Category: Blog

Ignorance Is No Solution

“Just because you don’t take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles

Ignorance of the law is no defense. A police officer and/or judge doesn’t doesn’t care if you were aware of a law or not if you get caught breaking it.

For example, when you get a driver’s license you agree to know and follow the rules of the road. If a law enforcement officer decides to pull you over and ticket you for an obscure violation you’re wrong. You could contest the ticket in court, and possibly get the fine reduced, but you’re likely going to get dinged.

The same is true being a citizen (or a friend, or spouse, or an employee). The “agreement” may not be as explicit as something you sign when first getting your drivers license, but the implications are just as real.

We enter into many arrangements in modern life and, while we benefit from them, we don’t always maintain our responsibilities and duties.

Marriage is a easy example, but citizenry is just as apt.

Without getting into politics, we have, as a nation, (largely, but not completely) abdicated our responsibilities as citizens.

We, by and large: don’t vote, don’t educate ourselves as to the issues that concern us, don’t engage in constructive dialog with our politicians and those who hold differing views and don’t communicate our accolades and upsets to our elected representatives.

Sure, there all sorts of explanations for this, but, at the end of the day, they are bull-s*&t.

Just as many of our excuses are for how we don’t hold up our end of the “bargain” in other areas of our lives.

Until we take responsibility for participation and engagement in the areas of of life we benefit from we live some form of a parasitic life – and we suffer the quiet, nagging, gnawing feeling in our guts that we’re getting something for nothing, and that it’s wrong.

Oh, and as Percles so eloquently states above, just because you ignore your responsibilities in politics (or whatever… ), you will still be affected by politics.

We Are (All) Creators

“We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance.” – Benjamin Disraeli

This is both true and not true.

It’s not true – in practice – for most people.

Most people are creatures of circumstance, they are “reactors.”

They (merely) react to what happens to them, as they go about their daily, weekly, monthly and yearly routines. Changing only when circumstances change so much that they are forced out of their comfort zone and they have no choice. And then, they only change as much as is required to regain a (seemingly) safe, stable routine.

It is true for those who take responsibility for their existence and their gifts – the opportunity that is life, chief among these gifts.

There are those that know they are here to create, to make the circumstances and results they desire.

Not to blindly, and meekly, follow the track laid before them by their predecessors; doing what their parents did, what their friends do or going along to get along at work.

These people are creators, not reactors.*

What about you?

Are reacting or creating?

***

* This post was partially inspired by a chapter in Steve Chandler‘s book: Wealth Warrior: The Personal Prosperity Revolution.

12 Ways to Be More Persuasive

I subscribe to the Early to Rise daily newsletter and I don’t think I’ve read one that wasn’t useful in one way or another.

Some are particularly good.

Every once in a while, I want to share something from one I’ve read.

Today’s (I am writing this on 2/6/13) main article was Mark Ford listing the following 12 ways to “become more charismatic and get more out of all your business relationships.”

I offer them here with gratitude, for your review and improvement:

  1. People tend to do business with people they like. So behave in a way that makes you likable. Be polite and patient. Avoid being crude, rude, gruff, or impatient.
  2. People are attracted to people who keep their word. That means when you make a promise, do exactly what you promised. Do it by the deadline you promised – or sooner.
  3. People trust people who have their best interests at heart. They will think you have their best interests at heart when you give them advice that benefits them more than it benefits you.
  4. People want to do business with people who are experts in their fields. So first, you need to actually become an expert in your field through practice, research, training, education, and study. Then you need to do things (such as writing articles and books or giving speeches) that demonstrate your expertise to potential customers and business associates.
  5. People feel comfortable giving money to people who are honest, ethical, and aboveboard. So don’t lie in your marketing materials (or elsewhere). Telling the truth is much more effective.
  6. People are attracted to people who are physically attractive or at least not physically repulsive. So eat right. Exercise. Stay fit. Be well-groomed. Dress well. And pay attention to your personal hygiene.
  7. People feel better with people who seem to be “real.” The best way to show that you’re a regular guy is to be cordial, friendly, and genuinely interested in others. Instead of talking about yourself, ask about them. Ask about their company, their job, their industry, even their family and hobbies.
  8. People respond to people who listen and pay attention to what they are saying. Remember the old cliché: You have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you talk.
  9. People feel comfortable with people who are like them. The trick here is to identify one thing you have in common with the other person. It could be gold, kids, pets, or anything else. Then, use that to cement a bond between you.
  10. People are attracted to people who are humble. So don’t be a braggart. And never discuss how much money you make.
  11. People are impressed by people who seem busy. That’s why you should never tell a prospective customer that things are slow and you really need his business. Think about doctors. How would you feel if you walked into a doctor’s office and you were the only patient? Wouldn’t you wonder how good he was? As much as you hate it when you have to sit there and wait, don’t you feel more assured when a doctor’s waiting room is packed? Of course, you do.
  12. People want to be surrounded by helpful people – people who make their lives easier and save them time. They also prefer to deal with people who are flexible and accommodating, not rigid and difficult.

The Truth About Why You Don’t Have What You Want.

“You are the way you are because that’s the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be any different, you would be in the process of changing right now.” – Fred Smith

Do you embrace the above statement? Seeing it as an opportunity to tell yourself the Truth and begin the process of making authentic and positive changes?

Or do you otherwise reject the sentiment?

(Doing the latter doesn’t make it any less true.)

What Really Limits Us

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

The idea that our language creates our world (each of our worlds… ) is very compelling for me.

I have long said that humans are meaning-seeking and meaning-creating creatures. We must not only understand our world, but make sense of it, according to our individual rules and beliefs.

And language is the primary, and predominant, tool of meaning.

So, we each create our world and language is the tool, and construction material, we use.

In terms of what we attempt or think might be possible, our language is the prime, and often, only, determinant.

Quite simply, when we say we can’t, we won’t (even try).

Not that merely saying we can means we will, but our brains will process things differently, based on the decision that something is not possible. (We won’t look for evidence or examples of how others have done “it,” we won’t look for instructional materials, we won’t seek the advice of others, we won’t see clues or openings or possibilities, we won’t attempt experiments or trials, we won’t… )

Language – positive, constructive, realistic and optimistic language – is absolutely necessary, but it is not sufficient.