Saturday, September 2, 2017

Behavior & Attitude – 2 Essays

Well, first, my regrets and apologies for nothing new on the blog in a couple weeks. You already know I've been less literarilly (I don't think that's a word) productive this year. What I have written, hopefully, has been of value to you.

I've been quite tied up with a client project the last few weeks that came along by surprise in July. I stopped soliciting new clients and business a couple years ago for the careers I've enjoyed for the past 50+ years as an audio engineer/producer, video producer and book publisher (about 12 years of the 50). And, of course, there have been the ancillary careers doing voice-overs, speaking, conducting seminars/workshops and doing some meeting planning/execution. Yes! I've had a diverse and fantastic career. I couldn't have imagined a better career path. And, of course, to tie it all together, I was a small business owner my entire life. I always worked for one of the toughest bosses anyone could have – ME!

So, along comes a new project (actually, at least three projects) from my longest term client and friend. We've been working on his projects for nearly 40 years. That's called loyalty and dedication from both sides – client and vendor. He's approaching 90 and I'm a little over 33 in a 72-year-old body. On the outset, I knew there were going to be some challenges with the project, but it's actually teaching this old dog some new tricks – I like that.

Additionally, I've been completing the coordination and execution of a “retreat” for a small group (50 in attendance) of veteran professional speakers – mostly old friends and new ones – from my 25 years of membership in the National Speakers Association. I have to tell you, I have been blessed, honored and humbled to have all the friends I have from all facets of my life. With the kind of diverse “professional” life I've had comes this wonderful array of people. The universe has truly smiled on me.

We had a fantastic four-day retreat last weekend. It couldn't have been more fulfilling, not only for me but for all those who came from across the U.S. to share our time, lives and experiences with one another. Everyone left with something to enhance their lives with.

One woman, a brand new participant and a wonderful new friend for me, came from Houston, Texas. Yes! She left her home just prior to Hurricane Harvey ravaging southeast Texas. For some time she didn't know if her home would be alright. She couldn't get home when the retreat was over, so she stayed with some family in Virginia. Fortunately, her home didn't experience any significant damage. Michelle's daughter opened her house up to evacuees who had no place to go. When Michelle gets home (she may be there by now) she plans to spend her time helping all those in her region with their needs, recovering from this horrific storm.

So, now, I'm going to include two essays, or maybe they might be considered “Opeds,” I posted on Facebook during the last couple weeks. The first one I was attacked about by a number of people because they didn't actually read what I wrote. They read what they wanted to believe I said, not what I actually said. A number of people did read it and understood my point. So, that's why I called this blog article Behavior & Attitude.

If you read these two pieces – and they are going to be lengthy, so I'm warning you now. Don't delve into this unless you're willing to read what could amount to a healthy chapter of a book. I do my best to be a rational, pragmatic, independent free thinking, positive person. But, I can tell you, I was really condemned by several people because they applied labels and ideologies to me that I never espoused or even mentioned. The essays were both essentially about behavior. How they were read and how I was attacked was about attitude. So, get ready, you might want to get a drink and go to the bathroom before you begin.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What Is Your WHY?


I caught a movie the other day. I hadn't heard of it before. It was probably not a big box office hit. But, it had several of my favorite actors starring in it, several of them being Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Kiera Knightly and Helen Mirren among others. The title of the movie was “Collateral Beauty.” The title didn't attract me. What caught my attention was in the opening sequence when Will Smith, playing the role of a successful advertising executive, asked one of life's Big Questions of his employees,

“What is your WHY?”

This, on the surface, may seem like a pretty simplistic and, perhaps, benign question. Some might see it as superficial. You may have read this question in some self-help book. Maybe you've had this question posed by a “motivational speaker” in a crowd of maybe tens, hundreds or thousands of people gathered to gain the “the Secret” of becoming a raging success story. Maybe a preacher, priest, rabbi or other religious leader proffered this question. And, if you were really, really lucky, maybe you had a teacher in an elementary, secondary or college class pose the question (but, they probably never followed through with how to discover your Why).

It's very easy to skim over the answers. Most everyone has an immediate pat answer to this question and the many tangential questions that spring forth from it. Such questions as:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Are You An Addict?

That's a loaded question and I'm sure many readers immediately reacted with a resounding NO! I'm not an addict. Well, I beg to differ. I'm going to suggest you're a rare person if you're not an addict.

Okay, let me clarify this a bit. I certainly hope you're not an alcoholic or drug junkie (either prescription or recreational drugs) or pornography. I also hope you're not addicted to gambling, sex, food and binge eating, smoking, binge shopping, life threatening adrenaline rushes, work (for an employer or, especially your own business) and similar. Alcohol and drugs, just plain BAD. Pornography is a controversial issue. The others, in moderation and as appropriate, meaning it doesn't jeopardize your family, financial security, home, physical being and so on, but you do some of these occasionally when it's reasonable and safe are probably okay.

Now, here is what I'm really talking about. Are you addicted to:

Facebook
Email
YouTube
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter
Messaging
Texting
HSN
QVC
Netflix Binge Watching
Amazon Prime Binge Watching
Hulu Binge Watching
Vimeo
Mindless Reality Shows

You can add to this list as necessary for you personally.

Now, please don't kid your self or insult my intelligence by saying no to all of these. The reality is, that virtually everyone is addicted to at least one of these things and most likely more than one. And, worse yet, you may not even realize it. Most addicts, as I'm sure you're aware, are in denial. Some never accept their addictions and may suffer serious negative consequences many times as extreme as loss of family, financial ruin and even death. “Gees,” you say, “he's really serious about this isn't he?”

Yes! I am! This subject has been banging around in my head lately. What triggered this article was a blog post the other morning by a voice-over colleague from Las Vegas, Nevada. Dave made me stop short and think about the thoughts I mentioned that were rolling around in my noggin. He included a couple links to some very revealing thoughts on this subject. One of them included a TED Talk link. I read them and watched the TED Talk with great interest. If any of this may be ringing a bell with you, then read on.

The Land That Was

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happiness – 15 Ways To Defeat Happiness


Wow! How's that for a headline – a negative approach to a positive state of being.

I know, I'm usually trying to give you points, tips and ideas to encourage you in your quest to live personally freer, happier and more joyful. Well, here is a reality, most of us, with few exceptions, are our own worst enemies and we don't know it.

What,” you say. “I'm working diligently on living a positive, productive and simple life. Doesn't this result in happiness and joyfulness?" Of course, like so many aspects of life, this can be paradoxical.

As you are likely aware, I read (and listen and watch) many blogs (and podcasts and YouTube vlogs) in my own constant search for ideas and answers to questions about life. Of course I have my own continual quest for personal development going on. No one has the perfect life and formula, but we all are in different places in our lifetime journey and agenda.

So, some time ago I discovered the blog of a young woman who has found her own unique path to financial security. Over a six or seven year period, she has developed a monthly income well in excess of $100,000.00. This year she's on target to generate, probably between 1.6 and 2 million dollars for her annual revenue. Not bad, huh? And she hasn't even reached 30 years of age, yet. She and her husband are debt free. They live on the road, full-time in a motor home and travel across the U.S. They have the kind of lifestyle many of us dream about, but still don't believe we can achieve and enjoy.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What's It All About – Part Deux

To follow up on my last blog article “What's It All About,” I ran into this interesting video on Facebook about the education system in Finland. The U.S., the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world is being eroded from within. I believe a significant reason for this is our deteriorating educational system.

Allow me to preface my remarks by stating that 50 years ago (I just attended the 50th class reunion of my graduation from Montclair State College - now University), I earned a B.A. degree in education with my specialty being Industrial Arts. I also was awarded teacher certification, accepted in virtually every state in the U.S., for Kindergarten through 12th grade.

I was, myself, a product of the public education system. I skipped kindergarten, but completed grades 1 – 12 in the Clifton, New Jersey public school system. Even as a wet behind the ears, know it all, 22 year old graduate of the teaching curriculum of the (at that time) crown jewel of the New Jersey state colleges, all specializing in teacher education at that time, I saw real issues I knew were going to continue to deteriorate in the New Jersey (and U.S.) educational system. In my opinion, I was not wrong in my projections.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What's It All About?


Remember the songs "What's It All About Alfie?" and "Is That All There Is?" In my humble opinion, based on my own life experiences, IT is about just FOUR simple things - personal freedom, love, happiness and peace.

So then, if a fulfilling life can be broken down to those four simple things, WHY DO WE ALL MAKE IT SO COMPLICATED? And, why do so many people live lives of quiet desperation, as Thoreau described it? Why do they leave this life unfulfilled, never realizing personal freedom, experiencing true love in its many forms, enjoying real happiness and joy and knowing the peace that all is well and they are safe and secure?

Why do they seek these things in bottles of alcohol, pills and junk they inject in their veins or snort up their noses? Why do they run to the shopping mall or go online to buy more stuff they don't really need, just to "feel better" for a moment's relief from the complexity and emotional/psychological pain of the life they've created by their own choices? Why don't they make some different choices and change their lives? I've been down some of these paths. Thankfully, not the alcohol or drug routes. But, only by the Grace of God, have I avoided those paths.

M. Scott Peck's first three words in his best-selling book, The Road Less Traveled, were, "Life is difficult." He goes on to elaborate, "This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know

Monday, July 3, 2017

A New Day


Here is a wonderful and inspirational piece. It really impacted me, so I reformatted it into something I could print and give to people. You are free to copy this and share it with others. No hocus-pokus to it. It's simply feeding your mind with positive input whenever you look at it. I have this set up so it's printable on parchment paper stock suitable for framing.

It's great to give anyone, but especially those facing serious challenges in their life – like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, etc. so, share it with others.