Tag: Columns 2014

  • Wasting Less Time

    I would have liked to call this column “The Complete Elimination of Wasted Time,” but that would have been a waste of time. Why? The answer lays in the nature of setting goals. Many people set lofty goals, only to stop pursuing them within days. We all like to dream big. There is nothing wrong with that. But to make those dreams come true, we must work backwards from the big dream. We must create a good number of subsidiary goals that will get us, eventually, to where we want to go. However, if we create a very daunting goal, and do not set up a bunch of smaller more manageable goals first, all that will happen is that we will demoralize ourselves. Being demoralized is a gateway to wasting time. Frequently, we waste time because we are avoiding, consciously or subconsciously, things that we have to do that are not a waste of time. And, often, we do this because we find ourselves with a daunting goal to tackle.

  • Dealing with Life’s Chaos

    Often, life seems overwhelming – absolutely, positively overwhelming. Health challenges, expenses, career issues, perhaps children to care for, we can find ourselves, seemingly all of a sudden, dragged into a swirling maelstrom that seems to be going nowhere but down. What to do? What indeed? Here are some ideas that might prove helpful when life seems overwhelming: Breathe – I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I get stressed I realize I am taking somewhat shortened breaths. It is the kind of breathing that takes place when we are afraid. There is no more fundamental activity to sustain life than to breathe. We can go without water for a few days and can go without food for even longer. However, if we stop breathing for a few minutes, we are gone.

  • Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo

    Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, the nonsense song from the animated, 1950 movie Cinderella, produced by Walt Disney, reminds me of something I read in Gustav Le Bon’s 1895 book, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Le Bon, and I am paraphrasing here, recounts that Napoleon stated there was only one tool in rhetoric worth anything; repetition. In the world of business, the phrase “Repetition makes the sale” is something that has been told to sales forces again and again – repetition – to remind them of the importance of that rhetorical tool. When it comes to public speaking, I was taught to “Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; and tell them what you’ve told them.” This advice does not simply serve as a guide to structuring a talk you are going to give, it emphasizes the need for repetition.

  • Technology is not Magic

    Technology is not magic. It might, at times, seem like magic, but it is not magic. One of the interesting things about technology is that it begets more technology. The more tools we have the more tools we can create. The creation of tools, in and of itself, is not necessarily good or bad. How we use the tools we create is good or bad. For example, let us look at what is referred to as social media. The websites that commonly are thought to comprise social media are merely tools enabling people to conveniently communicate with one another. This could be quite good if utilized for a noble purpose. However, if we simply use social media to kill time then an otherwise potentially valuable tool becomes a time waster.

  • I am the Author of Me! A Poem

    My goodness, my God, life is hard! Well, is it? Can it be? Or is that just how life is for me? Perhaps, it is all in our minds, based on how we perceive. We can choose to rejoice or we can choose to grieve; at least so says Epictetus – though not exactly in those words. Meanwhile, how many of us believe our emotions are beyond our control, that that guiding principle is absurd? Word! For too many of us, life is what we do when we are waiting for something else to happen! And with that attitude our dreams end up in the universe’s dust bin; hardly a triumphant win. Because we eschew personal responsibility saying, “If it is to be, it’s not up to me. It’s beyond me. I have no control. Hopefully, my fortunes will turn before I grow old.” Ah, hope, that cosmic soap on a rope! Is hope without merit? Non! Au contraire, mon frère, but it won’t float without work. That’s the water that makes it useful. Hope without work is like cornflakes without milk. You might be better off eating silk, and hoping to make a purse from it to lend to a pig. You dig?

  • Sunset, Sunset 2014

    What Will Be, Will Be Good; a Poem

    In the midst of turbulence and all that goes on, double down on life. It’s worth it. When you scream inside and cry visible and invisible tears remember, you can get through the challenges facing you. When your existence swirls, disorienting you and filling you with dread, keep in mind that this too shall pass. Things will be calm once again. Skip ahead in your mind, to a better, happier time. You will reach it. You will! Your mind is the key; it is the repository of what can be. Things improve if you work to improve them. No circumstance is so grim that you cannot be in it for the win. Remember that!

  • Surviving Success

    In business, you often hear people discussing how to survive failure. This is no small matter. Imagine investing considerable money, sometimes a life’s fortune, into a particular venture only to have it fail. Consider, as well, the significant cost in time and emotional commitment to a business and then think about how not succeeding may affect someone on a psychological basis. No doubt, all business people should develop skills to help them deal with failure, or what I like to see as temporary nonsuccess. (In fact, this is a key skill set for all people, whether or not they are immersed in commerce.) After all, we really only fail when we stop attempting to achieve our goal or goals. As long as we are alive, there is hope that we can still make our dreams, as well as our well organized business, plans come true.

  • Small Steps; a Poem

    I’m on the edge; I mean it. Time ticking by; I feel it. Regrets, I am filled with them. I turn to all directions, which way to move? Is this it? Have I permanently lost my groove? Life is so big. I am so small. And I am sitting here, looking straight into the squall. But I have to take action, that is what I need. Get into motion, that should be my creed. Should! What a word, what a concept. I should’ve done a lot of things I think. At least, I haven’t lost myself in drink. Is lamenting time wasted? Maybe. Do I do it? Certainly! Is there another way to go? I believe so! Am I taking it? If I am, it is taking too slow. I’ve got to get into action now. To move it or lose it. To release the energy within. I’ve got to escape complacency, if I am in it to win.

  • Thinking and Not Thinking in the Context of Action Leading to Something Meaningful or Not – A Reflection

    I opened the door. I stepped forward. I was nowhere. Was this obliteration? Had I ceased to exist? Where was I? Stop! If I could question where I was then I must have been somewhere. If I am where nothing exists then I do not exist. Wait. If I am where nothing exists? That makes no sense. There is no "where" in the realm of nonexistence. Wait. There is no "realm" of nonexistence. There is nothing. Wait. There is no "is" in nothingness. Wait, there is no "in" then. Need we care to what extent people judge the twists and turns of our thinking? Need every one of our thoughts be well reasoned? Should our every idea be congruent? To what extent do we mentally constipate ourselves by impeding a thought process that might allow us to end up in some very interesting places and with some meaningful results. So what if every thought we have does not lead to a Noble prize or a prize that's noble. Maybe, there are times when thinking for thinking's sake is reward enough.

  • Sin City 2014, Las Vegas 2014

    Basics, Brilliance and Self-betterment

    How many of us would like to know some secrets of self-improvement? How many of us yearn for a secret formula which will enable us to do better in school, at work or in sports? Surely, there must be some shortcuts to success. Geometry teaches us that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. In life, the straight line to success is not a secret path. It may be a path filled with obstacles. It might be a steep path. But it is not a secret path. So many of us wish we were smarter, more athletic, better looking, etc. We believe that if we had those qualities, life would be so much easier. Yet, the road to success is not paved with bricks of brilliance. Yes, being smart is a good thing. But you do not have to have an Albert Einstein-like IQ to do well in life and make strong contributions to society.