Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Little Engine that Could

I stumbled across this abandoned blog called "White Walls"... decided it was missing a writer.

This card arrived in the mail today, completely unexpected:

...which was so ironic, because just this morning I was telling Mom how much I loved that quote. My dad, the stop-at-nothing successful businessman, loves this idea and repeats it regularly. "Remember, everything that's worth something takes hard work." I agree. And it hits me in the face every morning when I wake up to a new challenge.

Here's a version of one of my favorite children's stories:

A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill "I can't; that is too much a pull for me," said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. "I think I can," puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."

As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could."

Did you know you can make a habit out of doing hard things? You can make a habit out of using fears to your advantage, too. I'm not there yet, but I have a secret: everyone has fears. every. single. person. Some people are better at fooling you. Or they've learned to use their fears as a runway instead of as a brick wall.

"They say the best way out is through." -- The Fray

Let's be honest here. I'm terrified -- yes, mortified -- of public speaking. I get up to introduce myself at a business group (even in Sunday school this happens), and ten minutes before and after my 12-second speech my thrashing heart can be physically seen from across the room. That is, if you can get past my face that looks startlingly more like a tomato than a face.

---- I was invited to a BNI lunch group that meets tomorrow. I was told I would only be introducing myself briefly and observing the group.

Sooo, what do you think I found in my inbox tonight? A sly request-that-was-really-an-assignment to sub in for a chiropractor that can't make it but is scheduled to give a speech. "Would you be willing to sub for our chiropractor? He is sending me a speech for you to present if that's alright? I will cover your lunch. Thanks." Can't back out of that, can you?

Truth. A speech! I'm only a child!!!! But I'm going to do it. Time to spread my wings...and fly.

1 comment:

  1. oh boy! good luck. i'm also a loather of public speaking...bleh.