Wherever You Go

So my father used to say this idea about dealing with life’s challenges:

“Wherever you go, that’s where you are!”

If you think about it for a moment, it really is very profound. 


Some people think that they can run away from their problems.


Move here, there, everywhere. 


Change schools, jobs, spouses, whatever. 


But you can’t run away from yourself. 


Wherever you run, you’re still you!


So you need to fix yourself, your problems, your life. 


Yes, sometimes your in a place is bad, a bad fit, the people are bad, the chemistry is bad, the circumstances are bad. 


And then change can certainly be a welcome and good thing.


But when you change the external, the internal has to keep developing and changing as well, so that we learn and grow to be better people.  


Change your place is not a substitute for changing and growing yourself–that is the only constant with change. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Telling The Next Guy

Boxing.jpeg

This was one for the books today.


Obama tells Trump that he needs to stand up to Putin (i.e. don’t wimp out)!

Uh, who’s the guy who has been in office the last 8 years? 


An during those years, our standing and national security has suffered from disengagement and utter weakness at virtually every turn of the globe. 


– We let red lines be violated in Syria and watched our Ambassador murdered in Libya


– Russia expanded into Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria, and now it’s looking to Cuba and Vietnam.


– China has been rapidly militarizing into the South China Sea and expanding it’s economic influence in Africa.


– We made the “worst deal in history” in Iran that allows them to eventually go nuclear!


North Korea continues to expand it’s nuclear arsenal and ballistic missile technology. 


– The Philippines told the President to “go to h*ll” and threatens to break from the U.S. militarily. 


– U.S. backed off support for democracy in Egypt after the military coup that overthrew Morsi


Venezuela expelled our top diplomat and 2 other embassy officials ratcheting up hostilities with the U.S. 


Cyberattacks have plagued the U.S. and we haven’t been able to defend ourselves. 


ISIS has demonstrated success and our strategy has not made them less dangerous and lethal. 


– After years of mounting terrorism, our leaders still refuse to even say the words, “radical Islam.”


I’m not sure why people are so tempted to give advice and preach to others, when they themselves have so many failings. 


I think it’s certainly okay to humbly share our experiences and lessons learned if we have any. 


But perhaps when you don’t have the best record on something, as they old saying goes, you should refrain from throwing large stones in your very fragile glass houses!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Two Days–Two Scary Statistics

American Flag Scarf

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)


Happy Presidents’ Day today!


The picture is of a snoozing guy on the Washington, D.C. metro with a scarf that looks like the American Flag.


Scary statistic of the day: 


Robots and artificial intelligence are forecast to push unemployment to 50% by 2045


Is that a good thing because people will have more time for leisure?


No says the experts…work gives live meaning, and without it we’ll all be sleeping our time away on the Metro. 

Valentine's Day

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Valentine’s Day yesterday!

This photo is of luscious chocolate covered strawberries from Godiva. 

Scary statistic of the day:

About 1 in 5 people over the age of 25 (about 42 million people) has never been married, and the median age for marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men and rising.

Is this a good thing since people are perhaps further along in their education and career then and more ready to get married and have this as a priority?

No, says the research, since 50% believe that we are simply not better off with marriage and children as priorities.

_________

With these two holidays and statistics taken together, we are heading towards a very jobless and loveless future.

Andy’s advice for the young folks (who of course won’t listen because they are young):

1) Get married and get bliss!

2) Get a technology degree and get employed!

You can have a job and a spouse…little human-robot children to follow. 😉

Keep ‘Em Clean

Passwords
My friend’s mother used to say to always make sure to wear clean underpants in case you end up at at the doctor or in the hospital. 

 
I guess that’s some good advice.
 
In that context, I thought this was a funny post on facebook about how passwords are like underpants:
 
“Change them often, keep them private, and never share them with anyone.”
 
Maybe you could add to this list as follows:
 
– Make them difficult to guess at. 
 
– Don’t use the same one for every occassion.
 
– Never put them out there in a conspicuous way. 
 
– And require that you change them at least every 90 day. 😉
 
(Source Photo: Facbook)

BIG Smile

Smile
This was a nice big smile on the base of a light pole. 



It’s funny, aside from the smile, the mouth on this reminds me of something very smart my daughter, Rebecca told me the other day.



She said, “Don’t let your tongue be bigger than your mouth.



In other words, don’t be a big mouth, watch your words, speak carefully and thoughtfully. 



Some very good advice, probably for most of us out there. 



Mr. Light pole, I have a feeling you don’t overdo it with this, and maybe that’s why you’re smiling so much. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Let It Be

Let It Be

I remember as a kid, when I was around 10 years old, we moved, and I had to change schools, and there was an adjustment period.

My father used to tell me a joke in the morning before school about these two grandmothers kibbitzing.

And one tells the other about how her grandson hates going to school.

She goes on to say, “The students hate him, the teachers hate, it’s just horrible.”

The other grandmother replies, “Well then, why doesn’t he just tell the principal?”

The first grandmother answers, “He is the principal!”

So this was a lesson to me about how no one has it so perfect in life–whether you’re the kid, teacher, or even the principal, everyone has their challenges (and they may actually not look all that differently in the larger context of things).

Basically, in life we must work to make things better where we can, but also have to accept the things we cannot change (and thank G-d, people are pretty adaptable, expecially given some time).

While, we can try to divine the future by asking “What’s going to be?”

Generally speaking, we can’t fully know the answers in life before we even have the questions.

We’ve got to take it as it come, where we can–do our best to make a tangible, positive difference in the world–and with the rest, “let it be.”

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Let Debbie Downer Take You Down

Saturday Night Live has a spoof about Negative Nellie’s and they call her Debbie Downer.

We all know people like this who are the Voice of Doom and the Doctor No’s.

Whatever the topic is–they’ve been there, done it, and have seen it fail–“We tried that before,” “That’s not the way we do things here,” “You just don’t understand,” “It will never work.”

They see danger and bad everywhere and in everything, even in the face of positive and promise.

These are the people who are obstinate, the naysayers, and are against change at all cost–they fear it or just don’t want to deal with it.

BusinessWeek has an interesting perspective on this–how even these people can be employed to have a beneficial impact on projects–by having them tell you everything that can go wrong, so you can take steps to plan and mitigate against these.

Some people only want to have positive people around them–“yes men,” who only tell them how smart and right they are all the time.

However, the best leaders don’t want kiss ups and brown nosers, but rather value”truth tellers,” who will provide them solid advice and guidance on issues, tell them when they think something is wrong or risky, and even take an opposing point of view or play devil’s advocate.

I remember when I was asked about whether a certain project was going to meet a very near deadline, and I said point blank, “Do you want me just to say yes or do you want me to tell you the truth?”

I got a big smile to that and the appreciation that I was real and truthful and there to make a difference and not just be another lump on the log.

The point is not to be a Debbie Downer or a brown noser, but to be an Honest Joe or Jane. 😉