Monday, October 26, 2009


There is nothing like money to make you attractive and appealing to others. But, of course, the kind of people who are attracted to you only because of what you can do for them may be acquaintances, not friends. You may have many acquaintances if you become wealthy, but whatever your station in life may be, you will never have true friends unless you are a friend to others. Be very selective in your choice of friends. Choose to associate with positive people who like you for the person you are, who encourage you to be yourself and to be the best you can be.

Friday, October 23, 2009

To Do this Day.

As soon as it begins, take control of your day. Decide in detail what you intend to do and commit to making it happen.
If you sit around and wait for events and circumstances to pull you along, you'll end up getting nothing accomplished. If you have no firm and resolute plans, you'll waste all your time on meaningless distractions and interruptions.
Certainly unexpected situations will come up that require your response. Yet you can choose to respond from a position of power and control, rather than from a position of weakness and ineffectiveness.
Decide what you will do with this day, and get busy doing it. Make a difference, establish a positive momentum, and get your goals accomplished.
Time is here, right now, for you to use. Transform the passing time into lasting value by making effective use of it.
This day is filled with great possibilities. Choose certain, specific ones, and make the effort that will make them happen.

if it smells like socialism, looks like socialism, and feels like socialism, it's probably...

Fed hits banks with sweeping pay limitsThe Wall Street Journal - Oct. 23, 2009
(Copyright (c) 2009, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

By Aaron Lucchetti, David Enrich and Joann S. Lublin In a one-two punch at the pay culture of banks and Wall Street firms blamed for the financial crisis, the U.S. government announced plans to aggressively regulate compensation at thousands of lenders and impose steep pay cuts at seven companies that received billions in federal aid.

While the moves had been anticipated for weeks, Thursday's separate announcements by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department represent unprecedented federal intervention in pay decisions traditionally left to boards and shareholders.

The crackdown is likely to influence how financial firms pay top executives, traders, loan officers and others whose actions could threaten the soundness of the institutions. Compensation experts said it would be hard for companies to escape the new oversight, though individuals could do so by jumping to hedge funds, private-equity funds and other financial firms beyond the reach of the new curbs.

The central bank moved to incorporate reviews of compensation into its routine regulatory process, a step that will affect large and small financial firms across the U.S. as well as American subsidiaries of non-U.S. financial companies. Some state regulators said they plan to issue similar requirements for state-regulated banks not covered by the Fed plan.

"I think it will make an important difference" because many banks have been reluctant to change their pay practices unilaterally out of competitive worries, said New York's banking superintendent, Richard Neiman.

As expected, Treasury official Kenneth Feinberg said cash salaries paid to the highest-earning executives at seven companies getting exceptional federal aid will be capped at $500,000, while the group's total pay level, annualized, will be 50% lower than a year before.

Some bankers and outside experts said Mr. Feinberg was overstating the extent of the cuts. Many bankers will continue to enjoy seven-figure pay packages, including one who will receive $9.9 million. Of the 136 employees whose pay Mr. Feinberg reviewed, 29 are on track to collect total 2009 pay of at least $5 million, according to documents released by Mr. Feinberg. And his calculations of 50% cuts in total pay for the top 25 at each firm from a year before depend partly on departures of certain highly paid employees.

The rulings will be effective for just November and December; employees won't have to repay salaries already received. But the rulings will become the starting point for next year's salary figures and until the companies repay their government aid.

To make sure firms follow the new rules, Mr. Feinberg imposed reporting requirements on top executives and directors. He said he hopes the standards "will be voluntarily picked up" throughout corporate America.

The rulings cover the highest-paid 25 employees at each of the seven heavily aided companies: Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., American International Group Inc., General Motors Co., GMAC Inc., Chrysler Group LLC and Chrysler Financial.

Mr. Feinberg said he will have to approve pay for the next chief executive at Bank of America. He already pushed outgoing CEO Kenneth Lewis into giving back $1 million he received so far this year and forgoing the rest of his $1.5 million salary for 2009.

Some critics said that Mr. Feinberg was too soft on the banks and that his main accomplishment -- forcing firms to use more stock and less cash when paying employees -- didn't go far enough to rein in compensation. "We're worried that it's shifting from one form of compensation to another and still letting people get away with some pretty outrageous things," said Sarah Anderson, an executive-pay analyst with the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.

While the Fed didn't propose pay caps, it said it will review compensation policies at "28 large, complex banking organizations," which it didn't identify. It will be a "horizontal review" that in effect compares them to one another. The Fed also proposed that pay of traders and other employees be linked to the risks taken to achieve returns. So if two people generate $1 million in revenue each, one who took more chances could be paid less.

Analysts noted that one surefire sign of risk -- bets that use a lot of borrowed money -- could stay out of style if the Fed uses risk-adjusted returns to assess how employees should get paid.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group and some other Wall Street firms already have moved to overhaul pay, including shifting more of it to salary.

Some small-town bankers are resentful of the coming scrutiny by the Fed, blaming many of the foolish loans and reckless trades that led to the financial crisis on larger institutions. "We're all having to pay for the sins" of the big banks, said Rusty Cloutier, CEO of MidSouth Bancorp Inc., Lafayette, La.

Since the spring, banks have been fretting over the effect of a provision in the economic-stimulus law that restricts bonuses -- historically the lion's share of top bankers' compensation -- to a fraction of salaries. The worry has been that the combination of this provision, inserted by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), and coming salary curbs by Mr. Feinberg would severely depress overall compensation.

At Citigroup, some executives were relieved Mr. Feinberg's demands were not tougher. While salaries will be paid more in stock than cash, their total values aren't expected to shrink in most cases, said people familiar with the matter.

Citigroup executives have been worried that severe curbs could spark an exodus of top traders and bankers. That hasn't happened. Citigroup has suffered many high-ranking defections, but those executives say their departures didn't stem from dissatisfaction with pay.

Citigroup said it is "pleased this decision has been issued and we will now work to comply with the plan's requirements."

Bank of America officials reached out to those affected by the Feinberg ruling to reassure them pay is "still very healthy," said a person familiar with the situation. But some remain concerned the firm may face trouble recruiting in its global banking and markets group, run by Thomas Montag -- who was identified by people familiar with the matter as the person with the $9.9 million pay package, one of the largest disclosed Thursday by Mr. Feinberg.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Always Moving...

By its very nature, life is dynamic. That makes it impossible to truly stand still.
If you're not moving forward, you're falling behind. So every day, in some way or another, take action to move your life forward.
Just a small improvement, just a subtle positive step, is infinitely preferable to doing nothing. Always, there is some little something you can do to better your life and your world.
What can you do right now to solve a problem that's been frustrating you? What step can you take in the next few minutes that will bring you closer to the accomplishment of an important goal?
There is something you can do, and those small efforts quickly add up as time goes on. So instead of complaining that you can't get it all accomplished at once, do a little bit, and then do it again.
Always, your life is filled with energy, and is moving in one direction or another. Harness that energy, align it with your highest purpose, and proceed constantly in the direction of your dreams.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

5 Common Pop-Psych Myths -Lindsay Lyon

Opposites attract....We use very little of our brainpower....American culture teems with commonly accepted pop-psych beliefs. They're embedded in TV talk shows, self-help books, websites, movies, magazines, radio talk shows, and, of course, everyday conversation. In a new book, 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology (Wiley-Blackwell), Scott Lilienfeld and his coauthors explore the gulf between what millions of people say is so and the truth. While some of these myths are just plain fascinating, others may lead to bad decisions with unfortunate consequences. U.S. News spoke to Lilienfeld, a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, about five of the myths exposed in the book:

Opposites attract. This widespread assumption has almost certainly provoked people to seek out mates who are as different from them as possible, says Lilienfeld. But not only do opposites not attract in romantic relationships, but being too different from a partner in personality, beliefs, and attitude is a good predictor of a future breakup, says Lilienfeld. For the most part, similarities attract (although 100 percent carbon-copy couplings can go stale). Pairing up with someone who is a yin to your yang may make life more exciting in the short run, but it's unlikely to be a recipe for long-term love, he says. (Learn more with the Triple A's of a Good Relationship.)

We use only 10 percent of our brains. Who wouldn't like to believe we have a fabulous stockpile of untapped potential? That 90 percent of our brains lie dormant, waiting to be unlocked? There's no good evidence to suggest that's true. To the contrary, says Lilienfeld, nearly all of our brain is constantly humming. So much for gadgets promising to boost brainpower. (Try these 4 Exercises to Sharpen Your Brain.)

Mozart makes infants smarter. Hike a baby's IQ by aiming the Jupiter Symphony at mom's expanding abdomen? Lilienfeld chuckles. The original study flicking at this notion, he says, wasn't even based on babies but on college students who performed better on a spatial reasoning test after listening to Mozart for 10 minutes. And that probably was due to a boost in alertness, akin to the effect of coffee, not the classical tunes, he says. Still, the market exploded with Mozart-effect products for infants. Even the governor of Georgia was swayed, Lilienfeld recalls: He added money to the budget so that every Georgia newborn could get a free Mozart CD or cassette.

Low self-esteem is a key to future psychological problems. "The self-help industry has probably persuaded people who don't have the highest self-esteem [to believe] they can't amount to much in life," says Lilienfeld. It may hurt people whose confidence is at basement level, but in general, he says, the link between self-esteem and "mental adjustment" is modest at best. Nor is high self-esteem, the obvious flip side of the belief, always good. A subset of people brimming with self-esteem could be considered narcissistic and are at heightened risk, says Lilienfeld, of aggression if challenged or insulted.

Full moons trigger wacky behavior. Murders, suicides, admissions to psychiatric hospitals, biting dogs, car accidents--all have been blamed on a full moon. But researchers have unearthed no good evidence of a "lunar effect," says Lilienfeld, despite earlier flawed findings and ideas promoted by writers and psychiatrists. Why has this myth--and others about purely coincidental relationships--persisted? People tend to remember events that confirm their beliefs and ignore those that don't, says Lilienfeld. If a tree smashes through your Volvo's windshield on a night the moon is full, you might connect the two and blame the orb in the sky; if nothing odd happens during a full moon, you're not likely to log that into your mental diary. That hasn't stopped some police departments from putting more cops on the street when the moon is full, says Lilienfeld.

Give More.

Give more than is expected of you, and you'll get much more than you expect. Rather than obsessing over how little you can get by with doing, focus on how very much you can get done.
If you set out to cheat life, it is you who will be cheated. When you set about to get something for nothing, what you end up with is nothing worth having.
Instead, go ahead and give all you can to the effort. Then find ways to give more.
Fulfillment is not in the getting. Fulfillment is in the creating, and doing, and giving.
Fulfillment in life comes from making a difference. When you have an opportunity to make a difference, do so generously and with abandon.
Within every highly successful person is an unquenchable thirst for adding value to the lives of others. Keep finding new ways to give more than you can imagine, and know the joy of true and lasting success.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank You ~Dido

My tea's gone cold, I'm wondering why
I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
and I can't see at all
And even if I could it'd all be grey,
but your picture on my wall
It reminds me that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay,
my head just feels in pain
I missed the bus and there'll be hell today,
I'm late for work again
And even if I'm there, they'll all imply
that I might not last the day
And then you call me and it's not so bad,
it's not so bad and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

Push the door, I'm home at last
and I'm soaking through and through
Then you hand me a towel
and all I see is you
And even if my house falls down,
I wouldn't have a clue
Because you're near me and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

Some days you're the hammer, some days you're the nail.

one of my favorite artists.

Friday, October 16, 2009


For every difficulty that supposedly stops a person from succeeding, there are thousands who have had it a lot worse and succeeded anyway. SO CAN YOU.
--Brian Tracy.

10 Signs That The Matrix Has You

10 Signs That The Matrix Has You
I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. -Neo, The Matrix

The other day I was watching The Matrix for what was probably the 30th time; it is easily one of my favorites. In fact, I'd say that The Matrix is one of my top 5 personal development resources. Really. Upon detailed examination, the movie provides us with countless personal development lessons and metaphors for life.

I’m not going to tell you what the matrix is because nobody can really do that. It’s something you have to experience for yourself. But I can hopefully make you somewhat aware of the fact that the matrix has you because awareness is the first step towards breaking free.

You’ll believe it when you see it.
If you operate from the idea that you’ll believe it when you see it, then you’re a long way from unplugging. A core lesson of this movie is that you’ll see exactly what you believe. In fact, if you only did one thing to advance your development, choosing empowering beliefs would be the most valuable thing you could do.

Your purchases are status symbols.
If you purchase nice cars, designer labels, and other expensive items because you want to have other people complement you, think you are cool or anything along those lines, then you’re really not in control of your life. You’re letting the approval of others dictate your purchases. There’s nothing at all wrong with having these things but only if you genuinely enjoy them and want them for your own personal fulfillment.

Excessive concern with approval.
While this is similar to the above it extends beyond what you purchase. Many people take actions in their personal lives solely based on the approval of others. Yet, the ultimate irony is that trying so hard to gain the approval of others is exactly what makes them think less of you.

You follow the herd.
Conformity is overrated. The most successful people in society have been willing to go out on a limb, go against the herd. In the end the herd ends up following them. Be a leader, not a follower.

You never want to rock the boat.
Some people are so afraid of conflict that their opinion is never heard. I used to be completely afraid of conflict. The downside to holding it all in is that you eventually explode. Rock the boat every now and then and your ride through life will be much smoother.

You believe in fate.
If you believe in fate then you believe in some unexplainable force that controls your life. There’s no predestined life that you’re supposed to have. You are the architect of your life, and your beliefs are the blueprint.

You are a victim.
The victim mentality is one that unfortunately is somewhat supported by members of society. People always tell you how bad they feel for you, how sorry they are. I’m all for sympathy and being kind to people, but when you decide to wallow in all of this, you become a victim. Victims are slaves to the matrix. Others accept what happened and move on.

You don’t make your own decisions.
I’ve grown up in a community where kids are often told from an early age that the most noble profession they can pursue is becoming a doctor. I always wonder how many of these people really wanted to be doctors, and how many of their parents decided for them at an early age, and eventually a decision their parents made became their decision. This is just one of many areas in life where people don’t make their own decisions. Decide what YOU want.

You’re a slave to your emotions.
Emotions can be both empowering and detrimental. When you don’t learn to control your emotions then you tend to let them control you. It’s just one more area where you are not in control.

You’re completely unaware of any of the above.
Awareness is really the beginning of freeing yourself from the limitations of the matrix. The average person is living in a reality that is a reflection of the ideas and images in the world around them, rather than a reflection of what’s in their own mind.
The matrix is nothing more than a system of beliefs, social constructs, and programs designed to hold you back from reaching your full potential. Hopefully the advice above will help you begin to unplug. Free your mind, be peaceful, be patient, and the rest will follow.

Written on 10/15/2009 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is a volunteer for the Quality of Life Project. The website shares best practices on getting the most out of life from well known types like Richard Branson and Tom Skerritt to lesser known but equally interesting individuals. The mission of the organization is to help people live more enjoyable, purposeful and contented lives. Srinivas also writes at Photo Credit: Now I'm Always Smiling

Thursday, October 15, 2009

peanut butter.

just found peanut butter in my cabinet with a used by date of 10/20/06... well, here goes nothing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

3 types of people in this world

There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what the hell just happened. -tommyu lasorda

Friday, October 9, 2009

world of my own...

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrarwise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"

-The mad Hatter, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

221 lbs.

live fast.

This is our decision, to live fast and die young.
We've got the vision, now let's have some fun. -MGMT

Friday, October 2, 2009

Find a Way.

Don't believe those who tell you that it can't be done. Refuse to be stopped by those who say it's too late, or not practical, or too early, or not workable.
Listen carefully and thoughtfully to their advice, and then find a way. Look realistically at the challenges, and then begin working through them.
What may appear to be an unyielding obstacle when you're standing still, will begin to give way when you start moving forward. Focus not on what is pushing against you, but focus instead on the purpose that is pushing you to get it done.
Remind yourself again and again of why you must. Hold your head high and keep your eyes on the goal.
Conditions will change, and so can you. Some routes will be blocked, and you have the flexibility to discover alternate ways to get it done.
Decide that you will accomplish what you have chosen to accomplish. Know that there is a way, and step by step, you will find it.
-- Ralph Marston