Tag Archives: business success

Wait Watchers

Wait Watchers

Here we sit at the mid-point of the second month of 2012.

There are some of you who have dropped away from the regular workout routines you committed to in January…

Still a few who are still reading the affirmations that were created as the new year began…

While others have resumed their regular routine of worry, work and wonder about how to make this your best year ever…

Today I am here to applaud the quiet minority who have, for likely the first time ever, continued to do the daily little things; read the chapter of the self-help book, exchange the sweet, sugary delight for a piece of fruit, and invest in a new way to think and work…

Which of these scenarios best describes your GPS location today?

Are you waiting for another year to pass?

Are you watching others live the life you secretly wish to experience?

It can be yours…

Get off the couch and begin today to have the health, wealth and freedom that you believe is your destiny.

Stop waiting.

Stop watching.

Live free beginning today.

Peace.

Victim or Victor…

I have long been a fan of the sport of boxing. My Greatest of All Time is obviously Muhammad Ali. One other champion of note is Mike Tyson. In thinking about them, their careers and their impact on the sport and society, it occurred to me that though they both were Heavyweight champions, they had distinctly different responses after their defeats.

Of the five losses in the Ali career, I never recall him blaming the loss on anyone other than himself…never seeking to blame the opponent or undermine their credibility. Yet, with Mike Tyson, his two most compelling losses, to Buster Douglas and Evander Holyfield will be forever remembered as him blaming the referee and then for losing his composure and biting the ear of Holyfield.

These comparisons are so inspiring to me as we face such challenging circumstances in America and around the world. There is certainly plenty of blame to go around as we become more aware of the disparities in the wealth of the top 1% of Americans and the remaining 99%. Yet, do we really benefit from feeling like victims…or do we now face, like Ali, that we must strengthen our resolve to regain control of our communities, city, state and federal governments?

Both Ali and Tyson were convicted of federal offenses…yet the difference in what they did after they “paid their dues to society” are as far apart as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. One went from villain to folk hero to icon, the other from feared fighter to foolish freakster to reality television clown. One taking responsibility for his actions, the other not.

As many of us rebuild our lives and seek a new sense of direction personally and collectively, it is my belief that we must be like Ali, and take the position that we are going to bounce back and regain our sense of direction and purpose again. This may require going back to school, spending our money with local businesses versus the “big box” conglomerates, and teaching our children that it is possible to wait for that “new” thing that is being marketed as a must-have-today item.

Choosing a Tyson-like response will reap only more of the self-indulgence that brings about certain doom and despair. Since we have had 30 years of this since Ronald Reagan’s voodoo economics, it’s undoubtedly time for a new way to live.

And so in life as in boxing let’s do all we can to insure that at the end of the bout our glove will be raised as the ring announcer says, “And the winner is…”

Peace.

Fearless in the Face of Failure…

Fearless in the Face of Failure…

As the world mourns the passing of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, we have an opportunity to review the life and legacy of the man and his contributions to our way of life.

Funny, how those moments come, all too often, only after someone has departed this physical life experience. And it is all too easy to wax on and on about the success and triumphs one has achieved. Steve Jobs had many high moments in his illustrious life and career.

However, it was in his lowest times, when the Apple board of directors had ousted him, and the public embarrassment, which accompanied that…I mean, imagine being ousted from the company that he had co-founded. Ouch.

Yet, it was in the following five years that he truly took stock of his life, determined how unhappy he really had been, and then set out to reinvent himself, and the business he subsequently founded NEXT…which ironically, was bought by Apple Computers five years later.

The moral of this story for me, as I consider how Steve Jobs recovered, renewed and redirected his passion and energy for the next 12 years…is that we all have those seminal moments when life is pressing down on us like the 800 pound gorilla on your back. When we can’t even think about tomorrow, much less about what we will be doing five years from now.

But I ask, even implore, you to consider how the failures that you have sustained…whether in a career, relationship, finances, or all of the above, can actually be the fuel to propel you toward the next great time in your life. And that we, like Steve Jobs, will take what appears to be a failure and face it, flip it and push forward into a higher mindset and success.

I am committed to being one who sees the road behind me not as a path of failures and foibles, but as a map of choices that are leading me toward a brighter and better future. It is my prayer that you will join me on this not-so-yellow-brick road to our new Oz.

R.I.P., Steve. Thanks for your being fearless in the face of your failures…Peace.

We Can Work It Out

“We Can Work It Out”

As the hours count down to a possible technical default on it’s debt by the United States government, and the continued posturing and paralysis exhibited by both parties in Congress becomes more polarized, a song by the musical genius Stevie Wonder came to my mind, We Can Work It Out.

As a parent of two adult children, both of whom too often think they know more about how my life should be lived than I do, and that some errors made in navigating this experience we know as life are unforgivable, I also say, “”Try to see things my way…”

So, today I ask you to consider taking the approach that there might be a better way to resolve our personal and political differences. That “new” path will be found when all parties truly listen to the other side in a genuine effort to understand the truth of the other person’s perspective.

I am prayerful that we all can daily find ways to put aside our own biases, hard-line positions and prejudices in an effort to become free to make peace…nothing else really matters.

We Can Work It Out.

Peace.

In God We Trust

In God We Trust…

On one of my walls is a plaque that I have had for over 30 years. It has seen me through a few moves and a few wives…and continues to inspire me to be more today than I was the day prior.

Before I share it with you I want to make clear that the topic of this post came out of my thoughts surrounding the current debt crisis facing our nation. And the fact that the politicians are invoking as much fear and gloom as they can muster short of causing a panic and mass hysteria on Wall Street. Yet, they make no mention of the statement that is on each and every paper currency printed by the United States treasury.

“In God We Trust.”

The Republicans want us to trust that their perspective of cutting government waste, but not increasing taxes is the righteous way to solvency. They even invoke the memory of Ronald Reagan, hoping that your memory will be so bad to not remember that Mr. Reagan raised taxes on more than one occasion during his presidency.

And the Democrats believe that most of the entitlement programs are sacred cows, and not to be touched…while polishing off their calculators in anticipation of new revenues from increased tax on the wealthy. That is such a slippery slope to climb, in good times and certainly in the midst of a still-comatose economy.

And so my plaque, which has been by my side through all of my tribulations and triumphs the past three decades, has so profound an answer to our dilemma. The piece you are about to read is the full version from which my plaque has excerpts…maybe I can forward this to President Obama and the fools on the hill to read…Peace.

Please click here for the quote.

Staying Stuck on Stupid…

Staying stuck on stupid…

We are living in a truly amazing time. On one hand we have electronic products that even the Jetson’s would envy; smart phones, iPad and iPod, and Goof Off. The last item is a substance that you apply to something that has a backing of glue, and is stuck to a wall, cabinet or other surface. The Kryptonite to Duct tape.

As unbelievable as those items are, what is more unsettling to me is that we are on the brink of the biggest internal “gunfight at high noon” since the civil rights struggles of the early ‘60’s. Can you remember George Wallace, then the Governor of Alabama, blocking the doorway to the University that sought to admit a Black student? Before it was all over, President Kennedy needed to send National Guard troops to protect citizens.

The 800-pound gorilla that is beating its chest and preparing to devour us is the stand off between Republicans and Democrats, and their selfish posturing surrounding the raising of the national debt ceiling. Funny how millionaires in government are now deciding to allow a possible government default…with the President seeking to play the role of Harry Truman with the proverbial “buck stopping here.”

I wonder and ask you to also consider what it will take for Americans on “Main Street” to realize that for 10 plus years the United States has borrowed much more money than it has received. Any businessperson knows that it is a quick road to ruin, when you pay out more than you bring in. And here we are, looking the landlord in the face and seem to be willing to say; “I am not going to pay you today.”

We, the people, hold the largest ticket to this dance, as we hold Treasury bonds, and can force the Government to pay up…now. We need to instruct Congress, who are our employees, that to default on our agreement with our people, is a sure path to destruction. And to them being voted out in the next election. Maybe it will take the Gray Panthers, AARP, and other politically savvy organizations to turn up their collective heat on the elected leaders, who believe that painting our President into a corner in public is patriotic. It is anything but…

Use your voice on Face Book, Twitter, and other means to let people know that we will not allow this great country to be embarrassed by a handful of political zealots.

We can demonstrate that we are not stupid…but are empowered to use the democratic process to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Please excuse me while I go fetch my bottle of Goof Off and prepare to release some frustration on our Congress…

Peace.

Drunk As A Skunk

“Drunk As a Skunk”

Much to the chagrin of my now deceased parents, I have been one to ask the “why” questions….all of my life. I’d like to think that has assisted me more than hindered me; but the jury is still out on that.

And so today, as I sat and listened to a magnificent presentation by David Glover at the AgeSong Emeryville residence, he made a statement that caused me to do just that thing; why, do we say that? The cliché that he stated was, in talking about things we all did as newly minted 21 year-old adults is to get “drunk as a skunk.”

Of the 40 people in attendance, it is quite likely that no one but yours truly took umbrage with that comment and began to wonder how those furry, funky rodents must feel about being associated with the over-indulgence of alcohol beverage. I got home and took a look through Google and Wikipedia, and have yet to find a photo, article or reference to that skunk that got drunk, and thus became responsible for that cliché.

Now before you think that I have lost all of my senses, and am putting too much on this skunk concern, my bigger thought is about how often we say things that we have no real understanding of. I mean, has anyone said they saw the skunk getting drunk? Saw him pulled over by the CHP and given a breathalyzer test? Even been referred to rehab to “kick the habit?” No, none of us has had that experience. Yet, we use that cliché as though we speak from a position of authority. Like we were the designated driver for his bachelor party.

My lesson for this post is that we should really become more mindful, in a new way, with the use of platitudes and clichés, and not just ramble on without considering the origins of that statement. In the meantime, just remember that Diamonds are forever; Tastes great, less filling; When it rains it pours; Where’s the beef; and when in doubt, Just Do It.”

Peace.

What Will it Take?

What will it Take…?

To agree to eat two pieces of fruit each day.

To match each other and drink 4 glasses of water daily.

To insuring our walking partner will not succeed in quitting.

To give away those old, big clothes.

To parking the car and taking mass transit one day each week.

To commit to reading a new book each month.

To agree to spend money with a local business instead of a Big Box business.

If you and I will agree to this, we can make a difference. Every day. In a society where we are bombarded with what is wrong, what the problems are, and the belief that there is little chance for change…we will prove just the opposite is true.

We can have better health. We will lose weight and lower blood pressure. We can help local businesses succeed against the Big Corporations.

What will it take for YOU to make a difference in your life and those who are watching YOU?

Check out this article and consider another way to live.

Peace.

Baby Steps to Bangs

Baby steps to bangs…

Today is the 8th anniversary of the birth of my youngest daughter, Meisha Kalila Lampkin. It was only a few short years ago that we celebrated her taking her first steps. And now she runs faster than many of her friends. Just recently she let me know that she is not a little girl anymore, when she said she could now do her own hair. What, the old ponytail in the back is not good enough? No. She now wants bangs….oh man.

She is truly a gift from God, and keeps me laughing about things that I would have likely never known about without her in my life; Sponge Bob, Hannah Montana and iCarly just to name a few…what is coming next, at my age, is going to be quite an experience. It is during these times that I realize the importance of telling our children how much we love them and want them to be good people as they mature. I don’t want her to have any doubt about how I feel about her.

I often sit and watch as she interacts with her schoolmates, our family and even new acquaintances, and am grateful that God gave me another opportunity to get it right as a parent. For being a father who can say “no” without guilt seems to be a rare quality in these ultra-permissive times. Yet, I want her to remain my little girl for as long as possible. What kind of world will she inherit? It is the major question I ask myself…and you.

Let’s take inventory today of how we live, interact and prepare for a more global environment where people will live longer and require more services than ever in our history. Will American culture learn to honor the elders of society and the wisdom and experiences that have shaped them, or will we be cast aside like an unwanted or broken electronic game? I believe we are at a major crossroads.

So, enjoy the beauty of Spring and I shall be ever humbled by the majesty of life as I celebrate my daughter’s 8th birthday…a truly sacred gift from the Creator.

Peace.

Miles, Minutes, Money…

Miles, Minutes, Money…

Some things are so geographical in their descriptions and understandings. As a young man in the Midwest, we often replied to someone asking us how far away a person or place was, by saying it was about 20 miles. Moving to California, and particularly the Bay Area, that same query brought about a response like 30 minutes. And so the same place that I wanted to get to was likely a similar distance, but when traffic was factored in, and thus added time on the road, the more definitive description was about time versus distance.

Fast-forward to 2011, and the challenge we are faced with $4.00 per gallon gas pricing, and the next generation of describing time and distance is likely to be formulated by how much it is going to cost. Since automakers want us to believe that the miles-per-gallon listing of their vehicles is true, then we might now seek to validate it. And since we have instant access to calculators, via our smart phones and GPS, we can accurately determine how far it really is from point A to point B…and now divide the number of miles by the mpg of our car, and come out with a general cost per mile to travel.

Is this what our society has come to? So, a friend needs to go to see the doctor, and you have the only car in the building, and you have to calculate the cost to transport them…sounds like we are all becoming glorified taxi services. Heck, I did not even consider the rising cost of auto insurance. This could get really ugly.

Hold on for a second, my phone is ringing…I gotta go. A friend is calling. He needs me to pick him up. He ran out of gas on the freeway. I told him to call the road service. He told me it was cheaper to pay me to pick him up than to have them to do it.
This is becoming a whole new enterprise. See you when I return; about 19 miles, 26 minutes and $34 dollars later.

Peace.