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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 30, 2014

A tennis racket has a retail price of $65.00.
It has an intrinsic value of only $2.00.
But when placed in the hands of Monica Seles, it’s worth $3,000,000 in the Australian Open.

A baseball bat has a price of $65.00.
Its intrinsic value is only $2.00.
But when it is placed in the hands of Ken Griffey, Jr., it’s worth $9,200,000 a year

A programmed computer disk will retail for $14.95.
Its intrinsic value is only $0.39.
But in the hands of Bill Gates, it’s worth $40,000,000,000 according to Forbes Magazine.

The same is true with your dreams…
in my hands they are worthless…
in your boss’ hands they are worthless…
in your children’s hands they are worthless…

But in your hands the dreams are priceless…
in your hands your dreams can create something new, they can design a new life, they can help someone in need and they can create a new world!

 

By Conway Stone
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 29, 2013

#1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

During SEAL training the students are broken down into boat crews. Each crew is seven students—three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy.

Every day your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surf zone and paddle several miles down the coast.

In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in.

Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain. Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.

For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.

You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.

#2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

Over a few weeks of difficult training my SEAL class which started with 150 men was down to just 35. There were now six boat crews of seven men each.

I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made up of the the little guys—the munchkin crew we called them—no one was over about 5-foot five.

The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African American, one Polish American, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the mid-west.

They out paddled, out-ran, and out swam all the other boat crews.

The big men in the other boat crews would always make good natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim.

But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the Nation and the world, always had the last laugh— swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.

SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.

#3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough.

Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.

But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle—- it just wasn’t good enough.

The instructors would find “something” wrong.

For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand.

The effect was known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.

There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right—it was unappreciated.

Those students didn’t make it through training.

Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.

It’s just the way life is sometimes.

#4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events—long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics—something designed to test your mettle.

Every event had standards—times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to—a “circus.”

A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics—designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.

No one wanted a circus.

A circus meant that for that day you didn’t measure up. A circus meant more fatigue—and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult—and more circuses were likely.

But at some time during SEAL training, everyone—everyone—made the circus list.

But an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Over time those students-—who did two hours of extra calisthenics—got stronger and stronger.

The pain of the circuses built inner strength-built physical resiliency.

Life is filled with circuses.

You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.

#5. But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.

At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot high wall, a 30-foot cargo net, and a barbed wire crawl to name a few.

But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three level 30 foot tower at one end and a one level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot long rope.

You had to climb the three tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.

The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977.

The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life—head first.

Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.

It was a dangerous move—seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training.

Without hesitation—the student slid down the rope—perilously fast, instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.

#6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

During the land warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego.

The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One—is the night swim.

Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente.

They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark—at least not recently.

But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position—stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid.

And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you—then summons up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.

#7. So, if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

As Navy SEALs one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. We practiced this technique extensively during basic training.

The ship attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles—underwater—using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.

During the entire swim, even well below the surface there is some light that comes through. It is comforting to know that there is open water above you.

But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight—it blocks the surrounding street lamps—it blocks all ambient light.

To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the center line and the deepest part of the ship.

This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship—where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.

Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission—is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.

#8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

The ninth week of training is referred to as “Hell Week.” It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and—one special day at the Mud Flats—the Mud Flats are an area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slue’s—a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.

It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors.

As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some “egregious infraction of the rules” was ordered into the mud.

The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.

Looking around the mud flat it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone chilling cold.

The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything and then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.

The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm.

One voice became two and two became three and before long everyone in the class was singing.

We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well.

The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted.

And somehow—the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.

If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan—Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.

#9. So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.

All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims.

Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.

Just ring the bell.

#10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating. Moments away from beginning your journey through life. Moments away from starting to change the world—for the better.

It will not be easy.

But, YOU are the class of 2014—the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.

Start each day with a task completed.

Find someone to help you through life.

Respect everyone.

Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.

 

Author - Naval Admiral William H. McRaven
http://www.lifebuzz.com/10-lessons-from-navy-seal/#!52Me0
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 28, 2011

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the president of Harvard’s outer office.

The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods country folks had no business at Harvard and probably didn’t even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned. “We want to see the president, “the man said softly. “He’ll be busy all day,” the secretary snapped. “We’ll wait,” the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would
finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do.

“Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they’ll leave, “she told
him. He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn’t have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham and homespun suits cluttering his office.

The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him, “We had a son that attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard, and was very happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him somewhere on campus.”  The president wasn’t touched, he was shocked.

“Madam,” he said gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly, “we don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would give a building to Harvard.” The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, “A building!! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard!!”

For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, “Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don’t we just start our own?” Her husband nodded. The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.

Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name…a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about. “You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.”

Author - Malcolm Forbes
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 26, 2006

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 24, 2014

Kleenex Alert!!!

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-
disabled children, the father of one of the school’s
students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten
by all who attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he
offered a question. “Everything God does is done with
perfection. Yet, my son, Shay, cannot learn things as
other children do. He cannot understand things as other
children do. Where is God’s plan reflected in my son?”

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. “I believe,” the father answered,
“that when God brings a child like Shay into the world, an
opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself.
And it comes in the way people treat that child.”

Then, he told the following story:

Shay and I walked past a park where some boys Shay knew
were playing baseball. Shay asked, “Do you think they will
let me play?” Shay’s father knew that most boys would not
want him on their team. But the father understood that if
his son were allowed to play it would give him a much-
needed sense of belonging.

Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and
asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for
guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters
into his own hands and said, “We are losing by six runs,
and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on
our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth
inning.”

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a
few runs but was still behind by three.

At the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and
played in the outfield. Although no hits came his way, he
was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field, grinning
from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored
again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the
potential winning run was on base.

Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat.

Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and
give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that
a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know
how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the
ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the
pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay
could at least be able to make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the
ball softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung
at the ball and hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The
pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have
thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been
out and that would have ended the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high
arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling, “Shay, run to first. Run to
first.”

Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He
scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!”

By the time Shay was rounding first base, the right
fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the
second baseman for a tag. But the right fielder understood
what the pitcher’s intentions had been, so he threw the
ball high and far over the third baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward second base as the runners ahead of him
deliriously circled the bases towards home.

As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to
him, turned him in the direction of third base, and
shouted, “Run to third!”

As Shay rounded third, the boys from BOTH teams were
screaming, “Shay! Run home!”

Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and was cheered as
the hero, for hitting a “grand slam” and winning the game
for his team.

“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling
down his face, “the boys from both teams helped bring a
piece of the Divine Plan into this world.”

And now, a footnote to the story. We all have thousands
of opportunities a day to help realize God’s plan. So many
seemingly trivial interactions between two people present
us with a choice: Do we pass along a spark of the Divine?
Or do we pass up that opportunity, and leave the world a
bit colder in the process?

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
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