Remember the Hans Christian fable of The Red Shoes? Do not scoff at the girl and her foolishness. As we get older in life and start ‘owning’ things, we all behave like that poor girl in red shoes. We buy ‘things’ and soon those things start owning and controlling us.
This is an amazing story and worth remembering. Sure as a kid when you read it, you thought how could such a shoe exist..and would you have to lose your legs to get rid of a shoe. Yes it is imaginary a story, yes it sounds impossible.
Just sit back and wonder…have you given up on a relationship because you wanted to own something?
For those who have not read the Red Shoes………..here is a small pdf………..it is a small 10 minute read and your kids will enjoy it too………..
How Many of Us Wear the Red Shoes?
We should learn to take control of our own “red shoes” before they take control of us.
If you have ever complained about not having somethings (and who has not?) stop the thoughts. Immediately start writing a notebook of why you have Gratitude and towards whom and for what.
It is a very powerful exercise of being grateful for what is given to us. I can not say about others, but I am sure I have more than what I deserve and I can easily make a list of 100 people to whom I owe much more than what they owe me. Whether it is the teacher who taught me, or the client who paid for my house, shelter, holidays, food on the table, a great life or a super great set of friends, colleagues, kids, … the list is endless.
Still once in a while you read a story like this and it makes you question. You know you have done nothing to give back to the world for what has been given to you……read this……I beg of you to read this……read on……The Last Walk for Water
View story at Medium.com
If you’ve read 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, you may remember one of the poems in the book about the “The Cookie Thief.”
In case you haven’t read it before, you can read it here. One most important lesson I have learned from it is:
Question your assumptions – The lady in the poem simply assumed that the cookies were hers and that the “cookie thief” was rudely taking them from her.
After reading the poem, I could totally relate to the many times in which I have hastily and mistakenly passed judgment of a situation or of a person. I think many of us are guilty of this. We make assumptions and judgments without having all the facts.
We like to think we know everything and we like to know that we are always right. This is who we are, this is what we all do. This is one of the reasons that many of us get stuck and can’t really grow. We need to keep an open mind and be aware that what we know might not be the truth and what we know is very little and that as long as we will live, we will be ignorant.
Begin challenging your own assumptions.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.
~ Alan Alda
There is a saying, ‘If you are not making mistakes, then you are not making decisions’. What this really means is that decision making requires past experience, and in order to require experience, you need to try various options. In that process, there are bound to be failures.
If we realize why we failed last time, we can succeed the next time. However we should take care not to repeat the same mistakes. There must be an urge to to win even in utterly hopeless circumstances. Many of you have have heard about the story of King Robert Bruce, who was defeated six times in a row. He was finally cornered and was hiding in a cave, when he noticed a spider spinning a web. He saw that jumping quite a distance from one corner to another, Although it failed several times, the spider made repeated attempts, instead of giving up.
The king watched the spider with curiosity. It failed six times but persistent effort helped it succeed the seventh time! The King thought to himself, “I too have failed six times already, but I am bound to win seventh time”. History testifies that he won the battle next time.
The moral of the story is, “Never lose the will to win, even in midst of failure”.
“We have to search for available opportunities which are sometimes hidden, but within our reach.”
This is a story of a South African farmer, who had extensive farmland in a rural area. His ambition was to become a billionaire. He believed that he would not be able to fulfill his dream by farming in a village. In fact, he made use of only a small part of his farmland and a lions share of it was lying uncultivated. He decided to sell his property in the village and move to the town, so that he could engage in a business and fulfill his ambition to become a billionaire.
The man who bought this farmland, ‘I will work hard on this land, and convert every inch of it into agricultural land, and earn my livelihood.’ He started work on the very first day, he leveled the land and ploughed the land tirelessly. One day while ploughing, he noticed what looked like a few pieces of shining rocks. A closer look convinced him that those were actually diamonds. A deeper study revealed that there were huge deposits of diamonds underneath his land. Eventually he became a billionaire!
While some people may see an element of luck in this story, but in my opinion, it was the hard work put in by second farmer, which brought him the fortune.
As human being we have a tendency to believe that ‘The grass is greener on the other side.’ Most often we fail to notice that grass in our own backyard is as green, if not greener than the other. If we are ready to change our attitude, success will be ours.
Once upon a time, there was an old clock manufacturer who made winding clocks. He used to fabricate the inner machinery of a clock and place it in an artistically crafted and beautiful cabinet. One day after after completing the work, he said to the clock, “Look I have completed all of the work and you are ready to function. When I wind the spring, you will have to tick two times in a second (winding clocks usually tick twice a second) non-stop at least for 50 years.” The manufacturer wound the clock spring, started the pendulum, and the clock started functioning.
After a few minutes, the new clock started to think, “I have to work for 50 years non-stop ticking twice a second. That means 120 ticks in a minute, 7200 ticks in an hour and 1,72,800 ticks in a day. For 365 days in a year, there will have to be 6,30,72,000 ticks and for 50 years, my God, it will be 351 crore ticks!!” A kind of nervousness crept into various parts of the new clock. It could not move its parts. Overwhelmed by the thoughts of the tasks ahead, the clock stopped functioning. The manufacturer checked all the parts. Since there was no fault in the machinery, he started the clock once again. After the clock worked for fine for few more minutes, the thought of having to tick 325 crore times returned to its mind and the clock stopped functioning once again.
A grandfather clock in the same room was observing what was going on and it wanted to know what the problem was. After listening to young clock it said, “Look, I am 68 years old and have been functioning smoothly till now. Lakhs of clocks are working all over the world without any interruption. Why can’t you do the same? Don’t worry about the future. Just perform today’s duties and forget about tomorrow.” These wise words were an eye-opener to the new clock, which resumed its assigned duty of ticking twice a second without worrying about the future.
In a biology lab, the teacher explained how butterfly struggles to break the cocoon as students curiously observed this metamorphosis. Before leaving the class, she urged students to just observe and not help the butterfly.
After a while, one of the students took pity on the struggling butterfly and broke the cocoon to help. But shortly afterwards, the butterfly died.
When the teacher returned, she saw what had happened. “Your help killed the butterfly. Struggle helps butterfly in developing and strengthening its wings,” she said.
“Our struggles are the source of our strength.”
Have you ever considered how your life struggles can actually help you?
I remember reading a great piece of wisdom: “part of identifying your life purpose is to identify your struggles and set backs.” From there, you can then feel actually prepared to ask yourself how to utilize this information in a way to help others.