Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Main Thing

When I wrote ‘Can Turtles Fly?‘ a while back, I got some interesting comments, as I expected. While some readers agreed with what I said, others told me that anyone can do whatever they dream possible. But I fear sometimes, that in going after ‘dreams’ of things that we have no talent for, we might end up not doing the one thing we were meant to be doing

 The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. ~ Unknown

I think this can be best explained by this true story (as told by Zig Ziglar):

Antonio was a lad who lived in Cremona, Italy, during the 17th century.  Cremona was a musical town where great acclaim was bestowed on those who could sing or play.  Unfortunately, although Antonio wanted recognition for his musical talents, his friends called him “squeaky voice” when he tried to sing.  He tried to play the piano and the violin, but his skills were limited.

As Antonio walked through the streets of Cremona with his friends, he listened to their beautiful voices.  Unfortunately, the only thing he could do was whittle on a block of wood with his knife.  One day, while sitting at the edge of the street, whittling, watching and listening to three of his friends play and sing beautiful songs, he noted that the people passing by frequently dropped coins into their hands to reward their efforts.

One gentleman stopped longer than any of the others and even asked them to repeat a song.  When they finished, he dropped a coin into the hand of the singer, then moved on down the street.  Much to their shock, the boys discovered it was a gold coin, which was quite a bit of money to give a street singer.  But the man who gave it could afford to do so.  His name was Amati and he was identified as the greatest violin maker in all of Italy.

That evening at home, Antonio thought about Amati and decided that he, too, wanted to become a violin maker.  The next morning he went to the home of Amati and persuaded him to let him be his apprentice.  For many years Antonio learned from the master and in due time his work became known throughout the whole world.

Antonio’s last name was Stradivari.  To this day, musicians still make music from his violins, which now sell for six figures plus.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Your own inner voice, heart and intuition somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs

May you be inspired – everyday!


  1. Bella Bella July 4, 2011

    Corinne, you’re on a roll with these wonderful stories! I’m so glad to finally have a break to read and learn from your posts! I’m the first person to advocate staying true to your calling. You know my lemma, “life is too short.” And indeed, life is too short to spend on an endeavor that’s not your calling. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of honoring our authenticity!

  2. Mari Sterling Wilbur Mari Sterling Wilbur July 2, 2011

    Wow – amazing story. I was caught off guard at the end to find out the story was about Stradivari. Great post.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @maristerlingwilbur:disqus – Thank you, Mari. I was captivated by the story too.

  3. sam yambao sam yambao July 1, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this very inspiring story. It’s a good reminder that what we “can’t” do leads us to what we are supposed to be doing. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @google-ff421da76eb40d61a021b02f1052e141:disqus – Yes, and you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing alright, Sam 🙂

  4. Brenda Moguez Brenda Moguez July 1, 2011

    Inspiring.. it’s always a walk between doing what others want, what is expected,vs what makes your heart burst.  It saddens me knowing people are not always able to be true to their soul.  Wonderful story, post, as well as affirmation for all that have opted to stay on course with their real selves.   Brenda

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @3e863f37c2ee2f2de5a55614a1c14002:disqus – I love your phrase ‘what makes your heart burst’ – wow! Yes, strange but we need to be reminded to be ourselves!

  5. Kristy Dolha Kristy Dolha July 1, 2011

    Beautiful story and so true….it’s important to have a mind that’s open enough if you ever hope to find what you’re “meant” to do…

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @twitter-33128443:disqus – Yes an open mind is what is important… preconceived notions of success etc.

  6. debra elramey debra elramey July 1, 2011

    Corinne, I already stole “Can Turtles Fly: (and will steal it again 🙂  This one was petty theft.
    It’s in the comment section above.   I’d also like to use it in future posts of mine.     
    Now I’m going to steal “The Main Thing” because it’s extraordinary!    
    Thank you Anam Cara! 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @twitter-182699349:disqus – Steal away, Debra. That’s what I did, anyway! 🙂

  7. Jimshu Jimshu July 1, 2011

    I hate seeing posts saying follow your hearts,
    We need to distinguish between what your dreams want you to do, and what your intuition is telling you you should be doing.
    There’s a difference. Follow your heart or your dream is not necessarily what you should be doing.
    But get in touch with your intuitive side, and follow what it tells you. .
    Your intuition is never wrong because it is the correct decision for you. It’s your experience, knowledge, wisdom, and inner sensing of the future telling you what the correct path is.

    But decisions based on your heart are fraught with problems because they may after all be just that- dreams.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @07158ff8dcb9216a03f3e67c0f7833ca:disqus – Thanks, Jim. I agree with you about intuition. But when I said ‘heart’ I didn’t mean doing something impulsive, but following that call deep within that you know is right…

  8. David Smith David Smith July 1, 2011

    I’m a big believer in folks doing what makes them happy and living their days as they see fit not doing something because their parents insist or they must keep up with “The Jones”.  We only get one life and we must discover our destiny in that alotted time. Great reminder on what’s important!!!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @google-4de666346ce065d9e1deb9635fd2cb0a:disqus – Yes, David, we all need to define our own success.

  9. uzma uzma July 1, 2011

    Very simple, and powerful. It matters so very much, to find our true voice and work. Thank u for this. Still looking for mine 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @7e41815352c0a6a7a3e6835c063d8adf:disqus – It will come as you keep seeking the light, Uzma 🙂

  10. Pandora Poikilos Pandora Poikilos July 1, 2011

    I’m even more captivated by your site today – the quote by Steve Jobs and that oh so wonderful verse from Jeremiah. I’m using that for the first page of my second book as well. Thank you for all that you are. Much love and a blessed weekend. – Dora

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @c5cf9f9e2a5cda4c25515dac9922b8f6:disqus So honored, Dora. I’m glad we share Jeremiah! 🙂

  11. Larry Larry July 1, 2011

    An awesome inspiring story. Zig Ziglar has to be one of the greatest personal development speakers (his voice is rather distinctive). When you do find your true purpose then everythings possible.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @6d317d822429f2120801d2482c483898:disqus – I’m a big fan of ZZ too, Larry. Yes, it’s amazing how things follow when you’re following your life’s purpose.

  12. Sonia Rumzi Sonia Rumzi June 30, 2011

    You left me speechless at the end of the post! I thank you for an awe inspiring piece. My favorite piece of music is Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, all on Stradvarius instruments. I love you with all my heart. You inspire me to new heights. Bless your soul.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @twitter-210647025:disqus – And you inspire me too, Sonia. Love you back!

  13. Rimly Bezbarua Rimly Bezbarua June 30, 2011

    What an inspiring story. Lucky are those that find their calling. Loved it Corrine

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @google-7c04a3c7aa85123a82fb23d2b69990bf:disqus – Those who find their calling are truly blessed. 

  14. elizabeth young elizabeth young June 30, 2011

    Great post Corinne, thanks for the story and thanks for reminding us to live our authentic life and not somebody elses!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues June 30, 2011

      @google-f0e262684b2c8cb70b3d2eb22dd25f93:disqus – This is all about being authentic and true to our calling, Elizabeth. I wish we’d all get that!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 2, 2011

      @google-f0e262684b2c8cb70b3d2eb22dd25f93:disqus – You didn’t need a reminder, Elizabeth – you’r doing a fine job of being YOU. 🙂

  15. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda June 30, 2011

    lovely post.  i had to go back and read about turtles flying too, since, i’d previously missed that one 😉

    of course, i love the story of Antonio Stradivari and i may have to steal that one from you!   

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues June 30, 2011

      @2ccfdabf0e12793388ff15c4032d8bb4:disqus – You’re welcome to ‘steal’ the story – that’s what I just did too! 🙂 I read your comment to the previous post and I’m so glad that there are Moms like you. Unfortunately, it’s not the same in India. Not too many people are given the freedom and encouragement needed to find their own calling. I too was blessed like your children are.

      • Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda June 30, 2011

        Actually, I don’t know too many parents in America who give their kids the advice to follow their hearts either — I’m kind of radical like that 😉

  16. roy durham roy durham June 30, 2011

    he still make great music  thank you and god bless

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues June 30, 2011

      @google-786d0e7eebba4bb456b1089783288cf5:disqus  – oh yes he does, Roy. 

  17. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues June 30, 2011

    @6bada2ad50e9345e54a86ccb672a7a12:disqus – Yes, Savi watching too many people flying around with ‘I can do anything I set my mind to’, which is great – but what are you trying to prove, I ask?

  18. Jpbrandanophoto Jpbrandanophoto June 30, 2011

    Great story…. You need to fin your calling  some of us are lucky to have our calling be what we wanted all along…. Keep moving towards the goal I honestly feel you will get there!!!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues June 30, 2011

      @5fdc8e42b6b541e908d5fa617f537acb:disqus  – Yes we’re the lucky ones Jim. I want everyone to find their calling – I’m sure the world will be much happier for it.

  19. Savira Gupta Savira Gupta June 30, 2011

    Sometimes I feel one needs to come back to earth and see things clearly… It is great to dream but lets be realistic as well. 
    Achieving the small stuff is also a wonderful achievement. Great post as always

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© Everyday Gyaan 2019
%d bloggers like this: