Have you ever tried to rotate the position of a spinning gyroscope. It’s not as easy as expected.

What’s more the faster the gyroscope is spinning, the harder it is to change it’s “position or bearing.”

Now, for those of you who have studied personal development expert Earl Nightingale – whether directly or indirectly through his mentee, recently deceased Bob Proctor, you know that “position or bearing” is a term of art used in Nightingale’s definition of ATTITUDE.

Attitude is defined as the position or bearing as indication action, feeling, or mood.

Nightingale continues to explain:

And it is our action, feeling, or mood which determines the actions, feelings, or moods of others toward us. And which control to a surprising extent our success or failure.

Ok, so tenuously do you see that there seems to be some sort of connection between a gyroscope with it’s chief aspect of “rigidity in space” visa-a-vis its position or bearing and our interactions with others, and hence why I am posting this here in the category: “Love Others?”

No? Well, then stay with me!

Our lives and the personality which each of us present over the course of any one day of our lives can be likened to a full rotation of existence, right?

This is quite literal, because each day is quite literally a full rotation of the earth.

Each of us has no more and no less than that rotation to complete our intended activities before the commencement of a new rotation.

And again, what is it about a gyroscope which creates rigidity? Yes, the speed of rotation.

But it is the speed of rotation which generates this rigidity which with respect to a particular position or bearing which is hard to change.

Ok, great!

So now, think of those folks who with respect to their actions, feelings, or mood have a positive position or bearing which they rigidly hold as their attitude?

Well, according to Nightingale, this determines their success because their positive attitude determines the actions, feelings, or mood of others toward them.

Correlatively, someone with a bad attitude is going to create enmity, a situation of “misery enjoys company,” or both vis-à-vis others instead.

Speaking from painful experience, one if not the hardest things to do, is to change from a bad attitude to a positive one.

There are probably several reasons why, but some of the most prominent seem to be:

  1. It’s hard to identify our own attitude. This is because attitude is a gestalt of aggregate number of our actions, feelings, and moods.
  2. Our environment, particularly with respect to those with whom we are surrounded, significantly affects our attitude.
  3. Old habits quite simply die hard even when they are easily identified (which here again “rotating back” to the first point, they are uneasily identified).

Ok, so then do we just give up? If we have a bad attitude, does that mean we are now doomed to a failed fate?

No, intellectually, I would suggest identifying a recurring – i.e. repeated problem – and identify what typically happens in that situation.

Let’s say that it is that you get yelled at by the boss for being late each morning to work.

Well, then figure out what typically happens which causes you to be late.

As someone who continues to have this problem, I can tell you that though it helps somewhat, whether I wake up earlier or had packed my bag and put out the clothes the night before doesn’t make me on time.

Quite simply, I am programmed to be late.

There is something in my subconscious programming which has me habitually running late.

And this is the scariest thing, most people do not know how to reprogram themselves so as to replace poor habits with good ones.

The answer, unsurprisingly, is “spaced repetition” of a new an better idea which contradicts the former one.

Hmm? “Spaced repetition?” Again, that sounds a bit like the “over, and over, and over again” which is witnessed by a gyroscope?

And that is EXACTLY the point. Through our habits, those activities that we do repeatedly, and do so in our own specific ways, we define our respective attitudes.

So, with this in mind, what is it that you have to do to change your current rigidity in space with respect to your position or bearing?

First, slow down, but ideally not completely stop your rate of rotation, identify clearly the attitude you want to have and how you want to be, and then start up again “spinning” along that position or bearing.

Specifically, cultivate the habits that the positive person you want to be has and act on them now.

These habits will then work for you just as gyroscopes work to assist airplanes in their navigation as cybernetic devices to keep you on course to your destination.

Don’t worry if a lot of the friends and perhaps your family too aren’t going to be on board for the ride.

This is your life! All you have right now is the moment at hand, so live it to the fullest with a good attitude.

Make it a habit that is so strong that it becomes for you rigidity in space.

In that way, your success is preordained!

Have a great Saturday! Keep spinnin’ and grinnin’!

 

How do businesses make money? They create a product or service which they exchange with their clients for money.

And of course for any business that noticeably figures out a great formula to do this, there are going to be plenty of people who want to get in on the action.

The result is new entrants into the market seeking to duplicate their success. But why should a copycat operation have the success which resulted from the superior thoughts, feelings, and actions of the passionate business owner and the team he has assembled to generate such notable results.

At such times, it is certainly a great idea to scale. But, where is all the money going to come from. Answer: “Wherever it is right now.”

Money is always available for a good idea which along with proven execution can generate a higher yield.

And if money can be had for a certain percentage rate and safely generate a safe return exceeding normal profits as well as the cost of principle and interest, it makes complete sense to borrow to get further ahead of copycats and provide the business for valuable exchange oneself.

This is what most businesses do. But, where does it stop? Nobody has a fool proof crystal ball. So, how does a business know it is going to secure future profits?

It’s a fact that every investment prospectus always indicate:

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARNANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS.

So, what is the restraint from taking on too much debt so as not to stall out on debt payments and effectively drawing out all the “water” from the “debt well.”

There is no bright letter rule, but there is a simple methodology which is used to give a perspective for making this decision.

It’s the “Leverage Ratio.”

The leverage ratio is simply the amount of total debt divided by the amount of total equity.

Any company which has total equity which exceeds total equity has a leverage ratio which is less than 1.

This means that if they couldn’t otherwise service their debt, they would be able to convert their equity in part or in worse case in whole to pay off creditors.

Any company which has total debt exceeding total equity has a leverage ratio which is greater than 1.

This means that if the company lost its footing and couldn’t keep growing so as to cover its debt, it would not be able to cover its debt.

Ok, so this being the case how far do companies push their leverage ratio.

My understanding is that this is an industry specific question.

That said, most often companies don’t get much further “out beyond their skis” than a leverage ratio of 2.

In this case, theoretically if the company went belly up, creditors would get a return of 50 cents on each dollar of investment.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Remember that not long ago I wrote a blog called Savings-to-Income Ratio [HERE].

In that post, I mentioned that consumer borrowing for a house was allowed to 45%.

So, why is it that a consumer who has a secured asset can only borrow up to 45% of its value, whereas companies can sometimes borrow up to twice its value?

The answer lies in the very fact that a consumer is “consuming” – i.e. using up or depleting resources – whereas a business is “producing” – i.e. generating valuable resources.

It’s axiomatic that without production there can not be any consumption.

And this is where we get to the most important point of all.

Is it the businesspersons who order the means of production so that we have goods and services to consume who is evil, or the person who sits around doing nothing which generates value while

“protesting” that businesses vacuously described as “the man” are evil?

It’s totally clear!

If you want to change the world. First, pull your own shit together and get out there and produce and do so to the point that you can help others to be productive too.

Focus on investing in yourself, no not beyond your ability to pay, but do invest in yourself to become more spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially fit.

This then will allow you to have the influence to do good in the world and instead of being a net consumer, you’ll be able to step up and be a net producer.

A producer that others are willing to invest in. Whether you decide to take on the debt to accelerate your growth, well if it is a true investment in yourself with a strong, definable return …

WHY NOT?

Time is a wasting. And it is time, not money, which is your most valuable resource!

Have a great Friday and weekend ahead. Tomorrow, my post is going to be about “rigidity in space.” Hope you will return to view it. Cheers!

 

 

 

What is the difference between a pound of muscle and a pound of fat? A lot. Take a look above.

The muscle is ordered and dense, the fat is sprawling and disorganized.

Both have their purposes, but the former is useful for activity, the later is useful as insulation and for reserves.

Unfortunately, most Americans are carrying around quite a lot of the later and not enough of former. That’s not good.

One pound of muscle will burn 50 calories per day at rest. The fat more or less just sits there.

So, to increase one’s metabolism we often recommended to add 10 pounds of evenly distributed muscle.

This will help tone people right up without them looking like an outlandish muscle builder.

And with respect to metabolism, then the daily calorie burn rate is increased by 500 calories.

Fascinatingly, over the course of a week, that means an extra 3.500 calories burned than someone who doesn’t have the muscle.

And what will that extra 3,500 calories a week burn? Amazingly, 3,500 calories just happens to be the same amount of calories in a pound of fat!

Now, here are two more key pieces of information to keep in mind.

The average person can lose about a pound of fat per week with proper exercise and nutrition until approaching a healthy weight.

But, the average person through specific exercise involving strength training will only add a pound of muscle each 4 – 6 weeks.

And this is exactly why we tend to see so many people who fall into the trap of a yo-yo diet.

Specifically, they work like hell to take the weight off, but it comes right back on as soon as they let up on what’s usually a very strict nutritional and aerobic exercise routine.

I’ve had this problem too. It’s the old hare v. tortoise competition.

Instead of being the equivalent of the hare sprinting to achieve fitness goals at an unsustainable diet and pace, slow it down a bit more to the pace of a tortise.

Add in a good amount of strength training and make sure to have plenty of protein in the foods you eat to allow the body to create more muscle.

Then your metabolism will help you do the work and what you will be carrying around isn’t going to be pounds of useless fat, but instead useful muscle.

It will make you look and feel great!

Sorry for the day late post on this one. Guess it’s better to catch up than miss altogether. Have a great Thursday, especially to my brother who has his birthday today.

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!