• I walk down the street.
  • There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • And I fall in.
  • I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault.
  • It takes forever to find a way out.


  • I walk down the same street.
  • There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.
  • I can’t believe I am in the same place.
  • But it isn’t my fault.
  • It takes a long time to get out.


  • I walk down the same street and there is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • I see it there, and still I fall in.
  • It’s a habit.
  • But my eyes are open and I know where I am.
  • It is my fault and I get out immediately.


  • I walk down the same street.
  • There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • I walk around it.


  • I walk down a different street.

By Portia Nelson

Helpful Books/Links/References:

Life in Five Short Chapters has been published in the following books (looks like other people liked it too!):

  • The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (Page 208) by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis © 2008
  • City Baby and Star: Addiction, Transcendence and the Tenderloin: Book One from the Voices of the Edge Trilogy (Page 76) by Don Stannard-Friel © 2005
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens (Page 62) by Sean Covey © 1998
  • Building Teacher’s Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach (page 178) by Pete Hall, Alisa Simeral © 2008
  • The Woman’s Guide to Money (Page 11) by Kelley Keehn © 2008
  • The neXt Revolution: What Gen X Women Want at Work and How Their Boomer Bosses Can Help Them Get It (Page 198) by Charlotte Shelton and Laura Shelton © 2005
  • Starting Over: How to Take Back Control of Your Life! (Page 48) by Bob Gass © 2000
  • Leadership Gold (Page 190) by John C. Maxwell © 2008
  • Lessons for Living: Simple Solutions for Life’s Problems (Page 56) by Daniel H. Johnston © 2001

Dr. Denice Moffat, Naturopath & Medical Intuitive
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