Story number One
An old man lived alone in Minnesota. He wanted to spade his potato garden,
but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in
prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his situation:
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my potato
garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always
loved planting time. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If
you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for
me, if you weren’t in prison.
Shortly, the old man received this telegram: “For Heaven’s sake, Dad, don’t dig
up the garden!! That’s where I buried the GUNS!!”
At 4 a.m. the next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local police officers
showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any guns.
Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what
happened, and asked him what to do next.
His son’s reply was: “Go ahead and plant your potatoes, Dad…………………. It’s the
best I could do for you from here.”
No matter where you are in the world, if you have decided to do something
deep from your heart, you can do it. It is the thought that matters and not
where you are or where the person is.
Story Number Two
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire.
He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a
more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck,
but he needed to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more
house as a favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not
in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an
unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed
the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “My gift to you!”
The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own
house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the
Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built.
If we could do it over, we would do it much differently. But we cannot go back.
You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. “Life is a
do-it-yourself project,” someone has said. Your attitudes and the choices you make today,
build the “house” you live in tomorrow.
Story Number Three
Finish Strong is more than a statement, it’s an attitude.
It’s an attitude of believing you can do something and having the courage and
determination to see it through. And of course, you can apply this “finish
strong attitude” to your business or your life! here’s a personal story about
setting goals from the author, Dan Green……. Enjoy!
Keep Clip’n Along
By embracing the attitude to Finish Strong, I’ve created a personal level of
accountability that goes with me wherever I go. The first time I really
discovered the power of this mindset was early in my selling career. In the
early nineties I sold software systems to commercial banks. A great deal of my
selling efforts involved prospecting for leads over the phone. No matter how
good you are at selling over the phone, it can be challenging to push yourself
to make one more call – and a key to success in selling is “making one more
As a method of daily goal setting, I would start my day in the office by taking
out twenty five paper clips from my desktop paper clip holder. I would place
the paper clips on a coaster right next to the holder which was next to the
phone. Each time I engaged in a meaningful selling conversation I would take
one of the paper clips from the pile and put it back in the holder. I knew that
if I created twenty five selling conversations each day, that my ultimate sales
goals would be reached. I made a commitment not to leave the office until
every paper clip was put back.
There were many times that the day was over for everyone else and I had one
paperclip sitting on that coaster staring at me. In order to finish strong, I
needed to have one more selling conversation. I dialed until I succeeded. I
never left a paperclip sitting on the coaster and I never put one back that did
not earn it. The level of activity I created during this time stuffed my sales
pipeline with opportunities. My career took off and I tripled my income in
the course of two years – all because I chose to Finish Strong
As we count down to the last days of this year and look forward to the next , my wish for you is that you close the year finishing strong.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
My personal philosophy is a work in progress, but mostly it comes down to I believe that everybody deserves a better chance at life, and that life is better with skill.
With that in mind, I have a simple set of guiding principles:
- Life’s not a spectator’s sport.
- Absorb what’s useful; reject the rest.
- It’s not what’s on your plate, it’s how you eat it.
- Don’t take life too seriously, or you’ll never get out alive.
- Success is a journey, not a destination.
- Live more, laugh more, learn more, love more.
- Roll with the punches.
- Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
- If you fall down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, carry the lessons forward.
- Don’t seek to be better than others; seek to be better than yourself.
The world is waiting for you! Behind the masses of those that wish to watch you lead a quiet and sedentary life is an open, unlined canvas. I urge you to take a chance, to push past barriers of negativity and oppression of self fulfillment and paint the picture of who YOU want to be. Never let yourself be beat down for living your life by those too afraid to live their own. There is a difference between risking your life and taking a risk at having one. I know which side I would rather be on, do you?
The following excerpt is from one of my favorite movies “Act of Valor”
at the very end of the movie are the timeless words of wisdom which if we abide by, would make our world a better place to live in.
But first let’s go back to the ABC’s and get the definition of this symbolic noun.
Valor by definition means: courage, fearlessness, courageousness, braveness, heroism, boldness, gallantry, daring, fortitude.
“Live your life such that the fear of death can never enter your heart
trouble no one about his/her religion
respect others and their views and demand they respect yours
love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life
seek to make you life long and of service to your people
when your turn comes to die,
be not like those whose hearts who are filled with fear of death
so that when the time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way
sing your death song
and die like a hero going home.”
My favorite definition of Valor is Fortitude which in simple terms means Strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage.
May you have that mental toughness to live your life with Valor.
“My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone.Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person. “You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,” he said. “Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles. You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.” That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life. – Unknown