Stay Stuck or Start Cleaning?

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Once upon a time, there was a poor guy who lived in a dirty house. His house looked like a garbage dump. It was horrible. It
smelled bad.

There was trash on the floor. Cobwebs on the walls. It was so dusty. You go in and you would sneeze.

One day, this poor man was on the street, depressed and discouraged. He told himself, “I’ll be poor for the rest of my life.”

Then a wise man walked by, took pity on the poor man, and said, “I will give you something that will change your life.”

The wise man was carrying a vase. He gave it to the poor man. It was a beautiful, beautiful vase.

The poor guy held on to this beautiful vase. And the first thing that came to his mind was, “I’m going to sell this so I can buy alcohol. I’ll just get drunk. I haven’t had alcohol for the longest time because I had no money.”

So he thanked the wise man. But while he was walking home, something about the beauty of that vase told him, “Don’t sell it. Put it there in your house.”

And so the man went into his house and put the vase on the table. He saw how beautiful the vase was.

Then he said, “There’s something lacking.”

Of course, flowers. He went out of his house and looked at the empty lots around. He saw some yellow flowers on the ground.
He plucked them out, ran back to his house, and put them in his flower vase. Perfect!

Beautiful flowers in a beautiful vase.

After a while, he said again, “Oh, wow! This is so nice. But the surroundings don’t fit.”
There was dirt on the table and there was dirt on the floor. So he started cleaning the table. He started cleaning the floor.

He started removing the cobwebs. He started cleaning his house. And for the very first time, he cleaned the dirty windows. Shafts
of beautiful light entered into his house.

The man exclaimed, “Wow! My house is beautiful!” And because he cleaned the inside, he also cleaned the outside of his
The neighbors saw him and said, “Whoa, look at this! Something new is happening.”

They peeked through the window and for the first time, they saw this beautiful house. The poor guy started having visitors.
His neighbors started dropping by.

Because neighbors visited him, friendships started to form. The man began to smile more. Oh, there were more smiles and joy.

In one of those visits, a neighbor said, “You know, I have a bumper crop of vegetables. Do you want to sell them? Don’t you have an old cart somewhere? But it’s OK if it’s not working anymore. I’m going to lend you a cart anyway.”

The poor man said, “Oh, that’s wonderful.”

“I’m going to give it to you cheap,” the neighbor said. “Sell it at a profit.”

The poor man started pushing his cart and selling the vegetables. And you know what? After a few months, after a year, after two years, he was not poor anymore.

Why? Because of the beautiful vase.

One little change altered everything.

*This excerpt was taken from THIS OR THAT by Bo Sanchez, available now in paperback and e-book copy at!

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