Showing posts with label Lessons Learned. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lessons Learned. Show all posts

July 7, 2020

The Purge

Thought this was an interesting sign someone had in their office. 
PURGE the things that no longer bring PURPOSE!

Yikes! I wonder who or what got purged from this person's life recently. 

Yet, perhaps it is a good lesson against hoarding and just accumulating junk (things and certain people) along the way of life. 

When things have a deeply negative impact on your life (or they're just dead weight), perhaps it is time to consider letting go.

I'm not talking about relationships of commitment (e.g. family), which have a stronger and timeless bond in my mind, but of those that earn their right into your life by virtue of being ongoing positive, productive forces. 

There is no blessing in gluttony or hoarding--stay trim and fit, travel light and with what is truly meaningful and necessary. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 25, 2020

Grass Not Always Greener

Sometimes the grass isn't (always) greener. 

Instead the grass grows in beautiful multi-colors. 

The grass art in this garden looks a lot better than the grass itself. 

The only real green is money and envy!

When comparing your lot with others, make sure you're comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges. 

Even then you'll never know the person's real "package" (or basket) in life. 

Be sure that everyone has their share of good and bad, so never be jealous of anyone. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 17, 2020

Telework Lessons from Coronavirus

So we're all stuck in the house teleworking because of Coronavirus.

After a number of hours, I hear from my daughter that her laptop stopped working.

Apparently the battery overheated. 

Like a good millennial, what does she do?

She puts it in the refrigerator to cool down.

And sure enough, when she takes it out, it's working again. 

Next problem of the day is where the VPN circuits are overloaded (too many people trying to login from home).

And when you try to call the help desk, of course all you get is a busy signal. 

We sure are learning a lot during this Coronavirus outbreak. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 30, 2020

Your Expiration Date

So I was talking to someone about their challenges in life.

And they said something that really hit a chord:
You never know what your expiration date is!

What an interesting way to say you never know when your time is up.

They used the phrase "expiration date" like we so commonly see on food and medicine products. 

You know when you read the label and it tells you to discard after a certain date. 

So people are like all these other goods that have a date stamped on them.

We have a date stamped on us (maybe it's on our forehead or some other less conspicuous place), and we just can't see it. 

Yet, we need to live every day as if that expiration date is coming due. 

Because like that stale food in your fridge or the old medicine in your cabinets, everything and everybody has a shelf life.

So you better live every day good and meaningfully before your expiration date comes due. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 9, 2020

Pacemaker No-No!

So I learned that this is called a Van de Graaff Generator.

It generates very high voltage electricity. 

The guy setting it up asks me:
Do you have a pacemaker?

I respond in the negative and ask what's the danger zone on this thing.

He says: 
You probably wouldn't want to get within 10 feet of this!

Good to know. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

(Please note that blog is not to be taken as medical advice.)
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April 11, 2019

Black Hole--What's Really Important?

Amazing beautiful photos of a black hole from 55 million light years (311 million trillion miles) away. 

It measures about 25 billion miles across--about the size of 29,000 suns. 

If this doesn't make you (with all the money, smarts, good looks, and ego to match) feel small, nothing will. 

We are but a speck of dust in this vast universe (maybe not even that). 

Perspective is in order for your life and what it means. 

Forget the money-grubbing and honor-seeking.

Realize what's really important is what you do in terms of choosing right from wrong and good over evil in every small thing you do.  ;-)

(Photo Credit: Event Horizon Telescope)
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April 1, 2019

Victory Or Defeat

I was reading Vladimir Jabotinsky's "Story of My Life."

And there is this quote that I really like attributed to Kipling in it:
Victory or defeat: learn to accept both with equanimity since both are deceptions.
I just thought this is profound.  

We never really fully win or lose. 


Everything is on a spectrum. 

And where we think we are on that spectrum is often not even nearly correct. 

You think you won that one, but guess what someone else has outsmarted you and you don't even know it yet. 

Also, wins can be easily followed by loses and vice versa.

Things can turn on a dime and who's up becomes who's down--as the wheel of life turns and turns again. 

Recognize that you don't control everything--actually, the only thing you do control is how you react and behave.

Everything else is a test to teach you and help you grow. 

And as I heard from a speaker yesterday, "you can't make up in space, what you have lost in time."

Victory or defeat, both are deceptions. 

Only how you choose to act is the real win or lose. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 27, 2019

Dog Eyes and Knows

Something very cute about this dog and how he's looking. 

Almost seems like there is a person inside there.

See the twinkle and knowing in his eye. 

Makes me wonder whether dogs (and other animals) were once people who have been reincarnated.

Is a dog and a person soul both the same (or how are they different)?

I am sure that there is divine justice (or Comedy) in coming back and in so many different ways and forms. 

This dog knows something for sure. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 17, 2018

Striving To Be Good Enough (This Time Around)

Please read my new article in The Times of Israel called, "When Are We Good Enough?"
I too believe strongly in reincarnation. I think that is partially what G-d means by doing justice in this world. If you bomb out in life and don't fulfill your true potential than G-d sends you back for another try.  And this can happen as many times as it takes to get it right!

I hope I am getting it right in my life this time around. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 8, 2018

Think Back, Think Forward

So yesterday I attended a colleagues's leadership program graduation. 

There were about 20 people in the graduating class. 

One thing that I liked was that when they called up each person to shake hands and get their diplomas, each graduate was given the opportunity to say a few words. 

It was amazing to me how 20 people could give a thank you, what I learned, and what I will do with it speech in 20 completely different ways. 

20 people, 20 personalities, 20 ways of thinking and saying something. 

We really are all the similar to and different from one anther at the same time!

I remember one graduate in particular.

He talked about how the leadership program challenged him, and he said:
It made me think back, and it made me think forward. 

I loved that!

This is really what learning is all about. 

Reflecting back and using that to think forward--how to apply it, how to shape it, and how to innovate from it.

Thinking forward starts with thinking back to where we came from and all the lessons learned in our lives. 

It all starts at the beginning and it goes forward from there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 7, 2018

Bills, Health, and Purpose

So I wanted to share some wisdom from one of my best friends. 

He was telling me about some of life's stresses at work, home, etc., and he said even though every looks forward to retirement "one day," the problems don't go away. 

He mentioned some examples of people he knows that retired relatively young and with a pension.

Nevertheless, he said:
They still worry about bills, about health, and mostly about purpose!

And even though they don't have the day-to-day grind in the office, he said:
Their own stress is as real to them as mine is to me.

I couldn't help reflecting on his words and thinking how smart this was. 

No one has it all!

Everyone is this world has fears, worries, and problems. 

And you know what?  It's okay.  

Life is about us confronting what seems unconfrontable and becoming better human beings because we did. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 21, 2018

There's A Reason For Everything

I go to the fridge to look for something to eat. 

I find am empty food storage container on the shelf. 

I recognize it from the day before when it was filled with delicious over-baked salmon. 

So I go to one kid who I guess may be the culprit and I ask:
Why did you leave the empty bowl in the fridge and not clean it out when you were done?

She says:
Dad, I didn't do it. 

So, I feel like a jerk and apologize for thinking maybe it was her.

Then I go to the other kid and say:
Did you leave an empty dirty salmon bowl in the fridge?

And she says to me:
I did.

So I ask rhetorically thinking there was no acceptable reason:

Why did you do that?


She says sweetly to me:
My sister was sleeping and I didn't want to wake her by washing out the bowl.

And I knew she meant it. 

I wouldn't have imagined a reason for leaving an empty dirty bowl in the fridge, but it just goes to show not to misjudge people--there is usually a reason for everything. ;-)

(Source Photo: Amazon)
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August 14, 2018

Taking Pride In Your Work

I thought this was a nice necklace. 

The lady in the hair salon had a necklace in the shape of a scissors.

I asked her about it because it seemed sort of unusual and neat. 

She said, "It's a scissors!"

And then she proceeded to squeeze the miniature two handles, and said, "You see, it actually opens and closes too!"

I could see and hear how proud she was of what she does for a living. 

Yes, maybe it doesn't earn as much as some other professions, but it was her job and she loved it. 

I think we should all try to take such pride in our work and in doing a great job!

Everyone has something important to contribute and every contribution truly counts. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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August 4, 2018

Things Look Different Up Close



So this was interesting. 

I was coming up the highway. 

In the distance, there looked like there was a large tractor-trailer heading towards me.

I had to take a double take, because this truck was on my side of the divider...Oh shit!

It was only as I got closer that I could see that the truck was really being towed in reverse by a tow truck. 

Yes, "seeing is believing!"

This is a lesson in life:

Things may look one way from a distance, and very different up close. 

Sometimes, my wife tells me:

"Andy, don't look too close!" lol

But the truth is that you may not really see what you heading towards until it's right in front of your eyes.

So it's important to look out over the horizon and study what is coming your way. 

But don't take your eye off the ball (or Mack Truck as it may be). 

Things can change your perspective the closer you get to it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 11, 2018

Not A Kiss

So I learned a lesson recently.

Sometimes, a kiss is not a kiss. 

It could be a phony show. 

Like a snake. 

It slithers and fools people into complacency. 

Kiss kiss!

Hug hug!

But around the back is a hand holding a dangerous dagger. 

It stands ready to swing and plunge into your soft unsuspecting tissue. 

The more kisses, perhaps the more hiding of their true intentions. 

People are complex and sometimes malevolent. 

They want what they want, and when they want it. 

When the time comes, a kiss can turn into a sharp knife. 

You wonder how is it that person has no more kisses.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 4, 2018

Anus Protectus

So I learned this new phrase today:
"Anus Protectus"

It's what it sounds like.

It when you communicate (or do) something in order to "cover your a*s."

Sometimes we communicate as an FYI.

Other times as a FYSA.

And then there is the CYA. 

All of these are what we call "Purposeful communications."

The only real difference is their purposes. 

When you open your mouth or your email make sure you know your:

- Why (intent)
- Who (audience)
- How (persuasion techniques)

These are the secret sauce of good communication. 

More blogs to come on this important topic. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 8, 2018

Adversity Is Not What You Think


This TEDx video is truly WOW!

Definitely worth watching in full.  

So many takeaways from this that I want to remember.

- Three things can happen in life:

1. What you hope will happen

2. What you fear will happen

3. What actually happens

- There is not always a tomorrow!

Think if you were paralyzed from the neck down, what would you wish you had done differently, and go do it.

- See adversity as a gift:

1. It is harsh and ruthless.

2. It shows up unannounced.

3. It doesn't care what you want.

4. It doesn't give a darn how you feel.

5. It doesn't take no for an answer.

6. It hates your weakness.

7. It is your best teacher.

8. It is the most honest person you will ever encounter.

9. It forces you to up your game.

10. It knows your true potential even if you don't.

11. It offers you no other choice, so the choice is simple.

12. At the end of the day, we are only as strong as the adversity we overcome!

13. It will recede, but the lessons will always remain.

14. It will strengthen you to endure your next battle, stronger and wiser than before.

15. How we overcome adversity is by facing it head on. (If you try to avoid it, it can crush you; and if you try to go around it, you will never avoid it's grasp.)

My absolute congratulations and gratitude to Marcus Aurelius Anderson on this magnificent and brilliant talk and lessons for all of us!

And thank you Minna Blumenthal for sharing this wisdom with me!
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February 7, 2018

Cross The Street

I like this saying by life coach Iyanla Vanzant"
"When you see crazy coming, cross the street!"

I remember learning similarly from experts that the first lesson in self defense is always:
"If you can run, run!"

That doesn't mean your not strong or courageous.

It's just common sense to try to avoid trouble if you can. 

When people seriously fight, both usually can end up with a black eye or worse. 

And there are truly a lot of crazies out there.

Peace is always desired.

But strength (and preparedness) is always required. 

This makes sense as well in the larger context of the USA upgrading it's nuke arsenal and other weapons systems and platforms to deter enemy aggression.

Thus, peace through strength and of course, prayer! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 3, 2018

Good People And Bad

So what is one of the hardest lessons in life to learn?

There are really good and holy people out there, but there are also truly bad and evil ones. 

It's not such a difficult concept, except if you just don't think that way. 

I think some of us just want to believe that at the heart of it all, people are fundamentally good--or at the very least they struggle in order to fight off the evil impulse.

They are created by G-d.

They have parents and families.

They have challenges and disappointments. 

They have a good soul. 

Or do they?

Perhaps like everything in life--G-d created everything and it's opposite.

- There is life and death.

- There is light and dark. 

- There is cold and hot.

- There is land and water. 

- There is male and female. 

- There is pleasure and pain.

- There is work and rest. 

- There is holy and profane.

Everything has it's counterpart.

- In this respect then, there are good people and there are bad.

Not that there aren't people who are both--they do some good things and some bad.

Just like with everything, you can have greys or mixtures--some of this AND some of that. 

But still, G-d created everything and its opposite.

- Again, there is heaven and hell. 

And yes, there are some people that are perhaps truly good and others that are very bad.

The really good ones--they are holy, they give, they love, they inspire. 

The really bad ones--they are vicious devil wolves. 

That doesn't mean anyone is completely perfect or imperfect, but as with everything, there are people as there are inanimate objects that function at the extremes. 

Most of us don't live in the extreme, yet we do see those that we know are examples of each:

We recognize the best and these are people with a heart of gold and a soul that shines light, love, and gives to others.

Similarly, the worst ones are with a heart that is selfish and greedy and a soul that is dark, hateful. and violent.

We don't like to think of the extremes.

They either are too perfect or too frighteningly evil, but yet they do exist and we know it just as we know life and death, light and dark, cold and hot, land and water, male and female, pleasure and pain, work and rest, holy and profane, and even the destinations of heaven and hell. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 19, 2017

White Lie, Black Truth

No this is not another civil or human rights post, although I like writing those as well. 

Rather, this is about how we use our words to help and not hurt others. 
"White Lie, 
Black Truth"

Yes, we all know that it's wrong to lie (it's even in the 10 Commandments). 

Except, of course, when we need to tell a "white lie" in order to keep someone's feelings from getting hurt.

For example, I may not like your new haircut, but when you ask me glowingly what I think, instead of telling you how it's too short or whatever, I tell you, "Yeah, it looks great!"

Then, there is the "black truth."

That's when we swallow hard and tell the  truth to someone, even though it may hurt their feelings, it's ultimately for their good. 

For example, your child may be going of course with their lives, and while you don't want to hurt their feelings, you know you need to tell them the truth in order to help them course-correct.

Telling lies or truth can be hurtful to people, but a white lie isn't really bad, because it's used to protect someone's feeling, the black truth, is also not so dark and foreboding, because there are times when you need to get past the superficial, be real with someone, and tell them the hard truth in order to help them in a very practical sense. 

That's one of life's most difficult lessons, that not everything is black or white. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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