Tag Archives: choose wisely

The Sea

27 Jan

A professor took his class on a field trip to the ocean. Once at the water’s edge he handed each student a cup. Some were tall, some were short, some were thin, while still others were stout around the middle. No two cups were the same shape and no two cups looked alike.

In addition, every cup was a different color although from a distance you could see that many of the colors could fall into distinct groups. Some had a darker hue and some lighter. The one thing that all the different cups had in common was the amount of liquid they held. Each, to the drop, held identical amounts of whatever was to fill them.

The professor then had each student walk to the water’s edge and fill their cup to the very brim with ocean water and then step back into line. When every student had filled their cup the professor asked them, “What’s in your cup?” Of course, the unanimous response was water. “Yes,” replied the professor, “but what kind of water?” Ocean water yelled the students.

“Good,” said the professor. “Now let me ask you this? What’s the difference between the ocean water in the ocean and the ocean water in your cup?” One young man quickly responded, “That’s simple. The water in the ocean has sea life in it, but the water in our cups is just plain water.” His classmates all murmured in unison because his answer seemed to make sense.

“That’s not quite correct answered the professor. It’s obvious that your cups are not large enough to hold a fish, or a squid, or even a starfish, but there is still tiny life in your cup that can’t be seen. The same life that fills every drop of this ocean no matter what distant shore it falls upon. So wouldn’t you agree that the water in your cup would be identical to the ocean, only on a smaller scale?” From the looks on his student’s faces he could see the beginnings of understanding, and he was pleased.

The professor then went on to explain the message he was trying to convey to his students. “This ocean could be compared to God.  Vast, powerful and without end. Loving and nurturing to all the creatures great and small that live within it. The cup is your human body. No two are identical. Each a different shape and color from the others. No one cup is better, more important, or for that matter worse than the others, only different in outward appearance.

Upon your birth God infused you with a small piece of himself. He sees you as his Greatest Miracle, the Greatest Miracle in the world. That piece of him is the spark of life which animates your body. Some may call it the soul, but it needs no name. It is your humanity. It’s what makes you and me the same.

So please remember this: whenever you harm another person, by your words or deeds. Whenever you bully another because you think you’re superior. Whenever you see another human being as less than you. Whenever you show a lack of respect for another, you aren’t doing it to them alone; you are doing it to yourself and to God. You see each of us is God walking around in cups of different colors, shapes and sizes.

And there is something else my students that I want you to know: God makes no mistakes and creates nothing but perfection. Therefore, you are perfect. And never let anyone tell you different! Oh, and one other thing, you were created for GREATNESS and not littleness. The choice is always yours.”

Luckman’s Law: With love you have everything. With fear you have nothing.

With love always,

Michael

Advertisements

It’s All About Choice

24 Jan

I received a call last week from my nephew seeking my advice. I’ve got to admit I was flattered. Typically it’s my peers who seek my advice, but rarely a 24 year old, and I often wonder why that is. I have an opinion and it is this: we live in a face paced highly technological world aimed at young people. Why young people? Two very simple reasons; 1) that’s where the money is, and 2) young people have the time to devote to learning new technology. In fact, other than attending school, learning and using technology is their full time job. Because of this, they tend to look at the proceeding generations as not as technologically savvy (intelligent) as them, and thus, not people they would want to solicit advice from.

He’s interested in leasing a new car and since I have been leasing cars for over 40 years, thought I might be able to offer him some sound advice. And I did. Some of the advice I shared with him was: Just because the dealer advertises a manufacturers lease special it does not preclude you from further negotiating an even lower price; Often the dealer has several money factor rates (interest) and if your credit is good, you can negotiate this too; Just because they say you need to put money down does not mean you have to. All of my leases have been with no money down. Zero drive off; Fall in love with the car, not the dealer. Prepare to shop as many dealers as possible for the best terms. I live in Northern California, but I shop dealers in Southern California. It’s an hour’s plane ride for often under $100 and the dealer you’re leasing from will send someone to the local airport to pick you up. Then it’s a leisurely drive home up Interstate 5 in my new car.

But this blog is not really about leasing a new car. In our 45 minute conversation I asked him what his credit score was. His response was 690 and I told him how proud I was of him. Considering that he hasn’t been in the work world that long and he doesn’t have a mortgage that was a pretty good score. We then had a conversation about Cause and Effect. And this is what I told him.

Very often young people do foolish things that could have a dramatic effect on themselves and their lifestyle down the road. And it’s not just today’s young people. All of us have done things that we look back upon in embarrassment and wish we had made better choices. It’s all about the process of maturing and becoming an adult. The problem that my nephew’s generation faces as opposed to any proceeding ones is that their stupid mistakes are written in stone. Just waiting to be discovered years later by anyone with internet access.

My nephew was really shocked when I told him this: Future employers look to your credit score when considering hiring you. Why would they do that he asked? And it’s really quite simple. How you maintain your credit is a clear indicator of how you lead your life. If you purchase goods and services and don’t pay for them, you’re not a person of good character. If this is who you are privately their fear is that this is who you are publically, and they can’t afford to take the risk of adding you to their team.

What goes around comes around. Choose wisely.

Love,

Michael

Give Me That Old Time Religion!

10 Jan

This is a conversation about religion. Yikes!

Often, just the mere mention of the word religion will get people to unconsciously straighten their backs and tighten their guts, while waiting for whatever is coming next. For me, I’ve lost count of how many people, once they discover I am Jewish, who want to share with me the simple fact that as soon as I make Jesus Christ my lord and savior I would be welcomed into God’s Kingdom of Heaven. Since Judaism is considerably older than Christianity, by, oh what’s that number, 3,760 years, I’ve often thought of all my dead ancestors and where they wound up after leaving their earthly bodies.

But interestingly I do believe in Jesus. But more about the historical Jesus as described in Reza Aslan’s bestselling book, Zealot. I am also very drawn to the Gnostic Gospels found in Egypt in 1945. Gnosticism being more about humankind’s individual relationship with God than it is about having a strict organized religion, created by men, to control men and women, boys and girls, with fear and damnation.

Even as a little boy in Sunday school, learning bible stories out of the Old Testament, I could not reconcile a loving, creative and merciful God with one who would smote (here is a word you don’t run across too often) you if you by chance angered Him, or for that matter, Her. If this was what organized religion was about, than I didn’t want any part in it. Immediately after my Bar Mitzvah at the age of thirteen, organized religion and I parted ways.

Now does that mean that I am against organized religion for everyone? Of course not. Just because I chafe at the yoke of religious dogma does not mean that that very dogma, and the organization that exposes it, does not bring enormous comfort to those who believe in it. And religion does more than just comfort our souls, it brings structure to our lives. But in my life it is my relationship with God, and God alone, that brings me even more than just comfort and structure; it brings me enormous joy and happiness, unconditional love for ALL my brothers and sisters, and the knowing that God has asked me to fulfill a function while in this body, a purpose so-to-speak, that will benefit all of mankind. I am hoping it is through the words I write.

The opposite of Love is not Hate, it is Fear.

We are all at the beginning of a brand new year. We each have the power to make of this year what we desire. We do it through our thoughts, the choices we make, and how we face and overpower our fears. So please remember this: God gave each of us free choice. He will never interfere. But he does ask two things of us; that we make no decisions by ourselves — and that we always choose wisely. Have a wonderful year.

With Love,

Michael

It’s Never Too Late!

12 Dec

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

George Eliot, was the pen name used by Mary Anne Evans, a Victorian novelist.

The reason I enjoy the above quote so much is that it is a message of hope. That as long as we are alive we still have the power to change our life and become the person we have always wanted to be.

How often do we hear people say, “You made your bed now sleep in it.” It is a condemnation of the person they are addressing, that they have screwed up so badly that there is nothing left for that person to do but accept the consequences. To just live with it no matter the hurt and pain.

I don’t believe that. I believe that we are the sum total of all the choices we have made in our lives, both the good and the bad. Often, because of fear or expediency, we make wrong choices. And, each wrong choice moves us further away from the perfect path our creator wanted us to follow. Until our perfect path is just a distant memory.

But, in this one sentence, Ms. Evans tells us that there is hope for all of us. That there is nothing that we have done or said that cannot be corrected. That no matter how much time has passed and no matter what our journey, we can still become the person we have always wanted to be.

I believe it. I hope you can too.

Love,

Michael

Check Your Ego at the Door

24 Oct

Check your ego at the door and check your gut instead. Every right decision I have ever made has come from my gut. ~Oprah Winfrey

If you read my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life you’ll know that I don’t think much of the ego, yours or mine.

Your ego is not your friend. Its sole purpose is to compare you to others. And when that happens you’re either going to win or lose. If your ego finds you superior to another or another’s possessions, you feel good about yourself. If your ego finds you lacking compared to another you feel terrible. There is no in-between.

Whenever you make a decision based upon what your ego is telling you the probability that you’ll make the wrong decision is at its highest. But when you allow intuition to guide you, you can almost never be wrong.

Intuition communicates through your gut. When you make the right decision your gut speaks to you through your heart, and makes it sing. It’s at that moment that you know you made the RIGHT decision.

Love,

Michael

People Who Rain on Our Parade

23 Sep

Have you ever had a great idea: for a new product, a new job, a new business, or even a move to another locale? You’re excited about whatever you have chosen, and can’t wait to share it with others.

And so you tell a friend or a family member and instead of getting a positive response that will reinforce your decision you get something like this. “What makes you think you can start a business? Don’t you know we’re in a recession? It takes a long time to get a business off the ground. You tried that once and you failed miserably.” “You want a new car? Can you afford it? Remember you’ve only been on your job 6 months.” “This is who you chose for a spouse? You can do much better than this. Why rush?”

What did it feel like when you heard those comments? I’ll bet they were painful. And I’ll bet even more that they made you feel lost, confused and fearful.

You started doubting yourself and your new idea. Then you probably said to yourself maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Why do people do this? When asked, most naysayers will tell you that they just want to help. That they want to prevent you from making a mistake. So they feel this compulsion to point out your past follies, mistakes and failures.

And if you challenge them they’ll usually reply with, “You’re just not being realistic!”

Bull. What’s really being said is, “I’m jealous. If you succeed you probably won’t be friends with me anymore. You’ll move out of the neighborhood and won’t ever come back. Your success will make me feel like a failure. My life will be ruined.”

So the next time you’ve got a great idea and someone rains on your parade, instead of feeling fear, take a good hard look at the person telling you these negative things. Then ask yourself, “Is this someone whose advice I value?” If the answer is no get away from them as quickly as possible. They’ll just bring you down.

Love,

Michael

Rules for Being Human

5 Aug

A burst of energy this weekend translated into cleaning my office. These particular bursts happen so infrequently that I’ve learned to live with piles of paper. Although, I pretty much know where everything is. That is until the cleaning people merge each pile into a small mountain and I wind up doing a project over because, for the life of me, I can’t find it.

While cleaning I came across this copy of Rules for Being Human. This list, in one form of another, has been passed around since the “good old days” when there were only telephones (not cell phones), snail mail and fax machines.

Anyway, I thought you’d like it.

1.                                    You will receive a body. No two bodies are alike. You may like it or you may hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around. You’ll be much happier if you accept it.

2.                                  You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid. It matters not.

3.                                  There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error experimentation. The experiments “that didn’t succeed” are as much a part of this process as the experiment that ultimately “works.” Remember, there is no such thing as failure. Only things that didn’t work out the way you would have liked.

4.                                  A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5.                                  Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6.                                  “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become your “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look to you a whole lot better than “here.”

7.                                  Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects back to you something you love or hate about yourself.

8.                                  What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is always yours. Choose wisely!

9.                                  Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. Never out there. All you need to do is ask, listen and trust.

10.       You will forget all this. Which means, you will continue to do the same things you’ve always done over and over again, hoping, wishing and praying your life will miraculously change for the better. It won’t. Unless, you finally change your mind.

With Love,

Michael