THE THREE BRICKLAYERS
The story of the three bricklayers has been around for many years. The reason it continues to be told is the messages that the story tells. The following is the story of The Three Bricklayers:
“Once there were 3 bricklayers. Each one of them was asked what they were doing.
The first man answered gruffly, ‘I’m laying bricks.’
The second man replied, ‘I’m putting up a wall.’
But the third man said enthusiastically and with pride, ‘I’m building a cathedral.'” –Author Unknown
This story clearly reveals two secrets of success:
1. Attitude – Your attitude towards whatever you are doing determines your ultimate level of success. Having enthusiasm and pride in what you are doing will show in your work. Your attitude is one of the most important things that you control. You choose your attitude each and every day.And the choice you make will determine your success.
2. Ability to See the Bigger Picture – Being able to see the end result, rather than just the task, eliminates obstacles, focuses your energy, and provides motivation to excel. At times our focus is only on the immediate task. When we change our focus on the bigger picture or the end result it provides motivation to continue, it inspires solutions to challenges.
To summarize, when you face challenges, when you feel discouraged, when you feel like you will never reach success, remember the story of The Three Bricklayers and look at your attitude and visualize your end result!
A man and his girlfriend were married. It was a large celebration. All of their friends and family came to see the lovely ceremony and to partake of the festivities and celebrations. A wonderful time was had by all.
The bride was gorgeous in her white wedding gown and the groom was very dashing in his black tuxedo. Everyone could tell that the love they had for each other was true. A few months later, the wife comes to the husband with a proposal: “I read in a magazine, a while ago, about how we can strengthen our marriage.” she offered .”Each of us will write a list of the things that we find a bit annoying with the other person. Then, we can talk about how we can fix them together and make our lives happier together.”
The husband agreed, so each of them went to a separate room in the house and thought of the things that annoyed them about the other. They thought about this question for the rest of the day and wrote down what they came up with.
The next morning, at the breakfast table, they decided that they would go over their lists. “I’ll start,” offered the wife. She took out her list. It had many items on it enough to fill 3 pages, in fact. As she started reading the list of the little annoyances, she noticed that tears were starting to appear in her husbands eyes. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Nothing” the husband replied, “keep reading your lists.” The wife continued to read until she had read all three pages to her husband. She neatly placed her list on the table and folded her hands over top of it.
“Now, you read your list and then we’ll talk about the things on both of our lists.” She said happily.
The next morning, at the breakfast table, they decided that they would go over their lists.
“I’ll start,” offered the wife. She took out her list. It had many items on it enough to fill 3 pages, in fact. As she started reading the list of the little annoyances, she noticed that tears were starting to appear in her husbands eyes.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Nothing” the husband replied, “keep reading your lists.”
The wife continued to read until she had read all three pages to her husband. She neatly placed her list on the table and folded her hands over top of it.
“Now, you read your list and then we’ll talk about the things on both of our lists.” She said happily.
Quietly the husband stated, “I don’t have anything on my list. I think that you are perfect the way that you are. I don’t want you to change anything for me. You are lovely and wonderful and I wouldn’t want to try and change anything about you.”
The wife, touched by his honesty and the depth of his love for her and his acceptance of her, turned her head and wept.
In life, there are enough times when we are disappointed, depressed and annoyed. We don’t really have to go looking for them.
We have a wonderful world that is full of beauty, light and promise.
Why waste time in this world looking for the bad, disappointing or annoying when we can look around us, and see the wondrous things before us?
I believe that WE ARE HAPPIEST WHEN we see and praise the good and try our best to forget the bad. Nobody’s perfect but we can find perfectness in them to change the way we see them .
THE POSITIVE MAN
Jerry is the manager of a restaurant in America. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life.”
“But it’s not always that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” Jerry said “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It’s your choice how you live your life.”
Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: left the back door of his restaurant open one morning and was robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness slipped off The combination. The robbers panicked and shot him.
Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Want to see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.
“The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to live.”
“Weren’t you scared?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me. I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I need to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked. “Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything.” ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead’.”Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.
I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours that no one can control or take from you – is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.
Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn’t have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.
One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, “Oh, what a horrible thing to happen.”
The farmer said simply, “We’ll see.”
He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift.
Everyone’s reaction now was, “What a lucky man.”
And the farmer said, “We’ll see.”
A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, “What a poor fellow!” The farmer smiled and said, “We’ll see.”
Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, “What a fortunate man.” The farmer said, “We’ll see.”
Later in the year, the farmer’s young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, “What a shame for the poor boy.”
The farmer said, “We’ll see.”
Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.
Everyone said, “What a fortunate young man.” The farmer smiled again – and said “We’ll see.”
Moral of the story: There’s no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise. And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from .
As Fra Giovanni once said:”Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me… the gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.”
LESSON FROM A TURTLE
There was a boy who found a terrapin, more commonly known as a turtle.
He started to examine it but the turtle pulled in its head and closed its shell like a vice.
The boy was upset and he picked up a stick to try to pry it open.
The boy’s uncle saw all this and remarked, “No, that’s not the way! In fact, you may kill the turtle but you’ll not get it to open up with a stick.”
The uncle took the terrapin into the house and set it near the fireplace.
It wasn’t but a few minutes until it began to get warm. Then the turtle pushed out its head,
then stretched out its legs and began to crawl. “Turtles are like that,” said the uncle, “and people, too.
You can’t force them into anything. But if you first warm them up with some real kindness,
more than likely, they will do what you want them to do.”
DON’T CHANGE THE WORLD
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous country. One day, he went for a trip to some distant areas of his country. When he was back to his palace, he complained that his feet were very painful, because it was the first time that he went for such a long trip, and the road that he went through was very rough and stony. He then ordered his people to cover every road of the entire country with leather. Definitely, this would need thousands of cows’ skin, and would cost a huge amount of money.
Then one of his wise servant dared himself to tell the king, “Why do you have to spend that unnecessary amount of money ? Why don’t you just cut a little piece of leather to cover your feet ?”
The king was surprised, but he later agreed to his suggestion, to make a “shoe” for himself.
There is actually a valuable lesson of life in this story : to make this world a happy place to live, you better change yourself – your heart; and not the world.
THE MARBLE TILE
There was this museum laid with beautiful marble tiles, with a huge marble statue displayed in the middle of the lobby. Many people came from all over the world just to admire this beautiful marble statue.
One night, the marble tiles started talking to the marble statue.Marble tile: “Marble statue, it’s just not fair, it’s just not fair! Why does everybody from all over the world come all the way here just to step on me while admiring you? Not fair!”
Marble statue: “My dear friend, marble tile. Do you still remember that we were actually from the same cave?”
Marble tile: “Yeah! That’s why I feel it is even more unfair. We were born from the same cave and yet we receive different treatment now. Not fair!” he cried again.
Marble statue: “Then, do you still remember the day when the designer tried to work on you, but you resisted the tools?”
Marble tile: “Yes, of course I remember. I hate that guy! How could he use those tools on me, it hurt so badly.”
Marble statue: “That’s right! He couldn’t work on you at all as you resisted being worked on.”Marble tile: “So???”
Marble statue: “When he decided to give up on you and start working on me instead, I knew at once that I would be something different after his efforts. I did not resist his tools, instead I bore all the painful tools he used on me..”
Marble tile: “Mmmmmm…….”
Marble statue: “My friend, there is a price to everything in life. Since you decided to give up half way, you can’t blame anybody who steps on you now.”
A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, “I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry”. Please come in and have something to eat.” “Is the man of the house home?” they asked. “No”, she replied. “He’s out.” “Then we cannot come in”, they replied. In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. “Go tell them I am home and invite them in!” The woman went out and invited the men in” “We do not go into a House together,” they replied. “Why is that?” she asked. One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.” The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice!!” he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!” His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?” Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!” “Let us heed our daughter-in-law’s advice,” said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.” The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.”
Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?” The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him.
Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!”
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.”
The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.
Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey nice try.”
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
If you plant patience, you will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.
But If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust.
If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness.
If you plant pride, you will reap destruction.
If you plant envy, you will reap trouble.
If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation.
If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation.
If you plant greed, you will reap loss.
If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies.
If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles.
If you plant sin, you will reap guilt.
So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow, The seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better, your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today.