Successful Life Skills – Rocks, Pebbles, Oranges, Persistence.

By admin / November 27, 2009
By: Chris Murray
Category: Success

After a Saturday afternoon collecting stones from a North Wales beach for a time management project I had coming up (you'll have to book the course to find out why), my little boy turned to me and said "You should use an orange as well!"

Humouring him, I turned and asked why, what would I use an orange for?
And his answer reminded me of a lesson I really shouldn't forget so easy - you can learn something from everybody if you just listen.
Then my son gave me a great analogy for persistence, which I'm going to use from now on, which I'll share with you later.

Zig Ziglar, the fabulous motivational speaker, gives a great talk on persistence and tenacity.
He tells us about his friends, driving through Alabama on a hot August day, where they find an old water pump.

They prime the water pump; put all their effort into the production of water and pump with all their might over a considerable period of time.
But he says the wells in South Alabama are deep.

Allegedly, the deeper the well, the cooler and sweeter the water.
Finally, one of the friends suggests they give up, but the other replies that if they give up now all the water they have pumped so far will fall all the way back down to the bottom of the well.

Everything that they have pumped half way up the pipe line, will just slip away.
The only thing to do is keep pumping, keeping working hard, they are so close to quenching their thirst.

And it is then that Zig Ziglar shares with us a truth about wells in South Alabama and what they have in common with personal success - if you put all that hard work in at the beginning and don't give up, then when the rewards finally come, they come in abundance and they come with a greater ease than you'd ever expected.

As long as you want that well to keep giving you water, you just keep gently pumping and out it pours.

Let it slip away again and it will take the same initial amount of effort to get it back, keep it pumping gently after all your hard work, and your thirst will be quenched until that well runs dry.

OK, so back on the beach with my son.
Humouring him, I turned and asked "Why, what would I use an orange for?"
And my little boy said;
"Because lots of things are hard work and seem pointless at first, but once you get through the nasty skin bit that you don't want, if you've got an orange, you know it will turn out to be worth the hard work in the end!"

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Do this now

Later on today, plan to start something that you know you want to do, but the journey seems too long, too difficult or too ridiculous.
If something will take ten years, then just accept it will take ten years!
The ten years will pass one way or the other.

They can pass while you get closer to your reward, one step every day, or you can wake up in ten years time with a sad, nagging feeling of regret.
Think back to when you were eight years old and age twenty seemed an eternity away.

Responsibility and careers were the things that grown-ups had, six weeks over summer lasted forever and the gap between Christmases was unbearable.

But guess what, age Twenty happened, summers came and went and (believe me) Christmases start coming quicker and quicker.
Whatever you start now will eventually take you where you want to go, if you just keep working for it.

2019 will happen, as a year it will run its course and become 2020.

What will you become?

Do this from now on

Keep moving forward, keep believing in yourself and look out for me when I walk into your seminar hall with an orange.

Author and consultant, Chris Murray is the founder of Varda Kreuz Training, one of the UK's most innovative training and development organisations.

With more than twenty years experience, creating and running two successful businesses and working with companies which have included, LVMH, Minolta and Jim Beam Brands, Chris has presented programmes to sales teams and managers whose portfolios have encompassed everything from water to Champagne.

If you wish to discuss this article or book your next training workshop with Chris Murray you can call him direct on 0161 935 8183 or email

Publish this article: Successful Life Skills - Rocks, Pebbles, Oranges, Persistence.
About the author


Leave a comment: