Saturday, September 29, 2012

I’m Not Dead …. Not Yet Anyway

I’ve received hundreds of emails from great people asking me if I am ill.  After all, my blog, after a lot of activity in recent months has been relatively quiet over the last couple of weeks.

One person even sent me an email checking to see if I had died and as I write this, it occurs to me that I forgot to answer it.  Ooops.

My recent weeks have been spent with a great client and when I’m not with the client, I am sitting in an airplane crisscrossing the North American continent and doing my best to accelerate global warming (the last part is a joke – please don’t email me).

But what really struck me were a small percentage of people who told me that I have a responsibility to provide them with content that matters to them.

I really enjoy blogging (and even more so, REALLY enjoy the responses my blog evokes). 

I write when my Spirit is moved.

I write to move the Spirit of others.  Whether it makes them happy, sad or angry, it evokes emotion that moves them to action or at least snaps them out of complacency.  Well …. hopefully.

I am very grateful that people want to see more content.

But Life is always a matter of juggling competing priorities.

A strong Life is one where we honor our priorities to ourselves and others while not bending to the demands of people who insist that we satisfy their needs while being oblivious to our own.

Other people’s priorities are not always ours, otherwise we wouldn’t be living our lives.

We’d be living theirs.

So I’m not dead yet.

I’m just tending to priorities.

How are you coming with your priorities today?

Are you living your Life or are you living someone else’s?

How do you know?

If you are reading this you are not dead.  But with each passing day, each of us moves one step closer to our end-of-days.

Let’s make the most of every moment … and do what matters in the order that matters in a timely fashion that matters.

Because everything you think, say and do ….

…. matters.

In service and servanthood,


PS I’m on my way to the airport.  Maybe I better answer that outstanding email before I forget again. Smile

A unrelated musing that hit me last night as I took a breather and reflected on “stuff”.

Those who haven't lived weep out of fear or self pity. Those who have lived weep with gratitude.

One other humorous thought in closing as I think about the email I forgot to answer.

When one sends an email asking if someone else is dead, I wonder how they would react to not receiving an answer.

It reminds me of a client I had back in the 90’s in NYC who used to write the following on every fax cover page she used.

If you do not receive this fax, please call me at 212-xxx-xxxx.

After observing this for a while, I asked her how they would know how to contact her if they didn’t receive the fax.

With a sigh of exasperation, she looked at me and said “Because I wrote my phone number on the first page”.

Of course, I thought. I had missed the obvious.  And with a nod and a smile, I walked away in silence. Smile

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The US Elections–Choosing Your Poison

Do you remember when you could tell by the way a person spoke and lived whether that person was a Republican or Democrat - that being one or the other meant that you stood for certain positive ideals (and yes, both have some positive things that they stand for)?

As a result of this clear demarcation, one knew what one was in for in terms of domestic and international policy when one voted in a representative of either party in the national election.

I remember those days well.

Now ….

Do you remember when a political candidate ran solely on the merits of their personal and party values and past performance, focusing on their proactive strategic and tactical intentions to make the country and the world a better place instead of merely focusing on trying to convince us why the other guy is “a loser who will destroy the country”?

That’s what I thought.

I don’t remember those days either.

Our modern day election process is no longer one of inspiring people to follow a vision, a vision representing personal and party values, backed up by past performance of the candidate and communicated via a strategic and tactical roadmap with measurable outcomes that resonates with the electorate.

It has transformed from being a process of making a proactive choice for the best person for the job to one of proactive avoidance, avoiding the person who, as we are led to believe, will cause us the most pain.

This is like saying you have two choices:

- death by cyanide (because arsenic poisoning can cause severe diarrhea)

- death by arsenic (because cyanide poisoning can cause severe headaches)

In this case, you have been told that death is unavoidable and so you examine the pain caused by each and choose the option that allows you to avoid that which you fear the most.

Such a process doesn’t move us purposefully towards success.

It’s a strategy for avoiding pain (and failure), which is the complete opposite of striving for success.

And in politics, as in business and even Life itself, you ultimately achieve what you focus on.

Unfortunately, it may or may not be the result you had hoped to achieve.

It’s no wonder we can’t move towards more positive results in the country and in the world-at-large.

It’s because we’re too busy trying to avoid failure and the person whom we have been told will bring us failure instead of embracing the candidate who has demonstrated that he or she has the best chance to lead us towards success.

Oh well … maybe we will do better in 2016.


In service and servanthood,


Monday, September 17, 2012

The iPhone 5 - Fascinating Insight Into Humanity

I noticed with interest over the weekend that the number of pre-orders of the iPhone 5 have hit the 2 million mark.

People are making plans to take the day off from work, school or family to stand in line for hours to pick up the highly coveted communications and entertainment device.  One person noted in this article camped out for two weeks at her local store to pick up the last version of the iPhone.

Many have turned to social media to share their fantasies about the little handheld device that appears, from their description, to give them a reason for being.

And as the stream of fantasies and descriptions of raison d'etre consume social media, there is a fascinating side to this.

If people put as much energy, excitement and passion into their businesses, their relationships, their personal growth and their Life in general as they do for stuff like this, the world would be even more amazing to behold.

In the meantime, we muddle along as a species, making some fascinating choices in terms of where we direct our passion, our strengths, our talents and our unlimited capabilities.

I used to get really frustrated with this, especially given what some world leaders have been preparing for in terms of socio-economic upheaval, wars and other things that will affect all of us.

But I finally realized, with the help of some friends,  that not only do I not have the energy nor the right to try to help all these people to exhibit better behavior, this is in fact exactly how everything is meant to be.

Life – Correct It or Be Corrected

Many people were offended when this picture made the rounds in social media.

The interesting thing about being offended by such a picture is that often times, the feeling comes as a result of knowing deep down inside that there is an elusive or hidden truth to the inference suggested in the picture.

But knowing something and taking action as a result are not often dance partners in Life and you can’t force people to face the demon that causes them to feel disrupted or offended.

But the Universe does have a way to wake us up when we choose not to wake up of our own volition.

Change is coming.

World leaders are preparing their governments, their laws, their infrastructure and their military for it.

There are many people who see this change and are positioning themselves to be stronger after it has come and gone.

As for those who don’t care or who continue to direct their incredible potential towards things that don’t matter ….

Well ….

They are merely proving this man right:


Not that they would know or even care who this man is.

And for this reason, there is nothing to be frustrated about as people fail to live up to their phenomenal potential.

It is as it should be.

Isn’t it, Mr. Darwin?

In service and servanthood,


PS  There is also the idea of rewarding people commensurate with their contribution to society and the personal sacrifice that they make for all of us.

But that’s a subject for another day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 11 - What Have We Learned?

It’s been 11 years since the events of September 11, 2001 took away loved ones and dear friends and for many of us, memories of that day are as vivid as the day they occurred.

I hear politicians and the media proclaim how the new tower on Ground Zero proves to the world that we will not bow to the intentions of others, how it proves that we are strong, blah blah blah.

However, such messages of bravado don’t negate the fact that our foreign policy helped create the environment that allowed this to happen in the first place.

Of course it doesn’t play well for a politician to promote or even admit this.  It is far more advantageous for politicians to play down our contribution to the difficulties of the world and to play up the role of victim or savior.

And besides, in the ultimate game of chess that international diplomacy has become, it is easy to sacrifice people that you will never meet if it serves the purpose of “the greater good”.

Whatever “the greater good” means.

Perhaps I sound more bitter than I usually sound in my posts of positive action, positive thinking and the like.

But after consulting to Wall St., Fortune 25, national governments and national military organizations for longer than I care to remember, I guess I’ve been exposed to enough stuff to know that all is not as cut and dried as politicians and the media would have us believe.

And turning a blind eye towards the ignorance of certain people is a means of condoning and even endorsing the results of their actions.

Truthfully, if I had my druthers I would rather have my friends Eric Bennett, Narender Nath and Steve Fiorelli back as well as all the other friends that I lost than have a nice building that sends a message that “we’re back and better than ever”.

As the childhood game goes, once one trumpets that one is king of the mountain, there is always someone who wants to knock the king off.

And as in all childhood games, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Especially the innocent.

I am a better person for having known Eric, Narender and Steve.

But I would rather still be learning from them instead of remembering them for the great people that they were.

And I am reminded, as I remember their loss every year (please see Carpe Diem – Do We Know What It Means?), that while the years go by, I wonder if we have really learned anything at all in regards to doing the right thing on this planet.

On most days, the positive thinking side of me believes that we have.

But on days like the anniversary we honor on September 11th and looking around at what is happening around the world, I’m not so sure.

In the meantime ….

Share love with the people around you.

Show people that they matter.

Seize the moment to show someone you care or to give someone a hand-up.

It may be the last moment you have such an opportunity.

Make the most of it.

If enough of us do this and we do it on a regular enough basis, maybe then we will finally have the opportunity to reach our ultimate positive potential.

And maybe then the people who claim to represent us will follow our example.


In service and servanthood,



Eric, Steve and Narender.

Rest in peace, my friends.

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