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Keeping Your Eyes Wide Open: A Letter to a Grandson

One day, a young man was cleaning out his late grandfather's belongings when he came across a bright red envelope. Written on the front were the words, "To my grandson." Recognizing his grandfather's writing, the boy opened the envelope. A letter inside read:Dear Grandson,

Years ago you came to me for help. You said, "Grandpa, how is it that you've accomplished so much in your life? You're still full of energy, and I'm already tired of struggling. How can I get that same enthusiasm that you've got?"

I didn't know what to say to you then. But knowing my days are numbered, I figure that I owe you an answer. So here is what I believe.

I think a lot of it has to do with how a person looks at things. I call it 'keeping your eyes wide open.'

First, realize that life is filled with surprises, but many are good ones. If you don't keep watching for them, you'll miss half the excitement. Expect to be thrilled once in a while, and you will be.

When you meet up with challenges, welcome them. They'll leave you wiser, stronger, and more capable than you were the day before. When you make a mistake, be grateful for the things it taught you. Resolve to use that lesson to help you reach your goals.

And always follow the rules - even the little ones. When you follow the rules, life works. If you think you ever really get by with breaking the rules, you're only fooling yourself.

It's also important to decide exactly what you want. Then keep your mind focused on it, and be prepared to receive it.

But be ready to end up in some new places too. As you grow with the years, you'll be given bigger shoes to fill. So be ready for endings as well as challenging beginnings.

Sometimes we have to be brave enough to move from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Life isn't just reaching peaks. Part of it is moving from one peak to the next. If you rest too long in between, you might be tempted to quit. Leave the past in the past. Climb the next mountain and enjoy the view.

Dump things that weigh you down emotionally and spiritually. When an old resentment, belief or attitude becomes heavy, lighten your load. Shed those hurtful attitudes that slow you down and drain your energy.

Remember that your choices will create your successes and your failures. So consider all the pathways ahead and decide which ones to follow. Then believe in yourself, get up, and get going.

And be sure to take breaks once in a while. They'll give you a renewed commitment to your dreams and a cheerful, healthy perception of the things that matter the most to you.

Most important of all, never give up on yourself. The person who ends up a winner is the one who resolves to win. Give life everything you've got, and life will give it's best back to you.

Love always,Grandpa

© Copyright by Steve Brunkhorst. Steve is a professional life success coach, motivational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a popular mini-zine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and personal life. Get the next issue by visiting


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