Atlas Mountains in Morocco


“Don’t live down to expectations.  Go out there and do something remarkable.’ 

 Wendy Wasserstein 

When he was an old man in the years after the First World War, Louis Hubert Lyautey, Maréchal de France, was given a retirement job as Resident General of Morocco under the French Protectorate. Someone told him that the Moroccan Atlas mountain range, which stretches from Agadir to the Mediterranean, had once been covered by cedar forest.

He ordered it replanted at once. His civil servants objected that such old growth forests took millennia to establish. Lyautey replied briskly, ‘That, gentlemen, is why we will start immediately.’

Have you contemplated deeply what it is you came here to do? Are you doing it? What project have you been putting off that could be started now? What’s stopping you from starting? Remember, as I’ve said before, when the day of reckoning arrives, it’s not often the things we’ve done that we regret, it’s what we’ve wanted to do but haven’t that fuel regret.

So, do like Lyautey and get on with what needs to be done now. Don’t worry about how long it will take or whether you’ll see the results. True acts of selfless service rarely provide material benefit for the doer. But they feed the soul and make the world a better place now and for those who follow.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.