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 of 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.
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?”
“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…
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!
Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.