quickly become a source of real and lasting fulfillment.
~ Ralph Marston

"You're never a loser until you quit trying."
~ Mike Ditka

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

2011-19 - It’s how you say it...

What happens to us when we call ourselves names like "failure" or "dummy"? We feel we're no good and never will be. We want to stop trying because we think we'll flub up again.
But what if we begin to use different words to describe the same results? It won't change the results, but it will change us. And it will change the way we see our actions and ourselves.
Just by changing the words we use we can feel better about ourselves. Saying, "I've failed three times," means we'll try again and again and again until we succeed. It means we know God doesn't make any failures or dummies. It means God is always with us, loving us and helping us, even when trying seems difficult.
~ Hazelden Meditations, an excerpt from 'Today's Gift'

" Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, I have failed three times, and what happens when he says, I'm a failure."
~ S. I. Hayakawa