Adversity Is Not What You Think

This TEDx video is truly WOW!

Definitely worth watching in full.  

So many takeaways from this that I want to remember.

– Three things can happen in life:

1. What you hope will happen

2. What you fear will happen

3. What actually happens

– There is not always a tomorrow!

Think if you were paralyzed from the neck down, what would you wish you had done differently, and go do it.

– See adversity as a gift:

1. It is harsh and ruthless.

2. It shows up unannounced.

3. It doesn’t care what you want.

4. It doesn’t give a darn how you feel.

5. It doesn’t take no for an answer.

6. It hates your weakness.

7. It is your best teacher.

8. It is the most honest person you will ever encounter.

9. It forces you to up your game.

10. It knows your true potential even if you don’t.

11. It offers you no other choice, so the choice is simple.

12. At the end of the day, we are only as strong as the adversity we overcome!

13. It will recede, but the lessons will always remain.

14. It will strengthen you to endure your next battle, stronger and wiser than before.

15. How we overcome adversity is by facing it head on. (If you try to avoid it, it can crush you; and if you try to go around it, you will never avoid it’s grasp.)

My absolute congratulations and gratitude to Marcus Aurelius Anderson on this magnificent and brilliant talk and lessons for all of us!

And thank you Minna Blumenthal for sharing this wisdom with me!


Strong Coffee People

This was great when they drew this muscle guy on my coffee cup. 

Two arms and a big “A” in the middle.

Need to remain strong despite whatever life throws at us. 

So it’s not just strong coffee or biceps!

But rather strong character, integrity, spirit, and faith that’s really important. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with compliments to the artist)

Until My Last Breath

The Shema Yisrael.

Hear O’ Israel. The L-rd our G-d. The L-rd is one.

The most sacred and fundamental of prayers in Judaism. 

Declaring our monotheistic belief and faith in the One Above who has created and sustains us daily. 

These are words we call out from the depths of our heart and soul–in joy, in suffering, in life, and ultimately as we leave this world.

No one can take this from us. 

Only G-d decrees who shall live and who shall die…who shall be exalted and who shall be made low. 

Hear O’ Israel.
The L-rd our G-d.
The L-rd is one. 

Everything is life is given true perspective by this.

People may rise against us and situations may look dire.

But in the realm of G-d, these are all fleeting like the dust that blows in the wind. 

So too shall G-d remove our troubles and bring us comfort. 

It is a test; it is all a test–remember, Hear O’ Israel–and pass it with flying colors. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Holds All The Keys

G-d Opens Doors.jpeg

So what is there to fear in this world. 

Whatever happens, happens. 

And G-d is the master over it all. 

He holds all the keys. 

G-d opens doors. 

When we are being challenged, look toward the Heavens. 

There is a door there somewhere. 

What can ANY man do to us?

When G-d reigns over ALL men.

In G-d, there is salvation and mercy. 

G-d will watch over His people.

And He will bless them in peace! 😉

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Character Building Day

Character Building.jpeg

So I really like this…

A friend told me that when they have a really tough day, they call it:

“A Character Building Day!”

I thought that was pretty astute. 

When people are up against the wall…

And they feel like they practically have their hands and legs tied…

And the world is spinning around them out of control…

And others are throwing tomatoes, darts, arrows, and all types of other sh*t their way…

– We can either just close our eyes, feel powerless, get upset and depressed, and basically give up


– We can see the tough times as challenges–however great–to build our character.

Every situation is a learning and growth opportunity. 

Don’t give in–Get up and fight.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!

Yes, many days are character building days–it doesn’t always feel good–often it feels horrible–but we can approach it with the right attitude and help shape our character and soul for the better.  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Meaning Of Pain


Wow, I am so impressed with my daughter.

I spoke with her this evening and she has grown into such a smart, mature, and good person. 

We were talking about some hard times.

And she said to me so smartly (and I am so proud of her):

“The reason that we have pain is to avoid more pain.”

Wow…think about that for a moment. 

Everyone gets physical, emotional, and even spiritual pain in their lives. 

Even little things like stubbing your toe, getting a small burn, or a paper cut–these things give you a instant or more of pain…but it jolts you into attention of what to avoid and to action how to protect yourself to prevent further and worse pain down the road. 

A little pain now can fortunately save you a lot of pain later!

(Or in the gym they say, “No pain, no gain.”)

My father used to say about difficult life lessons:

“Better to cry now than to cry later!”

He was right–bad situations generally don’t get better with age. 

Continuing the discussion with my lovely daughter tonight, she said to me:

“A person becomes better when they struggle. I’ve become better by struggling.”

Again, like little pains, even larger struggles in life challenge us to learn, grow, and become better and stronger people. 

I remember as a kid–when we went through those growth spurts–it would actually hurt a little–some muscle aches here and some cramps there–whew, a few inches taller already. 

Growth hurts, but it’s kind of a good hurt that only someone with the emotional intelligence to understand maturity and betterment can really grasp. 

No, I’m not advocating for self-flagellation–just that we know when pain and struggle is a defining moment in life–like shaping and sharpening a great sword in fierce fire. 

It’s hot, but the heat is healing and necessary sometimes to grow as human and spiritual beings. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Lucky Cat

Lucky Cat.jpeg

So a retail establishment opened in the area.

They had all these cat symbols hung inside. 

I asked the owner what it said, and she told me:

“Lucky Cat”

Why a cat symbolizes luck I don’t really know.

But the bigger question is whether there is any such thing as luck in the first place.

We constantly wish people good luck on any and every aspect of their lives: from birth to bar/bat mitzvahs, engagements, weddings, graduations, new jobs, journeys, and basically anything we embark on. 

That’s what Mazel Tov means–good luck!

But I thought we believe in G-d and not luck?

We strive through prayer, charity, repentance, and all sort of good deeds to try and move the scale of justice in our favor. 

With the Jewish high holidays approaching next month–Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur–we do everything to atone for our sins and commit to being better in the future. 

We seek G-d’s mercy and his blessings. 

There is no arbitrary luck or fortune. 

Life is what we make out of it. 

What about the Massachusetts women who won $758 million in Powerball last week or the person that gets cancer or some other horrible tragedy–did they deserve it?

I suppose it’s impossible for us to judge why some people have amazing fortune and others have schlimazel (misfortune).

As it says in Genesis (18:25):

“Shall not the judge of all the Earth do justly?”

Surely, G-d has the bigger picture and the omniscience to know what is good for us and what is not. 

How he tests us and tries us and to what ends…that is a matter of faith and conviction–and we believe that it is all ultimately for our best. 

The judge of all Earth…please have mercy on us and bestow your blessings on us, your faithful children. 

As to the lucky cat–wave us some good vibes–all long as we realize that we all need G-d’s grace! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)