Status, Predictions, Fear & Priorities

You may have read recently about the newest status marker of the uber-wealthy.  It is no longer considered “au courant” acquiring a 30 million fixer upper.  Let’s face it, annnnnyone can do that.  The latest fashion indispensible is constructing a Moat built around the mansion.

A Moat?  Gators not included.  Love it!!!  Now, you must understand:  Whooooo wants to deal with the stench of the multitudes?  Amazing!

Perhaps, this medieval relic revival is not just an aesthetic statement but staunch acknowledgment of today’s apprehensive environment.

My ex-wife was a fashion forecaster.  Her job was predicting upcoming trends for retailers.  She was absolutely magnificent in spotting style trajectories long before the competition even realized there was a trend-in-the-making.  She was brilliant and passionate expressing herself…..verbally but, when it came to writing down all those findings, she would go positively apoplectic, totally berserk and just fall apart.

She could not do it. She couldn’t write if her life depended upon it.  So, after much frustration and tears, she would turn to me.  The best part was her consistency.  Her pleas for emergency assistance always started around 10:30 PM, the night before the following morning’s big fashion forecast presentation.

She would verbally explain her findings and then add in her prognostications. From there,  I’d write it all down and put all her research and conclusions in some orderly fashion and head to sleepy land around 5 AM.

I don’t know about you but it’s been my experience when immersed in something new, either you tune out what you don’t know or adapt to the new environment.  The upside to all this is picking up some new tricks from another trade and, if possible, applying and adapting them to your area of expertise.

I did and learned that forecasting of any kind is a lot more than mere observation, speculation and expectation.

Call me a forecasting maven?  No way.  But what I picked up has served me well.

What the Moat fad says is the wealthy are very concerned about their security.  But, these days, who isn’t?

Take a look around you. Most people are in Prevent Mode.  They don’t want to take on any more than is absolutely necessary. They are fearful. They want to hold on to their job. But, they can’t afford the visibility that comes with making a possible wrong decision. So, a non-decision is considered the best course of action as it is best to avoid or delay impending peril at all costs.

However, the reality is decisions must be made.  They can’t be avoided.

But, with so much down-sizing occurring, that reality only elevates already elevated stress levels.  Add to it the thought of going against the Prevent Mode Mindset in an environment of questionable job security and dwindling opportunities.  So, it’s no wonder most of us are ready to curl up in some fetal position over in a corner with a blanket covering the head while devouring a bag of Cheetos non-stop and hoping it would “all” just go away.

Call it C.E.M. as in Caloric Escape Mechanism.  Ice Cream, Fritos and Peanuts are all approved substitutes under current C.E.M. guidelines.

In other words, you’re doing what you don’t want to do but doing it anyway for the sake of a check and a job.

Talk about dichotomy.

Now, here is where you come in.

You are over 50.  You’ve had enough ups and downs in life.  This isn’t your first circus.  So, you know it’s not all cotton candy, bearded ladies and dancing elephants in the center ring.  What I’m saying is you have been there and done that.  You have beaucoup experience.

That’s not to make light of the harsh realities during these grueling times.  It just helps to put things in proper perspective.  Age works in your favor.  You’ve paid a lot of dues so  tough times don’t come as a surprise.

Because you’ve “been around the block”, you have a fairly good sense of self.

It’s a new year.  You have resolved to do better, get better and make more money, etc.  Resolutions are fabulous but lack currency without Priority.

And, that takes time.  It takes effort. So serve up some red meat with Resolutions by Prioritizing.  In fact, make a dual list of Priorities.

Let me explain.

While in Priority mode, take care of yourself but also allow time and do some research and discover the needs of a potential Employer/Client.

Identify their needs.  Go to Google.  Check out other search engines.  Go to their websites.  Go the “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” route; someone might know someone who knows someone, etc.  You get the idea. Find out all you can.

You have to understand how pressing the need is for solutions.  The plight of  Clients/Employers is tremendous and right now, they need your help.  They are scared and experiencing pain.

You are assuming the role of Physician.  Potential Clients/Employers don’t know it yet but you are working on their behalf to relieve their pain.  Make it your mission to diagnose what ails them and find a cure.

In your research you will discover a remedy.  Most important, you’ll come to recognize and accept the fact that you are The REMEDY.

Sounds like nonsense but it’s not.

Something you need to consider is Time Investment.  You have put so much time into finding Solutions to relieve pain, that it has become a Priority.  You lead now with a new-found conviction.

Most of us on terra firma like to reach out and help others.  Well, that is what you’re doing.

Helping another in pain transforms Priorities. You are no longer making your needs THE PRIORITY. That mind-shift takes the onus off you. As you are helping others, you don’t have time to consider your own concerns.

Your research takes time.  That time becomes a form of Rehearsal.

So, your snail mail/email/phone communications and eventual in-person meetings reflect your passion and determination for Solution. Because of this displacement, you present yourself with greater conviction because it is all about relieving the pain of others and not about you.

Their concern is your main concern.

In that state of mind, you are speaking truth.  You are speaking from the heart.  There is no second guessing.  You are way beyond that. You are presenting your findings to free that Client/Employer from Prevent Mode.

For you, there are now little or no nerves to contend with.  You have a prescription for their malady and that is you.

No, How? vs. Know How

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  The old skin has to shed before the new one can come.”                                      Joseph Campbell

“Pick yourself up and start all over again.”   Good grief that sounds sooo vacuous and superficial.  It disregards the cruel, intractable and unforgiving nature of life today.  The mere utterance of that expression morphs quickly into a noxious fusion of the absurd, the sappy and the contemptible.

Although it might be right, it ain’t real.   Life is tough.  It’s not just a matter of accepting change it’s more about what course of action should actually be undertaken.

When desperation is added into the equation, all that does is cultivate a breeding ground for unwise choice. Throw in distraction along with a scarcity of time and the pressure of hopefully making the right decision and voila, all components are there awaiting a crash and burn situation..

It’s the same with New Years resolutions.  There has to be some illogical rationale why most of us find it almost impossible to follow through on our proclamations for the future.

Maybe it’s the way we are hard wired.  Let’s say that most year- ending forecasts are replete with best of intentions.  OK.  But somewhere along our neural pathways, the fervor, dedication and execution of the resolutions are rendered defective, incomplete and call for mentally re-booting.

All that does is either delay implementation or, erase all memories of and the commitment to promised change.

Hey, you never know.  Perhaps, I’m wrong. I’m certainly no scientist.  But, on the other hand, maybe Elvis really is alive and well and living in Seacaucus, New Jersey.

Starting over and being 50 Plus are two compounds that don’t naturally lend themselves to compatibility.  In fact, the older we get the more hard-wired we are to the same old, same old.

Unfortunately, that state of mind is considered highly undesirable and certainly unemployable in an environment that exacts unconditional tribute at the altar of The “What Have You Done For Me Lately” sanctuary.

The past is the past and quickly disregarded by those who have no past nor experience.  In order to conceal their deficiencies, they attempt to fuse together the unstable alloys of hubris, tenacity and theory.  Believe it or not, that’s their problem.  The truth comes out eventually. We cannot let it fester within us and allow it to become a hindrance to our achievement.

We have already too much on our plate.

Author/Speaker/Broadcaster Dennis Prager is a thought leader.  If you haven’t listened to his Radio program or read any of his books, you are missing out on something extraordinary.  Prager is gifted with a far above average intelligence.  He does not pander nor does he patronize. He uses his mental horsepower in a very entertaining manner to simplify the complex and clarify the complicated.

I interviewed him for my book, “Out of the Fog and Into Focus.”  He told me about a death that occurred that had deeply affected him.  Now, it was not an actual death.  It was his divorce which at the time, he had recently experienced.

He said that divorce is like a death.  It takes time to recover.  A part of you is missing.  But, you must go on and live through the pain.

Eventually, the pain subsides, the memories recede and supplanted hopefully by more loving and meaningful designs.

The point is don’t give up.  Change takes time and change can be excruciating.  We have to shed the past to appreciate the present and revel in the expectation of a prosperous future.

And, life is fluid.  Each day is different.  We are different.  Whether we want to admit it or not, we don’t look as we did 30 years ago.

Celebrating pain, reversals and dissolution gets old.  So get with it.

Even if you are not in a particularly positive mind frame, you owe it to yourself to fake it until a more positive outlook actually becomes a part of you.

Fake it till you make it.  What’s the alternative?  There is no recourse.

If that provides but meager comfort, then be grateful for what there is right now and find solace in that.  Things could be worse.

If all else fails, forget pride and get professional and clerical help.  The obligation to yourself right now is urgent.  It’s incumbent upon you to rise above your current circumstance.

Now, let me ask, what is important to you?  What is your plan?  Do you even have one?

Commit to the realization that you are no longer imprisoned by the past.  It is time to stop “going through comatose motions” and allow yourself to be liberated by your dreams.

For too long, your dreams have been a blank state because the past possessed a strangle-hold on any meaningful vision for the future..

This isn’t fuzzy BS.  Dreams beget Aspiration. Aspiration creates Strategy.  And Strategy engenders Tactics and Tactics demand Implementation.

Right now, it’s absolutely critical to create an action plan.   This is not a New Years resolution soon to be forgotten. This is your life.  Don’t put it on hold.

What are you telling yourself?  Are you saying  NO. HOW as in NO WAY, NO HOW or are you communicating  KNOW HOW as in finding a way of taking greater control and outcome of your life?

It takes focus and conviction to start over.

I remember working in Sales for a magazine.  I knew nothing about Print Sales.  I asked the owner what do I do?  He gave me the greatest advice, which at the time, I didn’t really appreciate nor fully understand.  Ah, the wisdom of the ages.

Even now, his words are so relevant and yet so simple.

He said. “just do it.”  And this was years before Nike’s adoption of the phrase.

Necessity is a Mother, and that’s used as a half word.  I needed the job and the money derived from commissions.  I didn’t say NO.  I certainly wasn’t sure HOW.  I had to improvise.  That was my KNOW HOW.

Stop with how or what or where.  Start somewhere and work your way from there.  Life does not come with an instruction manual.  So stop wasting time looking for one.

You are the architect of your life.  It is your blueprint, your brand, your self-actualization put into action without distraction.

Allow yourself to finally bring to fruition those long held concepts now liberated from self-imposed servitude, rooted in past doubt and failures.

You cannot build a solid structure with faulty construction tools.

And that reminds me of an interview I saw recently with TV’s Judge Judy.  She made an interesting observation related to blueberries.  Blueberries?  Yes.  She discussed how in a package of blueberries, you might find one shriveled up and decayed.

So, what do you do with the bad fruit?  You get rid of it.

But, if it’s not removed from the package, the next day more berries will be found to have gone bad.

If the shriveled berries are not discarded,  within a very short time, the whole package of fruit becomes decayed, shriveled and toxic.

The same is true by masochistically celebrating past defeat and fortune reversals.  That is what occurs by inaction.  We become decayed and toxic.

Sure we learn from turn downs but can’t allow those lessons to obstruct a path rich with the opportunity of attainment.

So, Is it NO.  HOW? Or is it KNOW HOW. It’s all up to you

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People, Places, Things and Larry

                           “A Person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”                                                                          John Barrymore

Lately, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with MD’s; more so than I prefer.  No big deal.  I even asked for a second opinion and was told, “You’re ugly too”! (Couldn’t resist)

However, while making the rounds of specialists, I did learn about a phenomenon called “White Coat Syndrome.”

When a patient sees a Doctor, the experience can adversely affect blood pressure readings. So much so, it is now recommended that physicians furnish a second BP evaluation later on during an appointment in order to determine correct measurement.

Before I go any further, this piece is not really about aches and pains. So bear with me.

But, it does remind me of the Henny Youngman story about his grandson, Larry, who would wake up every morning with a headache.  And, every night at bed time, Youngman told his grandson, “Remember, when getting out of bed, feet first, Larry, feet first.”

We all need help and sometimes a not-so-gentle reminder can go a very long way.

If you are beyond the age of 50, you might notice something taking place within you.  It is a not- so-subtle personal transformation.  It is most conspicuous in conversation.   It is an attitude.  Call it a metamorphosis.

It’s something you don’t want necessarily happening to you but, it probably will.  And, it’s critical that you resist the temptation of becoming shackled by the condition.

It is similar to a rite of passage whose time has come.

I believe it is some inner mechanism codified by genetics that self-activates at some pre-determined time.  What it does is create a demarcation line.

It delineates the young from the old.   It divides the active from the inactive.  It separates the hopeful from the resigned.  And, this condition is not the exclusive domain of the 50 plus generation.   There are those in their 20’s to 40’s infected with……Retiring Traits and Thought.

There is an old chestnut stating you can tell a lot about a person by their topics of conversation.  Here’s the breakdown.

1).  If you’re interested in Things, you are lively and active.

2).  If it’s all about Places, you’re probably a dreamer.  That’s good and not so good.  If it’s all about the past, then you are avoiding the present and leading a life of passivity.

3).  If your dialogue is limited solely to the discussion of People, then consider yourself on the bottom rung of existence.  You are inactive.  You are in danger of becoming a Dunderhead.  What’s worse?  You are now a certifiable Bore to the Core.

Now sure,  we talk about People.  Where would we be without others in our life?  They are a necessity.  It’s part of Conversation 101.  But, that is not what I’m referring to.  If that is your prime conversational pastime, I wish you well and welcome you to a world of self-isolation and limitation.

You become the person who, when asked “How are you doing” misinterprets a friendly acknowledgment salutation as a conversation opener that allows for monotonous and non-stop babble dealing with aches, pains and doctor visits.

We all know this but need to be reminded.  It’s all too easy to go into retirement mode especially when life has kicked us hard.

But “Perpetual Wound Licking” has not yet been determined to be an approved medical classification; even under the tenets of Obamacare.

What’s worse is when talk is only about People and Health, it leads to negativity.

Negativity is a time-killer, an opportunity saboteur, a life-force exterminator.

Ever been to an “over 50” Planned Community?  Everything is set out perfectly. It looks beautiful; filled with people playing golf, swimming all day and basking in the hot sun.  Sounds great!

But, there are two groups that populate these areas:  The active and the inactive.  They don’t get along.  They have little in common.  That’s what I’m talking about.

Get “Things” going in your life.  You are too young to be old and, most important, you are NEEDED!  You are needed right now!

Listen to me.  Two of the many attributes of being over the age of 50 are: Most of us have been blessed with the gift of gab and secondly, we know how to write.

Recently CNBC reported that Business is hurting.  They can’t find college graduates with good communication skills.  Oh sure, they can Text.  They are great with 140 characters and are masters at short hand.  But they are totally illiterate when it comes to long form writing skills and verbal articulation.

What I’m saying is there are people much younger than you and me with beaucoup brilliance but lacking proficiency in communicating intelligent thought.

So, stop with the People Talk or the latest Doctor visit monologue and get going.

Now, at first, it could be rough.  You are out of practice.  Work with someone or contact me.  I am a Coach and Trainer.

Being out of practice in presenting yourself is similar to the “White Coat Syndrome.”  Get back in the game and rehearse.  Do some trial runs with like minded active people.  You are easing the pressure.

Get off your butt, get the mind in gear.  And, most importantly, remember the advice offered by Henny Youngman to his grandson “Feet first, Larry, feet first.”.

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Sellouts, Sycohphants and Shaddenfreude

                                  “Don’t give up.  Don’t lose hope.  Don’t sell out.”                                                                                          Christopher Reeve

Am I the only one seemingly imprisoned in some vile and eerie state of surrealism where Sellouts and Sycophants have ensnared, outmaneuvered and subjugated the custodians of common sense?

It’s a field day for eunuchs, quislings and the narcissistic.

Now, we all need financial relief and recognition for a job well done is greatly appreciated.  Plus, it’s getting cold.  So, there is immediate need for making provision for winter’s unrelenting disposition.  We do what we need to do.

But, what the hell is going on?   It seems what’s wrong is right and what’s right is meaningless.  It’s as if some ominous pathogen has quietly but deliberately infected our basic sensibilities and caused a seismic shift in what is considered basic Values.

We all know the adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  Sure, that’s true.  But, volume is an imprecise assessment of substance.

This is not a political rant.  In fact, may a pox befall most elected officials.   Generally speaking they are Sellouts and Sycopchants beholden only to “others.”  Most times, the agenda of “others” is in sharp contrast with the concerns directly affecting you and me.

Politicians can be so megalomaniacal that it puts into question their mental soundness.

Perhaps I’m wrong but when it comes to most affairs of state, the only winner is the holder of the cards in a game of “3 card monty.”   And, guess what?  That ain’t us.

Enough said on that front, but it does shine the light on Sellouts and Sycophants.  They will do all they can for the sake of power and control.  It’s not just personal power.  It’s the capacity of lording over others.

It reminds me of the old Show Biz line, “Enough about me. Let’s talk about my show.”

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  So, it is imperative we make mid course corrections and then move on so we’re not left behind.  .

Unfortunately, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any definition of the word but life experience and a bit of research have shown me that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Shaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These are people who like to manipulate and inflict distress upon others.  Call it whatever you want, but it is sadistic in nature.

These people are ingrates.  They present themselves as better and smarter than most of humanity.  Privilege is due them. They are the “squeaky wheels” driven by an abundance of arrogance and a delusional sense of entitlement.

What they don’t realize is something once said by Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”   Actions really do speak louder than words.

In reality, the crux of the matter is most of these people have very little self-regard.  In fact, they use their arrogance as a shield.  The shield pushes away others so their deceit is secure and their fraud remains undetected.

However, they live in fear of being “found out.” They can’t bear the thought of being discovered for whom they really are.  That’s why they are so thin skinned.  They can’t take criticism.

And, since they can’t control their own lives, they set out to control the lives of others.

That’s the real issue: Control.

Years ago, in my DJ days, there was a Radio Manager who was considered a programming genius but a total S.O.B.  He put the fear of god into those who worked for him.  He made life miserable for many people in Radio.

Jump cut 20 years later and I had the chance to meet him.  He turned out to be a really great guy and was very helpful to me.  In our time together, he was totally honest and explained why he took on that S.O.B persona.  The reason:  He didn’t want anyone knowing how little he thought he knew, so his safety net was total control.

Those of us over the age of 50 know a phony when we see one.  We still have to deal with them, especially in a professional work setting.  But, it doesn’t mean emulating their controlling demeanor.

People who have no control over their own lives have a tendency of wanting to dominate the lives of others.  Psychiatrists refer to it as Displacement.  Since they can’t control their lives, they look for a source outside themselves to control.

On the other hand, those who have self-control have little or no interest in dictating how others should live and breathe. They will guide and mentor.  In the work place, they can even be rough at times, but they will be fair.  They are confident enough in their own talents and abilities.  Domination is a classification so remote from any personal character analysis.  .

These are uncertain times and, in order to get ahead, it’s very easy to mimic the behavior of Sellouts and Sycophants.   We all want more.  And, many of us are panning for gold by exploring and considering the latest secrets to success.  Sometimes, it’s all too tempting to adapt behavior alien to our core values.

And, by doing so, we take on the characteristics of what we find so alien.  We assume the identity and behavior of a sellout and sycophant.  And, that’s crazy.  It’s not who we are.

Here’s a warning:  Be careful.  Replicating fabricated identities, you do so at your own peril.

You see, living a lie means a lack of” Ease.”  And, when taken out of a position of ” Ease”, it creates an environment ripe for the incubation of Infection and Disease.

Now, let me take this one step further. We know when we are out of sorts.  We feel it when we see it.  The same holds true even in the most unexpected sources.

In the book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”, Author/Photographer Masaru Emoto took pictures of ice crystals.

So, what’s significant about that?

Well, through highly advanced micro-photography, Emoto captured amazing transformations.  He observed when someone with a positive disposition approached the ice crystals while being photographed, the configuration of the crystals turned totally white and beautifully shaped.

However, when someone troubled and negative came within proximity to the crystals, they turned ugly, shapeless and grey.  Check out those pictures in Emoto’s book.  They are amazing.

So, if something as minute as ice crystals can be affected by positive and negative energies, then you must consider how Sellouts and Sycophants influence you.  Their effect can be be nothing short of amazing or destructive.

What I’m saying is don’t allow yourself to be seduced and drawn into a vortex of ethical ambivalence.

Until proven otherwise, don’t jump to mirror the appearance of strength.  It might be hiding a host of inadequacies.

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  In life, we all make certain realignments but then move on.

But, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any measure of the word but life experience and a bit of research show that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Schaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These control freaks manipulate and inflict hardship on others.  Psychologists refer to it as a form of displacement. It is limiting, debilitating and sadistic in nature.

These are strange and unsettling times in which we live.  It’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to be true to our own moral and value compass.    Today, it’s our safety net in today’s 3 ring Circus that we call life.

We can start by not ceding Control of our lives to Sellouts and Sycophants.  If they can’t control their own lives, what the Hell are they doing trying to run ours.

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Sampling the Exceptional or Settling for Mediocrity

“The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.”     Dale Carnegie    

I can’t recall a time when so many people have opted for a life of settlement and maintenance that forfeits their right to maximizing the Exceptional.

To me, it makes no sense.  It’s antithetical to the American Dream.   It wasn’t all that long ago people took risks.  We were pathfinders. We journeyed to realms undiscovered.  We sailed upon uncharted waters.  We took flight into the great beyond, all with cautious optimism and utmost respect for the unknown, the uncertain and the unexpected

But, the driving force was the desire for self-fulfillment accompanied by an abundance of wide-eyed anticipation.

Yes, I know this sounds over-the-top romantic and the rantings of someone over the age of 50.  But, in reality, taking initial strides upon virgin terrain can dismantle even the most efficient strategies of preparedness.

When you get right down to it, you never know.  You just hope for the best and go for it.  Shakespeare once said, “It is not in the stars to hold our fate but in ourselves.”  Let’s face it, we hold dominion over our own destiny.  That disqualifies personal judgments linked to resignation, self-imposed limitation and aspirations abandoned.

I’m talking about passion, that inner driving force, that lacerates your very core screaming for birth, implementation and fulfillment.

It becomes your sole purpose for being.

Unfortunately today, there is a prevailing mindset that celebrates complacency, discourages success and consecrates the dogma of mediocrity.

Sameness is a killer.  It is an enervating bitch.  It strangles innovation.  Looking at it from another perspective, it is the vapid celebration for coming in fifth in a four man race.  That is a prescription-in-waiting for nonexistence with the debilitating side effects of cynicism, worthlessness and despair.

Enduring happiness and satisfaction are derived through personal effort and achievement; not by predetermined outcomes and equal distribution.

I am not an anarchist.  I don’t believe in “anything goes” and down-with-order. I believe in structure.

For many years, I worked in Radio and, as talent, worked within format guidelines.  It was incumbent upon me to shine within the confines of the format and be the best that I could be.  The payoff: the better I was, the better the ratings.  The greater the ratings,  the greater my compensation package.

Sure, I took chances.  In retrospect, sometimes I was 2 steps away from sheer brilliance.  Sometimes I was even 2 steps from god-awful.  But, I was out there doing the best I could without the benefit of a safety net.

Safety nets discourage the Exceptional and mute satisfaction derived from effort.

As a Radio personality, there was no place for settlement, maintenance or mediocrity..  It was not an option. It was succeed or being “shown the door”.  And, being placed “in between success” is not something to be relished with any enthusiasm.

If your goal is to be as good as everyone else, congratulations, you are now-one of the many.  You don’t stand out.  You are no longer a “someone.”  You have been relegated to the status of a “some thing.”  Instead of being unique and exceptional, you fall under the classification of inconsequential and invisible. That’s means you are a replaceable commodity.

Today, with modern technology and predictive analysis calculations, it’s all too easy to become disheartened and yielding to the findings of some statistical probability equation.  That could render a negative forecast for your undertaking.  Putting it bluntly, it means the numbers don’t add up.

Albert Einstein has said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

Don’t get me wrong, experience counts.   And, the capacity to forecast fatal flaws cannot be dismissed as preposterous.

But, if you have done your homework and still believe strongly in you project and yourself, then go for it.

Now, the past is a guideline that cannot be disregarded.  What’s the old saying about those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it. It is true.

However, analysis is based primarily on the past in order to predict future outcomes.  But, the past cannot forecast the future with total certainty.  Sure, history is a guideline.  But, it is only……a Guide Line.

Life is not a rubric cube.  There are permutations.  Life is filled with anomalies that thrust humanity onto some wildly improbable journey.

You can’t ignore the power of unpredictability.  Sometimes things just happen.  In fact, sometimes the best stuff happens by mistake; and that funny little quirk doesn’t compute all that well.

Ever go to the store where they are handing out free product samples?  Are they doing this to be nice?  Is it a way of thanking customers for their patronage by dispensing goodies?

No way.  Many companies understand the power of the soft sell..  Research shows when customers are given the opportunity to sample product without hype and hard-sell, there is a greater likelihood of product purchase and building brand loyalty.

Why?  Because customers come to their purchasing decision voluntarily.

No one pushed them.

It’s a variation on the power of unpredictability.

The same is true with Exceptionalism.  Perhaps it’s time to sample the Exceptional you.

What are your assets?  How can you improve upon your strengths and raise them to Exceptional grade?

Sure it takes time.  It does not miraculously occur overnight.  Exceptionalism comes with time and practice.

So, practice the presentation of your Exceptionalism.  If you don’t believe in your own Exceptional ability, you end up singing in the chorus of  Mediocrity.

Years ago, I had lunch with a good friend of mine, Reggie Brooks.  Reggie Brooks is a super-demand Author/Speaker and an expert when it comes to Real Estate Investment.

Being an Author/Speaker was something I had always wanted to pursue.

During our lunch, I mentioned to Reggie that I too had become an Author/Speaker.  But, there was no conviction behind my words.  At the time, It was wishful thinking.  I had not yet paid any dues.  I had no real podium experience. And, my words came across as shallow and theoretical.

Theories are what they are.  Until put to a reality test, they are nothing more than upgraded BS.  And, BS is the nesting place for the theoretical.

This is about Quality over Quantity.  You are NOT one of the many.  You are one in a billion.  So, tell me, what is the upside for settling for Mediocrity?

So aspire to the Exceptional.  Work it.  Work towards the fulfillment and employment of your Exceptionalism.

And, with patience, sheer determination and a bit of good luck, you can be the beneficiary of Mother Nature’s unexpected bounty of good fortune.

Now, this is not happy motivational talk.  Consider this:  Can you explain why meteorologists have such a difficult time predicting the weather more than a few days out on any consistent basis?  They certainly have every technological bell and whistle

If this is so, then tell me who or what apparatus can foretell with total certainty future success or failure?  It can’t be done.

What I am saying is hold on to your dreams, nurture them and bring them to fruition.  Don’t opt for a life of settlement, maintenance that forfeits the right to maximizing the Exceptional you..

What I’m saying is don’t you dare give up on you.

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Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere

   “Our Greatest Glory is not in Never Failing, but in Rising Up Every Time We Fail.”         Ralph Waldo Emerson

All I’m really looking for is Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere.

Sounds like the title of a County song.  Today it’s the clarion call for so many of us over the age of 50.

Let’s get real.  Things just don’t seem right.  Today, we are fed a daily regimen of celebrity absurdity and a torrent of matters inconsequential, all designed for the purpose of diversion and distraction. It’s modern day Bread and Circuses.  But, delusion doesn’t pay the bills nor open many doors. We know in our heart of hearts, things just don’t seem right. The feeling is palpable.

But, we are Entrepreneurs.  We do what we need to do and do it on our own.  We are driven by vision, motivated by passion and guided by experience and intelligence.

It’s very rough out there, but it doesn’t matter.  While others remain on shore waiting for the tides to turn, we take advantage of the lack of competition.

Right now might not be the perfect season for career transition consideration, but that’s a personal decision.  Each of us answers to our own muse.  We understand we must commit to something focused, something concrete.  Wind chimes and marigolds reside in sonnets and do diddly squat in advancing the quest for success.

The same holds true when displaced by circumstance and assigned to the land of  “in-between success”.   Sitting all day in front of a computer hungering for scraps of “opportunity manna “is the personification of aspiration passivity.

Here’s a News Update:  The fortune fairy doesn’t deliver online anymore.

By any calculation, that means acceptance and recognition of the unexceptional and mundane.  That contradicts all aspirations of Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere.

So, turn off the computer, forsake another exciting game of solitaire and get out there and start mixing with humanity.  It is all in the dogged pursuit of reclaiming prosperity and the attendant peace of mind.  Tough times are not virtual. We know that. It’s displacing passive interface with energetic Interaction.  We know it.  We just need a reminder now and then.

At one time or another, most of us have traveled down similar paths and experienced comparable scenarios.

It’s rough out there.  That’s a given.  Being aged 50 Plus only adds to the challenge.

Perhaps this is a time where you find yourself licking wounds from previous ill-fated encounters.  You lose yourself momentarily in reflections of past but brilliant triumphs only to be jolted suddenly back to the cruel reality of life currently filled with unrelenting turn downs.   .

And, you are burned out on Almost, disheartened by Dead Ends and exhausted by the unconvincing Maybe.

Sound familiar?  But, we are survivors.  Sure, we bitch and moan but adjust to the changing marketplace.  Sometimes, it’s easy to do.  Other times, it is insufferable.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers but let me run a few suggestions by you:

1).  Go out there and FAIL.  Yes, fail!  But, fail on the way to success.  Let me explain:  From now on, apply for everything. Everything!  Not that you are going to accept just anything, but you need practice. Get your act down.  You are not failing.  You are Rehearsing.  This is known as “Show Prep.”  So, when the right scenario comes into focus, you are more than ready.  Be thankful that you have the ability to fail.  By failing, you are succeeding.  Plus mingling with humanity is an energizer.

2).  You are over the age of 50.  You have background.  Having accomplished as much as you have in life, you can paint verbal pictures based on past experience.  You  make these visions come alive because you have lived them.  Your frame of reference allows for the anecdotal, not just hypothetical.    You conjure up past undertakings.

You can relate an anecdote that has relevance with or is similar to the situation at hand. Now, compare this to someone younger than yourself. Lacking experience, their frame of reference is hypothetical and theoretical.  They lack experience and come across as a one trick pony.

One precautionary note: Don’t get too verbose.   Waxing nostalgia labels you as old and out of touch: That projects a retirement vision. Get to the anecdote that advances your response and then move on.

3).  Getting down on yourself when all doors appear shut and opportunity seems non-existent can place even the most optimistic individual’s trajectory into a downward spiral.  Why is it when things degenerate to such an extent, we seem to join the depredation chorus?

That is self-treachery.   It’s taking perverse joy in the celebration of our existing contraction status.   We hurt ourselves.  We isolate in desperation and cocoon in despair.

Believe this or not, research proves this is normal human behavior.  We actually get a temporary lift from masochist demeanor.

Nobody ever said human nature makes sense

In fact, it’s all part of Mazlow’s study on the Stages of Depression:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

As delusional as it sounds, this behavior is part and parcel of life.  Just don’t allow this fleeting but aberrant demeanor to permanently confiscate your normality.

4).  Isn’t it something!  When we want to escape from “funk”, we feel a strange, illogical deference to it.  It’s like over paying on allegiance to a sentence of self-ruin.  And, until  and until such time, we cannot free ourselves from this self-imposed confinement.

On the surface, this sounds like a load of BS to the 10th degree.  But, it’s not

It makes no sense, but what does making sense have to do with anything?  Now here’s the kicker. Any positive action undertaken to change this mindset is viewed with disdain and regarded as an inferior alternative to the current negative status..

Consider this: Imagine reverting back to toddle-hood right now, with your current intellectual capacity.  Do you realize you would probably convince yourself you couldn’t walk.  At a certain point, toddlers stand up instinctively.  They take a step or 2, fall down and cry.  They do this over and over again until they finally get it right.  They get frustrated but they don’t stop.  We do.

So, be a baby.  Again, fail and fall on your way to success.  Look upon this exercise as a rehearsal.

5).  Be grateful.  Unfortunately today, all too many people venerate victim-hood.  Even Entrepreneurs have been known at times to retreat into the throes of anguish and get caught up in the culpability game.

It is celebrating and reveling in despair. As a victim, none of what happens in life is ever due to personal resolve. It is all the fault of others.  No personal accountability whatsoever.  Now, at one time or another, we have all “done and been done in.”   That’s life.  We learn from all our experiences good and bad.  But, abdicating responsibility means relinquishing control of your life to others.

And that brings to mind the old Golden Rule:  He/She who has the Gold Rules.

So, be grateful. Don’t give up. Never cede your power. Don’t allow control of your life into the hands of others. Their interest in you is, at best, peripheral. Get out there and start failing on the way to Success. Remember, it’s a rehearsal.  Mingle with the masses and the Mighty.

This is no time for passivity.  Solitaire, Land Mines, TMZ and Miley Cyrus will just have to make do without you.

It’s all part of Getting to the Other Side of Nowhere..

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Wishes, Goals, Deadlines and Teaming Up

” A Wish is a Goal without a Deadline.”

                                                               Pat Croce

Ever hear the song, “When you wish upon a Star.”  It’s a very lovely ballad and the musical signature to all things Disney.  It holds out the promise that petitioning the heavens converts illusion to authenticity.

Nice work if you can get it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hopes and dreams.  But, I’m not hearing of palm trees now sprouting in Lapland nor am I holding out any likelihood of Kate Upton knocking on my door next Thursday.

But, let me ask you, what is it you really want to do?  What are you trying to get across?

Let’s face it, talk is cheap and most times requires only a bare minimum of critical thought.  Don’t get me wrong, not every pronouncement needs to be a communication jewel but it certainly helps to refine as much as possible.

You’ve got to have something behind the desire of what you want.  And, that calls for a plan, a blueprint.  That’s grit with no BS.  This is a contract you are making with yourself.   Otherwise, it’s back to the Disney songbook.

My point is today you have to be more specific than ever before in what you want and what you present.  It’s essential that your message, your proposal break through all the clutter.

Recent findings show that the average person is exposed to more than 3300 messages everyday.  We see and hear them on the Internet (Face Book/YouTube, etc), It is what is heard on Radio, seen on TV, Cable, Billboards and Print..

You get the idea.  So, if you are not making a stellar presentation, the end result, most likely, is a byproduct of wishful thinking.

You’ve got to work those brain cells.  You must update and get specific.  Relying solely on the success of past performance is a sign of cranial cavity neglect.  You are going through the motions and just wasting time..

I am also a Media Trainer.  I’ve found that most people are very sincere in their belief structure.  However, they lack the skills to frame properly their positions in any convincing manner. They know what they want.  They just don’t know how to say it correctly and get caught in clutter.

They are not lacking the intelligence and the know-how.  They just don’t know how to articulate their point of view.   That takes time, additional time.

Framing and Articulation are the icing on the cake.  Cake is good but it’s the icing that sells it and creates demand..  It’s that extra time, effort and ingredients that separate good from great.

It’s time to get real.  You are over the age of 50.  You have traipsed across Terra Firma and have dealt with more than your fair share of yuks and woes

Here’s the problem:  Compared to most people half your age, you have forgotten more than they will ever know. And, to a point, that’s true.. Unfortunately that self-aggrandizing mindset creates an open invitation of choosing the seductive path of least resistance.

Welcome back to BS land, cue the orchestra and chorus, “When you wish upon a Star.”

I’m Exhibit A.

Recently, I was asked to put together a written presentation.  Even if I say so, It was a damn good one and made me proud of what I sent back to this company. They called and asked me to come on in.

That was a good sign.

When I got to my appointment for what I thought would be a meet, greet, sign agreement followed by hand shakes and good bye, they decided upon a change in plans. They wanted an oral presentation.

Now, I’m a speaker by trade, so that should not be too big a problem, right?

It was a problem.

I had worked so hard on the written presentation that I overlooked the possibility of a “just in case” scenario. It was embarrassing. Although I knew what I was talking about, I hemmed and hawed which took away from the presentation and diminished my credibility.  It was good but not great and they weren’t buying good.  So, no cigar.

Moral: Never assume..

No excuse.  I was not as prepared as I should have been.  Start the Disney music.

Bette Middler once said the best adlibs are planned adlibs.  And, she’s right.

Always be prepared and expect the unexpected.  It is really just a matter of covering all the bases.

Get specific.  Tailor your presentation.  If it means teaming up with someone else, do it.  It’s to your benefit.  You help them, they help you.

Not too long ago, I interviewed best selling Author/Speaker Harvey Mackay.  What a great guy.  No airs at all.  We talked about how “Practice makes Perfect.”  And he told me in no uncertain terms, that’s wrong.

Mackay said Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers football coach, told him that it’s “Perfect Practice makes Perfect.”

Now, if that’s good enough for Harvey Mackay and Vince Lombardi, then that’s more than good enough for me as it should be for you..

And, that underscores the necessity of team work.

You see today, it is all Show Business.  Don’t misconstrue what I am saying.

Today, more than ever before, you must Show that you mean Business otherwise all you’re doing is singing “When you wish upon a Star.”


Essentials vs. Incidentals

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”    Henry David Thoreau

Recently, the Oracle, the US entry in the America’s Cup Race plucked astonishing victory from the clutches of the Kiwi competitor.

The Oracle had lost 7 races in a row.  New Zealand had been all but designated the newly anointed sovereign of the seas. Most sideline observers considered the USA’s likelihood of fortune reversals akin to “swimming with the fishes” in San Francisco Bay.

The American Cup Race team astounded the sailing world and most everyone else with such an unlikely victory.

How did they win?  They focused on what needed to be done.  They cut the crap and got to the point.  They devised a step by step plan, with allowances for the unexpected, to get back into the competition and win.

And, that’s what we need to do.  We must get back into our own race by giving ourselves permission to eliminate self-imposed limitation.  Call it self-emancipation.  Call it what you will, just do it and stop wasting time.

We’re over 50 now and the clock is ticking.  So, what the hell are we waiting for?  No one is going to save us until first we truly desire to save ourselves.

That requires removing clutter.

Ask yourself what is Essential and what is Incidental?

Essentials are our choices, the things we must do.

Incidentals differ in importance and determined by circumstance.  If allowed, they vary from slight distractions to thoroughly obstructionist matter. The degree of distraction is unimportant.  Know this: they are goal toxins.  Incidentals clutter the mental landscape and trigger the ambiguity of purpose.

The problem is there are so many incidentals in life today it’s incredible that anything meaningful ever gets accomplished.

Here’s a few quick examples:  You know you need to contact someone.  However, you believe the outcome will be not all that favorable.  So, you do everything you can to avoid making that call. The Incidentals get in the way of the Essentials.

Tell that to the crew of The Oracle.

Sure, it’s procrastination.  Who sparks with anticipation to any form of rejection?

When I was in Radio Sales, I had a very good client who noticed a billing problem.  I told them I’d get to it.  It was no big deal.  But, I just let it go.  I don’t know why but I developed a fear of straightening out this relatively simple matter.

But, months passed, fear grew and I still had not taken care of the billing mix-up.

Talk about task-avoidance. I had concocted in my head some ridiculous pathway of Incidentals that inhibited me from uncovering a Solution.

I was evading the Essentials.

Finally, I got off my butt and with some help, got the billing problem resolved.

Why did I let this happen?  I don’t know.  But I had bestowed upon Incidentals the muscle to obstruct the completion of Essentials.

Am I the only one who’s ever done this?  I don’t know.  Philosophers say the closer we get to project completion, the more “noise” we begin to hear.  In other words, Incidentals have the capacity to sideline and even subjugate the Essentials.  They are a countermanding force with no redeeming properties.

Now, perhaps you’ve had an experience similar to this:  You’re working on a proposal. You’re on a deadline. They want it delivered only by snail mail.  It’s late in the afternoon. The cartridge printer has run out of ink and time is ticking away. You must finish this presentation and get it in the mail today.  It’s getting late. Traffic is brutal.

You get to a box store.  They’re out of the cartridge you need.  Next place, same story. Time is wasting away. Finally at the third location, success!.

Heading home, you’re stuck in traffic.  It’s a mess.  All you want is to get to what is Essential but you’re are bogged down by these symbiotic, draining Incidentals.

Sure, that’s life!  Understood.  But today, there seems to be more delay and distraction and much less free and clear.

Part of it is Time Management.  It’s living with the reality that today almost everything comes with an attached Incidental levy.  It is incumbent upon all of us to make provision for the expectation of Incidentals (fatal flaw analysis) as we plod on toward the completion of Essential.  It’s Murphy’s Law adapted to the 21st century.

I was discussing this piece with my very enlightened daughter, Christina, and her take was:  “Leave the dishes and go conquer the world.”  And, you know she’s right.

So, what’s important to you?  Like the Americas Cup Race, are you “in it to win it”?

Are you allowing Incidentals to override Essentials that transform your active, creative and productive status to something passive, languorous and aimless?

That’s not life.  That’s existence.

You are too young to be old.  Incidentals lead to stagnation.

Face the Essential, fight the Incidentals, get back in the race and win!

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Stop Underestimating the Power and Value of You

When was the last time someone told you how important you are?  It’s probably been a while.

Now, this is not some feel good positive spin piece.

In our 50 plus years, most of us have experienced the joys of renown and success as well as disappointment and failure.  We have encountered the unexpected, adjusted our game plan accordingly and moved on.

What I’m saying is we have learned from experience.

We have survived triumphs and turndowns. And, we’re still in the fight. We don’t give up.  We go to our corner.  Nowadays, we need more than a minute to prepare for the next round, but with the sounding of the bell, we’re ready to do battle.

That’s who we are and how we get through life these days. It’s not heroic and it’s certainly not romantic. It’s our reality.

However, it is a differing scenario for today’s younger generations.

They lead their lives with preconceived notions that clash with harsh reality. Of their own volition, they choose to cocoon.

To some extent, we all do this.  Most of us aged 50 Plus, do it to heal our wounds, take a momentary break and then get back into action.  They don’t. For the most part, they lead a monastic existence.

Now the younger demographic have minds with sponge-like abilities that absorb so much more than we can marshal today. And,  they pride themselves in what they think they know.  But, they don’t know what they don’t know and lack real life experience.

Aah, the conceit of innocence.

What’s worse is they buy totally into the snark factor.  Now, growing up, most of us to some degree, would have been placed under the classification of smart ass. 

The difference being we were taught life’s lessons, sometimes the hard way, but we learned.

The 18-49 Adult truly believes no one knows more than they do.  That’s a given.  It’s part of growing up.  But, in our younger years, there were outside influences that steered us back on track, more so than the 18-49 Adult of today.

We did not suffer the consequence of self-imposed isolation precipitated by the confining influence of the web and social media.

So many in the younger generation, how can I say this properly, don’t get out much anymore.  Their real life human connections are select and few.  They are in front of a screen for hours on end.  Their lives are more virtual than real.

They are influenced more by anonymous sources. Anonymity becomes the petri-dish for chaos, disinformation and confusion..  What’s troubling is there is no accountability construct whatsoever.

So what takes shape is a non-judgmental view on almost everything.  It metastasizes to such a degree that right and wrong become irrelevant.  There is no challenge to prevailing convictions and no place for critical thought.

They lack our socialization skills.  They descend into a subsistence based on their belief system formed by their web selections.  Compared to us, they deal so much more exclusively with like minded peers and dwell in their online universe.

Sure, we all prefer the company of like-minded individuals.  That’s natural. But, the 18-49 Adult restricts diversity of thought that creates a constricting and self-indulgent environment; all the while totally believing that they are the sole proprietor of the open mind

However, being 50 Plus, we reject this atmosphere of exclusivity.

Unfortunately for the younger on line generations, being that insulated, they truly believe they are stars in their own world.  And, unfortunately they really are.  They watch the so called “reality shows.”  Online, they read vicariously about the outrageous behavior of today’s “headliners” to which they aspire to emulate.

As a result of excluding differing opinions, they believe they have license to mirror behaviors they see, hear and and read about and position themselves as stars in their own illusory sphere.

Welcome to the new Show Business!

Think I’m wrong.  Take a look at reality show contestants; especially the rejects.  Most of these “wannabees”  are absolutely certain they are worthy of superstar recognition.  They lack portfolio, but why quibble about the small stuff. Right?

Speak to business owners that need help but find themselves in a pool of younger applicants so displaced from reality.  It’s not about the customer, it’s all about them.  And, this is especially true even in this faltering economy.

Now don’t get me wrong, while growing up, we all had illusions of fame and untold fortunes and most of us over 50, still hold out some lingering but dim hope, though tempered by time and experience.

Today’s younger generations immerse themselves in illusion.  What’s more troubling is they reject resources to extricate themselves from self-delusion.  You see, this is their universe, constructed with little regard  nor tolerance for responsibility while dismissing contrary influences beyond their self-crafted orthodoxy.

They are their own judge, jury and executioner.  This mind-set is based on entitlement and indulgence.

Now, this is not a piece about how much better we are compared to younger generations.

However, I do believe we are better off than younger generations.  I feel sorry for them.  It’s always rough looking back on all the mistakes we have made in life.  For me personally, it’s sometimes cringe-worthy.

Here is what I believe are the strengths of being over the age of 50::

1). I believe we learn and have learned from parents, teachers, mentors and forces that didn’t always share our “enlightened” points of view.  They made it abundantly clear we didn’t know what the hell we were talking about.

2).  I believe we don’t see ourselves as masters of the universe but more as stewards of our own realm.  We are responsible and held accountable for our actions that affect us and those who rely on us.

3).  I believe at our age we have better Social skills than younger generations, and that serves us well.  We are so much more open to change than those aged 18-49. Sure, we have strong core beliefs, but have learned that we are not always correct and sometimes need to make mid-course corrections.  We are Social and more flexible because we deal with living and breathing humans every day.  Our relationships are real, not virtual nor anonymous.

4).  I believe life has taught us how to deal with others, even those whose opinions are dissimilar from ours. We evaluate differing views.  We might not agree or accept them but our inner filters do not preclude the option of diversity.

5).  I believe we don’t Interface as much as we do Face to Face.  Living in an online universe that promotes anonymity creates a world of irresponsibility and a false sense of entitlement.  There is no accountability.  Interface is a fertile breeding ground for an abundance of snark.

We do Face to Face.  Now we might not be as web proficient as younger demos but we know BS when we hear it and can smell it a mile away.

6).  I believe life has shown us there is very little quarter for false and unearned Entitlement.  It’s all part of dues paying. More importantly, we know that Entitlement should be employed with prudence and discretion.  If you’ve got it, no need to flaunt it.

7). I believe we know what is needed to get the job done right, the first time. We have experience servicing customers and dealing with the public.  We know how to serve instead of being served.

8). I believe we are not exclusive.  We are inclusive.  More importantly, we are exceptional. Why?  Because we have value and respect values..

9).  I believe we have compassion.  We have life experiences. Life can be one hell of a task master.  Let’s face it, at one time or another, we have all been village idiots.

We have done well and been kicked around a bit by the fates.  We are amused and annoyed by the 18-49 Adults behavior.  We recognize that in our own way, we have been there and don’t that.

What’s different from previous generations is the total lack of opposing criticism.  It’s spiked and  filtered out of their equation. That’s very troubling.

Hopefully  when all is said and done, we’ll be there to comfort and guide the 18-49 Adults when…………….and if…….they ever come out of the ether,

That’s the power and value of being 50 Plus.

So, for God’s sake, stop underestimating the power and value of you.

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Momentum, Perfection, Charley Warner & Excellence.

You’ve heard the story about the guy who was going through very hard times.  Things were sooo dreadful, the only luck he had was bad.

Nothing was working for him.

One day, while looking up to the heavens totally aggravated, annoyed and frustrated, he shrieks out, “Lord, why me”?

Suddenly, massive dark clouds appear, humongous bolts of lightening emerge, deafening, roaring sounds of thunder reverberate so powerfully, the concussive force knocks him to the ground.

Then, coming from above, a sonorous, commanding voice is heard saying,………………”because you piss me off.”

Let’s face it, there are times when no matter what you do, nothing seems to work  And, now that we’re over the age of 50, our personal  “luck ledger” appears to have migrated from assets to liabilities a lot more often.

Life is a game.  Yes, a game.  And, as in almost all games, there is momentum. It happens inexplicably.  Everything is going along perfectly.  And, then suddenly, things turn upside down.  They go sideways, up and around but definitely not heading in your direction.  There is no real reason for the course change.  It just happens.

Even Psychologists can’t figure out why.  It’s just part of the life experience.   It’s immutable.  It’s unexpected and, when it happens, IT HAPPENS!.

I remember when I first got into Retail Sales.  Now, I had done well in Radio as talent.  So, why would I have trouble in Sales?  Famous last words.  I was in for a very rude awakening.  I got  hit big time with a reality pie.  Starting off, I couldn’t make a sale or do one thing right.

One day, I called on a college in San Mateo, CA.  The meeting was with a man who had been the President of NBC Radio.  Needless to say, he was a very sharp guy. He took one look at me and said that I looked like some dead meat brought in by a stray dog.

And, I felt that way.  I had no hope.  That man’s name is Charley Warner.  And, I am so grateful to have had him come into my life at that time.  Thank you, Charley Warner.

Warner read me the riot act.  He told me to get off my butt, make a list of all good things I’d accomplished in life and come back in a week with the list.

At first, I could not think of even one good thing.  I was so down and out and feeling like there was no future..  That’s not the kind of attitude that attracts success especially when you’re you’re married with 2 kids and located 3000 miles away from your home base.  I was the furthest thing from perfection.

It took me a considerable amount of time to complete the assignment. Now, I was starting out in Sales and the goals I’d set for myself were perfection personified. Talk about delusion.  In retrospect,  the goals were impossible to achieve.  I had overlooked the obvious facts: learn to crawl before you walk, walk before you can run.  Most importantly, understand that previous skills and talents take time for integration into the new mix.

But, the more time spent working at Warner’s assignment, the more I accepted my good, I re-evaluated my worth and began realizing that life really is a game.  And, in games, there is momentum.

What I learned is that none of us is perfect and never will be.  Perfection is an unattainable goal.  So, stop striving for perfection and re-calculate for Excellence.

Striving for Perfection is demoralizing.  It leads to failure and depression.  It’s a waste of time and drags you down.  Take it from someone who knows.  I’m Exhibit A.

Excellence is motivating.  You and I are not perfect.  But, even now, I can beat myself up unmercifully, trying to reverse mistakes and seek perfection.  All I’m really doing is getting in my own way, interfering with the pendulum of  momentum and not necessarily in a positive direction.  The result: too much of a not so good a thing.  .

Life has it’s ups and downs but mindset affects duration.

Now,  Reflection is something we all need to do now and then.   But, too much is paralyzing.  It stops growth.  And, part of growth is making mistakes and learning from them.  That does not mean imposing a sentence of self-imposed servility and brow-beating.

Actually, too much reflection incubates an atmosphere of perfection. Self-absorption obstructs reality.  And, since no one can attain perfection which is not reality, we wind up in a virtual lotus position, accomplishing little and becoming more depressed.

Worst of all,  you become a theorist.  And, talking is no substitute for actually doing.

The next thing you know you’re aggravated, annoyed and shrieking to the heavens …………..…and, well,……………….…..  Don’t     go      there.

Life is a game and games have momentum.  They have ups and downs.  Attitude abbreviates or prolongs current momentum. Down times don’t last forever.  Accept the fact that there is no perfection.  So, be Excellent.   Know it, believe it, get off your butt and get going.