11-time NBA championship winning coach, Phil Jackson tells the story of a young prince who was sent by his father to study how to become a good ruler with a great Chinese master.

The first assignment that the master gave him was to spend a year in the forest alone.

When the prince returned, the master asked him to describe what he had heard.  He replied, “I could hear the cuckoos sing, the leaves rustle, the hummingbirds hum, the grass blow, the bees buzz, the crickets chirp and the wind whisper and holler.”

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Someone needs you today.

They need your enthusiasm.

They need your optimism.

They need a kind word from you.

They need your encouragement.

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Just imagine that when you wake up, you find a bucket full of water next to your bed.

And then, as you wander around to the day, you carry that bucket with you.

Every now and then, you stop, and pour out some of the water, bringing life and the potential for growth to the dry, parched earth.

And then, you keep walking, looking for more dry patches that can be nourished.

Now, imagine that you did this every day.

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Hope is rising.

It’s lifting expectations.

It’s elevating the spirit.

It’s boosting enthusiasm.

Hope is rising.

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St Francis of Assisi once said,

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

There are a lot of shadows at the moment.

Many people seem to be living in a very dark place.

They are anxious.

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According to Australian Indigenous writer, Tyson Yunkaporta,

“It takes a few generations for pigs to get over it when they escape into the bush.  At first they remain the fat, pink, stupid beasts they were selectively bred to become over centuries of captivity.  But soon they grow black bristles and long tusks, each generation becoming faster, stronger, smarter until the formidable razorback emerges.”

Pigs in farms become bacon.

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Author Barbara Vance wrote this wonderful poem,

If you always try your best
Then you’ll never have to wonder
About what you could have done
If you’d summoned all your thunder.
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The first time you have to have a difficult conversation at work can be very stressful.

The first time you go for a run after a long period of inactivity can be very painful.

The first time you try to prepare a meal using a new recipe can be very inefficient.

The first time you change a nappy can be very messy.

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When you have a manual, you can just follow the instructions.

Someone else has already done the thinking on your behalf.

You start with step 1, move to step 2 and so on.

But when you don’t have a manual, you have to find the solution.

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Millions of drops of water will eventually make a dent in the hardest of rocks.

And a thousand smiles will eventually soften the hardest of hearts.

So don’t be put off by the negativity or anxiety around you.

Don’t let the frowns impact your spirit.

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