Just One Day – That’s All It Takes


“An ounce of hypocrisy is worth a pound of ambition.”     ~Michael Korda, writer and journalist~

How many books must you read before you know something?

How many audio and video messages must you hear and see before the truth can ring in your ears and shine before your eyes?

How many seminars must you attend before your life catches fire for you?

Enough is enough!

Far too often the student never graduates.  He or she spends years trying to accumulate knowledge absolutely and pauses – forever –  when things are not sparkling perfect before launching that brilliant career or business.

Just yesterday a gentleman wrote to me about being too poor to start anything.  My sentiment is that the poorer you are, the better your chance for success.  Because when you have nothing to lose but your chains, you stop being intellectual and start being desperate and practical.

How many times does an ant colony try to reach its destination?  As many times as it takes.  They may not be able to get their food or reach their destination easily, but it has been documented and witnessed by yours truly that ants will chew their way through boulders in order to reach their destination.

I think we’re all capable of a much more intelligent approach than an ant, but the ant teaches us that persistence wins.  The person who starts has much more chance of success than the person who knows it all in their head.

Get hungry and desperate to be the best you can be.  Even if you are dynamite, that belief is just an illusion.  Whatever you are is only a flyspeck of what you can potentially become before the Grim Reaper arrives.

It just takes one day to start a diet.  Call the client who keeps refusing your offer.  Go to drug/alcohol rehab to detox your body and rejuvenate your mind.  Talk to the spouse whom you’ve become estranged from and get things out in the open.

It just takes one day to take your dreams and begin to construct a life of your choosing.

You needn’t pay attention to this message, if your life is running full throttle on happiness and accomplishment.  But if it is not and you are not satisfied with what life has dropped on you, then get started in making the changes necessary for you to have what you want with whom you want whenever you want.

Age, sex, stinky parents or poverty to the extreme matter not, if you are determined to get out of your head and into the world.

What are you waiting for?  This is your day to shine…and all others that follow will be likewise.

Don’t “Should Have…” Yourself To Death

“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can’t build on it it’s only good for wallowing in.”
~Katherine Mansfield~ 

One of my favorite motivational speakers is Les Brown.  He said “Used-to-be’s don’t make honey.”   

How many things that you enjoyed in your youth have you discarded?  And how many of those things bring back fond memories?  And how many of those past events are you capable of doing now, if you put the effort into it?   

Be happy and empty of regret. 

If you can’t climb that mountain, then make it your noble goal to get back into decent enough shape to make the ascent again.  If you can’t spend a full day reading a book and getting enraptured by the fantasy world it opens, then make that time. 

And if you have “great” ideas and plans which you never seem to get off the ground, then resolve from this day forward to get things done. 

Never substitute should, would or might for actually doing something.   Should, would, might are the words of a person who has surrendered his or her soul.   

Affirm your life.  Nobody else will ever care more about you and your future than you do.  Excuses and procrastination are elements of a living hell.


“An apology?  Bah!  Disgusting!  Cowardly!  Beneath the dignity of any gentlemen, however wrong he might be.”     ~Steve Martin~

When was the last time you said a gut-wrenching “I’m sorry,” and really meant to make things right?

Hey, I’m not talking about spilling the coffee at a Starbucks and getting a wet tissue to dab over the stain you caused on your neighbor’s suit or dress.

Nor am I discussing the “Excuse me,” you utter while taking a train seat from a little, old lady because you’ve had a tough day.

No, I don’t mean the muffled “Sorry, honey,” when you come tiptoeing through the door at 11pm without having bothered to call hours earlier to tell your wife to keep the sirloin steak in the freezer.

Many people never bother to grow up.  When you were a grade-schooler and the dog got out of the house by mistake, you may have said with favorable effect, “I didn’t mean it, Mommy.  I’m sorry.”  And Mom – as Mom’s are hired to do – gave you some slack.

But then Mom and Dad forgot to tell you that “I’m sorry” is just another lame excuse to wiggle out of taking responsibility or, worse yet, pass the blame on to someone else unjustly.

If you take this strategy into adulthood, no doubt you will run into huge obstacles and maybe even spend some jail time.


Nothing – absolutely nothing – happens to you or through you because you are blameless.  And nothing – absolutely nothing – can be patched over without your active participation in finding resolution.

The “I’m sorry” lameness will often lead others to look at you with disdain, disgust and revenge in their eyes.

Though this may seem unfair, the bitter truth is that people who take responsibility and look for remedies as a matter of course find infinitely fewer obstacles up the mountain to success.

So the next time you want to shrug and shirk when something bad happens in your presence, choose instead to pay for the cleaning, the repair, or the spiritual or physical damage with gut-wrenching (and sometimes costly) action.

A principled life allows you to never have to look over your shoulder or make excuses when adversity strikes.  It’s the first step in becoming a leader and a respected member of every circle you choose to join.

I’m sorry.  It was my fault.  How do I make it right?

This is a mantra you can bank on.

The Blame Game

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”     ~Robert Anthony~

Accusing others of hurting you – even when undoubtedly true – is usually an act in futility.  Very few people have intention to do you wrong, though many will (at least, in your mind) during the course of your life.  Moreover, most people become unreasonably strident when made to feel accused or guilty.

I truly believe that being caught up in the blame game and holding grudges in bitter silence will shorten your life and your chances for success on all levels.

While spread out on an operating table for emergency angioplasty several years ago, all the blame and disappointment in my own life became a moot point.  I saw my occluded heart arteries on the screen and in a surrealistic flash became aware that you create your own reality.
My heart problems were caused by internalizing anger – a poison – and holding on to it for a lion’s share of my adult life.  In some ways, I had been like a deer caught in headlights for half a century.

When I returned home from the hospital, I finally appreciated the sweet essence of life.  In my remaining years I resolved to not blame and to not get unnecessarily angry about the petty wrongs I perceive others do to me.  Most of them are only in my head and, if left unchecked and unattended, will eat away at my heart again.

Smoking and overeating are signs that we are at dis-ease.  They are not truly the cause of sickness and premature death.  They are obvious signals of an unhappy internal engine which has never learned to cope with the pains and setbacks associated with being a human being.

If this short musing doesn’t hit home with you, certainly pass it on to someone with whom it might.

We can change and reprogram our minds to find the good where we used to find bad.  Ultimately, we will no longer need to beat ourselves up about the small stuff.

It doesn’t matter who or what is at fault for your shortcomings.  What matters is realizing where you are and making the changes necessary to feel good about yourself at all times.

Sleep well and wake up tomorrow with a zest for life.

Defining Your Success

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the
rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws, but for potential.”                                                              ~Ellen Goodman, NY Times columnist~

Every day I am astounded by the herds of people – Japanese and foreigners alike – holding onto small, manageable, unchallenging dreams and life goals.

How small can a dream get before the spark of life extinguishes?  Pretty damn small.

Yes, I can’t be Warren Buffett or a Super Bowl quarterback, but I do make a difference.  What I don’t start because of fear of failure and fear of loss assures that both negative outcomes will come to pass.

I cite as an example, my own attempt to form a mastermind.  Sixty-one people expressed interest in this dynamic concept, yet fewer than five have ever done more than fill out the signup form.  Making a commitment and following through takes guts and a certain mindset.

Truth has it, that success means stepping into the wilderness of possibilities.  To believe that you or I can ride a wave to the top without ever having to shake hands in the flesh or sell ourselves to a skeptical public is absolute nonsense.

Online marketing gurus and network marketing whiz kids often do a disservice to aspiring entrepreneurs.  They give off the impression that riches can be gathered simply by following an online system that sells the cash cow product for you for just a mouse click..

No way.  To become worthy, you must step out of the comfort zone, meet people, and speak with confidence unavailable from any software application, beauty care product, or dynamic compensation plan.

Commit to excellence, even if you sense that your mind and life may be knee-deep in doggy poop.  One constant of successful people I have followed is that they rebound from adversity.  Another constant is that each of them sometime in their less successful past sat down and mapped out a strategy for success.  They left nothing to chance.  They frankly analyzed their strengths and glaring weaknesses…and adjusted course.

Every one of us wants to be seen in the best light by others.  This often leads to lies, deceptions and false pride.  When someone offers you a chance or even a bone, we often tend to pull away in shame.

“No, thank you, I’m doing just fine.”

“Yeah, my job is great.  Barb (fiction) and I just bought a second home up in the woods.”

The title of this article was Defining Your Success.  And my definition is that success is when you can be genuine with others and with yourself.  Until you can be real, all victories ring hollow.

Tightening Our Fiscal Belts

“First master the fundamentals.”     ~Larry Bird, former NBA star~

Wouldn’t it be an exhilarating moment if most humans suddenly believed passionately that success was a given?

For a majority of the inhabitants of this planet, the barometer for success is set on survival.  Yes, we do mouth words of motivation, hope, and encouragement to each other, but we don’t really believe that a life above the rat race is anything more than a whimsical notion.

We talk of getting a great education and a great job for ourselves and for our family members, but education alone is just a ticket into the waiting room for upward mobility.  Once inside, you must perform…and the competition is more keen with every passing hour.

There must be and is more than one way to skin this success cat.  Rising up the corporate ladder or making it as a professional athlete are certainly admirable vocations for a scant few of us.  But life tells me that not everyone has the mental and physical stamina to get up from a knockout punch or the one hundredth.

Resiliency and resourcefulness are probably the most significant attributes of all well-adjusted, financially successful people from all walks of life in all corners of the planet.

To be resilient and resourceful requires the proper moral and fiscal education from early childhood.  Here are five suggestions to make our children and our societies truly successful:

1) Delay gratification.  Much to my dismay, the modern child in the affluent countries/families of the world are often permitting their children to scream and cry and pout until they will get what they want.  I suggest saying No to such familial terrorists before they become undisciplined monsters as adults.

2) When a child wants new clothes, buy them only after the child has designed and made the same by him-/herself.  That’s rough, yes, but the point is to teach children economy, conservation, self-sufficiency and creativity.  Be an example for your children.

3) Economics and money management should be taught in the schools from the first grade onward.  This financial training will allow educators to comfortably cut math classes in half.  One of the reasons why so many people in affluent societies claim they are struggling is because not a flaccid soul ever taught them the basics of money management and how money works.

4) All communities should employ retired tradesman such as carpenters, plumbers and car mechanics to teach free or low-cost children/adult classes on how to repair things.  Citizens who complete such seminar-based classes will be entitled to a tax reduction or a stipend for completion.

5) We must read – not just trash or time-killing magazines and comics – but books which are called classics.  If you don’t read, you can’t write.  If you can’t write, you are at a profound disadvantage in the marketplace.  Words are power and lead to advancement.

This a tough, competitive world we live in.  The job and security many of us were taught to cherish has never been anything more than smoke and mirrors.

It is now a defining moment in our aging industrial societies which are so dependent on the “easy” and the “convenient.”

If our children and grandchildren continue their addiction to a soft, undisciplined life based on cheap oil and endless opportunities arising, then both will be taken from us shortly.  There is only enough to go around when we are resourceful, prudent, economical and concerned with the common good.

Ten Things Money Can’t Buy

Why is it that so many people who rise to the top of their game eventually sabotage their achievements?

Entertainers and sports figures are notorious for hitting bottom.  But so are managers, board directors and other less conspicuous achievers who may be rolling in fresh cash and the toys that money can buy, but mysteriously find their only solace in booze, drugs, gambling and cheating on their spouses or mates.

Tragically, you also find among those moving southward in life the swarm of people who may have risen modestly above past levels of personal achievement, only to swoon into a death roll at the first ripple of adversity.

Could it be that having money and the trappings of a so-called good life are the antithesis of what we really seek – happiness and acceptance?

Is it possible we are all being brainwashed and manipulated by an illusion that money and what it can buy will make you cool(er) and more lovable?

Many years ago I read a book which, although it has become somewhat dated, still gives an intimate glimpse into what life may be all about.  The title is “14,000 Things to Be Happy About ,” by Barbara Ann Kipfer.  It has an American flavor to it, but many of those happy things can be plugged into any culture at any time.  Give it a read for the cost of a dime.

Let me leave you with a list of my ten absolutely free tickets to feeling happy.

1.Lying on the lawn of your elementary school of years’ past on a breezy autumn day

2.Lazing back to Peter Frampton Live

3.Writing a love letter to yourself

4.Singing in the rain

5.Making the most ornery person you know break into laughter

6.Breaking routines

7.Doing much more than is expected of you.

8.Listening closely to a little child or a senior citizen in the mood to chat.

9.Belly laughing to Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?

10.Understanding the power and gift of not always having to be right

Now it’s time to make your own happy list and then keep adding to it.  Your altitude is a state of mind, so do your best to put happy thoughts and actions into your life.  The more of them you have, the less likely you are to go into a tailspin.

Saying What You Mean

“Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.”
~Benjamin Disraeli~

Methinks life is too short to walk through it tiptoeing.  There are people and events which must be endured, but most of what we do is by raw choice only.  Job is bad?  Change it.  Mate is bad?  Change or leave it.  Too fat?  Take one less bite of the cake.

But by all means stop blaming the world for your ills, unless you are trapped in dire poverty not of your own making with goose stepping soldiers outside your door.

Otherwise, speak up to those who wish to control you.  If you know what you stand for, you will stop falling.  Your voice and actions will be aligned with your absolute best interests.  And your best interests are for the best.

Speak with conviction and truth.


“Graduation is only a concept.  In real life every day you graduate.  Graduation is a process that goes on  until the last day of your life.  If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference. ”     ~Arie Pencovici~

How can we stop the past from effecting the present and the future? That’s not an easy question to answer.

If you have gone through separation or divorce, perhaps you have gone through a difficult period where you always judge a potential new partner against the old one, despite the unhappiness that that previous mate may have brought to you.

If you are a marketer who keeps going to the same market with the same offer and getting meager results, what holds you back from trying a new approach?

Life patterns, if well developed, are  great navigating tools to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. They allow us to measure progress and determine according to a set of concrete criteria whether doing something or being with someone is beneficial to our growth.

Some of you may think that our moral obligations must be chained to us forever. Such mindset encourages us to feel guilty and to suffer at the expense of our personal growth.

You hear such people say things as “I’d love to take that new job but I can’t leave my husband to fend for himself. He can’t even fry an egg.”; “My kids steal all my time, so I have none for myself”; “If I left the firm, it would go to seed.”

Let’s rephrase these mental mind traps:

“It’s time for my husband to graduate to self-sufficiency. My personal growth is not subject to his”

“I love my kids dearly, but love must be a two-way street. I am a multidimensional being whose pleasure and accomplishments are(at times) independent of them”

“Firms will come and go, as will I. It’s time to move on to new challenges. I’ll find my replacement this week.”

This article’s title is “Commencement,” which is often misunderstood as graduation. Commencement means “To begin,” not to finish.

Have you stopped questioning your status and condition in the scheme of things? Are you commencing with your life every day? Are you victimized by the random ebbs and flows of life? Are you not never endingly educating yourself to be a bigger and more successful you? Are you relegating your fate to the whims and fantasies of others?

Then please get a grip. Dedicate yourself to education and action. Truly, the best is yet in front of you once you take the reigns. Let’s commence.

Are The Best Things In Life Free?

A few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Philippines on business.  What struck me most was the huge divide between the rich and the poor and the generosity and kindness of the latter.

In Davao, the gateway to the southern part of the island-nation, my business brought me to a rural area.  In the comfort of an air-conditioned office of a relatively rich businessman, I ate lunch and then talked shop.  Afterwards, I asked my host to take me on a short walk to meet and mingle with the locals.

There were no pretensions, no fancy cars, no cellular phones, no anything other than the bare minimums of a Twenty-First Century life with a roof over your head.  Yet I was intrigued by the simple and basic style of life these natives led.

Then we ran into a group of small. giggling elementary school children playing on a dirt road.  They had a broken bottle, some bottle caps and a host of other “trashy things” that most westerners, especially Japanese, would feel embarrassed to touch or play with.  It seemed that they were involved in a sort of sand-hockey game, but the nature of the game is not really the point of this story.

The point being that you needn’t have a fancy car, a 17-carat diamond ring and a summer home in Monterrey to have happiness.  All these things are the gravy and cream only if you are happy in your skin to begin with.

What’s interesting is that the poorest people in the world – including the Australian Aborigines – have the lowest incidence of suicide.  It could be said that they have something to live for – the dream of having an education, a car, a trip to Europe or whatever – but there seems to be more to this phenomenon than meets the eye.

We of the comparatively rich countries on this planet have many of the amenities of the “good life” covered plus alpha, and yet many of us have this gnawing sensation that something is missing in our lives.

And that chasm between our desire for happiness and finding happiness grows with each distracting toy and throwaway of affluence we buy for our immediate gratification and to impress others.

I’m not advocating the good old days were really all that much better than those we now live through.  What I am saying is that a broken bottle and a bottle cap seem to bring more intrinsic value than an X-box, a Gucci bag or a trip to Spain do for the more well off of our brethren.

Smell the roses.  See the sky.  Get fascinated with the eyes of your mate or child. They and an infinite number of objects and experiences are there for the offing.

I challenge you to keep your billfold in your back pocket for a few days and discover the cathartic essence of being free.