Showing posts from 2014

Passion Party #536 - Danger and Courage

There is danger everywhere and there is danger nowhere. It takes a lot to be courageous and all it takes is getting out of bed in the morning. Danger and courage are not for someone else, someone more courageous, a big risk-taker with medals on her lapels. Danger and courage is given to all of us Life is full of danger and living life to the fullest is a courageous act. The fight-or-flight instinct, the reptilian mind may want you to hide under a rock or become invisible because it feels easy and safe. It feels easy to play small, just punch the clock, just do the least to get by. But if we must face danger (and we must, every day) it feels better to play by one's wits, to play with courage and an open heart - the courage to lead the courage to accept my responsibility the courage to choose my next action.

Passion Party #535 - Busy-ness and Worthiness

"Let's stop the glorification of busy.  We don't need to use our busy-ness as a measure of worthiness."
- Jennifer Pastiloff

We have certain addictions in our society
that are acceptable.
Its bad to be an alcoholic
but its acceptable to be a workaholic.
Being addicted to poverty is bad
but being addicted to money is good
(of course, who's to say how much in enough?)

In a way, we are addicted to "busy".
We worship at the Temple of Busy
and we teach our children Busy
We fill our time with Busy
and many of us get paid based on how busy we are.

"Busy" does not make you a better person, it just makes you a more busy person.
Perhaps the questions to ask are,
"Does my busy-ness add to the solution or add to the problem?"
"Does my busy-ness make me a better person?"
It is time to stop measuring worthiness
based on how busy the person is
and start finding time to ask the important questions.

Passion Party #534 - Another Year

There is no keeping up with it. We can do our best to hold on but the carousel keeps speeding up. The excitement and fear that you may be thrown off the horse as we race around the track. It is the home stretch now rushing into the holiday season holding on for dear life take a deep breath remember 20 acres of desert the vistas and space There is space for us all and I have the choice to dismount and just walk.

Passion Party #533 - The Biggest Regret

Life is short, a moment in time
and so you must grab the moments as they come. A life lived to the fullest will have few regrets. There may be a wonder about where other paths may have led, but I have no regrets for where I am or what I should have been. I stopped "shoulding" on myself a long time ago. My biggest regret is that my Dad died in 1989, 25 years ago, and I never got to tell him how much I really loved him. There was a lot of pain and misunderstanding in our relationship. I was the estranged son, living 3000 miles away, fumbling about, trying to find myself. It was not until many years after he died that I learned the lessons he was trying to teach me. Don't wait. Tell the people around you that you love them. Life is short, a moment in time.

Passion Party #532 - Peace and Abundance

It continues to amaze me  that what you think about you talk about and what you talk about you bring about. For years my wife and I have had our private morning affirmation, "Our life is rich, our life is full, another day of potential and opportunity!" Often we say it in jest or between gritted teeth, but somehow our lives have turned out to be rich with potential and opportunity. Last week, as I hiked in the Santa Monica mountains looking out over the Los Angeles basin, I realized I live in the center of peace and abundance. Now, one can argue that L.A. is not a peaceful city -  just ask any police officer here. And I am not discounting the tens of thousands of homeless people that inhabit the county of Los Angeles. And yet... I love the thought I live in the center of peace and abundance and I allow it to come to me, and through me.

Passion Party #531 - A Collaborative Community

I just set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. It is so "out of the ballpark" that I can't even see how it can be achieved but I know others have been able to accomplish it. I have a vision of what it look like in the end, and one thing I know is that I can't get there by myself. It will require character traits that I still need to develop: Courage Creativity Persuasiveness Vision Teamwork Resilience Innovation Trust But most of all, it will require a collaborative community, united in the vision, trusting each other, all working together to make the dream a reality.

Passion Party #530 - Quarterly Goals

I love quarterly goals. I love creating goals that are measurable and achievable. It is so much more fun than long term goals that I never seem to reach, losing the weight or having my first million dollars in the bank... 90 days is a good amount of time. I can see the goal line and I can easily make up an action plan chunk it down one day at a time one week at a time And if I set 3 goals for myself in the next 90 days and I take action on all three but I only achieve one... what a huge success!

Passion Party #529 - Failure and Endurance

We all face failure. In the real world everyone does not get a trophy. People keep score and there are winners and losers. Fear of failure can stop many a dream. If you don't try, you won't fail but you also kill the chance for success. I went through the early part of my life taking jobs that taught me what I did not want to do. It did not feel like failure it was more a situation of learning form my mistakes. Over the years I learned endurance. Life should not be a sprint, its a marathon and I want to be one of the people that can run 100 miles; then it is not about winning it is about personal achievement. When failure is just a lesson learned then endurance is often the key to success.

*Come join me tomorrow, at Main Event Masters in San Diego
on Wednesday night at Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, CA

Passion Party #528 - A Dream Realized

You would think after 7 self-produced and released jazz records I would have learned my lesson but actually each experience has taught me different lessons. This album started as a thought: It would be great entertainment to have a jazz band fronted by three singers who could do Andrew Sisters-style 3 part harmony AND also sing in various solo styles.  The show would consist of an evening of jazz and blues, covering the history of vocal jazz styles from the '40s forward. So the Jazz & Blues Revue was born, initially as a once-a-year special event. Then after 4+ years of performing clubs and concert halls there was another thought: Why not make an album of this material that really captures the talents of this group? This is not so easy.  A first-class recording of 13 songs with a 9-piece group including 3 singers would definitely cost time and money to produce and release. In January 2014 I started researching the possibility of using crowd-funding to make this dre…

Passion Party #527 - Blessings

For this blessing of strength  For this blessing of talent For this blessing of passion For this blessing of health For this blessing of desire For this blessing of intuition For this blessing of creativity For this blessing of vision For this blessing of generosity For this blessing of support For this blessing of friends and family an abundance of blessings to carry me through this day

Passion Party #526 - Pain and Strength

Some times we are given emotional pain, we can't see a way out and we have to dig deep to find a place of strength  to help us get through. Some times we are given physical pain, we have an accident or our body gives out from "normal" wear and tear life becomes depressing we question carrying on. Some times we seek pain in the belief that it will motivate us, pushing us towards a better life. The pain strengthens  our resolve and helps us focus on the pleasure to be found when we get through to the other side. If pain is the problem, strength is often the answer and we need to search inside to find it. Or maybe pain and strength go hand-in-hand pushing us forward to a better life.

Passion Party #525 - Disappointment and Patience

We want what we want and we want it now. We want to be our own higher power and we want to control the beginning, middle and end. But life has other plans and these often include disappointment. In the end the amount of happiness we realize and really, the value of our life is based on how we handle disappointment, and if we have learned patience along the way. As we learn to have patience we also learn that disappointment, like happiness. is a passing emotion, a chance to refocus, review and reflect on what went wrong and what went right. Disappointment loses its power and patience often becomes its own reward.

Passion Party #524 - Commitment

Why am I so scared? Is commitment the first step towards success, or the last step towards certain failure? You have all these ideas and plans, dreams and hopes But to commit to one and not the other to the song list to the art work to the project to the assistant to the art director to the engineer... Commitment involves TRUST You are trusting the other person to follow through as well. Commitment is rarely a solitary action If you commit to a large enough goal you will need the support of others to achieve it. No man stands alone for long. Last night I started to doubt my judgement the closer I got to commitment, the more the doubt arose. The "what if" and "maybe" reared their heads. Now it is time to sit quietly listen to that inner voice that brought me this far to the edge of commitment listen, look and feel, and trust the decision.

Passion Party #523 - Count Your Blessings

"Count your blessings" is something that your Grandmother told you or perhaps you heard the expression when you were young. But how many times do you actually stop and count your blessings? How many days go by without realizing how rich your life really is? Today even before I made coffee I took a moment and counted my blessings,  realized the richness of my life. Two pages later, in gratitude, I am ready to start my day.

Passion Party #522 - Ask

I have to let you in on the world's most powerful and neglected secret to success and happiness: Ask.  This simple three letter verb requires you to take action, creates momentum and guarantees a result (not always the result you want or expect, but you always get an answer). But the key to asking is in learning how to ask for what you want. Here is a summary from Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen's book, The Aladdin Factor: 1) Ask with a positive expectation 2) Assume you can get it 3) Ask someone who can give it to you 4) Vague requests produce vague results.  Be clear and specific in asking. 5) Ask repeatedly.  As the owner of a company that I used to work for said, "The 'yes' is easy. When someone says 'no', that is when we have to go to work." Today is the last day of our Kickstarter campaign.  We asked, and over 200 people said "yes", and we are now on our way into the studio to record our new album. And it would not have ha…

Passion Party #521 - Just Lean Into It

Success often happens when you just lean into it  when you leave yourself open to opportunities without a contract or any expectations. Like the snowball that continues to grow as it rolls downhill, leaning into it creates momentum. Momentum is that unseen energy force that brings more opportunity more resources more people who can help you on your path as it unfolds. 38 years ago I threw my electric piano and all my belongings into a Dodge van, and drove to Los Angeles to be a professional musician. I had no job, no contract I just leaned into the dream I did not know then that my real purpose was to help people with my knowledge, creativity and organizational skills to build better lives and that leaning into my dream would lead me to a successful banking career 8 self-released jazz albums a published book and a wonderful wife and family. You lean into it You see how it feels  The journey will take you where you want to go - or even someplace better.

Passion Party #520 - Fail Forward

"You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know is because I have made so many mistakes."
-Buckminster Fuller

Many people fail to take action because they are afraid to fail.
But if we look at each mistake as a lesson to learn,
then the failure is really just part of the learning process.

Mistakes are just opportunities for learning something new
and if I continue to
fail forward
if I am willing to fail and learn
then success will come eventually.

Passion Party #519 - Do It Now

There is no perfect time to start. Preparation has its place and you have prepared enough the lesson plan the rough sketches all of the skill-building and training Now it is time to get in the game It is time to learn by doing If you don't do anything for fear of doing it wrong then you will never get it right. Get into communication with the people you want to serve learn from the feedback adjust your course as you travel towards the goal Just take the next step do it now

Deep In The Kickstarter Trenches, Part 5

The Jazz & Blues Revue is now 35 days into our 40-day Kickstarter campaign: Four days left in one of the largest "passion projects" of my life. We just hit $15,891.It feels like an amazing achievement, but we still have $2,109 to go to meet our goal.And, since Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" fundraising site, we have to still hit the $18,000 number or it all turns to dust.
Are there moments of panic? Absolutely.Is there fear and embarrassment?You bet.But there is no time to waste on doubt and false evidence that appears real.It is time for action. Our project will be ending  on Friday July 11,2014 at 2:00 PM in the afternoon, and I know it will be successful.Why do I know?Read these last lessons I learned during the process:
1.Stay Positive I am not a big fan of positive affirmations - I think there is a fine line between always being positive and being delusional.But I think it is important to surround yourself with positive, like-minded individuals, so at t…

Play Big! -Reprint of Passion Party #18

Bigger is not always better.
Sometimes bigger is just bigger.
Look at GM. Look at Chrysler.
Look at Six Flags - this company grew to be the biggest operator of amusement parks in the US. They declared bankruptcy a couple of weeks ago.

There is a difference between getting big and playing big.
You can buy things to get big -
- Playing big is an internal game.
You can consume things to get big
- Playing big is a state of mind.
You can acquire things to get big.
- Playing big builds on your unique ability.

Today I choose to play big. I was not put on this earth to play small.
Playing small does not serve me or others. I can shine my light, turn on my high beams. I have so much to give!
I love to play big, surrounding myself with people that help pull me up to the next level.
Marianne Williamson said, "And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same".

And if I can't play big here, well it must be time to find a better playgroun…

Passion Party #518 - Deep In The Kickstarter Trenches

--> The Jazz & Blues Revue is now 27 days into our 40-day Kickstarter campaign. Yesterday we crossed the $11,000 mark on our way to the $18,000 goal.We are 62% funded, and with only 13 days to go the pressure is on. My back is aching from too many hours on the Internet, sending emails, posting blogs, sharing in groups.But I feel a sense of calm.The events of the last week have made me more certain that we will reach our goal in the next 2 weeks. Part of actualizing the result is having a complete vision of the final product.This week I interviewed (and booked) a Grammy-award winning studio in Los Angeles for the recording session, started confirming the musicians and the album art. As they say, "What you think about you talk about, and what you talk about you bring about." The more complete the picture, the easier it is to bring it to reality. Four weeks in, and more lessons: 1.Engage - engage - engage Remember that people are not just buying a product; they ar…

Passion Party #517 - Jack's Formula for Success

I love simple formulas.

If Einstein can distill the theory of relativity down to
e = mc2,
then I know that the most compicated ideas must have
a root formula that is simple
and easy to comprehend.

Today I was reminded of Jack Canfield's formula for success.
He wrote a nice big book about it which you can spend days reading,
Or you can just remember this simple formula:

It is not the events that happen to you that dictate your life.
If you take ownership of what happens,
if you take responsibility
(in other words, you OWN your response to the events that happen)
then in the long run you control the outcome.

It is the way you RESPOND to EVENTS that creates the OUTCOME.

E + R = O  (Events + Responses = Outcome).

Horace Silver Dies, 85 years young

One of my heores in Jazz piano, Horace Silver, died today.  He was the source of a lot of my jazz inspiration over the years.
Here is the LA Times OBIT
And here is a sample of his music

Passion Party #516 - First With The Head, Then With The Heart

(For Bryce Courtenay)
I have always been a bit of a loner.

I would much rather be on my own creating something than hanging out with a group of friends.
I always wanted to be the leader, as it is easier to keep yourself protected by being out in front.

As a front-runner, I always wanted to win.
Winning is something you work out intellectually.
Emotion clouds the mind,
and is its natural enemy.

In the past this made for loneliness
which often left me aching to share an emotion
but equally afraid that if I did so
I would reveal a weakness that might
later be used against me.

It was years later that I realized that real winning is not just a mental exercise
People connect more with the emotion than the thought process
And I had to create first with the head, and then with the heart.

So this has been the sound of the train that runs through my life
Running down the tracks,
The clickety-clack of the wheels saying
"First with the head, then with the heart,
First with the head, then with the heart..."…

Passion Party #515 - Achievement Formula

Why is it that some people succeed and others fail? There is a simple formula that can  help change a passing thought into reality. For some a dream is just that, a wish with no real desire to bring it about only a "wouldn't it be great if..." Part of it is follow-up part of it is follow through part of it is learning the skill part of it is a burning desire but the key element to the formula is the effort one puts into making it happen once the skill is learned. Achievement = Skill X Effort 

Join me with the Jazz & Blues Revue

Passion Party #514 - Sharing My Passion

--> As you know, I am passionate about playing piano and creating jazz music.
I love sharing my heartfelt talent and love of music with others.
It gives me pleasure to give it, and I know from the response I get, people love receiving this gift.
Now, for the first time in 4 years, I am planning to go back in the studio and release an album with my new group, The Jazz & Blues Revue.  And I can use your help in making this happen.
Releasing a top-quality album of 13 songs, brilliantly performed by the best musicians in Los Angeles, is an expensive venture.  Unlike my previous 7 jazz albums, this time I have decided to use Kickstarter, a "crowd-funding" website. 
I'm looking for “first followers” to get this party started.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is a website where you pledge money to help get this album completed.  In exchange, you receive a copy of the finished CD, and many other great items, like a visit to the studio or ticke…

Passion Party #513 - A Sojourn on Earth

We are all visitors here brought here by our parents and their parents before them without an owners manual or guidebook. We are the total of our past, our upbringing, our education and then we are passing through. it is a short visit but I am not in exile, I are not running from or running to I am a visitor here learning the language finding the things that engage me and then Sharing my knowledge Caring for those near me Loving those around me until it is time to move on.

Passion Party # 512 - Change What You Think

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." -John Lennon I may have it all figured out but then life gets in the way. Life is filled with adversity starting from the first day we are pushed from our mother's womb. You cannot change the fact that you will face adversity But you can change the beliefs you have about the adversity. If I believe that life is a school and every adversity is a lesson to be learned my life will take a different turn than if I believe that life is an ongoing struggle and every adversity brings more difficulty. Its as simple as A + B = C Adversity + Beliefs = Consequence

Passion Party #511 - Build A Circus Library!

The question I posed was, "If you had a choice, would you build a circus or a library?" The answer I got was that it is not a simple dichotomy. Life gives us many options.  Andrew Carnegie built  great libraries, and he also built concert halls. As one friend said,
"Does not Shakespeare, or the Bible for that matter, have strong elements of "the circus" in it?...

The greatest works in our libraries point to an integration of spirit, mind and heart. And the greatest entertainers apprehend the spirituality implicit in the bond of people coming together as one." And another had the best idea: "I'd build a circus which contains within it's fabric a world class library!!!"

Kindle e-book sale starts May 1

Beginning on May 1,  the Kindle edition of The Pursuit of Passion is on sale for as little as 99 cents!  The sale lasts a week, and the price goes up gradually as the week goes by, so now is the time to grab one for your Kindle!  Go here to get your e-book on sale:  or here:

Passion Party #510 - Build A Circus or Build A Library?

Do you pray at the Temple of Knowledge      or the Temple of Entertainment?
Is my purpose to entertain or to teach?
Our life is short and full of pain so I will build a tent of wonder, magic and humor filled with acts of physical dexterity. Its purpose will be to bring joy to children and to their families. A circus is a place of humanity, of financial and emotional exchange.
Our life is short and full of pain so I will build a great library I will bring people together to study and learn from mankind's accumulated knowledge. Organized knowledge is power and a library is a lasting gift. Its purpose will be to bring literature and wisdom to children and to their families. A library is a place of humanity, of education and philosophical exchange.
So, given the choice, would you build a circus or a library?

Passion Party #509 - If I Had All The Money I Want

Desire is not limitless I can only eat so much chocolate cake before it spoils my birthday.  So it is with money. I love having money I love knowing that every day there is enough money in my checking account to cover my expenses.  I love he thought that I control my income level and I choose to make enough money for an abundant life Every month I am able to set aside 30% of my income for savings and paying taxes Life is good. The purpose of my wealth is not to make more wealth but to buy me freedom. Freedom to do what I want as I get older Freedom to travel and see my kids thrive and grow. My current goal is a million dollars in the bank - this feels substantial. And then the new challenge of not spending all of it before I die will arise. Whether your goal is $100,000 or $100,000,000 it is all relative it is just extra zeros the important thing is to know that there is enough and this, my friend, is an inside job.

Passion Party #508 - The Passover Egg

The story is told this time of year  in Jewish households around the world. A story of freedom and redemption, of a God that speaks directly to man and causes miracles as well as hardship. A vengeful God that in the end takes away the life of one Egyptian generation so that a new generation of Jews can have freedom to search for a new land. The story is told in symbol and song, with a plate filled with items that, the book tells us, represent the Pascal Lamb, the mortar used to build bricks, the bitterness of slavery, and Spring vegetables dipped in the tears of life. But what of the egg? The egg sits on the Seder plate, with nary a mention in the story. This symbol of rebirth, of fertility, is the unspoken connection to our Pagan past. The Jews believe in one God, but the holiday traditions still speak to the rituals of celebrating and acknowledging the seasons. It is no coincidence that the Festival of Lights falls near the Winter Solstice nor is it an accident that Passover takes…

Passion Party #507 - Change and Progress

Just when I think I have it figured out, everything changes. It happens all the time  and is a constant fact of life. The question is what do you do when change occurs?  How do you react to the new landscape, the new guidelines, the new mailman, the new pay structure? Change happens automatically. Progress is a choice. I can choose to move forward I can choose to grow I can decide to grab the new rule book and learn it or I can decide to write my own rule book, and see what happens Whatever happens, I know that once I have it all figured out, everything will change and then I will more choices.

Passion Party #506 - Ethics Vs. Values

You can round up all the investment bankers, all the C-Suite executives  and all the Wharton and Harvard MBA Students and teach them Ethics and it will make no difference. What makes a difference is the person's Values. Ethics is a defined as a philosophy of systematizing and recommending concepts of right and wrong. Values are what you deem important to your life, the actions you are willing to take because they gives meaning to your life. Just knowing right from wrong does not solve the problem; sometimes people discover doing the wrong thing is best if their values are selfish or greedy.
The US Army has core values: loyalty - duty - selfless service - integrity Our constitution has core values: life - liberty - the pursuit of happiness My business has core values: integrity - professionalism - caring - teamwork - stewardship Find your core values, and the ethics will follow.

Passion Party #505: Not-So-Dumb Phone

I live in a prehistoric age when there wasn't an "app" for that, there was a nap for that. I have an old-fashioned "flip phone", one of those clam-shell jobs that doesn't break when I drop it on the ground. I can call people. They can call me. They can even text me now (I finally agreed to spend $5 a month so I can connect with modern people that type into their phones instead of using their voice.) I even text back - one or two words usually. People get mad at me if I don't respond when they email me while I am in a car, or in the elevator, or at night. They just have to wait a little bit. Patience, they say, is a virtue. Now we are learning the downside of always being connected. There is an aphorism: "When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product." The GPS on your smart phone not only tells you where the nearest pizza place is, it tells data brokers that you like to eat pizza. It tells Google and Facebook t…

A real live Passion Party this Friday!

Once or twice a year I get to play my own music with musicians that pull me up to a whole 'nother level.  This Friday is one of those rare nights.

This Friday on Hollywood I get to play with my favorite band:
Alex Acuna on drums
Lyman Medeiros on Bass
Bobby Rodriguez on trumpet
Larry Klimas on Sax
and my very special guest, my wife Diana Zaslove on vocals

for an evening of beautiful heartfelt music and inspiring improvisation

at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood

Tickets are $25 each
Music starts at 8:30.  We'll probably only play until 10:30, so don't be too late! 

it will be a night to remember...

reserve tickets here
or call 323-466-2210. reservations are essential!

Passion Party #504 - The Purpose of Wealth

We live in a world with a narrow view:  A capitalistic world where the accumulation of money is given a spot at the top of the podium in the Olympic Games of Life. It is ingrained in our society in the schools and universities that teach us that the purpose of business is to make a profit and the purpose of wealth is to create more wealth. We can argue the fact, but in daily life we see corporations buying each other, not to improve service but to make a larger profit and we see the wealthy get wealthier (as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The rich get richer and the poor get -- children". The problem is that these two beliefs about the purpose of business and wealth remove the human element, the people that labor in the businesses and the person that is accumulating the wealth. We are not machines. Business is made up of individuals and successful businesses are made up of people with a common drive and purpose. Wealth does not consist solely of the accumulation of money. If…

Passion Party #503 - The Butter Notes

Herbie Hancock had been working with the Miles Davis Quintet for a while, and he found that he was in a rut.  Everything he played seemed formulaic and sounded the same.  Davis saw his frustration and offered some advice, "Don't play the butter notes." "Butter notes?" thought Herbie.  "What is that? Does 'butter' mean 'fat'?  Or does it mean 'obvious'?  I had to think about it, and finally realized that if I left out the notes that most clearly define the chords it would allow the harmonies to open up to various views."  So it is with life.  We can spend our whole life playing "the butter notes".  Or we can live in a way that expands our possibilities, opening up our future to various views and perspectives.  And the people around you will respond to the interest and exploration, taking both of you to different places.  The openness is attractive, and inspiring.

Passion Party #502 - Disappearing Things

9 Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime 
1. The Post Office 2. The Cheque 3. The Newspaper 4. The Book 5.The Land Line Telephone 6.Music as more than a "content provider" 7.Television 8.The "Things" That You Own 9. Privacy The answer: Turn off your smart phone and send it back to Apple or Samsung. Write a letter a day to someone you care about. Subscribe to your local newspaper, and write letters to the editor when a story moves you.BUY the book or art or music that you love, and collect the physical objects of your love.  Feel good about the artists you are supporting. Sorry, not sure if I can (or want to) save television.

Passion Party #501 - The Meaning Of Wealth

There has been a lot of discussion lately  about the consolidation of wealth in our world. The news - surprise! - is that the rich are getting richer. Based on statistics gathered by Credit Suisse, and reported by 29 million, or 0.6% of those with any actual assets under their name, own $87.4 trillion, or 39.3% of all global assets. But what is the meaning of riches and what is the meaning of wealth? Is my goal to become Scrooge McDuck, diving into my room filled with gold coins? Is wealth the amount of money a person amasses or is it something larger something that cannot be measured like Gross Domestic Product? Does wealth stop the addict from the overdose? Does wealth prevent death? Has anyone ever seen a Brinks truck in a funeral procession? Perhaps the meaning of wealth in my life is bigger than a monetary goal. Perhaps, like a beam of light entering a prism there is a rainbow of colors that make up my wealth.

Passion Party #500 - A Lovely Day

There are things that annoy me about Los Angeles (like the other day when I was being tailgated on the freeway by someone driving a car with a vanity plate that read, "B JENTL"). And then there are days like yesterday where you have an experience that truly could not happen in any other city in the world. Diana and I drove to downtown Los Angeles,  parked at Disney Hall and then took the subway to the Hotel Figueroa next to the Staples Center for a pre-Grammy music party, sponsored by one of the big entertainment law firms here in town.  We spent the afternoon sipping Chardonnay and eating middle-eastern food while we listened to young upcoming bands and thought about all the high-heels being packed into those overpriced seats in Staples Center. Then around 5:00 PM we took a walk through downtown, up to Grand Avenue.  After a beverage stop at Nic + Stef's, we walked to Disney Hall to see the Los Angeles master Chorale perform Bach's B Minor Mass, one of the …

Passion Party #499 - The Servant Master: Self-abnegation

I have had some questions about this last series of posts. I wrote them to remind myself that I am not in charge. Self-abnegation is an interesting term with two very different definitions. For me it is not "the denial of one's own interests in favour of the interests of others", as much as "the setting aside of self-interest for the sake of others or for a belief or principle."  (a subtle differentiation there, but very important). I do not feel that I am denying my own interests - they are very much alive and important to me. My day is filled with talking to people that want to buy or refinance a home and need counseling and guidance.  I need to keep remembering that it is not about "the sale" as much as "the service".  In the end I make money, but that is not my primary focus.

Passion Party #498 - The Servant Master: Humility

I teach by doing. I give in anonymity. I remember where I came from. I do not lord over others. I start the day by asking, "Who can I serve today?  How can I make the world a better place?"

Passion Pasrty #497 - The Servant Master: Forgiveness

When I forgive those that have hurt me, it is the first step towards making myself whole. I can forgive, and take the next action.

The choice of living in anger, hatred, revenge and violence leads down a road that is like a feedback loop - it gets louder as we listen to that voice, and there is no resolution, no completion, just more anger and hatred.

Once I forgive, I can start to build trust and love again. Or I can move on. Either way, I am complete.

Passion Party #496 - The Servant Master: Patience

I am not the most patient person. I don't suffer fools. But I can be patient when working on a project.  I can put hours into learning something new, or organizing things or creating systems that will make my life easier in the future.   I guess I am patient with things, just not with people. This is why I am not a great teacher, but I am an excellent student.

Passion Party #495 - The Servant Master: Gratitude

When I start my day with gratitude it is always a better day. I am grateful that my feet hit the floor for another day. I am grateful that I am capable of breathing, stretching, meditating and  exercising. I am grateful for the place that I live, grateful that I am surrounded by love and support. These thoughts of gratitude carry me into another day.

Passion Party #494 - The Servant Master: Truthfulness

I start from a place of openness. Then I share the truth.  My truth. For me, truthfulness is not an absolute, nor is it something I can embody fully. If I am honest with myself, I will admit that I live in about 75% truthfulness. Sometimes the truth hurts, and then I need to decide, is it worth it to experience that pain? I may think I know "the truth", but I must be open to the other person's view and opinion. I must be sensitive  never using my "truth" in as way that hurts another person.

Passion Party #493 - The Servant Master: Acceptance

Acceptance is the key.  I can spend my life struggling with the way things are, with the people I work with, with the changes in my business, or I can accept the things I cannot change and work on the things I can.  When I let go of the struggle I begin to see the true nature of things. Then I can move forward.

PassionParty #492 - The Servant Master: Compassion

Compassion For me, compassion is personal.I can feel that the world is in trouble, but I don’t do anything about it.When I see a person in need, and I feel I can help, then compassion takes hold.I need to act locally, having compassion for those I can directly affect.    If I do one compassionate act a day, whether it is caring for a sick friend or giving a dollar coin to the busker at the mall, my day becomes better.