These 10 motivational stories will encourage you to follow your dreams, treat others with kindness, and never give up on yourself.
1 Be kind to others even if it hurts you
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
‘How much is an ice cream sundae?’
’50 cents’ replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
‘How much is a dish of plain ice cream?’ he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
’35 cents,’ she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. ‘I’ll have the plain ice cream,’ he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table, and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier, and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.”
2 Ignore the haters
A group of frogs was traveling through the forest when two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that there was no hope left for them.
However, the two frogs ignored their comrades and proceeded to try to jump out of the pit. However, despite their efforts, the group of frogs at the top of the pit were still saying that they should just give up as they’d never make it out.
Eventually, one of the frogs took heed of what the others were saying and he gave up, jumping even deeper to his death. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the group of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and to just die.
He ignored them, and jumped even harder, and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, ‘Did you not hear us?’
The frog explained to them that he was deaf and that he thought they were encouraging him the entire time.”
3 Even though you’re damaged, you still have value
“A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $20 bill. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, ‘Who would like this $20 bill?’
200 hands went up.
He said, ‘I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.’ He crumpled the bill up.
He then asked, ‘Who still wants it?’
All 200 hands were still raised.
‘Well,’ he replied, ‘What if I do this?’ Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes.
He picked it up and showed it to the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.
‘Now who still wants it?’
All the hands still went up.
‘My friends, I have just shown you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!’
4 Your reaction matters more than what happens to you
“Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. ‘Daughter, what do you see?’
‘Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,’ she hastily replied.
‘Look closer,’ he said, ‘and touch the potatoes.’ She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
‘Father, what does this mean?’ she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs, and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
‘Which are you,’ he asked his daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?’
5 Struggling will make you stronger
“Once upon a time, a man found a butterfly that was starting to hatch from its cocoon. He sat down and watched the butterfly for hours as it struggled to force itself through a tiny hole. Then, it suddenly stopped making progress and looked like it was stuck.
Therefore, the man decided to help the butterfly out. He took a pair of scissors and cut off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, although it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man thought nothing of it, and he sat there waiting for the wings to enlarge to support the butterfly. However, that never happened. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with small wings and a swollen body.
Despite the man’s kind heart, he didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself through the small hole were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings to prepare itself for flying once it was free.”
6 Never let one failure from the past hold you back in the future
“As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to getaway. ‘Well,’ trainer said, ‘when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.’
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.”
7 Damaged souls still have worth
“A shop owner placed a sign above his door that said: ‘Puppies For Sale.’
Signs like this always have a way of attracting young children, and to no surprise, a boy saw the sign and approached the owner; ‘How much are you going to sell the puppies for?’ he asked.
The store owner replied, ‘Anywhere from $30 to $50.’
The little boy pulled out some change from his pocket. ‘I have $2.37,’ he said. ‘Can I please look at them?’
The shop owner smiled and whistled. Out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of his shop followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur.
One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, ‘What’s wrong with that little dog?’
The shop owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it didn’t have a hip socket. It would always limp. It would always be lame.
The little boy became excited. ‘That is the puppy that I want to buy.’
The shop owner said, ‘No, you don’t want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I’ll just give him to you.’
The little boy got quite upset. He looked straight into the store owner’s eyes, pointing his finger, and said;
‘I don’t want you to give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I’ll pay full price. In fact, I’ll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for.’
The shop owner countered, ‘You really don’t want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies.’
To his surprise, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the shop owner and softly replied, ‘Well, I don’t run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!'”
8 Stop wasting your time complaining
“People visit a wise man complaining about the same problems over and over again. One day, he decided to tell them a joke and they all roared with laughter.
After a few minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled.
Then he told the same joke for the third time, but no one laughed or smiled anymore.
The wise man smiled and said: ‘You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always crying about the same problem?'”
9 Don’t say something you regret out of anger
“There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper. His father decided to hand him a bag of nails and said that every time the boy lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the fence.
On the first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into that fence.
The boy gradually began to control his temper over the next few weeks, and the number of nails he was hammering into the fence slowly decreased. He discovered it was easier to control his temper than to hammer those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father the news and the father suggested that the boy should now pull out a nail every day he kept his temper under control.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.'”
10 Laziness won’t get you anywhere
“In ancient times, a king had his men place a boulder on a roadway. He then hid in the bushes, and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers passed by and simply walked around it.
Many people blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the stone removed.
One day, a peasant came along carrying vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the stone out of the way. After much pushing and straining, he finally managed.
After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and note from the King explain that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the road.”