Sorry friends…

The FBI kind of took my attention away… LITERALLY..

I’ve been helping a dear friend look at his writing… SO… I wrote what I think is how to write.

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter. 

I did not forget about yesterday

Mary Rose Scheldt

11-24-1950

09-24-2010

Dear Mary:

I have thought and cried over what to write about your death two years ago. I think everyone knows there is no collection of words that work and I still have the exact same thought each and every day….

WHY?

I miss you and will always love you,

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Our Last Cruise

Phill

FUNNY but TRUE so SAD

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

The Meaning of Life

I think we all ask, and I have been asking myself why I’m here most of my life. What is “The Meaning of Life”. I’ve been a teacher, a corporate leader, a father, a husband, a friend, and sometimes an enemy. I keep hearing that it’s the “young people’s world”. I’m definitely getting tired of answering their questions, you SHOULD have paid attention YEARS Iago. Probably it’s time to let the young people learn the hard way, like I did. No one ever told me anything.

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Banks

Good morning WORLD.

Just a small RANT.

I was in the middle of my FBI training when a “banking issue” came up. Now… I WAS paranoid before but with my new “knowledge” I just flatly scared… I DIGRESS… I had to deal with some funds taken out of my account without authorization and I was looking for an incoming bank wire. TO MY AMAZEMENT. BOTH TRANSACTION required a FEE FROM ME. A research charge for the illegal removal of funds and an INCOMING wire fee..

When entering the bank and greeted by a “receptionist” I asked for the Branch Manager, was given a pointing finger so I asked how much that would be?  I could see the words going over her head…. and just could not bring myself to explain.

HOWEVER, before sitting down the the Branch Manager I asked what the charge was for asking questions and sitting in his office. Again, over the head but this time I explained. I have been charged for every transaction, every bit of research, and for money coming INTO my account so I figured –

WELL… again… the words FLEW over his head…. I was just ANOTHER CRANKY customer for which there was no solution to my problem…. I wanted my fees waived based on my bank balance, the 35 years I have been a customer, and as a courtesy….. After all, they use DAILY   my funds WITHOUT paying ME…..

BOTTOM LINE….. C A S H……. (If anyone will accept it)

Figure this out … answer at end

“I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting; nevertheless, extraordinary pharmaceutical intellectuality counterbalancing indecipherability transcendentalizes intercommunication’s incomprehensibleness.”

Have you figured it out?

First word 1 letter

Second word 2 letters

Third word…

Last word twenty letters…..

It was just on my feeble mind

As an old foggie….it seems that many young adults have been raised – for better or for worse – to think that the only things that matter are a) base intelligence b) your personal network c) being persistent.

Emailing people self-promotional material on a regular basis isn’t just a character flaw; it’s what is actually taught especially in elite Ivy/liberal arts schools. They seem to be told that this impresses people, that this is the way successful people make it, that this is how you eventually forge a connection with someone. Most people who email you tracks probably think that they are being really savvy by doing so. This to them is what self-confidence and persistence means.

The trait that I find that generation lacks most of all is attention to detail. I probably lack it as well. Remembering to cross all the t’s not only seems literally impossible, we are taught that it does not matter, it makes no difference, and talent shines far above such petty concerns. And of course now my generation is learning this is not true. And we – or at least I – have no idea how to solve it. Being conscientious seems vastly harder to achieve – except perhaps self-control – we are told we possess in great measure.

I don’t understand how Wall Streeters, or, hell, jet pilots do it – the consequences of making a little error in such a world can be enormous. And not making little errors – well, they were not raised that way. THEY had parents and computers (spell check!) to hold their hands.

I think it’s why so many smart, ambitious young people are drawn to entertainment. Music is great because of its flaws and the vagaries of its creation. I’m a writer, and no book – no sentence – will be word perfect. And we’ve learned that makes our work better than it would be if it were, in fact, ‘perfect’.

And that’s why you don’t see many young ‘elites’ going into the sciences. Or analytical jobs. And it’s exactly why you see people like Jonah Lehrer. Because we don’t think those things are a big deal. I don’t understand why his publisher pulled his books. It doesn’t seem to follow. He came up with quotes that weren’t quite word perfect, but furthered his argument.

Most of us paid $200k specifically to learn how to use information to further our argument (rather than using information to determine what our argument is). And now people are getting fired for it. 

Don’t Suffer in Silence

If you are like most people, a money problem can be so personal and so devastating that you feel like you must keep it hidden from your family and friends. Fear of being branded a failure and becoming a social outcast throws a dark shadow over your life. Even places which should offer a helping hand, like your church, may instead offer condemnation and guilt. It’s almost easier to confess to an STD than to a money problem.

To be sure, there are complex financial, legal, moral, and spiritual issues which come from money problems. And most people, especially those who have never experienced a money problem, do not have the knowledge or temperament to help you. Then, of course, there are vultures looking to rob you of what little you have left. It’s a jungle out there.

But if you stay isolated and frozen by fear, you will never make it out. You must get moving.

Children….got to love ’em

There was a fascinating story in Saturday’s “Wall Street Journal,” adapted from the book “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character,” by Paul Tough. It posits that cognitive skill is not the key to success, but personality traits…persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence. In other words, character.

It’s o.k. to let them walk to and from school. Statistics tell us this. The odds of your child being stolen from the schoolyard are essentially nil, unless you’re in a custody dispute with your ex.

Now if the educational institution is miles away, by all means, give your kid a ride. But if not, maybe you should stop holding his or her hand; maybe you should let your kid experience a bit of risk. Since your goal is to have them grow up and be self-sufficient, not only pay the bills and put a roof over their head, but get along when you’re gone.

But parents are not listening. They believe if they don’t hold their kids’ hands, do their homework, pave the way, their children will be left behind.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

I experience persistence every day. People are looking for a ride to the top that we cannot give them, even if we want to. But they lack the remaining personality traits. The e-mails and conversations are always the same, “This is who I am, this is what I’ve done, promote me!” And when I don’t, they double down… “I’ve e-mailed you before, here’s my YouTube clip, it’s getting a lot of traction.” And you click through and it’s got 27 views, or even 27,000… That’s far from a million. Yup, you haven’t gone viral until you’re in seven or eight digits.

These people are one-dimensional, they want success, but there’s no thinking involved.

Curiosity… That’s an interesting concept. Can you analyze why the Kindle Fire will have a hard time competing with the iPad, or do you just look at price, believe what you read in the newspaper? Someone with knee-jerk intelligence will point to the gross sales. Someone who’s curious will come to a conclusion after blending in all the elements.

No one likes those who are inconsiderate. That’s what so many of the people wanting to make it in any industry are today, inconsiderate. And they don’t do well with rejection and frustration. They freak.

So if you think lining up trophies, diplomas from the best schools and your parents’ network of friends, is the key to success, you’re sorely mistaken.

It all comes down to you.

Seems like the people we hate are inconsiderate. That’s how they got their jobs.

I can easily address musicians and the rock stars topping the chart. Spend a few minutes with them and you’ll be mesmerized. Sure, their music is good, but they’ve got a way of drawing you to them, of getting you to do their work for them. These are the keys to success, much more than practicing.

In other words, rehearse for 10,000 hours and you probably won’t make it.

Have a three-dimensional life, know how to negotiate personal relationships, and you might.

That’s why so few of the music industry titans have college degrees. They couldn’t play the game. They thought it was stupid. Sure, you need a law degree to practice law and a medical degree to practice medicine, but in entertainment there are no obvious steps, you fly by the seat of your pants. You’ve got to have the gift of gab and grit.

The research was done with by studying the GED, the high school equivalency test. Yes, it turns out that the people passing the GED were as smart as those who went to high school, but they had a mere fraction of the success. Because you learn something in school. How to navigate the system, how to make friends, endure hardship, get along. That’s the negative to home schooling. You might get a great education from your mom, but that doesn’t mean you’ll become a success. Just like online courses will not replace the college experience. Because most of what you learn is outside the classroom.

We’ve got a country of empty vessels. Stuart Smalleys (Saturday night live character). Who believe if they’re relentlessly persistent, success is their due.

But that turns out to be untrue.

Success is about you more than what you’re selling.

Instead of spending all that time holed up with an instrument, become inspired by reading about subjects foreign to success, whether it be the Galapagos or economic policy or polling. That’s where you’ll get your inspiration, not from watching hours of “X Factor.”

There’s a reason they call it the boob tube.

Sure, there’s good stuff on TV, but you’re not gonna make it if you’re a boob.

Have a look: 

“Opting Out of the ‘Rug Rat Race’: For success in the long run, brain power helps, but what our kids really need to learn is grit”: http://on.wsj.com/RuHXKc