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Teamwork The Tortoise and the Hare, Continued This is an age old fable of the tortoise and hare

race. Everyone knows who won the race or do you? Well, recently I heard a new version of this story with a new twist. Read this inspirational teamwork story with lessons in teamwork from an age old fable. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. The tortoise and hare both agreed on a route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he'd sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke up and realised that he'd lost the race. The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. This is the version of the story that we've all grown up with. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------But then recently, someone told me a more interesting version of this tortoise and hare story. It continues. The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realised that he'd lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there's no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles. The moral of the story? Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. If you have two people in your organisation, one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable chap will consistently climb the organisational ladder faster than the slow, methodical chap. It's good to be slow and steady; but it's better to be fast and reliable. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------But the story doesn't end here. The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realised that there's no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed. The tortoise and hare started off. In keeping with his

self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometres on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race. The moral of the story? First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency. In an organisation, if you are a good speaker, make sure you create opportunities to give presentations that enable the senior management to notice you. If your strength is analysis, make sure you do some sort of research, make a report and send it upstairs. Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed, but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement. The story still hasn't ended. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------The tortoise and hare, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realised that the last race could have been run much better. So the tortoise and hare decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time. They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. Both the tortoise and hare felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they'd felt earlier. The moral of the story? It's good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you're able to work in a team and harness each other's core competencies, you'll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well. Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership. ~author unknown Lessons From Geese FACT 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the birds that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew

alone. Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. FACT 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others. FACT 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies to the point position. Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources. FACT 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek. FACT 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong. ~Based on work by Milton Olson The Brewery's Policy It has been suggested to me that this is a true story: A very old traditional brewery decided to install a new canning line, so as to enable its beer products to be marketed through the supermarket sector. This represented a major change for the little company, and local dignitaries and past employees were invited to witness the first running of the new canning line, which was followed by an buffet and drinks. After the new line had been switched on successfully, and the formalities completed, the guests relaxed in small groups to chat and enjoy the buffet. In a quiet corner stood three men discussing trucks and transport and distribution, since one was the present distribution manager, and the other two were past holders of the post, having retired many years ago. The three men represented three generations of company distribution management, spanning over sixty years. The present distribution manager confessed that his job was becoming more stressful because company policy required long deliveries be made on Monday and Tuesday, short deliveries on Fridays, and all other deliveries mid-week. "It's so difficult to schedule things efficiently - heaven knows what we'll do with these new cans and the tight demands of the supermarkets..." The other two men nodded in agreement. "It was the same in my day," sympathised the present manager's predecessor, "It always seemed strange to me that trucks returning early on Mondays and Tuesdays couldn't be used for little local runs, because the local deliveries had to be left until Friday.." The third man nodded, and was thinking hard, struggling to recall the policy's roots many years ago when he'd have been a junior in the despatch department. After a pause, the third man smiled and then ventured a suggestion. "I think I remember now," he said, "It was the horses..... During the Second World War fuel rationing was introduced. So we mothballed the trucks and went back to using the horses. On Mondays the horses were well-rested after the weekend - hence the long deliveries. By Friday the horses so tired they could only handle the short local drops..." Soon after the opening of the new canning line the company changed its delivery policy.

~author unknown Chalres Plumb's Parachutes Charles Plumb was a navy jet pilot. On his seventy-sixth combat mission, he was shot down and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in prison. He survived and now lectures on the lessons he learned from his experiences. One day, a man in approached Plumb and his wife in a restaurant, and said, "Are you Plumb the navy pilot?" "Yes, how did you know?" asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb was amazed - and grateful: "If the chute you packed hadn't worked I wouldn't be here today..." Plumb refers to this in his lectures: his realisation that the anonymous sailors who packed the parachutes held the pilots' lives in their hands, and yet the pilots never gave these sailors a second thought; never even said hello, let alone said thanks. Now Plumb asks his audiences, "Who packs your parachutes?..... Who helps you through your life?.... Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually?....... Think about who helps you; recognise them and say thanks." ~author unknown Source The Monkey Story Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, turn off the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again, replace a third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys that have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been around here. And that's how company policy begins ... ~author unknown Airplane Maintenance According to the story, after every Qantas Airlines flight (other airlines, and military sources are suggested instead also) the pilots complete a a 'gripe sheet' report, which conveys to the ground crew engineers any mechanical problems on the aircraft during the flight. The engineer reads the form, corrects the problem, then writes details of action taken on the lower section of the form for the pilot to review before the next flight. It is clear from the examples below that ground crew engineers have a keen sense of humour - these are supposedly real extracts from gripe forms completed by pilots with the solution responses by the engineers. Incidentally, Qantas has the best safety record

of all the world's major airlines. (1 = The problem logged by the pilot.) (2 = The solution and action taken by the mechanics.) 1. Left inside main tire almost needs replacement. 2. Almost replaced left inside main tire. 1. Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough. 2. Auto-land not installed on this aircraft. 1. Something loose in cockpit. 2. Something tightened in cockpit. 1. Dead bugs on windshield. 2. Live bugs on back-order. 1. Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent. 2. Cannot reproduce problem on ground. 1. Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. 2. Evidence removed. 1. DME volume unbelievably loud. 2. DME volume set to more believable level. 1. Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick. 2. That's what they're there for. 1. IFF inoperative. 2. IFF always inoperative in OFF mode. 1. Suspected crack in windshield. 2. Suspect you're right.

1. Number 3 engine missing. 2. Engine found on right wing after brief search. 1. Aircraft handles funny. 2. Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious. 1. Target radar hums. 2. Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics. 1. Mouse in cockpit. 2. Cat installed. 1. Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer. 2. Took hammer away from midget. ~author unknown Speed Camera Teamwork This allegedly true story, supposedly leaked by the Australian Department of Transport, concerns four Australian young men and a mobile speed camera police van. Three of the four lads engaged the speed camera operators in conversation about the camera equipment, and the number of cars caught, etc., while the fourth unscrewed the van's front registration plate. Bidding the police farewell, the lads returned home, screwed the registration plate to their own car and proceeded to complete 17 very fast round trips through the speed camera's radar. The traffic penalties department subsequently issued 17 speeding tickets to itself. ~author unknown Source Get in the Wheelbarrow The story goes: upon completing a highly dangerous tightrope walk over Niagara Falls in appalling wind and rain, 'The Great Zumbrati' was met by an enthusiastic supporter, who urged him to make a return trip, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the spectator had thoughtfully brought along. The Great Zumbrati was reluctant, given the terrible conditions, but the supporter pressed him, "You can do it - I know you can," he urged. "You really believe I can do it?" asked Zumbrati.

"Yes - definitely - you can do it." the supporter gushed. "Okay," said Zumbrati, "Get in the wheelbarrow..." ~author unknown Source Tortoise And Hare Inspirational Teamwork Story This is an age old fable of the tortoise and hare race. Everyone knows who won the race or do you? Well, recently I heard a new version of this story with a new twist. Read this inspirational teamwork story with lessons in teamwork from an age old fable. 1. Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. The tortoise and hare both agreed on a route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he'd sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke up and realised that he'd lost the race. The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. This is the version of the story that we've all grown up with.

2. But then recently, someone told me a more interesting version of this tortoise and hare story. It continues. The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realised that he'd lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there's no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles. The moral of the story? Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. If you have two people in your organisation, one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable chap will consistently climb the organisational ladder faster than the slow, methodical chap.

It's good to be slow and steady; but it's better to be fast and reliable. 3. But the story doesn't end here. The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realised that there's no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed. The tortoise and hare started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometres on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race. The moral of the story? First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency. In an organisation, if you are a good speaker, make sure you create opportunities to give presentations that enable the senior management to notice you. If your strength is analysis, make sure you do some sort of research, make a report and send it upstairs. Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed, but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement. The story still hasn't ended.

4. The tortoise and hare, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realised that the last race could have been run much better. So the tortoise and hare decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time. They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. Both the tortoise and hare felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they'd felt earlier. The moral of the story? It's good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you're able to work in a team and harness each other's core competencies, you'll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well. Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership.

There are more lessons to be learnt from this inspirational teamwork story. Note that neither the tortoise and hare gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could. In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both. The tortoise and hare also learnt another vital lesson in teamwork. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better. When Roberto Goizueta took over as CEO of Coca-Cola in the 1980s, he was faced with intense competition from Pepsi that was eating into Coke's growth. His executives were Pepsi-focussed and intent on increasing market share 0.1 per cent a time. Goizueta decided to stop competing against Pepsi and instead compete against the situation of 0.1 per cent growth. He asked his executives what was the average fluid intake of an American per day? The answer was 14 ounces. What was Coke's share of that? Two ounces. Goizueta said Coke needed a larger share of that market. The competition wasn't Pepsi. It was the water, tea, coffee, milk and fruit juices that went into the remaining 12 ounces. The public should reach for a Coke whenever they felt like drinking something. To this end, Coke put up vending machines at every street corner. Sales took a quantum jump and Pepsi has never quite caught up since. To sum up, the story of the hare and tortoise teaches us many things. Chief among them are that fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady; work to your competencies; pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers; never give up when faced with failure; and finally, compete against the situation, not against a rival.

Team Work can Work Wonders!! A flock of hungry pigeons were flying across the sky in search of food. Having traveled a long distance, they felt tired and settled down on a tree. Just below the tree, they saw grains strewn all over the ground. The pigeons were happy to have found enough food to eat. All the pigeons came down from the tree and started eating the grains. As they were doing so, a huge net fell on them and trapped them all.

The pigeons were taken aback. They noticed a hunter sitting at a distance from the tree, a bow and arrow in hand. The pigeons realized it was the hunter who had attracted them by strewing the grains and it was he who had trapped them in the net. The hunter got up and began to move towards the pigeons. The leader of the pigeons spoke, "Friends, we are in great trouble. The hunter will catch us if we do not act swiftly in a few seconds. There is only one option available at this moment. Let all of us use our force together and fly up along with the net. If all of us use our force and fly together, we can fly carrying the net along with us. Let us start now." All the pigeons agreed with him and flew high carrying the net along with them. After traveling sufficient distance away from the hunter, the pigeons settled on a tree and carefully came out of the net one by one and thus escaped the evil design of the hunter. POINTS TO PONDER 1. Teamwork can work wonders. 2. A group of a people becomes a team when members have a common goal, and is goal links members to the team. 3. In a good team, members use each others strengths to balance their weaknesses. 4. Teambuilding requires great care. It is important to choose the right people who can and will work in tandem. 5. Focus should be on the team's progress, not individual growth. 6. Coordination between team members helps in completing the toughest job! Teamwork leverages the strength of each team member and works around the weaknesses. Teamwork represents a set of values that encourage behaviors such as listening constructively, respecting different views and recognizing the achievements and interests of others. There is frank and open exchange of ideas, and the team leader helps in increasing trust and mutual respect among the team members. Good teamwork of team and individual goals. It also ensures that collectively team is far more effective than the sum of individual effectiveness results in alignment, and each member experiences pride and belongingness. Subject - It is team work that matters..A Brilliant Story It is a good story for all of us to hear relating to careers and social life........ ....very true... Once upon a time a Washerman was bringing up two donkeys. Let us say Donkey-A and Donkey-B. Donkey-A felt it was very energetic and could do better than the other. It always tried to pull the washerman's attraction over it by taking more load and walking fast in front of him.

Innocent Donkey-B is normal, so it will walk normal, irrespective of the washerman's presence. After a period of time, Washerman started pressurizing Donkey-B to be like Donkey-A. But Donkey-B unable to walk fast, got continuous punishment from washerman. It was crying and told personally to Donkey-A "Dear friend, only we two are here, why to compete with each other....we can carry equal load at normal speed ". That made Donkey-A all the more energetic and next day it told to washerman that it can carry more load and even it can run fast also. Obviously happier washerman looked at Donkey-B.., his BP raised and he started kicking Donkey-B. Next day with smile, Donkey-A carried more load and started running fast. But it was breathtaking for Donkey-B and it couldn't act that way....But the washerman was frustrated, so he harassed Donkey-B terribly, and finally it fell down hopelessly. Then Donkey-A felt itself as a supremo and happily started carrying more load with great speed. But now the Load of the Donkey-B is also being carried by Donkey-A., and still it has to run fast. For some period it did, finally due to fatigue it got tired and started feeling the pain. But washerman expected more from Donkey-A. It also tried best, but couldn't cope up with his owners demand. The Washerman got angry with Donkey-A also and started harassing to take more load... Donkey-A was crying for long time and then tried its best... But it couldn't meet the owner's satisfaction. Finally the day came when due to frustration the washerman killed Donkey-A and went for searching some other Donkeys. Its an endless story....... .. But the moral of the Story in Corporate and Social life is......, "Think all colleagues are same and that everyone is capable... Always share the Load equally..... Don't ever act smart in front of your Boss and never try for getting over-credit. .. Don't feel happy when ur colleague is under pressure.. " It doesn't matter if u r A or B, for the Boss u shall be always DONKEY And most importantly, Never Work Hard, Work Cleverly.... .

Personal Development Stories

Here's a useful goal setting tip. Reading personal development stories is one of the best ways to add wisdom, wit, vision, colour, and fun to your personal development plan. Whatever your goal, whether personal growth or formal career development, you'll benefit from reading these stories.

This is just one of our continuous improvement resources. We'll be adding to this collection of stories regularly, so subscribe to our RSS feed to ensure you don't miss our new entries. We're firm believers in the benefits of story-telling, so this is a page that will be changing frequently. Go to the ROAR! Lions love to eat gazelle meat; however, it is very difficult for them to catch gazelles because they run so fast. Instead, a group of young lions herd the gazelles away from them. The gazelles easily outrun the lions and head off in the direction the lions have chosen, which is unknowingly towards a deep grassy area where a group of older lions are hiding. The older lions are too old and tired to be part of the chase; many are missing teeth, and would never be able to catch their own meat. When the gazelles are driven within close range of the older lions, they jump up and ROAR loudly. Immediately, the gazelles, responding to their perceived fear of imminent death, turn and run in the opposite direction, right into the mouths of the young lions. "The moral is that running from your fears and not facing them can often lead you into real danger and worse outcomes. In day-to-day life, the lions lying in wait may not be life threatening, but they are often false fears. Running away may mean we remain stuck and unhappy for a long time or until we face and move through our fear."

We're not sure about the accuracy of the lion analogy. Especially as it's well known that in the lion kingdom, it's the females, the lionesses who do all the work! Nonetheless, we can't disagree with the moral. It's still one of our favourite personal development stories though! Remember Jack Canfield's words in "The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be". "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got." And as Gail Sussman Miller says: "acknowledging and facing your fear may actually mean a better chance of survival. It is nearly *always* an opportunity to grow, learn, and improve your confidence and success. You increase your tolerance of risk and your ability to move through your fears better the next time." Instead of acting instinctively, or from habit, think about your fears. Analyse them. Take steps to defeat them. Then go to the roar. Think of your fears as a challenge to be

overcome, or a problem to be solved. The key to analysing any problem is to ask the right questions. Try combining these personal development stories with some of our tools, such as: Problem Solving Activity: A Question Checklist For Problem Solving.

The Power of Passion: An Inspiring Story about a Football Game

It seems everyone I am surrounded by is looking for inspiration these days. I am surrounded by people in the workforce who have graduated, at a minimum, from the high school level. I would venture to say most of these older people are searching for something. I find this search fascinating. What happens to a person once they leave school? Most kids I knew had dreams and aspirations to achieve so many things once they graduated. Do you remember your dreams, your aspirations as a teenager? Did you fulfill them? Or do you find yourself searching for inspiration to start one of your dreams? So I ask people, "What is your passion?" Most people do not know what their passion is. And the people who do know their passion, do not pursue it. This puzzled me as to why? What happened to their pursuit? Was it left behind at high school? College? Their parent's house? I realized all of this while coaching football this year for Fauquier High School. I was a head JV football coach. At the JV level, I teach the kids to Bond as a team: The sum of the parts is greater than the parts themselves. To understand the definition of commitment. To understand the concept of not giving up. Every high school is full of kids who can learn the team's offense and defense. But few teams have kids who are committed to the program, to forming a team relationship and having the attitude of never quitting no matter what the circumstance dictates. The teams that exhibit these traits always have a chance to win no matter what their talent level. Not only are these traits indicative of a successful season but also carry over into life. I try to teach each player there is life after football; football will comprise only a small portion of your life. So if my players exhibit the traits described above in everything they try, they will be very successful.

This year was a special year for the JV football team. I had a great group of kids who really came together as a team. Part of the reason was due to one individual named Austin Head. He is a running back (or RB - a person who runs the ball on offense) and listed as 5 feet tall, 100 lbs. By far he is our smallest guy (he was so small, he had to use two hands to hold the football). He never missed a practice, never talked back to the coaches, never asked about playing time. Austin was 3rd string and would not get much playing time and knew this. But he loved playing football so much, that if he could only play by coming to practice, then that's what he would do. He knew he was too small to play, but told me he did not want to have any preferential treatment because of his size. So I treated him like any other player. Since he was 3rd string RB, it meant he ran the ball against our scout team (first string defense). He never hesitated to run right at our first string defense, and against my recommendation; I told him to dive down on the ground when he got near them because I was afraid he would get hurt. He would consistently run straight at guys who were 6 foot tall and 200 lbs, literally twice his size. Our defense would feel bad after some plays, but Austin would always get up and walk back to the huddle and continue on. During many practices, we would run drills with the Varsity players (all Running Backs would perform the same drills together). Most drills involved tackling the other Running Backs. He would jump in front of other guys and call out the 1st string Varsity players. Quickly, the varsity guys were asking me, who is this guy? He never really got the best of them, quite the contrary; they usually got the best of him. I could not believe his resolve and was inspired by his love of the game. During the season I made sure to play everyone each game at least one play. So Austin did not get much playing time to say the least. He maybe got a couple of plays at most. But it did not matter to him. He got his fun in during practice. Our last game of the year pitted us against our archrival. We had many players injured who could not play so in our pre-game meeting, I declared Austin our team captain in order to inspire the team. The team really got pumped up. Then I learned one hour before the game, our starting Running Back could not play due to an injury. Now I needed to name a starting RB (we were already missing several RBs due to injury). So when we went through our pre-game walk through, I inserted Austin into the starting line-up. The entire team got fired up. Austin could not believe he would actually play in a game, but would start. The first play of the game our player gets tackled very hard by the opposing team. The next play is the same result. It is obvious to me and the rest of the coaches weare too small and slow to keep up with the opposing team. We could be in for a long night. However, the next play changed the game, we scored a Touchdown on a long run. Austin played the entire game, catching passes, carrying the ball, blocking for our other running backs and even scoring his first ever Touchdown. We won the game 46 to 6. After the game I spoke to the opposing coach. He could not believe his team lost (their worst loss of the season). I could not believe we won (our best game of the season). It

was truly a magical game and I truly believe it had mostly to do with Austin inspiring our team. Every time he caught a pass or ran the ball, our team gave it a little extra. Austin Head loves the game of football. This love is what drove him to survive each practice, each drill, each hit. This love is what made him successful in his only (real) action during a game. His love taught me, reminded me, of my aspirations as a teenager. He inspired us all during our last game and touched me forever. Austin may have played his last game (the Varsity team cuts players) at the high school level, but because of his desire, commitment and team play, he will always remember scoring that touchdown and winning his last game. I know he is prepared to successfully continue his life after football and continue to strive for his dreams. Now the question is, are you? Copyright 2000 by Joe Maurelli This heartwarming and inspiring story was submitted by Joe Maurelli, a football coach at Fauquier High School. Joe: MaurelliJF@NAVSEA.NAVY.MIL

An Imperfect Pot A water bearer in India had two large pots; each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts." The pot said. The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house." Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Fathers table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Tips

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody. Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

-- Sam Levenson

the right kind of woman Be the right kind of woman The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. -- Spoken by Margaret Nadauld, Young Women General President. Nov 2000 Donkey in the Well One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realised what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off. Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step upward! I Am A Princess Deep inside my young heart lies the one I want to be. And deep inside my soul I find the seeds of divinity. Now and then I see glimpses of the woman I can become. I know someday I'll find her here if I don't give up. Everyday, I'm closer to the one I want to be. And slowly I'm uncovering my heavenly

Be a Better Person Main : Attitude : Positive Thinking A Young student approached the famous French scientist and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, and declared, "If I had your brains, I would be a better person." Pondering the depth of that statement, Pascal paused momentarily before replyng, "Be a better person, and you will have my brains."

Blessing Tree, The Main : Attitude : Positive Thinking I had gone into a supervisor's office to talk about a couple of issues that needed to be addressed. She, like all of the men and women in her department, had been through the proverbial 'ringer.' The stress was so intense, one could almost taste it. I had been assisting the department during a crunch period of being very short-handed, and was watching everyone get close to burn-out. When I inquired about her state of mind, she confessed that her home life was almost non-existant, because she was 'zombie-ing through the evening'. The next words out of her mouth expressed a frustration of my own: "This work is not my gift from God. My family is!" I had heard of hanging all of one's problems from the office on a "Trouble Tree" while driving home, to be picked up on the way back to the office in the morning, and for a brief second thought about suggesting that scenario. But what came out was: "Why don't we do something different? Let's have a Blessing Tree. On the way home in the evening, we could pull down a blessing to dwell on a character trait we adore in our spouse, a particular reason we love them, the love they or our children have for us, etc. The list could be endless. When I tried it on the way home that night, the stress seemed to melt away. There was a 'spring in my step' and when I arrived, a smile of joy and contentment was bubbling up from within! For the first time in 2 weeks, I was overjoyed to greet my wife and children! The Blessing Tree could make a major difference in your evenings, especially after those REALLY tough days. Blind Ambition Main : Attitude : Positive Thinking

Charlie Boswell has always been one of my heroes. He has inspired me and thousands of others to rise above circumstances and live our true passion. Charlie was blinded during World War II while rescuing his friend from a tank that was under fire. He was a great athlete before his accident and in a testimony to his talent and determination he decided to try a brand new sport, a sport he never imagined playing, even with his eyesight . . . golf! Through determination and a deep love for the game he became the National Blind Golf Champion! He won that honor 13 times. One of his heroes was the great golfer Ben Hogan, so it truly was an honor for Charlie to win the Ben Hogan Award in 1958. Upon meeting Ben Hogan, Charlie was awestruck and stated that he had one wish and it was to have one round of golf with the great Ben Hogan. Mr. Hogan agreed that playing a round together would be an honor for him as well, as he had heard about all of Charlie's accomplishments and truly admired his skills. "Would you like to play for money, Mr. Hogan?" blurted out Charlie. "I can't play you for money, it wouldn't be fair!" said Mr. Hogan. "Aw, come on, Mr. Hogan...$1,000 per hole!" "I can't, what would people think of me, taking advantage of you and your circumstance," replied the sighted golfer. "Chicken, Mr. Hogan?" "Okay," blurted a frustrated Hogan, "but I am going to play my best!" "I wouldn't expect anything else," said the confident Boswell. "You're on Mr. Boswell, you name the time and the place!" A very self-assured Boswell responded "10 o'clock . . . tonight!"

Challenged Main : Religions & Spirituality : Christianity Some say I am disabled, But you know that isn't true.

I simply have a challenge A little different from you. My slight inconvenience, has taught me Things they could not know. Each obstacle is a victory, Enabling me to grow. I'm not really any different, I cry, I laugh, I snore. I don't want to be treated As if I'm not a person anymore. Out of good intentions, People are afraid to let me try. But sometimes I have to fall, And sometimes I need to cry. God gives me strength and dignity, And the courage to be all I can be. For He doesn't see me as disabled, He just sees me as me. Choice in the Face of Adversity Main : Attitude : Positive Thinking I was the keynote speaker for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania last week. I am always honored and pleased when after hearing me speak, people are compelled to tell me their personal story. It tells me that something about what I said reached their soul or touched their spirit. That is my goal. One man approached me later that evening and shared a picture of his son with me. The young man was holding a huge fish he had caught during the father and son fishing trip they planned every year. He heard me speak about my sons and felt connected, one Dad to another. I went to my room and returned with a copy of my book for him signed with this message: "I am honored that you shared that personal story and photo with me. You caused me to think of my sons and that gives me great joy. You also give me hope for the world. I know we can make a difference one child at a time." His wife attended my breakout session the next day and told me how touched he was. "He hates to read. But he'll read this one." Two perfect strangers lifted each other up by recognizing our sameness.

But earlier that day a gentleman from my area of the state told me this story. He spoke of war. He had fought in Germany and spoke about the difficult times. But it wasn't until he heard me speak about turning your adversities around and taking control of situations that are obviously out of your control that he remembered this very personal story. "They say we had defeated this group of German soldiers. Actually they just gave up. I stood off to the side as a handful of our men gathered the Germans in formation. One by one each German soldier was stripped of his personal belongings. Some stood tall and without a struggle had watches, rings, and wallets removed. A few cried and begged to keep their wedding rings and photos, but to no avail. This was war.", he told me in a humble, soft tone. "Suddenly, a German standing close to me turned his head and as if looking around for someone he knew, grabbed my hand and placed his watch in it. I was stunned for a moment. Out of all the American soldiers nearby he chose me.", he continued. Pausing, now looking down at the floor and re-living that moment in his mind, he said, "He took control. Knowing that someone was about to take everything from him, that German soldier chose not to have it stolen but to give it as a gift to someone he selected. Me." We are all aware of the atrocities of that war. But let us never forget the battle fought inside each of the participants. What troubles and pains are you experiencing now that you can reclaim control of, inspite of the obvious negative outcome. I challenge you to do what Robert H. Schuller tells us. "Turn your scars into stars." Destiny Main : Religions & Spirituality : Buddhism & Zen

During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to the battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, "I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall

win. If it is tails we shall lose." "Destiny will now reveal itself." He threw the coin into the air and all watched intently as it landed. It was heads. The soldiers were so overjoyed and filled with confidence that they vigorously attacked the enemy and were victorious. After the battle. a lieutenant remarked to the general, "No one can change destiny." "Quite right," the general replied as he showed the lieutenant the coin, which had heads on both sides. Farmer's Horse, The Main : Attitude : Positive Thinking There is a story of a farmer whose horse ran away. That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He said, "May be." The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbors came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said, "May be." And then, the following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said, "May be." The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer's son was rejected. When the neighbors came to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said, "May be." Finish Line Main : Success : Overcoming Obstacles

In December of 1992 I was a happy husband and father of two young children. A month later, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoplastic Luekemia. After two years of chemoterapy that helped me into remission, my body was weak and lifeless. I felt as if I were a puppet who needed help to lift his arms or hold up his head.

I began to run. After six months my strength had come back. On one of my runs, one where I felt I could run forever, I decided I was going to try to run a marathon. After telling my Dad about my plan he told me of a program that trains people to run a marathon, while raising funds for Luekemia research at the same time. So that summer, through the Luekemia Society's Team In Training program I started to train for the Marine Corps Marathon. During mile after mile of uncertainty, the day finally came to run the marathon. On October 27,1996, at 8am, the cannon went off and so did I. Along with 19,000 other brave souls I started on a twenty-six and two tenths mile journey that I will never forget. I first saw my wife Patty at the six mile mark: she seemed happy that I was still looking as if I knew what I was doing , and having a good time doing it. At mile 17, my mind was going back to those two horrible years that tried to bring my family and me down. I saw her again. The concern in her face told me she knew I was starting to struggle. I felt as if we were thinking the same, nine more miles and these last few years will be behind us. That thought alone pulled me forward. Mile 22, 23, slowing but going, 24, 25, then there it was. The Iwo Jima War Memorial. I have seen nothing so grand and inspiring in my life. At 3 hours and 41 minutes after I started, I crossed what I think has to be the most fitting finish line in all of road racing! That night the Luekemia Society gave me a pin at a post race party that simply says, "Luekemia 26.2". If God wills, and I relapse, my cancer may once again take away my hair and my strength, maybe even my life. But it can never take away my pin, or the fact that I am a marathoner.

God's Presence Main : Attitude : Positive Thinking "Let me see your kindness to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for my prayer is sincere." - Psalm 143:8 (LB) Arthur Gordon is a favorite writer of mine. Once he came to New York to interview Dr. Blanton, a co-founder of the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry. Mr. Gordon sat in a restaurant waiting for the esteemed psychiatrist to arrive. As he waited, his mind went back over his life. By the time Mr. Blanton arrived, Mr. Gordon was sitting there with a frown and a very sad look on his face.

"What's the matter, Arthur?" "Oh," the writer replied, "I've just been sitting here thinking about all the 'ifs' in my life." Dr. Blanton suggested, "Let's drive over to my office after lunch; I want you to hear something." Later in his office, Dr. Blanton put on a tape and said, "I'm going to let you listen to three different people; they're all patients of mine and they are mentally ill. Listen carefully." For one hour the great author listened. When the tape was finished , Dr. Blanton asked, "Tell me what single trait all these people had in common." Arthur Gordon thought a moment and then answered, "I can't think of anything." "Then I'll tell you," the psychiatrist said. "All of them kept repeating the phrase, 'If only...if only...if only.' These words cause mental sickness. They are like poison. These people must learn to say, 'Next time...next time...next time.' These words point to the future, to a new day, to healing and health!" I trust my past to God. My eyes are on the future!