Month: January 2011

Daily Inspiration 1-31-11

Daily Inspiration 1-31-11

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
— God as played by Morgan Freeman in the movie, Evan Almighty
Do we just give our kids money, or do we show them ways to earn it and thereby have some respect for it and understand value more clearly? Do we allow our children, our sales staff, our employees to learn by allowing them to make mistakes so they can learn better ways? Or, do we step in and do it for them, so that we know it is done according to our own plan regardless of how little they learn that way?
Or, how about ourselves? Are we longing for the easy way, when we know full well that the other way will create a foundation to step up on? Are we looking for a savior?
If you were starting up a company from scratch and using your own capital, or bootstrapping it, would you constantly long for enough money to pay people and be done with the struggle? Or might the struggle have some of the most valuable lessons of the whole journey?
I used to long for all those savior moments, wanting it to be over and someone else to do the work, or make things happen. Then recently, something changed. All of a sudden, it became clear to me that these things weren’t struggles at all. It was just a challenge to be able to view it differently; more creatively. Then, it became even more clear that it was not even so much of a challenge as an advantage. Now, just look at that transition! It went from a struggle to a challenge to an advantage? Maybe I’m losing it!
Truly, I’m beginning to see some of the things that I go through in my business and my personal life as advantages instead of the struggles that once were. It is this change in thinking that I am so very excited about because it is showing me the value of the travel that I would have never seen otherwise.
I now know for certain that it is all perfect.
I Now Have An Advantage: My New Perspective.
Spread Some Joy Today–Everything is really how you perceive it. We indeed create our own individual realities.
Daily Inspiration 1-30-11

Daily Inspiration 1-30-11

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible
is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
— Arthur Clarke
Let’s look in the rearview mirror not very far back in history and look at just a few of the things that were impossible for hundreds and even thousands of years, and then they somehow not only became possible, but became actual realities.
1. Bridging the Mississippi river.
2. To travel faster than a horse will run.
3. Hauling hundreds of tons of material smoothly and efficiently.
4. Breathing underwater.
5. Flying through the air in a machine.
6. Radio.
7. Television.
8. Computers.
9. The Internet.
10. Worldwide instant communication.
11. Cellular phones.
12. Automobiles.
13. Refrigeration.
14. Air Conditioning.
15. Washing machine.
16. Clothes dryer.
17. Space travel.
18. Landing a man on the moon.
19. Microwave cooking
20. Electric light and appliances.
21. Recorded music.
22. Electric Guitar
23. Rock and Roll
24. Instant Video Recorders.
25. Robotics.
This is such a short list of the seriously long list of things that were impossible for hundreds and thousands of years and then became possible and then became actual things in just the last 200 years. I did this off the top of my head and I’m sure I could come up with a couple hundred items and that list would be small compared with what really transpired.
Next time something seems impossible, pull out this list, or make your own to remind you that nothing is impossible really. It is just a matter of time and more important than time, is someone beginning to believe in the possibility rather than the impossibility. It is amazing what even one person who believes can do to change the world.
We Owe Our Entertainment, Transportation, Food Delivery Systems, And Creature Comforts To A Few Believers.
Spread Some Joy Today–become more of a possibilitarian. You don’t have to know how, just know.
Daily Inspiration 1-29-11: Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome

Daily Inspiration 1-29-11: Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome

I’m changing things up a bit today and having run across this awesome talk, find that it is very inspiring and wanted to share it with you. Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life’s simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk from TEDxToronto, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that’s truly awesome.
Daily Inspiration 1-28-11

Daily Inspiration 1-28-11

“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence,
is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”
— Dale Carnegie
Flaming enthusiasm. . . I just love that phrase! There is nothing quite like enthusiasm, flaming or otherwise to make whatever is being done a joyful experience. As one of my early mentors, Frank Bettger said so well, “to become enthusiastic, act enthusiastically,” so there is the fast way to the joy: pretend. Fake it. Act as if. After a bit of practice, it will become real. I know this for a fact.
Get excited about what you are doing. I am so excited about what I am doing now that I can hardly stand it, and it makes me even more excited by letting that out. Life is joyous if you allow it to be, will it to be, want it to be. So, forget about the “reality” that people are constantly reminding you exists. They may say that you’re a dreamer, but you’re not the only one. . . I’ve heard that somewhere. . . Live in your fantasy world instead of facing reality. Reality is boring anyway. No fun.
Horse sense and persistence will help with your success, but nothing will take the place of flaming enthusiasm!
Find Something To Get Excited About Today! It Will Make Your Day A Total Joy.
Spread Some Joy Today–it is amazing what we can do when we decide to do it. It is amazing how enthusiastic we can be when we decide to be so.
Daily Inspiration 1-27-11

Daily Inspiration 1-27-11

“The soil says, “Don’t bring me your need,
bring me your seed.””
— Jim Rohn
“God has the tough end of the deal.
What if instead of planting the seed,
you had to make the tree?
That would keep you up late at night,
trying to figure that one out.”
— Jim Rohn
One thing that has become extremely clear to me about life is that it is not need that drives, it is desire–and even more than desire, it is expectation, which is the foregone conclusion of desire.
I love how Jim Rohn puts it about the soil not caring at all about the need, yet is ready, willing, and able to deal with the seed. Indeed, the second quote about God having the tough end of the deal (as if anything is tough for God. . .) puts our physical abilities in perspective by asking us to make the tree. All we know is the seed that becomes the tree, but we don’t have anything to do except plant it. The rest is not our domain.
I’ve shared this before, but I have a sign I printed out on my wall so that I can see it every day that says: “What is MY job! How is GOD’S job!” I need to remind myself very often that I control desire and what I want to do or have or be, yet I DO NOT need to know how to do that. Exactly like the tree and the seed. I plant the seed, which is my job, but the building of the tree is not my job.
I’ve recognized many times in my life past where I have tried to help build the tree. I get in there and try to change circumstances and events to speed the process along, or to make it better somehow. It becomes clear in a relatively short time how poorly I am equipped and skilled to get that job done. I somehow think that it is my actions that will reap all the results when it is much more me aligning with my desire and focusing there, especially the end result as if it were already done, not knowing a thing about how, or needing to know. The more I stick to my job, the better things turn out.
To The Power That Builds Galaxies, My Desires Are Mere Child’s Play. Better In Those Hands Than Mine.
Spread Some Joy Today–let go of as much of the struggle as you can. It won’t help. Relax and concentrate on planting and enjoying the sunset, the breeze, and the wonderful shade of the tree.
Daily Inspiration 1-26-11

Daily Inspiration 1-26-11

“The ability to innovate is at the heart of creativity–
a vital component in success. University of Houston
professor Jack Matson recognized that fact and
developed a course that his students came to call
“Failure 101.” It it, Matson assigns students to build
mock-ups of products that no one would ever buy.
His goal is to get students to equate failure
with innovation instead of defeat.”
— John C Maxwell, Failing Forward
Innovation and the concept of being the best we can be is at the heart of my there’s-no-such-thing-as-competition philosophy. Who has time to look around at what others are doing when you’re so busy doing yourself? And innovation is always looking at things in different ways, backward, forward, inside out, upside down, up close and off in the distance. Consider this quote by R. Buckminster Fuller about innovation: “Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” I think that is a fascinating thought.
I love that quote by Mr. Fuller because it is like a Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs way of looking at innovation: people love doing the strangest, but most necessary things that most of us choose to never think about. Pollution is certainly one of those things, and learning to love pollution is a way to find a solution that creates value from something previously with a minus value. Innovation will never occur by ignoring the problem, but in looking at it completely differently.
The worst thing to hear is some version of, “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” There are lots of versions on that theme. Innovation requires two things: one, a letting go of previously held truths, and two, an opening of the mind to perhaps radically different ideas. Of course, the ideas need not necessarily be radically different in order to be innovative, but many certainly will be, such as the case with pollution becoming of value.
Need some help with innovating? Watch this video and then ask a child!
There’s Always Another Way, And Some Of Them May Change The Game Completely.
Spread Some Joy Today–Laugh often and much.
Daily Inspiration 1-25-11

Daily Inspiration 1-25-11

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.
The good news is that you don’t know how great you
can be! How much you can love! What you can
accomplish! And what your potential is!”
— Anne Frank
“If we did all the things we are capable of doing,
we would literally astound ourselves.”
— Thomas A Edison
The other night I watched an older VHS that I had in my eBay store called Calle 54. It is a documentary from 2000 showing Latin Jazz players and groups from all over the globe. It is nothing short of amazing to watch these players play their instruments. It is especially interesting as a musician myself to watch people who really know how to play do something that seems so far away from what I do that it is as if I don’t play at all. I am in awe watching them, and in joy as well.
It made me think a bit about the question of how good can we get at something. The right answer is probably, who knows? Limits are always being expanded–and indeed, it seems that they are meant to be expanded.
This one aspect I think I’ve figured out about this, and that is that it is not desire that can achieve these levels as much as a love of doing a thing. It is beyond desire, and in the holy realm of passion!
Perfection Is An Elusive Thing, Though Many People Do Flirt With It Regularly.
Spread Some Joy Today–watching someone else sharing their passion is very satisfying and encouraging.
Daily Inspiration 1-24-11

Daily Inspiration 1-24-11

“The most successful men in the end are those whose
success is the result of steady accretion. . . It is the
man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind
becoming wider and wider,–and progressively better able
to grasp any theme or situation,–persevering in what he
knows to be practical, and concentrating his thought upon
it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree.”
— Alexander Graham Bell
In late 1988, I subscribed to a series of business biographies published on cassette with each title containing two approximately 90 minute cassettes as an abridgement of each book. These were published by a now defunct company called Newstrack Inc. At the time after subscribing to a series of two or three monthly issues, I called them and bought the entire 60 title inventory so I could devour them at my aggressive pace. This was part of over 120 books that I “read” on tape while commuting 104 miles round trip every day for four years. It was my university on wheels and I absolutely loved every second of it, besides the fact that it kept me alert and awake.
In 2004, I began a book business on the side on eBay and ended up eventually with an inventory of some 25,000 items of books, audiobooks, music CD’s, etc. Early on in that venture, after having sold my entire set of Newstrack titles, most to one person at a sizeable sum, I decided to buy every one I could find and all that came on the market over the next few years. I did so and sold many thousands of dollars worth. Even now, I must have the world’s largest collection of those Newstrack tapes.
Recently, I engaged someone to transfer them to CD for me to enjoy. The last of the tapes were manufactured in 1989 I think and so they are now very old, yet have been protected and are serviceable. Doing this has allowed me the pleasure of revisiting these wonderful books. I just began listening to them again this weekend and it has been so delightful to hear them and the stories of many of the last century business greats and how they came along.
Yesterday, I listened and thoroughly enjoyed, Grinding It Out, The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc. What a fascinating story of how that company became an icon from a thought. Today, I am relistening to one of my favorite characters of business: Andrew Carnegie. It is The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie. For the next several months, I will be in joy listening to so many more of these books.
Having given you this foundation, here is what I wanted most to share in today’s daily inspiration. When I listen to Ray Kroc’s story and Andrew Carnegie’s too–and the rest are the same–it fascinates me how they started with nothing but a thought and parlayed that into other thoughts, into manifestations of those thoughts. They had problems, some large in magnitude, but the vision or the dream kept them going. And, it was perhaps a long period before they then became the overnight success that we looking back in retrospect see they had. In many cases, it was a 30 or 40 year instant success.
The big lesson is that it is the step by step by step, making adjustments as needed, even stopping, turning around and starting again, but with greater success than before that moves the needle. It is the ignorance of age being a factor. Ray Kroc started McDonald’s franchising at age 52, Colonel Sanders at age 65. It is also clear that foundations were built on things that didn’t show then what would eventually come to be; e.g., Ray Kroc sold milkshake mixing machines, and Andrew Carnegie was a telegraph operator for a railroad company before and during the Civil War.
It is encouraging to me to listen to these stories and to look at where these most successful people were in their early development, and as they grew and became more. It is encouraging to hear about the mistakes they made, and how some of those mistakes became a wonderful success. It is enlightening to me to get to know these people, less as industrial icons, and more like people doing what they are so interested in and love to do. Their passion is intoxicating and the wisdom they share of their toil and travels is of immense value.
I highly recommend the long list of these Newstrack titles. You may still be able to get them in book form. I know the two I mention are on Amazon. To see some of the titles I have, look at my reduced eBay store at There is a tab for Newstrack Audios. Most are listed, and I’m working on doing each in CD version as my friend can do them.
So Much To Learn And So Many Wonderful Choices.
Spread Some Joy Today–Buy a book or audio and relight the learning joy.
Daily Inspiration 1-23-11

Daily Inspiration 1-23-11

“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important
quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the
“ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome.” You must be willing to fire.”
— T Boone Pickens
Procrastination Parody
of Tommorow From the musical Annie
by Sweet Indigo
I’ll do all my work tomorrow
Bet you I’ll have finished it tomorrow
After fun…
Keep putting it off, tomorrow
After I’ve played Tetris and watched Zorro
Essay’s done!
I can’t do it today, no way
I’m busy
I could get a grade A, but hey
I’ll say… oh…
I’ll write it all up tomorrow
So I’m gonna leave it till tomorrow
It’s okay
Tomorrow, tomorrow
So much time tomorrow
Tomorrow will last all day!
I’ll wash all the plates tomorrow
Do the laundry finally, tomorrow
Don’t dismay
I’ll tidy my room tomorrow
Take back all those library books I borrowed
Back in May
Though I’m in disarray
I’ll stay untidy
Just a minor delay, I say
Just today
I’ll do everything tomorrow
Pay the electricity tomorrow
Come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow
It’s finished, tomorrow
Tomorrow’s the perfect day!**
I Like The Idea Of Making Decisions Quickly And Often. I’ll Give It Some More Thought. . .
Spread Some Joy Today–procrastinate or not. Lighten up. Sing a song. Change the lyrics. Have some fun.
Daily Inspiration 1-22-11

Daily Inspiration 1-22-11

“I have yet to find a man, however exalted his station,
who did not do better work and put forth greater effort
under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”
— Charles M Schwab
“There is more hunger for love and
appreciation in this world than for bread.”
— Mother Teresa
Having studied Andrew Carnegie for some time, it is impossible to miss getting to know his right hand man, Charles M Schwab. In fact, there is a book very much worth reading about Mr Schwab called Steel Titan. In getting to know Charles Schwab, it was clear that he was an artist at dealing with people and he was famous for getting people to do things well through a spirit of approval instead of a spirit of criticism.
Love and appreciation has to be at or nearest the top of what people really want in virtually every situation. That subject is the basis for one of the world’s most helpful books, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is also a must read that never will go out of style and is full of value to the reader.
When I saw these two quotes together, I thought about these three leaders, and I also thought about the need and desire for approval that we all have. I thought about it specifically about myself and my own desire for approval that was a driving force in my life. What I realized in looking at this is that most of my life I felt that I was lacking in enough or the proper approval and I used to find that frustrating. At some point in the very recent past, I’ve let go of the need of it. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it when it is given to me, it’s just that I no longer crave it as I did before.
What’s also interesting to realize is that the need for approval has dissipated since I decided to give it to others everywhere I go. It might be an approving glance, a thank you spoken aloud, saying I love you aloud, showing love by doing something courteous or nice or unexpected. I just sent notes to people out of the blue to tell them I was thinking of them and was appreciating them, and those are always very well received. I am always looking at what I can compliment someone on. Maybe they have a new hair style, have lost weight, look especially sharp that day, have a wonderful smile, exude confidence. I seem to always find something to compliment people on and they just love it.
And, guess what? Now that I’m not looking for it for myself and giving it away in droves, I find that I feel more love every day, so in effect, it is coming back to me in greater quantity. Who knew?
Focus On Others For Your Own Benefit.
Spread Some Joy Today–there is such joy in spreading it around you.
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