Once there was a rancher, who in the early spring and summer would allow the grass to grow up very tall all over his ranch. This grass was great for grazing, but it hid the deep ravines that were present in certain areas of the ranch. For cattle, these ravines weren't much of a problem, but for horses, they presented a real danger. A running horse could easily run right up on one of these deep ravines without ever seeing it. The potential for a horse to then take a serious fall down into a ravine was quite great. For this reason, the rancher tried to keep the corrals and certain fences mended, to keep the horses in those fields that had no ravines.
Of all the horses on the ranch, one named Joey loved galloping across the open fields more than any other horse. As fate would have it, one day while running along the fence line, Joey found a top wire that was broken. He knew this was his chance to jump the fence and run out across the huge open range. Up over the fence he went, and he headed off at a full gallop.
Running as fast and hard as he could with the wind flying in his mane was a real joy to Joey. He ran and ran. Then sudenly, Joey was taken by surprise. He ran right over the edge of a ravine hidden by the tall grasses. Joey was lucky that the ravine had sides of dirt and small rock that helped to break his fall, but nevertheless, down and down he tumbled to the ravine's bottom.
Joey tried and tried to climb the sloping sides of the ravine, but they were just too steep. The ravine was so narrow, Joey barely had room to turn around, but he kept struggling to climb out for the rest of the day. By sundown, Joey had worn himself out, so he decided to rest for the night and try climbing out again in the morning.
Joey awoke early the next morning to horrible claps of thunder and rocks and dirt tumbling down on top of him. There was no place that thunder was louder than on the open range and every time a bolt raced across the sky, more and more rock and dirt fell down on Joey. He excitedly began his climbing trials again, because the falling rocks and dirt were hurting him. The more that it thundered, the more the dirt and rock fell, and the more furiously Joey tried to climb out. Before long, Joey was nearly covered in small rocks and dirt. He actually began to fear being buried alive.
Time passed on that day, and a funny thing began to happen. Joey started to realize that the more he jumped up and down, trying hard to climb out of the ravine, the more and more he was trampling the dirt and rock under him. He was actually building the bottom of the ravine up higher and higher and slowly but surely he was getting closer to the top. Suddenly it dawned on Joey, if he could just keep shaking it off and stepping up, soon he would be out of the ravine!
Much to Joey's good fortune, the storm lasted most of the day, because every time it would thunder, more and more rock and dirt would fall down on Joey and it was just that much more he had available to shake off, trample down and step up, raising himself higher and higher!
By late afternoon the storm broke and out came the sun. By that time, Joey had stomped down so much dirt and rock that he was almost to the top of the ravine. After a brief rest, Joey gave it all he had in a huge climbing effort to get out. Finally, when he thought he couldn't jump up one more time, his front hooves caught the top of the ravine's edge. Joey gave it all he had, driving his powerful hind legs as hard as he could up behind him, hurling his body up and over the top. Joey was battered and exhausted, but he was also very happy and excited. He had to lay there near the edge of the ravine for a long while, to get his wind and strength back. Then he picked himself up and joyously headed out for the long walk home.
Although he was in a great hurry to get back home, Joey walked through the pastures where just yesterday morning he had run. He was very tired and very sore, but more than that, he walked because he had learned a valuable lesson: when you're on unknown ground with potential danger everywhere, it's better to walk than to run. He also learned he should heed the advice of others who cared about him; he should have never jumped the fence that the rancher put up for his safety and that of the other horses.
Walking and thinking back over his event, it became apparent to Joey that what happens to you in life is often the result of how you handle your adversities and problems. What seemed like it was going to bury him, had actually blessed him. Now he knew that if we refuse to give in to our challenges and problems, within them we may find something to bless and benefit us. Joey began to say to himself, "just shake it off and step up!"
Joey just kept repeating this over and over to himself. Once he had crossed the broken fence again, and was back in his home pastures, he picked up his pace, and before he knew it, he was safe and at home once again with his friends.
For the rest of his years to come, Joey made a point of teaching the younger horses that when you fall into some kind of adversity, just shake it off and keep stepping up until you're back on top again.
We all can learn from Joey's story. Whether it's in your personal life or in building your FFi business http://tools.myffi.biz/users/russ/e-zine. sometimes the going may be tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Just keep repeating to yourself, I'M SHAKING IT OFF AND I'M STEPPING UP, and I'LL DO FINE!