December 23, 2016

ENDING TO BEGIN AGAIN


"Amidst the worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings."

Laozi (Lao Tzu), 5th century BCE Chinese philosopher.

I began Business Wisdom, Friday September 26, 2008, not certain what I expected to come of it, how long I would do it, or when it would end.

And now, some 8+ years later with this the 2,119th weekday entry, I still don't know what I expected of it, however I do know the end.

Today is the last of daily posts, an ending of sorts that will, as Lao Tzu suggested 2,500 years ago, allow me to observe a new beginning.

I've (most days, not all) enjoyed doing it, in retrospect, even more so if you've read even one post you feel benefited you in some way.

My wish for you is many endings as satisfying as this one is for me, with many more successful beginnings for us all.

December 22, 2016

OK IF YOU TRY, NOT IF YOU DON'T


"It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done."

Samuel Johnson, 18th century English writer.

The important question is, why have you not done more than you have?

If your effort was all it could have been you should have few to no regrets.

But if you didn't do all you could, or worse, never tried, your fate is the "mortifying reflection" suggested by Mr. Johnson.

December 21, 2016

TIME IS THE SAME, WHAT WE DO WITH IT IS NOT


"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see."

John Burroughs, late 19th/early 20th century American naturalist/essayist.

The musing of a truly rich and fortunate man.

You may believe you have more time than you need, possibly more time than you want. If so rethink how you spend the time you have.

We all have the same time in each day we live with the wise spending theirs more wisely than the unwise.

December 20, 2016

Доверяй, но проверяй (see below)


"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States.

Misinformation, disinformation, or fake news in today's parlance, is not new, it's been around as long as people have.

Does it really matter? It does really matter.

Acting on, re-posting, or just claiming something to be true you are not certain is true, suggests you are lazy.

Doing any of those things knowing the basis for your claim is not true, suggests you are a liar.

As President Ronald Reagan repeatedly said, "Trust but verify"

("Trust but verify" is an English translation of the Russian proverb Доверяй, но проверяй taught to Reagan by Suzanne Massie, American author of the book Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia, and advisor to President Reagan regarding his negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev, then President of the Soviet Union.)

December 19, 2016

TIME FOR THOUGHTFUL REFLECTION


"Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."

Søren Kierkegaard, 19th century Danish philosopher/poet.

Very true and not just as it pertains to pleasure.

We hurry past way too much we should spend more time contemplating. 

Grief, love, happiness, relationships, challenges, successes, failures; all part of the one life we've all been blessed to live.

All worthy of thoughtful consideration before moving onto whatever is next.

Don't hurry past your life.

December 16, 2016

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT MEAN KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT EXIST


"They are ill discoverers that think there is no land when they can see nothing but sea."

Francis Bacon, 16th century English statesman/philosopher.

The absence of evidence to the contrary does not prove true that you want to be true.

The more at stake the more time you must take to verify what you believe to be true, actually is.

December 15, 2016

WHAT DO YOU SEE?


"Open your eyes, look within; are you satisfied with the life you're living?"

Bob Marley, 20th century Jamaican singer/songwriter/musician.

If not, make plans to change to a life you will be satisfied living.

And should you find yourself saying "that's not possible", know it is not, only if you listen to yourself.

Don't do that.

December 14, 2016

THINK WHAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE WITH THE TIME YOU DID NOTHING


"There's time enough, but none to spare."

Charles W. Chesnutt, late 19th/early 20th century author/political activist/lawyer.

Waste not want not.

You have all the time you need and none to waste.

December 13, 2016

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF


"Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others."

Buddha, 6th century BC founder of Buddhism.

If you see this as largely or purely a political statement you miss the point.

Self-reliance is the first step toward self-preservation; it is in your own best interest.

December 12, 2016

AS IT WAS IT STILL IS


"The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings. In the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem; what to say and how to say it."

Edward R. Murrow, 20th century American broadcast journalist.

All the technology you use has little or nothing to do with communication.

You can be as misunderstood using one as another.

To lessen the chance of that happening, whenever possible, talking to and (of greater importance) listening to the other person, gives you the best possibility for real communication.

December 09, 2016

GIVE UP TO MOVE UP


"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter another."

Anatole France, late 19th/early 20th century French poet/journalist/novelist.

More often than not doors must close before new ones can open.

What is must cease to be to make room for what will be.

Make certain what you want is worthy of replacing what you have.

Then, when you are certain, work hard, plan and execute your plan, move on to a new and hopefully better future.

December 08, 2016

STRONG TEMPTATION


"We gain the strength of the temptation we resist."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century American essayist/lecturer/poet.

(You think this pup would agree?)

Temptation comes in many forms and is generally attributable to things not good for us.

(Did you ever hear of anyone resisting the temptation to eat broccoli?)

I'm not certain I've ever gained strength from resisting something I knew I really shouldn't have, but I do know I've later felt better when I did, with the reverse true when I didn't.

December 07, 2016

WELL LET ME TELL YOU A THING OR TWO!


"Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish."

Albert Einstein, 20th century German-born theoretical physicist.

Always good to remember, particularly the next time you decide you must answer some other fool's social media comment with which you don't agree.

Emphasis on "other" intended.

December 06, 2016

WHAT IT IS, NOT WHOSE FAULT IT IS


"It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people; to focus your energies on answers - not excuses."

William Arthur Ward, 20th century American writer.

While easy to get angry with the person(s) you believe caused the problem, that's just a distraction.

Identify the issue(s) that need correction and move on to the solution. 

If that involves people, so be it, but don't start with that or end with assigning blame.

That's not a solution.

December 05, 2016

THIS IS US


"I claim that human mind or human society is not divided into watertight compartments called social, political and religious. All act and react upon one another."

Mahatma Gandhi, late 19th/early 20th century leader of Indian independence.

You can think of yourself as not being political, religious, business oriented; in short, anyway you believe others define themselves you don't want defining you.

You could but you would be wrong doing so.

The "compartments" Gandhi refers to are not only not watertight, they don't exist.

We are all, all of this and more and you ignore the impact of what that is on your own life to your own detriment.

December 02, 2016

DO YOU REALLY NEED (FILL IN THE BLANK)?


"I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive."

Henry Miller, 20th century American writer.

This stretches things a bit but there is truth nonetheless.

Beyond the basics necessary for reasonable survival our wants are optional.

Pursue wealth and all that buys as much as you like, but not to where it impacts your happiness.

The Rolling Stones were right.

December 01, 2016

USELESS UNLESS USED


"Information is not knowledge."

Albert Einstein, 20th century German-born theoretical physicist.

It can lead to knowledge, even action once put to use.

However, not learned and applied once learned, there is little value.

November 30, 2016

UNDOING CAN BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT THAN DOING


"It is easier to stay out than get out."

Mark Twain 19th century U.S. humorist/writer/lecturer.

What will you do today you'll wish you hadn't done tomorrow?

November 29, 2016

NEWTON'S ADVICE


"The great consolation in life is to say what one thinks."

Voltaire, 18th century French writer/historian.

Sure, until saying what you think creates problems you'd rather not have.

Newton's third law ("For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction") may not apply equally in all situations, however it's a good idea to carefully consider the potential consequences of what you say and do before you say and do it.

November 28, 2016

CONDITIONAL UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT


"If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life."

Oscar Wilde, 19th century Irish poet/dramatist.

There are those who will be there for you when you need them, just not all who say they will, every time.

Be certain who will before you need them to be.

November 23, 2016

UNDERSTAND?


"Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand."

Saint Augustine, 3rd century theologian.

Belief first; understanding will follow and when it does you can then decide what to do with what you now understand.

Not before.

November 22, 2016

I THINK SO


"Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do."

Bertrand Russell, 20th century British logician/philosopher.

Something to think about, no?

November 21, 2016

THE VALUE OF WOULDA, COULDA, SHOULDA? ZERO


"Opportunity always looks better going than coming."

Unknown.

Like the horse you didn't expect to win, the one you didn't bet on that actually did.

Or the investment you didn't make and now realize you should have.

The trick is not to identify missed opportunity.

You need to identify opportunity before it actually is opportunity.

November 18, 2016

WORK OR WAIT FOR CHANGE


"Nothing is irreparable in politics."

Jean Anouilh, 20th century French playwright.

True in all forms of politics; office, personal, as well as governance.

The message is, whatever you don't currently approve of won't be around forever.

You have recourse.

You can work for change or wait for it, the choice is yours.

November 17, 2016

POWER TEST


"Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

Margaret Thatcher, 20th century British politician.

True no matter what level of authority you think you find yourself at, and if you think otherwise, you're not at whatever level of authority you thought you were.

November 16, 2016

THE REASON YOU SHOULD, THE REASON YOU SHOULDN'T


"We work to become, not to acquire."

Elbert Hubbard, 19th century American writer/publisher.

Actually, we should but not all of us all the time do.

And pity those who do not understand the difference.

November 15, 2016

I CAN PROMISE YOU THIS


"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein, 20th century German born theoretical physicist.

Appropriate as we make our way through this year's political season.

Most anyone can promise most anything.

Believe only what you see being possible after very careful consideration, not just what you'd like to see happen.

November 14, 2016

IF IT'S YOU, OWN IT!


"Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power."

Benjamin Disraeli, 19th century British politician/author.

If you more often cite circumstances, not you, as the reason for your failures, you just discovered the real reason.

November 11, 2016

KNOW THIS


"Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."

Augustine "Og" Mandino, 20th century American author.

One, because you're not as big, as important as you think you are, and two, because there is way more you don't know than that you do.

November 10, 2016

NOT ALONE EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO BE


"No employer today is independent of those about him. He cannot succeed alone, no matter how great his ability or capital. Business today is more than ever a question of cooperation."

Orison Swett Marden, late 19th/early 20th century American author.

My career has largely been starting, running, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, in my own companies.

In all those times, the outcome was the result of what I did, what my partners did, and what our employees did.

You may think it won't be that way for you, and if so, that is your first mistake of many yet to come.

November 09, 2016

IN ADDITION TO WHAT YOU KNOW, KNOW HOW!


"Information's pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience."

Clarence Day, 20th century American cartoonist.

How much of what you believe you know how to do, but have never done, turns out well?

Knowledge alone isn't enough.

November 08, 2016

LOOK AT YOU???


"I am amazed by Tina Fey. And I am Tina Fey."

Tina Fey, American comedian/actor.

This works because you know Tina Fey.

You know she's poking fun at herself.

It doesn't work for those who seriously tell you how great they are.

Don't be that person.

November 07, 2016

WHAT (ELSE) HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME?


"Nothing recedes like success."

Walter Winchell, 20th century American newspaperman.

An interesting play on words making the point that continual success requires continual success.

You're only as good as your last accomplishment.

November 04, 2016

TO HAVE THE THIRD, YOU MUST HAVE THE FIRST TWO


"You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."

Aristotle, 3rd century BC Greek philosopher.

And from honor and courage comes self-respect.

Without the first two the third is impossible.

November 03, 2016

TURNABOUT IS NOT JUST FAIR, IT'S IMPORTANT TOO


"There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it."

Seneca, first century BC Roman philosopher/playwright.

You know how good you feel when someone acknowledges you.

You'll feel just as good having done so for others.

November 02, 2016

MORE SO THAN NOT


"After all, life is really simple; we ourselves create the circumstances that complicate it."

Unknown

True.

We create drama where none existed, worry without cause, and anger that outlasts its cause.

Life would be much simpler if none of that were true.

November 01, 2016

LEAST OF ALL YOU


"Never allow a person to tell you no, who doesn't have the power to say yes."

Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady of the US, politician, diplomat.

This is about allowing others to tell you what you can and cannot do and become.

Fail because you tried and couldn't do/be what you wanted to do/be, not because you never tried because someone told you you'd never succeed.

October 31, 2016

KNOWING MORE THAN YOU KNOW


"I am not a teacher, but an awakener."

Robert Frost, 20th century American poet.

Meaning, he only helps others learn what they already know, what they don't know they know.

We'd all be better off knowing at least one awakener.

October 28, 2016

ONLY THE TIME IT TAKES


"One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the center of opportunity."

Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) Spanish philosopher/writer.

But only the time it takes to reach the center of your opportunity.

Don't delay arriving there, the result of useless procrastination or lack of planning.

Understand what you need to do to get where you want to be, to become what you want to be, then do it.

October 27, 2016

WAIT FOR IT!


"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 18th century French philosopher/writer/composer.

Good advice for us all and none more than those who feel they don't have time to consider what it means to them.

October 26, 2016

THIS IS NO DREAM!


"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours."

Henry David Thoreau, 19th century American philosopher/poet.

"Common hours" is 19th century code for awake time spent not dreaming the dreams of things you'd like to be, things you'd like to accomplish.

You have them. You may not acknowledge you do but you do have them.

Make them happen.

October 25, 2016

NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE, WHAT YOU WILL DO


"We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses."

Carl Jung, 20th century Swiss psychiatrist.

You can condemn many things including yourself for failing to take action to change what you condemn.

Don't spend a lot of time doing that.

Accept the need for change and move on to make it happen.

October 24, 2016

TRUST BUT VERIFY, JUST NOT TOO MUCH


"A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts."

Harold Macmillan, 20th century Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

I've never met anyone who trusted no one, but I have met those who trust too few.

You won't get very far in this world without the help of others, many of which you will simply have to trust to do what they say they will do.

October 21, 2016

ADVICE I SUGGEST YOU NOT TAKE


"Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey's end."

Marcus Tullius Cicero, 1st century BC Roman politician.

Were you to do as Cicero suggests you would indeed be at the end of your journey.

No animal stops doing what they do until the moment they die; why should humans?

We are put on this earth to learn and there is no legitimate reason to stop learning until, like all animals, we die.


October 20, 2016

IT'S NOT JUST HILL AND DONALD, FAR FROM IT


"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

Plato, 5th century BC Greek philosopher.

An appropriate thought as we move closer to hearing the final death rattle of this year's US election season.

No matter what you do for a living, what church you attend, what sports team your child is on, regardless of which groups of humans you associate with, you experience politics.

If you think you don't, if you believe you can stay out of the political drama that impacts your groups, you will, as Plato says you will, ultimately be lead by those you consider to be your inferiors.

Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. 

Either way, if you don't participate in the governance of your groups, it is them, not you, who will govern you.

October 19, 2016

WHO, NOT WHAT, YOU ARE


"Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't."

Richard Bach, American author.

Maybe the first question should be, do you know what your life's mission is?

Hint; it's not what you do it's who you are and who you are is not who you say you are, it's who others say you are.

October 18, 2016

NATURE'S WAY


"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

Lao Tzu, 6th century BC Chinese philosopher.

Not so people.

We hurry to catch up when we've allowed ourselves to fall behind.

Nature's way, the better way.

October 17, 2016

NOT ALONE BUT OFTEN ON YOUR OWN


"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room."

Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), 20th century American writer/cartoonist.

Many other quotes say the same thing.

Get all the help from others you can but in the end, what you become, or don't become, is up to you.

October 14, 2016

BE, NOT BEING


"The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one."

Joan Baez, 20th/21st century American folk singer.

Because a "relationship" is about much more than the number of people in it.

Look at it this way.

When you walk down the street, through an airport, or while sitting in a movie or a ball park, are you in a "relationship" with the hundreds, maybe thousands of others also there?

Unlike our social media encounters, at least in all those situations, you and all the people are actually, physically together.

Using the loosest definition of the word, I suppose any connection between two or more individuals could be defined as a "relationship", however not in the way Ms. Baez intended.

True relationships require both parties to actually be together rather than simply being together.

October 13, 2016

TIME ENOUGH


"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."

C. L. Lewis, 20th century British novelist.

So the question you need to answer is, how will you spend each of those 60 minutes?

Time enough depending on what you do with them.