Remember the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? Jack and his poor mother were going in the hole. Maintaining the status quo wasn't working any longer -- and they realized that a change needed to take place.
So, Jack's mother sent him to town with the family cow and some specific instructions. "Sell Bessie and bring back as much cash as you can."
Now, it was hard to give up old Bessie. She had been a good cow, and a great source for ice cream. But now, the ice cream days were over, the budget was tightening -- and Bessie was a gonner.
And then, miracle of miracles, as Jack was leading Bessie to the village market, he came upon a gentleman with a handful of beans -- not just your regular garden variety beans, mind you -- but magic beans! At least, that's what the man said.
Somehow, Jack left the realm of sensibilities, and traded Bessie for the beans. To him, although it was hard to explain, it seemed like a pretty good idea. Somehow, there was fresh, bold, new opportunity in those magic beans.
His poor mother, however, saw neither the opportunity nor the magic. Instead, she only saw hairbrained foolishness. How could her son be so stupid?? Their good cow for a handful of beans? In fury and snit, she threw the beans out the window.
Ah, but those "worthless" beans were indeed magic. They took root and grew overnight -- far, far into the sky, beyond the reach of human eyes -- beyond the level of comprehension or even possibility.
The next morning, Jack climbed to brand new heights and explored a fabulous world of dangerous delights! Giants! Talking harps! A Goose that laid golden eggs!
There was power in those beans!
And when he grew old, Jack lived in the retirement center. There, he entertained his friends with spellbinding tales of the beanstalk adventures. A few believed him, but most didn't -- because they were the type who would have kept the cow.
It really didn't matter to Jack, however, whether they believed him or not. The opinions of others don't matter so much after you've had some life-changing experiences.
Every day, he closed his eyes, smiled contentedly, and thought, "I'm sure glad I traded the cow for the beans."
Moral of this story: You have to give up the cow if you want to climb up the beanstalk. What is your cow? What is your beanstalk?