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Don't Jump to Conclusions

By Dan Miller Like most of you, I have been hearing a lot of personal examples of “disaster” this week. No gas, no job, no retirement fund, worthless stock, cancelled vacations, and general uncertainty. Rather than trying to create something profound, I’d like to share this old story.

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, because he owned a beautiful white horse. People offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the old man always refused. “This horse is a friend, not a possession,” he would respond.

One morning the horse was not in the stable. All the villagers said, “You old fool. We told you someone would steal that beautiful horse. You could at least have gotten the money. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.

The old man responded, “Perhaps. All I know is that my horse is gone; the rest I do not know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say.”

After fifteen days the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses back with him. Once again the village people gathered around the old man and said, “You were right – what we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us. The old man responded, “Perhaps. Once again you’ve gone too far. How do you know if this is a blessing or a curse? Unless you can see the whole story, how can you judge? But the people could only see the obvious. The old man now had twelve additional horses that could be broken and sold for a great deal of money.

The old man had a son, an only son. He began to break the wild horses. Unfortunately, after just a few days, he fell from a horse and broke both his legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and said, “You were right. The wild horses were not a blessing; they were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs and now in your old age you have no one to help you. You are poorer than ever. But the old man said, “Perhaps. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. We have only a fragment of the whole story.

It so happened that a few weeks later the country went to war with a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he had two broken legs. Once again the people gathered around, crying because there was little chance their sons would return. “You were right, old man. Your son’s accident was a blessing. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man spoke again. “You people are always quick to jump to conclusions. Only God knows the final story.

And so it is with our lives. What we see as a blessing or a curse may simply be part of God's preparation for what lies ahead. Be careful in seeing “disaster” in any change. Just recognize it as change – which opens the door for good as well as bad – for gain as well as possible loss.

I’ve spent 20 years seeing people go through unexpected and unwelcome change – and have enjoyed seeing most move on to more opportunity, freedom, fulfillment, and income.

I hope you didn’t “lose your horse” this week. Whatever your circumstances, be confident you can choose the future you want. If you hit a bump on the road, see what new possibilities are presented as well.

Did you lose your horse today?

48 Days Online Radio

Each week I create a new online radio podcast — that you can hear in iTunes or at the 48 Days Online Radio Show link below.

Here's a sampling of the questions I tackled September 17. If you're not getting the success you want, you may be wondering like the writer of #4 here, "Am I lazy, scared, lack self-discipline, or all of the above?"

1. I have been a stay-at-home mom for more than 18 years and would like to go back to work on a part time basis. I am not planning on returning to my previous career, financial analyst, and feel like a college freshmen having to declare a major. How do I get started?

2. I'm a married, 28-year-old pastor finishing up my Masters of Divinity, paying for school as we go. In my church, we have a “glass ceiling” regarding income potential. What are some ways that I can increase my potential earnings in a church setting?

3. I have seen many people succeed without a degree or schooling for that matter, however my parents and in-laws pound it in my mind that I will never win or succeed without getting a degree. I am not leaning to the idea of being lazy, but I just don’t fit well in a traditional, boring classroom environment versus on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

4. I get excited about your train of thought and even imagine how great it would be to apply the methods you mention in your programs to my own life, yet when it comes time for action, I end up watching mindless television re-runs and obnoxious commercials. Am I lazy, scared, lack self-discipline, or all of the above?

5. I am a teacher with a job I cannot be fired from, a 10% pay raise each year, and benefits I do not pay for. So what's wrong? I hate my job. I have experience with the food industry and an MS in marketing, but seven years since I was in the marketing world. Employers want to know why I want to switch now. Also I am in my mid 50s.

If you have a question, just click on the 48 Days Online Radio link below and you can ask about starting your own business, getting a better job, or finding your purpose in life.

That’s the same place you can listen to this week’s broadcast immediately – no downloading – no wait.

48 Days Highlights

If you’d like to be a group where you can get inspiration for taking your ideas to a whole new level, check out our 212ºConnection. Every day new people are becoming part of the exciting group, sharing ideas and gaining momentum. You can read all about it here – and see the growing number who are turning their ideas into time, freedom, and income. 212ºConnection

Back-to-Work Mom?
Are you a Mom thinking of returning to work who wonders...

  • Will I be able to find a job or business opportunity in line with my experience?
  • What is the best way to position myself on my resume and during the job interview?
  • How do I find flexible or family-friendly jobs?
  • Is it feasible to work at home as a professional?

Check out my friend Nancy Collamer’s Back-to-Work Toolkit – a Guide for Comeback Moms

Personal Coaching
Many of you are asking about my personal coaching. Yes, I still work with two to three people a month. And, yes, we get a lot of requests. I screen each request and either contact you myself – or refer you to a matching coach in our network. I take seriously the confidence shown by the requests and make sure each one is given personal attention. If you want to review the options and give me some basic information, I’ll be honored to evaluate it and give you some feedback. Just go to Personal Coaching and get started.

Here's a note I received this week from a coaching client:

I think when I first wrote to you, I said I was at a point in my life where ‘I was sad most of the time and had moments of happiness and was looking to get back to being happy most of the time with moments of sadness’. I am there, again.

Thank you for your help and your part in my journey. I truly appreciate your positive encouragement, the sharing of your experiences and knowledge and your
‘reminders’ of the important things about actually ‘living’ ones life. Thank you! Thank YOU! THANK YOU!

Free Photo Editing Tool
Being a technology amateur, I’ve always struggled with the complexity of software like PhotoShop and others in just making little changes on photos I want to use for my blog or newsletter. Well here’s a solution for people like me, and it’s absolutely free. allows you to rotate, crop, resize, remove red-eye, and much more. They do have a “premium” version, but the free basic version works fine for me.

Chuck Bowen Coaching - Financial, Career, & Business
"Need to do better (maybe a lot better?) with your personal finances? Is your business as profitable, or enjoyable, as you'd like it to be? Contact Chuck Bowen Coaching. If you want to transform your life permanently for the better, he's your guy. Dave Ramsey trusts Chuck to train his financial coaches, and he serves as President of Dan Miller’s 212 Connection. What better proof is there?!"


Need help getting past Mondays?
The most popular product in the 48 Days arsenal continues to be the 48 Days Career Profile. Before you begin seeking a better job or self-employment, you need to be sure you are pursuing opportunities that match your personality style and will fulfill and reward you for a lifetime!

Quotes: Hope

"If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."— Antoine De Saint-Exupery

"Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." — Lin Yutang

"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream." — Martin Luther King, Jr.

"To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death." — Pearl S. Buck

"Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything." — Thomas Merton

I’ve got a new blog on the thrill of seeing The Eagles in concert. If you need to be assured you can still be passionate about your work at 60, click here to listen one more time to Hotel California.

We’ve got The Eaglepreneur Package – that includes No More Mondays and other materials that will help you find new options if you lost your horse this week – for only $48.

"There are no winners or losers in life, only choosers." — Matthias Schmelz

Dan MillerDan Miller is the bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and a renowned Life Coach specializing in career fulfillment. His weekly newsletter reaches 70,000 subscribers. Dan’s articles are featured here at CBN every Tuesday, and you can find out more about Dan at

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