A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Chinese Gooseberries and Oprah?

by Fran Briggs

Oprah and Harpo Productions, have consistently reaped awe-inspiring progress, and record-breaking profits for more than two decades now. While Oprah consistently soars with stellar growth, the rest of the industry seems to stumble, tumble, fumble ... or even disappear. Just what is it about Oprah that has her consistently reaping hilacious growth for all this time and still present fresh, and vivacious as ever?

Oprah Winfrey has reinvented herself so smoothly, so successfully, and with such precision, very few have consciously noticed. This is what I know for sure. Oprah Winfrey is not an "annual," which is dormant for seasons at a time. No, Oprah is -- and will always be -- a "perennial classic."

Oprah consistently manifests phenomenal growth professionally, intellectually, spiritually, financially and socially every "season" of her year. Whereas others, seem content to rely primarily on the harvest of their "falls." Oprah is not only acutely aware of her environment, but she plans (and plants) so well, so meticulously ... she evens reaps harvests during her "winters!"

Chinese Gooseberries didn't sell well at all until they were renamed, Kiwi fruit. Seemingly overnight, this humble, quaint-looking, fuzzy fruit was "reinvented" into an exotic, all-of-a-sudden-much-desired, green intricacy. The "Queen of Personality" went from "The Oprah Winfrey Show," to "Oprah!" to O! magazine. Her reinventions are powerful, yet short and simple. Through it all, her core -- and all that's inside -- has never been compromised.

The key to reinvention is real simple. Keep it short; but powerful! Even Einstein kept it down to: E= mc2, yet he reinvented and rocked the science world. Don't limit yourself to just replanting your life. Learn how to identify which sections need to be up-rooted; which sections need to be cultivated, and which sections need to be left alone.

Now, while you're reading this, Oprah is hard at work cultivating her next "row."

Isn't it time you got busy, too?


Fran Briggs is a motivational speaker, author, success coach, and founder of The Fran Briggs Companies, an organization which helps individuals and groups take their human potential beyond the max. Fran can be reached at franbriggs@aol.com

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Friday, January 23, 2009

The Bud Takes a Risk

By Jo Wanmer

I love the quote, which I read on AsAManThinketh: "And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin It caused me to think . A bud when it is closed tight is protected from the wind and rain. Its delicate petals and stamens are enclosed, safe from harm, bundled up tight and secure. But the pressure is building! Some thing is pushing them, one against the other and gossip is that at the top of the bud, the protective case has split and some of the petals are being pushed out!

Actually some of the petals were excited at the prospect of being free, of being able to move as they wished, of greeting the 'Sun' that they had heard so much about. Others were more cautious - fearing unnecessary change!

Now the report had come back from the top petals that the sun was dulled, and they were being battered by the wind. They were trying to get back in the bud - and all that was doing was increasing the split - and other petals were exposed.

One big petal was very quiet in all the ensuing discussion! He knew he was close to the Sun now. He had waited sooo long! He pushed up and out with all his might. He could see the split just above him now! I'll try again, he determined. I must get a glimpse! So he focused and tried again. He pushed and pushed and the pressure was too much for the bud and it split down the side. The petal turned his eyes outward! What wonder! What fresh air! The smells! The perfume! The possibilities! The freedom!

"It is wonderful, just wonderful!" he yelled to the petals behind him. "Come on! Let's show the world how beautiful we are!" He urged.

"But, the risk!" the other petals argued, "Let's stay here - it is more comfortable now the bud is split!"

Just then a little voice was heard outside. "Daddy, come quick. The bud is opening! Look at the beautiful colour!" "Can you smell the perfume?" was the reply. "No, Daddy, no smell!" "You will be able to smell it when all the petals are open. It will be wonderful"

The petals were all quiet for a few moments. Suddenly they understood! To bloom, would eventually cost them everything! But to bloom is what they were created for! To remain a bud and die on the vine was unthinkable! "We must bloom. We must all push together. We must be the best most attractive bloom. Then the bees will come and sup with us, and though we die we will actually live for ever!"

PS A week later a satisfied petal lay under the vine, blown against the fence. His colour was fading, but his perfume was still strong. They had done well. The little girl had admired them everyday - but more importantly they had opened themselves completely to the Sun - and the bees had come. And as he looked up to the vine, even now he could see the swelling, just below the last few petals, that spoke of fruit, with its promise of new life.

Near him on the ground was a bud - it had never opened itself to the Sun. The vine had dropped it to the ground as useless. How sad to have never experienced the Sun - to never have reached fulfillment! How thankful he was that the big petal had the vision and courage to lead them out!!


Jo Wanmer is a free lance writing, living in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband Steve. Together they have a business that coaches business owners, and together they are associate pastors of a church known as church@burpengary.com Their passion is to see people reach their full potential.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Enhancing Relationships …

TRUST is a very important factor for all relationships. When trust is broken, it is the end of the relationship. Lack of trust leads to suspicion, suspicion generates anger, anger causes enmity and enmity may result in separation.

A telephone operator told me that one day she received a phone call.
She answered, "Public Utilities Board." There was silence. She repeated, "PUB." There was still no answer. When she was going to cut off the line, she Heard a lady's voice, "Oh, so this is PUB. Sorry, I got the number from my Husband's pocket but I do not know whose number it is."

Without mutual trust, just imagine what will happen to the couple if
the telephone operator answered with just "hello" instead of "PUB".


A man asked his father-in-law, "Many people praised you for a successful marriage. Could you please share with me your secret?"

The father-in-law answered in a smile, "Never criticize your wife for her shortcomings or when she does something wrong. Always bear in mind that because of her shortcomings and weaknesses, she could not find a better husband than you."

We all look forward to being loved and respected. Many people are afraid of losing face. Generally, when a person makes a mistake, he would look around to find a scapegoat to point the finger at. This is the start of a war. We should always remember that when we point one finger at a person, the other four fingers are pointing at ourselves.

If we forgive the others, others will ignore our mistake too.


A person visited the government matchmaker for marriage, SDU, and requested "I am looking for a spouse. Please help me to find a suitable one." The SDU officer said, "Your requirements, please." "Oh, good looking, polite, humorous , sporty, knowledgeable, good in singing and dancing. Willing to accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure hour, if I don't go out. Telling me interesting stories when I need companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest." The officer listened carefully and replied, "I understand you need television."

There is a saying that a perfect match can only be found between a blind wife and a deaf husband ,because the blind wife cannot see the faults of the husband and the deaf husband cannot hear the nagging of the wife. Many couples are blind and deaf at the courting stage and dream of perpetual perfect relationship. Unfortunately, when the excitement of love wears off, they wake up and discover that marriage is not a bed of roses. The nightmare begins.


Many relationships fail because one party tries to overpower another, or demands too much. People in love tend to think that love will conquer all and their spouses will change the bad habits after marriage. Actually, this is not the case. There is a Chinese saying which carries the meaning that "It is easier to reshape a mountain or a river than a person's character."

It is not easy to change. Thus, having high expectation on changing the spouse character will cause disappointment and unpleasantness.

It would be less painful to change ourselves and lower our expectations..


There is a Chinese saying which carries the meaning that "A speech will either prosper or ruin a nation." Many relationships break off because of wrong speech. When a couple is too close with each other, we always forget mutual respect and courtesy. We may say anything without considering if it would hurt the other party.

A friend and her millionaire husband visited their construction site. A worker who wore a helmet saw her and shouted, "Hi, Emily! Remember me? We used to date in the secondary school." On the way home, her millionaire husband teased her, "Luckily you married me. Otherwise you will be the wife of a construction worker." She answered ,"You should appreciate that you married me. Otherwise, he will be the millionaire and not you."

Frequently exchanging these remarks plants the seed for a bad relationship. It's like a broken egg - cannot be reversed.


Different people have different perception. One man's meat could be another man's poison. A couple bought a donkey from the market. On the way home, a boy commented, "Very stupid. Why neither of them ride on the donkey? "Upon hearing that, the husband let the wife ride on the donkey. He walked besides them. Later, an old man saw it and commented, "The husband is the head of family. How can the wife ride on the donkey while the husband is on foot?" Hearing this, the wife quickly got down and let the husband ride on the donkey.

Further on the way home, they met an old Lady. She commented, "How can the man ride on the donkey but let the wife walk. He is no gentleman."
The husband thus quickly asked the wife to join him on the donkey. Then, they met a young man. He commented, "Poor donkey, how can you hold up the weight of two persons. They are cruel to you." Hearing that, the husband and wife immediately climbed down from the donkey and carried it on their shoulders.

It seems to be the only choice left. Later, on a narrow bridge, the donkey was frightened and struggled. They lost their balance and fell into the river. You can never have everyone praise you, nor will everyone condemn you. Never in the past, not at present, and never will be in the future.

Thus, do not be too bothered by others words if our conscience is clear..

BE PATIENT .............

This is a true story which happened in the States. A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily hammering dents into the shiny paint of the truck. The man ran to his son, knocked him away, hammered the little boy's hands into pulp as punishment. When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital.

Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate the fingers from both the boy's hands. When the boy woke up from the surgery & saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, " Daddy,I'm sorry about your truck." Then he asked, "but when are my fingers going to grow back?" The father went home & committed suicide.

Think about this story the next time someone steps on your feet or u wish to take revenge. Think first before u lose your patience with someone u love. Trucks can be repaired.. Broken bones & hurt feelings often can't. Too often we fail to recognize the difference between the person and the performance. We forget that forgiveness is greater than revenge.

People make mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes. But the actions we take while in a rage will haunt us forever.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Little Things

The 'L I TT L E' Things. . .

As you might know, the head of a company survived
because his son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was

His turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her

Alarm clock didn't go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike

Because of an auto accident.

One of them
Missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take
Time to change.

Car wouldn't start.

One went back to
Answer the telephone.

One had a
Child that dawdled
And didn't get ready as soon as he should have.

One couldn't

Get a taxi.

he one that struck me was the man
Who put on a new pair of shoes that morning,
Took the various means to get to work
But before he got there, he developed
a blister on his foot.

He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.

That is why he is alive today

Now when I am

Stuck in traffic
Miss an elevator,

Turn back to answer a ringing telephone
All the little things that annoy me.

I think to myself,

This is exactly where
my guardian angel wants me to be
At this very moment..

Next time your morning seems to be
Going wrong,
The children are slow getting dressed
You can't seem to find the car keys,

You hit every traffic light,

Don't get mad or frustrated;

May be just that
Someone is
watching over you.

May Love continue to find you

With all those annoying little things

And may you remember their possible purpose.

Pass this on to someone else, if you'd like.

There is NO LUCK attached.
If you delete this, it's okay:

Friendship Is Not Dependent On E-Mail !!

(that's the cool part)

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Friday, January 16, 2009

The Pickle Jar

Author Unknown

The years passed. I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom. Sadly, I noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and now had been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words; he never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all those virtues far more effectively than the most eloquent of words could have. How fondly I remembered that old jar and its place in my life.

When I married, I told my wife Susan of the significant part that old pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms. "She probably needs to be changed." she said carrying the baby into my parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a noticeable mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the back bedroom. "Look!" she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser.

To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a small handful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up to see Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

We had no need for that. The pickle jar was back in its old spot now with a renewed purpose. I could see the joy in my Dad's eyes as he gently held his granddaughter in his arms. The old pickle jar was new again.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thought for the Day

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

Carl Jung

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

I like being old

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, bu t while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).



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