Should We Care What Others Think?

fishbowl

So I was talking with someone and they were telling me how self conscious they feel about what others think of them.


They said when they were in school, they were picked on, bullied, labeled, and made to feel different and excluded.


Whether it was their hair that was different or their lunchbox that got taken and hidden from them, the other kids were relentless. 


Now in life, they are still dealing with all those feelings.


Do they look right? 


Are they educated enough?


Is their profession something others will admire them for?


And on and on. 


And at a certain point, I said, “Isn’t it more important what you think about yourself than what others think about you?”


And they said, “Sure, but I still feel like I have to live up to other people’s standards. I don’t want them to think bad about me or talk behind my back!”


I understand this way of thinking is based on trauma from the past and feelings of inadequacy and not fitting in. 


And we can spend our whole lives chasing this illusive acceptance from others. 


Or we can decide to pursue we what believe in and love, and to find healing in the good we do, rather than the nods or winks from others that we receive. 


If we are trying to live up to somebody else’s arbitrary standards of perfection, cool, or being in the in-crowd, we may never be good enough.


Instead, if we pursue what we know is right from our moral compass and our heart and soul, and always do our best, we will attain the satisfaction that comes with healthy self-development and maturation. 


Seeking unconditional acceptance and love can definitely leave you feeling frustrated, self-hating, and even quite alone. 


But accepting yourself, developing yourself, and giving to G-d and to others will always leave you feeling fulfilled. 


Forget living as if your in the fishbowl, and strive for the Superbowl of achievement through incremental progress and goal attainment in your life. 

Start with making yourself proud and the others will come around. And if for some reason they don’t, it’s truly their deficiency and loss and not yours!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Love ’em OR Leave ’em

Marriage

An age old question, “Love ’em or leave ’em?”


I heard one young man say, “I love her…but I’m not in love with her.”


So what’s the difference?


He’s been seeing two girls, one is steady and stable, earns a good income, and is head over heels for him–when he is sick, she makes the chicken soup. 


Then there is this other girl, foreign, cool accent, good-looking, intelligent, has similar interests, but no serious income–however, there is some serious hots there. 


What do you do?


Girl #1 or #2.


Who’s the better bet–Ms. I love her or Gal I’m in love with her?


One women said that years ago, mothers would tell their daughters, “If they bring home a paycheck and look better than a baboon, marry them!”


Back then, marriages were often arranged by the parents or the village elders (“Matchmaker matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch…”).


These days, there is much more a sense of the need for compatibility, chemistry, and passion–I can’t live without him/her.


Without the mutual respect and passion, it might as well be in the bedroom like, “Let’s just get this over with” or something pathetic like that.  


In some ultra religious circles, I’ve heard some women sadly simply referred to as “baby machines.”


Yet on the flip side, I remember hearing this story when I was young about this famous model (it could have been about Bo Derek, but I can’t remember for sure), and they interviewed her husband who was known to have married her for her unbelievable gorgeous looks, and they asked him, “What would you do, if she had a terrible car accident, and was horribly disfigured?” And his cold, hard response was, “I would leave her!”


Ok, so looks are skin deep, and passion is important but doesn’t replace shared values, genuine commitment, and selfless giving to one another. 


Maybe the answer is it’s not 1 or 2, but 1 and 2–we need someone that will make the chicken soup when we are sick, but who we also find hot in the sack. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting Your Message Out With Impact

Car Lease

There is an old Jewish parable about the body parts arguing which is most important. 


Each makes it’s case that without that part, we just couldn’t function. (No jokes here now!)


But in the end, the tongue that harnesses the power of speech demonstrates that it is most important, because it is through our words that we may live or die. 


– Say the right thing–something smart and influence the masses–and you can change or even save the world.


– Say the wrong thing–something stupid, inflammatory, and damaging–and it can literally mean your or someone else’s life.


From an early age, we come to recognize that communication is so important to our success. 


Hey, I need a bottle or diaper changed…please!


Or answer the (interview) questions well, and you can land yourself in the best schools and jobs and even with the best ladies. 🙂


Those that succeed with communication, can we make themselves and their positions heard, understood, and accepted.


What are some common communication strategies people employ?


Well as we’ve all learned, it’s not always the one who is the boldest, screams the loudest, or repeats themselves the most that wins the argument–although at times, that too can work when force of debate, undeterred passion, and a little crazy can hammer the points home. 


Having the best laid out and most rationale argument–some people will rightfully be influenced by logic and common sense. 


Sincerity, integrity, honesty, and appealing to people’s gut and emotions–this certainly goes a long way as many people are driven by their feelings as well as their instincts and genuine character assessment of others. 


Making people confront what scares the hell out of them–fear is a big motivator for action and everyone is afraid of something and usually many things. 


Oh, of course, the religious argument that “It’s what G-d wants” and there will be fire and brimstone if you don’t do it that way–well reward and punishment, heaven and hell, divine justice–that certainly will move masses. 


“The pen is mightier than the sword.”


For those who can effectively harness the power of their speech and intellect, the sky is the limit. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Traits To Be Prez

The personality to be President:


1. Experience, Diplomacy


2. Direct, Honest, Strong, Results-oriented


3. Passionate, Dedication, Survival of the Nation


A short interview with Andy Blumenthal


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

A Dumb Dumb World

Dumb World

So I took this photo on the Metro in Washington, D.C.


One person is on their “smart” phone, and the other is reading a book called “Our Dumb World.”


This is a contrast supreme. and I was intrigued. 


I couldn’t exactly ask what the man was doing on his smartphone… but presumably email, texting, news, a video, maybe even some gaming.


The other person reading about the dumb world–what’s that all about?


So I looked this book up, and apparently the satarists at The Onion make some laughing-stock fun in their “fake” atlas of the world. 


So stupidity is out there every day…


But stupid isn’t the worst part of it…”stupid is as stupid does”– not sure you can blame someone for doing dumb things when they’re done innocently and by accident.  


But what is really bad is when dumb things are done with intent and malice–for power or to get what you want when you want it.


Leadership often treats the masses as the dumb people who can be fooled some, if not all, of the time. 


But people are smarter than you think, eventually seeing through the amalgam of lies, deceit, and spin–thrown at them through the old world media as well as in social media. 


That type of dumb becomes a foolish legacy–not a laughing matter. 


Real, ongoing passion and care for the people and the progress of our nation within the larger world context…we can see it in the eyes, hear it in the words, feel it in our bones–it’s tangible and it lifts us to achieve greatness.


Those things are smart–and what we need more of in the “real” world atlas. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Death To PowerPoint

Death By PowerPoint

Ok, we’ve all heard of “Death by PowerPoint” (well, I’m advocating death to PowerPoint). 


It’s the unfortunate occurrence that happens when a speaker presents a wad too many slides (OMG, some people seem to go on and on forever –get them off that podium)!


Or when they present too much information, too little information, or just don’t know what or how to present at all. 


Their (slide) presentations leave the audience basically wanting to just kill themselves, if not the inconsiderate S.O.B. speaker.


But aside from lousy speakers, you have a crappy presentation mechanism, which is PowerPoint slides.


Hello out there, tell the truth…


Can any of you remember much of a darn thing that anyone has ever conveyed to you by PowerPoint?


Think of webinars, conferences, and meetings galore with slide after slide of 2-dimensional boredom.


Is your head hurting you yet or are you just glad you can’t remember any of it–natural selection of memory saves you the pain…why thank you.


Then consider what someone has told you in great thoughtfulness, confidence, or with genuine passion, caring and sincerity.


– Perhaps, the wisdom of a parent or teacher who took you aside to tell you a life’s lesson.


– Or a Rabbi or Priest who shared with you something spiritual and uplifting to guide you on your path.


– How about someone in the office who was passionate about an idea or project and who motivated you as well.


Most of the communication between people that really means something never makes it to a PowerPoint slide.


Imagine for a moment, if something meaningful was conveyed to you by slide presentation–you would think, how ridiculous it is to use PowerPoint for that?


– I love you–will you marry me?


– We’re having a baby, how wonderful. 


– Just got that promotion, yes!


– So and so is sick or just passed away, how terrible. 


PowerPoint just doesn’t happen here in real life–thank G-d!


And no matter how much organizations such as TED would like to make a (show)business out of presentations using PowerPoint…(ah, nope).


Real communication happens when one person talks from the heart to another person who receives it in their heart. 


The greatest orators in history…never used a slide presentation.


Other presentation products like Prezi tried to take slides to the next level with a storytelling format using a virtual canvas, but that didn’t pan out to well either…see many Prezis lately (and without getting dizzy)?


PowerPoint slides, and the like, are for distraction…now I don’t have to pay that much attention to the rambling, numbnut speaker anymore.


The bottom line…we don’t listen with our eyes!


Rather, we hear words of wisdom and see when someone is genuine, sincere and worth listening to.


The rest is PowerPoint… 😉

For Everyone That Loves Reading

Books
I thought this was a great picture for everyone that loves reading.



Whether you read from traditional paper books, newspapers, magazines, and journals, or you prefer reading from a tablet, smartphone, eReader, or browser. 



Reading expands our mind, challenges our thinking, and builds on our knowledge. 



Here’s to reading…just about everything you can get your hands on. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Talent Function

Integrity
I really like this quote from Warren Buffet. 



Three traits to look for in recruiting the best people:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Energy
  3. Integrity

But what good are the first two without the third one?



So Integrity first (or squared for emphasis)…then intelligence plus the energy to use it plentifully and you have yourself an organizational winner!



Related to this, I saw someone on the train today with a tee shirt (from Sweet Green…not sure why this is their slogan) that said:



Passion 



   X



Purpose



This seemed like a good motto to me define the energy (#2) in Buffet’s top 3 items for recruiting. 



With a clear intent plus the compelling feeling to achieve it, you got energy to apply.



The resulting function: 



Talent = f {Intelligence, Energy (or Passion x Purpose), Integrity Squared}



Now that’s a recruiting formula we can all follow–thank you Mr. Buffet. 😉



(Source Photo: LinkedIn)

Up Up And Away

Had a wonderful time with Rebecca Blumenthal today.

We went air ballooning over Las Vegas.

I was surprised at how large the balloons were and how easy the ride was–didn’t even feel it when we lifted off the ground and before I knew it, we were 4,000 feet above sea level.

I shot the video standing in the balloon as it was being inflated–never knew you could do that!

And I took the photo of the balloon with the Vegas Strip in the background–you can see the Stratosphere on the left along with the other fancy hotels and sites.

The view from above was beautiful, the air outside was cool, but under the burners of the balloon we were warm and toasty.

Sheldon Grauberger was a terrific aeronaut and guide today and you could see, completely, the total passion he had for this sport.

He told us how he actually trains others for free–he “pays it forward,” since he was taught almost 20 years ago similarly.

The sky, mountains, city, breeze, and peace and quiet floating overhead was so amazing.

I sort of felt like the young boy, Pascal, in the movie, The Red Balloon.

He dreams of a better future and is carried off by the balloons into the wild blue yonder to live happily ever after, please G-d. 😉

(Source Photo and Video: Andy Blumenthal)

The G-d Watch – Live With The End In Mind

I used to have this manager who was within a couple of years of retirement.

She kept a jar of beans on her desk.

Each bean represented one day of work.

And every day, she would take one bean out of the jar.

This was her way of counting down to the end of her career (and the beginning of her retirement).

Anyway, trust me when I say, that we were counting down too–even without the beans. 🙂

At work, some people may even say of someone just hanging on or just hanging-out waiting to retire that they are Retired In Place (RIP)–a pun, on rest in peace.

Uh, not funny, but when people know the end is coming (either for career or their life), they often change their behavior–they focus on what what’s coming next.

With the end of career, perhaps they are imaging sunny skies, palm trees, and margaritas in retirement.

And with end of life, people are often thinking about judgement day–and how they spent their lives: in love or hate, purposeful or without direction, doing good or taking advantage.

So it’s very interesting to me how this company, Tikker (funny name, as a watch often makes the sound tick-tock, but also a person’s heart is referred to as a ticker), developed a watch (the Death Watch) that not only provides the time, but actually counts down–years, months, days, and even hours, minutes, and seconds–not that they can be so precise–to your expected death.

The watch is supposed to give people new perspective and encourage them to live a better life.

Someone who is going to purchase the watch fills out a questionnaire with information on family health history, age gender, and race, and then they get their estimated date of death, for the countdown!

With the DOD (date of death), we now know what we are dealing with–for better or worse–and of course, subject to change, by the One Above.

But like the boss looking to retirement who took out a bean a day from the jar, we too can look towards our own mortality–not in a sad way, but in a fundamental human way–one that guides us, with the end in mind, to make better decisions for the time we have in life.

Despite, what almost every young person seems to believe, we are not immortal–and the stupid things we do when we are young or throughout of lives comes back to haunt us (whether smoking, drinking, overeating, or other bad stuff).

And so we must choose to live every moment, not as if we have forever, but rather with purpose, passion, and poetry–until the clock runs out on all of us, as it inevitably will.