Monday, August 28, 2017

The Lemonade Stand

The Lemonade Stand

The story of a thinker and a doer

One day Jimmy asked Sally if she would like to help him set up a lemonade stand during the upcoming garage sale. Sally was a very creative girl. She had a lot of ideas and she set right to work.

“We need a big sign – what should we call ourselves?” she said. “Should we set it up by the street or by the garage?”

Sally had a million questions:

Homemade lemonade or made from a mix?

Regular or pink lemonade?

What size should the cups be?

Paper or plastic?

Would Jimmy mind if they sold the lemonade in pink cups?

How much would they charge?

She had learned how to make brownies last week; should they sell brownies too?

What if some people are on a diet; should they also sell sugar-free lemonade?

What if someone just wants water?

What if someone likes it sweeter?

What if… 

What if… 

As they talked, it got late. The “what ifs” never seemed to end. They still hadn’t finished going through all the details, but Jimmy had to go home for dinner. 

The next day, Jimmy got up early. Without worrying about Sally’s million questions, he wrote a simple supply list and went with his mom to the grocery store. He bought cups, lemons, sugar, ice, and a poster board.

He made some lemonade, wrote “Lemonade – 50 cents” on the poster board, and set it all up on a little table during the garage sale.

He sold a lot of lemonade that day. In fact, he made enough money to invite Sally to the movies that afternoon.

Are you one of those people who get so caught up in all the details that you can’t get started on a project? Are you surrounded by people like that?

Like Jimmy, you’ll accomplish the most when you can focus on the core plan, consider the most important details, and then take decisive action.

Being creative and thinking of new ideas is a great quality for brainstorming sessions. When planning out where you want to be in five years and what you’d like to accomplish, it’s great to think in big and broad terms!

But when it comes to an effective course of action, here’s the best plan:

Decide which of your possibilities makes the most sense right now.

Get rid of the fluff.  Take action, tackling one detail at a time.

When we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the details, we become paralyzed into a state of inaction and hopelessness. We then lose sight of the big picture.

When you feel that a project is becoming too cumbersome and may never get off the ground, it may be time to reflect on the question: “What is my big picture?”

Once you refocus on your greater purpose, you can work on the important details first, then grow as necessary.  Bogging yourself down with an overly complicated plan only opens the doors to procrastination and failure. Don’t let the fine details overwhelm you and keep you from achieving your goals! Throw out those extraneous details and organize the important ideas, taking one step at a time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Impatient Fisherman

Mr. Wilson decided to go fishing and he promised his wife he would bring her back some fish. So he walked down to the river under the bright afternoon sun and sat down on a rock with his fishing pole. 
But there wasn’t a fish to be seen. Every so often a little bitty fish would zip by where he was sitting, and he would chase it with his net until he would trip on a rock and fall face down into the water.  

“Lousy fish!” Mr. Wilson grunted.

The day wore on, the sun started to set, and Mr. Wilson still had not caught a single fish. He became frustrated and he was stomping angrily in the water when his next-door neighbor, Mr. Brown and his son Billy, came up to the river’s edge to watch the sunset and catch a few fish. 
Mr. Wilson didn’t even speak to them as he stormed off because he was frustrated by his wasted afternoon. 

“Gee!” Billy said. “He’s pretty angry, isn’t he?” 
“Hungry, I suppose,” Mr. Brown said. “He should’ve waited a bit longer. The fish come up to feed when the air is cool like this.”

As he spoke, they heard the sound of fish breaking the surface of the water, and the father and son easily scooped half a dozen fish out of the river. 
How often do we quit when we’re just one step away from our goal? Sometimes we get into the trap of thinking the world is working against us and that nothing is going our way and never will. In reality, however, we’re creating our own pain and suffering!

If Mr. Wilson wanted to catch fish, spending a few minutes learning about their habits would have made a big difference in his results. Knowing what they like to eat, when they eat, and where they’re most likely to rest would have saved him a day of frustration and kept him in dry clothes. 
When things seem to be going from bad to worse, it may be time to pull back and think differently about the situation.  

What is there that we don’t know? Is there someone who has been here before and may have some insight that would help us to be more successful? 

Pride and frustration may be keeping us from discovering just the information we need to succeed.  
Perhaps we should ask for ideas from those who have been successful in the past. Most people are not only willing to help, but they’re also happy to share their lessons learned. 

Think about those areas of your life where you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and, no matter how much effort you expend, the results just aren’t there. Then ask yourself if a better plan or a mentor could help you move past that obstacle. 
Maybe you already have the understanding you need, but you’re too busy rushing forward to think through a plan. Slowing down, taking your time, and examining the best course forward often saves you a lot of time and effort. This strategy will lead you to far greater successes in your life!

It’s better to move patiently and wisely forward, than to be the first to the lake and leave emptyhanded once again. 
Things to ask yourself:

Is there an area of my life where I feel frustrated and unsuccessful? 
What friend, coworker, or family member may know more about the situation than I do? 

Is pride or frustration keeping me from asking for help in areas where I can be more successful?

You Can Purchase the Inspiring Words eBook Here

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Frog On A Log

Three frogs sitting on a log, two decided to jump off, how many were left? 
If you said one you were wrong. I will tell you the answer but first let me tell you about the frog in a milk pail....
A careless frog was hopping around a farmyard when all of a sudden he fell into a pail half-filled with fresh milk

As he swam about attempting to reach the top of the pail, he found that the sides of the pail were too high and too steep. He stretched his back legs to push off the bottom of the pail but found it too deep. 
But this wasn't your average frog, this frog was determined not to give up, and he continued the struggle.

He kicked and squirmed and kicked and squirmed, until at last, all his churning about in the milk had turned the milk into a big hunk of butter. The butter was now solid enough for him to climb up on and hop out of the pail.  
The lesson is, Never Give Up.  Keep trying, keep moving and you will get there.

Another Frog Story

A large group of frogs were traveling through the woods one day and two of them fell into a deep hole. When the other frogs saw how deep the hole was, they told the two frogs that there was nothing they could do. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the deep hole with all their might.  
The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.  

The other trapped frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, all the other frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. 

When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time. 
Again the lesson is, never give up.  You have to keep moving. You can't sit still on a log and expect to get something done.  

Now the answer to the frog on the log riddle.

Three frogs sitting on a log, two decided to jump off, how many were left? 

If you said one you were wrong. All three were still left. The two only talked about jumping, they wanted to jump, they decided to jump, but they never took  action. 

Lesson is: You can wish for, hope for, plan for, want to, decide to, but until you take some action you are still on the log. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Famous Failures

If you study history, you will find that many success stories are also stories of great failures.  But people don't see the failures. They only see one side of the picture and they say that person got lucky. 

Henry Ford was broke at the age of 40. Then later on in life he forgot to put the reverse gear in the first car he made.  Still, Henry Ford turned out alright and will be remembered as a great man. 
As a young cartoonist, Walt Disney faced many rejections from newspaper editors.  He was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking in ideas.  Later on in life he said;  “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
On December 10, 1903, a New York Times editorial questioned the wisdom of the Wright Brothers who were trying to invent a machine, heavier than air, that would fly. One week later, at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers made their famous flight.
One day a deaf four year old boy came home with a note in his pocket from his teacher, "Your son is too stupid to learn, get him out of the school." His mother read the note and answered, "My son is not too stupid to learn, I will teach him myself." And that little boy grew up to be the great Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison had only three months of formal schooling and he was partially deaf.
 At the age of 65, riding in a beat-up car and a $100 check from Social Security. Colonel Sanders realized he had to do something. He remembered his mother's recipe and went out selling. It is estimated that he had knocked on more than a thousand doors before he got his first order. How many of us quit after three tries, ten tries, a hundred tries, and then we say we tried as hard as we could?
Albert Einstein learned to speak at a late age and performed poorly in school.
John Grisham had his first novel rejected by sixteen agents and twelve publishing houses.
Isaac Newton failed at running the family farm and did poorly in school.
Marilyn Monroe spent much of her younger years in foster homes. One of her first jobs, during the second world war, was inspecting parachutes.
Babe Ruth, the great baseball legend struck out 1,330 times.
Michael Jordan, the most famous name in basketball was cut from his high school basketball team. Later in life he said it well with; "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed"

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ben Said

Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
He was Born January 17, 1706 and Died April 17, 1790.

Ben Franklin was a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.

A few of his quotes:
“A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother.”
“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.”
“A great talker may be no fool, but he is one that relies on him.”
“A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.”
“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” 
“An old young man will be a young old man.”
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 
"Drive thy business or it will drive thee.”
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” 
"Eat to please yourself, but dress to please others.”
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
“Fear to do ill, and you need fear naught else.”
“Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended.”
“God helps them who help themselves,”
“I believe long habits of virtue have a sensible effect on the countenance.”
“If you would not be forgotten, do things worth remembering.”
“It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.”
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” 
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” 
“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” 
“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” 
“We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
“Well done is better than well said.” 
“You may delay, but time will not.”

Ole Farmer Sayings

You can find a lot of wisdom in the Ole Farmer Sayings.

ü  A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

ü  Anyone can farm, but not everyone is a farmer.

ü  A hive of bees in May is worth a load of hay

ü  Every garden may have some weeds.

ü  Books do not begin to contain what is necessary to become a successful farmer.

ü  Fast ripe, fast rotten.

ü  Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

ü  What you picking now is that which you planted before.

ü  Tall oaks grow from little acorns.

ü  God Almighty first planted a garden.

ü  Don't judge folks by their relatives.

ü  Every path has a few puddles.   

ü  For a farmer, next year will always be better.

ü  If You Ate Today, Thank A Farmer.

ü  If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

ü  If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

ü  In Nature We Trust.

ü  Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.

ü  Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

ü  Look down when walking around in the cow pasture.

ü  Meanness don’t just happen overnight.

ü  Most of the stuff people worry about, ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

ü  Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

ü  Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

ü  Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.

ü  The best sermons are lived, not preached.

ü  The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, will be watching you from the mirror every morning.

ü  The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not able to climb over.

ü  Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

ü  When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

ü  Words that soak into your ears are whispered--not yelled.

ü  Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Lesson From Houdini

Famous magician and escape artist Harry Houdini claimed he could escape any jail cell in less than an hour. One day, a small town in Britain built a new jail cell and they were proud of it.  They invited Houdini to come test it,  and he agreed.

He walked into the prison cell full of confidence. After all, he had done this hundreds of times before.
Once the jail cell was closed, Houdini took off his coat and went to work. From his belt, he got a flexible but tough piece of steel that he used as a lock pick. He knelt in front of the door and started working on the lock.

He quickly discovered that something was unusual about this particular lock. For 30 minutes he worked and got nowhere.  And his confident expression disappeared.

At the end of an hour, he was soaked with perspiration.  He tried all the tricks of his trade but nothing worked.

After two hours and totally exhausted, Houdini literally collapsed against the door. And the force of his weight was enough to push the door open.

Because in reality, the door had never been locked. By accident the new jailers never locked the door.   

It was locked only in one place, in his own mind.

The lesson: Whatever your mind says is locked---is locked.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wisdom From The Wise Minds

I have always enjoyed reading the quotes of famous people. Not just because they are a lot of fun to read, but because there is so much truth in them. I also feel they are the shortcuts to learning, and they can be great motivators. I can remember a time when I had them stuck up all around the house and office. The post it notes work great. 
Look what others have said about the quotes: 

Winston Churchill said, “Every man who didn’t go to college can largely make up for that lack by reading the wise sayings of the great men of the past.”

Thomas Jefferson said, "Mankind would lose half its wisdom built up over the centuries if it lost its great sayings. They contain the best parts of the best books."
WM. James said, “To neglect the wise saying of great thinkers is to deny ourselves of our truest education.” 

Samuel Johnson said, “He is the most useful teacher who condenses the most knowledge into short sentences.” 
Many of the famous people of the world have left us with their thoughts, experience, and wisdom, all condensed down into short sentences. Call them proverbs, quotes, wise saying, or whatever you like, but do understand, they all come from people worth listening to.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Reading a simple wise saying changed my life." 
It's unbelievable how reading one little wise saying or proverb has changed so many people's lives.

"Learning from the wise sayings of great men is like riding to success on the shoulders of giants." -Elbert Hubbard 
Reading wise sayings is like consulting with the worlds' highest priced experts.  Don’t be afraid of using the quotes from the wise as your shortcuts to success. The quotes are fun to read, and they really are the shortcuts to success. Study them often.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

You Can't Get it Done Sitting on a Stump

Growing up on the farm in the 1950's gave me some real insight about hard work. My dad would say, "The fields won't get plowed until you hitch up the mules."

While it has been more than fifty years since I heard my dad say that, I'm willing to bet that farmers today still have a similar saying. With the modern equipment like the big John Deere tractors with an air-conditioned cab, the farmers are probably instead saying, "The fields won't get plowed until you crank up the tractor."

Farmers understand the effort that goes into growing a crop. The seeds can't grow unless they are planted. All the planning and all the wishing in the world won't plant the seed in the ground. It takes action, it takes work. 

This message can be applied to the hopes and dreams in your life. You can plan and wish all you want, read all the books in the world, think about your dreams and goals, BUT until you actually stand up and take some action, nothing is going to change. No one else is going to plant those seeds, except you.

The real secret to success, ANY success, is action. This is the key ingredient that cannot be forgotten or skipped. The action step puts your plan in motion. In life, you simply CANNOT do anything--without DOING something. In other words, without action, there is virtually no chance for success.

The first phase for taking action is to put the steps in place to move towards a goal. You need to get out of you chair and take these steps. Which brings us to another one of the ole saying that I haven't forgotten, "you can't get it done sitting on a stump."

That is about as blatant and to the point as you can get. If you sit by and remain idle, or stay in passive mode, nothing will happen. Success is as simple as just DOING what needs to be done. If you think you can succeed and bypass this step, you will fail. Remember, the seeds will not will themselves into the ground. You must physical put them there.

In simple terms, most success plans consist of three main parts. One: Set a goal Two: Make a plan to achieve the goal. Three: Take action to reach the goal.  Where most fail is with step number three. People are good at setting goals, and some even make solid plans, but most never get up out of the chair and take action to reach that goal. So, get up off that stump and take some action today!

The Hot Dog Man

There was once a man who lived by the side of the road who decided to sell hot dogs. He put up signs on the highway telling everyone how good they were, he also stood on the side of the road and cried out to all that past by 'buy a hot dog, they are the best in town'. 

The old man was hard of hearing so he had no radio - he had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers and of course he didn't look at television. But he sold very good hot dogs.

As people bought his hot dogs he increased his meat and bun orders. He also bought a bigger stove to take care of all the extra business. With all the new business, he finally got his son to come and help him out with his booming business. 

But then something happened, his son who had been well educated said . . . ' Father, haven't you been listening to the radio or reading the newspapers or watching television? There's a big recession happening right now. The current business situation is terrible in this country - we have problems with unemployment, high living costs, strikes, pollution, the influence of minorities and majorities, the rich, the poor, drugs, alcohol, capitalism and communism '. 

Where upon his father thought, ' well my son's been well educated, he reads the papers, listens to the radio and watches television, so he ought to know '. 

So his father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down all his advertising signs and no longer bothered to stand by the side of the road to promote and sell his hot dogs, . . . . and his hot dog sales fell almost overnight. 

'You're right, son' the father said 'we certainly are in the middle of a recession'

Find A Way Not An Excuse

“You can make excuses or you can make progress. You choose.”
-Brian Tracy
“Don't make excuses make good.” 
-Elbert Hubbard
“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse. 
-Florence Nightingale
“Put all excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable.” 
-Zig Ziglar
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” 
-Benjamin Franklin

The Eagle In The Storm

It seems that the eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it comes. The eagle flies to some high spot and waits for the high wind to come. When the storm approaches, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm.  It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. 

The lesson: When the storms of life come upon us, and all of us will experience them, we can rise above them by simply setting our minds to sail a little higher.

Never Be Afraid To Ask

A little boy was having difficulty lifting a heavy stone. His father came along and as he noticed the boy struggling, he asked, "Are you using all your strength?" "Yes, I am," the little boy said. 

As he continued to watch, the father asks again, "Are you sure you using all your strength?" "Yes, I am," the little boy said.  
"No, you are not," the father answered. "I am right here just waiting, and you haven't asked me to help you." 

Asking is the key to getting. Some never ask yet they wonder why they didn't get. If you want something you should ask for it.

Perhaps Gandhi said it best when he said, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” 
Never Be Afraid To Ask

The Secret To Success

A young man asked Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher, for the secret to Success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. 

They met and Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their shoulders, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The man struggled to get out but Socrates was much stronger and kept him under the water until he started turning blue.

The young man kept struggling and finally managed to get up. The first thing he did was to gasp and take a deep breath.

Socrates asked, “What did you want the most when you were under the water?”

The man replied “Air”. "I wanted Air."

Socrates said: “That’s the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you want air, you will get it. There is no other secret.”

The Bamboo Tree Story

Once upon a time a man planted a bamboo tree. It was a small seedling and the man cared for it each day.  He watered it and made sure it had the proper sunlight to grow.  After a year's time, the man saw that the plant had not grown at all, but he continued the watering and caring for it.  

After the second year the plant had not grown, but he continued watering and caring for it through the third and the fourth year. Suddenly, as if by magic, in the fifth year it began growing. In fact, it grew two and a half feet a day until in six weeks it was ninety feet tall.

The bamboo tree's growth is not magic. During its first five years, when it seems nothing is happening, it develops miles of roots beneath the ground. Though no growth is visible, the foundation is being established and strengthened.

The lesson:  There are times when we feel our lives are standing still and nothing is changing.  In reality, those are the days we are building our own roots and growing strong for the days ahead.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Difficult Times

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –Henry Ford

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."—Dale Carnegie

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."—Thomas Edison

"Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top." - J.C. Penny
"People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success." -Norman Vincent Peale
"If you want to be successful, it's just this simple: Know what you are doing, love what you are doing, and believe in what you are doing." - Will Rogers
"No man is ever whipped until he quits - in his own mind." - Napoleon Hill
"The man who moved a mountain was the one who began carrying away small stones." - Chinese Proverb
"When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure." – Mary Kay Ash

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fisherman Story

A successful American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just a fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. 

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA or New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

The Value Of An Idea