I am a huge proponent of reading, specifically great books. It has changed my life. Listen, I have a year of junior college under my belt, a solid year mind you, wherein I had a 3.0 …blood alcohol level. (Actually, I did in fact make the Dean's list with a 3.6 GPA.)
In my reading, which averages two to three books a week, I gather stories. I capture them in my journal. I am fond of a specific storytelling model. The stories fall into two categories of narration, first and third person. The following third-person stories come from my reading.
We get paid for our experience as well as our time. The 74-year-old plumber was called to fix a problem no one else could solve. The building manager had a heating system that was installed just after Columbus landed.
The Town Hall meeting room was so noisy because of the ancient pipes no one could hear the speakers. This guy was so supposed to be the best. Suffering from arthritis, he hobbled in looking a bit like Columbo and as old as Columbus. The building manager had some doubts about his ability based on the first impression. With no hesitation, the veteran plumber painfully eased his way toward a joint in the pipes on the wall. He took out a big hammer hanging from the loop in his coveralls and sharply hit the pipe at the joint. Instantly, the clanging and knocking noises ceased. He submitted his bill - $250. The building manager hit the roof!
"You only spent five minutes on the job!" he said. The wise old plumber replied, "Yes, and my bill is $250 - $10 for the five minutes when I hit the pipe with my hammer and $240 for the 50 years of learning when and where to hit the pipe!"
Everyone is in sales. Each of us sells 24/7/365. Perhaps the best example of this principle is Irene Buckley. She began selling life insurance in the 1930s. She was a pioneer. At age 95, she accidentally broke her arm. While she was visiting the doctor, she sold him a $50,000 insurance policy!
"New York City Mayor Ed Koch was hospitalized following a heart attack. As with most NYC mayors, Ed was famous. He tended to be a bit more high profile than his predecessors and ran in some pretty influential circles. He had many famous friends. One such friend was Mother Teresa. Touched that she made the time to visit him in the hospital, he offered her some of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
"No thank you," she replied.
"Seeing the puzzled look on Mayor Koch's face, she explained: "You see, in India, people offer you food just to be kind. However, if you take it, it may mean THEY will starve to death!"
Mayor Koch smiled and said: "Well, there is no fear of that here. I could stand to lose a few pounds!"
Mother Teresa nodded and smiled.
"But these cookies are the finest chocolate chip cookies in the world, you HAVE to try them!" he said.
After a long silence, she simply said, "Wrap 'em up."
After Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize, he was asked how he re-challenges himself. He replied, "You change fields."
Willie Sutton 1901-1980 This famous Bank Robber was born in 1901 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He robbed more than 100 banks in his lifetime. He was a con man, escape artist and reportedly stole more than $2 million before 1952. Famous for dressing up as an armored truck driver and having the banks just hand him the money, he almost never used a gun! Asked near the end of his life why he robbed banks, he simply said, "That's where the most money is!"
Michael Farraday invented the first electric motor. He knew in order to profit from his hard work, he would need to market it to the highest profile people he could find. After some time, he was able to secure an appointment with the prime minister of England, the distinguished and influential William Gladstone. A single endorsement from him could make Farraday rich. After demonstrating the crude model, which was little more than a little wire revolving around a magnet, it was clear Gladstone was not interested.
""What good is it?" Gladstone asked.
Farraday paused for a moment and said, "Someday you will be able to tax it!"
Mark Twain once told of the time he listened to a missionary give a sermon. Twain was so impressed with the passion, the argument and cause he decided to contribute $5 when the plate came around. In the late 1800s that was a significant sum. Instead of stopping at the high point and passing the plate, the missionary kept talking and talking and talking. When he finally quit, Twain was so annoyed that instead of making a donation, he took out a dime!
Henry Ford was a pioneer. He didn't begin his amazing ascent as the father of the assembly line and mass-producing affordable automobiles until he was 45 years of age. He was known as a loyal, hard-working man and brutally honest. When a childhood friend asked him at the height of his success why he had never bought any life insurance from him, Ford leaned forward and barked, "You never asked me!"
I need to send this to the Dean of my old college. I wonder if he still around?
"It is unwise to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same."
George Bernard Shaw