Jun 24, 2012


I will be proactive and grateful, so that I may remain aware of, and PROFIT FROM, all aspects of reality, especially those golden opportunities that may be disguised as hardships or problems.

PROFIT is a controversial term. This is unfortunate because the fact that it is controversial shows that not only is its meaning not well understood, which wouldn't be that bad, but that it is often misinterpreted as EXPLOITING.

Companies and individuals often fall on one or the other side of this flawed concept; either they implicitly apologize for their profits by communicating that their goals are otherwise, and that profit is almost a necesary evil, or conversely they seek to achieve gains ruthlessly by pursuing strategies that are not in everyone's best interests, especially not their own in the long run. Actually, many actually sit on the fence doing both.

This is also tragic because this misunderstanding is, in my opinion, at the root of why many salespeople fail despite great work ethic and talent, due to succumbing to "fear of rejection". They fear being rejected, because at some level, they believe their motives must fall into being described as either altruistic or exploitive, and, suspecting that what they do is the latter, they lack the courage of their convictions, and go through their careers with one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas.... (sometimes only on the brake, which results in short careers.)

These beliefs are based on a scarcity mentality, in which people believe that if one party profits, the other party must lose.

In a proper, abundance mentality, it is not only possible, but practical and optimal for both parties to gain. In fact, long term success MUST be based on this principle. That doesn't mean that my ultimate purpose is to bring value to others per se (although I may well enjoy doing so), but that I recognize that the best way for me to maximize my own profits, long term, in a way that will also maximize my happiness as a human being, is to bring maximum value to the parties who choose to do business with me. This will result in people paying top dollar for my service as well as repeat business and referrals.

I am using business dealings as an aspect to which most of us would be familiar, but in our dealings with "all aspects of reality", the principle will always hold true.

Thanks again for reading.... I hope you may have derived some PROFIT from doing so.

Jun 17, 2012


I will be proactive and grateful, so that I may REMAIN AWARE of, and profit from, all aspects of reality, especially those golden opportunities that may be disguised as hardships or problems.

REMAINING AWARE: One of the unfortunate ways in which most people choose to deal with problems or challenges (or reality in general) is to simply avoid thinking about them. This is tragic for more reasons than I would have time to list in one blog entry. People refer to being "in denial". As human beings, our capacity to think is what sets us apart from other species and is our tool of survival. Choosing to not fully utilize this capacity by avoiding dealing with things we perceive to be unpleasant or are simply inconvenient is akin to choosing not to live.
People sometimes choose to "deny" things and/or combine this with rationalization/justification for either not doing things they should, or doing things they should know better than to do. (often because they become enamored with their whims like the child who thows a tantrum when his mother tells him he can't have candy before dinner.)
The first act of evil that precedes any other is the decision not to think, and therefore this is the ultimate evil.
We should remember that once we have established something as a daily priority, (one that we realize will lead to succeeding at living a full and happy life) and we fail to execute that priority on any given day, any justification other than a true crisis we may use, is simpy an attempt to avoid being aware that we simply chose not to live in alignment with our values that day. Developing the habit of doing this leads to sure disaster.
By being proactive and grateful and looking for the opportunity in every situation, (which is always there), we recognize the advantages of always being aware of reality (of always CHOOSING to THINK),and we reap countless benefits for doing so.
The irony is that we not only gain nothing from denial but always create larger problems instead.
There is nothing so unpleasant to deal with, that we can't make it worse by avoiding it.
As Ayn Rand put so eloquently: "I'm not brave enough to be a coward."

Thanks again for reading.

Jun 9, 2012

Being grateful for GRATITUDE!

I will be proactive and GRATEFUL, so that I may remain aware of, and profit from, all aspects of reality, especially those golden opportunities that may be disguised as hardships or problems.

In an earlier post, I suggested that gratitude, more than just a great perspective on things, can be an actual solution to many challenges, that is, if your ultimate goal is to have a happy life.

In the classic movie, "White Christmas", starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, there is a great scene where Crosby's character spends time with Clooney's character when the two of them are drinking warm milk to deal with a bout of insomnia.  Bing breaks into a song about counting his blessings when he can't sleep.  

I love the word gratitude; I am in fact grateful for gratitude.  I, in fact, often do, exactly what the Bing suggests if I can't sleep because I am allowing some problem (imagined or real) to keep me tossing and turning.  It works amazingly well.... and even if I don't actually fall asleep, I choose to relish just how comfortable my bed and pillow is, and how fortunate I am to feel safe in my bed, due to living in a time and place where acts of crime or war would be extremely irregular, as opposed to a legitimate concern during most parts of history, and in many places even today.

I try to make a point of remembering what may seem mundane such as indoor plumbing, toilet paper and electric lights, along with the more precious, such as my health and safety and that of my loved ones.... and of course the love of my loved ones. I relish the many wonders and luxuries that modern technology has made possible and provides me with an unprecedented quality of life.

I remember and am thankful for the philosophers who helped us recognize that  individual freedoms are proper, the men and women who fought and died for these principles, and the productive geniuses who, thanks to the preconditions of this freedom were able to create the technologies I mentioned before.

I could go on and on, but my goal is to keep these entries short enough for people to read them in one sitting, and hopefully be grateful for getting something out of them.

THANKS to you for reading!  

Jun 6, 2012


I will be PROACTIVE and grateful, so that I may remain aware of and profit from, all aspects of reality, especially those golden opportunities that could be disguised as challenges or problems.

Stephen Covey, asks the question, "Are we the product of nature or nurture?" and answers, "it's your choice".

There is no question that nature, (genetics, sleep, nutrition etc.) nurture, (conditioning, our environment etc.) as well as randomness or luck, actually, (read Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" or Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "The Black Swan")* play a huge role in many of the outcomes in our lives. That is of course, those outcomes over which we have no control, BUT if your outcome, as stated in previous entries is to live a happy life, then you actually have FULL control over that particular outcome.

Your CHOICE then becomes whether you will be a victim of things outside your control, or not, and again, that choice IS entirely up to you.

As Howard Roark states in The Fountainhead, no matter what happens, "it will hurt only down to a certain point."

Pain may be inevitable, but suffering is optional, and Kahlil Gibran said, "Pain is the the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." I'm not saying that pain is a good thing or extolling any kind of "virtuous sufferring" because I believe our natural state is a joyful existence, but there is no doubt in my mind that adversity can be a great teacher.

There are many aspects of reality outside our control, but many are within our "influence" and choosing how we respond to circumstances, has been shown to increase the degree of that influence, which is the best we can do in terms of those particulary aspects.

However, in terms of that aspect of reality that involves our happiness, there actually can be overnight success or even instant success; if we are consistent in our choices to be rational which will lead to the realization that it really doesn't make sense to choose anything but happiness.

While I am not personally a religious person, I must acknowledge that much of this is encapsulated in the prayer: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Thanks again for reading.

* I know some will struggle with the word "luck". I know I did. Read those books.

Jun 2, 2012


I will be PROACTIVE AND GRATEFUL, so that I may remain aware of and profit from, all aspects of reality, especially those golden opportunities that could be disguised as challenges or problems.

PROACTIVE AND GRATEFUL:  (first off, I need to acknowledge,  Stephen Covey's first of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "Be Proactive".)

In one way, there is a certain amount of redundancy in the words proactive and grateful, as it could be argued that they have similar meanings.  I do want to clarify why I am still using them both. 

In the next two entries, I will discuss each of them separately but for today I want to simply point out that gratitude is, in and of itself, IMO an actual solution to many, many challenges, (assuming your ultimate goal is happiness) but the proactive part is the act of consciously and deliberately CHOOSING to be grateful.   This distinction is my reason for using them both.  

In a previous entry, I acknowledged the crucial role that sleep and diet play in the regulation of neurotransmitters that affect our moods, and those can have a powerful influence on our tendency to choose to be grateful or not.    

I acknowledge this because I believe much of the pop psychology about having a "positive attitude" is overly simplistic,  ignoring the fact that having a so called positive attitude can be an uphill battle if certain pre conditions are not met.  A person who has not taken the time  to clearly define their personal philosophy of life, or acquire the knowledge  to make good health choices, (among the mountain of misinformation in both these areas) will find themselves  unnecessarily but significantly challenged in making proper choices.

However, armed with that knowledge we need to stay aware of our "neurotransmitter status", and this awareness takes away the "legitimacy" of using it as an excuse. (sorry!)  This knowledge should also motivate us to CHOOSE to make optimum sleep and nutrition a higher priority, not to mention taking the time to deliberately define a philosophy to live by. (being proactive).

Taking on every day through the "lens" of being proactive and grateful enables us to experience life in a manner described by Kahlil Gibran (quoting him does not imply agreement with all his ideas):  "And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy". 

Thanks for reading. 

Jun 1, 2012


Today, I will align myself with cherishing reality, focusing and having fun, so that I may have the energy that I need to enthusiastically, live, love, learn and LEAVE A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE.

LEAVING A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE: When I think of the legacy that I want to leave in this world, I am reminded of two things: the first is the scene from the movie "Saving Private Ryan", in which a dying John Miller played by Tom Hanks, whispers his last words to "Private Ryan" played by Matt Damon: "Earn this!".

The second thing is the quote by Isaac Newton: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

When I consider that men and women gave their lives not as a sacrifice (a term I do not like), but because they would rather have died as free men then to live as slaves, but nonetheless in doing so, having EARNED the freedom that makes my quality of life possible, I know that I can never even come close to being grateful enough.

That freedom is also what has made it possible for the "giants" of intellect and production to provide me with the comforts, medical care, safe food supply and knowledge and tools that make this the best time ever to be alive in this world. I do not believe these giants did it for me, because in my vision of heroism, I embrace rational self-interest, but in realizing their personal values, I was along for the ride, and again, my gratitude wil never be sufficient to them.

All this makes me realize that I want my legacy to simply be someone who has done his best to "earn this." Note that I say "do my best" to earn, rather than "actually earn", because I realize humbly that I will never be able to earn what others have paid for with their lives and I would never have the ability to create what those "giant" heroes before me have done.

However, for me to not actually acknowledge my debt of gratitude, and DO MY BEST, to earn it, would make of me a moocher, and my chosen goal as a legacy is to be a PRODUCER, not a moocher. Whether I make it or not, my intent is to "die trying, with style and grace!"

Thanks as always for reading!