Making Our Lives Golden: The Choices We Have

Now that our last child has left home, K and I are talking about getting television service. For about 20 years, we have been without it. The idea was that our children would become better readers without the distraction – and that objective was achieved. All three of our boys are voracious and skillful readers.

But now, as empty nesters, we are thinking that it would be kind of fun to watch some shows together – to spend an hour after dinner, sitting next to one another, laughing at the same things.

To test this hypothesis, we rigged an antenna connection for the set that we’ve been using to play DVDs.

The results of the experiment were mixed. There was something wonderful about watching those programs together – the double pleasure of the experience itself and knowing that your mate is “getting it” too. But when it was over, we found ourselves feeling like we used to when we watched television – a little sad and empty inside. As if we were mourning the time we’d lost.

That got me thinking about how people spend their recreational time – the things they do, and whether that time is spent wisely.

Broadly speaking, you fill your day with four kinds of activities: working, sleeping, eating, and relaxing. And it seems logical to assert that – up to the point of mental or physical exhaustion – the more hours you spend working, the more successful you’ll be.

That said, we must acknowledge that all work and no play makes Jack a dull… or cranky… boy.

You do need some recreation. The question is: How much?

. . . continue reading Making Our Lives Golden: The Choices We Have

What Happens When the World Economy “Goes Japan”

Here is a great essay by my colleague Bill Bonner that he wrote for the Daily Reckoning earlier this week:

The Dow sinking.

Gold sinking.

Oil sinking.

Copper sinking.

Yields sinking.

We struggled with this, Dear Reader. We meditated. We prayed. We drank heavily.

And finally…we overcame the rank desire to say: “We told you so!”

Click here to continue reading…

“What Happens When the World Economy “Goes Japan” 

Emily Dickinson

With her lifetime production of 1,700 poems, Emily Dickinson was one of the most prolific poets of all time.

You could replicate her feat by writing a poem a day (five a week) for less than eight years.

I did it for one year — and during the process my skills definitely improved. I don’t know if any of my poems will ever match her best stuff… but I know now that my good poems are better than her weak ones.

How to Find Your True Calling

By Brian Tracy

Your success in life will be largely determined by your ability to find your true calling, the right work for you to do, and then putting your whole heart into doing it very well.

The happiest people are those who have carefully thought through who they are, what they want, where they are going, and then decided exactly what they need to do to get to their goal. Asking yourself five targeted questions can help you home in on whatever path is right for you.

Continue Reading “How to Find Your True Calling”…

How Beautiful Old and Broken Things Can Be

How beautiful old and broken things can be:
An armless, marble statue of a warrior saint,
A door that shows four centuries of paint
A bronze clock with burnished filigree.

New things are pleasing too:
The pin-thin plane of new-pressed pleats
The aroma of fresh leather seats
A crystal glass of Grand Cru.

New things stand for futile dreams
Fresh-born hopes wrapped in satin skin.
Push-button souvenirs from where we’ve been
Endless ends without the means.

Old and broken things are best, you see
They give the shape of what was then
A seedling thought that grew to bend
In human hands our history.

Groundhogs’ Day

On Wednesday, I wrote about how I transformed from being an underachiever to a motivated successful person.

Most people reading this will think, “I don’t need another motivational speech. What I need is a change of luck.”

I’m here to say that luck had nothing to do with the change in my life. And it needn’t have anything to do with whatever changes you would like to make in yours. Had I waited for luck to come to me, I might be waiting still. My life changed when I got fed up and started planning my success.

You, too, can change your life if you are (a) dissatisfied with the lack of success you’ve had so far; (b) willing to make a big change – and not just a minor adjustment; (c) prepared to start working differently and thinking about yourself as a different kind of person; and (d) willing to start now by preparing yourself to succeed.

. . . continue reading Groundhogs’ Day

Letters of Note

I really love this site, Letters of Note, a blog that attempts “…to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos”.

For example this letter from Woody Allen to his muse, Diane Keaton:

Greetings Worm, 

We have enough rehearsal time, but not as much as in L.A. Still, I think Love and Death will be easier than Sleeper as there is not a lot of…falls and spills and water stunts…Our dialogue exchanges should be brisk and lively…but we’ll get into that …so snookums…speak with you soon. 

Also finished 1st draft of 2 New Yorker pieces. Hey! My book—Getting even—is a hit in France. Go figure. You remain a flower—too, too delicate for this harsh world & Dorrie is a flower & your mother is a flower & your father is a vegetable & Randy is a flower in his way & Robin is a cat. And I remain a weed.

Will call. 

Woody

Go to the site to read more, from Axl Rose to Ian Fleming.

In a Copse of Hardwood Green

In a dark copse of hardwood green
Two old and gnarled ficus trees
Lift up close to one another
Their rugged trunks nearly touching
As if to form one bulky thing
Their roots, pinioned feet enfolded
Branches, forlorn and leafless gray,
Entwined from decades of reaching
But also in this deadwood gloom
A leaflet uncurling outward
Startling as a heartbeat in stone
That has stopped and then beats again