Midlife Inspiration: Are You Standing on the Inside?

Bounce Back or Stay Down!

Bounce Back or Stay Down!

The Balloon Man
A father took his boy into a toy shop. The boy got away from his dad and found a statue of a man made of balloons. The boy looked at it for a minute, and then he drew back his fist and 
hit the balloon man just as hard as he could. The man fell over, and then popped right back up. 

The confused boy backed off and looked at him again and then hit him again as hard as he could. Again the man fell over, and again he popped right back up. 

The boy’s father walked around the corner and saw his son hit that balloon man. The father asked his son, “Why do you think he comes back up when you hit him and knock him down?” 

The boy thought for a minute and said, “I don’t know, I guess it’s because he’s standing up on the inside. — Unknown

We have a choice as to how we think.  We may feel out of control when life throws us one blow after another, but we can always choose our thoughts.  We may not physically be able to bounce back up every time but when our thoughts have us standing up on the inside, we reflect that on the outside.

Are you standing up on the inside? When another challenge surfaces, and by midlife we’ve had plenty, do you bounce back up or do you stay down, feeling defeated and wallowing in self-pity? It’s your choice!

Are You the Wise Woman or the Traveler?

The Stone

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him.

She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said.  “I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.”

–Author unknown


When I read this story it brought to mind a movie I saw this past weekend – The King’s Speech. The story revolves around England’s Prince Albert, soon to become King George VI,  and his unfortunate and debilitating stutter.  His wife hires an Australian speech therapist to help Albert overcome his impediment. The two become lifelong friends as the therapist, who has no conventional credentials, uses unconventional means to teach Albert how to speak without stuttering.

It was what the speech therapist had within that changed Prince Albert’s life. His experience, desire to make a difference and genuine concern enabled him to give Albert something more precious than any amount of money – self respect, self-worth and confidence in being more than he ever thought he could be.

What do you have within you that can change someone’s life?

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