Five Birds and Good Intentions

Five birds are sitting on a telephone wire. Two decide to fly south. How many are left? Most people would say three.

Actually, all five are left. You see, deciding to fly isn't the same as doing it.

If a bird really wants to go somewhere, it's got to point itself in the right direction, jump off the wire, flap its wings, and keep flapping until it gets there.

So it is with most things. Good intentions aren't enough. It's not what we want, say, or think that makes things happen; it's what we do.

Five Birds and Good Intentions

Helping Others Succeed Forges One's Own Attainment

It was common for ancient cultivators to practice in solitude in a cave.

A young man was determined to cultivate and searched for a suitable cave for his cultivation. He finally found one after a long search and cleaned it up.

An old man entered the cave just as he was ready to start and said, “You are still young and have a lot of time to cultivate. I am old and have to hurry up with my cultivation. Can you please let me have this cave?” He thought about it and gave the cave to the old man.

The young man continued his search, and after some time and effort, he found another one. A disabled man entered the readied cave and said, “You are young and strong and can search for a new one. I have a hard time walking and have no strength in my arms. Can I have this cave?”

Helping Others Succeed

Gifts From the Heart

According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

(No man is an island) by John Donne

Rejections and Reactions

Rejection takes many forms. You didn’t make the team. The college you want to attend turns you down. The woman you asked out said no. You didn’t get the job. You were passed over for a promotion. Your husband left you.

Whatever form it takes, being rejected hurts. It is a blow to your ego and challenges your ability to cope. It makes you question yourself. It makes you angry. In its most extreme and painful forms, it generates self-destructive thoughts and behaviors - ranging from rage to drinking binges to suicide.

Never Quit

Michael Jordan said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Don’t Quit

by author unknown

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
when the funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh,
when care is pressing you down a bit – rest if you must,
but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – you may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man;
often the struggler has given up,
when he might have captured the victor’s cup;
and he learned too late when the night came down,
how close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
- the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
and you never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar;
so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
- it’s when things seem worst, you must not quit.

I Choose To Laugh

Awakened by the phone ringing at 11:35 p.m., I fumble for the receiver beside my bed. Who would be calling at this time of night?

"Hello," I mumble, my brain barely functioning.

"Mom, I'm not in jail." The voice at the other end belongs to my 21-year-old daughter, Rachel.

I Hope Your Box is Empty

It was on the sixteenth day of the 12th month celebrating his 75th birthday when he decided it was time.

Having been happily married, raising three boys, and continuing with great success, the family business handed down from generations before him, this now frail man had to make a decision.

His health had not been good over the past few years and the stress of keeping the business on course was beginning to wear on him.

The challenge was in deciding which one of his sons would take his place.

What's Important

I talk to people all the time who want to invest and earn money. There's nothing wrong with that, in fact it's a wonderful pursuit to reach your financial goals and give your family as many options as possible in how they live their lives. But I frequently encounter individuals who haven't thought beyond "I want to earn a lot of money." Money itself isn't a goal; it just gives you the opportunity to choose.

Let God In

When there's no way out, let God in.

But that's not easy, because of the ego of an individual. God is often not the first choice in normal life. Believing in God is much like a survival mechanism in out-of-choice crisis. It is said:

Soldiers say that even non-believers find God in the foxhole once the bullets start flying.

Let God in