Why do I love you?

Today marks our 26th wedding anniversary. I wrote this poem for my wife Stefanie, whom I love even more today than yesterday.

Why do I love you?

I love you because of the gentleness of your heart,
That fills me with warmth even when the cold wind is blowing.
I love the care and tenderness you show to every living thing,
So much so that it makes me smile all the time.
I love the way you open one eye to tell me you’re awake,
So you can sleep some more when I leave.
I love your quick thinking,
That compensates for my slow wit.
I love how you depend on me to keep you safe,
When I’m no braver than you.
I love how you quote me when you think I’m not listening,
Yet take no notice when I initially say it.
I love how we can sit for hours without saying a word,
And finish the other’s sentence when we do.
I love how we know what the other is thinking,
Before a single word is said.
I love how we still hold hands when walking,
Like we did the first time.
Through the hard times,
Though there were many,
Through the easy times,
Though there were few,
And through the difficult times ahead,
My love for you will only get stronger.

The sunrise in the morning

“Inspiration and motivation are everywhere. To see a miracle which fills millions with awe, inspiration and motivation, which science still can’t explain, watch the sun rise in the morning.” Omar M. Kiam

The sun rising in the morning is a miracle to behold. It is one of the most beautiful things to see. The toughest people in the world, the strongest, the most feared, the bravest, and the ones who have absolutely no emotions will pause in awe and admiration at the site of a sunrise which hits a scattering of clouds in such a way that it creates a kaleidoscope of color in the sky.

While you’re waiting to see a picture of the event, someone else enjoyed and was moved enough by it to take a picture, so the moment could be shared with others.

Almost everyone acknowledges the beauty of the sunrise in the morning. Many of us are moved and inspired just by looking at pictures of it.

If a picture can move us like this, imagine what seeing the actual event would do. It is the difference between watching a silent black and white film on television and a motion picture movie on the big screen. There is no comparison.

Watching the sun rise in the morning is an impossible task for many, which is why we need the pictures. There is however, Sunday. Sunday holds a special meaning for many of us. It is a day of worship for some, a day of reflection, to look back on what we’ve done over the last six days and to plan the next six.

Sunday, or whichever is your day of reflection, is the ideal day to witness the sunrise first hand. If you can wake up early enough, and are determined enough to watch this miracle first hand, imagine what else you can accomplish that day and the rest of the week.

Want to accomplish something you’ve been struggling with? Make a commitment to see a sunrise once a week, or at the very least once a month. Before you know it, whatever you’ve been struggling with will become easier. You’ll accomplish more and will be in better spirits.


The lighter side of Benjamin Franklin to kick off the New Year

1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Many of us are fat and slow because we eat and drink what’s put in front of us. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Then we eat too quickly. Before our brains knows we’re full, while it still thinks the pain in our stomach is from hunger, rather than the muscle lining being stretched from all the food we stuffed down there, we go looking for Twinkies and cupcakes. At 40 years of age, we think we can eat and drink the same way we did at 20. And then we blame it on the food makers, the fast food restaurants and the lack of good medical care.

2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

It’s too late for this one. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have made idiots out of the smartest people on Earth. When will people learn that if you can’t say it to a person’s face, you shouldn’t put it on social networks? Are they that dumb that they think they’re completely anonymous? I guess so. Just look at all the politicians who’ve lost their jobs because of social networks. I’m not going to bother preaching on this item. The consequences are too great. At least we can ignore them on social sites. It’ll be much worse if people started acting like idiots in person.

3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

If you want to succeed, you need to be somewhat organized. Be organized in your things and in your time. This doesn’t mean you need to be a neat freak; you just need to know where things are, in your environment and in your head. This doesn’t mean you have to be like Felix Unger. Oscar Madison knew where his things were. It was only when Felix touched Oscar’s things that trouble ensued. People have their own way of being neat. If you don’t like it, there’s the door! If you don’t know who Felix and Oscar are, google ‘The Odd Couple’.

4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

There are many things we leave undone, because we have more important things to do at the time. If something breaks because we didn’t get to it, then hey, shit happens. At that point, that becomes the important thing and we make time for it. In the end, everything works itself out. So in other words, don’t sweat the small stuff. And no, it’s not all small stuff. The stuff we’re working on, preventing us from doing your stuff, is all big stuff.

5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

The rich are that way because they know the value of money and spend it like misers. Those who want to be rich but are always broke spend money as though it grows on trees. Be frugal with your money, and you will become rich one day. You may turn into a miserable old person as well, but that’s a choice you need to make. Be rich and live like a pauper, or be a pauper and live like a king. That’s a tough call.

6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

This is a no brainer. If you sit on your butt all day long, you will not accomplish anything, except get fat and make advertisers very happy. Find something to do. Get a job, find a hobby, start a business, write a book, write a blog, but do something. You can’t sit on your butt all day you’ll leave a dent in the couch. Make sure you move around a bit, sit on one side for a while, and then move around to the other parts of the couch. When you’re in a store, don’t dilly dally either. Don’t walk down every aisle in the store to get the milk that you know is in the last aisle. Make productive use of your time. When you’re walking down these aisle, pick up things to snack on while watching TV.

Year End Message

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more…” The Raven – Edgar Allen Poe

As this year comes to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s been reading my ramblings. Inspiration can come from anywhere. The secret is to act like a computer, absorb and analyze everything that comes your way. Discard the garbage and keep everything that seems useful, for one day it may come in handy.

Never close your mind to other possibilities. If you aren’t willing to bend, to adapt to what’s around you, chances are you’ll break and everyone else will pass you by.

If you have a dream, go after it. Make a plan on how you will achieve your dream, and then follow through. Having a dream alone will turn you into a sad old person.

Never put your fate in the hands of someone else. They will take you along with them only while it helps them achieve their goals. No one, aside from truly close blood and friends will look out for you. Putting your complete fate in someone else’s hands will almost always result in broken dreams and promises.

Always remember, if it is to be, it is up to me! You have to make it happen. If you’re dreaming, it means you’re not out there doing. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. It is by failing over and over again that we learn and grow and one day reach our dreams.

So, for 2013, rather than make a new years resolution, make an action plan on how you can reach your goal. The time to do it is now, not later when someone else comes along to do it for you. Your life will really start once your begin your plan. Struggle now, so that you can take it easy for the rest of your life.

Be yourself, Find yourself and the lies behind them

Be yourself, Find yourself, Know yourself …

Quotes relating to ‘self’ are among those which get used for the wrong reasons. They get used by some as a cover to hide their true intentions. They get used by others to sidestep reality, to avoid taking responsibility for themselves, those around them and their actions.

When someone says “I need a little time or space to find myself”, what they’re really saying is they want to see if they can do better than you. If they find someone better, they won’t find their way back to you. If they don’t find anyone else who’ll believe their lies, you will find them knocking, saying “we belong together…”. The wise thing to do is to give them more time, like the rest of their life, to find their self by keeping the door locked.

When they say ‘I must be true to myself” or “This is who I am, accept me or leave me”, it means they are not willing to change for you. They don’t love you enough to compromise or make any sacrifices for you. The wise move here is to leave them, to let them be ‘who they are’ in the streets, where they’ll find plenty of others unwilling to change.

Those who say to their partner that they need space to find themselves are liars. What they are really saying is they think they can do better than you. Those who must be true to themselves don’t love you enough to compromise, or they love themselves more. In a burning house, they would be the first ones to leave, yelling at others to go save those left inside.

Who we are is not the end all. Sometimes we need to change to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves. If you haven’t set goals for yourself, don’t even try finding yourself, you’ll be looking forever. Finding who we are means we’re willing to learn as much as possible, to explore different things, and changing as the world around us evolves. Being stubborn, unwilling to change, means we’re not willing to learn, to grow. Also keep in mind, that not everyone needs to ‘find who they are’. There are many people who don’t ‘find their self’, yet live very contented lives. In the words of Napoleon, ‘it is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny’.

And finally, for those who must be true to themselves, who are unwilling to share, change or compromise, there is always business school and life as an executive, as George Bernard Shaw so aptly pointed out: “Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.”

Why I’m always smiling

I’m always smiling because I’m happy
I’m happy because the sunrise in the morning is a beautiful site to behold,
even if it’s hidden by clouds and rain and snow, I know it’s still there
I’m happy because of the person who just let me ahead,
even though ten others wouldn’t, one person did, and that was all I needed
I’m happy because I have a friend
even though others have dozens or hundreds, one person who will be there for me is all I need
I’m happy because of the air filling my lungs
even though it may not be the cleanest, it means I’m alive
I’m happy because
While the sun rises and air fills my lungs, My dreams have a chance of one day coming to pass, and one person by my side to see that day with, makes everything else irrelevant.

And that, is why, I’m always smiling.