Hello Friends, Today in This Post we will going to share with you Motivational & Inspirational Stories. These Motivational & Inspirational Stories are very interesting. Please read the full stories. I hope you like these Motivational & Inspirational Stories. 

Motivational Stories

Motivational & Inspirational Stories List

A Pound is a Pound

Never let one failure from the past hold you back in the future

Walking on Water

It’s Not That Complicated

Cherish Your Struggles

There Was Once a Boy…

Laziness won’t get you anywhere

Don’t say something you regret out of anger

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

A Dish of Ice Cream

Frogs for Dinner

Will You Marry Me?

It’s Never Too Late

The Boulder and the Gold

The Chef’s Daughter

Cleaning Turtles

Your good deeds could change the world

Don’t let your circumstances change you

The Pear Tree and the Seasons of Life

The Story of the Lumberjacks

Angry Nails

Don’t Hold Back

Think outside of the box

Enjoy the moment

Stop chasing happiness

Don’t judge others before you know them

Learn from your problems

Don’t assume you are going to fail

The Two Wolves

The Story of the Grateful Starfishes

The Elephant and the Rope

Your priorities matter

Never give up on your dreams

Focus on the good things in life

Buridan’s Ass

The Clever General

The Fisherman and the Businessman

The Baker and the butter

Your reaction matters more than what happens to you

Don’t insult the things you wish you could have

A Pound is a Pound

There was once a farmer who, each week, sold a pound of butter to a baker.

After several weeks of buying a pound of butter from the farmer, the baker decided to weigh the butter that he was receiving to ensure it was indeed a full pound. When the baker weighed it, he learned that the butter was under a pound, which enraged him. He felt he was being cheated and he decided to take the farmer to court.

When in court, the judge asked the farmer how he was weighing the butter.

The farmer said, “Your Honor, I am poor. I do not own an exact measuring tool. However, I do have a scale.”

The judge then asked if the farmer uses the scale to measure the butter.

The farmer said, “Your Honor, I have been buying a one-pound loaf of bread from the baker since long before he began purchasing butter from me. Whenever the baker brings bread for me, I put it on the scale and then measure out the exact same weight in butter to give him in return. So, if the baker is not getting a pound of butter, he is also not giving a pound of bread like he promised.”

The Moral:

You get what you give. If you try to cheat others out of what you promise them, you will be cheated in return. The more honest you are, the easier it is to trust other people and not suspect they may be cheating you in some way.

When you’re honest, not only will other people trust you, but you will also feel more confident in your trust with others.

Honesty is always the best route–especially if you want others to be honest with you as well.

Never let one failure from the past hold you back in the future

“As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. ‘Well,’ trainer said, ‘when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.’

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.”

Walking on Water

Once there was a boy who lived with his family on a farm.

They had a beautiful dog who would go down to the pond for hours every day in the spring and summer with the boy to practice retrieving various items. The boy wanted to prepare his dog for any scenario that may come up during duck season because he wanted his dog to be the best hunting dog in the whole county.

The boy and his dog had vigorous training sessions every day until the dog was so obedient, he wouldn’t do anything unless he was told to do so by the boy.

As duck season rolled in with the fall and winter months, the boy and his dog were eager to be at their regular spot down at the pond near their house. Only a few minutes passed before the two heard the first group of ducks flying overhead. The boy slowly raised his gun and shot three times before killing a duck, which landed in the center of the pond.

When the boy signaled his dog to retrieve the duck, the dog charged through the duck blind and bushes toward the pond. However, instead of swimming in the water like he had practiced so many times, the dog walked on the water’s surface, retrieved the duck, and returned it to the boy.  

The boy was astonished. His dog had an amazing ability to walk on water–it was like magic. The boy knew no one would ever believe this amazing thing that he had just witnessed. He had to get someone else down there to see this incredible phenomenon.

The boy went to a nearby farmer’s house and asked if he would hunt with him the next morning. The neighbor agreed, and met up with the boy the following morning at his regular spot by the pond.

The pair patiently waited for a group of ducks to fly overhead, and soon enough, they heard them coming. The boy told the neighbor to go ahead and take a shot, which the neighbor did, killing one duck. Just as the day before, the boy signaled to his dog to fetch the duck. Miraculously, the dog walked on the water again to retrieve the duck.

The boy was bursting with pride and could hardly contain himself when he asked his neighbor, “Did you see that? What do you think?!”

The neighbor responded, “I wasn’t going to say anything, but your dog doesn’t even know how to swim.”

The boy sat in disbelief as his neighbor pointed out a potential flaw of the dog rather than recognizing the fact that what he had just done was a miracle.

The Moral:

People will often downplay others’ abilities or achievements because they’re unable to accomplish the same thing. Don’t let this bring you down. Just move on and keep working on improving yourself. Maintaining a positive mindset is a key part of being successful.

Furthermore, be conscious of instances in which you may be tempted to not give credit where it is deserved. Pointing out other people’s shortcomings does not make you a superior person.

It’s Not That Complicated

There was once a very wise man living in ancient times. He was elderly and educated and held knowledge and books to the highest regard.

One day while on a walk, he realized that his shoes were really starting to wear out. Because he spent a lot of time walking on a daily basis, he knew he had to find the best shoes to support and protect his feet. But, back then, this wasn’t such an easy task, as he couldn’t jump online to do some research and have shoes delivered to his door.

The man didn’t want to make things worse by purchasing the wrong shoes and having inadequate protection, which would lead to injuries and the inability to leave his home and walk to find new books to read.

The man gathered all of the books he could that were written by only those that he admired the most to search for the answer to his question, “What do I do if my shoes have fallen apart?”

He read through several books for many hours before finding out that he had no choice but to go buy a new pair of shoes. He then spent a lot of time reading about how to know if a pair of shoes fits properly.

Once he was satisfied with the answers he found, he was proud of himself for doing the research and he felt confident in his ability to buy a high-quality replacement for his old shoes. He figured if he hadn’t done his research, he probably would have gone barefoot for the rest of his life, as he had no one to tell him how to fix his shoes.

Following the books’ instructions, the man took a stick and measured his foot with it. He then went to the market and finally came upon a pair of shoes that he liked. However, he realized he had left the stick back at home, which was far away from the shop.

By the time the man returned to the market, the shop was closed. And, by that point, his shoes were completely split, so he had to return home barefoot.

The next morning, he walked back to the market with bare feet, but the shoes that he had chosen the day before had been sold. The wise man explained what had happened to the shopkeeper, who reacted with a sense of surprise, asking, “Why didn’t you buy the shoes yesterday?”

The wise man replied, “Because I forgot the stick that I had used to measure my feet back home. And anyone who knows anything about shoes knows that you have to have the correct measurements of your feet before you can buy shoes. I didn’t want to buy the wrong size, and I was following the normal instructions.”

Even more confused, the shopkeeper asked, “But your foot was with you, why didn’t you just try the shoes on?”

The wise man was equally confused in return and responded, “All the books say shoes must be bought with the exact same measurements of the shoes you already own.”

Laughing, the shop owner replied “Oh, no! You don’t need the advice from books to buy shoes. You just need to have your feet, some money, and some common sense to not complicate things.”

The Moral:

Sometimes you need to take action without overthinking things. Knowledge often comes in handy, but in some circumstances, if you lack experience or common sense, your knowledge will only get you so far. In fact, it could make things seem a lot more complicated than they actually are.

If you’re facing an issue, don’t forget to use your reasoning skills in addition to anything you’ve learned in a formal learning environment.

Cherish Your Struggles

One day, a girl came upon a cocoon, and she could tell that a butterfly was trying to hatch.

She waited and watched the butterfly struggle for hours to release itself from the tiny hole. All of a sudden, the butterfly stopped moving–it seemed to be stuck.

The girl then decided to help get the butterfly out. She went home to get a pair of scissors to cut open the cocoon. The butterfly was then easily able to escape, however, its body was swollen and its wings were underdeveloped. 

The girl still thought she had done the butterfly a favor as she sat there waiting for its wings to grow in order to support its body. However, that wasn’t happening. The butterfly was unable to fly, and for the rest of its life, it could only move by crawling around with little wings and a large body.

Despite the girl’s good intentions, she didn’t understand that the restriction of the butterfly’s cocoon and the struggle the butterfly had to go through in order to escape served an important purpose.

As butterflies emerge from tight cocoons, it forces fluid from their body into their wings to prepare them to be able to fly.

The Moral:

The struggles that you face in life help you grow and get stronger.

There is often a reason behind the requirement of doing hard work and being persistent. When enduring difficult times, you will develop the necessary strength that you’ll need in the future.

Without having any struggles, you won’t grow–which means it’s very important to take on personal challenges for yourself rather than relying on other people to always help you. 

There Was Once a Boy…

There was once a boy who was growing up in a very wealthy family.

One day, his father decided to take him on a trip to show him how others lived who were less fortunate. His father’s goal was to help his son appreciate everything that he has been given in life.

The boy and his father pulled up to a farm where a very poor family lived. They spent several days on the farm, helping the family work for their food and take care of their land.

When they left the farm, his dad asked his son if he enjoyed their trip and if he had learned anything during the time they spent with this other family.

The boy quickly replied, “It was fantastic, that family is so lucky!”

Confused, his father asked what he meant by that.

The boy said, “Well, we only have one dog, but that family has four–and they have chickens!

We have four people in our home, but they have 12! They have so many people to play with!

We have a pool in our yard, but they have a river running through their property that is endless.

We have lanterns outside so we can see at night, but they have the wide open sky and the beautiful stars to give them wonder and light.

We have a patio, but they have the entire horizon to enjoy–they have endless fields to run around in and play.

We have to go to the grocery store, but they are able to grow their own food. Our high fence protects our property and our family, but they don‘t need such a limiting structure, because their friends protect them.”

The father was speechless.

Finally, the boy added, “Thank you for showing me how poor people live, they’re so lucky.”

The Moral:

True wealth and happiness aren’t measured by material belongings.

Being around the people you love, enjoying the beautiful, natural environment, and having freedom are much more valuable.

A rich life can mean different things to different people. What are your values and priorities?

If you have whatever is important to you, you can consider yourself to be wealthy.

Laziness won’t get you anywhere

“In ancient times, a king had his men place a boulder on a roadway. He then hid in the bushes, and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers passed by and simply walked around it.

Many people blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the stone removed.

One day, a peasant came along carrying vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the stone out of the way. After much pushing and straining, he finally managed.

After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and note from the King explain that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the road.”

Don’t say something you regret out of anger

“There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper. His father decided to hand him a bag of nails and said that every time the boy lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the fence.

On the first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into that fence.

The boy gradually began to control his temper over the next few weeks, and the number of nails he was hammering into the fence slowly decreased. He discovered it was easier to control his temper than to hammer those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father the news and the father suggested that the boy should now pull out a nail every day he kept his temper under control.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.'”

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

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 touch 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.

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? “

Moral:

In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

A Dish of Ice Cream

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?”

“50 cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.

“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.

“35 cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.

When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.

There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.

Frogs for Dinner

A lady was once heating up a pot of water on a gas stove with the intent of cooking pasta for her family for dinner.

A frog fell into the pot while it was sitting on the stove. While it wasn’t his intention to be stuck in a pot of water, he didn’t try to escape. He was comfortable enough as he was.

The lady soon turned on the flame to begin boiling the water.

As the water’s temperature began to rise, the frog was able to adjust his body temperature accordingly, so he remained in the pot without trying to do anything to change the situation.

However, as the water approached its boiling point, the frog’s body temperature could no longer keep up. He finally tried to jump out of the pot, but with water temperature continuing to increase, he didn’t have it in him to make the leap.

It was too late for the frog to save himself.

The Moral:

Things don’t always go as planned in life, and they certainly don’t always go the way we want them to. But, no matter how bad a situation is, it’s critical to be proactive and face the problem head-on.

Unlike the frog, who waited until the last minute to try to do anything about the problem he was clearly facing, it’s important to project the future outcomes of the obstacles that hinder you and mediate them before they get past the point of no return.

You have to avoid wasting time and take appropriate action before problems get out of hand or become too much to handle.

Will You Marry Me?

Centuries ago, in a small Italian town, there was a business owner who was in a great amount of debt.

His banker, who was an old, unattractive man, strongly desired the business owner’s younger beautiful daughter.

The banker decided to offer the businessman a deal to forgive the debt that he owed the bank completely. However, there was a bit of a catch.

In order for the businessman to become debt-free, he was to have his daughter marry the banker.

The businessman didn’t want to concede to this agreement, but he had no other choice, as his debt was so extreme.

The banker said he would put two small stones into a bag–one of which was white, and the other black.

The daughter would then need to reach into the bag and blindly choose a stone.

If she chose the black stone, the businessman’s debt would be cleared and the daughter would have to marry the banker.

However, if she chose the white stone, the debt would be cleared and the daughter would not have to marry him.

While standing in the stone-filled path in the businessman’s yard, the banker reached down and chose two small stones, not realizing that the businessman’s daughter was watching him. She noticed that he picked up two black stones and put them in the bag.

When it came time for the daughter to pick a stone out of the bag, she felt she had three choices:

Refuse to do it.

Take out both stones and expose the banker’s cheating.

Pick a stone, knowing it would be black, and sacrifice herself to get her father out of debt.

She picked a stone from the bag, and immediately ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the abundance of stones where they were all standing.

She said to the banker, “I’m sorry, I’m so clumsy! Oh well. Just look in the bag to see what color stone is in there now so you will know what color stone I picked.”

Of course, the remaining stone was black. Because the banker didn’t want his deceit to be exposed, he played along, acting as if the stone that the businessman’s daughter dropped had to have been white.

He cleared the businessman’s debt and the daughter remained free from having to spend the rest of her life with the banker.

The Moral:

While you may have to think outside of the box sometimes, it’s always possible to conquer a difficult situation.

You don’t have to always give in to the options you’re presented with.

Challenge the status quo.

Think creatively.

Engage in productive nonconformity when possible.

Don’t be afraid to question the things that are expected to be true. In order to overcome challenges, you have to think in ways that you’ve never thought before.

It’s Never Too Late

In the 1940s, there was a man who, at the age of 65, was living off of $99 social security checks in a small house, driving a beat-up car.

He decided it was time to make a change, so he thought about what he had to offer that other people may benefit from. His mind went to his fried chicken recipe, which his friends and family loved.

He left his home state of Kentucky and traveled throughout the country, trying to sell his recipe to restaurants. He even offered the recipe for free, asking for only a small chunk of the money that was earned.

However, most of the restaurants declined his offer. In fact, 1,009 restaurants said no.

But even after all of the rejections, he persisted. He believed in himself and his chicken recipe.

When he visited restaurant #1,010, he got a YES.

His name?

Colonel Hartland Sanders.

The Moral:

There are a few lessons that you can take away from this story.

First, it’s never too late in life to find success. In a society that often celebrates young, successful people, it’s easy to start to think you’re never going to be successful after a certain age.

However, Colonel Sanders is an example that proves that argument wrong.

This story also demonstrates the power of persistence. You have to have confidence in yourself and believe in your work for other people to believe it also.

Disregard anyone who tells you “no” and simply move on.

The Boulder and the Gold

There once was a king who decided to do a little experiment. He had a giant boulder put right in the middle of the street. He then hid near the boulder to see who, if anyone, would try to move it out of the way.

First, some wealthy merchants walked by. They walked around the boulder, complaining that the king hasn’t been maintaining the roads very well.

Next, a peasant walked by, heading home with his arms full of food for his family. When he noticed the boulder, he put his groceries down and attempted to move it out of everyone’s way. It took him a while to move it, but he eventually succeeded.

short motivational stories with moral | inspiring short stories with moral lessons | inspirational stories for kids

If you’re able to push through moments that are challenging, you may end up being much better off than you were before you started trying.

After the peasant gathered up his groceries to carry on home, he noticed a bag lying in the middle of the road, just where the boulder once was.

He opened the bag to find that it was stuffed full of gold coins, along with a letter from the king saying that the bag’s gold was a reward for the peasant to keep.

The king gave this gift because the peasant had taken the time and energy to move the boulder out of the road for the convenience of others who would be traveling the road in the future.

The Moral:

The peasant in this story was taught by the king that every obstacle you face offers an opportunity to improve.

If you’re able to push through moments that are challenging, you may end up being much better off than you were before you started trying.

This story also offers a lesson of personal responsibility.

If you see a job ahead of you, don’t leave it for the next person to do. Rather, step up and get the job done to help the people who come after you.

The Chef’s Daughter

Once there was a girl who was complaining to her dad that her life was so hard and that she didn’t know how she would get through all of her struggles. She was tired, and she felt like as soon as one problem was solved, another would arise.

Being a chef, the girl’s father took her into his kitchen. He boiled three pots of water that were equal in size. He placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in another, and ground coffee beans in the final pot.

He let the pots sit and boil for a while, not saying anything to his daughter.

He turned the burners off after twenty minutes and removed the potatoes from the pot and put them in a bowl. He did the same with the boiled eggs. He then used a ladle to scoop out the boiled coffee and poured it in a mug. He asked his daughter, “What do you see?”

She responded, “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee.”

Her father told her to take a closer look and touch the potatoes. After doing so, she noticed they were soft. Her father then told her to break open an egg. She acknowledged the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he told her to take a sip of the coffee. It was rich and delicious.

After asking her father what all of this meant, he explained that each of the three food items had just undergone the exact same hardship–twenty minutes inside of boiling water.

However, each item had a different reaction.

The potato went into the water as a strong, hard item, but after being boiled, it turned soft and weak.

The egg was fragile when it entered the water, with a thin outer shell protecting a liquid interior. However, after it was left to boil, the inside of the egg became firm and strong.

Finally, the ground coffee beans were different. Upon being exposed to boiling water, they changed the water to create something new altogether.

He then asked his daughter, “Which are you? When you face adversity, do you respond by becoming soft and weak? Do you build strength? Or do you change the situation?”

The Moral:

Life is full of ups and downs, wins and losses, and big shifts in momentum, and adversity is a big part of this experience. And while many of us would rather not face adversity, it doesn’t have to always be a negative thing. In fact, handling adversity can be a positive experience that can lead to personal development.

You choose how you respond to adversity, whether you let it break you down or you stand up in the face of it and learn from it. In many instances, facing adversity gives you a chance to learn important lessons that can help you grow as a person.

When facing adversity, it’s important to recognize your freedom to choose how you respond. You can respond in a way that ultimately limits you, or you can choose to have a more productive response that could potentially open windows of opportunity that we didn’t know existed.

Cleaning Turtles

There was once a man who walked his dog every Sunday morning around a lake near his house. Week after week, he saw the same elderly woman sitting at the edge of the water with a small metal cage next to her.

The man’s curiosity finally got the best of him and he approached the woman one day. He noticed that the cage was actually a small trap and she had three small turtles in it. In her lap, there was a fourth turtle that she was carefully wiping down with a sponge.

The man greeted her and said, “If you don’t mind my asking, what do you do with these turtles every week?”

She smiled and explained to him that she was cleaning their shells because any algae or scum that builds up on a turtle’s shell reduces its ability to absorb heat and slows down their swimming. It can also corrode their shell and weaken it over time.

The man was impressed as the woman continued, “I do this every Sunday morning to help the turtles.”

“But don’t most turtles live their entire lives with algae on their shells?” the man asked.

The woman agreed that was true.

He replied, “Well then, you’re kind to do this, but are you really making a difference if most turtles don’t have people around to clean their shells?”

The woman laughed as she looked down at the small turtle on her lap. “Young man, if this little turtle could talk, he would say I’m making all the difference in the world.'”

The Moral:

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” — Dr. Seuss

Just because you may not be able to change the world or help everyone, you can still make a huge difference in one person’s life by offering them any help that you can. Don’t choose to not do anything because you can’t do everything.

The actions of one person can make a world of difference to someone else. When you see someone in need, you may never know how much of a difference your help can make in their life.

Your good deeds could change the world

“Every Sunday morning I take a light jog around a park near my home.  There’s a lake located in one corner of the park. Each time I jog by this lake, I see the same elderly woman sitting at the water’s edge with a small metal cage sitting beside her.

This past Sunday my curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped jogging and walked over to her. As I got closer, I realized that the metal cage was in fact a small trap. There were three turtles, unharmed, slowly walking around the base of the trap. She had a fourth turtle in her lap that she was carefully scrubbing with a spongy brush.

‘Hello,’ I said. ‘I see you here every Sunday morning.  If you don’t mind my nosiness, I’d love to know what you’re doing with these turtles.’

She smiled. ‘I’m cleaning off their shells,” she replied. “Anything on a turtle’s shell, like algae or scum, reduces the turtle’s ability to absorb heat and impedes its ability to swim. It can also corrode and weaken the shell over time.’

‘Wow! That’s really nice of you!’ I exclaimed.

She went on: ‘I spend a couple of hours each Sunday morning, relaxing by this lake and helping these little guys out. It’s my own strange way of making a difference.’

‘But don’t most freshwater turtles live their whole lives with algae and scum hanging from their shells?’ I asked.

‘Yep, sadly, they do,’ she replied.

I scratched my head. ‘Well then, don’t you think your time could be better spent? I mean, I think your efforts are kind and all, but there are fresh water turtles living in lakes all around the world. And 99% of these turtles don’t have kind people like you to help them clean off their shells.  So, no offense… but how exactly are your localized efforts here truly making a difference?’

The woman giggled aloud. She then looked down at the turtle in her lap, scrubbed off the last piece of algae from its shell, and said, ‘Sweetie, if this little guy could talk, he’d tell you I just made all the difference in the world.'”

Don’t let your circumstances change you

“There once was a blind woman who hated herself purely because she could not see. The only person she loved was her boyfriend, as he was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, then she would marry him.

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her – now she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her loving boyfriend asked her, ‘Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?’

The woman was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind  too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and wrote a short note to her saying: ‘Just take care of my eyes, dear.'”

The Pear Tree and the Seasons of Life

There was once a man who had four young sons.

Wanting to teach them about the dangers of judging things too rapidly, he decided to send each of them on a journey, one after the other, to a distant pear tree.

Each son when in a different season, the first in winter, the second in spring, and so on.

At the end of the year he brought his children together and asked them what they’d seen.

The son who’d travelled in winter described a gnarled, twisted, and barren tree that stood stark and ugly against the land.

The son who went in spring disagreed. No, he said, the tree seemed full of hope and promise, with green buds along its branches.

The third son, who’d travelled in summer, disagreed once more. The pear tree he’d seen was covered in beautiful blossom that looked and smelled divine.

Finally, the last son, who’d made the journey in fall, disagreed again, describing a tree laden with sweet and delicious pears that tasted better than any he’d eaten before.

When each son had spoken, the father said they were all correct, because they’d only seen but one season of the pear tree’s life.

He explained to his sons that it’s foolish and impossible to judge something in this manner.

The essence of something, whether it’s a tree or their fellow man, can only be measured as a whole, at the end of the year, having seen it in its fullness. To make your judgment in winter is to miss the promise of spring, the beauty of summer, and the fruit in fall.

Moral of 

Refuse to judge yourself, life, or other people based upon a single mistake or challenging time. Refuse to let the pain of one season destroy the joy of those to come.

The Story of the Lumberjacks

Two lumberjacks of equal skill, experience, and stature work side by side, chopping down trees together every single day.

However, one lumberjack works non-stop, without taking a break, whereas the other takes an hour-long lunch break every afternoon.

Despite working for less time, both lumberjacks inevitably chop the same number of trees by the end of each working day.

Puzzled and frustrated, the lumberjack who works all day long asks the other how he manages to chop just as much as him while still taking a break.

To this, he responds:

“It’s simple. I spend that hour at home sharpening my axe.”

Moral of 

Breaks are vital to productivity. Work smart not hard!

Angry Nails

There was once a boy who became angry so frequently with his friends at school that he was constantly getting sent home.

His temper was disruptive to the class and hurtful to other students.

His father came up with a strategy to try to deter the boy from getting angry so easily. He gave his son a hammer and some nails and told him to hammer a nail into the family’s fence every time the boy got angry in the future.

The following day, the boy got angry 37 times, and had to hammer as many nails into the fence.

Over the next few weeks, the boy got tired of hammering nails into the fence and he gradually started to control his temper. Slowly, the number of nails he was hammering into the fence started to decrease. The boy realized that it was easier to remain calm when he started to feel angry than to gather the tools, go outside, and start hammering.

Eventually, the boy stopped losing his temper altogether. His dad noticed, and told the boy to remove a nail from the fence every day that he was able to keep his temper under control.

Eventually, as the weeks went by, all of the nails had been taken out of the fence. The father and son then stood in front of the broken fence, which was completely scattered with holes.  

The father turned to his son and said, “You have done well, but look at the holes in the fence. They cannot be repaired. When you get angry at other people, it leaves a scar just like the holes you see in front of you. It doesn’t matter if you say I’m sorry one hundred times, the injury is still there.”

The Moral:

Control your anger toward other people. While you may not see the damage that it does, it can leave irreparable wounds that can eventually break them.

Be kind to others and think before you let your emotions get the best of you.

Don’t Hold Back

There was once a company whose CEO was very strict and often disciplined the workers for their mistakes or perceived lack of progress. One day, as the employees came into work, they saw a sign on the door that read, “Yesterday, the person who has been holding you back from succeeding in this company passed away. Please gather for a funeral service in the assembly room.”

While the employees were saddened for the family of their CEO, they were also intrigued at the prospect of being able to now move up within the company and become more successful.”

Upon entering the assembly room, many employees were surprised to see the CEO was, in fact, present. They wondered among themselves, “If it wasn’t him who was holding us back from being successful, who was it? Who has died?”

One by one, the employees approached the coffin, and upon looking inside, each was quite surprised. They didn’t understand what they saw.

In the coffin, there was simply a mirror. So when each employee looked in to find out who had been “holding them back from being successful” everyone saw themselves. Next to the mirror, there was a sign that read:

The only person who is able to limit your growth is you.

You are the only person who can influence your success. Your life changes when you break through your limiting beliefs and realize that you’re in control of your life.

The most influential relationship you can have is the relationship you have with yourself.

Now you know who has been holding you back from living up to your true potential. Are you going to keep allowing that person to hold you back?

The Moral:

You can’t blame anyone else if you’re not living up to your potential. You can’t let other people get you down about mistakes you make or their negative perception of your efforts. You have to take personal responsibility for your work–both the good and the bad–and be proactive about making any necessary adjustments.

Think outside of the box

“In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter.

He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that we would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman’s daughter. Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust.

The loan-shark said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black.

The daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her. If it was white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark.

Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the businessman’s garden, the loan-shark bent over and picked up two pebbles. Whilst he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles  and placed them both into the bag.

He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one.

The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done:

Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag.

Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating.

Pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.

She drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles. She said to the loan-shark;

‘Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.’

The pebble left in the bag is obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt.”

Enjoy the moment

“After spending nearly every waking minute with Angel for eight straight days, I knew that I had to tell her just one thing. So late at night, just before she fell asleep, I whispered it in her ear. She smiled – the kind of smile that makes me smile back –and she said, ‘When I’m seventy-five and I think about my life and what it was like to be young, I hope that I can remember this very moment.’

A few seconds later she closed her eyes and fell asleep. The room was peaceful – almost silent. All I could hear was the soft purr of her breathing. I stayed awake thinking about the time we’d spent together and all the choices in our lives that made this moment possible. And at some point, I realized that it didn’t matter what we’d done or where we’d gone. Nor did the future hold any significance.

All that mattered was the serenity of the moment.

Just being with her and breathing with her.”

Stop chasing happiness

“An old man lived in the village. The whole village was tired of him; he was always gloomy, he constantly complained and was always in a bad mood. The longer he lived, the viler he became and more poisonous were his words. People did their best to avoid him because his misfortune was contagious. He created the feeling of unhappiness in others.

But one day, when he turned eighty, an incredible thing happened. Instantly everyone started hearing the rumor: ‘The old man is happy today, he doesn’t complain about anything, smiles, and even his face is freshened up.’

The whole village gathered around the man and asked him, “What happened to you?”

The old man replied, ‘Nothing special. Eighty years I’ve been chasing happiness and it was useless. And then I decided to live without happiness and just enjoy life. That’s why I’m happy now.'”

Don’t judge others before you know them

“A 24-year-old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…

‘Dad, look the trees are going behind!’

Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24-year-old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed…

‘Dad, look the clouds are running with us!’

The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…

‘Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?’

The old man smiled and said…’I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.’

Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.”

Learn from your problems

“A man’s favorite donkey falls into a deep precipice. He can’t pull it out no matter how hard he tries. He therefore decides to bury it alive.

Soil is poured onto the donkey from above. The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it. More soil is poured.

It shakes it off and steps up. The more the load was poured, the higher it rose. By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures.”

Don’t assume you are going to fail

“During a research experiment a marine biologist placed a shark into a large holding tank and then released several small bait fish into the tank.

As you would expect, the shark quickly swam around the tank, attacked and ate the smaller fish.

The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fiberglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions. She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other.

Again, the shark quickly attacked. This time, however, the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off. Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behavior every few minutes to no avail.  Meanwhile, the bait fish swam around unharmed in the second partition. Eventually, about an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up.

This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time, the shark got less aggressive and made fewer attempts to attack the bait fish, until eventually the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.

The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark didn’t attack. The shark was trained to believe a barrier existed between it and the bait fish, so the bait fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.”

The Two Wolves

An old Cherokee chief sat down to teach his grandson about life.

“There’s a fight going on inside me,” he tells the young boy, “a fight between two wolves.”

“One wolf is evil. It’s full of malice, anger, greed, self-pity and false pride. The other is good. It’s full of peace, love, joy, kindness, and humility.”

“This same fight is going on inside you and everyone else on the face of the earth.”

The grandson was quiet, pondering this revelation for a moment before asking, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”

The old man smiled and replied, “The one you feed.”

Moral of 

Good and evil exist within each of us. It’s our responsibility to own that reality and do whatever we can to nurture the good.

The Story of the Grateful Starfishes

One morning, an elderly man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young boy picking something off the sand and throwing it into the sea.

As he got closer, the man realized the child was throwing stranded starfishes that had washed up on the shore back into the breaking waves.

Approaching the boy, the man asked what he was doing.

“The starfish will die if they’re still on the shore when the sun rises,” he replied.

Perplexed, the old man said, “But that’s pointless! There are countless miles of beach and thousands of starfish. It doesn’t matter how many you return to the water, you can’t make a difference.”

Unfazed, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and tossed it into the sea.

“It matters to this one,” he said.

Moral of 

No matter the odds of success or the scale of the challenge, your actions can make a difference. It’s better to light a candle than curse the dark.

Every little counts. Doing something to make a positive change is always better than nothing!

The Elephant and the Rope

One day a man walked past a camp of elephants.

Looking closer, he was surprised to see that these mighty animals weren’t held in cages or kept in chains.

The only thing stopping them from escaping?

A thin rope tied from one of their legs to a simple pole in the ground.

Confused as to why they didn’t use their strength to break the rope, he asked the trainer why they weren’t attempting to run away.

To this the trainer replied,

“As baby elephants, we use the same system. But, at that age, the rope is strong enough to stop them from escaping. They grow up like this, believing they can never break the rope, so even as adults they stay put.”

In other words, these powerful, magnificent and intelligent elephants didn’t believe they could free themselves, so they never tried.

Moral of 

Our personal beliefs are powerful beyond measure and often dictate our outcomes. They can work for or against us.

Identify your limiting beliefs so you can push against them.

These confidence affirmations should help!

Your priorities matter

“Imagine you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day!

We all have such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys an unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back.

There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. The time you have is the time you have and that is that. Time management is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as with money you decide how you spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.”

Never give up on your dreams

“Once, there was an older man, who was broke, living in a tiny house and owned a beat up car. He was living off of $99 social security checks. At 65 years of age, he decide things had to change. So he thought about what he had to offer. His friends raved about his chicken recipe. He decided that this was his best shot at making a change.

He left Kentucky and traveled to different states to try to sell his recipe. He told restaurant owners that he had a mouthwatering chicken recipe. He offered the recipe to them for free, just asking for a small percentage on the items sold. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Unfortunately, not to most of the restaurants. He heard NO over 1000 times. Even after all of those rejections, he didn’t give up. He believed his chicken recipe was something special. He got rejected 1009 times before he heard his first yes.

With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the way Americans eat chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, was born.

Remember, never give up and always believe in yourself in spite of rejection.”

Focus on the good things in life

“Two friends were walking through the desert. At one stage in their journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything he wrote in the sand, ‘Today my best friend slapped me in the face.’

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to have a wash. The one who had been slapped got stuck in a mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he had recovered from his shock, he wrote on a stone, ‘Today my best friend saved my life.’

The friend who slapped and saved his best friend asked him, ‘After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write in stone, why?’

The other friend replied, ‘When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.'”

Buridan’s Ass

A hungry ass finds himself between two equally large and delicious-looking bales of hay.

He looks from one to the other and back again, unsure which to choose.

This goes on for a long while until, unable to make a decision, the poor old donkey dies of starvation.

Moral of 

Once again, take action! Don’t linger too long on the precipice of a big (or small) decision when the outcomes are positive.

Save yourself a headache, take a leap of faith, commit, and enjoy whatever rewards that come your way, refusing to look back at what could have been.

The Clever General

Thousands of years ago there was a famous Chinese general with a reputation for being an astute and cunning leader.

One day, at the end of a long campaign, this general decided to stop in a stronghold with a small battalion of soldiers, sending his main fighting force ahead to rest elsewhere.

Meanwhile, one of his enemies catches wind of this and decides to march his army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers on the general’s all-but defenceless position.

In the middle of the night, the general’s awoken by one of his men, who breaks the news:

The enemy’s close. They’ll be there before daybreak and the tiny band of soldiers in the stronghold will be no match for their numbers.

Hearing this, the general stops and pauses.

Understanding his predicament, he instructs his men to stand down, open the gates, take down the banners from the walls, and hide.

The general then removes his armour, dons a cloak, and sits on the battlements playing a mandolin as he looks out at the approaching army.

The enemy leader soon arrives. He recognizes the general immediately.

And orders his forces to halt.

He stops to think. He knows this general better than anyone, including his reputation for wily deeds and setting deadly traps. He waits some more.

The presence of this infamous general, sitting there with such nonchalance, makes him question himself. Was the information he received false? Is the general luring him into a trap?

Or is it a double bluff?

Is this a ploy to make him question himself and the general is, in fact, as defenceless as he seems? 

He waits some more…And then he orders his forces to retreat.

Moral of 

First, your reputation is crucial and can deliver all sorts of positive outcomes.

Second, there’s often a cleverer, more strategic way to achieve your goals. Never assume it takes sweat, blood and tears. Look for a method of attaining the same results with less effort. 

The Fisherman and the Businessman

Once upon a time there was a businessman who was sitting on the beach in a small Italian village.

As he sat, taking a brief break from the stress of his daily schedule, he saw a fisherman rowing a small boat back into the harbour. In the boat were a few large fish.

Impressed, the businessman asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” To which he replied “Oh, not so long.”

The businessman was confused, “Why don’t you fish for longer to catch even more?”

“More? This is enough to feed my entire family and even offer some to my neighbours,” the fisherman said.

“So what do you do for the rest of your day?” Enquired the businessman.

The fisherman replied, “Well, I’ve usually have caught my fish by late morning, at which point I go home, kiss my wife, and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap and read. In the evening, I go to the village to have a drink with my friends, play guitar, sing, and dance into the night!”

Putting his entrepreneurial hat on, the businessman offered a suggestion.

“I have a PhD in business! I can help you become much more successful. From now on, you should spend longer at sea and catch as many fish as possible. When you’ve saved enough money, buy a bigger boat to catch even more fish. From there, you’ll soon be able to buy more boats, set up your own company, build a production plant to can the fish and control distribution, and move to the city to control your other branches.”

To this, the fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs, “After that, you’ll be able to live like a king, take your company public, float your shares and be rich!”

“And after that?” Asks the fisherman once more.

“After that, you can retire, move to a house by the sea, wake up early in the morning to go fishing, then return home to play with your kids, kiss your wife, take a nap in the afternoon and join your friends in the village to drink, play guitar and dance into the night!”

Puzzled, the fisherman replies, “But isn’t that what I’m doing already?”

Moral of 

Be content with what you have. Do you really need to keep pushing for more? Stress is often a choice. There’s joy and peace in simplicity.

The Baker and the butter

A long time ago, a baker and a farmer lived in the same small English village.

These two men had a friendly arrangement in place, where the farmer would sell a pound of butter to the baker each day.

One morning, the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he’d received the correct amount.

To his surprise, he discovered that the farmer had sold him less butter than he’d paid for.

Angry about the unfairness, he took the farmer to court.

At the hearing, the judge asked the farmer whether he used any measure to weigh the butter.

“Your honour, I am but a lowly farmer and do not own a proper measure. I simply use an old-fashioned scale,” he replied.

“How do you weight the butter then?” Enquired the judge.

To this the farmer answered:

“Your honour, long before the baker started buying butter from my farm, I’ve been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when he brings me the bread, I place it on my scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it’s the baker.”

Moral of 

Karma’s a bitch! Be kind and fair to others and you’ll enjoy the rewards. 

Your reaction matters more than what happens to you

“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 boiled 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 touch 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.

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?’

Don’t insult the things you wish you could have

‘One afternoon, a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from a lofty branch.

‘Just the thing to quench my thirst,’ he thought.

Taking a couple of steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. The fox tried again but still failed to reach them.

Finally, giving up, the fox turned his nose up and said, ‘They’re probably sour anyway,’ and walked away.”

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