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Personal Growth and Development Tune Up

This post was most recently updated on January 22nd, 2012

Here is a fable that hopefully will help you in your own awareness of personal growth.

We are all beings with a past, and that past never goes away. To grow, we need to see clearly how to distinguish from the past and what keeps us going forward in our personal growth.

Personal Growth is not a quick fix. If you want to succeed in ANYTHING, you need to be aware and keep your Self tuned-up.

A Campfire Fable

Once upon a time, there was a happy campfire. The energy that the fire created was strong and long-lasting. People came from miles around, to visit the campfire and spoke of how wonderful its energy was. The campfire felt alive! She was healthy, and bursting with enthusiasm because she was able to bring joy and happiness to herself as well as to others.

Now, the campfire knew that the main reason her fire was strong was due to the well-seasoned logs that fed the fire. The campfire happily feasted on the aged oak, ash, beech and cherry. As long as those strong, seasoned logs were on the fire, the campfire could maintain itself for long periods of time and stay strong and healthy.

What the campfire also knew was that not far from the spot that it happily burned, there was a little knoll with a pile of moldy, decaying logs. The moldy logs were old beliefs that she learned about herself. Occasionally, something would happen, like someone would tell the campfire that she was small and insignificant or that she wasn’t good enough. When this happened, it triggered the moldy logs to break loose and roll down to the knoll onto the campfire!

When the moldy logs thundered onto the campfire, her fire would burn less brightly. There would be lots of smoke…things became unclear…it was hard to breathe and make decisions.

The campfire knew that these moldy logs were old ideas that at one time were important for her survival, but now only made her life and energy worse. They cooled her fire, made her unhappy, the joy disappeared. She struggled and finally pushed the moldy logs back onto the knoll and secured them. She threw some of her well-seasoned logs back onto her fire and was happily burning strong and bright again.

THE MORAL: We need to know what our “logs”/belief systems are: the good, healthy and strong ones as well as the moldy, decaying ones. We will never get rid of the moldy logs because they are part of who we are today. We can, however, use our newer good, well-seasoned logs to push the moldy ones out of our fire and rekindle the strength and energy that helps us move through our days to help ourselves and others.

This is a story that helped me to overcome many obstacles in my life and was given to me by my buddy, Lucia Sciore. Bless you Lucia!

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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38 Responses to Personal Growth and Development Tune Up

  1. Donna Merrill October 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks Emma,
    Keep this story in your mind and eventually you can relate when something gets in the way of your thought process that is negative. Lock it up. Go on your merry way and you will eventually be free of negative thoughts controlling or distracting you.
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Focused?My Profile

  2. Emma October 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I love this!

    Belief Systems can really be a load of BS!!! It really is amazing how a belief can dampen our spirits or brighten them beyond measure! I’m a big fan of locking up those mouldy logs!

    Thank you,

    Emma 🙂
    Emma recently posted..Why Video Email?My Profile

  3. Donna Merrill October 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks David! I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks for visiting this blog. Thanks for the like on my new look. It was a total accident. lol But nothing is!
    Donna I will relate it to David lol
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Focused?My Profile

  4. David Paul October 23, 2011 at 4:43 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What beautiful and poignant fable. My key positive emotion, the part of me that burns brightest is fed by my self talk (my oak logs). We all have self talk, but sometimes we ignore that we are 100% responsible for our current beliefs and what we tell ourselves. When we choose to take 100% responsibility for what we tell ourselves and choose to feed our passions with message filled with strong, positive emotions, our lives and the lives of all those whom surround us multiply in value and strength.

    Wow! Isn’t that just amazing?

    With Peace, Love and Prosperity

    David H. Paul

    PS- I love the new look on your site, and please pass on my congratulations to David on the eradication of his moldy logs 😉
    David Paul recently posted..Unconditional Love: Lips Service or Truth?My Profile

  5. Julieanne van Zyl August 17, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    What a wonderful story Donna! Fire does have a lot of energy doesn’t it, I used to love “GuyFox Night” we had when I was a child. Except, we used to throw out a lot of our rubbish and pile it up on an empty block in the neighbourhood. And, on guyfox night, we had a massive fire and got lots of good energy and fun from it!

    Thanks for the story Donna! Regards from Julieanne

    • Donna Merrill August 30, 2011 at 4:00 am #

      Hey Julienne
      Fire does have the most energy. The symbolism here is the fire within our selves. The core of our being.

  6. Rosemary
    August 17, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I thought you had some great advice on this post. It is very important to build a strong foundation with all our personal development. Many thanks Rosemary

    • Donna Merrill August 30, 2011 at 3:59 am #

      Certainly Rosemary, We must have a strong foundation in order to help others. It is a constant learning lesson.

  7. Yorinda August 14, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    Hi Donna,
    what a great way to tell a story about a fire with the analogy to beliefs.
    We all have some unresolved stuff which hinders us from truly enjoying life. If we have not acknowledge the pain from the past and then let it go we are stiffled like the fire from the mouldy logs.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • Donna Merrill August 30, 2011 at 3:58 am #

      I find that story telling usually gets a message across more than a 1, 2, 3 lesson. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Pius Achonu July 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    I am visiting your blog today, saw you on facebook.I am thrilled with your posts here.Keep up the good job.Thank you Dnna

    • Donna Merrill August 30, 2011 at 3:57 am #

      Thank you for visiting via Facebook. Looking forward to speak more.

  9. Pearly Quah July 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You are awesome ! This is not an easy way to tell a story about campfire with a great meaning behind it ! 🙂 I am completely impressed with your way of writing this story to pass your message out to us.

    How true it is when we apply this to get what we want and to be clear of what we need to do to go there with burning desire which leads to action. With this, we will have the energy to keep moving forward for a great result !

    Excellent post, donna and I thank you for this article 🙂


  10. adrian campbell July 4, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    it’s been a long time ago, since i was able to read a fable.

    I can say this one is very inspiring, at midst one one’s success, what you have been through in the past should keep you going and motivated.

    thanks for a very inspiring story.

    • Donna Merrill July 11, 2011 at 4:40 am #

      So glad you enjoyed this fable. It is very helpful when getting rid of past “stuff” that creeps into your mind when you are reaching higher goals.

  11. Katri June 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Hahaha – great story Donna. Love it ! This is it; we need to let go of the past. People as well as ideas that don’t work for us anymore. This life is constant change, nothing stays the same, whether we like it or not. We evolve and that’s what keep the Energy flowing.
    Best Regards from Finland,

  12. Willena Flewelling
    June 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    I love this story. It’s a perfect illustration of what happens. I also like the analogy of a garden. The weeds come by default. The only way the vegetables and flowers will grow is if we are diligent at keeping the weeds pulled.

    Thanks for sharing this story from your friend!

    Willena Flewelling

    • Donna Merrill June 29, 2011 at 1:55 am #

      Thanks for the appreciation of the story.

  13. Andy Nathan June 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm #


    Love the analogy here, plus I always enjoy a good campfire. It is just entrancing to watch a campfire from start to finish. Makes your head spin!


  14. Miss Leslie June 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    What a wonderful analogy, Donna. I will remember this – when I start feeling down or discouraged, I’ll think of those moldy, rotten logs and throw some good wood on the fire.

    Wishing you a song in your heart,
    Miss Leslie @ Music with Miss Leslie.com

  15. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    June 18, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    Donna, What a wonderful story. Nothing like a story with images that we can recall over and over again. You are reminding me of the incredible power of story telling. We are telling our selves a story every time we listen to those old self-deprecating, self-defeating, beliefs that cloud our current vision. Thanks for sharing this lovely story. Who doesn’t enjoy a warm fire and campfire stories?

    • Donna Merrill June 18, 2011 at 3:37 am #

      I love telling stories. We seem to remember them better – like songs. Once this story is in your mind, it becomes clear to claim your personal power.
      Thank You,

  16. Dereck June 16, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    What a great analogy Donna!

    I know personally, some of those “Old and Moldy” logs creep down into my fire and cause all kinds of chaos from time to time. Only more of a reason to burn that much brighter baby!

    Thanks for the story!


    • Donna Merrill June 18, 2011 at 3:35 am #

      Thanks so much Dereck! Oh those logs have a way to come tumbling down from time to time. Knowing we have CONTROL over it when identified is a great feeling.

  17. Marquita Herald
    June 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Hey Donna – now THAT is great storytelling! Terrific article and I love the moral – we all need a good foundation in order to build a solid future. Thanks!

  18. Michaelé Harrington June 12, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Hey Donna,

    I’m with Kellie, I loved the little animated fire!

    This story is so well done. It saddens me that many people will live most of their lives not even realizing the moldy logs are there.

    The mind is such a cunning prison if it’s left unchecked. It’s only through disciplined awareness that we can break free of its limiting illusions and keep that fire burning strong.

    • Donna Merrill June 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      So well said Michaele! Awareness is the key to Mindfullness!

  19. Marc Korn June 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring post and great imagery.

    Personal development and self improvement is about identifying areas of your life that you would like to change for the better. You must have an attitude of continual self-improvement.

    No matter which area of your life you are determined to improve, if you are mindful of your limiting beliefs and re-evaluate your situation and stay motivated and take ACTION, you can achieve the success you desire.

    Keep inspiring us,

    • Donna Merrill June 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      So true Marc!
      I am a self improvement-aholic! Being a mentor is my most important job. I am the tool and always need to be checking up on the way I think and behave. If I am to give myself and teach people, I like to go through as much learning as possible so I can apply this with others.

  20. Rick Lelchuk June 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    It fascinates me to find such similar topics across the blogs that I read. Must be something in the smoke.

    Old beliefs are actually OK if they still serve you. I like a lot of the “old fashioned” stuff, thinking, beliefs. It’s when an old belief becomes a road block, a hindrance in the ability to move forward do we need to make a shift.

    Replacing the old thought with a new one and repeating the new belief is the time tested means to boldly moving forward.

    Actually, the flame burns on and on. It is a matter of the intensity of the flame that we control with our thoughts and beliefs.

    Thank you again, Donna, for an inspiring and uplifting post.


    • Donna Merrill June 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

      Certainly Rick,
      The good stuff is to be kept as building blocks of who we are, but the negative stuff is the moldy logs. It does take practice to push that away when there is a “trigger” in your life and you get that negative feeling. Working on oneself takes time and devotion. But to be a mentor, I feel like we are the tool and we need it to be sharpened all the time.

  21. Kellie Hosaka June 10, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    Aloha Donna,

    I love that story! And I love your campfire graphics!! Very cool!

    Thank you for sharing with all of us. Oh yes, those moldy beliefs do have a tendency to “cloud” our vision don’t they?

    I am so glad I saw your posting today!

    Much love,
    Kellie 🙂


    • Donna Merrill June 10, 2011 at 4:50 am #

      Hey Kellie!
      Yes, the more you identify with the story, the more stronger you get. You can catch those moments when something happens that triggers you. We have the power to put it back where it belongs. I’ve practiced this for two years and I can save time and negative energy coming into my space.

  22. Robin Lynn Brooks June 10, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    I adore how that term well-seasoned logs comes into play. Stories like this a rich for the soul. I remember pondering thoughts like these as a young girl when I observed people going through challenges. Sometimes even expressed them in letters to friends that I felt could appreciate better the picture in story form.

    Very nice! Would benefit anyone needing a restoration moment to encourage a more positive mindset.

    • Donna Merrill June 10, 2011 at 4:46 am #

      Thanks Robin,
      I just HAD to share this story because of the imagery. When things get us down it goes deeper into what is on the surface. The moldy log can be from anything that was negative in the past. Memories never go away. This is a great way to deal with them. It builds strength and we can go along in our lives making the right choices!

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