Don’t Take Planning for Granted

September 28, 2012 by  
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I talk a lot about goal setting and planning for your dreams, especially the aspect of making a plan and sticking to it. But have you ever considered what it might be like to not even have the option to make plans?

In Serbia where we recently traveled, they are so thankful that the war that tore up that country from 1992 to 1995 is over. There is still plenty of evidence of those hard years but what a great country it is to visit now. It’s very safe and friendly as well as being an inexpensive country to enjoy and explore. But the really amazing thing is the people and their appreciation for things that, at one time, they weren’t sure they could have, would not even dream about because their future was so uncertain.

These days the people of Serbia are finally feeling settled and are able to make long term plans to create businesses, start or grow families, go to school, or build a home. There are still struggles but they have at least had the ability to dream restored to them.

We take that kind of long term planning for granted because it is not only possible but pretty easy for us to plan for whatever we might want. We certainly have fewer hurdles than most of those people in Serbia. If we only take the time to plan and then act on those plans, imagine what can be accomplished in a country that encourages and supports your dreams? We should, at least, be so very grateful for that extra benefit in our lives.


**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?

Our Common Thread: Being Human

September 21, 2012 by  
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Well, I’ve been traveling again–Paris and Serbia and Montenegro. As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I love to travel because of the stimulation it gives my mind and my spirit. The newness of the experiences and the variety of the places and cultures all combine to inspire and energize me. But there is one thing I don’t find much different from place to place … people.

As much as we might want to imagine it, people around the world are, at their center, pretty much the same. I know that in my experience most people are good and kind and want to help regardless of race, religion or country. We all have this binding similarity that is all too easily forgotten—we are all human and we all want the same basic thing … to be happy.

That’s why it’s so upsetting when I read in the news about people segregating themselves from each other. Whether it’s Muslims feeling hurt by what they are told about the US or the 99% trying to make it look like the 1% are another species, what would really help is for us all to stop and think that each person has the capacity for love and caring as well as hate, each individual is someone’s child, each of us are struggling with pain and misunderstanding and desire. That is who these ‘other’ people are.

Knowing this I am not at all surprised as I travel to meet smiling faces and kind gestures in every country and every culture I get to experience. I think if we expect animosity we will find animosity but if we expect compassion and generosity, it will be there for us to find.

Our Circle of Very Special People

September 14, 2012 by  
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A couple weeks ago we drove to the annual Stein Eriksen “Trollhaugen Tennis Tournament” in Montana. Before I went I worked my buns off. Okay … some of what I had to do might not fit your definition of work since a lot of it was using the tennis ball machine to work on and improve my backhand and forehand but  I also did cram in a bunch of office work. In that time I wrote up a complicated contract, worked on a refinance of my Kauai house and made an offer on 3 new Family Dollar stores. All that office work and the tennis workouts were crammed into two days which made it a couple of frenzied days but it also make the tennis tournament all the more rewarding–even though I didn’t win. It was a ‘break’ that was all the more prized because of that hard work, just as I’ve been saying the last couple weeks.

Going to this tournament is actually not so much about the tennis as it is about the wonderful friends and great conversations. I mention this event on page 134 of my book “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living“. There is even a picture of the Eriksen’s and us in the book. Most of the people we see at the tournament are friends we only see once a year but still those once a year friends have become very close and dear to us over the last 15 years that we’ve been going.

Stein Eriksen (the 1952 Olympic ski gold medalist and world cup champ) along with his wonderful wife Francoise and son Bjorn are an inspiration to me. They have such an incredible ability to surround themselves with many very dynamic, successful, kind and gentle friends. I just hope over the rest of my life I can come even close to doing the same thing that the Eriksen’s have done.

There are few loftier goals, in my opinion and experience, that a person could set for themselves than to have many great, successful and kind people as friends. Surrounding yourself with these types of people is inspiring, motivating and so very fulfilling. You can never have too many so I say let’s go out and work on increasing our circle of very special people.

You Need Work and Breaks to Appreciate Both

September 7, 2012 by  
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So many people retire and shortly after retiring they stop doing things, stop going places and stop pushing themselves. Then they stop permanently and totally. They assume “room temperature”. Yes … I mean they die, long before they should! Retirement doesn’t mean inactivity. Just the opposite.

Some people worry they might push themselves too hard. But the thing is, if you keep busy and then take breaks regularly, both the hard work and the time off will be much more rewarding and enjoyable and keeping a balance between them will keep you from pushing yourself too much.

Kimberly and I have been really working hard on her recovery from her surgery and a half dozen other projects.   In fact we’ve been so busy we almost cancelled a quick trip to Las Vegas to spend time with our great Swiss friend Reto Moro and his beautiful daughter Anna and her friend Anouk.  But thankfully we pushed ourselves to “take a break” even though it was only for 2 days. Wow what a great and refreshing break it was.  Not so much for the excitement that comes from that crazy city of action and shows and such but from getting together with great friends. I met Reto and his mom quite by accident, almost 30 years ago on the tennis court in Garmish Germany and we’ve been great friends ever since. It’s such a treat to spend time with them and the perfect break from our busy life.

The bottom line—and yes, I was chatting about this last week but it can’t be said too much—is never stop pushing yourself to stay active, regardless of your age, but also remember to never make “your pause” or “your break” a permanent state of living. You need both to appreciate either!