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Lesson from the Life of Billy Crystal

January 16, 2015 by  
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I want to continue discussing the theme we had last week on writing your thoughts, ideas and life into a journal. I have strong and passionate feelings about this process of making a record of your life, about having the ability to read over all those ups and downs and the lessons we learn along the way.

This past week, I read about the fascinating life and thoughts of Billy Crystal in his incredible autobiography Still Foolin’ ‘Em. He wrote the book when he was turning 65 and it’s really a great read. It’s packed full of very funny stuff but I was quite a bit more impressed by his deep thoughts and feelings on everything from his family including his wonderful wife, kids and grand-kids plus the big impact his father, mother and grandmother had on him, to his numerous famous friends and not so famous friends and business associates.  I’ll tell you, if you read his book you will quickly grow to love and admire this man. He inspires you and gives you some great insights into the human mind and behavior.

He and his famous friends certainly lived the philosophy of “feel the fear and do it anyway”. That is something we all need to remind ourselves to believe in and practice. I think most of us look at famous and really successful people and think that they don’t have great fears like us but nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone has fears, but the key to success and a great life is to plow right through those fears and “do it anyway”.

The other great lesson I learned from Billy Crystal, or I should say I re-learned and reminded myself to do more of, was the huge value of people networking. I was astounded at how many friends and business contacts Billy had. Even though Billy is super talented I don’t believe he would have soared nearly as high as he did without his people networking. I’m talking hundreds of incredibly influential people he got to know who helped him on his path to such tremendous success. And did he ever soar! His success was not only as a stand-up comedian but as an actor in all those wonderful movies, TV shows and even on the Broadway stage. He made us laugh which is so very good for our minds and souls plus he gave us so many hours of movie and TV entertainment. Now through his book, he is giving even more.

I certainly don’t think Billy is even close to being finished as he approaches his 67th birthday on March 14th of this year. The biggest lesson I think we should take away from Mr. Billy Chrystal is that all of us need to record our life, our activities and, most importantly, our thinking. This can be not only helpful to ourselves when we re-read what our thoughts were at different stages of our lives but also that your autobiography will be equally helpful to others. So keep making those journal entries and leave a legacy for your family, friends and everyone to enjoy as well as learning some great lessons from your own life.

Great Insights from the Best Teacher

January 9, 2015 by  
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Have you started writing in your own journal yet? If you haven’t, I’m going to try to persuade you to start doing it. Why? Because of the many, many benefits you’ll get not just at the time you write them out, but also down the road. This will be especially true if you write more about how you are feeling and what is quietly running through your brain from day to day.

In addition to writing your thoughts down, you will also want to record what you are doing including those steps you are taking to reach your goals. By writing out your thoughts and feelings as well as your goal items, you will no doubt find, as I have, that the biggest benefits come later when you re-read and revisit those thoughts that were running through your brain at different points of your life. You really can experience some major breakthroughs and some life changing and life enhancing discoveries just by looking back and seeing where you were and what you were doing at various times in your past.

I’ve been keeping my “thought journals” since I was 19 years old. I will admit that as I go back and read some of my thoughts and reasoning it’s down-right hilarious, but I’ve been shocked more than once that some of my recorded thoughts as a young 19 year old are rather profound. It’s so interesting to me to actually learn from myself, from my own words, concepts and thoughts that I had long ago forgotten. Many of us try to learn more about ourselves and want more insights into our minds and our lives. With more insights into our minds we can make big improvements to our lives. And who doesn’t want to be happier, healthier and wealthier? Well, that is what journaling can help you with.

Now as we begin a new year I think it would be the perfect time to start your own “thought journal”. If you are already journaling your journey and recording your thoughts and feelings, keep it up. And maybe now it would be good to take some time and re-read some old entries and see what you can learn from yourself. You may even come across some old goals that you logged but forgot about and it will make you realize that it’s time to hit the reset button on those goals.

I just re-read some of my thoughts and thinking from early 2012 and they certainly got me jump started for this new year. Maybe the best teacher you will ever have is actually you! But you do need to pay close attention to yourself and to you inner thinking and be sure to capture and record those thoughts and feelings. Then you will be able to revisit in order to learn and discover great insights from you, one of your greatest teachers, at a later time.