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While driving in the snow, a traveler slid on a patch of ice and drove their car off the road and into a steep snow bank near a farm. The farmer who had seen the car veer off the road, came with his horse to help pull the car out of the snow.
The farmer announced, “The horse's name is Dakota!”
He hitched the horse to the car and shouted, “Come on Ranger, Pull!” The horse didn’t move.
The farmer then yelled, “Come on Lady, Pull!” Again, the horse didn’t move.
Once more the farmer commanded, “Come on Sundance, Pull!” Nothing happened.
The farmer then said, “Come on Dakota, Pull!” And the horse moved and dragged the car out from the pile of snow.
The driver thanked the farmer, but being somewhat puzzled said, “You called the horse three times by the wrong name. Why did you do that?”
The farmer laughed and said, “Oh, Dakota is a blind old horse, if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try!”
Most people I know are busy this time of year and it often feels like we are the only one pushing and pulling to get everything done. Just a quick reminder that you are not alone and everything you are doing will be appreciated.
A woman visited a fortune teller to find out if her future would be successful, but instead of answering any of the questions, the fortune teller gave the woman a box. She explained that it was a magic box that had the power to make dreams come true.
She handed the woman a notepad and told the woman to write down three things she wanted and then place the paper in the box. She told her to take the box home and shake it three times each morning upon waking and three times in the evening before going to bed, making sure to repeat her wishes aloud each time. The fortune teller also told the woman she’d have to return the box in one year.
A year later, the woman visited the fortune teller. “I followed your instructions, and everything I hoped for came true,” the woman said. “This box really does hold powerful magic!”
The wealthy man gave the artist his requested two months but was turned away when he came to collect on his work; this same thing happened repeatedly for an entire year.
One day, the frustrated man barged into the art studio and demanded to see the progress of his artwork, insisting that he had waited far too long for one simple drawing. The artist calmly walked over to his work table and in one breath he easily drew a perfect canary.
The little bird was delicate and graceful, yet splendid on the page — it was the most amazing image that the man had ever seen. He stood, astonished… then rage swept over his face and he turned on the artist:
“Why did you keep turning me away when you were capable of drawing this so quickly? Why would you insult me and keep me waiting for an entire year?!”
Without saying a word, the artist walked over to a small closet door in his studio and, after hesitating for a moment, flung it open. Drawings of canaries tumbled out of the closet, all slightly different – some unfinished, some too ornate or unbalanced – all discarded over the past year as rough work on the path to perfection.
In that moment, the man recognized that the closet held the dedication and commitment which the artist had practiced to make his work look easy, held fast in the wings of discarded, little canaries.
An ancient fable tells the story of how the North Wind and the Sun decided which of them is the more powerful force of nature. For years, they both insisted that their strengths were unmatched. One day, they decided they would end their ongoing dispute with a simple challenge: they would both use their powers to try and get the next person on the nearest path to veer off into the river. The first one to succeed in getting the person into the water would be declared the victor and deemed to be the more powerful force.
No sooner had they agreed on these terms when a traveler appeared on the path. The North Wind flexed with all his might and directed a long, concentrated gust at the hiker. The man lost his balance and stumbled for a moment, but then he righted himself, put his head down, and leaned into the wind to push onward. Once the North Wind realized that his actions had produced the opposite effect of what he had intended, he gracefully stepped aside and challenged the Sun to outdo him.
As the wind dissipated, the Sun beamed brightly, showering the traveler in shimmering rays of light. The man began to feel hot as he traveled along the path and decided to cool himself off with a dip in the river. While the traveler relaxed after a refreshing swim, the Sun was declared to be the winner. The moral of the story: warm persuasion is more powerful than blustering force.