Do you believe in miracles? YES!

42 years ago, those words marked a young Al Michaels conclusion to the call of the US v. USSR semi-final hockey game in the 1980 Olympics held in Lake Placid, NY, USA.

This game was not simply the victory of a sporting contest, it would later described by Michaels as the cold war played out on a sheet of glass.

1980 was the concluding year of Jimmy Carter’s presidency subsequent to his previous year’s “malaise speech.” Internationally, the 444 day Iran Hostage crisis which had commenced the previous November was well under way. Domestically, gas prices had continued to hold at their stratospheric level causing long lines throughout the nation at the gas pumps. Basically, America was feeling defeated.

And as to these two opponents, less than 2 weeks previously to this match, the New York Daily News reported:

Russian hockey team annihilates Team USA 10-3 in Madison Square Garden exhibition before start of 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.

I was 10 years old at the time and remember going back home from school to see the conclusion of this tape delayed presentation of the game. It was incredible!

So, how did Team USA come out on top?

Someone much more knowledgeable than me can speak about the play of the puck and Team USA captain Mike Eurzione’s winning goal at exactly 10 minutes in and left to play in the 3rd period.

What is fascinating to me is the character of coach Herb Brooks.

Brooks was the last one cut from 1960 US Gold Winning Olympic Hockey Team.

Imagine being that close to greatness and not achieving it!

Well, it’s quite evident that Herb Brooks desire for Gold never waned.

No, whereas the majority of people would have just given up and settled in to life, he kept his dream alive.

And whereas he would not get a chance to skate for the Gold, 20 years later he lead his team of college hockey players assembled as a team a mere 9 months previously into what for at least that day was the greatest hockey team in the world.

See this was well before the 1992 Dream Team of professional basketball players during the era when Olympians were supposed to be armatures.

Technically, the Soviets were that as they were all in the army for their “day jobs.” But the reality was that their daily toil was to skate as a team. In other words, in all but name, they were professionals.

The odds of Team USA winning were some of the longest in sporting history and yet they did!

The reason, Herb Brooks was full of desire and he was able to supplant that desire and belief into the minds of each line and each member of Team USA.

This is exactly in accordance to that which Napoleon Hill indicates as the power of desire in his classic “Think and Grow Rich.”

Bottom line, to achieve a miracle, build your desire so much that through your own and the actions of those around you it becomes reality. So again …

Do you believe in miracles? YES!

Have a great Tuesday!



Tonight is book club night! I love it!

The wisdom of the ages are locked up in books. And what’s so cool is that we have the key to unlock them.

We just have to be willing to take some time to open up and read.

Ever since my move away from Minneapolis to Santa Fe, I have enjoyed books.

Books allow an escape to a completely new environment even when one is confined to another.

Books also allow an opportunity for solitude. Solitude is not loneliness, it’s a choice to be just with oneself.

Now, despite the solitude which has normally surrounded books, books can offer the opportunity to understand the minds of others.

Here, the idea of understanding the mind of the author is obvious, but I am thinking about the mind of others as well.

A book club allows one to cull and contribute insights regarding a book that everyone has read separately.

As a result, it is the way in which to take the events culminating in the completion of reading a book and turning it into an intellectually penetrating social affair.

And for me, I am blessed by the fact that I have been able to join a club of gentlemen readers who are all a generation my senior.

I totally hit the jackpot on this one! I’m in a group which includes a Seattle Mayor, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce Head, Shanghai Consulate General, Merchants, Lawyers, and Businessmen.

The fact that they are all retired now means that they each have time to think more deeply about the books we read and they each share with each other – and now me – their perspective and wisdom.

Like I said before: “I love it!”

Tonight I will be joining them for the fourth time.

So far I have been included in discussions about Anthony Trollope’s The Warden; Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt; and Mario Livio’s Galileo and the Science Deniers.

We meet – now online – once a month to discuss a preselected book based on a system in which each of us presents three books in three categories.

These three categories are: (a) classics (which have been in widespread print for at least 50 years); (b) fiction; and (c) non-fiction.

Upon receipt of these lists, a ballot is sent out with all of the choices which each of us number in order of preference.

The most popular 3 or 4 books in each category are  then arranged into a proposed monthly reading order based largely on length of the books so that we don’t have to plow through several multiple hundred page books for months in a row to then have really short books.

It appears that we generally rotate the categories through the months too.

And finally, there is a consideration to whether the book should be timed to external circumstances. For instance, this upcoming book will be Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci timed to allow contemplation contemporary to the Da Vinci exhibit which is up at the Museum of History and Industry at Seattle’s South Lake Union.

Oh, and we have a month open in October with no book yet selected so that we can identify a book to read which emerges and rises to prominence yet this year.

Tonight we are reviewing Ivan Doig’s Last Bus to Wisdom.

This is a fun, coming of age novel, which has the narrator reflecting nostalgically on his summer travels and travails at age 11.

It is sort of an American West Iliad and Odyssey which tracks his Greyhound riding adventures of the early 1950s from his home in Montana back to an Aunt’s house in Wisconsin and back to Montana.

While it wasn’t particularly mind expanding, it was an enjoyable read. I would recommend it to anyone who is heading off for a trip to Palm Springs, Maui, or Tampa to escape the snow or rain for a mid-winter break with an aim to relax at the pool or beach.

And again what’s so cool is I will get a chance to find out if this is what the other gentleman in my book club think about the book too this evening too.

I just can’t wait!

Have a great Monday and week ahead. Cheer!


Have you ever noticed that the people who cling most strongly to a belief are often those who deep down doubt it the most?

I’d love to have some witty example to put in here right now, but I don’t.

Nevertheless, at a very deep level I know this to be true.

Just as it is the homophobe who is secretly the most insecure with his sexuality, it is the doubter who wants to believe who acts as the zealot.

Why is this?

I think it has something to do with breaking through the boundary from doubt to belief.

To transgress this boundary at first takes a lot of force, one does so only through sheer will power and the desire to secure that which attaches to the desired belief.

And interestingly in the Bible, there are many, many admonitions: “Do not be afraid.”

Well, where does fear come from? I think it is when we doubt the future. We look into the mirror and we see nothing and realize life as an abyss.

What a waste! That’s the waste of time I was stuck in for over a decade.

I finally escaped and the only way I was able to do that was by getting into action.

“Action causes feelings, just as feelings cause actions.”

This is wisdom from Earl Nightingale’s Lead the Field and yet I also saw it recently reflected upon in James Clear’s Atomic Habits too.

I finally got into action and got a job at LA Fitness learning sales.

Now, am I making anything near what I can as an attorney? Of course not!

But, just like Robert Kioyosaki indicates in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it is not about the money.

If you are working for money, you will never really be rich. Work for experience and then secure equity based on the knowledge and good ideas that you cull, that will make you rich!

Well, I have been learning the skill of selling which forces me to have greater faith in myself as a salesman and low and behold, I have been achieving this result.

I am a good salesman, not a great salesman (yet), but a good salesman … which is a far cry from where I was originally.

So, how did it happen? I finally gave up my fear of other’s judgment and just got to work.

By getting in step, I was able to cross the line from debilitating self-doubt to increasing self-belief.

It just took Action!

Thinking about a thing will not do it. But, Thinking, then feeling, and getting into action will.

And with the emergence of this belief, I believe I can do much more.

I believe I can parlay my current position into a Corporate Wellness Directorship.

And from there, I am able to use the knowledge and contacts to finally seek to achieve the results I had sought to believe 3 years ago when first starting with the Proctor Gallagher Institute.

That is to be the one to fulfil on the promise to bring the materials of self-improvement which Bob Proctor had cultivated into the corporate arena.

Do I still have some doubts? Yes, of course I do. But, am I willing to believe that I can achieve that which I want to do? Yes.

And now I know what it takes. Simply getting into action!

Hope you all had great weekends! Get some good rest, we are going into the last full week of February tomorrow. Cheers!

Don Shula – arguably the greatest coach in NFL history – is known for the wise words: “It’s the start which stops most people.”

Well yesterday, a young operations manager for our LA FITNESS in Seattle’s Ballard location stopped – i.e. concluded – her work.

Now, fortunately she was not fired. She’s going to take over a less prominent club which in fairness is at a location closer to her place, but a demotion none the less.

However, with respect to firing, ironically during her tenure at our club, she fired a number of people. And what’s worse she did this BEFORE she had  their positions filled.

It seems that she was brought in for in good measure as the “hatchet women” after a season of drift of a couple of months preceded by a operations manager who over his 8 year term apparently had his day and then a long “night” before he quit.

Well, returning to the operations who just yesterday left, she actually was quite mature for her age of 19. But even with that maturity, she lacked experience. Right!

And instead of having the humility to build relationships so that she could learn her job from those around her. She apparently thought that she had to hitch up her bossy pants.

Needlessly, she created frustration and instead of using or developing discretion, she just followed orders.

Now, I won’t even get started about her report other than to note the lack of wisdom she displayed in making a placement of someone without previous experience in a managerial role at the largest LA Fitness in the Pacific Northwest.

Oh and of course that second note too that the person who is going to now start up is not only young, but unlike the gal who just stopped, she doesn’t have any previous gym experience.

Well, guess one has to start somewhere. But, here’s the point. When you get a start, give it everything you’ve got. Be humble. And be wiling to be foolish, because you are going to make a lot of mistakes.

And here is the most important thing to realize, because your are going to be making mistakes which will normally serve to disrupt others and might generate enmity, do your best at the start to make friends!

Try to make everyone else love you, by making yourself lovable and loving them first.

That way you might not have to stop what you start…!

A late posting, but still go ahead and have a great Saturday Night!

At the beginning of the week I wrote down a list of blog posts for this week and with respect to today’s category – Self Image & Self Love – I had written: “Man in the Mirror.”

I think there were two prompts that converged when that title came to me.

If I am not mistaken, somewhere in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, is a poem which poignantly ends with that line.

Whether I am recollecting correctly or not, the fact remains that I seem to have somewhere picked up that as a strong prompt.

Then my mind seems to have sought some sort of visual to pair with it and I remember a picture that Bob Proctor’s business partner – Sandy Gallagher – tends to trot during those portions of seminars in which she spoke.

This is the image of a orange cat facing away and toward a ‘looking glass’ in which it is staring at a lion.

Now, with respect to this later image, there are a couple of ways to “view” it.

The first is that the little puddy cat is absolutely delusional and if not having done so already is bound for a psychotic break.

The other view is that in that both the cat are felines, the reflection is the view of the cat’s desire to be, within the feline arena, it’s highest self.

Yes, it’s a stretch of the imagination, but the cat is looking in the mirror and seeing at that moment not what currently is, but that which purportedly could be.

OK, great! So, the take away then is to look in the mirror and see your potential.

No, I don’t think that is the full story either.

Instead, look when we look in the mirror we can see two things: (a) our current physical state; and (b) our imagined, bettered future self.

It is important to be able to see both, and to recognize each for what they are. Don’t conflate these two.

And as far as conflation goes, this works both ways.

Just as you don’t want to look in the mirror and only see one’s current self and believe there is no chance of achieving a better future self and as a result give up and thus ensuring that reality, don’t look into the mirror and fail to notice the areas which need improvement.

Also, I should add that while it’s good to check out the man in the mirror and see both his present and future self, there comes a point – quite swiftly I will add as well – when its time to stop looking in the mirror with one’s lamentations or possibly narcissism and to get to work.

I don’t know much about the later, but with respect to lamentations, I can tell you as a foremost expert that nothing good comes from constant and continued self beratement.

No, the point here is to notice what needs to be changed and then to go and get into action changing it. And what’s so cool when we are speaking strictly about the physical plane is that those changes can be achieved and perceived in fairly quick order provided one exerts the proper persistence.

As to the other aspect of life, I think that is bit harder from taking a look in the mirror.

Yet interestingly enough, in conducting my slight research for this post I discovered some literature which is exactly on point.

In 1989, Patrick Morley wrote the book Man in the Mirror: Solving the 24 Problems Men Face.

In that there have been over 3 million copies of this award winning book sold, I think this is a book worth reading.

It’s Friday! Finish of the work week strong and get ready to have spectacular weekends. Cheers!


For this week’s “Financial Freedom” post, I want to take a macro-micro look at how inflation is tracked using a purported “basket of goods.”

OK, so first it’s important to get our arms around what inflation is in the first place.

We all know that prices rise. You have probably heard one of your grand folks say something along the lines of: “In my day, I only had to pay a ‘Nickle’ to watch a double feature – that’s not one, but two movies, Sonny.”

But why is it that Gramps can regale his halcyon of youth sneaking of to the nickelodeon as being so much cheaper? The reality is that he really can’t.

See, while the cost of goods was cheaper, so was the cost of labor. As a percentage of income, the movies are almost certainly going to be no more expensive and in fact because of advancements in technology and distribution its almost certainly the case that as a percentage of income movies now are less expensive.

So, why do prices go up? Well, this is because our currency is backed by nothing more than the “full faith and credit of the US Government” – or in more technical words – a “fiat” currency.

And of course our faithful government leaders take their job of safeguarding the US economy for future generations seriously … right? WRONG!

Politicians “bribe” their constituencies all the time by passing bills which will secure big governmental projects for their jurisdictions.

Now, whether those projects are actually of much value or not, well that’s in the eye of the beholder, but it does get more money in motion.

Add to this the fact that our Federal Reserve has the power to “print” (or refrain from printing) money to keep the economy humming along and we have costs that keep going up and up.

But, let’s really take a step back. Imagine the upward trajectory of valuable products that have come in to existence since say the advent of the wheel.

Yes, we might have depressions and recessions which set us back, but overall the upward trend is always up. As a global society our trend line is always moving in that one direction.

OK, so now what does this have to do with the idea of a “basket of goods?”

Good question! The “basket of goods” is an aggregation of goods (and perhaps services too) which are tracked as to their cost over time so that we can not only identify, but quantify inflation.

And of course, here we go again with government work.

Sometimes I wonder what is actually in this “basket of goods.”

We all have to eat. So, there has to be food items in there too.

And of course we all need to have some form of transportation, we need to figure that out too.

Also, with the exception of those who walk or bike to work,  gas is so important, presumably a tank load is included.

And so the list goes on and on.

But, here’s the point I want to make.

Does each person use the items in this basket of goods? Answer: Of course not!

We aren’t rationing out loaves of bread 1 per family of four as if we were “back in the USSR.”

No, differing people consume different baskets of goods.

Some people are going to spend much more money on good food and others are going to waste their money on Doritos and Coke.

That’s just the way the world is. We have a choice as to were we spend our money.

So, here’s the most important question.

What is in your “basket of goods?” In other words, what is it that you regularly spend your money on?

If, as they say, you follow the money, you are going to find out a lot more about you than you thought.

I never enjoyed the idea of balancing my checkbook and budgeting. That was too much of a hassle for my former self.

But when you start to track your money flows, you start to realize places where you are “voting with your pocketbook” for a future self that you might not want to be.

The task isn’t quite as tough as it would seem. But let’s leave that for another time.

For now, just think of it from the overall picture that you want to have good stuff in your basket of goods and how to make it better.

Have a great Thursday! I’m running late, so got to get off. Cheers!


Yes, I’m sure you know George Thorogood’s classic “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer.”

I remember first hearing this song sometime when I was in middle school. It was playing on the ice rink’s overhead as classmate John Ursu performed the role of power skater for our game of “crack the whip.”

The song itself had been out since Thorogood’s debut album release in 1977 and unless I am terribly mistaken became an instant classic.

Ok, now why would I want to talk about throwing back three drinks for “the last call for alcohol,” in a blog devoted to personal improvement?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

See, I want you to think of the “buzz” you would get on day 1 of pounding all three of these libations in short order, versus if you made it a habit and what the effects would be a week, month, quarter, and year later?

With respect to the intensity of your buzz, you would receive what economists would call “diminishing returns.”

Well, with respect to fitness the same thing happens.

Imagine the results you would get from doing 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups on day 1 versus their effect after their same exercise after a week, month, quarter, and year.

Very similar, right?

At first you would be sore and later you would just bang them out and their would be hardly any effect … unless you stopped.

At some point, you would have hit a plateau and any additional benefit would be so infinitesimal as to amount to zero.

This is why one needs to always be seeking to make one’s workouts just a little bit harder.

The term the fitness industry bandies about is: “progressive overload.”

My understanding is that this amounts to making the habit of pushing up to and just beyond one’s current limit.

In this way, instead of stagnating we get progressively better.

Improvement rarely comes all at once. But, slight improvements compounded over time can have massive results.

And the really cool thing about physical fitness is that when you start to see results from your efforts, you realize that these same principles can be applied to other areas of your life too.

So, whether you had a scotch, a bourbon, a beer, or all three last night at last call or not …

Make a decision to do something to get physically better each day and soon your life is going to be on the upswing!

Have a great Wednesday! Again, my apologies for not getting the Tuesday blog out on time. But, as they commonly say, “better late than never.” And an even better saying is: never allow a good habit fail more than one day. Cheers!


Good Wednesday Morning! This was supposed to be my Tuesday post, but we got knocked off track on Monday with a bit of a Valentines surprise with one of the kids.

As a parent, the welfare of the kids comes before all else and so we spent some time in discussions that put me off course yesterday.

Problem was that I have been starting and “failing” phase I of Andy Frisella’s Live Hard program. See, instead of all the work required to be done each day for 75 days, phase 1 requires more work but for only 30 days.

I’ll get into the details about that another time. But, needless to say all of this starting and not completing … which is considered “failing” has become a bit of a habit.


30 days from today, I want to be able to stand tall, arms extended while looking into the mirror as a demonstration of VICTORY!

I envision myself being able to reenact what my son used to say when he was very young and complete a learning task: “I DID IT!”

And you see it all the time, especially now during the Beijing Winter Olympics; the medalists – particularly those securing the gold – almost invariably display this “victory stance.”

Ok, but now how does this all relate to emotional mastery though?

Well, first I think it is safe to assume that the “victory stance” has been posed for darn near time immemorial by those who win – or intend to win – in a physical contest.

It seems to me that it is a projection of power over others. I suspect, but have no time here and now to confirm, that anthropologists and/or biologists would be able to bear out this supposition too.

More interestingly, I would like to pair this with another thought.

See, in Earl Nightingale’s Lead the Field he indicated:

Actions Trigger Feelings, Just as Feelings Trigger Actions.

So what this suggests is that if you want to feel like a champion, go ahead and strike a pose – specifically, the “victory stance.”

Now, I know this sounds silly, but the emotional mind doesn’t perceive what the rational mind perceives as silly.

So, go ahead and be silly! Strike the pose and then follow through with the actions which are in allignment with the victor that you are.

Or perhaps even better for me, use this as a reward each day before I go to sleep for that day’s success … after I complete for the day all of my Live Hard tasks!

The imagination is the most powerful, most miraculous inconceivably powerful force hat the world has ever known.

Bob Proctor pointed out this quote of Napoleon Hill’s often.

Yet, Bob Proctor also indicated that while we were allowed to use our imagination as small kids ‘to get us out from under our parents feet,’ when we go to school we are generally taught that imagination is only for little kids.

But how is it that we tend to think that the imagination is not much more than ‘pixie dust and unicorns?’

I think it is because we don’t really understand how practical a solid imagination is.

Think of it this way, if you place yourself in a new environment, would you like to be able to draw on your imagination or not?

I suppose in large part that depends on whether the mind militates to fearful or joyous thoughts.

If the former, it is probably much better to just find out as you go how your new environment is going to treat you.

But, that puts one in a reactionary stance with respect to one’s environment. And as I well found out, fight, flight or fawn – the three main reactions when fearfully aroused – are not conducive to a positively engaging experience.

By contrast, “imagine” entering into a strange environment and imagining that you will find all of the people there pleasantly surprised and happy to have you join their company.

Now, in this frame of mind, how do you think you would act? Would it be more conducive to the generation of better relationships?

You know it would!

And now imagine exactly what it is that you would like to be doing in 3 – 5 years.

That’s pretty awesome, right!

This allows us to escape, if only in our minds, the toil which may exist in our lives.

That’s right, instead of a life in which each of our days has the appeal of rolling a rock up the hill each day, just to have it roll right back down that evening for us to start over the next ad nauseum into eternity as storied by the Greek myth of Sisyphus.

Through our imagination, we can determine the lives that we want to live, make a decision that those lives are what we will live, and act to bring those lives into being.

See, the act of imagination allows us to both determine where we want to go and how to manifest that existence too.

So, but for the fact that we have our imagination, we would be totally stuck!

Now isn’t that interesting. Why do you think that we would be taught to be stuck?

I have come to believe that it is because people who have chosen not to really exercise, decide, and act on their imagination, believe this is the best way for others to live too.

Well, their lack of imagination, doesn’t have to be mine or yours.

Break free from that stricture. Practice developing your imagination perhaps by starting to read books on adventures you wish you could take.

If nothing else, this will take you on a mental vacation which will allow you to better endure what might otherwise be a miserable living situation …

Until all of a sudden, you come to realize that through your imagination, you come to realize that you can make a change.

And with a decision and the continued actions to adhere to your decision, your life can be turned around in an instant.

That is the absolutely miraculous value of an imagination. And what’s even better, you don’t have to pay anyone a cent to use yours!

HAVE A GREAT MONDAY; IT’S VALENTINES DAY! It’s a bit rainy out here in Seattle, but I imagine I will have a great time taking my daughter over to school before I am off to work too!


Why is it that most if not all churches extol the fact the virtue of Jesus as the itinerant, son of a poor carpenter, who after overturning the money tables got himself killed in lieu of a murderer?

We are supposed to follow his example. Right?

Well, how much do you like the idea of getting yourself beaten to a bloody pulp and then nailed to a cross?

Doesn’t sound like such a great idea. And it seems like even Jesus wasn’t that excited about his prospects the night before his execution.

Now, I do believe that seeking to be as pure in spirit as possibly is a great goal and that for much of his life Jesus showed us how to do this.

But, if Jesus really went to the cross for our sins, past, present, and future, then for goodness sakes why the hell should we listen to all this crazy talk that we normally get from preachers that we are supposed to be financially poor just like Jesus.

If this whole bit about Jesus dying so we can live is really true, wouldn’t it be a much better interpretation that Jesus life allows us to live our own life as fully as possible and with that comes the blessing to be rich?

Do you really think that God wants you to be spiritually wealthy, but financially destitute?

This seems incomprehensible from a God filled with grace.

And if God is indifferent, well then we are on our own to make the best choice we can make.

So now really think. Why should it be that God would send down his only son so he could butcher him in front of everyone and proclaim that those who are poor are going to do the best in the afterlife.

And isn’t it interesting that despite talking down the importance of money, all churches are seeking to get money in the door from their petitioners?

I have come to the conclusion that this is either pure hypocritical nonsense or something quite entirely different than what is commonly preached is going on.

Now, pure hypocrisy is easy enough for anyone to sniff out, so let’s dwell on the later.

Here, I think what is really going on is that Jesus was seeking to get people who really didn’t understand much about life and who were almost exclusively focused on the material world to place much more focus on the spiritual world.

Hence his statement: “Man does not live by bread alone.”

But as we all know, notwithstanding the above: man still does need bread to live.

In essence, what Jesus did was to provide a complete counterweight to the focus on the material world by living a life which was virtually exclusively focused on spiritual life.

Well, I do believe that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.

The result is that we can start at the spiritual level and form a picture in our mind of our ideal life and then through physical action – which will involve the changing of habits – we are able to bring that vision of reality into being.

In other words, abundance of spirit when flowing properly ultimately manifests itself in happiness, health, and (yes) wealth.

As far as I am concerned, any preacher that suggests that you should be poor in any shape or form is nothing more than a “false prophet.”

Or should I a “false profit!”

Have a great Sunday! It’s both a bit chilly and foggy this morning, but like the mystery of being a poor Christian, in a short time this weather will also clear.