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Without you being just the way you are, there would not be the beauty to grace my house and my life.

Two Pots

September 9th 2011

A water bearer in India had two large pots. Each hung on the end of a pole that was carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For two years this went on. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of it's accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. The cracked pot was ashamed of it's imperfection - of not being able to deliver a full pot of water.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day at the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you. I have only been able to deliver half of the water because of the crack in my side. Because of my flaws you do not get full value from me," said the pot.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there are flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known of your flaw and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path and while we walk you water them. For two years I have been able to pick and enjoy these beautiful flowers. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be the beauty to grace my house and my life."

With all the discussions that we typically hear about goal setting, I hope you'll take time to simply reflect upon all the good qualities you already possess. Recognize all the wonderful work you do on behalf of your family, friends, colleagues and clients.

We all have flaws in our lives but as a general rule, we are all trying to make a positive difference. If you only focus on your flaws or what you're not able to do, you will miss out on all the marvelous flowers your life's work is watering.

It's the cracks and flaws we each have that makes our lives together so interesting and rewarding. Make sure you accept each person for what and who they are, and look for the good in them. There is so much good in others so look for those qualities and expect to find them!

With this said, however, it is important to realize that we do have the capacity to direct where the water lands as it sprinkles from our lives. Lilly Tomlin said; "I always wanted to be somebody but now I realize I should have been more specific."

An example of this idea is found in a classroom of students. The teacher wanted to make a point about their need to have vision and used a jigsaw puzzle as a teaching tool.

She challenged three groups of students to a timed activity to see which group could finish putting a jigsaw puzzle together first. Each group had four students, and each puzzle was exactly the same.

The first group received the puzzle and the right picture was on the box cover.

The second group received the exact same puzzle, but she took away the box cover with the picture. They had no idea what the completed puzzle should look like.

Finally, the third group was given the exact same puzzle, but she gave them a different puzzle box top with a picture completely different from their puzzle.

How big of a difference in results do you think it made to those students who had a clear vision?

Once they were ready she said; "Go!"

The first group finished their puzzle in about three minutes. They were the winners.

Group two was struggling, but they were making some progress. They were about 50% finished.

Then, the third group had made no progress whatsoever. They were completely confused and they were the most stressed by their lack of progress. You could see they were starting to get very agitated, and all they were doing was playing with a puzzle.

She asked the first group, "How did you put your puzzle together so quickly?"

The students said, "Well, we just looked at the picture in front of us and put it together."

She asked the second group, "How did you guys do?"

"Well, we were just going for the corners and that was the best strategy we could come up with. We tried to slowly figure out what pieces would go next."

Then the third group nearly hit the roof when she pointed out that the cover on their box looked nothing like the finished puzzle! "No Wonder!" the students exclaimed.

The question is, are you like the students with a clear vision, those who had no vision or the students with the wrong vision? It is easy to see that having a clear and defined vision can be incredibly valuable and useful in life and business.

It is easy to see that you'd be able to accomplish a lot more if you have a clear and correct vision first. Otherwise you will either slowly plod along through life, or even worse, you will live life frustrated, stressed and possibly unfulfilled.

In summation; make sure you spend time to recognize all the good things you do and take time to celebrate your accomplishments. Then, spend some time to make sure your have a clear vision of where you want the water from your life and business efforts to land. With these two character traits on your side, you will not only enjoy the flowers along your path, but you will enjoy an abundance of flowers of every variety.