Jul 062014
 
Invest in Independence ... Every single day.

A republic, age 238 years: America. Always a bright beacon; a light house beckoning humanity to its vast shoreline. To visit its amazing landmarks, vibrant cities, small towns, beaches, & farms ….. America has offered all eight meanings of freedom, abundance in all its forms, and a potpourri of means to grow and prosper economically, spiritually, & socially. That is the ever enduring siren call of our blessed, bountiful, and native land …

So, today (and every single day), renew your vows & your sacred duty to preserve all of what you love, value, & treasure about our country. Prevent the FLD & promote with all your might the SDS … Read the Federalist & Anti Federalist Papers; The Constitution, & the Declaration. The SDS are the keystones for the next hundred years of birthdays.

God Bless our Independence Day!

Nov 272013
 

Do. Learn. Define.

Therein lies the fundamental, root issue with why so many do not find lasting success (however they chose to define it) nor significance in their lives.

Define. Learn. Do.

Not only is this 180 degrees different when you examine in writing or hear someone say it out loud, it is also inside-out transformational for one’s thinking and mindset.

Why is the former far inferior to the latter?

Let’s dissect this at a high level in this post. This concept can easily form the spine of a book, or the core theme of an entire evening’s seminar, so additional comments from those who read this post & identify with this are most welcome to offer input.

First, the former.

In old style, agricultural/industrial age schooling, you are often asked at some, or many points, by an adult in authority something along the lines of “What do you want to do when you graduate?” Without being aware of the far superior alternative, this seemingly straightforward question has pinned the teenager (‘you’) into a corner, and continued a programming that nearly often leads to mediocrity and a settled for life rather than one of uncovering genius, serving others, & being part of something far bigger than oneself.

Then, often, the answer received by the adult ranges from a shrug/blank stare, to a verbal “I am not sure/don’t know”, to, in some cases, a detailed reply from a smaller percentage of teens. This is quite often the lead-in to the learn step, where, often, one finds themselves on the college prep track, taking classes to beef up the transcript for colleges “A”, “B”, and “C” to evaluate when it comes to the next stage. You are embarking on a journey to learn whatever it is that you want to do

Lastly, whatever you end up learning defines your life; its contours, its obligations, most usually, your budget ( mostly debt ), and even where you live and whom you associate with.

You’ve now been boxed in = a Pre-defined outcome based on the first step you took. And, keep in mind, this step was driven often unconsciously, due to societal norms and perhaps peer pressure. Can this box be broached, so you can re-learn something else after changing your answer to the “do”? Yes, however, not all that easily.

What about flipping the entire equation, and turning it on its head? Let’s look at it:

Define – define your life, ‘Johnny’; where do you see yourself in 5? 10? 20? years. What’s your ideal day look like? What are your priorities that you want to fulfill?

Learn – Let’s find / lead you to someone(s), something(s) which will lead you through the steps, phases, decision points, thought processes, and commitments which are required in order to reach the lifestyle which you’ve defined in step one.

Then, wrapping up with Do. Now, after your thinking has been changed by this new information and perspective/mindset, it’s time to act. Take action! Make mistakes. Failure is a direct input to success. Do what the someone/something advised and recommended. For instance, if you want to be wealthy and have both time & money, follow the success principles which the truly wealthy advised in the books & audios, and what your mentor(s) who have what you want have told you.

Is this not evolutionary, let alone revolutionary, in how it differs? For certain.

Why don’t more folks in the West, let alone America, make the latter choice? Simple reasons > Too much noise v. proven gold medal information. Conditioning & programming. Those without success teaching those who have yet to have the opportunity to learn success principles that break the mediocrity ‘chain’. A lack of reading & listening, and being unaware of the value of education v. schooling.

These reasons can be dealt with. And, it’s one of my missions to reach as many as I can to help them realize that there is a choice.

Thank you for reading & may your days be blessed in all ways!

Sep 082013
 
Education v. Training -- many differences

As it becomes clearer & clearer how much of a difference there is between schooling and education, this particular page and a half in the most recent book that I’m reading (‘On Becoming a Leader’) really stood out to me, and will form the core of this evening’s post.

This conclusion is nothing original, as Twain, Einstein, and others have spoken of it in past  ages, and in the present day, more are making the seminal choice to focus more on education in lieu of schooling. This is a crucial choice, in my view, as what has been described so often as a ‘recession’ (in some cases with the word ‘Great’ added to amplify) wasn’t one — the past 4-6 years have been another of several waves that have been washing away the remnants of the agricultural, industrial, and corporate industrial ages, which is being replaced by the digital/internet/tribal/information age.

Therefore, this is a paradigm change, a ‘tectonic plate’ shift which is completely taking our economy in directions which, if you’re not prepared for them, will make life more challenging. The challenge, though, can be overcome and mastered by focusing on changing the information and the thinking on the front edges; once you work on your honeability, hunger, and humility, you are well on your way to flipping the switch from being reactive to this shift to being proactive.

Mr. Bennis did a terrific job with laying out the differences between education and what he  refers to as training, and which I’d contend is equivalent to schooling, as it is not a revelation that the past 3 eras of schooling tends to be heavily focused on career/vocation/job training in lieu of education. With all credit to him (see pages 42-43), here’s his table with my comments added in >

 

Education

Inductive, tentative, dynamic, understanding, ideas, broad, deep, experiential, active, questions, process, strategy, alternatives, exploration, discovery, active, initiative, whole brain, life, long-term, change, content, flexible, risk, synthesis, open, & imagination.

Training ( *what I’ve made = to schooling as a synonym for this post )

Deductive, firm, static, memorizing, facts, narrow, surface, rote, passive, answers, content, tactics, goal, prediction, dogma, reactive, direction, left brain, job, short-term, stability, form, rigid, rules, thesis, closed, common sense.

 

Bennis caps off his table with these words: “If the list [under education] seems strange to you, it’s because that isn’t the way we are usually taught. Our educational system is really better at training than educating. And that’s unfortunate.”

How true this is. I’d only swap out the word ‘educational’ for ‘schooling’. I, like many, many others have come to realize this when reflecting back, especially after beginning self-directed/liber education.  There’s a reason why past generations were more prepared for the previous shifts that took hold in America and elsewhere in the West:  They were well educated instead of being trained.

Another way ( see previous posts ) that this can be summed up is to look at it through the lens of the Latin language; ‘sensus solum’ would be equal to the latter, and ‘sensus plenior’ to the former. When you are focused on memorizing facts, rote learning, with rules and directions taking the place of ideas ( the “great conversation” ), learning to discover, synthesizing multiple genres at the same time, and retaining imagination and creativity to bring out inner genius, you turn out people into the world who are often unprepared for the shifts that come to the macro economy.

This is NOT an unsolvable problem. It is a challenge that I’ve embraced by walking the pathway I’ve chosen, and which I am privileged to share with others through the vehicle of being an owner with a business wrapped around Resolution 13 missions & Resolution 1 purpose.

May your days this week be filled with exploration, questions which lead you to look up answers in your library of books, and deep, metaphorical thinking which brings a hop to your step.  All the best, always!

May 222013
 
Austrian economics

The Austrian ‘school’ of economics is a thread of all of these: leadership, history, thought, theory, application, & wisdom. It is a school whose luminaries are many — Rothbard, Mises, Schiff, Hazlitt, Say, & Hayek, amongst others both past & present.

This post is by no means meant to be a detailed review – the brevity of it is intentional –  just meant to bring the readers’ attention to these names, and lead them to want to do their own thinking & research. It is imperative since so many in the West, especially Americans, have been fed such a steady and overwhelming dose of Keynesian school, the vast majority don’t even know that there are other schools. One huge reason to want to pursue self-directed studies?  If you feel like your dollar doesn’t go nearly as far as even 5-10 years ago.  The Austrian school clearly explains the deep root reasons for this day to day realization that impacts nearly everyone’s household budget.

A collorary to the school is the writings of one Robert Kiyosaki, he of the ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ series of purple & black books – including the best of the best, in my humble opinion, ‘Cashflow Quadrant’. Robert K’s tweets, Facebook statuses/links, and writings are a different entry point into this thread of economics which will rationalize and explain things that Keynesian thought will not be able to lock onto. In fact, much of the depth of the problems with micro ( household ) and macro (state/country/worldwide) economics result from Keynesian policies.

In sum, please do yourself a service to study, learn, and grow in this area. Economics is not hard to understand once you get your hands on the right set of information.

All the best!

Apr 102013
 
Making a difference starts with ...

… better quality information.

Contention of the day:   Information changes lives.

Better yet to sharpen that & say:   World class information changes lives, so long as one has the courage to grow, to be honeable, and humble enough to confront his/her thinking head-on.

Personal testimonial. This is what I did starting just about three years ago. The information I had in my life up to that point had produced the results that I had, which, far from bad, were just … mediocre; additionally, my happiness was nearer to low tide than to flood tide level.

So, thanks to finding a mentor, associating positively with those who cared about my happiness and wanted to build a long lasting trusted friendship/relationship with me, things started to change, step by step:  days, then weeks, months, and now, into the years.

Now, rather than spending so much time worrying about things due to a bad attitude (especially on Mondays; now, all 7 days are equal in how much I look forward to them!), and a focus on self, rather than service, I live a far richer, blessed, and fruitful life in all areas measured through the 8 F’s and the 13 resolutions. I used to make ‘resolutions’ ( not really: they were ‘preferences’ and not decisions), and not live up to them; I used to spend a lot of valuable time sleeping in, or watching television, or reading books that just made me angry about current events, but offered no depth based solutions to fix things. Now, each of these time wasters and productivity drainers have been replaced by far more effectives uses of time, which allow me to make a difference and build a legacy; things such as:

Reading world class books – have built up a library and always am happy to recommend titles ( see my second blog for the write ups ) and also loan out books to those who are hungry to change

Listen to audio recordings which make me think, which challenge me to grow more, and which contain voices of those whose results I desire to have.

Watch various webinars, DVDs, and vid clips (You Tube) that contain information which leads me to be able to write up quotes to help stretch my thinking, push me out of my familiar zone, and bless others by being part of the 20% of society which “vibrates” to a positive frequency.

Association with other climbers, encouragers, and dreamers who have put serving others through servant, replacement driven leadership far ahead of their personal affluence, whims, pleasure, comfort, and entertainment.

And, am able to describe to others just how I did it and am able to pay it forward – Level 3 motivation is the capstone of a life well lived. Being a creator and part of a huge sea change in the West (esp America) which stresses putting the entrepreneurial/freedom values like tenacity, creativity, long term vision, and numerous others in one’s day to day lives.

Unquestionably, it is those who challenge their own thinking through the doorway of better information that can lead the way to an even brighter tomorrow. America’s best days are ahead, and so are the West’s, so long as we recognize the golden value of time far, far ahead of the silver value of money, and as we see the actions and habits we perform & take blaze a new pathway to far better results which will make a difference in our life, our immediate families, friends, community, and even, the nations in which we live.

May your days be filled with gratitude & all the best!

Feb 082013
 
When you show a man what he wants, he'll move heaven & earth to get it ...

Great morning!

The title of this post ties back to one of the top, if not the top human relations laws in all of civilization.

It is so powerful & insightful that it has, as the (paraphrased) quote from Gladiator states, ‘echo’ed through eternity

In fact, none other than Ben Franklin, yes, he who set up an amazingly successful, win:win franchised printing business that spanned Colonial America, pre independence, let alone all of his other well known ventures as an inventor & statesman, recognized this law’s ringing truth.

Franklin recited the below prayer, tying right back to this law, for over 50 years:

‘O powerful Goodness! bountiful Father! merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolutions to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to Thy other children as the only return in my power for Thy continual favors to me.’

What can you learn from this law & this prayer?  Plenty!  The short answer is:  Get your mind & your thinking off of yourself. Be a blessing to others; pay great information forward; serve first.

Have a fantastic day & week to come!

Dec 192012
 

… must understand, study, and learn from history.

That is the unvarnished truth. Yet, the West, especially America, has drifted from this truth, and the results have been evident.

For instance, while I had top of the line results in my history classes from K-12 (conveyor belt) & in my undergrad (professional track), I never learned much about the Sumerians; I only recall a very limited discussion from a class in middle school.

So, when I learned the the first known reference to the word ‘freedom’ was from clay tablets dating to the Sumerian era, it was a new discovery. How grateful I am to learn and grow on a self-directed educational journey that covers so many genres!

During the reign of Urukagina, in roughly ~2,350 B.C., one of the tablets referred to (slightly paraphrased from the translation), “Make manifest to all, by means of the written word.”

What possible impact does this have 4,300+ years later?  Plenty!  While there is nothing wrong with having fun ( after all, it is one of the 8 F’s 🙂 ), too much entertainment at the expense of learning and true education has caused many citizens to lose touch with their roots. And, in many cases, whether intentionally or unintentionally, a large number have also outsourced their thinking, and are relying on others who often do not have their best interests in mind.

The sooner this is counter-acted through intentionally living for excellence by sharpening the saw ( Habit 7 ), the better off we will all be as citizens, voters, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and friends.

Have a great evening!

Oct 132012
 
Legacy & the Laws - Resolve to Avoid Decline

I had the privilege & great fortune to read the ‘full version’ of this landmark book, appropriately named ‘Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE’ about 9 mos ago (my full review/recommendation is found on my second blog )

Now, the author, Mr. Orrin Woodward, has released a ‘Primer’ version, which will serve to further spread the crucial message of how important it is for modern day citizens to again build a foundation base on the core principles (resolutions) = those such as Purpose, Character, Vision, Leadership, & Adversity Quotient, to name just a handful.

Today’s post is focused squarely on the capstone resolution, #13 in both editions/versions = Legacy.

Legacy was also discussed in Mr. Woodward & Mr. Chris Brady‘s best-seller (on multiple well known lists!), LLR , as being part & parcel of Level 3 motivation.

In this chapter/resolution, we, the readers, are exposed to a topic that needs a LOT more attention in the world as we know it today, with societies and cultures in many cases declining due to various root causes – such as a lack of leadership, hubris, financial illiteracy, an excessive ‘peace & affluence’ mentality, too much cynicism/doubt, & too much of a focus on credentialism instead of true education. Mr. Woodward has come up with Five/5 Laws of Decline based on the thousands of books he has read, the thousands upon thousands of people he has met, and the many US states, Canadian provinces, and other nations of our world that he has visited.

Below is my brief commentary on these Laws (there’s no way I could top Mr. Woodward’s scholarship 😀 ) & how they tie back into entrepreneurship, freedom values, & setting your purpose to be laser focused on servant leadership & ownership.

5 Laws of Societal Decline 

1. Sturgeon’s Law

– Simply put, 90% of anything is substandard & doesn’t have ‘value add’ — the proverbial “noise” , the chaff to the wheat, to coin a couple simple ways to reframe what Mr. Sturgeon stated back in the 1950’s.  This clearly applies to leadership — how often we associate the word ‘leader’ too loosely to a person with simply a ‘credential’ , a flashy title, a ranked ‘position’ in society.  Once you apply this law, you end up finding out that only 10% of those ‘leaders’ are actually LEADERS. (caps intended for emphasis)

2.   Bastiat’s Law

– I had vaguely heard of Mr. Bastiat back during my professional track (i.e., under-grad) education, however, it took this excellent book to truly bring out how valuable of a contribution he made! I have a ton more to learn about him, needless to say 🙂  In short, though, this law states that the average man or woman will seek to satisfy his/her wants by putting exploitation and ease ahead of earning it through hard/smart work, over time. Therefore, you see how quite a few, sadly, respond emotionally to appeals of non leader politicians who use crass class warfare to pit class against class.

3. Gresham’s Law

– This one is deep!  And, oh so obvious when applied to the institutions that many of us are a part of, deal with, or must interact with daily. It states that non quality/unproductive will triumph over quality/productive; and, furthermore, what’s rewarded will increase over what’s not. There are several great examples in this chapter, however, my favorite, which is very timely, is how the value of the US Dollar, the world’s reserve (fiat) currency, continues to decline, since the Federal Reserve (‘Fed’) continues to devalue it every time they print more to buy more bonds – so, consumption and debt/financing (“money as a master” to Mr. & Mrs. Jones are being rewarded over production and savings/investment (“money as a slave”) to the same folks.

4. Law of Diminishing Returns

– I love the succinct description of this law:  Quantity up, quality down ( once a certain threshold is hit/exceeded.).  How true this is!  This is one reason why there’s so much discontent with large institutions in present day society;  think of it:  how effective is a large governmental agency?  how many mergers can a large corporation go through before its performance and quality of work, let alone the products/services offered show signs of less value add?   That’s why I personally no longer put any confidence in big business, big labor (unions), big government, or big educational institutions. The future is in tribal leadership, communities, entrepreneurship, & leadership/liber education.

5. Law of Inertia

– I am far from a scientist, nor was I a systems engineer like Mr. Woodward in his pre-leadership days 😀   In my eyes, this law is simple – unless you do something that is opposite from the crowd/herd, or more colloquially, the ‘sheep’ , you will run smack into this natural, universal law!  Another way to sum up:  Whatever the ‘CW’ (conventional wisdom’) says is the “right” thing to do – think of the popped ‘bubble’ in the housing market, or the quickly developing ‘bubble’ in professional track education, it’s much better to head the other way.  Sam Walton touched on this in Chapter 17 of his book:  Rule ’10’ , Swim Upstream.

I see a direct correlation from these laws back into having a defined purpose and being an owner/entrepreneur. An entrepreneur builds something to go from problem identified to problem solved, by offering a service to bridge the ‘opportunity’ gap in the middle.  Only entrepreneurs will be able to counter-act/balance these natural laws from causing irreversible decline as they continue to chip away at our societies. The freedom values of ingenuity, initiative, innovation, & tenacity rarely are found in any of the ‘big’ institutions discussed above; however, you’ll find them in abundance when you move into tribes (Seth Godin & Oliver DeMille discuss this in depth: read their books), communities (mini-‘factories’ , little platoons), and in the realm of leadership education .

Readers, please strongly consider investment in yourself – be an owner, build an asset, join a community/tribe, and pursuea add’t self-directed education outside of the ‘credentialist’ big institutions. When you have a purpose of serving others and being a 10% (read: true) leader, you will have taken big steps down the journey of moving against, and not towards/with, the 5 Laws so vividly discussed in this incredible book.

All the very best & many blessings to one and all.