Leo Buscaglia was one of my all-time, favorite, motivational speakers. Before his death, he was an accomplished author, USC professor, and dynamic lecturer whose televised programs were frequently seen on PBS. One time, I heard him tell a story that really illustrated the personal choices we make to live with pessimism or optimism. And, while I’m sure this story has been told by countless others, I fondly remember Leo Buscaglia’s version and it goes something like this:
A mother and father had twin boys: One was an optimist and one was a pessimist. Concerned about their sons’ well being, the parents took their children to a psychiatrist. In order to study the children more closely, the psychiatrist planned the following experiment: To brighten one boy’s outlook, the psychiatrist put the pessimistic child into a room filled with toys. And, to dampen the other boy’s outlook, the psychiatrist put the optimistic child into a room filled with horse manure.
After a few moments, the psychiatrist returned to check on each child. The pessimistic child had quickly burst into tears. He was fussing and complaining and refusing to play with the toys. Additionally, the boy was loudly exclaiming his disappointment – and his fear of breaking the toys if he had tried to play with them.
On the other hand, the optimistic child was uncontrollably ecstatic – joyous, laughing, and furiously digging through the horse manure with both hands. The psychiatrist, astonished by the child’s behavior, asked the boy why he was so thrilled and excited. The optimistic child euphorically replied: “Well, I figure with all this horse manure – there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!
What’s the most meaningful, motivational story or quote you’ve ever heard? Do you look at your glass as half full or half empty? Dale Carnegie once said “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” As we all know, that’s not always easy to do. However, the way in which we view, react, and respond to life’s situations can make all the difference in the world. Change my perspective? I think I can do that.
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