Archive for October, 2011

Showing people concrete examples or giving them concrete goals helps them understand ideas and work towards their dreams.

Often when people explain ideas to other people, there can be confusion. This happens because what the speaker is trying to explain and what the listener is trying to comprehend often don’t match exactly. This idea comes froma  book called, “Made To Stick”.

When a teacher wants students to learn something, or a coach wants a player to get better at something, or a boss wants an employee to improve something, the two participants may have very different ideas in mind. Does learning mean high test scores or being able to make a presentation? Does getting better mean more efficient or faster? Does improvement mean higher sales or lower costs?

However, when a coach says I want you to be able to finish a drill under 2 minutes, and then actually shows you, then both parties have a concrete goal in mind to work towards and judge progress on. Concrete stuff is very helpful.


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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

This idea, of course, is nicknamed the Golden Rule and it can be found in numerous cultures around the world. It is thousands of years old and though many people often forget to follow its simple advice, it is a fantastic idea.

In general, we should only treat people the way we want to be treated. That being said, then we must decide how we want to be treated. Do you want people to be polite, kind, generous, and fair? Or, do you want people to be greedy, impolite, selfish, and unfair? The choice is obvious, but often our actions lag behind our desired values.

We shouldn’t gossip about others. We shouldn’t let others go hungry.  We shouldn’t ignore the suffering of others. If we do these terrible things, both great and small, then we are inviting the same treatment for ourselves.

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Complaining just for the sake of complaining wastes time and spreads negativity.

I learned about this idea from a book called, “A Complaint Free World”. The writer’s belief is that our default setting is to complain, but complaining only keeps negativity circulating without improving the situation. As well, often when one person complains then other people join in to add their complaints.

One clear example of this is people going on about the weather. Complaining or whining about the weather is totally useless as nothing can be done about it. Even worse, saying negative things can make you feel very bad, and then you may just notice more negative things.

It is smarter to not let things control your mood or emotions. Notice and talk about good things, and either ignore bad things or see them as challenges to overcome. Don’t whine about your life, change it.


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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

This quotation comes from Mahatma Gandhi, who was once the leader of India, and who was instrumental in getting India’s independence from Great Britain.

The idea is that violence in return or response for violence or unfair treatment hurts everyone involved, including the victim, the perpetrator, others who are involved as well as others who are uninvolved.

The instances of the foolish and impetuous quality of revenge stand out in my memory. One was a teacher who suggested we should just, “Nuke ’em all” in response to the 911 attacks in 2001. The second was this seemingly sweet 18 year girl who cheerfully believed we should kill every Israeli including the children. Both of these instances show me that senseless killing is usually connected to anger and/or selfishness.

We must learn, like Gandhi, to fight with the weapon of love.

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How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever.

This is a quote from David Norris that I read this morning on the Internet. I know this is true as I see it almost every day, hour, and moment, as a teacher and in myself,  but many people don’t see it or do anything about it.

Before I read the quote I read a story about a Halifax teenager who was going to have to spend another 6 months in jail because of some weapons charge. I’m sure he is totally angry over this ruling, but an older version of him would probably admit he was in the wrong and that he was responsible for wasting his own life.

Time mistakes don’t only come from criminals. Just imagine a dying grandfather who is leaving behind a hugely successful company. During his life he has worked very hard, for many hours, and he has made tons of money. On his deathbed, I doubt he would wish he would have spent more time at the office. What do you spend your time doing? Think about it.

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Success is a partnership between thought and action. …Think and do, then think some more and do some more, and steadily work your way toward success.

This simple, but true, idea came from a website called the Daily Motivator. I read it today and I chose to write it in this blog because I love how beautiful its simplicity is.

I think this idea holds true for just about any goal you want to set for yourself. It works if you want to build something, or save up to buy something, or learn something, or acomplish something. As long as you keep thinking and doing then you will undoubtedly get closer to your goal. The key is just to keep using both of these components together, and don’t overdo either one.

Coicidentally, our mortgage company called today about renewing our mortgage and to see if we wanted to take any equity out of one of our properties to keep building our portfolio. I told the guy we have to think about it. Then I’ll do something. : )


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The power of compound interest is extemely powerful, and was considered the eighth wonder of the world by Albert Einstein.

This idea may also be presented in “The Richest Man in Babylon”, but of course, it has been around longer than that and is much more prevalent.

The rule of 72 states that whatever a number divides into 72 will tell you how long a particular interest rate will need to double an investment. For example, $100 will become $200 if it invested at 12% for six years.

In the early years, interest income might not be very impressive, but if an investment is left untouched for long enough then compounding can grow it into a sizeable fortune. Think about how much money we have and how much we waste. Perhaps you should set some aside and let it grow. Check in on it in a few decades and your future self, or even your furture kids will thank you for your decision.


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