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Monday, August 29, 2011

Middle Age – I Think Not

The fifties are more like coming into your own and hitting your stride. By this time in your life wisdom takes over where knowledge and experience left off. All the choices you’ve made have come to fruitation or starting to emerge. It’s a grand time because if you don’t have the “I don’t care what anybody thinks” attitude already, you sure have it now.

Reasons that held you back in the previous years now vanish and you come into your own. Your true colors emerge. But why wait until you’re in your fifties when you can work on that attitude change right now.

Take a look at the unique people who’ve made their mark at “middle age.”

50 – Charles Darwin publishes his pioneering work, On the Origin of Species.

51 – Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

52 – Tchaikovsy composes a ballet suite called The Nutcracker.

     - Ray Kroc, a milkshake machine salesman, starts a fast-food chain called McDonalds

     - Leonardo da Vinci completes the Mona Lisa.

53 – Margaret Thatcher is elected as Great Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

      - Walt Disney opens a theme park he calls Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

      - Ernest Hemingway writes The Old Man and the Sea.

54 – Henry Heimlich makes public a choking-prevention maneuver that will eventually be named after him.

55 - Author Alex Haley publishes his epic masterwork, Roots.

56 – Gustave Eiffel completes the design for the Paris tower that will bear his name.

57 – George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States, receiving all 69 electoral votes. He will stand as the only President unanimously elected.

      - Annie Peck becomes the first person to reach the summit of Mount Huascaran in the Andes.

58 – W. H. Hoover develops an electric suction sweeper that is soon dubbed a vacuum cleaner.

59 – Clara Barton founds the American Red Cross

     - Madeleine Albright becomes the first women Secretary of State for the United States.

This just a reminder that it’s not over till it’s over. Make the best use of the time you have here because when you hit 50 you may only be half way there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Celebrate What Unites Us Not What Divides Us

“As world events reflect, we remain far from mastering the art of human relations. We have invented no technology that will guide us to the destinations that matter most.

After two world wars, the Holocaust, multiple genocides, and countless conflicts, we must ask how long it will be before we are able to rise above the national, racial, and gender distinctions that divide us, and embrace the common humanity that binds us.

The answer depends not on the starts or some mysterious forces of history; it depends on the choices that you and I and all of us make.” ~ Madeleine Albright

Nothing tears people more apart than pointing out what separates them from one another rather than what binds them. Take any natural disaster and suddenly nationality, race, gender or political affiliation doesn’t matter anymore. People unite for the common good of solving the problem at hand.

As the saying goes, “Where attention goes energy flows”. When you focus on what divides us, even more things that divide us will come to mind. Things that you didn’t even give much thought to now rise to the surface and become important simply because you put your attention on it. However when you focus on what binds us you can actually feel yourself becoming more calm and relaxed. Try it.

I’ve traveled to many places around the world and for the most part everybody is the same. They want the same things out of life like raising a happy and healthy family, finding fulfillment in their work and being able to worship in their own way. There are things that are understood in any culture like laughter and compassion. These are the things that we should be focusing on instead of our differences.

The real kicker is you and I have the power to bind us rather than divide us by the choices we make every day. It could show up in what we do or say.

Make the call.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Make Your Mark. Do it Your Way

“What do you want to be remembered for when you die? I love to ask people this question. Their answers tell me much about what they’re up to in life.

I once had the opportunity to ask Steve Jobs the cofounder of Apple and creator of the Macintosh computer. His answer surprised me. He said, “I want to be remembered as the best father in the whole world.” Not what I expected from a living legend – a brilliant man who is leading pioneer in the technology revolution, and a marketing genius to boot?

If I were to ask you the same question, “How do you want to be remembered when you die?” what would your answer be?

You don’t have to be world famous to make a difference in the world. Perhaps you are active in your community, or in your church or synagogue. Maybe you are involved in politics. Millions of people make a difference by volunteering in hospitals, hospices, homeless shelters, and social service organizations. Maybe the difference you make is in the arts, with your music, writing, painting, sculpture, or other art form. Perhaps you are one of those angels known as teachers – who make a huge difference by educating our next generation of citizens. And maybe, like Steve Jobs, the difference you are most interested in making is within your own family.

The question is: What will be your legacy to the world?”

What do you want to be remembered for after you die?

Make your mark in your own way. It doesn’t matter if no one else thinks it’s special. It only matters if YOU think it is.

Clue- If it makes you happy it’s special

Make your mark!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Fabulous 40’s

Just when you think your life is on the down swing along come some remarkable people proving you wrong by hitting their stride. All the hard work and lessons they’ve learned have finally reached a climatic point where everything starts to come together and presto, greatness.

Life isn’t over. It’s just beginning.

You know the saying “I wish I knew then what I know now”, that’s part of the wisdom you have in your forties. The forties are the accumulation of what you learned thus far but the difference is now you’ve got the courage and maturity to pull it off.

Just look at what these people achieved and they haven’t even reached middle age.

40 – Harriet Beecher Stow publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

     - Leo Tolstoy finishes writing a mammoth novel he titles War and Peace.

41 – The oldest punter in the NFL, Jeff Feagles is names by his fellow players as one of the league’s top punters.

42 – A man apparently not afraid to seek guidance for direction, Galileo Galilei invents the compass.

43 – Physician John H. Kellogg creates a flaked breakfast cereal.

44 - Sam Walton founds Wal-Mart.

45 – Henry Ford introduces and automobile he dubs the Model T.

     - Gene Rodenberry unveils a TV series he calls Star Trek.

     - Walter Cronkite assumes the role of anchor of The CBS Evening News.

46 – Charles Darrow invents a board game called Monopoly.

     - Volleyball legend Karch Kiraly plays his final matches before finally retiring.

47 – Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers an antibiotic called penicillin.

48 – Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

49 – Chef Julia Child writes Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Don’t let age be an excuse.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” ~ Confucius

Monday, August 15, 2011

You’re One of a Kind. Go With it.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.

It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to … keep the channel open … Whether you choose to take an art class, keep a journal, record your dreams, dance your story, or live each day from you own creative source, above all else, keep the channel open?”

I really like this quote form Martha Graham because 1) it encourages you to look at what unique thing you have to offer and to express it 2) It reminds you that because you’re unique there’s no point in comparing yourself to others and you need be grateful for what you’ve got.

Sometimes you can get so focused on the talents of other people you forget that you have some too. All that does is make you feel bad about yourself and that won’t make you happy.

It’s okay to acknowledge and appreciate someone else’s talents but remember you have some that they don’t have.

Action Step: Anytime you catch yourself feeling bad about yourself because someone else has something you believe or wish you did have, remember that it’s their gift.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You’ve Only Just Begun

When I was a teen I thought my 40 something parents were old and that it was down hill from there, boy was I wrong.

The 30’s is when most people are establishing themselves in their career and settling into a family routine, if there is such a thing, where family plays a big part of life.

As the 40’s emerge there are the ceremonial “over the hill” parties and jokes. The kids are more equipped to take care of themselves and you’re established in your career.

The younger generation looks at these times as being over the hill but really you’ve only just begun. Typically, it’s somewhere in the 30-40 age range when a person starts to really discovering who they are. What is it they really want out of life? Where do they want to go from here?

Take a look at some of the people who didn’t start to wither away but who continued to challenge themselves to be more than who they started out to be. In this list are some famous and not so famous people who have made their mark in profound ways. How many times have you sang, “Happy Birthday to You”? Do you know it was written by a 34 year old woman?

30- Sylvester Stallone stars in Rocky, a film he also directed and wrote.

30- Thomas Edison invents the phonograph.

31- Shakespeare pens Romeo and Juliet.

32- Lila Wallace, along with husband Dewitt, founds Reader’s Digest.

33- Thomas Jefferson pens the Declaration of Independence.

33- George Lucas creates a film called Star Wars.

34- Phil Knight launches a shoe and apparel company that he calls Nike.

34- Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

34- Kindergarten teacher Mildred hill composes the music for a ditty called “Happy Birthday to You.”

35- Margret Rey writes a children’s book called Curious George.

36- Albert Einstein proclaims his general theory of relativity: the fields of physics and astronomy will never be the same.

36- Ben Franklin invents the Franklin stove.

36- Johnny Carson debuts as host of The Tonight Show.

37- Ann Landers begins a newspaper advice column.

37- Amy Tan publishes The Joy Luck Club.

38- Dr. Jonas Salk develops a vaccine for polio.

38- Coco Chanel unveils her perfume, Chanel No 5.

39- After dropping 70 pounds, Jean Nidetch creates a movement called Weight Watchers.

This is just a small fraction of the people who have made a difference at a young age. Wait till you see the list for the fabulous 40’s.

The point being, age is but a number. Don’t let it hinder you from what you were born to be.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Real Men Wear Pink

Why do some men look good in pink, or for that matter any pastel color, contrast?

Typically the more masculine the guy the greater chance he looks better in soft colors. I know some men don’t like to wear soft colors because they think it makes them look wimpy. That’s a personal viewpoint. However we’re going for contrast here, therefore soft colors on a dark hair and skin make the person stand out more. The opposite would be true for guys with lighter hair and skin. It’s the contrast between the man’s features and the color that make him stand out. The color accents the person and balances out the masculine energy.

The opposite would be true for a woman. A very feminine women looks good in masculine attire, it balances out the female/male energy, while some women in masculine attire can’t pull it off.

It’s the Ying and Yang principle. Balance the energy. I think that’s one of the reasons men and women are attracted to each other. Ever notice that when one of them is strong in something the other one is not? As partners, they’re balancing the energy between the two of them.

It doesn’t just show up in relationships but also work. A boss will hire the person who best fits the need. In other words, the area that needs filling will balance out the business so that it functions more efficiently.

Contrast helps balance the energy. It’s saying that as spiritual beings we’re always trying to balance the energy around us. It could show up in the people we’re with, our environment, work, or even the kind of clothes we choose to wear. We aren’t consciously aware of where our spirit is at but it’s instinctively trying to put our being and environment into alignment. However, sometimes our conscious mind tries to fight it by saying it doesn’t want to do that. That’s another story.

Ying and Yang, Karma, call it what you will but your spirit is always working at achieving balance whether you’re aware of it or not.

Therefore, perhaps the struggles and challenges you’ve had in your life are just your spirit trying to balance itself out.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paying Taxes? Good! You’re Making Money

The first time I herd that phrase I was a little taken aback. Who wants to pay more taxes? If anything, people want to pay less. In fact, most people look for ways to get out of paying as much taxes as they can. They look forward to receiving a refund and plan on how they’ll spend it. I use to be one of them.

But then I realized the statement was true. If you’re paying taxes you’re making money and the more taxes you’re paying the ore money you’re making. They go together like milk and cookies. Therefore, if you want to be rich you have to get into the mindset of paying a lot in taxes.

To expect to be rich and get a refund does not compute. To believe that you can be rich and still receive a refund goes against the law of the universe, give and receive. In order to get something you have to give something in equal or greater value. It’s like playing the stock market, the greater the risk the greater the reward. It’s also like the executive who gets paid a lot of money, she has the greater risk and responsibility therefore she gets the larger paycheck. If she doesn’t do her job then the whole company could go under which affects all the other employees.

Ever notice that the people who pay the least amount in taxes also are the poorest? Of course you have. If you’re poor and you’re not paying hardly anything in taxes, then it would stand to reason that you would be able to dig yourself out of that state of affairs. However, that’s not how it plays out.

According to the Universe they remain poor because they unknowingly choose it. They don’t know they have the power to change their situation. They’re looking for what they can get and not looking at what they can give. It’s the old saying, what goes around comes around. In the Bible it’s referred to “You reap what you sow”.

Now the Universe isn’t particular on the giving part. The giving could be something of value or your expertise or helping others in their pursuit. What it does want is for you to be very clear on what you want, believe it will happen, start taking the steps to make it happen and when bits of it start to arrive, accept in with gratitude.

If you have the mindset that you’ll always be poor then guess what, you will be. You’ve already decided that’s how it’ll be. The people who have risen from poverty BELIEVED that they would. If you’re always looking for a program or society to bail you out then you’re not willing to do the giving part. Some people have even adopted an entitlement mentality, as if to say, the government (you and I) have to take care of them.

They don’t realize they have the power to change their reality. Some people even afraid to work more hours or take a promotion because it’ll mean they’ll pay more taxes. They’re not looking at it for a broader perspective. You may just have to do that for awhile in order to get to the next level.

As for me, I want to pay lots and lots of taxes.