“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Dr. Robert Schuller
And the point here is not be tough… but to persevere. To last through the valley. To endure, cultivate patience, and live humility. With that, we develop our character which allows us to serve our world and neighbors more effectively.
So we encourage you to last… so you can live more fully.
Dr. Robert Schuller is a minister and founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. He is best known for starting the popular TV program Hour of Power; as a result he became a popular Televangelist. Recently he retired as the principle pastor of the Crystal Cathedral and became the chairman of the church’s board of directors.
“We were born to succeed, not to fail.” – Henry David Thoreau
That is our life purpose. To follow our calling in our own specially designed way. And so we will succeed, because the measurement is solely on how you uniquely pursue your talents, goals and qualities. Everyone has a different picture of success, his or her own beautiful expression.
Henry David Thoreau was an author, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and naturalist. He is the author of Walden, which is a philosophical argument for simple living and preservation of natural environment. He also had other important writings on natural history, environmentalism and civil disobedience.
“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.” – Og Mandino
I love this quote by Og Mandino. He uses wonderful analogies with nature, encouraging us to think big. But what I love most is that when we think big, being the best we can be, it is so that we may help others.
Og Mandino is a well-known author. His bestselling book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, sold more than 50 million copies. His book was translated into 25 different languages. In addition, he served as the president of Success Unlimited Magazine, and was inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Hall Of Fame.
When on the improv stage, one of the most important principles is listening to and supporting your partner. If you do this, you help create a very strong sense of team, and also further the story in a way that is interesting to the audience. For example, if someone says, “let’s go to the store,” you can “yes and” it by saying, “wonderful, I love JZ’s store, because it has such great record memorabilia that dates back to the fifties!” What you have done is “yes and-ed” your partner. You have essentially built on the first concept they introduced, a store.
Contrary to good improv, one could have done a “yes but.” For example, “Okay, that store is fine, but I really want to go to the movies.” That is denying your partner on stage, and invalidating their idea. You are not building on their initial idea, nor are you moving the story forward. You’ve essentially blocked them. Your story has now halted, and your partner does not necessarily feel supported. This is the importance of “yes and-ing” rather than “yes but-ing.”
Whether you’re an investor, an improviser on the stage, leading a team at a company, or a soccer captain, we can all practice the glory of “yes and-ing” one another. If we do so, we will build a beautiful and strong world based on a foundation of supporting wins for everyone, all around.
We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper. When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side? When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend? Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list. When you receive a box of a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts. Let’s think creatively about our trees…
There are so many things that are packaged within paper, and the waste can be enormous. I think about the time, manufacturing costs, the transport, the packaging, when we look at individual salt packets. My guess is, forty granules of salt are contained within a tiny salt packet. And we’ve got to enclose it with paper, and then put it in another big package to transport it. There are so many ways that we use paper that are not allowing us to be effective stewards of our environment.
There was an interesting write-up of editorial letters in the San Francisco Chronicle the other day. In it, one might think people were against plastic bags, and they were. But they were also against paper bags. All of the letters pointed towards using canvas. And many of them even stated that we should feel guilty for using trees to transport our lunches, groceries, or other sundries. We’re facing quite a revolution here in being thoughtful about how and when we use our natural resources.
In many emerging nations, children are starving and dying due to lack of clean water. As a “developed” nation, it certainly doesn’t seem that advanced for us to be getting water for free when there appears to be a plenitude of it. Meanwhile, two million people in the developing world are dying every year because they can’t access clean water.
Maybe we won’t have water fountains in the future. Maybe that just doesn’t make sense—and people might be forced to buy bottled water, because it is a cherished, expensive and rare commodity. Quite soon, and even by certain nations, water already is the new diamond. And the only challenge here is that diamonds are optional. This “high-end commodity” is not something we can go without.
It’s where our society is now realizing that the most expensive, prized and honored possessions in our world are things that we actually cannot possess…water must be used and reobtained and used again. Unlike diamonds, it can’t fit in our jewelry box, where we take it out whenever we so desire. Its beauty rests in livelihood.
Further, its beauty rests in the continuation of life.
Our “new luxuries” are now things that we must use to survive. They are things that must be used frequently, and they must be sought out and obtained on a daily basis. Our new luxury is about survival.