Wisdom is Sunlight Of the Soul

November 21, 2018

Quotes, aphorisms, proverbs or whatever you want to call them — I’m a junkie. I picked up the habit from my father who was an Associated Press journalist. Readers of my nationally syndicated column will recognize them as morals. They need to be short, snappy and to the point. A good moral or proverb must teach a lesson, and I am not offended when I hear they are their favorite part of my column. Readers tell me that my morals are displayed on their refrigerators, company bulletin boards, auto dashboards and office walls. One of my sources is reading proverbs […]

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Resourcefulness = “Of Coursefulness”

August 16, 2018

A firm needed a researcher. Applicants were a scientist, an engineer and an economist. Each was given a stone, a piece of string and a stopwatch and told to determine a certain building’s height. The scientist went to the rooftop, tied the stone to the string and lowered it to the ground. Then he swung it, timing each swing with the watch. With this pendulum, he estimated the height at 200 feet, give or take 12 inches. The engineer threw away the string, dropped the stone from the roof, timing its fall with the watch. Applying the laws of gravity, he […]

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Don’t Let Rejection Scare You

August 9, 2018

Anytime you feel like quitting throughout your career, perhaps you’ll remember this story of one of our people: When he was born he was given the nickname “Sparky.” School was very difficult for Sparky, and he failed eighth grade. He also flunked several subjects in high school, the same high school that I attended a few years later. He wasn’t very good in sports either. He did make the school’s golf team, but he lost the most important match of the season and the consolation match too. Throughout his youth, Sparky was awkward. He felt he was a loser and […]

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Criticism Challenges Creativity

August 2, 2018

The great American filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille said, “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” As I’ve said in the past, I always try to start each day with a healthy dose of vitamin C – Creativity. I believe that creative ideas and actions are what make life interesting. More important than drugs and vitamins is having a thick skin and being unfazed by criticism. Even the most unstoppable ideas in history have been criticized. Here are some of the more memorable ones. “Mr. Bell, please remove that silly toy from my office.  There is no room in the […]

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Communication Need Not Be Complicated

July 26, 2018

Several years ago, a seasoned plumber wrote to the U.S. Bureau of Standards promoting a new procedure for cleaning pipes. The bureau replied: “The efficiency of the recommended solution is completely undisputed. However, there is an inherent incompatibility between the aforementioned solution and the basic chemical structures of the commonly used materials in current household and commercial pipeworks.” The plumber wrote back saying, “Thanks, I really liked it, too.” Within a few days, the Bureau responded with another letter: “Don’t use hydrochloric acid! It eats holes in pipes!” Wouldn’t it have been so much easier – and less expensive – […]

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Conquering The Fear Of Success

July 19, 2018

A famous trapeze performer was instructing his students how to perform on the trapeze bar. After full explanations and instruction in this complicated skill, he asked them to demonstrate.  However, one of the students, looking up at the insecure perch upon which he was expected to perform, was suddenly paralyzed with fear. He had a terrifying vision of falling to the ground and being seriously injured. Frozen with fear, he was unable to move a muscle.  “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” he cried. The instructor put his arm around the boy’s shoulder and said quietly, “Son, you […]

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Calm Your Emotions Before They Get Out Of Control

July 12, 2018

A young woman was waiting for her flight at a big airport, so she decided to buy a book to read and a packet of cookies to snack on.  She sat down in an armchair in a VIP lounge to relax and read in peace. A man sat down in the next seat, opened his magazine and started reading.  When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated but said nothing. She just thought, “What nerve!  I’d like to punch him for being so rude!” For each cookie she took, the man also took […]

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Advance Your Career In Every Meeting

July 5, 2018

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve called someone and the response I received is that they are in a meeting. I often wonder if they are in a meeting to see if they should have a meeting.   According to the MeetingKing website, in the United States alone we “enjoy” 11 million formal business meetings each day and we waste $37 billion in unnecessary meetings every year. The site also offered up these statistics: 37 percent of employee time is spent in meetings, managers attend more than 60 meetings per month, 39 percent of meeting participants admitted […]

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Mistakes Are Opportunities To Learn

June 28, 2018

A young vice president was appointed by the board of directors of a bank to replace the retiring president and founder. With fear and trepidation, he made an appointment to visit with the seasoned retiree to seek his advice. “Mr. Clark, I need your counsel. How can I possibly be successful in this job?” The elderly man leaned forward in his chair. “Young man,” he growled, “these two words are the key to your success – RIGHT DECISIONS!” “Thank you, sir. But how can I make sure I am making right decisions?” “Experience. Experience will insure you make right decisions.” […]

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Help People With Street Smarts

June 21, 2018

“If you were to go around asking people what would make them happier, you’d get answers like ‘A new car. A bigger house. A raise in pay. Winning the lottery.’ Very few would say, ‘A chance to help people.’ And yet that is what brings about the most happiness of all.” I wish I would have said that, but the late comedian George Burns did. Still, that’s how I’ve felt all my life.  And I am a very happy guy. I love sharing what I have learned over my lifetime of business and community involvement.  That has been my motivation […]

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Red, White and True Blue

June 14, 2018

June 14 is Flag Day, celebrating the 13 stripes and the 50 stars that symbolize our humble beginnings and our growth into one unified nation.   On June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia, the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution that stated: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.” But the resolution never said a word about the significance behind the choice of red, white and blue – because the three colors did not have […]

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Be Conscious Of Your Conscience

June 7, 2018

I have always been a fan of comics, or what I call the funny pages.  Recently I was looking at The Family Circus” by Bil Keane.  The littlest boy has a cupboard open and is looking at various boxes of food when his older brother sees him and says, “Conscience is like Mommy tellin’ you not to do somethin’, but she isn’t there.” Or as I like to say, act like your mother is watching.  All the time. Conscience is that little voice inside that tells us what we already know is right or wrong.  Unfortunately for some, when it […]

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Baseball and Business Have A Lot In Common

May 31, 2018

Baseball season is in full swing, but it might be a very different game if Pete Browning had not broken his bat in 1884. The story of how the iconic Louisville Slugger baseball bat came to be is fascinating. According to the famous bat company’s history, it all began when the 17-year-old son of J. F. Hillerich skipped out of work one day to watch a local baseball game. Browning, the star of the hometown team, broke his bat during the game. Young Bud Hillerich, a woodworking apprentice, invited him to his father’s wood shop, offering to make a new bat […]

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Hustle Leads To Success

May 25, 2018

When Pat Riley was coaching the New York Knicks in the early 1990s, he wanted to motivate his team. The team kept the usual stats on scoring, assists, rebounds and the like, but one year Riley decided to begin measuring hustle – how many rebounds players went for even if they didn’t succeed; how many times a player would make an extra effort to snatch a loose ball; how often someone would make a steal attempt. Riley posted his “Hustle Stats” in the Knicks’ locker room after every game, without any additional comment on his part. Riley’s players took notice […]

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The Sleep Doctor Puts Your Worries To Rest

May 17, 2018

When I am asked what I would like on my tombstone, my standard reply is, “He couldn’t sleep fast enough.” For my entire life, I’ve been afraid that I will miss something, so I cheat on sleep. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve been getting by on five to six hours of sleep. After listening to “The Sleep Doctor,” I might have to reassess my sleeping habits. Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and a diplomate of both the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He was one of the youngest […]

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