Tag Archives: free choice

When Did You Die?

10 Jan

Was it when you were in your early forties? Or, maybe about the time you received your AARP invitation at 50? Perhaps it happened when all the kids left the house and about the time the first grandkids came?

Oh wait, that’s not the title I wanted for this blog. I meant to ask, When Did You Stop Living? Because that’s what this blog is about.

Back when I was growing up many companies had a mandatory retirement age, it was 65. And although my grandfather owned his own business he too chose this age to “start taking it easy and enjoy the fruits of his labor.” He died two years later. And he wasn’t unique. The Chicago obits were full of names of men his age.

Recently my wife and I had dinner in Las Vegas with my first ex-wife Phyllis and her husband Jeff. Several years back they bought a beautiful home in the Del Webb retirement community of Sun City Anthem, and I bought a home in a typical mixed neighborhood. They love Sun City. It is full of their peers. So is mine.

During dinner I shared with them how 2013 had been a tough year for me. I had several physical problems to work through, my mother passed away and my new venture as an author and international speaker was slow in gaining traction. Phyllis, never missing an opportunity after 40+ years to mold me into this perfect man, asked me, “Why, at your age do you want to continue working, let alone start a new business? You should (how I love you shoulds), sell your home and buy in Sun City. With your Social Security and savings you can finally enjoy life.” The assumption being is that, for some unknown reason, I’m not enjoying life now.

This is not the first time someone has suggested to me that my lifestyle choices were wrong. This is how I responded to Phyllis and the others: When I go grocery shopping I want to see show girls on their day off, and not someone’s granny pushing a walker. Plus, I don’t mind walking from the back of the parking lot where the non-handicap parking spaces are. I’m not dead yet. (For clarification purposes: you can always spot a showgirl. They’re tall, stand as straight as an arrow and have this sort of regal presence as they push their carts down the aisle. I am sure you can picture the difference).

I have this overwhelming belief that each of us was created by our creator for Greatness. Greatness being your fulfillment of your life’s purpose. For some that greatness may come in their early twenties, for others their forties and for some, even in their seventies. Greatness does not have a “best by” date. Not unless you arbitrarily set one. Or, worse yet, allow others to set one for you.

This subject is very important to me, and I think to a lot of others as well. So here is your first homework assignment. For the ladies; go into the lingerie department and buy the skimpiest and sexiest underwear you can. Who cares if the thong gets lost. It will make you feel sexy and that is ALL that matters. For the men; get a prescription for an ED medicine. You probably aren’t going to bust many zippers, but knowing that your pencil still has lead in it will do wonders for how you see yourself.

Until my next blog on this subject remember this: There is no such thing as the inevitable. The inevitable is only what you create.



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.



Are You on Your Perfect Path?

7 Oct

Luckman’s Law: God shows you where you could have gone if you had overpowered your fear and taken a different path.

Have you seen the movie Defending Your Life with Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks. If not you definitely want to rent this 1991 classic. It is the story of a man (Brooks) who dies and goes to heaven. It is there that he meets the perfect woman (Streep) and both must go before a court to see if they are ready to move forward to a higher plane, or go back to earth to experience a new life.

Both stood in their individual courtrooms watching on a large screen various scenarios of their life. Streep’s character, when alive, lived a brave and fearless life while Brooks’ character lived a life just the opposite. As the various scenarios of Brooks’ life unfolded it became apparent that he was and always had been a fear based person. Whenever faced with a new challenge or a new opportunity in his earthly life Brooks would either cave or do the opposite of what was in his best interest. I’ve always related well to Brooks’ character.

In fact, each time I see this movie it reminds me of me. I was his character, arrogant on the outside, a bowl of Jell-O on the inside.

As I grew in my spirituality and after reading countless books, and sitting through a good many seminars, I formed my beliefs about what happens to us when we die. First, is my belief of who we are. We are not our bodies. Our bodies are only the vessel that holds our Spirit which is a part of God. Second, before we enter our body at the time we take our first breath, we have agreed to the life we are going to live. Our Spirit knows all the various scenarios we will encounter in this lifetime, and what our final purpose is. Third, we will encounter the very situations we agreed to, but the choice of how we handle these circumstances is solely up to us.

By this I mean we have free choice. We can choose to run in fear of the situation. We can choose to boldly and bravely face the situation. Or, we can decide to do nothing, hoping and wishing it will take care of itself. Only one of the three choices above will bring us closer to our ultimate purpose for being here, and that is to overpower our fears and boldly and bravely face every challenge.

I actually believe like Albert Brooks, that when we die we all go back to God. And the first thing we do is to review the life we just lived. And we must answer these questions: Did I always do the right thing? Did I face my fears and do what was necessary? Did I stand firm in my beliefs? Did I do all I could to help and support my fellow man? Was I honest and forthright? In the roles that I took on did I always do my best? Did I live a life of Magnitude or Littleness? Did I achieve my Glory?

Now here is my challenge to you my friends: Do you want to wait until you die to share your answers with God, or do you want to look back on your life now and decide to overpower your fears and create the right answers to all of the above questions, while you are still alive to make a difference in this life, in this world?

With love,


You Are What You Choose

16 May

Make quick choices and you may not get what you want. Make wise choices and you get the life of your dreams. ~Michael Luckman in Luckman’s Laws

The good news; the choice has always been yours. The bad news; you often make the wrong choice.

Life just happens. Right? WRONG! The life you are living today is nothing more than an amalgamation of all the choices you have made since infancy.

Each and every day we are faced with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of choices.  From the simplest; what should I have for breakfast? Should I take the freeway or surface streets to work? To ones with far reaching consequences; is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with? Is this the perfect career for me?

For many of us we make these choices without much thought and consideration. And, often we choose the easiest and most expeditious answer. Just as we like fast food we like to make quick decisions. And there lies the problem. We now must live with the consequences of that decision.

Choose to yell at your kids. Live with the consequences. Drive drunk. Live with the consequences. Have unprotected sex. Live with the consequences. Get the picture? You can’t evade the ramifications of cause and effect.

Today choose to choose wisely.

With Love,


Everyone Dies But Not Everyone Lives!

15 May

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives. ~A. Sachs

Recently I was speaking with an old friend about a mutual friend who had recently passed away. As we shared stories about our friend it wasn’t long before we reached a consensus, our friend never enjoyed a peaceful tranquil day in his life. Now that’s a pretty broad statement made about another, so let me explain.

Our friend, we’ll call him Jonathan, was a constant worrier. Growing up as a group of friends we would do some really crazy and stupid things. You know; typical boy stuff. Although we could usually get Jonathan to go along with our ideas it was never easy. When faced with any new challenge Jonathan would immediately go into “downside worry mode.” Soon after a choice was made we would begin hearing a litany of all the things that could go wrong with our decision.

I sort of lost touch with Jonathan after high school but my friend stayed in touch with him. He told me that after college he went to work for the Internal Revenue Service, got married and had two children, but never lost his penchant for worrying. My friend then added, “I don’t think Jonathan ever really lived a day of his life free from disappointment, guilt and worry.” That statement reminded me of the above quote from A. Sachs.

Yes, we all die. Death is certainly universal. It touches all living things and we can’t avoid it. But how many of us really live our lives to the fullest? How many of us on our deathbed can honestly say to those gathered around, “I have lived a full and complete life. Each and every day I faced new challenges but overpowered each and every one of them. I took calculated risks and succeeded more than I failed. I loved my brother as myself and gave everything I owned to receive everything I have. I felt the cold hands of fear daily but never let it win. I have lived a life of purpose. I have mattered.”

I don’t think many of us could make that statement. But it is never too late to live the life that this quote describes. If we so choose.

Life is lived in the moment, not yesterday and not tomorrow. And, it is in this moment that we create our future, the one we truly desire.

Each of us has been given the gift of free choice. Decide now to face and overpower your fears and worries, and to always choose wisely.

With Love,


The Terror of Indecision!

9 Apr

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision. – Maimonides

How many people reading this article suffer from the fear of making a decision? I believe the number is a lot higher than we think. Why is it so hard for these people to make a decision? What are they afraid of?

I believe it’s not the fear of making the decision these people shy away from, but the fear of making the wrong decision. And, if we went back to their childhoods I think we would find the answer.

If you were raised in a household where your parents or guardians judged your every choice, and chastised and berated you when your choice differed from theirs, there is a very good chance that the seeds of fear of making a decision were planted.

One of the most wonderful gifts given to human beings by our creator is the gift of free choice. We are the only animal alive that experiences conscious thought and the capacity to reason. And by that I mean the ability to weigh one thing against another and decide which would be the better choice.

But if you as a child lived in fear of angering your parents or another adult you would constantly live with the dread of making the wrong choice. And so you were forced to live with the terror of indecision. But you can change.

As human beings we learn by trial and error. Watch as an infant learns to roll over from their back to their stomach. Their chubby little arms thrash around until finally they put enough strength behind it to turn their body ever so slightly. And then, using all their strength, they finally pull their body over until they are successfully lying on their stomach. Learning never changes. We try. We fail. We try again and again until we succeed.

If you are frozen in place by the fear of making the wrong decision remember; you are only human. You must risk making the wrong decision if you ever want to succeed. And here is the best part; you don’t have to make your decisions alone.

You have been blessed with a higher power that is always there with you. I will often use my higher power, which I refer to as Infinite Spirit, to help me make the best decision. This is what I say:

“Infinite Spirit, Guide me and help me to make the best decision involving (blank). I desire to always make the best choices for myself.”

It may sound simple, but believe me, it works.

With Love,


It Can Last a Lifetime!

18 Mar

Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices. – Alfred A. Montapert

Two things prompted me to choose Mr. Montapert’s quote today; the first was the guilty verdicts given today to the two Steubenville, Ohio high school football players for raping a drunk 16 year old girl. The second is that I am putting the finishing touches on a talk I will be giving to college students across the country entitled, The Five Secrets for Success You Won’t Learn in College. The fourth secret for success in my talk is: Cause and Effect – Prevent Mistakes That Can Haunt Your Entire Career.

Every cause will have an effect. The cause is WHY SOMETHING HAPPENED.  The effect is WHAT HAPPENED.

And today, with the internet, effects can hound you for your entire lifetime. If you Google my name, Michael Luckman, and add the word spammer after it, your search will bring up dozens of articles that brand me an email spammer. I don’t have time in this article, nor the inclination, to share with you why this happened, but it did. And the ramifications of it did major damage to my business. Right or wrong, I will forever be known as the SPAMMER.

Too many people, especially teenagers and those in their twenties, believe that they live in a chaotic world where things just seem to happen to them, with no rhyme or reason. For those who believe this they probably wouldn’t recognize that everything in their life (the effects) had a cause – a reason why it happened. But it’s true. Cause and effect go hand in hand. You won’t find one without the other.

My belief is that we live in an ordered universe where we create our lives by our very thoughts and actions. The two boys convicted in Steubenville, and the other dozen or so boys who also participated, did not realize they were doing anything particularly wrong. Or maybe they did, but got caught up in the herd mentality and followed their alcohol fueled instincts. Either way, by their very actions (cause) their future lives will never be the same (effects).

Now before you ask what about the girl’s behavior, is that a cause? Yes, her getting drunk certainly was the cause of everything that happened to her afterwards. Alcohol is a wicked drug and teenagers experimenting with it have no idea what it can do to them. And all too often a parent’s admonition about staying away from it falls on deaf ears. But that’s also part of still being a child. But rape is not.

If you are a parent of teenagers or even related to one, talk to them. Teach them about cause and effect. And if you can, impress upon them that everything they write, even their choice of words, and the photos they send to others, will very often wind up on the internet, where they will remain as lifetime reminders of making the wrong choice.

Always choose wisely,


Fear of the Unknown

6 Feb

A fear of the unknown keeps a lot of people from leaving bad situations. ~Kathie Lee Gifford

How many people do you know that are stuck? They may be stuck in the wrong marriage, the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong career, and any number of other wrong situations. Probably plenty. I’m sure you’ve wanted to ask them why? Why do they stay where they are? Why do they allow life to pass them by? Why don’t they do something to help themselves? But you haven’t because you were afraid they’d take your question the wrong way, thinking it’s too personal or intrusive.

For the same reason you don’t ask, they don’t leave a bad situation. That reason is fear. And to be more specific, this deep down titanic fear is their fear of the unknown. To all too many people, the unknown is analogous to a bottomless abyss. Dark, foreboding and scary. They fear going from the known, as bad as it might be, to the unknown which to them could be a whole lot worse. And so they do nothing.

There is something I call the greater fear syndrome. Let me give you an example. My sister was in a bad marriage. Her husband was a gambler. She liked being married and enjoyed doing couples things with their friends. After she divorced her first husband she went through a period where to her married friends she was no longer a couple, and some of the wives even saw her as a threat to stealing their husbands. Thus she lost many of her friends. My sister’s greatest fear was being in a similar situation once again.

It wasn’t until her gambling husband gambled away their home and her business that she overpowered her fear and found the courage to finally get a divorce. The fear of not being a couple and facing the unknown as a divorced woman was overshadowed by her fear of living on the street. The greater fear prompted her to act.

Now you are probably asking; why did it have to take so long? I wish I had a simple answer. In so many cases where a person is stuck in a bad situation they see no way out. And often a strong sense of shame prevents them from sharing their fears with others. They believe that if others knew that a bright, intelligent person like themself could wind up in a situation like this, they’d abandon them as a friend. And then where would they be?

If you have a friend experiencing a similar bad situation, be the friend they need. They are completely overwhelmed and can’t see the forest through the trees. Get them to share with you what’s going on in their life. Let them speak and be a good listener. Let them know that they’re not alone. That you and many others are there for them. And please, don’t judge them. This is not the time to shame them and point out that each of us is responsible for all the things in our lives. They have plenty of time to learn this once they’re back on their feet.

To no fear of the unknown,


Blessing or Curse?

1 Feb

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you in inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms. – Neil Boortz

Neal Boortz is an American radio host, author, and self-described libertarian political commentator. While I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Boortz’ political views, every once in a while I come across one of his quotes that just makes sense. The above is one of them.

If you’ve followed my missives for even a short period of time you know that I am a firm believer in free choice. It is God’s gift to us, his children. And it can be looked at as both a curse and a blessing, depending on how you use it.

I’ll bet that each of you knows at least one person who is always beset by problems. It seems that nothing in their life goes right for them, as if they always have a dark rain cloud over their head. But if you know them well enough you probably know why nothing goes right for them.

Maybe they love to party and often have a little too much to drink. Then ignoring the warnings from their friends, they get into their car and drive off, only to be stopped by a cop and arrested for a DUI. I had a neighbor like this and after his third DUI lost his driver’s license. His already high insurance premium tripled and his boss was threatening to fire him. On top of that his wife was at the point where she was seriously thinking about kicking him out of the house.

When we’d see each other over the weekend all he could talk about was how the world was conspiring against him. How his life was in the toilet and this seemed to be the way it always was for as long as he could remember. When I tried to show him how he might have been somehow responsible for how things were, he looked at me as if I had just insulted him. He could not see any correlation between his actions (cause) and the negative circumstances in his life (effects).

People will often say that if God loved them he wouldn’t let bad things happen to them. But think about this for a moment; Did God really abandon these people or did God say to them, “I love you and I want you to pursue your own happiness, so I am giving you this wonderful gift, you can make your own choices. I will not interfere. I will offer you guidance, but the final choice will always be yours. But remember my child that you will always reap what you sow. Thus, you must always choose wisely!”

To making the best choices,


P.S. Parents, the greatest gift you can give your children is to teach them how to choose wisely.

Littleness vs. Greatness: The Choice is Yours

7 Jan

My belief is that God created us to have, be and do everything that we desire. That we were created for Greatness. Not just some of us – but all of us.        ~Michael Luckman

From A Course in Miracles we learn: “Littleness is the offering you give yourself. Everything in this world is little because it is a world made out of Littleness, in the strange belief that Littleness can content you. Chose Littleness and you will not have peace, for you will have judged yourself unworthy of it. For you will be content only in [Magnitude] Greatness, which is your home. Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself. Believe that little can content you, and by limiting yourself you will not be satisfied. For your function (purpose in life) is not little, and it is only by finding your function and fulfilling it that you can escape from Littleness. God is not willing that his children be content with less than everything.”

The wonderful thing about change is that it can happen in a moment. Each of us has been blessed by our creator with the wonderful gift of free choice. You don’t have to respond to outside circumstances as you have in the past. You can choose a different path. You can choose love over fear. Peace over anger. Tolerance over intolerance. Acceptance over rejection. Inclusion over exclusion. The choice is yours. In fact, the choice has always been yours. You don’t have to respond to anything as if you were following a script. You have the power to write your own script.

And remember this – no matter what you were lead to believe by others, you are and have always been, created for Greatness.

To the Greatness in you,