"The things you own end up owning you"
-Chuck Palahniuk

"To be always intending to make a new and better life but never to find time to set about it is as to put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day to the next until you're dead"
-Og Mandino

"Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length"
-Robert Frost

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't"
-Eleanor Roosevelt

"I have been truthful all along the way. The truth is more interesting, and if you tell the truth you never have to cover your tracks"

"We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization"
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
-Susan Ertz

"Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable"
-Brenda Ueland

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure"
-Colin Powell

"I'm very pleased with each advancing year. It stems back to when I was forty. I was a bit upset about reaching that milestone, but an older friend consoled me. 'Don't complain about growing old - many, many people do not have that privilege'."
-Earl Warren

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people"
-Virginia Woolf

"Be aware that a halo has to fall only a few inches to be a noose"
-Dan McKinnon

"People seldom become famous for what they say until after they are famous for what they've done"
-Cullen Hightower

The Mule in the Well

A farmer owned an old mule. One day the mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule braying, or whatever mules do when they fall into wells.

After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathised with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving.

Instead, he called his neighbours together and told them what had happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the mule was hysterical. But as the people continued shovelling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him.

He decided that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up onto it. This he did, blow after blow. "Shake it off and step up. Shake it off and step up. Shake it off and step up" he repeated to encourage himself.

No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed, the mule fought panic and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up. It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of the well.

What seemed like it would bury him actually blessed him, all because of the perspective from which he viewed his adversity.

The moral of the story: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. If we face our problems, recognise that they can have a positive benefit, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity, the adversities that come along and threaten to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not giving up.

Shake it off and take a step up!

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"
-Annie Dillard

"Pain is weakness leaving the body"

"Victory belongs to the most persevering"
-Napoleon Bonaparte

"If life gives us rocks, it’s our choice whether to build a bridge or a wall"

"If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory"
-William Hazlitt

“Begin, be bold and venture to be wise”

“Some people find fault like there’s a reward for it”
-Zig Ziglar

"I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself"
-Michel de Montaigne

"No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent"
-Eleanor Roosevelt

"There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity"
-General Douglas MacArthur

"I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities"
-Whoopi Goldberg

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple"
-Dr. Seuss

"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me'."
-Ann Landers