A young eagle was about to graduate from his nest, when he saw a large pig running around in the forest below.

“Ooh, that looks yummy,” he said.

“No dear,” his mum said, “you’re not ready to hunt something so big yet.  Start with mice.”

Being a good lad, the young eagle listened to his mum and learned how to hunt mice proficiently.

Then his mind began to wander towards his original goal of catching pigs again.

“No dear,” his mum said, “perhaps you should learn how to catch rabbits now.”

So he did so, then set his sights again.

“No dear,” his mum said, “now it’s time for lambs.”

The young eagle soon became a master of catching lambs and then one day, he saw a pig running around below.  He looked at the pig then caught his mother’s eye.  She nodded approvingly and the eagle took off from his branch and swooped down.

He had pork for dinner that day.

I don’t know what your goals and aspirations are.

I hope that they are big.

I hope that they are too big for you to achieve today.

And I hope that you are taking the small daily steps every day that are required to get there.

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A good piano player uses both hands.

A good carpenter has strong shoulders.

A good teacher is able to use her voice effectively.

A good salesperson needs to be able to listen.

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Whilst we’re working hard to meet challenging goals.

Whilst we’re maintaining our discipline in the face of a stream of seemingly endless distractions.

Whilst we’re going to the gym to become chiseled.

Whilst we’re trying to build our careers or businesses.

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Where does the spark come from?

From the people around you?

From your boss?

From spending time in the great outdoors?

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This Valentine’s Day marks 24 years since Karen and I started dating.

In those 24 years, we have shared many momentous moments.

Moving states, changing careers, raising kids.

We’ve celebrated milestones, debated options and gone through the fire together.

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Before a magician reveals the mystery to her audience, there’s a drum roll.

It builds the anticipation.

We know that something exciting is about to happen.

And then…

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Don’t learn from the average performer in the cubicle next to you.

The only skill that you’ll develop is the ability to do the bare minimum without anyone noticing.

Or the capacity to find something to complain about even in the best of situations.

Or the ability to meander through another meaningless year.

Learn from the best.

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Your arm may be broken, but it will heal.

You may be limping, but you will move freely again.

Your heart may be in pieces, but it will get better.

Your dreams may be shattered, but they can still be restored.

Your confidence may be crushed, but it can be rebuilt.

You may have had a disappointing day, but there’s always tomorrow.

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A mother camel and her baby were lying around under a tree.

The baby camel asked, “Why do camels have humps?”

The mother camel considered this and said, “We are desert animals so we have the humps to store water so we can survive for a long time without needing to drink.”

The baby camel thought for a moment then said, “OK, why are our legs long and our feet round?”

The mother replied, “They are suited for walking long distances in the desert.”

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Listen more than you speak.

Read more than you watch TV.

Smile more than you frown.

Look to the future with hope and anticipation more than you worry.

Be grateful for what you have more than you yearn for what you don’t.

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