Memorial Stones

Throughout history, people have erected stones to memorialize victories in war, great achievements, historical events and religious ideas. Not long after the tsunami hit Japan over a year ago, I saw a picture of memorial stones on the sides of the hill above the Fukishima nuclear power plant area. The stones were very large, about six feet tall and in the Japanese characters it said:


Apparently centuries ago there was a tsunami that destroyed towns along the coast and the houses farther up the hill were spared because the wall of water didn’t go up that high. But as time went on, people built their homes just a little below the danger line. Generations passed and more people began to build their homes farther down the hill, closer to the beach. In modern times they build a protective wall in the sea to prevent waves from crashing into the buildings on the coast. But we all know what happened, a huge tsunami, much taller than the protective wall crashed into the buildings along the coast.

A woman’s husband died and she inherited a $20,000. But after the funeral she complained to her friend that she was broke.

“Broke?” her friend replied, shocked. “But where did all that money go that you inherited?”

“Well, I spent $10,000 on the funeral and $10,000 on the memorial stone.” the widow answered.

“That must have been some memorial stone!” the friend said.

“The widow held out her hand and showed it to her friend. “Yes, about three carats.”

Anyway, the point of this post is that it is good to remember your victories, whether you do it with a memorial stone or some other way. We all have lots of failures and it is easy to focus on those. Focusing on failures only brings us down and doesn’t energize us for victory, focusing on our successes does.

People who are depressed and accomplish less than their best in life almost always are the kind of person who dwells on failures and unhappy things of the past. Remembering what that person did wrong to me is a sure way to become unhappy. Remembering all the times I failed to stay on my diet is a recipe for disaster. Remembering my mistakes at work only deflates my motivation.

Remember to remember your victories. They will lift you up and help you have more victories in the future. You reap what you sow. If you think victory and happy thoughts you will sow more of these thoughts and good things in life.


  1. Each year while I’m setting goals for the coming year, I make a list of my accomplishments, no matter how small. The list usually includes a few surprises, things I’ve forgotten about. That inventory is a great way to keep your enthusiasm high and motivate yourself to keep going.

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