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Insp. Stories IV

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You will love these short inspiring stories ...

Page IV of stories

Water Bearer

Do it now

It's Not My Fault

What Laura has taught us

The Elephant Who Lost an Eye

Do you have a desire to come close to the eternal?

Opportunity

The Lentil Seed

 

The Triple Filter Test

The value of time

Power of Your Creative Energy

Life's lesson

Bring Light to my Path of Life

WHAT'S INSIDE

THE SECRET OF SUCCESS

The donkey and the carrot

Brain-owner

God & Evil

 

 


Water Bearer

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across hi neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.  

For a full 2 years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house.  Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.   After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.  

 "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."  "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"  

 "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.  

 The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."   

 Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it some. But at the end of tile trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.  

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on YOUR side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them.

For 2 years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. Some of us don't grow old gracefully, some are not so smart, some are tall, large & big, some bald, some physically challenged, but it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you!

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or as I like to think of it - If it's not for the crackpots in my life, it would be pretty boring.

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Do it now,

 "And what if the tomorrow that I take for granted never comes? Or what if tomorrow is my last day on earth?"

Martha, an old woman of 85, was obsessed with   thoughts like these. She lived alone in her big apartment, surrounded by objects from her past.    She would worry all night long, getting up  to walk around, then returning to her empty bed,  turning the thoughts over and over in her mind like a dog gnawing an old bone. She did it so much that finally her fear turned into wisdom. The next morning she made herself a promise.

  "I am going to live each and every day as if it  were my last! That's the only way to really enjoy  life."

 Now Martha reads a lot and spends (a-take out) less time dusting old furniture. She admires the  flowers in her garden without worrying too much about the weeds that crop up here and there.

 She invites people she likes to her home, but   doesn't sit there waiting for them to arrive. And  when they do arrive, she uses her best china to serve tea and cake, without worrying about a precious cup or plate getting dirty or being broken.

She's started wearing the beautiful red cashmere  jacket her grandchildren gave her for Christmas.  She even wears it to go out walking, and puts a dab of her best perfume behind her ears.

But most importantly, Martha has stopped saying, "I'll do that one day, when I have the time." Now she says, "If it's worth doing, I'm going to do it now!" 

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Like Martha, you, too, should think about what you'd do if someone said, "This is your last day on earth!" You would realize that priorities fall into place naturally, that many things resolve themselves and that whatever is superfluous in your life disappears. Don't wait for the day when tragedy strikes to force you to consider what it is you really want to do in life.

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"At each and every moment, the future is pressuring the present to become the past."  Aragon

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"It's Not My Fault!"

A man living in New Jersey, USA, had an operation. Being obese, he had decided to have a ring inserted in his stomach to prevent him from gaining more weight. A couple of days after the operation he was already up and about, checking up and down the hospital corridors for the location of the kitchen. When he found it he sneaked in, went straight to an immense refrigerator and started eating everything he could find. The ring in his stomach burst, causing an internal hemorrhage. Miraculously he was saved by a quick-thinking intern who rushed him into surgery to stop the bleeding. But instead of being grateful, the man sued the hospital saying, "It wasn't my fault. The doctors should have put a lock on the fridge!" If this true story makes us shudder, it may be because it forces us to recognize a weakness of our own: eating the forbidden fruit may be a sin, but so is always seeking excuses and blaming others for our shortcomings.

How many times have you heard someone say, "It wasn't my fault! Someone made me do it!"

To be happy, you have to learn to accept responsibility for your actions, including your failures.

Why?

Because having the courage to accept failure also means that your success will really be YOUR success. Wonderful things will start happening to you the moment you decide to accept full responsibility for what goes on in your mind, and what you do with your body. - Nourish your body with healthy food. - Keep your mind sharp by always being ready to learn. - Work on being positive and optimistic about life. - Ease the pain in your heart by believing that good things will happen if you are courageous and confident.

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It's up to you to decide how you are going to fill the agenda of your life!

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"Being an aristocrat means creating your own duty." Nietzsche

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"What Laura has taught us"

"Pauline and I were married young, in our teens, and two years later had our only child, Laura. My life changed forever when I met the doctor in the hospital waiting room, when he came out to tell me the good news: "You're the father of a beautiful baby girl." Strangely, there was no joy in his face, so I asked, "How are mom and baby doing?" He replied hesitantly," Well, Pauline is fine." Then he looked down with a pained expression, and I instantly knew my world was changing. As we later learned, after lots of doctor visits and diagnoses, our Laura was born with mental retardation and other medical problems. Yet the story of our little family is not a tragedy, not by a long shot, due to the always mixed nature of life and the principle mentioned above. As it would take Pauline and me painful years to appreciate,

it's not what happens to you that determines your happiness and success in life, but how you respond. After all, you can't always control what happens to you. But you can always control how you respond, especially if you remember:

Every adversity carries within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. You might ask, "What possible benefit could arise from your daughter being born with mental retardation? Or from a war, for that matter? Or a plague? Or an earthquake?"

Let me speak only from my own experience. Our daughter, despite her disabilities, quickly became and remains the light of our lives. What she lacks in brains she makes up in heart. She has taught us more about how to love and care for others than any religious sermon, Indian guru, new age course or book ever could. She has brought into our lives a caring and dedicated network of teachers and friends we would have never met otherwise. She has opened our hearts and turned us into benefactors for children's causes. She has taught us how to be brave.

Can you imagine the bravery it takes to look different, attract attention just by walking down the street or through a mall, speak unintelligibly to most people's ears, encounter so much frustration in attempting simple tasks like tying a shoe or buttoning a blouse, never fit in with the social activities of your peers while growing up, not belong in their classes at school, not understand the jokes everyone laughs at and, at times, be laughed at yourself by ignorant people or other children who see only what's different about you and not what's human and tender?

Can you imagine the bravery it takes to experience all that ... yet still go through life with a smile on your face, acceptance in your heart and a bubbly spirit of joy for those who share your life? That's just the beginning of what Laura has taught us."

(c) Gary Bencivenga, 2004

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The Elephant Who Lost an Eye

An elephant came to the edge of a stream of clear rushing water. Being thirsty, the elephant leaned over, dropped its trunk into the cool water and... plunk! "What? What happened?" the elephant cried. "I can't see! My eye... it fell in the water! Oh nooooooh," the elephant wailed in a panic, "I lost my eye!" And, in fact, the elephant's right eye had popped out of its socket and fallen into the stream. The elephant searched frantically for the eye, groping with its trunk along the bottom of the stream. The more he groped, the cloudier the water became. That made him panic even more, and he started churning up great piles of sand, until he couldn't see anything. Then the elephant heard the sound of laughing. Furious, he looked around to see who it was, and saw a little green frog sitting on a log, laughing and laughing. "You think this is funny?" the elephant shouted. "I lose an eye and that makes you laugh?" "What's funny is to see how upset you are. Calm down and everything will be fine," the frog replied. The elephant felt a little ashamed and took the frog's advice. He stopped moving his trunk around, and soon the water became clearer as the sand sank to the bottom. And there in the stream lay his eye. He reached for it with his trunk and popped it back into its socket. And then he thanked the frog.

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This simple parable contains great wisdom. There's nothing funny about losing an eye... the sudden panic, thrashing around in murky water, desperation...

that's exactly what happens to us when we lose control and panic. Our haste makes us blind. We become temporarily incapable of seeing the world around us objectively and rationally. But there is an antidote to panic: wait. Wait until the situation becomes clear and the black clouds disperse.

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(c)www.positive-club,2005

"Haste is the devil's work; God works slowly." Persian Proverb

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Do you have a desire to come close to the eternal?

A small tree grew in the forest. The more it grew and the stronger it became, the more it admired the expanse of infinity that was the sky above its branches. The sky and its clouds and stars seemed to be speaking to the tree in a distant language. The tree began to imagine that the wind was whispering messages from the eternal. The more it grew, the more it wanted to live forever, to free itself from the bonds of earth and travel far ... very far away. One day the keeper of the forest walked by the tree. Being a good and sensitive man, he sensed that the tree was unhappy. "What's the matter?" he asked. "Is something troubling you?" The tree hesitated a moment, then replied, "More than anything I want to live forever!" "Well, that just may be possible," the keeper said mysteriously.

Time passed and the tree became huge and very strong. And again the keeper asked, "Do you still want to live forever?" "Oh yes, yes I do," the tree cried. "That's all I dream about." "I think I can help you," the keeper said. "But you'll have to trust me because what I must do first is cut you down." The tree was very surprised. "I want to live forever and you're telling me you want to kill me? How can I trust you when you say that?" "I know it sounds strange, and yet it is the only solution. I promise that if you let me cut you down, you will live forever." The tree thought long and hard and finally accepted the keeper's proposition. When the saw began its work the tree suffered in silence, and then fell to the ground with a great crash of breaking branches. Its trunk was sectioned off and the sections cut into planks, and the planks planed into finer planks until all that remained of the tree was the best part - its heart. That last beautiful piece of wood was given to a famous violin maker, who left it to age in his studio for years. The tree suffered a lot, thinking it had been betrayed and abandoned, and blamed itself for believing the forest keeper's words.

But one day the violin maker picked up the piece of wood, held it gently in his hands, caressing its surface and said, "The time has come. Your wood has aged perfectly, and the sound you will produce will be like magic to people's ears." He worked day and night, fashioning the heart of the tree into a wonderful violin, one of the best ever produced. This he gave to a gifted musician, who immediately began to play. As the strings vibrated under the master's touch, the wooden body of the violin resonated in pure harmony. The notes reminded the tree of the vision of infinity it had found so moving as it gazed at the sky, of the birds and the clouds and the stars, and about the desire to touch the eternal, which had filled its spirit for so many years. And the tree understood: in its soul was pure sound, pure music... the music of eternity. (c)www.positive-club.com, 2005

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We all have a desire to come close to the eternal. We think we deserve more than this short life on earth, and we want somehow to make it last, to extend it until the end of time. Maybe that's because we have a preconceived notion of what infinity is. Right here on earth, during our short lifetime, we can endow our acts and our works with the mark of infinity. Is not a work of art - a book, a painting or a song - a small piece of infinity? So what are you waiting for? Get to work and create your own piece of eternity!

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"There is no sacred moment. Every moment is sacred. If you understand that, you live in the eternal". Dialog With An Angel: The Bible

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Opportunity

"What's her name?" asked the visitor in a sculptor's workshop.

Among other sculptures, the visitor had noticed an image of a goddess with wings on her feet and whose face was hidden by her hair.

"Opportunity", replied the sculptor.

 "Why is her face masked?" "Because men rarely see her when she comes close to them." said the artist.

"And why wings on her feet?" continued the visitor.

"Because she comes fast, and leaves even faster. And once she leaves you can't catch up."

"Opportunity only has hair close to her forehead", wrote a Latin author.

From the back she's bald. If you catch her while you're in front, you can keep her, but if you let her leave, Jupiter himself wouldn't be able to catch up." Seize the opportunity by the forelock.

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The Lentil Seed

My boyhood dream was to acquire a big motorcycle and become a Knight of the open highway. But getting a license to drive a bike was a completely different story! I had to learn the rules of the road by heart and practice driving so I could pass safely between strategically placed pylons without touching them. I had to learn to maneuver through crowded city streets, never forgetting to signal my intentions to other drivers...

It was a long and arduous process. But my driving instructor was philosophical about it. I remember one particularly difficult lesson. I had taken a fall and simply could not steer the bike around a curve between the obstacles. I got upset and started to doubt I could ever succeed. "It's no good, I'll never be pass the test!" I cried.

"Calm down," my instructor said. "You may not know it, but you're making good progress every day." I'd been a teacher myself, so I knew about the platitudes teachers use to encourage their students. Which is why I didn't believe a word he said.

"It'll take more than a cliché to convince me of that," I said. "Tonight when you go home," he replied, "put a lentil seed in some moist cotton. Then, every day, watch it grow for half an hour. Come back and tell me what you see."

Naturally I didn't see anything. I played the game for three days, then gave up. But finally, two months after I started and with much effort and concentration, I obtained my license to drive a bike.

On the day I took my exam my lentil seed sprouted. A tiny green shoot had pierced through the cotton.

In a flash I understood the meaning of what my instructor had said.

It's impossible to make a seed grow. It has to stay underground until the moment it is ready to break through into the open air. Even if the seed were in a hurry to grow, it could not have speeded up the process. Sometimes it takes time and quiet for things to sprout in us, and come to fruition. Although undetectable, new seeds are always present, making slow but steady progress inside us, preparing to burst forth and bloom at the right time.

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"Trees teach us patience - they do not break at the first sign of a storm." Carl Beaupré

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The Triple Filter Test

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied.

"Before telling me anything, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test.

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?" "No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it and..." "All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.

Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?" "No, on the contrary..." "So," Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true.

You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?" "No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates,

"If what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

The value of time

To understand the value of a year, talk to a student who has failed an important exam.

To understand the value of a month, talk to a mother who has given birth to a baby a month prematurely.

To understand the value of a week, talk to the publisher of a weekly newspaper.

To understand the value of an hour, talk to a couple in love who are separated and want only to be together again.

To understand the value of a minute, talk to someone who has just missed a train or a plane.

To understand the value of a second, talk to someone who has lost a loved one in an accident. To understand the value of a millisecond, talk to someone who won a silver medal at the Olympic Games.

Time waits for no one. Gather all the time you have left every moment, and it will be of great use to you. Share it with people you value and love and it will become even more precious.

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 "Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness."--Shakti Gawain

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"A warrior seeks to act rather than talk."--Carlos Castaneda

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"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still."--Chinese Proverb

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"The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch."--Jim Rohn

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"A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else."--Mahatma Gandhi

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Power of Your Creative Energy

Here is the simplest possible explanation of the power of your creative energy. Follow these steps, and any goal can be yours.

STEP ONE: KNOW WHAT YOU WANT Yes, it seems so obvious, doesn't it? You must know what you want in order to get what you want. Yet this most basic fist step is missed by the majority of people. You must know what you want as specifically as possible. This is the magic first step. Daydreaming about your future will not bring you what you want. Waiting for life to work out the way you've always expected won't bring you what you want. The only way to get what you want is to decide, with clarity and focus, exactly what you want to create. So how do you know what you want? Well, it's very simple. Write down your desires, your dreams, and everything that you want for your life. Then pick the one thing on your list that you know you could accomplish if you dedicated some energy to it. Pick that one and forget about the rest. Pick the very next goal in the creation of your live and go for it. Focus, focus, focus. Don't waste your energy wishing and dreaming for a million and one things. Pick one and go with it. Just as the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so does the journey to your ideal life begin with a single goal. So begin with an easy, do-able goal, so far unaccomplished, plug it into this 5-step system. Write down as specifically and exactly what it is you will create. After it's finished, move on to the next goal.

STEP TWO: FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT You must give positive focus, energy, and attention to your goal. Setting a goal and then forgetting about it will not do. You must imprint it on your conscious and subconscious mind until it becomes reality. Remember, thought is blindingly fast compared to the manifestation of thoughts into reality. Of course, as you practice this system and become more confident, your thoughts will come into reality much more quickly. But as a beginner, you must keep your energy and intention directly on your goal. You must focus on what you want, not on what you don't want. Stop complaining about things that are not the way you want them to be. Instead, decide how you would like them to be and focus on that. Whenever you find yourself giving attention to some area of your life with which you are unhappy, immediately ask yourself "What do I want in this situation?" and focus on the answer. Take a look at your goal every day, give it positive focus and attention. Before you fall asleep and after you wake up, instead of worrying about your problems, imagine your goal successfully attained, and feel how you would feel if your goal was accomplished. Go to sleep with this feeling, and your subconscious mind will quickly find a way to bring it into your reality.

STEP THREE: TAKE ACTION NOW! You must take action towards your goal, and you must take action right now! There is no other time that you can act. The past is gone, the future is an illusion. Making plans to take action is not action. You must take action right now. There is always something that you can do to propel you towards your goal. It doesn't matter how tiny the action is, or how insignificant you might feel it is, you must do it. There is always some small step you can take. Take that step. You must convince your subconscious mind that you are serious about accomplishing your goal, and there is nothing more convincing than taking action. No matter where you are along your path to your goal, no matter how near or far you might feel to be, there is always an obvious next step you can take. Take that step in this present moment. Right now. If you have trouble figuring out what to do, or are paralyzed into inaction because it seems there are too many things to do, just do this: Make a list of all the things that need to happen in order for your goal to arrive. List all the intermediary steps that you will experience as your goal begins to enter your life. Somewhere on this list will be the obvious next step. Do it. Do it now! If your goal is truly out of your hands, you need a new goal. Waiting for other people to change or give you what you want is a sure way to always be unsatisfied. You must pick a goal you are in control of and do whatever it takes to make it come true. That is the only path to power and mastery in life, and the only way to ever feel fulfilled.

STEP FOUR: CHOOSE THE SAME THING EVERY DAY You must be consistent. You must, consistently, choose the same goal every day until your goal is accomplished. You cannot send out constantly changing vague wishes into the universe and expect to create results in the real world. It's as simple as ordering a meal in a restaurant. You must decide what you want and then ask for it. If you can't make up your mind the waiter will simply server someone else until you're ready. If you do not provide the universe with a specific goal which you consistently ake action toward, your "meal" will never come to you. And the most important secret of all:

DON'T GIVE UP UNTIL YOUR GOAL IS ACCOMPLISHED.

This article is excerpted from the e-book, "Money Making Secrets of Mind Power Masters." Learn the secrets of 22 of the world's greatest experts who explain how to use your mind to attract unlimited wealth.

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Life's lesson

One day, an old professor of the national School of administration (ENA-France) was asked to give a training-course on the effective economic planning of one's time to a group of about fifteen leaders of big companies from North - America. This course constituted one of 5 workshops of their day of training. So, the old Prof. only had one hour to spend on this subject. Standing in front of this group of elite who was ready to note everything that the expert was going to teach, the old Prof. looked at them one by one, slowly, then said to them:

"We are going to make an experiment".

From under the table which separated him from his pupils, the old Prof. took out an immense jar Mason of a gallon (glass jar of more than 4 liters) which he directly put in front of him. Then, he took out about a dozen pebbles roughly as big as tennis balls and placed them delicately, one by one, in the big jar. When the jar was filled up to the brim, and when it was impossible to add anything to it, he raised slowly his eyes towards the pupils, and asked them:

"Is this jar full?" Everybody answered: "Yes". He waited for a few seconds and added: "Really?" Then, he bent again and took out from under the table a pot filled with little stones. With accuracy, he poured these little pebbles on the big stones, then moved softly the jar. The fragments of little pebbles went between the stones down to the bottom of the jar. The old Prof. raised his eyes again towards his audience and asked:

 "Is this jar full?". This time, his brilliant pupils began to understand the whole process. One of them answered: "Probably not!" "Well!" answered the old Prof.. He bent again and this time, took out from under the table a bucket of sand. With attention, he poured the sand into the jar. The sand went to fil the spaces between the big big stones and the little pebbles. Once again, he asked:

"Is this jar full?". This time, without hesitation, and in a choir, the brilliant pupils answered: "No!".

"Well!" answered the old Prof. And, as expected by the brilliant pupils, he took the jug of water which was on the table and filled the jar up to the brim. Then, the old Prof. raised his eyes towards his group and asked:

"Which big truth does this experiment show to us?”.

Being no fool, the most audacious of the pupils, thinking about the topic of this course, answered: "It shows that even when one believes that our diary is completely filled, if one wants really wants it, one can add more meetings to it, more things to be made".

The old Prof. answered. "It is not that". "The big truth that this experiment shows to us is the following one: -

"If one does not put the big stones first in the jar, one will never be able to make all of them go in, then".

There was a profound silence, each becoming aware of the evidence of these comments. Then, the old Prof. Told them:

"Which are the big stones in your life?"

"Your health?"

"Your family?"

"Your friends?"

"To make your dreams come true?"

"Learning?"

"To do what you enjoy?"

"To relax?"

"To fight for a cause?"

"To take time for yourself?"

"Or any other thing?"

"What it is necessary to remember is the importance to put one's BIG STONES in first in one's life, otherwise one encounters the risks not succeed in one's life. If one gives priority to peccadilloes (the little pebbles, the sand), one will fill one's life with peccadilloes and one will have no more enough precious time to dedicate to the important elements of one's life". Then do not forget to ask to yourself this question:

"Which are the BIG STONES IN MY LIFE? Then, put them in, first"

With a friendly gesture of the hand, the old professor greeted his audience and slowly left the room.

What are the BIG STONES in your life, my dear friend?

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"Bring Light to my Path of Life"

A King had, as only son, a young Prince, brave, skillful  and intelligent. To perfect his  knowledge of  Life, he sent  him by the side of an Old Wise Man.

"Bring Light to my Path of Life", the Prince asked. "My words will faint away like the prints of your steps in  the sand”, the Wise Man answered. However, I want  to give you some indications. On your Path, you will find 3 doors. Read  the rules written on each of them.

An irresistible need will urge you to follow them. Don't try and get away from them, because you would be condemned to live again, ceaselessly, what you have avoided.

I may tell you no more. You have to feel all this deep in your heart and in your flesh.   Go, now. Follow  this path, right in front of you. " The Old Wise Man disappeared and the Prince entered  the Path of Life. He was soon in front of a big door, on  which one could read: "CHANGE THE WORLD".

"It was my intention indeed”, the Prince thought, “because if some things please me in this world, others greatly displease me."  And he began his first fight. His ideal, his ardour and his power urged him to confront himself to the world, to undertake,  to conquer, to model reality according to his desires.

He found there the pleasure and the dizzyness of the conqueror, but no peace in his heart. He managed to change some things but many others resisted to him. Many years passed. One day, he met the Old Wise Man who asked him:  "What have you learnt on your path?"   "I have learnt," the Prince answered, “ how to discern what is within my power and what is without, what depends on me and what does not depend on me"

"That's good!”, the Old Man said. “Use your strength to act on what is within your power. Forget what's beyond your power." And he disappeared. A bit later, the Prince was in front of a second door.  He could read on it : "CHANGE THE OTHERS".

"It was my intention indeed”, he thought. “The others are a source of pleasure, enjoyment and  satisfaction, but also, of pain, bitterness and  frustration." And he rebelled against everything that could disturb him or displease him in his fellow men. He tried to bend their characters and to extirpate their defects. It was there his second fight.

Many years passed. One day, as he was meditating on the utility of the attempts to change the others, he met the Old Wise Man who asked him: "What have you learnt on your path?" "I have learnt”, the Prince answered, “that the others are not the cause or the source of my joys and my punishments, my satisfactions and my setbacks. They are only opportunities for all of them to be revealed. It is in me that all these things have their roots."

"You are right,” the Wise Man said. “According to what they wake up in you, the others reveal you to yourself. Be grateful to those who make your enjoyment and pleasure vibrate. But be also grateful to those who create in you suffering or  frustration, because, through them, life teaches you what is left in you to learn and the path that you  still have to walk." And the Old Man disappeared.

A bit further, the Prince arrived in front of a door, on which these words were written: CHANGE YOURSELF".

"If I am myself the cause of my problems, it is indeed what's left in me to work on", he said to himself. And he began his 3rd fight. He tried to bend his character, to fight  his  imperfections, to abolish his defects, to change everything that did not please him in himself, everything that did not correspond to his ideal.

After many years of this fight, in which he met some success, but also, some failures and some resistances, the Prince met the Wise Man who asked him: “What have you learnt on your path?"

"I have learnt”, the Prince answered, ”that there are things that we can improve, others that resist to us and that we can't manage to break." "That's good!" the Wise Man said.

"Yes”, the Prince went on, ”but I am beginning to be tired of fighting against everything, against everybody, against myself. Won't there be an end to it one day? When shall I  find a rest? I want to stop fighting, to give up, to  abandon everything, I want to let go !"  "It is precisely your next lesson“, the Old Wise Man said.

“But before going any further, turn round and behold the path covered." And he disappeared. On looking back, the Prince saw in the distance the 3rd door, and noticed that it was carrying a text on its back, saying : "ACCEPT YOURSELF."

The Prince was surprised not to have seen this writing when he went through the door, the other way. "When one fights, one becomes blind”, he said to himself.  He also saw, lying on the ground, scattered around him, everything he had thrown away and fought against in him:  his defects, his shadows, his fears, his limits, all his old worries. He had learnt then how to recognize them, to accept them, to love them. He had learnt how to love himself  without comparing himself to the others any more, without judging himself, without reprimanding himself. He met the Old Wise Man who asked him: "What have you learnt on your path?"

"I have learnt”, the Prince answered,” that hating or refusing a part of myself, it is to condemn myself never to be in agreement with myself. I learnt how to accept myself, totally, unconditionally."  "That's good!”, the Old Man said, it is the first rule in Wisdom. Now you can go back through the 3rd door." He had no sooner reached the other side, that the Prince perceived far away the back side of the second door, on which he could read: "ACCEPT THE OTHERS".

All around him, he could recognize the persons he had been with all his life through; those he had loved as well as those he had hated. Those he had supported and those he had fought. But the biggest surprise of all for him was that now, he was absolutely unable to see their imperfections, their defects, what formerly had embarrassed him so much, and against which he had fought. He met the Old Wise Man again. "What have you learnt on your path?" he asked him.

“I have learnt”, the Prince answered, “that by being in agreement with myself, I had no more anything to blame in the others, no more anything to be afraid of  in them. I have learnt how to accept and to love the others, totally, unconditionally."

 "That's good!", the Old Wise Man said. “It is the second rule in Wisdom. You can go back through the second door.” On reaching the other side of the second door, the Prince perceived in the distance the back side of the first door, on which he could read: "ACCEPT THE WORLD".  

“Strangely enough”, he said to himself, “that I did not see these words on the first time”. He looked all around him and recognized this world  which he had tried to conquer, to transform, to change. He was struck by the brightness and the beauty of  every thing. By their perfection. Nevertheless, it was the same world as before. Was it  the world which had changed or the glance he had on it? He met the Old Wise Man who asked him: "What have you learnt on your path?"

 "I have learnt”, the Prince said, that the world is a mirror for my soul. That my soul can't  see the world, it sees itself in the world. When my soul is cheerful, the world seems cheerful  to it. When it is overcome, the world seems sad to it. The world itself is neither sad nor cheerful. It IS there; it exists; it is everything. It was  Not the world that disturbed me, but the idea that I had of it. I have learnt to accept it without  judging it, to accept it totally, unconditionally. " 

“It is 3rd rule of Wisdom”, the Old Man said. “You are here now in agreement with ourself, with the others  and with the World.”  A profound feeling of peace, serenity, plenitude, filled  the Prince. Silence was in him. 

"Now, you are ready to go past the last Threshold”, the Old Wise Man said, “the one that goes from the silence of Plenitude to the Plenitude of Silence ". And the Old Man disappeared.

(Text proposed by Françoise Laurent)

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WHAT'S INSIDE.

A young black boy saw a balloon seller on a street corner. His eyes sparkled as he gazed at all the different colored balloons - red, blue, white, black, yellow...

The old man selling the balloons saw the boy hesitate, then gather his courage and approach.  "Tell me mister," said the boy, "Do the black balloons fly as high as the others?"

 The old man felt a tear forming in his eye. He picked the boy up, sat him on his knee and said, "Look." He let go of all the balloons. They drifted up in a cluster, higher and higher into the blue sky, until they were so high they disappeared.

"Did you see that?" the balloon seller asked. "Yes," said the boy.

 "Did the black balloons fly as high as the others?"

 "Yes, Mister, they did."  "You see my boy, the balloons are like people. The important thing isn't their color, or what they look like on the outside. No, the important thing is WHAT'S INSIDE.  

And what's inside you makes all the difference in life."  (c)2002 www.club-positif.com

...............................................................

"When someone's character seems impossible to fathom, observe his friends." Japanese proverb

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THE SECRET OF SUCCESS

During a meeting of top salespeople from around the country, the 'big cheese' himself, a man who'd consistently had the highest sales figures for the last 20 years, and who earned more money  than even the owner of his company, got up to speak.

"I am now going to reveal the secret of my success," he said. "I wrote it down on a piece of paper and I put it in this envelope. But success must be earned. So I'm going to sell the envelope to the highest bidder. You have my word that it contains what I said  - the Secret of my Success, not only as a salesman, but also  in life."

 The bidding started slowly... $5, then $10, then $50, $100,  $130, $150, $200. Finally one of his colleagues bought the envelope  for $1000. The happy buyer took the envelope and kept it to himself until he got home that night. Only then did he open it  to learn THE SECRET OF SUCCESS.

What do you think was written on the piece of paper? Think about it. Make a mental note of whatever comes to mind before reading the answer. Because I am going to tell you what it was later in this e-mail. And in my opinion what was written on  that piece of paper is worth much more than $1000.

............................

The winner of the auction tore open the envelope, unfolded the piece of paper and read the following hand-written words:

THE SUCCESS' SECRET IS... TO ASK.

(c)2002 www.club-positif.com

...............................................................

"Action does not always lead to happiness, but there is no  happiness without action." Benjamin Disraeli

"Better do things yourself than hope they will be done."  Scottish Proverb

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The donkey and the carrot

 
Filipo really enjoyed helping his father in the flour mill. He led the donkey up to the millstone, 
tied it securely, fixed over its head a stick, at the end of which he suspended the proverbial carrot.  
After that, he only had to give the donkey a couple of shoves to start it moving.  
  
From morning to evening the animal circled slowly following the carrot, while Filipo daydreamed, 
leaning up against bags of flour. His father Ernesto carried the sheaves of corn to the barn and spent 
time checking the wheels of the huge mill. 
  
The young boy's donkey was very reliable, and day after day it plodded fruitlessly after the carrot that 
it would never get.
  
One evening when the exhausted donkey had finished its last circle and Filipo  was helping his father 
arrange the bags of flour, he said thoughtfully:
  
"Look at this foolish donkey, going around and around day in and day out in  the heat, without food 
or drink, trying to reach a carrot that it has no hope  of getting.  
  
I will never be like that."
   
Filipo's father dropped his last sack, put his hands on his hips and eyed his son, "Do you think we 
are so different from the donkey? We work equally hard  from morning until night.  Then we return 
home, eat some food and go to bed where we dream that with a little luck, life will be a little easier 
tomorrow;  that fortune will smile on us and that we won't have to work anymore.  
  
But in the morning with our aching backs and our tired hands, we understand just how far away the 
carrot is, and just how long it will be before we reach it."
  
  ..........................................
Is our society any different from the theme of this short story? We chase success relentlessly, to fulfill 
our desires for wealth and comfort.  
  
The carrot?  
  
The wonderful advertisements, the fabulous shop windows and the salesmen encouraging us to 
consume. Wouldn't it be worth minimizing our ambitions and desires so that we could have the 
possibility of satisfying them - and actually GET the carrot?
 
..........................................
"Inner satisfaction is a truth of which we could be more hopeful".  Spinoza

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Brain-owner

When Franz Liszt, the great composer, was a mere youth, his elder brother  chided him for spending 
his time on music and told him that he himself was going to be a great landowner. 
  
The would-be landowner scorned his young brother's musical bent, holding that a talent for music 
would only ruin a man. 
  
Franz, however, stuck to his bent, and even ran away several times in order to gratify the ambition 
for a musical career, which was discouraged at home.
  
Years later when the elder brother had become a wealthy landowner he called on Franz, who was 
still a struggling musician. 
  
Not finding him at home he left his card which bore the inscription, 
  
"Herr Liszt, Landowner." 
  
When more years had passed and the young composer had finally won out, he returned the call of 
his landowner brother and presented his card , which read, 
  
"Herr Liszt, Brain-owner."

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God & Evil
 
The professor of a university challenged his students with this question. “Did God create everything 
that exists?" A student answered bravely, "Yes, he did".
 
The professor then asked, "If God created everything, then he created evil. Since evil exists (as 
noticed by our own actions), so God is evil.
 
The student couldn't respond to that statement causing the professor to conclude that he had 
"proved" that "belief in God" was a fairy tale, and therefore worthless.
 
Another student raised his hand and asked the professor, "May I pose a question? ", "Of course" 
answered the professor.
 
The young student stood up and asked: "Professor does Cold exists?"
 
The professor answered, "What kind of question is that?...Of course the cold exists... haven't 
you ever been cold?"
 
The young student answered, "In fact sir, Cold does not exist. According to the laws of Physics, 
what we consider cold, in fact is the absence of heat. Anything is able to be studied as long as 
it transmits energy (heat). Absolute Zero is the total absence of heat, but cold does not exist. 
What we have done is create a term to describe how we feel if we don't have body heat or we 
are not hot."
 
"And, does Dark exist?", he continued.
 
The professor answered "Of course". This time the student responded, "Again you're wrong, Sir. 
Darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in fact simply the absence of light. Light can be 
studied, darkness can not. Darkness cannot be broken down. A simple ray of light tears the 
darkness and illuminates the surface where the light beam finishes. Dark is a term that we 
humans have created to describe what happens when there's lack of light."
 
Finally, the student asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"
 
The professor replied, "Of course it exists, as I mentioned at the beginning, we see violations, 
crimes and violence anywhere in the world, and those things are evil."
 
The student responded, 
 
"Sir, Evil does not exist. Just as in the previous cases, Evil is a term which man has 
created to describe the result of the absence of God's presence in the hearts of man.
 
After this, the professor bowed down his head, and didn't answer back. The young man's name 
was ALBERT EINSTEIN

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"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.  

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering  the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.  

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him  to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."  

-------------- "Desiderata" was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945).

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