You know how images trigger emotions? You can see something that can leave you warm and fuzzy for hours or fill you with hope and wonder for days.
Something that has always struck me as sad has been closed, boarded-up shops and businesses. Namely the ones which would have been individually-owned, a mom and pop shop, if you will. I never was 100% sure why they always left me clouded until yesterday. We were driving around Kentucky looking for something fun to get into and I saw what was once obviously a beautiful little restaurant. The landscaping had taken some a lot of thought, the fixtures were shiny, the siding blindingly white, the accent colors were beautiful, the sign was adorably Kentuckian....the windows were boarded up, and there was a little For Sale by Owners poster on the side.
This beautiful little place was once somebody's dream that filled them with hope, then their reality that had filled them with joy, then their past that left them empty. It hadn't been open terribly long - that much was obvious. For one thing, we hadn't seen it a few years before, and for another - everything was still too pretty and fresh.
What if the owners had given the place more time?
What if they closed shop and shut down just before their business was about to explode?
What if one tiny little month was all that was needed for enough people to find them - what if they quit 30 days too soon?
What if they had believed more in their restaurant and more in themselves?
What all did they miss out on by quitting, giving up and throwing up the boards on the windows?
They'll never know how close they may have been! Never's a word that doesn't work for me.
Sadly, we're all just as guilty. How many of us have beautiful, brightly colored dreams that we craft and nurture? The future is bright and our hopes are soaring....then, if things aren't moving along fast enough for us, or if the work is too hard, we board up the windows and abandon it. We whip out the "Closed for Business" sign and broken-heartedly move on.
*** "If the dream was worth dreaming, the work is worth working."
How many dreams have we "boarded up" too soon? What all could we have all ready missed out on?!How many days were WE from success when we quit?What if we believed more in our dreams and in ourselves?
You know the good thing about boards and nails? They come out and they come down. The owners could, if they had the stuff, give it another shot. They could take the boards down, sweep off the front walk, call the realtor and tell her they'd found the perfect people.
Granted, it would take guts, boundless courage, a strong backbone and 75-pound, brass willpower, but isn't that what it took in the first place?
If they had the legs to walk the walk the first time around, they have the legs to walk the second time around - and this time they'll know the path better!
Do you have any dreams you need to unboard? If anything springs to mind, it's still important to you - you see it through the boards! Take the nails out, the wood planks down and let some light get in. Spruce it up and get reacquainted - promise to never give up again. YOU may be 30 days away from utopia as well, but you won't get there if you stop in your tracks.
It goes without saying, if you have dreams that you're tempted to board up - keep the nails in your pocket. Stay Open for Business and FIND A WAY....MAKE A WAY. There is always a way.
*** "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Think about that little restaurant. What would you have told the owners to encourage them right before they threw in the kitchen towel? I know there's advice you would have given. I also know you would have done all you could to help them - you would have stood right between them and the boards. That's where I'm planting myself right now, between you and your boards!
*** "If you want to reach your rainbow, you have to keep walking."
Author: Joi Sigers
Copyright 2005 The Mental Fitness Center
Direct Answers - Column for the week of December 13, 2004
Inspiration From Jack Dempsey
I really like Jack Dempsey's great one liner: "A champion is someone who gets up when he can't."
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Right now many people are facing tough times. Life as we once knew it has changed and we may find ourselves confronting situations we have never dealt with before.
What Legacy Are We Leaving Our Children?
Children can seem exhausting, annoying, wonderful, loud and funny all at the same time. They are a lot of work especially in the beginning years but what we need to realize is that they are our future so what we do with them in the early to teen years is important because they will become the leaders while we behold the golden years. How we raise them now affects how our future is in our later years and in theirs. When you see how our current situation is with illiteracy in schools, and crime, it can seem daunting to us.
Do You Pay For Services Out of Obligation or Appreciation?
Have you ever paid for services rendered with a strong sense of appreciation, yet you weren't aware of the impact you had on the person who received the payment? Let me assure you it does make a difference. In fact, how you pay for any type of service sends an important message yet is often overlooked. I say that with certainty because recently I had the good fortune of working with a client who demonstrated the most impressive attitude and professionalism in regard to payment. I was so struck by his approach and attitude that I decided to share what transpired, hoping that others might take something of value away from my experience.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 27, 2003
Leaving The Child Behind. Recovery From Child Abuse
I looked at my father for the last time before he was finally laid to rest. And I said to myself, "I forgive you father".
Fulfilling Your Dreams: The Magic Of Starting
Fulfilling your dreams will remain a mirage if you simply sit down and dream on.
Spiritual Evolution: A Journey of Truth
BORN OF BODY AND SPIRIT
Generosity Is The Seed Of Wealth
Generosity, which includes the free, no strings-attached sharing of resources, money, and information among people, is the seed of prosperity. What was the initial seed planted that caused the "Silicon Valley Miracle" No, it was not the invention of the oscilloscope by David Hewlett and William Packard, but, rather, an act of no-strings attached generosity, the founding of Stanford University by Leland Stanford. (See the "Founding of Leland Jr. University" below.)
Encouragement--Heart At Work
Encouragement can have a very powerful effect on bosses and co-workers. The literal meaning of the word, encourage, is to put heart into. When this definition is applied to work situations, it suggests:
"We come equipped with everything we need to experience a powerful life full of joy, incredible passion, and profound peace. The difficult part is giving ourselves permission to live it." ? Deborah Rosado Shaw
Journals You Can Keep
Besides your daily feelings, thoughts, and experiences journal, there are many ideas for journals or diaries that you can keep, some are suggested below. Buy a blank book or a notebook with a particular journal topic in mind and keep this book for only that topic. You may decide to keep several kinds of journals at the same time, so remember that you do not have to journal every day.
Why You Are Special and Why Does It Matter
Why 'you are special'?
Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 20, 2003
Random Thoughts on Living Your Best Life
More things I've noticed along the way:
Direct Answers - Column for the week of September 2, 2002
In the Eyes of a Child
It was way past 10:00 pm when I came home from a grueling day of schoolwork and extracurricular activities. The wind was rustling about overhead as I paced through the door of our humble abode. I moved towards the nearest couch and plumped myself to rest. Defeat and exhaustion filled my frame as I laid back against the soft cushions. But then I remembered our Hematology project which was due the next day. Galvanized, I scrambled off my feet and immediately headed towards the personal computer situated on the other side of the room. Just then, my little brother Michael dashed out of his room and came straight at me. He was holding a pen on his right hand and a piece of paper on the other.
The Eyes of the Clown
There are few enough miracles in life, God knows. I think perhaps the circus is one of them. We pay our money, braced for boredom, and are bombarded by noise, bewitched by beauty, awed still one more time by elephants that, yes, are smaller every year. Yet something happens when we enter the big top. If we let it, we will be carried back to hopes and dreams long surrendered: hopes that something wonderful really can happen, dreams that will happen to us, maybe even now.
The Monkey With The Wooden Apples
There once was a happy monkey wandering the jungle, eating delicious fruit when hungry, and resting when tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest.
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