The Power of Determination

This month’s article is from “Today’s Helping of Chicken soup for the Soul” and is dedicated to our son Lowell, the editor, and owner of this paper. Lowell’s story does not involve overcoming a major physical handicap, but he has persevered through some major setbacks. His endurance, perseverance, and stamina in life have been manifested in…

Courage

Winston Churchill said, “Courage is the most important virtue because the effective practice of all other virtues depends upon courage.” Merriam Webster defines courage as: “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” Virtuous behavior does not come naturally. Let’s face it . . . it takes inner courage and…

Ambivalence

“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep, No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and…

The Champion Complainer

According to the authors of the book Significa, the world’s champion complainer was a man named Ralph Charrell. Charrel received over $100,000 as a result of his systematic complaining. His smallest refund was of $6.95 and his largest was $25,000. Charrel spent time every day making phone calls and writing letters of complaint. He even…

Finding Hope When Life Seems Hopeless

From Parade magazine comes the story of a millionaire, Eugene Lang, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered…

The Clock and the Compass

Think about a compass and a clock two very important tools, but two very different instruments. A compass provides a sense of direction, purpose, vision, perspective, and balance. A clock measures duration and the expenditure of time. A compass determines effectiveness-doing the right tasks. A clock determines efficiency-how long it takes to accomplish a task.…

Foundations for Success

For many the statement, “I want it yesterday!” describes our expectation of immediate production. When I was a child, the introduction of fast food meant the shift from the coal/wood stove to a propane stove. As a young boy I read the incredible story of the building of the Hoover Dam. The Encyclopedia Britannica gave…

What Is Success?

I was asked to see a young man who had tried to commit suicide and failed. He lamented the fact that he couldn’t even succeed at killing himself. A young lady jumped off the roof of her house in an attempt to “end it all.” She succeeded in paralyzing her body from the waist down…

Attitude Determines Altitude

There was one instrument on my brother’s plane that he called the “attitude instrument.” This device determined whether the plane was climbing or descending. It indicated whether you were gaining altitude, maintaining your altitude or headed for the ground. Attitude isn’t everything but it certainly is important. John Maxwell describes it as “the paintbrush of the…

Failure/Success: A Paradox of Values

How do you respond to the following advice? “Usually, post-event debriefs are filled with accounts of what went wrong. While analyzing our need for improvement is good, we should actually be spending the majority of the time on what went right! What do you want to do again next time? Once you can pinpoint your…