Recently, I was looking at a birthday card my mother gave me from a few years back. No, it’s not my birthday. But the thoughts still warm me, so I position the cards upright in locations where I can read them on occasion and let their messages lift and heal me. Even though she passed some time ago, incredibly, the sentiments are effective and uplifting — especially now. My dad passed years prior to my mom, yet I place my father’s ring on my finger each morning. Every time I do this, I remember him. Seems like a small memorial, I realize, but it helps me reminisce and remember him. And I participate in this small gesture every day.
In a small way, these impressions consistently help me feel closer to my parents by remembering their goodness, and that influence translates into my life and those of my children. It shapes my decisions and directs my life. Imagine that — my mom and dad are still impacting my world every day.
When I was at the university, my professors encouraged me to rewrite college papers 20 times before turning them in. That sounded excessive to me years ago. The reality is, it is not excessive at all and is likely a lowball estimate in many cases.
Every time, the paper gets better… of course. And this little mechanism can make the difference between a mediocre draft and an outstanding assignment. A life-changing effort translates into goodness now and throughout our future. Does that simple strategy seem futile? Consider this: have you ever gone to the cupboard to get the brown sugar and found a solid rock instead of the soft, crumbly crystals you were expecting? So have I. My mother had an effective solution: a slice of bread. It turns out that a single slice of bread can reconstitute hardened brown sugar that seems destined for the waste basket. What was stiff and hard becomes soft and pliable and crumbly again — a simple solution.
The right attitude and a little bit of helpful information makes all the difference. How you see and respond to difficulty means everything to the outcome. Do you realize the power in that principle?
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