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Thank you again and always…

‘Tis the season of thankfulness.  Not that we should wait during the rest of the year to say, “Thank you”, but certainly November and December remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?  So before going any further – permit me to say, “Thank you”!

Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, clients and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.  Thankfully, smart people have put counting in the proper perspective:

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. 

Albert Einstein

Thankfully, I have readers who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with responses of appreciation towards my little ditties.

I can’t count all that I am thankful for; nor all of the times I have wanted to thank someone for their kindness.  But I am thankful for sure.  I’m thankful for living in Denver – most of the time anyway:

Welcome to Denver:

     The morning rush hour is from 5:00 to 10:00 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.  Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday.

     Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.  Denver has its own version.  The car or truck with the loudest muffler goes next at a 4-way stop.  The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.  Blue-haired, green-haired, or cranberry-haired ladies driving anything have the right of way all of the time.

     North and South only vaguely resemble the real direction of certain streets.  University and Colorado are two boulevards that run parallel.  Geometry evidently not working at altitude, these streets intersect south of C470.

     Highway 285 runs North, South, East and West and every direction in between; it can be found in every section of the Denver area making navigation very interesting.  You can turn west onto southbound 285; you can turn north onto westbound C470; and you can drive southeast on the Northwest Parkway.  This is why Denver uses the additional driving directions of “out”, “up”, “in”, “down”, and sometimes “over”.

     Construction barrels are permanent, and are simply moved around in the middle of the night to make the next day’s drive more challenging.  When you see an orange cone, you must stop and then move ahead slowly until there are no more cones.  There need not be construction, just cones.

     If someone has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been accidentally activated.

     If it’s 70 degrees, Thanksgiving is probably next week; if it’s snowing, it’s probably the weekend after Memorial Day.

     If you stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended or cussed-out.  A red light means four more cars can go through.  Not three; not five.  Four.  Never honk at anyone.  Ever.  Seriously.  Never yield at a “Yield” sign.  The yield sign is like an appendix; it once had a purpose but nobody can remember what it was.

     Just because a street on the east side of town has the same name as a street on the west side of town doesn’t mean they’re connected. 

Unknown Sage

Thankfully we will spend time with family, friends, food, and fun with a little football during the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will take a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for, too:

Thank you Lord.  I may never have a lot; but I have always had enough. 

Gary A. Pokorn

Thankfully we have the opportunity to experience the peace and power of a positive perspective this Thanksgiving.

GAP

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What’s the answer…

I have a training class next month.  Classes afford me the enjoyment of a little intellectual sport.

When conducting class for our resellers I insert a variety of exercises designed to strengthen our problem-solving “muscles”.  A lot is being studied and a lot is being published about how technology is actually reducing our ability to think.  I mean, is artificial intelligence making mankind’s intelligence artificial?

I have contributed to the conversation myself (see http://thequoteguys.com/2015/02/self-obliteration/).  Instant messaging; email; social sites; et al, are contributing to the weakening of our intellectual capabilities; dulling our minds; making us stupid!

Sorry, I inserted that last phrase of hyperbole to catch your attention – odds are you’re reading my little ditty from a cell phone or a tablet while having additional devices and screens open; multi-tasking.  If you are driving – please close my post and keep your eyes on the road!  Please drive defensively against those around you – who are ignoring my plea and reading my post!

But I digress…

As I work with my partners on problem-solving exercises; constantly competing for their intellectual attention in the face of continuous multi-tasking; I get their frustration and their preference – “Gary, just give us the answer!”  In my last class, one participant Googled for the answer to the opening exercise (which was a 3rd grade math problem from the year 2000).  He didn’t even try to think.

I understand.  We’re all busy; we’re all stressed; we’re all distracted; we’re all connected every waking minute of every waking hour.  If you believe that such behavior has very negative impact on our intellect, it begs the question, “So what?”

To me, our value in the workplace of today and that of the future is based on our thinking abilities.  Simple jobs are being automated; employers are hiring robots; employees who can’t think will be left with the leftovers of the jobs machines won’t do, true?

So how do we gain or maintain our intellectual strength while avoiding Donsen?

Donsen’s Law

The specialist learns more and more about less and less until, finally, he knows everything about nothing; whereas the generalist learns less and less about more and more until, finally, he knows nothing about everything.

We are on top of the animal kingdom because of our minds aren’t we?  We can trace this fact all the way back to the invention of the wheel.  But what if they we’re distracted back then?  What if the invention of the wheel was overlooked due to the dulling that comes with technology?                           What are we not inventing today because we’re overly dependent on machines that may decide to overlook solutions to problems that impact mankind, but not machines?

I remain hopeful that we can snap out of our social media induced; cellular technology driven; Siri mind numbing; drone sleep-walking environment.  I believe we can reverse the trend and regain our intellectual strength:

Imagination is stronger than knowledge.

Dreams are more powerful than facts.

Hope always triumphs over experience.

Robert Fulghum

I enjoy Robert’s expressions of hope.  Here are a few more; https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/robert_fulghum

I understand.  Problems are hard; answers are easy; can’t we just get to the easy without going through the hard?  I don’t think so.

In class I try to offer a little fun in the pursuit of the “answers” because getting to the “answer” is grounded on the strength of our “thinking”.  The mathematical solution comes from the accuracy of the formula.  From the caveman days forward, it always has – don’t you think?

GAP

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Authenticity…

If you’ve been reading me for a while you know I poke fun at many things not the least of which is technology.  Even though I make my living selling technology – and have done so for more than 40 years – the idiosyncrasies of my industry do not escape the “pen”.

Irreverent?  Perhaps; but at least it’s authentic.  You see, I’m continuously amused by my industry and my profession.  I believe Clarke is too:

Clarke’s Third Law

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Is magic authentic?  In our world of advanced technology today, search engine marketing in general (and Google in particular) places a big emphasis on “authenticity”.  In a post (of course) by Matt Kapko way back in April of 2015 titled “7 staggering social media use by-the-minute stats”, he cites IDC research:

Eight of the world’s most popular social networks generate an astonishing amount of content every minute.  The social “universe,” composed of every single digitally connected person, doubles in size every two years, and by 2020 it will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion GBs…

Zettabytes?  Magic alright.

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. 

Eden Phillports

But can mankind’s wits grow sharper fast enough to keep up with our machines?  According to a futurist who spoke at a technology conference sponsored by RSM way back in 2014:

70% of all internet traffic is machines “talking” to machines, posing as humans.

70%!  Machines posing as humans!  Is that authentic?  Of course, the primary vehicle supporting such machine-to-machine human charade is social media.  This, in turn, poses the question, “Can machines be social?”  Well… let’s consult… another machine:

Living organisms including humans are social when they live collectively in interacting populations, whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary. 

Wikipedia

Wondering if Wikipedia is human or a poser?  Let’s go to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary © which was at least started by humans in 1828:

Social  adjective

3: of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society

Seems to me that in order to be considered “social”, humans need to be involved.  But if machines are now posing as humans how do we validate authenticity?  Or do we even care?  I mean, next up following social media and virtual reality is self-driving cars, true?  Question:  Can there be “muscle cars” that are self-driven by muscle-less computers?  Would these self-driving, muscle-cars be posers?

OK, OK…  I’ll lighten up on technology for a moment.  Posers aren’t limited to machines posing as people.  Posing has been around for a long time and is witnessed in many fields:

The difference between being an elder statesman and posing successfully as an elder statesman is practically negligible. 

T.S. Eliot

In today’s day and age, it’s hard to be authentic.  So many want to be perceived as some other persona.  Using a machine, we can easily doctor our image; a video; our resume; our online profile.  But in so doing, we are not being “true”.  Perhaps to seek authenticity in the face of 21st century technology we need to turn back to a different time:

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. 

Oscar Wilde

Spoken by a 19th century, Irish playwright no less – and I’m saying that’s authentic and not magic.  No really – it’s really me; no it’s not my computer posing as me – it’s really me; really!

GAP

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Still Giving Thanks…

We are in the season of thankfulness.  Not that we should wait during the rest of the year to say, “Thank you”, but certainly November and December remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?  So before going any further – permit me to say, “Thank you”!

Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, clients and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.  Thankfully, I have readers who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with responses of appreciation towards my little ditties.

Let me thank Chris Corcoran.  Because he knew how much it would mean to me, Chris bought me the book Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle ©.  Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to work for Oracle back in the day that the majority of this book was depicted.  And wouldn’t you know it?  My career is circling back as I prepare to rejoin Oracle Corporation twenty five years later.

Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the “all time” business leaders, including Josh Weston of ADP; Larry Ellison of Oracle; and Dave Duffield of Integral Systems (which preceded PeopleSoft and now Workday).  Each unique in their style; all the same in their impact.

John McCall is a reader, too.  He generously sent me a very special email:

Gary, about a year ago I tried to compile quotes from one of the most wise men in American history. I enjoy your site and emails and I hope these quotes (or most of them anyway) you will find to be as hilarious, spot on and useful as I do. I hope you are well.

John attached a compilation of Benjamin Franklin quotes for my enjoyment.  Thank you John!

So ready or not, its Thanksgiving week!  Hard to believe it’s here already isn’t it?  I guess time flies when we’re heads down, working during these challenging times.

With the recent snow in Denver we are reminded winter is upon us.  No worries, though.  With the kindness I receive from Chris, John, and all those around me, I will stay warm:

A kind word warms for three winters. 

Chinese Proverb

Thankfully, many are optimistic that we will have a successful “Black Friday”; “Small Business Saturday”; and “Cyber Monday”.  Thankfully, we have retailers who are able to brave the “Advertise & Hope” approach to sales.  That’s why I chose a Business-to-Business sales profession where with a semblance of control, we can go out and “sell somebody something” vs. waiting and hoping.

Thankfully, we have smart people to put things in proper perspective.  You see, I’m not the smartest guy in the room.  But I am coachable; listen well; and have an excellent memory.  The next best thing to being a genius is to mingle with those who are:

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count;

everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. 

Albert Einstein

I can’t count all that I am thankful for; nor all of the times I have wanted to thank someone for their kindness or courtesy.  But I am thankful for sure.

Thankfully we will spend time with family, friends, food, and fun with a little football during the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will have a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for, too.

Thankfully, I have readers who read my posts and offer me occasional replies of encouragement.  And thankfully we have the opportunity to experience the peace and power of a positive perspective this holiday season.

GAP

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Independence…

Posted Jul 1 2016 by in True North with 2 Comments

Happy Independence Day Americans!  Here’s to a fun (and safe) July 4th weekend.  And here’s to our country – land of the free and home of the brave.

Our Founding Fathers had a very specific set of ideals in mind when they fought for our country’s independence.  The freedom they fought for seems to have morphed a bit over the years, yes?

Today, the term “it’s a free country” too often takes on unintended meanings and overly individualized interpretations.  Being free doesn’t mean we can do whatever-the-duck we feel like doing.  Pick any one of your personal pet peeves:  texting while driving; parking in handicapped spaces when you’re not actually handicapped (just old or fat); bringing your pet on a plane declaring it is an “emotional support animal” (which trivializes heroic service dogs performing invaluable service to those who really need it).  The list of “I’m an exception” is long.

Today, it seems many of us want to believe that this is “my” country so I’m entitled to make up my own rules – or abide by no rules at all.  I don’t think our Forefathers meant for America’s freedom to mean being undisciplined:

Piloting your own plane may suggest a desire for freedom.  It usually takes a lot of self-control, however, to earn the money necessary to buy your own plane.  And once you are at the controls, concentration and rules are vital.  Undisciplined pilots do not live long. 

Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.

Our country’s power lies not with us individually, but rather our ability to find common ground for the pursuit of our collective, common good.  It’s not about our individual W-2; it’s about how we share our fortune with those less fortunate:

Do all the good you can.

  By all the means you can.

    In all the ways you can.

      In all the places you can.

        At all the times you can.

          To all the people you can.

            As long as you can. 

John Wesley

Yes, America is the land of the free, but as it has been said many times, freedom is not free:

Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it.  It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.

Unknown Sage

We are also home of the brave.  And bravery is found in many more places than just on the battle field.  We witness bravery every day by everyday people, don’t you agree?

And bravery can be found in places we least expect it.  Take comedy for instance.  Joan Rivers was brave in her professional pursuits during an era where women were not treated as the equal of their male, comedian counterparts.  But she was not deterred:

The more successful you become, the fewer people will encourage you and cheer you on, and the more successful you become, the fewer people you will trust.  But that’s not bad, because if you’ve made it on your own, it gives you a chance to say, I did it.  No one helped me.  That’s only two sentences, and that’s good because success is a short-lived phenomenon that’s never to be trusted.  Enjoy it for the moment and then get back to work.  Never forget that work is the reason you became successful.

So let us all enjoy America’s success this weekend.  And then on Tuesday, let’s go back to work – working to make this country what our Founding Fathers and those who gave their lives for our freedom the type of country they had in mind.

GAP

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God’s profession…

Posted May 4 2016 by in True North with 4 Comments

Whenever I observe my wife mother our children I am awed.  Whether watching nature documentaries, or simply seeing Moms nurturing their children, we are witnessing God’s profession, true?

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you professionals – and I’m not referring to “working mothers”.  Yours is the profession of love, compassion, protection, guidance, pride, and so much more than a W-2.

Not that the working side of Motherhood is not important – it is:

Woman’s Equation

Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult. 

Unknown Sage

This equation certainly applies to our household.  My wife runs circles around me with her love and support of our children and grandchildren.  All while maintaining our little ranch and running her company.  She is awesome!

Me?  Well you might say I remind you of the phenomena in nature where male lions eat their young.  Not that there haven’t been times where my young didn’t deserve it – yours too?  Thank God for their Mother.

Oh they are getting better; learning; maturing; feeding off the encouragement their Mother provides them as her life-long commitment.  Perhaps there’s hope for we male types yet.

Yes, our mothers offer us a wealth of lifetime lessons; worthy of passing down from generation to generation.  Our favorite Unknown Sage reminds us of a few of the many things we learn from our mother:

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

My mother taught me RELIGION.

“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

“Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

My mother taught me about STAMINA.

“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about WEATHER.

“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”

My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.

“Stop acting like your father!”

My mother taught me about ENVY.

“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

“Just wait until we get home.”

My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”

My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

My mother taught me ESP.

“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

My mother taught me GENETICS.

“You’re just like your father.”

My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me WISDOM.

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

See what I mean?  God’s profession!  What did Mom teach you?

GAP

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Full measure…

Our favorite, Unknown Sage once said,

Life can be measured by the number of moments that take your breath away.

Based on that metric, I enjoy a very, full-measured life.  Last Saturday was my 43rd wedding anniversary.   The journey has actually been even longer – my future wife and I met in the 7th grade.  She still takes my breath away!

Over the years, I have occasionally rocked the foundation of our comfort zone – failed investments; family feuds; job changes; you know the usual stuff.

My wife is half Irish; and I know I have provided her ample opportunities to invoke that Irish Blessing:

May you never forget what is worth remembering, or remember what is worth forgetting.

So permit me to pause from the daily drum beat of my career coupled recently with her start-up business, and devote a few thoughts toward never forgetting what is worth remembering.

Relationships – husbands and wives; parents and children; brothers and sisters; colleagues; BFF’s; no matter.  Let’s pause for a moment to focus on those special people that have taken our breath away.  It’s time to give them a call (no voicemails please); write them a letter (texts don’t count – give them the ink!); and let’s offer a full measure of thanks to our pride and joy.

Relationships – family, friends, colleagues.  The currency of a fulfilling, meaningful life, don’t you think?  And like any other “bank account”, relationships entail “deposits” and “withdrawals”.  I have benefited often from the deposits the special people surrounding me have made.  And in so doing, each of these special people have enriched my life.

What did we do to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary?  We worked a 16-hour day at the Colorado Springs Horse Expo, of course.  You see, this year we have embarked on a new journey – that of a family owned company.  Stressful.  In January, we worked together for 16 straight days in a “phone booth”:

NWSS_Booth

OK, it was actually an 8’x 10’ vendor booth at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.  And to be fair, I wasn’t in her booth morning, noon, and night. During the week, I worked my full time job.  I attended to my second job in the evenings only – and then morning, noon and night on weekends.  8’x 10’; 80 square feet; working elbow to elbow in a family owned business; with differing points of business view:

The opinions expressed by the husband do not reflect the opinions enforced by Management.

Don’t get me wrong – I believe that business success is an important contribution to a healthy relationship.  It can be another source of pride and joy.  It’s just deciding to pursue a new business “adventure” this far into our marriage can be a bit stressful.  No worries though – after enjoying a lifetime together, we are up to it!

So today I’m focused on my wife of 43 years – staying married to me, she has certainly earned it!  I’m thankful for the good fortune to have her in my life.  Along with family, friends, and business colleagues – all have made me a rich man.

And I salute those of you who enjoy long-lasting, loving marriages, too.  Perhaps we would agree in Harold Nicholson’s revelation:

The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.

Now let’s all go out and buy flowers for our wife, or send a handwritten card to those special people that have enriched our life – all deserving a full measure of our appreciation.

GAP

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Accountable…

The New England Patriots don’t care that I dislike them.  However, I certainly respect one aspect of their approach that I believe we can all benefit from.

My Broncos recently beat the Patriots in an exciting, overtime game.  That game, like so many NFL games this season, included bad calls by the officials.  In spite of Tom Brady’s “losers lament”, we must stop short of blaming the ref’s for the outcome of games; or life.

Bad calls are unfair in sporting events – in life too.  As our favorite Unknown Sage reminds us we cannot fall for that convenient “if” this and “if” that trap:

If the Hamms Bear drank Schlitz, there’d be no land of sky blue waters.

Are the Patriots the most hated NFL franchise?  The most revered?  Well, my Chicago Bears had George Halas; the Green Bay Packers had Vince Lombardi; even the infamous Oakland Raiders had Al Davis.  So no – the New England Patriots are not the “most” in either category.

I’m not down on the Patriots because they regularly beat my Broncos.  I’m down on them because of the arrogance they portray towards cheating – the same cheating incidents that have occurred side-by-side with their Super Bowl years.

We see this damn the reputation; win at any cost; in the business world too, don’t we?  Well, count me in on the character side that Robert Quillen describes:

“Character” is made by what you stand for;

“Reputation” by what you fall for.

We witnessed this reputation-for-character “trade” in Denver when we hired Josh McDaniels to be our head coach in 2009.  And when Josh was caught cheating, this time his team owner was not Robert Kraft.  No, the Broncos’ team owner Pat Bowlen did not trade character for reputation.  Pat Bowlen publicly stated he made a mistake; and then made the correction – Josh was fired.  Returning to the Patriots as their Offensive Coordinator.

I have not seen such a reputation of public arrogance since the Watergate era; an apparently paranoid and power-mad US President; who won re-election in a landslide, yet lost his reputation (and ultimately the Presidency) with a break-in and a cover-up.

In spite of all this, I still have great respect for the way the Bill Belichick coaches.    Every player; every play; every day is accountable to do their job.  Offense, defense, special teams – every player; out to out-play their opponent’s players; every play; every day.  Admirable.

Famous for his hoodie; infamous for his scowl; hated for his cheating; revered for his winning; Bill Belichick is undeniably one of the all-time best NFL coaches.  And I believe a key attribute to his prolonged success has been accomplished through that emphasis on holding those around him accountable for doing their job.  Every player; every play; every day.

Imagine the level of success we could achieve in our business pursuits if every employee at our company gave his or her best every day, on every “play”.  Achievement – it can be a wonderful, feeling in our personal life, too:

My therapist told me a way to achieve peace was to finish things I started.  Today, I finished 2 bags of potato chips, a lemon pie, a fifth of Jack Daniels, and a small box of chocolate candy.  I feel better already! 

Unknown Sage

So no if’s; and’s; or buts; let’s pursue success in our personal and professional pursuits in concert with accountability.  And let’s avoid the temptation to win at any cost; to trade character for achievement (nor even for a candy bar).

GAP

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Still Giving Thanks…

We are in the season of giving thanks.  Not that we should wait throughout the rest of the year to say, “Thank you”; but certainly November and December remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?

So before I go any further, let me say, “Thank you”!

Ready or not, Thanksgiving week has arrived!  Hard to believe it’s here already isn’t it?  I guess time flies when we’re heads down, working hard, striving for success (or perhaps striving just to make ends meet).  Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.

I have much to be thankful for.  Thankfully, I have my readers who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with personalized responses of appreciation towards these little ditties.  With the ski resorts open in Colorado; winter is upon us.  No worries, though – the kindness I receive from all those around me, will keep me warm:

A kind word warms for three winters. 

Chinese Proverb

Thankfully many of us will “have a little fun in our life” this holiday/weekend given the nature of how we have extended our working hours; added electronic devices that track us down every waking minute; increased our stress level; and decreased the quality of nightly sleep.

In the working world, I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the 20th century, “all time” business leaders, including Josh Weston of ADP; Larry Ellison of Oracle; and Dave Duffield of Integral Systems (which preceded PeopleSoft which preceded Workday).

Thankfully, many are optimistic that we will have a successful “Black Friday”; “Small Business Saturday”; and “Cyber Monday” of retail sales.  This will help contribute to our economy and our future.

Thankfully, we have people much smarter than me to help put our economy in proper perspective.  I suppose the next best thing to being a financial genius is to mingle with those who are:

Market Terminology for Dummies:

Bull Market – A random market movement causing the investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.  

Momentum Investing – The fine art of buying high and selling low.

Standard & Poor – Your investment strategy in a nutshell.

Mailbits.com

Thankfully we are charitable with our blessings and our gift giving to those less fortunate than us:

Never measure your generosity by what you give, but rather by what you have left. 

Fulton J. Sheen

Thankfully, we will spend time with family, friends, food, fun, football, and even a movie thrown in during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thankfully, if we are traveling for our family gatherings we will still retain our sense of humor:

A famous Chairman of the Board of a national airline, uses self-deprecating humor, such as the story he told about a woman who wrote a letter complaining about his airline.  She didn’t like anything: not the peanuts, not the color of the plane.  She didn’t even like the uniforms of the stewards.  She was just full of gripes. 

The marketing division took it over, spent a week writing a 22-page letter trying to reason with her, and showed it to the Chairman before he signed it.  He read it, and tossed it into the wastebasket.  He asked for a piece of stationery and wrote;

Dear Madam,

We’re going to miss you. 

Sincerely,

Herb.

Herb Kelleher

Thankfully, we will have a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for.  May the peace and power of a positive perspective be with you and yours this holiday season.

GAP

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Helping hooves…

My company recently completed Global Impact Week.  Helping a friend; a colleague; or even a perfect stranger feels rewarding, doesn’t it?  Doing good makes us feel good, yes?

However, I suppose in our highly competitive, “dog eat dog world” it’s easy to be self-focused.  I mean what we do each day to meet our obligations is difficult.  When we get home from work, we’re often tired from the day’s trials and tribulations, true?

For me, at the end of my day I always look forward to the comfort of my sun room; looking out to my corral and my little herd of horses; a pleasant chat with my wife; a cocktail; dinner.  My after-work routine helps me unwind.  What’s your after-work routine?

If yours is like mine, then we share a common problem – you see my routine is all about me.  A better man would do more; a better man would call his brother; Facebook his children; participate in volunteer opportunities in his community; be less self-focused; be more in tune with where needs are needed:

In every community, there is work to be done.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

“…the power to do it.”  If not me, who?  If not now, when?  But how do I get motivated to do more?  Could I follow the lead of my dog?  (As our favorite Unknown Sage suggests):

Lord, help me be the man my dog thinks I am.

Haley

She seems to have an unlimited amount of energy; she’s always ready to greet me when I come home; she’s always happy to see me.  Like a lot of people I could use a little help in being more helpful.  And I think we would all agree that being helpful – doing good – is the right thing to do:

Do all the good you can.

By all the means you can.

In all the ways you can.

In all the places you can.

At all the times you can.

To all the people you can.

As long as you can.

John Wesley

When I receive encouragement, it encourages me to be encouraging.  When someone does good by me, I’m energized to do good for others.  Encouragement; energy; and even a helping hand (or helping hooves as seen in this Budweiser commercial) helps us help others, don’t you agree?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQB7QRyF4p4

Horses and puppies are motivational, yes?  For me they are a joyous reminder of how joyful it feels to help others feel joy.  It makes me wonder what good I have done today; whether I was the man today my dog thinks I am.

But is this daily reminder to be never-ending?

Here’s a test to find out whether or not your mission on earth is finished:

If you’re alive, it isn’t.

Richard Bach

So here’s to all of the good all of us can do for all of those who could use it.  Here’s to applying the peace and the power a positive perspective can provide to help us help others.

And when we’re a little tired at the end of the day and need a little motivation to generate a little energy; to do a little more good before calling it a day; if our dog, or our herd, or even draft horse videos don’t do the trick, let’s form-up with family or phone a friend.  We’ll feel all the better for it and enjoy a good night’s sleep, too!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com