Hopefully, All’s Well That Ends Well

I liked this Hebrew sign that says (translated):

When the end is good, all is good. 


Or as we commonly say:

All’s well that end’s well. 


Lot of truth to this. 


And there are so many languages that talk to this.

I remember my father used to say it in German as well.


When things end well, it’s as if everything went well. And when things end badly, it’s as if everything was bad. 


The human mind seems to focus on the last thing (and forgets virtually everything leading up to it). 


Perhaps, we justify the means with the end (i.e. all the time and effort leading up to it). 


Or maybe we recap our lives as either a success or failure by how things ended up. 


In 20/20 hindsight, we can see the consequences of our actions.


– Was all the hard work worth it?


– Did we even focus on the right priorities and goals in life?


– Were the choices and decisions we made well-founded? 


– What was the impact on ourselves, our loved ones, and more broadly?


We look for meaning and purpose in our lives, and hopefully in the end when we look back, we are blessed to see that it was all for the good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Dark Side

Thought this was a fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal’s Review Section called, “The Dark Triad and The Evolution of Jerks.”


Antisocial Personality Disorder is where people exhibit three primary symptoms:


1) Narcissism – Excessive focus on oneself.

2) Machiavellianism – Manipulating others for one’s own gain.

3) Psychopathy – Overall disregard for others, including impaired empathy and remorse


Together, these 3 traits make up “The Dark Triad” or perhaps they  come across as being from the dark side, because of how badly they can treat others. 


Studies have shown that these three traits are positively correlated with one another, and that more than 10% of the population has these. 


In reading a little more online at WebMD, I learned that the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is that while they share similar traits, a psychopath typically acts as if they have no conscience, while a sociopath acts with a weak conscience. 


“At worst, they’re cold, calculating killers,” while at the less extreme, they may be okay with hurting others to get what they want. 


– Moreover, while psychopaths are more cold-hearted and calculating,” sociopaths are “hot-headed” and “act without thinking how others will be affected.”


Another study found that people with these traits often “experienced low-quality or irregular parental care.” Thus a harsh or unstable childhood may cause these symptoms. 


Whether these people come from the dark side, are going to the dark side, or just are scary and hurtful, it is important to be able to recognize who you may be dealing with.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Keep A Cool Temperament

So this was amazing. 


I was working with someone for a number of weeks/months. 


All of a sudden, I got a complete blow off email from them that said they are done and they wished me well in a sort of very sarcastic and even contemptuous way–like a real f*ck off!

Were they just being nasty or trying to pick a fight or something?


First, I was taken aback and honestly hurt–like what the heck happened that they showed their true strips…did I miss it all along. 


I showed my wife their email, and she read it the same way, and said “What an asshole!”


I continued to hold my mouthpiece and feelings as I contemplated how I would respond. 


I have to admit that some choice words and wishes back to them definitely came to mind. 


But I said to myself, “Hold, hold, hold!”


It wasn’t easy not to respond in kind–lash back out at them–and even then some for good measure. 


No, that isn’t the way. 


You can rise above this. 


I kept my mouth shut and literally controlled my reactions.


Well, lo’ and behold, I thought I would never hear from this person again the way they spoke to me, but then a few days later,  I received another email where apparently they rethought what they did.


It didn’t have to come from me to them to “set them straight!”


Their own conscience seemed to have played on them and they came to their own senses about how they behaved and spoke. 


I learned from this that it is critical to maintain your composure and keep your cool under all circumstances, no matter how trying. 


Don’t stoop to their level–you rise above it!


Sometimes, the other person may just surprise you and rise back up too and do the right thing in the end. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The 3 P’s Do NOT Matter

So I heard Joel Osteen give a great speech. 


He said that it’s not any of these things that make a person worthwhile:


1. Possessions

2. Performance

3. Popularity


But rather, it is a person’s inner self and soul that determine their value. 


Each person is a son or daughter of G-d.


I agree that our personal worth is a matter of how we act as human beings in choosing right over wrong and good over evil; and it is not based on how much we have, how successful we have become, or how much we are liked. 


In the end, a person must return to their maker alone to answer for their actions.  


You can’t take anything with you.


Materialism and vanity all fade away and only your spiritual inner self will pass over and live on.  


So how will you spend your time and attention–chasing vanity of vanities or doing good in all your words and deeds? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Living Your Values

So I had this great conversation today with someone about values.


Thinking about what I really value and whether I am living consistently with these…


For me, I was able to clarify for myself these critical values:


1) Being a good person and influence in the world (having a positive impact on people and ideas)


2) Being a good family man (a loving husband, father, and previously son)


3) Being spiritual and serving G-d (living selflessly for my Maker and not selfishly for myself)


4) Being a hard worker (living productively and not as a laggard or sloth)


5) Being a balanced person (living along the “golden path” or “middle of the road”–not an extremist)


6) Being a generally healthy person (living a lifestyle that includes activity, exercise, good nutrition, and no smoking, drugs, or excessive drinking)


What I realized is that when I need to let my values guide me every moment of every day. 


This ultimately means my success and happiness! 


Being what I think that I am supposed to be or what others would want me to be, just doesn’t work–it’s a strategy for failure. 


My father used to tell me:

“Let your conscience be your guide”  (that and the Torah, of course)


This is the answer to a lot of questions that I have in my life–about what to do with my life and what decisions to make.


Values–driven by conscience and integrity–that’s where I want to go next and next. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Listen Better, Empathize More

So I am working on myself to improve and be a better person.


Recently, I had a number of experiences with people telling me of some very trying circumstances.


And at first, I found myself listening and talking to them about it, but then my mind started to get distracted by other things going on and other problems in my life that I needed to deal with.


So after we finished speaking about their respective family, work, and even health problems, I felt that I may have cut off some of these conversations too early or without enough empathy. 


After clearing my head, I thought to myself, I really want to listen better and empathize more. 


And so I went back and did just that. 


I found each person (in person, by phone, or email), and I said that I felt sorry for what they were going through, and I asked more questions and tried to really just be in the moment and there for them.


They seemed to each really appreciate me taking the time and effort to come speak with them and that I cared. 


I know that I am human and make mistakes, but I want to continually grow and do better in life. 


In this case, listening better and empathizing more–it felt great and I learned to listen to my conscience and do more when I think it’s right! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Derangement of Conscience

Charlottesvile.jpeg

Watching the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists march in Charlottesville, VA yesterday made me sick.


They represent the worst of what human beings have to offer–hate, bigotry, and violence. 


The event was culminated when a car driven by one of these hate-mongers apparently intentionally slammed into a crowd of anti-protester and killed a 32-year old woman  and injured 19 others–what a sick, sick soul!


This miserable event just 2 days shy of 2-months from when Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and 4 others were shot at a baseball field in Alexandria, VA by another nut job from the alt-left. 

 

Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) said it right when he stated on national TV last evening:

“The hate and division must stop, and it must stop right now.”


But as we face large, looming enemies on the international scene — like dangerous Axis of Evil, North Korea and Iran — with weapons of mass destruction aimed at our shores and cities, all we can do is hate and fight internally.


What is wrong with this country now — when so many seem to have abandoned personal integrity and national unity — and shoot verbally and physically at each other instead of at the real enemies that seek to lay waste to our beloved homeland of the free and the brave?


Soon the missiles will reign down and the hate will smelter in the derangement of conscience. 


(Source Photo: Twitter)