Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Reason, Season or a Lifetime

It is funny, but recently I have had some friends lament about people who have come and left their lives and they do not quite understand why.  It seemed like everything was going great, they were becoming fast friends, and then poof..they are gone.  That made me remember a story about how people can come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. 

When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed or just felt. They have come to assist you through a hard time, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. Then, suddenly, the person disappears from your life. Your need has been met; their work is done. It is hard to explain, but they now are off somewhere else.

Some people come into your life for a season, because your turn has come to share or grow or give back. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They give you great joy. Believe it; it is real. But only for a season, and like the seasons, they change and move one.

Lifetime relationships often are harder but teach you lessons that you will use all your life. Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation. Often it is hard to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all your other relationships. But to have these people in your life, it is something you must strive to do.

Think about the people in your life over the years. Whether they were there for a reason, a season or a lifetime, accept them and treasure them for however long they were meant to be part of your life. And when they are gone, do not be sad for their departure, but be thankful for the gifts you received from them when they were here—for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Quotations By Rumi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى‎), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد رومی‎), Mawlānā or Molānā (Persian: مولانا‎, meaning Our Master), Mawlawī or Molavi (Persian: مولوی‎, meaning My Master), and more popularly in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. His best poems are listed below for your convenience.

“I belong to no religion. My religion is love. Every heart is my temple.”

“Your body is away from me, but there is a window open from my heart to yours.”

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“At the end of my life, with just one breath left, if you come, I’ll sit up and sing.”

“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”

“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them.”

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”

“Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.”

“Only from the heart Can you touch the sky.”

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

“Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

“You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?”

“The way you make love is the way
God will be with you.”

“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.”

“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”

“Every tree and plant in the meadow seemed to be dancing, those which average eyes would see as fixed and still”

“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust”

“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”

“He is like a man using a candle to look for the sun”

“Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness.”

“The lion is most handsome when looking for food”

“Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more - more unseen forms become manifest to him.”

“We can’t help being thirsty, moving toward the voice of water.”

“It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away, so that when I've gone and come back, I'll find it at home.”

“I died a mineral, and became a plant. I died a plant and rose an animal. I died an animal and I was man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?”

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”

“Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.”

“You are quaffing drink from a hundred fountains: whenever any of these hundred yields less, your pleasure is diminished. But when the sublime fountain gushes from within you, no longer need you steal from the other fountains.”

“To praise the sun is to praise your own eyes.”

“Return from existence to nonexistence. You are seeking the Lord and you belong to him. Nonexistence is a place of income; flee it not. This existence of more and less is a place of expenditure.”

“Reason is like an officer when the king appears. The officer then loses his power and hides himself. Reason is the shadow cast by God; God is the sun.”

“The Eternal looked upon me for a moment with His eye of power, and annihilated me in His being, and become manifest to me in His essence. I saw I existed through Him.”

“Pilgrimage to the place of the wise is to find escape from the flame of separateness.”

“In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you.”

“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”

“One day You will take my heart completely and make it more fiery than a dragon. Your eyelashes will write on my heart the poem that could never come from the pen of a poet.”

“Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of moon.”

“Knowest thou not the beauty of thine own face? Quit this temper that leads thee to war with thyself.”

“Now I am sober and there's only the hangover and the memory of love.”

“The ground submits to the sky and suffers whatever comes. Tell me, is the Earth worse for giving in like that ??”

“Look at Love...
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love .”

“A shadow cannot ignore
the sun that all day creates and moves it.”

“Fear is the cheapest room in the house.”

“All that you think is rain is not. Behind the veil angels sometimes weep.”

“Liberated from suffering and search
I have tied myself to the skirt of God.
If I fly, I look at the summits I ascend.
If I go around in circle
I observe the axis on which I revolve.
If I am dragged by a burden,
I know where I go.
For I am the moon, and the sun is my guide.”

“Oh Sweet Bitterness!
I will soothe you and heal you
I will bring you roses
I too have been covered with thorns.”

“Silence within silence, no words within blank space, nothing on blank page, less within the void.”

“The hurt you embrace becomes joy.”

“You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to shore.”

“How will you know the difficulties of being human, if you are always flying off to blue perfection?”

“How do the birds make great sky circles... They fall and falling they are given wings.”

“Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.”

“Water in the boat is the ruin of the boat, but water under the boat is its support.”

“Joy lives concealed in grief.”

“Days of wanting.
Let them go by without worrying
that they do.
Stay where you are
inside such a pure, hollow note.”

“Look at your heart and tongue, one feels but deaf and dumb, the other speaks in words and signs.”

“The delight a friend feels when he hears a friend's voice bring all that matters. There are those who hear within a voice the essence being said, and there are those who can't.”

“Don't look at your form, however ugly or beautiful. Look at love and at the aim of your quest...O you whose lips are parched, keep looking for water. Those parched lips are proof that eventually you will reach the source.”

“Come out of the circle of time and into the Circle of Love.”

"You are searching the world for treasure, but the real treasure is yourself."

"Not the ones speaking the same language, but the ones sharing the same feeling understand each other." 

"Come into my eyes, and look at me through them,
for I have chosen a home far beyond what eyes can see."

"Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain which grows flowers, not thunder."

"There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness."

"The real beloved is that one who is unique, who is your beginning and your end."

"The very center of your heart is where life begins, the most beautiful place on earth."

"Light up the fire of love inside and blaze the thoughts away."

"If you wish to be a mine of jewels, open the deep ocean within your heart."

"Blessed is the poem that comes through me but not of me because the sound of my own music will drown the song of Love."

"Love is a mirror..You see nothing but your reflection..You see nothing but your real face."

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”

"I looked in temples, churches and mosques. But I found the Divine in my heart."

"All doubt, despair, and fear become insignificant once the intention of life becomes love."

"Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself."

"The cure for pain is in the pain."

"Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk."

If you wish for light, be ready to receive light.”

"Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor it is etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever." 

“We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.”

Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.”

“When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety. If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain.”

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

“Go find yourself first so you can find me.”

--Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Friday, February 12, 2016

Adversity's Test

During these uncertain times, I like to go back to some of the stories friends, colleagues, and mentors gave me. This particular one deals with how a person reacts when things get tough, or as some like to say, when we are in hot water. I hope you find it as insightful as I did.

Adversity's Test


A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil.

In one, he placed carrots; in the second, he placed eggs; and the last, he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes, he turned off the burners. He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her he asked. "Darling, what do you see?"…."Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

She humbly asked. "What does it mean Father?" He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" he asked his daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

How about you?

Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?

Or are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? Were you a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a divorce, or a layoff have you become hardened and stiff?. Your shell looks the same, but are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain, till its peak flavor reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better. If you are like the coffee bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and make things better around you. Essentially, adversity does not change you, you change the adversity to opportunity.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Man In The Glass

In these tough times, it is easy to get down on yourself and become demotivated by what others have told you or have intimated about your abilities, ideas or success. Just remember, that those who create (either businesses or ideas or art or designs or music or athletic performance) are closest to being god-like. It is during the creation process that we most mimic the Creator and pay it homage. Also, just because you might have outward success, does not necessarily mean you have concurred that monster from within. I came across the following some time ago, and feel it would be appropriate for all those who are experiencing a little self doubt. It might be called "The Man in the Glass" but is appropriate for both genders..
The Man in the Glass (author unknown - circa 1900)
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife,
Whose judgment upon you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one starring back from the glass.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest.
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed the most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years.
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be the heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Why We Hate Change

Over the 100,000 plus years we and our brains have been evolving. During that time, our minds have grown past our primitive lizard brains and as such have brought us intelligence; which in turn has allowed humans to accomplish some fantastic things. Even with all that time and evolution, we and our brains are still guided by these four most important motivators: avoiding threats, minimizing energy, seeking certainty (reducing risk) and obtaining rewards (increasing pleasure).

It is easy to see why these four conditions motivate us not to change, because change usually involved reducing certainty while simultaneously increasing risk and expending energy, often without any guarantee of obtaining a reward. Essentially, due to in a large part to our primordial past, when we find ourselves confronted with change, either on a personal level or say at your company, all the fears from our lizard brain are triggered.

So, how can we get past those fears and anxieties that our genetic makeup makes it so hard to accept change on a personal and group level? Well, lucky for us, intelligence again offers seven (7) ways to make change more readily acceptable and addressable to our ‘fear factors.’

1.) The first is to normalize resistance to change. We have to explain to ourselves and others in our group, that although our brains are naturally wired to resist change, we can take steps to help our brains make changes more easily. We are NOT slaves to our genetics, instead we, each of us, have the power to fight that resistance if we chose to.

2.) Next, believe it or not our brains are motivated and take action when perceived rewards are greater than perceived threats. Not only do we have to see that the risk-to-reward-ratio is tipped on the reward side, but when we are trying to get others to see so too, we need to Invite everyone affected to explore the benefits of the proposed change, and make sure their perceived fears are mitigated and their possible rewards are maximized.

3.) While change always has a certain amount of uncertainty associated with it, as best is possible, you need to meet yours and others brains’ need for certainly throughout the change process. The best way to do this is to break change down into manageable, small-step milestones, time-lines and action items that can be checked off as they are accomplished. These “small victories” can appreciably reduce the risk associated with any change and add certainty as you measure the progress of change.

4.) Attitude is everything and emotions are contagious. You must first believe in and be enthusiastic about your own change if you ever expect to be able to change the hearts and minds of others. When you lead change, do it with as much passion, excitement and enthusiasm as you can muster.

5.) While some of us are more reward-focused, there are others who actually will only be motivated in knowing that not changing is actually riskier than the change itself. To change these minds, including your own, you will need to clearly explain the risks of NOT changing to those who are more threat-oriented or who appreciate threat avoidance as a priority.

6.) No matter how much we fear a thing, or want to avoid risk and pain, or desire rewards and accolades, our brains are conditioned and wired to celebrate and be rewarded with accomplishment. These rewards have to be both on a psychological and physical level. To institute and secure a long-lasting change, it is imperative to recognize progress and wins as the change is underway and completed, not only on an individual level, but also as a team.

7.) Finally, this might sound a little be pat, but the actual experience of the change is its own reward. These rewards come as we grow through a challenge, bond as a team, discover our unknown strengths and abilities, and begin to see our world in a different light. Yes, change is hard, if it were easy, everyone would do it without trepidation. Sadly, it is those lonely few of us who have the ability to seemingly easily and effortlessly implement change. But even with them, it took practice to make accepting change readily.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

So, What About Europe?

Often we wonder how countries get into bad financial difficulties, and sometimes we need an allegory to explain it.  Hopefully the one below can explain how some of the European countries have gotten into their financial mess?

Helga is the proprietor of a bar.  She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar.  To solve this problem she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers' loans).

Word gets around about Helga's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Helga's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in town.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer - the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Helga's gross sales volumes and paper profits increase massively.  A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Helga's borrowing limit.  He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

He is rewarded with a six figure bonus.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS. These "securities"  are then bundled and traded on international securities markets.

Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as "AA Secured Bonds" are really debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

The traders all receive a six figure bonus.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga's bar. He so informs Helga. Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Helga cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga's 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank's liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Helga's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the BOND securities.  They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.   Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations; her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.

They all receive a six figure bonus.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who've never been in Helga's bar.

Now do you understand?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Five Rules to Being Happy

All of us want to be happy, but few of us actually feel that way most of the time. Of course, we all experience bouts of happiness, but in general, only about 20% of the people are happy most of the time. So, what keeps us from being happy, or more precisely, but experiencing a continuous state of happiness?

There seems to be five mistakes that are common on the road to happiness. Believe it or not, the first one is to try to figure out if we are happy or not! When we try to pursue happiness as a goal, we often want to experience more joy and contentment…than we had before. So, to find out if we are making any progress we start to compare our past state of happiness to our present condition. This creates its own ennui of dissatisfaction. As soon as we start to compare, we move from the experiencing mode into the evaluation mode.

To be truly happy (and there are decades of research on this), you have to be totally absorbed in what you are doing. Think of being engrossed in a good book, solving a tough problem, being in the flow of a sport, or catching up with a great long lost friend. You are in “the zone.” You are so involved in the moment that you lose track of time and pretty much everything in the outside world. Research has shown that when people are in this state, the do not say they are happy because they are too busy concentrating on what they are doing to notice. But in actuality, they are happy. When asked about what they think about these experiences, people usually describe these moments as some of the most enjoyable experiences in their lives.

By looking or searching everywhere for happiness, we often get disrupted in our ability to enjoy what we love doing. We do not get into our flow or find our zone of enjoyment.. We in a sense become less whole. This can often be seen with people being busy, but not being happy. Busy looking for a new job, or friend, or moving to a new state or country and in the process, assessing each new thing but never truly being fully engaged in what you are doing now. Yes, the newness and activity can make you happy for a little while, but it often turns into a vicious cycle that often leads to depression. This depression leads you to begin evaluating your daily projects as less enjoyable and start ruminating about why they are no longer fun.

The second error on this pursuit of happiness is overestimating that impact that any single life circumstance has on our state of bliss. Not only do we overestimate its impact, but the duration of a positive life event. We think having a great job, or moving to an exciting city, or having the perfect relationship, will ‘make’ us happier. How many times have you seen lottery winners lose all their winnings in a short period of time and often say they were happier before? Yes, each new event will give you a bump in excitement or joy, but in a few months, the reality of the daily grind will set in and that shot of adrenaline begins to wear off.

The third error on our quest to being happy is thinking it comes from doing it alone. That happiness is just about yourself as an individual state. While there is some truth about deciding to be or not be happy, looking for happiness alone is a mistake. Focusing on just our own happiness actually makes us less happy. This is not to say that improving your skills, such as with self love, is not good, it is, but happiness is something that needs to be shared in order to be increased, intensified and extended. Just like love. There is a wealth of evidence that shows that the more people try to be happy by themselves, the more lonely they feel, and in some cases this myopic effort leads to depression. Essentially, the more you try to focus on being happy, the less happy you become. Happiness, unlike a skill, cannot be something you establish on your own alone, but something you share.

The fourth mistake is looking for intense happiness instead of just the simple pleasures. Many believe that to be happy that you need strong, overwhelming positive emotions like joy, elation, enthusiasm, passion and excitement. Sadly, research shows that this is not the best path to being truly happy, and that happiness is driven by the frequency, not the intensity of positive emotions. When we aim just for those intense positive emotions, we often miss the small joys that make us truly happy. Joys like a beautiful sunset, or a walk in the woods, the kiss on the nose of a dog, or a good joke at work.

In evaluating how intense an emotion is concerning our happiness, we start to compare it to a higher standard, which make it easier for us to be disappointed. Studies have shown that when people were explicitly searching for happiness, they experience less joy in watching a figure skater win a gold medal or going to a great concert. They were actually disappointed that the event was not more enjoyable or jubilation. In most of the case, people even stated that they would not have felt any better if they had won the gold medal or been the musician playing on stage. And on the down side, studies indicate that an intense positive experience leads us to frame ordinary experience as less positive. So, once you win that gold medal or won a lottery, it is hard to take pleasure in finding a great parking spot or getting all the green lights when you are late.

The last and biggest mistake we make in being happy is thinking that happiness is just around the corner, or it will come tomorrow, or sometime in the future. We do not value being happy right now, right here. Happiness is about being present in the present.

If you worrying about the future or remembering the past; this mental calisthenics will only distract you from being happy. One of the main tenets of happiness is to focus on the present, the here and now, and in developing your joy in the moment. Happiness comes from being completely centered on the here and now. When you live in the present, you are living where life is happening. As I say, “Fear is caused by the uncertainty of the future. Sorrow is caused by the remembrance of the past. Try to keep your thoughts in the present, for the future we will never know and the past we may never understand.” You cannot be truly happy long term if you are constantly thinking about the past or future all the time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Friendship and Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving is upon us, I started thinking of all the "stress" and family turmoil this causes. There is a great book that deals with this titled, Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts that goes into the many instances that case this dissonance in a family, and how this leads to hurtful acts and grudges. The thing I liked most about the book is that it also gives some was on how to "get over" these hurts, false believes, and bad feelings and to stop thinking we are so superior.  

Of course, part of being thankful is the feeling of gratitude, and part of being grateful is the ability to be an great friend and extending friendship.  The story below tells a poem of friendship and thanksgiving that is as timeless as it is beautiful.  I hope you enjoy it and give thanks always.
And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying: Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
for that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know of its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and the sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

18 Laws Of Life (Sort Of)

As we move through life on this great big blue marble, we are often reminded of some immutable laws that we see all the time, but never really think about until we are “in it.” While they may not be the 1st or 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics, they seem to have some bearing on how life unfolds.  Hopefully this list will help you realize them when they happen to you.
________________________________________
1. Law of Mechanical Repair- 
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Access Gravity - 
Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

3. Law of Visibility - 
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers - 
If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal or voice mail; someone always answers.

5. Variation Law - 
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

6. Law of the Bath - 
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone or door bell will ring.

7. Law of Close Encounters - 
The probability of meeting someone you know INCREASES dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

8. Law of the Ghosts in the Machine - 
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, IT WILL!!!

9. Law of Biomechanics - 
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the difficulty in reaching it.

10. Law of Seating- 
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance.

11. The Coffee Law - 
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

12. Murphy's Law of Lockers - 

If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

13. Law of Physical Surfaces - 
The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

14. Law of Logical Argument - 
Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.

15. Law of Physical Appearance - 
If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

16. Law of Public Speaking - 
A CLOSED MOUTH GATHERS NO FEET! The contrary applies here.

17. Law of Product Affinity - 
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it OR the store will stop selling it!

18. Doctors' Law - 
If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there, you'll feel better. But don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick for days.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Don't be a Diva

Divas act like divas because they have tricked themselves into believing that they are not getting what they are entitled to, and, perversely, that they are not worth what they are getting. Why?

When a diva receives something they feel entitled to, something expected, a thing they believe they have earned, it is not worth much (like candy on Halloween). And when they do not receive it, they are furious.  Furious in a way that is both irrational and unfounded.

Worthiness, on the other hand, is an essential part of receiving anything. (thing of the difference of a participation award versus actually winning something, say the World Series). When a diva feels unworthy, or insecure, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw. It is hardly worth anything, because they decided in advance, before they got the feedback, that they are not worthy.

Both entitlement and unworthiness are the twin narratives that make divas bitter, encourage them to be ungenerous, and keep them stuck. Yes, men and women can be divas..bottom line: Don't be a Diva!

(thank you Seth Godin)