They Really Think They Deserve It

Sometimes I come across people with enormous wealth and power. 


Many wield it like they own it and deserve it. 


I wonder sometimes with billions of other people in the world without adequate food, water, plumbing, medicine, or a solid roof over the heads, how the mighty can think they are above it all. 


Do they look around–do they see anyone else but themselves?


They seem drunk with themselves and what they have–and very overconfident.


Worshipping self and all the honor and materialistic success–they forget where it comes from and what they are supposed to be doing with it to help others. 


Yet, G-d and His angels can strike in but a split second. 


Those that are high and mighty can be brought low and those that are in the depths of despair can be uplifted. 


But at the will of G-d Almighty.


At the top, people may erroneously think and come to believe that they are smarter or more deserving–and so what’s theirs is theirs for the taking and keeping. 


They think “To hell” with everyone else–they are the little people. 


Perhaps, they even come to enjoy squashing them underfoot.


They really believe and savor the power and even think it’s forever. 


Yet the wheel of life turns and often abruptly–illness, accidents, misfortune…it comes seemingly from nowhere when G-d breaths justice. 


How silly of the powerful and wealthy to think they are the untouchable and the forever mighty. 


G-d sees the good and the bad in the people–and ultimately, there is no escape from the King of Kings. 


Wealth and power are earthly and fleeting, but the will of G-d is all that endures. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Going Down B4 You Go Up

Wheel Of Life.jpeg

So a really special person that I know is going through some major life changes…


And they told me this interesting, wonderful, and faithful perspective.

“Sometimes you go down before you go up!”


Like the Wheel of Life (Gilgal Hachozer), what goes down, thank G-d can and does tend to go back up–it’s a return to the mean and then some. 


When you realize that challenges and even hardships are part of the cycle, and that these test and grow you and your ability to overcome, then you can face them knowing that you can rise up and hopefully to another level of maturation and happiness. 


Yes, know that nothing is easy in life!


Often we take a step back to take two forward or a step down to boost ourselves further up. 


It’s the nature of progress.


Don’t be afraid to go down a little right before you’re about to go way on up. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wiping The Smug

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How you ever seen someone with that unbelievable smug look on their face? 


They are almost glowing in hubris and elitism.


They have gotten away with something and they know it and think they are above earth and Heaven.


Feeling better, smarter, and mightier than everyone else around them. 


They have built a fortress of minions, money, and power. 


And nothing, they think, can bring them back to Earth. 


Through deals, cunning, intimidation, and even elimination of their rivals, they survive and thrive growing stronger with every kill. 


High and mighty, but G-d sees all. 


Arrogant and corrupt, but G-d forgets none. 


All humankind is connected and one.


As one sits in the dust of the feet of another. 


The wheel of life turns, and the roles reverse. 


The next person has the chance to act different and better.


To mend their soul and humbly influence others for the good. 


No one should be smug, because everyone serves. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Random Luck My A*s

EA

Here’s an interesting enterprise architecture themed fortune cookie. 


“Good luck is the result of good planning.”


Everybody wants good fortune, but a big differentiator is whether you are willing to think through life’s scenarios, pull together a solid plan (A, B, and C to be on the safe side) and put in the effort and hard work to achieve your dreams and goals.


Fortunes rise and fall likes the tides, but a solid plan (with G-d’s blessings) can take you further than any ocean spans.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>Going From Peak to Peak

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In life, no one has only peaks or valleys. Life is a continuous cycle, and we must traverse “The Wheel of Life” (an ancient belief of many cultures including Jews, Indians, and others) from happiness to loss, suffering, and then hope, and back to happiness again.

Why we go round and round as people and nations is an age-old question. While happiness all the time would certainly be more enjoyable and easier on us all around, it would defeat the purpose of life, which is to learn and grow. And unfortunately, there is profound wisdom in the adage, “no pain; no gain.”

No, that doesn’t mean we should become masochists, so that we learn and grow more! Rather, we learn and grow from difficult experiences and then we get to rest and restore ourselves to be able to apply those in lessons and take it to the next level in future circumstances.

So it was with interest that I recently read Peaks and Valleys, by Dr. Spencer Johnson (best-known for Who Moved My Cheese?).

The conventional wisdom is that if we’re not living at the top of the heap, then we’ve somehow failed. Johnson’s take is that both success and failure (what he calls “peaks and valleys”) have valuable lessons to teach us and are therefore important to experience. The book is about getting the most out of the peaks as well as the valleys of our lives.

Here are some thoughts that rung true—in my words and in Dr. Johnson’s:

#1 – How to handle the valleys:

  • Learn to manage adversity, which helps you to mature and reach your next stage in life: “Between peaks, there are always valleys. How you manage your valleys determines how soon you reach you next peak.”
  • Love and to give to others. “You get out of a valley sooner when you manage to get outside of yourself: at work by being of greater service, and in life by being more loving.”

#2 – Think strategically about where you’re going in life:

  • Envision where you want to be to advance your goals. “A great way to get to your next peak is to follow you sensible vision. Imagine yourself enjoying your better future in such specific believable detail that you soon enjoy doing what takes you there.”
  • Recognize the emotions that guide your actions (and that timing is key): “The most common reason you leave a peak too soon is arrogance masquerading as confidence. The most common reason you stay in a valley too long is fear masquerading as comfort.”

Overall, even though leaders may seem like they are always “above,” in fact everybody goes through regular peaks and valleys.

In addition, leaders have the added duty to find the way not only for themselves, but also to guide others through the “storms” of organizational life. This is a great privilege, but also a tremendous responsibility that necessitates that leaders lead with wisdom and integrity so that they help their organizations, and people, go capably from peak to peak.

>Organizational Hubris and Enterprise Architecture

>Organizational arrogance is the anathema of user-centric EA.

In Fortune Magazine, 20 August, 2007, in the article “Don’t be Arrogant”, it states “when a company attains extreme market domination, hubris and a sense of infallibility can’t be far behind.”

When an organization (like an individual) is riding high on its fortunes, it forgets that it is not infallible and that we are all vulnerable — whether we know it or not.

Many individuals, organizations, and empires have seen themselves propelled from rags to riches, and then back again. Anyone planning on buying a GM car or seen a Roman legionnaire lately?

Judaism has a really neat view on this, called the “gilgal ha’chozer” which is the cycle of life. In this cycle, anyone can be elevated or lowered in life depending on their deeds (good and bad). Similarly, the Buddhist depict this concept in “the wheel of life”, where lives and fortunes rotate from happiness to despair and back.

User-centric Enterprise Architecture recognizes that organizational hubris is an organization’s eventual downfall. EA’s mandate is to look beyond today, see the potential hazards and changing conditions, and adjust accordingly. Every organization is vulnerable whether to changing market conditions, competitions, or new and unfolding mandates. User-centric EA provides a way for us to recognize changing conditions, plan accordingly, and plot a new course.