Do not waddle through life – the duck story

This is a story about a little town of Ducks. Every Sunday the ducks waddle out of their houses and waddle down Main Street to their church. They waddle into the sanctuary and squat in their proper pews. The duck choir waddles in and takes it place, then the duck minister comes forward and opens the duck Bible (Ducks, like all other creatures on earth, seem to have their own special version of the Scriptures.) And then the duck minister starts to read to them: “Ducks! God has given you wings!…

The importance of finding meaning in your work

Out for a walk one morning, a woman came across a construction site where three men were working. Curious, she approached one of them and asked what he was doing. Clearly annoyed that she had bothered him, he barked, »Can’t you see? I’m laying bricks!« Not easily put off, she asked the next man what he was doing. He responded matter-of-fact, »I’m building a brick wall 30 feet tall, 100 feet wide, and 18 inches thick.« Then, turning his attention to the first man, he said, »Hey, you just passed…

The special exception… or is it

A very rich man was nearing the end of his life and he began to contemplate the life to come. He was very troubled that he would soon lose everything he had worked so hard for. All his wealth would soon belong to others and he would enter into the next world poor. It didn’t seem fair to him so he prayed day and night that he would be allowed to take all that he had amassed with him when the day comes his journey on this world ends. One…

MORE MAGIC OF METAPHOR: Stories for leaders, influencers and motivators by Nick Owen

Genres: Counseling, Philosophy, Educational Philosophy, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Product managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, HR. Number of pages: 335 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: I loved the first book Magic of Metaphor, so for me to pick up More Magic of Metaphor was simply a matter of time. The second book continues the narrative from the first – the learning process between an apprentice and his mentor (but…

The two wolves inside each of us

The Cherokee tell of a young boy who is brought before the council of elders for his aggressive behavior. One of the wisest of the elders takes the boy aside and shares with him this bit of wisdom: “I am not surprised that you are so aggressive. You see, each of us has, in his own soul, two wolves. One of these wolves is good, the other evil. They are both of equal strength and are locked in a violent battle to the death!” The young boy thinks about this…

What do you hear – focus on

One day two friends Gerry and Peter were walking down a sidewalk in Washington D.C.,during lunch time. People were husslin’ and busslin’ along the sidewalks, car honks and hurried engine noises filled the streets. In the middle of all this traffic, Peter stopped and said, “hey, a cricket!” “What?” said Gerry. “Yeah, a cricket,” Peter answered. “Look here,” and he pulled aside some of the bushes that separated the sidewalk from the government buildings. There in the shade was a cricket chirping away. “Wow,” said Gerry, “How did you hear that with all this noise and traffic?”…

What life lessons can you learn growing tomatoes

The young apprentice met with his older mentor the town Sage for his weekly chat at his home. “You seem troubled,” observed the sage. “You know that project that I’ve been working on? It just didn’t work and I couldn’t get the result that I was after,” the young apprentice told the sage. “That happens sometimes,” said the Sage, shrugging his shoulders. “But I worked so hard, I deserved a better outcome,” responded the apprentice with frustration. The sage sat in silence for a moment.  “Let me show you something,”…

How big of a splash you want to make is in your hands

One day a young apprentice and his mentor were on one of their regular walks going through the young apprentices teachings when they came across a pond. At the time, they were discussing the young apprentices wish to make a bigger impact with his work, when suddenly the mentor bent down and picked up a small pebble. He threw it into the water and they both watched the ripples spread. Watching the pebble hit the lake and the ripples spread the young apprentice said to his mentor, “I want to…

To grow or not to grow

Two seeds lay in the field where the farmer had thrown them. As the autumn days passed, birds searching for worms, and the wintry wind, loosened the earth, which slowly began to cover them. Patiently, they waited as the nights grew longer and the days grew colder. They huddled together for warmth. Even below the surface of the earth they noticed the changes going on above them. They felt the quality of the rain change as the warm squally autumn winds from the west gave way to the winter winds from…

I haven’t had the time to do that, I was to busy working

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees. “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!” Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could…

To go after what you want you do not have to wait for something to happen

Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained. Months passed, and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived. The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the…

From a misfortune to great fortune – what is really holding you back

A long time ago, a Monk set out on his travels accompanied by his assistant, a Brother. Night was falling when the Monk told the Brother to go on ahead to find lodging. The Brother searched the deserted landscape until he found a humble shack, in the middle of nowhere. A poor family lived in the hovel. The mother, father and children were dressed in rags. The Brother asked if he and the Monk could spend the night in their dwelling. “You are most welcome to spend the night,” said…

A life lesson about giving it everything you got

A father tells his 12-year-old son to go into the back yard and a remove a tree stump. The boy, eager to show his dad how he can master this manly task, runs out and begins pushing on the stump with all his might. After about twenty minutes of huffing and puffing, the stump hasn’t budged. The boy turns to realize his dad has been outside watching him this whole time. Embarrassed, he tells him, “I’m sorry Dad, I can’t do it.” His Dad just smiles and says, “Son, give…

How to make your dream come true

Long ago there lived a Sower of Dreams.  He roamed over mountains and valleys, deserts and seas, planting in the hearts of men and women across the earth. One day, as he plodded along, dreams fell from his satchel to the ground. Some of these Dreams fell among peasants, some among kings, some among women, some among men. As the Dreams fell, some of the recipients/dreamers lifted their heads and smiled and decided to pursue their dream. But their heads soon clouded with doubts. Who were they to even think…

Be carefull when asking if it can get any worse

A poor man lived with his wife and six children in a very small one-room house. They were always getting in each other’s way and there was so little space they could hardly breathe! Finally the man could stand it no more. He talked to his wife and asked her what to do. “Go see the rabbi,” she told him, and after arguing a while, he went. And so the poor man told the rabbi how miserable things were at home with him, his wife, and the six children all eating and…

When your problems are tough to swallow like a handful of salt

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, he sent him to get a bag of salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. The young apprentice looked at the master as a lost puppy as he did not understand the purpose of it all. But still the apprentice did as the master said. “How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter” said the apprentice as he…

Worth more, less or the same?

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $100 bill. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, “Who would like this $100 bill?” 200 hands went up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” All 200 hands were still raised. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped…

Making a choice between Heaven or Hell

An HR manager was knocked down (tragically) by a bus and was killed. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St.Peter welcomed her. “Before you get settled in” he said, “We have a little problem…you see, we’ve never had a HR manager make it this far before and we’re not really sure what to do with you.” “Oh, I see,” said the woman, “can’t you just let me in?” “Well, I’d like to,” said St Peter, “But I have higher orders. We’re instructed to let you have a day…

A lesson about establishing true worth

One day a young man came to the Teacher and said: “I came to you because I feel so pathetic and worthless that I do not even want to be alive. Everyone around me is saying that I’m a loser, a useless idiot. I need your help, Teacher.” The Teacher, glancing at the young man, hurriedly responded: “I’m sorry, but I’m very busy right now, so I can not help you. I need to urgently settle a very important matter.” He added: “But if you agree to help me in my…

When you do not get an opportunity make one

A jobless man applied for the position of “office boy” at a very big company. The employer interviewed him, then gave him a test: to clean the floor. “You are hired.” the employer said. ”Give me your email address, and I’ll send you the application to fill, as well as when you will start.” The man replied, “I don’t have a computer, neither an email.” “I’m sorry,” said the employer, “if you don’t have an email , you cannot have the job.” The man left with no hope. He didn’t…

How not to carry work related problems home

A contractor that was just hired had a rough first day on the job. When going to work that day, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, then his electric saw broke down in the middle of his work, and to top it all, his old pick-up truck refused to start after a long day. Luckly his boss was there and he offered the contractor a ride home. While his boss drove him home the contractor sat in total silence. As the two arrived at the contractors home, the…

Someone got fired… but who?

This is a story about a small ant which every day arrived at work early and started working immediately. She produced a lot and she was happy. The boss, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He thought if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce more if she had a supervisor! So the lion recruited a cockroach who had extensive experience as a supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports. The cockroach’s first decision was to set…

The seven wonders of the world most people forget about

Anna was a 9-year-old girl from a small village where she had just finished attending 4th grade of elementary school. To get into the 5th grade and onwards, she needed to get an admission into a school in a city nearby. When she got accepted to a very reputable school in a nearby city she was very exited and thrilled. This is where our story begins. Today was the first day of school for our little Anna, and she was very excited. When Anna came to her class everybody saw from her simple…

The black and white pebble

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer’s debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a…

What does making a difference look like

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a…

Life is like a cup of coffee

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers – top managers in their firms got together to visit their old university professor. It did not take too long for the conversation to turn into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.  When all the students had…

What can you learn from a hammer and some nails

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally…

To who does the “gift” belong to when no one accepts it?

Some time ago in a village near the capital city of Japan, there lived an old samurai. One day when he was conducting a class for his students, one young warrior, who was famous for his rudeness and cruelty, approached the samurai wanting to challenge him to a duel. His favorite technique was provocation: he would make his opponent so indignant that, blinded by rage, he would accept the former’s challenge of a fight, and would then end up making a series of mistakes and ultimately lose. Sure enough, the young warrior began to insult the old man: he threw stones at him, he spat at him and called…

This is what happens when you master a skill set

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move. “Sensei,”(Teacher in Japanese) the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied. Not…

Findings of a man who decided to change the world

Some time ago a young man wanted to change the world for the better. He dedicated his whole life to this mission and he was determined nothing would stop him. Finally almost at the end of his life his experiences and wisdom lead him to this discovery: “I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my…

THE LEADERS WE NEED: And what makes us follow by Michael Maccoby

Genres: Leadership, Management, Business, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: CEOs, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, HR, Project Managers, Team leaders. Number of pages: 249 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: In the book Maccoby talks a about how leaders should keep in mind that people have different personalities and values, and to take into account the differences in generations and technology. When we talk about leadership we have to keep in mind…

What Are You?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in…

WHOEVER TELLS THE BEST STORY WINS: How to use your own stories to communicate with power and impact by Annette Simmons

Genres: Sales, Entrepreneurship, Business, Presentations, Nonfiction Rating: 4/5 Recommend to: People in sales, Customer service, Entrepreneurs, Project managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Coaches. Number of pages: 226 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: At first I thought this book would be a treasure of stories that I could learn from and tell to others. Like the books Magic of Metaphors or Lead with a Story. But I found out that this book takes a different route of explaining…

Do you know where to tap?

At the end of the nineteenth century, a mill owner in the north of England was beside himself with worry. The steam boiler that provided light and power throughout his entire factory had broken down. Many experts had been to repair it but none had been successful. »Time is money,« he kept repeating to himself as he counted the costs of lost production. »Time is money.« At this point a man in blue overalls was shown into his office. »I can repair your system, Sir,« he said. The mill owner…

The Reward of Study

An ambitious young man had travelled far from his family and native land to study in a distant and foreign country. For seven years he applied himself with discipline and diligence to learn the art and science of physiognomy, the skill of detecting personality and character in the faces of others. He qualified with honours and set off on the long journey back to his homeland. On his way he missed no opportunity to test his skills in reading the personality of others in their faces. Travelling across a wide…

JOIN THE CLUB: How peer pressure can transform the world by Tina Rosenberg

Genres: Social Science, Sociology, Psychology Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, Public figures. Number of pages: 432 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. That is how much peer pressure defines us. Peer pressure is the power of influence you give to others over yourself based on your need of acceptance and acknowledgment of others. In every circumstance…

The flood and the old man

Right in the heart of America is a very famous town. It’s famous for several reasons. Firstly, because it’s right smack in the geographical center of the continental landmass. Secondly, because it’s a town of extremes: it’s either very, very hot or very, very cold; either very, very wet or very, very dry; either very, very windy or very, very still. Just to the north are high mountains, where the water collects as rainfall or snow to form the river which runs right through the heart of the town. Rain…

A story about how an Eagle became a Chicken

There was a chicken farmer who was a very keen rock climber. One day, climbing a particularly challenging rock face, he came upon a ledge. On te ledge was a large nest and in the nest, three large eggs. Eagle eggs. He knew it was distinctly unecological, and undoubtedly illegal, but temptation got the better of him and he discreetly put one of the eagle eggs in his rucksack, checking first to make sure the mother eagle wasn’t around. Then he continued his climb, drove back to his ranch, and…

Caged birds freedom

The bird in the cage had lived there for a very long time. Often it would look through the bars of the cage, out of the window to the meadows and trees beyond. It could see other birds flying free in the open air and often it would wonder how it would be to feel the sun on its back, the wind in its feathers, to swoop and soar and snatch mosquitoes in flight. When the bird thought of these things it could feel its heart beating with excitement. It…

Collecting pebbles

Some time ago in the middle of the desert three nomads were preparing to go to sleep. It was pitch black and getting cold. They had parked their camels, taken what they needed from the saddle bags, pitched their tents, and rolled out their sleeping mats. They were just about to settle down for the night when their attention was attracted to a curious glowing light on the horizon. As they watched, the light brightened. It gained intensity, it gleamed and glowed and glistened, galloping towards them, until it filled the…

The Value Of Time

A businessman had amassed a fortune that amounted to three million dollars. He decided that he would take a year off from work and live in the kind of luxury that his wealth allowed him. But no sooner had he made this decision than the Angel of Death beckoned him. The man, who was a skillful negotiator, tried every argument he could think of to dissuade the Angel and to buy himself more time. But the Angel of Death was adamant; the man’s time had come. In final desperation, the…

A King his adviser and two piglets

The King was watching a great magician perform his act. The crowd was enthralled and so was the King. At the end the audience roared with approval. And the King said: »What a gift this man has. A god-given talent.« But a wise counsellor said to the king, »my Lord, genius is made, not born. This magician’s skill is the result of discipline and practice. These talents have been learned and honed over time with determination and discipline.« The King was troubled by this message. The counsellor’s challenge had spoiled…

Today is the day the giant comes

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a very bright and trustworthy young woman. Having learned all she could in her own village, she set out to explore the neighboring lands. After some time, she came upon a great city surrounded by a huge castle wall. »Surely I can learn something new from the people here,« she thought to herself. But after entering the city, she found its people too frightened and depressed to share any wisdom. »Why is everyone here so sad?« she asked. One…

The greatest last place ever

Mexico City is a world away from the East African country of Tanzania, where John Stephen Akhwari lived. But that’s exactly where he found himself in October 1968, representing his country in the Summer Olympic Games as a marathon runner. Unfortunately, Akhwari suffered a fall during the race. And it wasn’t a gentle tumble on a grassy knoll. He fell hard on rough concrete, badly cutting his right leg and dislocating his knee. Medical personnel arrived quickly and bandaged his wounds. But the dislocated knee required more treatment than they…

A story of two monks and a woman

Two monks were on a pilgrimage. They had already walked many miles avoiding where they could run into people for they were from a particular order of monks that were forbidden to speak to or touch women. They had no wish to offend anyone so they kept to the by-way and lived off the land. It was the rainy season and as they walked across a broad plain they were hoping that the river they had to cross would not be impassable. From afar they could see that the river…

A wise elderly man and two travelers

Once there was a wise, elderly man who spent his days just outside his village sitting under a shady tree where he would think. One day, a traveler came up to him and said, »Old man, I have traveled far. I have seen many things and met many people. Can you tell me, if I go into this village, what kind of people will I meet there?« The wise man replied, »Yes, I’d be happy to tell you. But first, tell me what kind of people you’ve met in your…

MISSION: How the best in business break through by Michael Hayman & Nick Giles

Entrepreneurship has become something that is modern, something that is in, something that is cool. And why do people become entrepreneurs? Is it the money? Is it the freedom of being your own boss? Or is it the need and the want to solve a problem and share the solution with others, either by producing a new or better quality product, or by providing the best service possible? Which reason from the previous named is in your opinion the best reason? Think about it, which reason will motivate you through hard times,…