Friday, May 28, 2010

Passion Party #224 - Graduation

It is the month of graduation
We graduate
from student to teacher
from plan to action
from school to life
from dream to reality

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Passion Party #223 - If We Only Had Love

Lyrics by Jacques Brel:

If we only have love
Then tomorrow will dawn
And the days of our years will rise on that morn
If we only have love
To embrace without fears
We will kiss with our eyes, we will sleep without tears
If we only have love
With our arms open wide
Then the young and the old will stand at our side
If we only have love
Love that's falling like rain
Then the parched desert earth will grow green again
If we only have love
For the hymn that we shout
For the song that we sing then we'll have a way out
If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
We can use our own names
If we only have love
We can melt all the guns and then give the new world
To our daughters and sons
If we only have love
Then Jerusalem stands
And then death has no shadow, there are no foreign lands
If we only have love
We will never bow down
We'll be tall as the pines, neither heroes nor clowns
If we only have love
Then we'll only be men
And we'll drink from the Grail to be born once again
Then with nothing at all
But the little we are
We'll have conquered all time
All space, the sun, and the stars.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Passion Party #222 - Seek What You Are Needed For

The search for happiness
was once described as
- something to do
- someone to love
- something to look forward to.

It is true that if you really love someone,
love can make the "something to do" almost irrelevant;
you do whatever it takes because you love the other person.
But for many of us, it is hard to love
if you hate what you do.

So what is the first step on the road to happiness?
A smart friend of mine in Dayton, Ohio says,
"Seek not what you need
but what you are needed for".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Passion Party #221 - Attack Life With Enthusiasm

I had the strangest experience the other day.
I was in my local supermarket and went up to the Starbucks counter for a cup of coffee. Two very young people were behind the counter - they looked like they might just be out of high school.
"Hi, How ya doin' today?"
I got a very cheerful greeting.
"Fine", I'd like a tall coffee, and can I have your "bold" blend?
"BOLD! You want BOLD coffee?" one exclaimed, as the other went to fetch my drink. "Man, you must have a GREAT DAY planned, that you need BOLD coffee to get going!"
"Actually, this will be my third cup today..."
"THIRD CUP! Man, you must be flying. You are sure going to have SOME DAY TODAY!"

Never had I received so much enthusiasm with my cup of coffee.
And I thought, this is weird.
But then I thought, imagine if the gal at the cleaners and the bank teller and the receptionist in my office all had this much enthusiasm.
So today, my friends, I will
attack life with enthusiasm
and see what happens.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Passion Party #220 - Time Alone

One of the greatest things we have lost
is our ability to be alone.
Somehow, someone somewhere decided that
it would be best if we were all connected, all the time
hence the prevalence of iPhones, 3G networks, GPS systems, and various wireless communication systems.

Can you remember, in the old days,
when you drove to work you were just driving?
And when you exercised you were just exercising?
Now at my gym I can exercise while I listen to an audio book and watch three different TV stations, simultaneously.

But it is the time alone that has the greatest value
that moment of quiet
when you hear the birds chirp
or settle into your thoughts.

Today I will spend some time alone
taking a moment to quiet my mind
and remembering where my true power comes from.

"Help Wanted:
Inquire Within"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Passion Party #219 - Money and Passion

We are each wired with certain programming when it comes to money.
Our belief systems come from our parents, and from our surroundings,
base instincts of fear or greed,
and of the hunter/gatherer, the need to provide for ourselves and the desire to provide for the ones we love.

Can I go back and re-wire myself
to live in abundance instead of lack-of?

There is a constant thread I find in the stories of the self-made Billionaires.
It is a desire to make money
whether it is running a paper route or
building computers for college friends from your dorm room.

I have to be able to say
I love money.
I love the freedom that money can bring me.
I love the peace of mind I get when money flows into my bank account.
I love the thought of being paid well for my talents and abilities.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Passion Party #218 - It Is Better to Receive Than to Give

It is Shavuot
The Jewish holiday that commemorates Springtime, the first fruits of harvest, and the day that God gave the Torah to Moses and the Jews.
Some people say it commemorates the day Moses and the Jews received the Torah from God.

Why is it better to receive than to give?
When you give, you can only do it once - then you have given it away.
When you receive, it is yours to keep, to share, to do what you want with it.
Yesterday I received the first green bean from my vegetable garden, and I hope to receive more before the year is done.

It feels good to give a gift,
it feels great to receive it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Passion Party #217 - Neuro-economics

If I could go back to college
I think I would study Neuro-economics and Behavioral Finance Theory.
This is the study of how human nature
colors our thoughts when it comes to money and finance.
It studies why we will drive 10 miles to save $10.00 when we buy a product,
but then we will pay $150.00 extra to not have to drive to an office to sign paperwork.
Or why a person who states that he wants to take no risk with his savings
will answer his cell phone while driving,
putting himself at a much higher risk of having a car accident,
an event that certainly puts his savings at risk.

People are funny that way, I guess.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Passion Party #216 - Open Your Arms To Change

It is hard to be passionate about change.
Change is scary
Change is out of your control
More often than not, Change happens to you
It is a rare day that starts with the Mantra:
"I am going to change today".

But what if you started a day that way?
Today I open my arms to change.
I accept change as a friend,
as an inevitable part of life.
Even as I embrace change
I can still hold onto my values.
They can be a constant
in this turbulent sea of life.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Passion Party #215 - Respect Yourself

"Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don't respect yourself
Ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself..." - Luther Ingram

Alfred Griswold obtained his B.A. from Yale University in 1929, just in time for the stock market crash. After kicking around Wall Street for a little while he became a teacher at Yale in 1933, and spent the next 18 years as a teacher and professor, before becoming President of the University from 1959 - 1963.

Griswold wrote extensively on the concept of education, and a liberal arts education in particular. He said this about self-respect:
"Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased. It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations. It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when we suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it; knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth we have spoken it."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Passion Party #214 - Not Getting

Not getting is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Yesterday I found out
that I was not getting to do loans for two clients.
The total loans from these two clients was about $2,000,000.
Weeks ago when I started working with these people I realized that they weren't really my clients.
One was too busy and too important, he wanted "his people" to call "my people", he just wanted it DONE, and he didn't want to know how.
The other was too frantic, with a dying mother, a very complicated estate and a rush to get cash-out from one of her mom's properties.
Even when I knew in my gut that they were not my clients, and when they were not responding to my requests for documentation, I did not know how to extricate myself from the situation. I tried to "fire" them, but they said they wanted my help.

When I found out yesterday that they had chosen to work with other people
I was relived
I was happy.
I knew at that moment that I would have more time to work with the 10 great clients I currently have
and that the universe was creating space for more great people to work with me.
Who knew Not Getting could feel so good?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Passion Party #213 - Attraction Vs. Promotion

So how do I want to build my business today?
I could promote it,
tell everyone how great I am at what I do,
advertise low rates or low cost
(the Faster! - Better! - Cheaper! model).
But what kind of clients will I get with that promotion?

Or I can use attraction,
bringing people to me by who I am, not by what I say I do.
Using education
leading by example
leading with the giving hand
delivering on my promises
being responsive to those that call me.
Building a business by attraction rather than promotion
takes longer and is harder
but the results are far more fulfilling,
longer lasting,
and will carry me through these tough times.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Passion Party #212 -When Do You Have Enough?

We work hard
We strive to achieve great things
We gather possessions, money, financial wealth

We know when we are in need
We know when we are struggling to get by
We know what "lack of" feels and looks like
But when do you know you have enough?

What will that look like?
I need to see that picture
So I will know when I get there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Passion Party #211 - Making Homes Affordable?

There has been a LOT OF NOISE from the senate subcommittee lately. They are investigating what happened to Washington Mutual, what went wrong, and who is to blame (of course, it is not the Senate).
There is certainly enough blame to go around.
In my view, everyone is guilty
from the top executives that made hundreds of millions to the faulty oversight of our government agencies to the rating agencies that gave AAA ratings to crappy mortgage-backed securities to the individual that bought a house with a loan that they knew they could never really afford.

But I did pick up one very interesting point:
A basic initiative in the banking industry and in congress was to permit more people to buy homes, rather than keep paying rent.
Realtors crowed, "Grab your piece of the American Dream!"
Congress passed laws to make sure more people could buy homes, and banks happily complied with various "Making Homes Affordable" initiatives with assisted down payments and lax qualifying methods.

Funny thing is, in the end all these initiatives made homes LESS affordable, as the demand and the increased ability to buy pushed home prices up 100% nationwide from 2000 - 2006.

So, after all this, are homes more affordable?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Passion Party #210 - Long Term Goals

I love setting long term goals.
I love the thought of planning to do something big and audacious
and then creating the action steps that are needed to complete the goal.
I love checking off the items as I move towards the goal.
I love the feeling of accomplishment as I see the progress on a daily or weekly basis.
I don't worry about "What next?"
because I have created a clear path
and the journey is as important as the destination.
I know that when I get to the goal
the next step will reveal itself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Passion Party #209 - WII-FM

This is an idea that has been around for decades, but is still so true.
The biggest mistakes in marketing and advertising
take place when you forget that,
every hour of every day
most people are tuned into
their favorite radio station,
"What's In It - For Me?"

If you are not on that frequency
your message will not be heard.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Passion Party #208 - Achievement Vs. Success

Helen Hayes was one of the most amazing women of the 20th Century.
Born in 1900 to a working class dad and an aspiring actress mom, Helen started her career when she was 5 years old. She is one of the few actors to make a successful transition into the "talking" pictures when sound was introduced to movies.
She is one of only twelve people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award. Hayes also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, from President Ronald Reagan in 1986. In 1988, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts. She is also one of the few actors to have a theatre in New York named after her.

You might call her successful.

But Helen Hayes was focused on her achievements, not on success. She said:
"My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that 'achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying.' Always aim for achievement and forget about success."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Passion Party #207 - When Love Exceeds Need

My world is a better place
when it is built on the Power of Love
instead of the Power of Need.

As winter passes and the flowers begin to bloom
this season, remember
the best relationship is one in which
our love for each other
exceeds our need for each other.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Passion Party #206 - Time for Passion

What are you passionate about?
What leaps to mind first?
Now, have you spent any time on your passion in the last week?

For some people their job is their life.
Other people have already created a life
where their job is their passion
I want a life
where my passion is my job

Some people are more multi-faceted,
the job is a tool that helps them get to their passion
Others feel trapped in a job,
just trying to make ends meet.

This is the week I say
Time to stop
and create time for my passion