Mark Hillman, Ph.D.

Points to Ponder

Welcome to the online version of "Points to Ponder", a monthly newsletter by Mark Hillman.

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January 2000

Happy 2000!

The Brick Layers Story

I was walking to work one day when I saw 3 bricklayers setting up to build a wall. When I was returning home at the end of the day, I passed the same three bricklayers laboring at their work and was curious of the progress they made during the day. The first bricklayer had about 3 rows of brick laid for his portion of the wall and was grumbling to himself. The second bricklayer had built his part of the wall to about shoulder height. The third bricklayer, however, was already on scaffolding and had built his piece of the wall 18 feet high. I thought this was interesting and decided to ask the men about their progress.

I said to the first bricklayer, "Excuse me sir, what are you doing?"

"I'm laying brick" he snapped, "Now leave me alone."

I went over to the second bricklayer, who was lackadaisically adding another brick to his top layer. I said, "Excuse me sir, what are you doing?"

"I'm just building another wall" he said, yawned, and returned to work.

Then I went over to the third bricklayer who was by now twenty feet up on the scaffolding and was whistling and singing to himself. I hollered up to him, "Excuse me sir, what are you doing?" I had to ask the question 3 times before I got an his attention. When I did he hollered back down to me, "Sorry son, I can't talk to you now, I'm building the Cathedral !"


February 2000

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Totally at Ease to Speak

I can not trust you to understand unless I do. From times that I was just hanging on, I have come to embrace a concept of higher love. The concept of unconditional regard which at times was fantasized and now realized, sets my soul on fire.

How fragile the bond between us if I cannot trust you to accept me for what and who I am. Recognizing that being trustworthy does not demand that I be rigidly consistent, but that I be dependably real. I continuously feel reassured that in our relationship I am moving in the right direction.

The continuous challenge: to risk, to evaluate, to grow and to shun all limits for understanding an internal component of myself; my tolerance and commitment for change.

At times, I experience a transformation, a revitalization, a rebirth, when unlocking an amazing mental and emotional potential; becoming truly self-directed, self-motivated and loosing the feelings of my intimate fears.

The joys and nature of trust are by no means an accidental persistence of truth, but the well-meaning and well-directed actualization of investing in yourself with the most important product being authenticity.

As the paradox of perfectionism, and confusing inferences with reality are sometimes my own ticket toward effectiveness and hibernation; I listen and learn and capture the precious moments to maximize momentum toward bolstering my self-worth. Discovering my inner priorities, working through goal incompatibilities and striving for goal congruency with feelings, thoughts and actions.

As self-understanding is an intrinsically rewarding source of pleasure, the joining of that experience with another brings me closer to the integrative wholeness I search for.

I will love you always for helping me discover the path toward inner freedom.

March 2000

"Dead Horse Management" or "When Do I Get Off This Thing?"

Ancient wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in organizations we often try many other strategies, including the following:

1. Changing riders.
2. Buying a stronger whip.
3. Falling back on: "This is the way we've always ridden."
4. Appointing a committee to study the dead horse.
5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride their horses.
6. Raising the standards for riding dead horses.
7. Appointing a task force to revive the dead horse.
8. Creating a training session to improve riding skills.
9. Comparing the state of dead horses in today's environment.
10. Changing the requirements so that the horse no longer meets the standard of being dead.
11. Hiring a consultant to show how to ride a dead horse.
12. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
13. Increasing funding to improve the horses performance.
14. Declaring that no horse is to dead to beat.
15. Doing a study to see if outsourcing will reduce the cost of riding a dead horse.
16. Buying a computer program to enhance dead-horse performance.
17. Declaring a dead horse less costly than a live one.
18. Forming a work group to find uses for dead horses.
19. Changing the performance requirements for the horse.
20. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

April 2000

A young life insurance sales agent walked into a factory and asked to see the sales manager. When the manager finally greeted her in his office, the agent nervously said, "You don't want to buy any life insurance do you?"

"No," replied the sales manager, curtly.

"I didn't think you would," said the agent as she got up and headed for the door.

"Wait a minute!"said the sales manager. "Come back here."

"You are without a doubt the worst salesperson I have ever seen."

The agent looked down. "Yes I know...."

"Listen you've got to have enthusiasm when you sell - you have to be positive, not negative. You have to believe in yourself."

"Yes, sir."

"Now. look, I'm a very busy man, but I'll show you how." And for the next 30 minutes the sales manager gave the young agent all the benefits of his experience and wisdom.

"I don't know how to thank you," said the agent.

"That's all right," said the sales manager. "Now, because you're obviously new at this, I'll buy a small policy from you."

The agent quickly dug out a policy. The sales manager signed it, then said, "Remember, don't go in cold, not knowing what you're going to say. Work out a planned and organized sales presentation."

The agent smiled. "Oh, I have. What you've just seen is my organized approach to sales managers."

May 2000


Good humor is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society. ----William Makepeace Thackeray

An individual's worth has very little to do with salary, possessions or position.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can. ---John Wesley

It is good to learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.

Only the passions, only great passions, can elevate the mind to do great things. ---Denis Diderot

The best way to get even with someone is to forget.

To be productive, constructive, original and imaginative is to master the art of creativity.

A person is only as good as his or her word.

It is a mistake to surround yourself with only the people just like you. Throw off that worn comforter - and replace it with a crazy quilt of different and imaginative people. Then watch the ideas erupt. ---Betty Bender

Be enthusiastic about the success of other people.Learning to live with one's weaknesses depends on neither hating them nor justifying them.Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.---Stephen Jobs

Every tomorrow has two handles. You can take hold of the handle of anxiety or the handle of enthusiasm. Upon your choice so will be the day ahead of you.

A winner can smile all the time, but it takes a real winner to smile when you lose. ---Richard Lee Petty

Change your thoughts, and you change the world.

June 2000

Something To Think About

If someone betrays you once, it's his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it's your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

God gives every bird its food;
But does not throw it into its nest.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses more.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature;
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others;
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

The tongue weighs practically nothing; But so few can hold it.

You either control your attitude or it controls you.

A year from now you may wish you had started today.

It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.

A great leader never sets him/herself above his/her followers, except in carrying responsibility.

Some men go just where they want and some men never go.

July 2000

Components That Lead to Success

August 2000


The circumstances amid which you live determine your reputation; the truth you believe determines your character.

Reputation is what you are supposed to be; character is what you are.

Reputation is the photography; character is the face.

Reputation comes over one from without; character grows up from within.

Reputation is what you have when you come to a new community; character is what you have when you go away.

Your reputation is learned in an hour; your character does not come to light for a year.

Reputation is made in a moment; character is built in a lifetime.

Reputation grows like a mushroom; character grows like the oak.

A single newspaper report gives you your reputation; a life of toil gives you your character.

Reputation makes you rich or makes you poor; character makes you happy or makes you miserable.

Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; character is what angels say about you before the throne of God. ----William Hersey Davis

September 2000


The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

October 2000


The disconsolate stockbroker lost a fortune and came to the monastery in search of inner peace. But he was too distraught to meditate. After he was gone, the Master had a single sentence by way of wry comment:

"Those who sleep on the floor never fall from their beds."



BioBreak - Heading to the lavatory.

Bottom Line Responsibility - Authority to make all decisions about a particular product or profit center.

Multi-tasking - Accomplishing many responsibilities and activities at once.

Ownership - Becoming deeply committed to a set of ideas or plans.

Paradigm Shift - To look at an issue in a new way.

Proactive - Taking the initiative.

Psychographic - Information about attitudes, values and behaviors of clients. To be contrasted with traditional biographic and demographic information.

Relationship Marketing - Programs that foster communication between seller and client on a regular basis.

Strategic Alliance - Business firms bound together by contract, working toward a common goal.

Synchronous - Parts, people or systems working well together.

Wonk - An expert, well versed in theory, who often exhibits intensity toward his or her work.

November 2000

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters to what lies within us. --- Emerson

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries. --- Michener

Is there more than everything? --- Hillman

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. ------ Marcus Aurelius


How shall I rid myself of fear?

How can you rid yourself of what you cling to?

You mean I actually cling to my fears? I cannot agree with that.

Consider what your fear protects you from and you will agree! And you will see your folly.

December 2000



It can buy you a House, But not a Home.

It can buy you a Bed, But not Sleep.

It can buy you a Clock, But not Time.

It can buy you a Book, But not Knowledge.

It can buy you a Position, But not Respect.

It can buy you Medicine, But not Health.

It can buy you Blood, But not Life.

It can buy you Sex, But not Love.

So you see, money isn't everything. The Best things in life can't be bought, and often we destroy ourselves trying! I tell you all this because I am your friend, and as your friend, I want to take away your needless pain and suffering. So send me all your cash and I will suffer for you. A truer friend than me you will never find.

"Cash Only, Please."

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January 2001

Happy 2001!




Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious. So one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the company to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Michael continued, ".The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity.' Over all their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'"

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

February 2001

"Come to the edge."

"We can't. We are afraid."

"Come to the edge."

"We can't. We will fall!"

"Come to the edge."

And they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.

Come. Let us fly together.

By Guillaume Apollinaire

(French poet-philosopher)

March 2001


The winner is always a part of the answer; the loser is always a part of the problem.

The winner always has a program; the loser always has an excuse.

The winner says, "let me do it for you;" the loser says "that's not my job."

The winner sees an answer for every problem; the loser sees a problem in every answer. The winner sees a green near every sand trap; the loser sees two or three sand traps near every green.

The winner says, "it may be difficult, but it's possible;" the loser says "it may be possible, but it's too difficult."

"We can't understand the use of praise in America. It seems childish and superficial, but everyone seems to need it. A nurse recently told me, "Super Job!" during a company physical when I gave her my urine sample. She seemed to think I needed 'positive feedback' for peeing into a bottle. It's very hard, especially when communication is difficult, to react to all the psychological requirements of Americans."

A Japanese manager quoted in Shogun Management

By William Byham

April 2001

"Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos. Before a brilliant person begins something great, he must look foolish to the crowd." --- I. Ching

"Sometimes it takes more creativity or courage to get rid of excuses than it does to come up with new ideas."

"It's not so important to be serious, as it is to be serious about the important things."

"Self-interest is still at the core of economic motivation."

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. in discussing Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, his words -- so the story goes -- were something like this: "There are only two emotions that motivate people on Wall Street: fear and greed. All the rest is bull."

"Attack rather than defend the status quo."

"Strategic thinking is an ongoing process, not something you do once and then abandon. Therefore, the process allows you to adapt to change."

"Change is a given, not a choice. The choice you have is whether or not you want to influence the change."

May 2001


"Cheshire-Puss,"said Alice, "would you tell me, please which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't care where.," said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go." said the Cat.

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.

"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."


June 2001


To teach another is the best way to learn for yourself.

When a student is ready a teacher appears, and when a teacher is ready a student appears.

Learning is not compulsory, but neither is survival.

In the end, we retain from our studies only that which we practically apply.

The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.

It takes a lot of things to prove you are smart, but only one thing to prove you are ignorant.

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.

No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back. (Turkish Proverb)

Nothing exceeds like excess.

If we don't take care of the customer, someone else will.

Try to fix the mistake - not the blame.

Listen is an anagram of "silent."

Do it now! You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do.

The customer may not always be right, but the customer is always the customer.

A failure is an opportunity to start over again, but more intelligently.

No problem can be solved until an individual assumes the responsibility for solving it.

July 2001


"You cannot predict the future, but you can influence it by creating a vision statement."

"The future is not what it used to be. At one time, the immediate future looked very much like the present. Today change is so rapid that even the immediate future can be very different from the present."

"There are no permanent solutions, only temporary ones."

"Any opportunity you fail to take may never come your way again."

"Decision making includes action."

"The most difficult decision you make today will not affect you until tomorrow. A strategic decision will not have a major impact on today's activities, but it will place you in a position of leverage whereby you can influence tomorrow's activities."

"Without a vision of the future, a person can become directionless."

Can anyone remember when times were not hard and money was not scarce. ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. --- Mark Twain

August 2001


Class never runs scared. It is sure-footed and confident in the knowledge that you can meet life head on and handle whatever comes along.

Jacob had it. Esau didn't. Symbolically, we can look to Jacob's wrestling match with the angel. Those who have class have wrestled with their own personal "angel" and won a victory that marks them thereafter.

Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes.

Class is considerate of others. It knows that good manners is nothing more than a series of petty sacrifices.

Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. The most affluent blue-blood can be totally without class while the descendant of a Welsh miner may ooze class from every pore.

Class never tries to build up by tearing others down. Class is ALREADY up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.

Class can "walk with kings and keep its virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch." Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class -- because he is comfortable with himself.

If you have class you don't need much of anything else. If you don't have it, no matter what else you do -- it doesn't make much difference.

September 2001


"The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn." --- Alvin Tofler

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." --- Schnopenaur

I've learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.

I've learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.

I've learned that the road to success and the road to happiness are two lanes of the same highway. And the toll you must pay is simply being true to yourself.

I've learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don't know how to show it.

I've learned that you can make someone's day by simply sending them a little card.

I've learned that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

October 2001


KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: To get to the other side.

PLATO: For the greater good.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.

KARL MARX: It was an historical inevitability.

SADDAM HUSSEIN: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion; and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on the chicken.


CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

HIPPOCRATES: Because of an excess of phlegm in its pancreas.

ANDERSON CONSULTING: Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Anderson Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes, using the Poultry Integration Mode.

November 2001


One man, when he has done a service to another, is ready to set it down to his account as a favor conferred. Another is not ready to do this, but still in his own mind he thinks of the man as his debtor, and he knows what he has done. A third in a manner does not even know what he has done, but he is like a vine which has produced grapes, and he seeks for nothing more after it has once produced its proper fruit. As a horse when he has run, a dog when he has tracked the game, a bee when it has made the honey, so a man, when he has done a good act, does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season. ---Teachings of Marcus Aurelius

December 2001


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

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January 2002

Happy 2002!

When asked what he thought about when he struck out, Babe Ruth said, "I think about hitting home runs."

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles that one has overcome while trying to succeed.

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow (Chinese Proverb)

The World's Shortest Sales Course:
#1. Know their business
#2. Know your stuff.

Strange But True: Fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing.

There are many more people trying to meet the right person than to become the right person.

When Lou Little was coaching football at Georgetown, he had a player who was definitely third rate but had so much spirit he was an inspiration to the team. He rarely saw action except in the last few minutes of a game that was already decided.

One day news came that the boy's father had died. The youngster came to Little and said: "Coach, I want to ask something of you that means an awful lot to me. I want to start the game against Fordham. I think that's what my father would have liked the most."

Little hesitated a moment, then said: "Okay, son, you'll start, but you'll only be in there for a play or two. You aren't quite good enough and you know it."

The boy started the game and played so well, Little never took him out. His play inspired the team to victory.

Back in the locker room Coach Little embraced the young man and said: "Son, you were terrific. You never played that way before.what got into you?"The boy answered: "Remember how my father and I used to walk around arm-in-arm? There was something about him very few people knew - he was totally blind. This afternoon was the first time my father ever saw me play."

As long as you're going to think anyway -- you might as well think BIG! (Donald Trump)

Working together works.

The five-word weight-loss formula: Eat less and exercise more.

February 2002


When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange, as that may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen.

Don't talk or do - just hear me. Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.

And I can do for myself, I am not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy. But when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, and then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding what's behind this irrational feeling. And when that's clear, the answers are obvious and I don't need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what's behind them.

Perhaps that's why prayer works, sometimes, for some people - because God is mute, and he doesn't give advice or try to fix things. God just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.

So please listen, and just hear me.

And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn - and I will listen to you.

March 2002

You either control your attitude or it controls you.

A year from now you may wish you had started today.

It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.

A great leader never sets him/herself above his/her followers, except in carrying responsibility.

Some men go just where they want and some men never go.


The Muddy Road from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
by Paul Reps

Once upon a time, two monks, Tanzan and Ekido, were traveling down a muddy road. A heavy rain was falling. As they rounded a bend, they came to a rushing stream. A young woman stood by the stream, afraid to cross it.

"Come on," said Tanzan, "I will help you." Lifting the girl in his arms, he carried her over the water and then bid her farewell.

Later that night when the two monks reached their destination, Ekido could restrain himself no longer. Taking his friend by the arm, he said, "We monks do not go near females, especially young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you carry the girl to the other bank?"

"Why, I left the girl there hours ago," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"

April 2002


Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile spring soil.

The first seed said, "I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth's crust above me.I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring.I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!"

And so she grew.

The second seed said, "I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don't know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts.what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe."

And so she waited.

A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Those of us who refuse to risk and grow get swallowed up by life.

---Patty Hansen


"Chicken Soup For The Soul," Written by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

May 2002


To laugh is to risk appearing a fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk rejection
To place your dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to risk failure
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave. He has forfeited his freedom. Only a person who takes risks is free.

June 2002

Sense of Values

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a pop quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one. "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name?

I handed in the paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade.

"Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

July 2002

Great Expectations

On the first day of school, a teacher was glancing over the roll when she noticed a number after each student's name, such as 154, 136 or 142.

"Wow! Look at these IQs," she said to herself. "What a terrific class." The teacher promptly determined to work harder with this class than with any other she ever had.

Throughout the year, she came up with innovative lessons that she thought would challenge the students, because she didn't want them to get bored with work that was too easy.

Her plan worked! The class outperformed all the other classes that she taught in the usual way.

Then, during the last quarter of the year, she discovered what those numbers after the students' name really were: their locker numbers.

August 2002

Courage is daring to take that first step, or a different path. It is the decision to place your dreams above your fears.

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

There is an island of opportunity in the middle of every difficulty.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Trust is the emotional glue that holds every team together . in times of trial, it transforms a group of committed individuals into a team of individuals committed to each other.

Passion and Purpose lie behind the scenes of every great accomplishment; they are the energizing force, which fuels human achievement.

There is no limit to what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.

It takes months to find a customer - and seconds to lose one.

If we don't take care of the customer - somebody else will.

Now that we've exhausted all possibilities - let's get started.

Accept the challenges - so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

Some people dream of worthy accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.

The best way to predict the future - is to create it.

September 2002

An organization that is committed to creative collaboration will ride the wave of the future. They will go beyond the realm of assumptive thinking and welcome the dawn of innovation . because there is nothing more empowering than an idea whose time has come.

It is our responsibility to shatter outdated thinking and explore the realm of the untested; it is here that breakthrough opportunities are waiting to be discovered.

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise; risking more than others think is safe. Dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

We must adjust to an ever-changing road - while holding onto our unchanging principles.

Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow . they have form but are formless. They are skilled in both planning and adapting and need not fear the result of a thousand battles; for they win in advance, defeating those that have already lost. --- Sun Tzu, Chinese Warrior

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.

When I run out of red, I use blue. --- Pablo Picasso

October 2002


A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked. "What does it mean, mother?" Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. "Which are you?" she asked her daughter.

"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

November 2002

The most destructive habit ....Worry

The greatest joy ....Giving

The greatest loss ....Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work ....Helping others

The ugliest personality trait ....Selfishness

The most endangered species ....Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource ....Our youth

The greatest "shot in the arm" ....Encouragement

The greatest problem to overcome ....Fear

The most effective sleeping pill ....Peace of mind

The most crippling failure disease ....Excuses

The most powerful force in life ....Love

The most dangerous pariah ....A gossiper

The world's most incredible computer ....The brain

The worst thing to be without ....Hope

The deadliest weapon ....The tongue

The two most power-filled words ....."I Can"

The greatest asset ....Faith

The most worthless emotion ....Self-pity

The most beautiful attire ....A SMILE!

The most prized possession ....Integrity

The most contagious spirit ....Enthusiasm


"To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world."

December 2002


Civil war British fashion Death benefits
Living dead Freezer burn Small crowd
Gourmet pizza Deafening silence Jumbo shrimp
Butt head Original copy Dry wine
Terribly pleased Sweet sorrow Soft rock
Childproof Military intelligence "Now, then."
Friendly argument Synthetic natural gas Guest host
Passive aggression Live recording Taped live
Student teacher Clearly misunderstood Work party
Peace force Act naturally New classic
Found missing Temporary tax increase Resident alien
Plastic glasses Genuine imitation Sure bet
Airline food Computer security Good grief
Political science Same difference Definite maybe
Pretty ugly Twelve-ounce pound cake Rap music
Almost exactly Sanitary landfill Diet ice cream
Alone together Government organization Legally drunk
Working vacation Silent scream Exact estimate

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January 2003

Happy 2003!

"Only people who are capable of loving strongly can suffer great sorrow." ---Leo Tolstoy

A king once owned a large, beautiful, pure diamond, of which he was justly proud, for it had no equal anywhere.

One day, his diamond was accidentally deeply scratched. The king called in the most expert diamond cutters and offered them a great reward if they could remove the imperfection from his jewel.

But none could repair the blemish. The king was sorely distressed. After some time a gifted craftsman came to the king and promised to make the rare diamond even more beautiful than it had been before the mishap. The king was impressed by the craftsman's confidence and entrusted to him his precious stone. The man kept his word. With superb artistry he engraved a lovely rosebud around the imperfection, using the scratch to make the stem.

As long as you're going to think anyway -- you might as well think BIG! (Donald Trump)

Working together works.

The five-word weight-loss formula: Eat less and exercise more.

February 2003

The Obstacle in Our Path

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.

On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.

March 2003

Changing Landscapes By Seeing With New Eyes

One day a very wealthy father took his son on a trip to the country for the sole purpose of showing his son how it was to be poor. They spent a few days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

Upon return from their trip, the father asked his son how he liked the trip.

"It was great, Dad," the son replied.

"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.

"Oh, yeah," said the son.

"So what did you learn from the trip?" continued the father.

The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless.

Then the son added this last remark; "It showed me how poor we are."


"The voyage of true discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes." --- Marcel Proust>/

April 2003

In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy was busily working when a new voice came over the intercom asking for a carry out at check register 4. Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call.

As he approached the checkout stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell in love.

Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find out her name. She came into the break room smiled softly at him and took her card and punched out, then left. He looked at her card, BRENDA. He walked out only to see her start walking up the road.

Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She simply said it wasn't possible. He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn't afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday.

That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said, "Well, let's take the kids with us."

She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not taking 'no' for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda brought him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, and then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair. He was born a paraplegic with Down syndrome. Kurtis asked Brenda, "I still don't understand why the kids can't come with us?"

Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities - just like her first husband and father of her children did.

That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to use the rest room, Kurtis picked him up out of his chair, took him, brought him back.

The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with. A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children and since they have added two more kids.

So what happened to the stock boy and check out girl?

Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in St. Louis, where he is employed by the St. Louis Rams and plays quarterback.

May 2003

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. "Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal."

"Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

June 2003

The Fence

Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox.

"I'm looking for a few days work." He said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there that I could help with? Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor; in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence, an 8-foot fence, so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.

THERE WAS NO FENCE THERE AT ALL. IT WAS A BRIDGE - a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all - and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. "You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.

"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.

"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."

July 2003

This helps put things in perspective.

The Charles Schultz Philosophy

You don't actually have to take the quiz below. Just read it straight through, and you'll get the point

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman Trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name any ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

August 2003

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert.During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:


They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:


The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?" The other friend replied, "When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."



September 2003

There are just a few aspects of life that we can truly control, and it's useful to know just what those areas are. If you don't know, you'll spend a lot of time blaming others for your own failings. Try and exert too much control in areas you shouldn't and the universe will create some interesting ways to remind you of your place.

1. WHAT YOU DO. Your actions are yours alone. You choose to make them or not make them and you are responsible for the effects of those actions.

2. WHAT YOU SAY. Likewise, the words you speak (or write) are also consciously chosen. Like actions, they have an impact on your life and the lives of those you contact.

3. WHAT YOU THINK. Yes, there are some subconscious thoughts that you can't control. But the things that you really think about, your beliefs, your ideals, etc. are concepts you have chosen to accept and believe in.

4. YOUR WORK. Many people like to overlook this one, it being much easier to say, "Oh, I'm trapped in my job because I don't have a degree, experience, etc." Hogwash! That's simply a way of denying one's responsibility in having chosen the job in the first place. It's your job and you chose it. If you stay (or go), that's a choice as well.

5. THE PEOPLE YOU ASSOCIATE WITH. There's a famous t-shirt that states: "It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys." Colloquial is very often correct! Your friends can either lift you up or bring you down. You make the decision which type of friends you wish to have.

6. YOUR BASIC PHYSICAL HEALTH. Much about our health is a factor of genetics, environment, and exposure. Much more of our health is simply a matter of the things we choose: diet, exercise, drugs, sleep, routine physicals, check-ups, etc.

7. THE ENVIRONMENT YOU LIVE IN. Your house, the condition of your home, the town you live in, the amenities available to you are all things you can control, although some to a lesser degree (i.e., you decide to tolerate them or move someplace else).

8. YOUR FISCAL SITUATION. Having or not having enough money is a factor of what you make versus what you spend.

9. YOUR TIME. You choose how to "SPEND" your time and how much of your time to give to various activities. You'll never get more time than the 24 hours you're given each day.

10. YOUR LEGACY. All your actions, words, and knowledge that you share while you are living become the gift that you leave when you are gone.

October 2003

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned .

"We want to see the president," the man said softly.

"He'll be busy all day," the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted.

"Maybe, if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him.

He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern-faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, "We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus."

The president wasn't touched. He was shocked.

"Madam," he said gruffly, "We can't put up a statue for every person who has attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery."

"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard."

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard."

For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now.

The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don't we just start our own?"

Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them or to them.

November 2003


A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.

He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?"

Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20."

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value: dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.

December 2003

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World."

Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind, because there were so many."

The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are:

1. To See
2. To Hear
3. To Touch
4. To Taste
5. To Feel
6. To Laugh
7. And To Love."

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous! A gentle reminder - that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

Happy Holidays!

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January 2004


Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.

You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.

All people smile in the same language.

The real measure of a person’s wealth is what they have invested in eternity.

It’s important for parents to live the same things they teach.

If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.

The choice you make today will usually affect tomorrow.

Take time to laugh, for it is the music of the soul.

Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.

The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other.

Harsh words break no bones but they do break hearts.

To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it.

We take for granted the things that we should be giving thanks for.

Happiness is enhanced by others but does not depend upon others.

February 2004

Balance of Life

This was written by the CEO of Coca-Cola, Brian G. Dyson. It was used as Georgia Tech’s Commencement Address:

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them: Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.


1. Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

2. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

3. Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

4. Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.

5. Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

6. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us together.

7. Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

8. Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

9. Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.

10. Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

11. Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

12. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.


“Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.”

March 2004

Always Remember Those Who Serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?”

“Fifty cents,”replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. “How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.

Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I'll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies – her tip.

April 2004

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.” What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way – reacting, rather than acting – willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

May 2004

The Train

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We are traveling by train – out the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of children waving at a crossing, cattle grazing on a distant hillside, row upon row of corn and wheat, flatlands and valleys, mountains and rolling hillsides and city skylines.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, our dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. Restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes – waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry.
“When I’m 18 …”
“When I buy a new 450sl Mercedes Benz!”
“When I put the last kid through college.”
“When I have paid off the mortgage!”
“When I get a promotion.” “When I reach retirement, I will live happily ever after!”

Sooner or later, we realize there is no station, no one place to arrive. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us. “Relish the moment” is a good motto. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

June 2004

The Water Bearer

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.

July 2004

The Farmer and the Mule

This old farmer had a mule that fell into the farmer’s well. The water wasn’t very deep, so the mule was able to stand on the bottom. The farmer heard the mule praying or whatever mules do when they fall into a well and went to investigate.

After assessing the situation the farmer sympathized with the mule but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving. The farmer called his neighbors together and told them what had happened and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially the mule was hysterical, but as the farmer and his neighbors continued to shovel dirt on his back a thought struck him. It dawned on the mule that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back he would shake it off and step up. This he did, blow after blow of dirt hitting his back.

Shake it off and step up … Shake it off and step up … Shake it off and step up. The mule repeated this statement over and over to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept on shaking it off and stepping up.

August 2004

The Triple Filter Test

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

This is why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

September 2004

Who Are You?

“There’s nothing noble in being superior to some other person.
True nobility is being superior to your former self.
It is more important what you believe than what you possess.
It is more important what you do than what you profess.
And it is more important who you inspire than who you impress.”

--- Dag Hammerskjold

October 2004

The man’s name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

“I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.”

“No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel.

“Is that your son?” the nobleman asked.“Yes,” the farmer replied proudly.

“I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.”

And that he did. Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and in time, he graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill.

His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

November 2004


This is the time of year for each of us to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Let’s be sure to remember some of our most basic blessings.

A group of students was asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders of the World.” Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter’s Basilica
7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one quiet student hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there are so many.”

The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”

The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ are:”

1. To see
2. To hear
3. To touch
4. To taste
5. To feel
6. To laugh
7. To love

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple, ordinary, and take for granted, are truly wondrous!

A gentle reminder – that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

December 2004

Happy Holidays – Happy New Year!

The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstance, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot agree on our past … we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have control of, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens and 90% how I respond to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our attitudes.

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January 2005


A Principle of Celebration

One of the greatest principles of celebration is learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time - often just one baby-step at a time: learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

It is pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning lessons a celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use tomorrow?"

February 2005

In Africa, every morning a gazelle awakens, knowing that it must out run the fastest lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning, a lion wakes up knowing it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

Moral of the story:

It makes no difference whether you are a gazelle or a lion.

When the sun comes up, you better hit the ground running.

March 2005

What have you learned in life?

I’ve learned that:

You can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

We are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

You can keep going long after you can’t.

Heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

Sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

Friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.

It isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

You shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

Your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.

Either you control your attitude or it controls you.

The people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

April 2005

OPTIMISM: The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.

ATTITUDE: The environment you fashion out of your thoughts…your beliefs…your ideals…your philosophy…is the only climate you will ever live in.

RISK: Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

DEDICATION: The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.

DARE: One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.

VISION: The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

FOCUS: Obstacles are the frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

ACHIEVE: Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

CHANGE: Each new season grows from the leftovers of the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the essence of life.

TEAMWORK: Teamwork divides the task and doubles the success.

CONFIDENCE: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

COURAGE: The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.

INTEGRITY: In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

May 2005

A “no” uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a “yes” merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. (Mahatma Gandhi)

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. (Thomas Edison)

Virtue does not always demand a heavy sacrifice – only the willingness to make it when necessary. (Fredrick Dunn)

Great discoveries and achievements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. (Alexander Graham Bell)

A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. (Walter Gagehot)

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. (Oscar Wilde)

A good sense of humor is essential to deal with the world’s reality. (Anonymous)

An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. (Orlando A. Battista)

If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars. (J. Paul Getty)

Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to. (Unknown)

The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern. (Max Lucado)

Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of somebody else. (Judy Garland)

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. (Thomas A. Edison)

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing. (Wernher Von Braun)

June 2005

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him to hammer a nail in the back fence every time he lost control.

The first day the boy drove 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. His father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father led his son to the fence.

“You have done well, but look at the holes in the fence,” he said. “When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like the nail holes. You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry,’ the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.”

July 2005

Your words, your dreams, your thoughts have power to create conditions in your life.

What you speak about, you can bring about.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your job, you might lose your job.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your body, your body can become ill.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your car, it could be stolen or break down.

If you keep saying you are broke, guess what? You will always be broke.

If you keep saying you can’t trust a man or trust a woman, you will always find someone in your life to hurt and betray you.

If you keep saying you can’t find someone to love you, your very thoughts will attract more experiences to confirm your beliefs.

Turn your thoughts and conversations around to be more positive and power-packed with faith, hope, love and action.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read straight through and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

August 2005

Your words, your dreams, your thoughts have power to create conditions in your life.

What you speak about, you can bring about.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your job, you might lose your job.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your body, your body can become ill.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your car, it could be stolen or break down.

If you keep saying you are broke, guess what? You will always be broke.

If you keep saying you can’t trust a man or trust a woman, you will always find someone in your life to hurt and betray you.

If you keep saying you can’t find someone to love you, your very thoughts will attract more experiences to confirm your beliefs.

Turn your thoughts and conversations around to be more positive and power-packed with faith, hope, love and action.

Don’t be afraid to believe that you can have what you want and deserve.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.

Watch your words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits.

Watch your habits, they become character.

Watch your Character, for it becomes your “Destiny.”

September 2005

Two Wolves

Cherokee Wisdom

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy,sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

October 2005

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,’” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filled his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.

Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

“Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet…thanks for your time!”

November 2005


RULE 1: Life is not fair – get used to it.

RULE 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3: You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

RULE 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait ‘til you get a boss.

RULE 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.

RULE 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you the test as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

December 2005

Happy Holidays – Happy New Year!

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door. “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”

“That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I please borrow $10?”

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such childish behavior.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions.

How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the little boy’s room and opened the door.

“Are you asleep, son?” he asked.

“No Daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $10 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you Daddy!” he yelled.

Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his father.

“Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

“Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”

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January 2006


“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” --– Buddha

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” –-- Emerson

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” --– Emerson

“Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. –-- Gilda Radner

“May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart!” –--Eskimo proverb

February 2006

Three Things in Life

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back: Time, Words & Opportunity.

Three things in life that may never be lost: Peace, Hope & Honesty.

Three things in life that are most valuable: Love, Self-confidence & Friends.

Three things in life that are never certain: Dreams, Success & Fortune

Three things that make a person: Hard work, Sincerity & Commitment

Three things in life that can destroy a person: Wine, Pride & Anger

The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

March 2006

The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.

Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Trust yourself. You know more than you think.

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Your legacy should be that you made it better than it was when you got it.

I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

Be not merely good; be good for something.

It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.

April 2006

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.

Wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

If you don't sell, it's not the product that's wrong, it's you.

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

You can't climb the ladder to success with your hands in your pockets.

The best way to forget your own problems is to help someone else solve theirs.

There is no such thing as a non-working mother.

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.

You can't base your life on other people's expectations.

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.

You can't shake hands with a clenched fist.

I tell you and you forget. I show you and you remember. I involve you and you understand.

May 2006

Choice, not chance, determines one's destiny.

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.

He who limps is still walking.

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.

Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.

Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

'Silent' and 'listen' are spelled with the same letters.

June 2006

You may forget with whom you laughed, but you will never forget with whom you wept.

A ship in a safe harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for.

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

You can make more friends in a month by being interested in them than in ten years by trying to get them interested in you.

The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift.

Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder.

Use your past as a springboard, not as a sofa.

If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep.

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends - B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

July 2006

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

Trust in your own untried capacity.

The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books - how not to eat what you've just learned to cook.

Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there.

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.

Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your children.

Life itself is the proper binge.

The toughest thing about success is that you've got to keep on being a success.

Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.

Nothing in life just happens. You have to have the stamina to meet the obstacles and overcome them.

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.

Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.

The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.

August 2006

"If you lead through fear you will have little to respect; but if you lead through respect you will have little to fear."

"An executive is a person who decides; sometimes they decide right, but always they decide."

"Business without profit is not business any more than a pickle is candy."

"The executive exists to make sensible exceptions to general rules."

The person who knows 'how' will always have a job. The person who knows 'why' will always be his boss."

"Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory."

"Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance."

"You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are."

A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

I am always doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it.

September 2006

Old age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body . the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avant-garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m., and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love. I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten . and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day.

Author unknown!

October 2006

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

A good sense of humor is essential to deal with the world's reality.

Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.

Whenever ideas are shared, the result is always greater than the sum of the parts.

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

Character is not made in a crisis - it is only exhibited.

Committee - a group of people who individually can do nothing, but as a group decide that nothing can be done.

November 2006



Trying to lead men from behind makes you a driver and not a leader.

Don't confuse leadership with a popularity contest.

Corporate politics can be a bloody business indeed.

In any competitive enterprise, action is preferable to inaction.

Opportunities are easily lost waiting for "perfect" conditions.

An effective leader continually assesses risks vs. rewards.

If you want progress, you must rule out all the excuses that impede progress.

You are not beaten until you admit it. Hence DON'T.

Surround yourself with people whose knowledge and judgment you trust, then make good use of them.

No one is thinking if everyone is thinking alike.

Never close yourself to suggestion and insight from others, including the most junior members of the team.

Formulating a single plan and sticking to it, no matter what, is one-dimensional thinking. To survive and succeed in this multidimensional world, you need more than one plan.

Do not become so narrowly focused on a stated objective that you pass up opportunities encountered along the way.

The effective manager misses no opportunity and is never too narrowly focused to be thorough.

Dominate, but never domineer. Managers should lead their people not rule them.

December 2006

Happy Holidays – Happy New Year!

One thing you can give and still keep .... is your word.

One who lacks the courage to start has already finished.

The heaviest thing to carry is a grudge.

We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

Jumping to conclusions can be bad exercise.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime.

Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

I don't tend to think about things I don't think about.

Those on top of the mountain didn't fall there.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.

Those who have hope have everything.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

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January 2007


The greatest happiness is to know the source of your unhappiness.

The only people who gain importance are those that crave it.

The idea is there, locked inside, and all you have to do is remove the excess stone.

I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.

Trust everybody - but cut the cards.

Large meetings are often used to share the blame.

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.

The soul that is within me no man can degrade.

Character is doing the right thing when no one is watching.

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.

Every flower must grow through dirt.

Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.>

Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.

February 2007


(Taken from General George Patton)

Management by remote control is doomed to fail.

What a refreshing approach to management! The senior supervisor goes forward to visit front-line subordinates on the assumption that the front-line people are busier.

It takes courage and character to engage in a faltering project. It takes courage and character to be a leader.

A good manager questions the status quo, always looking for better, more efficient ways of doing the jobs that need to be done.

Charles Darwin explained what happens to animal species that fail to adapt to changing circumstances. They cease to be.

The biggest mistake is to never make a decision.

No business, firm or organization is better than the people who run it, who execute the directives of management.

An effective manager is a teacher, coach and mentor.

Value your veterans.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

Train and prepare the members of your organization.

An effective leader is a catalyst who does not force change, but enables change in others.

Effective leaders identify and publicly credit exceptional achievement.

No management tool is more powerful than sincere personal praise delivered publicly and in a timely manner.

Select leaders for accomplishment and not for affection.

Do not confuse loyalty for friendship.

March 2007

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital," he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "And by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.

I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 year old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.

"Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."

April 2007


(Taken from General George Patton)

It is up to the manager to motivate his people, and the most important ingredient in motivation is knowledge of goals, objectives and purpose.

Communicate - don't just give pep talks. Define the mission, explain why it is important and get everyone behind it.

Information is all around us and it is the manager's job to collect what is useful, analyze it and make profitable use of it.

The law of diminishing returns - pushed beyond their limits, people work inefficiently, poorly, even counterproductively or destructively.

Effective managers use meetings to coordinate their organization, not merely to trade ideas or to review the past.

As a manager, one of your most important jobs is to provide inspiration.

You cannot afford to squander precious human resources on creating the mere appearance of nonstop productivity.

Include everyone in every accomplishment.

May 2007

The Wooden Bowl

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

"We must do something about father," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl! When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.

Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless.

Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

June 2007

Once there was a young lady waiting for her flight in the boarding room of a big airport. As she would have to be waiting many hours for her flight, she decided to buy a book to pass her time and she also bought a pack of cookies.

She sat down in the V.I.P. room of the airport to rest and read in peace. Beside the armchair where the pack of cookies lay, a man was seated and was reading his magazine. When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She was irritated, but said nothing. She just thought to herself, "What nerve. If I was in the mood, I would punch him for daring!"

For each cookie she took, the man took one also. This infuriated her, but she didn't want to cause a scene. When only one cookie remained, she wondered, 'Ah, what will this abusive man do now!?" The man reached down, picked up the cookie and breaking it in half, gave her one piece. This was too much for the woman now. In anger, she scooped up her belongings and stormed off to her boarding area.

When she reached her seat on the plane, she opened up her purse to get her eyeglasses and to her surprise, there in her purse was her packet of cookies, unopened and untouched. She was so ashamed; she realized that she was wrong and that she had kept her cookies there in her purse. The man had divided his cookies with her without feeling angered or bitter while she was angry because she thought she was dividing her cookies with him. And now he was gone, without her having a chance to explain herself or apologize.

There are four things you can't recover:
The stone, after the throw.
The word, after it is said.
The occasion, after the loss.
The time, after it is gone.

July 2007

It's nice to be important, and it's more important to be nice.

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

Everyone can afford to give away a smile.

The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.

If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want.

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.

Just when you think you've graduated from the school of experience, someone thinks up a new course.

The most flammable kind of wood is the chip on the shoulder.

Goals are dreams with deadlines.

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.

Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.

Once you have them by the funny bone, their hearts and minds will follow.

Don't find fault. Find a remedy.

August 2007

What Teachers Make

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

To stress his point he said to another guest, "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?" (She paused for a second, and then began.)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I-Pod, Game Cube or movie rental. You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

"I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them to write and then I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math.
I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, because we live in the United States of America.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life." (Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make?" "I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?"

September 2007

It was one of those proverbial "dark and stormy nights." Through a hazy gale, a ship's captain spotted what looked like the lights of another ship, heading straight for him. He told his signalman to blink to the other ship: "Change your course 12 degrees north."

A response flashed back: "Change YOUR course 12 degrees north."

The ship's captain responded: "I am a captain. Change your course north."

The reply flashed back: "I am a seaman first class. Change YOUR course north."

The furious captain signaled back: "Dammit, change your course north. I'm on a battleship!"

To which the reply came back: "And I say change YOUR course north. I'm in a lighthouse."


October 2007

The first rule for success? Show up.

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.

Nothing is easier than being busy, and nothing more difficult than being effective.

It's never too late to be who you might have been.

The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.

We're not born into leadership: we convert.

Why is thinking outside of the box so important? Why have a box at all?

A hundred sage counsels are lost upon one who cannot take advice.

If you want a place in the sun, you have to expect a few blisters.

Victory has a hundred memories but defeat has amnesia.

Don't be afraid to go on an occasional wild goose chase. That's what wild geese are for.

We believe those we do not know, because they have never deceived us.

November 2007

Good reminder of what matters - HAPPY THANKSGIVING


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it," said Miller.
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" the store owner asked.
"Not zackley but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble," Mr. Miller told the boy.
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store."

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about."

"They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt."

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.


December 2007



There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, "If I could only see the world, I will marry you."

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend. He asked her, "Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?" The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying, "Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine."

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life is a gift! Today before you say an unkind work, think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food, think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife, think of someone who's crying out for a companion. Today before you complain about life, think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children, think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep, think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive, think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job, think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down, put a smile on your face and thank GOD you're alive and still around.

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

---Charles Dickens

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January 2008

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple," said the Lord, "It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

February 2008

CHALLENGE: The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.

IMAGINATION: Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.

VISION: Give to us a clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for.

PERSISTENCE: Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find they haven't half the strength you think they have.

TEAMWORK: Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but by doing it.

COURAGE: Courage is when you stare your worst fear or toughest obstacle in the face and beat it.

ATTITUDE: Nothing can stop the person with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal.

FOCUS: Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the target.

BALANCE: Let nothing good or bad upset the balance in your life.

EXCELLENCE: What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.

RISK: There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

DETERMINATION: Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.

CHARACTER: Nearly all people can stand adversity, but if you want to test a person's character, give them power.

March 2008


The master was never impressed by diplomas or degrees. He scrutinized the person, not the certificate.

He was once heard to say, "When you have ears to hear a bird in song, you don't need to look at its credentials."

(From: Anthony deMello's One Minute Wisdom)

April 2008

African Proverb

A sparrow flew merrily through the air, when he heard a clap of thunder. The sparrow fell to the ground with his two little legs sticking straight up in the air.

An eagle flying nearby saw the sparrow and asked, 'What's happening?" The sparrow replied, "The sky is falling down."

The eagle, mocking the little bird, replied "And what are you going to do, hold it up with those scrawny legs of yours?"

The sparrow looked at the majestic eagle with resignation and replied, "One does what one can, with what one has."

Be like the sparrow. Do your best with what you have. Know and do those things that you ought to do - and avoid those things you ought not to do.

May 2008

There is no statute of limitations on righting a wrong.

It's the pursuit that screws up happiness. If we drop the pursuit, it's right here.

"Dialogue" . is a conversation with a center, not sides.

Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.

It is no use to wait for your ship to come in unless you have sent one out.

Never grow a wishbone . where your backbone ought to be.

Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first, the lessons afterward.

If you don't have wrinkles, you haven't laughed enough.

Life is a bumpy road and laughter is your best shock absorber.

Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal.

Good ideas need landing gear as well as wings.

The trouble with life in the fast lane is that you get to the other end in an awful hurry.

Always put off until tomorrow what you shouldn't do at all.

The past and the future are great places to visit, but you don't want to live there.

Happiness sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.

June 2008

When you clench your fist, no one can put anything in your hand, nor can your hand pick anything up.

The first step toward victory is to position your idea so that your victory is everyone's victory.

Give advice, but share wisdom.

When you're able to tell others what you really want to do, doors will open.

If today you tried and failed, then tomorrow is another day. If today you failed to try, then tomorrow is only today.

Is it beyond your control? Accept it. Is it in your control? Optimize it.

July 2008

Consider this question posed by author Stephen Levine, "If you had an hour to live and could make only one phone call - who would you call, what would you say, and why are you waiting?"

August 2008

Many years ago in a small village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.

If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.

If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1) The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2)The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3) The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking. The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers.

What would you recommend to the girl to do?

Here is what she did.

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind. If you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.


Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don't attempt to think.

September 2008

Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well.

Pessimists calculate the odds. Optimists believe they can overcome them.

Never buy a saddle until you have met the horse.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

There are people who wring their hands and people who roll up their sleeves.

Just remember - when you think all is lost, the future remains.

Be who you are and say what you feel because people who mind don't matter and people who matter don't mind.

Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.

A pessimist makes difficulties of his opportunities; an optimist makes opportunities of his difficulties.

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it falls due.

Every time I close the door on reality it comes in through the windows.

When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day.

Two monologues do not make a dialogue.

An optimist is a person who looks forward to enjoying the scenery on a detour.

October 2008

You can't get the best from people by lighting a fire beneath them; find a way to light a fire within them.

Remove failure as an option and your chances for success become infinitely better.

Don't learn the tricks of the trade - learn the trade.

Appreciation is the most neglected - yet most powerful - marketing tool available.

A company is the sum of what its people understand and know how to do well.

A company has a name, but its people give it a meaning.

You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.

Instead of forcing employees to think outside the box, supply a bigger, better box.

People want to be good team players, but if they don't see the whole picture, they can't be.

Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.

November 2008

Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.

An apology is a good way to have the last word.

It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny.

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

December 2008


May the teachings of those you admire become part of you, so that you may call upon them. Remember, those whose lives you have touched and who have touched yours are always a part of you, even if the encounters were less than you would have wished. It is the content of the encounter that is more important than its form.

May you not become too concerned with material matters, but instead place immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart. Find time in each day to see beauty and love in the world around you. Realize that each person has limitless abilities, but each of us is different in our own way. What you may feel you lack in one regard may be more than compensated for in another. What you feel you lack in the present may become one of your strengths in the future.

May you see your future as one filled with promise and possibility. Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience.

May you find enough inner strength to determine your own worth by yourself, and not be dependent on another's judgment of your accomplishments.

May you always feel loved.

---Sandra Sturtz

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January 2009

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.

I'm not young enough to know everything.

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

The purpose of life is not to get rid of the butterflies in your stomach, but to make them fly in formation.

Judgment comes from experience. Great judgment comes from bad experience.

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't.

A good metaphor can make any bad idea sound good.

Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent.

Advice is seldom welcome; and those who want it the most always like it the least.

If we don't enjoy what we have, why would having more make us happier?

February 2009

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

No one ever knows what's next, but they always do it.

We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.

One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness - it is usually returned.

The trouble with the future is that it usually arrives before we're ready for it.

If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.

You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.

A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Some people watch things happen. Some people make things happen. Some people wonder what happened.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

March 2009

When you thought I wasn't looking.

I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

I looked at you and wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking."

April 2009

Some people miss the message because they are too busy checking the spelling.

Don't expect the unexpected, but when it happens, don't be surprised.

If there is no wind, row.

When all other means of communication fail, try words.

Don't run scared or keep looking wistfully back or you'll get trampled.

If you don't like the news, go out and make some.

"Footprints in the sand of time" were not made by folks who stood still.

You can't turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.

If you're not enjoying the journey, you probably won't enjoy the destination.

May 2009

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly. So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.' He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it! Have a wonderful, garbage-free day!

June 2009

Stopping to think keeps your life in motion.

The best way to break a habit is to drop it.

Predicting the future is easy. It's trying to figure out what's going on now that's hard.

I know I'm progressing because I'm making new mistakes.

The only way to rise above the crowd is to stick your neck out.

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.

Truce is better than friction.

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.

The more you get, the more you got to take care of.

Only you can be yourself. No one else is qualified for the job.

July 2009

Morning Motivation

When I woke up this morning lying in bed, I was asking myself what are some of the secrets of success in my life? I found the answer right there, in my very room.

The Fan said - Be cool.
The Roof said - Aim high.
The Window said - See the world.
The Clock said - Every minute is precious.
The Mirror said - Reflect before you act.
The Calendar said - Be up-to-date.
The Door said - Push hard for your goals.

Carry a heart that never hates.
Carry a smile that never fades.
Carry a touch that never hurts.

Our lives are books and each day is a page. We can't erase what was already written, but we can always try to write a better ending.


August 2009

To get people to respect what you know, admit to them what it is you don't know.

Criticism should always leave people with the feeling that they have been helped.

Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.

You can't hit a target if you don't have it clearly in sight.

The door to opportunity is marked "push."

The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.

One learns by doing a thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try.

Companies that do not provide the right rewards and opportunities wind up training their talent for the competition.

Set aside good ideas and give them to others to encourage and inspire.

September 2009

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~Benjamin Franklin

Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. ~Winston Churchill

Be courteous to all but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. ~George Washington

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. ~Abraham Lincoln

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. ~Vince Lombardi

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. ~Dwight Eisenhower

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. ~Nelson Mandela

We must become the change we want to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi

0ctober 2009

Power is nothing unless you can turn it into influence.

Principles last forever; but special rules pass away with the things and conditions to which they refer.

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Advice is sometimes transmitted more successfully through a joke than grave teaching.

When the wind is blowing, a man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.

Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow.

Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize.

No dream comes true until you wake up and go to work on it.

All things at first appear difficult.

November 2009

To change our world we must first change ourselves.

If you keep shooting the messengers, they will stop coming.

Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

A big man is one who makes us feel bigger when we are with him.

The best thing you can give someone is a chance.

When people start off on the right foot, there's a better chance they'll get in step sooner.

It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference.

December 2009


A businessman was visiting a coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large tuna fish. The businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The man replied that it took only a little while. The businessman then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish. The man said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The businessman then asked the man how he spent the rest of his time. The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a nap with my wife, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life."

The businessman scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and can help you. Here is my advice. You should spend more time fishing and, with the money, buy a bigger boat. With the money from the bigger boat, you could buy several more boats. Eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you could sell directly to the processor, and open your own cannery. You could control the production, processing and distribution. Then you could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City where you could run your expanding business."

The fisherman asked, "But, how long will all this take?"

The businessman replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then?" asked the fisherman.

The businessman laughed and said, "That's the best part! When the time is right, you could sell your company stock to the public. You will become very rich, and you will make millions of dollars!"

"Millions?" replied the man. "Then what?"

The businessman said, "Then you could retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take naps with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends."

So Dr. Mark's question is, "Is there more than everything?"

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January 2010

Cheers to the New Year and another chance to get it right. - Oprah Winfrey

The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions. - Alfred Adler

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. - Lance Armstrong

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. - Arthur Ashe

There is danger in changing too much in search of perfection. - Agnetha Faltskog

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

Keep the faith, don't lose your perseverance and always trust your gut instinct. - Paula Abdul

A dream doesn't become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. - Colin Powell

The small act of paying attention can take you a long way. - Keanu Reeves

One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist. - Steve Allen

February 2010

A long dispute means that both parties are wrong.

You can't see the future from a rearview mirror.

Life has two rules: Number one, never quit; Number two, always remember rule number one.

Some people approach every problem with an open mouth.

The first rule of survival: Pay Attention!

A true friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else.

It's always the rug you've been sweeping things under that gets pulled out from under you.

Everything is always impossible before it works.

Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know.

The truth doesn't hurt unless it ought to.

March 2010

Doing little things well is a step toward doing big things better.

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.

There’s a difference between what you do and what you can do.

Fame is something which must be won; honor is something which must not be lost.

What is necessary is never a risk.

Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.

We can often do more for other men by trying to correct our faults than by trying to correct theirs.

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears – by listening to them.

Have the courage to act instead of react.

The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away.

April 2010

We have two ears, but only one mouth, so that we may listen more and talk less.

Stubbornness is the energy of fools.

Vision is the ability to see what change is needed and how it will benefit people.

What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything?

What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of the next thing you need to do.

I look for what needs to be done…after all, that’s how the universe designs itself.

It’s a long way up and a short way down.

The toughest form of mountain climbing is getting out of a rut.

Don’t treat your doubts as barriers. Let them be doors to better thinking.

What is the use of running when we are on the wrong road?

May 2010


The boss drives his men; the leader coaches them.

The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will.

The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.

The boss says, “I”; the leader “We.”

The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown.

The boss says, “Go”; the leader says “Let’s go!”

-From Gordon Selfridge, department store founder

June 2010

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers, rather than fill it with the accumulation of others. -Tyron Edwards, Theologian 1809-1894

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

Treat a child as though he already is the person he’s capable of becoming.

July 2010

The goal of an argument should be progress, not victory.

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.

Character builds slowly, but it can be torn down with incredible swiftness.

The most difficult part of getting to the top of the ladder is getting through the crowd at the bottom.

Success is not a doorway; it’s a staircase.

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

Declare your mission – and then live it!

Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.

Helping others harvest their triumphs brings more success than insisting everything be done your way.

Say what you mean, mean what you say, just don’t say it mean.

August 2010

Nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising the voice.

Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date.

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told “I’m with you kid. Let’s go.”

Only the mediocre are always at their best.

I’ve always tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up.

Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light.

Good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.

Never ruin an apology with an excuse.

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

September 2010

The objective of teaching children is to enable them to get along without their teacher.

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” – Lady Bird Johnson

“Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.” – Unknown

“Treat a child as though he/she already is the person he/she is capable of becoming.” – Haim Ginott

“The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.” – Arthur Koestler

“Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.” – Sudie Back

We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

Success comes in cans. Failure comes in can’ts.

You are never a loser until you quit trying.

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

There is nothing we cannot live down, rise above, and overcome.

In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.

October 2010

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” – Warren Buffet

“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender

“A person who can’t lead and won’t follow makes an effective roadblock.” – Anonymous

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle

“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” – Tom Krause

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl W. Buechner

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James

“We are all manufacturers. Making good, making trouble or making excuses.” – H. V. Adolt

“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” – Daniel J. Boorstein

November 2010

Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.

The past always looks better than it was because it isn’t here.

Sharing what you have is more important than what you have.

Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.

The true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time.

Live so that your friends can defend you but never have to.

The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.

If you can accept losing, you can’t win.

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.

December 2010

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. – Albert Einstein

The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart. – Helen Keller

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently. – Henry Ford

Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. – Ronald Reagan

The worst prison would be a closed heart. – Pope John Paul II

If a man does his best, what else is there? – George Patton

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength. One is pushing down, the other is pulling up. – Booker T. Washington

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. – Harry Truman

In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can still do small things with great love. – Mother Teresa

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

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January 2011

Don’t be content with being average. Average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.

A good example is a lesson anyone can read.

Cooperation is doing with a smile what you have to do anyway.

Better to ask twice than to lose your way once.

Excuses are the tools with which people with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing.

Habit is like a soft bed, easy to get into but hard to get out of.

If you want your dreams to come true, don’t oversleep.

Knock the T off can’t. You can if you think you can.

Life is like a ladder. Every step we take is either up or down.

A wish is a desire without any attempt to attain its end.

Challenge your own mind – stretch and exercise it like any other part of your body.

High expectations are the key to everything.

Anger is often more harmful than the injury that caused it.

A person can run away from his troubles just as easily as he can run away from his shadow.

Success depends on your backbone not your wishbone.

February 2011

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”

I replied, “I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profanity. I was drug out to pull weeds in Mom’s garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of Dad’s fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood, and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

God bless the parents who drugged us.” – A concerned citizen

March 2011

Triumph --umph added to try.

To belittle is to be little.

The two best times to keep your mouth shut are when you're swimming and when you're angry.

We can't all be shining examples, but we can at least twinkle a little.

You can't hug your kids too much.

A winner is a person who asks questions and listens to the answers; a loser never listens.

Character is the sum total of all our everyday choices.

Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination.

Failures are a normal part of life. They are not disasters.

Ideas are the great moving forces of history.

Life is like a ladder. Every step we take is either up or down.

Luck may sometimes help; work always helps.

Never let a day go by without a dream.

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.

Solitude is a good place to visit but a poor place to stay.

Improvement begins with "I."

April 2011

OPPORTUNITY: The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. – Earl of Beaconsfield

SUCCESS: Success is seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It’s seeing what other people don’t see, and pursuing that vision, no matter who tells you not to. – Howard Schultz

FOCUS: Concentrate all your thoughts on the task at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. – Alexander Graham Bell

COMMITMENT: Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff to turn our dreams into reality. – James Womack

ACHIEVEMENT: The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one’s opportunities and make the most of one’s resources. – Vauvenargues

GOALS: Desire is the key to motivation, but it is determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek. – Mario Andretti

May 2011

EXCELLENCE: If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude. – Colin Powell

DESTINY: It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. – Anthony Robbins

CONFIDENCE: The old saying that “success breeds success” has something to it. It’s that feeling of confidence that can banish negativity and procrastination and get you going the right way. – Donald Trump

TEAMWORK: Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it. – Brian Tracy

POWER: Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

CHALLENGE: The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur. – Vince Lombardi

June 2011

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were…So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters…you don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

July 2011

If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.

Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand.

The ability to beat the odds lies within us all.

Great visions often start with small dreams.

Initiative is doing the right thing without being ordered to do it.

Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to carry on in spite of it.

It isn't our position but our disposition that makes us happy.

Art is the demonstration that the ordinary is extraordinary.

Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is very costly.

Temper is what gets most of us into trouble, but pride is what keeps us there.

He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.

Forget mistakes. Organize victory out of mistakes.

If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.

Few things are created and perfected at the same moment.

No one ever excused his way to success.

The secret of action is to begin.

Success is not how high and fast you reach the top, but how high and fast you bounce back when you hit the bottom.

August 2011

You never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.

Whether the glass is half empty or half full depends on whether you’re drinking or pouring.

Life is an escalator: You can move forward or backward; you cannot remain still.

By the time we realize our parents were right, we have children who think we’re wrong.

The earth is about five thousand million years old. Who can afford to live in the past?

The people who say “That’s the way the ball bounces” are usually the ones who dropped it.

Building a life is like knitting a sweater…one stitch at a time with a different twist each day.

If opportunity doesn’t knock…build a door.

September 2011

How a person plays the game shows something of his character – how he or she loses shows all of it.

Money changes people just as often as it changes hands.

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed and permanently set.

Eagles we are not, but we can still fly. Our imaginations become our wings. The magnificent eagle is still just an eagle but we can soar as high and as far as our aspirations take us.

Improvement counts, no matter how small.

Finding fault is easy. It’s improving that’s hard.

Losers let it happen. Winners make it happen.

The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.

Find one thing you do extremely well.

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

Football players are the only people who can go anywhere by playing both ends against the middle.

People fail because of lack of discipline.

The longer you keep your temper, the more it will improve.

October 2011

There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.

We are the architects of our own fortunes, and our happiness depends, in the end, on ourselves.

Imagination is the highest kite that one can fly.

Nothing is worth more than this day.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on the right track; you’ll still get run over if you don’t keep on moving.

Make an effort everyday to feel good about who you are and what you can be.

Success is never final, and failure is never fatal.

Like a cypress swamp whose trees persist and thrive for centuries, we can build special talents that help us persist and thrive in the ever changing world.

Spoon-feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.

Remember when you were at your best? Now be there again.

The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.

November 2011

As the Dalai Lama says, “You should visit someplace new every year.”

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

I’ve also been in Trouble, but let’s not talk about that!

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

So now you’re in The Know. Just thought I’d let you in on it.

December 2011

Happy Holidays!

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees the others. – Aristotle

No matter how busy you are you must take time to make the other person feel important. – Mary Kay Ash

The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes. – Tony Blair

You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play. – Warren Beatty

Before trying to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they are not trying to keep up with you. – Erma Bombeck

Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done. – Louis D. Brandeis

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. – Tony Robbins

You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy. – Garth Brooks

Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than smart. – Alan Alda

A compromise is an agreement whereby both parties get what neither of them wanted. – Unknown

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do. – Andrew Carnegie

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January 2012

George Bernard Shaw, playwright and critic said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”

February 2012

Life can be understood by looking backward, but it must be lived by looking forward. - Soren Aaby Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher & theologian

The only justification for looking down on anyone is that you’re going to stop and pick them up. - Wynton Marsalis

March 2012

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by – still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!” Suddenly the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
If you plant hard work, you will reap success
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

April 2012

One word of encouragement during a failure is worth a whole book of praise after a success. – James E. Tingstad

Learning requires a pause. You must stop to harvest the lesson from each adversity. – Paul G. Stoltz

Do it better than it need be done. Next time doing it will be child’s play. – Harlow H. Curtice

Planning is of no use at all unless it degenerates into work. – Peter Druker

There is no such thing as minor lapse of integrity. – Tom Peters

Smart people learn from their own mistakes. Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others. – Unknown

There are those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there’s less competition there. – Indira Gandhi

Failure is not permanent and neither is success. – Michael Altshuler

A man without a plan for the day is lost before it starts. – Lewis K. Bendele

Nothing gets other people’s attention as effectively as calling them by name. – Lydia Ramsey

Failure is an event, never a person. – William D. Brown

May 2012

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the four pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.

"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called.

Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared – this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up...

"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.

The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."

With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.

"How much?" asked the little boy.

"No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."

The world is full of people who need someone who understands.

June 2012

Always aim for achievement and forget about success. – Helen Hayes

No one has a greater asset for his business than a man’s pride in his work. – Mary Parker Follett

Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. – George Washington Carver

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. – John F. Kennedy

Instead of saying “Why me?” commit to saying “Try me!” – Dennis Waitley

You can’t pay too much for performance. You can only pay too much for mediocrity. – Arnold S. Ross

We can no longer wait for the storm to pass. We must learn to work in the rain. – Peter Sislas

Feel the fear, and do it anyway. – Susan Jeffers

The hardest task? Always doing easy tasks well. – Unknown

The smartest person in the room is the one who listens more than they talk. – Andrea Michaels

The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition. – Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.

July 2012

You can’t sit on the lid of progress. If you do, you will be blown to pieces. – Henry J. Kaiser

If you want to truly understand something, try to change it. – Kurt Lewin

Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect. It makes you feel inadequate. – Maria Shriver

Common sense often makes good law. – William O. Douglas

Being the best is easy. You simply have to do what you do better than anyone else. – Unknown

An organization that does not allow itself time to think may turn into a thoughtless organization. – Anders Hemre

The respect that is only bought by gold is not worth much. – Frances w. Harper

One pound of learning requires ten pounds of common sense to apply it. – Persian Proverb

Worrying about tomorrow’s problems stalls today’s solutions. – Unknown

No revenge is more honorable than the one not taken. – Spanish Proverb

Find a void and fill it. – Jean Paul Getty

August 2012

We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are. - Oprah Winfrey

Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. - Malcolm Forbes

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. - Dalai Lama

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. - John Lennon

Anytime you do something from the heart, people just know it. - Brad Paisley

The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done. - Arnold Palmer

Don’t bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself. - Colin Powell

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. - Muhammad Ali

Courage is grace under pressure. - Ernest Hemingway

September 2012

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.” – Groucho Marx

October 2012

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napoleon Hill

November 2012

Morale suffers when people feed on rumors instead of facts.

Efficiency suffers when people are unsure about their futures.

You can’t expect people to see the light when they’re working in the dark.

December 2012


Life can be understood by looking backward, but it must be lived by looking forward. - Soren Aaby Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher & theologian

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January 2013

Happy 2013!

Never reach out your hand unless you are willing to extend an arm. - Pope Paul VI

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Life just doesn’t hand you things. You have to get out there and make things happen. - Emeril Lagasse

Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

He who is a good ruler must first have been ruled. - Aristotle

If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses why do they keep score? - Vince Lombardi

In order for you to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. - Bill Cosby

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. - Elvis Presley

Control your own destiny or someone else will. - Jack Welch

February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!!

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

March 2013

If you’re going to play the game properly, you’d better know every rule. – Barbara Jordan

Conviction, commitment, communication, and consistency: the motto for getting results. – Dr. Barbara J. Devine

People are in greater need of your praise when they try and fail, than when they try and succeed. – Bob Moawad

Either I will find a way, or I will make one. – Philip Sydney

Reasonable men are open to persuasion. – Plutarch

If you put fences around people, you get sheep; give people the room they need. – William McKnight

Small people try to belittle your ambitions, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. – Mark Twain

Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time. – Lou Brock

You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go. – Jeanette Rankin

Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I’ll understand. – Chinese Proverb

You don’t get the breaks unless you play with the team instead of against it. – Lou Gehrig

April 2013

Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.

Skill is stronger than strength.

The expert in anything was once a s to be constantly fearful you will make one.

The one thing worse than a quitter is the person who is afraid to begin.

To be successful, you have to keep moving. After all, no one stumbles on something sitting down.

We cannot do everything at once; but we can do something at once.

We often don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.

May 2013

Courage is leadership affirmed. – Erik Erikson

No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched. – George Jean Nathan

If you do not think about the future, you cannot have one. – John Galsworthy

Error moves with quick feet…and truth must never be lagging behind. – Alexander Crummel

Go where there is no trail and leave a path of clarity for others to follow. – Dorothy Corkille Briggs

If you can make somebody want to do something, you’ve done maybe nine-tenths of your job. – Patrick J. McKenna & David H. Maister

Do something. If it doesn’t work, do something else. No idea is too crazy. – Jim Hightower

When we turn to one another for counsel we reduce the number of our enemies. – Kahlil Gibran

Failure is a normal, natural way of mapping the unknown. – Jack Matson

Courage is a quality which grows with use. – J. C. Penney

If one cares about ideas, one wants to gather them from every available source and test them in every way possible. – Mary I. Bunting

June 2013

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you.

Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.

Give your best anyway.”

-–Mother Teresa

July 2013

Patience is the art of hoping.

The past does not equal the future.

A picture is a poem without words.

The music is nothing if the audience is deaf.

Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.

The most important thing is to not stop questioning.

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.

If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.

What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

What’s right isn’t always popular; what’s popular isn’t always right.

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart.

The hardest thing in life is to learn which bridge to cross and which to burn.

roblems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.

Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don’t talk back.

August 2013

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

It’s frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Remember, a dream without a commitment to execution is a delusion.

All good ideas have already been thought; the point is to try and think them again.

It is the friends you can call up at 4:00 AM that matter.

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.

The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is.

In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.

I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through – then follow through.

September 2013

It’s time to start living the life we’ve imagined. --Henry James

You can never find yourself until you face the truth. --Pearl Bailey

The man who has no imagination has no wings. --Muhammad Ali

You are never a loser until you quit trying. --Mike Ditka

Advice: It’s more fun to give than to receive. --Malcolm Forbes

Well done is better than well said. --Benjamin Franklin

The price of greatness is responsibility. --Winston Churchill

To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are. --Muhammad Ali

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. --Duke Ellington

It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens. --Woody Allen

October 2013

There is an old saying along the lines of, “A mule cannot kick when he is pulling, and he cannot pull when he is kicking.”

Always pull; kicking is not productive.

November 2013


The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – G. B. Shaw

The greatest hero I never knew was the organ donor who saved my life.

Spontaneity has its time and place.

December 2013


Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. -Harriet Braiker

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. -John. F. Kennedy

It is better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late. -Marilyn Moats Kennedy

Giving credit where it’s due is both a deserved reward and a sound investment. -Unknown

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. -Roy E. Disney

You need to learn to level with people, without leveling them. -Foster Davis & Karen F. Donlap

The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. -Linus Pauling

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January 2014


Faultfinding without suggestions for improvement is a waste of time. – Ralph C. Smedley

If you had all the information you needed to make a decision, it would be a foregone conclusion, not a decision. – David J. Mahoney, Jr.

Sometimes, it’s risky not to take a risk. – Harvey Mackay

Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes. – Antisthenes

Be aware of that which makes you strong, for if used unwisely, it shall make you weak. – Unknown

Turn a setback into a comeback. – Billy Brewer

You can’t be creative, and conform, too. What makes you different also makes you creative. – Arno Penzias

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them. – Joseph Joubert

Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed. – Frederick Douglass

February 2014

Points to Ponder was not available this month due to issues with our mailservers

March 2014

“People are like bicycles. They can keep their balance only as long as they keep moving.” – Albert Einstein, in a letter to his son Eduard (February 5, 1930) .

April 2014

Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you. - Aldous Huxley

May 2014

The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.

Enrich yourself. Visit a happy thought!

Learn to be really good at what you are.

June 2014

You can only have two things in life, reasons or results. Reasons don't count.

What you said is exactly what you intended to say.

Others can stop you temporarily, only you can do it permanently.

July 2014

The angry people are those who are most afraid.

There is no way to know before experiencing.

Whatever you are trying to avoid won't go away until you confront it.

August 2014

With courage greater than your fear, jump into the unknown and you will FLY!

Dreams take time, patience, sustained effort, and a willingness to fail if they are ever to be anything more than dreams.

-----Quotes from Believe & Achieve "Inspiration for the Journey Called Life"

September 2014


See Dr. Mark on the Dr. Phil Show on Tuesday, September 23rd on CBS at 3:00 PM.

October 2014

A little explained,
a little endured,
a little forgiven,
the quarrel is cured.

Three great necessities in life are:
- A sense of humor
- A sense of purpose
- A sense of self.

November 2014

To achieve all that's possible we must attempt the impossible.

Trust your own judgment; those who tell you it's impossible usually end up being wrong. - Mark Spitzer

To be as much as we can be we must dream of being more.

Follow your dreams.

December 2014

As you journey through life, choose your destinations well, but do not hurry there. You will arrive soon enough. Wander the back roads and forgotten paths, keeping your destination in your heart like the fixed point of a compass. Seek out new voices, strange sights, and ideas. Such things are riches for the soul. And if, upon arrival, you find that your destination is not exactly as you had dreamed, do not be disappointed. Think of all you would have missed but for the journey there, and know that the true worth of your travels lies not in where you come to be at journey's end, but in who you come to be along the way. - Linda Staten

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January 2015


A Short Course in Human Relations

The SIX most important words:

"I admit I made a mistake."

The FIVE most important words:

"You did a good job."

The FOUR most important words:

"What is your opinion?"

The THREE most important words:

"If you please."

The TWO most important words:

"Thank you."

The ONE most important word:


The LEAST important word:


(Source Unknown)

February 2015

The purpose of life - if it may be said to have purpose - is not ease.

It is to choose and to act upon your choices. In that task, we are not measured by outcomes, we are measured only by daring, effort and resolve. ---Stephen R. Donaldson

March 2015

Don't underestimate me. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and notice more than you realize. - Author Unknown

April 2015

Ten things to make besides money:


May 2015

Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves. - William Hazlitt

A friend is one who sees through you and still enjoys the view. - Wilma Askinas

Anger is the only thing to put off until tomorrow. - Slovakian Proverb

June 2015

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." --Dale Carnegie

"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will." --W. Clement Stone

July 2015

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway."
-Mother Teresa

August 2015

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference. --Virginia Satir

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. --RuthAnn Schubacker

It is because we are different that each of us is special. --Brian Dyson

September 2015

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." --Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism

"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment." --Jim Rohn, American author

October 2015

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is life, fight for it."

--Mother Teresa

November 2015

To achieve all that's possible we must attempt the impossible.

Trust your own judgment; those who tell you it's impossible usually end up being wrong. - Mark Spitzer

To be as much as we can be we must dream of being more.

Follow your dreams.

December 2015

Happy Holidays!

In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it. -Robert Heinlein

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January 2016

"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will."
-- Epictetus

February 2016

"No one can go back and change a bad beginning, but anyone can start now and create a successful ending." -- Author Unknown

March 2016

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. -- Abraham Lincoln

April 2016

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference. -- Virginia Satir
Recall it as often as you wish; a happy memory never wears out. -- Libbie Fudim

May 2016

An Arab proverb says: "While the word is unspoken, you are master of it. When once it is spoken, it is master of you."

June 2016

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." -- Corrie ten Boom

July 2016

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." - Vince Lombardi

August 2016

"Fate is the hand of cards we've been dealt. Choice is how we play the hand." - Marshall Goldsmith

September 2016

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." - Muhammad Ali

October 2016

"Where you live and how you live are not the same thing." - David Stevenson

Be a voice, not an echo. - Anonymous

November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Worry is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere. - Anonymous

Being defeated is often a temporary condition… Giving up is what makes it permanent. - Unknown

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