The Last Day

Come to me.
Hold my hand.
My life is falling through the sand.

Whether you are 22 or 92, make sure your life doesn’t fall through the cracks unnoticed.

Angry?  Then air out.

Tired?  Then stretch out.

Stressed?  Take time out.

Laugh till you cry, and don’t ask why.

Every moment could be your last.  Don’t count on more.

Say your hellos before you have to say your goodbyes.

Be the best you can be, so you never have to relive the nightmares of doubt and regret.

Be the friend you want to have.

Make peace with those you feel have failed you or those you think you have let down.

Build flexibility into your schedule.  The birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and whatnot are always more important to your well-being than a golf date to close a big deal.

You do attract to yourself what you dish out.  So dish out respect, love, tolerance, generosity, forgiveness, laughter, humor, camaraderie, thoughtfulness, respect, honesty…you get the idea.

Live fully in the present moment.  It’s all you have and all you ever will have.  It’s over in a blink.

As my favorite trainer and business philosopher, Jim Rohn, said:
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

On Being Right

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”     ~Bertrand Russell~

Some people see life as a war, with winners and losers clearly defined.  Any life lost because of stubbornness and inflexibility is a tragedy.  Most wars are certainly avoidable without serious consequence.

On a microcosmic level, relationships are also often treated as a war between good and evil.  The man is a beast, while the woman is always assumed to be the sensitive beauty.

Let me ask you a question:  How many ways can you slice up a pie?  Yes, an infinite number of ways.  But perhaps your perception and bias limits you to just a few available options or even only one.

If someone slices up the pie into bite-size pieces, another person may just go ballistic and say something to the tune of:  “How could you be so thick and insensitive?  Pies must be sliced in the familiar triangular fashion, stupid!”

Sometimes these words are voiced while at other times the person whose sensibilities are challenged will silently seethe and froth at the mouth.

Wars find their roots in the minds’ of the rigid.  Seeds of intolerance are often planted in the family living room or the schoolroom where stridency and undue bias paint a picture that the pie can only be sliced in one style and dimension.

In mathematical formulas, this one-way-thinking may hold water.  But in what color the drapes should be in the kids’ bedroom or which section of a territory is mine or yours…more intelligence and flexibility is desperately needed.

I hope we all can learn to accept the infinite positive outcome.  Our world is changing at a dizzying speed and our only hope for survival of our species is to think out of the box and allow for difference in opinion.

This is my pie-in-the sky dream.  Give peace a chance.

Plan B
“When planning for a year plant corn.  When planning for a decade, plant trees.  When planning for life, train and educate people.”     ~Chinese Proverb~

Yesterday I sat down with my friend Tom, a man in his fifties who is contemplating retirement.  Like many people of our age, he has had parents and in-law parents pass away.  He came into modest sums of inheritance, leaving him and his wife feeling somewhat stable, at least for the time being.  That is, unless he lives as long as many Japanese do.

As a child, few of us – including yours truly – had any real training in how money works and how it can work for you.  Like “sinful” sex, it was often left to a crap shoot.  There are many losers and a few winners in a crap shoot.

Did your dad or mom, even if they were relatively well off, give you any clear information on how to financially plan?

If they did, then you have the table set properly to feed your children with the same beneficial information.  But if you didn’t have the vaguest notion about how money works, then probably money is still not working well for you.

Many people feel that if they are living on let’s say $150,000 a year now, that they can live on a quarter of that in retirement.  In researching this article, it became clear that to maintain your present lifestyle (taking inflation into account) will take about seventy percent of your present income.

I’m not prepared, quite frankly.  Are you?  If you are chasing dollars as a wage slave and spending the money at almost the same pace as it comes in, then you must see the scenarios clearly.

The first is that you will die and your surviving spouse may have enough to live comfortably without you from the inheritance and insurance payouts.  The second is the opposite, you will die and your spouse will have a pittance and a small pension; likely she/he will need public assistance in a big way a couple of years down the line.

But here’s a third choice:  reconstruct your thinking and strategy about making and saving money, even if you are in your fifties or sixties and you can feel the financial noose tightening.

If all of your income comes from going to an office and punching a time clock, then you are an indentured slave.  Yes, you may receive a gold watch and, if lucky, a lump-sum retirement payout from your company when you retire, but your money flow will totally dry up when you stop punching.  Government pensions, meager as they usually are, will not in themselves keep you more than barely afloat.

You and I need to become creative and re-create our image of who we are and how we relate to money.  We need a Plan B.  Plan B is your residual income, money that flows in through a leveraged vehicle.  By leveraged, I mean “other peoples’ effort and funding.”  We must learn how to work money, rather than spend it frivolously.  An online business or even a networking (MLM) business is possible to begin and prosper till death do you part, and even beyond.

While you may feel unable to work independently and build a sales team selling your book, your original soap or your knitting goods, to cite a few examples, the alternative of not trying can be dark indeed for your future.

Get started with your Plan B today.  Take yourself out of the picture in how to create a retirement lifestyle.  Use other people to leverage your time and money constraints.  Stop trying to be a one-man/woman show.

Make this your best year ever by changing strategies, however painful or scary that may be.

The “Get Rich” Shuffle

root

“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.”     ~Sophie Tucker, U.S. (Russian-born) vaudeville singer~

God only knows how many times people I’ve met people – including myself when I self-talk – who tell you that they don’t care about money.  They then put some obscene labels on it as being evil or sinful, and flippantly dismiss all those with big ambition as being selfish and frivolous.

God only knows that most of these same people are being dishonest to the extreme with themselves, often without being aware of that fact.

As Zig Ziglar, a noted motivational speaker, philanthropist-entrepreneur and life coach has said:  “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”

People with small or no dreams are poor in more ways than in just the money sense.  When they awaken in the morning it is only to drag themselves to the job and pay off those damn bills and mortgage or to lounge around and forget that weekday grind on weekends.

This is called poverty living, even if your income tops $100K and you drive a Maserati sports car.

Our values about money are often derived from our contact with people who don’t have it.  They don’t understand how to obtain it, so they condemn those who haven’t yet demonized the green stuff and still find it to be a worthy measure of adult achievement.

Then there are those who will tell you that their Bible or holy scriptures clearly call money the root of all evil.  Mother Teresa was made a saint, yet her good works were totally dependent on…MONEY.  Without it, this saintly woman would have died obscurely in a slum.  While she may never have counted it herself, the nuns and fathers of her church and other followers religiously did!

What is your attitude towards money?  Is it a means to an end or the end?  If the latter be the case, no doubt you lack and you have alienated many.  If it is the former, then no doubt you have a dream bigger than yourself and money is a way in which you can fully express your heart.

Our flicker of time alive can and should make a difference.  Until you follow your heart, however, life will be a meaningless, incongruent ebb and flow which expresses nothing of your essence.

Money is a measure of just how much you have achieved and just how much you will achieve.  Don’t demonize it.  Use it to become a full expression of YOU.

Operating Through A Scarcity Paradigm

“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present / love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure / the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.”             ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach~ 

Far too many decisions in our lives are initiated because of a fear of loss.   

Marketers and advertisers would have us believe that everything will disappear quickly and never reappear in any other form.  “We must buy now,” they say, or the price will double or the product will be sold out (forever). 

If we look at this nonsense for what it is – greed- and fear-driven – then the right choice is to pass on most products sold to us through this scarcity paradigm. 

Unfortunately, this perverse style of living makes many of us feel that our jobs, for example, must be held onto like precious jewels, even when our salaries are barely enough to scrape by and the boss sucks.   

Scarcity rules and that tends to make each of us more selfish and very possessive of our things and even our mates.  It also closes us off from the infinite possibilities of life. 

My challenge to you and to myself is to forego just one impulsive buying decision this week.  Moreover, when you are in that buffet restaurant and only one slice of pizza is on the tray, pass it up.   

There’s more – infinitely more – available to you when you stop grabbing through fear of loss and scarcity. 

Take the higher road this week.  And why stop then?

What To Do When Nothing Seems To Work

“Life is not an easy matter… You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.”     ~Leo Tolstoy~

Some days I feel like I want to disappear and resurface at a mountaintop monastery in Tibet.  There I would meditate, relax, and forget my earthly worries and fears.  No more chasing money or power mingling for me.  Just silence and bliss.

For most people – myself included – we never seriously consider the Tibet-type option, but we do wish there was a way to break through the mental barriers holding us back from greatness.

Most people have no goals and no clear purpose for their life.  They find themselves settling into a life of surrender in their middle years and beyond, bitter and at wit’s end that things didn’t turn out right.

Everyone must either justify their failure or claim their success.  The difference between claiming the prize or not is often a matter of inches.

Zig Ziglar, a first-class life coach and mega-success story in his own right, explains the difference between success and frustration. Watch this inspiring video…

Keep pumping, my friends!  That’s the essence of Empowered for Achievement.

Are You In A Recession?

“What lies behind us, and what lies in front of us are tiny matters, compared with what lies within us.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

I recently read about a former baseball player named Doc Ellis who allegedly threw a no-hitter in 1970 while under the influence of the hallucinogenic drug LSD.  Scientists and other doubters probably scoff at such a story, and call it pure fiction.

In my mind, there is no doubt it could and did happen.  Doc – while you may not like his drug of choice – nonetheless had programmed himself for success.  If my memory serves me correctly, he was an above-average professional pitcher who spent as much sweat time honing his skill as more sober people spend in front of a brain-sapping TV.

I have digressed because so many very intelligent people often buy into the economic paradigms which can short-circuit success on any level.  The drug of bad news and dark times is very addicting indeed.

In fact, it is the drug of choice for people who are too busy to think on a level deeper than a TV sitcom (situation comedy).  Your mind is a sponge and whatever you allow in without question will affect your attitude and your altitude in life.

So let’s look at the fear of recession, which is no more than an idea – that is, until too many people bite the hook.  Recessions cause spending to slow because people fear they will have less and receive less under the prevailing market conditions. Lending institutions tend to make money tighter, so few businesses can expand and startups find it between difficult and impossible to secure seed money.

When the idea of recession is watered and given sunshine, almost everyone begins to hoard and fear the worst.  The sunny optimists who had lead the surge in boom times quickly become the lunatics or fools in the eyes of most realists.

But here is the irony:  No matter how downtrodden an economy may be, there will always be winners and losers.  It’s just incredible that when almost everyone is wallowing in despair, a few visionary souls see and act upon the silver lining in the clouds…and prosper handsomely!

How is that possible?  Some of us are programmed to believe that all who prosper magnificently in good or bad times must somehow be dishonest or unethical thieves.  Clearly, a few business vultures could fit into this predatory category…but only a few.

Prosperity – other than through winning a lottery or having your long-shot horse win the derby – is a mind set.  It has been said wisely that luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

In these stormy days when the stock market is reeling and the banks are sputtering because of predatory practices, the fundamentals are no different than in the bubble days.  Plan, prepare and educate yourself to see opportunities where others see only problems.

I guarantee that no matter how far south the world economy goes, there will be winners and losers.  Like it or not, the choice of which side of the great economic divide we find ourselves is not determined by the news but by how we interpret the news.

People may lose their dreams, but your sufficient money and happiness in those dark times is assured by helping people see a vision of better times again.  Sell that picture to those in the doldrums, and people will follow you like lemmings into the sea.  Don’t take them there.

I’ll Be Square With You

There is not an intentionally fraudulent bone in my body.

I want to make a difference in this world, but not at any cost.

I want to be of service to you, but I don’t have all the answers.

I want to be kind, but don’t think you can walk all over me with impunity.

I want to give the very best information to you, but information alone means absolutely nothing to the inert and the bored.

I want to be noticed for excellence, not for a Ferrari I lean against with a palatial home in the background.

I want to empower people who have never perceived themselves as successful, but there are some people whom I can’t work with and must be left behind.

I want to work with observant, straight-talking folks, but not individuals that start every sentence off with “Yes but…”

This is our fork in the road. The time has arrived to stop living in the shadows by thinking small and hiding behind the keyboard.

You are far too valuable ? even if you doubt that fact – to dwell in the sea of obscurity and mediocrity.

Claim your rightful place on the throne of your unique greatness.


Get Noticed on Wikipedia (PREVIEW) 投稿者 fraidgarrulous

Dispose of Your Racial And Ethnic Stereotypes

“Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.”
~Margaret Mead~

While 65 years on this planet is not quite overripe, it is long enough to have heard and believed several racial, ethnic and political stereotypes which serve to divide us.

To all of them, I have and will continue to bid adieu, although some are very deeply entrenched in the subconscious.

They serve no useful purpose other than to predetermine the outcome you have in dealing with people different than you.  Not all Jews are rich, nor are all Muslims terrorists who despise American freedoms.

Truly, we must look at all interactions as fascinating chances to understand the uniqueness we all bring to the table.

No, we are not all born linearly equal or capable of great things, but we can contribute in our unique manner and make a meaningful difference in our priceless journey through life.

The first step to happiness is to develop a willingness to tolerate the different brush strokes we chose for our canvas.

Life In The Safe Lane

“Our insignificance is often the cause of our safety.”      ~Aesop~

Understand that a lion’s share of the people in the world is living – as much as possible – in the so-called safe lane.

Japan, in particular, is the unofficial home of the illusion of safeness.  From cradle to grave people are implicitly taught that standing out and standing up is a telltale sign of arrogance and recklessness.  It is sure to lead, they say (whoever they are), to isolation and poverty.

In the age of instant messaging and secret online communities, the value of playing it safe is being challenged by the young and old alike.  The day is coming, however, when the bold-faced lie of safety spread by the power elite in Japan and throughout the planet will be exposed and a new world order established.

No longer will (are?) the Japanese going to obediently drop through the Alice in Wonderland hole without a fight.  The bubbles of Japan are cresting again and the majority of people are still buying into the business-as-usual mentality while the good times roll.

But in the good times we must prepare for the winter of desperation.  Depending on a company, a hierarchy or a government to sustain you in times of desperation is foolhardy and perhaps suicidal.

The only safety is within us.  A much admired entrepreneur and trainer, Jim Rohn, says of us:  “Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.”

Unfortunately, far too many of us on the jagged rocks’ of life opt for the safety net rather than the world of opportunity and possibility.  The world – whether you live in Japan or elsewhere – is full of infinite possibilities.  This newsletter is meant to help you find those opportunities and yourself.

Safety is not an option you want to take in these economically-troubled times.  Safety is in you.

Get educated, make a plan and take action.

 

Me Incorporated

“If you think that education is expensive, try ignorance.”      ~Derek Bok~

I often ponder about the principle of frugality and how to tame the itch for buying things which are not assets.

Defining an asset can often require the slight of hand of a trained, pencil-pushing accountant.  In one instance, however, you can with certainty know you have an asset – because that asset is none other than you

You are an asset which should never be neglected, abused or washed over by a desire to watch time-wasting TV dramas, play 10-hour gaming championships online or fritter away precious time in a 16-hour weekend snooze.

Investing in yourself is both essential for your spiritual and business growth.  The book not read, the audio message not listened to, or the seminar not attended can often be the small but significant difference between success and clear failure.

Prioritize or re-prioritize so that you put your self-education at or near the top of your “to do” list every day.  Brian Tracy, the premiere business coach in America, says:  “A minimum of 10% of your monthly net income  must be set aside for upgrading your skills.” 

Jim Rohn, another mega-successful business coach and my favorite, says pretty much the same thing as Brian.

Yes, success does leave traces.  All men and women of high, constant achievement take the course, attend the seminar, read the book or listen to the audio program.  They may give up temporary enjoyment, but the rewards are exponential for the sacrifice.

Cutting corners is not an option  for high achievers, and neither should it be for you and I.  Splurge on your education.  In truth, you are a walking corporation, regardless of whether you see yourself in such a light.