Sunday, September 11, 2011

Curious about Transition (s): Good and Also Good for Us!

Definition of Transition: Passage from one place or state to another; charge; as, the transition of the weather from hot to cold. A passing from one subject to another. Change from one form to another.

Ultimately, your state of mind determines your circumstances. To realize the outcomes you want, it is critical to recognize and experience the transition from our present thoughts, habits, and actions to new thoughts, habits, and actions.” - Darren L. Johnson, American author

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.” - Isaac Asimov, American Scientist
You may have wondered where I’ve been. Well, I have been working on and experiencing the “troublesome” transition from using my eleven year old computer to my brand new computer. WOW! The hours and hours expended were incredible.

I had been getting stomach-ache-inducing messages warning me that my “Disk Space Is Low.” I was frantically deleting unneeded programs, transferring large folders and files to my external hard drive, and worrying.

Two of my wonderful children came to the rescue. They sent me a new computer for my birthday. It was loaded with up-to-date programs, lots of space, and new peripherals. However, if you are familiar with computers, you may know the work involved with a transition described above by Darren L. Johnson.

I spent at least seven hours on the phone with technology experts, more hours reading and trying “Help” topics, and even more hours grappling with updates and transferal of information from the old to the new. Anyway, I am back in business and still getting used to the new, but really love my new setup.

Thus, I thought it would fun to check out and share transition quotations. So, here goes:

·         “The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.”- John C. Calhoun, American statesman
·         “The transition was difficult. It's hard to stop something that you've enjoyed and that has been very rewarding.” - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, American athlete
·         “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., American leader
·         “Community colleges play an important role in helping people transition between careers by providing the retooling they need to take on a new career.” - Barack Obama, American President
·         “The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.”- John C. Calhoun, American statesman
·         “My first job in all honesty is going to continue to be mom-in-chief. Making sure that in this transition, which will be even more of a transition for the girls... that they are settled and that they know they will continue to be the center of our universe.” - Michelle Obama, American first lady
·         “The ambiguities of language, both in terms of vocabulary and syntax, are fascinating: how important connotation is, what is lost and what is gained in the linguistic transition.” – Marilyn Hacker, American poet 

In addition, two short quotations that say a lot:

“We are the transition from one education to the other.” - Alfred Rosenberg, German soldier

“Life is one big transition.” - Willie Stargell, American athlete

What life changing transitions have you experienced?  I know that I learned a huge amount about persistence – and my new computer, too!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Curious about Stretch and/or Stretching: Many Different Takes on This Important Quality

Definition of Stretch : To reach out; to extend; to put forth. To draw or pull out to greater length; to strain; as, to stretch a tendon or muscle. To exaggerate; to extend too far; as, to stretch the truth; to stretch one's credit. To extend or spread one's self, or one's limbs; as, the lazy man yawns and stretches. To strain the truth; to exaggerate; as, a man apt to stretch in his report of facts. Act of stretching, or state of being stretched; reach; effort; struggle; strain; as, a stretch of the limbs; a stretch of the imagination.

A good goal is like a strenuous exercise - it makes you stretch.” - Mary Kay Ash, American business woman

I chose “stretch” for this week’s blog, because of all of the benefits it offers. Stretching the body, the mind, the imagination are all so important in our lives. As a fitness instructor, I have always stressed the importance of stretching. Of course it helps to develop and keep us flexible. Most people don’t realize that we automatically lose 10% of our flexibility every ten years.

Over the past three years, I have been involved with Yoga and teaching Yoga. I even teach a Senior Yoga class called YogaStretch. And, yes, you guessed it, it involves a great deal of stretching. I know from how great my students and I feel, how beneficial the poses and stretches are for us. I was also delighted with the stretching quotations I found. Let me know what you think about them.

Here goes:

  • What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” - Wayne Dyer, American psychologist

  • It's a slight stretch of the imagination but most people are alike in most ways so I've never had any trouble identifying with the character that I'm playing.” - Jack Nicholson, American actor

  • I think it's important to stretch as you get older, but I try to do basically all the things I did when I played, except I can't do them as well and as much.” - Mike Ditka, American coach

  • If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.” - Les Brown, American businessman

  • By asking a novel question that you don't know the answer to, you discover whether you can formulate a way of finding the answer, and you stretch your own mind, and very often you learn something new.” - Walter Gilbert, American scientist

  • It is undeniable that a woman's ability to stretch and pursue her total competence outside the home and get paid what she's worth for it makes for happier and more fulfilled women.” - Kyle D. Pruett, American child psychiatrist and expert on parenting

  • I am conscious of trying to stretch the boundaries of non-fiction writing. It's always surprised me how little attention many non-fiction writers pay to the formal aspects of their work.” - Alain de Botton, English writer

And more:

  • Jazz tickles your muscles, symphonies stretch your soul.” - Paul Whiteman, American celebrity

  • Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own.” – Charles Scribner, Jr., American publisher

  • Schools must stop being holding pens to keep energetic young people off the job market and off the streets. We stretch puberty out a long, long time.” -Toni Morrison, American novelist

  • There are amazingly wonderful people in all walks of life; some familiar to us and others not. Stretch yourself and really get to know people. People are in many ways one of our greatest treasures.” - Bryant H. McGill, American poet

  • In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential... it's no different in the financial realm.” - Suze Orman, American author

  • I love to read. I love to stretch. In the morning, I get up, and if I'm not in a hurry, I will lie on the floor on a rug, look through some books and magazines, and maybe listen to music and try to do stretching exercises to tune up.” - Jackson Browne, American musician

  • I still think of myself as a stage actor. When I do film and television I try to implement what I was taught to do in theatre, to try to stretch into characters that are far from myself.” - Tony Shalhoub, American actor

So, in what ways do you stretch yourself? The more you do it, the more you will love it. And the more you will experience the benefits.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Curious about Automatic: How Do You Feel about Things and Reactions that Are Automatic?

Good habits, which bring our lower passions and appetites under automatic control, leave our natures free to explore the larger experiences of life. Too many of us divide and dissipate our energies in debating actions which should be taken for granted.” - Ralph W. Sockman, American leader

Just because it's automatic doesn't mean it works.” - Daniel J. Bernstein, American mathematician

For today’s blog, I was planning to use the theme of automation, but there were only a few quotations, so I chose it’s cousin, automatic, which works even better. Why, though, automation and/or automatic? Mainly, because I question the marketing gurus who sing the praises of automation. They are ecstatic when they can use automation or software programs that “with the click of a button” will create five minute websites, write articles on the topic of your choice, and perform a plethora of other many step – and somewhat boring –tasks.

Well, I am not ecstatic! Why? Because, even though we are working on a machine, I don’t want to be treated like a machine. I thought that the main focus and secret of successful marketing is building relationships with people – not our computers. Yes, it does help to have the programs that produce the amazing results we can expect and experience. I just want to have enough control that others realize that I am a real and caring person. I am not coming to you automatically with the click of a button. I want you to know, like, and trust me as a person.

Is it the human factor that has made video marketing so popular? I know that I enjoy seeing real human beings talking to me, even if they are not perfect – it is almost better if they aren’t.

Following are some of the quotations that address automatic. I found them to have interesting approaches and thoughts. Would love to hear what you think. Here we go:

  • Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., American leader

  • Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.” - Ayn Rand, Russian author

  • Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.” - Norman Vincent Peale, American clergyman

  • For imagination sets the goal picture which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of will, as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.” - Maxwell Maltz, American scientist

  • Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.” - Alex Haley, American novelist

  • Forget about being world famous, it's hard enough just getting the automatic doors at the supermarket to acknowledge our existence.” - Doug Coupland, Canadian author

And, a few more:

  • There are no automatic links between poverty and terrorism. Among millions of poor people in the world, only a few turn to terrorism.” - Gijs de Vries, Dutch politician

  • Working with the Kinks, there always seemed to be some kind of automatic process at work. Ray and I had this telepathy happening for a long time, where one of us always knew what the other could do with something.” - Dave Davies, British musician

  • The automatic stabilizer is unemployment insurance, food stamps, additional coverage of Medicaid.” – Franklin Raines, American businessman

  • Not wishing to be disturbed over moral issues of the political economy, Americans cling to the notion that the government is a sort of automatic machine, regulated by the balancing of competing interests.” - C. Wright Mills, American sociologist

  • My lyrics are generated by various peculiar processes. Very random and similar to automatic writing.” – Brian Eno, British musician

  • Abundance and vigor of automatic movements are desirable, and even a considerable degree of restlessness is a good sign in young children.” - G. Stanley Hall, American psychologist

I hope you find all of this as interesting as I do. Are we really making our lives better using automation, or are we just dehumanizing others? What do you think? I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Curious about Advice: How Do You Feel about Receiving It? and Giving It?

Definition of Advice: An opinion recommended or offered, as worthy to be followed; counsel. Deliberate consideration; knowledge. Information or notice given; intelligence; as, late advices from France; -- commonly in the plural.

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.” - Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman

Advice is seldom welcome; and those who want it the most always like it the least.” - George Chapman, English poet

I chose “advice” for this week’s blog, because the last few weeks have been so filled with advice. This extensive advice has come from both from the gurus that I trust and revere, along with some so-called gurus and/or experts whom are new to me. However, they have also been recommended by those I trust.

I am someone who is open to learning and self improvement, so I take the time to listen and weigh all of the pros and cons before taking serious action. And, some of that serious action involves large sums of money and time investments. Therefore, I figured that perusing the advice quotations would help me – and hopefully, you too - in deciding how to view, consider, share, and possibly adopt some of my overload of good and new advice.

The quotations have helped a great deal in the clarification of many sides to giving, receiving, and using advice. I would love to hear your thoughts on this rather prickly and varied topic.

Let’s get started with some quotations:

  • Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” - Harper Lee, American novelist

  • Know when to tune out, if you listen to too much advice you may wind up making other peoples mistakes.” - Ann Landers, American journalist

  • Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” - Meg Cabot, American author

  • My mother gave lots of good advice and had a lot to say. As you get older, you realize everything she said was true.” - Lenny Kravitz, American musician

  • The best careers advice to give to the young is 'Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.'” - Katherine Whitehorn, American journalist

  • Don't give advice unless you're asked.” - Amy Alcott, American athlete

  • An extreme optimist is a man who believes that humanity will probably survive even if it doesn't take his advice.” - John McCarthy, American politician

  • It takes a great man to give sound advice tactfully, but a greater to accept it graciously.” - Logan P. Smith, American writer

And, some more to chew on:

  • In real life, the most practical advice for leaders is not to treat pawns like pawns, nor princes like princes, but all persons like persons.” - James MacGregor Burns, American author

  • I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” - Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist

  • Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.” - Benjamin Franklin, American politician

  • Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” - Warren Buffett, American businessman

  • Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.” - Khalil Gibran, Lebanese American poet

  • I was told to avoid the business all together because of the rejection. People would say to me, 'Don't you want to have a normal job and a normal family?' I guess that would be good advice for some people, but I wanted to act.” - Jennifer Aniston, American actress

  • Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it.” - Agatha Christie, English writer

  • Whatever advice you give, be short.” – Horace, Roman poet

And, two more to take with you:

I don't think of myself as a role model. I do try to live in a compassionate, considerate and positive way. The only advice I can offer is to find what you love to do, find the joy in it, and express yourself through your passion.” - Barry Williams, American actor

The only advice I can give to aspiring writers is don't do it unless you're willing to give your whole life to it. Red wine and garlic also helps.” - Jim Harrison, American writer

So, where do you find and hear great advice? And do you share your advice with others?
I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Curious about Plants: Do They Have a Place in Your Life? and What Do They Mean to You?

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” - David Hobson, American politician

I hardly have any spare time! But when I do, I garden a lot - I love plants and flowers.” – Soundarya, American actress

I chose “plants” for this blog’s theme, because I spent a good bit of the morning planting on my new balcony. You may remember that I did have a large garden at the side of my former apartment. And, even though there is space designated here for tenants’ gardens, I decided to grow in pots this year. I can really relate to Soundarya without spare time. However, I am planning to spend time out there this summer.

I am even trying a couple of tomato plants along with the flowers. The plants I chose are recommended for pots and patios, so keep your fingers crossed.

When I searched for quotations, not only was there an interesting variety about the plants that grow, but also many relating to plants for businesses – like auto, industrial, power, and nuclear – which I won’t include. I did allow a few where plant was a verb.

Let’s get started:

  • The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations - each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony.” - Ruth Bernhard, German photographer

  • The historical circumstance of interest is that the tropical rain forests have persisted over broad parts of the continents since their origins as stronghold of the flowering plants 150 million years ago.” - E. O. Wilson, American scientist

  • This evidence is overwhelming at this point. You eat more plants, you eat less other stuff, you live longer.” - Mark Bittman, American author

  • Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.” - John W. Gardner, American educator

  • When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized.” - Ayn Rand, Russian writer

  • Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment.” - Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher

And, now some with a different twist – even a bit of humor:

  • Trees and plants always look like the people they live with, somehow.” - Zora Neale Hurston, American dramatist

  • Use plants to bring life.” - Douglas Wilson, American entertainer

  • If we had paid no more attention to our plants than we have to our children, we would now be living in a jungle of weed.” - Luther Burbank, American environmentalist

  • Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.” - Erma Bombeck, American journalist

  • Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.” - Jean Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher

  • My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.” - Mitch Hedberg, American comedian

A few more strong thoughts:

  • My father being an outdoors person, he used to take us on quite a few adventures through the wild areas down there, introducing us to alligators and rattlesnakes and all the trees and plants.” - Jim Fowler, American scientist

  • Nations, like plants and human beings, grow. And if the development is thwarted they are dwarfed and overshadowed.” - Claude McKay, Jamaican writer

  • A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”- Liberty Hyde Bailey, American scientist

  • A man doesn't plant a tree for himself. He plants it for posterity.” - Alexander Smith, Scottish poet

  • A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.” - D. Elton Trueblood, American philosopher, educator and theologian

  • A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” - Saint Basil, Greek saint

So, do you do any planting – inside or outside? I would love to hear about your gardens and why you love them too!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Curious about Marketing: Do You Do It? And, How Important Is It to You and Your Business?

  • Definition of Marketing: of Market ; The act of selling or of purchasing in, or as in, a market. Articles in, or from, a market; supplies.

    There is probably a perverse pride in my administration... that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who's occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can't be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.” - Barack Obama – American President

    To me, we're marketing hope.” - Joel Osteen, American clergyman

    Why did I choose “marketing” for this week’s theme? One of my favorite gurus was interviewed in the latest version of Entrepreneur magazine. Guy Kawasaki was talking about selling, social media and being enchanting. Read the following excerpt for what he feels about the importance of marketing and enchantment – not enough enchanting quotations to choose it as a theme.

    What about the excuse that it takes too much time?
    How valuable is your time? Very valuable. But how valuable is making sales? Social media is marketing, and marketing is a core activity of companies. You can sit by the side of the river for a long time before a roast duck flies into your mouth, or you can gain thousands of followers and fans. You've got to go out there and enchant.

    Entrepreneurship is synonymous with selling, and being enchanting about it -- by influencing behavior in "ethical, long-lasting ways" - will help you sell, says Guy Kawasaki, founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures, co-founder of and Apple Computer's former chief evangelist. He's also the bestselling author of 10 books, including, most recently, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, chock-full of usable startup and social media tips on how to do just that.

    I have found that every successful entrepreneur – either online or offline – stresses the importance of marketing. And to succeed, we must love marketing and ABM or Always Be Marketing. As you have probably guessed, I did find many great quotations about marketing.

Here goes:

  • Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation.” - Milan Kundera, Czechoslovakian writer

  • But, the thing is, since I always had my own little shop and direct access to the public, I've been able to build up a technique without marketing people ever telling me what the public wants.” – Vivienne Westwood, English designer

  • Firms need to ensure that their ability to provide effective customer service keeps pace with their growth. If you're marketing your firm to new customers, you better be able to provide them service when they do business with you.” - Arthur Levitt, American public servant

  • Google actually relies on our users to help with our marketing. We have a very high percentage of our users who often tell others about our search engine.” - Sergey Brin, American businessman

  • I do not believe in censorship, but I believe we already have censorship in what is called marketing theory, namely the only information we get in mainstream media is for profit.” - Sam Sheppard, American scientist

  • I don't need somebody behind a desk to tell me what a marketing survey says is funny. I got 3 million miles and 70,000 tickets sold, telling me that I know how to make people laugh.” - D. L. Hughley, American actor

  • In marketing I've seen only one strategy that can't miss - and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last.” - John Romero, American inventor

And, of course, a few more for fun:

  • Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” - David Packard, American businessman

  • Our co-founder and company president, Jim Levy, came from a record industry background and understood the marketing and promotion of artists as well as products. So the video game business went from absolutely zero designer credit to something approaching rock star promotion.” – David Crane, American Video Game designer and programmer

  • Programmers and marketing people know how to get into your subconscious - they spend millions of dollars researching colors, shapes, designs, symbols, that affect your preferences, and they can make you feel warm, trusting, like buying. They can manipulate you.” - Richard Hatch, American actor

  • The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” - Peter Drucker, American businessman

  • The ultimate test of a finished account executive is his ability to write a sound marketing plan.” - Morris Hite, American businessman

  • There are certain people who have become better artists, but they're brilliant at marketing. I think someone who's been phenomenal like that is Madonna.” - Michael Bolton, American musician

  • There was a period of time in America where the advertising world actually went to the housewives of America and had them write jingles that would appeal to them. It was actually brilliant marketing.” - Julianne Moore, American actress

So, do you have a marketing plan? If so, please let me hear from you. I would love to read your feedback about what it consists of and what works the best for you. Is it enchanting?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Curious about Art: It Is Art that Plays a Huge Part in Our Surroundings and Environment. There Is an Artist in Each of Us and Our Lives

Definition of Art: A system of rules serving to facilitate the performance of certain actions; a system of principles and rules for attaining a desired end; method of doing well some special work; -- often contradistinguished from science or speculative principles; as, the art of building or engraving; the art of war; the art of navigation. The application of skill to the production of the beautiful by imitation or design, or an occupation in which skill is so employed, as in painting and sculpture; one of the fine arts; as, he prefers art to literature. Skill, dexterity, or the power of performing certain actions, acquired by experience, study, or observation; knack; as, a man has the art of managing his business to advantage.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” - Albert Einstein, German physicist

I chose art for this week’s blog because yesterday I did what I love doing – visiting an art museum. Akron, Ohio was one of only two North American museums chosen for the M. C. Escher exhibit of his original work – and, I was there. It was a terrific show, and the Akron Art Museum is a tribute to art itself. It has been remodeled, is incredibly modern, beautiful and spacious.

The whole experience was so special, I realized how much I miss doing art (it was my major field of study when I went back to college in 1971).

The quotations are varied, fun and inspiring. Let’s share some:

  • The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., American leader

  • Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.” – Winston Churchill, British statesman

  • Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.” - Woody Allen, American actor

  • Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.” - Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist

  • If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” - John F. Kennedy, American President

  • Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.” - Khalil Gibran, Lebanese American poet

  • Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” - C. S. Lewis, British author

  • Winners have the ability to step back from the canvas of their lives like an artist gaining perspective. They make their lives a work of art - an individual masterpiece.- Denis Waitley, American writer

And, a few more:

  • Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” - Ansel Adams, American photographer

  • The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain.” - Lord Byron, British poet

  • The excellency of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeable evaporate.” - John Keats, English poet

  • Space is the breath of art.” - Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect

  • Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.” - Frank Zappa, American musician

  • The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science.” - Erich Fromm, American psychologist

  • Art is not a thing; it is a way.” - Elbert Hubbard, American writer

  • Being an artist is dragging your innermost feelings out, giving a piece of yourself, no matter in which art form, in which medium.” - Henry Rollins, American musician

  • An art which isn't based on feeling isn't an art at all.” - Paul Cezanne, French artist

  • The art of love is largely the art of persistence.” - Albert Ellis, American psychologist

How much are you affected by art? What are your favorite styles? I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Curious about Winning: How Important Is Winning to You? – in Games, in Life, in Business, and in all Aspects?

Definition of Winning: Attracting; adapted to gain favor; charming; as, a winning address. The act of obtaining something, as in a contest or by competition. The money, etc., gained by success in competition or contest, esp, in gambling; -- usually in the plural.

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan, American athlete

Winning is only half of it. Having fun is the other half.” - Bum Phillips, American coach

Phillips’ quotation really applies to me. As I have mentioned before, a few months ago I moved to a new apartment complex. To get to know some of the other tenants in a fun way, I started attending the Thursday evening BINGO games. I had never played Bingo before and I wasn’t winning – got frustratingly close, but that was it.

And then, this past Thursday, I won a hand. Since I really experienced a thrill, I chose “winning” for this week’s blog theme. I am not sure what made the difference. Never having played Bingo before moving here, I found it to be fun with a good social outlet. I don’t feel that winning is just luck, or even skill, but I have been wondering if mindset helps.

Anyway, the quotations were geared mostly toward sports, but also touched on attitudes. I was surprised by how obsessive – and negative - some of the comments by athletes were – I did not include those.

So, here goes:

  • Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.” - Paul Bryant, American coach

  • I'm competitive with myself, but not with other people. I set goals for myself. I don't really care about winning or losing as long as I do my best.” - Lucas Grabeel, American actor

  • The determination to win is the better part of winning.” - Daisaku Ikeda, Japanese writer

  • Winning may not be everything, but losing has little to recommend it.” - Dianne Feinstein, American politician

  • A winning effort begins with preparation.” - Joe Gibbs, American coach

  • Let's try winning and see what it feels like. If we don't like it, we can go back to our traditions.” - Paul Tsongas, American politician

  • Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” - Wilma Rudolph, American athlete

  • In real life, it is the hare who wins. Every time. Look around you. And in any case it is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market. Hares have no time to read. They are too busy winning the game.” - Anita Brookner, English historian

And, some more:

  • Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” - Vince Lombardi, American coach

  • I've done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.” – Fran Lebowitz, American journalist

  • Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet

  • Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian actor

  • Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning.” - Erwin Rommel, German soldier

  • Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.” - Ross Perot, American businessman

  • Personally, I rather look forward to a computer program winning the world chess championship. Humanity needs a lesson in humility.” - Richard Dawkins, English scientist

  • Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.” - Denis Waitley, American writer

So, how do you feel about winning? What qualities do we need to prepare to win? I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Curious about Proof: How Important or Influential Is It? How Do You Establish It?

Definition of Proof: Any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; a test; a trial. That degree of evidence which convinces the mind of any truth or fact, and produces belief; a test by facts or arguments that induce, or tend to induce, certainty of the judgment; conclusive evidence; demonstration.

  • That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” – Abraham Lincoln, American President

  • Confidence in the goodness of another is good proof of one's own goodness.” - Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher

  • I chose the word “Proof” for this week’s blog for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are so many comments being made about the veracity of the Internet. It is unsettling – at least for me and others I interact with – how much of the information shared is questionable. Right now, I am experiencing so many sites that are pushing systems that will easily – with one click – make you a millionaire. No work, just collect your money. Their proof is copies of bank statements showing large amounts of income daily. These are relatively easy to create. No wonder we are skeptical.

  • Another reason – and this one is legitimate – is that I watched an excellent video this morning about Social Proof by Greg Habstritt. Social Proof is the name for testimonials and is so important to our success. When we receive incredible service, we tell others. If we experience an outstanding product, we tell others. As I surmised, the quotations I found didn’t address phony sales letters or Social Proof, but were so excellent, I want to share them with you.

Let’s get started:

  • To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive.” - Matthew Arnold, English poet

  • We must never assume that which is incapable of proof.” - George Henry Lewes, English philosopher

  • We're living proof that nice guys always finish last.” - Matthew Cooper, American journalist

  • You actually can make it, no matter what. I truly am a firm believer in that. Eminem's living proof.” - Brittany Murphy, American actress

  • You know that I am living proof that the American Dream is real. Growing up, our congressman cut through government bureaucratic red tape to help my mom buy our first house. That's the kind of congressman I'll be.” - Geoff Davis, American politician

  • Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” - Thomas A. Edison, American inventor

  • Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” - Ayn Rand, Russian writer

  • I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.” - Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian

And, a few more for fun and interest:

  • Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin, American politician

  • Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” - Khalil Gibran, Lebanese American poet

  • Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” – Eddie Rickenbacker, American aviator

  • Do not be fooled into believing that because a man is rich he is necessarily smart. There is ample proof to the contrary.” - Julius Rosenwald, American businessman

  • Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen.” – Maimonides, Spanish philosopher

  • Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions.”- E. T. Bell, Scottish mathematician

  • In matters of truth the fact that you don't want to publish something is, nine times out of ten, a proof that you ought to publish it.” - Gilbert K. Chesterton, English writer

  • The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.” – Elbert Hubbard, American writer

So, what do you think? What kind of proof do you need before making a decision? I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Curious about Influence: How Important Is It? How Much Do You Have and Use?

  • Definition of Influence: The bringing about of an effect, physical or moral, by a gradual process; controlling power quietly exerted; agency, force, or tendency of any kind which the sun exerts on animal and vegetable life; the influence of education on the mind; the influence, according to astrologers, of the stars over affairs. Power or authority arising from elevated station, excellence of character or intellect, wealth, etc.; reputation; acknowledged ascendency; as, he is a man of influence in the community. To control or move by power, physical or moral; to affect by gentle action; to exert an influence upon; to modify, bias, or sway; to move; to persuade; to induce.

  • You can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you've become yourself.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady

  • I chose “Influence” for this week’s blog, because recently there have been several books and articles written about it. I also am interested in what has influenced us in our lives to become who we are. I just experienced a TED talk by Caroline Casey at: . I suggest that if you have 20 minutes, you will find this no limits talk incredible.

  • I found many thought-provoking quotations. I know you will love them. A couple that I want to share right away are:

  • Influence is like a savings account. The less you use it, the more you've got.” - Andrew Young, American clergyman

  • And, “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” - Wilma Rudolph, American athlete

Ready for more? I am:

  • The forbidden things were a great influence on my life. I was forbidden from reading A Catcher in the Rye.” - Amy Tan, American novelist

  • I think maybe the rural influence in my life helped me in a sense, of knowing how to get close to people and talk to them and get my work done.” - Gordon Parks, American photographer

  • I have been trying to point out that in our lives chance may have an astonishing influence and, if I may offer advice to the young laboratory worker, it would be this - never to neglect an extraordinary appearance or happening.” - Alexander Fleming, English scientist

  • If you examine this, I think that you will find that it's the mechanics of Japanese architecture that have been thought of as the direct influence upon our architecture.” - Minoru Yamasaki, American architect

  • Another cause for the increase in alienation and cynicism is a feeling that too many policy decisions that affect individuals have been taken out of any system that has accountability or that they can influence.” – Robert Teeter, American politician

  • Ted Turner is still a leader. And he sets a great example. His ability financially has been reduced, but his influence and his example still is an important asset to the whole environmental movement.” - Maurice Strong, Canadian businessman

  • There is no influence like the influence of habit.” - Gilbert Parker, British politician

  • I really do believe in the influence of your surroundings.” - Matt Sharp, American musician

And just a few more – they are so good!

  • The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.” - John Hancock, American politician

  • Our chief justices have probably had more profound and lasting influence on their times and on the direction of the nation than most presidents.” - Richard M. Nixon, American President

  • The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret.” - Salvador Dali, Spanish artist

  • Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” - Mark Twain, American author

  • Whatever we do or fail to do will influence the course of history.” - Arthur Henderson, British politician

  • Picasso's always been such a huge influence that I thought when I started the cartoon paintings that I was getting away from Picasso, and even my cartoons of Picasso were done almost to rid myself of his influence.” - Roy Lichtenstein, American artist

  • Dreams have as much influence as actions.” - Stephane Mallarme, French poet

So, what has been a big influence in your life? And who, how, and when have you influenced? Remember, I would love to hear your feedback.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Curious about Title: How Much of a Difference Does It Make? To a Book, Person or Other?

Definition of Title : The inscription in the beginning of a book, usually containing the subject of the work, the author's and publisher's names, the date, etc. An appellation of dignity, distinction, or preeminence (hereditary or acquired), given to persons, as duke marquis, honorable, esquire, etc. A name; an appellation; a designation. That which constitutes a just cause of exclusive possession; that which is the foundation of ownership of property, real or personal; a right; as, a good title to an estate, or an imperfect title. The instrument which is evidence of a right.

A good title is the title of a successful book.” - Robert C. Gallagher, American sportswriter

You've got to realize. In the western world, regardless of what color you are, what title the music is, it's all played by the same notes.” - Ornette Coleman, American musician

I picked title for this week’s theme, because it sets the tone for acceptance – whether for a book, any kind of written material, a person, a movie or play, or music. I also wanted to introduce you to a fascinating and helpful website. At , when you enter your title and/or headline (with 20 words or less), The Headline Analyzer goes to work.

This free tool will analyze your headline to determine the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score. As you know, reaching your customers in a deep and emotional way is a key to successful copywriting, and your headline is unquestionably the most important piece of copy you use to reach prospects.

Your headline will be analyzed and scored based on the total number of EMV words it has in relation to the total number of words it contains. This will determine the EMV score of your headline. In addition to the EMV score, you will find out which emotion inside your customer's your headline most impacts. It is a fun and great way to find out more about your title and/or headline.

As usual, I found an interesting variety of quotations. Let’s take a look:

  • The beauty of a main title is that you establish your main theme and maybe a bit of your secondary theme. You plant the seed that you're going to go water later in the score. And so, having that removed just made it so much more difficult.” - Danny Elfman, American musician

  • The word actress has always seemed less a job description to me than a title.” - Gene Tierney, American actress

  • Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title. I'd appreciate it.” - Barbara Boxer, American politician

  • J. Lo is also an homage to my fans. That's what fans call me on the streets, and I like it. So giving the album this title is my way of telling them that this is for them, in appreciation of their support.” - Jennifer Lopez, American musician

  • Jigsaw Lady is the working title of a science fiction novel I've had in my head for darn near 15 years. I think I'll start work on it next year (in all my spare time) but I'd like to get it finished some day.” - Raymond E. Feist , American author

  • Seven is a lucky number, so I plan to do a lot of lucky things with my seventh place title.” - Anwar Robinson, American musician

  • That is what the title of artist means: one who perceives more than his fellows, and who records more than he has seen.” - Edward Gordon Craig, British actor
And, a few more:

  • Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.” - Thomas Paine, English writer

  • Oh, that lovely title, ex-president.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower, American President

  • Let me tell you about being executive producer. It is not a job, it's a title. Don't go around asking executive producers what they do because they don't do anything, alright?” - Morgan Freeman, American actor

  • Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title.” - Virginia Woolf, British author

  • When I was in college, I was the editor of the literary magazine and insisted neither the editors nor the writers be specifically identified-only our student numbers appeared on the title page. I love that idea and still do.” - Jonathan Carroll, American author

  • When you won that title you should know now that you are representing a whole country or nation with your actions and you are now in a glass house or under a microscope and you better be ready to make your people proud.” - Alexis Arguello, Nicaraguan athlete

  • My bad habits aren't my title. My strengths and my talent are my title.” - Layne Staley, American musician
I also found it interesting that some authors title their books when finished while others title at the start of writing. “We don't have to think up a title till we get the doggone book written.” - Carl Sandburg, American poet and writer “I do not believe in inspiration, but I must have a title in order to work, otherwise I am lost.”- Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban novelist Do test out the headline analyzer and let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Curious about the Two Sides of Content: That Which Is Contained, and That Which Is Felt

Definition of Content: Contained within limits; satisfied; contented; at rest. That which is contained; the thing or things held by a receptacle or included within specified limits; as, the contents of a cask or bale or of a room; the contents of a book. To satisfy the desires of; to make easy in any situation; to appease or quiet; to gratify; to please.

Content is often the reason users come to your site.” - Jesse James Garrett, American businessman

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., American leader

Content has been king – and even queen – since I started working on the Internet in the early 90s.” So, I found what Doug Schumacher, President and Creative Director of Basement Inc., wrote the following about content in an IMEDIA article today:

Recognize that content is the new marketing.
The content a company produces is probably the most accurate form of marketing communications a company can deliver. If the company really understands its industry, then it should be able to produce good content. If not, it will show. Another plus to content development is that when your content is remarkable, you've already answered many of the questions around what your marketing messages should be.”

This is what led me to choose content – even though it has two sides – for this week’s blog. As usual, the different approaches covered by the quotations shone many lights on the subject.

Here is the first group:
  • "The next wave of the Web is going to be user-generated content.” - John Doerr, American businessman
  • The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all.” - John Updike, American novelist
  • The role of the musician is to go from concept to full execution. Put another way, it's to go from understanding the content of something to really learning how to communicate it and make sure it's well-received and lives in somebody else.” - Yo-Yo Ma, American musician
  • A company like DreamWorks, all we do is make product. That's all we do. We don't own distribution. We are purely in the creation of content.” - Jeffrey Katzenberg, American producer
  • A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., American judge
  • After closely examining my conscience, I venture to state that in my historical novels I intended the content to be just as modern and up-to-date as in the contemporary ones.” – Lion Feuchtwanger, German novelist
  • There is just so much stuff in the world that, to me, is devoid of any real substance, value, and content that I just try to make sure that I am working on things that matter.” - Dean Kamen, American inventor

And some with a very different spin:

  • What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.” - Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychologist
  • What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” - David Ogilvy, English businessman
  • Most novices picture themselves as masters - and are content with the picture. This is why there are so few masters.” - Jean Toomer, American author
  • People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” - Andrew Carnegie, American businessman
  • People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.” - Warren G. Bennis, American psychologist
  • The teller of a mirthful tale has latitude allowed him. We are content with less than absolute truth” - Charles Lamb, English critic
  • I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” - Anna Quindlen, American journalist

And a couple more:

I think my capacity to change has given me tremendous happiness, because who I am today I am completely content to be.” - Jamie Lee Curtis, American actress

It's hard to be ambitious if you're content, isn't it?” - Tucker Carlson, American journalist

So, what do you think? How important is content? And, how content are you?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Curious about Moving: Pros and Cons and Lessons Learned

Definition of Moving: The act of changing place or posture; esp., the act of changing one's dwelling place or place of business.

Human beings are the only animal that thinks they change who they are simply by moving to a different place. Birds migrate, but it's not quite the same thing.” - Doug Coupland, Canadian author

We're all moving, moving, moving. Isn't it nice?” - Charles Olson, American poet

I did choose my topic (theme) a couple of weeks ago, but as you probably know, I have been in the throes of moving, packing, unpacking, and organizing for the whole month of February and before. When I looked up the moving quotations, I did find many good directions, which I will introduce in this week’s e-newsletter – coming to your mailbox in a couple of days.

So far, I am thrilled with my new location. But, even so, I have been heard to proclaim, “I will never move again.” Yes, not being a bird, I do feel that I have changed with this move. I am closer to the two gyms where I teach fitness and am now part of a Senior Community. The people I have met so far are delightful and welcoming.

I have found my favorite grocery store in duplicate, twice the size, and with the same reasonable prices I am used to. The library is within walking distance and my favorite big box store is bigger and boxier. Both my banks are on my route to and from the gyms along with several variety packed shopping centers.

But that’s not all! I have a balcony (a bit cold right now for lounging) that overlooks the Lake (Erie), so this Spring, Summer, and Fall will find me celebrating the water and the breathtaking sunsets. As I have said before, “I love Cleveland, Ohio,” and it just got even better!!

Since I am planning to use my “moving” theme and quotations in this week’s Portfolio Potpourri, I will start sharing some of them here:

  • We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” - Walt Disney, American cartoonist
  • If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” - Henry Ford, American businessman
  • If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it's moving you away from your goals.” - Brian Tracy, American author
  • The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” - Elbert Hubbard, American writer
  • Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” - Denis Waitley, American writer
  • The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.” - George Eliot, British author
  • Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.” - Samuel Butler, British poet

And, just a few more:

  • For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction.” - Michelle Obama, American First Lady
  • I'm trying to get in the habit of, you know, picking up a book and learning how to write my feelings down, not my feelings but my thoughts, about things, and hopefully I'll moving toward the writing and directing thing soon.” - Corey Haim, Canadian actor
  • You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.” - Conrad Hall, American artist
  • Risk means everything from being honest about your faith, to moving, to quitting a job that's paying you a fortune but it's not what's in your heart. Risking things is one of the biggest fears we have.” - John Tesh, American musician
  • Dr. King is so inspiring, so impressive, so moving as a human being.” - Michael Bolton, American musician
  • To me, if life boils down to one thing, it's movement. To live is to keep moving.” – Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian

And, I don’t agree with Sean Connery, Scottish actor, who said, “I haven't found anywhere in the world where I want to be all the time. The best of my life is the moving. I look forward to going.”

How about you? Have you moved lately? There are many ways to move – some eye opening and rewarding – others loaded with work and change. However, I am glad I have moved and am looking forward to an exciting future.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Curious about Resolve: What Does It Mean to You? And Do You Have and Use It?

Definition of Resolve: To separate the component parts of; to reduce to the constituent elements; said of compound substances; hence, sometimes, to melt, or dissolve. To be settled in opinion; to be convinced.

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” - Helen Keller, American author

I chose “resolve” for this week’s theme, because I was so inspired by Dan Kennedy’s excellent article in his monthly, marketing letter.

To quote him,For most, the legitimacy of resolve is an unwelcome idea. Whether or not you take a midnight utterance at a party seriously isn’t important, but to what extent you subscribe to the legitimacy of resolve is vital. The sports cliché is that big games tend to be won by the team that wants it most and refused not to win. Yes, talent matters, but less than resolve. Personally, I think I have little if any talent, but I’ve had a whole lot of resolve throughout my life.”

I started to think about the power of the word resolve as I was finding so many great quotations. Don’t you feel that you would be more likely to achieve your goals and intentions if you stated, “I resolve to accomplish this?”

Let me share some of the quotations I found:

  • To make our way, we must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity. We must gear ourselves to work hard all the way. We can never let up.” - Ralph Bunche, American diplomat
  • Wise to resolve, and patient to perform.” – Homer, Greek poet
  • Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.” - Horace Mann, American educator
  • The function of a genius is not to give new answers, but to pose new questions which time and mediocrity can resolve.” - Hugh Trevor-Roper, English historian
  • There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” - Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American writer
  • Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.” – Rene Descartes, French mathematician
  • Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.” - Denis Waitley, American writer

And a few more:

  • I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside.” - Winston Churchill, British statesman
  • This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.” - Barack Obama, American President
  • There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” - Wayne Dyer, American psychologist
  • However, lifestyle intervention requires discipline with a tangible end result that is within reach. It requires personal resolve, a lifelong commitment.” - Tim Holden, American politician
  • I just think that there are those people that their resolve is strengthened by what it is that's keeping them down, and there are some people that will buckle under it. You never know which one is which until you get into the eighth or ninth round of the fight.” - Ron Perlman, American actor
  • If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer.” - Clement Freud, British writer
  • In life there are no problems, that is, objective and external choices; there is only the life which we do not resolve as a problem but which we live as an experience, whatever the final result may be.” - Alberto Moravia, Italian novelist

And I do love two more for you to think about this week:

Resolve and thou art free.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet

Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.” - Samuel Johnson, English author

What do you resolve to achieve? I would love to read your feedback.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Curious about TRANSFORMATION: What Creates It? And Is It Worthwhile in Our Lives and Careers?

Definition of TRANSFORMATION: (1)The act of transforming, or the state of being transformed; change of form or condition. (2) Change of one form of material into another, as in assimilation; metabolism; metamorphosis. (3) A change in disposition, heart, character, or the like; conversion.

First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then tr of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” - Napoleon Hill, American writer

Even though I used it previously, I chose “TRANSFORMATION” for this week’s theme because, for me, 2011 will be a year of TRANSFORMATION. In less than a month, I will be moving into a different apartment. It is on the lake and closer to the two YMCAs where I teach my 12 fitness classes a week. However, the move is only the start.

I am also updating my marketing direction. This past year I joined a cutting edge marketing group and also an Internet Skills and Mastermind group. The great news is that the leader shares a plethora of information and holds several pure learning webinars a week. He also assigns challenges for us to complete.

Notice that each of the parts of the definition above use the word, “change.” We all know how difficult it is to change. And, yet, we have heard again and again that if we don’t change we will continue to have the same results over and over. If we are happy with our results, we should continue doing what we have always done. However, most of the people I know would be thrilled with a change for the better, but are afraid to try.

Have you experienced or started to work on a transformation? It may consist of different areas of your life: physical, financial, educational, family, and emotional. The great news is that if one works on transforming one of these areas, transformation will occur in other areas, too. I have witnessed this so often at the gym. When a student of mine works on losing weight and achieving a high level of fitness, the benefits color other areas.

What do the experts have to say about transformation:
  • Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” - Marianne Williamson, American author
  • History is the transformation of tumultuous conquerors into silent footnotes.” - Paul Eldridge, American educator
  • Transformation in the world happens when people are healed and start investing in other people.” - Michael W. Smith, American musician
  • Transformation literally means going beyond your form.” - Wayne Dyer, American psychologist
  • It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one's memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory.” - Edgar Degas, French artist
  • I especially like American actress, Judith Light’s quotation, “The message of transformation and how we all can live from our heart, not just from our head, was a very important message for me to learn in my own life.”

And a few more quotations to chew upon:

  • I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.” - Fernando Flores, Chilean politician
  • When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” - Joseph Campbell, American author
  • Art is magic... But how is it magic? In its metaphysical development? Or does some final transformation culminate in a magic reality? In truth, the latter is impossible without the former. If creation is not magic, the outcome cannot be magic.” - Hans Hofmann, German artist

Let me hear about your work on transformation and what started it. Change isn’t always easy, but it is exciting!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Curious about Calendar and Calendars: How Much Effect Do They Have on You and Your Life?

My wife's jealousy is getting ridiculous. The other day she looked at my calendar and wanted to know who May was.” - Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian

No other date on the calendar more potently symbolizes all that our nation stands for than the Fourth of July.” - Mac Thornberry, American politician

You are curious, I am sure, about my choosing “Calendar” for this blog’s theme. I have several reasons. First of all, I love calendars – the monthly change of the main image, the variety in subjects featured in calendars, and the wonderful messages sported by many.

The other main reasons are that for years, I have been following my tradition of purchasing a calendar for each of my five children as one of their Christmas gifts. I know it may sound odd, but I thoroughly enjoy taking the time to see and consider all of the variety of themes that will fit taste and personalities.

While I am picking out the gift calendars, I also am choosing my calendars. I actually have five places I hang them plus a one-a-day box calendar that sits next to my computer. Then, the first of January is always a delight, because it is the day that I unpackage my calendars and place them in their new homes.

This year I even had requests for certain theme calendars which made the whole process even more fun and rewarding.

There wasn’t a plethora of calendar quotations, but I think that you will find the ones I chose to be quite interesting and in some cases, humorous. Here goes:
  • I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” - Robert Brault, Software writer and poet
  • I've been on a calendar, but I've never been on time.” - Marilyn Monroe, American actress
  • I've found a formula for avoiding these exaggerated fears of age; you take care of every day - let the calendar take care of the years.” - Ed Wynn, American entertainer
  • Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.” - Charles Richards, Canadian politician
  • Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.” –
    David Herbert Lawrence, English writer
  • Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.” - Charles Kettering, American inventor

And, a few more:

  • I've never been one of those who wanted to fill my calendar up 90 percent of the time.” - Gilbert Gottfried, American comedian
  • If we carry on filling up the calendar, we keep on pushing the athlete, we shorten the athletes longevity. The risk is to shorten a career that could have lasted 10 years because the athlete is burnt out.” - Alberto Juantorena, Cuban athlete
  • My 2005 calendar we actually did a shoot in Lake Las Vegas. Since I had requests do some swimwear and athletic shots we tried them and they came out good so we inserted them into the new calendar.” - Natalie Gulbis, American athlete
  • The main thing is healthy eating, exercise, which I do for special events, like if it's Sports Illustrated, or the swim suit catalogue for Victoria's Secret, or my own calendar that I did for the year 2000.” - Heidi Klum, German model
  • Tomorrow is only found in the calendar of fools.” - Og Mandino, American author
  • You are right that I don't have a lot of spare time because I love to stay busy and keep my calendar full.” - Kiana Tom, American model
  • You have to calendar time for yourself even if you have no idea what you're going to do with it.” - Susie Bright, American writer

So, how about you? Do you use and/or enjoy your calendars. I would love to read your Feedback.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Curious about Fraud: Have You Experienced It? How Do You Feel about It? What Do You Do to Avoid It?

Definition of Fraud: Deception deliberately practiced with a view to gaining an unlawful or unfair advantage; artifice by which the right or interest of another is injured; injurious stratagem; deceit; trick. An intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of obtaining some valuable thing or promise from another. A trap or snare.

But I'm acutely aware that the possibility of fraud is even more prevalent in today's world because of the Internet and cell phones and the opportunity for instant communication with strangers.” - Armistead Maupin, American novelist

This week’s blog is about fraud. Why? Because this past week I was a victim and I want to warn as many people as possible so they won’t also become victims. It’s not any fun, but I realize that it can be avoided. I admit that I had become rather complacent and, like you, I tend to trust everyone. Oh, yes. I do have updated virus protection and a strong firewall. I am also careful about phishing. I don’t go to sites that ask for passwords and other information in my e-mails.

I have been working on and answering a variety of surveys. Some are interesting and fun, and some don’t warrant any extra attention. But, I did give information to a survey that supposedly would send you your free credit scores. I say “supposedly” because I did not receive them. And then, a couple of days ago, I noticed a strange addition to my bank account activity – a charge for $14.95.

When I stopped at the bank to find out what it was, I was told that it came from Mini Credit I looked it up on Google to discover hundreds of complaints from other victims. They suggested that this fraudulent group continues to recharge and recharge you again and again. I called the bank’s customer service number and cancelled my current debit card and will receive a new one in three or four business days. I hope that this is the end. I learned the importance of checking out everything on Google before becoming involved, and to become more diligent about sharing information.

When I looked up fraud quotations to share with you, I found a large number that address political fraud – including voter fraud – and corporate fraud. So, I will share only a few in this blog, that I think are interesting:
  • Things gained through unjust fraud are never secure.” – Sophocles, Greek poet
  • There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.” - Frederick William Robertson, English clergyman
  • Style is a fraud. I always felt the Greeks were hiding behind their columns.” - Willem de Kooning, American artist
  • Some people think that prayer just means asking for things, and if they fail to receive exactly what they asked for, they think the whole thing is a fraud.” - Gerald Vann, British theologian
  • Whoever is detected in a shameful fraud is ever after not believed even if they speak the truth.” – Phaedrus, Roman poet
  • Why, I ask, isn't it possible that advertising as a whole is a fantastic fraud, presenting an image of America taken seriously by no one, least of all by the advertising men who create it?” - David Riesman, American sociologist

And a few more:

  • Identity theft involving these cards is a growing form of white collar crime, facilitating illegal immigration, banking and accounting fraud, tax evasion, and other nefarious activities.” - Ron Lewis, American politician
  • Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” – Sophocles, Greek poet
  • With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half.” - Otto von Bismarck, German leader
  • Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.” - Jean-Luc Godard, French director
  • For the most part fraud in the end secures for its companions repentance and shame.” - Charles Simmons, British gymnast
  • The greatest threat to the constitutional right to vote is voter fraud.” - Lynn Westmoreland, American politician

Yes, after working on this blog article, I have become more skeptical than ever before. I hate the fact that there are so many scams on the exciting Internet and that we can’t be trusting of the majority of people. How about you? Have you had to deal with fraud? If so, do tell us about it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Curious about Dreams: What Are Yours? And, What Do They Mean to You?

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” - Jesse Owens, American athlete

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau, American author

I chose “dreams” for this week’s theme, because this is the time of year when I make plans for the upcoming year. Part of the planning involves setting and stating the goals and dreams I want to accomplish in the coming year. I know that several self development gurus scoff at dreams – they feel that they are just wishes and don’t have the power of goals. So, I was delighted and surprised by the positive quotations about dreams, along with the certainty of realizing them.

I am not even sharing my dreams with family members this year, because I fear there will be negative reactions. I am heeding American journalist Erma Bombeck’s quotation, “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”

I am also considering involvement with a different home business company that provides every member a coach. My coach is set to call me on Monday night to discuss my dreams and how to realize them. I am excited and ready!

Now, for some of the great and uplifting quotations:
  • All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” - Walt Disney, American cartoonist
  • All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.” - Elias Canetti, Swiss author
  • Dream manfully and nobly, and thy dreams shall be prophets.” - Robert Bulwer-Lytton, English statesman
  • Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet
  • Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.” - Marsha Norman, American dramatist
  • Dreams are necessary to life.” - Anais Nin, American author
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady
  • There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” - Robert Kennedy, American politician

And a few others with a different "twist”

  • Those who have compared our life to a dream were right... we were sleeping wake, and waking sleep.” - Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher
  • If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” - Les Brown, American businessman
  • In dreams begins responsibility.” - William Butler Yeats, Irish poet
  • Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.” - Tupac Shakur, American musician
  • So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” - Christopher Reeve, American actor
  • The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” - Paul Valery, French poet
  • Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.” - Terry Pratchett, English author
  • People need dreams, there's as much nourishment in 'em as food.” - Dorothy Gilman, American novelist

And, a couple more to chew upon this coming week and as you prepare for next year:

I don't design clothes, I design dreams.” - Ralph Lauren, American designer

I tell people I'm too stupid to know what's impossible. I have ridiculously large dreams, and half the time they come true.” - Debi Thomas, American athlete

What do you dream about? I wish you big, huge dreams that even more than half the time come true.