a lesson in achievement: what one man does with what he has

what are you wanting to achieve? are there barriers that seem impossible to overcome? is it taking more time than you expected or want? are you thinking of giving up? do you wonder if you have what it takes?

Paul Smith was born with spastic paralysis, a nervous disorder. the video sites that it took him 32 years to learn to walk and half that to learn to talk. somewhere in the middle of his journey, he learned to paint with a typewriter. although he could not master the muscles in his body, he learned to master a machine and create master pieces of art.

this video crossed the pathway of my journey yesterday. you know the movie The Vow? The husband in that movie talks about moments of impact. yesterday,  i had a moment of impact in my heart with this video. i have not been able to rid my thoughts of the adversity this man had to overcome in order to use his unique gifting.

consider it for a minute:

  • the disability that paralyzed his muscles could have easily paralyzed his heart, desires, thoughts and ability to achieve. personally, i would have offered sympathy and felt he had every right. in fact, i might even have enabled his helplessness.
  • lying deep within a broken exterior was a gift so detailed, magnificent, and admirable that had he not worked with what he did have instead of concentrating on what he did not have…i would have missed the moment of impact  i experienced yesterday and the ability to appreciate his journey. his life would have taken a far different path had he just accepted his circumstances.

here is the lesson in achievement for my heart:

  • everyone has a supply and a purpose…we should not waste it with excuses
  • nothing is impossible
  • what i need to achieve is already in my design, i need to discover (uncover) it.
  • circumstances are not meant to stop me
  • time is available…what i need is patience, endurance, and commitment
  • the most important support i can receive is from within myself. i must trust the truest me, support her, and encourage her
  • do what i can with what i have…amazing things are possible with the simplest of resources

dear reader, i want to encourage you today to set aside your insecurities, your fears, your excuses and doubts…a go for it!

who you are is a gift to the world.

what you have to offer is as important as the offering of the Mona Lisa.

your gift may be different but you can achieve what is in your heart.

all you have to do is use what you have!

i often say…and will again today…DO NOT GIVE UP!

NEVER ` NEVER` NEVER!

D

 

 

2 approaches to achievement

20130819-125429.jpgrafting is an event that i believe everyone should experience; the achievement, tension, laughter and heart pounding adventure. i prefer a quieter, more leisurely experience. one of my favorite places to do a quiet raft trip is in North Carolina on the Natahala. it is beautiful. my favorite part of the trip was always when my BFF dumped me in the water on the final rapid. there was always heaps of screaming on my part and laughter on hers!

living in NZ, i enjoy hearing about the experiences others have when they travel here. i especially enjoyed the life lesson shared at the end of this story. enjoy!
(the author is unknown to me. if you have information concerning the author, i will be happy to give due credit.)
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By good fortune, I was able to raft down the Motu River in New Zealand twice during the last year. The magnificent four-day journey traverses one of the last wilderness areas in the North Island.

The first expedition was led by “Buzz”, an American guide with a great deal of rafting experience and many stories to tell of mighty rivers such as the Colorado. With a leader like Buzz, there was no reason to fear any of the great rapids on the Motu.

The first half day, in the gentle upper reaches, was spent developing teamwork and co-ordination. Strokes had to be mastered, and the discipline of following commands without question was essential. In the boiling fury of a rapid, there would be no room for any mistake. When Buzz bellowed above the roar of the water, an instant reaction was essential.

We mastered the Motu. In every rapid we fought against the river and we overcame it. The screamed commands of Buzz were matched only by the fury of our paddles, as we took the raft exactly where Buzz wanted it to go.

At the end of the journey, there was a great feeling of triumph. We had won. We proved that we were superior. We knew that we could do it. We felt powerful and good. The mystery and majesty of the Motu had been overcome.

The second time I went down the Motu, the experience I had gained should have been invaluable, but the guide on this journey was a very softly spoken Kiwi. It seemed that it would not even be possible to hear his voice above the noise of the rapids.

As we approached the first rapid, he never even raised his voice. He did not attempt to take command of us or the river. Gently and quietly he felt the mood of the river and watched every little whirlpool. There was no drama and no shouting. There was no contest to be won. He loved the river.

We sped through each rapid with grace and beauty and, after a day, the river had become our friend, not our enemy. The quiet Kiwi was not our leader, but only the person whose sensitivity was more developed than our own. Laughter replaced the tension of achievement.

Soon the quiet Kiwi was able to lean back and let all of us take turns as leader. A quiet nod was enough to draw attention to the things our lack of experience prevented us from seeing. If we made a mistake, then we laughed and it was the next person’s turn.

We began to penetrate the mystery of the Motu. Now, like the quiet Kiwi, we listened to the river and we looked carefully for all those things we had not even noticed the first time.

At the end of the journey, we had overcome nothing except ourselves. We did not want to leave behind our friend, the river. There was no contest, and so nothing had been won. Rather we had become one with the river.

It remains difficult to believe that the external circumstances of the two journeys were similar. The difference was in an attitude and a frame of mind. At the end of the journey, it seemed that there could be no other way. Given the opportunity to choose a leader, everyone would have chosen someone like Buzz. At the end of the second journey, we had glimpsed a very different vision and we felt humble – and intensely happy.

20130819-125459.jpglife can feel like a raging river at times. “in the boiling fury”, we can leave no room for mistakes, charge ahead and live the tension…at the end feel the victory of having conquered life’s challenges. or we can become one with the journey, sensitively observing the environment and obstacles, gently going with the flow, gaining wisdom with each and every turn, overcoming ourselves and enjoying the journey for the blessing it is. it depends on our approach, our attitude and mindset.

what is your approach? stop by the comments section before you go. i’d really enjoy hearing from you.

thanks for reading,
D

a peaceful solution to a que jumper (someone cutting line)

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I enjoyed this story. To me, it shows that there are witty, peaceful and kind ways to deal with people who do not show regard for politeness.

I hope you enjoy:

Today, a true tale of heroism that takes place not in a war zone, nor a hospital, but in Victoria station in London in 2007, during a tube strike. Our hero – a transport journalist and self-described “big, stocky bloke with a shaven head” named Gareth Edwards, who first wrote about this experience on the community blog metafilter.com – is standing with other commuters in a long, snaking line for a bus, when a smartly dressed businessman blatantly cuts in line behind him. (Behind him: this detail matters.)

The interloper proves immune to polite remonstration, whereupon Edwards is seized by a magnificent idea. He turns to the elderly woman standing behind the queue-jumper, and asks her if she’d like to go ahead of him. She accepts, so he asks the person behind her, and the next person, and the next – until 60 or 70 people have moved ahead, Edwards and the seething queue-jumper shuffling further backwards all the time. The bus finally pulls up, and Edwards hears a shout from the front of the line. It’s the elderly woman, addressing him: “Young man! Do you want to go in front of me?”

Author: Oliver Burkeman in “The Guardian Weekend”, 28 August 2010

3 ways to identify gossip

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In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute”, Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right”, Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,”,the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and …”

“All right”, said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“No, on the contrary.”

“So”, Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well”, concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
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we filter so many impurities from the natural world- being careful not to allow anything into our bodies that would harm it.

our heart and soul would benefit from filtering…words and thoughts are a great place to start.

evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.

-proverbs 17:4 (message)

don’t wait until life is bigger & better to be happy

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Once a fisherman was sitting near the seashore, under the shadow of a tree. Suddenly a rich businessman passing by approached him and enquired as to why he was sitting under a tree not working. To this the poor fisherman replied that he had caught enough fishes for the day.

Hearing this the rich man got angry and said: Why don’t you catch more fishes instead of sitting in the shadow wasting your time?

Fisherman asked: What would I do by catching more fishes?

Businessman: You could catch more fishes, sell them and earn more money, and buy a bigger boat.

Fisherman: What would I do then?

Businessman: You could go fishing in deep waters and catch even more fishes and earn even more money.

Fisherman: What would I do then?

Businessman: You could buy many boats and employ many people to work for you and earn even more money.

Fisherman: What would I do then?

Businessman: You could become a rich businessman like me.

Fisherman: What would I do then?

Businessman: You could then enjoy your life peacefully.

Fisherman: Isn’t that what I am doing now?

Moral – You don’t need to wait for tomorrow to be happy and enjoy your life. You don’t even need to be more rich, more powerful to enjoy life. LIFE is this moment, enjoy it fully.

As some great men have said “My riches consist not in extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants”.

Author Unknown

How do you make the most of your life in this moment? I would love to hear from you!

I would be happy to give credit to whom credit is do. If you know the origin of this story, please let me know.

The Law of The Garbage Truck

Be an atmosphere changer. I think I have just added another tool to my life skills toolbox. I really enjoyed this post and I think you will too! Have a great day!

Morning Story and Dilbert

How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you’re the Terminator, for an instant you’re probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what’s important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here’s what happened. I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who…

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