THE ‘I’ IN TEAM!

What role do you play?

the i in team

There are many different kinds of teams, and many synonyms to label them. 

  • crew
  • club
  •  company
  •  lineup
  • organization
  •  party
  •  side
  •  squad
  •  unit

Did you forget any? How about FRIENDS? FAMILY? CO-WORKERS??

You may have heard the old saying ‘There’s no ‘I’ in TEAM’. Simply put, the reply to this is yes, and no. Strictly speaking, when you spell the four letter word out TEAM , there is no letter ‘I’. Now there is a popular joke response floating about the internet that IF you type the word TEAM in certain fonts, you get a lowercase ‘i’ hidden in the negative space of the letter ‘A’. Often the caption that follows is something like ‘I found the ‘i’, it’s hidden in the ‘A-hole’.  This can be true in more ways than one.

First off, let’s address the ‘I’ in TEAM.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an ‘I’

1272840_10151909821779868_1800469555_o

Teams are groups of INDIVIDUALS working TOGETHER for a common goal. So the ‘I’ in TEAM stands for INDIVIDUAL, and that has good points and bad points.  Every INDIVIDUAL is unique and has unique needs which have to be addressed. Sometimes these individuals add skills and qualities to the group dynamic that improves the group’s overall performance. That is where the acronym T.E.A.M. comes into play, because TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE. It’s a wonderful thing when it works out that way, but  sometimes you get those negative elements that don’t play well with others. They are  the ‘a-holes’ bringing down the team.  In those cases, that negative player must either be corrected, or at worst cut, for the greater good of the squad. We are ALL individuals, and WE are all UNIQUE, and we each have our respective roles to play. We don’t always get to pick our teams, sometimes  teams pick us, and other times we are thrown together  by circumstance. Not everyone in the same organization will get along all the time, or even like each other.  Whether you like it or not, you on still on each other’s team. In those trying situations, the INDIVIDUAL you need to focus on is YOURSELF. Are you the solution, or part of the problem?   

75429542_2541303579257459_5398820186524483584_o

Who’s in charge around here?

Every effective group has someone leading the organization. Being a leader takes courage, discipline, and determination.  It is a very hard job that can be lonely. You can be open to harsh criticism when things aren’t going well, be accused of playing favorites, insulted by underlings who don’t like your leadership style, or feel you don’t recognize their contributions. Occasionally these gripes are true. We’ve all had bad bosses at one time or another. Leadership, like any new skill takes time to develop. Sometimes, happenstance requires that a void in the chain of command be filled. If no qualified  INDIVIDUAL can be found, willing volunteers may be asked to pick up the mantle, or have it forcibly thrust upon them.  This is what is sometimes referred to as ‘trial by fire’. You’ll either rise to the occasion, or burn out. If you suddenly find that you are now the ‘captain of the ship’, then YOU need to act like it, and run things as best as possible, while consulting with other captains of other ships, reading the appropriate manuals, and making the tough calls. This also includes listening to the questions and concerns of your subordinates, some of whom may have more seniority than you.

IF you find that YOU are NOT in a position of authority, and the duly appointed captain refuses to acknowledge the approaching iceberg, YOU have two choices.

Stay the course and hope for the best, or abandon ship.

The LONE WOLF

EJh2SeIWwAAzw_R

As a  leader, we MAY be able to force someone to do something they don’t want to do, but they won’t do it well, and may even quit or take action against us.

As a team-mate, we MAY be able to convince our squad to run a play, but everyone would need to be on board and, the team leader would still need to agree to it. There may be repercussions if we just did it without authorization, EVEN IF IT WORKED.

As an INDIVIDUAL, you can always convince yourself to do anything you really want to do.

Sometimes it’s just impossible to find a group that fits, or create a new group, or convince an old group to try something different that you really want to do.  The lone wolf has total freedom, but that freedom comes at the cost of camaraderie.  One really is the loneliest number, but regret is also a terrible thing.  If your team or group is holding you back, it may be time to explore new horizons and challenges solo. This requires a special kind of courage and strength, because the path of the lone wolf is the toughest.  If you falter and need help, you’re on your own. There’s no one to recognize your accomplishments, or say ‘good job’ at the end.  Only YOU can decide if it’s worth the risk of going it alone, or facing the regret of never knowing if you could have done it.  As INDIVIDUALS we all have the option of taking our ball and going home,  or finding new groups to play with, or just practicing our skills alone. Self-improvement  begins with SELF. No matter where we go, there we are. We can be part of many different groups simultaneously, but wherever we chose to be we need to bring our ‘A-game’ and give it our best effort.

 We cannot control the actions of other people, we ultimately can only control ourselves.   As always, I wish you success and happiness.

 

TIMING IS EVERYTHING!

Every second is precious.

timing is everything

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” ~ Peter Drucker.

It’s been said that ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’. It’s also been said that ‘he who hesitates is lost’.  We all live in the moment and there is no ‘right time’. People who wait for ‘the right time’ often wait forever and never accomplish anything. Ultimately it all comes down to proper timing. Each day, we all get the same 24 hours and how we spend that time is up to us. We also all have dreams, some big, some small, some practical, some unrealistic, and occasionally some totally bizarre. Like our time, realizing those dreams is also largely up to us. Highly successful people manage both their time and their money exceptionally well in order to accomplish those dreams and goals. Your future success is determined by what you do TODAY. People who chose to do nothing accomplish nothing and have no future. That same group is the most vocal about how successful people have somehow held them back in life, and that life is unfair. They refer to successful people as being obsessed. The important thing to remember is that obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.

finger-2056030_1920

If you truly want to improve your life, you cannot procrastinate, and you must attack your goal with full fledged determination. If you do this, you will succeed in life because most people are lazy. The important thing is to start! Do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today! Make a checklist of the things you need to do, and arrange them in a logical order so that you do not undermine your progress by having one chore undo another. For example, if you were  cleaning your kitchen, you would clean the counter tops BEFORE you swept the flour. You do not want to be counter-productive. The more efficiently you use your time, the more you can accomplish. Some tasks can be done simultaneously, others must be tackled one by one. Highly efficient people write things down and work from lists.

checklist-2077024_1920

Schedule EVERYTHING including downtime.  Dedicated people tend to over-schedule and burn out due to stress. Everyone needs a break. It’s OK to burn the midnight oil occasionally, but if you are constantly working late, sleeping little, and avoiding rest periods, you will begin to break down from stress. There’s an old adage: “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” If you feel you are not having enough time to do everything you need to do, you may need to cut out time-wasting activities. If you spend HOURS sitting in from of the TV, or playing games on the computer, then those bad habits are holding you back. I allow myself plenty of time in the morning by waking up earlier than I technically have to. This allows me time to have breakfast, pack lunch, exercise etc.  I allow a few extra minutes on the commute to work in case of construction or gridlock.  When I have tasks like shopping, I save time by making a single large loop and hitting all my destinations in the most efficient manner as to avoid back-tracking or going out of the way.

Remember, the future belongs to those who work for it. Do not neglect your health, no not neglect your finances, and if you have a family ESPECIALLY do not neglect them. People are ephemeral, we will all die one day, and it will be when we least expect it. The same goes for our friends and family.  How you spend your time is up to you. Will you waste it? or will you make the most of every moment? Only time will tell. As always I wish you success and happiness!      

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

(Your life may depend on it someday)

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” — George S Patton

Two hikers stumble across a grizzly bear and her cubs. The enraged mama bear snarls and charges towards them. As the two men turn to flee in terror, the one says “We’ll never make it, we can’t outrun the bear!”  His buddy replies, “I don’t need to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun you.”

That’s an old joke, and you’ve probably stumbled across it before. Often it gets recycled or changed a bit.  Lately it’s been used pretty often in the popular Zombie Apocalypse Fiction genre.  One traumatic  example was in the second season of TV’s The Walking Dead when Shane shot Otis so he could outrun the zombies chasing them by sacrificing his buddy.  In the move Zombieland, Columbus had 33 survival rules, but his NUMBER ONE RULE was Cardio. “To escape a pursuing zombie you will need to out-run it, and this means being in good shape. ” There is even an running app for your smart phone called Zombies, RUN!

Many people take running for granted, often fooling themselves into believing that if they ever needed to run, or run FAST and far , they could if they had to. You’ll never know how far, or how fast you can run unless you make time for a regular fitness regime that includes cardio.  Now besides entertainment, end of the world Zombie fiction is good for getting people to THINK about what they what they would do if the unthinkable happened. When a natural disaster such as hurricane Katrina or Sandy suddenly devastated coastal regions would you have  fresh water, power, or food? What about tools, and other supplies. So let’s assume you were smart and did have a ‘bug-out-bag’ with supplies ready and waiting for an emergence. Could you strap it on your back and walk with that load  for miles if need be? Could you?

Two out of every three Americans are overweight, and half of those are obese. Being FAT is not healthy. It is bad for your heart, your veins, your bones, and your mental state. It is bad for every part of your body. I should know, I’ve been struggling with weight issues for years, and two years ago I embarked on a vigorous diet and exercise program to get my life back on track once and for all. Understand this above all else, it is impossible to lose weight by exercise alone. Exercise just helps to strengthen and tone the body. You’re food is your fuel, and your body needs the best possible nutrition to build strong bones and muscles. As a stress eater, I know that it is a struggle to give up comfort foods such as chocolate, cake, and pizza. Trust me, I know all about it. It is a daily struggle of mind over matter, but once you establish a daily routine and stick to it, you will see results. It will NOT happen overnight, all good things take time. The important thing is to start.

The Power of Positivity

When you feel good about yourself you feel better physically, and vice versa. I was in a bit of a funk a year ago because my weight had hit a plateau which is common.  So I needed to change what I was doing as far as both diet and exercise. After all what is the point of being rich and successful if you’re too sickly or overweight to enjoy the fruit of your labors? Doing NOTHING is not an option. When I was fatter, my knees hurt. Running was not an option in that state. As I began losing weight, the knee pain lessened and I started doing the elliptical more and more at the gym. And I began to see results so I started feeling better about myself. Obesity causes mental illness, such as depression.  Over the past two years I’ve managed to lose about 60 lbs so far, 30 last year, and 30 this year.  Last summer when I lost the first 30 lbs, I was on vacation and a cute waitress at my favorite cafe noticed, and told me I looked really good. That one compliment made my entire year and provided the impetus  to train even harder. So I decided to try running.

637042639003493998

One of my friends on Twitter is Nathan Maxwell @socialshark . I met him though CoffeeChat. He’s an Ultra endurance athlete, married with six kids. He started running 11 years ago and at the time he too was overweight, and couldn’t run one mile. Since then he has trained incredibly hard and to date has run more than 60 ultra marathons and four 100 milers. He has been (and still is) an incredible source of inspiration and motivation. I am fully convinced that I would not have reached the level of running I have currently achieved had it not been for his knowledge, wisdom, and encouragement.  Almost six months ago, I ran my  first 5K, that’s 3.1 miles. Since then I did a 15K Trail Run, uphill with 4 creek crossings in 90°F heat, and two weeks ago I ran my first half-marathon (13.1 miles). On October 13th I’m running another half-marathon, and four days later I have a 5K night run planned. I hope to run a full marathon in a year or so once I get my times down on the half-marathon.

beforeafter

If there is one thing that I can say about the running community, it is filled with people who encourage and support other runners. I have been told that I was AMAZING more than once, and have gotten many thumbs-up, fist bumps, and high-five palm slaps. Likewise I have passed on encouragement to fellow runners, including one man  who decided to run his first 5K at age 70. And yes, Richard finished, and he wasn’t last! Even if he was, the point is running the race, and not giving up. I was dead last when I ran the Chobert Challenge 15K trail run. I burned over 2000kcals and was exhausted and staving when I crossed the finish line, but I did it, and there was even pizza waiting! Next time, I won’t be last. My first half marathon was grueling, but I finished! The best thing about half-marathons and up is that you get a finishers medal when you cross the finish line. This is not to be confused  with the insulting participation medal. It is a FINISHERS MEDAL and you earn it when you FINISH.  Crossing that finish line is an accomplishment that needs to be recognized.  Each year there are over 750 marathons and half-marathons held across America. Less than 1% of the US population runs in these races.  As for 5K races and such, there are also medals awarded by divisions and gender, so you can still win first, second, or third in your bracket even if you were not in the top three over all, and your times are recorded so you can track your progress as you go for the gold! Good luck, and as always I wish you success and happiness!  

20190907_111921(1)

CONQUER THE WORLD!

Ask me how…

conquer the world

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie

The world is made up of two types of people. Those who talk about doing things, and those who go out and get those things done.  According to a recent article printed in Business Insider  about a third of Millennials think that they are worse off today than they were ten years ago.  The question that really begs to be asked is what were these ‘eager young space cadets’ doing over the past decade to improve their lives? The overwhelming response was nothing. They stayed in the same dead-end jobs for fear of finding a better job. They didn’t invest in the stock market for fear of losing money. They didn’t save because they had just enough to make ends meet, and they feared they wouldn’t be able to.  The end result of doing nothing is nothing. Nothing happens unless someone makes it happen. You will never be able to conquer the world until you learn to conquer your irrational fears.

Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear. –Dale Carnegie

If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self. – Napoleon Hill

Many times, we are held back by bad habits. Laziness is chief among all bad habits. We put off for tomorrow what could be done today because we ‘don’t feel like it’ or we ‘don’t have time’ or we have ‘something better to do.’ Motivation can be difficult when we don’t see immediate results, but all things take time, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. This goes for all bad habits from poor eating habits to addictions to failure to exercise regularly. If you start something, keep at it until the task has been accomplished. Never give up. Focus on doing what you can, and then going one better.    

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ― William Faulkner

If you believe that something is impossible, and you don’t attempt it, you will never know if it could have been accomplished. Trying once and failing is not an indication of impossibility, it’s just an indication of inexperience and lack of knowledge. No one was ever an expert the first time they did something, and if they happened to do it perfectly that first time, it was dumb luck. You’re an expert when you can consistently deliver the same results, and that takes time and practice.   

Energy and persistence conquer all things. – Benjamin Franklin

globe-trotter-1828079_1920                                                                                                                 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. –Jeremiah 29:11

Make plans! If you fail to plan you plan to fail! You need to know where you are, where you want to be, and have the steps to get there. You need to know what direction to go, what tools you’ll need to accomplish your goal. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it won’t happen at all unless you take to proper measures beforehand. Spontaneity is great when you’re stuck and need to think of something to get you back on course, but it’s a terrible way to live your life. All successful people take notes, make plans, and work from paper. Again, if you do nothing, nothing will happen. You got this! You just have to believe in the possible.

smartphone-695164_1920

I believe that in the end the truth will conquer. –John Wycliffe

As you continue moving on towards accomplishing you goals, You’ll encounter a lot of fake news and negativity. You need to cut the dead-weight that’s holding you back. Unhappy, unsuccessful people will be jealous of your attempts to better yourself. Success is the best revenge. There are many people you will meet throughout your life who will never accomplish half the things you do, and they will try to make you feel bad about yourself by calling you greedy or selfish. What they think of you says more about them then it does about you. Your success does not doom them to failure. They doomed themselves to failure by doing nothing and just want you to feel sorry for their poor life choices. You can’t help them, they are the only ones who can help themselves, and they don’t want to for whatever reason. If you have access to the internet, you have access to the sum total of human knowledge. Ignorance is a choice, knowledge is power, and the truth will vanquish any lie in time. Stay focused on your goals and they will become your accomplishments. You got this, and no one can take that away from you!  If you can conceive it, and you can believe it, you can achieve it! As always I wish you success and happiness!

WHO’S MINDING YOU!

Escaping the ‘nanny-state’!

whos minding you

This is the forth article in the ‘Who’s Minding’ series. For the first three parts read Who’s Minding the Bank?, Who’s Minding the Market?,  and  Who’s Minding the Food?

I’ve got no strings

To hold me down

To make me fret

Or make me frown

I had strings

But now I’m free

There are no strings on me–  song I’ve Got No Strings by Dickie Jones, 1940

Everyone has an agenda. Some are obvious, are some subtle, and some are hidden and secretive.  Except in the most rare of cases, the person pulling the strings wants what’s best for themselves above all else. Sometimes what’s good for them is also good for everyone else,  and sometimes it’s unashamedly mercenary.  Without question, the two thousand plus billionaires of the world wield great power over the average person.  They are the modern kings of today’s world, and they are playing a Game of Kings to stake out their own little section of the world to rule.  They are the tops of the pyramid, the kings of the hill.  Next in line are the millionaires and multi-millionaires. They too have great power over the lives of the average person.  Independent, hard working people come next. At the very bottom of the pyramid are the wretched dregs of society. People who have either giving up on trying to better themselves, and are dependent upon social welfare programs and the kindness of strangers to survive.

monitor-1054711_1920

If you are fortunate enough to live in the United States of America,  then you are blessed indeed. The USA is a land of limitless opportunities, and built upon the tenants of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Since the nation was founded 243 years ago, it has been the target of powerful people who want to subvert and destroy our great nation. For parts of the nineteenth and all of the twentieth centuries,  the Democratic National Committee has been trying to remake the USA and destroy the Christian country created by the Founding Fathers.  Democrat is indeed the new communist as the liberal left slinks further  and further towards radical socialist agendas and establishing a permanent power over the average citizen. In their new vision of America, we the people will be dependent on the government from cradle to grave.  They will slander and attempt to destroy anyone who dares to oppose them.

Our nation and its government is BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.  There is nothing wrong with wealth. There is nothing wrong with success. We live in a capitalist society and our economy grows through consumerism.   If people are buying, selling, and trading, there are jobs being created.  What is wrong is when a government tries to enslave all its citizens and destroy the means of creating wealth while raising taxes and killing jobs. This is what Barack Hussein Obama II was in the process of doing, and what Hillary Rodham Clinton would have continued had she been elected.  Fortunately,  there was a very powerful patriot, billionaire Donald J. Trump who was willing to fight to save our nation from those who were willing to save it.  Trump’s love for our nation exceeds that of any president in our lifetime, even greater than Ronald Reagan. Fortunately, WE THE PEOPLE banded together in such force to elect this great man to the highest office. Donald J. Trump has been insulted, slandered, belittled, and bashed by all those who oppose him. The liberals are losing, and they know it!

trumphuggingflag

  • Billionaires control our world.
  • They control our banks.
  • They control our economy and industry.
  • They control our food.
  • They control our media.
  • They control our communications and social networks.

They control so many aspects of our lives, but they can only control us if we allow them.  All of the media, communications, and social networks THEY created can also benefit US if we take the time to navigate the sea of lies and misinformation that powerful LEFTIST billionaires are imposing upon us.  Every wealth group from the ultra-poor to the mega-rich can be divided into two main camps, the left (liberal) and the right (conservative). There are also two other smaller subgroups that are far dangerous to our nation. The centralist, who can flip-flop on issues at the drop of a hat, and the anarchist who wants no government of any kind and doesn’t care about politics at all.  Both of these groups are products of the post-modern school of thought which claims there is no right or wrong.

eye-1431368_1920

In God We Trust!

There was a reason that Madalyn Murray O’Hair fought hard to ban studying the Bible in public schools in 1963. She was a militant feminist, communist, and atheist who founded the group American Atheists.  She  claimed that religion was “a crutch” and an “irrational reliance on superstitions and supernatural nonsense”.  In reality this was all part of a greater plan. The USA was founded as a Christian nation, and by removing the study of the Bible from public schools, O’Hair was sowing the seeds for the destruction of the US.  Without God, there is no USA. 

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. – Psalm 33:12

There is a difference between religion and spirituality, just as there is a difference between morals and ethics. Unfortunately few take the time to learn the distinction.  Spirituality is a belief in God, and the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Religion is a system of rules and doctrines.  This is why Jesus said in James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ”   

There is no such thing as a moral atheist because morals are based on Biblical absolutes whereas situational ethics are fluid and can change with the individual or situation. Good can be bad and bad can be good  in the mind of post modernists. God is good ALWAYS and when you eliminate the study of the Bible, you erode the moral backbone of the nation.  If something is legal, it is not unethical. If it were unethical, it would be illegal. Immoral is always immoral, whether it is legal or not. So the word of God is not a ‘controlling’ force, but a guiding factor which is for our benefit.  Warning us about destructive behaviors is not HATE, it is truly being done  for our benefit so that we may life a healthy, happy, and productive life.  The only time I’ve ever seen happy atheists are when they were insulting Christians.

The bottom line is that there are many forces in this world that are trying to control us, even up to and including the point of a gun.  The power we give these earthly forces over us is an illusion we allow them, one that we can shatter at any time. WE THE PEOPLE have the real power, and if God is with us, who can stand against us? As always, I wish you success and happiness!  

Who’s Minding The Market?

Is the game rigged?

whos minding the market

‘The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.’ —Brian Tracy

You’ve probably heard the old cliché ‘the rich get richer while the poor stay poor (or get poorer)’. Although this truism  is often used by the media as a way of stirring up class warfare, it would be more accurate to say, ‘you get what you pay for.’  Success expert and motivational speaker Brain Tracy often remarks that the real reason people are poor is because they haven’t decided to be rich. The truth hurts, but facts are facts. Facts may offend, but facts are incontrovertible, transcendent of whomever says them. Rich people didn’t get rich by making poor people poor, for the most part, they did it by fearlessly investing their money somewhere. 

Knowledge is power

There is a lot of fake news out there, and our society has never been more plugged in and connected. Unfortunately there is a big difference between reading something and understanding it. Not every bit of information being relayed to you is for your benefit. Some information like advertising contains subliminal messages to entice you to purchase their product. Is that flashy new model automobile really that much better than the car you own, or than the dozen other advertisements from other car companies all of which claim to be the best and most reliable on the road? At the end of the day, you can only drive as fast as the posted speed limit, and few people are impressed by your car for very long, if ever. A 17-year old Hyundai Accent that still runs will get you to work just as fast as a brand new one.

Subliminal messages appear in just about every piece of information presented to you. It is a hidden suggestion in the content intended to sway your opinion to their side of the issue.  Someone is pulling your strings, and you won’t even know it unless you learn to read between the lines.  The poor are exploited by the rich because the rich have power, and the poor lack it.

Money is power

Financial freedom is one example of power that the rich have. When you have enough money, you can do anything and go anywhere.  With the possible exception of the nouveau riche, all rich and successful people invest in the stock market. Poor people do not invest in the stock market for a variety of reasons.

  • The most overused excuse is that they lack money. The reality is that they waste money on junk.
  • The next excuse is that they don’t want to lose their money. The reality is your money is gone the moment you spend it on any consumable item. Try getting your money back for the pack of cigarettes you smoked.
  • Stocks are very expensive.  Amazon may sell in excess of $1860 a share, but there are literally thousands of ‘penny stocks’ that cost less than a pack of smokes or even a can of soda.
  • They don’t understand it. That is a valid excuse. A fool and their money are soon parted. However, it is a limitation which can be easily overcome by study and time. Leaders are readers!

business-3150423_1280

“It’s my own desire

It’s my own remorse

Help me to decide

Help me make the most Of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever

Everybody wants to rule the world.”   – song Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears for Fears (1985)

Power is power

The rich have knowledge, money, and power. This allows them to control various aspects of our lives.  Some rich people like President Donald J. Trump root for the common man and want every citizen to achieve whatever goals and dreams they aspire to. Others like Bernie Sanders want to control every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave. To warped frustrated old men like Sanders, we are not people, we are cattle. Unfortunately many young mush-heads believe the socialist garbage being spooned down their throats. America is a great nation because of Christianity and capitalism.  No nation on Earth is perfect, but the USA is the greatest bastion of freedom, liberty, and opportunity in the world, and there are powerful men that are working hard to change that. The current generation, known as millennials, are the first generation born in the USA not to be richer than their parents.  They were duped and manipulated by misinformation, fake news, liberal teachers, and mass media.

Is the stock market being gamed?

All media outlets are ultimately owned  by the rich, and they can use these media outlets to influence the thoughts and behaviors of the masses.  If a financial expert on a top news program  suddenly proclaims that the bull market is nearly over, some people panic and sell their shares because the price drops. A short while later, the stock rebounds to new heights. Not only has the skittish investor  lost on their initial investment, but they also missed out on potential gains had they held on to their shares.  An important book to read on this topic is Unshakeable by Tony Robbins. It is impossible to ‘time the market’ and a wise investor knows that bull markets are around long, and bear markets only last a short while. The key is to stay the course. The market is not rigged, but there is some level of manipulation being used against unseasoned investors to exploit their fears. As Warren Buffet would say, ‘when everyone’s selling, he’s buying’.

Facebook Stock is currently trading at $178.28 as of  April 18th 2019. The 52 week high was $218.62 and the low was $123.02. If you panicked and sold it at $123, you would have missed a nearly 50% gain. If you sold at $218, you could have locked in any gains you made, and reinvested it at a later time buying something else, or buying shares at the current $178 price in the hopes of future gains. If you had bought Facebook in 2012 at its IPO of $38, you would have made out like a bandit in either case. Imagine how the people feel who sold their shares a week after the IPO when the stock plunged to about $26 per share and so-called experts were calling it a bad investment! Better yet, imagine if you had brought AMAZON in 1997 for its IPO at a mere $18 a share. A $10,000 investment in that company alone would have made you a millionaire today.  What you hear about a company on the news may cause you to panic and sell at the wrong time, or encourage you to buy at the wrong time, or worse yet never even buy at all. Past performance is no indication of future performance.

stock-exchange-642896_1280

Inside, OUT!

You may have heard of Insider trading, where sensitive information about a company is clandestinely shared with an individual so that they can gain an advantage over the average investor. This is against the law, MOSTLY. There are exceptions to this rule for certain people, and possibly even ways to theoretically circumvent the laws if you are rich and powerful.

What exactly is insider trading? In order for a person to be considered an ‘insider’ they need to have either a 10% stake in that company, or access to valuable, non-public information about that company.  CEOs, presidents, vice-presidents, and board members  are all considered insiders.  In order to LEGALLY trade on shares  IF YOU ARE AN INSIDER,  these transactions must be properly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are done with advance filings. It is also illegal to share insider information to protect friends and family members who might own stock in that company.  That’s what happened to Martha Stewart in 2001 when she found out  her friend’s company ImClone’s new cancer drug was being rejected by the FDA, and she suddenly sold all her shares days before the official announcement.   Attempting to save $250,000 landed her in jail. Illegal is still illegal even if you don’t like the law. Had she just waited until news of the rejection of the new drug was publicly aired, she might have taken a little or no loss, avoided jail, and would have been able to write off any losses as a tax credit. Greed can get you in trouble fast.

The bottom line

You will never be able to spend your way into prosperity. The only way to get rich quick is to do it slowly. Rich people run the world, and they got rich because they made the proper choices, took risks, and invested their money. They earned their money the old fashioned way, they worked for it. The good news is that opportunity exists everywhere if you are willing to look for it, and do the work. As always, I wish you success and happiness!

THE BIG PICTURE!

Do you have ALL of the pieces?

(Part one of a two-part series)

The Big Picture

“No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.”– Brian Tracy

As we progress in life, we grow in knowledge and experience and as a result come to understand that things aren’t always as they seem, or aren’t really they way we believe them to be. Adults understand more than children. Teachers understand more than their students, up until the student totally masters the subject and moves on. As long as we have air in our lungs, we still have opportunities to educate ourselves and improve our lives. Knowledge, like money, is power. Just as the rich ‘rule over’ the poor, the smart ‘rule over’ the stupid. The problem is there are more uneducated people in the world than there are educated ones. There are more lazy people then there are industrious. There are more unsuccessful people than successful.

One piece of the puzzle.

Big Picture 1

What if I told you that the photo above was a picture of a priceless work of art, valued at almost a billion dollars.  You’d look at that picture, scratch your head in wonder and confusion, and probably say that only an idiot would pay that, or that you could paint a better picture and deserve the money more.   

America has a free market, capitalist economy. As a result, we have created more wealthy, successful people than any other country in the world.

The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first confirmed U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916, and still holds the title of history’s wealthiest individual. The majority of billionaires and millionaires in the world are Americans.  

Last month, Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY said a society that allows billionaires to exist while some Americans live in abject poverty is “immoral.”

Becoming rich, educated, and successful doesn’t happen by accident, or overnight. It takes years and hard work.  Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man on Earth. He started Amazon.com twenty years ago, selling books on the internet, from  his home. He took advantage of the law of supply and demand, and overtime built the powerhouse that his company has become. Simply put, he gave people what they wanted, at a price they were willing to pay, and made a profit doing it.

The second piece of the puzzle.

Big Picture 2

What if I told you that the picture above was the exact same piece of art. Again, you’d probably compare the two, say they were different, that the second was better than the first, and that both were worthless, and that you could do better.

As I stated previously,  There are more uneducated, lazy, unsuccessful people in the world than those who have decided to improve their lives. In some countries, it is impossible to rise above one’s lot in life, and that is why so many foreigners desire to immigrate to America. In the USA, you have opportunities to succeed beyond your wildest dreams, IF you’re willing to work long and hard to achieve those goals.  Unfortunately,  Saul Alinsky’s protégés  have used his playbook to stir up class envy among the poor and uneducated masses, those he refers to as ‘useful idiots’.  The same  Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY also stated just hours after getting elected as the youngest  state representative EVER that she was NOT ABLE to afford to pay her rent for a new apartment. According to cheatsheet.com , at 29 years old, the young congress woman’s net worth is under $7,000. She was only making $26,600 annually before being elected and has been paying down college debts. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez now receives an annual congressional salary of $174,000.  She was able to bamboozle her constituents to electing her by essentially offering them free lunch.  If she has no understanding of  microeconomics, is it any wonder she is mystified by macroeconomics?

If you’re unfamiliar with those two terms, very simply put:

  • Microeconomics are personal financial issues such as planning your vacation, budgeting your money , paying your rent, etc.        
  • Macroeconomics are large scale financial issues like how business and even entire countries handle their economies.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio both lobbied long and hard to bring AMAZON to NY. Massive tax-break incentives were offered and as a result, a deal was struck for a proposed location in Long Island City.

aocnoamazon

Days ago,  Jeff Bezos abandoned this proposed plan to build a new AMAZON distribution hub and second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens NY because of opposition created by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  She was enraged that the richest man on the planet was going to receive a $3,000,000,000 tax BREAK to open this new location. A TAX BREAK. He was not getting three billion dollars from the city, he was getting a discount on future tax liabilities!  Yet this buffoon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez killed the deal by insulting Mr. Bezos, his company, and his employees, and inciting protests.  The new location would have created 26,000 new jobs, with benefits , starting at $15 per hour, and paying up to six-figure salaries.  There is  no estimate on the incalculable  collateral damage to the city’s economy.

aocdumass

 

The BIG Picture!

mona-lisa-67506_640

If you step back far enough  to see THE ENTIRE PICTURE, everything makes sense.  The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci painted in 1503. It’s located in France in the Louvre Museum (since 1797). It’s one of a kind, like the USA.  There are millions of artists in the world, and many of them can work in oil paint, and even reproduce a decent facsimile of the Mona Lisa if they really wanted to.   There are also ‘artists’ that use animal dung, or urine as a medium. And there are dummies who would also pay for such works of ‘art’ produced by so-called ‘artists’.  There is ONLY ONE Mona Lisa, and ONLY ONE America. There are many idiots in the world that hate both, and believe they could produce something ‘better’. President Trump sees the BIG PICTURE and is doing everything that needs to be done to repair the damages done by prior administrations and by career politicians intent on seizing as much power as they can. 

There are also some people who claim to see an ‘even bigger picture’.  There are many conspiracy theories out there that claim unknown, unseen forces are conspiring to destroy the USA, and that these same forces are behind creating THE FED, the massive government debt, and the political smear campaign that is being waged against President Donald J. Trump by various media outlets. I don’t really buy into conspiracy theories, but as comedian George Carlin once said, “you should never underestimate the power  of stupid people   in large groups.”   For those who choose to believe in a ‘BIGGER PICTURE’ I’ll discuss Q Anon, the Illuminati, and other popular conspiracy theories next week in the second half of this article, A GAME OF KINGS. Until then, keep watching the skies! As always, I wish you success and happiness!