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Positive Thinking

 
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~A True Friends ~
~ The Blue Ribbon's Story ~
~ The Salesman's Story ~
~ Who Can Say ~
~ Life's Lesson ~
~ The Feelings' Island ~
~ The Cracked Pot ~
~ What Makes The Difference ~
~ The Success' Secret ~
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A True Friends
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          An ordinary friend has never seen you cry. A true friend has had a wet shoulder from your tears. An ordinary friend does not know your parents' first names. A true friend probably has their phone number written down as well. An ordinary friend bring somethings to your party. A true friend shows up early to help you prepare... and stays late to help clean up. An ordinary friend gets upset when you call late. A true friend asks why you weren't able to call earlier. An ordinary friend likes to listen to your problems. A true friend likes to help you solve them. An ordinary friend behaves like a guest and waits to be served when he or she visits. A true friend goes to the fridge and serves himself. An ordinary friend thinks your friendship is over after a quarrel. A true friend knows that friendships get stronger after a quarrel. An ordinary friend always expects you to be there to help out. A true friend is always there to help you out. A true friend? Someone who sticks with you when everyone else abandons you.

          "A friend is someone I can be sincere with, someone I can think out loud to." Ralph Waldo Emerson ................ While walking along a beach at dawn an old man saw a boy picking starfish up off the sand and throwing them back into the sea. He caught up to the boy and asked him what he was doing. The boy replied that the starfish would die if left exposed on the sand after sunrise. "But this beach goes on for miles," the old man said. "There must be thousands of starfish stranded on the sand. What difference will it make to save just a few?" The boy looked at the starfish he was holding in his hand, then threw it onto the surf. "Well, for THAT starfish it makes a big difference!" (Minnesota Literacy Council) ...

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The Blue Ribbon's Story

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            A professor was in the habit of giving his students a little gift at the end of the school year - a blue ribbon with the words "Who I Am Makes A Difference®" printed in gold letters on the ribbon. As she gave each student their ribbon she explained why he had appreciated teaching them, and why his course had been different because that particular student had been present. One day it occurred to her to see what effect this little custom would have on the community. She gave each student 3 blue ribbons instead of one, and told each of them to give one ribbon to someone they knew who, in their opinion "made a difference." She also told them to give the 2 other ribbons to that same person, with instructions to hand them out to others who had made a difference. After that the students were to come back and report what happened. One student who had a part-time job gave his ribbon to his boss, a grumpy fellow who nevertheless appreciated the honor. "I admire everything you've done," the student said to his boss. "I think you're a creative genius and a real fair guy. Will you allow me to pin this blue ribbon on your jacket as a sign of my appreciation?" The boy's boss was surprised but also pleased. "Yeah, sure, why not?" he said. "And will you take these 2 other ribbons," the student continued, "and give them to someone you think makes a difference, like I did for you? It's for a project we're doing at school." "All right," the boss replied. That night the boss returned home wearing the purple ribbon on his jacket. He greeted his 14 year old son and said, "Something strange happened to me today. One of my employees gave me this ribbon. See what's written on it? 'Because you make a difference.' He gave me another ribbon just like it and told me to give it to someone who's made a difference for me, someone who is very special and means a lot to me. "I had a pretty hard day, but on the way home I said to myself, 'There's only one person I want to give this ribbon to.' I know I tell you off a lot because you don't work hard enough at school, because all you think about is going out and having fun with your friends, because your room's always a mess... But tonight I want to tell you that you are very very important to me. You and your mother make all the difference in my life, and I'd like you to accept this blue ribbon as a sign of my love. I don't tell you I love you very often, not nearly enough, I know. But I do love you, and I think you're a wonderful kid!" As soon as he stopped talking his son burst into tears. His whole body shook with sobs. His father took him in his arms and held him close, saying, "That's okay, it's all right. Did I say something wrong?" "No Dad." his son replied, "It's just that... I decided I was going to kill myself. I was going to do it tomorrow. I had it all planned out. I wanted to kill myself because I was sure you didn't like me, even though I tried hard to be good. Now that's all changed..." ................................................. "Children who receive a lot of approval learn to accept themselves." Dorothy Nolte "A word spoken in kindness engenders confidence. A thought expressed with kindness engenders profound feelings. A generous act performed with kindness engenders love." Lao Tseu

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The Salesman's Story
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               A salesman had a flat tire somewhere out in the countryside. He opened his trunk and looked for his jack... but it wasn't there. "Hum, now what do I do," he thought. Since he was stranded on a small country road on a hot summer day, he doubted anyone would drive by to help. Seeing the spire of a church in the distance, he decided to walk to the nearest village and borrow a jack. It was a long way, and the day was very hot. On the way he thought, "I hope someone in that town has a jack they can lend me." He walked some more, sweating profusely, and then thought, "I know what the people around here are like. They don't take kindly to strangers." He walked a little further, thinking, "Since they don't know me, I really don't thing anyone is going to lend me a jack." And so he continued walking and imagining the worst possible outcome to his predicament... No one in the town would be willing to lend him a jack, people would be so suspicious they'd even refuse to sell him one, and so on. By the time he got to the village he was so upset he went to the square in the middle of town and started shouting, "All right, since that's the way you feel, you can keep your damn jack!" o 0 o How often have you invented all kinds of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and unfounded fears? .......................... "Many people mistake thinking for reorganizing the thoughts they already have." William James

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Who Can Say

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             There once was very poor man living in a village who had a very fine horse. So fine, in fact, that the lord of the castle wanted to buy it. But the old man always refused. "To me this horse is not merely an animal. He's a friend. How could I sell you my friend?" One morning he went to the stable and found his horse gone. All the villagers said, "We told you! You should have sold your horse. Now he's been stolen instead. What terrible luck." "Bad luck or good luck," the old man said. "Who can say?" Everyone laughed at him. But 15 days later the horse returned, followed by a whole herd of wild horses. He had escaped from the stable, courted a young mare, and returned with the rest of the herd following behind! "What luck!" the villagers cried. The old man and his son began training the wild horses. But a week later the man's son broke his leg trying to train one of the horses. "Bad luck," said his friends. "What are you going to do now without your son to help you? You who are already so poor." "Bad luck, good luck, who can say?" the old man replied. A few days later an army belonging to the lord of the land passed through the village and forced all the young men to become soldiers. All... except the old man's son, because of his broken leg. "How lucky you are," the villagers cried. "All our children are gone to war, but you've been able to keep your son. Our sons will probably be killed..." The old man replied, "Bad luck, good luck... who can say?" The future comes to us in bits and pieces. We never know what lies in store for us. But if you always maintain a positive attitude the doors of chance remain open, and you will be a happier person. ............................................. "Remember that happiness doesn't depend on what you are or on what you possess, but only on how you think." Dale Carnegie "Contentment brings happiness even in poverty. Discontent brings poverty, even in wealth." Confucius

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Life's Lesson

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            One day, an old professor of the national School of administration (ENA-France) was asked to give a training-course on the effective economic planning of one's time to a group of about fifteen leaders of big companies from North - America. This course constituted one of 5 workshops of their day of training. So, the old Prof. only had one hour to spend on this subject. Standing in front of this group of elite who was ready to note everything that the expert was going to teach, the old Prof. looked at them one by one, slowly, then said to them: "We are going to make an experiment". From under the table which separated him from his pupils, the old Prof. took out an immense jar Mason of a gallon (glass jar of more than 4 liters) which he directly put in front of him. Then, he took out about a dozen pebbles roughly as big as tennis balls and placed them delicately, one by one, in the big jar. When the jar was filled up to the brim, and when it was impossible to add anything to it, he raised slowly his eyes towards the pupils, and asked them: "Is this jar full?" Everybody answered: "Yes". He waited for a few seconds and added: "Really?" Then, he bent again and took out from under the table a pot filled with little stones. With accuracy, he poured these little pebbles on the big stones, then moved softly the jar. The fragments of little pebbles went between the stones down to the bottom of the jar. The old Prof. raised his eyes again towards his audience and asked: "Is this jar full?". This time, his brilliant pupils began to understand the whole process. One of them answered: "Probably not!" "Well!" answered the old Prof.. He bent again and this time, took out from under the table a bucket of sand. With attention, he poured the sand into the jar. The sand went to fil the spaces between the big big stones and the little pebbles. Once again, he asked: "Is this jar full?". This time, without hesitation, and in a choir, the brilliant pupils answeredt: "No!". "Well!" answered the old Prof. And, as expected by the brilliant pupils, he took the jug of water which was on the table and filled the jar up to the brim. Then, the old Prof. raised his eyes towards his group and asked: "Which big truth does this experiment show to us?" . Being no fool, the most audacious of the pupils, thinking about the topic of this course, answered: "It shows that even when one believes that our diary is completely filled, if one wants really wants it, one can add more meetings to it, more things to be made". The old Prof. answered. "It is not that". "The big truth that this experiment shows to us is the following one: - "If one does not put the big stones first in the jar, one will never be able to make all of them go in, then". There was a profound silence, each becoming aware of the evidence of these comments. Then, the old Prof. Told them: "Which are the big stones in your life?" "Your health?" "Your family?" "Your friends?" "To make your dreams come true?" "Learning?" "To do what you enjoy?" "To relax?" "To fight for a cause?" "To take time for yourself?" "Or any other thing?" "What it is necessary to remember is the importance to put one's BIG STONES in first in one's life, otherwise one encours the risks not succeed in one's life. If one gives priority to pecadilloes (the little pebbles, the sand), one will fill one's life with pecadilloes and one will have no more enough precious time to dedicate to the important elements of one's life". Then do not forget to ask to yourself this question: "Which are the BIG STONES IN MY LIFE? Then, put them in, first" With a friendly gesture of the hand, the old professor greeted his audience and slowly left the room. What are the BIG STONES in your life,guy?

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The Feelings' Island

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           Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge and all of the others, including Love… One day, it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left. Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment. When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a great boat. Love said: "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered: "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you." Love decided to ask Vanity, who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel: "Vanity, please help me!"’ "I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered. Sadness was close by, so Love asked for help: "Sadness, let me go with you." "Oh...Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!" Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her! Suddenly, there was a voice: "Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder her name. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Love realizing how much he owed the elder asked Knowledge, another elder: "Who helped me?" "It was Time," Knowledge answered. "Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?" Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered: "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."

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The Cracked Pot

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              A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across hls 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 2 years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots 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. 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 2 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 wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it some. But at the end of tile 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 2 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." Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. Some of us don't grow old gracefully, some are not so smart, some are tall, large & big, some bald, some physically challenged, 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. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you, Andromeda! Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or as I like to think of it - If it's not for the crackpots in my life, it would be pretty boring. Thank you for being my crackpot friends :)

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What Makes The Difference,

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             A young black boy saw a balloon seller on a street corner. His eyes sparkled as he gazed at all the different colored balloons - red, blue, white, black, yellow... The old man selling the balloons saw the boy hesitate, then gather his courage and approach. "Tell me mister," said the boy, "Do the black balloons fly as high as the others?" The old man felt a tear forming in his eye. He picked the boy up, sat him on his knee and said, "Look." He let go of all the balloons. They drifted up in a cluster, higher and higher into the blue sky, until they were so high they disappeared. "Did you see that?" the balloon seller asked. "Yes," said the boy. "Did the black balloons fly as high as the others?" "Yes, Mister, they did." "You see my boy, the balloons are like people. The important thing isn't their color, or what they look like on the outside. No, the important thing is WHAT'S INSIDE. And what's inside you makes all the difference in life."  ............................................................... "When someone's character seems impossible to fathom, observe his friends." Japanese proverb

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The Success' Secret

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             During a meeting of top salespeople from around the country, the 'big cheese' himself, a man who'd consistently had the highest sales figures for the last 20 years, and who earned more money than even the owner of his company, got up to speak. "I am now going to reveal the secret of my success," he said. "I wrote it down on a piece of paper and I put it in this envelope. But success must be earned. So I'm going to sell the envelope to the highest bidder. You have my word that it contains what I said - the Secret of my Success, not only as a salesman, but also in life." The bidding started slowly... $5, then $10, then $50, $100, $130, $150, $200. Finally one of his colleagues bought the envelope for $1000. The happy buyer took the envelope and kept it to himself until he got home that night. Only then did he open it to learn THE SECRET OF SUCCESS. What do you think was written on the piece of paper? Think about it. Make a mental note of whatever comes to mind before reading the answer. Because I am going to tell you what it was later in this e-mail. And in my opinion what was written on that piece of paper is worth much more than $1000. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... The winner of the auction tore open the envelope, unfolded the piece of paper and read the following hand-written words: =============== THE SUCCESS' SECRET IS... TO ASK. ================  "Action does not always lead to happiness, but there is no happiness without action." Benjamin Disraeli "Better do things yourself than hope they will be done." Scottish Proverb

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