July 2022

Thinking Out of the Box (Creative Thinking)

In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter.

He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that we would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman’s daughter.

Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust.

The loan-shark said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black.

The daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her. If it was white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark.

Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the businessman’s garden, the loan-shark bent over and picked up two pebbles.

Whilst he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag.

He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one.

The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done:

1.     Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag.

2.     Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating.

3.     Pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.

She drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles. She said to the loan-shark;

“Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”

The pebble left in the bag is obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt.

Moral of the story:

It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation throughout of the box thinking, and not give in to the only options you think you have to pick from.-        Pulled from the internet

JUNE 2021

What inspires you? 

Ability is what you’re capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do, Attitude determines how well you do it!

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde

There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein

Stop wasting your time complaining:

People visit a wise man complaining about the same problems over and over again. One day, he decided to tell them a joke and they all roared with laughter.

After a few minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled.

Then he told the same joke for a third time, but no one laughed or smiled anymore.

The wise man smiled and said: ‘You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always crying about the same problem?'


Your reaction matters more than what happens to you:

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. ‘Daughter, what do you see?’

‘Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,’ she hastily replied.

‘Look closer,’ he said, ‘and touch the potatoes.’ She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

‘Father, what does this mean?’ she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

‘Which are you,’ he asked his daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?’

April 2015

The difference between success and failure is a great team. 

"Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." --Vince Lombardi

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." --Michael Jordan

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." --Andrew Carnegie

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." --Helen Keller

"Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability." --Patrick Lencioni

"None of us is as smart as all of us." --Ken Blanchard

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." --Henry Ford

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." --Henry Ford

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." --Phil Jackson

Acronym for TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More

Teamwork makes the Dream work


Give me a J-L-P-A  What does that spell?  JLPA 

We are JLPA

Get involved and be part of the team.

March 2015

In thinking about inspiration today I thought about the word ‘belong’. We all want or need to belong to something. Loneliness can be painful but it’s what we do with that pain that makes us better. I was listening to a minister once and he had a lady in his church that was lonely and was even becoming depressed and he told her to find someone and bake them some cookies and share with them. While that might have seemed insensitive to begin with she took his words to heart and found some people and started baking cookies and taking to them and before long she felt better. He asked her later how she was doing and she said ‘never been better’. It was when she took her thoughts off of her situation and started pouring into others (or belonging) that she started feeling better herself.

As a member of JLPA how do you belong? It’s ok to sit on the sidelines for a while but when we become active then our sense of belonging begins to build. JLPA is something we should all be excited to be a part of and find ways to make it better and inspire others to do the same. Plug in and find something you can do and then watch how your sense of importance and belonging change. When we have a sense of belonging to a greater community it improves our motivation, health and happiness. Begin to connect with others and realize you are not alone.

February 2015

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on. – Walt Lippman

Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being. – Kevin Kruse

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –Charles Swindoll

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou

Today I encourage you to go out and take risk, if you miss a lot keep pushing forward one day you will achieve what it is you are attempting and you will be better not only because of the success but the failures in the process because you learned from them yet you never gave up.  Make sure the footprint you leave for others is one that encourages them to keep going and never give up!