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”I Can Make It Happen”
History abounds with tales of experts who were convinced that the ideas, plans, and projects of others could never be achieved. However, accomplishment came to those who said, ”I can make it happen.”
The Italian sculptor Agostino d’Antonio worked diligently on a large piece of marble. Unable to produce his desired masterpiece, he lamented, ”I can do nothing with it.” Other sculptors also worked this difficult piece of marble, but to no avail. Michelangelo discovered the stone and visualized the possibilities in it. His ”I-can-make-it-happen” attitude resulted in one of the world’s masterpieces – David.
The experts of Spain concluded that Columbus’s plans to discover a new and shorter route to the West Indies was virtually impossible. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand ignored the report of the experts. ”I can make it happen,” Columbus persisted. And he did. Everyone knew the world was flat, but not Columbus. The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria, along with Columbus and his small band of followers, sailed to ”impossible” new lands and thriving resources.
Even the great Thomas Alva Edison discouraged his friend, Henry Ford, from pursuing his fledgling idea of a motorcar. Convinced of the worthlessness of the idea, Edison invited Ford to come and work for him. Ford remained committed and tirelessly pursued his dream. Although his first attempt resulted in a vehicle without reverse gear, Henry Ford knew he could make it happen. And, of course, he did.
”Forget it,” the experts advised Madame Curie. They agreed radium was a scientifically impossible idea. However, Marie Curie insisted, ”I can make it happen.”
Let’s not forget our friends Orville and Wilbur Wright. Journalists, friends, armed forces specialists, and even their father laughed at the idea of an airplane. ”What a silly and insane way to spend money. Leave flying to the birds,” they jeered. ”Sorry,” the Wright brothers responded. ”We have a dream, and we can make it happen.” As a result, a place called Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, became the setting for the launching of their ”ridiculous” idea.
Finally, as you read these accounts under the magnificent lighting of your environment, consider the plight of Benjamin Franklin. He was admonished to stop the foolish experimenting with lighting. What an absurdity and waste of time! Why, nothing could outdo the fabulous oil lamp. Thank goodness Franklin knew he could make it happen. You too can make it happen!
It Couldn’t Be Done
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, But he with a chuckle replied That maybe it couldn’t, but he would be one Who wouldn’t say so ”till he tried.” So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin On his face. If he worried, he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it. Somebody scoffed: ”Oh, you’ll never do that; At least no one ever has done it.” But he took off his coat and took off his hat And the first thing he knew he’d begun it. With the lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, Without any doubting or quiddit, He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it. There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure; There are thousands to point out to you, one by one, The dangers that wait to assail you. But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin, Then take off your coat and go to it; Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing That cannot be done, and you’ll do it.
Edgar A. Guest
Keeper of the Spring
The late Peter Marshall was an eloquent speaker and for several years served as the chaplain of the US Senate. He used to love to tell the story of the ”Keeper of the Spring,” a quiet forest dweller who lived high above an Austrian village along the eastern slope of the Alps.
The old gentleman had been hired many years earlier by a young town councilman to clear away the debris from the pools of water up in the mountain crevices that fed the lovely spring flowing through their town. With faithful, silent regularity, he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and branches, and wiped away the silt that would otherwise have choked and contaminated the fresh flow of water. The village soon became a popular attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated along the crystal clear spring, the mill wheels of various businesses located near the water turned day and night, farmlands were naturally irrigated, and the view from restaurants was picturesque beyond description.
Years passed. One evening the town council met for its semiannual meeting. As they reviewed the budget, one man’s eye caught the salary figure being paid the obscure keeper of the spring. Said the keeper of the purse, ”Who is the old man? Why do we keep him on year after year? No one ever sees him. For all we know, the strange ranger of the hills is doing us no good. He isn’t necessary any longer.” By a unanimous vote, they dispensed with the old man’s services.
For several weeks, nothing changed.
By early autumn, the trees began to shed their leaves. Small branches snapped of and fell into the pools, hindering the rushing flow of sparkling water. One afternoon someone noticed a slight yellowish-brown tint in the spring. A few days later, the water was much darker. Within another week, a slimy film covered sections of the water along the banks, and a foul odor was soon detected. The mill wheels moved more slowly, some finally ground to a halt. Swans left, as did the tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached deeply into the village.
Quickly, the embarrassed council called a special meeting. Realizing their gross error in judgment, they rehired the old keeper of the spring, and within a few weeks, the veritable river of life began to clear up. The wheels started to turn, and new life returned to the hamlet in the Alps.
Never become discouraged with the seeming smallness of your task, job, or life. Cling fast to the words of Edward Everett Hale: ”I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do. ” The key to accomplishment is believing that what you can do will make a difference.
A lesson from a Mad Hatter
One of the first steps to accomplishing great things in your life is to cease dwelling on the negative things in your past. Carefully assess your present strengths, successes, and achievements. Dwell on those positive events in your life, and quit limiting your potential by constantly thinking about what you have done poorly. Alice and the Mad Hatter in Wonderland had a conversation that illustrates this concept:
Alice: Where I come from, people study what they are not good at in order to be able to do what they are good at.
Mad Hatter: We only go around in circles in Wonderland, but we always end up where we started. Would you mind explaining yourself?
Alice: Well, grown-ups tell us to find out what we did wrong, and never do it again
Mad Hatter: That’s odd! It seems to me that in order to find out about something, you have to study it. And when you study it, you should become better at it. Why should you want to become better at something and then never do it again? But please continue.
Alice: Nobody ever tells us to study the right things we do. We’re only supposed to learn from the wrong things. But we are permitted to study the right things other people do. And sometimes we’re even told to copy them.
Mad Hatter: That’s cheating!
Alice: You’re quite right, Mr. Hatter. I do live in a topsy-turvy world. It seems like I have to do something wrong first, in order to learn from what not to do. And then, by not doing what I’m not supposed to do, perhaps I’ll be right. But I’d rather be right the first time, wouldn’t you?
A Tragedy Or a Blessing?
Years ago in Scotland, the Clark family had a dream. Clark and his wife worked and saved, making plans for their nine children and themselves to travel to the United States. It had taken years, but they had finally saved enough money and had gotten passports and reservations for the whole family on a new liner to the United States.
The entire family was filled with anticipation and excitement about their new life. However, seven days before their departure, the youngest son was bitten by a dog. The doctor sewed up the boy but hung a yellow sheet on the Clarks’ front door. Because of the possibility of rabies, they were being quarantined for fourteen days.
The family’s dreams were dashed. They would not be able to make the trip to America as they had planned. The father, filled with disappointment and anger, stomped to the dock to watch the ship leave – without the Clark family. The father shed tears of disappointment and cursed both his son and God for their misfortune.
Five days later, the tragic news spread throughout Scotland – the mighty Titanic had sunk. The unsinkable ship had sunk, taking hundreds of lives with it. The Clark family was to have been on that ship, but because the son had been bitten by a dog, they were left behind in Scotland.
When Mr. Clark heard the news, he hugged his son and thanked him for saving the family. He thanked God for saving their lives and turning what he had felt was a tragedy into a blessing free business banking for small business.
To Build a Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge that spans the river tying Manhattan Island to Brooklyn is truly a miracle bridge. In 1863, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea for this spectacular bridge. However, bridge-building experts throughout the world told him to forget it; it could not be done.
Roebling convinced his son, Washington, who was a young up and coming engineer, that the bridge could be built. The two of them developed the concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With unharnessed excitement and inspiration, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.
The project was only a few months under construction when a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling and severely injured his son, Washington. Washington was left with permanent brain damage and was unable to talk or walk. Everyone felt that the project would have to be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.
Even though Washington was unable to move or talk, his mind was as sharp as ever, and he still had a burning desire to complete the bridge. An idea hit him as he lay in his hospital bed, and he developed a code for communication. All he could move was one finger, so he touched the arm of his wife with that finger, tapping out the code to communicate to her what to tell the engineers who were building the bridge. For thirteen years, Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger until the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge was finally completed.
Grind or Shine
Adversity is the grindstone of life. Intended to polish you up, adversity also has the ability to grind you down. The impact and ultimate result depend on what you do with the difficulties that come your way. Consider the phenomenal achievements of people experiencing adversity.
Beethoven composed his greatest works after becoming deaf. Sir Walter Raleigh wrote the History of the World during a thirteen year imprisonment. If Columbus had turned back, no one could have blamed him, considering the constant adversity he endured. Of course, no one would have remembered him either. Abraham Lincoln achieved greatness by his display of wisdom and character during the devastation of the Civil War. Luther translated the Bible while enduring confinement in the Castle of Wartburg. Under a sentence of death and during twenty years in exile, Dante wrote the Divine Comedy. John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress in a Bedford jail.
Finally, consider a more recent example. Mary Groda-Lewis endured sixteen years of illiteracy because of unrecognized dyslexia, was committed to a reformatory on two different occasions, and almost died of a stroke while bearing a child. Committed to going to college, she worked at a variety of odd jobs to save money, graduated with her high school equivalency at eighteen, was named Oregon’s outstanding Upward Bound student, and finally entered college. Determined to become a doctor, she faced fifteen medical school rejections until Albany Medical College finally accepted her. In 1984, Dr. Mary Groda-Lewis, at thirty-five, graduated with honors to fulfill her dream.
Adversity – the grindstone of life. Will it grind you down or polish you up?
Napoleon was involved in conversation with a colonel of a Hungarian battalion who had been taken prisoner in Italy. The colonel mentioned he had fought in the army of Maria Theresa. ”You must have a few years under your belt!” exclaimed Napoleon. ”I’m sure I’ve lived sixty or seventy years,” replied the colonel. ”You mean to say,” Napoleon continued, ”you have not kept track of the years you have lived?”
The colonel promptly replied, ”Sir, I always count my money, my shirts, and my horses – but as for my years, I know nobody who wants to steal them, and I shall surely never lose them.”
”If I Had My Life to Live Over”
If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I’d limber up. I would be sillier than I’ve been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously, take more chances, take more trips. I’d climb more mountains, and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who lived seriously, sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than this trip. If I had my life to live over, I would start going barefoot earlier in the spring, and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances, I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.
The Lion and The cougar
A pointed fable is told about a young lion and a cougar. Both thirsty, the animals arrived at their usual water hole at the same time. They immediately began to argue about who should satisfy their thirst first. The argument became heated, and each decided he would rather die than give up the privilege of being first to quench his thirst. As they stubbornly confronted each other, their emotions turned to rage. Their cruel attacks on each other were suddenly interrupted. They both looked up. Circling overhead was a flock of vultures waiting for the loser to fall. Quietly, the two beasts turned and walked away. The thought of being devoured was all they needed to end their quarrel.
Complain! Complain! Complain!
It takes a disciplined spirit to endure the monastery on Mount Serat in Spain. One of the fundamental requirements of this religious order is that the young men must maintain silence. Opportunities to speak are scheduled once every two years, at which time they are allowed to speak only two words.
One young initiate in this religious order, who had completed his first two years of training, was invited by his superior to make his first two-word presentation. ”Food terrible,” he said. Two years later the invitation was once again extended. The young man used this forum to exclaim, ”Bed lumpy.” Arriving at his superior’s office two years later he proclaimed, ”I quit.” The superior looked at this young monk and said, ”You know, it doesn’t surprise me a bit. All you’ve done since you arrived is complain, complain, complain.
Exaggerated? Maybe. What if you were asked to share two words that describe your Life? would your focus be the lumps, bumps, and unfairness, or are you committed to dwell on those things that are good, right, and lovely?
The Whole World Came Together
The young mother was ready for a few minutes of relaxation after a long and demanding day. However, her young daughter had other plans for her mother’s time.
”Read me a story, Mom,” the little girl requested. ”Give Mommy a few minutes to relax and unwind. Then I’ll be happy to read you a story,” pleaded the mother.
The little girl was insistent that Mommy read to her now. With a stroke of genius, the mother tore off the back page of the magazine she was reading. It contained a full-page picture of the world. As she tore it into several pieces, Mom asked her daughter to put the picture together and then she would read her a story. Surely this would buy her considerable relaxing moments.
A short time later, the little girl announced the completion of her puzzle project. To her astonishment, she found the world picture completely assembled. When she asked her daughter how she managed to do it so quickly, the little girl explained that on the reverse side of the page was the picture of a little girl. ”You see, Mommy, when I got the little girl together, the whole world came together.”
Each of us has the responsibility to put our world together. It starts by getting ourselves put together. We can become better parents, friends, spouses, employees, and employers. The first step is changing our attitude.
The Whole World Stinks
Wise men and philosophers throughout the ages have disagreed on many things, but many are in unanimous agreement on one point: ”We become what we think about.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ”A man is what he thinks about all day long.” The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it this way: ”A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” In the Bible we find: ”As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
One Sunday afternoon, a cranky grandfather was visiting his family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun by putting Limburger cheese on Grandfather’s mustache. Soon, grandpa awoke with a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, ”This room stinks.” Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he made his way outside only to find that ”the whole world stinks!”
So it is when we fill our minds with negativism. Everything we experience and everybody we encounter will carry the scent we hold in our mind.
Hang In There
Nicolo Paganini was a well-known and gifted nineteenth century violinist. He was also well known as a great showman with a quick sense of humor. His most memorable concert was in Italy with a full orchestra. He was performing before a packed house and his technique was incredible, his tone was fantastic, and his audience dearly loved him. Toward the end of his concert, Paganini was astounding his audience with an unbelievable composition when suddenly one string on his violin snapped and hung limply from his instrument. Paganini frowned briefly, shook his head, and continued to play, improvising beautifully.
Then to everyone’s surprise, a second string broke. And shortly thereafter, a third. Almost like a slapstick comedy, Paganini stood there with three strings dangling from his Stradivarius. But instead of leaving the stage, Paganini stood his ground and calmly completed the difficult number on the one remaining string.
The 3M Company encourages creativity from its employees. The company allows its researchers to spend 15 percent of their time on any project that interests them. This attitude has brought fantastic benefits not only to the employees but to the 3M Company itself Many times, a spark of an idea turned into a successful product has boosted 3M’s profits tremendously.
Some years ago, a scientist in 3M’s commercial office took advantage of this 15 percent creative time. This scientist, Art Fry, came up with an idea for one of 3M’s best-selling products. It seems that Art Fry dealt with a small irritation every Sunday as he sang in the church choir. After marking his pages in the hymnal with small bits of paper, the small pieces would invariably fall out all over the floor.
Suddenly, an idea struck Fry. He remembered an adhesive developed by a colleague that everyone thought was a failure because it did not stick very well. ”I coated the adhesive on a paper sample,” Fry recalls, ”and I found that it was not only a good bookmark, but it was great for writing notes. It will stay in place as long as you want it to, and then you can remove it without damage.”
Yes, Art Fry hit the jackpot. The resulting product was called Post-it! and has become one of 3M’s most successful office products.
From Candles to Soap
In 1879, Procter and Gamble’s best seller was candles. But the company was in trouble. Thomas Edison had invented the light bulb, and it looked as if candles would become obsolete. Their fears became reality when the market for candles plummeted since they were now sold only for special occasions.
The outlook appeared to be bleak for Procter and Gamble. However, at this time, it seemed that destiny played a dramatic part in pulling the struggling company from the clutches of bankruptcy. A forgetful employee at a small factory in Cincinnati forgot to turn off his machine when he went to lunch. The result? A frothing mass of lather filled with air bubbles. He almost threw the stuff away but instead decided to make it into soap. The soap floated. Thus, Ivory soap was born and became the mainstay of the Procter and Gamble Company.
Why was soap that floats such a hot item at that time? In Cincinnati, during that period, some people bathed in the Ohio River. Floating soap would never sink and consequently never got lost. So, Ivory soap became a best seller in Ohio and eventually across the country also.
Like Procter and Gamble, never give up when things go wrong or when seemingly unsurmountable problems arise. Creativity put to work can change a problem and turn it into a gold mine.
A Ten-Cent Idea
When young F. W. Woolworth was a store clerk, he tried to convince his boss to have a ten-cent sale to reduce inventory. The boss agreed, and the idea was a resounding success. This inspired Woolworth to open his own store and price items at a nickel and a dime. He needed capital for such a venture, so he asked his boss to supply the capital for part interest in the store. His boss turned him down flat. ”The idea is too risky,” he told Woolworth. ”There are not enough items to sell for five and ten cents.” Woolworth went ahead without his boss’s backing, and he not only was successful in his first store, but eventually he owned a chain of F. W. Woolworth stores across the nation. Later, his former boss was heard to remark, ”As far as I can figure out, every word I used to turn Woolworth down cost me about a million dollars.”
Time To Think
Henry Ford hired an efficiency expert to go through his plant. He said, ”Find the nonproductive people. Tell me who they are, and I will fire them!”
The expert made the rounds with his clipboard in hand and finally returned to Henry Ford’s office with his report. ”I’ve found a problem with one of your administrators,” he said. ”Every time I walked by, he was sitting with his feet propped up on the desk. The man never does a thing. I definitely think you should consider getting rid of him!” When Henry Ford learned the name of the man the expert was referring to, Ford shook his head and said, ”I can’t fire him. I pay that man to do nothing but think – and that’s what he’s doing.”
Criticism If an impulse comes to say Some un-thoughtful word today That may drive a friend away, Don’t say it! If you’ve heard a word of blame Cast upon your neighbor’s name That may injure his fair fame, Don’t tell it! If malicious gossip’s tongue Some vile slander may have flung On the head of old or young, Don’t repeat it! Thoughtful, kind, helpful speech, ‘Tis a gift promised to each– This the lesson we would teach: Don’t abuse it!
A Quiet Scolding
The late John Wanamaker was the king of retail. One day while walking through his store in Philadelphia, he noticed a customer waiting for assistance. No one was paying the least bit of attention to her. Looking around, he saw his salespeople huddled together laughing and talking among themselves. Without a word, he quietly slipped behind the counter and waited on the customer himself. Then he quietly handed the purchase to the salespeople to be wrapped as he went on his way. Later, Wanamaker was quoted as saying, ”I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”
A businessman was highly critical of his competitors’ storefront windows. ”Why, they are the dirtiest windows in town,” he claimed. Fellow business people grew tired of the man’s continual criticism and nitpicking comments about the windows. One day over coffee, the
businessman carried the subject just too far. Before leaving, a fellow store owner suggested the man get his own windows washed. He followed the advice, and the next day at coffee, he exclaimed, ”I can’t believe it. As soon as I washed my windows, my competitor must have cleaned his too. You should see them shine.”
Confucius once declared, ”Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your owm doorstep is unclean.”
A game warden noticed how a particular fellow named Sam consistently caught more fish than anyone else, whereas the other guys would only catch three or four a day. Sam would come in off the lake with a boat full. Stringer after stringer was always packed with freshly caught trout. The warden, curious, asked Sam his secret. The successful fisherman invited the game warden to accompany him and observe. So the next morning the two met at the dock and took off in Sam’s boat. When they got to the middle of the lake, Sam stopped the boat, and the warden sat back to see how it was done.
Sam’s approach was simple. He took out a stick of dynamite, lit it, and threw it in the air. The explosion rocked the lake with such a force that dead fish immediately began to surface. Sam took out a net and started scooping them up.
Well you can imagine the reaction of the game warden. When he recovered from the shock of it all, he began yelling at Sam. ”You can’t do this! I’ll put you in jail, buddy! You will be paying every fine there is in the book!” Sam, meanwhile, set his net down and took out another stick of dynamite. He lit it and tossed it in the lap of the game warden with these words, ”Are you going to sit there all day complaining, or are you going to fish?”
The poor warden was left with a fast decision to make. He was yanked, in one second, from an observer to a participant. A dynamite of a choice had to be made and be made quickly! Life is like that. Few days go by without our coming face to face with an uninvited, unanticipated, yet unavoidable decision. Like a crashing snow bank, these decisions tumble upon us without warning. Quick. Immediate. Sudden. No council, no study, no advice. Pow!
A Short Course in Human Relations
The six most important words: I admit that I was wrong. The five most important words: You did a great job. The four most important words: What do you think? The three most important words: Could you please. . . The two most important words: Thank you. The most important word: We. The least important word: I.
You are Wonderful
The following true story captured our heart. It happened several years ago in the Paris opera house. A famous singer had been contracted to sing, and ticket sales were booming. In fact, the night of the concert found the house packed and every ticket sold. The feeling of anticipation and excitement was in the air as the house manager took the stage and said, ”Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your enthusiastic support. I am afraid that due to illness, the man whom you’ve all come to hear will not be performing tonight. However, we have found a suitable substitute we hope will provide you with comparable entertainment.” The crowd groaned in disappointment and failed to hear the announcer mention the stand-in’s name. The environment turned from excitement to frustration.
The stand-in performer gave the performance everything he had. When he had finished, there was nothing but an uncomfortable silence. No one applauded. Suddenly, from the balcony, a little boy stood up and shouted, ”Daddy, I think you are wonderful!” The crowd broke into thunderous applause.
We all need people in our Lives who are willing to stand up once in a while and say, ”I think you are wonderful. ”
Two Kinds of People
There are only two kinds of people on earth today
Two kinds of people, no more I say.
Not the rich and the poor, for to know a man’s wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health,
Not the happy and sad, for in life’s passing years,
Each has his laughter and each has his tears.
No, the two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
In which class are you? Are you lifting the load
Of some overtaxed lifter who’s going down the road
Or are you a leaner who lets others share
Your portion of toil and labor and care?
Ella Wheeler Wikcox
Wranglers and Stranglers
Years ago there was a group of brilliant young men at the University of Wisconsin, who seemed to have amazing creative literary talent. They were would-be poets, novelists, and essayists. They were extraordinary in their ability to put the English language to its best use. These promising young men met regularly to read and critique each other’s work. And critique it they did!
These men were merciless with one another. They dissected the most minute literary expression into a hundred pieces. They were heartless, tough, even mean in their criticism. The sessions became such arenas of literary criticism that the members of this exclusive club called themselves the ”Stranglers.”
Not to be outdone, the women of literary talent in the university were determined to start a club of their own, one comparable to the Stranglers. They called themselves the ”Wranglers.” They, too, read their works to one another. But there was one great difference. The criticism was much softer, more positive, more encouraging. Sometimes, there was almost no criticism at all. Every effort, even the most feeble one, was encouraged.
Twenty years later an alumnus of the university was doing an exhaustive study of his classmates’ careers when he noticed a vast difference in the literary accomplishments of the Stranglers as opposed to the Wranglers. Of all the bright young men in the Stranglers, not one had made a significant literary accomplishment of any kind. From the Wranglers had come six or more successful writers, some of national renown such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who wrote The Yearling.
Talent between the two? Probably the same. Level of education? Not much difference. But the Stranglers strangled, while the Wranglers were determined to give each other a lift. The Stranglers promoted an atmosphere of contention and self doubt. The Wranglers highlighted the best, not the worst.
Sometimes when nothing goes just right And worry reigns supreme, When heartache fills the eyes with mist And all things useless seem, There’s just one thing can drive away The tears that scald and blind — Someone to slip a strong arm ‘round And whisper, ”Never mind.” No one has ever told just why Those words such comfort bring; Nor why that whisper makes our cares Depart on hurried wing. Yet troubles say a quick ”Good-day,” We leave them far behind When someone slips an arm around, And whispers, ”Never mind.” But love must prompt that soft caress- That love must, aye, be true Or at that tender, clinging touch No heart ease come to you, But if the arm be moved by love, Sweet comfort you will find When someone slips an arm around, And whispers, ”Never mind!”
Everyone has heard of Murphy’s first law: ”If anything can go wrong, invariably it will.” But hardly anybody has even a foggy idea of who Murphy was.
The search for Murphy’s notebooks led to a garage in Toledo, Ohio; an inventor’s junk loft in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania; and the home of a retired female blackmailer in Sarasota, Florida. It was learned that Murphy had no first name, that he never could hold a job, and that his writings were returned by the post office for insufficient postage.
It seems everything Murphy wrote about had some explanation for why things go wrong. Consider a few more Murphy classics:
Nothing is ever as simple as it first seems.
Everything you decide to do costs more than first estimated.
Every activity takes more time than you have.
It’s easier to make a commitment or to get involved in something than to get out of it.
Whatever you set out to do, something else must be done first.
If you improve or tinker with something long enough, eventually it will break.
By making something absolutely clear, somebody will be confused.
You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, and that’s sufficient.
Believe The Impossible
Every great achievement was once impossible until someone set a goal to make it a reality.
Lewis Carroll’s famous masterpiece Through the Looking Glass contains a story that exemplifies the need to dream the impossible dream. There is a conversation between Alice and the queen, which goes like this:
”I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
”Can’t you?” the queen said in a pitying tone. ”Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. ”There’s no use trying,” she said. ”One can’t believe impossible things.”
”I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the queen. ”When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
When you dare to dream, many marvels can be accomplished. The trouble is, most people never start dreaming their impossible dream.
How High Can You Jump?
Flea trainers have observed a predictable and strange habit of fleas while training them. Fleas are trained by putting them in a cardboard box with a top on it. The fleas will jump up and hit the top of the cardboard box over and over and over again. As you watch them jump and hit the lid, something very interesting becomes obvious. The fleas continue to jump, but they are no longer jumping high enough to hit the top. Apparently, Excedrin headache 1738 forces them to limit the height of their jump.
When you take off the lid, the fleas continue to jump, but they will not jump out of the box. They won’t jump out because they can’t jump out. Why? The reason is simple. They have conditioned themselves to jump just so high. Once they have conditioned themselves to jump just so high, that’s all they can do!
Many times, people do the same thing. They restrict themselves and never reach their potential. Just like the fleas, they fail to jump higher, thinking they are doing all they can do.