Success and Friendship

As a career success coach, I stress the importance of building strong relationships if you want to become a career success.   Andy Fiffick is a friend of mine.  This morning I received a great email on the subject of friendship from him.   I liked it so much, I’ve decided to post it here.  It’s a story called “A Nail in the Fence.”

A Nail in the Fence

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.

His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he was to hammer a nail in the back of a fence on their property.

The first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into the fence.  Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his temper, the number of nails he hammered daily gradually dwindled down.  He discovered that it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all.  He didn’t hammer one nail into the fence.  He told his father about this. 

His father told him that he should pull out one nail for every day he was able to control his temper.

The days passed and the boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. 

The father took the boy to the fence and said, “You’ve done well, son.  But look at all the holes in the fence.  The fence will never be the same, and it is from the it was of great quality.  When you say things in ager, they leave a scar just like this one. 

Words can be like a knife.  You can put a knife in another person and draw it out.  It won’t matter how many times you say “I’m sorry” the wound is still there. 

A verbal wound is just as bad as a physical one. 

Friends are very rare jewels.  They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.  They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always open their hearts to you.

Andy finished with these words.  “It’s National Friendship Week.  Show your friends how much you care.  Send this to everyone you consider a friend.  You are my friend and I am honored.  Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole in our friendship.”

I sent the email back to Andy, and I’m posting it here as I consider you my friend for reading my blog.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people build strong relationships and friendships with the people in their lives.  My friend Andy Fiffick points out that while it’s a good idea to apologize any time you do anything that hurts one of your friends, or damages one of your relationships, it’s a better idea to conduct yourself in a way that means you don’t have to apologize for what you’ve done.  As a career success coach, I urge you to treat your friends and the people with whom you come into contact with respect.  Hold your temper.  As the old saying goes, “Speak when you’re angry and you’ll give the best speech you’ll ever regret.”  Take responsibility for yourself and your actions.  Don’t let your anger get the better of you.  Be bigger than that.  This isn’t easy.  I’m working on it myself.  This is National Friendship Week; as good a time to start working on your temper as any. 

That’s my take on controlling your anger.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts on this.  As always, thanks for reading, my friend.


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