Are you feeling inspired by the story of your ancestors? Then enjoy below some of my favourite stories and quotes.


Grow or Wilt

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." (Anais Nin)


"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, or dream could be, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

The danger of self consciousness

The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.

ALFRED ADLER (1870-1937) Austrian psychiatrist

Are you too self conscious?

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be"

 Lao Tzu

Where are you going?

It's impossible to drive forwards if you're looking backwards too much.

People sometimes spend too much time looking backwards in their lives and consequently spend too much time living in their past.

As you can only look in one direction at a time - it makes sense that if you want to go forward then you need to look at the road ahead and not the road behind.

Limited by your past

An adult elephant can easily uproot huge trees with its trunk; it can knock down a house without much trouble. When an elephant living in captivity is still a baby, it is tied to a tree with a strong rope or a chain every night. Because it is the nature of elephants to roam free, the baby elephant instinctively tries with all its might to break the rope. But it isn't yet strong enough to do so.

Realizing its efforts are of no use, it finally gives up and stops struggling. After the baby elephant tries and fails many times, it will never try again for the rest of its life.

Later, when the elephant is fully grown, it can be tied to a small tree with a thin rope. It could then easily free itself by uprooting the tree or breaking the rope. But because its mind has been conditioned by its prior experiences, it doesn't make the slightest attempt to break free. The powerfully gigantic elephant has limited its present abilities based on the limitations of the past— Baby Elephant Syndrome.

Human beings are exactly like the elephant except for one thing—we can choose not to accept the false boundaries and limitations of our past.

It can't be done

The man who says it can't be done is generally overtaken by the man who says it can.


We do not see things as they are,

But rather we see things as we are.

Anais Nin

Muhammad Ali

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Nature tends to generalise - including human nature

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto (b. July 15, 1848, Paris -- d. August 19, 1923, Geneva) was an Italian sociologist, economist and philosopher. He made several important contributions especially in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices.

In 1906 he made the famous observation that twenty percent of the population owned eighty percent of the property in Italy, termed the 80-20 rule.

The 80-20 rule offers important guidance in many personal and business areas. For example:

 20% of land supports 80% of the population

 20% of illness kills 80% of population

 20% of football teams enjoy 80% of supporters

 20% of our clothes we wear 80% of the time

 20% of our carpets are walked on 80% of the time

 20% of customers provide 80% of the revenue and profit

... and so it goes on. Think of a few yourselves. See how you have 'generalised' your personal choices; 80% of the time I choose from 20% of the menu. 80% of the time I choose 20% of the available T.V programmes, and 80% of the time I live at 20% of my ability!

Get a little perspective

The next time you feel like having a moan about this or that or the other, just remember that your dustbin eats better than 40% of the people in the world.

George Bernard Shaw

This is the true joy in life - the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

Who set your limits?

A famous experiment involved taking a new born flea and covering it with a box. The flea ping ponged around and soon learned that there were limits on far it could travel. Soon the flea adjusted its travel to fit within the container. However, when the box was removed - the flea remained within the dimensions of the box.

Hence, we have the expression, to think outside of the box.


Serving Man

"I Keep Six Honest Serving Men ..."

 I keep six honest serving-men

(They taught me all I knew);

Their names are

·         What and Why and When


·         How and Where and Who.

The right perspective

The following letter is an extract from a letter from a student to her parents and is a great example of how to create a reframe for people to see things differently.

Dear Mum and Dad,

I'm sorry that it has been a while since I last wrote to you. You see there was a serious fire in my flat and all my things have been destroyed. Luckily I was rescued from the fire by a nice young man called Pete.

I'm home from the hospital now and have moved in with Pete. Actually, Pete and I got married and even more great news is that you are soon to be Grandparents.

Actually, there was no fire, I am fine and there is no Pete.

I just got a C in my History exam and wanted to make sure that you put that in the right perspective.

Your Loving Daughter.


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar ... and the coffee... 

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. 

He then asked the students if the jar was full. 

They agreed that it was. 

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. 

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. 

They agreed it was. 
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. 
He asked once more if the jar was full. 

The students responded with a unanimous "yes." 

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. 

The students laughed. 

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided,  "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.


 The golf balls are the most important things. Your family, your children, your faith, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. 

The pebbles are the other things that matter. Your job, your house, and your car. 

The sand is everything else. The small stuff. 
If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls". 

"The same goes for life". 
"If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. 

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. 
Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." 

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. 

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."


How to Stay FRESH and VITAL

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish.

But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.

The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste. To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.

So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive.

Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish.

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks.

But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state.


Einstein’s Three Rules of Work

Einstein has long been renowned for his ability to simplify complicated issues. It’s not too surprising to discover that his concepts about work itself are also worth consideration for their simplicity. See for yourself, that Einstein’s Three Rules of Work are even more relevant and extend way beyond the duties of a theoretical physicist.

Einstein’s Rule #1
Out of Clutter Find Simplicity

Although there are numerous ways to market your products or services, none are better than earning a reputation for delivering Einstein’s First Rule. What’s it worth, to generate new growth of your business directly from word-of-mouth marketing. This kind of growth results from the overflowing satisfaction of contented customers. What are you doing to build this kind of solid gold reputation?

Think about the ways that you add distinctive value to you products or services, by creating systems and support services that help your customers find simplicity amidst the clutter of details, decisions and considerations in a competitive marketplace. If ever there was an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism, and your abilities to build an effective team to satisfy the most demanding customers, use Einstein’s First Rule of Work to work, today.

Einstein’s Rule #2
From Discord, Make Harmony

While you’re getting the hang of implementing Einstein’s First Rule, you might want to consider your efforts to include his Second Rule. Think long and hard about your referral goals from every customer and the value of those golden recommendations to their friends and colleagues. What does it take to create such customer loyalty? If your work builds harmony and banishes discord, your customers will be compelled to tell others about their experience. Harmony is such a rare commodity today, it always makes a big impression. Add the results of Einstein’s Second Rule to your list of deliverables and your business will grow in ways beyond your strategies to improve.

Einstein’s Rule #3
In the Middle of Difficulty Lies Opportunity

Difficulties come in all shapes and sizes. Einstein’s optimism was firmly based on an inquisitive attitude, to look deeper, think broader. Apply Einstein’s Third Rule to explore every problem in a new light. Work to sustain and support innovation, to turn any new regulation, new restriction or requirement into new business for you. Learn to pick up the opportunities missed or ignored by your competitors and your business will thrive.


Senpillg tset

O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs bleow.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty  uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig  to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,

it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the  ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat  ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll  raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey  lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig. huh? yaeh and I awlyas  tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!!

Mighty Oaks

Feeling a little past it?

An oak tree reaches 50 years old before it produces acorns


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!


The Calf-Path


 One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;

But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.


Since then two hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.

But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.


The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;

And then a wise bell-whether sheep
pursued the trail o'er vale and steep,

And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-whether ‘always do.

And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.


And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;

And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because 'twas such a crooked path.

But still they followed - do not laugh -
The first migration of that calf.


And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again.

This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And travelled some three miles in one.


And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;

And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare;

And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half,
Trod the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about;

And o'er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent.


A hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent,
To well-established precedent.


A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;

For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;

And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.


But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf !

Ah! Many things this tale might teach -
But I am not ordained to preach.


Breakthrough the barrier

Roger Bannister became the first man to run a 4 minute mile.

 "I knew I was very close. I did collapse at the end. If you don't keep on running, and keep your blood circulating, the muscles stop pumping the blood back, and you get dizzy. I did lose my sight for a bit because I was crowded in. Everybody rushed on to the track."

In 1954 a young medical student made headlines around the world with one of the landmark events of 20th century sports history. At the time, it was thought to be impossible for a human being to run a mile in under four minutes. The world record of 4:01.3 had stood for nine years, and experts regarded this time as an insurmountable human limitation.

Roger Bannister thought otherwise. He had already won the British championship in the event, and he applied his scientific training and medical knowledge to smashing the four-minute barrier. On May 6, 1954, he set a new world record, running the mile in 3:59.4 while fighting a 15 mile-per-hour crosswind.

The current world record in the mile is 3:43.13, set by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco on July 7, 1999.

Hundreds of men have achieved a time less than 4 minutes since the barrier was broken



In the late 1800's a company in America was blowing up Mountains to get at the valuable rocks and minerals contained therein. One day somebody noticed that a residue of the explosion was sticky goo. He wiped some of this goo onto a piece of card to examine it more closely and noticed it also contained small particles of grit, also a by-product of the explosion.

So what? Well, sometime later he noticed that the goo had dried and with it the grit was stuck fast. He picked it up and noticed that if he ran it against a wooden surface it had the effect of smoothing it.

He has stumbled across sandpaper.

It that moment the company changed its destiny. It was now moved to become a sandpaper manufacturer. This shift required that they continually search for improved glue for sticking the sand and grit to the paper.

They even had a laboratory for such investigations. One day, so the story goes, the boss was on a tour of the facility and asked one worker what he was doing.

"Well, I'm tasked with finding the world’s best sticky stuff", "let me see", asked the boss. "Well" said the worker, rather nervously, "I've sort of found the world’s best NON sticky stuff instead". To break the stunned silence, the worker pulled out a pad of paper which had a strip of the new non sticky glue along one edge. "See", he said as he posted it to the boss and then removed it. The boss still stunned, looked at the place on his suit where the note had been and brushed it lightly with the back of his hand to confirm that no sticky stuff remained.

Still stunned and in silence the boss and his party moved on.

Undeterred, the worker was determined he was on to something and so sent samples of his 'notes' all around the office. They were and instant hit. As soon as they had run out, everyone wanted to know where they had come from so they could order some more.

The rest as they say is history.

3M (The Minnesota, Mining and Manufacturing Company) launched its world famous 'Post It Notes' in the 1980's.


The Wolf Story

There is an old Cherokee story about a tribal elder who is teaching his grandson about life.

"A fight is going on inside me" he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves".

"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith".

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?".

The old wise man simply replied, "The one you feed."


Squeaky Wheel

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.


Opportunity Knocks

When Colonel Harland Sanders retired at the age of 65, he had little to show for himself, except an old Caddie roadster, a $105 monthly pension check, and a recipe for chicken.

Knowing he couldn't live on his pension, he took his chicken recipe in hand, got behind the wheel of his van, and set out to make his fortune. His first plan was to sell his chicken recipe to restaurant owners, who would in turn give him a residual for every piece of chicken they sold--5 cents per chicken. The first restaurateur he called on turned him down.

So did the second.

So did the third.

In fact, the first 1008 sales calls Colonel Sanders made ended in rejection. Still, he continued to call on owners as he travelled across the USA , sleeping in his car to save money. Prospect number 1009 gave him his first "yes."

After two years of making daily sales he had signed up a total of five restaurants. Still the Colonel pressed on, knowing that he had a great chicken recipe and that someday the idea would catch on.

Of course, you know how the story ends. The idea DID catch on. By 1963 the Colonel had 600 restaurants across the country selling his secret recipe of Kentucky Fried Chicken (with 11 herbs and spices).

In 1964 he was bought out by future Kentucky governor John Brown. Even though the sale made him a multi-millionaire, he continued to represent and promote KFC until his death in 1990.

Colonel Sanders' story teaches an important lesson: its never too late to decide to never give up.

Earlier in his life the Colonel was involved in other business ventures-but they weren't successful. He had a gas station in the 30's, a restaurant in the 40's, and he gave up on both of them. At the age of 65, however, Harland Sanders decided his chicken idea was the right idea, and he refused to give up, even in spite of repeated rejection.

He knew that if he kept on knocking on doors, eventually someone would say "yes."


In the pioneering days of space research, John Kennedy was visiting NASA at Cape Canaveral. He had met many great scientists and researchers. He had met the men whose great ambition was to conquer space and walk on the surface of the moon. He had met administrators, accountants and many others whose contribution to the project was immense.

Walking through the corridors on his way back to his limousine, he came across a stooped, grey-haired black man with a bucket in one hand and a mop in the other. It seemed to be quite a redundant question, but the president asked him politely, "And what do you do here at the Cape?"

Straightening his back, the cleaner looked square at the President, and with a strong sense of pride and dignity in his voice replied, "Sir, I'm doing the same as everyone else, I'm working here to put a man on the moon. That's exactly what I'm doing here."


Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"

The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up, and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."



His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day,while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.

He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman.

"You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of.

"And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

An Essential Truth of Humankind

Winston Churchill

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.


A brighter future


 “I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident they came by work.”

 Thomas Edison

"Thomas A. Edison was, without a doubt, the most interesting and the one from whom I probably received the most important aid during my 20 years of research.

"He had that quality of turning on more effort instead of quitting when the going was hard. Before he perfected the modern incandescent electric light, he tried more than 10,000 different ideas, all of which failed to work.

"He told me that if he hadn't found the secret of the incandescent electric lamp, at that very moment he would be in the laboratory working on it instead of wasting time talking with me. And then in a more serious note, he said, 'You know, I had to succeed because I finally ran out of things that wouldn't work.'"

And I've thought of that so many times, wondering why more people don't keep on keeping on until they run out of things that won't work."

Napolean Hill

On its head

Some people believe that the Pyramids were built by Aliens.

Not me.

If you've ever dug a big hole in the garden, you'll recall a big pile of earth. A pyramid of soil actually.

However, if the Pyramids had been built upside down, then you'd have my attention.

Mind how you label people

The brain, in an attempt to manage the vast amount of data it has to process, tends to generalise learning’s based on our experiences. 

For example, when we reach for a door handle we have generalised that they will always operate in a general fashion. The handle tends to be on the left and the door open inwards for front doors.

This is clearly helpful, otherwise we'd have to learn the door opening process over and over.

However, this generalising capability can also prove problematical; particularly when we generalise about people.

To put it another way we 'pigeon hole' things and people or put them into certain categories.

For example,

He's lazy

She's naughty

He's a little devil

I'm a born worrier

He's not musical

We also tend to generalise about ourselves too.

In truth,

He may have been lazy on that particular day, but not every day

She may have been naughty to hit her sister, but she's not naughty all the time

He's not a little devil all the time, just when he was bored and tired in the supermarket

You are not a born worrier, you may worry about something but not everything

He's not musical because he hasn't been shown properly

Be very wary about how you generalise about things and people and especially yourself


Move and Grow

It's a matter of fact that a Goldfish will only grow relative to the amount of space it has to move around in.

Move the fish to a bigger tank and it will develop proportionately.

Some things can't be seen only felt

 The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her 5 year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

Money was tight and she became upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said, "This is for you, Mummy"

The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty.

She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner. "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside"

The little daughter had tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Mummy, it's not empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full."

Two Frogs

One day, two frogs were enjoying the day in the barn when they accidently fell into the farmer's bucket of cream, and they couldn't get out.

The two frogs kept swimming around to keep from drowning, and every once in a while they would try to climb out, but this was becoming very tiring.

One frog kept saying, "This is useless, we should just give up." But the other frog just ignored the comment and kept swimming. Finally, the pessimistic frog gave up and drowned. The other frog was sad at the loss of his friend, but he wasn't going to give up.

He kept swimming and swimming, and, finally, the cream turned into butter and the frog simply climbed out



There was an interesting experiment that started with five monkeys in a cage.

A banana hung inside the cage with a set of steps placed underneath it. After a while, a monkey went to the steps and started to climb towards the banana, but when he touched the steps, he set off a spray that soaked all the other monkeys with cold water. Another monkey tried to reach the banana with the same result. It didn't take long for the monkeys to learn that the best way to stay dry was to prevent any monkey from attempting to reach the banana.

The next stage of the experiment was to remove the spray from the cage and to replace one of the monkeys with a new one. Of course, the new monkey saw the banana and went over to climb the steps. To his horror, the other monkeys attacked him. After another attempt, he learnt that if he touched the steps, he would be assaulted.

Next, another of the original five was replaced with a new monkey. The newcomer went to the steps and was attacked. The previous newcomer joined in the attack with enthusiasm!

Then, a third monkey was replaced with a new one and then a fourth. Every time a newcomer approached the steps, he was attacked. Most of the monkeys beating him had no idea why they were not allowed to climb the steps or why they were joining in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing the fifth monkey, none of the monkeys had ever been sprayed with water. Still, no monkey ever approached the steps.

Why not? Because as far as they knew it was the way it had always been done around here.

Wish bone – What does your success depend upon?

Your success depends on your backbone - not your wish bone.


Wise words

Consider these words of wisdom from ancient times:

  • One for the Rook
  • One for the Crow
  • One to Rot
  • And One to Grow

You need to plan for a few failures alongside your successes.


When we are anxious we sometimes get the feeling of butterflies in the stomach.

A fluttering sensation.

Some call this 'stage fright'.

In some cases it's useful to have this sensation as it reminds us that the task is important and the butterflies remind us of this.

Successful public speakers have a cunning strategy for changing the anxiety into a more useful attitude of confidence and determination.

They simply picture the butterflies flitting and fluttering and call them into a single direction - beating as one they are aimed at a single point.

They call this state 'staged flight'.