Be Generous

May 2, 2016


 Be generous!  Give to those whom you love; give to those who love you; give to the fortunate; give to the unfortunate; yes—give especially to those to whom you don’t want to give.

Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them.  You, and you alone, can give them.  You will receive abundance for your giving.  The more you give—the more you will have!

Give a smile to everyone you meet (smile with your eyes)—and you’ll smile and receive smiles.  Give a kind word (with a kindly thought behind the word)—you will be kind and receive kind words.

Give honor, credit and applause (the victor’s wreath)—you will be honorable and receive credit and applause.

Give time for a worthy cause (with eagerness)—you will be worthy and richly rewarded.

Give hope (the magic ingredient for success)—you will have hope and be made hopeful.

Give happiness (a most treasured state of mind)—you will be happy and be made happy.

Give encouragement (the incentive to action)—you will have courage and be encouraged.

Give cheer (the verbal sunshine)—you’ll be cheerful and cheered.

Give a pleasant response (the neutralizer of irritants)—you will be pleasant and receive pleasant responses.

Give good thoughts (nature’s character builder)—you will be good and the world will have good thoughts for you.

-W. Clement Stone

If your parents are still alive, give them the gift of your time. Lots of it. You’ll  never regret whatever you think you are sacrificing in its place. Regrets after they are gone will not soothe the loss.

Decoding the Path to Success

Heroes to Guide Us

April 15, 2016


From an early time in our lives most of us have Heroes, Role Models. They come to us from a variety of sources and for a variety of reasons. We consciously select some role models. Some are more accidental. Authors, artists, military heroes, family members, athletes, political figures, all are among the sources from which we commonly select when we are making a conscious choice.

Some heroes may be more accidental. They have actually left a mark in our lives, but they remain in our subconscious. We are less aware of their lesson…..….Until we need them.

Heroes are pivotal people and events that have helped shape our lives. We lean on them for support when we fail or need a boost. We use their example to adjust our flagging attitude.

As young boys in west Texas we had athletes for heroes. Football and baseball players were mine. I knew all about them, watched them on TV (we had 3 channels back then), read about their games, knew their stats. I tried to be like them on my playing fields.

If they did things a certain way, then I tried the same thing. If I could just be like them, I thought, then I would be successful. It was simple.

And….Time happened. I wasn’t the athlete my heroes had been. I moved on.

Like all of us I piled up life’s experiences, acquaintances, and events. People moved in and out of my life. And…….They left impressions.

Some of those marks I didn’t see for quite a few years. Maybe I just didn’t see the importance of them being there. I didn’t consciously see their message….. Until I needed them!

When did I need them?….. At times when my attitude was really bad. At times when I had failed. At times when I needed a boost. Interestingly… my wife tells me that when we ‘need’ a cat one always shows up. I guess heroes and guides are like that.

!!!But my experiences and my research show that they are not accidental. They have been there. Waiting for us to see them. Waiting for us to find them again.

All of us will have falls and failures in our lives. We will make huge mistakes… and slip a bit. Our attitudes and outlooks on life will flag from time to time. All of these, and more, are why we look to role models and heroes for examples of how to stay the course, how to succeed, and    how to keep life in balance.

Maybe we will think of Thomas Edison at times when we want to quit. Maybe we will think of Ghandi or Martin Luther King for inspiration. Maybe we will think of Mother Teresa for steadfast beliefs… or John Wayne for bravado.

Whomever we look to it will be because at that moment we need support and confirmation.

You have heroes and role models in your lives, whether you realize them or not, and whether you have consciously called on them…or not. They are there. I enjoy helping audiences explore the presence of their role models. And look at examples of how they help us.

I encourage you to make a conscious effort to recall your heroes. Then use their examples to guide your attitude at the times when you need them the most.

Why do we want to know about role models? …..we could probably list a lot of reasons, but here are a few that I find are relevant every day:

It is important for you as a leader to know about your Heroes for your personal guidance.

It is important for you to know about Heroes so you can guide your Team and help them identify theirs.


It is important for you to get the information today and pass it on. This is information we pass on to our team, customers, suppliers, friends, peers.

It is not ours to keep!……Having the knowledge of anything is important. But passing it along to others is what builds you.

Helps you grow.

It Builds your legacy.

It Solidifies your place as a valuable Resource and a trusted Guide.

When I give talks on Role Models we look at Where to find Heroes, and Why we need them. We acknowledge our Conscious and Subconscious Heroes. There is a formula from Decoding the Path to Success that puts everything into perspective. And we learn about the Legacy and responsibility of being a Hero to another. That’s a huge one. Finally, we explore how Heroes help us perform Self-Evaluations.

Look for those significant people and events in your life. I ‘realized’ two within the past 5 years that had been there since my pre-teen years. I just simply had not consciously acknowledged the lessons from these two people. But I am confident they have been there to guide me.

Decoding the  Path to Success

Which Comes First, Success or Fulfillment

April 10, 2016


                                 LEARN TO THINK & ACT LIKE A CEO

Most of us have it backwards. We tell ourselves some version of this story: “Once I make enough money or find that perfect mate or land that institutional client, I’ll be happy.” We believe that outer success will naturally lead to personal satisfaction. But the tabloids remind us that this is a myth every time they provide a glimpse of the rich, famous, and miserable.

That’s not to say that material pursuits should be disregarded, but don’t expect a pot of joy at the end of that rainbow. If anything, the inverse is true: happiness leads to material success because it informs your attitude. It even influences your luck.

In his book, The Luck Factor, Dr. Richard Wiseman describes a study in which he asked students to complete a series of personality tests that characterized their worldview as optimistic or pessimistic. Then both types were instructed to get a latte at a local coffee shop. Their instructions, of course, were part of a setup. Wiseman taped a crisp $5 bill on the sidewalk just outside the coffee shop, planted a “millionaire” at a table inside, and situated himself so he could surreptitiously monitor the scenario.

The subject who tested as an optimist spotted the cash and sat at the table with the millionaire. He struck up a conversation and before long they were exploring a mutual business venture.

The pessimist walked into the coffee shop without taking notice of the money. She sat next to the millionaire but kept to herself. After all, what possible good could come from talking to strangers?

Wiseman’s study is a good reminder that good fortune favors those who don’t wait for good fortune to inform their life experience. So, if you’re interested in financial success, smile more often, talk to strangers, and consider the possibility that a joyful outlook tips the scales in your favor. You’ll find that the cart actually follows the horse.(Credit for this great article goes to someone long forgotten. My apologies to the author, but thanks.)

Decoding the Path to Success


The Train of Life

March 23, 2016


At birth we board the train and meet our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.

As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.

Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey.

Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train.

(I would  like to credit the author, but I don’t know who it is. Hope you enjoy the message, Ed)
Decoding the Path of Success

Growing Good Corn

March 14, 2016

Learn to Think & Act Like a CEO

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself.
Proverbs 11:24-25

(The author is unknown, the story is timeless)

Decoding the Path to Success

Create Your Abundance

March 8, 2016

Among your daily routines add this. Just repeat it to yourself.

All that I need and desire…comes to me. 

All that I have …I give away. 

All that I give…returns to me tenfold.

What’s Important

February 25, 2016

“Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car. I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying.  And just before he died …. he licked the tears off my face.” (I saw this quote and felt it had to be sent out)

Funny, we’re all hung up about non-sense things like whose team won what game in a who-gives-a-crud league of punks. Sometimes the important things are right there….in front of us. 

Learning from the Renaissance

February 10, 2016

The excerpt below is from  and HBR article entitled:

Renaissance Florence better model for Innovation than Silicon Valley

I have liberally taken from the text to demonstrate a reminder for all of us. We can experience similar upheavals and devastation in our lives. They can be temporary setbacks or something a little more catastrophic. The emphasized portion in bold struck me as something each of us can use as a lesson. It’s the old deal about “falling down and getting up.” I thought that if something as magnificent as the Renaissance sprung from a horrible catastrophe, maybe we can do the same thing when we experience Life’s setbacks, tragedies and challenges. Let me know what you think.

Renaissance Florence: The Italian city-state produced an explosion of great art and brilliant ideas, the likes of which the world has not seen before or since. This hothouse of innovation offers lessons as relevant and valuable today as they were 500 years ago. Here are a few of them.(the article lists several and this is the one I singled out)

Disaster creates opportunities. Florence reminds us that even devastating events can yield surprising benefits. The city’s Renaissance blossomed only a few decades after the Black Death decimated the city, and in part because of it. Horrible as it was, the plague shook up the rigid social order, and that new fluidity led directly to artistic and intellectual revolution. Likewise, Athens flourished after it was sacked by the Persians. A period of upheaval almost always precedes a creative awakening. Innovators must internalize this lesson. They need to constantly ask themselves, “What good can come from this? Where is the opportunity hidden amid the distress?” ….Don’t aim to restore some glorious — and likely illusory — past. Instead, leverage catastrophe to create something entirely new.




Lessons from my Bird Feeder

January 22, 2016

The snow, ice and sleet are blessing us with their presence. Trading off one to the other. The world is a calm snow white. My little birds are on the feeders. I don’t know, 30  or 40 finches, sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, dove, juncos. On a near tree limb sat a male cardinal, a rufus-sided towhee and male bluebird. They were there for only a few seconds. You couldn’t script anything that pretty.

And I can see the reddish-purple of the house finches more brilliantly. And the yellow-rumped warbler shows off, the junco’s dark body with a white stomach looks like he sat in white paint. The cardinal is a deeper red than I recall. The bluebird!? Well, he’s a majestic sight.

They flit, chirp, fly off and come back, jump up to the feeder, fly away. Constant motion….then I saw it! How could I have missed it all this time? It’s always been there. Waiting for me to see it I guess. It’s the contrast.

Against the snow each of the birds is more brilliant. They stand out just a little more. Sometimes people and events need a contrasting backdrop. Something to help us see clearly. Learn the lesson. And there are some things that just take a while to see. Maybe if we work at finding that contrast it’ll help. Maybe it’s not always black or white, on or off. Maybe we just need to look a little longer. I’m sure  it’s there.

They’re back now. I better go feed them.

A Life Interrupted

January 12, 2016

He  lied about his age at 16 so he could join  in the fight.

He was captured by the enemy, subjected to and withstood the most horrendous treatment ever given to prisoners.

He buried his fellow soldiers whose bodies could not withstand the torture.

He died on Sunday, 1/10/16. Mr. A was a member of The Generation. He was a victim and survivor of the Bataan Death March. Unspeakable, demonic treatment was the order of the day for those prisoners. But he came home, settled into his life, raised his family. He didn’t ask for more. Just came back from war and went on with Living.

A survivor of Bataan was a family friend when I was growing up. He wrote me a thank you note when I was commissioned into the Army in 1972. He was glad to see someone joining vs. protesting. That wasn’t exactly de rigueur for the time. Here was a man who had been through what he experienced, yet he took the time to write me. I guess that’s just the way they were.

Like our soldiers today, and of all time, Mr. A simply wanted others to know why they can enjoy the freedoms we have. And like other veterans, their passions are deep. They don’t dwell on their story too much. Something like Mr. A’s experience is too painful. Just better left as is.

Mr. A was 91 years young. A 16 year old boy with life interrupted. But he put in another 75 years. Appreciative of his freedoms. Freedoms he had won for himself. And for us.

Rest in peace our good and faithful soldier. Thank you for a job well done.

Signed, The USA



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