The Little Engine That Could, Could be You

Cover of "The Little Engine That Could (O...

In recent months I’ve been reminded of a childhood book we all remember, and remember with fondness. The Little Engine That Could is a children’s book, published in 1930 and written by Watty Piper. In recalling this tale I am reminded of a more recent adult self-help book by Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten. Don’t hit, don’t fight, be nice, share, listen to your teacher, etc.

Cover of "All I Really Need to Know I Lea...

And we also learned, or should have learned, to try hard and to help others. Few books teach this lesson with such clarity as this little children’s book. I recommend you click on the link below and refresh your memory of the old story.

Watty Piper’s 1930 “The Little Engine That Could” – Print Magazine.

I continue to represent AdvoCare Health/Nutrition/Weight Loss products while continually saying to myself and my wife, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” And we’re chugging up that mountain and as in that story we’re slowly going faster and faster.

In the story the toy train‘s engine breaks down and strands the toys and nutritious food intended for the children on the other side of the mountain. The toy clown asks for help to get the train and its toys over the mountain to the children. But nobody will help.

And think about who these big arrogant train engines represent. The Shiny New Engine might be the bank that turns down your home refi. The Big Strong Engine might be your boss that turns down your raise AND asks you to work extra hours away from your kids. The Rusty Old Engine might be your parents who look at your Multi-Level-Marketing or Direct Sales company and say, isn’t that nice while they turn away and provide no referrals, help or encouragement.

The little blue engine is you; anonymously doing your work around the train station. You’re moving train cars from one place to another. You’ve never been over the mountain. But you could…if you tried.

No if you’re going to get that train over the mountain, you’re going to have to do it yourself. We’re going to have to do it ourselves. And…I think I can…I think I can…I think I can. As we chug chug chug along it gets easier. There is no question you, we, can make it up that mountain and get over to the other side to help people who need us. But we can’t do it if we stop; if we give up.

Chug chug chug your way to the top. Then you can coast alllllll the way down the mountain, all the way saying happily, “I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could…”

Robert Fulgham was right.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Things I Want In Life

What I was reminded of last night while attending Vision Quest, a speaking presentation by Ron Reynolds, at the Hilton Hotel in Bellevue, Washington is something I have heard many times and even practiced at brief periods of my life. Like others Reynolds explained the seemingly magical benefits of writing down goals.

Reynolds is the Vice-President in charge of Distributor Development for AdvoCare. He’s an author and creator of the DebtBuster System.  He used to work with motivational speaker Jim Rohn

Jim-rohn-PASSES-AWAY

The Late Jim Rohn

as President of Jim Rohn Productions. On several occasions last night he quoted from one of my favorite authors, Richard Bach.

Cover of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

He quoted from Bach’s most famous book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. And he quoted from my favorite Bach book, Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. He said, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come true”. I’ve written goals before, with success. Perhaps you have to. I’m saddened by my foolishness, procrastination, and inability to focus and do something I know from experience and from education works. Writing down goals, and doing it regularly is perhaps the single most important self-improvement tool anyone can do. Just ask yourself, who’s more likely to be a success or overcome obstacles…a person with a written list of passionate goals, or a person just getting through life day-to-day? Isn’t the answer obvious?

So, following Reynolds advice and countless others I’ve finally made my “Things I Want in Life” list. I thought it would be too personal to share here as I do so many of my other thoughts. But after writing it I don’t feel it’s anything to be ashamed of; and making it public may make me more accountable and make the list that much more powerful. Don’t you think?

Here it is:

1. A house on a lake or river where I can regularly go fishing. 

This has been a dream of mine for years. Now it’s no longer a dream it’s a goal. Soon it will be a reality.

2. Freedom from debt.

Debt is suffocating. And it’s suffocating me and my family and my business too much right now.

3. Financial freedom.

This may seem to be simultaneous with #2; but it’s not. I’ve seldom had debt problems in my life. I’ve even less seldom had financial freedom. Though, it’s true, #2 will HELP achieve #3.

4. The respect of my children.

I hope I already have this. But at times I’m not sure. Two of my kids are adults. I want to be sure.

5. Respect of my wife.

See above.

6. To live until at least 80 years of age.

This may seem like a low target. But my family history suggests that it’s a rather lofty goal.

7. A home in a sunny place. 

Goal #1 is most important. And if we can get it in a sunny place Goal #7 is fulfilled. But then again, I’d settle for two homes.

8. A self-sustaining company.

My company Total Broadcasting Service as well as our Plan-B income, AdvoCare are both capable of achieving this goal for me. First one to the finish line wins. 🙂

9. Clothes that fit.

I’ve lost 35 pounds with the great help of AdvoCare, but our debt problems make buying new clothes impossible right now. So this is actually a pretty important and immediate goal.

10. An inheritance for my kids.

My Dad left me and my brother nothing, because he had nothing. My Mom will do likewise. I won’t do this to my kids.

11. A red 1965ish Ford Mustang Convertible.

What good is it to have financial freedom, Goal #3, if I can’t enjoy it with the occasional toy.

12. Lots of friends.

I am grateful for all my friends. I want more.

13. Time, money and ability to vacation with friends all over the world.

I’ve never travelled much. I want to do so.

14. Seahawk, Mariner, and Sonics season tickets.

Currently we have Seahawk tickets.

15. A vacation home in Wenatchee

Burch Mountain above Wenatchee, Washington

Burch Mountain above Wenatchee

I love Wenatchee. My wife…not so much. So a permanent home there seems unlikely. So I’ll settle for a vacation home there instead.

16. Ability, time and money to help family and friends any time any where. And their confidence that I will help them. 

I feel that I am currently hamstrung in any efforts to benefit people I love. And that hurts.

17. A college education for all my kids, fully paid for by me.

I didn’t get this when I was young. Ever since I have wanted to provide it for my kids. We began to do so with my oldest. She then dropped out and that was that. We have one more left to go. Fortunately she repeatedly talks of going to college and I don’t want to let her down.

18. Be a leader.

Hopefully I am. But I can do better.

19. To write and publish a book that will be read by others for years.

As evidenced by this blog I enjoy writing. I hope I’m good. I hope I get better.

20. A fishing boat.

21. My wife’s happiness, always.

22. A complete genealogical account of my families history.  

23. A historic memorabilia collection.

24. A safe, secure retirement.

25. A savings account. 

26. Ability to always find positive words in any situation.

27. A new pool table and time and ability to use it, preferably with friends.

28. Laser eye surgery.

29. Shoulder surgery.

30. To establish a truly worthwhile charity to address literacy. 

The list isn’t in any particular order of priority. I want it all, so there seems no need to have any order of priority. It is complete. I thought hard about adding to it. But, there is little else that comes to mind, or that I would write here.

Some of the list is superficial. Some of it is more “spiritual”, in a sense. But having finally written it down, I’m filled with confidence that everything on the list is bounding my direction at this very moment. So I’ll stop writing and get busy achieving.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

You’ve Got to Sharpen Your Ax.

Logs for use as firewood, stacked to dry.

A new day dawned on the forest. And two woodsmen together headed into the forest to ply their trade of cutting and splitting wood

The two had not worked together before, but it mattered little. In swinging an ax through the day splitting rounds into firewood there was very little working together that took place. Each man would chop and split as many logs as each could manage.

This day the sun bore down on them and made them long for recreation. The first logger stayed on the hillside, swinging his ax, splitting the rounds, and throwing the results of his efforts into a pile. He was a strong man, blessed not only with strength but endurance. He could withstand a long day on the hillside making firewood. He prided himself on his work ethic

English: Axe splitting a log Italiano: Scure c...

Throughout the course of this long day the first logger continually noticed his cohort walking away from his labors and taking a break from the work they each had. Several times he noticed the second logger casually walking with his ax back to their truck for what he presumed were periods of relaxation. He always returned to work. But it seemed clear to the first logger that this second woodsman lacked his endurance, or at-worst, had a weak work ethic.

When the day ended the first logger made his way across the hillside to the place where the second logger had been toiling through the day. As he came upon the second loggers wood pile he was surprised and astonished. The second loggers pile of firewood far exceeded his own efforts. He was dumbfounded. And he asked the logger how this was possible. “I worked throughout the day. I never took a break, and I never slowed down. But you were constantly walking away from your work and constantly taking breaks. And here, I find your wood pile far exceeds my own. What sort of magic did you perform to accomplish this?”

The second logger merely smiled and said, “What you didn’t see when I was taking my breaks is that I was sharpening my ax each time.”

English: Firewood stacked up to promote drying.

I was told this parable many years ago. From what it originates I have no idea. But it was always a story from which I need reminding. See, I am far more like the first logger than the second.

The lesson from the story is simple. You must continually sharpen your ax as you work. If not it becomes dull and your work becomes harder. Whatever you do in life you must take the time to educate or re-educate yourself. Motivational speaker and sales trainer Zig Ziglar

Live video feed of Zig Ziglar speaking at the ...

The late Zig Ziglar speaking at the Get Motivated Seminar at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California.

said it best “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Besides motivation, you can also apply the same lesson to education and training. Our brains are like a slowly leaking bucket. If you are not continually refilling the bucket it will eventually be empty. But as long as you’re refilling it you will always have a full bucket.

One of the best ways you can sharpen your ax is to read. Traditional or online newspapers and magazines, articles and blogs are good. But books are best. The best sales trainer I ever heard was Brian Tracy. This millionaire businessman says of reading, “If you read one hour per day in your field, that will translate into about one book per week. … Regular reading will transform your life completely.” If you are not in the habit, it’s hard to do. Like physical exercise you have to make it a priority. If I didn’t work-out when I first get up in the morning I would never do it and I would be a soft,  flabby, unhealthy person. Reading has to be the same way. Find the time. Schedule it into your routine. And keep it a high priority.

So take the time to read and re-fill your leaky bucket. Sharpen your ax and see the chips fly and your wood pile grow. You’ll thank me later. I promise.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

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