Monday, November 30, 2009

Passion Party #114 - Stay Focused

The world is full of distraction
so many things
pulling and pushing at us
from outside and in
there are so many alleys to walk down that lead us away from our destination.

Some people call it multi-tasking,
I call it distraction
like white noise
or the confetti that I see
watching the weak television signal.

The most challenging thing
is to keep your eye on the prize
and then to keep on
taking steps towards it
every day
staying focused
Today I will
stay focused.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Passion Party #113 - Thanksgiving

There are so many reasons to give thanks
and we spend so little time doing it.
I love this holiday
a totally American creation
and not just for the food and the extra-long weekend
(what a concept - make the holiday on a Thursday so everyone gets a guaranteed 4-day weekend!)

I love it for its timeliness,
coming right after the last harvest and before the cold winter and its short days.
I love that it is not related to war
I love that it is not related to religion
I love that it is not related to ideology
I love that it is (if we choose to use it)
a time of reflection.

5 Basic Things I am Thankful For:
- I am thankful for having a great job
- I am thankful for my home, and its amazing location in Southern California
- I am thankful for my health and the health of those around me
- I am thankful for my family: my loving wife and inspiring children
- I am thankful for Passion in my life.

Please let me know, what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Passion Party #112 - Zero-Sum Game

Many people play the Zero-Sum Game.
I win, you lose.
For me to triumph, you must be defeated.
It is basic math (if one gains, another loses).
It comes from a limiting belief
that there is NOT ENOUGH
that the world is finite.
If I don't grab my share and hold on tight, someone will take it from me.

I choose to believe
that the universe is infinite
that the world is plentiful
that there is MORE than enough
that value can constantly be created
that I can have, and you can too
that abundance can continue to grow
for me and for others.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Passion Party #111 - My Moral Compass

The ability to tell right from wrong
seems simple
but it is a knowledge that grows with you
through teachings and experiences.

We know it is wrong to kill,
but is it wrong to join the Army?
We know it is wrong to pollute the world
but is it wrong to work for a large chemical company?

There are times in my life where I have bent some rules
and even broken some
I have learned from these experiences
and try not to deviate too much any more from where
my moral compass points me.

For me it is a matter of checking in with myself
-does it feel right?
-Is it the best action?
-Is it truly
What is best
for me
for my family
for my community
for the world?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Passion Party #110 - Recharge Your Battery

Yesterday I took a day off
not for relaxation, but for renovation.
I got out of my business
to work on my business, and my life.

I drove to Carlsbad, CA
and spent the day with my business coach and about two dozen others
and I heard
about life
about growing
about the importance of love and intimacy.

I did not hear about how to get leads
or how to market my business
or how to close deals.

I heard about what it looks like
when you have a successful business
and you want more out of life;
when, like the Europeans have learned,
you want to work to live,
not live to work.

Today I feel refreshed
I am recharged
I am ready to lower my defenses,
to let love in,
and to work towards what really matters.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Passion Party #109 - Be An Inspiration

The best way to be loved
is to love others

The best way to find joy
is to bring joy to others

The best way to get inspired
is to be an inspiration for others.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Passion Party #108 - The Pursuit of Happiness

We have not been given the right to happiness.
We have been given the right to the pursuit of happiness.

I know that happiness is an emotion
it comes and goes
I can experience it, but cannot hold on to it.

It is ephemeral,
somewhere on the emotional continuum
between contentment
and ecstatic

Being with you makes me happy.
Working hard all week
so that I can have a free weekend with you
makes me happy.

Today is the day
I tap into my passion for life
and continue
my pursuit of happiness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Passion Party #107 - Welcome Failure

This week I had to make a very hard phone call.
It involved losing a large amount of business
it involved losing trust in a co-worker
it involved a client possibly losing more than $10,000.
I had tried to put a deal together for a client
and I had failed.

Today I get to welcome failure
and learn the lessons that
this failure brings.

Each failure brings lessons
and after the pain and anger and depression
we are given the gift of learning
(if we are willing to learn from failure).

I learned
- I don't know everything
- I am not a miracle worker
- If something seems impossible or implausible,
perhaps it is
- Do not promise what is out of your control to deliver
- Being honest and forthright is ALWAYS the best policy (and will diffuse anger if and when it shows up)

I am sure I will learn more today
as I welcome failure.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Passion Party #106 - Rights, Privileges, Entitlements

I spoke with a man the other day.
He was so angry.
He was angry at the world.
He was angry at the banks.
He was angry at the guy down the street who, instead of losing his house, had been given a super-low rate mortgage by a bank so he could keep living there and the bank would not have to foreclose on the house.
This man wanted that loan.
Why can't he have it?
He felt entitled to it.
After all, he had always paid his bills on time, and - who knows? He might run into trouble some day and need a low rate loan to keep his home, so he wanted it now.

When I analyzed the man's current loan situation, it seemed to me he had a very nice home and he really did not have bad financing on it - but he felt he deserved something better.

He had lost sight of the difference between
rights and privileges.
In America you have a right to own property,
but you do not have a right to borrow money to buy the property -
that is a privilege, something you earn.
You have a right to the pursuit of happiness,
but you are not entitled to a happy life -
this is a privilege, something you earn.

If I can turn
"I am entitled to..."
"I am grateful for..."
this may be the first step
in the Pursuit of Happiness.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Passion Party #105 - A Successful Week Checklist

- Learn something new
- Journal
- Work (meaningful work that creates income)
- Relax
- Play and/or write music (do something creative)
- Relax
- Love
- Befriend
- Eat well
- Exercise
- Simplify
- Be of service

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Passion Party #104 - Plan Thoroughly

I love lists
They help me stay on track
they help me measure my accomplishments
and I have more passion for what I do
when I see I am getting things done.

I have many lists
sometimes I go list-crazy
Planning the day
Planning the week
Planning the Quarter
Planning each project
Planning my next vacation
Oops- I just made a list of lists.

Sometimes I am like Toad
(see "Frog and Toad are Friends")
who, when his list gets blown away by the wind
becomes frozen, unable to do anything.
I know there is more to life than planning
Life often has its own plans
unknown to us
It is when my list fits into life's plan
- Ah -
then the list gets done and the plan gets completed.
A wonderful feeling.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Passion Party #103 - Overcoming Resistance

My life is full of resistance
things get in the way

It often seems like I have to do everything myself
and that is impossible
there is not enough of me to go around

But I can do this to set things in motion:
wake up, stretch, meditate, write
and then it does not feel so bad.
It is just the law of entropy -
- The world acts spontaneously to minimize potentials, and has a trend towards disorder -

The resistance can slow me down
but it cannot stop me
I will achieve things today because I am in motion
I am in action.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Passion Party #102 - Perseverance

One of the key phrases in the I Ching (or Book of Changes) is:
"Perseverance brings good fortune"

It is one of the most important qualities in the Book of Changes

This is what I am best at -
not giving up
following up
following through
being steadfast and upright

Today I will persevere
because I know that
Perseverance brings good fortune.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Passion Party #101 - Finding A Mentor

Finding a mentor is so important
There is someone out there
who has already done what you want to do.
You just need to find that person
let them be your teacher.

I know I cannot do this alone
or if I do
it will be slower and more painful
and will probably include a few dark alleys I should not go down.

It is so much better
to let someone lead me
support me
point me in the direction that works
with tools that have worked for others
I don't need to reinvent the wheel
when someone has already invented the sports car...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Passion Party #100 - The Power of 10 (Money, part 9)

My first job in banking was with Columbia Savings and Loan. It was 1987, and I was a new account executive. The branch I worked in was unusual - it was a second floor branch of the Savings and Loan, located in the Drexel Burnham Lambert building in Beverly Hills. There was very little signage on the outside of the building - you really had to know we were there, there was virtually no walk-in traffic.

The majority of the deposits at our branch consisted of accounts for Drexel Burnham employees. I handled the checking and CD accounts for people like Gary Winnick, Leon Black, Michael Milken and his brother Lowell.

Part of my job was to place money in CD accounts. I had noticed that Mike Milken had a huge amount of cash in his checking account at all times. On any given day he could buy a Third World Country for cash, if he felt like it. So I thought, why not call his office manager/controller, and suggest that he move some of the money from the non-interest bearing checking account into a short term CD.

After a few attempts at reaching the controller and pitching the idea, she said to me "Well, I'll check with Mike, but you know, our minimum investment is 5."
I said, "5?"
She said, "You know, $500,000. I'll get back to you."

Later, when I succeeded in getting Mike to open the CD account I spoke personally with the controller. I asked her what it was like handling Mike's finances. She said, "You know, it is exactly like any other account, there are just more zeros."

That was the first time I thought about the Power of 10.

Since then I have discovered that it can be just as hard to make $2000
as it is to make $20,000.
Either way, you have to work at it, but it is not 10 times as hard - it is just another zero.
The problems and concerns that come with $20,000
are similar but different than with $2000
not better or worse, just different.

In my work career I have had years where I have made $60,000
but I have not yet experienced a year where I make $600,000.
Today I think, why not?
It's just another 0

The Power of 10.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Passion Party #99 - Meaningful Work

What makes a job meaningful?
- seeing the results
- having a sense of accomplishment
- helping others
- getting paid for what you do

All of these elements
can be found in the stories of the
most successful people in America.

What can I do today
to reignite the passion or what I do?
What can I do
to turn my job
into meaningful work?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Passion Party #98 - Challenge Your Beliefs

It was a year ago.
I went to a seminar
and heard my friend Shel Brucker speak.
Shel is a "turn-around guy",
a CEO for hire,
and the picture he painted was bleak
but realistic.

The world is changing, he said, and we have to change with it
and the first step to that change is to challenge everything
don't take anything for granted.
Challenge your beliefs and see
what is really working and what are just old habits
that perhaps are no longer serving you.

If you, like me, believe we are only part of the way out of this recession,
it will help to keep Shel's list on your wall:

1. Challenge your beliefs
2. Know your numbers
3. Cut or defer expenses
4. Accumulate cash
5. Go for opportunity
6. Act Now!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Passion Party #97 - Enlightenment is Overrated

When I was really young
I had a scary thought -
What if I was praying to the wrong God?
What if I spent my life trying to get into heaven
and when I died and met God up there
He just laughed and said,
"Sorry, George, you picked the wrong door, no heaven here!"

As I entered college
and started to read Philosophy
I yearned to spend a week - a month - a year
just sitting and thinking,
figuring it all out
But then I thought, "What about all of life I would miss that year?"

I have met some Holy Men and Women in my life
and some Poseurs
It is hard to tell them apart at times

So today I walk through life
with my mind open
I look for wisdom
and not True Enlightenment

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Passion Party #96 - Creating Assets

Most people look at their balance sheet -
assets and liabilities -
and see their home, their car, their bank accounts (or lack thereof).

I have been building a business for the last 10 years
and the most valuable assets,
more than money in the bank,
are the people I know and the clients I work with.
This, more than anything, is the asset that will grow my business.

I am not in the mortgage business
I am not in the music business
I am in the people business.