Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Create your own games, then plan on winning!

I think most folks by far just travel through life taking whatever is handed to them without much thought. With humans, there would be basically sheep types and then there would be the sheep herders. Most societies don't try and teach folks to aspire to sheepherder status at all. I guess under the guise of politeness, civility and just trying to get along with others, the sheep really don't want to stand out from the crowd.

Now this is all fine and good for a while but the truth is, the sheep almost never get anything they really want or need out of life. They tend to except blandness, sameness and safety over adventure, creativity or just taking chances. Being herded around by the man with the whistle and stick, they only get to eat the grass already stomped down by the masses, instead of the fresh tasty stuff just over the hill.

Seems to me the first thing one has to do to get what one wants and needs out of this very limited span of time on this magical blue ball we're standing on is to start taking stock of ourselves. The clear truth is each of us should be the dictator in control of our own personal domains. Creating our own game and then making sure we are the winner. We sure shouldn't depend on some Sheepherder to establish our path on this journey, now should we?

So the next time you walk into a store or any kind of business for that matter. Walk in with your own personal take charge attitude. Walk in with purpose. Hold your head high and look completely in control of yourself. Lets look at two ways to get things done in there. You could say what most people would say. Like "Please, do you think it would be possible for you to do this or that for me"? How about instead saying "Hi, here's what you're going to do for me today, and here's how you're going to do it"?

Here's where it gets interesting to me. A lot of times the business or person you're dealing with will say something like "I'm sorry sir but we don't do that. Our rules/protocols don't allow that". At that point, you have a couple of choices. The first of course is to start arguing your case with this person, trying to talk him/her into doing what you need. The second and better choice by far is to completely bypass this person all together as soon as possible. You could say "Ok Sir/Mame, the last think I want to do here is waste your valuable time and certainly not mine. I can see you don't have the authority to help me. Please go get your superior. He'll know how to handle this".

Again start out by not demanding anything. Just telling this "superior" what you expect him/her to do for you. Don't raise your voice. Just look straight into his/her eyes and tell them in a calm authoritarian voice how it's going to happen. Remember.....important point here. You're not "asking" them to do anything. You're "telling" them what needs to be done and how to do it. Remember. You are the dictator in control of your life and of this situation. Have absolutely no doubt of that at any time with your negotiations with this person or business. Doubt and insecurity leaks out of your pores like sweat, leaving a stain everyone can see.

Creating this kind of attitude in oneself leaves no room for others to cheat, rob, trick, cajole or in any way take advantage of you. All this is true in our personal lives also. People with lots of friends are the types that just barge right into others lives and just take over. Life doesn't come knocking on our doors. You have to go out and kick down doors and position yourself where you want to be, on your own terms.

The opposite of a winner is not a loser - it is a quitter. People who "win" at life, who accomplish their goals and do great things, are those who keep trying. Instead of letting a little setback knock them off course, they dust themselves off and take another go at it. I believe we were all born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. That complete confidence is the grease and engine that will make it happen.

Here goes the old platitudes, in case you need them to meditate too.

Grabbing the bull by the horns. Dancing your own dance. Being in control. Setting your own rules of life. Being the dictator in control of your domain. Creating your own game and then making sure you're the winner. Think big - dare to dream. Put in the extra mile.
Above all else. Don't wait for anything to happen. Get out there and make it happen!

Now click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and add your response or thoughts for others to see when they click on the "Comments" link (Try it now!). It makes it far more interesting if we make it a conversation, instead of just my bullshit. Thank you to those who take the time and effort to do so.....
COME ON..........DO IT!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A common man's perspective

This is an e-mail response I got back from a very good friend. In this wild world of the Internet, we've never actually met in person at all. I became "net" friends with him on a Helicopter Pilot forum I discovered through my Daughters career with those weird ass machines. He visits the forum often to give new pilots the experience of his years of flying them safely and with great intelligence. I liked him immediately because of his great writing skills and attitude toward young people trying to break into the Helicopter Pilot industry.

He has always been nothing but positive about the industry and life in general. However, in just the last few months, I've seen him on his Face book page get caught up in all the negative political spin. I felt the need as a friend to write him a note telling him of my concerns. He wrote this back and as usual, it's so well written and I think perfectly reflects what a lot of, if not the majority of Americans are going through right now, that I thought it worthwhile to let all my blog readers hear what his response back to me was.

I'm keeping him anonymous for his own privacy.

Here is his letter back to me.....

First of all, you never have to worry about stepping "beyond your realm" with me. Friends are friends are friends, whether we've ever met face to face or not, and I consider you a very good friend indeed. I always welcome this kind of email from friends and family, because they make me take a look at myself. A reality check of sorts, if you will. That's never a bad thing in my estimation, and I'm not one to go getting defensive because I know the sentiments come from a genuine concern. I appreciate that more than words can say. I'm nowhere near perfect, so I can always use some words of wisdom from a friend!

I've caught myself on many occasions getting sucked into the negativity of the political realm and allowing myself to get swept up in the foolishness of it all. Being a passionate person, all too often I have a tendency to go overboard and let my emotions get the better of me. I have many hot button pet peeves that will set me off in a heartbeat and once I get going, I have a hard time stopping myself.

To name just a few:

Illegal immigration - I think it's just an absolute slap in the face to this nation, and to every immigrant who's ever gone through the process of coming here in accordance with our laws that our government is so incredibly willing to look the other way with regards to the rampant invasion we're experiencing;

Partisan politics - This country cannot survive as a nation divided along political lines. We don't have to agree on every issue, but we DO have to learn to work together and compromise for the greater good of the American people. It's absurd that our "leaders" act like spoiled children, and we allow them to get away with it. It's out of control and it needs to stop;

"Affirmative action" - There was a time when minorities might have needed an extra leg up, but that time is long gone. Nowadays, I just see quotas and affirmative action programs as a way to simply lower the standards for those who are either incapable or unwilling to meet the established standard. I've seen too many friends and family members who were far more qualified, lose out on jobs and scholarships for no other reason than their skin was simply the wrong color. These programs provide no motivation for self-improvement, and foster a society of people who have a sense of entitlement just because they're from a certain ethnic group. The ironic thing is they condone discrimination, even though that's exactly what they were designed to prevent. I think there should be one standard for everyone, and if you do not yet meet that standard, get off your ass and solve the problem. Don't sit around and wait for someone to lower the standard for you;

Anyone with a sense of entitlement - This country is great because people used to believe in doing an honest days' work for an honest days' pay. People knew that if they ever wanted to improve their lot in life, it would take hard work, motivation, and perseverance. Today, it seems too many people feel that they are "owed" something for nothing. More and more it seems people are just willing to sit around and stick their hands out and wait for someone to come along and give them something. I believe that if you want something, you go out and bust your ass to get it. I know you understand this as a self-employed business owner! ;-)

Hypocrites and Liars - Nothing chaps my rosy red ass quite as much as someone who falls into one or both of these categories. I find them more and more often anymore. Doesn't matter if they're slick salesmen, politicians, or whomever. I hate being lied to, I hate being ripped off, and I hate double standards (hence my FB photo album). In my chosen career, my life depends on honesty and integrity. I refuse to tolerate anyone who lacks either.

The above issues and topics will get me spun up fairly quickly and once I start seeing red, the horns come out and I start blowing smoke out of my nose and pawing at the ground. I absolutely have an incredibly fiery temper, though I do realize it and therefore do my very best to keep it in check. I guess it's the Italian in me ;-)

As a student of history, intellectually I realize that this time is just a downturn in our country's cyclical history and that things will get better, as they always do. There have been many before, and this likely will not be the last. On an emotional level though, I am not old enough to remember the last time our nation was in such a predicament. It's one thing to read about it in a textbook, it's completely different to be in the moment and experiencing it as it happens. I guess the doomsday stuff is a result of this. I just wonder how we can stop this snowball when it seems to be gaining speed and it's going down a very slippery slope. It scares me sometimes, to think about what the world and our country might be like when my Daughter has children of her own. I think this is part of the reason I get such a doom and gloom attitude at times. Just fear for what might become based on what I see in the world around me today. It's easier to see the bad than the good, and sometimes I get caught up in it all. I know in my heart of hearts that as you said, most people are good, rational, intelligent human beings. I guess I just need to try to focus on that a little more.

Like I said on my Face Book Page, I consider myself an independent, tho my tendencies are definitely more right-leaning than left. That said, there are plenty of things (gay marriage for one) that I agree with on the left side of the fence that would get me tarred and feathered with my righty friends. The problem is, I don't really care what anyone thinks of my political views, morals, or preferences. I'm always happy to explain myself and my beliefs to anyone who asks. I also love a good, civil debate on the topics when someone has a differing opinion as that is how I expand my horizons and learn. Basically what comes down to is that I just believe in what I think is right, no matter which political group endorses or condemns it.

On the Helicopter Pilot Forum, I do my very best to always be positive and helpful. Thats what that forum is for in my estimation, so that's what I try to present there. I do get caught up in petty arguements and Urinary Olympiads even in there, though I certainly try not to. I genuinely believe in paying it forward, and helping those who want to achieve what I've already achieved (or hopefully they want to do better than me!). On Facebook, it's more of whatever my day brings. Flying Pediatric and Neonatal transport teams for the last 8 months, I've seen some pretty depressing things so I know my FB statuses have reflected that. I'd say on an every day basis, I am far more like the persona you see in the Helicopter Forum, but this past year has been very rough on me and I'm sure that's come out in my FB postings. I do try to see the positive in things, but being an imperfect person, I know I do get negative sometimes. I will endeavor to keep that in mind in this coming year, and do my best to keep it from getting the better of me.

I'll tell you this much, I don't have many friends who would care enough to bring such concerns to my attention, so the fact that you wrote to me means a great deal. Thank you for watching my back, thank you for all the kind words, and thank you for being such an awesome friend. It is an honor to be able to call you my friend, and I hope someday I can give you as much as you've given me through the years. Your support, encouragement, kind words and wisdom have meant so much to me. Thank you.

Blue Skies and Tailwinds my friend.

Do you see why I consider him such an amazing, intelligent person? We need more people with his caring intelligence and integrety, that's for sure.


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Friday, January 14, 2011

Misinformation versus Truth.....

Like a lot of folks, I listen to National Public Radio each day on my way to and from work on the car radio. I'll admit that I feel their news is by far the most complete, non-biased and lacking of any political agenda out there on all the mostly bullshit airwaves. I do know in the mostly extremist world, they would adamantly disagree with my analysis but tough shit!

Sooooooooooooo, this morning they had this report I personally found extremely interesting and informative. Like most news right now, the subject was how much responsibility do the various extremist idiots on both sides of our political system need to take for this present assassination attempt and all the others in the past.

I have to admit right here and now that my very last blog tried to deal with this issue also. As you can see if you read that one, I too got caught up in considering blaming the extremist news idiots for influencing these crazies to shoot politicians.

It's well known that in March 1981, John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan. What is not well known is that several years later, the life of President Reagan and the life of his vice president, George H.W. Bush, were threatened again in fact, not just once. In the space of 18 months, four situations came to the attention of the Secret Service.

In two of these incidents, people with weapons and an intent to kill appeared at public events. In the two other incidents, the would-be assassins were intercepted before the events. Ultimately, all four cases were prosecuted. Two were convicted, and two were sent to psychiatric facilities, though the government didn't exactly advertise it.

These were not stories that hit the news, but they were situations that caused great concern for protectors. At that point in time the Secret Service decided they would like to know more about the behaviors of these people. So they undertook the most extensive study of assassins and would-be assassins ever done.

In the Secret Service Exception Case Study Project, they identified 83 people who had completed assassinations or made assassination attempts since 1949 — some cases known to the public, some not — and collected every document they could find. They also went to visit many of these people in jail.

They went with a very particular pitch: They would say, "We're here because we're in the business of trying to protect people and prevent these kinds of attacks. You are one of the few experts because you've engaged in this behavior. We would like to talk to you to understand your perspectives, your life". Most said they'd be very glad to talk.

The researchers asked prisoners how they chose targets, how they prepared. They inquired about their motives, every intimate detail of their process. After they asked these questions, they combined the answers with other sources and analyzed the information. In 1999, they published their results in The Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Nonpolitical Killers
The insights of this study are interesting to review in light of the Arizona shooting, though obviously we still don't know that much about Jared Loughner, the suspect in the attack, or his motives. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that according this study, assassinations of political figures were almost never for political reasons.

Ok, now here is where it gets super interesting I think. It was very, very rare for the primary motive to be political, though there were a number of attackers who appeared to clothe their motives with some political rhetoric. What emerges from the study is that rather than being politically motivated, many of the assassins and would-be assassins simply felt invisible and worthless. In the year before their attacks, most struggled with acute reversals and disappointment in their lives, which the paper argues, was the true motive. They didn't want to see themselves as nonentities. They experienced failure after failure after failure, and decided that rather than being a "nobody", they wanted to be a "somebody".

So these murderers or potential murderers chose their victims almost exclusively for the fame they thought they would get out of the deal, not for any particular political agenda at all. For example, there was one guy who was fixated on his governor until he heard that the vice president was coming to his area. He said he had read enough to know that there hadn't been anybody who had attempted to assassinate a sitting vice president. He reasoned that he would become far more famous killing a Vice President than his Governor.

Another assumption people make about assassins is that they're insane — people completely divorced from reality. But this study — to a degree — rejects that idea as too simplistic. The way these people sought to address what they saw as their main problems — anonymity and failure — wasn't inherently crazy at all. They had their share of mental problems for sure but don't we all?

So at a Safeway in Tuscon, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords became the latest public servant caught in the cross hairs of an attacker's gun. This study suggests the attempt may have been driven by very powerful and personal motives.

Crazy huh? Just when everyone thinks they have it all figured out, along comes a very extensive and well thought out long term professional study to throw a heavy dose of water and reality on our completely misguided explanations.


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Monday, January 10, 2011

America needs to start talking, instead of blaming

For all those who actually read most of my blogs, you know I've brought this subject up several times and ways, through the years. In fact the very last one was about this exact subject.

On a quick side note, would you believe I've just recently written my 100th blog. Where oh where does the time go and where oh where does all that bullshit come from? I knew I had a pretty big head because most stores don't carry my size hat but it does amaze me to reach that pinnacle of Esoteric Mumblings to be sure.

As I said, I've been writing about this subject a few times for years now and in my humble opinion (there's that odd, contradictory thought again), it's about time pretty much all the news media are FINALLY just starting to want to talk about it.

The "it" here is of course the clear responsibility all the news sources have to start taking for all the severe, extremist, partisan and clearly dangerous rhetoric they are all spewing more and more all the time. I'm sure for most of those Talk Radio and Television nut cases, it started out as simply an opinion wave they started and the money just started pouring in as more and more ignorant people who forgot to think for themselves jumped on their stupid ass bandwagons.

I have no idea if Jared Loughner who tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and still might succeed, had any influences from the extremist asses but I can tell you this. It doesn't matter in the slightest which side of the stupid political fence these complete morons are on. ALL the talking heads need to turn down their hate and blame before we have another civil war between groups of extremist with middle America caught up in their insanity. Lets get something perfectly clear here. These groups of idiots with their extremist bullshit are a minority. The majority of real, intelligent Americans have not swallowed the bullshit put out by these nut cases and just wish all this stupidity would just go away.

Like I said, I'm super glad all the news organizations are starting to at least talk about their responsibilities in promoting all this hate and blame. Of course in the beginning of these very important conversations, I'm still hearing both extremist sides trying to blame the other side for everything. "Jared Loughner is a left wing extremist" says the right side. "Jared Loughner is a right wing extremist" says the left side. Can't both sides see how incredibly stupid and childish they all sound right now. They ALL sound like a bunch of kids on the Kindergarten playground yelling and screaming at each other. It's time to GROW THE HELL UP KIDS.......

In total, 19 people were shot in the rampage outside a supermarket where Giffords held her meeting. Giffords was shot in the head, and remains in intensive care.
Among the six people killed were a 9-year-old girl who was born on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and was interested in public service, as well as one of Giffords' aides.

Giffords' brother-in-law, Scott, the commanding officer of the space shuttle, spoke over the radio. Flight controllers in Houston fell silent. "As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful," he said. "Unfortunately, it is not." "These days, we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words," he said. "We're better than this," he said. "We must do better."

Yes, we are Scott. Other than a fringe of nut cases in American, the average intelligent American is indeed far, far better than that.

Robert E. Lee during the Civil War told his solders to not call or think about the other side as "Enemies". They were to call them "Opponents". Can you believe the incredable wisdom involved in that one thought and rule back then?

I am an ardent believer in the concept and stated law in America of freedom of speech but clearly we are going to have to somehow tell all the idiot, screaming, neck muscles sticking out, spit flying out of their mouths nut cases trying to blame the other half of the public for tearing the country apart to SHUT THE HELL UP and start being responsible for their actions. If they want to keep their flaming income and listeners in tact and actually do some good for society, they should slow down, quit the blaming and try and be a catalyst for real answers for our many problems here in America.

Maybe they could try and bring intelligence and pride back into the average Americans life instead of hate and fear. Wouldn't that be a breath of fresh air?


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Monday, January 3, 2011

Isn't it about time to try and heal the split, in America?

Divisiveness galore. That would pretty much sum up the political climate in America and possibly the world right about now, wouldn't it? Somehow we in America went from a country joined in our quest for freedom from tyranny and religion to a country split right about the middle. With extremism at the outer edges moving toward the apparently very few in the middle.

This is an era where partisan politics seems to have split America right down the middle and political debate can grow so heated that most folks choose to avoid the topic altogether. Those who have joined either side of the extremist movements, whether that be the right wing or left are all convinced their political agendas are the one and only truth and the other side is literally trying to destroy the America we all revere and love so much.

If one were to travel from coast to coast in order to find out why political discourse regarding public affairs has become so disconnected, you would be shocked and amazed at how dysfunctional a lot of extremist have became. What does it mean for the future of our country when we can't even discuss our political differences in a civil manner anymore, and who has the authority to say what's truly "right" or "wrong" anyway when it comes to such hot button issues as abortion and gay marriage.

Permanently competitive and ideologically charged politics is a new reality for America. Governing the United States requires agreement among our basically two party system. America's present unstable power politics generates relentlessly bitter conflicts over a huge range of domestic and foreign policies and motivates activists in both parties to constantly compete fiercely all the time.

All us regular, intelligent middle of the road folks are now experiencing the results of this insane competition between the extreme right and the extreme left. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", seems to be the rule nowadays. Both sides try to out shout each other for our attention. Both sides put out mostly misinformation and at times, flat out lies about the other side to further their obnoxious, outlandish, ignorant agendas, with no care at all about what's best for "the people".

Like the title of this piece says, isn't it about time we all try and heal the split, in America? This ideological split is slowly but surely poisoning our way of life. Each idiot, extremist side tries to blame the other side for all our ills. I say it's them and their insanity that is the cause of most of our problems. If they would simply shut the hell up about their own sick, stupid, ignorant agendas and start trying to contribute to real, honest solutions we can all agree with, "we the people" are capable of solving our many problems, one at a time.

The first step in my humble opinion (do I even have any of those?) is for everyone to admit that this partisan politics we find ourselves in right now is a major part of all our problems and needs to go away. All those nutcases need to crawl back in their bomb shelters, close and lock the door and stay away from the rest of us for a time. Lets give "The people" a chance to solve some of these things instead of those shouting, obnoxious, eyes bugged out nutcases on the radio and other obscure news organizations that have cropped up in the last couple of years.



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