I've shared this tip in the past, it's one I love. I'm not sure of the original author of this story. I found it on the internet years ago and have used the illustration in some of the groups I have facilitated over the years. I've expanded a few of the metaphors recently and wanted to pass them along. I found some awesome props to help illustrate this idea, so we are now selling them in our online store. See below for more info!
Advice from a Pencil
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box "There are five things you need to know before I send you out into the world." he told the pencil. "Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.
1. You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone's hand.
Michelle's additions/debriefing points with groups:
- Connection with others is important.
- Allow others to have access to your gifts.
2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil.
- Going through various problems in life, you'll need it to become a stronger person.
3. You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
- The Really Big Eraser is a luxury. Sometimes we only get the small erase at the end of the pencil. What might the big eraser mean to you?
4. The most important part of you will always be what's inside.
- A pencil can be used for many things, but the lead inside is what is most important. What gifts do you have that would be helpful to others?
5. On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.
- Our actions affect others. Our interactions have an impact on everyone around us.
Advice from a pencil is a tool to use to let each person know that they are unique and that only they can fulfill the purpose to which they were born to accomplish. Don't allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.
We might become more useful and even write our own story of success.
How might you use this metaphor in your groups?
Have fun out there,