Friday, November 30, 2018

A Parable On Adversity

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule braying, or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened. He enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery. Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling, it suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back he should shake it off and step up! This he did. "Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up" he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!

It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well. What seemed would bury him, actually blessed him, all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity. That's life! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give into panic, bitterness, or self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit us! 

This inspirational story and many more are found in our book Coach Yourself

Coach Yourself by Dan Spainhour

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Three Kernels Of Corn

Three young men were once given three kernels of corn apiece by a wise old sage, who admonished them to go out into the world, and use the corn to bring themselves good fortune. The first young man put his three kernels of corn into a bowl of hot broth and ate them.

The second thought, I can do better than that, and he planted his three kernels of corn. Within a few months, he had three stalks of corn. He took the ears of corn from the stalks, boiled them, and had enough corn for three meals.

The third man said to himself, I can do better than that! He also planted his three kernels of corn, but when his three stalks of corn produced, he stripped one of the stalks and replanted all of the seeds in it, gave the second stalk of corn to a sweet maiden, and ate the third. His one full stalk's worth of replanted corn kernels gave him 200 stalks of corn! And the kernels of these he continued to replant, setting aside only a bare minimum to eat.

He eventually planted a hundred acres of corn. With his fortune, he not only won the hand of the sweet maiden but purchased the land owned by the sweet maiden's father. And he never hungered again. The more you give, the more you get. However, that should not be the reason for your giving. It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything. The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Hold The Rope

Every year a team wins a championship. Every year a college team wins the NCAA title. Every year the best high school team in Division A on down wins the state crown. All these teams have one thing in common: No matter how tough it became throughout their season, they did one thing — they held the rope!

What is “holding the rope?” Imagine that you are hanging from the edge of a cliff with a drop of twenty thousand feet. The only thing between you and an fall to your death is a rope, with the person of your choice on the other end. Who do you know that has the guts to pull you to safety?

Who will hold the rope?

Who do you know that is going to let that rope burn their hand and not let go? How many people that you know are going to withstand the burning pain and watch the blood drip from their hands for you? If you can name two people, that’s not good enough, because those two people might not be around.

The next time your team is together, look around and ask yourself, “Who could I trust to hold the rope? Who is going to let their hands bleed for me?”

When you can look at every member on your team and say to yourself that they all would hold the rope, you are destined to win a lot of ball games. You see, the team that holds the rope when the going gets tough are winners. When you are down by four points with thirty seconds to go, don’t give up. Yell at your teammates to “hold the rope — let it burn but don’t let go!” Every year there are winners and losers in all sports. Every year the winners hold the rope. You don’t have to have the most talented team to win the game.

If you play with poise and do what your coaches ask of you, and most of all — hold the rope — you will be successful. No matter what sport you play, in order to win, you have to have a commitment to your team.

Don’t let your team down--hold the rope!


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Few Of The World’s Biggest Losers

Successful people often fail their way to success. Lance Armstrong won his 5th Tour de France after battling testicular cancer. Elvis Presley became “the King” after being fired from his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry being told he had no talent. Albert Einstein became a world renown scientist after being rejected by the Munich Technical School for showing no promise. Michael Jordan has become one of, if not the best, basketball player of all time after being cut from his high school team. The life of actor Michael J. Fox changed after learning he had multiple sclerosis, but it did not end. Chronic fatigue syndrome kept Laura Hillenbrand bedridden from August 1991 to the summer of 1994, but it didn’t stop her from writing the bestselling racehorse drama Seabiscuit. Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he succeeded in making the first electric light bulb. Walt Disney got 33 rejections before he found financing for his theme park. Colonel Sanders got turned down 1,000 times before he found a buyer for his fried chicken recipe. Mark Victor Hansen was turned down 30 times before signing a 2.8 million dollar contract for his Chicken Soup for the Soul books. And we’ve all heard of Abraham Lincoln’s list of failures before becoming president.

 The obvious point is that many of the most successful people in any field had what could have been a career-ending setbacks. The difference...failure led to inner motivation which eventually led to success! With a positive attitude, a program, patience, and persistence, you can get amazing results.

In work, the greatest satisfaction lies in the satisfaction of stretching yourself, using your abilities and making them expand, and knowing that you have accomplished something that could have been done only by your unique apparatus. This is really the center of life, and those who never orient themselves in this direction are missing more than they ever know. Kenneth Alsop.

Friday, November 2, 2018

A Carrot, An Egg, And A Cup Of Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. 

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked. What does it mean, mother?" Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity-boiling water-but each reacted differently. 

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. 

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? Think of it this way: Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? 

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? 

This inspirational story and many more are found in our book Coach Yourself

Coach Yourself by Dan Spainhour