Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Success. --Sheraun Britton-Parris

So many of us want success, but how many of us really know what we mean when we say it? And please….. don’t blurt out some superficial “bling and glam” definition like VH1 defines it on “The Fabulous Life of ……” The expensive cars, the safe full of jewelry and the massive homes on every continent are only fruits of success, not success itself. Rather, Success is the realization and accomplishment of worthy goals. They are those purpose driven milestones that we set in our lives based on our values, beliefs and ambitions. You know them when you see them because they bring a sense of fulfillment and peace of mind when actively pursued. On the flip side, however, they increase our level of anxiety and frustration when we let fear and complacency stop us from pursuing them. You should know that feelings of fear are part of the process, but you need to acknowledge that fear and move through it because I guarantee you that if you don’t take time to set and actively pursue (purpose driven) goals, you will most certainly be destined to work on achieving someone else’s. And we all know how that feels, right?

So once again, I ask what does Success look like to you? Can you tell me what it looks like? Feels like? Taste like? In your minds eye how are you acting, dressing and being in the midst of your success? What I am asking you to do here is gain a crystal clear image of exactly what it is that you want to attain. In your heart, who do you really want to become? Earl Nightingale states it so clearly. He says, "People with goals succeed because they know where they are going... It's as simple as that.". In other words, clarity is power and the successful person is like any other person, they just have laser-like focus.

So now that I have rattled off all these questions and gotten your brain going a mile a minute wondering “Will I ever find success?” I’ve taken the liberty to outline six steps that will help you identify what success looks like for you.

Six steps for identifying What Success Looks Like for You:

1. Identify your purpose. We are all here for a reason, to serve some purpose. I encourage you to really look within yourself and think about that thing(s) that inspires you. Think about that thing that if you don’t surrender to it will continue to nag and gnaw at your conscious and make you miserable because you keep resisting it.

2. Determine WHY you want what you want. You need a strong enough reason to push you to success because your drive, passion and persistence is what will get you through the obstacles, challenges and hurdles that you will surely confront along the way. Experts say, 80% of Success is WHY and 20% is HOW.

3. Document your Vision! Denis Waitley reminds us that “The secret to productive goal setting is in establishing clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing on them several times a day with words, pictures and emotions as if we've already achieved them." Remember a goal that is not written down is a wish!

4. Contemplate your self as having, being and doing exactly what you want to have, be and do. Make a mental blueprint of your success. Visualize it! See it! Feel it! Believe in it!

5. Find a role model. Someone who is already successful doing that thing that you want to do. Studying how they achieved their success will help to accelerate yours.

6. Take action! We can have all the best intentions, but your real power and success, will come from consistent action taken daily against the documented goals that you have set for yourself. Without action, you could have the hottest idea and the tightest business plan and you would still fail. Whereas a “so what who cares” idea and an inadequate business plan often produces success when accompanied by sufficient action.

Okay, so there, now that you have the necessary tools to start you on the path to success, I urge you to get started immediately. Don’t let 2005 roll in with out having developed your plans for success.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
-Napoleon Hill

--Sheraun Britton-Parris

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm tryin' to live it to the limit and love it a lot. -jay z

Answers from my lil bro Andrew, who is a new father to be.

What's your favorite thing about Japan? The beaches, snorkeling
How long do you plan on staying there? Year and half
How many credits are you taking? 3 right now
Nicknames? Drewbot, Brick, Radio, Whore, Andy, Cpl, Cpl Horvath
What do you prefer to be called? Drew
Date of birth? Mar 10
Time of birth? N/A
How tall were you at birth? N/A
What did you weigh? 8Lbs
What is your zodiac sign?
What is your birth stone?
Where is your birth place? Royal Oak, MI
What hospitol were you born at? Beaumont
How old are you now? 20
How tall are you now? 5’8
Brave enough to share your weight? 165
What shoe size do you wear? 11
Do you have any tatoos? Yes, Olympic rings, cross flag tags, Scripture
Any piercings? no
What color are your eyes? Blue
Do you wear glasses or contacts? Contacts
Ever wear colored contacts? no
What is your natural hair color? Brown
How long is your hair? Short
Where do you currently reside? Okinawa, Japan Camp Hansen
Is this your hometown? No
How many times have you moved? 6
What is your heritage? Hungarian, Sweetness, Sexyness
Ever visit your native country? Yes all the time
Do you have family who still lives there? Yes Justin Chung
School Stuff

What Preschool did you attend? N/A
What Elementry School did you attend? East Elementry and Cornerstone Christian
What Middle or Jr. High did you attend? Cornerstone Christian Academy
What High School did you attend? Cheboygan Area High
What College did or do you plan to attend? University of Maryland then CMU
What is the highest level of education you’ve completed? High School
What was your favorite subject in school? Biology
Did you have a favorite teacher? Yes Mrs. Forigns
What was your least favorite subject? Math
Ever skip class? yes
If so, who was it with and what would you do? Friends got high
Ever gotten detention or Saturday School? no
Ever been suspended? no
Did you have a steady boyfriend/girlfriend in high school? no
What was your longest high school relationship? 2 months
Were you involved in any sports? If so, what ones? Soccer
What about clubs and organizations? Marine Corps League
What is/was your graduation year? 2007
Were/are you popular in high school? Yes
Friends and Family

Whets your mom’s name? Ellen
What's your dad’s name? Greg
When did you last see your grandparents? 8 months ago
Do you have a big family? Yes
Do you have any siblings? Yes
If so what are there names and ages? Heather 22 Nick 24 Chris 26 Justin 26 Josh 27
Are you the oldest, youngest or middle? Youngest
Do you have any step or half siblings? Yes
Do you put your family before your friends? Fucking Right
How many best friends have you had in your life? 7
How many best friends do you have right now? My bros
Who is your very best friend in the world? My Girl and sister
How did you meet him/her? Marine Corps
How long have you known them? One 8 months and the other 20 years
Do you feel like you are drifting away from any close friends? Yes
Any pets? Lady Dog
Who all lives in your house? 200 other Marines
Do or did you have to share a room with anyone? Yes
Do you get along with your parents? Yes
Are you closer with your mom or dad? Mom
Do you feel you are your parents favorite child? No
Your Bedroom

How many windows? 2
What kind of flooring? Carpet and tile
What color are the walls? white
What is the theme of your room? Fung shay and Marine
Do you have a stereo? Yes
Do you have a computer? Yes
What size bed do you have? Twin
Do you have pictures of friends in frames? No
Do you have a photo album laying around? On Computer
What is your favorite possession? Snorkeling Gear
Do you have a cell phone in your room? Yes
Any stuffed animals? yes
Do you keep your room clean? yes
Deeper Questions

What’s your political affiliation? 0 Left and 40 Right I am a 21
Do you like politics? Yes
Who would you like to see the president? Yes
Pro Life or Pro Choice? Pro Life
For or against sex before marriage? Your choice
For or against the War in Iraq? For
Are you patriotic? yes
Should marijuana be legalized? yes
Are you open minded about religion? yes
For or Against Gay Marriage? for
Do you really care about the environment? yes
Do you care if the polar bears are becoming extinct? yes
Do you believe in magic? no
Ever done drugs? yes
Ever drink alcohol before the legal age? yes
Ever use a fake ID or one that was not you? no
Ever sneak out of your house? yes
Ever shoplift from a store? no
Ever steal from a friend or family member? no

What color is the comforter on your bed? multi
What type of camera do you have? pentex
When was the last time you hung out with a friend? Last night
What kind of cell phone do you have? Japanies
Have you ever gotten a black eye? yes
Are you using a laptop or desktop computer? Desktop right now
Have you ever been camping? yes
What was the last song you listened to? Resurrection (Paper,Paper) Bone Thugs
What versions of IM do you have? N/A
Do you rent movies at a local store or online? Niether
Where was your default picture taken?
Do you like to sing? yes
Have you ever broken a bone? yes
What are some of your hobbies? Swiming
Ever shop at a thrift store? yes
Are You…

Single or Taken? taken
Truly Happy or Just OK? ok
Book Smart or Street Smart? Lil both
An introvert or extrovert? ext
Leader or Follower? leader
Giver or Taker? giver
Outgoing or Shy? out
Phone Talker or Texter? talker
Tall or Short? short
Blonde or Brunette? brunette
Day or Night Person? night
Responsible or Carefree? Responsible
Loud or Quiet? Loud

TV Sitcom:
Reality TV Show:
TV Station:
Movie: Gladiator
Movie Genre:
Actor: Brad Pit, Johny Depp, John Travolta
CD you own:
Clothing Store:
Grocery Store:
Sport to Watch:
Sport to play: Soccer, Grapling
Olympic event:
Radio Station:
Drink: Gin Tonic

Monday, September 28, 2009

9 secrets

the violinist (from wake up tiger)

A violinist was busking at a metro station in Washington DC on a cold January morning during rush hour.

He played six Bach pieces, lasting around 45 minutes. During his performance, 1097 people passed him by. Of that total 7 stopped to listen, and 19 gave him money. He collected $32 in total. When he finished playing nobody applauded; no one even noticed he had stopped playing.

The violinist was Joshua Bell, former child prodigy and now one of the world’s great violinists. He had just played six of the most intricate pieces of music ever written, on his $3.5 million violin. Two days before Joshua Bell had given a sell out performance in Boston at $100.00 a ticket.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by The Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

For me it raises one interesting and fundamental question: Like the paper bag blowing in the wind in American Beauty, how many beautiful things do you pass on the street every day of your life without ever noticing one of them?

the biggest wake up call ever...

the beer stronger...

I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don’t respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.
-- Brendan Behan

to be a state fan...

The Painful Reality
By Jack Ebling /

It was never going to be easy. Not nearly as simple as Michigan State made it seem with last season’s nine-win mirage.

But does having a Top 25 football program and competing for Big Ten titles at least twice a decade have to be this hard? It shouldn’t be as difficult as the Spartans often make it – and did again Saturday.

A misleadingly close 38-30 loss at Wisconsin drove home that point. MSU was outplayed, outcoached and, most disturbingly, didn’t seem to care as much as the Badgers did in Camp Randall Stadium.

In a game that began at 11:02 a.m. in Madison, so early that Mark Dantonio wanted the football first, before UW was awake, it was the Spartans who hit the snooze alarm, then put fans to sleep with their play.

Today, a 1-3 football team has no one to blame but those who inhabit the Skandalaris Center, a facility that’s new enough and good enough to suggest better. Forget about once-a-year bounces on onside kicks and one-play-away defeats. MSU has gotten what it has deserved.

As we say goodbye and good riddance to September, the question is whether the past month’s mistakes will be – or can be – corrected in time to make football more than a massive block party. We’ll get that answer in the next seven days.

If the 2009 Spartans have a pulse, we’ll know next Saturday when a 4-0 Michigan team leaves Washtenaw County for the first time since last year’s annual loss to Ohio State. U-M has been practicing overtime to make it 42 years of never losing back-to-back games to “Little Brother.”

Forget about the current players’ frame of reference in the series. Some of their parents weren’t born the last time MSU ruled the state in the fall, as opposed to having a one-year lease on supremacy 10 different times.

Why does that matter? Why the history lesson? Because it explains an amazingly loyal fan base’s frustration and its default analysis of “Same Old Spartans” better than X’s and O’s ever could.

Since the 10-10 tie with Notre Dame on Nov. 19, 1966, MSU is a whopping one game over .500 with 10 head coaches. Since the beginning of the 1978 season, the Spartans have won exactly as many as they’ve lost with eight leaders. And those numbers get worse when we switch decades.

Starting in 1980, a stretch of 30 falls and far fewer rises, seven coaches have gone 168-172-5 (.494). They’re 112-132-4 (.481) in league play and 5-10 (.333) in bowl games, the dictionary definition of sub-mediocrity.

So when people talk about MSU becoming the equal of U-M or Ohio State, that isn’t the next step. It’s a leap of Olympic gold-medal dimensions. The Spartans have been below .500 17 times in the past 40 seasons, 18 if you count this year. The Wolverines have been there just once.

A better short-term goal is to look at Iowa and Wisconsin, programs with similar resources but much more national respect and recent success. It isn’t as sexy or as satisfying as running with the big boys. It also isn’t as easy as you’d think.

To soar with the Hawkeyes, you have to do more than beat Penn State seven times in your last eight meetings. You have to appreciate a miraculous 20-year turnaround under Hayden Fry and a re-renaissance with Kirk Ferentz.

If you don’t think Ferentz is anything special, he rebuilt from scratch and won one game to MSU’s 10 in the 1999 season. Since then, he has had back-to-back-to-back campaigns with double-digit victories, including a year with 11. The Spartans have reached 10 wins just twice in their first 112 seasons and will have to win out to avoid being 2-for-113. They have never won 11 games.

Less than nine months ago, a nine-win Iowa team that had dropped four games by a total of 12 points became the Big Ten’s only bowl winner last winter. Today, with help from back-to-back blocked field goals against Northern Iowa and a big-play defense (yes, that’s legal) in Unhappy Valley, Iowa is 4-0, 1-0 in the Big Ten and unafraid of upcoming trips to Madison, East Lansing and Columbus.

To even scavenge with the Badgers, who play before larger home crowds, the Spartans need to get their game in gear. Since Barry Alvarez got it going in Year 4 in 1993, he and hand-picked successor Bret Bielema have won nine bowl games, including a 3-0 mark in Pasadena.

But then, the only teams in the conference that haven’t been to the Rose Bowl since MSU’s last one-fourth sliver of the league title 19 years ago are the Spartans, Indiana and Minnesota.

Those stats aren’t meant to make fans drink more, take steps off the ledge or, worst of all, stop caring. In fact, if they want to avoid a miserable 12 months, MSU followers should report for duty next Saturday with at least triple the intensity and passion that their team just showed.

They’re only meant to show that the Spartans are entered in a 500-miler, not a drag race, on the road to success. They’ll have some missteps, especially after stealing two wins against Iowa and Wisconsin last year. In the latter game, MSU won despite rushing for just 25 yards and letting two Badgers run for at least 106.

The problem Saturday was that the Spartans looked more like a team that could go 3-9 than one that had just won nine games. MSU had the ball nearly 15 fewer minutes than the Badgers, who converted 11 times on third down, often with tight end Garrett Graham, who should’ve been penalized for apparent invisibility.

Forget the Spartans’ 486-436 advantage in total offense, padded by a meaningless 91-yard pass from Keith Nichol to Keshawn Martin with 15 seconds left. MSU never led on the scoreboard. And its defense had to be led from the sideline to the field to have any idea of where it was going.

How disappointing has the defense been? As disappointing as U-M’s was last year is an eerily similar plunge from nine victories to three. Consider this: The Spartans have scored 30 or more points 147 times in school history. The Notre Dame and Wisconsin games were just the 13th and 14th times that level of offense resulted in losses.

Assign responsibility wherever you’d like. There’s plenty to go around. But nothing can change those outcomes. The trick for players and coaches is to learn from those errors in a very short time if they don’t want to hear “The Victors” in their sleep and get slapped with Bo Schembechler’s classic line, arrogant but true from a historical standpoint, that a U-M payback of MSU in the 1980s had “restored things to their proper perspective.”

The Spartans also need to get stability at quarterback, where each series from the second quarter on presents a great “Who’s the quarterback?” possibility for the Michigan Lottery. They need to rush for more than 90 yards and allow fewer than 193. They need to stop committing nine penalties. And they must stop turning the ball over four times unless they plan on taking it away from the Wolverines a lot more than once.

Can they do those things? They did in 1978, 1987 and 1990, when they finished September with one win, beat the Wolverines in Week 5 and captured at least a share of the conference crown.

But this year’s team has to answer that question. It has to play much closer to its potential in all phases of play – and at peak efficiency on defense – to avoid irrelevance the rest the way.

It won’t be easy against a team with a quarterback who could be enshined in the College Football Hall of Fame by Christmas, or so rumors have it. But beating Michigan hasn’t been simple since Duffy Daugherty’s heyday, even when the final is 35-21, as it was last year in after 21 unanswered points in A-squared.

Does this MSU group have as much heart as last year’s? Does it have the maturity, the leadership and the ability to beat a ranked opponent instead of itself? Those are this week’s unanswered questions.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 9:17 am and is filed under Jack Ebling. You can trackback from your own site.

The Paradox of our Time.

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; we have wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicine, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back; but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.

We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We have higher incomes, but lower morals;
we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.

These are the times of more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

It is a time when there is much in the show window; and nothing in the stockroom;
a time when technology can bring this post to you; and a time when you can choose either to make a difference .... or just move on.

-- anonymous, edited by me

where to live?

Substance of Success

Those who keep talking about how much they've accomplished, haven't accomplished much at all. Those who blame others for their lack of progress, won't ever get very much done.
Those who spend all their time making promises, never get around to following through on those promises. Those who are skilled at finding fault won't ever find a way to create value.
Success happens when you stop talking and start doing. Achievement happens when you stop dealing in promises and start taking action.
Instead of making elaborate, impressive plans, get busy taking small, effective steps. Instead of striving to convince others of what you're going to do, attract their attention and support by virtue of what you've already done.
Make substance your stock in trade. Make real, meaningful value the standard by which you work and live and evaluate your progress.
Put your energy not into appearing impressive, but into getting good, solid, valuable results. For they are what will make an unforgettable, undeniable, positive impression.

License to live (taken from Wake Up Tiger)

I recently picked a new doctor. After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age [I just turned 60].

A little concerned about his comment, I couldn't resist asking him, 'Do you think I'll live to be 80?'

He asked me, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?' 'Oh no,' I replied. 'And I'm not doing any drugs, either!'

Then he asked, 'Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs? 'Not much’ I replied. ‘My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!'

'Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?'
'No, I avoid the sun as much as possible,' I replied.

He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?' 'No,' I replied. ‘I’m being extremely careful.’

He looked at me and asked, 'Then why do you even give a shit?’

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Even if it doesn't kill you, you're still dying (PluggedinID)

A few weeks ago I was watching a TV show called ?The Secret Millionaire? with some of my family. The idea behind the show is to take a millionaire who wants to give back to society, give him a new name and job, and put him in typical work environments. From there, undercover, he gets to see how life really is for people who haven?t had much fortune and could benefit from his financial abundance.

On one particular show, the millionaire visited a pub frequented by a man who was literally killing himself through his alcohol addiction. His liver was 4 times the size of what it should be and he only had a few weeks left to live. Despite all warnings from doctors, even in the early stages of the problem, he never stopped drinking.

Photo Credit

Now, the typical response from some of my family was to make remarks that this person is crazy and is wasting his life. Me of a few years ago would have said the same thing. But when I thought about it some more, I asked myself: ?does it really matter??

Okay, so this man is cutting his life short and he could have turned things around, but he?s still doing what he loves. He loves alcohol. Even if you don?t or think he shouldn?t. He still does. And now, when I think about the people who commented that he should be trying to make the most of life and live as long as possible, they aren?t really doing anything with their own.

They just take their kids to school in the mornings, enjoy 2 weeks of holiday per year, work the 9-5 and constantly wait for the weekend so that they can ?enjoy life?. But honestly, is that living? Is the man who is drinking himself to death really missing out?

Your Own Rules for Happiness
I?m a big fan of any person - celebrity or not - who lives by their own values, even if they tend to go against society. Gene Simmons (from Kiss) is one such person and while you may not have the greatest views of him (mine are favourable), he had an excellent point to make in a recent interview I watched:

Life is short. You get to make your own rules for your own happiness. Otherwise the church will decide, or society will decide, or your partner will decide for you, or your parents. People get married for all sorts of reasons?other than themselves.
Just like it is completely up to you how you define success in your life, it?s completely up to you to live by your own rules of happiness. Of course, I?m not going to advocate that if beating people up makes you happy you should stop reading this and go out and do it, but on a core level, I don?t feel that would be a true desire for anybody anyway.

The point I?m trying to make, and one that Gene probably made better, is that it doesn?t matter what people think of your means to happiness. What matters is that once you know what it is, you follow it. Being someone who has practiced presence and meditation for a while, I can be happy with the smallest of things, if I want to be. And while the art of ?letting go? and ?acceptance? get easier with time, I still feel like I have to try (just a little) to achieve happiness in this state.

What makes me happiest right now is working on this website and partying with awesome friends and attractive women as many nights of the week as possible. You might not approve, or agree, or even relate to it, and that?s fine with me. In December I?m leaving the UK and spending as much time as possible doing these things that make me happy. It doesn?t matter if readers, my family, my friends or anyone else thinks that?s a bad way to live; I enjoy it so I?ll keep doing it until I don?t.

Why would you want to live any other way?

You?re Still Dying
Going back to the alcoholic for a minute, you may also agree that he was just drinking his life away and killing himself. Factually, that may be true. But on another level, you?re still dying just like he was. Although there was probably more chance of him dying before you when he only had a few weeks left to live, there?s nothing stopping the possibility of you dying on the same day.

I?m not saying this to be negative, not at all. I use the prospect of death for motivation and inspiration on an almost daily basis. Life really can be taken away from us at any moment, so why waste a second of it?

I want to end this post with a question that might help you to realise what is important to you and what defines happiness in your life: if you were already dead, and you had the opportunity to live for one more day, how would you spend that day?

Whether your answer is going to a hot country, spending time with family, telling your children you love them or just going to a casino - don?t forget to do it while you can.

heartprints (wake up tiger)

Whatever our hands touch, we leave fingerprints.
On walls, on furniture, on doorknobs, dishes, books.
There's no escape; as we touch we leave our identity.
Well what about our hearts? It works the same.
Whatever our hearts touch, we leave heartprints.
There's no escape; as we socialise we leave our identity.

the crazy ones...

Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The trouble-makers.
The round heads in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
But the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

-- from Apple Mac ad

3 names.

You have three names:
1. the one you inherited.
2. the one your parents gave you.
3. the one you make for your self.

8 ways to self actualize (wake up tiger)


1. Experience things fully, vividly, selflessly. Throw yourself into the experiencing of something: concentrate on it fully, let it totally absorb you.

2. Choose growth a dozen times a day. Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety [out of fear and need for defense] and risk [in order to progress and grow].

3. Let the self emerge. Try to shut out the external clues as to what you should think, feel, say, and so on, and let your experience enable you to say what you truly feel.

4. When in doubt, be honest. If you look into yourself and are honest, you will also take responsibility. Taking responsibility is self-actualizing.

5. Listen to your own tastes. Be prepared to be unpopular.

6. Use your intelligence, and work to do well the things you want to do; no matter how insignificant they seem to be.

7. Make peak experiencing more likely: get rid of illusions and false notions. Learn what you are good at and what you are not good at. Then focus on the good.

8. Find out who you are, what you are, what you like and don't like, what is good and what is bad for you, where you are going, what your mission is. Opening yourself up to yourself in this way means identifying your defenses; and finding the courage to give them up.

the cookie thief...

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.

She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gutsy "cookie thief" diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken his eye!"

With each cookie she took, he took one too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he'd do.
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, "Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he's also rude,
Why, he didn't even show any gratitude!"

She had never known when she has been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look back at the "thieving ingrate."

She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise:
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!

"If mine are here," she moaned with despair,
"Then the others were his and he tried to share!"
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!

[by Valerie Cox]

Capitalism: A Love Story

20 years since michael moore's first movie.

The death of Detroit... (Time Magazine),8599,1925796,00.html

Thursday, Sep. 24, 2009
Detroit: The Death — and Possible Life — of a Great American City
By Daniel Okrent

If Detroit had been savaged by a hurricane and submerged by a ravenous flood, we'd know a lot more about it. If drought and carelessness had spread brush fires across the city, we'd see it on the evening news every night. Earthquake, tornadoes, you name it — if natural disaster had devastated the city that was once the living proof of American prosperity, the rest of the country might take notice. (See pictures of the remains of Detroit.)

But Detroit, once our fourth largest city, now 11th and slipping rapidly, has had no such luck. Its disaster has long been a slow unwinding that seemed to remove it from the rest of the country. Even the death rattle that in the past year emanated from its signature industry brought more attention to the auto executives than to the people of the city, who had for so long been victimized by their dreadful decision-making.

By any quantifiable standard, the city is on life support. Detroit's treasury is $300 million short of the funds needed to provide the barest municipal services. The school system, which six years ago was compelled by the teachers' union to reject a philanthropist's offer of $200 million to build 15 small, independent charter high schools, is in receivership. The murder rate is soaring, and 7 out of 10 remain unsolved. Three years after Katrina devastated New Orleans, unemployment in that city hit a peak of 11%. In Detroit, the unemployment rate is 28.9%. That's worth spelling out: twenty-eight point nine percent.

If, like me, you're a Detroit native who recently went home to find out what went wrong, your first instinct is to weep. If you live there still, that's not the response you're looking for. Old friends and new acquaintances, people who confront the city's agony every day, told me, "I hope this isn't going to be another article about how terrible things are in Detroit."

It is — and it isn't. That's because the story of Detroit is not simply one of a great city's collapse. It's also about the erosion of the industries that helped build the country we know today. The ultimate fate of Detroit will reveal much about the character of America in the 21st century. If what was once the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation has been brought to its knees, what does that say about our recent past? And if it can't find a way to get up, what does that say about our future?

Follow TIME's Detroit reporters on Twitter.

My City of Ruins
On my trip to Detroit, I took a long drive around my hometown. Downtown, I visited a lovely new esplanade along the riverfront, two state-of-the-sport stadiums and a classic old hotel restored to modern luxury. In leafy Grosse Pointe, I saw handsome houses anyone would want to live in (and, thanks to the crash of the auto business, available at prices most Americans haven't seen in decades). At the General Motors Technical Center, in the industrial suburb Warren, the parking lots were mostly empty — an awful lot of engineers have been thrown out of work — but the survivors showed me some pretty impressive technology. I liked the cars that "talked" to other cars, making accidents all but impossible, and I was especially impressed by a prototype Chevy fueled entirely by hydrogen. Hydrogen! (See pictures of Detroit's beautiful, horrible decline.)

But to a native, downtowns and suburbs, even suburbs hurting from an economic calamity, are not the real Detroit. The Detroit I both wanted to see and was afraid to see was the city itself, the elm-lined streets of fond memory where my friends and I grew up and went to school and lived idyllic 1950s lives, the place that America once knew as the Arsenal of Democracy.

The neighborhood where I lived as a child, where for decades orderly rows of sturdy brick homes lined each block, is now the urban equivalent of a boxer's mouth, more gaps than teeth. Some of the surviving houses look as if the wrecker's ball is the only thing that could relieve their pain. On the adjacent business streets, commercial activity is so palpably absent you'd think a neutron bomb had been detonated — except the burned-out storefronts and bricked-over windows suggest that something physically destructive happened as well.

Similar scenes are draped across most of the city's 138 sq. mi., yielding a landscape that bears a closer relation to a postapocalyptic nightmare than to the prosperous and muscular place I remember. The City of Homeowners, some called it, a city with endless miles of owner-occupied bungalows and half-capes and modest mock Tudors that were the respectable legacy of five decades of the auto industry's primacy in the American economy and Detroiters' naive faith that the industry would never run out of gas.

But it did. Detroit fell victim not to one malign actor but to a whole cast of them. For more than two decades, the insensate auto companies and their union partners and the elected officials who served at their pleasure continued to gun their engines while foreign competitors siphoned away their market share. When this played out against the city's legacy of white racism and the corrosive two-decade rule of a black politician who cared more about retribution than about resurrection, you can begin to see why Detroit careened off the road.

Read the latest from TIME's Detroit blog.
Who Killed Detroit?
Most of us thought Detroit was pretty wonderful back in the '50s and early '60s, its mighty industrial engine humming in top gear, filling America's roads with the nation's signifying product and the city's houses and streets with nearly 2 million people. Of course, if you were black, it was substantially less wonderful, its neighborhoods as segregated as any in America. On the northwest side, not far from where I grew up, a homebuilder had in the 1940s erected a six-foot-high concrete wall, nearly half a mile long, to separate his development from an adjacent black neighborhood. Still, white Detroit believed that the riots that ravaged Los Angeles in 1965 and a number of other cities the following summer would never burn across our town. Black people in Detroit, enlightened whites believed, had jobs and homes, and even if those homes were on the other side of an apartheid wall, their owners had a stake in the city.

Some did, but too many others, invisible to white Detroit, did not. The riots that scorched the city in July 1967, leaving 43 people dead, were the product of an unarticulated racism that few had acknowledged, and a self-deceiving blindness that had made it possible for even the best-intentioned whites to ignore the straitjacket of segregation that had crippled black neighborhoods, ill served the equally divided schools and enabled the casual brutality of a police force that was too white and too loosely supervised. (See pictures of 50 years of Motown.)

The '67 riots sent thousands of white Detroiters fleeing for the suburbs. Even if black Detroiters with financial resources wished to follow, they could not: the de facto segregation was virtually de jure in most Detroit suburbs. One suburban mayor boasted, "They can't get in here. Every time we hear of a Negro moving in ... we respond quicker than you do to a fire."

Soon Detroit became a majority-black city, and in 1973 it elected its first black mayor. Coleman Young was a talented politician who spent much of his 20 years in office devoting his talents to the politics of revenge. He called himself the "MFIC" — the IC stood for "in charge," the MF for exactly what you think. Young was at first fairly effective, when he wasn't insulting suburban political leaders and alienating most of the city's remaining white residents with a posture that could have been summed up in the phrase Now it's our turn. But by his third term, Young was governing more by rhetoric than by action. These were the years of a local phenomenon known as Devil's Night, a nihilistic orgy of arson that in one especially explosive year saw 800 houses burn to the ground in 72 hours. Violent crime soared under Young. The school system began to cave in on itself. When jobs disappeared with the small businesses boarding up their doors and abandoning the city, the mayor seemed to find it more useful to bid the business owners good riddance than to address the job losses. Detroit was dying, and its mayor chose to preside over the funeral rather than find a way to work with the suburban and state officials who now detested him every bit as much as he had demonized them.

When Young finally left office in 1993, he bragged that Detroit had achieved a "level of autonomy ... that no other city can match." He apparently didn't care that it was the autonomy of a man in a rowboat, in the middle of the ocean, without oars.

But Young isn't the only politician to blame. In 1956, when I was 8 years old, my Congressman was John D. Dingell. There are people in southeastern Michigan who are still represented by Dingell, the longest-serving member in the history of the House of Representatives. "The working men and women of Michigan and their families have always been Congressman Dingell's top priority," his website declares, and I suppose he thinks he has served them well — by resisting, in succession, tougher safety regulations, more-stringent mileage standards, relaxed trade restrictions and virtually any other measure that might have forced the American automobile industry to make cars that could stand up to foreign competition.

By so ably satisfying the wishes of the auto industry — by encouraging southeastern Michigan's reliance on this single, lumbering mastodon — Dingell has in fact played a signal role in destroying Detroit. He was hardly alone; if you wanted to get elected in southeastern Michigan, you had to support the party line dictated by the Big Four — GM, Ford, Chrysler and their co-conspirator the United Auto Workers. Anything that might limit the industry's income was bad for the auto industry, and anything bad for the auto industry was deemed dangerous to Detroit.

The UAW had once been the most visionary of American unions. As early as the 1940s, UAW president Walter Reuther was urging the auto companies to produce small, inexpensive cars for the average American. In 1947 and '48 the union even offered to cut wages if the Big Three would reduce the price of their cars. But by the early 1980s, the UAW had entered into a nakedly self-interested pact with the auto companies. After the union's president joined GM's chief congressional lobbyist to defeat a tougher mileage standard in 1990, the lobbyist declared that "we would not have won without the UAW." It was, he said, "one of the proudest days of my life."

The union really can't be blamed for pushing for fabulous wages and lush benefits for its members — that game required two players, and the automakers knew only how to say yes. But the union leadership's fatal mistake was insisting that workers with comparable skills and comparable seniority be paid comparable wages, irrespective of who employed them. If a machinist at a prosperous GM deserved $25 an hour, so did a machinist who worked for a barely profitable Chrysler or for a just-holding-its-own supplier plant that made axles or wheels or windshield wipers.

This defiant inattention to market reality not only placed the less healthy firms in peril, but by pricing labor so uniformly high, it also closed off Detroit to any possible diversification of its industrial base. When the automakers' inattention to engineering, style and quality caused them to crash into a wall of consumer indifference, there was no other industry that could step forward and employ workers who would have been thrilled to make even a fraction of what they once earned. Now nearly 1 in 3 Detroit residents is out of work — and not many of the unemployed have a prayer of finding a job anytime soon.

Read "For Iraqi Refugees, Detroit is Still a City of Hope"

Read "Detroit Tries to Get on a Road to Renewal"

Reviving Motown
If white racism, Coleman Young and a delusional dependence on the auto industry's belief in its own virtues put Detroit where it is today, what — if anything — can pull this tragic city out of its death spiral?

You could do worse than to begin with some form of regional government. During Young's reign and for many years thereafter, the possibility of city-suburban cooperation — which is to say, black-white cooperation — was close to nil. The black city didn't want white suburbanites telling it what to do, and white suburbanites had no interest in assuming the burden of a black city. (Read a TIME postcard from Detroit.)

L. Brooks Patterson, the long-serving and exceptionally able chief executive of suburban Oakland County, a prosperous community that borders Detroit to the north, represents the latter view well. "They say, 'As Detroit goes, so goes Oakland County,' " Patterson said a few weeks ago. "Not true!" He apparently believes that Eight Mile Road, the fabled thoroughfare that defines Detroit's northern border, is an impermeable membrane insulating his county from the city's ills. But Patterson knows that Oakland's prized AAA bond rating is in peril because the rating agencies are mindful of the county's proximity to Detroit to the south and Flint to the north. A downgrade could cost his constituents millions of dollars, and as the situation in Detroit deteriorates, he and his counterparts in adjacent counties will have no choice but to seek common solutions.

For its part, Detroit must address the fact that a 138-sq.-mi. city that once accommodated 1.85 million people is way too large for the 912,000 who remain. The fire, police and sanitation departments couldn't efficiently service the yawning stretches of barely inhabited areas even if the city could afford to maintain those operations at their former size. Detroit has to shrink its footprint, even if it means condemning decent houses in the gap-toothed areas and moving their occupants to compact neighborhoods where they might find a modicum of security and service. Build greenbelts, which are a lot cheaper to maintain than untraveled streets. Encourage urban farming. Let the barren areas revert to nature.

Most crucially, the entire region has to realize that defining itself solely by the misperceived needs of a single industry has left all of southeastern Michigan dazed and bleeding. And yet the conditions for resetting that economic model couldn't be more favorable. The collapse of the UAW's prohibitive wage scale, coupled with the vast unemployment, is turning what was once the nation's most expensive labor market into one of the cheapest. For the first time since Henry Ford offered $5 a day to the men who assembled the Model T back in 1914, Detroit is open to new industry.

America isn't so keen on national industrial policy. But in Detroit's past, you can find an idea for its future — and the nation's. Back in the '50s, the Federal Government began investing what would eventually reach half a trillion dollars in what became the interstate highway system. You could have considered that an incredible subsidy for the auto industry — which it was — but it was also an investment in the nation's future.

It's an adaptable model. The fuel-cell technology that dazzled me at the GM Tech Center is less about autos than it is about energy — energy, as hydrogen, that exists in every molecule of water. What's to stop us now from turning Detroit — its highly trained engineering talent, its skilled and unskilled workforce desperate for employment, its underutilized production facilities — into the Arsenal of the Renewable Energy Future?

If we did, Detroit could go back to building something America needs. As a nation, we could prove that we can still make things. And while we're at it, we could regenerate not just a city but our sense of who we are.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why young single men are more xenophobic And more young women travel abroad.

Why young single men are more xenophobic And more young women travel abroad.
Ask a group of friends what their hobbies are. If you have many young, unmarried friends of both sexes, chances are that many of your female friends would mention traveling as one of their hobbies, while very few of your young unmarried male friends would. Alternatively, you may find that many of your young single female friends have recently been to a foreign country on a vacation, but few of your young single male friends have. Why is this?

Or make a completely different observation. Pay close attention to the news coverage of the most recent Ku Klux Klan rally in the United States or the convention of the British National Party or any other gathering of an expressly xenophobic organization. You will notice that most participants in such xenophobic organizations are young, unmarried men; there are comparatively few women or older men in the membership of such organizations. Why? It turns out that the reasons why more young single women vacation abroad may be the same as why most neo-Nazis are young single men. It may have to do with a zoological phenomenon called lekking.

Lek is a Swedish word for “play” and refers in zoology to a complex of behavior whereby members of one sex, almost always male, strut and display their genetic quality in a contest, in front of an audience consisting of members of the other sex, almost always female. At the end of the lek, the females choose the winner and exclusively mate with him. The winner of lekking monopolizes all of the mating opportunities, and none of the other males get any.

At first sight, humans appear to be an exception in nature. Among most species, males are gaudy, colorful, decorated, and ornamented, while females are drab in appearance. (Compare peacocks with peahens.) Males of lekking species display their physical features in order to attract mates, and females choose their mates on the basis of the males’ physical appearance; the gaudier and more colorful, the better. In contrast, among humans, it is women for whom physical appearance is more important for their mate value, and it is men who choose their mates mostly for their physical appearance. And, at least in industrial societies, women tend to be more decorated and ornamented than men are, although men in many preindustrial societies often wear more elaborate ornamentation than do women.

The female of most species in nature does not receive any material benefit from her mates; the male does not make any parental investment beyond the sperm deposited inside the female body during copulation. This is why the male’s genetic quality is especially important for the female; in fact, nothing else matters. So among these species, males display their genetic quality in lekking, and the females choose their mates solely on the basis of their genetic quality.

Human males are exceptional in nature in this regard; they make a large amount of material investment in their offspring, even though they don’t make as much parental investment as women do, as I explain in previous posts (Part I, II, III). This does not mean, however, that their genetic quality is not important to women; men’s genetic quality can predict their future ability to acquire resources and attain status, hence their ability to make parental investment. For humans, because of high male parental investment, what is important is not the male’s genetic quality per se but his earning potential. His genetic quality is important only to the extent that it predicts or correlates with his potential to earn and accumulate material resources.

This is why when men lek, they display their earning potential and accumulated wealth in addition to their genetic quality. And unlike other lekking species, like the sage grouse or the antelope, men lek mostly by nonphysical means. They drive luxury cars, wear expensive watches and designer suits, carry electronic gadgets like the latest cell phones and PDAs, and brag about their achievements in casual conversations. Young men also advertise their genetic quality and earning potential by “cultural displays” – excelling in such “quantifiable, public, and costly” activities as music, art, literature, and science.

In one study, for example, researchers covertly observed patrons of a bar in central Liverpool in the late 1990s, when cell phones were still relatively rare and expensive. The researchers discovered that men’s tendency to place their cell phones on the table in clear view of others, unlike women’s tendency to do the same, increased with the number of men in their group and its ratio of men to women. The researchers’ interpretation is that men do this, consciously or (more likely) unconsciously, in order to compete with other men in their group for the attention of the women, and to display their wealth and statlus and hence their genetic quality and earning potential. So men lek via social and cultural, rather than physical, ornamentation.

What in the world does any of this have to do with xenophobia and foreign travel? I will explain in my next post.

Why young single men are more xenophobic II

Why young single men are more xenophobic
I explain in my previous post that, unlike males of other lekking species, who display their genetic quality by physical ornamentation in their gaudy and colorful appearance, men display their genetic quality and earning potential by social and cultural ornamentation. This can explain simultaneously why women travel abroad more and why young single men are more xenophobic.

Social and cultural ornamentation presents men with one problem that males of other species, who lek via physical ornamentation, do not face: It does not travel well. Social and cultural ornamentation is, by definition, socially and culturally specific. Men cannot brag about their achievements in conversations with women unless they speak the same language. Yanomamö women in the Amazon rain forest would not be able to tell the difference between a BMW and a Hyundai or the difference between an Armani suit and a Burger King uniform, and their status implications; a Grammy or a Nobel will not impress them at all. (Has any Nobel Prize winner ever had massive head scars, indicating their experience in club fights?) Conversely, Western women are unlikely to be impressed by body scars and large penis sheaths. (A large penis, yes; a large penis sheath, probably not.) Signs of men’s status and mate value are specific to societies and cultures, and they lose meaning outside of them.

This is in clear contrast to women’s status and mate value. Standards of youth and physical attractiveness, the two most important determinants of women’s status and mate value, are culturally universal because they are innate (as I explain in a previous post). Men in preliterate and innumerate cultures without any concept of fractions or the decimal point will be able to distinguish between women with 1.0 and .7 waist-to-hip ratios. Yanomamö men will see that a Victoria’s Secret lingerie model is extremely moko dude (a Yanomamö phrase meaning “perfectly ripe”).

If men’s status and mate value are specific to their own society and culture, then they should avoid different cultures, where a completely different set of rules, of which they are ignorant, may apply. In contrast, women should not avoid foreign cultures to the same extent that men do, because rules applicable to them are cross-culturally universal. This is partly why young single men do not travel to foreign countries as much as young single women do, and why most members of expressly xenophobic organizations (such as the Ku Klux Klan and the British National Party) are young single males.

However, this sex difference should disappear once men marry, for a couple of reasons. First, married men who have achieved some reproductive success should have less of an urgent need to attract mates by social and cultural ornamentation than do unmarried men. Second, and more important, mates are probably the only ornamentation or lekking device men can display that is cross-culturally meaningful. There is evidence that females of species as varied as guppies, Japanese medaka, black grouse, and Japanese quail prefer to mate with males who have recently mated. Females use other females’ choice of males as evidence of their genetic quality; in other words, they copy each other. And there is some evidence that human females might do the same.

The idea is simple: If a woman meets a strange man, she has no basis on which to form an opinion of him. He can be a high-quality mate, or he can be a low-quality mate; she just doesn’t know (unless, of course, he’s driving a Jaguar or wearing a Rolex, but only if she knows what it means). However, if he has a wife, that means that at least one woman, who presumably closely inspected his quality before marrying him, found him good enough to marry. So he couldn’t be that bad after all; at least one woman found him desirable. So being married (the presence of a wife) is one cross-culturally transportable ornamentation or lekking device that signifies men’s superior mate value, and married men therefore should not avoid foreign cultures as much as single men do.

Dislike of foreign cultures can be measured by the likelihood of travel to foreign countries or by the expressions of xenophobic attitudes. One empirical study with a large European sample shows that, controlling for age, education, and income (factors that are expected to, and in most cases do, affect people’s ability to travel), unmarried women are significantly more likely to vacation abroad than unmarried men. The same study also demonstrates that, controlling for age and education, unmarried women are significantly less likely to express xenophobic attitudes than unmarried men toward individuals of other nationalities, races and religions. The pattern is similar among Americans as well. In all cases, the sex difference disappears once the respondents are married; married women are no more likely to travel to foreign countries (probably because married couples tend to vacation together) or no less likely to express xenophobic attitudes than married men.

Both the likelihood of travel abroad and expressions of xenophobia may reflect men’s need to attract women using social cultural ornamentation. Men’s status and mate value, unlike women’s, are socially and culturally specific, and they cannot successfully attract women outside of their own society and culture. Married men, on the other hand, can use their wives as cross-culturally meaningful social ornamentation to signify their mate value. In sharp contrast, the standards and criteria by which women are judged for their mate value are socially and culturally universal, and thus women have no need to fear foreign cultures.

-Satoshi Kanazawa {an evolutionary psychologist at LSE and the coauthor (with the late Alan S. Miller) of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters.}


Not long ago, high gas prices and the price per oil barrel was out of control. Gas prices went over $4 and that was suppose to drive us into a recession... well we did go into a recession, but not because of gas. A housing bubble burst because greenspan made borrowing money almost free, artificially pumping up house prices, giving loans to people who couldn't afford them, and predatory bank practices ie mortgate lenders working with appraisers, arm's, sub-prime, baloon rates, speculators, and investment banking didn't help with credit-default swaps, derivatives, and leveraging to the hill. Now we are borrowing and printing money out of control. For the US $$$ does grow on tree's... next worry will be inflation. How long will this rally last? How soon will people forget about the deleveraging of the banks and the financial doomsday of the credit market. What has been the reason for this rally? How much farther can we go? Did we oversell? Are we now overbuying? What will the DOW/S&P 500 hit by the end of the year...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

20 things -DLM

20 Things I'm Glad Life Taught Me
How many times have you heard someone say, "Hindsight is always 20/20"? If you are like me, you hear it a lot and think it a lot more. Last year Jay wrote an article listing things he wished he'd known earlier. It got me thinking that the most crucial lessons in life and success aren't taught in books or written on blogs, but they are found by living life itself.

Sure, there may be nuggets of wisdom that we pick up from Dumb Little Man, Zen Habits, or Life Remix, but it is up to us individually to act upon them and learn the lessons. If it takes a failure for us to learn something important, so be it.

Here are 20 things that I personally came to understand and believe in. Your 20 could be totally different. Perhaps you only have 5, it doesn't matter. The key is that you learn from your life, your failures and your successes. Neglect any one of those and you are taking a rocky road to learning and personal development.

You must create and look for opportunities: Opportunities rarely ever come knocking on the door of someone who's not seeking them. You have to create and seek opportunities for yourself. You have to take the initiative to get the ball rolling and the doors opening.

Negativity will only bring more of it: When you focus only on negativity, obviously that's all you will see. You will not seek out positivity, and even when positivity comes into your life, you'll look for the negative part of it.

Where you are does not determine where you can go: It doesn't matter if you're homeless or living in a mansion, poor or rich, or if you have a 4.0 grade point average or "failing", it won't make any difference in the future. There are countless rags to riches stories to back this point up. If you have the drive and talents, you can go anywhere. You create your own limitations and horizon.

If you can't help others, you can't help yourself: Even if it's just to hold the door for someone or some other simple gesture, it will do wonders for your life. You'll feel great and you'll eventually be returned the favor sometime during your life, whether you realize it or not. If you don't want to help others, then others won't want to help you, and nor should they.

Follow your passion, money will follow: If you have passion and have fun doing your job, then I wouldn't consider it a job. You can focus on creating even more passion for that subject and money will eventually follow you. If you focus only on the money, it won't come because you're focused on the quantity of your work and not the quality.

Enjoy yourself: Have fun as much as possible, don't take everything so seriously. Push your worries aside and bring enjoyment closer.

If it were easy everyone would do it: This is why get rich quick schemes will never be true. If it was so quick and easy then everyone would be millionaires. Making money and accomplishing tasks is hard work, but well worth it.

Planning is good but so is being spontaneous: Planning ahead in business and in life is important but so is being able to quickly change that plan. Various people and events will get in the way of your plans, so you have to be able to modify or forget your plans at times. Be spontaneous once and awhile, it makes life interesting.

You have many talents: You may be a talented athlete or musician but you probably have ten more talents you don't even know about. When people find something they're good at, they only focus on that instead of seeing what else they can do.

Don't work hard without rewards: What's the point of working hard to follow your dreams if you aren't going to treat yourself along the way. Each little or big goal you accomplish should be rewarded with a proportionate treat, maybe a day off or a big slice of cake.

Money does bring happiness: As I said, you shouldn't be chasing money but when you do earn it, you know you've been accomplishing something. It feels great and brings you happiness because you know you'll have more freedom and time to do what you want.

Someone always has it worse: At times you may be having a bad day, but stop yourself and think about it; there has to be millions of other people are having a worse day than you.

You'll need others: Make as many friends as you possibly can and never burn bridges. You will need others for your success.

Being open-minded is the key to more knowledge: If you want to know more about the world you have to be open-minded. Give everything a chance.

Failure is great: One of the most important, if not the most important steps to success is failure. You have to fail at least once, but it's better if you've failed multiple times. You can learn so much more from your failures than you could any other way. And when you finally achieve success, you'll appreciate it so much more.

Most people are actually nice: This is something I've only recently realized. Most people are nice, but not usually to strangers. Once they get to know you and you get to know them, they will most likely seem like very nice people.

Words and thoughts control everything: What you say and think will ultimately become reality. If you say you're going to fail, then you will because you'll find a way to make it happen. If you say you're going to succeed, the same will happen, you'll find a way.

Your view is the reality: How you see an event or situation is how it exists. If you see something as tragic and negative then that's what it means to you. If you see something as exciting and positive, then that's what it is.

Inspiration and motivation are everywhere: I don't care where you are, there is something there that can motivate and inspire you. You can be at war is some far away country, in horrible conditions, but there will be something there to keep you going and strive for something better. You just have to recognize it and keep it with you.

You can change the world: Every single person has the ability to change the world whether directly or indirectly. When you change your life and the lives of those around you, you've changed the world. Small things that you do can make a huge impact on the world.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Monday, September 14, 2009

9/11 David Letterman

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"There's once in a lifetime, And there's once in a while, And the difference between the two is about a million miles.."

No real security in what is no longer meaningful

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen