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The Old Man Who Lost His Horse : A Blessing In Disguise

This is a classic Chinese story, which is well known as a "chengyu" (成语) i.e. a Chinese idiom consisting of four characters. In Chinese, this idiom is called "塞翁失马 – Sai Weng Shi Ma"

Idiom Story and Background
There once was an old man who lived with his only son at the border of the state. They liked horses and often let them graze freely. One time a servant reported to the old man, "A horse is missing! It went into the neighboring state."

His friends felt sorry for him, but the old man was not bothered at all by the loss. In fact, he said: "Who knows! The loss may bring us good fortune!"

A few months later, a weird thing happened. Not only did the missing horse return home safely, it also brought back with it a fine horse from the neighboring state.

When his friends heard the news, they congratulated the old man on his good luck. But the old man said, "Who knows ! This may bring us ill fortune!"

One day, when the old man's son was riding the fine horse, he fell off it, broke his leg very badly and became crippled. Many friends came to comfort the old man, but the old man was not disturbed by the accident in the least. "Who knows ! This may bring us good fortune after all!" he said.

A year later, the neighboring state sent troops across the border. All young and strong men were drafted to join the fight, and most of them got killed. The old man's son however was not drafted because he was crippled - and so his life was spared.

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Inspirational Quotes for Employees

 “Managers will not hear what workers do not speak.” Leigh Brenham

“It’s not just about being nice to employees just to be nice, although
civility is a standard of behavior to be prized in itself. It’s about taking care
of employees so they will then feel good about taking care of customers.” Leigh Brenham

“…every voluntary avoidable employee departure is a disappointment to be analyzed, learned
from, and corrected.” Leigh Brenham

“…critical thinking is all about you taking charge of your own thinking and owning your life.” Book- Now You’re Thinking

“…in the career world, critical thinking is tied to reward and respect.” Book- Now You’re Thinking

“…the biggest benefit of having good thinking skills is the self-assurance that comes with the ability to think through even the toughest situations and make the right decisions.” Book- Now You’re Thinking

“Introverts, the overwhelmed, and the under connected fail at traditional networking by following advice never intended for us in the first place.” Devora Zack

“You can learn networking techniques that rely on being true to yourself, using strengths you already have. You can learn to work with, rather than fight against, your lovable introverted, overwhelmed, and/or under connected self.” Devora Zack

“Building points of connectivity with others is a critical component of successful networking.” Devora Zack

“People thrive in conditions created by the combination of high-performance expectations accompanied by high levels of support to achieve them.” Graham Jones

“Mental toughness comprises four key skills that form the foundation of sustained high performance: staying in control under stress, channeling your motivation to work for you, strengthening your self-belief, and directing your focus to the things that really matter.” Graham Jones

“Developing ways of challenging the thinking that causes you stress will help you keep things in
perspective when your thoughts are beginning to run away with you.” Graham Jones

GO TO TABLE OF CONTENTS-Inspirational Quotes

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Harley Brown

"Making art is the most relaxing, joyous, therapeutic stimulating way to spend your time, as you unleash the part of your brain that's been itching to get at it."

Canadian Artist

1939 - 

Unlike like writing which sometimes can be difficult, painting for me can be very relaxing and fun.  I become lost in the process and sometimes wake up several hours later only to realize that I had disappeared in the work.  I experience some of the same feelings when I write long-hand and do not use a computer or a typewriter as in the old days.  There is something about putting pen to paper that makes a difference in how one experiences the process.

Are you eager about your creative work?  Do you wake up in the morning anxious to go to work?  Or do you find excuses to avoid going to work?  Do you stare at the canvas or paper unable to lift brush or pen?  Do you enjoy the process of creating or do you agonize over it?

Here is Harley Brown talking about his art.

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Jimi Hendrix

"I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to."

- Jimi Hendrix

American Musician

1942 - 1970

When it is our time, it is our time.  No amount of begging, praying or demanding will delay the shade of death from stealing a soul.  No amount of laughing, crying or forgiving will prevcnt death from pushing his way into our lives.  No amount of preparation, prevention or power will keep death at bay.  When it is our time, it is our time whether we are 57 or 28.  May my sister rest in peace.
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Clarissa Pinkola Estes

"It's not the failure that holds us back but the reluctance to begin over again that causes us to stagnate.

American Poet, Psychoanalyst

1945 -
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Anton Chekhov

"I have the feeling that I've seen everything, but failed to notice the elephants."

Russian Writer

1860 - 1904

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Deepak Chopra

"The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers."

— Deepak Chopra

Indian Author/Speaker

1946 -

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Inspirational Humorous Quotes

Finding humorous life experiences can be a great way to lift your spirit and these quotes might be just the thing to do so. The following are some great humorous quotes: 

“An English teacher wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing” on the blackboard and asked the students to punctuate it so that it made sense.
The boys wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”
The girls wrote: “Woman! Without her, man is nothing.”

“Two drunks are in a bar.
First one: "My wife is an angel"
Second one: "You’re lucky! Mine is still alive."

“Any time you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% chance of getting it wrong.” Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?

“If money won't make you happy, you won't like poverty either.” Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?

“Anything preying on my mind would starve to death.” Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?

“A horse walks into a bar. The barman says "why the long face?" Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?

“Don't take life too seriously, You're not getting out alive.” Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?

“Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?” Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?

“Judge: “Well, sir, I have reviewed this case and I have decided to give your wife $700 a week.”
Husband: “That’s fair, your Honour. I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.” Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?

“Doctor: “Did you take my advice about your insomnia and count before going to sleep?”
Patient: “Yes, I got as far as 28,658 and then it was time to get up.” Knock Knock… Who’s Joking?”

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"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

— Seneca

Roman Writer/Speaker

54 BC - 39 AD

Gratitude is not a new attitude.  It was not invented by the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock nor by the legions of motivational speakers who ride circuit and preach from the pulpit of love.  Gratitude has probably been with us from the beginning of man's time on this earth — from the moment someone offered to share her drumstick or her fur or her fire.  

Gratitude is not a one day act of thanksgiving, but a way of life.  Do you have an attitude of gratitude?  Do you wake up with a smile on your face and love in your heart?  Or are you like most of us who need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  Try this  exercise: every day write down ten things that you are grateful for.  Slowly, you will develop an attitude of gratitude and learn to stay focused on what is important.
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Andrew Wyeth

Late Fall

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."

American Artist

1917 - 2009

What is your favorite season.  My favorite, autumn, is coming to an end.  Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees.  The squirrels are burying the last of the nuts.  The geese are flying south.  Bare branches now reveal the sky.  Death hides around the corner — waiting for winter to pounce.  We have had a good autumn.  Warm, gentle and full of life.  Not too much rain, just enough to keep the creeks flowing.

How do the seasons effect you and your art?  Do you produce more creative work in one season or another?  Do the seasons enrich your art?  Can you taste the winds of autumn?  Are you counting your blessings?  Has the harvest been abundant?  Are you thankful for what you have?

Photo by Harley King
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Thomas Cole


"The sky is the soul of all scenery.  It makes the earth lovely at sunrise and splendid at sunset.  In the one it breathes over the earth a crystal-like ether, in the other a liquid gold."

English Painter

1801 - 1848

Arch of Nero


Have you stopped to look at the sky lately?  There is so much to see.  So many stories to hear.  So much beauty to enjoy.  The sky changes how we see the world.  On a cloudy day people feel down.  When the sun breaks through, our hearts take a leap.  

Have you ever stared at the white fluffy clouds and imagined various creatures.  Have you ever been above the clouds looking down?  Wouldn't it be fun if we could actually ride on the clouds?  How about those storm clouds that light up the sky with lightning and thunder.  Maybe the angels are crying or having a fist fight.  

How about a clear blue sky without a cloud to be seen!  And the various shades of blue.  I love a winter sky, especially at sunrise.  The colors seem so brilliant.  Or the sky as seen from a farm on a cold winter night with the stars glittering and no city lights destroying your view.  The sky is truly the soul of the world.  A place we long to call home.  

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Charles Kuralt

"The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines."

American Journalist

1934 - 1997

Most of the stories one finds in the media create a very negative image of people as greedy, corrupt and immoral.  The truth is that only a small segment of society fits that image.  Most people are by nature kind and generous and go out of their way to help others in their time of need.  

Given the stories that we hear every day, it is easy to lose faith in people and the institutions they manage.  Yet, for every corrupt, greedy person, there are thousands of kind, caring people who shovel the sidewalks of their neighbors, serve food to the homeless and share car rides to work.  Remember most people have good hearts and give of themselves to help others.  Don't let the greedy few distort your view of the world.

Here is an update to one of Charles Kuralt's famous stories about the Chandler family.


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Pierre Alechinsky

"When I paint, I liberate monsters . . . They are the manifestations of all the doubts, searches and groping for meaning and expression which all artists experience . . . One does not choose the content, one submits to it.

1927 -

Belgian Artist

Do you choose the content of your creative work?  Or does the content choose you?  This is probably one of those chicken and egg questions that we will never know the answer to.  Most of the time my content chooses me.  I sit down and start writing.  I don't have a plan.  And the content appears out of no where.  Rarely, do I make a conscious choice about what to write.

Does your creative work liberate the monsters within your heart and spirit?  For me it does.  We all have a dark side whether we want to admit it or not.  Most of us most of the time keep this dark side under control either through drugs, religion, sports, creative work or sheer will power.  Yet I am amazed at some of the monsters that emerge from my writing.  What monsters have emerged from your creative work?  Here are a couple of my short poems.


Sometimes while alone

in the corner of my cell

I have second thoughts

about the recent return of Christ

and how I could have saved her

from the outpourings of his wrath

if she would only have rocked me in her arms.


A hand reaches out of the closet

and slits the throat

of the young man with black hair.

We all fall upon his body

like scavengers picking tidbits

from the evening garbage.

I slurp his brains from my cupped hands.

(Quote source:  The Painter's Keys)
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Chuck Palahniuk

"We all die.  The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."

American Writer

1962 - 

No one lives forever no matter how much we try.  No amount of plastic surgery, pills or prayer will keep us young.  When we die, we will live on only in the memories of those who knew us and one day all those with memories will be gone.  As artists, writers and creative leaders, our creative work is the key to keeping our memories alive.

(Quote source:
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Inspirational Quotes for Depression

The following are some inspirational quotes for depression.  It may seem difficult to come out of a depressed state but by dwelling on these quotes you can begin to overcome these feelings.

“As a doctor, I know that someone isn't depressed if they can answer a simple question about a bad situation: Is this something I can fix, something I should put up with or something I need to walk away from? Depressed people deny themselves those key decisions.” Deepak Chopra

 “To prevent depression, you have to recognize a depressed response and then learn new responses to counteract it.” Deepak Chopra

“Inertia is depression's best friend. There's always a hump to get over before you can actually change. So pushing yourself over the hump is like opening a door to a new brain pattern.” Deepak Chopra

“The secret to beating any habit is to stop fighting with yourself, to find a place inside that isn't at war.” Deepak Chopra

“Far and away the most powerful deliverance from depression comes from trembling in awe at the holiness and majesty of God.” David B. Young

“I gave everything to God and let him deal with my feelings of inadequacy. He soon took them away.” C.S.

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in the LORD, loving kindness shall surround him.” Psalm 32:10 (NASB)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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Cornelia Funke

"Stories never really end...even if the books like to pretend they do  Stories always go on.  They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page."

German Writer

1958 -

Story is the essence of life.  Story is what makes us unique?  Story is what gives life meaning.  Do you know your personal stories?  Do you share your personal stories with family and friends?  How do your personal stories impact your art, your writing or your acting?  

(Quote source:
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Motivational Teamwork Quotes


Teamwork is an essential part of building a successful business and these quotes can help you to see the benefits of working together in an organized and respectful manner.

“Teamwork is essential for competing in today's global arena, where individual perfection is not as desirable as a high level of collective performance.” Vadim  Kotelnikov

“When team culture reigns, teams are dependable and consistent.” Vadim Kotelnik

“A team should not just be diverse; it has to make the most of it. Involve everyone, facilitate cross-pollination of ideas, build and empower cross-functional teams if you wish to harness the power of diversity.” Vadim Kotelnik

 “An effective group has team members that are not willing to let each other down and therefore will be determined to produce work that reflects the highest quality possible.” Ben Wakeling

Use your people and make it clear to them that you want and value their contributions.” Jonathan  Farrington

The truly great teams are teams that are committed to excellence. In everything they do, their goal is to achieve at the highest level. And this commitment is held throughout the team and at every level.” Chris Widener

“When teams operate out of their strengths and their roles, they win.” Chris Widener

“…what is one person's strengths will cover another's weakness.” Chris Widener

“The team that plays together stays together.” Chris Widener

“I've always felt that accepting responsibility is one of the highest forms of human maturity. A willingness to be accountable, to put yourself on the line, is really the defining characteristic of adulthood.” Jim Rohn

Great teams, great companies and great families have great leaders. Real leadership is the process of empowering others by abdicating ones power over them.
It means to set others free to become all they can be in an atmosphere of inspiration, innovation and mutual respect.” Chris Widener

I am as polite to a janitor as a CEO. As people, they both exist on the same level -- and both deserve the same amount of outward respect.” Tony Alessandra

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