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Twin Boys Sell A Huge Teddy Bear But No One Stops By, Until Angelina Jolie Appears…

Twin Boys Sell A Huge Teddy Bear But No One Stops By, Until Angelina Jolie Appears…

History is full of some incredible tales of persistence, from Robert the Bruce to others who have thrived in the face of adversity and constant setbacks. There is an underlying lesson here, which dictates that we should never give up when pursuing our life goals as our own determination and persistence can ultimately influence the course of our destiny.

The Are Also Everyday Examples that we Can Draw Inspiration from

Aside from historical events, there are everyday reminders of this important lesson. Take the example of twins Allen and Brandon, who one day were being given a lesson in entrepreneurship by their father Alexander. Having outgrown their huge, eight-foot tall teddy Big Bear, they were encouraged to sell it for the handsome sum of $50 (although they probably would have settled for less!)

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Having waited outside for more than an hour, they could have been forgiven for becoming sullen or disheartened, as numerous cars passed and ignored them. Nobody seemed to care about their quest, as the world suddenly appeared as a cold and lonely place. Just as all seemed lost, however, a mysterious white Cadillac honed into view, before coming to a standstill beside the young entrepreneurs.

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    Out of Nowhere, an Angel Appeared

    As the luxury car door opened, out stepped a mother with her small child. This was not just anyone woman, however, and as the twins’ parents focused they realised that the mysterious pair were in fact Angelina Jolie and her beloved child Shiloh. Incredibly, the boys didn’t even recognise her as she approached, as they were simply relieved to have found a potential buyer!

    Of course, once Alexander explained Jolie’s role in the hit animated film Kung Fu Panda, the buys were wide-eyed with glee. As they nervously explained their proposition and asking price to Angelina, they expected her to haggle, so were stunned when she produced two gleaming $50 dollar notes from her purse and handed one to each child!

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      A Lesson in Kindness and Determination

      While this is a wonderful story and an unexpected act of compassion from a huge, Hollywood star, its meaning goes far beyond this. It reinforces the importance of persistence in the face of disappointment and hardship, as determination alone can make our dreams come true. The truth is that you never know what fate may have in store for you around the corner, but the only way to discover this is to remain true to your goals and pursue them relentlessly!

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      Featured photo credit: Wakamag via wakamag.com

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      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      No!

      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

      1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
      2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
      3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
      4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
      5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
      6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
      7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
      8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
      9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
      10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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