There was a man who made a living selling balloons at a fair. He had all colors
of balloons,including red, yellow, blue, and green. Whenever business was slow,
he would release a helium-filled balloon 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 continued this process all day. One day, he
felt someone tugging at 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 is inside that makes it go up."
Someone once approached Blaise Pascal, the famous French philosopher and said, "If I had your brains, I would be a better person." Pascal replied, "Be a better person and you will have my brains."
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 scontent 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 tone 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.
Charles Dickens wrote about a prisoner who stayed for many years in a dungeon. After
serving his sentence, he got his freedom. He was brought out from his cell into the bright daylight of the open world. This man looked all around and after a few Moments was so uncomfortable with his newly acquired freedom that he asked to be brought back to his cell into confinement. To him, the dungeon, the chains and the darkness were more secure and comfortable than accepting the change of freedom and the open world.
As a young Scots boy, Andrew Carnegie came to America and started doing odd jobs.
He ended up as one of the largest steel manufacturers in the United States.
At one time he had 43 millionaires working for him. Several decades ago, a million dollars used to be a lot of money; even today it is a lot of money. Someone asked Mr. Carnegie how he dealt with people? Andrew Carnegie replied, "Dealing with people is like digging gold: When you go digging for an ounce of gold, you have to move tons of dirt to get an ounce of gold. But when you go digging, you don't go looking for the dirt, you go looking for the gold."
Robert Fulton invented the steamboat. On the banks of the Hudson River he was
displaying his new invention. The pessimists and the skeptics were gathered around to
observe. They commented that it would never start. Lo and behold, it did. As it made its way down the river, the pessimists who said it would never go, started shouting that it would never stop. What an attitude!
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."
To give you an example of selective listening, let me share with you a story I heard about a medical doctor who was invited as a guest speaker to address a group of alcoholics. He wanted to make a demonstration that would be powerful enough to make people realize that alcohol was injurious to their health. He had two containers, one with pure distilled water and one with pure alcohol. He put an earthworm into the distilled water and it swam beautifully and came up to the top. He put another earthworm into the alcohol and it disintegrated in front of everyone's eyes. He wanted to prove that this was what alcohol did to the insides of our body. He asked the group what the moral of the story was and one person from behind said, "If you drink alcohol you won't have worms in your stomach." Was that the message? Of course not. That was selective listening--we hear what we want to hear and not what is being said. Many of our blessings are hidden treasures--count your blessings and not your troubles.
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."
Some animals in a forest decided to start a school. The students included a bird, a
squirrel, a fish, a dog , a rabbit & a mentally retarded eel. A board was formed and it was decided that flying, tree climbing, swimming, and burrowing would be part of the curriculum in order to give a broad-based education. All animals were required to take all subjects. The bird was excellent at flying and was getting A's but when it came to burrowing, it kept breaking its beak and wings and started failing. Pretty soon, it started making C's in flying and of course in tree climbing and swimming it was getting F's. The squirrel was great at tree climbing and was getting A's, but was failing in swimming. The fish was the best swimmer but couldn't get out of the water and got F's in everything else. The dog didn't join the school, stopped paying taxes and kept fighting with the administration to include barking as part of the curriculum. The rabbit got A's in burrowing but tree climbing was a real problem. It kept falling and landing on its head, suffered brain damage, and soon
couldn't even burrow properly and got C's in that too. The mentally retarded eel, who did everything half as well became the valedictorian of the class. The board was happy because everybody was getting a broad-based education.
What a broad-based education really means is that the student is prepared for life,without losing their areas of specialization or competence.
Jo John, a woodcutter, worked for a company for five years but never got a raise. The
company hired Bill and within a year he got a raise. This caused resentment in John and he went to his boss to talk about it. The boss said, "You are still cutting the same number of trees you were cutting five years ago. We are a result-oriented company and would be happy to give you a raise if your productivity goes up." John went back, started hitting harder and putting in longer hours but he still wasn't able to cut more trees. He went back to his boss and told him his dilemma. The boss told John to go talk to Bill. "Maybe there is something Bill knows that you and l don't." John asked Bill how he managed to cut more trees. Bill answered, "After every tree l cut, l take a break for two minutes and sharpen my axe. When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" This question hit home like a bullet and John got his answer.
An eagle's egg was placed in the nest of a prairie chicken. The egg hatched and the little eagle grew up thinking it was a prairie chicken. The eagle did what the prairie chickens did. It scratched in the dirt for seeds. It clucked and cackled. It never flew more than a few feet because that is what the prairie chickens did. One day he saw an eagle flying gracefully and majestically in the open sky. He asked the prairie chickens: "What is that beautiful bird?" The chickens replied, "That is an eagle. He is an outstanding bird, but you cannot fly like him because you are just a prairie chicken." So the eagle never gave it a second thought, believing that to be the truth. He lived the life of and died a prairie chicken, depriving himself of his heritage because of his lack of vision. What a waste! He was born to win, but was conditioned to lose. The same thing is true of most people. The unfortunate part of life is as Oliver Wendall Holmes said, "Most people go to their graves, with music still in them." We don't achieve excellence because of our own lack of vision.
A man was washing his new car when his neighbor asked him, "When did you get the
car?" He replied "My brother gave it to me." The neighbor's response was, "I wish l had a car like that." The man replied, "You should wish to have a brother like that." The neighbor's wife was listening to the conversation and she interrupted, "I wish I was a brother like that." What a way to go!
The Calgary Tower stands at 190.8 meters. The total weight of the tower is 10,884 tons, of which 6,349 tons is below ground (approximately 60%). This shows that some of the greatest buildings have the strongest foundations. Just like a great building stands on a strong foundation, so does success. And the foundation of success is attitude.
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