Introduction

From Chicken Soup for the Soul 20th Anniversary Edition

Introduction

We know everything we need to know to end the needless emotional suffering that many people currently experience. High self-esteem and personal effectiveness are available to anyone willing to take the time to pursue them.

It is difficult to translate the spirit of a live presentation into the written word. Stories we tell every day have had to be rewritten five times to work as well in print as they do live. When you are reading these stories, please forget everything you ever learned in your speed reading classes. Slow down. Listen to the words in your heart as well as in your mind. Savor each story. Let it touch you. Ask yourself, what does it awaken in me? What does it suggest for my life? What feeling or action does it call forth from my inner being? Let yourself have a personal relationship with each story.

Some stories will speak louder to you than others. Some will have deeper meaning. Some will make you cry. Some will make you laugh. Some will give you a warm feeling all over. Some may hit you right between the eyes. There is no right reaction. There is only your reaction. Let it happen and let it be.

Don’t hurry through this book. Take your time. Enjoy it. Savor it. Engage it with your whole being. It represents thousands of hours of culling the “best of the best” from our 40 years of combined experience.

We’ve added 20 new stories for you in this 20th Anniversary Edition of the original Chicken Soup for the Soul. You’ll find them at the beginning of each chapter and they are “bolded” in the Table of Contents. These stories are from some of the best thought leaders in existence today and we are pleased to have their wisdom and insights added to those found in the original collection. We’re confident this new edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul will be just as relevant for the next 20 years as it has been for the last 20.

One last thing: Reading a book like this is a little like sitting down to eat a meal of all desserts. It may be a little too rich. It is a meal with no vegetables, salad or bread. It is all essence with very little froth.

If you find yourself moved to share a story with others, do it. When a story makes you think of another person, call the person it brings to mind and share it. Engage these stories and let them move you to do whatever comes up for you. They are meant to inspire and motivate you.

For a lot of these stories we went back to the original source and asked them to write it or tell it in their own words. Many of the stories will be in their voice, not ours. We have attributed every story we could to the original source. For all of those that are from fellow speakers and trainers, we have included a contributors section in the back of the book where we have listed their name, address and phone number so you can contact them yourself if you wish. You’ll also find a separate contributor bio section for the new stories in this volume.

We hope you will enjoy reading this book as much as we have enjoyed writing it.

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