Make The Oy Vey Go Away

Flower.jpeg

What a wonderful way to make the oy veys go away…


This amazing beautiful flower.


Made by G-d Almighty.


See the perfection of the geometry and the shape that springs forth from mother earth.


Open your eyes to the magnificence and brightness of the colors. 


Feel in your mind’s eye the soft texture of the petals and droplets. 


Breath in the smell of freshness and new air into your expanding lungs. 


Yes, whatever ails you…


Make this for yourself a renewal of spirit and of flesh. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

(Not) Too Hard!

Hard.jpeg

So there is someone that I think the world of. 


They are what we call “good people.”


But like all of us, have challenges and difficulties in life. 


Maybe their load is heavier and more taxing. 


But it is what G-d has given them to bear and to work with. 


In talking with this person, at one point, they said, “It’s too hard!”


And I think we all feel that way sometimes.


Bret Stephens quoted Bernard Lewis in the Wall Street Journal today, that in trying times, some ask, “Who did this to us?” While others ask, “What did we do wrong?”

Maybe the question should be, “What can we do now?”


While some throw in the towel and can’t go on or go on in a bad way, others may get angry and bitter at their lot in life.


But yet like my inspiration, Rocky, some get up and fight for what they want. 


The down is only a temporary down, but not a knockout. 


The pain stings and hurts and leaves us blurry-eyed and dizzy, but our desire to succeed pushes the adrenaline through our coursing veins, and we get up again with even a greater determination. 


“The eye of the tiger, the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenges of our rivals…”


I take responsibility. I take accountability. I want to overcome. 


I shall prevail in life and even ultimately in death, my life will mean something to somebody. 


The end is the beginning again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Attitudinal Fix

Good

So attitude goes a long way in shaping how we do in life. 


For some people, the glass is half full, and for others it’s half empty–it’s of course, just how you look at it. 


One colleague told me this week: 

Life is 10% what happens 

and 

90% how you react to it.”

I suppose we see that with so many people who have unbelievable daunting challenges in life, yet somehow they manage to put on a smile or give a thumbs up regardless, and just do what they need to do–they are troopers, survivors, and generally people of incredible character and caliber. 


These are the heroes that we can look up to. 


“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”–and the going refers to doing what needs to get done, and not running away from your duty scared or not knowing what to do. 

Need to be courageous, resourceful, loyal, and giving to others.  


Stop the whining, the crying, the self pity, the questioning “why me”–what will any of that help?


Fight, fight, fight–that’s what we’re here for. 


Until our last breath, we can still make a difference. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Measure Of A Person

The Measure Of A Person

Another candidate for picture of the week.

This guy is wearing “tape measure” suspenders.

Oh, how fashionable!

While the true measure of a person is their good deeds and relationships (to man and G-d), perhaps the suspenders is a reminder that we should take the time to stop and measure ourselves both quantitatively and qualitatively in our lives.

As we approach the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, a time of introspection and judgement, it is a good opportunity to take measure.

Performance management is not just for work–we can look at ourselves both personally and professionally and commit to do better.

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Baby Frog, See You Now

Baby Frog, See You Now

So I took this picture of this baby frog while hiking.

This was the first one we saw–on the foliage it completely blended in, but on the rocks we could see it clearly.

It was so little and cute–I had to zoom in to get this shot.

After this, it actually jumped under a log and I got an action photo of its hind legs in mid-jump–going what seemed like super-frog speed.

Once, I was attuned to the frogs color and motion, I was able to detect many of them in the forest today–all pretty much like this little baby.

It was interesting to me learning from this, how before we are aware of something–it’s as if it doesn’t even exist (even with subtle ribbits in the air); and after you are sort of clued in to the surroundings, you almost can’t help but see them.

To me, it’s like life in general, when you don’t see your own issues or life challenges, you can’t even begin to work on them because your virtually oblivious to them, but once you see yourself for what you are–warts and all–you can begin to work through your problems, as if you have almost transcendental awareness.

A little camouflaged frog, like subtle personal issues may be almost imperceptible in the forest of life, but against a contrasting background, you can get amazing clarity–to self-help and self-heal.

Cute little frog, I can see you now and your not jumping away from me anymore. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

So Sorry, Charlie

So Sorry, Charlie

In the old Starkist Tuna commercials, Charlie the cool tuna thinks he’s all that, but he keeps getting rejected by Starkist, because he’s just not good enough and then the narrator comes on and says, “Sorry Charlie!”

These days, from my perspective, people often do not take responsibility when they mess up and arrogantly they can’t bring themselves to just say, “I’m sorry”–it was my responsibility, I messed up, and I am committed to doing better in the future.

It’s really not so hard to say sorry, if you let your ego go. Most often, from what I’ve seen, unless the boss, spouse, or friend is just a jerk, saying sorry goes a long way to making things right–it shows you care about the relationship, your human and fallible (like the rest of us) and you are able to introspect, self-help, and learn from mistakes.

In contrast, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (18 April 2013) says sillily, “Don’t Apologize”–that refusing to apologize makes a person feel better about themselves, more powerful, and less of a victim.

Certainly, we don’t want to apologize for things we didn’t do, when we really don’t mean it, or to give someone on a pure power binge the satisfaction of making us beg–in those cases, we should be truthful and respectful and set the record straight. We should also, make it clear that we will not be victimized by anyone, at anytime.

But when we are wrong–and it’s not easy for everyone to recognize or admit it–just say so. It won’t kill you and you’ll usually see the other person lighten up on the punishing diatribe and maybe even admit their part in it or the stupid things they may have done at other times.

No one is so perfect–despite some very large egos out there. And the bigger the ego, the bigger the jerk. The humbler the person, the nicer and more workable they are.

Don’t apologize for things you didn’t do or to satisfy someone’s bullying, but do apologize when you could’ve done better and you are committed to improving yourself and building the relationship.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Some Questions To Change Your Life

Some Questions To Change Your Life

If you haven’t seen this, Inc. ran an article (19 February 2013) on “11 Life-Changing Questions You Musk Ask Yourself.

I like the introspective and thoughtful questions posed and believe it’s well worth our time to think about these.

Looking back from your deathbed:
The first three questions (1-3) have to do looking at your life in terms of how you lived your life and how it will be viewed at the end. The point is not what title you achieved (CEO, VP, etc.) or how much money you accumulated in your life, but whose lives you touched and how profoundly.

Working to live:
The next two questions (4-5) have to do with how you earn you keep. I remember learning that life is not about living to work, but rather working to live. Do you work hard and contribute something real and meaningful, and is it something that you can be proud of.

Embrace good change:
There are two question (6-7) then about how you deal with change. When everyday is fundamentally the same and you’re afraid to try new things, then you may very well be stuck in some sort of a rut. If you have the leeway to pick your change–look for ways to change that helps you grow into the person you want to be (and not just changing for changes sake).

Spend your time valuably:
Two questions (8-9) are about that the best things in life cannot be bought–real relationships, good deeds, being a mensch. Your time is your most valuable resource. Flower, candy, gifts are a nice gesture but don’t make up for time invested and well-spent together with those you most deeply care about. Words and gifts are cheap, actions speak louder than words–volumes–about who we really are.

Treat others as G-d’s creatures:
Question 10 points that people are G-d’s precious creatures and the biggest test is how we treat them–do we do it with selfish interest or with empathy, kindess, and charity. I have never understood the many charity dinners and events where people get honored for their giving, rather than the honor being in the act of giving, itself.

Challenge yourself to be more:
The 11th question isn’t about doing scary, stupid things, but rather challenging and pushing yourself to overcome what seems like our innate limitations and instead go beyond (break those barriers!).

While it is tempting to tire, to give up, or to just claim victory, as my grandfather used to say, “There is enough time to sleep after 120.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

RIM Is Doomed

Spiral
Judge David Young of Court TV has a frequent saying that “Denial is not a river in Egypt.”
 
When it comes to Research In Motion (RIM) the maker of the traditional organization mobile Blackberry device, denial now seems on par for their course.

On Tuesday (3 July 2012), the new CEO of RIM, Thorstein Heins was quoted as saying “There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now.”

Yet since Mr. Heins took over RIM in January, the company’s stock is down 50% and is down more than 90% from it’s mid-2008 highs.

BlackBerry continues to lose out to stronger competitors like the iPhone and Android. On May 25, Digital trends reported in an article called “Poor BlackBerry” on IDC’s 2nd quarter 2012 marketshare numbers for Smartphones with Android at around 60%, iPhone at 23%, and Blackberry at a mere 6%.

Further the new Blackberry 10 has been twice delayed, and RIM announced it’s first operating loss in eight years, as it plans to downsize 5,000 employees (or a third of its workforce).

In the self-help industry, it is frequently said that the first step to getting better is to recognize that you have a problem.

In the case of RIM–we are looking at a company that unfortunately is either playing it too cool to be real with their customers and the marketplace, or they are in a deep and dangerous case of utter denial.

 
Either way, unless RIM takes decisive action soon–and that means first and foremost, coming to terms with their predictment and second, coming out with some major new disruptive technology for the mobile marketplace–they are doomed to the annals of tech history.
 
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Steve Jurvetson)

On Every Corner, Real Hope

Street_corner_hope

There is a guy who stands on the corner in the 90+ degree heat here every day trying to sell his book.

Calling out to passer-bys, he repeats, “This is a motivational book. It has my autograph.”

Again and again, the people pass him by without even a second look.

I see him in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening–whenever I go down this street–and he is still standing there trying, trying, trying to sell his book.

The feeling I got was, not only didn’t I want his “motivational book,” but also (not to be mean), it was completely de-motivating watching him trying to sell it.

Usually with marketing, I would imagine that people want self-help books from other people that have clearly demonstrated success.

Those who have a compelling story to tell can tell us about a dragon they have slain–where we can transfer the feelings of success, the challenges overcome, and the lessons learned from the author to ourselves.

But because this guy is standing on the street corner, no one wants to purchase his book or give him a chance.

The guy standing on the corner is not the person in the “corner office.”

Yet, I have a feeling his story would be an interesting story to hear.

Perhaps, his story is even more compelling, because it’s from “the streets” and not from someone born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

But he is a stranger, selling a book on the corner, and I don’t go up to him to ask.

Standing on the corner, in the heat, peddling a book for a few bucks, could be you or I–it’s too easy to forget that.

I pray that G-d has mercy to help us all earn a fair days pay for a decent days work–not everyone is so blessed.

On every street corner, there can be real hope.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Hanne)