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Two Irishmen were working for the city public works department.

One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in. They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one man digging a hole, the other filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn’t understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, “I’m impressed by the effort you two are putting in to your work, but I don’t get it .  Why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?”

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Who’s laughing now?

Lewis the Lion had a problem.

He was a young lion who was no longer a cub, but didn’t yet have the skills to hunt for himself.

With the assistance of his pride, he tried to get better at hunting, but would either make too much noise, move too soon or just wasn’t quick or strong enough to bring down and subdue his prey.

Whilst that alone was frustrating, to add insult to injury, the hyenas took great delight in Lewis’ failings as a predator and laughed raucously whenever the young lion let another zebra escape.

Lewis tried to roar at them, but he was only able to manage a loud squeak, giving the hyenas more reason to mock him.

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It’s really hard starting from scratch and building a successful business.

It’s really hard writing a book when you work full-time.

It’s really hard getting your kids to eat their vegetables and do their homework.

It’s really hard exposing yourself to the possibility of rejection on a regular basis.

It’s really hard sharing your art in a world full of critics.

It’s really hard making a positive difference in the lives of those who find it difficult to express their gratitude.

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There was a time when record companies ruled the world of music.

If they loved an artist’s work, they would sign them up and support their career.

If they didn’t, then there was no chance of breaking through.

It didn’t matter how talented you were, if you were in, you were in, if not, you were out.

That’s just how the industry worked.

Some people still think that the world is still like that.

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That problem in front of you, is it a comma or a full stop?

Will it halt you in your tracks forever, or will you be able to find a strategy to move past, around or through it?

What about that rejection that you received, is it a comma or a full stop?

Will it give you an excuse to give up, or will you keep trying?

Life isn’t a short, smooth, straight lane.

It’s often a long, winding trail full of obstacles and challenges.

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When you go to a great restaurant, you don’t shovel down the food indiscriminately.

You take in the atmosphere.

You engage in the conversation.

You enjoy every bite.

Those who don’t miss out on the full dining experience in their rush to move on to the next activity.

Let me ask you, do you consume life with no regard for the beauty of the present or do you enjoy every moment?

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Aesop told the fable of an ant and grasshopper who lived in the same meadow.

All summer long, the grasshopper would sing, dance and hop about, having a wonderful time.

Meanwhile, the ant worked diligently, gathering and storing grain for the winter.

“Stop and talk to me,” said the grasshopper.   “We can sing some songs and dance a while.”

“Oh no,” said the ant.  “Winter is coming.  I am storing up food for the winter.  I think you should do the same.”

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I suspect that we could all do with more moments that make us stop and say, “Wow!”

We could do with more brilliant art, phenomenal music and lyrical prose that takes our breath away.

More phenomenal service that surprises and amazes us.

More acts of love that change and move us.

More intelligent insights that make us think and force us to act.

More innovative ideas and products that help to solve our daily challenges.

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As you look at every area of your life, are you living by default or by design?

What I mean by that is, are you floating along, with your future controlled by the ebbs and flows of the world around you, or are you in control of your destiny, with a clear purpose and actions that are aligned with your goals?

It’s easy to float along and I can see the temptation, but living a successful life requires greater determination and taking responsibility for your current and future circumstances.

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Chameleons are remarkable creatures.

They have separately mobile eyes, prehensile tails and long, muscular tongues to catch their prey.

One of their most unusual and distinctive features is the ability that many species of chameleons have to change colour to match their surroundings.

It’s an extraordinary ability and one that we share.

We too have the propensity to change according to our environment.

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