Archive for November, 2009
In 1863 the Civil War raged. In July the battle of Gettysburg was fought resulting in 60,000 deaths and tens of thousands of injuries. It was the single worst battle in American history for casualties. And that was just one battle. Brother fought against brother, father fought against son, friend fought against friend. It split apart families and tragedy touched nearly every American home.
A few months later President Abraham Lincoln walked among the thousands of graves at the battlefield of Gettysburg, when it was dedicated as a national cemetery. The horror of the human suffering that had taken place there only a few months before overwhelmed him with grief. He was the Union commander-in-chief of this war that was wrecking so much destruction. The mental torment was debilitating.
One week later, in the midst of this horrific time, Read More→
“Love life. Be grateful for it always. And show your gratitude by not shying away from its challenges. Try always to live a little bit beyond your capacities. You’ll find that you never succeed.” Arthur Gordon
Last summer I received an email that a friend, I had grown up with, was dying of cancer. I was shocked. He was in great shape, looked a lot like he did in high school when we all swam competitively. He ate right, exercised regularly, lived in the mountains half the time. Of all of my buddies I figured he would be the pall bearer for all of us. He had whipped cancer two years before but now it was back and virulent. Read More→
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” Thomas Paine
We were attending our son, Drew’s, graduation from Air Force flight school, at Sheppard Air Force Base. It was the culmination of a dream he has held and worked toward since childhood.
As we toured the base, talking with students and instructors, I thought about all he and the other students had worked through to experience this day. Drew joined the Air National Guard when he was 17. Endured the rigors of basic training. Earned his MS in mechanical engineering. Attained his private pilot license. Certified in aerobatic planes. Applied to four annual pilot selection boards with the Air National Guard. Missed the cut off on three before finally being selected. Went through officer training. And all that only earned him the opportunity to enter flight school.
At the morning welcome, in the briefing room, his commander talked about their strenuous training program. Read More→
“I can’t know exactly how things are going to turn out all right. I just know that things are going to turn out all right.” Nick Murray
“How do you stay so calm when everyone is freaking out?” a friend asked me.
As the stock market melted down through March of 2009 I was asked this question in different ways but scores of times.
In February one client said, “All my friends have taken their losses and cashed out. I’m the only one still in the market. When I go to parties and we talk about our investments they think I’m a fool.”
Some clients sent me emails of alarming news floating around the internet. Conspiracies that would end the world. Read More→
“There is always an easy solution to every human problem – neat, plausible and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
“What do you think about investing in . . . ?” John, a client, asked me, naming the latest hot investing fad. “I’m concerned about the deficit and inflation. I’m thinking of selling some of my investments before they go down again and buying it.”
“John, I agree with you in part,” I answered. “In two to three years, unless the government unwinds the spending, we’re going to see inflation heat up. And the government is never good at unwinding programs they start. But that investment has a terrible long term track record.”
“What do you suggest, then?” he asked. Read More→
“We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart.” Blaise Pascal
Have you ever hit the wall? Barriers you can’t get past?
Setting up this blog took days but was coming together. I had the host, locked my domain, created a Wordpress account and found a really cool theme. I’d done it all myself. For a non-tech guy I’d made it happen. I was feeling good!
Then suddenly the search function conked. I tried everything. Over the next three days I contacted everyone I could, went on forums and searched out fixes. At the end it still didn’t work. “Now what? How do I get past this?” I thought.
I started feeling sorry for myself. “Why does this always happen to me? And just when everything was going so well.” Read More→
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Harold Whitman
Have you ever asked yourself, ” Are you nuts? You don’t know anything about doing this.”
Good questions. I’ve asked myself these over the last couple of months as I’ve worked on putting this blog together.
I’ve enjoyed success in business, pastoring a church and investing over the last three decades. I could retire though when mentioning that word to my wife she said, “Then I’ll use the other ‘R’ word—’Remodel.’’’ We’ve been there. Don’t want to go back soon.
So why now start a blog? Business is good. I’m busy enough.
I’ve always lived with a passion for maximizing my life, accomplishing more. When pastoring, I also wrote articles on church growth and had a daily radio broadcast. That passion to write and share insights with others never left. But I put it on hold while building my current business.
Business is at a place where I have a little bit more time. So I researched writing again. I looked at magazines but none were publishing what I want to write on. My focus is outside the box. So I thought about writing a book. But book publishers require an agent. Agents want you currently writing for magazines. Same dead end.
Frustration set it. I was caught in a feedback loop that wouldn’t end. Read More→