I was introduced to Al Walker the author of, “The Sheep Thief,” through Tracey Jones the daughter of Charlie “Tremendous” Jones who published Al’s book and is now running the publishing company since her fathers death.
If you are into parables then you are in luck, because Al’s book is a parable with a wonderful story and message. It is about two young men in Italy who were caught stealing sheep. They were immediately taken to trial before the town judge, found guilty and in front of their fellow villagers, were given their sentence. It was a cruel, harsh and painful sentence that would mark them for life. I will not ruin the story for you but the message is in what the men do with their lives after they are sentenced as thief’s. Much of Al’s book deals with the lessons learned in life, and how we use adversity in life to make us stronger or for many it is a sentence in which we give up.
Al articulates 10 steps that I believe are so important in life, and really determine our character as individuals. The 10 steps are:
- You become what you value-I constantly seek to clarify my values. I know what values are important to me. I know what I stand for, what I believe in and what I will not compromise.
- You become what you say-I know and believe that the words I repeatedly use have an impact on who I am. I will use only words that are helpful, positive encouraging and tasteful.
- Build on Strengths– I will pursue greater knowledge of my strengths for the rest of my life. I will maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses in myself and everyone that I meet.
- Attempt the Difficult-I will continue to challenge myself to try new things in order to grow. I will relish living in the arena, not in the grandstand. I will fail forward.
- Work Conscientiously and Productively-I am committed to the belief that working diligently pays off. I will do as Aristotle suggested when he said, “Lose yourself in productive work in a way of excellence.”
- Laugh Often-I will find something to laugh about every day of my life. I will share this gift generously and often. I will start each day with a smile in my heart, knowing that the rest of my body will follow.
- Self Discipline-I am on the right track and am putting forth the time, energy and effort to learn and develop what I need to in order to become the person I am capable of becoming and accomplish life’s most important objectives.
- Be A Self Starter-I will honor my possibilities by truly being a self-starter. I will not wait on anyone else to “start” me. I START myself. My positive self-talk will help me be a self-starter.
- Obey The Laws of Man-I abide by and live, work and play within the laws of the land. I realize the traffic, civil and all other laws exist for a reason. I realize the laws and rules establish boundaries for an orderly way of life.
- Obey The Laws of Nature-I will not let my need for excitement overrule my good judgment. I will be careful and take the necessary precautions in any activity, whether it is bungee jumping, sky diving, para-sailing etc.
Al’s book is a very easy read, and is loaded with practical advice. Much of the lessons taught by Al Walker he has experienced himself and you will be able to listen to part of his personal story in our interview together. You can visit his website by clicking here.