Archive for August, 2013

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. – John Wooden

Seriously you can!

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.


John Wooden, the wizard of West wood, has ten NCAA national championships under his reign as coach, as a player he made player of the year, all team. He has had an illustrious carreer and accomplished much. His influence in basketball is still felt!

Archimedes, the greatest mathematician ever,  introduced the world to concepts still used today in almost every machine in existence!  Archimedes made an impact on the world during his time and even now.

These two men from two disciplines did great things and I can’t help but think a big part of why they could accomplish so much was their outlook on life and their own abilities. I am quite sure the two of them had their fans and detractors but the secret to that is this… It doesn’t matter what anyone believes about you, it only matters what you believe about you. If you think you can you are right and if you think you can well you’re right as well.

No matter what it is you are doing. No matter what I think you can. I don’t even know you but, I have seen what man and women have done throughout history and I am compelled to believe that no matter what happens man or woman will overcome.  You may feel discouraged but remember you are a person just like John Wooden or Archimedes. You can do whatever it is that you are confronted with. You can do anything you simply need to believe and put in the hard work.
Hard work and believe in oneself those, are the key elements to modern day alchemy. Keep your chin up press on you can do it! 

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You have to make it

Posted: August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
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You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it. – Charles Robert Buxton

“John, I am not looking for a candidate with spare time I am looking for a candidate who does not have any time. Because that type of candidate knows how to make time.” I was listening to the sales pitch for a part time job with offered low pay yet high autonomy. I worked it for three months but then I found a replacement. The gig wasn’t for me. The concept of making time though has been a recurring thought for me.

There is an interesting story,  about a new element added to the periodic table. The element is Uup and was discovered when scientist made it through smashing atoms together. If you are a super geek this is exciting because of many reasons but for laypersons, the act of creation should always be exciting. Humans can make something out of nothing.

As soon as we understand this concept of creation and realize you hold the power to create, you will be truly empowered and the excuse that I ran out of time will leave your lexicon. If you need time make it! Everyone who does something great never ran out of time. Some of the most accomplished in their fields and the most influential mothers and fathers lived relatively short lives. Time didn’t stop these men and women from doing good and helping others. Think back to the influences in your life and the moments they influenced you. Aren’t you glad they made time for you? I know I am.

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You can create time. You have to be able to create time if you are not… Well than you are out of luck and out of time. So today take away the words I don’t have time and I can’t because you can do anything. Even make time!




Wants and needs

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
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In the morning before I leave the house for work I enjoy listening to music that gets streamed on my I Pad using the songza app. If you have an I pad and have not yet, do download the songza app from the app store check it out here I absolutely love this app. I also love music but who doesn’t love music. Music is prayer, music is joy, love. “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo

So to paint the scene; I am in the bedroom listening to music and Ironing my shirt. The app plays two songs that I like and then one that I love. The song is “Fix Ya” by Cold Play.  For anyone who has not heard this song, it is about a person who is broken. The subject of the song can’t sleep or stop crying and the songs protagonist croons on about how he will fix her or him. So the name is “Fix Ya”.

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 When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

…. See? This is a great song!! What really strikes me yesterday morning about this song is the second line.  “When you get what you want, but not what you need” Has this ever happened to you? Has it ever happened to me?

Wants and needs have been objects of interest to me since a child. My father was an expert on wants and needs. “You want “Air Jordans”, you need tennis shoes. I will make sure that you get what you need.” As a father I find myself explaining wants and needs to my own children and as an adult I see some peers who sometimes seem to get wants and needs mixed up.

When you get the chance, look up Luxury Tax, kind of interesting. It is a tax on goods not deemed essential and that is probably the difference in wants and needs right. A need is essential. A want may or may not be essential. I think about how as I child I wanted those Air Jordans I really did! However I had three sisters so I didn’t get what I wanted I did get what I needed and I had a very happy childhood. It can be tempting to feel as if we will achieve happiness when we get everything we want but, speaking from experience I can say this is not the case and as the crooner puts it in “Fix Ya” when you get what you want but not what you need you may find yourself in a really bad way.

Is the water murky enough for you yet? Maybe another singer can clear it up.

“It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got” –Sheryl Crow “Soak up the Sun”

The idea of wanting what you’ve got and getting wants but not needs makes me also think about the power of being grateful.  Maybe the secret to happiness lies less in outside forces like getting what we want or need and more in perspective? Life is a magnificent gift, we should all do our best to enjoy it and help others enjoy it.

I leave you with the wisdom of an expert on luxury

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
― Epicurus



If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. – Thomas Edison

“Well the average work day is eight ours long and the week is 40 hours long.” That is what my dad told me when I asked about working. As a child work was this magical place my parents went off to after I left for school. They went to work and came back with the money to buy food, water and clothes for me and my sister. I was interested in the how and the why. How did work happen why did people give you money. Dad explained it to me the 14 year old mind whirling and trying to grasp the concepts of capitalism and Keynesian economics.

I am a little older than 14 now and my head still whirls around when I try to understand capitalism and Keynesian economics. Don’t get me wrong, I  really dig  capitalism. It is a great system, you put in the work sell the most widgets, have some luck on your side and you can be a success story.  I just think it is a complicated system.

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Take for example the 8 hour work day.  We have the organized labor party and movement to thank for the eight hour work day. Thanks very much for that. I love the slogan that wad coined when the push was being made for the eight hour work day. “Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest.”

Eight hours, 480 minutes, doesn’t seem like a lot of time does it? The time at work is short but if we work and do what we are capable of withing these eight hours we will shock and astound ourselves. Thomas Edison was right.

It is Tuesday, and you may be stuck at work feeling the mundane setting in, you start to feel disinterested, fatigued and disconnected.  I am not sure about you but when this starts happening for me at work I take a deep breath, check the time (of course) and remind myself of two things, 1. I am capable of amazing things and 2. eight hours is enough time to accomplish these amazing things. You can do whatever it is you are working on. You have the time and the ability. The voice in your head that says you can’t do this is a liar!

If you have worked as hard as you can and not reached your goal don’t fret.  There is a hidden benefit to hard work. “Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing your self to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.” ~ Mary Lou Retton

Get up and do something different, something better, something that helps someone, this makes you a hero. Our world throughout the history of time has had many heroes. Men and women helping others.


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Henry Ford

Bill Gates

Thomas Edison

Nikola Tesla

George S Patton

Winston Churchill


Steve Jobs

Elon Musk

Jimmy Wales

Larry Sanger

Jane Addams

My list is very short and I know it is heavy on the geek side.  I choose, from among the myriad of options I had, these men because they all did something different. They did something and what they did helped people. Despite the enormous amount of heroes we have now and throughout history I am compelled to believe that the world still needs heroes.

Before typing up this post I cam across an interesting article about the inherent problems with  a nations standing Army getting PR from commercial interests. The article is called “No, thanks: Stop saying support the troops.”  I find it interesting because many people consider men and women in service of their country to be heroes and want to support them in any way possible, however the article brings to light the danger of a military becoming a mercenary force and I can’t help but think of Eisenhowser’s  Farewell Address to the nation.  He was leaving and could have said anything he wanted and he choose to warn us.. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” — Eisenhowser It seems this complex is now alive and well and maybe it is supported by the public under the guise of “support our troops” Now before you string me up for being unpatriotic, rest assured, I love this nation, I served this nation as a solider and if need be I would do it again, but I’ve always said if you wish to support the troops do it locally, do it personally. But I do believe our troops, firefighters police men, first res ponders, nurses and teachers are also  heroes.

So a hero is someone  who does something, does something different and the different thing they do helps people. You and I can be heroes today. Chances are where you work, live, or play you will be given the opportunity to do something to help someone.  When this comes up.. Don’t miss it.  



 Steve Maraboli quotes  

Second do not be afraid to give a different solution to the problem than the normal one. 

Our world is not shaped by those who think similarly, but by those who dare to think differently. 
 Rashida Rowe quotes


Finally be sure that whatever you do helps others and yourself and does no harm….

“Primum non nocerum. (First do no harm)”

― Hippocrates

Today Be a Hero!!





Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you. – Jeffrey Gitomer

Ahh such powerful words. Is there a better way to end the week? Jeffrey Gitomer makes his living through encouraging and empowering others. He is one of the many motivational speakers and business trainer. Perhaps you can tell through his quote that he truly believes in self empowerment. He can be sort of brash in his delivery, some call it realistic.

You may or may not agree with his attitude but Jeffrery’s quote should help encourage you. Give you affirmation of the control you have over your life. for some more gentle encouragement I purpose you look to

Garth Brooks song “I will sail my Vessel”.

You know a dream is like a river,
Ever changing as it flows,
and the dreamer is just a vessel,
that must follow where it goes.

Trying to learn from whats behind you,
and never knowing whats in store.
Makes each day a constant battle,
just to stay between the shores.

And i will sail my vessel,
till the river runs dry.
Like a bird apon the wind,
these waters are my sky.
I’ll never reach my destination
If i never try,
So I will sail my vessel,
till the river runs dry!

Too many times we stand aside,
and let the water slip away.
And what we put off till tomorrow,
has now become today.
So don’t you sit apon the shore line,
and say you’re satisfied.
Choose the chance to rapids,
and dare to dance the tides.


There is bond to be rough waters,
and i know i’ll take some falls,
with the good lord as my captin,
I can make it through them all!




If it is a wonderful song or a tough quote remember today and tomorrow your life is yours. You are in charge, you are the captain. Set the sails and head out!




There was this movie called “Blow” staring Johnny Depp. Really good movie! The movie is the story of George Jung. George basically brought cocaine to the United States (true story).  Towards the beginning of the movie George is in jail for stealing a plane which he planned on using to traffic marijuana from mexico to the United States. While in jail Georges roommate tells him he had the right dream but was using the wrong drug and introduces him to cocaine. Of course the movie ends with George Going to prison and this is where he is currently, will be there until at Thanksgiving 2014. Illicit narcotics are bad I would never endorse taking selling or smuggling them but the conversation between cell mates got me to thinking about, an article I read some time back.

The article was about a college degree and whether or not it was worth it.  My generation was taught to..Learn as much as you can, go to college, get a degree and then you will get a good job. So my generation flooded colleges. We signed up in high numbers. With degrees in hand we hit the job market and now it is not uncommon to find someone in debt, with degree in hand serving beer to partying college students.

An education is a powerful thing. With the proper application of science and math the world has been drastically changed. There is nothing wrong with getting an education, but the high cost of college makes getting a degree a risk. No doubt our generation had the right dream I merely wonder if we went about accomplishing it in the wrong manner.

Perhaps when it comes to debt, even student loan, more consideration should be put into acquiring it.  Is the cost of college worth it? I guess the better question is. How much does it cost?

So in The United States the average college tuition cost $35, 000  a year a four year degree then cost in tuition only $140, 000. The average pay for someone with a bachelors degree just entering the work place is $54,000 a year.   Many economist will tell you that immediately this is a bad deal. However over long term the benefits of a college education will outweigh the costs. So maybe it would have been  best to be honest with ourselves w hen we started our college degree path. Can we really afford the school we wanted to go to? Will this degree get me a job? Can I pay for this without getting a loan?

Life is full of risks. Like college. marriage, starting a family, changing careers. We should never stop taking these risks, then life would be no fun, but these risks should be weighed and considered and I always try to remember that there is no one right way.

Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.
Swami Vivekananda

Of course the good news is.. If you made a mistake so has everyone else and tomorrow or even later today we will get the chance to take more risks, make more mistakes and just live.