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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Recognise your Strengths

Consider this story

A water bearer in China had two large pots hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the perfect pot would always be full of water, but the cracked pot would arrive only half full.

For two years, this went on every day, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor and cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of perceived bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The bearer replied to the pot, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so i planted flower seeds on your side of your path, and everyday while we walk back, you water them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers. Without you being the way you are, there would not be this beauty and grace in this house."

Think about what makes you unique in this world! What you perceive as a flaw might be seen by others as an asset. It might be your slightly crooked smile or corny jokes which warm other people up or your abnormal height that makes you a great basketball player. Do not neglect in counting the positives that make you who you are!

Remember that everybody has their strengths. Inspite of how bad you might think of yourself, you are special, unique and one of a kind. Recognise your strengths, trust in your abilities and succeed in life.

On the flip side, do recognise that even the weakest individual is better than you or me in some way or another. It may be intelligence or kindness or generosity or even grace.

Emerson once said: “Every man is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him."

Almost every man you meet feels himself superior to you in some way, and a sure way to win a person's heart is to let him or her realize that in some subtle way, you recognize his importance in his little world, and recognize it sincerely.

For more motivational quotes, check out this page of Motivational Quotes.
Check out this page for tips on how to win friends and influence people.


MIA said...

It takes a real inquisitor to find out the strengths within you, acknowledge your weaknesses and make them work for your advantage. Sometimes we're blinded by external noise, that damage our ability to recognize our self worth. And i think that if you can not value yourself, you're most likely not able to value others.

Anonymous said...

The story of the crack-pot was truly great! I think perfect people are good for nothing; it is people with flaws, whom I like to call crack-pots, that make the world beautiful.

Andrew said...

This article inspired me. Great article. One of the great strengths in life is Gratitude.

SFox said...

Lovely story, great for demonstrating value to people with low self esteem, would work well incorporated in a training course. Thanks

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Anonymous said...

The broken pot story is amazing. It reminds me of a famous saying whish i read long back. It was said by GEORGE BERNARD SHAW - "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

sewa mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Tomas said...

Thank you for the story about the cracked pot. Your words comforted me greatly. As the disabler, I recognized myself in that pot and thus accepted your story with great interest. You enabled me not to think about myself as the totally needless (unworthy- the garbage) and forced to look around once again. So your post dried my eyes- replaced the sorrow for personal weakness with wonder at the flowers that according to your post one with psychiatric disorders should plant on his road. It is even hard to trust that I am not the garbage - THANK YOU! for the release of art by Tomas from the shame to be just the notes of the mentally ill.

pravin cumar said...

Very motivating.The story is really good.every person has a strength,whether he should focus on his strength or focus on his weakness to develop himself?

Anonymous said...


Gail Kasper said...

Thank you so much for sharing - This is truly inspirational! Coming from a place of complete helplessness, I understand how it feels to lack confidence and self-esteem. Over time, I learned to accept my flaws and become a complete and confident person, similar to what you mention above. This is a large focus in my autobiography.

Gail Kasper, gailkasper.com
Motivational Speaker and Author, Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From Self Imprisonment To Total Empowerment

LivRay said...

Where there is strength, weakness ought to be there. One comes out as a winner if he makes his weakness into strength. Developing good interpersonal skills can definitely help.

tjanos said...

Well, this is beautiful and motivating story but i think that overgeneralizing it would be a flaw. Not every cracked pot are used to carry water, in fact, a lot of them is full of toxic waste (especially if we draw analogies between pots and humans, institutions, societies etc.). Leaking toxic waste would have mutated the seeds planted by the bearer, turning them to abominations that, in the end, threatens the very life of the bearer.