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Mindset

A Surprise Lesson from Squeezing an Orange

A Surprise Lesson from Squeezing an Orange

I first discovered this story when I was sitting on the beach in St. Kitts on a sales award trip with a product partner. I was trying my best to relax, but sitting on the beach doing nothing was making me antsy, and my mind was racing 100 mph. After about 45 minutes of staring at the waves, I decided it was time to hop on the free wifi and browse my saved links on Facebook (old habits die hard, don’t judge me!).

Luckily, the first link that came up was a short story by Dr. Wayne Dyer and it really stuck with me. It was the only distraction I needed to set my phone down and get back to relaxing. It came to me at the perfect time for me, and I hope it does for you, too.

It’s such a great reminder to be mindful what we let into our minds and hearts, because we are, after all, in charge of what we let in and what we don’t.

orange lesson Wayne Dyer

As told by the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer:

I was preparing to speak at a conference and I decided to bring an orange on stage with me as a prop for my lecture. I opened a conversation with a bright young fellow of about twelve who was sitting in the front row.

“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” I asked him.

He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”

“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”

“No!” he laughed.

“What about grapefruit juice?”

“No!”

“What would come out of it?”

“Orange juice, of course.”

“Why? Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?”

He may have been getting a little exasperated with me at this point.

“Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”

I nodded. “Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.”

It’s one of the great lessons of life. What comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside. It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing—your mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you, it’s your choice.

When someone puts the pressure on you and out of you comes anything other than love, it’s because that’s what you’ve allowed to be inside. Once you take away all those negative things you don’t want in your life and replace them with love, you’ll find yourself living a highly functioning life.

Thanks, my young friend, and here’s an orange for you…

Food for Thought This Week:

If someone squeezed you, what would come out?

Stay mindful of what you let in, and consider some internal housekeeping to get the negative out. Life is too short to be a sour orange.

What do you think? Share your thoughts about this in the comments below!

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  1. Christine L. Dillon

    October 27th, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to share this. xc

  2. Joan Camara

    March 24th, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Enjoyed that MUCH! Thank you…I want to keep that in mind, always!

  3. Lady Liz Lotus

    June 22nd, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Loved this! Thank you

  4. sheila

    April 3rd, 2019 at 1:57 am

    that’s an awesome post, it made me think…

  5. Angie Gray

    April 9th, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Liz
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad I opened and what a perfect time it was. My whole focus now is teaching workshops on relationships and I can’t wait to share this.
    Please know that you continue to make a difference in my life. 🙏🏻

  6. Elizabeth Rider

    April 12th, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Angie, I’m so happy to hear this. You are an amazing coach and leader! Thank you for being here my friend. Love, E

  7. Danielle

    April 9th, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    That was wonderful. Love Wayne Dyer

  8. Arwa

    April 9th, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks Liz! Really resonated with me 🙂

  9. Elizabeth Rider

    April 12th, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Arwa, so happy to hear it! Thanks for being here. ~E

  10. Caroline

    April 9th, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Wow! Great message. Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth 🙂

  11. Susie Frisby

    April 10th, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Good morning, Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for the “food for thought” this time. I really appreciate it, and will indeed give it more thought, put it into practice in my life.

    I am finally emerging from a really bad Christmas. We had all 5 of our children here, including 5 spouses, and 10 grandchildren. The gathering wasn’t our idea, but we worked for months getting things ready to help everyone feel as comfortable and welcomed as possible.
    Nevertheless, there was a blowup, on Christmas night no less, and I was emotionally kicked in the stomach. I never saw it coming…While I understand that no one can MAKE me feel a certain way (I have to allow it to happen), the fact that I was taken so much by surprise made it all the worse.

    Anyway, it’s taken a few months to work past what happened and get on with things. I’m sure my faith in God (and everything that goes with that) has played a very important part in my “recovery”. Which is all the more reason I really appreciated your message today. Replacing negative feelings with love is a lifetime feat, but I have started.

    Thank you again for sharing something that meant so much to you at one point, because now it means a lot so someone else! Me!

    I hope you have a good day, I know I will.
    Susie Frisby~

  12. Elizabeth Rider

    April 12th, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Susie, so glad this helped you. Keep focusing on the good! You may also want to listen to or read Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life”—it’s one of my all-time favorites and may help you in this situation, too. Wishing you well! ~E

  13. Karen

    April 11th, 2019 at 1:38 am

    I definately need to smile more.
    Raised as a stoic although thats no reason to be a sourpuss. Perhaps I can put more effort into doing things that make me happy.!
    Thanks for the observation.
    Karen

  14. Elizabeth Rider

    April 12th, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Karen, thanks for stopping by to comment. I think it’s always a good idea to put more effort into things that make you happy! Glad to have you here. ~E

  15. peggy wagoner

    April 12th, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Loved this and all that you do and share. You are a blessing to us all. Thank you so very much!

  16. Joan Ouimet

    April 12th, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you Elizabeth for relaying such simple and great wisdom! This will stay with me forever.

  17. Val Crosby

    April 12th, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Dear Elizabeth, the orange lesson was very thought provoking and is what is taught in the Bible, the only difference is that we can only live in obedience to the Bible if we let Jesus Christ do it for us. I hope
    that when someone squeezes me it would be the reaction of Jesus that comes out, if it isn’t then it would definatly be me! But Praise God, when I slip up God forgives me and as I forgive the person that squeezed me, I am free! Thank you Jesus!

  18. Wendy J Hall

    April 13th, 2019 at 1:29 am

    This came at the most perfect time! I was having a hard time at work and after reading Dr. Dyer’s story, I am much better at telling myself to approach everything with love! This is such a simple message that apparently needs to be learned again and again by me! I’m thankful for you sharing this story!

  19. Janet Slivinski

    April 13th, 2019 at 10:58 am

    This is great I thank you so much. You are an amazing person and so kind.
    Jan

  20. Manuela Oliveros

    April 13th, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I love the analogy of the orange ….. I can really use this at work with my coworkers thank you I’m new to the blog

  21. vlad

    April 28th, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    If someone squeezes you in a great, tight hug, love start pouring out of you, right? 🙂

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