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Statistics Are on Your Side

January 16, 2022 by  
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So many things in our lives can be looked at as a matter of statistical probabilities. To me, one of those statistics that people either don’t know about or haven’t really considered is the chance of dying in an airplane. I think this lack of knowledge may be why so many people are afraid to fly to the extent that they rarely or never do. Or if they do fly, it’s not very often and they spend most of the flight scared senseless.

It’s too bad that fear of flying is so common. There is so much of our great world to see and explore. I love visiting new countries and meeting people that are so different from me. I find those differences fascinating. Those experiences are part of why I think this fear of flying is such a crazy thing. It seems like people would want to get over that fear for the chance of having all those wonderful experiences.

The thing is, the statistics about the safety of flying are impressive and should be encouraging. The odds of dying on a commercial airplane are around 1 in 11,000,000. That’s 11 million! In 2019, the chance of your plane having an accident with any fatalities on board was one in 5.58 million flights. Those are very great odds and should take most, if not all, of your flying fears and set them aside. Take those odds and compare them to dying in a car, which was around 1 out of 9000 in 2019. Also consider that, in the United States, there has not been a fatal commercial flight since 2009. That’s how safe flying is these days!

The comfort found in those statistics can also be found in statistics about other things, such as starting and running your own business or investing in more or bigger real estate deals as well as finding great deals. Starting a small business, which most people think is a terribly hard thing to do, has a success rate of 80% after two years and over half will continue to have viable businesses after five years. That’s pretty encouraging, especially if you’re one of those who work hard and work smart! And investing in real estate has long been considered one of the best ways to have a successful financial life.

It’s not a bad idea for all of us to do a bit of research on anything that we fear, especially those things that hold us back from enjoying life or being successful. You can look up statistics on almost anything online.

You not only have great access to statistics on the Internet, but you can also find people who can help encourage you with their success and maybe even give you a leg up on your own. People who have done what you want to do and have been very successful are a wonderful source and can lift your goals, objectives, and success to great heights. My mentors have been a huge part of my success. And finding mentors greatly increases your statistical chances of succeeding and reaching your goals!

Reliving Memories

November 7, 2021 by  
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After posting last week’s blog about my younger brother Scott’s sudden death, with a picture of him and me, I began looking through old pictures of my past days and years, reminiscing about my life, all that I’ve experienced, and all the great people that I’ve known and loved.

Wow, that reminiscing hit me hard. Pictures can bring back so many memories. They help us relive our past lives and what we’ve gone through, both the good and the bad! It was such a big shock to lose my little brother and then relive our past times, the good times and some of the painful times, too. And now I can hardly go an hour without thinking about Scotty boy.

It started me thinking about how great it is that simple things like pictures can stir up such wonderful memories and help us relive past experiences. For this week’s post, I’ve attached some of the many pictures of my past life. I know they won’t mean a lot to you, but you can see all the many experiences and people I’ve had in my life.

I hope you will take time to go back and revisit some of your old pictures and relive some of your life, especially the good parts! It’s so interesting that our modern times, with our phones and other easy to carry digital devices, has allowed us to take a lot more pictures but then, we don’t take the time to get them printed out and place them around the house and hang them on the walls where we can pass by and take a quick look at those great memories. On the other hand, we can review those pictures when waiting for appointments, sitting at a stoplight, or flying on an airplane. So, I guess it’s a trade-off.

Here are some of the pictures of my past wonderful memories.

My two high school friends from Ankara Turkey high school
My two high school friends from Ankara Turkey High
My kids and the famous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham.
My daughter Kristin (who died at age 16) and I in Egypt.
The famous gold medal skier and good friend Stein Eriksen and I.
Myself with the Dalai Lama
Myself with former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev
Me, my father, and my brother Scott.

Big Brain Boosts

March 15, 2019 by  
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One of my favorite things about the brain is how a new, unique, or novel situation – seeing something totally new or having a new experience – can pump your brain and your body up and suddenly make you feel fantastic. The brain seeks and loves novelty. Novelty really does do great things to our brains. This brain stimulus is what motivated me to travel the world, to see new countries and cities, and to meet new people in different cultures. Even when I’m a bit fearful to visit a rough, semi-dangerous and poor country, like some that I’ve visited in Africa and the Middle East, I push myself to follow the advice in Susan Jeffers’ great book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

When I see and experience all the unique and novel neighborhoods, cities, countries and people in my travels, it gives my brain and life a huge boost. Even our short trip to the Indian Wells tennis tournament last week, watching guys like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, was a good brain booster, partly because we stayed in a new place, in a beautiful big house with friends, met and befriended new people, and drove through unfamiliar areas of the wonderful desert towns of Indian Wells and Palm Springs. Even the super oversized palm trees they have there (they are twice a tall as Hawaiian palms) turned my head and gave me a rush.

You don’t have to go out of the country, or even out of your city, to get a big brain boost from seeing and experiencing new and novel things. Just taking a walk or a drive through a totally new and different part of your city, or going to a big game or competition with new friends (maybe one that features a sport or some big event that you have never seen in person), can perk up your brain.

A big reason I go on so many hikes in the mountains is that I almost always see something novel. Even a totally super twisted tree, or an oversized or undersized deer or elk, will give my brain a rush. And, if I see a bear, yikes … my brain gets a rush but my adrenaline is instantly overloaded too. I don’t like that as much.

The bottom line is, don’t ever let up on seeking out new and different places, people, and experiences if you want to stay excited and turned on by life. Keep your brain and body excited and curious and you may not only live longer, but you will probably be healthier and certainly more fulfilled and content.

One more helpful hint – if you are not already signed up with a travel service like Kayak, Expedia, Hotwire, or Priceline, you should do that inasmuch as they send you many super deals on airlines and hotels. I’ve seen prices as low as $390 round trip to Paris from Salt Lake City and under $200 to Hawaii. Also look at sites like TripAdvisor or the experiences listed on Airbnb to find unique tours and guided experiences doing things and seeing stuff you might never have known existed. By the way, I have just scheduled a trip to Cuba this summer which will be country number 92 that I have visited!

Friend Compounding

December 2, 2016 by  
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This week, I would like to put forth a few more thoughts on the subject of friends, that all important part of our lives that I focused on in last week’s blog. Good friends really are golden and that hit me hard when I had such a super enthusiastic response from so many of my friends on that post. It got me to thinking about how much of our lives revolve around our friends.

We love our old friends and it is so fulfilling to share our lives with them. And new friends can enhance it even more and lead you to new and exciting avenues and experiences in your life. Sometimes, however, it’s kind of awkward and difficult to approach new people, especially if you are a bit shy.

If you want an easy way to meet and make new friends you might want to try this simple method. Let’s call it “Easy Friend Networking” or “Friend Compounding”. All you need to do is plan a simple party for your friends. Then ask those friends if they could please reach out and bring, say, 2 of their best friends with them to the party or maybe even have then bring 4 or 5 of their friends. This is somewhat like the concept that made 32-year-old Mark Zuckerberg a multi billionaire—he introduced the world to friend networking through Facebook. Both ideas are similar to compounding your money only it’s a compounding of friends. Of course, the real compounding would be if the friend of the friend was to invite his or her friends.

If you invited just 10 friends to your party and they followed through by bringing an average of 4 of their friends then you would meet 40 new people in one evening. You could then decide which ones you want to get to know better and to truly become your friend. I must say that I think Facebook is great but this face to face stuff is even better.

I have a good friend, who just so happens to be my wife, share with me a great quote from the magazine, Women’s World, about the value of friends. It said, “If it’s been awhile since you’ve spent time with friends, send out an invitation to get together now. Not only will reconnecting with pals lift your spirits, it’ll raise your odds of living a long, healthy life an astounding 50%.” That statistic comes from research at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Brigham Young University. The article goes on to say the reason it extends your life is that it reduces stress during tough times and gives more meaning to your life plus it raises your self-esteem. And I would add that having more and closer friends can add so much fun and excitement to your life as well!

Since 2017 is right around the corner, it’s probably a good time to start thinking about what we intend to accomplish and experience in the coming year, whether it is to grow our circle of good friends, increase our health, or create more wealth. In the next couple of weeks, I want to put forth some ideas of just how to set those resolutions and the different categories which would be wise to concentrate on. I’ll also talk about how to motivate yourself to follow through and get the job done. In the meantime, enjoy your friends and compound them by planning a get together or two. It is the perfect time of year to do that since saying it is for the holidays is the only explanation you need.