A friend shared a story about the oak tree and the wind with me recently, and it has so many life lessons we all can learn from so I have decided to share with you also; A mighty wind blew night and day. It stole the oak tree’s leaves away. Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark, until the oak was tired and stark. But still the oak tree held its ground, while other trees fell all around. The weary wind gave up and spoke, “How can you still be standing, Mister Oak?” The oak tree said, “I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, carry every leaf away, shake my limbs, and make me sway. But I have roots stretched in the earth, growing stronger and stronger since my birth. You’ll never touch them, for you see, they are the very deepest part of me. Until today, I was not sure, of just how much I could endure. But now I’ve found, with thanks to you, I’m so much stronger than I ever knew!” Continue reading Don’t Let Life Break You
Many of us find it hard to stay thankful when we face difficulties. When life knocks you down from all sides, how do you stay thankful? We look at our lives in those moments and there isn’t nothing to be grateful for, all we see are the scars, the pains, the tears, the loneliness, the poverty, the debts and so on. Yet God says in all things, we should give thanks.
I have experienced difficulties too in my life, and I know exactly how it feels, but through practice I have learned to stay grateful, to always count my blessings in those times. Because despite what have been through, I am still alive, sound and healthy, with a family that loves me. You see if you look critically at your life, you will always find many things to be grateful for even when you are facing those storms of life.
Imagine this story that was shared with me; “A mighty wind blew night and day. It stole the oak tree’s leaves away. Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark, until the oak was tired and stark. But still the oak tree held its ground, while other trees fell all around. Continue reading Count Your Blessings Not Your Storms
Paulo Coelho shared this story originally in his blog; “There was once a well-known scholar, who lived in a mountain in the Himalayas. Tired of living with men, he had chosen a simple life and spent most of his time meditating. His fame, however, was so great that people were willing to walk narrow paths, climb steep hills, swim rivers – to meet the holy man who was believed to be able to resolve any trouble of the human heart.
The wise man, as he was full of compassion, gave some advice here and there, but kept trying to get rid of unwanted visitors. Still, they appeared in larger groups, and once a day a crowd knocked on his door, saying that great stories about him were published in their local newspaper and that everyone was sure he knew how to overcome the difficulties of their lives. The wise man said nothing but asked them to sit and wait. Three days passed, and more people arrived. When there was no room for anyone else, he addressed the people who were outside his door.
“Today I will give the answer that everyone wants. But you must promise that, to have your problems solved, you will not tell the new pilgrims that I moved here – so that you can continue to live in the solitude you so much crave. Men and women have made a sacred oath that if the wise fulfilled their promises, they would not let any more pilgrims climb the mountain.” “Tell me your problems,” said the sage.
Someone began to speak, but was soon interrupted by others, as everyone knew that this was the last public hearing that the holy man was giving, and they feared that he wouldn’t have the time to listen to all of them. Minutes later, confusion was created, many voices were shouting at the same time, people were crying, men and women were tearing their hair out in despair because it was impossible to hear. The wise man let the situation be prolonged a little, until he cried, “Silence!”
“When you have a lemon, make lemonade” I believe most of us have heard and read those words in so many places. But how often do we apply them in our lives?
It’s really easy for you to give up, to be beaten, to whine and rail against the world, and say you haven’t got a chance when life hands you lemons, when every step towards your goal and dreams is fraught with challenges and set-backs. But remember the words of St. Paul; “And we know all things work together for good to them that love God…” Bearing this in mind, we can look for the lessons to learn from every misfortune. We can ask; how can I improve my situation? How can I turn this lemon to lemonade?
The impact a challenge, misfortune, set-back has on us, is based on our perception of the situation. You see, two people can be faced with the same circumstance, but each perceive and represent it differently. A story was told of how two men looked from their prison bars, one saw the mud, while the other saw the stars.
Friends, with the right mental attitude, we can transform even the most wretched and negative circumstance into the most exciting adventure of our lives. Let us learn to look for the stars, let’s find the gold in every negative situation that confronts us. Remember, “The best things are the most difficult.” Looking for the gold in everything, looking for ways to turn your lemons into lemonade, can help you launch into greatness. Hear the words of Charles Darwin (Originator of the theory of evolution); “If I had not been so great an invalid, I should not have done so much work as I have accomplished.” Even your disabilities can be a blessing, if you look beyond the obvious.
“The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on your gains. Any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit from your losses. That requires intelligence; and it makes the difference between a man of sense and a fool.” – William Bolitho