Have you ever noticed that growth and pain seem to go together? Kind of like childbirth. You go through the labor pains and at the end of it you are blessed with a baby. The rest of life is like that in many ways. You go through a painful experience and you come out on the other side of it with a new perspective on things. You exercise, lift weights, and your muscles become sore, but on the other side of it you have gained strength, energy, and reshaped your body. You are gradually becoming a new you — a stronger and (hopefully) wiser you. Think about it. If we all stayed in our comfort zones how much growing would actually take place? Many of us don’t move on to something new until we become too uncomfortable with the situation, or change is forced upon us. If there are any changes to happen in my life, I usually prefer to be the initiator. What about you — Do you take charge of your own life to make things better?…Or are you dissatisfied with the conditions in your life, but convinced there is nothing you can do about them? If you answered “yes” to the latter question then the following stories are for you:
1 – Let’s Do Lunch
Tom and Dave were two construction workers who ate lunch together every day. Each day at the stroke of twelve they sat in the shade of the building project and opened their lunch boxes.
On Monday Tom carefully unwrapped his sandwich. Picking up the top layer of bread, he peeked inside. “Peanut butter again!” he said with a look of disgust. Dave continued to eat without uttering a word.
On Tuesday Tom again examined his sandwich and with even greater annoyance exclaimed, “No, not peanut butter again!” Again Dave refrained from comment as Tom went ahead and ate his lunch.
On Wednesday, when the same routine was repeated, Dave could no longer keep silent. “If you don’t like peanut butter, why don’t you tell your wife?” he said.
“Now, listen,” replied Tom, “you leave my wife out of this. I make my own sandwiches!” I wonder how many of us are putting up with something that annoys us, thinking that we have no control over it. What kind of “sandwiches” are you making for yourself? — Dennis Kimbro
2 – Growing Pains
One day a farmer was walking through his pumpkin fields and happened to find a one-gallon glass jug. With nothing better to do, and finding himself in an experimental frame of mind, he poked a small pumpkin through the neck of the jug and left it. A year later, when the time came to harvest the pumpkins, the farmer again came across the glass jug. Oddly enough, the pumpkin had filled it completely and, with no more room to grow, had stopped growing. The farmer broke the glass and held a pumpkin that had assumed the exact size and shape of the jug.
Experts point out that people are like that pumpkin. They poke themselves into jugs beyond which they cannot grow. The difference here is that somebody else doesn’t poke them into the jug — they do it themselves. Each of us decides how much we are going to grow and what kind of world we are going to live in.
We can only grow as large as the jug we’re in — and we are the ones who decide its size and scope. The person who finds his world closing in around him, who finds it dull, routine, and uninteresting, has outgrown his “jug” and should start looking for a larger one. — Dennis Kimbro