EVER HEAR THE STORY of the giant ship engine
that failed? The ships owners tried one expert after another,
but none of them could figure out how to fix the engine. Then
they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he
was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and
when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the
engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ships
owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what
to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his
bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something.
Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his
hammer away. The engine was fixed!
A week later, the owners received a bill
from the old man for ten thousand dollars.
What?! the owners exclaimed.
He hardly did anything! So they wrote the old man
a note saying, Please send us an itemized bill.
The man sent a bill that read,
Tapping with a hammer............$2
Knowing where to tap...............$9998
Effort is important, but knowing where
to make an effort in your life makes all the difference. And
heres something Ive learned from experience and study:
If you want to improve your life overall, the best place to tap
I injured a tendon not too long ago and
didnt exercise for about a month. Ive started again,
and Ive become a born-again exerciser! Id forgotten
how good it is for my sense of well-being. I have more energy,
a better attitude, a gentler disposition. Its easier to
be the kind of person I want to be.
Our bodies need daily exercise, and when
we dont exercise, it makes us feel bad. I think its
our natural state to be energetic and feeling good. But the lack
of exercise prevents that.
A consensus is building among doctors,
psychologists and those trying to help others become saner, happier
and healthier: Exercise is the place to start. If you were in
a position to give advice, and someone unhappy or unhealthy came
to you for guidance but you were allowed to give only one word
of advice, the best thing you could recommend is: Exercise!