Week 24 – Commencement

new_beginnings“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” From “Closing Time” by Semisonic

Week 24. Commencement. It hardly seems possible.

Six months of introspection, mindfulness, and self discovery.

This is a very short, but heart felt blog entry.

The MKMMA experience is wrapping up, but we are all about to embark on that proverbial “first day of the rest of our lives”.

For many of us, it has been a magnificent revelation that we, and we alone, are responsible for the path our life follows.

The photo at the top of this blog, the fork in the road , has come to mean even more to me after these past six months.

Mark, Davene, and all the guides have opened my eyes to so many possibilities, and I have chosen the path less taken.

Thanks to all, including the many MKMMA students who opened their hearts and shared their deepest fears, hopes, and dreams.

Alliances have been formed. Mastermind groups have been created. Lives have been changed.

Especially mine.

It truly is, a wonderful world.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Meade

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Week Twenty Three – It’s Not About Me

aboutmeOnce again the MKMMA lesson resonated with me.

A while ago, a friend and mentor told me that I shouldn’t ever be afraid to contact anyone about our business.

She asked me, “Do you believe that the company offers superior value? Would you purchase the products even if there was no compensation plan? Do you believe that your life and the lives of those that you have introduced to this company are better because of it?”

After answering in the affirmative, she told me, “So you see, it’s not about you. It’s about helping others.” She also related that if I truly believed what I said I believed, I’d be doing others a disservice by not contacting them.

It made sense then. It makes sense now.

Don’t worry about who you can “get” for your business. Think about who you can help.

People like to be helped much more than they like to be “gotten”.

As I mentioned earlier, this week’s lesson touched me.

Paragraph 3: “We make money by making friends, and we enlarge our circle of friends by making money for them, by helping them, by being of service to them. The first law of success then is service, and this in turn is built on integrity and justice.”

Paragraph 5: “You can make a money magnet of yourself, but to do so you must first consider how you can make money for other people.”

Paragraph 6: “…it is just as essential to give as to get.”

Paragraph 7: “…the more we give the more we get.”

This is what excites me about partnering with a direct sales company. I succeed in proportion to the number of others I help to succeed. It’s a win/win situation.

I’ve heard a favorite quote by Zig Ziglar related a few different ways, but the gist of it is this: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.”

The MKMMA course has also taught me that I can not only help people to get what they want, but I can also help them to discover what they want.

Let’s all see who we can help today.

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Week Twenty Two “A” – The Science of Getting Rich

wallacedwattlesandbook“The Science of Getting Rich”, written by Wallace D Wattles in 1910, expresses and supports many of the ideas in Charles Haanel’s Master Key System.

It was also the inspiration for the hugely popular 2006 hit film, “The Secret”.

The following quote from TSOGR, in particular, resonated with me: “It is perfectly right that you should give your best attention to the science of getting rich, for it is the noblest and most necessary of all studies. If you neglect this study, you are derelict in your duty to yourself, to God and humanity, for you can render to God and humanity no greater service than to make the most of yourself.”

We are reminded that it is not money that is “the root of all evil”, but the love of money itself.

Money is a tool to be used, not hoarded, and if we are not rich, if we have not taken care of our own needs, we can never be in a position to help others with their needs.

You cannot give away that which you do not have. How can you ever be of service to others if you do not “make the most of yourself”?

Wattles was a proponent of creative visualization. His daughter reported that he “formed a mental picture” or visual image, and then “worked toward the realization of this vision”.

These two ideas are seen repeatedly throughout the Master Key System.

Form a crystal clear mental picture of what you desire, act upon that which you have visualized and concentrated upon, and become the greatest version of yourself.

Don’t do the best you can; do your best!

 

 

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Week Twenty Two – Everything In Moderation, Including Moderation

moderationMany years ago I was an agent for a major life insurance company. I won’t mention any names.

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Dave, my sales manager told me, “Don’t get too depressed when you’re in a valley, and don’t get too excited when you’re at a peak.”

It was good advice. Commission only sales can be a thrill ride, just as scary and vomit inducing as any roller coaster that Six Flags or Disney has to offer.

Reading “The Scroll Marked VI” reminded me of my days of knowing that the weeks that I was on a roll would carry me through the weeks that were filled with, well, nothing.

“If I feel depressed I will sing.                                                                                                                If I feel sad I will laugh.                                                                                                                         If I feel ill I will double my labor.                                                                                                       If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.                                                                                                            If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.                                                                                          If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.                                                                                                If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.                                                                                   If I feel incompetent I will remember past success.                                                                          If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.                                                                                 Today  I will be master of my emotions.”

The angry winter weather has been a recent challenge.                                                         “Gee, I’m glad that my roof isn’t leaking like so many others.”                                                       Two weeks later. “Hey, is that a small wet spot above the window?”                                            The next morning after returning home from an overnight shift. “Holy shit! My bed is soaking wet. Oh, there’s water dripping from the ceiling light. ”                                                    Later that week. “Nice to know my insurance will cover everything.”                                           The next day. “No! There’s water dripping from the ceiling in the bathroom now?”

As a visitor to this blog last week said, “This too shall pass.”

Funny. My mom used to tell me that. And it always did.

So, I will “master my moods” and “I will control my destiny”, but  because of this, I may actually allow myself to be just a bit more joyful than usual.

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Week Twenty One – Trying To Be Thankful

This is one of the worst winters in the Northeast United States in years, and there’s another 4 to 8 inches of snow in the forecast for tomorrow night.

7day_wide_629x354This February was the second coldest in our history, and nearly the coldest month ever in Boston since they started keeping records about 100 years ago.

The past month and a half has been a constant battle to keep my driveway and walks passable.

It seems as if I have been doing nothing but shoveling in my spare time, which has been limited since I’ve been mandated, several times, to stay at work until my relief arrives.

But nothing prepared me for Friday morning’s festivities.

I was tired after working my usual 11-7 shift at the hospital, and I was looking forward to falling into bed and crashing for a few hours.

I walked into the bedroom and just stared at my waterbed.

Now, I don’t have an actual waterbed, but the ice dam on my roof had caused melting snow to back up, seep through the roof shingles, and travel along the rafters in my attic. The water dripping from my bedroom ceiling light fixture had fallen directly onto the bed below. A pool of water was forming on the floor under and beside the bed.

So, no sleep, and lots of headaches.

I frantically called a phone number of a contractor who did roof snow removal. He was so busy that he never called me back.

I called a contractor friend of mine and asked him if he knew anyone who did that type of work.

Here’s where the “being thankful” part, in the midst of this chaos, begins.

My friend said he’d be out to take a look within a half hour. He left the job he was working on, and twenty minutes later he showed up and told me to call my insurance company to see if I was covered.

Jasmine, the MetLife customer service person, told me that any damage caused by the ice dam water seepage would be covered, but the cost of any snow removal to mitigate further damage would not.

My friend told me that he had to return to his work site, but he would return to clear my roof of ice later that day.

I asked him if I should tell the other contractor to come, if he called me back. His reply was, “Why would you do that? He’s going to charge you.”

I told my friend that I fully intended to pay him for the job. He told me, “Don’t worry about it. That’s what friends are for.”

He steadfastly refused to accept any payment for several hours of work, but finally relented when I told him I at wanted to at least, take him out for dinner.

So no more ice dam. No more water damage. All for the price of a prime rib dinner.

And then I realized that until then, I had never truly appreciated what a good friend I had.

Time for a new “What I’m Grateful For” card to go into the deck.

 

 

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Week Twenty – A Difference In Degree

Throughout the MKMMA course we have been reminded that since I am a part of “the whole”, I must be the same in kind and quality as the whole. The only difference is one of degree.

While in a “sit” this week, I thought of two comparisons of a part being the same as the whole, with the difference being one of degree. I also noticed that the positive and negative aspects of a “thing” are determined by how we use the “thing”. The “thing” in and of itself is neither good or bad.

Take water, for example. A single drop of water.

waterdropletIt has certain properties and when together with other single drops of water, it can be life giving, or life ending.

It’s the single most important life supporting thing our body needs. In fact, we are made up of approximately 70% water.

We can enjoy recreation in the water,

oceanor we can at times,

japan-tsunamibe totally at its mercy.

Same water. Different manifestations. Differences in degree.

The same goes for fire.

A single flame

one-candle

can light a room. A single flame can be used to ignite other flames.

An old saying states, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

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But fire can also wreak havoc, instill fear, and cause tremendous loss of life.

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Again, a part of the whole with qualities the same as the whole. Different manifestation, far different results.

We may also create good or bad with our actions. Our results are determined by being in, or out, of harmony with the “one”.

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Week Nineteen – I Am

Buddhist Hot Dog   I watched the movie “I Am” this week, and the old joke about the Buddhist and the hot dog vendor came to mind.

Through the words of various intellectuals, thinkers, and philosophers we are presented with examples of how we really all are part of the “one”.

This ties in so well with Haanel’s words: “…recognize the fact that you are part of the whole, and that a part must be the same in kind and quality as the whole; the only difference there can possibly be is in degree”.

The movie presents example after example of how every day acts, over time, can add up to movements.

We see Martin Luther King Jr., and those who joined with him, creating a movement culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

We see Nelson Mandela helping to effect the end of apartheid in South Africa.

We see Ghandi employing non-violent civil disobedience in his peaceful “fight” to lead the independence movement of India.

War is not the only way to effect global change. Love can also lead to change.

Not surprisingly, change created with love can be exceptionally challenging, since we may be required to love our enemies in order to change the status quo.

Obviously, we can’t change some of the horrors existing in this world as quickly as we would like, but we all can do something, and hopefully, over time, our “butterfly flapping its wings” actions

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can eventually influence the “hurricane”

hurricane

of hateful, violent actions now being perpetrated in the world.

Bishop Desmond Tutu recalled, “The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.”

As the story goes, around 1908, The London Times asked many notable authors, “What is wrong with the world?” In a letter, author G.K. Chesterston’s short answer reportedly was, “I am.”

Tom Shadyac, the director of the film, “I Am” says that there is a way out of the craziness in the world today. And it’s shorter than Chesterton’s letter.

It is, simply: Love.

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Week Eighteen – I Will Live This Day As If It Is My Last

So far, there has always been something very moving, something that speaks to me every week, while participating in the MKMMA course.

This week, the fourth of Week Eighteen’s Honor Requirements mentioned in the Workbook especially resonated with me.

This is the requirement that we read one obituary daily and take note of the picture. Part 4b asks, “Who can I let know how grateful I am for their presence today?”

This week I read an obituary of someone that I knew. I grew up with her husband, sisters-in-law, and brother-in-law and I had met her just a few times.

obit

This week’s exercise reminded me to let those I love know that they are important to me, and I was reminded of something that I read shortly after a family member had passed away.

Someone asked, “Why do people die?”, and the answer has stuck in my head for years: “To make life important.”

I love my family, my friends, but occasionally I forget how important they are to me. At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, I’ve come to appreciate them more and more as time passes by a little bit more quickly every year.

Life is important. It should be enjoyed, celebrated, and embraced. Always, and all ways.

Live each day as though it is your last. As Mandino states in “The Greatest Salesman In The World”, “My last must be my best. I will live this day as if it is my last. And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give thanks.”

I’m grateful for all the important people whose lives have intersected and entwined with mine. And I’m making it a point to tell them so.

Life is good.

Life+is+good+it+s+very+good_3cfc3f_4483340

 

 

 

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Week Seventeen “A” – I Am Nature’s Greatest Miracle

albert_einstein_by_zuzahin-d5pcbug

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. ~ Albert Einstein

I have always placed myself squarely in the camp of those who believe that everything is a miracle, however, my sense of wonder and belief has been dramatically enhanced by participating in the MKMMA experience.

I recently began my sixth decade on spaceship Earth. I’m in the best shape physically that I’ve been in years, and my mind is taking me places I hadn’t dared to dream of before. (N0, I’m not delusional, I’m just more excited about life and its possibilities than I have been in a very long time.)

I have four grandchildren and two more on the way. I jokingly say that they are my reward for not killing my own kids, and that if I had known how much fun they would be, I would have had them first! If you polled the one who has a grasp of the English language, (and I don’t want to start any “Mandelbaum-esque” competitions here, but…)

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she would tell you that I’m one of the coolest papas around.

I’m driving a car (when not in the midst of three feet of blizzard!) that has been in the back of my mind as “someday” for years.

I’m exercising and at my last doctor’s appointment my physician congratulated me for a drop of nearly 2 full points in my Hg A1c. (9.3 t9 7.6 – For those of you not familiar with diabetic blood sugar monitoring, that’s kind of a big deal!)

I am able and happy to attend family functions with my ex-wife, and I dare say we get along better than many married couples that I know.

Then there’s little things like seeing sunsets, eating ice cream sundaes, and walking on the beach. Hugging my grandchildren. Laughing with my kids. Breathing in; and breathing out. Being.

Miracles. Each and every one. Or not, depending on your perspective.

And in the middle of it all, here I am. Natures greatest miracle.

And because we are all part of the whole, not only am I nature’s greatest miracle, but so are you, and you, and you…

Peace.

peace

 

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Week Seventeen – The Power of “Auto” Suggestion or, I’ll See It When I Believe It!

I’ve always been a fan of the Nissan “Z”. Even back in the days of the Datsun 240 Z (That’s circa 1972). I always said that “some day” I would own one. I thought that as far as high performance sports carts go, the “Z” was the “biggest bang for the buck”.

So, no surprise that I would include a photo of a 370 Z on my movie poster, AKA dream board.

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My poster included photos and representations of my Personal Pivotal Needs (PPN’s), images with some special meaning to me, and some fun “perks” that I would like to manifest along the way as well. It has been a “work in progress” and I have made some modifications from the original.

On my way home from work one morning, I noticed a fairly new, but pre-owned, red 370 Z parked in front of the local Toyota dealership.

After passing by that car every day for a week or two, one morning on a whim, I stopped and looked at the car before the dealership was open. There was no price listed, just a sign that said, “WAS: $$$, NOW: DISCOUNT!”

I drove past it a few more times that week, then one day I stopped to see how much they were asking for it.

As I was looking at it, a very personable young salesman, Tomi, approached me and said, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

I had to agree. It was a 2010 model, but it looked like it had just rolled off the assembly line. And it had only 18,500 miles on the odometer.

Tomi asked me, “Want to take it for a test drive?”

Without thinking I blurted out, “Sure, let’s go.”

What the hell was I thinking? It’s the middle of winter, I’m a grandfather in my sixth decade, and I’m test driving a “Z” for absolutely no sane reason.

I said to myself, “Well, this will be a fun diversion. A little ‘dream building’ for the future. Something to tell all my co-workers, family, and friends about. How I drove a car that I’ve always wanted. How I thought about what I wanted it to do, and it did it. Like it was not so much a collection of steel, rubber, and fabric, but an extension of myself…”

Whoa! Put on the brakes big guy. Get a grip. Get back to the dealership, go home, and get back to the business of living sensibly.

We got back to the dealership and Tomi said, “Let me work some numbers with you.”

I was polite. I let him show me the numbers (which were surprisingly reasonable). I thanked him for his time and then I told him that I didn’t want to give him the wrong impression. I had stopped by on a whim, but I wasn’t really in the market just yet.

I went home and I caught a glimpse of my movie poster. There was the red “Z” looking back at me.

The next morning when I was reading my Blueprint Builder, I couldn’t help but smile when I said, “I know through the principle of autosuggestion” (emphasis on auto), “any desire that I persistently hold in my mind…”.

I stopped at the dealership the next morning and took a photo of the car. I put it on the latest edition of my movie poster.

IMG_1955A few weeks went by and the car was still on the lot. I noticed on line that the price of the car had been slightly lowered. I decided that I would stop in and make an even lower offer, just to show that I was interested, but not at that price.

The finance manager told me that he really couldn’t go any lower on the price.

A couple more weeks went by and the car was still for sale. I decided to go in one more time with another offer.

When I walked into the dealership, Tomi said, “Are you here about the Z again?” I said that I noticed it was still for sale and I thought that I would make one final offer. Tomi told me that another salesman had taken a $1,000 deposit from a gentleman in New Jersey and he was willing to pay the advertised price if the car met his expectations.

I told him that I had appreciated his friendly, low pressure approach, and to keep me in mind in the future if anything similar popped up.

He told me that he had taken out of state deposits in the past, and that they frequently didn’t pan out. If this deal with the other salesman and the Jersey guy fell through, he would call me.

I drove by the lot the next day and the space where the car had been was empty. My heart sank. It had been a fun little dream while it lasted.

Two days later, the car was back on the lot.

I sent Tomi an email stating simply, “No Jersey?”

He replied and asked me to come in.

Here’s where the long story gets short.

The finance manager told me that he needed to move this car. He also said that he knew that I wanted the car. He felt that we could work together to find some common ground.

We did. I made an offer that he accepted! I was happy. He was happy. I had negotiated a “steal”. With a car dealer!

I realize now that the car was an effect in my outer world. My inner world was the cause. Every day when I read my BPB, I smiled and looked at the photo on my movie poster as I said the word “autosuggestion”.

Yes, I wanted that car, but I wasn’t bound to the outcome. If that deal didn’t work out, something better would be in store.

So here’s what’s new in my life now.

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But I know that because of the effect the MKMMA has had in my life, it’s not

 

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                                                                  THE END

 

 

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