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Inspirational Self-Help Wisdom Stories - Part 1

The following brief "inspirational self-help wisdom stories" speak silently, like the guiding inner voice of wisdom that we all possess.  May you "hear" the inspiring success messages that they silently deliver.


A grizzled man of years picks up a piece of old paper and looks at it.  Scrawled upon it is a simple, primitive drawing of a map, with a bold “X” and an arrow pointing to the “X” with the words: “Treasure lies here.”  

The man grunts, crumples the paper into a ball and tosses it into the trashcan in his kitchen, where the cupboards are bare and the refrigerator is empty.  

A moment later, he notices strange smoke rising from the trashcan.  Before he can move to investigate the cause, the trashcan bursts into flame.  

He quickly douses the flame with water, poured from a big pot filled at his kitchen sink. Curiously digging through the burnt, wet trash until he comes upon the treasure map, he recognizes it only by the letter “X” that boldly stands out, unmarred.  “What is this?” he wonders.  “A mystery.”


He decides that the “X” must mean something and he places it in his pocket like a lucky charm.  

Are we not all a little bit like that man, counting on magic to meet our needs, hoping one more time that we get lucky, despite past disillusionment?



A group of young, gleefully screaming children are chasing a puppy around the playground.  The puppy seems at least as happy to play this game as the children, with his hindquarters low, ears back, and face apparently smiling as he darts beyond their reach.  


Finally, the children tire and stop to catch their breath and giggle.  

Had they continued, though, they would have seen the puppy stopping just 5 seconds later, to plop on the ground and sprawl in happy, panting exhaustion, waiting for his energy to return, and they would have tasted the triumph of their chase.  


And what wonders might we achieve by taking one more step in the direction of our triumphs?



An old rug weaver produces magnificent tapestries by hand.  The work is slow-going, but he appears to be perfectly content as he makes each action conscious, careful and accurate.  At work on the final rug of his life, he passed away just as he passed his needle through, without completing the rug.  

How many of us are so bent on completing things that we may never finish that we work in a frenzy of unhappy impatience, forsaking the happy contentment offered by our opportunity to take conscious, careful, accurate action in the present?



A newlywed was baking her first cake for her husband.  Everything went wrong.  The kitchen was a mess.  The house felt too hot because the oven had been baking for so long.  Of course she felt frustrated and disappointed.  

But when her husband arrived home with a frown, carrying a smashed box of chocolates for her, that he had accidentally dropped onto the sidewalk and stepped on, she had to laugh.    


Perhaps all of our mishaps really do have happy endings.



It rained today.  At times the rain fell heavy from the sky.  

But the rain didn't last long.  In a matter of minutes the sun shown brightly.  

Is this not unlike even the most agonizing grief that we fear will never pass?



A well dressed man who had been let go from the company he had worked for for the past 12 years, without warning or explanation, still felt the shock as he paused by a beggar on a street corner who held out a dirty ballcap, with an unspoken request for alms.  

The well-dressed man felt for this man, removed a dollar bill from his wallet and placed it in the cap. The recipient mouthed the words, “Bless you.” 

The giver politely smiled and walked on, but he found himself wondering if he had done the right thing.  He wondered if he had not just been a bit irresponsible.  

He examined this worry and saw that he feared that irresponsible action might lead to a loss of some kind.  He  worried about ending up in the beggar's position as a consequence for his impetuous generosity.  


Doing the “right thing” is not always an obvious matter.  Sometimes what looks right on the surface may seem wrong given a bit more thought. 


Sometimes the closest we can come to the truth is to wonder about it, and walk on.  



Two men were swimming at the workout pool, in lanes side-by-side.  It didn't take long for one of them to feel driven to compete with the other by doing his best to stay ahead of him.  It didn't take long for the other to sense this happening, and to willingly join in the competition. 

It soon became obvious to the first man that his opponent had become a willing participant in the contest. 

Two men, communicating with one another, without saying a word.  It just took paying a little attention for them to realize what was going on.


While the underlying wisdom messages of these "inspirational self-help wisdom stories" are unspoken, hopefully they ring loud and clear to your "inner ear".


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