The late Peter Marshall was an eloquent speaker and for several years served as the chaplain of the US Senate. He used to love to tell the story of the “Keeper of the Spring,” a quiet forest dweller who lived high above an Austrian village along the eastern slope of the Alps.
The old gentleman had been hired many years earlier by a young town councilman to clear away the debris from the pools of water up in the mountain crevices that fed the lovely spring flowing through their town. With faithful, silent regularity, he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and branches, and wiped away the silt that would otherwise have choked and contaminated the fresh flow of water.
It was all going so well
The village soon became a popular attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated along the crystal-clear spring, the mill wheels of various businesses located near the water turned day and night, farmlands were naturally irrigated, and the view from restaurants was picturesque beyond description.
Years passed. One evening the town council met for its semi-annual meeting. As they reviewed the budget, one man’s eye caught the salary figure being paid the obscure keeper of the spring. Said the keeper of the purse, “Who is the old man? Why do we keep him on year after year? No one ever sees him. For all we know, the strange ranger of the hills is doing us no good. He isn’t necessary any longer.” By a unanimous vote, they dispensed with the old man’s services.
For several weeks, nothing changed.
By early autumn, the trees began to shed their leaves. Small branches snapped of and fell into the pools, hindering the rushing flow of sparkling water. One afternoon someone noticed a slight yellowish-brown tint in the spring. A few days later, the water was much darker. Within another week, a slimy film covered sections of the water along the banks, and a foul odour was soon detected. The mill wheels moved more slowly, some finally ground to a halt. Swans left, as did the tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached deeply into the village.
Quickly, the embarrassed council called a special meeting. Realizing their gross error in judgment, they rehired the old keeper of the spring, and within a few weeks, the veritable river of life began to clear up. The wheels started to turn, and new life returned to the hamlet in the Alps.
Never give up
Never become discouraged with the seeming smallness of your task, job, or life. Cling fast to the words of Edward Everett Hale: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do. ” The key to accomplishment is believing that what you can do will make a difference.
Whatever you do, whether you are in the spotlight or in the background, has an impact somewhere, so don’t despair if you aren’t recognised – just keep going. What you are doing is making a difference to someone somewhere.
Things are getting exciting
This week has been fun with a visit to a conference on exporting to the USA and lots of emails out to different potential clients in the UK. I am exploring the potential to speak or run my Mental Resilience Masterclasses in the USA and things are moving in the right direction. I have a couple of contacts out there and I’m following these up.
Dubai is getting very close now and I should have some news next week. This Monday I am speaking at the Association of Women Solicitors meeting in the North West which is a great honour and I can’t wait to inspire and motivate them. Nat West bank are hosting this event and they recommended me as a speaker having seen me last year.
Thoughts for the week:
1. Do you sometimes wonder what impact you have in your role at work or home?
2. Remember that what you do has impact, but you are probably not aware of it.
3. Believe that what you do is making a difference and this will give you the motivation to carry on.
4. I have heard from people two years after I have spoken, about the impact I had on them with something I said. I’ve also heard the same regarding my book.
5. So, this week keep telling yourself that you ARE making a difference, and just keep going.
Well that’s it for this message and I look forward to sharing with you again next week.
Have a great weekend and stay positive.
Off the Wall – How to Develop World Class Mental Resilience available here
https://www.jdmindcoach.com/product/off-the-wall-how-to-develop-world-class-mental-resilience/ (Special blog subscriber offer. Put in code 10POUND when prompted to receive a signed copy for £10 including postage and packing)