Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on May 17th, 2011

Today: A valuable lesson from a tortoise.

Once there was a little tortoise the size of an army helmet that was going through life thinking he was ugly and of no value to the world.

“Oh, if only I could be wise like the owl,” he thought. “Then my life would have meaning. Everyone would think I was smart.”

Then looking high into the blue skies he said, “If only I could soar like an eagle, then my life would be special. I would be majestic.”

As he sadly thought about his life, a deer suddenly bolted from the brush and leaped over a fallen tree trunk and sped by him. “Oh look how fast and graceful he is,” the tortoise exclaimed. “If only I could move that quickly, everyone would respect me.”

With that, he hung his head in despair and inch by inch, he moved down the path. The path led to a gentle stream and as the tortoise leaned over the bank to take a drink, he saw his reflection.

It startled him for seldom had this little creature taken a good look at himself. And in that moment he stopped comparing himself to other animals and what they had that he didn’t. Instead, he noticed what he had.

“I’m not a bad looking little fellow,” he thought, while staring at his reflection. “Not handsome in a traditional sense but my face is a nice dark green, like the tree leaves fluttering in the breeze and my brown shell has lovely rectangular squares and is well-shaped.

“My lineage dates back to the dinosaur age. It’s as if I’m a part of royalty following in the hallowed tradition of my forbearers.

“And I’ve seen human royalty and some of them are not handsome in a traditional sense.

“I’m also useful for I eat insects that pester others and I greet everyone with a smile and a kind word. I’m never in a hurry, for how could I be? So I take the time to hear what others say and they like when I listen to them.

“I’m actually pretty popular and I’m welcome everywhere I go. And human children love me and play with me and adults think I’m cute.

“Why have I wasted so much time and energy thinking of what others have that I don’t, instead of appreciating all that I have and all that I am?

“From now on, I’ll make the best me possible and I will celebrate, not envy, all that others have so they too can appreciate themselves. If I do that, I become an even better friend to them.”

Just then his longtime pal a fox walked up and gave him a friendly sniff. “Did I ever tell you how clever you are,” the tortoise asked. “No, but please tell me more,” said the smiling fox as the two friends sat happily together.

Success Tip of the Week: If you will appreciate the things you have instead of being frustrated by the things you don’t, life will bring you so much more happiness.

In the next KazanToday: A blind man who sails the San Francisco Bay.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!
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