From Biosis 15, March 2007

JoAnne’s Motivational Minute:
Astounding Yourself

by JoAnne Boettcher-Verigin

Not long ago, a new client called the office, and one of her first questions was, “Is the doctor going to be retiring any time soon?” Aware that a simple “no” wouldn’t cut it, I borrowed an answer from long-time friend and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar: “How could we think of being retired? We are refired!”

It’s funny how some folks think that once you reach the age of 65, it’s time to pack it in. I suspect those people have been trained like circus elephants. Even if you’ve never been to a circus, you’ve surely seen pictures of an elephant confined by nothing more than an ankle-cuff and chain attached to a post in the ground. Such a magnificent, strong animal could easily pull up the post and roam free. But it doesn’t. For it’s been tethered that way since youth. It quickly learned that to try to pull free resulted only in pain and frustration. By the time it was grown, it was conditioned to believe in the strength of its chains. The real chains aren’t the physical ones but the mental ones. The elephant is certainly able to run free, but ’s held in place by the chains in its mind.

The visionary poet William Blake called such mental chains “mind-forg’d manacles.” It’s worth the asking: are we bound by such restraints? Do we let them keep us from achieving our hopes and dreams? Or are our minds ever open to the unlimited possibilities that teem around us?

Thomas Edison said, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Make your spring a GREAT one! And astound yourself.


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