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Inspiration: Three Choices… And A Story.

06/08/2012

“We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, ‘Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone’s plea…’ The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.” Joan Wester Anderson

Inspiration: Three Choices… And A Story. The Choice of Hercules as retold by James Baldwin

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day…” Charles R. Swindoll

Yesterday, I saw the black and white poster, shown below, with the following words written boldly on it: You’ve only got three choices in life: Give Up, Give in, or Give it all you’ve got. I couldn’t help but think back to some of the life choices I’ve made; good and rotten ones just like everyone else. Yet, we get up, again and again, and give it all we’ve got. Every day, we make big and small choices; each with consequences that reverberate like a pebble in a pond, affecting others and creating results. It is important that we choose wisely and be prepared for the outcome. As I considered the words, Baldwin’s short story came to mind, and I have shared it below in three parts. The final choice is always ours to make. Enjoy it!

Don’t Give Up…

The Choice Of Hercules by James Baldwin via readbookonline
When Hercules was a fair-faced youth, and life was all before him, he went out one morning to do an errand for his stepfather. But as he walked his heart was full of bitter thoughts; and he murmured because others no better than himself were living in ease and pleasure, while for him there was naught but a life of labor and pain.
As he thought upon these things, he came to a place where two roads met; and he stopped, not certain which one to take.
The road on his right was hilly and rough; there was no beauty in it or about it: but he saw that it led straight toward the blue mountains in the far distance.
The road on his left was broad and smooth, with shade trees on either side, where sang an innumerable choir of birds; and it went winding among green meadows, where bloomed countless flowers: but it ended in fog and mist long before it reached the wonderful blue mountains in the distance. Story contd below.

“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan

Inspiration: Three Choices… And A Story

“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice. None of this matters. We’re just warming up.” Chuck Palahniuk

Just as some would say that failure is not an option, giving in is also not an option that is going to help us in life. When we spend some time getting to know others and ourselves, we feel bolder, stronger and courageous. Remember the sensations of feeling bold and strong next time because when things are tough, we can turn inside and reach for the blessings. More Baldwin Story contd below.

Don’t Give In…

Contd from above James Baldwin Story
While the lad stood in doubt as to these roads, he saw two fair women coming toward him, each on a different road. The one who came by the flowery way reached him first, and Hercules saw that she was as beautiful as a summer day.
Her cheeks were red, her eyes sparkled; she, spoke warm, persuasive words. “O noble youth,” she said, “be no longer bowed down with labor and sore trials, but come and follow me, I will lead you into pleasant paths, where there are no storms to disturb and no troubles to annoy. You shall live in ease, with one unending round of music and mirth; and you shall not want for anything that makes life joyous–sparkling wine, or soft couches, or rich robes, or the loving eyes of beautiful maidens. Come with me, and life shall be to you a day-dream of gladness.”
By this time the other fair woman had drawn near, and she now spoke to the lad. “I have nothing to promise you,” said she, “save that which you shall win with your own strength. The road upon which I would lead you is uneven and hard, and climbs many a hill, and descends into many a valley and quagmire. The views which you will sometimes get from the hilltops are grand and glorious, but the deep valleys are dark, and the ascent from them is toilsome. Nevertheless, the road leads to the blue mountains of endless fame, which you see far away on the horizon. They cannot be reached without labor; in fact, there is nothing worth having that must not be won by toil. If you would have fruits and flowers, you must plant them and care for them; if you would gain the love of your fellow men, you must love them and suffer for them; if you would enjoy the favor of Heaven, you must make yourself worthy of that favor; if you would have eternal fame, you must not scorn the hard road that leads to it.” Rest of Story Contd Below!
The rest of Baldwin’s story continues below. Which path would you have chosen? 😉

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey

Inspiration: Three Choices… And A Story. Context matters too..

“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” Anon

Give it all you’ve got…

Contd from above. James Baldwin story…
Then Hercules saw that this lady, although she was as beautiful as the other, had a countenance pure and gentle, like the sky on a balmy morning in May.
“What is your name?” he asked.
“Some call me Labor,” she answered, “but others know me as Virtue.”
Then he turned to the first lady. “And what is your name?” he asked.
“Some call me Pleasure,” she said, with a bewitching smile, “but I choose to be known as the Joyous and Happy One.”
Virtue,” said Hercules, “I will take thee as my guide! The road of labor and honest effort shall be mine, and my heart shall no longer cherish bitterness or discontent.”
And he put his hand into that of Virtue, and entered with her upon the straight and forbidding road which leads to the fair blue mountains on the pale and distant horizon. The End.

Choose wisely… Things are not always what they appear to be. Anyway, I just read about the new WP Writing exercise and will be offering this one as my Mundane to Meaningful submission. Why? I took a poster and developed a life lesson from it, and added a meaningful story to the mix.  So, Why not! Have a blessed day! What are your thoughts? Which one would you have chosen and why? How do you manage the choices you make in your life? What factors influence your decision? What impact have they had on your life? What advice would you offer others? Do share! Thank you. 😉

*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… I’m back on track with reading and responding to your blogs; albeit at a slow pace. Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Life is all about choices. Choose wisely and with a strong spirit of commitment.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos: Choice of Hercules via Wikipedia, Choices by Will lion, via Flickr,  Poster from Facebook/my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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47 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/08/2012 1:41 am

    You are so right it is so easy to just take the easy way out, I have been down that road. What have I learned from this : nothing worth having comes easy there is nothing in this life that is yours by right everything has to be earned.
    There are so many twists and turns and places to slip and fall.
    Grief has dogged me as has disappointment I have endured more black days than good ones yet that serves to highlight the good days the right days
    At the moment I am misunderstood by my partner every word I say is misconstrued by him as sarcasm every act as wrong but I must perceiver as I guess this is yet another test.
    Good luck to all of you don’t give up or give in no! Give it all you’ve got I believe that that is the only way.

    Like

    • 07/08/2012 1:46 am

      My prayers and well wishes go out to you too Willowdot21… It is not easy and what you describe requires care and compassion… Peace and clarity to both of you. TY!

      Like

  2. 07/08/2012 3:03 am

    What a gloriously encouraging post! Thank you! I have been on the hard road most of my life. The lessons learned have been hard, even bitter, but the joys have been immensely wonderful! I’d take the same road again, the only change: Cherish my loved ones more, tell them more, hold, hug and talk with them more.
    As for angels; I’ve met so many! I pray I have been one a few times too. 🙂

    Like

  3. 07/08/2012 5:34 am

    It is all about choices. And sometimes its not the big ones, but the little everyday choices that can have a huge impact on your life. 🙂

    Like

  4. 07/08/2012 5:40 am

    This is such a brilliantly helpful post – strange thing is I mis-read the first quote. It said ‘angels’ but I read ‘angles’ – wondering what that means!

    Like

  5. 07/08/2012 6:43 am

    Thank you. There’s always a choice, isn’t there?

    Like

  6. 07/08/2012 7:37 am

    Great quote about 3 choices and story, awesome!
    Thanks for the morning start…:)

    Like

  7. 07/08/2012 11:49 am

    What a beautiful and inspirational story, Elizabeth. May I have your permision to reproduce it for my weekly church bulletin?

    Like

  8. 07/08/2012 12:05 pm

    FIRST, we must ALWAYS remember that we DO have a choice–always and always! Thanks so much for including so much from the wonderful James Baldwin!

    Like

  9. Bree permalink
    07/08/2012 12:10 pm

    Wonderfully uplifting. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us to take heart and take a chance with life by standing by our choices. Also Happy, Happy Birthday to you! You are a blessing.
    B

    Like

  10. 07/08/2012 1:25 pm

    Giving up …leaves us with nothing…
    Giving in…takes away our freedom and being ourselves
    Giving it all we got…teaches us and makes us stronger

    Like

  11. 08/08/2012 2:16 am

    Life is often about choices, but also about those who, comparatively, are given very few. IN some cases the courage and dignity people show in coping with their lack of choice can be equally inspiring

    Like

  12. 09/08/2012 8:45 pm

    Inspiring post…I enjoy it very much. Thanks.

    Like

    • 09/08/2012 8:49 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Lisa. I appreciate the comment and will return the visit shortly. 🙂

      Like

  13. 11/08/2012 9:18 am

    Never give up is my motto.
    b

    Like

  14. 11/08/2012 12:26 pm

    Sometimes it takes a lot of discipline and will power to hold on! Thanks for yet another inspiring post Eliz!

    Like

  15. 11/08/2012 3:35 pm

    Never quit is what I follow. Great reminder, Elizabeth, to give it all you’ve got!

    Like

  16. 12/08/2012 12:28 am

    Wonderful and inspiring post. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    Like

  17. Jacqui Odell permalink
    04/10/2015 3:30 pm

    This is very inspiring. I try to go by the never quitting moto, but let’s face it somtimes that’s hard.

    Like

    • 04/10/2015 5:40 pm

      It sure is hard and that is why we remind ourselves, over and over again, to not give up… We can change direction or shift gears but not give up entirely.

      Like

  18. patricemfoster permalink
    04/10/2015 4:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece with me. A choice is always available to us choose wisely.

    Like

  19. Eileen Mendoza Loya permalink
    04/10/2015 4:56 pm

    This post came at a time that I am faced with a major decision. I am at a cross-road of quitting my job or just stay and start wasting away. I used to be happy with my job, but the new rules have made it difficult to meet the goals. Instead of looking forward to an annual salary increase, it seems that the longer I stay, the less money I receive in my paycheck. I am not happy with what I am doing anymore, and it is hard for me to drag myself to report for work everyday. The only consolation if I stay is that I get a regular paycheck, which gets less and less every time. Should I stay for the money even if it causes depression and its physical manifestations or should I quit and turn my back on the things that cause me pain but lose a regular paycheck in exchange? Your thoughts?

    Like

    • 04/10/2015 5:07 pm

      Eileen, It would be unfair of me to tell you to quit your job because the global economy is sluggish. However, if you want do so, find another job first and then submit your notice. That said, I know that, in your heart, you know what the next step and choices you have before you. Best wishes dear friend!

      Like

  20. Joely Smith permalink
    04/10/2015 5:05 pm

    Your wish for us is a lovely sentiment – thank you. I do believe that attitude and perception are 9/10th of how good of a life one has!

    Like

  21. shanzy1 permalink
    04/10/2015 7:17 pm

    I think the most important bit in this myth is the part where Virtue says to Hercules – you must not scorn the hard road. The thing we get caught up in, it seems, is talking about how hard things are or how we are ‘working hard’ for things. What if things are difficult and rewards are great and we know it is part of the path? That is a tall order, but a worthy one. Not something we could ever do 100% of the time but perhaps it is something I will strive for. Thank you for the reminder.

    Like

  22. Shann Eva permalink
    05/10/2015 11:40 am

    Love that quote .I try to give it my all, and never give up on anything .

    Like

  23. Jaclyn Anne permalink
    05/10/2015 12:10 pm

    I always try to give 100% and stick with it, even when it is difficult to do so.

    Like

  24. Catherine Curti permalink
    05/10/2015 3:34 pm

    This is such a great article, I’m trying to make it give and take.

    Like

  25. Jessie permalink
    05/10/2015 4:07 pm

    What a great and inspiring post. It’s sometimes hard to not give in. But you just need to keep going.

    Like

  26. foundfrolicking permalink
    05/10/2015 4:27 pm

    Love that poster! I think it’s empowering to remind ourselves that even when things are rough we have a CHOICE. It can make all the difference!

    Like

  27. Christina Aliperti permalink
    05/10/2015 9:26 pm

    When things get to be their roughest, giving up can seem like a good option. When you really think about it though, the only real option is to slow down, shift directions to where you need to be and then keep it moving. Thanks for the reminder.

    Like

  28. geaninecilenti permalink
    08/10/2015 5:50 am

    Discipline and will power are what keep me going, when I hit bumps in the road I just acknowledge they are put their to test my patience, and keep my eye on my end goal and look for inspiration:) Thank you for the inspiration!

    Like

  29. Holly permalink
    08/10/2015 7:26 am

    I really love the quote you highlighted. It is such a motivating little nugget of truth, and like you, it also made me think back to some not-so-good choices I have made in my life. If nothing else, those bad choices have certainly made for some harsh but necessary life lessons.

    Like

  30. Rebecca Swenor permalink
    08/10/2015 11:39 am

    This is an inspiring post to me indeed. I do believe this is truly an awesome quote and such a true statement. Thanks for sharing this quote and I so needed to hear it at this time.

    Like

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