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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012


By Linda Hastings
© September 2007

I first met Barry in the mid-80's while working as the secretary for the President of a limousine company in the town where I grew up, a suburb of Dallas. My boss, Charles was the newly appointed President of the National Limousine Association based in Washington, DC. Barry, a man nearly twice my age and also serving on the board lived near the Associations' headquarters and would routinely call to discuss issues with my boss. When Barry would call he would exuberantly say "Good morning!!!" and you could tell from his voice and tone that it really was!

Being a young mother of two small daughters, often it was well up into the day before my morning felt "good" to me. Usually fatigued from the daily routine of getting dinner the night before, baths, making lunches, helping with homework, and then getting up early to rush the girls off to school and drive the 20+ miles to work in traffic, I would be doing well to muster up a smile, much less any enthusiasm, yet Barry's calls would always rejuvenate me.

As time went on, I found myself anxiously awaiting his phone calls. He would always ask about my family and before long he knew as much about my family as my closest friends. He would be genuine in his interest to hear how the girls were doing as well as my husband, Bill.

His laughter was contagious and his zest for life always made me glad he called. Barry spoke of his family too, a wife of many years, children and his most recent family addition, a grandson. You could tell from our conversations that he not only loved life, but also his family. In the spring of '88 his work with the Association would bring him to Dallas. When he called to tell me the news that he would, at last, get to meet me in person, I was ecstatic! I had long wondered what he looked like and wanted to see for myself if that enthusiasm on the phone was indeed something that was the 'real deal'.

Barry arrived some weeks later and chose to stay over on Saturday to see some of the Dallas area. He had asked if Bill, the girls and I were up for showing him around and I jumped at the opportunity, saying "yes" without first checking with the family.

As it turned out, there was a softball tournament that Saturday and Bill, being an assistant coach, could not get out of attending it. Feeling bad that I had already accepted the invitation to show him the city, I begged off from sitting in the stands for hours watching teams of children play softball (none of which included my own) and said nothing to Barry of the change in plans.
On that Saturday we were to meet at his hotel for brunch. His treat! When I arrived alone he was hugely disappointed that the girls and Bill were not with me. I explained the circumstances and he asked if we could include a trip to the ball fields as part of our excursion that day and I agreed. Little did I know that the events of that day would change me forever!

Barry was a gentleman in every sense of the word and his attitude and humor kept me entertained throughout the entire day - one surprise after another. However, it was the way he treated others that would remain with me and alter my ways of thinking for a lifetime.

It started first with the waitress at brunch. He made sure he knew her name and called her by it throughout the morning meal, but it didn't stop there. He complimented her on the tiniest of tasks and genuinely showed an interest in every part of her job. When she warmed up to us, his humor kicked in. When she asked if we were from out of town, he remarked that he had flown in because we were getting married that afternoon! He continued by asking her if she didn't agree that I was the most beautiful woman in the world and wouldn't I make a lovely bride for him.

Obviously, the waitress didn't know what to say seeing that we were years apart in age, so she smiled and agreed with him. He went on with his charade as I sat smiling and listening to his ridiculous story. All the while he made it remarkably believable. When she walked away, I laughed and told him how crazy he was and he laughed just as hard as I.

Throughout our meal our waitress would provide the best of service, coming to check on us regularly and offering anything that she could possibly bring us. It was obvious that she couldn't get enough of Barry and his outlandish story and every time she appeared at the table, he added to it even going so far as to invite her to the 'wedding' that afternoon.

It was hard to contain myself as I wondered what he would do if she accepted. I could tell from that first experience I was in for a day full of surprises and Barry didn't disappoint me. After walking out into the lobby, still laughing about his charade with the waitress, we encountered the hotel custodian, an elderly black man with graying hair and a demeanor so low I sensed immediately that he wanted to be invisible. As he polished and cleaned the lobby tables and doors we stood talking about the day's agenda.

Barry wanted to run up to his room and get his sunglasses and I told him I'd wait there in the lobby for him. We were standing near the elevator and the custodian had made his way over to clean out the ashtrays. I remember them being the ones with the sand on the top that, when freshened up, had the hotel's logo pressed into the clean sand.

Barry went into action! He greeted the elderly custodian with the warmest "hello, good morning, sir" that I have ever heard - much like that between two long lost friends at a chance meeting. The custodian smiled and softly returned a shy "hello" back as he continued with the ashtrays. Barry was relentless.

"How are you (waiting for his name) today?" The old man replied "Oh, fine".
"And what is your name, sir?" The old man replied with his first name, Henry.
"Well, Mr. Henry." Barry began. "No, sir, that's my first name, Henry. Me's last name is Turner", was his reply.

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Turner", Barry said. Mr. Turner now smiling and standing a little straighter and taller turned to look towards me. I returned the smile, waiting to see what was in store for us both from Barry.

He continued. "Mr. Turner, how long have you worked for the hotel?" he asked.
"Oh, nearly five years now" came his reply.

"And do you take care of this beautiful lobby all by yourself, or do you have help?"

Barry continued to pry. "No sir, I do it all by myself, ain't got no helpers, don't need nobody, I likes doing it real nice by myself" he answered.

Barry then walked towards the ash try he had just finished restoring to perfection. "Mr. Turner, how do you get that logo in the sand like that, I have often wondered how it's done and you're the first person I have ever seen who could actually tell me." Mr. Turner, now standing tall and confident walked over to the next ashtray and proceeded to show Barry the tricks of the trade so to speak. He carried a rubber stamp in his supplies that when pressed into the smoothed out sand made the logo prominent. "Jest like that, sir", was Mr. Turner's reply.

Barry studied the logo in the sand intently and turned to Mr. Turner and remarked, "well, I'll be - that is impressive if I must say so - and that must take practice to get it right in the center and make it stand out like that - yes, a real art I'd say".

Barry had turned his total and complete attention to the aging custodian, showing him a genuine interest in this mundane tasks and Mr. Turner was thriving on the attention he was getting. The elevator arrived and Barry went up. The elderly custodian began to whistle a little tune as he continued his cleaning and when he got to the next ashtray, he stood looking at his work as an artist does upon completing a masterpiece.

Sitting silently in the lobby glancing through a magazine I began to take it all in. I marveled at the changes that had come over Mr. Turner - he walked tall now to the next ash tray, his head held high, a smile on his withered face and he whistled softly - a transformation made in only moments by an act of respect and a few spoken words.

The remainder of the day proved to be more of the same as we visited historical locations, shops and even the ball fields where we found the girls and Bill intently watching the softball tournament. Everywhere we went Barry made the people he encountered feel like they were the owner or president of their company, or could be! His enthusiasm and concentrated interests in whatever they were doing brought smiles and opened conversation everywhere we went.

Later that night, alone with my thoughts, I re-played the video in my mind of Barry making small talk with total strangers standing near us in a line, the waitress, Mr. Turner and even the way he reacted when meeting my family. What a difference he made in the lives of those he would never meet again, whose day was made more special because of a word, a smile, a story.

I closed my eyes and thought to myself, I want to live my life just like Barry - making those I encounter feel important everywhere I go! The following year, the limousine company I worked for declared bankruptcy and closed its doors. I was handed the word processor on my desk as payment for my last two weeks at work.

School was about to end for summer vacation and I decided to take that time to enjoy it with the girls and think of what I would do next. Barry stayed in touch with me, making sure I would be all right in light of my sudden loss of work and an income. I assured him I was fine and that I would bounce back come September when school started back and that I would find other employment.

It was then that Barry began to encourage me to start my own business - he reminded me that I had the knowledge and personality to be successful and now I had an expensive tool by which to get started - the computer. At first it seemed more like the story of us getting married that day - totally ridiculous - but he wouldn't let it go.

As we continued to converse over the summer it became more and more evident that he was right - I could do it! I spent the summer gearing up for my new company, "Secretarial Solutions" and on the first day of school while dropping the girls off I heard a knock on my van window. I rolled down the glass and a gentleman asked for my business card.

Puzzled, I asked, "What business card?" forgetting the signs on the side of our van advertising my new business. He smiled, "Isn't this your van?" "Yes" I replied and then snapped to what he meant and scrambled to find my new business card to hand him. He became my very first customer!
For the remaining 4 years my business grew and I thrived. Barry was there for me each time I needed advice or direction and always for encouragement. Whenever I found an opportunity - which was daily - I put into action what Barry had shown me - and even today it is the standard by which I live.

Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to Barry Locke, and then I smile knowing if he isn't still here on earth making people feel important, he is surely in heaven making up stories to entertain the angels!

Linda has been writing for a number of years now and writes about true experiences that are near and dear to her heart. Many of her stories are tributes to family members. In addition to writing, Linda is a full time Executive Assistant with two grown daughters and a loving husband that enjoys spending leisure time with her on the lake or on their Harley Davidson. Linda's love for writing stories began when her children were small; she would create tales to entertain them using their names and their friends as the characters. Linda's stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, the book and the weekly newspaper syndicate, Fort Worth Business Press and you may recognize her name from other stories she has shared on MyDailyInsights as well. You can reach Linda atlghastings@embarqmail.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Think about....

We don’t see things the way they are. We see them the way WE are.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Think About......

Create the kind of self you will be happy to live with all your life.

~Foster C. McClellan

Friday, September 21, 2012

Are You a Bucket-Filler or a Dipper?

Author Unknown

You have heard of the cup that overflowed. This is a story of a bucket that is like the cup, only larger, it is an invisible bucket. Everyone has one. It determines how we feel about ourselves, about others, and how we get along with people. Have you ever experienced a series of very favorable things which made you want to be good to people for a week? At that time, your bucket was full.

A bucket can be filled by a lot of things that happen. When a person speaks to you, recognizing you as a human being, your bucket is filled a little. Even more if he calls you by name, especially if it is the name you like to be called. If he compliments you on your dress or on a job well done, the level in your bucket goes up still higher. There must be a million ways to raise the level in another's bucket. Writing a friendly letter, remembering something that is special to him, knowing the names of his children, expressing sympathy for his loss, giving him a hand when his work is heavy, taking time for conversation, or, perhaps more important, listing to him.

When one's bucket is full of this emotional support, one can express warmth and friendliness to people. But, remember, this is a theory about a bucket and a dipper. Other people have dippers and they can get their dippers in your bucket. This, too, can be done in a million ways.
Lets say I am at a dinner and inadvertently upset a glass of thick, sticky chocolate milk that spills over the table cloth, on a lady's skirt, down onto the carpet. I am embarrassed. "Bright Eyes" across the table says, "You upset that glass of chocolate milk." I made a mistake, I know I did, and then he told me about it! He got his dipper in my bucket! Think of the times a person makes a mistake, feels terrible about it, only to have someone tell him about the known mistake ("Red pencil" mentality!)

Buckets are filled and buckets are emptied ? emptied many times because people don't really think about what are doing. When a person's bucket is emptied, he is very different than when it is full. You say to a person whose bucket is empty, "That is a pretty tie you have," and he may reply in a very irritated, defensive manner.

Although there is a limit to such an analogy, there are people who seem to have holes in their buckets. When a person has a hole in his bucket, he irritates lots of people by trying to get his dipper in their buckets. This is when he really needs somebody to pour it in his bucket because he keeps losing.

The story of our lives is the interplay of the bucket and the dipper. Everyone has both. The unyielding secret of the bucket and the dipper is that when you fill another's bucket it does not take anything out of your own bucket. The level in our own bucket gets higher when we fill another's, and, on the other hand, when we dip into another's bucket we do not fill our own ... we lose a little.

For a variety of reasons, people hesitate filling the bucket of another and consequently do not experience the fun, joy, happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction connected with making another person happy. Some reasons for this hesitancy are that people think it sounds "fakey," or the other person will be suspicious of the motive, or it is "brown-nosing."

Therefore, let us put aside our dipper and resolve to touch someone's life in order to fill their bucket.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Think about.....

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."

Khalil Gibran

Think about...

Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.

~William J. Bennett 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Letter from Bob Proctor

Hi Friend,

One of the key concepts to creating wealth is to understand that
money is not the goal. That's right, I said, money is not the goal.

Frequently people will tell me that they want to make money.
However, I know it is not money they are really after. It is the
things that money can buy and the freedom of time to do what they
really want. While you may think this is an insignificant
difference, it is actually the reason so many people never become

Most of us were taught throughout our childhood that the whole
point of making money is to sock it away and build our own 'nest
egg'. We think of this as a type of insurance against bad fortune,
accidents or old age when we can no longer work. The wealthy know
that money only works when it is in motion - not when it's sitting
in a bank account. You must understand that wealth is an ongoing
journey of growth and circulation and if that circulation is
stopped, then the flow of money will cease.

While it may seem that there are many roadblocks on your journey to
wealth, the only real obstacle is what you believe, think, and feel
about money. Most of us were raised with the cliché "Seeing is
Believing" which is a skeptical and negative view of life. Still,
we hear it our whole lives until it becomes a part of our thought
process without our even realizing it. Wealthy people understand
that this cliché is exactly backward - you must believe in what you
can achieve before you will see it happen in your life. They know
that "Believing is Seeing." The only thing that separates a
millionaire from you right now is a wealthy mindset and the
foundation of that mindset is belief.

Does this mean that the wealthy have some special skill or
knowledge? No - but they do possess some key characteristics that
help them become wealthy.

The first of these characteristics is a willingness to listen to
their own heart. If you could become wealthy by listening to the
masses, then the masses would be wealthy and they are not. It is a
natural tendency to ask the opinions of those we love or respect.
Unfortunately, we listen to their comments and biases not taking
into account the results in their own lives. We make a decision to
listen based on our emotional attachment rather than by looking at
what they have achieved. How can anyone who has not accumulated
wealth advise you on how to do it? They can't.

A second characteristic of the wealthy is the ability to act when
opportunities present themselves. Opportunity is often imagined to
be something that you can't miss or pass up. However, I know from
personal experience that opportunity is often only a whisper that
comes during some of the most trying times of life. If you read the
life stories of very wealthy and successful people, you will
frequently find they were fired from jobs, kicked out of school or
dealt with significant personal tragedies that other people would
view as devastating. Instead, they viewed the challenges as
opportunities and prospered.

The wealthy also understand that wealth is an ongoing process. It
is not a destination you arrive at one day and then stop. It is
also rarely accomplished overnight - although it can occur in a
short period of time. However, if you gain wealth before you have
gained a wealthy mindset then you are in danger of losing that
wealth forever. We have all heard of those that win the lottery
only to be near penniless a few years later. Since they were  never
taught to think wealthy, they have very little chance of achieving
wealth that lasts and ultimately they lose what money they have.

Those with a wealthy mindset do what they love - and make money at
it. Often I see individuals who are seeking wealth like it's
something outside that they have to search for. In reality, wealth
exists within you. You have activities and hobbies that you love
and you can make these into your business if you choose to. Those
who are successful and create a great deal of wealth do so because
they are doing something they love. The money follows and is just a
logical result of them realizing their dream. Money is not the

Whether you grow up in the worst circumstance or have every
advantage, you have the exact same potential inside of you to
create the life you want. No matter how many times you read or hear
someone talk about how to become wealthy, your life will never
change until you believe that it can - Believing is Seeing.

To your success,
Bob Proctor

Monday, September 17, 2012

Think About.....

If you are serious about your goals, drop the conditions. Go directly to your goal. Be your goal! Conditions often disguise strategies for escaping accountability. Why not just take charge and create the experience you are looking for?

Eric Allenbaugh

Friday, September 14, 2012


By Joseph Russo

My grandfather lived to 102. I believe his longevity was in large part due to his special attitude.

At his 100th birthday party we sat for four hours talking. During our talk he proclaimed that Life is a wonderful and beautiful adventure to be appreciated and enjoyed. I reminded him that Life could not have been so when he was fighting in World War I in the trenches in France.

He said that sometimes things and situations do get in the way of seeing Life's wonder and beauty but that Life's wonder and beauty are always there, whether we see them or not.

Then he told me this story to explain further: during WWI in France, when he was lying in the cold trenches watching the death and destruction all around him he thought that Life was hell and a very ugly journey. Then he looked up at a nearby tree and saw and heard two birds singing to one another. That, he said, is when he realized that Life is always beautiful and wonderful, but not always easy to see that way.

He told me that on my darkest and stormy day to do my best to remember that above the dark and stormy clouds the sun is always shining...keep looking up, you will see the sun and/or the birds eventually. Have faith...Life's beauty and wonder are always there waiting to be seen and appreciated

Joseph Russo is a professional musician/teacher/composer living in Weston, Connecticut. You may find out more about him by visiting his website:www.JosephMRusso.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Think about......

Being rich isn't about money. Being rich is a state of mind.  Some of us, no matter how much money we have, will never be free enough to take time to stop and eat the heart of the watermelon. And some of us will be rich without ever being more than a paycheck ahead of the game.
~ Harvey Mackay

Monday, September 10, 2012

Think About....

Take a chance! All life is chance. The man who goes the furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The "sure thing" boat never gets far from shore.

Dale Carnegie

Friday, September 7, 2012


by Kathleene S. Baker ©2007

I looked at the scrawled handwriting on the envelope. I blinked and read it once again before tears began to tumble. My birthday card had been addressed, sent, and signed by Dad.

I'd not thought about, or expected, a card that year. The prior months had been dreadful as we watched Mother's health spiral downward. At Dad's age, the ordeal eventually took a terrible toll on him as well. Especially when he realized Mom's only option was to live out her final days in a nursing home. She would never come home again and soon Dad would be alone for the first time in his life.

Yet, there it was.a birthday card, and the only one I had ever received without Mom's familiar handwriting. I didn't even feel the need to open it, for Dad's efforts told me all I needed to know, and more. I cradled it like a priceless breakable and wept buckets of tears. Some for a card I would always hold dear, others for the sorrowful changes taking place in the lives of those I love.

When I did open the card.the sentiment was lovely and it was obvious much thought had been given to the selection. Although it was signed "Mom and Dad," never had I seen my parent's names written by Dad.another gloomy reminder of what was to come. Mom would not be with us much longer.

Six years later, with Dad rapidly approaching 90 years of age, I smiled when my birthday card came today! It's always several days early and the birthday check inside holds a brainteaser Dad concocted when greeting cards became one of his duties. The "memo" line at the bottom of the check is where his now-infamous secret code is found. Using capital letters he leaves a birthday message. An example: H. O. A. Y. T. Y. When I call to thank him for my card, you can bet your boots I will be quizzed on the answer.


A year after Mom's death I was on an extended summer visit at Dad's. I yawned as I plodded to the coffee pot one morning, poured a cup, and sat down next to Dad at the kitchen island. He was addressing a card to an old family friend.

"Dad, how do you keep track of all the birthdays and anniversaries? And, your cards are never late. You do a really good job!"

The look he gave me with those big, blue eyes suggested I might be dumb. "It's simple! On the first of the month I get my calendar and write down all the cards I'll need to send that month. The next time I go shopping, I buy them.then place them in order in the file cabinet drawer."
I grabbed Dad's calendar and yanked open the file drawer. Sure enough, the cards were in perfect order, from the first of the month to the last.

"Wow, you've got quite a system here!" I exclaimed. "Maybe I should set up one just like yours." I teased.

"After Mom died I had to figure out something! I didn't realize how many cards we sent out in a year's time."


I've never asked Dad about his secret codes for I know they began as a witty distraction during a sad and emotional time. They've continued because he's a wise man who knows life goes on regardless of our circumstances.and that a new comical twist along life's path can always lighten our load.
(Code = How Old Are You This Year)


Kathleen, and hubsand, Jerry, reside in Plano, Texas. Pets have always been a passion ans a precious schnauzer named Josey Lane inspired Kathy's first piece of work. As a freelancer, she has contributed to newspapers, anthologies, magazines, online ezines, and writes a weekly column entitled "Heart of Texas." Kathy's website www.txyellowrose.com eMail:lnstrlady@aol.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Think about.......

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, 
you develop the habit in little matters.

Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.

~Charles R. Swindoll

Monday, September 3, 2012

Think About.......

Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment.  As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility and commitment."

H. Ross Perot