A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator
Our storytellers commission us to write their life story books for a variety of reasons. At the top of the list is the goal of having their children, grandchildren, and future generations know their story.
One storyteller, Mr. Fred, had an even more focused purpose for his life story book: to infuse it with life lessons for his grandchildren.
Those lessons are timeless and invaluable. Here are a few meaningful ones:
1. Do Your Best, and Don’t Be Afraid of Hard Work
While sweeping that huge warehouse as a young boy, I learned an invaluable lesson—not to be afraid of hard work.
As you grow up, do not be afraid of hard work. Give up some of today’s pleasures for tomorrow’s successes. In addition, when you are given a job, do it to the best of your ability. No matter how big or small the job is—sweeping a floor or running a company—give it your all. If you are expected to work at 8:00 a.m., arrive early and stay late. Your actions will supersede words you speak. Somebody is always observing how you conduct yourself.
Remember, you don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for. I have found that good luck always follows hard work. See for yourself by looking at those who are successful in your eyes. Do you think sheer luck caused a skilled football player to score all the touchdowns? Sure, natural ability has a lot to do with athletics, but so does putting in effort. Do you think the person who can play the piano, sing like an angel, or run a successful business does so on the basis of luck alone? No way! It takes hard work and sometimes years of preparation to achieve high levels of achievement. Do not sit around waiting to just get lucky. Set your sights on a worthy goal and work hard.
2. Surround Yourself with Good People
Surround yourself with smarter, happier, more positive people than yourself, and you will be smarter, happier, and more positive. On occasion, by mistake, I have done the opposite. Spending time around the wrong kind of people is unenlightening and sometimes depressing. If you find yourself hanging around someone who is never happy, always focuses on the negative, and complains, it will bring you down. Run from them! Don’t let their negative attitude rub off on you. In the same vein, if you find yourself hanging around someone disrespectful or with character traits you wouldn’t want to see replicated in yourself, run before those traits rub off on you too.
3. Control Your Life
Life is a journey that you are totally in control of, both good and bad. You will be faced with decisions every day that will affect which direction your life will take. Make these decisions wisely and keep your head up, no matter what. Every day is the first day of the rest of your life. If you ever need a helping hand, the best place to look is north of your neck.
4. Eat an Elephant One Bite at a Time
Some ideas and projects are huge and seem intimidating to tackle. But, if you stay focused on a small portion, you can achieve anything. If you are ever wondering how to tackle a big task, the answer is as follows. You can tackle any big task the same way you would eat an elephant: one bite at a time. This is a common but very true expression. Think about how large an elephant is. The only way to accomplish the task of eating an entire elephant would be by taking small bites. Accordingly, we need to put life’s daily challenges aside and focus on working a little bit every day to take one small bite out of our biggest goals in life.