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The $5 Lawn

Many many years ago I heard the story of the $5 lawn. I found this reference as told by Vaughn J. Featherstone and this one. Both cite Richard Thurman as the original author (Reader’s Digest, June 1958).

The story is told of a young teenage boy hired by a countess to care for her lawn. Each day the lad works in the yard and then reports to the countess the value of his work. “A $5 lawn is impossible” and “A $4 lawn is rare,” she would say. With things in perspective he repeatedly finished a $3 or $3.50 lawn each day, continually falling short of the $4 mark. Until one day he realized it was not the $4 he really wanted, but the $5 was truly his goal. He set about thinking what he needed to do to be worthy of the $5. On the appointed day, he arrived early and labored late into the evening. He worked for short bursts and napped periodically in the shade of the tree. His work was meticulous and each completed task spurred him on to his $5 goal. The countess was shocked when he asked for the $5. But after a careful inspection, she agreed that he had done the impossible.

I found some interesting parallels with modern day excellence, particularly my recent post, Seven Things Highly Productive People Do. There seems to be some credibility in working for 60-90 minutes and then resting.

Also, this idea of “impossible” . . . The word was invented by someone who never tried. I really like this quote by Audrey Hepburn:  “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m Possible!'”  We can accomplish what we set our mind to.

Write it down. Break it down. Finish it up.


What “I’m possible” things have you accomplished?

Categories: General, Time Management
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  5. 5 January 2012 at 3:08 am

    Estou impressionado, eu tenho a dizer. Realmente raramente eu encontro um blog que está cada educativo e divertido, e deixe-me informá-lo, você terá que bater o prego na cabeça. Seu conceito é excelente, a dificuldade é uma coisa que os indivíduos não são suficientes falar inteligente sobre. Estou muito feliz que eu tropecei ao longo deste na minha busca por uma coisa se referindo a isso.

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