Road Signs For Success

By Kay Caldwell

A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure. It seems we are all dealing with an enormous amount of pressure. Certainly, there is some insecurity with our jobs, salaries, and our future. I remember a quote by Norman Vincent Peale that seems to fit today, and made me smile, which is, “The American people are so tense that it is impossible to put them to sleep even with a sermon.”    

We need to all take a deep breath and say “this too shall pass.” “This too” is our economic situation and the job market. One thing you can count on is that the sun will come up in the morning and the moon will shine in the evening. What we do in the meantime will determine how we weather the storm. I think becoming a diamond is much more interesting than falling apart or giving up. I have always lived by the belief to “never, never give up.”  

Quality of living is all about your attitude regarding your current circumstances. Before you decide you don’t want to try a new adventure, or make your mark in history or face new challenges, it might be wise to consider the lives of people who didn’t let anything interfere with their dreams.  Did you know that George Burns won his first Oscar at eighty? The famous Mickey Mantle hit twenty-three home runs his first full year in the major leagues. He was twenty years old. Golda Meir was seventy-one when she became prime minister of Israel. George Bernard Shaw was ninety-four when one of his plays was first produced. The creative genius Mozart published his first composition at seven years old. The artist Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was eighty years old. She completed over fifteen hundred paintings in the remainder of her life with 25 percent of those produced after she was one hundred. Benjamin Franklin published his first newspaper column when he was sixteen and had the honor of framing the U.S. Constitution when he was eighty-one. Michelangelo was seventy-one when he painted the Sistine Chapel.  I am sharing this because I hear so many people in the organizations that I work with complain, “I am too old to start over.”  We really start over every day. It is all about changing the way you look at things and the way you look at your life. History tells us the individuals I mentioned in this article went though some troubled times. Think about this, there is no need to dread the future or the present. You can be creative, productive, and have fun while you make the most of everyday.

There is a song by the late John Denver, it goes like this, “Some days are diamonds, some days are stone, sometimes the hard times won’t leave me alone; and when the cold wind blows a chill through my bones, some days are diamonds, some days are stone.” You may choose to have a diamond day or a cold, stone day. Diamond days can be enjoying life by limbering up, take things less seriously, take more chances, take more trips, start going barefoot earlier in spring, and stay that way later in the fall. Go to more dances and actually dance, ride more merry-go-rounds, pick more daises. Be there when people need you. Drink champagne for no reason at all. Never underestimate the power of love. Count your blessings. Just breathe.

We are living in unique times, where our contributions can change history. We can be part of that change. Some things do feel like they are out of our control; so we must stay faithful. Support and encourage each other. Stay close together with those we love and trust. Science has proven out of chaos something beautiful can form. Hope is the eternal gift, never give up.

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