The Solution to All the World’s Problems
Once upon a time, there was a businessman, a very, very successful businessman. He had an enormous company. Thousands and thousands of employees. And for many years, everything was fine. Business was great and he enjoyed great success and prosperity. But one day, for reasons nobody really knows, things began to slide and business began to slip away from him to his other competitors. And little by little, his company seemed to be on a downward trend.
After several years of this downward trend-- after several years of this downward trend, it appeared that things had become so bad that his company would go bankrupt, and that his competitors would completely take all of his market share away from him. And so, the businessman, he decided to hold a meeting for all of his employees to have a dinner so that he could have an opportunity to speak to them, to share with them his plan for how he could bring his company back to the top. How he could bring his company back to number one.
Well, the Saturday morning before the dinner, he was sitting at home in his study, preparing his speech. And in his speech, he wanted to show his employees how each one of them was critically important to the plan he wanted to implement and how the role each of them played would be responsible for the renewed success of his great corporation. And as he was sitting at home in his study that Saturday morning, his wife had to go out shopping. And about 10 minutes after she was gone, there was a knock on the study door. And there appeared his young seven-year-old son and exclaimed, "Dad, I'm bored. I've got nothing to do." The father had tried to amuse his child by playing a board game with him, while at the same time half tried to finish writing his speech. This went on for nearly two hours, and then the father realized that unless he could find some other way to amuse his child, he wasn't going to get his speech finished in time.
So, the father, he picked up a magazine and he flipped through the magazine until he came to a large, brightly colored map of the world. And he tore that page out and he ripped it into many, many pieces and he threw the pieces all over the living room floor. And he said to his child, "Son, if you can put the map of the world back together, I'll give you $10." And with that, the child rushed to the task, eager to earn some extra pocket money. And the father returned to his study believing that he had just bought himself two, maybe three hours to finish writing his speech. Because the father also knew that his seven-year-old son had no idea what the map of the world looked like. But about 10 minutes later, there was a knock on the study door. And there appeared the boy smiling, holding the completed puzzle. The father, in amazement, said to his child, "Son, how did you finish it so quickly?" The boy smiled larger than ever and said, "You know, dad I had no idea what the map of the world looks like, but I noticed that there was a picture of a man on the back. So, I put a blank piece of paper down, and I put the picture of the man together. Because I knew what the man looked like. And then I put another blank piece of paper on top and I held the two tight together. I flipped them over. I took the top piece of paper off and there was the world complete in order. Just as it should be.” He said, "You know dad? I figured. If I got the man right, the world would be right."
It is the ageless message. The problem is not out there. The change that is needed is not needed out there. The change that is needed is needed within. Because you and I, we've bought this lie that we don't have enough power or we don't have enough influence or we can't change the world. We keep putting the problem and the power outside of ourselves. We keep placing the problem and the power outside of ourselves. We keep placing the problem and the solution outside of ourselves. And so, nothing changes. But when you and I, when we begin to affect what we can affect, it is then that we will begin to have an effect. We have the power to be the difference that makes the difference in this world, in our place, in our time, and yet is the most unemployed of all human abilities. For the most unemployed of all human abilities. You want to live a life of greatness? You want to live a life of greatness? Find that power, engage that power, employ that power every day, and you will live a life uncommon. Find that power, engage that power, employ that power every day, and you will live a life uncommon.
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