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Sunday, October 30, 2011

What are we entitled to from life?

Edward Rourke was an iron worker in England. He wanted to travel to the united states. He wanted a better life for himself, plus his friends who were in America were always writing to him telling him how great American was and he should come here for a better life. 

  Edward, having no real ties in England, one day decided he would work hard for a year and save up enough money to purchase a ticket on a cruise ship. So he did. He worked extra hours, pinched his pennies a bit, but after about 9 months he finally had barely enough to purchase a ticket on a cruise ship to America

  The times being as they were, the trip would take 2 to 3 weeks to cross the ocean. To prepare for his long journey, with the little bit of money he had left after buying his ticket, Edward went out and purchased a suitcase and all the cheese and crackers he could afford. He then Filled half the suitcase with a few articles of clothing and the other half of it was filled with cheese and crackers.

Once on board, during mealtimes the other passengers went to a large dining room filled with tables and plates and an abundance of delectable foods. For breakfast, lunch and dinner the spreads were amazing. But, for each meal Edward would go into a corner and eat his crackers and cheese. He would smell the delicious aroma of the foods coming from the dining room, and often daydream about how tasty it would be if he was able to afford it. 

Many nights and mornings he would see and hear the other passengers, making jokes about how stuffed they are and how they are going to have to go on a diet after this trip. Yet Edward stuck to his crackers and cheese because he couldn’t afford anything else.

So one day near the end of the trip, A gentleman after having a big dinner, Saw Edward eating his cheese and crackers and walked over to him. The gentleman asked Edward: “Excuse me sir. I couldn’t help but noticed you’re always over here eating those cheese and crackers, Why don’t you come into the banquet room with everyone else and eat?

Flushed with embarrassment Edward leaned forward to the gentleman's ear so that the conversation can only be heard by the two of them and said “ well, i’ll be honest with you, i only had enough money to buy the ticket. After that i didn’t have money to buy fancy meals.

The gentleman raised his head and his eyebrows with surprise. He Looked at Edward with a smile and said “ Sir, don’t you realize the meals are included with the price of the ticket? Your meals have already been paid for.

  Whenever I think about that story I think about how true it is in relation to God, life and what we are entitled to out of this life. You see once we are born, once we enter this world, It doesn’t matter where we came from, what social standing, what color, what race, what religion. Once we are here we are entitled to everything life has to offer because life is all inclusive, just like Edward's ticket. Unfortunately like Edward a lot of people don’t know that and are doomed to stay in the corner eating cheese and crackers. It's time to claim your rightful allowance from life, Life owes us NOTHING, because life already gives us everything. It's up to you to go out and get it. 

  So what's it going to be?!!! Filet Mignon, or cheese and crackers!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nothing to stop you but you.

I would like to share with everyone an experience I had while coming home on the train a few days ago. I had my 4 year old son with me and we were coming back from a doctor visit around rush hour. Needless to say the train was crowded and my son and I were standing up braving the back and forth of the number 5 train. At some point we hit a transfer station and most of the people got off of the train. Two seats became available and we sat down. My son was next to me and next to him was a woman playing a game on her smartphone, which had a ridiculously cracked screen. I took note of it and made a joke " That's a pretty good crack on that screen, huh? Think you might need a new phone?" She smiled, laughed a little, then we got into a conversation about getting a new phone and how much it would cost without the plan. We griped a little about how much they charge for the phone if you already have a plan and we had a good laugh about Money, having it, and making it, etc.

   As she continued to play with the phone and we talked about the economy and such, she said " They have got to be an easier way, I can't just do what i'm doing day in and day out, there has got to be an easier way to make money without working so hard." My response was "If you want a different life, you will have to work at it. All the millionaires we hear about didn't just sit back and complain, they worked. Worked hard to get where they are." She agreed that was true. She also mentioned to me that she had some ideas once she now sees other people are making millions with. I asked her what stopped her from doing what she needed to do when she had the ideas?  This is when she did something that to me was such an antiquated concept that it caught me off guard. She pinched the back of her left hand indicating to me that because she was black the same opportunities that everyone else has, she does not have. This was a young woman who was no more than 40 years old, maybe  a little younger. 

   I looked at her and said " You're just using that as an excuse." She giggled a little when she realized that i wasn't going to allow her to get away with that. She responded, "You know you're right." The conversation continued down a more positive path where i told her that from this very moment on she must change her thinking. "When you get off the train, go home and start writing down some of those great ideas you have and start writing a plan on how to make your dreams come true." I wanted to make sure that she didn't leave the train, that moment of realizing she was the only person holding herself back without the motivation to take action.  She seamed into what i had to say. She had no idea i was a motivational speaker. As the train pulled in to her stop and she got off to leave, she was very excited about the prospects that now awaited her. She promised me that she would start making moves towards the life she wants. She thanked me and with a huge smile and a spring in her step, she got off the train. 

    I have had  a lot of successes in my life. I've also had many failures that i have learned from. Never once have I given power to the thought that my circumstances were created because of the color of my skin. Neither should you. Many people use that as a cop-out. An excuse to not excel to greatness because that would mean much is expected of them. Realize two things, the first; no one can tell you what you are and are not capable of, only you can do that. The second, sitting on your couch watching the lives of successful people on TV, wondering why it never happened to you is not going to make you successful. Get off the couch, turn off the tv show about that successful person and make a plan to become successful yourself. I believe it was Calvin Coolidge who said: 

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common then unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ' press on ' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

Now.....onward to your Success
-Kirk Abrigo-