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Looking back is just as important as looking ahead.

Just One More

When I exercise at the gym, some of my workout involves lifting handles and bars on various weight machines. Some days I use lighter weight loads and go for higher number of lifts or repetitions. On alternate days I use twice the weight and go for half the number of lifts. On any day, but especially on the days with the higher weight loads, I can find myself reaching what feels like my limit; I feel like I cannot possibly reach the number of reps that I intend. At these moments, I drop back in my mind and let go of the larger goal, the bigger picture. And I tell myself, “Just one more!” This becomes my goal on that machine, on that day, at that time: ‘Just one more.’

This approach helps me almost every time. I find that I can push through one more lift. And then with my goal still set on ‘just one more,’ I find that I can push through again with one more lift. Usually I can finish the set. Sometimes, though, ‘just one more’ ends up being ‘almost one more.’ Yet, even then I know beyond doubt that I gave my all and that whatever benefit might accrue to me physically from the exhaustive effort, my mental and spiritual being have been strengthened in the art and skill of perseverance.

Sometimes life’s circumstances weight too heavily for me to do much more than to focus on ‘just one more’ step; ‘just one more patient;’ ‘just one more day.’ Usually, I find that I can push through and end up feeling okay, even good, about what I was able to accomplish. And anything that I might not have accomplished comfortably awaits my efforts until next time.

Making the World Better

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness—kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.

Laying Bricks

Once upon a time, there were three bricklayers.

When asked, “What are you doing?” the first bricklayer replied: “I’m laying bricks.”

The second bricklayer was asked the same question. He answered: “I’m putting up a wall.”

The third bricklayer, when asked the question “What are you doing?” responded, with pride in his voice: “I’m building a cathedral.”

If you search for this story online you’ll find different interpretations of the stories meaning, most including some sort of explanation about how the tale speaks to a person’s attitude and ability to see the big picture.

While these things are true and insightful, this story makes me wonder: Why do some companies have an overwhelming amount of cathedral builders? Then on the other hand, why do other businesses seem to only contain hordes of bricklayers?

There’s no question that a person’s individual perspective—attitude, ability to see the big picture, etc.–is crucial. But, the importance of the culture that individual is “IN” is often highly underestimated—even though a cultural explanation explains this conundrum much better.


Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.


Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Mother Teresa

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