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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit
 that freedom to their children.

~William Havard

Friday, May 27, 2011


by Lynn Johnston

Just five insignificant words: Somebody had to do it. We use these words in various ways, such as when someone tells they take tour groups to Paris or sample Godiva chocolates for a living. "It's a job," they say, "and somebody's got to do it!" I remember my husband saying those words recently, after volunteering to lick the praline pot at a cooking school in New Orleans. "Somebody's got to do it," he announced, cracking a huge smile.

Today those five words were used in a totally different way. The same words were somber, thought provoking, and full of a world of meaning and truth. To understand their significance, I must begin the story a year ago, when members of Oak Creek Elementary staff started talking about how to celebrate the last Veteran's Day of the present millennium. It needed to be special, as it was acknowledged that children today do not relate to the significance of this national day as much as the baby boomers and earlier generations did. There was much discussion generated concerning how our school could help make Veteran's Day understood and appreciated by our younger population. Staff members mentioned a meaningful ceremony she had attended at a school in a neighboring district, where children made posters of family veterans, and displayed them them on stakes in front of the school. The idea with a few embellishments, seemed to be the perfect answer!

From this spark grew a full-fledged event, including a patriotic ceremony involving four generations of Americans standing to honor our flag, our country, and our veterans. Our principal gave an inspiring address to thanks to our veterans, several of which were guests from our neighborhood. As veterans of World War II raised the flag, our school's Millennium Choir sang the National Anthem. With hands on our hearts, we all recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Our students are so used to repeating the pledge to the Texas flag every morning, that many of them automatically recited that, too. (God Bless Texas!) During these displays of our patriotism, I observed several adults wiping tears from their eyes, and I also saw a flicker of understanding on the solemn faces of many of our youth. The taps, the gunfire-what exactly did they mean? Some didn't have a clue, but I think that almost every one realized that this was something important-something to do with pride, honor and respect for our country.

Although the ceremony was special, the best part of the celebration was the posters-all 308 of them, plus some uncounted one that neighbors and friends of the school had added on their own. Displayed on wooden stakes in front of our school were rows and rows of posters. Side by side stood pictures, names, ranks and other information composed by young and old alike. Slick computer generated posters made by World War II neighborhood vets had been driven in the ground beside those printed by the little hands of children in our early childhood class. The posters were incredibly diverse, as posters of Civil War veterans proudly stood by those dads and uncles of our students, as well as sons of staff members, who served in the Gulf War. It was even learned from a poster that our own staff member Kay Easton served in the Army before becoming a teacher. Some posters proudly proclaimed grandpas and uncles as heroes. Others had heart shaped stickers on the pictures, or all around the pictures, making a scalloped frame.

As I stood viewing the posters from the sidelines, I was struck by the equality of the soldiers represented, much like the feeling one gets from the uniformity of a military cemetery. Standing with my friend, the school secretary, and her husband Mike, I remarked that the children viewing the posters with such interest really didn't have an appreciation of the significance and sacrifice represented. They hadn't had the experiences yet to understand that many sons, husbands, dads, etc..., had suffered and died far away from home, so that we can all live in freedom. Standing in his own neighborhood, watching those delightfully safe children of the same ages as his own grandchildren, Mike, a veteran himself, replied, "You're right," and then he said those five little words, "but somebody had to do it!"

As I reflected on his words, I had a thought, which was actually more like prayer, that these children, in fact that all the children, will be able to grow and learn in an environment of safety. My prayer is that they will experience what life is supposed to be about-the wonders, disappointments and realities, without one more child ever having to experience firsthand the reality of why, like Mike said, "...somebody had to do it."

Lynn's husband served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. As a CTO in Adak, AL, he got to know many Marines, As a fourth grade teacher at the Adak On-Base School, I taught the children of Marines. Thank you, Marines, for bravely fighting our enemies in the past and for continuing to fight to preserve our freedom in the present and in the future. We all owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thoughts to ponder

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, Press on, has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

~Calvin Coolidge

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Motivation for Today

"One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you'll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do."

— Earl Nightingale: Was a motivational author and speaker

Friday, May 20, 2011


By Miles Patrick Yohnke © 2010

It hurts me to write this story. But I must write it. I live in Canada, which is seen as a rich country. The country to the south of us, the United States, also falls into this category. As a writer I've been blessed that my work has touched so many lives in so many corners of the world.
I receive many letters. An enormous amount of them come from places where it isn't as good as we have it here. Yet these letters are filled with hope and optimism. Terror and fear are daily occurrences in countries like Africa, India and Papua New Guinea [PNG] just to name a few. Yet when I read the letters from people living in these and many more places, their passion is overwhelming. You also have a great respect for their rich, individual heritages.
You look at Papua New Guinea and discover it has over 800 languages. Each province has more than 20 different languages. Not all of them have the same dialect. The only language that they all can speak and understand is called "Pidgin English." 800 languages means that they also have this number of different customs and traditions. All just loaded with culture and character.
North America is the richest of nations, yet, for the most part, our culture is one of excess and excuses.
Excess: We eat too much. We drink too much. We spend far too much.
Excuses: We point fingers. We blame others. We dwell in dysfunction.
We are rich with excess and excuses. For so many we have a hard time speaking one language. We have bigger houses and bigger broken homes. Divorce is the norm. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We've learned how to make a living but not a life. It's time that we stop our spoiled, self-centered ways.
Time we look in the mirror at our fat selves. Weak with character, high with cholesterol. Time we wake up. Time we learn that life isn't about 'things'. Time that we use our rich resources for positive change. Time we give back. Help others. Time our lives are filled with purpose. In that we will have a real reason to live.
Widely recognized and award-nominated engineer, producer, writer, poet and founder and C.E.O. of 5 Star Productions, Miles Patrick Yohnke brings many years of experience to the music industry; including many awards in sales and marketing. Yohnke offers consulting in person, by phone or via email. For more info, please contact him at miles@5-starproductions.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Motivation for Today

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently."

Warren Buffett: CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, philanthropist.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thoughts to ponder

As long as you don't forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.

~Isabelle Holland

Monday, May 16, 2011

Motivation for Today

"Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure."

— Napoleon Hill: Author, Think and Grow Rich.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Motivation for Today

"You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don't win, at least you can be satisfied that you've tried. If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, you don't branch out, you don't try – you don't take the risk."

 Rosalynn Carter: Former First Lady and author.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Motivation for Today

"When you develop yourself to the point where your belief in yourself is so strong that you know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, your future will be unlimited."

— Brian Tracy: Pre-eminent sales and entrepreneurship expert.

Friday, May 6, 2011

WHAT Did You Say?

(are you LISTENING to what you say to yourself?)

By Carrie Wilkerson

Usually, there is a fluffy, feel-good story here.WARNING - that is NOT THE CASE TODAY! I wanted to GET REAL with you today about the way you treat YOURSELF! Let me ask you some questions.you don't have to answer aloud (especially if you're at work, on the subway or in Starbucks.) but DO take the time to be honest. OKAY?
Here we go:

* You are on your way to an important appointment.no time to spare.and you make a wrong turn and get a little lost. What are you saying to yourself?
* You are dressing in the morning and you are frustrated with the way your clothes hang or that your jeans aren't buttoning right. What do you say?
* You burn your hand while you're cooking dinner.or worse - burn dinner! What are you saying? (no expletives, please!)
* You are doing your hair and you cannot get it to turn out quite right. What do you say to yourself in the mirror?
* Your children are a little WOUND up and you over-react a little in anger when you are correcting them. What do you say to yourself?
* You fail a test (school, driving, certification, pregnancy.you fill in the blank). What do you tell yourself?
* The house is a mess, your household schedule is CRAZY, you forgot a baby shower you were supposed to attend and hubby's birthday sneaked up on you..WHAT ARE YOU SAYING TO YOURSELF?

Let me tell you from my own circumstances.when I could not find my keys,my purse or the baby's favorite blankie - I was INSTANTLY saying "Carrie, you would lose your head if it wasn't attached. Why can't you be more organized?"

When I was driving and got lost (I am directionally challenged, at best).I IMMEDIATELY began telling myself "Carrie, you couldn't find your way out ofa paper bag! Why are you so worthless about directions?"

And clothes not fitting??? WELL - after dealing with 20+ years of being overweight.you can ONLY IMAGINE the way I talked to myself about mybody, my weight and my eating habits.

Now, consider this!! We would NEVER allow someone else (spouse, kids, parents or coworkers) to talk to us the way we talk to ourselves! Right? We are somewhat trained to berate ourselves.we seem to think that if we speak harshly to ourselves, it will affect change. I DISAGREE!

I think that the more you "hear" something (whether it is true or not and regardless of who says it) you begin to believe it!

I know beautiful women that started saying ickky things to themselves when they were awkward pre-teens and now.even though they are stylish and gorgeous, they have these BELIEFS that they are clumsy, awkward and unattractive because they've been telling themselves that since junior high school!

I know intelligent and capable men that berate themselves constantly even though they are successful and well-respected...perhaps they are replaying 'tapes' in their head of what a teacher, coach, peer or parent previously helped them believe about themself!

Why not CHANGE YOUR DIRECTION? (Warning, this will seemawkward at first)

For example. NOW that I am aware of how I tend to fuss at myself.I change the script! When I cannot find something easily because of the chaos myhouse is in.I say "Wow, we are so blessed with thesefour great kids and a busy house! If things were perfectly organized, how boring would that be?"

When I am lost or turned around, I say "I'm so glad I left a few minutes early so I could enjoy all the alternate routes!" --- OK, this may seem silly to you - but what do you think this has done for my attitude?

I have aclient that told me she was fussing about her "bad hair day" in the mirror and on the way to work realized she should be thankful for a head full of naturally curly hair instead of wasting energy being mad about it.

When we give ourselves permission to SPEAK KIND AND ENCOURAGING words to ourselves.that is bound to spill out of us into the lives of others. Don't you agree? TRY IT TODAY!! Pay attention to what you say to yourself and see if there aren't some more uplifting or positive words you can say instead!

Carrie Wilkerson, wife, mom, author & speaker. 
As "The Barefoot Executive" Carrie educates, coaches and advises work-at-home women (and those who want to be) as they achieve their goals of personal & career fulfillment! Carrie and her husband, "Mr. Barefoot" - work together at home and share the joy of raising their 4 children (infant to 12 years) together.www.BarefootExecutive.ws

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Motivation for Today

When you develop yourself to the point where your belief in yourself is so strong that you know that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, your future will be unlimited.

`Brian Tracy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Motivation for Today

Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference.
~Nolan Bushnell 

Founder of Atari

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Motivation for Today

That's just it--you can't drive it, you can't wear it, you can't live in it, you can't drink it, smoke it, snort it, you can't travel to it. Happiness is the experience of the journey. The experience of happiness is the result of how you look at things. When I look at something I say, can do, no problem; that's not going to make me unhappy. Happiness is a choice!

~Denis Waitley

Monday, May 2, 2011

Motivation for Today

"People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success." 

— Norman Vincent Peale: Author, The Power of Positive Thinking.