“Nothing Changes when Nothing Changes” Inspirational Tales of Determination another FREE ebook by perry estelle

Table Of Contents
Foreword
Chapter 1:
Success Stories Of Great People And
Inspiring Leaders
Chapter 2:
Overcoming Adversity
Chapter 3:
Timeless Inspirational Tales
Chapter 4:
Inspirational Women Stories From
Around The World
Chapter 5:
Teachings And Lessons From Animals
Wrapping Up
Foreword
This volume features a selection of the world’s most inspiring stories
to move the body and soul. Inspire your readers with these tales of
courage and bravery so that they can have a breakthrough in their
own struggles, no matter where they are.
Featured in this massive book are tales of people overcoming
extraordinary hardship and achieving breakthroughs in their lives.
Their strength and courage serve as a source of inspiration and
motivation for us all.
The Big Book Of Inspiring Stories –
A Powerful Collection Of Tales Of Courage that Inspires
and Strengthens The Soul
– 4 –
Chapter 1:
Success Stories Of Great People And Inspiring Leaders
Thomas Alva Edison is one of America’s most famous inventors.
Edison saw huge change take place in his lifetime. He was responsible
for making many of those changes occur. His inventions created and
contributed to modern night lights, movies, telephones, records and
CDs. Edison was truly a genius.
Edison is most famous for his development of the first electric
light bulb. When Edison was born, electricity had not been developed.
By the time he died, entire cities were lit by electricity. Much of the
credit for electricity goes to Edison.
Some of his inventions were improvements on other inventions,
like the telephone. Some of his inventions he deliberately tried to
invent, like the light bulb and the movie projector. But some
inventions he stumbled upon, like the phonograph. Of all his
inventions, Edison was most proud of the phonograph.
– 5 –
Edison invented and improved upon things that transformed
our world. Some things he invented by himself. Some things he
invented with other people. Just about all his inventions are things we
still use in some form today. Throughout his life, Edison tried to
invent things that everyone could use.
Edison created the world’s first “invention factory”. He and his
partners invented, built and shipped the product – all in the same
complex. This was a new way to do business. Today many businesses
have copied Edison’s invention factory design.
A business friend once asked Edison about the secret to his success.
Edison replied, “Genius is hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common
sense”. But his “common sense” was very uncommon. More patents
were issued to Edison than have been issued to any other single
person in U.S. history: 1,093.
– 6 –
Beethoven was born on 16th, December, 1770 in Bonn of Germany.
His father was a singer in local palace choir. Beethoven’s father was a
very common person and he was addicted to gambling. However, his
mother was a fairly kind-hearted and gentle female. She married an
assistant as her first marriage and married to Beethoven’s father
when her ex-husband died.
Beethoven didn’t have access to go to school for the reason that his
family was very poor. Nevertheless, he had a special feeling of music
when he was very young. His father wanted to make use of his
potential to make a big fortune. As a result, Beethoven had to practice
playing clavicorn and violin day and night under his father’s pressure.
Beethoven had a performance on a stage for the first time when he
was only seven years old and he made a huge success. Some famous
musicians considered him as the second Mozart. Beethoven learned
how to compose music from Nifo and published his first work named
Concerto in A minor when he was 11. He went to Vienna to learn how
to compose music from Mozart and Haydn.
It seems that he would have a fairly bright future when Beethoven
received the first success in 1800. Nevertheless, he was troubled with
a terrible matter for years at that time. He found that he has became a
deaf person. There couldn’t be anything more terrible than that for a
musician. He sank into a blue mood for a long time as a consequence.
Beethoven has an enthusiastic heart all the time. But his enthusiasm
was often unfortunate. He often tolerated both hope and enthusiasm,
disappointment and resistance. There was no doubt that all of these
emotions had become his unique source of creation. He fell in love
with Julia in 1801 and composed a music named Moonlight for her
– 7 –
specifically. To his disappointed, she couldn’t understand his noble
soul and refused him. Beethoven was upset and despairing for that
and married a comte before long. It was the most hopeless moment
for him and once a time, he wrote down a paper of posthumous
papers.
He came to life in 1803 and composed some bright and warm music
such as The Second Symphonies. From then on, several more
beautiful and marvelous music were produced. Some of them are
fairly famous and I think you must have heard about them such as
The Eroica and The Storm.
Beethoven finished his masterpiece named The Ninth Symphonies in
1823. This piece of work expressed his world in his dream.
He suffered from pulmonary edema in Dec.1826, which was resulted
from a bad influenza. He passed away on 26th, March, 1827 for the
reason of suffering from hepatopathy.
It is said that the day on which Beethoven died was raining heavily
and storming seriously. It seems that even the God grieved over his
death.
Beethoven’s funeral was fairly solemn and grand. It is estimated that
over 20 thousand people presented his funeral.
– 8 –
Mother Teresa – This great personality was born in Albania. Right
from the age of 18, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, popularly known as
mother Teresa, was into spirituality. It was in the year 1931, when this
young girl with a golden heart, acquired the name Teresa from the
French nun Thérèse Martin. In 1937, she took vows and began
teaching in Saint Mary’s High School in Calcutta.
In 1948, she got another opportunity from God to serve the society.
The same year, mother Teresa was relieved by Pope Pious XII from
her services and she was granted the status of an independent nun.
And thereafter, she got engrossed with the task of serving the poor
and sick people of Calcutta. The coming years witnessed the setting
up of a charity organization called the Missionaries of Charity. In
1950, her source of concern was the care of lepers, the people
discarded by society.
Missionary of Charity opened its branches in almost every country to
assist the poor, elderly, blind and people suffering from deadly
disease like AIDS. For the bright future of children, she opened up
schools. In 1979, she was awarded with Nobel Prize for the services
that she had rendered to the society. But the journey of this great
messiah on earth ended in August 1997, when she made her way
towards the heaven.
– 9 –
Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Although, a summary of his basketball career and influence on the
game inevitably fails to do it justice, as a phenomenal athlete with a
unique combination of fundamental soundness, grace, speed, power,
artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitive
desire, Jordan single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar.
Even contemporaneous superstars recognized the unparalleled
position of Jordan. Magic Johnson said, “There’s Michael Jordan and
then there is the rest of us.” Larry Bird, following a playoff game
where Jordan dropped 63 points on the Boston Celtics in just his
second season, appraisal of the young player was: “God disguised as
Michael Jordan.
A brief listing of his top accomplishments would include the
following: Rookie of the Year; Five-time NBA MVP; Six-time NBA
champion; Six-time NBA Finals MVP; Ten-time All-NBA First Team;
Nine time NBA All-Defensive First Team; Defensive Player of the
Year; 14-time NBA All-Star; Three-time NBA All-Star MVP; 50th
Anniversary All-Time Team; Ten scoring titles — an NBA record and
seven consecutive matching Wilt Chamberlain; Retired with the
NBA’s highest scoring average of 30.1ppg.
Michael Jordan makes the jump shot that catapults the Bulls over the
Utah Jazz in the 1998 Finals. However, his impact is far greater than
awards and championships. He burst into the league as a rookie
sensation scoring in droves with an unmatchable first step and
acrobatic drives and dunks and concluded his career as a cultural
icon. Along the way, he became a true champion who spearheaded the
globalization of the NBA with his dynamic on court abilities and
personal sense of style that was marketed to the masses.
– 10 –
He was an accessible star who managed to maintain an air of
mystique. He was visible as “Air Jordan,” as part of a sneaker
advertising campaign and endorsing other products as well as the star
of the movie, Space Jam. However, he would vanish into retirement
twice only to return until hanging up the sneakers for the last time
after the 2002-03 season.
Although Brooklyn born, Jordan was bred in the more tranquil North
Carolina. The son of Delores and James Jordan, he shared a special
bond with his father, which included baseball being both of their first
love. However, following his older brother, Larry, whom he idolized
and was a spectacular athlete in his own right, Jordan began to play
basketball.
Jordan, coming off a gold medal performance at the 1984 Olympics
prospered in the pro game with a fabulous first season, earning the
NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He averaged 28.2 ppg, (third behind
Bernard King and Bird) 6.5 rpg and 5.9 apg. He also was selected to
the All-NBA Second Team. Perhaps more important, the Bulls
improved to win 11 more games than in the season prior to his arrival
and made it to the playoffs. Jordan averaged 29.3 ppg in the first
round series, but the Bulls lost in four games to the Milwaukee Bucks.
In his first season, he did not have outstanding shooting range and
was thought to roam to often on defense resulting from playing
trapping defenses in college according to his first NBA coach, Kevin
Loughery. Yet, his medium game — eight to 15-feet from the basket
was impressive as evidenced by his .515 field-goal shooting
percentage and his steals tended to compensate for his less than
stellar straight-up defense. Improvement in both areas would come
and he would ultimately be regarded as threat from anywhere on the
floor and one of the best ever one-on-one defenders.
– 11 –
“There’s Michael Jordan and then there is the rest of us.”
— Magic Johnson
Even in the exhibition season before his rookie campaign, players and
coaches were sure that the Rockets and Blazers would regret their
picks. King, the eventual leading scorer for that upcoming season,
seemed sure as well when he spoke to Hoop magazine after a 1984
preseason game.
“All I can say,” King says, “is that the people in Chicago are in for a
real treat.”
He was right. Jordan’s greatness and likeabilty was apparent in just
his first season. Home attendance at the venerable Chicago Stadium
and on the road rose dramatically. Fans of opposing teams were
seemingly content to see their team lose if in return Jordan put on
show.
Jordan’s personal style was equally authentic and unique as his
basketball skills. Nike signed him to a major shoe deal because of his
anticipated appeal, but he surpassed even the loftiest of expectations.
One version of the sneakers he wore in his first preseason was an
unseen before blend of his team’s red and black colors that the NBA
initially considered in violation of the “uniformity of uniform rule.”
Subject to fines if he continued to wear them, he occasionally did and
the demand for that version and others in the Air Jordan line was
unprecedented.
The rookie’s mesmerizing effect was even suggested to have extended
to referees as it was said that he was getting veteran preferential
treatment allowing him to take that additional step on route to the
– 12 –
basket rather than being whistle for a travelling violation. Many
assessed that he eluded defenders so easily that he had to be
travelling. However, video break down established that his first step
was just so quick and that he was not in violation of the rulebook.
Despite all the attention, Jordan retained a sense of humility. He did
not ridicule the Blazers for not taking him. Early on in his first
season, he told Sports Illustrated, “He [Bowie] fits in better than I
would. They have an overabundance of big guards and small
forwards.” His self-effacement was more apparent when in that same
article he said, “I’d like to play in at least one All-Star game.”
Three games into his second season, he broke a bone in his left foot.
He was voted to the All-Star team but could not play as he was
sidelined for 64 games. However, he came back late in the year to
score a NBA playoff-record 63 points in a first-round game against
the Celtics. The Bulls lost that game 132-131 in double-overtime and
the series in a sweep, but Jordan averaged 43.7 ppg in the series. If
there were any doubters to that point about Jordan’s ability, surely
there were no more.
– 13 –
The success story behind Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett—
who is also the company’s largest shareholder and CEO—spans back
to his years packing groceries at his grandfather’s grocery store.
Buffet showed maturity beyond his years when he decided that he
would rather make money than play games with the other children
his age.
Born Warren Edward Buffett on August 30, 1930 to a stockbrokerturned-
Congressman, it is no wonder that Buffett showed an amazing
flair for business and numbers at such an early age. At 11 years old, he
jumped into the world of high finance by buying three shares of Cities
Service that he later sold. He immediate regretted the decision as the
numbers for Cities Service soared. Buffett learned his lessons earlier
than most, paving the way for the plethora of critical real-world
decisions he was going to make.
Warren Buffett was educated at Woodrow Wilson High School,
Washington, D.C. after his father was elected into Congress. He
received his college education at The Wharton School, University of
Pennsylvania then later at the University of Nebraska where he
received a B.S. in Economics. Choosing to further his education,
Buffett enrolled at the Columbia Business School where he graduated
in 1951 with an M.S. in Economics.
Warren Buffett experienced a variety of jobs before he landed himself
at Berkshire Hathaway. Fresh out of school, he worked as an
investment salesman at Buffett-Falk & Co., Omaha until 1954. From
1954 to 1956, Buffett served at Graham-Newman Corp., New York as
a Securities Analyst. From 1956-1969, he sat as a General Partner at
the Buffett Partnership, Ltd. Since 1970, Buffet has served at
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha as its Chairman and CEO.
– 14 –
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is a conglomerate holding company that
oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. Since
coming onboard, Buffet has been instrumental in driving the
company to the colossal status it stands at today.
In 2008, Warren Buffet was ranked number one on Forbes list of
World’s Billionaires making this the richest success story in the
world.
– 15 –
Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in a family having rich
business, political and community service background. His greatgrandfather
was a state legislator and a mayor, his grandfather was
vice president of national bank and his father was a lawyer.
Bill strongly believes in hard work. He believes that if you are
intelligent and know how to apply your intelligence, you can achieve
anything. From childhood Bill was ambitious, intelligent and
competitive. These qualities helped him to attain top position in the
profession he chose. In school, he had an excellent record in
mathematics and science. Still he was getting very bored in school
and his parents knew it, so they always tried to feed him with more
information to keep him busy. Bill’s parents came to know their son’s
intelligence and decided to enroll him in a private school, known for
its intense academic environment. It was a very important decision in
Bill Gate’s life where he was first introduced to a computer. Bill Gates
and his friends were very much interested in computer and formed
“Programmers Group” in late 1968. Being in this group, they found a
new way to apply their computer skill in university of Washington. In
the next year, they got their first opportunity in Information Sciences
Inc. in which they were selected as programmers. ISI (Information
Sciences Inc.) agreed to give them royalties whenever it made money
from any of the group’s program. As a result of the business deal
signed with Information Sciences Inc., the group also became a legal
business.
Bill Gates and his close friend Allen started new company of their
own, Traf-O-Data. They developed a small computer to measure
traffic flow. From this project they earned around $20,000. The era
of Traf-O-Data came to an end when Gates left the college. In 1973, he
left home for Harvard University. He didn’t know what to do, so he
– 16 –
enrolled his name for pre-law. He took the standard freshman
courses with the exception of signing up for one of Harvard’s toughest
mathematics courses. He did well over there, but he couldn’t find it
interesting too. He spent many long nights in front of the school’s
computer and the next day asleep in class. After leaving school, he
almost lost himself from the world of computers. Gates and his friend
Paul Allen remained in close contact even though they were away
from school. They would often discuss new ideas for future projects
and the possibility of starting a business one fine day. At the end of
Bill’s first year, Allen came close to him so that they could follow
some of their ideas. That summer they got job in Honeywell. Allen
kept on pushing Bill for opening a new software company.
Within a year, Bill Gates dropped out from Harvard. Then he formed
Microsoft. Microsoft’s vision is “A computer on every desk and
Microsoft software on every computer”. Bill is a visionary person and
works very hard to achieve his vision. His belief in high intelligence
and hard work has put him where he is today. He does not believe in
mere luck or God’s grace, but just hard work and competitiveness.
Bill’s Microsoft is good competition for other software companies and
he will continue to stomp out the competition until he dies. He likes
to play the game of Risk and the game of world domination. His
beliefs are so powerful, which have helped him increase his wealth
and his monopoly in the industry.
Bill Gates is not a greedy person. In fact, he is quite giving person
when it comes to computers, internet and any kind of funding. Some
years back, he visited Chicago’s Einstein Elementary School and
announced grants benefiting Chicago’s schools and museums where
he donated a total of $110,000, a bunch of computers, and provided
internet connectivity to number of schools. Secondly, Bill Gates
– 17 –
donated 38 million dollars for the building of a computer institute at
Stanford University. Gates plans to give away 95% of all his earnings
when he is old and gray.
Bill Gates from this story may seem a superhero and do it alone guy
but in reality, he is not. He was able to achieve it because of the kind
of people that he choose to mingle with.
– 18 –
Chapter 2:
Overcoming Adversity
Oprah Winfrey – No one ever blames Oprah Winfrey for taking
some easy way out. Although her childhood was full of toil, this
young girl from Kosciusko, Mississippi always believed she was
destined to be someone great.
Maybe it was from her life background in a village that she learned “to
turn misery into wisdom” as she stated later. And her misery was not
just a few. She was born as she resulted of a free intercourse between
her mother and a service man who then left her. First Oprah was
brought up by her grandmother in a pig farm with no running water
facility. She then lived with her mother who moved to Milwaukee
where she was sexually abused for the first time by a friend of her
family and her own relative. Oprah grew up into a rebellious teenager,
at 14 years old she lived in a bad surroundings and gave birth to a
male baby that died a week later. Loosing her patience, Oprah’s
mother sent her to live with her father – a man she never knew
before.
But it was by living with her father that she eventually got the
discipline she needed to turn her outstanding intelligence into its
right track. She was doing well at school and was known for her smart
talking. She joined a local beauty contest and won a scholarship in
Tennessee State University. She began to study broadcast
communication and got a part time job as a reporter in Nashville TV
station.
– 19 –
Suddenly it looked like nothing could ever stop the strides of this
young girl she once was a naughty girl. Oprah left school at the age as
young as 19 years old to become the first Afro-American woman
broadcaster in Nashville. She wrestled with this job for three years
before she took another job in Baltimore Broadcasting Station –
where there were larger market segment and greater prestige and
challenge as well. This step later proved to be the biggest blessing in
disguise mistake Oprah had made.
Oprah was usually calm and self controlled in her previous job, but
now she looked so exhausted. She forgot to read the text copy prior to
her appearance before the camera. She misspelled “blasé” and
misplaced Barbados to be somewhere in California and made a small
laugh at that incident. She interviewed a fire victim with such style as
asking “How did you feel after the ordeal?” then wept in front of the
camera and apologized for exploiting woman’s emotion.
The station management did not appreciate her attitude in front of
the camera and they didn’t like her appearance either. They
complained about her hair style, her big nose and the distance
between her eyes. Tempted to glamorize her appearance, they sent
her to a good salon in New York which did a disastrous remodeling
that made her fair fall off. Failing to find a suitable wig, she managed
to appear on the camera (then she said: “You will learn a lot about
yourself if you are baldheaded, a black and a news broadcaster in
Baltimore”)
In one year her glory was to be unpredictably coming. The station had
had enough of this new figure. They decided she just didn’t fit to TV
news broadcasting job. But to avoid breaking her contract, they
choose not to fire her but lowered her position from broadcaster to
– 20 –
presenter of a talk show for housewives called “People Are Talking”
run at daytime.
Oprah said, “Failure is the way God chooses to remind you that you
are on the wrong track”. But clearly she is now on the right track
about her first day on the talk show “it is like a breath of relief, and it
is exactly what you must feel”. The show was a prime show and most
of the audience were women who found themselves reflected in the
figure of that simple, direct, funny and human presenter.
Seven years later, Oprah’s show attracted a station in Chicago and she
was offered to move there to direct the A. M. Chicago show. In a
month, she made that show the most loveable show. In 1985 the show
was further developed and given a new name: The Oprah Winfrey
Show and is now nationally broadcasted.
During more than 15 years of unpredicted success, Oprah keep
sharing many things, including her own struggle and success affairs:
going on a diet against too much food and fat (she eventually got her
ideal weight), a law suit by a ranch owner (which she won), the “TV
Garbage” program which dominates her market segment (she soared
up and achieved highest rating). Even after all she had been through,
she refused to see her failures as mistakes. “I don’t believe in failure”
Oprah said. “It is not a failure if you enjoy the process”.
– 21 –
Once upon a time, a farmer owned an old mule who tripped and fell
into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule braying and was
unable to figure out how to bring up the old animal. It grieved him
that he could not pull the animal out. He’d been a good worker
around the farm. Although the farmer sympathized with the mule, he
called his neighbors together and told them what had happened. He
had them help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and quietly
put him out of his misery.
At first, the old mule was puzzled, but as the farmer and his neighbors
continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, he had a thought: he
ought to shake off the dirt and step up. And he did just that.
“Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off and
step up.” Even though he took painful blows of dirt and fought panic,
he just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!
It wasn’t long before the old mule stepped up and over the lip of that
well. What could have buried him actually blessed him…all because of
the manner in which he handled his adversity.
– 22 –
Once upon a time, a daughter complained to her father that her life
was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it.
She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as
one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with
water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to
boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and
ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil,
without saying a word to his daughter.
The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he
was doing. After twenty minutes, he turned off the burners. He took
the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the
eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and
placed it in a cup.
Turning to her, he asked, “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer”, he said, “and touched the potatoes”. She did and noted
that they were soft.
He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the
shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile
to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
– 23 –
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs, and coffee beans had
each faced the same adversity, the boiling water. However, each one
reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water
it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile with the thin outer shell
protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then
the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were
exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created
something new.
“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on
your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee
bean?”
In life, things happen around us and things happen to us, but the only
thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
– 24 –
When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill.
When funds are low and the debts are high.
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far:
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
– 25 –
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
LOVE THEM ANYWAY.
If you do good, people accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
DO GOOD ANYWAY.
If you are successful, you win false and true enemies.
SUCCEED ANYWAY.
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.
DO GOOD ANYWAY.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY.
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight.
BUILD ANYWAY.
People really need help but may attack you if you help them.
HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY.
– 26 –
An elderly couple retired to the countryside to a small isolated cottage
overlooking some rugged and rocky heathland.
One early morning, the woman saw from her window a young man
dressed in working clothes walking on the heath about a hundred
yards away. He was carrying a spade and a small case and he
disappeared from view behind a copse of trees.
The woman thought no more about it but around the same time the
next day she saw the man again, carrying his spade and a small case,
and again he disappeared behind the copse.
The woman mentioned this to her husband who said he was probably
a farmer or gamekeeper setting traps, or performing some other
country practice that would be perfectly normal, and so not to worry.
However, after several more sightings of the young man with the
spade over the next two weeks, the woman persuaded her husband to
take a stroll – early, before the man tended to arrive – to the copse of
trees to investigate what he was doing.
There they found a surprisingly long and deep trench, rough and
uneven at one end, becoming much neater and tidier towards the
other end.
“How strange,” the old lady said, “Why dig a trench here…and in such
difficult rocky ground?” and her husband agreed.
Just then the young man appeared earlier than his usual time.
– 27 –
“You’re early,” said the old woman, making light of their obvious
curiosity, “We wondered what you were doing and we also wondered
what was in the case.”
“I’m digging a trench,” said the man who continued, realizing a bigger
explanation was appropriate. “I’m actually learning how to dig a good
trench because the job I’m being interviewed for later today says that
experience is essential, so I’m getting the experience. And the
case…it’s got my lunch in it.”
He got the job.
– 28 –
DETERMINATON
In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an
idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long
Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world
thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget
the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never
been done before.
Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge.
He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it
could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else.
After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his
son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact
could be built.
Working together for the first time, the father and son developed
concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could
be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the
headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and
began to build their dream bridge.
The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway
a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling.
Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain
damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even
move.
“We told them so.”
“Crazy men and their crazy dreams.”
“It`s foolish to chase wild visions.”
– 29 –
Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project
should be scrapped since the Roebling’s were the only ones who knew
how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington
was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the
bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.
He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends,
but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in his
hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a
gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to
see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.
It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly
an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided
to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code
of communication with his wife.
He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he
wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same
method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed
foolish but the project was under way again.
For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger
on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the
spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the
triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to
be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and
their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad
by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love
– 30 –
and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the
messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.
Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude
that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an
impossible goal.
Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem
very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The
Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be
realized with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds
are.
Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination and
persistence.
– 31 –
Chapter 3:
Timeless Inspirational Tales
Generosity
Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting
funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he addressed a
meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was
bent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters. The
volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place where
Gandhiji was sitting. “I must see him,” she insisted and going up to
Gandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought
out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up the
copper coin and put it away carefully. The Charkha Sangh funds were
under the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coin
but Gandhiji refused. “I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for
the Charkha Sangh,” Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly “yet you won’t
trust me with a copper coin.” “This copper coin is worth much more
than those thousands,” Gandhiji said. “If a man has several lakhs and
he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn’t mean much. But this coin
was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she
had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made.
That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees.” to
rejoice about.
– 32 –
The Window
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One
man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the
fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and
families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military
service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when
the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the
time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside
the window.
The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where
his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and
color of the outside world. The window overlooked a park with a
lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water
while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm
amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the
landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the
distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite
detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and
imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade
passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he
could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window
portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought
entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing
everything while I never get to see anything? It didn’t seem fair. As
– 33 –
the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days
passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into
resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found
himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window – and that
thought now controlled his life.
Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window
began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other
man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the
window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across
the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button, which
would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the
coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing.
Now, there was only silence–deathly silence.
The following morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their
baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,
she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away–
no words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if
he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make
the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him
alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his
first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He
strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced
a blank wall.
– 34 –
Moral of the story:
The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitude
we consciously choose to express. It is not a gift that gets delivered to
our doorstep each morning, nor does it come through the window.
And I am certain that our circumstances are just a small part of what
makes us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never
find lasting joy.
The pursuit of happiness is an inward journey. Our minds are like
programs, awaiting the code that will determine behaviors; like bank
vaults awaiting our deposits. If we regularly deposit positive,
encouraging, and uplifting thoughts, if we continue to bite our lips
just before we begin to grumble and complain, if we shoot down that
seemingly harmless negative thought as it germinates, we will find
that there is much.
– 35 –
The Starfish
There was a man taking a morning walk at or the beach. He saw that
along with the morning tide came hundreds of starfish and when the
tide receded, they were left behind and with the morning sun rays,
they would die. The tide was fresh and the starfish were alive. The
man took a few steps, picked one and threw it into the water. He did
that repeatedly. Right behind him there was another person who
couldn’t understand what this man was doing. He caught up with him
and asked, “What are you doing? There are hundreds of starfish. How
many can you help? What difference does it make?” This man did not
reply, took two more steps, picked up another one, threw it into the
water, and said, “It makes a difference to this one.”
Unconditional Love – motivating story
A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after
having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco.
“Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve a favor to ask. I have a
friend I’d like to bring home with me.”
“Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.”
“There’s something you should know the son continued, “he was hurt
pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an
arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live
with us.”
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and
encourage you to succeed they lend an ear, they share a word of
praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
– 36 –
Don’t We All?
I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come
from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.
Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would
consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no
clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous
but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This
was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.”
“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought.
He didn’t.
He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look
like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.
After a few minutes he spoke.
“That’s a very pretty car,” he said.
He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly
blond beard keep more than his face warm.
I said, “thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.
He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never
came.
As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if
he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true
to the inner voice.
“Do you need any help?” I asked.
He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never
forget.
– 37 –
We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it
from those of higher learning and accomplishments.
I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the
three words that shook me.
“Don’t we all?” he said.
I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum
in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge
shotgun.
Don’t we all?
I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed
help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus
fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those
three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no
matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No
matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with
problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.
Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that. You never know
when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are
waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different
perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from
daily chaos, which only you through a torn world can see. Maybe the
man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he
was more than that.
– 38 –
Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a
soul too comfortable in themselves.
Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum,
then said, “go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs
help.”
Don’t we all?
– 39 –
How would you like to be remembered?
About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper
and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column.
The news papers had reported the death of the wrong person by
mistake. His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When he
regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what
people had said about him. The obituary read, “Dynamite King Dies.”
And also “He was the merchant of death.” This man was the inventor
of dynamite and when he read the words “merchant of death,” he
asked himself a question, “Is this how I am going to be remembered?”
He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the
way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started
working toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is
remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.
Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his
values, we should step back and do the same.
What is your legacy?
How would you like to be remembered?
Will you be spoken well of?
Will you be remembered with love and respect?
Will you be missed?
– 40 –
The Midas Touch
We all know the story of the greedy king named Midas. He had a lot
of gold and the more he had the more he wanted. He stored all the
gold in his vaults and used to spend time every day counting it.
One day while he was counting a stranger came from nowhere and
said he would grant him a wish. The king was delighted and said, “I
would like everything I touch to turn to gold.” The stranger asked the
king, Are you sure?” The king replied, “Yes.” So the stranger said,
“Starting tomorrow morning with the sun rays you will get the golden
touch.” The king thought he must be dreaming, this couldn’t be true.
But the next day when he woke up, he touched the bed, his clothes,
and everything turned to gold. He looked out of the window and saw
his daughter playing in the garden. He decided to give her a surprise
and thought she would be happy. But before he went to the garden he
decided to read a book. The moment he touched it, it turned into gold
and he couldn’t read it. Then he sat to have breakfast and the moment
he touched the fruit and the glass of water, they turned to gold. He
was getting hungry and he said to himself, “I can’t eat and drink
gold”. Just about that time his daughter came running and he hugged
her and she turned into a gold statue. There were no more smiles left.
The king bowed his head and started crying. The stranger who gave
the wish came again and asked the king if he was happy with his
golden touch. The king said he was the most miserable man. The
stranger asked, “What would you rather have, your food and loving
daughter or lumps of gold and her golden statue?” The king cried and
asked for forgiveness. He said, “I will give up all my gold. Please give
me my daughter back because without her I have lost everything
– 41 –
worth having.” The stranger said to the king, “You have become wiser
than before” and he reversed the spell. He got his daughter back.
Meaningless Goals
A farmer had a dog who used to sit by the roadside waiting for
vehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down the
road, barking and trying to overtake it. One day a neighbor asked the
farmer “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a car?” The
farmer replied, “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me is
what he would do if he ever caught one.” Many people in life behave
like that dog who is pursuing meaningless goals. in his arms and the
king learned a lesson that he never forget for the rest of his life.
Which Road
A man was traveling and stopped at an intersection. He asked an
elderly man, “Where does this road take me?” The elderly person
asked, “Where do you want to go?” The man replied, “I don’t know.”
The elderly person said, “Then take any road. What difference does it
make?”
– 42 –
Chapter 4:
Inspirational Women Stories From Around The World
The what? The Strongwoman competition? Kara Mann wasn’t what
I expected. Nor did I expect to be so fascinated and so inspired by a
23-year-old. Her look, demeanor and voice were not unlike one of the
cheerleaders she has had to dead-lift in competition. Another
stereotype bites the dust.
In 2004, Kara Mann became the National Strongwoman Champion,
less than two years after first starting to compete in the sport. After
winning that competition again as recently as 2006, she is now a twotime
national champ. Where did she come from and how did she get
there so fast?
A native of Boston, she first got into it through a boyfriend and his
family who encouraged her to give it a try. Her ascent was rapid,
beginning with third place in the Massachusetts state championships.
Mann shook her head when asked if she would have done anything
differently, having been a three-sport athlete in high school where she
succeeded at cross-country, basketball and track and field, and
dabbled in gymnastics, taekwondo and playing the flute.
Today she uses her degree from Vanderbilt in chemical engineering at
her job at General Electric in Cleveland and is learning to juggle her
vocation and her strongwoman hobby. “You can’t do it as a career.”
When asked about financial rewards, she laughed. “Sometimes they
give us swords, Samurai swords. Once I did get three hundred dollars,
though.”
– 43 –
So why would someone so physically strong, athletic and focused
choose this? The well-known health benefits of this level of physical
conditioning aside, “It’s a passion. It’s a release of energy and stress
for me…and you can’t imagine the highs, the empowering feeling you
get after being successful in a competition.”
Asked to describe a typical competition, her eyes light up. “You never
know what to expect.” The unpredictable nature of each competition
holds particular appeal for Mann. What is consistent about the
competitions is that three aspects of skill and strength are always
tested: “overhead,” “grip” (e.g., see how long you can keep two Mini
Cooper cars from rolling) and “back and legs.” In addition, one can
always expect the classic, signature event called Atlas Stones, where
contestants carry large cement stones of varying weight and shape
over to a platform. She once pulled an A-4 military airplane 47 feet in
60 seconds.
A typical week involves strength training each weekday, followed by
“implement” training on the weekends. Implement training zeroes in
on the specific mechanical skills involved in the upcoming events. In
the week preceding an event, the amount of implement training
increases. In all three geographic settings of her life, Boston,
Nashville and now Cleveland, she has connected to a network of
athletes with this pursuit, most of them males, who she refers to as if
they were her brothers.
Just as important as physical preparation is mental preparation. She
is convinced that the quality of her mental focus at the time of her
event is crucial. “You can’t be distracted in the least or paying
attention to your opponents.” Mann uses what she calls “angry”
– 44 –
music, like Disturbed, to get her psyched and ready. “I don’t even
know what they’re saying.” She attributes her success in putting mind
over matter to her upbringing and to her experience in other sports.
Behind this modest, casual, relaxed demeanor, there lies a woman
with strong opinions about what is wrong with the sport. She laments
that there are but a handful of females who compete consistently. The
corollary to that problem is the lack of financial rewards. She would
like to see the women break off from the male federation, recognizing
a need for more woman-power in the decision-making. She would like
more consistency, predictability and regularity in dates and locations
of competitions.
And perhaps most importantly, she would like to see the sport
regulated. Right now there is no drug-testing whatsoever in either the
male or female milieus. “I really have issues with that, since it
constitutes an uneven playing field.” Mann’s goal is to attract other
females to this sport that she loves, and along with that, to inspire
entrants to compete without “supplements.” She even envisions two
separate classes for those who “do” and those who “don’t.”
All of these improvements would help to shift strongwoman away
from its entertainment flavor toward its status as a serious “sport.”
You can bet that Kara Mann, at 5’6” and 165 pounds, will be a force in
helping shape the evolution of her sport. She’s just that strong.
– 45 –
Eileen Marie Collins (Colonel, USAF, RET.)
NASA Astronaut
Born November 19, 1956, in Elmira , New York.
Eileen graduated from Elmira Free Academy, Elmira, New York, in
1974 and received an Associate in Science degree in
mathematics/science from Corning Community College in 1976. She
went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and
economics from Syracuse University in 1978. She also has a Master of
Science degree in operations research from Stanford University in
1986 and a Master of Arts degree in space systems management from
Webster University in 1989.
As a small girl she gazed up into the sky and watched the silent birds
(sailplanes) soar through the air, this is where the love affair began.
Eileen grew up in the “Soaring Capital of America.” She was
fascinated with flight and knew that one day she wanted to fly. At the
age of 19 she had saved $1,000 and went to her local airport to ask
them to show her how to fly. Her inspiration was fueled by women
pilots and early astronauts.
Through years of education, determination and hard work she has
logged more than 6,751 hours in both the air and space! Eileen joined
the Air Force and began pilot training in 1978, the same year that
NASA opened the Shuttle program to women. She became an official
astronaut in 1991.
Eileen Collins is the first and currently only female Space Shuttle
Commander in history!! Four space flights and 872 hours in space
later Eileen retired from NASA in May 2006.
– 46 –
Battling dyslexia
Rebecca, who I met at a business conference in Las Vegas, is one of
the smartest people I know. Even if you were around her for an entire
day, you probably wouldn’t notice her disability.
“I was born with severe dyslexia,” Rebecca explains. “Due to my
learning disability, I was in special education classes for most of my
elementary and middle school years.”
Despite the challenge, she refused to let dyslexia dictate her life.
Every day, she worked on overcoming her disability with the help of
her parents.
“My dad would spend an hour every morning helping me with math,”
says Rebecca. “In the evenings, my mom would have me read books
out lout and then she would quiz me on the content.”
Rebecca’s hard work paid off. By high school, she had advanced from
special education classes all the way to honors classes. When high
school came to an end, she kept striving.
“When I was a young, no one thought I could ever go to college,” she
confides.
Not only did Rebecca end up going to college, she graduated near the
top of her class. Was her journey over? Hardly.
“I always had a vision,” says Rebecca, “of one day being a lawyer. But
it seemed like such a crazy aspiration that I never told anyone.”
– 47 –
Today, Rebecca’s vision is a reality. She graduated from law school
and is currently working her way up in one of the largest law firms on
the East Coast.
Rebecca says: “I wouldn’t change a thing. My learning disability still
makes life a challenge but it also gave me the determination to make
my dream come true.”
“Mom, why are you crying?” he asked his mom.
“Because I’m a woman” she told him.
“I don’t understand,” he said.
His mom just hugged him and said, “and you never will.” Later the
little boy asked his father, “Why does mother seem to cry for no
reason?”
“All women cry for no reason” was all his dad could say.
The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women
cry.
Finally he put in a call to GOD. When GOD got on the phone the man
said, “GOD, why do women cry so easily?”
GOD said:
– 48 –
“When I made women she had to be special. I made her shoulders
strong enough to carry the weight of the world; yet, gentle enough to
give comfort.
I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection
that many times comes from her children.
I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone
else gives up and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue
without complaining.
I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all
circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly. This
same sensitivity helps her to make a child’s boo-boo feel better and
shares in her teenager’s anxieties and fears.
I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and
fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.
I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife,
but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him
unfalteringly.
I gave her a tear to shed, it’s hers exclusively to use whenever it is
needed. It’s her only weakness; it’s a tear for mankind.”
– 49 –
Yasmin Waljee, 38, a lawyer, from London
Yasmin will never meet all the thousands of people she has helped.
But her belief that justice is a right for all – and that the
disadvantaged who can’t access a diminishing legal aid system should
be represented for free by some of Britain’s top lawyers – drives her
relentlessly on.
Yasmin, is head of Pro Bono – provision of free service by volunteer
lawyers – at top legal firm Lovells.
She helps mastermind 18,000 free hours of legal help a year
worldwide – from victims of domestic violence, victims of terrorist
attacks including the London July 7 bombings, disabled people who
are fighting for Disability Living Allowance and desperate families
facing eviction in East London because they are falling behind with
rent.
While Yasmin – married with a one-year-old son – claims modestly
that all the above is not her work alone, she also tirelessly raises
money for charity: for example, persuading her colleagues to abseil
down their building and arranging a team of lawyers to help clean up
a rundown area of Newham, East London.
Last year, working with a committee of staff, she raised £25,000 for
Save The Children through Legally Ballroom Dancing – an event
which saw 30 lawyers waltzing in front of their colleagues.
– 50 –
Chapter 5:
Teachings And Lessons From Animals
A lady takes her pet Chihuahua with her on a safari holiday.
Wandering too far one day the Chihuahua gets lost in the bush, and
soon encounters a very hungry looking leopard. The Chihuahua
realizes he’s in trouble, but, noticing some fresh bones on the ground,
he settles down to chew on them, with his back to the big cat. As the
leopard is about to leap, the Chihuahua smacks his lips and exclaims
loudly, “Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any
more around here.”
The leopard stops mid-stride, and slinks away into the trees.
“Phew,” says the leopard”, that was close – that evil little dog nearly
had me”.
A monkey nearby sees everything and thinks he’ll win a favor by
putting the stupid leopard straight. The Chihuahua sees the monkey
go after the leopard, and guesses he might be up to no good.
When the leopard hears the monkey’s story he feels angry at being
made a fool, and offers the monkey a ride back to see him exact his
revenge.
The little dog sees them approaching and fears the worse.
Thinking quickly, the little dog turns his back, pretends not to notice
them, and when the pair are within earshot says aloud, “Now where’s
– 51 –
that monkey got to? I sent him ages ago to bring me another
leopard…”
Two frogs fell into a deep pit, and though they tried very hard they
could not hop out. Their comrades peered down from the top and
croaked in sympathy.
“We feel for you,” they shouted, “but there’s no way you can get out
from there!”
On hearing this, one of the frogs lost heart, and died of fear. The other
frog was deaf. He thought his comrades were shouting
encouragement. Emboldened by their faith in him, he gathered up all
his reserves of energy in one great jump that landed him out of the
pit.
– 52 –
Hang on to your own bone
Fanny the farm dog was pretty smart, but one day she got the shock of
her life because no-one had ever told her about mirrors. As a special
treat, she was given a big bone. She took it down to the river bank to
enjoy it in peace. As she stood there with the bone in her mouth, she
looked at her reflection in the water. And what did she see? Another
dog with a bone in its mouth! She wanted the other bone as well as
her own, so she opened her mouth to bark and her bone fell straight
in and sank to the bottom.
The rooster makes its last mistake
Two burglars were prowling round a barn one night. They could hear
something moving inside, and ever so carefully they climbed in to see
what it was. It was a rooster. “Ah-ha,” they cried. “This will do for our
supper tomorrow.” They grabbed it and were about to kill it when the
rooster squawked in alarm: “Please don’t kill me. I can be useful to
you. I can wake you at dawn every day, ready to start work on time.”
“That’s just what we don’t want,” growled the burglars. “If you wake
people up they’ll catch us robbing their houses.” So that was the end
of the rooster.
– 53 –
The jealous goat
A goat and a donkey lived on the same farm. The goat had to find his
own food, but because he made the donkey work hard, the farmer fed
him. The goat became jealous, forgetting all the donkey’s hard work.
He thought if the donkey stopped working, he would get his food. So
he pushed him into a large hole, and he was badly hurt. The farmer
sent for the vet, who examined the donkey. “The quickest way to
make him better,” he said, “is to feed him with goat soup.” So instead
of getting the donkey’s food for himself, the goat finished up as food
for the donkey!
Look before you eat
You know what dogs are like. If you drop a bit of food from the table
they shallow it before they know what it is. But sometimes they wish
they hadn’t. Fanny the farm dog wasn’t allowed in while her master
Josh was eating with the family. But one day she crept in and hid
under the table when no-one was looking.
She kept very quiet until suddenly a big dollop of food fell next to her.
She gobbled it up without thinking. Then she let out a big bowl and
rushed outside, holding her tummy with one paw. The family was
eating a very hot curry for supper!
– 54 –
One good turn deserves another
Fred was a farm-worker who found a young eagle caught in a trap. He
couldn’t bear to see such a beautiful bird in pain, so he released it. A
few days later, he was sitting in the shade of an old wall, having bread
and cheese for his lunch. Suddenly, with a flapping of wings, the eagle
swooped and stole the cap from his head. It flew away just above the
ground with Fred rushing after it, shouting, until it dropped his cap.
Fred put it back on his head and trudged back to finish his lunch. But
what do you think? Exactly where he had been sitting the old wall had
collapsed! Each of them had saved the other.
How to live in peace
In the old days, farmers sometimes encouraged snakes and weasels to
live in the barn and kill the mice that ate their corn. But on one farm
there was a bad-tempered weasel and a peppery old snake, and
instead of killing the mice they kept fighting each other. The mice
thought this was wonderful, of course. At first, they just put their
heads cautiously out of their holes to watch.
Before long, they began to form a circle around the two fighters and
cheer for one side or the other. For a while, the snake and the weasel
were so busy scrapping they didn’t even notice. One day, however,
they stopped for a rest in the middle of a particularly tiring fight. They
looked around them and then at each other. “Why are we wasting so
much eating time,” they asked themselves. “There’s enough food here
to make us fat and good-tempered.” And they set about gobbling up
the mice.
– 55 –
Animals Are Parents Too
I want to let you know about an event that changed my life many
years ago. It is a memory that periodically comes and goes, but it is
one of the most precious memories that me and my wife share. I am
thankful that we can remember it together. It’s a reminder that things
are not what they seem and that angels come in many packages.
We live in College Station, Texas and we were on our way home from
Houston, Texas around the Weston Lakes area one Saturday or
Sunday morning. And when I say morning, I’m talking 1:00 to 2:00 in
the morning. We were on our way home and decided to stop at a local
gas station to get coffee and something to snack on since it was a good
hour and a half before we got home.
When we were done, we got back into our car and before I started it,
we noticed a man standing outside in front of the building. You could
tell that he was a homeless man. His clothes were tattered and worn
and it looked like he had gone in and gotten him some coffee or
something warm to drink since it was cold this time of the year. He
must have not had enough money to get something to eat. That is not
something I remember too well, because that is not what “moved” me.
The next thing I remember is a dog that walked up to the front of the
building. Being a dog lover, I noticed that she was part wolf and
probably part German shepherd. I could tell she was a she, because
you could tell that she had been feeding puppies. She was terribly in
need of something to eat and I felt so bad for her. I knew if she didn’t
eat soon, she and her puppies would not make it.
– 56 –
Me and my wife sat there and looked at her. We noticed that people
walked by and didn’t even pet her, like most people do when they
walk by an animal in front of a store. She might not have been as
pretty and clean as most, but she still deserved better. But we still did
not do anything. But someone did. The homeless man, who I thought
did not buy himself anything to eat, went back into the store. And
what he did brought tears to me and my wife. He had gone into the
store and with what money he may have had, bought a can of dog
food and fed that dog.
I know that this story isn’t as inspirational as most stories, but it plays
a great part in our lives. You see, that was Mother’s Day weekend.
And a lot of people forget that some animals are parents too. And
animals as well as us are God’s creations too.
It would be a better story if I could remember all the details, but even
without the details, I believe it still gets the message across. It took a
homeless man, to show me what I should have done. He made me a
better man that day.
– 57 –
Sweltering temperatures are a reminder to keep not only yourselves
cool, but your pets. In the case of a Labrador, he may have been left
alone, but helped himself survive what could have been a terrible
situation.
Eleven-year-old Max is not just a dog. He’s like another member of
Donna Gardner’s family.
“You have to know Max. He’s a very smart dog and he just does things
that I don’t think a normal dog does all the time,” said Gardner.
The chocolate Lab proved that a couple of weeks ago. Gardner ran an
errand and took Max with her. When she came home a short time
later, she went inside the house, forgetting Max was still in the car.
“I came in and started cleaning and about an hour later I heard a horn
blow,” said Gardner.
She went outside, but didn’t see anybody. “So I came back in the
house and I started cleaning again and the horn blew again.”
This time, she saw Max sitting in her driver’s seat.
“I rushed over and got him out real fast and he was panting like crazy.
I brought him in the house and he just dropped to the floor,” Gardner
said.
Gardner gave him water and cooled him down. Her daughter called
the vet who said Max was a little weak, a little slow but otherwise OK.
– 58 –
“Number 1… Max saved his own life by honking the horn to get
himself out of a very, very overheated car. Number 2, the Gardners
are such good pet owners that they looked at him first. They managed
to get his temperature down a little bit before they got here,” said
Nancy Soares with the Macungie Animal Hospital.
“I don’t know whatever made me forget he was with me,” added
Gardner.
Meanwhile, Gardner says she will never make that mistake again and
hopes this serves as a lesson to other pet parents.
Bernadetta Henry suffers from sleep apnea, which affects her airways
and causes her to stop breathing several times each night.
Bernadetta Henry and Boris, who acts as a hearing dog Bernadetta
Henry and Boris, who acts as a hearing dog
But faithful Boris lies next to the grandmother as she sleeps and
carefully monitors her life-threatening condition through the night.
The bichon frise listens out for her – and puts his paw on her chest to
wake her when her breathing stops.
‘He means everything to me. If it wasn’t for him, I would be dead,’
said Mrs Henry, from Llangollen, Denbighshire, in north-east Wales.
Boris has been her hearing dog since she became almost completely
deaf as a result of a blood clot. Mrs Henry later had an allergic
– 59 –
reaction to the blood-thinning drug warfarin, resulting in a brain
hemorrhage.
After physiotherapy, she was confined to a wheelchair, making her
more dependent on her family.
But, since the death of her husband five years ago, Mrs Henry, who is
in her 70s, has been reliant on Boris and depends on him to alert her
when the phone or doorbell rings and when the cooker’s timer goes
off.
‘I couldn’t live on my own without him and we both love each other.
He’s full of fun and can be very mischievous,’ she said.
A 68-year-old violin maker from Zagreb has been saved from certain
death after his dog alerted neighbors when he fell into an insulin
comma.
Krsto Pekic was saved after his dog Rex began banging on the front
door and making enough noise for neighbors to hear him.
They called police and fire fighters who broke into the apartment and
took the unconscious Pekic to hospital.
He is currently recovering in Sestre Milosrdnice Hospital in Zagreb
and is out of danger, the Croatian daily Vecernji List reports.
– 60 –
Wrapping Up
Wow! Do you feel inspired? That was a great run-through a huge
collection of inspiring stories from around the world!
We all have our own stories. It is up to us, whether we want to live
extraordinary lives which inspire and motivate other or not.
Even animals, in the last chapter have showed us that their courage is
worth modeling. Let us strive to give our fullest gifts to the world and
make the world a better place!
It is with great hope that this collection of stories has inspired you
and encouraged you to spread the love to your readers.
To your success!
– 61 –

– 1 -Terms and ConditionsLEGAL NOTICEThe Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possiblein the creation of this report, notwithstanding the fact that he doesnot warrant or represent at any time that the contents within areaccurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet.While all attempts have been made to verify information provided inthis publication, the Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors,omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.Any perceived slights of specific persons, peoples, or organizationsare unintentional.In practical advice books, like anything else in life, there are noguarantees of income made. Readers are cautioned to reply on theirown judgment about their individual circumstances to actaccordingly.This book is not intended for use as a source of legal, business,accounting or financial advice. All readers are advised to seek servicesof competent professionals in legal, business, accounting and financefields.You are encouraged to print this book for easy reading.- 2 -Table Of Contents- 3 -ForewordChapter 1:Success Stories Of Great People AndInspiring LeadersChapter 2:Overcoming AdversityChapter 3:Timeless Inspirational TalesChapter 4:Inspirational Women Stories FromAround The WorldChapter 5:Teachings And Lessons From AnimalsWrapping UpForewordThis volume features a selection of the world’s most inspiring storiesto move the body and soul. Inspire your readers with these tales ofcourage and bravery so that they can have a breakthrough in theirown struggles, no matter where they are.Featured in this massive book are tales of people overcomingextraordinary hardship and achieving breakthroughs in their lives.Their strength and courage serve as a source of inspiration andmotivation for us all.The Big Book Of Inspiring Stories -A Powerful Collection Of Tales Of Courage that Inspiresand Strengthens The Soul- 4 -Chapter 1:Success Stories Of Great People And Inspiring LeadersThomas Alva Edison is one of America’s most famous inventors.Edison saw huge change take place in his lifetime. He was responsiblefor making many of those changes occur. His inventions created andcontributed to modern night lights, movies, telephones, records andCDs. Edison was truly a genius.Edison is most famous for his development of the first electriclight bulb. When Edison was born, electricity had not been developed.By the time he died, entire cities were lit by electricity. Much of thecredit for electricity goes to Edison.Some of his inventions were improvements on other inventions,like the telephone. Some of his inventions he deliberately tried toinvent, like the light bulb and the movie projector. But someinventions he stumbled upon, like the phonograph. Of all hisinventions, Edison was most proud of the phonograph.- 5 -Edison invented and improved upon things that transformedour world. Some things he invented by himself. Some things heinvented with other people. Just about all his inventions are things westill use in some form today. Throughout his life, Edison tried toinvent things that everyone could use.Edison created the world’s first “invention factory”. He and hispartners invented, built and shipped the product – all in the samecomplex. This was a new way to do business. Today many businesseshave copied Edison’s invention factory design.A business friend once asked Edison about the secret to his success.Edison replied, “Genius is hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and commonsense”. But his “common sense” was very uncommon. More patentswere issued to Edison than have been issued to any other singleperson in U.S. history: 1,093.- 6 -Beethoven was born on 16th, December, 1770 in Bonn of Germany.His father was a singer in local palace choir. Beethoven’s father was avery common person and he was addicted to gambling. However, hismother was a fairly kind-hearted and gentle female. She married anassistant as her first marriage and married to Beethoven’s fatherwhen her ex-husband died.Beethoven didn’t have access to go to school for the reason that hisfamily was very poor. Nevertheless, he had a special feeling of musicwhen he was very young. His father wanted to make use of hispotential to make a big fortune. As a result, Beethoven had to practiceplaying clavicorn and violin day and night under his father’s pressure.Beethoven had a performance on a stage for the first time when hewas only seven years old and he made a huge success. Some famousmusicians considered him as the second Mozart. Beethoven learnedhow to compose music from Nifo and published his first work namedConcerto in A minor when he was 11. He went to Vienna to learn howto compose music from Mozart and Haydn.It seems that he would have a fairly bright future when Beethovenreceived the first success in 1800. Nevertheless, he was troubled witha terrible matter for years at that time. He found that he has became adeaf person. There couldn’t be anything more terrible than that for amusician. He sank into a blue mood for a long time as a consequence.Beethoven has an enthusiastic heart all the time. But his enthusiasmwas often unfortunate. He often tolerated both hope and enthusiasm,disappointment and resistance. There was no doubt that all of theseemotions had become his unique source of creation. He fell in lovewith Julia in 1801 and composed a music named Moonlight for her- 7 -specifically. To his disappointed, she couldn’t understand his noblesoul and refused him. Beethoven was upset and despairing for thatand married a comte before long. It was the most hopeless momentfor him and once a time, he wrote down a paper of posthumouspapers.He came to life in 1803 and composed some bright and warm musicsuch as The Second Symphonies. From then on, several morebeautiful and marvelous music were produced. Some of them arefairly famous and I think you must have heard about them such asThe Eroica and The Storm.Beethoven finished his masterpiece named The Ninth Symphonies in1823. This piece of work expressed his world in his dream.He suffered from pulmonary edema in Dec.1826, which was resultedfrom a bad influenza. He passed away on 26th, March, 1827 for thereason of suffering from hepatopathy.It is said that the day on which Beethoven died was raining heavilyand storming seriously. It seems that even the God grieved over hisdeath.Beethoven’s funeral was fairly solemn and grand. It is estimated thatover 20 thousand people presented his funeral.- 8 -Mother Teresa – This great personality was born in Albania. Rightfrom the age of 18, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, popularly known asmother Teresa, was into spirituality. It was in the year 1931, when thisyoung girl with a golden heart, acquired the name Teresa from theFrench nun Thérèse Martin. In 1937, she took vows and beganteaching in Saint Mary’s High School in Calcutta.In 1948, she got another opportunity from God to serve the society.The same year, mother Teresa was relieved by Pope Pious XII fromher services and she was granted the status of an independent nun.And thereafter, she got engrossed with the task of serving the poorand sick people of Calcutta. The coming years witnessed the settingup of a charity organization called the Missionaries of Charity. In1950, her source of concern was the care of lepers, the peoplediscarded by society.Missionary of Charity opened its branches in almost every country toassist the poor, elderly, blind and people suffering from deadlydisease like AIDS. For the bright future of children, she opened upschools. In 1979, she was awarded with Nobel Prize for the servicesthat she had rendered to the society. But the journey of this greatmessiah on earth ended in August 1997, when she made her waytowards the heaven.- 9 -Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all time.Although, a summary of his basketball career and influence on thegame inevitably fails to do it justice, as a phenomenal athlete with aunique combination of fundamental soundness, grace, speed, power,artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitivedesire, Jordan single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar.Even contemporaneous superstars recognized the unparalleledposition of Jordan. Magic Johnson said, “There’s Michael Jordan andthen there is the rest of us.” Larry Bird, following a playoff gamewhere Jordan dropped 63 points on the Boston Celtics in just hissecond season, appraisal of the young player was: “God disguised asMichael Jordan.A brief listing of his top accomplishments would include thefollowing: Rookie of the Year; Five-time NBA MVP; Six-time NBAchampion; Six-time NBA Finals MVP; Ten-time All-NBA First Team;Nine time NBA All-Defensive First Team; Defensive Player of theYear; 14-time NBA All-Star; Three-time NBA All-Star MVP; 50thAnniversary All-Time Team; Ten scoring titles — an NBA record andseven consecutive matching Wilt Chamberlain; Retired with theNBA’s highest scoring average of 30.1ppg.Michael Jordan makes the jump shot that catapults the Bulls over theUtah Jazz in the 1998 Finals. However, his impact is far greater thanawards and championships. He burst into the league as a rookiesensation scoring in droves with an unmatchable first step andacrobatic drives and dunks and concluded his career as a culturalicon. Along the way, he became a true champion who spearheaded theglobalization of the NBA with his dynamic on court abilities andpersonal sense of style that was marketed to the masses.- 10 -He was an accessible star who managed to maintain an air ofmystique. He was visible as “Air Jordan,” as part of a sneakeradvertising campaign and endorsing other products as well as the starof the movie, Space Jam. However, he would vanish into retirementtwice only to return until hanging up the sneakers for the last timeafter the 2002-03 season.Although Brooklyn born, Jordan was bred in the more tranquil NorthCarolina. The son of Delores and James Jordan, he shared a specialbond with his father, which included baseball being both of their firstlove. However, following his older brother, Larry, whom he idolizedand was a spectacular athlete in his own right, Jordan began to playbasketball.Jordan, coming off a gold medal performance at the 1984 Olympicsprospered in the pro game with a fabulous first season, earning theNBA Rookie of the Year Award. He averaged 28.2 ppg, (third behindBernard King and Bird) 6.5 rpg and 5.9 apg. He also was selected tothe All-NBA Second Team. Perhaps more important, the Bullsimproved to win 11 more games than in the season prior to his arrivaland made it to the playoffs. Jordan averaged 29.3 ppg in the firstround series, but the Bulls lost in four games to the Milwaukee Bucks.In his first season, he did not have outstanding shooting range andwas thought to roam to often on defense resulting from playingtrapping defenses in college according to his first NBA coach, KevinLoughery. Yet, his medium game — eight to 15-feet from the basketwas impressive as evidenced by his .515 field-goal shootingpercentage and his steals tended to compensate for his less thanstellar straight-up defense. Improvement in both areas would comeand he would ultimately be regarded as threat from anywhere on thefloor and one of the best ever one-on-one defenders.- 11 -“There’s Michael Jordan and then there is the rest of us.”– Magic JohnsonEven in the exhibition season before his rookie campaign, players andcoaches were sure that the Rockets and Blazers would regret theirpicks. King, the eventual leading scorer for that upcoming season,seemed sure as well when he spoke to Hoop magazine after a 1984preseason game.”All I can say,” King says, “is that the people in Chicago are in for areal treat.”He was right. Jordan’s greatness and likeabilty was apparent in justhis first season. Home attendance at the venerable Chicago Stadiumand on the road rose dramatically. Fans of opposing teams wereseemingly content to see their team lose if in return Jordan put onshow.Jordan’s personal style was equally authentic and unique as hisbasketball skills. Nike signed him to a major shoe deal because of hisanticipated appeal, but he surpassed even the loftiest of expectations.One version of the sneakers he wore in his first preseason was anunseen before blend of his team’s red and black colors that the NBAinitially considered in violation of the “uniformity of uniform rule.”Subject to fines if he continued to wear them, he occasionally did andthe demand for that version and others in the Air Jordan line wasunprecedented.The rookie’s mesmerizing effect was even suggested to have extendedto referees as it was said that he was getting veteran preferentialtreatment allowing him to take that additional step on route to the- 12 -basket rather than being whistle for a travelling violation. Manyassessed that he eluded defenders so easily that he had to betravelling. However, video break down established that his first stepwas just so quick and that he was not in violation of the rulebook.Despite all the attention, Jordan retained a sense of humility. He didnot ridicule the Blazers for not taking him. Early on in his firstseason, he told Sports Illustrated, “He [Bowie] fits in better than Iwould. They have an overabundance of big guards and smallforwards.” His self-effacement was more apparent when in that samearticle he said, “I’d like to play in at least one All-Star game.”Three games into his second season, he broke a bone in his left foot.He was voted to the All-Star team but could not play as he wassidelined for 64 games. However, he came back late in the year toscore a NBA playoff-record 63 points in a first-round game againstthe Celtics. The Bulls lost that game 132-131 in double-overtime andthe series in a sweep, but Jordan averaged 43.7 ppg in the series. Ifthere were any doubters to that point about Jordan’s ability, surelythere were no more.- 13 -The success story behind Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett—who is also the company’s largest shareholder and CEO—spans backto his years packing groceries at his grandfather’s grocery store.Buffet showed maturity beyond his years when he decided that hewould rather make money than play games with the other childrenhis age.Born Warren Edward Buffett on August 30, 1930 to a stockbrokerturned-Congressman, it is no wonder that Buffett showed an amazingflair for business and numbers at such an early age. At 11 years old, hejumped into the world of high finance by buying three shares of CitiesService that he later sold. He immediate regretted the decision as thenumbers for Cities Service soared. Buffett learned his lessons earlierthan most, paving the way for the plethora of critical real-worlddecisions he was going to make.Warren Buffett was educated at Woodrow Wilson High School,Washington, D.C. after his father was elected into Congress. Hereceived his college education at The Wharton School, University ofPennsylvania then later at the University of Nebraska where hereceived a B.S. in Economics. Choosing to further his education,Buffett enrolled at the Columbia Business School where he graduatedin 1951 with an M.S. in Economics.Warren Buffett experienced a variety of jobs before he landed himselfat Berkshire Hathaway. Fresh out of school, he worked as aninvestment salesman at Buffett-Falk & Co., Omaha until 1954. From1954 to 1956, Buffett served at Graham-Newman Corp., New York asa Securities Analyst. From 1956-1969, he sat as a General Partner atthe Buffett Partnership, Ltd. Since 1970, Buffet has served atBerkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha as its Chairman and CEO.- 14 -Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is a conglomerate holding company thatoversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. Sincecoming onboard, Buffet has been instrumental in driving thecompany to the colossal status it stands at today.In 2008, Warren Buffet was ranked number one on Forbes list ofWorld’s Billionaires making this the richest success story in theworld.- 15 -Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in a family having richbusiness, political and community service background. His greatgrandfatherwas a state legislator and a mayor, his grandfather wasvice president of national bank and his father was a lawyer.Bill strongly believes in hard work. He believes that if you areintelligent and know how to apply your intelligence, you can achieveanything. From childhood Bill was ambitious, intelligent andcompetitive. These qualities helped him to attain top position in theprofession he chose. In school, he had an excellent record inmathematics and science. Still he was getting very bored in schooland his parents knew it, so they always tried to feed him with moreinformation to keep him busy. Bill’s parents came to know their son’sintelligence and decided to enroll him in a private school, known forits intense academic environment. It was a very important decision inBill Gate’s life where he was first introduced to a computer. Bill Gatesand his friends were very much interested in computer and formed”Programmers Group” in late 1968. Being in this group, they found anew way to apply their computer skill in university of Washington. Inthe next year, they got their first opportunity in Information SciencesInc. in which they were selected as programmers. ISI (InformationSciences Inc.) agreed to give them royalties whenever it made moneyfrom any of the group’s program. As a result of the business dealsigned with Information Sciences Inc., the group also became a legalbusiness.Bill Gates and his close friend Allen started new company of theirown, Traf-O-Data. They developed a small computer to measuretraffic flow. From this project they earned around $20,000. The eraof Traf-O-Data came to an end when Gates left the college. In 1973, heleft home for Harvard University. He didn’t know what to do, so he- 16 -enrolled his name for pre-law. He took the standard freshmancourses with the exception of signing up for one of Harvard’s toughestmathematics courses. He did well over there, but he couldn’t find itinteresting too. He spent many long nights in front of the school’scomputer and the next day asleep in class. After leaving school, healmost lost himself from the world of computers. Gates and his friendPaul Allen remained in close contact even though they were awayfrom school. They would often discuss new ideas for future projectsand the possibility of starting a business one fine day. At the end ofBill’s first year, Allen came close to him so that they could followsome of their ideas. That summer they got job in Honeywell. Allenkept on pushing Bill for opening a new software company.Within a year, Bill Gates dropped out from Harvard. Then he formedMicrosoft. Microsoft’s vision is “A computer on every desk andMicrosoft software on every computer”. Bill is a visionary person andworks very hard to achieve his vision. His belief in high intelligenceand hard work has put him where he is today. He does not believe inmere luck or God’s grace, but just hard work and competitiveness.Bill’s Microsoft is good competition for other software companies andhe will continue to stomp out the competition until he dies. He likesto play the game of Risk and the game of world domination. Hisbeliefs are so powerful, which have helped him increase his wealthand his monopoly in the industry.Bill Gates is not a greedy person. In fact, he is quite giving personwhen it comes to computers, internet and any kind of funding. Someyears back, he visited Chicago’s Einstein Elementary School andannounced grants benefiting Chicago’s schools and museums wherehe donated a total of $110,000, a bunch of computers, and providedinternet connectivity to number of schools. Secondly, Bill Gates- 17 -donated 38 million dollars for the building of a computer institute atStanford University. Gates plans to give away 95% of all his earningswhen he is old and gray.Bill Gates from this story may seem a superhero and do it alone guybut in reality, he is not. He was able to achieve it because of the kindof people that he choose to mingle with.- 18 -Chapter 2:Overcoming AdversityOprah Winfrey – No one ever blames Oprah Winfrey for takingsome easy way out. Although her childhood was full of toil, thisyoung girl from Kosciusko, Mississippi always believed she wasdestined to be someone great.Maybe it was from her life background in a village that she learned “toturn misery into wisdom” as she stated later. And her misery was notjust a few. She was born as she resulted of a free intercourse betweenher mother and a service man who then left her. First Oprah wasbrought up by her grandmother in a pig farm with no running waterfacility. She then lived with her mother who moved to Milwaukeewhere she was sexually abused for the first time by a friend of herfamily and her own relative. Oprah grew up into a rebellious teenager,at 14 years old she lived in a bad surroundings and gave birth to amale baby that died a week later. Loosing her patience, Oprah’smother sent her to live with her father – a man she never knewbefore.But it was by living with her father that she eventually got thediscipline she needed to turn her outstanding intelligence into itsright track. She was doing well at school and was known for her smarttalking. She joined a local beauty contest and won a scholarship inTennessee State University. She began to study broadcastcommunication and got a part time job as a reporter in Nashville TVstation.- 19 -Suddenly it looked like nothing could ever stop the strides of thisyoung girl she once was a naughty girl. Oprah left school at the age asyoung as 19 years old to become the first Afro-American womanbroadcaster in Nashville. She wrestled with this job for three yearsbefore she took another job in Baltimore Broadcasting Station –where there were larger market segment and greater prestige andchallenge as well. This step later proved to be the biggest blessing indisguise mistake Oprah had made.Oprah was usually calm and self controlled in her previous job, butnow she looked so exhausted. She forgot to read the text copy prior toher appearance before the camera. She misspelled “blasé” andmisplaced Barbados to be somewhere in California and made a smalllaugh at that incident. She interviewed a fire victim with such style asasking “How did you feel after the ordeal?” then wept in front of thecamera and apologized for exploiting woman’s emotion.The station management did not appreciate her attitude in front ofthe camera and they didn’t like her appearance either. Theycomplained about her hair style, her big nose and the distancebetween her eyes. Tempted to glamorize her appearance, they senther to a good salon in New York which did a disastrous remodelingthat made her fair fall off. Failing to find a suitable wig, she managedto appear on the camera (then she said: “You will learn a lot aboutyourself if you are baldheaded, a black and a news broadcaster inBaltimore”)In one year her glory was to be unpredictably coming. The station hadhad enough of this new figure. They decided she just didn’t fit to TVnews broadcasting job. But to avoid breaking her contract, theychoose not to fire her but lowered her position from broadcaster to- 20 -presenter of a talk show for housewives called “People Are Talking”run at daytime.Oprah said, “Failure is the way God chooses to remind you that youare on the wrong track”. But clearly she is now on the right trackabout her first day on the talk show “it is like a breath of relief, and itis exactly what you must feel”. The show was a prime show and mostof the audience were women who found themselves reflected in thefigure of that simple, direct, funny and human presenter.Seven years later, Oprah’s show attracted a station in Chicago and shewas offered to move there to direct the A. M. Chicago show. In amonth, she made that show the most loveable show. In 1985 the showwas further developed and given a new name: The Oprah WinfreyShow and is now nationally broadcasted.During more than 15 years of unpredicted success, Oprah keepsharing many things, including her own struggle and success affairs:going on a diet against too much food and fat (she eventually got herideal weight), a law suit by a ranch owner (which she won), the “TVGarbage” program which dominates her market segment (she soaredup and achieved highest rating). Even after all she had been through,she refused to see her failures as mistakes. “I don’t believe in failure”Oprah said. “It is not a failure if you enjoy the process”.- 21 -Once upon a time, a farmer owned an old mule who tripped and fellinto the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule braying and wasunable to figure out how to bring up the old animal. It grieved himthat he could not pull the animal out. He’d been a good workeraround the farm. Although the farmer sympathized with the mule, hecalled his neighbors together and told them what had happened. Hehad them help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and quietlyput him out of his misery.At first, the old mule was puzzled, but as the farmer and his neighborscontinued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, he had a thought: heought to shake off the dirt and step up. And he did just that.”Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off andstep up.” Even though he took painful blows of dirt and fought panic,he just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!It wasn’t long before the old mule stepped up and over the lip of thatwell. What could have buried him actually blessed him…all because ofthe manner in which he handled his adversity.- 22 -Once upon a time, a daughter complained to her father that her lifewas miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it.She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just asone problem was solved, another one soon followed.Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots withwater and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began toboil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, andground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil,without saying a word to his daughter.The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what hewas doing. After twenty minutes, he turned off the burners. He tookthe potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled theeggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out andplaced it in a cup.Turning to her, he asked, “Daughter, what do you see?””Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.”Look closer”, he said, “and touched the potatoes”. She did and notedthat they were soft.He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off theshell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smileto her face.”Father, what does this mean?” she asked.- 23 -He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs, and coffee beans hadeach faced the same adversity, the boiling water. However, each onereacted differently.The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling waterit became soft and weak. The egg was fragile with the thin outer shellprotecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Thenthe inside of the egg became hard.However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they wereexposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and createdsomething new.”Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks onyour door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffeebean?”In life, things happen around us and things happen to us, but the onlything that truly matters is what happens within us.- 24 -When things go wrong as they sometimes willWhen the road you’re trudging seems all up hill.When funds are low and the debts are high.And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.When care is pressing you down a bit.Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.Life is queer with its twists and turns.As everyone of us sometimes learns.And many a failure turns aboutWhen he might have won had he stuck it out.Don’t give up though the pace seems slow -You may succeed with another blow.Success is failure turned inside out -The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.And you never can tell how close you are.It may be near when it seems so far:So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hitIt’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.- 25 -People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.LOVE THEM ANYWAY.If you do good, people accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.DO GOOD ANYWAY.If you are successful, you win false and true enemies.SUCCEED ANYWAY.The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.DO GOOD ANYWAY.Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY.What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight.BUILD ANYWAY.People really need help but may attack you if you help them.HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY.Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY.- 26 -An elderly couple retired to the countryside to a small isolated cottageoverlooking some rugged and rocky heathland.One early morning, the woman saw from her window a young mandressed in working clothes walking on the heath about a hundredyards away. He was carrying a spade and a small case and hedisappeared from view behind a copse of trees.The woman thought no more about it but around the same time thenext day she saw the man again, carrying his spade and a small case,and again he disappeared behind the copse.The woman mentioned this to her husband who said he was probablya farmer or gamekeeper setting traps, or performing some othercountry practice that would be perfectly normal, and so not to worry.However, after several more sightings of the young man with thespade over the next two weeks, the woman persuaded her husband totake a stroll – early, before the man tended to arrive – to the copse oftrees to investigate what he was doing.There they found a surprisingly long and deep trench, rough anduneven at one end, becoming much neater and tidier towards theother end.”How strange,” the old lady said, “Why dig a trench here…and in suchdifficult rocky ground?” and her husband agreed.Just then the young man appeared earlier than his usual time.- 27 -“You’re early,” said the old woman, making light of their obviouscuriosity, “We wondered what you were doing and we also wonderedwhat was in the case.””I’m digging a trench,” said the man who continued, realizing a biggerexplanation was appropriate. “I’m actually learning how to dig a goodtrench because the job I’m being interviewed for later today says thatexperience is essential, so I’m getting the experience. And thecase…it’s got my lunch in it.”He got the job.- 28 -DETERMINATONIn 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by anidea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the LongIsland. However bridge building experts throughout the worldthought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forgetthe idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had neverbeen done before.Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge.He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that itcould be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else.After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince hisson Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in factcould be built.Working together for the first time, the father and son developedconcepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles couldbe overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and theheadiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew andbegan to build their dream bridge.The project started well, but when it was only a few months underwaya tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling.Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of braindamage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or evenmove.”We told them so.””Crazy men and their crazy dreams.””It`s foolish to chase wild visions.”- 29 -Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the projectshould be scrapped since the Roebling’s were the only ones who knewhow the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washingtonwas never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete thebridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends,but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in hishospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, agentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able tosee the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenlyan idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decidedto make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a codeof communication with his wife.He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that hewanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the samemethod of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemedfoolish but the project was under way again.For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his fingeron his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today thespectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to thetriumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not tobe defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers andtheir team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered madby half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love- 30 -and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded themessages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitudethat overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves animpossible goal.Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seemvery small in comparison to what many others have to face. TheBrooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can berealized with determination and persistence, no matter what the oddsare.Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination andpersistence.- 31 -Chapter 3:Timeless Inspirational TalesGenerosityMahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collectingfunds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he addressed ameeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She wasbent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters. Thevolunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place whereGandhiji was sitting. “I must see him,” she insisted and going up toGandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she broughtout a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up thecopper coin and put it away carefully. The Charkha Sangh funds wereunder the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coinbut Gandhiji refused. “I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees forthe Charkha Sangh,” Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly “yet you won’ttrust me with a copper coin.” “This copper coin is worth much morethan those thousands,” Gandhiji said. “If a man has several lakhs andhe gives away a thousand or two, it doesn’t mean much. But this coinwas perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all shehad. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made.That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees.” torejoice about.- 32 -The WindowTwo men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. Oneman was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain thefluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window.The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives andfamilies, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the militaryservice, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon whenthe man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass thetime by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outsidethe window.The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods wherehis world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity andcolor of the outside world. The window overlooked a park with alovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the waterwhile children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in armamid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced thelandscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in thedistance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisitedetail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes andimagine the picturesque scene.One warm afternoon the man by the window described a paradepassing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, hecould see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the windowportrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thoughtentered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeingeverything while I never get to see anything? It didn’t seem fair. As- 33 -the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the dayspassed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded intoresentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and foundhimself unable to sleep. He should be by that window – and thatthought now controlled his life.Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the windowbegan to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The otherman watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by thewindow groped for the button to call for help. Listening from acrossthe room, he never moved, never pushed his own button, whichwould have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, thecoughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing.Now, there was only silence–deathly silence.The following morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for theirbaths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away–no words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked ifhe could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to makethe switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left himalone.Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take hisfirst look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. Hestrained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faceda blank wall.- 34 -Moral of the story:The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitudewe consciously choose to express. It is not a gift that gets delivered toour doorstep each morning, nor does it come through the window.And I am certain that our circumstances are just a small part of whatmakes us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will neverfind lasting joy.The pursuit of happiness is an inward journey. Our minds are likeprograms, awaiting the code that will determine behaviors; like bankvaults awaiting our deposits. If we regularly deposit positive,encouraging, and uplifting thoughts, if we continue to bite our lipsjust before we begin to grumble and complain, if we shoot down thatseemingly harmless negative thought as it germinates, we will findthat there is much.- 35 -The StarfishThere was a man taking a morning walk at or the beach. He saw thatalong with the morning tide came hundreds of starfish and when thetide receded, they were left behind and with the morning sun rays,they would die. The tide was fresh and the starfish were alive. Theman took a few steps, picked one and threw it into the water. He didthat repeatedly. Right behind him there was another person whocouldn’t understand what this man was doing. He caught up with himand asked, “What are you doing? There are hundreds of starfish. Howmany can you help? What difference does it make?” This man did notreply, took two more steps, picked up another one, threw it into thewater, and said, “It makes a difference to this one.”Unconditional Love – motivating storyA story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home afterhaving fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco.”Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve a favor to ask. I have afriend I’d like to bring home with me.””Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.””There’s something you should know the son continued, “he was hurtpretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost anarm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come livewith us.”Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile andencourage you to succeed they lend an ear, they share a word ofpraise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.- 36 -Don’t We All?I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just comefrom the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society wouldconsider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, noclean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generousbut there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. Thiswas one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.””I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought.He didn’t.He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t looklike he could have enough money to even ride the bus.After a few minutes he spoke.”That’s a very pretty car,” he said.He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scragglyblond beard keep more than his face warm.I said, “thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money nevercame.As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him ifhe needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held trueto the inner voice.”Do you need any help?” I asked.He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall neverforget.- 37 -We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect itfrom those of higher learning and accomplishments.I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke thethree words that shook me.”Don’t we all?” he said.I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bumin the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gaugeshotgun.Don’t we all?I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I neededhelp. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for busfare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Thosethree little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, nomatter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. Nomatter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are withproblems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that. You never knowwhen you may see someone that appears to have it all. They arewaiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A differentperspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite fromdaily chaos, which only you through a torn world can see. Maybe theman was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe hewas more than that.- 38 -Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to asoul too comfortable in themselves.Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum,then said, “go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needshelp.”Don’t we all?- 39 -How would you like to be remembered?About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaperand to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column.The news papers had reported the death of the wrong person bymistake. His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When heregained his composure, his second thought was to find out whatpeople had said about him. The obituary read, “Dynamite King Dies.”And also “He was the merchant of death.” This man was the inventorof dynamite and when he read the words “merchant of death,” heasked himself a question, “Is this how I am going to be remembered?”He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not theway he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he startedworking toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he isremembered today by the great Nobel Prize.Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined hisvalues, we should step back and do the same.What is your legacy?How would you like to be remembered?Will you be spoken well of?Will you be remembered with love and respect?Will you be missed?- 40 -The Midas TouchWe all know the story of the greedy king named Midas. He had a lotof gold and the more he had the more he wanted. He stored all thegold in his vaults and used to spend time every day counting it.One day while he was counting a stranger came from nowhere andsaid he would grant him a wish. The king was delighted and said, “Iwould like everything I touch to turn to gold.” The stranger asked theking, Are you sure?” The king replied, “Yes.” So the stranger said,”Starting tomorrow morning with the sun rays you will get the goldentouch.” The king thought he must be dreaming, this couldn’t be true.But the next day when he woke up, he touched the bed, his clothes,and everything turned to gold. He looked out of the window and sawhis daughter playing in the garden. He decided to give her a surpriseand thought she would be happy. But before he went to the garden hedecided to read a book. The moment he touched it, it turned into goldand he couldn’t read it. Then he sat to have breakfast and the momenthe touched the fruit and the glass of water, they turned to gold. Hewas getting hungry and he said to himself, “I can’t eat and drinkgold”. Just about that time his daughter came running and he huggedher and she turned into a gold statue. There were no more smiles left.The king bowed his head and started crying. The stranger who gavethe wish came again and asked the king if he was happy with hisgolden touch. The king said he was the most miserable man. Thestranger asked, “What would you rather have, your food and lovingdaughter or lumps of gold and her golden statue?” The king cried andasked for forgiveness. He said, “I will give up all my gold. Please giveme my daughter back because without her I have lost everything- 41 -worth having.” The stranger said to the king, “You have become wiserthan before” and he reversed the spell. He got his daughter back.Meaningless GoalsA farmer had a dog who used to sit by the roadside waiting forvehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down theroad, barking and trying to overtake it. One day a neighbor asked thefarmer “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a car?” Thefarmer replied, “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me iswhat he would do if he ever caught one.” Many people in life behavelike that dog who is pursuing meaningless goals. in his arms and theking learned a lesson that he never forget for the rest of his life.Which RoadA man was traveling and stopped at an intersection. He asked anelderly man, “Where does this road take me?” The elderly personasked, “Where do you want to go?” The man replied, “I don’t know.”The elderly person said, “Then take any road. What difference does itmake?”- 42 -Chapter 4:Inspirational Women Stories From Around The WorldThe what? The Strongwoman competition? Kara Mann wasn’t whatI expected. Nor did I expect to be so fascinated and so inspired by a23-year-old. Her look, demeanor and voice were not unlike one of thecheerleaders she has had to dead-lift in competition. Anotherstereotype bites the dust.In 2004, Kara Mann became the National Strongwoman Champion,less than two years after first starting to compete in the sport. Afterwinning that competition again as recently as 2006, she is now a twotimenational champ. Where did she come from and how did she getthere so fast?A native of Boston, she first got into it through a boyfriend and hisfamily who encouraged her to give it a try. Her ascent was rapid,beginning with third place in the Massachusetts state championships.Mann shook her head when asked if she would have done anythingdifferently, having been a three-sport athlete in high school where shesucceeded at cross-country, basketball and track and field, anddabbled in gymnastics, taekwondo and playing the flute.Today she uses her degree from Vanderbilt in chemical engineering ather job at General Electric in Cleveland and is learning to juggle hervocation and her strongwoman hobby. “You can’t do it as a career.”When asked about financial rewards, she laughed. “Sometimes theygive us swords, Samurai swords. Once I did get three hundred dollars,though.”- 43 -So why would someone so physically strong, athletic and focusedchoose this? The well-known health benefits of this level of physicalconditioning aside, “It’s a passion. It’s a release of energy and stressfor me…and you can’t imagine the highs, the empowering feeling youget after being successful in a competition.”Asked to describe a typical competition, her eyes light up. “You neverknow what to expect.” The unpredictable nature of each competitionholds particular appeal for Mann. What is consistent about thecompetitions is that three aspects of skill and strength are alwaystested: “overhead,” “grip” (e.g., see how long you can keep two MiniCooper cars from rolling) and “back and legs.” In addition, one canalways expect the classic, signature event called Atlas Stones, wherecontestants carry large cement stones of varying weight and shapeover to a platform. She once pulled an A-4 military airplane 47 feet in60 seconds.A typical week involves strength training each weekday, followed by“implement” training on the weekends. Implement training zeroes inon the specific mechanical skills involved in the upcoming events. Inthe week preceding an event, the amount of implement trainingincreases. In all three geographic settings of her life, Boston,Nashville and now Cleveland, she has connected to a network ofathletes with this pursuit, most of them males, who she refers to as ifthey were her brothers.Just as important as physical preparation is mental preparation. Sheis convinced that the quality of her mental focus at the time of herevent is crucial. “You can’t be distracted in the least or payingattention to your opponents.” Mann uses what she calls “angry”- 44 -music, like Disturbed, to get her psyched and ready. “I don’t evenknow what they’re saying.” She attributes her success in putting mindover matter to her upbringing and to her experience in other sports.Behind this modest, casual, relaxed demeanor, there lies a womanwith strong opinions about what is wrong with the sport. She lamentsthat there are but a handful of females who compete consistently. Thecorollary to that problem is the lack of financial rewards. She wouldlike to see the women break off from the male federation, recognizinga need for more woman-power in the decision-making. She would likemore consistency, predictability and regularity in dates and locationsof competitions.And perhaps most importantly, she would like to see the sportregulated. Right now there is no drug-testing whatsoever in either themale or female milieus. “I really have issues with that, since itconstitutes an uneven playing field.” Mann’s goal is to attract otherfemales to this sport that she loves, and along with that, to inspireentrants to compete without “supplements.” She even envisions twoseparate classes for those who “do” and those who “don’t.”All of these improvements would help to shift strongwoman awayfrom its entertainment flavor toward its status as a serious “sport.”You can bet that Kara Mann, at 5’6” and 165 pounds, will be a force inhelping shape the evolution of her sport. She’s just that strong.- 45 -Eileen Marie Collins (Colonel, USAF, RET.)NASA AstronautBorn November 19, 1956, in Elmira , New York.Eileen graduated from Elmira Free Academy, Elmira, New York, in1974 and received an Associate in Science degree inmathematics/science from Corning Community College in 1976. Shewent on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics andeconomics from Syracuse University in 1978. She also has a Master ofScience degree in operations research from Stanford University in1986 and a Master of Arts degree in space systems management fromWebster University in 1989.As a small girl she gazed up into the sky and watched the silent birds(sailplanes) soar through the air, this is where the love affair began.Eileen grew up in the “Soaring Capital of America.” She wasfascinated with flight and knew that one day she wanted to fly. At theage of 19 she had saved $1,000 and went to her local airport to askthem to show her how to fly. Her inspiration was fueled by womenpilots and early astronauts.Through years of education, determination and hard work she haslogged more than 6,751 hours in both the air and space! Eileen joinedthe Air Force and began pilot training in 1978, the same year thatNASA opened the Shuttle program to women. She became an officialastronaut in 1991.Eileen Collins is the first and currently only female Space ShuttleCommander in history!! Four space flights and 872 hours in spacelater Eileen retired from NASA in May 2006.- 46 -Battling dyslexiaRebecca, who I met at a business conference in Las Vegas, is one ofthe smartest people I know. Even if you were around her for an entireday, you probably wouldn’t notice her disability.“I was born with severe dyslexia,” Rebecca explains. “Due to mylearning disability, I was in special education classes for most of myelementary and middle school years.”Despite the challenge, she refused to let dyslexia dictate her life.Every day, she worked on overcoming her disability with the help ofher parents.“My dad would spend an hour every morning helping me with math,”says Rebecca. “In the evenings, my mom would have me read booksout lout and then she would quiz me on the content.”Rebecca’s hard work paid off. By high school, she had advanced fromspecial education classes all the way to honors classes. When highschool came to an end, she kept striving.“When I was a young, no one thought I could ever go to college,” sheconfides.Not only did Rebecca end up going to college, she graduated near thetop of her class. Was her journey over? Hardly.“I always had a vision,” says Rebecca, “of one day being a lawyer. Butit seemed like such a crazy aspiration that I never told anyone.”- 47 -Today, Rebecca’s vision is a reality. She graduated from law schooland is currently working her way up in one of the largest law firms onthe East Coast.Rebecca says: “I wouldn’t change a thing. My learning disability stillmakes life a challenge but it also gave me the determination to makemy dream come true.””Mom, why are you crying?” he asked his mom.”Because I’m a woman” she told him.”I don’t understand,” he said.His mom just hugged him and said, “and you never will.” Later thelittle boy asked his father, “Why does mother seem to cry for noreason?””All women cry for no reason” was all his dad could say.The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why womencry.Finally he put in a call to GOD. When GOD got on the phone the mansaid, “GOD, why do women cry so easily?”GOD said:- 48 -“When I made women she had to be special. I made her shouldersstrong enough to carry the weight of the world; yet, gentle enough togive comfort.I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejectionthat many times comes from her children.I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyoneelse gives up and take care of her family through sickness and fatiguewithout complaining.I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and allcircumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly. Thissame sensitivity helps her to make a child’s boo-boo feel better andshares in her teenager’s anxieties and fears.I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults andfashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife,but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside himunfalteringly.I gave her a tear to shed, it’s hers exclusively to use whenever it isneeded. It’s her only weakness; it’s a tear for mankind.”- 49 -Yasmin Waljee, 38, a lawyer, from LondonYasmin will never meet all the thousands of people she has helped.But her belief that justice is a right for all – and that thedisadvantaged who can’t access a diminishing legal aid system shouldbe represented for free by some of Britain’s top lawyers – drives herrelentlessly on.Yasmin, is head of Pro Bono – provision of free service by volunteerlawyers – at top legal firm Lovells.She helps mastermind 18,000 free hours of legal help a yearworldwide – from victims of domestic violence, victims of terroristattacks including the London July 7 bombings, disabled people whoare fighting for Disability Living Allowance and desperate familiesfacing eviction in East London because they are falling behind withrent.While Yasmin – married with a one-year-old son – claims modestlythat all the above is not her work alone, she also tirelessly raisesmoney for charity: for example, persuading her colleagues to abseildown their building and arranging a team of lawyers to help clean upa rundown area of Newham, East London.Last year, working with a committee of staff, she raised £25,000 forSave The Children through Legally Ballroom Dancing – an eventwhich saw 30 lawyers waltzing in front of their colleagues.- 50 -Chapter 5:Teachings And Lessons From AnimalsA lady takes her pet Chihuahua with her on a safari holiday.Wandering too far one day the Chihuahua gets lost in the bush, andsoon encounters a very hungry looking leopard. The Chihuahuarealizes he’s in trouble, but, noticing some fresh bones on the ground,he settles down to chew on them, with his back to the big cat. As theleopard is about to leap, the Chihuahua smacks his lips and exclaimsloudly, “Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are anymore around here.”The leopard stops mid-stride, and slinks away into the trees.”Phew,” says the leopard”, that was close – that evil little dog nearlyhad me”.A monkey nearby sees everything and thinks he’ll win a favor byputting the stupid leopard straight. The Chihuahua sees the monkeygo after the leopard, and guesses he might be up to no good.When the leopard hears the monkey’s story he feels angry at beingmade a fool, and offers the monkey a ride back to see him exact hisrevenge.The little dog sees them approaching and fears the worse.Thinking quickly, the little dog turns his back, pretends not to noticethem, and when the pair are within earshot says aloud, “Now where’s- 51 -that monkey got to? I sent him ages ago to bring me anotherleopard…”Two frogs fell into a deep pit, and though they tried very hard theycould not hop out. Their comrades peered down from the top andcroaked in sympathy.“We feel for you,” they shouted, “but there’s no way you can get outfrom there!”On hearing this, one of the frogs lost heart, and died of fear. The otherfrog was deaf. He thought his comrades were shoutingencouragement. Emboldened by their faith in him, he gathered up allhis reserves of energy in one great jump that landed him out of thepit.- 52 -Hang on to your own boneFanny the farm dog was pretty smart, but one day she got the shock ofher life because no-one had ever told her about mirrors. As a specialtreat, she was given a big bone. She took it down to the river bank toenjoy it in peace. As she stood there with the bone in her mouth, shelooked at her reflection in the water. And what did she see? Anotherdog with a bone in its mouth! She wanted the other bone as well asher own, so she opened her mouth to bark and her bone fell straightin and sank to the bottom.The rooster makes its last mistakeTwo burglars were prowling round a barn one night. They could hearsomething moving inside, and ever so carefully they climbed in to seewhat it was. It was a rooster. “Ah-ha,” they cried. “This will do for oursupper tomorrow.” They grabbed it and were about to kill it when therooster squawked in alarm: “Please don’t kill me. I can be useful toyou. I can wake you at dawn every day, ready to start work on time.””That’s just what we don’t want,” growled the burglars. “If you wakepeople up they’ll catch us robbing their houses.” So that was the endof the rooster.- 53 -The jealous goatA goat and a donkey lived on the same farm. The goat had to find hisown food, but because he made the donkey work hard, the farmer fedhim. The goat became jealous, forgetting all the donkey’s hard work.He thought if the donkey stopped working, he would get his food. Sohe pushed him into a large hole, and he was badly hurt. The farmersent for the vet, who examined the donkey. “The quickest way tomake him better,” he said, “is to feed him with goat soup.” So insteadof getting the donkey’s food for himself, the goat finished up as foodfor the donkey!Look before you eatYou know what dogs are like. If you drop a bit of food from the tablethey shallow it before they know what it is. But sometimes they wishthey hadn’t. Fanny the farm dog wasn’t allowed in while her masterJosh was eating with the family. But one day she crept in and hidunder the table when no-one was looking.She kept very quiet until suddenly a big dollop of food fell next to her.She gobbled it up without thinking. Then she let out a big bowl andrushed outside, holding her tummy with one paw. The family waseating a very hot curry for supper!- 54 -One good turn deserves anotherFred was a farm-worker who found a young eagle caught in a trap. Hecouldn’t bear to see such a beautiful bird in pain, so he released it. Afew days later, he was sitting in the shade of an old wall, having breadand cheese for his lunch. Suddenly, with a flapping of wings, the eagleswooped and stole the cap from his head. It flew away just above theground with Fred rushing after it, shouting, until it dropped his cap.Fred put it back on his head and trudged back to finish his lunch. Butwhat do you think? Exactly where he had been sitting the old wall hadcollapsed! Each of them had saved the other.How to live in peaceIn the old days, farmers sometimes encouraged snakes and weasels tolive in the barn and kill the mice that ate their corn. But on one farmthere was a bad-tempered weasel and a peppery old snake, andinstead of killing the mice they kept fighting each other. The micethought this was wonderful, of course. At first, they just put theirheads cautiously out of their holes to watch.Before long, they began to form a circle around the two fighters andcheer for one side or the other. For a while, the snake and the weaselwere so busy scrapping they didn’t even notice. One day, however,they stopped for a rest in the middle of a particularly tiring fight. Theylooked around them and then at each other. “Why are we wasting somuch eating time,” they asked themselves. “There’s enough food hereto make us fat and good-tempered.” And they set about gobbling upthe mice.- 55 -Animals Are Parents TooI want to let you know about an event that changed my life manyyears ago. It is a memory that periodically comes and goes, but it isone of the most precious memories that me and my wife share. I amthankful that we can remember it together. It’s a reminder that thingsare not what they seem and that angels come in many packages.We live in College Station, Texas and we were on our way home fromHouston, Texas around the Weston Lakes area one Saturday orSunday morning. And when I say morning, I’m talking 1:00 to 2:00 inthe morning. We were on our way home and decided to stop at a localgas station to get coffee and something to snack on since it was a goodhour and a half before we got home.When we were done, we got back into our car and before I started it,we noticed a man standing outside in front of the building. You couldtell that he was a homeless man. His clothes were tattered and wornand it looked like he had gone in and gotten him some coffee orsomething warm to drink since it was cold this time of the year. Hemust have not had enough money to get something to eat. That is notsomething I remember too well, because that is not what “moved” me.The next thing I remember is a dog that walked up to the front of thebuilding. Being a dog lover, I noticed that she was part wolf andprobably part German shepherd. I could tell she was a she, becauseyou could tell that she had been feeding puppies. She was terribly inneed of something to eat and I felt so bad for her. I knew if she didn’teat soon, she and her puppies would not make it.- 56 -Me and my wife sat there and looked at her. We noticed that peoplewalked by and didn’t even pet her, like most people do when theywalk by an animal in front of a store. She might not have been aspretty and clean as most, but she still deserved better. But we still didnot do anything. But someone did. The homeless man, who I thoughtdid not buy himself anything to eat, went back into the store. Andwhat he did brought tears to me and my wife. He had gone into thestore and with what money he may have had, bought a can of dogfood and fed that dog.I know that this story isn’t as inspirational as most stories, but it playsa great part in our lives. You see, that was Mother’s Day weekend.And a lot of people forget that some animals are parents too. Andanimals as well as us are God’s creations too.It would be a better story if I could remember all the details, but evenwithout the details, I believe it still gets the message across. It took ahomeless man, to show me what I should have done. He made me abetter man that day.- 57 -Sweltering temperatures are a reminder to keep not only yourselvescool, but your pets. In the case of a Labrador, he may have been leftalone, but helped himself survive what could have been a terriblesituation.Eleven-year-old Max is not just a dog. He’s like another member ofDonna Gardner’s family.”You have to know Max. He’s a very smart dog and he just does thingsthat I don’t think a normal dog does all the time,” said Gardner.The chocolate Lab proved that a couple of weeks ago. Gardner ran anerrand and took Max with her. When she came home a short timelater, she went inside the house, forgetting Max was still in the car.”I came in and started cleaning and about an hour later I heard a hornblow,” said Gardner.She went outside, but didn’t see anybody. “So I came back in thehouse and I started cleaning again and the horn blew again.”This time, she saw Max sitting in her driver’s seat.”I rushed over and got him out real fast and he was panting like crazy.I brought him in the house and he just dropped to the floor,” Gardnersaid.Gardner gave him water and cooled him down. Her daughter calledthe vet who said Max was a little weak, a little slow but otherwise OK.- 58 -“Number 1… Max saved his own life by honking the horn to gethimself out of a very, very overheated car. Number 2, the Gardnersare such good pet owners that they looked at him first. They managedto get his temperature down a little bit before they got here,” saidNancy Soares with the Macungie Animal Hospital.”I don’t know whatever made me forget he was with me,” addedGardner.Meanwhile, Gardner says she will never make that mistake again andhopes this serves as a lesson to other pet parents.Bernadetta Henry suffers from sleep apnea, which affects her airwaysand causes her to stop breathing several times each night.Bernadetta Henry and Boris, who acts as a hearing dog BernadettaHenry and Boris, who acts as a hearing dogBut faithful Boris lies next to the grandmother as she sleeps andcarefully monitors her life-threatening condition through the night.The bichon frise listens out for her – and puts his paw on her chest towake her when her breathing stops.’He means everything to me. If it wasn’t for him, I would be dead,’said Mrs Henry, from Llangollen, Denbighshire, in north-east Wales.Boris has been her hearing dog since she became almost completelydeaf as a result of a blood clot. Mrs Henry later had an allergic- 59 -reaction to the blood-thinning drug warfarin, resulting in a brainhemorrhage.After physiotherapy, she was confined to a wheelchair, making hermore dependent on her family.But, since the death of her husband five years ago, Mrs Henry, who isin her 70s, has been reliant on Boris and depends on him to alert herwhen the phone or doorbell rings and when the cooker’s timer goesoff.’I couldn’t live on my own without him and we both love each other.He’s full of fun and can be very mischievous,’ she said.A 68-year-old violin maker from Zagreb has been saved from certaindeath after his dog alerted neighbors when he fell into an insulincomma.Krsto Pekic was saved after his dog Rex began banging on the frontdoor and making enough noise for neighbors to hear him.They called police and fire fighters who broke into the apartment andtook the unconscious Pekic to hospital.He is currently recovering in Sestre Milosrdnice Hospital in Zagreband is out of danger, the Croatian daily Vecernji List reports.- 60 -Wrapping UpWow! Do you feel inspired? That was a great run-through a hugecollection of inspiring stories from around the world!We all have our own stories. It is up to us, whether we want to liveextraordinary lives which inspire and motivate other or not.Even animals, in the last chapter have showed us that their courage isworth modeling. Let us strive to give our fullest gifts to the world andmake the world a better place!It is with great hope that this collection of stories has inspired youand encouraged you to spread the love to your readers.To your success!- 61 –

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