Put Failure in Your Spice Rack

Struggle, failure, triumph: while triumph is the thing sought, struggle has its joy, and failure is not without its uses.

It is not the goal but the course which makes us happy. The law of life is what a great orator affirmed of oratory–“Action, action, action!” As soon as one point is gained, another, and another presents itself.

It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failure. Even when one turns to no new course, how many failures, as a rule, mark the way to triumph, and brand into life, as with a hot iron, the lessons of defeat!

The brave man or the brave woman is one who looks life in the eye, and says: “God helping me, I am going to realize the best possibilities of my nature, by calling into action the beneficent laws which govern and determine the development of each individual member of the race.” And the failures of such a person are the jewels of triumph; that triumph which is certain in the sight of heaven, if not in the eyes of men.

Watch this brief video and then forever stop straddling life’s fences: 

The Good Old Days


“People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren’t so crazy about the first time around.”     ~Author Unknown”

Maybe I’m becoming an old codger.

As you get older and regrets begin to creep in ever more frequently to your daily thoughts, the ability to act on your dreams becomes exponentially more difficult.

I can remember my lightning-quick speed to run down balls on the singles tennis court for hours on end in searing heat without gasping for air.

I can remember filling out job applications and submitting resume after resume expecting that sooner or later someone would give me a chance to become rich.  The sooner seemed to become the later before the cock crowed.

I can remember looking with romantic eyes at every woman, hoping, and sometimes expecting, she would be turned on by me.

I can remember the wanderlust urge which brought me to Japan some 35 years ago.
And then somewhere down that road the lights seemed to dim.

The good old days of wine, party, song, romance, dreams yet to be, mountains yet to be conquered, millions yet to be made…seemed like a fading echo.

And the body – once bouncy and ready to pounce – now slumped soberly in front of a computer hoping that the Internet could be the great equalizer to all which ails me inside and out.

Japan is a challenge for us all, unless we accept being stereotypical car traders, translators and quasi-educators scrambling to the next deal or contract until death do us part.

Many foreigners make lots of noise and posturing about making a financial killing here, but few do.  Why?  Because Japan requires patience and most entrepreneurial-minded foreigners are in a hurry for success.

The good old days were never as good as they may seem.  But they do teach us that if we don’t use our God-given talents to improve ourselves rather than fritter away the years in recklessness, our old age will be filled with remorse, bitterness and yes, poverty.

The antidote to the above is to have dreams and goals bigger than ourselves.

Before I had angioplasty surgery several months ago, I planned to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro on my 60th birthday and look out over Africa in celebration of life.  After the operation, I went into a funk.  My mortality and reality slapped me in the face.

But I’m determined to not live in the good, old days.  Somehow, I will get to that mountaintop or create a doable, comparable challenge.  That is my success in Japan.

I’ll fight to the finish.  Hopefully, you will do likewise.

Strategies For Getting Out Of Ethical Quicksand

“We are never deceived.  We deceive ourselves.”     ~Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe~

Are you winging it?  Do you carry relativism to the extreme?  Will you sell yourself to the devil, if the price is right?  Can I trust you?

If any of these questions above make you wriggle in your skin, then you have shortchanged your life.  Your prospect for long-term, meaningful success is diminished.

There is no legacy for the fraudulent.  Only a quicksand death.

In a world where the small guy can now create a spin online to turn even Adolph Hitler into Dr. Seuss in tights, it is easy to get off track and lie with regularity.

In the short term, we can reap profits from such artful and designing means – sometimes obscene profits.

Selling foul air to the wind is becoming an ingrained custom.  We offer products and services which are targeted not at a specific group or market, but instead at the gullible and get-rich-quick schemers and wannabes scavenging the Internet or the back alleys for that one shortcut to the top.

You can do better and be better by not whoring yourself to the highest bidder or sweetest talker.

Within each of us are all the tools we need to live a prosperous and above-board life.  Don’t let the cynics and blusterers of the world call your shots for you.

Here are ten honest steps you can (and should) take to insure impeccable greatness:
1) Know what you stand for.  Your unique DNA cannot be packaged, nor can anyone’s.  If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.
2) Don’t lie for advantage.  Little lies become messy and difficult to clean up.  Once you are compromised, your credibility is shot.
3) Don’t stand by idly when you see others blatantly lying for advantage.  Point out the contradiction in a puppy-dog, innocent-tone question.
4) Don’t sell products or services on word-of-mouth alone. However, if you are a satisfied customer of the gadget, software or whatever…then, by all means, share a good experience with those in your sphere of influence.
5) Don’t flippantly dismiss negative criticism of a product or service your marketing by saying, “I am an optimist and I don’t touch base with negative people.”  Respond honestly and respectfully to ideas which you may not agree with.  Trash only personal attacks on you which use many bad words about your bodily functions or refer disrespectfully to your origins.
6) Find people (alive and dead) whom you can respect and then model your ethical behavior accordingly.  For a good starting point, CLICK HERE.
7) Never forget that you are among the privileged few in the world having access to the learning tools and freedoms which can elevate your life and status.  Rather than go for the quick kill and the country club life, pass it forward.  It’s the honest and highest-value thing to do.
8) Absolutely never – and I am guilty as charged! – talk ill about others in order to forge alliances.  If you bad-mouth John or Susie, no doubt you will turn on your newest partner over time the same way as you did on them.
9) Cut the hype, sell the advantages and point out the disadvantages.  Then, leave it to the customer to decide.  It’s called the Ben Franklin System.
10) Be real.  The designer life is often an attempt by an insecure person to impress us that he or she is special.  Loud tattoos, perfumes that can catch fire, 18-bedroom homes for two, James Dean smoking styles and a host of other put-ons detract from your essence and are often not a statement of individuality.

Honestly speaking, most of us have a long way to go on actualizing all ten of these principles.  Most assuredly, following them will define each of us as a man or woman of integrity.  Get started today.

More Each Day


Today you know more than you did at this time yesterday.

Today you are one day closer to becoming the person you were
meant to be.

Today you have more experience, and more wisdom than you did
just one day ago.

So what’s the best thing to do today? More!

You are more today than you’ve ever been before. What a
waste it would be to ignore that! What a waste it would be
not to make full use of it! Now that you’ve become more,
it’s time to do more.

Right now, you have what it takes to put more effort into
your work, more love into your relationships, more
discipline into your actions, more passion into your life.

The tools and opportunities available to you have grown. So
use them to make your results and your life grow, too – not
next week, not in a few days, but right now.

What can you improve just a little bit today? Those little
improvements add up, compounding on each other until you’ve
soon forged your life into a masterpiece.

You have more today than ever before. So go out and make
more of this day than you’ve ever done.

Today is truly golden, and you have what it takes to make
your life shine more brightly with each passing moment.

You really can do it, you know!

Highest Energy Wins

In watching the last presidential race on the Democratic Party side we can see why Obama was leading Clinton.  He was prepared, energetic and engaging.

Not that Hillary wasn’t formidable, but then Senator Obama smelled of a winning attitude.   He was one step ahead of Senator Clinton on the path to the White House.

The same spirit can be seen in athletic competitions.  Sometimes the more gifted athlete doesn’t win simply because the hunger is not there.  The desire to win is an intangible, and when it is linked with thorough preparation, an also-ran can transform into a thoroughbred.

Sir Royce of Rolls Royce fame once overheard a line worker say:  “Well, that’s good enough.”  He pulled the worker aside and said:  “It’s never good enough.  Rolls Royce is the best car in the world because every day is consider a day for improvement.”

The difference between winning and losing is sometimes only one degree of passion…WATCH…

Shelf It

“What begins in anger ends in shame. ”     ~George Eliot~

The world is a storehouse.  There are so many places for us to put things aside or away, that we will never run out of possibilities. This is a simple yet profound blessing.

In my life I have had to deal with anger and resentment issues.  When in my youth, anger equaled throwing a tennis racket into a pond to the dismay of my newly-introduced stepmother.  Before my stepmother appeared on the scene, it often meant pouting or defiance, mostly to my own detriment.

Long ago, my mother, who was a part player in my anger, pulled me aside and gave me some advice which has served me well in recent years.  Her lecture was given after I had written a nasty note to my sister about some perceived slight.

My mother said, “Always write a note of anger or revenge with passion, read it, and then put it in a drawer for three days for further consideration.  After the three days, take it out, read it carefully, and more often than not you will throw it away in shame.”

She was right.

The back burner is a great storehouse for all the damaging thoughts and action plans which ought not be cooked.  If you have anger or impulse issues in your life, use your back burner liberally.

The grief you will be spared is immeasurable.  The happiness you will receive will be put a smile on your face.