Talent

“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One of the greatest shames in the world is when a person born with a talent lets it go to waste. Most people have undiscovered talent, it is there laying dormant, waiting for the day when it is called upon. When that day comes, it becomes one of the happiest days in that persons life.

Many others discover their talent but let it go to waste, to busy in the pursuit of meaningless enjoyment and living for the moment. There is no greater loss than to let a natural talent go to waste. There is no greater happiness than in using a natural talent to it fullest.

There are many examples of people using their talent, Shakespeare, Beethoven, von Goethe, but there are many who don’t achieve world renown and yet are happy and content using their talent.

Patrick Wentzel is one of those people. His classic carousel carvings are magnificent.

If you haven’t found your talent yet be patient. It’s there and will show itself one day, as long as you continue exploring, trying different things.  In the meantime, look at some of Patrick’s work, order something and examine it closely. There is nothing better than seeing something made by a natural talent, be it a symphony, a painting, a carving or a statue.

You can see Patrick’s collection at http://patrickwentzel.com/

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Get over it, it’s time to move on

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes,
than what others think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company… a church… a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding
the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past… we cannot change the
fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you…
we are in charge of our attitudes.” Attitude by Charles Swindoll

As another year comes to a close these words ring so true. No matter what happens in life, the hardships we endure or the moments of glory, nothing defines and molds us like the attitude we embrace after each hardship or moment of glory.

Some people take the attitude that everyone and everything in the world is against them. Others take the attitude they are owed something, that they have been deprived growing up and now are due a reward. They’ve suffered more than everyone else as a child and expect a reward for what they had endured. Some even take the attitude they were placed in this world to face one hardship after another and no matter what they do, they were never meant to be happy.

To move forward you need to leave the past behind. You need to leave any grudges behind. No matter how much you suffered in the past, no matter how many hardships you’ve come to face, a positive attitude going forward will make all the difference in the world.

To move forward you must let go of the past. You need to get over what may have been a horrendous experience and move on, not to forget it, but to acknowledge that what happened is in the past. Don’t look for blame, reasons why, regrets, or pity. Let your mind be a sponge that absorbs everything and lets it go at the appropriate time.

If you usher in the new year with the attitude that you alone control your destiny, miracles will happen. Instead of waiting for things to come to you , or for others to take you with them, lead yourself to where you need to be.

What separates the happy from the miserable is their attitude. Their outlook on life, their drive to make things happen, and their lack of self pity. Get over your disappointments, your letdowns, your poor upbringing, your broken heart and let a positive attitude lead you to where you want to be.

Happy New Year

A little humor from Facebook

Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, pissing and pooping on others, and some days you’re the statue, getting pissed and pooped on by others.

Sometimes, needing someone is like needing a parachute.
If they aren’t there the first time you need them,
chances are you won’t need them again.

People in glass houses should always wear clothes.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Neither should they nail up pictures.

If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Never clean your room while your plane ticket is in it.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Be careful whose toes you step on today, they might be attached to the behind you have to kiss tomorrow.

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it.

Never argue with an idiot: They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Never put your finger where you wouldn’t put your nose.

He who laughs last didn’t get the joke.

The things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those that got there first.

Intelligence is like underwear, everyone should have it, but we shouldn’t show it off.

When someone points skyward, it’s the fool that looks at the finger.

A pat on the back is only a few inches from a kick in the behind.

A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a Unicorn.

An agreeable person is someone who agrees with you.

The wonder of a single snowflake outweighs the wisdom of a million meteorologists.

We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

You always find something in the last place you look.

Live such that when you die, even the undertaker will be sorry.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

Anything you lose automatically doubles in value.

Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.

Think twice before you speak, especially if you intend to say what you think.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.

It is best not to swap horses while crossing the river.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use a net and he won’t bother you for weeks.

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

Wise men make proverbs but fools repeat them.

Honesty and Truth

“The precepts of the law are these: to live honestly, to injure no one, and to give every man his due.” Justinian I

The philosophy I will follow is to live honestly, to purposely injure no one, and to give every person a chance to do the same.

Any promise I make to someone is a debt which I must pay. If I cannot keep a promise I will try to make up for it. I will not make any promises which I knowingly cannot keep. I will not make a promise that I have no intentions of keeping to get something I want or need, even if the other person is being unfair.

I will be honest even if I am the only one. I will not be dishonest or deceitful even if everyone else is. Regardless of who is telling me to do it, I will not compromise my honesty.

In situations where honesty may hurt someone, I will keep my words to myself. I would rather keep quiet than hurt someone with my honesty. Unless my job is to deceive potential criminals in order to protect others, I will not be dishonest even if ordered to by anyone.

When I tell others exactly what is on my mind, then, I should be able to handle the same from others. If I cannot tolerate frankness from others, then I shouldn’t speak frankly to anyone.

Exaggerating the truth is the same as lying. I will strive to tell things as they are, without stretching the truth or undue exaggeration.

If I don’t know something, I will say that I don’t know, rather than make up a falsehood.

I will present myself to others as I truly am on the inside. I want to be liked for who I really am, not for who I can make others think I am.

For the most part, I will try to live a virtuous life. Once in a while, I may choose vice rather than virtue. If I choose to stray, I will accept the consequences if there are any. I will live with anything I choose to do, be it virtuous or vice, without regret. What is virtuous and what is a vice is for me to decide. Just because something is considered legal does not make it virtuous, just as something illegal may not be a vice. For the most part, my moral compass will guide me. If I am unable to decide and require guidance, then I will seek it from those whom I consider to be virtuous, regardless of what their beliefs are.

Morality

Not sure if others are noticing the same thing, but I’ve been coming across a greater number of people who don’t believe in God or any type of religious philosophy. For the most part, most of them are still aware of right and wrong, I think mainly because they were raised in a home by parents who were religious.

What I see as the problem will be the next generation, which would have been raised by parents who had no faith. Where will that generation get it’s moral compass? How will they be able to make life choices based on good and bad, right and wrong, ethical and moral?

The goal in writing ‘Morality’ was to provide something, not just for atheist, but for anyone unsure of what constitutes moral behavior a type of reference book, with examples, to use for everyday life.

Morality is available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Morality-ebook/dp/B00EGAGHFC/

Very interest in hearing what your thoughts are.

Karma part 2

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A person who treats others based on what they can do for him is a person of low esteem. I will treat everyone with respect and dignity, except those of low esteem, whom I will pity for they have no true friends. There will be some people who cross my path who do not deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Anyone I come across who doesn’t deserve to be treated cordially, I will treat them the same way they treat me. I will try to be cordial. I will try to treat them with respect and dignity. When all else fails, I will treat them the way they deserve to be treated.

Karma

“When the Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the Game.” Grantland Rice

Even though I may question or even not believe in a heaven, hell or an afterlife, I will live my life in a manner that is in keeping with how I want to be treated by others. It is not because I want to get into heaven or have a better experience in the afterlife, but simply because it is the right thing to do. I do not believe someone should be good only because they are afraid of going to hell, they should be good because it is what they want to do. Living in fear of your actions is not how I want to live my life. I would prefer to live my life the way I feel it should be lived and face the consequences, if there are any, rather than to live and act in fear of the consequences.

I do believe that any harm or ill will I do to others may come back to haunt me, not in an afterlife, but here, while still living. I will do my best not to intentionally harm others. If there comes a time where I do harm someone, I will do my best to reverse the damage, or to make retributions.

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance

Education(1)

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Derek Bok

Throughout history, higher education was looked at as something for the elite, the intellectuals and the wealthy while the average person  usually learned a trade. Although a higher education wasn’t a requirement, in order to live decently one still needed to learn a trade.

It used to be if you were healthy you had a good chance of finding decent work. As time went by, many jobs began requiring the ability to read and write. As jobs evolved and became more difficult, a high school diploma became a requirement.

Within the last ten years, a high school diploma wasn’t enough anymore to find a decent paying job. The problem was there were more people than jobs. Jobs that ten years ago only required a high school education now required a four year college degree.

Even with that additional requirement, there are still more candidates than available jobs.  Those who don’t have any education stand no chance in finding a decent paying job. Pretty soon, even the lowest paying jobs will require an education.

Obtaining an education is expensive, but with the right education, that cost can be paid back in a reasonable timeframe. Taking the money required for an education and spending it on a business venture or something else will not get you very far. In order to survive in today’s market, a formal education is really needed.

Every so often you hear of someone striking it rich without an education, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Most of these individuals were in college and only left after their venture took off. These individuals were also far from ignorant. The ignorant will not get very far in today or in the future.

Everyone at one point or another has to pay someone to do something for them. Even the wealthy and educated have to pay others to perform certain functions. The educated don’t need to pay many others, since they are able to perform some of these functions themselves. The rich can afford to pay people for every function. The ignorant also have to pay people for almost every function, except they have no money, and usually get taken for a ride.

Without an education these days, you have to pay more people to do things for you, and many of those people who will take advantage of you. In the long run, ignorance will end up costing much more than that education.

Not only will ignorance end up costing much more than an education, it will kill the possibility for many opportunities. You may have an idea or two for creating something that may make create wealth, but without an education, the connections an education establishes or vast sums of money, you will not get very far with your ideas.

 

 

For real power, be a person of character

“Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness.” John Howe

Dictionary.com defines character as:

1. The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2. One such feature or trait; characteristic.
3. Moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
4. Qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5. Reputation: a stain on one’s character.
Character, individuality, personality refer to the sum of the characteristics possessed by a person. Character refers especially to moral qualities, ethical standards, principles, and the like: a man of sterling character.

Your character is defined by the type of person you are and how you live your life. Being a person of good character means you have qualities that inspire trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. It means you act in a manner consistent with those qualities.

There is no amount of money that can hide a character defect. A person may hide behind an image of someone with character for a short period of time, but eventually, their true character comes to light.

Throughout history, people who’ve possessed qualities of good character have risen up from obscurity to become very powerful individuals or leaders.

Abraham Lincoln was one such person, who is remembered throughout history for his powerful character and using that power against great opposition to abolish slavery. Others who were chosen to lead because of their character include John F Kennedy, George Washington.

With enough money, a person can buy the appearance of power, in much the same way most of our elected officials got elected, but it doesn’t give them true power. With true power, which comes with people of character, mountains can be moved. How many people in power today can move mountains?

Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. moved mountains because of the type of character they were. No amount of money could do what these individuals were able to do merely by the force of who they were, defined by how they lived their life and molded into their character.

True power comes with good character. People will follow to the ends of the world someone with the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. That kind of power can’t be bought. The only way to obtain that kind of power is to earn it by being a person of good character.