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Inspiration

The Old Carpenter’s Story- A Wise Life Lesson

Sheila J. Highland

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The Old Carpenters Story

You are the carpenter of your life.

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire, and he told his boss of his plans to leave and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the paycheck, he could get by, but he needed to retire. The contractor was sorry to see a good worker go, and he asked the carpenter to build just one more house as a personal 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.you are the carpenter of your life

 

When the carpenter finished his work, the contractor come to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. ” This is your house,” the contractor said. “It’s 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 building. Then with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built.

If we could do it all over again, we would do it much differently. But we cannot go back!

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the “house” you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!

Wise Life Lesson: You are the carpenter of your life. Each day you build a little more. Your attitudes and choices you make today build your “house” for tomorrow.
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Inspiration

7 Ways You Can Change the World

Polly Stevens

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7 Ways You Can Change the World

I woke up at 4 a.m., and all I could think was “What am I doing with my life?” I was in my early 30s and living in the corporate world, working long hours with high levels of stress. I felt burned out and depleted. What happened? Growing up, I always dreamed I would change the world and make it a better place.

At that moment, I definitely didn’t feel like I was changing anything. I was just earning a paycheck. Just surviving. I didn’t have time to think about changing the world. I had deadlines to meet and never enough time for anything extra.

Does that sound familiar? Many people I know are in the same situation. How can you take on the problems of the world when there’s so much to do already? It can be overwhelming, no matter how good your intentions might be.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change the world, just like you always thought you would. You can make a positive change. You can do meaningful deeds and make a positive impact on other people.

What’s more, when you do something meaningful, you do more than just change the world. You increase your own happiness. In 2009, psychology researcher Michael Steger found that meaningful work makes people happier and more effective in their daily lives. It turns out, people who work to change the world, also receive a great benefit from their efforts. So what can you do?

Here Are 7 Ways You Can Help Change the World

1. Start Small

Change the World

You don’t have to take on everything at once, in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start small and just take the first step. This was the secret of Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, the founder of microfinance and microlending. Before he retired, Yunus helped thousands of people in poverty obtain business loans without collateral. He started with just $27.

Yunus surveyed people in his community about their needs and was shocked to learn that he could assist 42 people by lending just $27 of his own money. His first project was a success and he continued to build on it, finally creating Grameen Bank. By 1997, Grameen Bank had issued US$6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers, empowering others to build businesses and improve their own situations. Yunus went on to successfully lead several other initiatives to help the poor, starting small each time.

What small action can you take today? Take it. Small actions can build on each other but you need to take that first step.

2. Be a Good Neighbor

Change the World

You don’t have to travel the world or live in Washington, DC to make an impact. You actually have the greatest knowledge and influence in your own backyard. This was the lesson learned by John Paul Flintoff, and he discussed it in his 2012 Ted Talk entitled “How to Change the World.”

Flintoff works to help protect the environment and prevent global warming. He realized he could make an immediate difference by reaching out to his neighbors. However, he did it not by overloading them with facts and research, but by giving them tomato plants. Every year, he offers his extra tomato seedlings to his neighbors. This simple and kind act started his neighbors growing some of their own food, thereby slightly reducing their environmental impact.

What’s something you can do in your own backyard?

“Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.” -Charles Eames

3. Highlight an Issue

Change the World

Do you feel strongly about an issue that doesn’t get enough attention, or where change is slow? Become educated on the issue and what’s being done to address it. Then you can highlight the issue, advocate for change, share information with your friends and family. You can do it through modern social media, and even by writing good old-fashioned letters to your government representatives. Working on an issue like this, you can create a huge impact. Especially now with social media, your message can go viral on the internet, spreading the word even faster.

What issues are important to you? How can you help bring attention to those issues?

4. Pay it Forward and Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Change the World

A small act of kindness creates a ripple effect that can carry from person to person, brightening many lives. From giving someone a smile to holding a door open for someone, doing chores for other people, donating to charity, or buying lunch for a friend, it doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s day a little bit better.

Research has also found that performing these simple acts of kindness increases feelings of happiness and positivity. One study even found that “acts of kindness create an emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.”

I had a friend who passed away a few years ago who used to buy coffee for the people in the car behind him at the drive-through. He received immense joy from knowing he just gave someone a nice surprise and had no expectation of anything in return.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -Mother Teresa

5. Let Your Values Guide Your Spending and Know Who You’re Doing Business With

Change the World

Support companies that have fair trade practices and that have a triple bottom line — people, planet, and profit (not just profit). Take the time to learn about the companies where you do business. Does your bank use ethical business practices? What types of projects do they fund? What goes into making your favorite products?

Let your money make a statement. While it may not seem like a lot, if enough people redirect their spending based on unethical or unsustainable practices, businesses will change and evolve to meet the demand. If you spend according to your own personal values, you’ll make a statement and also find more harmony with your money.

Make a list of the products and services you buy most? Do their business practices align with your values? Are there other options?

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” -Gandhi

6. Pray or Meditate

Change the World

While this seems like an internal change, prayer and meditation have also been shown to have a positive effect on your surrounding area. The Maharishi Effect indicates that there is a correlation between meditation and societal harmony. For example, several studies have documented a reduction in crime rates in communities where at least one percent of the population practices transcendental meditation. Meditation is a powerful tool to bring internal peace us as individuals, but it may also benefit those around us.

Do you have a daily prayer or meditation practice? If not, try it for 10 days and feel the difference it makes in your own life, and possibly in the lives of others.

7. Be Authentic in Everything You Do

Change the World

You have a unique value and perspective on life and that makes you inherently beautiful and amazing. No one else in the universe is like you. You are one of a kind. Bring your true, authentic self to every situation, and you may find it’s just what was needed. Authenticity creates higher levels of empowerment, creativity, and overall well-being — a great place to be when helping others.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

Identify ways you can begin to align your thoughts with your actions, increasing your authenticity. Make a list and work to create greater harmony between the two.

Where Do You Start? Two Questions to Ask Yourself Now

So how do you know where to start? John Paul Flintoff posed two questions to the audience in his 2012 Ted Talk about where to begin:

1. What would you do if you knew you could do anything and wouldn’t fail? This question helps you think big without the negative doubts or self-talk. I recently posted this question to my community and some of the answers I got back included curing AIDS, eradicating malaria, working with DNA to prevent illness, and writing a best-selling novel. What beautiful goals. Dream big — what would you do?

2. What is one thing you can start doing toward that goal within the next 24 hours? Big goals can be daunting, but focusing only the next action allows you to make progress without feeling overwhelmed. Don’t wait – begin with just one small step and keep it up. Before you know it, you’ll have moved mountains.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank

Now it’s your turn. What things are you doing to make the world a better place? Share your thoughts below.

Great article by Monica Bourgeau Follow on Twitter:

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Inspiration

One Very Special Seed!

Sheila J. Highland

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One Very Special Seed

One Very Special Seed!

An emperor in the far east was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing his assistant or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day and said ” It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you”.The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”.One Very Special Seed

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story.

She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks.. 4weeks.. 5weeks.. went by. Still, nothing, By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however, he just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling’s mother told him to bring the empty pot and be honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all sizes and shapes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the others laughed at him, a few felt sorry for him and just said: “Hey nice try”.

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide at the back. ” What a great plant. trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front, Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”.

When Ling got to the front, the emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling, ” He replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, ” Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?! Then the emperor said, ” One year ago, I gave everyone here a seed, I told you to take the seed, plant it water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling. have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one  who will be the new emperor!”…

 


Our Very Special Seed is a story of courage and honesty. Never Stop Being You is a poem of motivation.


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Inspiration

Parable of the Pencil

Sheila J. Highland

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Parable of the Pencil

Parable of the Pencil

Pencil will become the best pencil it can be.. only if ..

1. It allows itself to be held in someone’s hand, then it will be able to do many great things.
2. It willing to experience a painful sharpening from time to time, then it will become a better pencil.
3. It can manage to correct any mistakes it made.Parable of the pencil
4. It be able to leave a mark and continue writes on any surface and at any condition
5. And the best part of the pencil is always what’s inside it.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you would make you the best person you can be..

1. you will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. and allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time by going through various problems in life, but you will need it to become a stronger person.
3. You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
4. On every surface you walk through you must leave your mark. No matter what the situations, you must continue to do your duties.
5. The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.

Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make change.

Parable of the Pencil is a motivating story. One Very Special Seed! is another refreshing story of courage honesty.


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Inspiration

“Why Me?” A Beautiful Message by Arthur Ashe

Sheila J. Highland

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Why Me A Beautiful Message by Arthur Ashe

“Why Me?” A Beautiful Message by Arthur Ashe

Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. the legendary Wimbledon player was a prominent African American Tennis player who was born and raised in USA, was dying of AIDS. From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: “Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease?”

Be Thankful To GodTo this Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. replied:
⁃ 50 Million children started playing Tennis,
⁃ 5 Million learned to play Tennis,
⁃ 500 000 learned Professional Tennis,
⁃ 50 Thousand came to Circuit,
⁃ 5 Thousand reached Grand Slam,
⁃ 50 reached Wimbledon,
⁃ 4 reached the Semifinals,
⁃ 2 reached the Finals and
When I was holding the cup in my hand, I never asked God:
“Why Me?” So now that I’m in pain how can I ask God: “Why Me?”
Happiness … keeps you Sweet!
Trials … keep you Strong!
Sorrows … keeps you Human!
Failure … keeps you Humble!
Success … keeps you Glowing!
But only, Faith … keeps you Going!
 
Sometimes you are not satisfied with your life, while many people in this world are dreaming of living your life. A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead dreams of flying, while a pilot on the plane sees the farmhouse and dreams of returning home. That’s Life! Enjoy yours … If wealth is the secret to happiness, then the rich should be dancing on the streets. But only poor kids do that! If power ensures security, then VIP’s should walk unguarded. But those who live simply, sleep soundly. If beauty and fame bring ideal relationships, then celebrities should have the best marriages!Live simply, be happy! Walk humbly and love genuinely!

“Why Me?” A Beautiful Message by Arthur Ashe is a reminder that in whatever situation we are in we need to be grateful. Changing The World With Kindness, Justice, and Peace. Is another auspicious story.


 

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Inspiration

What is A Family?

Sheila J. Highland

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What is a Family

What Is A Family?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?” replied the man.

SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”What is a Family

DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”

DAD: “If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said,

“Daddy, may I please borrow $10?”

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.” The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep, son?” He asked. “No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $10 you asked for.” The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. “Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.” Share this story with someone you like…. But even better, share $20 worth of time with someone you love. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family. An unwise investment indeed!

Moral: In our busy lives in this world, we should not neglect our family. Let us spend more quality time with our loved ones especially our family.

 


What is a Family? is a motivating story of more quality time with family. Another moving story is True Wealth.


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Enlightenment

The Cracked Pot

Sheila J. Highland

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The Cracked Pot

The Cracked Pot

Once upon a time, there was a water-bearer in India who had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his 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 two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pot 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.A Cracked Pot 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 two 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 wildflowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the 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 two 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.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. 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.

Moral: Don’t judge someone by only looking on their bad side without noticing the good side of them, because every person has their own weakness and strengths. Some time, weakness bring good hidden value and strength also can sometimes bring bad effects, that’s why there has been a saying that says ” nothing is perfect in this world except the Almighty God.

 


The Cracked Pot is a stimulating story of life. More encouraging stories like What is a Family.


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