Fore…giveness is Divine

Today we welcomed back to the golf course and to the world, Mr. Tiger Woods. It has been quite interesting to observe the depths to which Tiger has plummeted since last November. From being on top of the golfing, and quite literally the entire, world, to a man who could and would not show his face, nor would his fickle and weak-in-the knees sponsors.

Once again he is playing in the tournament that had for so many years embodied the very essence of societal and racial segregation, The Masters. Until he came along and destroyed the field in 1997, the Augusta Club where the Masters is held annually was off limits to persons of color and women. He truly broke down the walls of Jericho.

It will be interesting to see how he is received these next few days. Will his personal life be allowed to remain in the background as he chases the leaders on the course? Or will some writer deem it his/her right to continue to publicly crucify him? I imagine that some content editor, desperate for publicity, will push their agendas in such a way as to try to force Tiger to break from his newfound humble persona.

My hope is that we all will be mindful of the fact that each of us has numerous faults and shortcomings…and in life, as in golf, it is rare that you get a do-over. How many of us continue to bring up the past transgressions of others? When it is really better for all involved to forgive, and seek to forget. That is how we show our love for one another and get rid of the guilt and shame that accompanies a fall from grace, thus encouraging true healing to begin to take place.

Whether Tiger wins this weekend or not is unimportant to me. What I will be watching is to see how long it takes people to remember that biblical statement, “Judge not lest ye be also judged.”

What an interesting dilemma the golfing world will have should he be standing on the podium to have the green jacket placed on his shoulders on Sunday evening. Fore!

Just Say No…

Just say no to drugs…bacon and cheesecake, too.

I just read a very interesting article at Health.com, that once again shows the number of health related diseases that are attributed to eating processed, fatty foods. As if we can’t already see the devastating effects on our young people who are overweight and under stimulated physically. Childhood obesity is a real problem in the United States.

But it is my generation, between the ages of 45 to 65, that I am also concerned about as we now have slower metabolisms and increased rates of diabetes and cancer related illnesses.

The study shares how lab rats were divided into three groups. One group was fed bacon, sausage, cheesecake, frosting, and other fattening, high-calorie foods–but only for one hour each day. One of the groups was fed regular rat food. (What the heck is regular rat food?) The third group was allowed to pig out on the unhealthy foods for up to 23 hours a day.

Once you read the article, it might become clearer how the food industry is primarily responsible for many of the health challenges faced by our citizenry today. Maybe they are part of the tea-party movement seeking to keep Americans from having health care that will focus on wellness, not illness. Heck, if insurance companies and their shareholders can keep millions of people brainwashed and apathetic by convincing them that Twinkies are good to eat, then they might as well make cocaine legal, too. They both seem to have the same effect.

My hope is that we will seriously take more responsibility for what we consume daily. Start by making a list of healthy foods to purchase when grocery shopping, and not succumbing to that drug-like rush when you are walking down the bakery section of the supermarket. Let’s surprise our personal physician’s and lower our collective and individual cholesterol and blood sugar levels…in a non-pharmaceutical manner.

Maybe the insurance companies will change their business models and pay physician’s who assist in keeping their patients healthy. Now that would be sweet.

Peace

Time Keeps on Slipping into the Future

Did you notice how quickly we have torn away the first three months pages from our calendars?  How could it be that it is already April 1, and spring is in full bloom?  Do I sound like my parents now?

We must know that there really is something to the saying, “time flies as we get older.”

Or that “time waits for no one.”   How many people look back with regret at lives that were unfulfilled?  How much music has gone to the grave with persons who had good intentions but lacked the discipline and fortitude to push past their fears.  Where will you stand when the day of your transition comes due?

I have made it a point this year to have written goals that I review daily to keep me focused and on target.  And to read books that motivate me to my higher calling.  The results thus far are astounding and I am truly excited and looking forward to the next three months of 2010.

So, today in between playing a practical joke on someone, or you getting one played on you…ask yourself this question, “Am I on the path that I asked God to illuminate for me this year?”  If yes, then keep on pushing.  If no, then pull out those notes and resolutions you made on January 1 and tape them to the mirror, refrigerator, and steering wheel.  Make it a daily exercise that you endure initially, and enjoy later.  It will cause you to take more seriously the days you are blessed to have in this life.

My pledge to you is still the same, let’s do this for six months and review our progress.

I know we will not be standing in the same place that we began, or thinking the same thoughts that have kept us stagnant for far too long.  And that will create real growth and change.  And, I believe, will add more Benjamin’s to your bank account.

Here is a little clip for you to enjoy: http://blip.tv/file/2463886

Time to Rise and Shine

What are your thoughts when you read the latest statistics that describe the state of our economy?  Do you feel a sense of doom?  Optimism?   Are you challenged by the news?  Or inclined to go have a strong drink?

When you hear the names of such companies as Amway, Mary Kay orMarket Americawhat are your thoughts?  Do you consider them viable companies that are generating revenue for people or simply get-rich-quick home based businesses that don’t work?

The fact of the matter is that home-based businesses are on the rise in America.  The ones that are legitimate provide a source of supplemental income for thousands of distributors/consultants, and for some is their sole source of revenue.  And as it is a REAL business, with expenses, it is an IRS approved entity.  So, you can deduct a number of everyday expenses, as long as they are business related.  For instance, mileage to a business meeting, a meal where business is the main topic of discussion, and even a round of golf with a client can be legally deducted from your taxes.

Many of you know of my commitment to never return to the corporate world, and thus my full-blown pledge to build multiple streams of income for my associates and me.  If there was ever a time for you to consider another way to earn a living, and maybe even have a better lifestyle, this could be the time.

It is my belief that the growth of the United States and world economies will be tied directly to the small businesses that generate and spread revenues amongst each other.  There is not going to be another General Motors or IBM to hold your hand for 30 years…the time is ripe for us to be creative and inventive.

What is it that you would do if time and money were not a factor?  Many of you have not even given that much thought.  I challenge you this week to do just that.  Write some things on a sheet of paper and rediscover your real passion for living.  And let me know what you come up with.  I guarantee that there is a market for that out there…

If you enjoy this piece and feel someone else could benefit form it, please feel free to pass it along to them.  It might be their time to rise up.

Peace.

80 Days or Else…

It occurred to me as we are now close to the end of the first 90 days of  2010, that I can see why health clubs and fitness experts have the understanding that most people won’t make it through April.   In reviewing the book “Around the World in 80 Days”, by Jules Verne, the main characters Phileas Fogg and his friend Passepartout, seek to traverse the globe in under 80 days.   As I now consider the adventure of these two, it is likely that the time constraints imposed by the Reform Club has much to do with the same knowledge possessed by the fitness experts.  Any changes not made within 90 days or less will be excused, tolerated and accepted as unattainable.

Maybe that is why, as we stand at the 81st day mark of 2010, that some of my colleagues are not returning my phone calls…or answering my email messages.  You see, I am not going to allow us to slither back to our previous mediocrity without a fight.  For it is too important individually and collectively to continue to not think, eat and live healthy. No longer can we afford to say, “wait ‘til next year…”  Not when the stakes are this high.  Not when we as a nation, must rise above the pettiness of partisan politics to provide reasonable care for all of our citizens.

What if we truly made time to shop for better and healthier foods, walked the stairs instead of taking the elevator, and ordered veggies instead of fries?  And when that dress and/or pair of pants fit better, you will feel the sense of accomplishment that the fitness experts know is real.  Oh, but we gotta keep going past that 90 days barrier.

I am still committed to sharing this journey side-by-side with you.  But you will have to answer the phone and talk to me…..

Peace.

Power to the People

It is another amazing day in America.  A day that many of us will remember as the day that another major change took place for our citizens.

What is it that tea baggers don’t understand?  That the price to provide care to uninsured persons in emergency rooms is more than three times the cost of an office visit.  That “we the people” end up paying for that by the increase in premiums from those insurance companies…because they are certainly not going to reduce their shareholders’ dividend. Or their bonuses that are based primarily on cost savings and not lives saved.

Maybe it will take a few tea baggers to lose their homes and marriages, under the strain of a medically induced bankruptcy.  Or see a friend or family member suffer unnecessarily because they can’t get access to early intervention care.  I don’t wish that on anyone, but I do wonder what it will take to bring some sanity to this inflammatory issue.  And express some compassion to people who might not share your pedigree.

We all know that the fox is never going to do a good job of guarding the hen house.  There is just too much temptation and too much of a vested interest in keeping things just as they are.  I would have preferred that one of the major insurance companies step forward and lead the way but, short of that miracle, will follow this new development, in hope that our President will keep a tight rein on spending and insuring care to everyone.

And like the main freedom that we enjoy as Americans, let’s use the power of our vote to certify our approval of the members of Congress who have made history today.  As for the tea baggers….I take mine with honey and lemon.

Peace.

To care or not to care….that is the question.

Funny how things are shaping up as the United States gets closer to some level of National Health care. In a conversation with my sister today I was reminded of a man whom we, the home care agency I managed in 1982, cared for that suffered from a terrible case of Psoriasis. His insurer had approved him, and I cannot recall the name of that company today, for five hours of coverage a day for five days each week. The Licensed Vocational Nurse would apply the tar/sulphur ointment on his lesions and administer his ultraviolet lamp treatments daily. This allowed him some relief and a sense of normalcy in his daily living.

I remarked to my sister that today, Mr. C. would be denied any level of care for his very physically and emotionally debilitating illness. Back in that time, all I needed was to have his primary physician provide a treatment order for care and contact the patient’s insurance company for approval. Somewhere over the ensuing 20 plus years, insurers are seeking to deny basic and appropriate care to patients with similar circumstances. That is why I state that what is being discussed today isn’t about health care, but non-health care services.

If you are not actively following the debate going on in Washington D.C. regarding this MAJOR issue for ALL Americans…then you better not complain when your insurance company denies your physician prescribed care, because it is deemed unnecessary and too costly.

We are standing on the threshold of a major accomplishment for the citizens of this country. This is not about Democrats or Republicans. This is about your family member with diabetes; your co-worker with cancer; your neighbor with Alzheimer’s. Be informed and prepared to lend your voice to the generations yet unborn who will be either blessed or cursed by our decision. It really is legacy-time thinking.

Peace.

“What Would You Do If…?”

It was a beautiful Spring afternoon, and I had settled in to have a bite to eat at a local restaurant. The waitress had been actively checking in with me to make sure that I had what I needed to enjoy the meal. Somewhere between bites of my steak and sips of my brew, I ask her the question, “so, are you also a student?” She replied, negative. But she thought that at some time in the near future…she would return to school.

I now press forward with, “If you were to go back to school, what would you study?”

She thought for a moment, and then stated, “I don’t know what I would want to study.”

It was then that I asked her the question that I ask most of my clients, many of whom are at a crossroads in their professional careers, “What would you do if money and time were not an issue for you?”

And as is typical of a young person who has not been asked a question of that magnitude, says “Just hang out; go to the beach; I don’t know…”

So, I passed her my business card and suggested she call me when she can answer that question with something that would be her passion and calling. For it is when we can do the thing that will occupy us without consuming us, a thing that brings us joy and happiness, maybe a thing that we once did as a child, that we will pour our heart into that endeavor. And the statement is truer today as much as when it was first coined, “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your doorstep.” Today, the world will beat a path to your web site, blog, virtual domain.

I hope that you will give serious thought to what it is that you would/could do that can put a smile on your face, a song in your heart and some Benjamin’s in your bank account.

If you know of someone who could benefit from this article, who may need to be reminded of their passion, please forward it to them.

http://www.marklampkin.com/entrepreneurship

Peace.

Ready for the BIG One….

March 10, 2010

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me an email forward containing the following, which I copy-n-pasted and sent along to family and friends who live in EQ-prone areas. I’m sharing it with you in the hope that this knowledge may save at least one life. PLEASE READ THIS and know what to do during a quake because the “traditional” advice is not adequate . . .

EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP’S ARTICLE: “TRIANGLE OF LIFE”

My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world’s most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn’t at the time know that the children were told to hide under something.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the “triangle of life”.

The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the “triangles” you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.

TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY

1) Most everyone who simply “ducks and covers” WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake… It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on The back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different “moment of frequency” (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads – horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn’t collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people.. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible – It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway… The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone’s life… The Entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!

“We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly”

In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul , University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did “duck and cover,” and ten mannequins I used in my “triangle of life” survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.

There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the “triangle of life.” This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe , and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV”

Peace.

Thanks, but no Palsy for me…

I was recalling, in a conversation this morning, an event that changed my perspective about how I could and would respond to the “that’s what THEY say” commentators.
It was September 1995, and I was going through some emotionally challenging times with my wife, from whom I was separated, and finances that were keeping me just above water.

Without any symptoms or premonitions that would foretell any health challenge, I awoke one morning to find the right side of my face was paralyzed. Thinking the worst, I feared that I had or was having a stroke…but all the other body parts were functioning properly. Just that one side of my face was numb and unresponsive.

I went to see my physician the next day and he broke the news to me that I had Bells Palsy. It seems that the stresses in my life had now manifest into this malady. And what is the prognosis? Well, it could vary anywhere from a few weeks to permanent paralysis. Oh my….

It was then that a few of my colleagues and friends would share their knowledge;
“THEY say that you must rub your face to release the muscles”
“THEY say that you might have to have surgery to be normal again…” Me, normal?
“THEY say that you have to…” and the comments just got more hilarious.

What I said inside my head was that it was time to pray….and I did. I surrendered to God and asked that He forgive me for not being a better communicator with Him. For I had only been praying when I needed or wanted something. Now, I was praying with a belief that whatever it was God wanted me to learn from this would be all right by me.

Two weeks passed and upon my return visit to my physician, he was amazed at the restoration of most of my facial functions. And within another few weeks, I was totally back to my old self. When he asked how did I recover so quickly and completely, without hesitation I told him of my belief in the power of prayer. Not that he was surprised as he was a physician who was a true believer and knew that real prayer had enormous power.

What are you praying for in your life today? Better health? Improved finances? Restored relations with a family member? Just believe it with all of your heart and don’t listen to what THEY say…I am walking and talking proof.

Peace.

The Silver Surfer