February 2011


“There are very few men – and they are the exceptions – who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment”.
 
 Carl Von Clausewitz 1780-1831
 
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One of the most difficult things to practice in our lives is to delay gratification and to take a long term perspective with our projects. Our consumer society doesn’t help us when it encourages us to BUY NOW and PAY LATER. Many times, we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people who don’t care. We should always try to make the difference between an expense and an investment. We should try to avoid instant gratification. It’s a big challenge because it goes against every major trend in our society.
 
It applies to other areas in our lives as well;
 
The Olympic athlete has to make a lot of sacrifices to reach his/her goal. The medical student has to concentrate on his/her classes in order to get the diploma. The investor has to learn patience if he or she wants to earn dividends.
 
It is difficult because we should enjoy every day as if it is the last and at the same time invest our efforts and our resources for the future. The challenge for us is to find the balance between these two concepts.
 
Do you struggle with your short term desires and long term objectives?
 
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We have control over our choices, but we don’ t have any control over the consequences of our choices.

What this means is that we don’t always know how things will turn out.

What it means is that we can’t always predict how people will respond to our decisions.

That is why we should be aware of our choices as much as possible if we want to improve our quality of life.

Sometimes our decisions can result in big mistakes that will be costly in time.

From the moment that we know clearly what we want, it becomes easier to make the best possible choices for ourselves. These decisions are unique for each one of us.

Do you ever think of the BIG difference between your CHOICES and the CONSEQUENCES of your choices?

What I CAN Change…

  • You can’t change your entire life, you can only change your next action.
  • You can’t change a relationship with a loved one, you can only change your next interaction.
  • You can’t change your body composition, you can only change your next meal.
  • You can’t change your fitness level, you can only start moving.
  • You can’t de-clutter your entire life, you can only choose to get rid of one thing right now.
  • You can’t eliminate your entire debt, you can only make one payment, or buy one less unnecessary item.
  • You can’t change the past, or control the future, you can only change what you are doing now.
  • You can’t change everything, you can only change one, small thing…and that’s all it takes.

 What will you change today?

Lifestyle is style over amount. And style is an art—the art of living. You can’t buy style with money. You can’t buy good taste with money. You can only buy more with money. Lifestyle is culture—the appreciation of good music, dance, art, sculpture, literature, plays and the art of living well. It’s a taste for the fine, the unique, the beautiful.

Lifestyle also means rewarding excellence wherever you find it by not taking the small things of life for granted. On Valentine’s Day, I wanted to illustrate this with a personal anecdote:

Many years ago my lady friend and I were on a trip to Carmel, California, for some shopping and exploring. On the way we stopped at a service station. As soon as we parked our car in front of the pumps, a young man, about eighteen or nineteen, came bouncing out to the car and with a big smile said, “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” I answered, “A full tank of gas, please.” I wasn’t prepared for what followed. In this day and age of self-service and deteriorating customer treatment, this young man checked every tire, washed every window—even the sunroof—singing and whistling the whole time. We couldn’t believe both the quality of service and his upbeat attitude about his work.

When he brought the bill, I said to the young man, “Hey, you really have taken good care of us. I appreciate it.”

He replied, “I really enjoy working. It’s fun for me and I get to meet nice people like you.”

This kid was really something!

I said, “We’re on our way to Carmel and we want to get some milkshakes. Can you tell us where we can find the nearest Baskin-Robbins?”

“Baskin-Robbins is just a few blocks away,” he said as he gave us exact directions. Then he added, “Don’t park out front—park around to the side so your car won’t get sideswiped.”

What a kid!

As we got to the ice cream store we ordered milkshakes, except that instead of two, we ordered three.

 Then we drove back to the station. Our young friend dashed out to greet us. “Hey, I see you got your milkshakes.”

“Yes, and this one is for you!”

His mouth fell open. “For me?”

“Sure. With all the fantastic service you gave us, I couldn’t leave you out of the milkshake deal.”

“Wow!” was his astonished reply.

As we drove off I could see him in my rear-view mirror just standing there, grinning from ear to ear.

Now, what did this little act of generosity cost me? Only about two dollars—you see, it’s not the money, it’s the style.

Well, I must have been feeling especially creative that day, so upon our arrival in Carmel I drove directly to a flower shop. As we walked inside I said to the florist, “I need a long-stemmed rose for my lady to carry while we go shopping in Carmel.”

The florist, a rather unromantic type, replied, “We sell them by the dozen.”

“I don’t need a dozen,” I said, “just one.”

“Well,” he replied haughtily, “it will cost you two dollars.”

“Wonderful,” I exclaimed. “There’s nothing worse than a cheap rose.”

Selecting the rose with some deliberation, I handed it to my friend. She was so impressed! And the cost? Two dollars. Just two dollars. A bit later she looked up and said, “Jim, I must be the only woman in Carmel today carrying a rose.” And I believe she probably was.

Can you imagine the opportunity to create magic with those around you, and all for the cost of a few dollars, some imagination and care. Remember, it is not the amount that matters but the thought and care that often has the greatest impact upon those you love.

 
 
A good relationship isn’t a game you play or an ego trip you take. It is about love and two people. Loving someone can give us the greatest joy we can ever know and it can hurt more than we can believe too. You know you truly love a person when it hurts more to see that person in pain and sadness than when that person disappoints you.

Loving someone means you should be ready to experience heartache and happiness at the same time. That’s the reward and that’s the risk. Unless we are willing to experience it, we will never really know what it’s like to love and be loved. 



Sharing love is probably the most valuable and meaningful experience a person can ever have. And there’s a difference between being in love with someone and loving someone. It’s the difference between a love that’s fickle, wild and short-lived and one that’s tender and passionate, nurturing and lasts a long time. The first is easy. The second, the one that really matters to all of us, takes work because it’s about keeping a relationship. 



Loving someone takes efforts. We have to be able to communicate with each other. Nobody can read anyone else’s mind. We always presume that our partner knows what we think and feel. Maybe in time we might be able to predict or sense each other’s thoughts but it’s never perfect and takes time to develop. 



Getting the chance to love and be loved by someone is blessed. Respect him/her for who he/she is, and not what you want him/her to be. Everyone is pretty and special in his/her own special way. No one is perfect. It is true love, which closes the gap of imperfectness to form a smooth surface of acceptance for each other. True love sees and accepts a person for who he/she is. It is also true love, which makes a person change for the better. 



The power of true love to a person is undeniable. 



A relationship needs commitments too. What is love without commitments from each other anyway? It’s like principles and values. Everyone has them but they only mean as much as we are willing to stand for them. 



The same goes for our commitments to relationships, and the person we love. 



 “Love is like an antique vase. It’s hard to find, hard to get, but easy to break.” 



Every day everywhere, people fall in love … but just how many of these relationships are self-sacrificing love, and not just relationships which are formed only for the intense feeling of falling in love? I know hundreds of friends who say the magical words “I love you”… but more often than not, the truth is just — I am IN love with you. There is a difference between being in love with someone and loving someone. If a person says he/she is in love with you, he/she means that he/she likes you for who you are now and he/she fell in love with you because of the present you. 


This kind of love is temporary and lasts only as long as the fairytale lasts. When fairy godmother comes in at midnight to whirl us back to reality, we see the heartache of such a relationship…where both were only IN love with each other. 



But if a person says he/she loves you, he/she means that he/she loves you unconditionally for who you are now, who you were in the past and who you might be in the future. When he/she says he/she loves you and really means it, you have to ask yourself if you love him/her too or if you’re in love with the idea of being in love. It is very hard to see the difference through logical thinking.

Let your heart guide you.

 

 

 

Stress is the curse of living in modern times. Everyone suffers from stress. And the stress we suffer takes a heavy toll on our bodies, emotions and minds. Watching television may be a form of relaxation for some, but it is not recommended.. When we watch TV we are bombarded with commercials, ads, sounds and images. Relaxation takes on added importance in light of this matter. 

Today, try to find a moment with complete silence for at least 1 hour.

How?

Turn off the TV, mp3 player, radio, and your computer for a while.

Attend a yoga class. It’s a great method for relaxation.

Go for a walk in the woods if possible and listen to the calmness of nature.

Take a nap in the middle of the day. It’s Sunday…

Take the time to breath properly. It is one of the easiest methods to relax. Most of us have forgotten how to breath naturally. Take a deep breathe.

One great way to relax is getting a massage. To gain full relaxation, you need to totally surrender to the touch of person delivering it to you.

It will be a good investment of time.

Today is a time to take care of yourself. Tomorrow will be another hectic day.

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to site than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”

Marcus Aurelius

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The Chinese people say that we can never step in the same river twice. I believe this is so true because even if we meet the same people and even when we encounter similar circumstances in our lives, it is different every time.

Why?

Because each one of us is changing and evolving constantly. This is a good thing. This is how we grow. If it were not, we would still be living in caves and caverns.


It is difficult, however, for people who insist on resisting change. Resisting change is simply a display of our fears. It makes us very uncomfortable and very worried about the unknown.

   

 

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