Monthly Archives: November 2017

Giving…

You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There’s another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity. Bill Gates

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Vote Down Your Crazy Uncle

Vote Down Your Crazy Uncle


America’s most visible political activists remind us of that distant uncle who spouts the most outrageous opinions and is immovable from his decidedly out-of-the mainstream viewpoint. Tune into any political news program and you are likely to see a replication of the arguments that took place around the Thanksgiving table. Facts don’t seem to matter, and those with the strongest opinions are the least likely to accept different points of view. Unfortunately, it is these Americans – the most partisan and ideologically driven citizens our nation has to offer – who determine the outcome of our elections and set the political course for the country.


[ OPINION: Primaries Are a Good Thing ]


According to a comprehensive survey by the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans identify more toward the political center. However, according to Pew, “the most deeply partisan and ideological groups…also are the most likely to vote, pay attention to politics and to be invested in the outcome of the 2018 congressional elections.” In addition, “these highly partisan ideological groups also donate money, contact elected officials and discuss politics with others at the highest rates.” These are the voters to whom candidates must appeal in order to win elections.



That’s why your crazy uncle and his hyper-partisan brethren have a distinct advantage at the ballot box. The voters in elections – especially primary elections – skew heavily toward the ideological extremes. Until this changes, we are likely to continue to send to Washington candidates who owe their political fortunes to America’s most partisan and uncompromising citizens. As a result, compromise has become a dirty word on Capitol Hill, and thoughtful moderation is scorned. That is why there are so few centrists remaining in Congress, and why Americans have become so frustrated with the dysfunction they see at all levels of government.

When we leave the task of voting and political activism to partisan ideologues, we cede our electoral outcomes to their whims and their biases. Research has proven that all humans exhibit cognitive bias that clouds our judgment and impairs our ability to think rationally. The problem is, those on the partisan extremes have been shown to have the highest levels of bias and to be the least likely to change their minds, no matter how strong the evidence to the contrary.

Social science research is awash with bewildering examples. University of Illinois professor James Kuklinski asked respondents in an experiment their level of confidence in answers they gave during a test of basic facts about America’s social welfare system. Although a majority believed they had passed the test, only 3 percent of respondents got even half the questions right. The more certain the respondents were in their answers, the worse they did on the test. Similarly, researchers in a separate experiment provided accurate information to previously misinformed respondents about immigration in the United States. Even after being told the facts, many participants in the study refused to amend their political views about the issue.


[ GALLERY: Cartoons on Congress ]


Research has also shown that partisans will go to great lengths to avoid learning alternative viewpoints, even if that information is made available to them. This “motivated ignorance” results in a situation that has become all too familiar in political discourse today – partisans exhibit extreme confidence in their own opinions even though those partisans are entirely unfamiliar with the facts supporting the viewpoints of those with whom they disagree. Sound like anyone you know?

Wondering which political ideology displays the greatest bias? A team of seven political scientists recently published the results of a comprehensive research project analyzing 41 different experimental studies of partisan bias involving more than 12,000 participants. The result? The researchers concluded that liberals and conservatives “showed nearly identical levels of bias across studies.”

How does this apply to your crazy uncle? In short, you are not going to change his mind. But you can neutralize him at the ballot box. Instead of continuing with the system of closed primary elections that has given great advantage to the ideological extremes, some states have switched to open primaries, thereby expanding the electorate to a much wider spectrum of viewpoints. Instead of appealing only to the extremes, candidates running for election in open primaries – where all candidates for an office appear on the same ballot – must tailor their message to appeal to centrists and even voters from the opposing party. The results have been encouraging in states, like California, that have instituted these types of voting reforms.


[ PHOTOS: The Big Picture – November 2017 ]


In recent congressional and state legislative elections in California, extremist candidates who in the past would have easily won their party’s nomination in closed primaries have been forced to moderate their message in order to appeal to the wider voting bloc which decides the outcome of open primaries. For the first time in decades, California has seen numerous ideologically driven incumbents lose re-election because they could no longer compete in the broader primary electorate.

Until more states implement similar voting reforms, ideologically extreme voters like your crazy uncle will continue to have a disproportionate influence in our nation’s elections. You can’t change your uncle’s mind, so this holiday season don’t even bother trying. Instead, think about how you might help move your own state in the direction of open primaries, which would level the playing field and give more thoughtful voters a much greater voice in choosing America’s leaders. Such an endeavor would be time well spent.

Frey Freyday – Gratitude

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Gratitude – [grat-i-tood, -tyood] – the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful:

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. – Calvin Coolidge

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Denis Waitley –

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. Brian Tracy –

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie –

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. Alice Walker –

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. Zig Ziglar –

Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe. Wayne Dyer

You can’t be grateful and angry simultaneously. You can’t be fearful and be grateful simultaneously. So gratitude is really the reset button.-Tony Robbins –

Most of us never stop to consider our blessings; rather, we spend the day only thinking about our problems. But since you have to be alive to have problems, be grateful for the opportunity to have them. Bernie Siegel –

WORD TO LIVE BY:

Gratitude – Give thanks for everything, big and small, good and bad.

I know that this sort of thing has been covered before by me and by others. In many ways we all know that giving thanks and showing gratitude makes sense and that we should do it, but many of us don’t consistently do it. It does work…..

If you take just a moment to count the little things as blessings, you will make your life more abundant.

There are so many things that we take for granted. We live in a free country, we have food, shelter, education, safety, we have beauty in nature and in each other, we have so many people in this world that want to help, heal, give, teach and share. Look at your coffee cup in the morning. Someone made that, glazed it, created it so that you could enjoy the coffee. Someone took great pain to package your coffee in a secure, healthy, clean, sanitary container. People worked years to improve the freshness and flavor.

Most of us have so many people that care for and about us….friends, family, co-workers – you’d be surprised who cares for you. Think about all of the people, strangers included, that somehow touch your life each and everyday.

When we have what we call a ‘bad day’ we are often in a negative mindset or one of fear or scarcity. We are looking at, focusing on what we don’t have, what we lost, what we are lacking.

It has been said that wherever there is appreciation, there will be duplication. It can be said that what we focus on expands – so if you are grateful for something, you will have more of it.

If you have gratitude for challenges and ‘bad’ things in life, it helps to re-frame them. An experience that we could say is ‘bad’ can instead be thought of as experience, education, wisdom. We learned from the situation, didn’t we? We are wiser and stronger for making it through. Because of that experience, we are better people, and that’s worth being grateful. Think about it, we all have things in life that we we may have considered ‘bad’ as they were happening to us. If you instead think that life is there happening for us rather than to us, and once we gain some perspective on it, we can see that that same event may in fact be a good thing for our life. When you look at a problem like that, it is no longer a ‘bad’ one.

Gratitude helps us re-focus. We can’t be fearful if we’re grateful. We can’t be angry if we’re grateful. We can’t feel scarcity if we have gratitude.

Do you think that you’re “too busy” to give thanks and show gratitude? Well, I do too, sometimes, but that is a load of you-know-what. It is a must to show gratitude! Here’s a quick version if you are really pressed for time

It’s not complicated or time consuming… a few minutes less on news, television, Facebook. Tony Robbins refers to it as priming or meditation. The purpose of this daily exercise is to train the mind to focus on finding things to be grateful for in our daily lives – apparently we can’t be simultaneously stressed out, angry, or frustrated – and grateful… the mind doesn’t work this way. So his daily practice is all about conditioning your mind to alter your state.

TONY’S 10 MINUTE GRATITUDE RITUAL

  1. 5 Minutes on what he’s grateful for – people close to him, loved ones, people that he suggest to make one or two of these micro focused – the wind on your face.
  2. 3.5 Minutes thinking about 3 things you want to create in your life – today or in the future. Anything you want to create.
  3. 3.5 Minutes Strengthening Healing – focusing on healing power for the day
  4. Obviously you can go longer but take time. I know when I do, my day goes far better than when I do not.

Author Christian Mickelsen recently wrote a book that discusses using gratitude to get abundance in money, in relationships, in good health – or whatever. Actually, the first chapter of Abundance Unleashed is actually called Thank God We’re Rich. The reason for that is because a handful years ago, h really focused on gratitude for the year. It helped him increase his income significantly, and improve other areas of his life.

Personally I’ve had long periods of time where I was not grateful for much of anything, and I was unhappy, less people seemed to want to ‘hang’ with me and work with me, and I had more challenges with income, health, etc. Other times when I’ve been grateful – even if there were challenges in life – I was happier, people reacted better to me and with me, I had more opportunities at work, etc.

To help me ‘be grateful’ I often think of pleasant memories, I think about all of the gifts that I have to help others, I think of the fun and exciting times in my life, I think about all of the cool, fun, caring people in my life, and I think about people helping others. I may even just pick some random object in my life, even something small and simple, and think about all of the people that designed it, financed it, made it, sold it, and all those who helped bring it to me so that I could own it and use it.

I am grateful for you.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

Frey Freyday – Story

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

sto·ry-[ˈstôrē]-NOUN stories (plural noun) an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment: ALSO: an account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something:

Authenticity is everything! You have to wake up every day and look in the mirror, and you want to be proud of the person who’s looking back at you. And you can only do that if you’re being honest with yourself and being a person of high character. You have an opportunity every single day to write that story of your life. Aaron Rodgers

Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone. Steven Spielberg

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou

Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story. Don Miguel Ruiz

Don’t forget, you are the hero of your own story. Greg Boyle

WORD TO LIVE BY:

Story – something we tell ourselves and others. Something we tend to believe is true, regardless of the facts.

When you think of a story, it immediately paints a picture in you mind.

If it is a good story, you can feel the emotions, smell things, sense different things.

Good or bad, stories are very powerful. Stories emotionalize information.

So there are our internal stories…the stories we tell ourselves and others. These stories can be helpful, empowering, or totally the opposite. Sometimes we aren’t aware of the story we’re in, sometimes we’re comfortable where we are.

For instance, and I’ve discussed this before, one year I lost both parents in a short time frame. My wife lost three relatives, too. We lost 5 great people in one year – and I was unemployed! It was a tough year!

I told that story to others and it became ‘my story’. It was all true but guess what, that story did not help me or empower me in any way. It is true that sometimes we have to be aware of where we are in life and we have to accept it, but if we keep telling ourselves the same old story, we won’t grow, progress, or move on…..

I kept telling myself a similar story for much too long. I was in an emotional hole and I couldn’t get out. After a while, I could see that people didn’t react well to that story – sure they felt sorry for me and cared, many were quite kind but it wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t someone that many people wanted to ‘hang with’ or work with…..I literally had to abandon that story and create a new one. Quite frankly, my story was partially ‘pretend’ at first – in some ways I did have to fake it until I made it.

By the way, my new story included being happy regardless of what happened in life, and trying to be kinder, mostly by volunteering and contributing more. I must tell you that these aspects really helped me in my life and career in that next phase.

Our stories determine our perspective, our focus, our motivations, and many factors in our lives.

Our story is basically our identity – but it can also be who we want to be.

Never underestimate the power of your story.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

You can read more at www.onewebstrategy.com

you will succeed if you do this…

You will ‘inevitably succeed’ if you follow these 5 steps

Billionaire Ray Dalio has built the largest hedge fund in the world. Bridgewater Associates has $160 billion in assets under management. And according to Dalio, there is a five-step formula to guarantee success.

Here are the five steps, with descriptions by Dalio, as told to Recode executive editor Kara Swisher on her podcast, Recode Decode.

  1. Set goals. “You have to have your audacious goals.”
  2. Notice your mistakes. “As you go to those, you are going to encounter your failures, your mistakes. You have to identify those and not tolerate them.”
  3. Understand why you are making those mistakes. “You have to get the diagnosis to the root cause of them, which could be that you have a weakness or somebody has a weakness.”
  4. Fix your mistakes. “You have to design what you are going to do about it to get around it.”
  5. Persevere. “You have to push through to results”

“And if you keep doing that over and over again, you will inevitably succeed,” says Dalio, 68. “You do it over and over again because you have determination — you will inevitably succeed.”

Source: cnbc.com

Frey Freyday – Potential

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

potential-adjective po·ten·tial \ pə-ˈten(t)-shəl \ -existing in possibility :capable of development into actuality

A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential. John C. Maxwell –

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us. Wilma Rudolph –

With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world. Dalai Lama –

Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential. Bruce Lee –

Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world. Paulo Coelho –

WORD TO LIVE BY:

POTENTIAL – talents, gifts, and good stuff that all of us have inside of us, ready to go, ready to be shared, ready to benefit the world.

I was traveling this week out of state. I had multiple items to mail, some personal notes, birthday notes, etc…..and sometimes when I travel to a different town, I’ll mail things from there so it has a different postmark, for those who notice the details.

I put the mail in my backpack and carried it to and from my destination. When I arrived home in Pittsburgh airport, I still had the mail. I finally mailed it with Pittsburgh’s boring postmark on the way home.

Simultaneously, I was having thoughts about some things I wanted to accomplish in life. I feel that I have some talents inside me and I want to get busy doing these things. Many of us want to do things; write a book, take a class, help others, and generally use our talents in some way or another.

I thought that it was simple metaphor – I was carrying around this mail in my backpack and no one, including me, would benefit from the notes and messages in the envelopes until I mailed them. There were times that I thought about the envelopes, and other times that I didn’t.

Similarly, we all carry around talents – potential – inside of us. Sometimes we are aware of what we can offer, sometimes these are hidden talents. In either case, like the envelopes full of good stuff, if we don’t put our talents out there, if we don’t exercise our potential, our brilliant, creative talents may just be a simple old ordinary envelope.

About a week ago, there was a guy sitting behind me talking to his friends, I didn’t know him. He was talking a lot! But he was talking and talking about all of the talents he had and how he was naturally good at this or that. But it became clear in his conversation that he wasn’t using these talents, he wasn’t using his potential.

In my mind, I was casting judgement on him, judging him that he wasn’t using his talents, that he was just talking about it. But I’m the same way with certain things, we all are. We all have at least one or two things that we know that we can do, that we may even know that we’re called to do, but we’re ‘just too busy’ or ‘will do later in life’ or something else like that.

I had a revelation one Saturday morning; I woke up early, lying in bed in a hypnopopic state, sort of half away, half asleep. I was thinking about something I wanted to accomplish for many years and thought, I’ll do that later in life. Then I woke up suddenly and thought about how long I’ve been telling myself that. I think it has been over ten years, in reference to this one item. I’ve been putting myself off for over 10 years! I wouldn’t accept that from my boss, my friends or a stranger but I’ve allowed me to do that to me. Sometimes we have to take a stand, make a decision and take a step.

Let’s go out and ‘mail’ our talents and potential. Let the world, let us see what we can really do, what we really have inside.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

 

Frey Freyday – Progress/Improve

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

im·prove -[imˈpro͞ov] –VERB make or become better:

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. Ernest Hemingway

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. Ralph Marston –

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve. Bill Gates –

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill –

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. Benjamin Franklin –

The power to question is the basis of all human progress. Indira Gandhi –

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw –

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more. Oscar Wilde –

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

Progress and/or Improvement – something we all need to do; both incrementally and when possible, in large steps.

I think Tony Robbins said that most people tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in one year but underestimate what they can do over 10 years, and I paraphrase.

In other words, we truly have the ability to improve and make our situations, our selves better. Speaking for myself, I used to look more for the ‘big step’ where I could make one big change and improve myself a lot at once.

As I became ‘wiser’ I now understand that the small incremental changes; the little habits and things that we do each and every day have huge repercussions in our lives – changing something little each day can change your destiny. As corny as that may sound, it is true.

I also think that we need to think of progress with only ‘us’ in mind. In other words, progress and improvement isn’t about me and other people, it is about me today and me yesterday. If I can improve something about me versus the old me, that’s great. We should not be comparing ourselves to others or , “we will become vain and bitter.” (Desiderata by Max Ehrmann)

Personally, I often think, and I mean a few times a day at least, ‘how can I make this better’. I’ve learned that it isn’t always good to ask that in every situation or relationship. Sometimes it is best to just live in the moment, enjoy what we have, be grateful, and accept the present. I’ve also found that there are times that, if you ask the question in a poor state of mind or in a negative way, it can be counterproductive.

Change can be scary. Progress and improvement is about change. We’re pushing ourselves, we’re going beyond our comfort zone, we’re getting better but we may make mistakes or fail. That’s all good but again, it can bring about fear.

For some people, fear of failure/mistakes is sometimes too much to take a chance or to make a change. For others, going outside the comfortable zone they have now is too much. For others, it might even be the fear of success, fear of one’s own greatness, also sometimes referred to as the Jonah Complex.

If we have a vision for our lives, if we think from the end with the end in mind, if we have goals of some kind, we can focus on the end results and work towards these things – we can more easily progress and improve along the way if we keep reflecting upon this vision.

If we simply wander around without an end result in mind, we may have more difficulty focusing on making consistent progress, on improving where and how that we might benefit most.

My psychology teacher, Mr. Henderson, often said, “Pay now and play later or play now and pay later.” This is true with progress. Small or large actions today can change our tomorrows.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

 

TWO BONUSES:

  1. TED TALK – THE POWER OF BELIEVING THAT YOU CAN IMPROVE – https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve#t-25157
  2. If you want to improve, here’s some ideas to change your habits: https://onewebstrategy.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/how-to-make-new-habits-stick-for-good/
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