In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better
Ed
Musings by Ed

On Perfectionism:
Even if the world could be perfect for you, you are not perfect nor is anyone else perfect, so there will never be a permanent, perfect match between opportunity, preparedness and reality. When your expectations are too demanding to be met in a perfect world, they can only cause you pain and misery. Being a perfectionist is mentally and emotionally debilitating. If you are a perfectionist, stop it. Never seek perfection, always seek excellence. Excellence is nothing more or less than ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

On Your Potential:
It is possible that you are squandering your ability to develop your potential by spending too much time mooning over what is not right with your life rather than using that same energy to take action to achieve what you want to happen. To do so you must first decide who you are, what it is you want, and why you are here. Once you answer those questions for yourself, you will naturally gravitate toward becoming the person you are, you want to be, and what you are going to do with the rest of your life.
Along the way, you will be feeding your passion rather than trying to discover your passion on an ever ending journey to despair.

On Personal Growth:
There is a huge difference between "professional growth" and "personal growth". Do you know the difference? Virtually all successful people have professional growth. Professional growth is getting more education (a bachelor's degree or an advanced degree), or successfully completing a training course in some specific skill (an apprentice carpenter becoming a journyman carpenter). Personal growth is totally different because personal growth requires you to change your thought process and belief system. Of every 100 people who could benefit from personal growth, only 10 at most would even attempt to develop personal growth, and, of those 10, only 1 will achieve personal growth because it is so difficult to achieve on your own without professional help of some kind. The one percent of people who achieve personal growth could be called "1 percenters". The 1 percenters may be 99% ahead of those who do nothing to change their thought process and belief system.

On Making Comparisons:
It is not good mentally or emotionally to compare yourself or your job with others because there will always be other people who will be greater or lesser than you regardless of what basis of comparison you use.

On Perception:
Perception is a cruel mistress, and as such is an affair you must end. Perception, without critical thinking skills, can become a reality of confusion. Perception, like fear, is real when it is imagined. There may be no real fear, but if you think there is fear, then the fear may as well be real because it is real to you. You have heard the expression, don't let your imagination run away with you.

On Work Obligations:
You have certain obligations to your employer. They are paying you for your time and talent and expect a return on their investment just as you expect a paycheck for your obligation to them. It is a work relationship in which both parties can benefit. Do not diminish an employer's honest effort to make a living for him or herself and provide others with an opportunity to make a living, no matter how little they may be paid for their effort. If the employee is smart, they will learn new skills and abilities, get training or education, and more on to a better opportunity.

On Responsibility:
The fact you are unhappy with your life, your job or your present situation is not your employer's fault or problem, it is not my fault or problem, it is your fault and your problem, and you must take responsibility for creating and solving your problem. Sometimes professional help can guide to the solution to whatever is troubling you. Sometimes you can, with recognition and acceptance, a discovery process, and critical thinking, resolve the problem yourself.

On Trouble:
When you talk about your troubles, your ailments, your diseases and your hurts, you give longer life to what makes you unhappy. Talking about your grievances merely adds to those grievances. Give recognition only to what you desire. Think and talk only about the good things that add to your enjoyment of your work, and life. If you don't talk about your grievances, you'll be delighted to find them disappearing quickly.

On Being Satisfied:
When Is Enough, Enough? At some point, you must become satisfied with your life, your job and your situation, or you will never be satisfied, and the more dissatisfied you become, the unhappier you will become. At my age, I am practicing gratitude and trying to better appreciate and understand the concept of grace. I suggest that you consider doing the same. When I see someone who is facing a tougher situation in life than I am (a child with terminal cancer, a person with no legs because of an IUD explosion in wartime, or a person who is blind, or deaf, or mute, I say to myself, "There but for the grace of God go I". If you do not have any spiritual growth, get some while the getting is good.

On Fear:
Let's talk about fear again, because it is the same as perception. How do we overcome fear? How do we overcome perception? We overcome both fear and perception by taking action, not the action that speaks to our constant reminder of our problems, but concrete action on to resolve them. And the way to resolve them is personal growth.

On Growing Old:
As a man, a husband, a father or grandfather, you have an opportunity to experience more happiness and satisfaction in life that is not available to someone who is single and without children or grandchildren. The worst thing in the world that can happen to you is to grow old alone, without family and friends.
We are blessed to have children and grandchildren. We need to see another generation coming before we exit our generation.

On the Ordinary:
Do not ignore or discount things that are ordinary or mundane. The mere fact that they are so predictable allows you more time to use your creative skills to develop more opportunities for enjoyment and satisfaction for yourself and your family.

On Getting Information:
"When clients ask me a serious question, I always tell them what I know, not what I think. When it counts, never ask people what they think. Ask them what they know. You do not want to know what people think. The cheapest commodity in the world is opinions. If you don't think so, just ask anyone anything (especially teenagers), and they will give you an answer that is often without any basis in experience, knowledge and/or reasoning. I want to know what a person knows, not what they think."

On the Second Amendment:
"If you don't have to give up your car because others drive drunk with theirs and sometimes kill people in head-on crashes . . . then why do you have to give up your gun because others commit crimes with theirs? What person with a lick of common sense would suggest that we ban cars and driving because some people drive irresponsibly and kill people? The same logic applies to guns."

On Life:
"We become what we think about."

On Hatred: Hatred is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. (The origin of this saying may come from Native American culture. It certainly is my favorite why to describe hatred. Hating on someone or something is emotionally and mentally debilitating, which is good reason not to practice hatred just because you disagree with someone or something.)

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    Family

    Finance and Investment

    Jobs and Careers

    Marketing and Business

    Mixed Bag

    Movie Reviews

    Politics

    Religion and Faith

    Running – Cross Country and Track and Field

    Self-Improvement and Communication

    Sports Quotes By Famous Coaches

    What Ed Reads

     

    Family

    Children Learn What They Live

    Facing Down Your Worst Threat – How to Handle the Schoolyard Bully

    Fathering a Child and Leaving Does Not Make You a Man, Raising the Child Does

    If You Could Only Choose One, Would You Rather Have Money, Power, Fame or Health? And Why?

    If You Have a Spit of Irish in You, This Is What It Means to Be in an Irish Family

    If You Think as a Parent that Little League Baseball Does Not Teach Important Survival Skills, Think Again

    Our Lovely Kristin

    Should We Be Concerned About the Apparent Violence of Our Children?

    Some Thoughts on Marriage

    The First Time I Had Witnessed a Miracle

    The Real Heroes of Our Time Are Those Who Serve Others

    What Women Should Know: A Man’s 5 Basic Responsibilities – Part 1

    What Women Should Know: A Man’s 5 Basic Tendencies – Part 2

    What Women Should Know: 4 Realities in a Man’s World – Part 3

    Who Has Had the Greatest Influence on Your Life, and Why?

    Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

    Finance and Investment

    Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Reveals the Fastest Way to Become Financially Savvy – Part 1

    Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

    Financial Predators: Vermin, Rodents and Other Insect Pests

    If USA Families Ran Finances Like Their Government, They Would Go Bankrupt

    Why Bankers and Lenders Are Not Your Friends – Part 1

    Why Bankers and Lenders Are Not Your Friends – Part 2

    Jobs and Careers

    A Job Interview Nightmare: When He Asked, “How Do You Motivate Yourself?” I Was Without a Good Answer

    Before You Interview, Learn and Practice Ed’s “Zip a Lip” Theory

    Female Executives Who Are Too Bold and Too Aggresive Do Not Rise as Fast

    Life Is Full of Rejection: Take Harvard University – 22,955 Student Applications and 20,897 Rejections

    Online Hiring Threatens to Do Away With Traditional Hard Copy Resumes – Is It Really True? (Part 1 of a 4-Part Series)

    Online Hiring – People Skills Are the Most Important Trait You Have to Present in Selling Yourself at an Interview (Part 2 of a 4-Part Series)

    Online Hiring – 94% of Candidates Are Hired the Traditional Way: With a Hard Copy Resume and an Interview (Part 3 of a 4-Part Series)

    Online Hiring – Many Job Hunters Are Frustrated With the Continual Digitized “Depersonalization” of the Hiring Process (Part 4 of a 4-Part Series)

    Potential Hires Who Are Quick to Judge May Be Quickly Eliminated by Interviewers

    Professional Resumes Designed To Rev Your Future by Understanding Marketing, Probability and the Marketplace

    Recruiter Suggests “Dumbing Down” Your Resume So You Will Be Less of a Threat Getting Hired in a Recession Economy – Is This a Good Idea?

    The Biggest Mistake Potential Hires Make While Interviewing for a Job

    The Greatest Explosion Can Only Occur When Opportunity Meets Preparedness

    There Is No Huge Correlation Between Education and Income and Here Is Why

    Unfortunately, Career Fairs Best Serve Everyone But the Intended Jobless

    Want a Six-Figure Income Without Getting a College Degree of Any Kind? Here Is How

    What Is the Most Critical Career Choice Graduating Students Make?

    What Warren Buffett Thinks Is Important When Hiring Staff for Berkshire Hathaway

    Who Earns the Most Based on Their Educational Level

    Marketing and Business

    Just When You Thought That Customer Service Was Dead in America, Along Comes Lasko

    Lessons from a Greek Fisherman

    Shopping Online = Caveat Emptor (Latin for Let the Buyer Beware)

    Why Benjamin Franklin Was Such a Great Entrepreneur – He Would Be All Over Internet Marketing Online

    Mixed Bag

    We Were Blessed by Visiting Manzanillo, South of Puerto Vallarta, and the Hidden Vida del Mar

    Where to Go When You Want to Leave the Rat Race Behind

    Movie Reviews

    “A Christmas Story” One of the Best Movies Ever Tells of a Boy’s Perfect Gift – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “A Man for All Seasons” Demonstrates What Integrity Should Be in the Middle Ages and Now – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “An Affair to Remember” Rates as a Classic Romantic Drama with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr – 3 Stars (Good)

    “Annie” Rates as One of the Most Uplifting, Harrowing and Positive Broadway Musicals Ever Made – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Apocalypto” Mel Gibson Brings the Past Violent Mayan Life into Our Consciousness – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Stars Audrey Hepburn, Hollywood’s Most Perfect Actress with Beauty, Fashion, Grace and Humility – 3 Stars (Good)

    “Camelot” Is a Magical Movie, and a Primer in Civilized Human Relationships and Personal Growth – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Chariots of Fire” Is Very Simply the Greatest Running Movie Ever Made – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Chicago” Shows Two Murderesses Who Beat the Rap in a Fight for Fame – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Chocolat” Is Moviemaking at Its Best: A Sweet Story With an Important Message – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Cinema Paradiso” Director Giuseppe Tornatore Wins Best Foreign Film Oscar – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Don Juan DeMarco” Can Johnny Depp Convince You That He Is “Don Juan DeMarco”? Bank on It – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Dressed to Kill” The Best Psychological Thriller Since “Wait Until Dark” – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Fiddler on the Roof” Celebrates Jewish Heritage and Cultural Change – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Forrest Gump” Teaches Many Lessons, and Tom Hanks Earns Best Actor Oscar – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Ghost” Appeals to Our Fervent and Subtle Imagination – 3 Stars (Good)

    “Little Big Man” Old Lodge Skins Makes This a Perfect Blend of Comedy and Drama3 Stars (Good)

    “Million Dollar Baby” – This Is One Fight Where You Get Your Money’s Worth – 3 Stars (Good)

    “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” An Independent Film Production That Became an Excellent, Big Fat Paycheck – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “My Fair Lady” Won 12 Nominations and 8 Oscars with Audrey Hepburn as Eliza – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Nanny McPhee” – An Excellent Movie with Magic and a Message for Children – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” Johnny Depp Makes the Best Pirate in the Best Pirate Picture Ever – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” Was a Real Disappointment – 2 Stars (Average)

    “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” Ends the Series in Excellent Fashion, Savvy Mate? – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Phantom of the Opera” – A Great Musical and a Great Story that Tugs at Your Heart – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Pretty Woman” Rocketed Julia Roberts into Becoming Hollywood’s Sweetheart – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Radio” Is One of the Most Under-Rated and Under-Appreciated Films in Movie History – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Ryan’s Daughter” Is a Love Triangle with Passion, Adultery, Rebellion and a Village Idiot – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Secondhand Lions” Is a Masterpiece of Storytelling by Writer/Director Tim McCanlies – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “A Fistful of Dollars” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) Creates a Masterful Character Who Plays One Side Against Another in the First of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “For a Few Dollars More” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) Joins with Another Bounty Hunter to Outwit an Outlaw Gang that Has Scored an Impossible Heist in the Second of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) in the Third of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Shadow of a Doubt” Leaves No Doubt About Being an Alfred Hitchcock Classic – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    Six Movies That Are Simply Terrible and Not Worth Seeing Under Any Circumstances – 1 Star (Terrible)

    Six Terrible, Crappy Movies That Allow Us to Recognize the Really Good Movies – 1 Star (Terrible)

    “Sleepless in Seattle” Offers Up Romance Without Any Stress – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “The Anchorman” Simply Fails to Impress with a Lame Script – 1 Star (Terrible)

    “The Chorus” French Director Christophe Barratier Has an Incredibly Good Movie – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “The Departed” Is the Best Mob Film Since Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” in 1972 – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    “The Quiet Man” Is a Love Story Set in the Emerald Isle of Ireland4 Stars (Excellent)

    “Waking Ned Devine” Among My Top 10 Favorites Ever and the Funniest Comedy I Have Ever Seen4 Stars (Excellent)

    Politics

    Liberal Progressives Would Love a European Social Democracy in America – Little Do They Know Where They Are Headed

    Our Politicians in Congress Are Like Kids in a Candy Store

    Why Holiday Greetings Have Become So Complicated

    Religion and Faith

    A Christmas Message from Ed Bagley

    A Poem for Lost Souls

    Blessed Teresa’s Special Prayer for Your Well Being This Sunday, and Every Day

    Nine Lessons in Life by Matthew Kelly for Becoming Perfectly Yourself

    One Man’s Thoughts – God Gives Men 4 Crucial Gifts: Life, Choice, Faith and Women

    The Sun and the Moon and the Stars, But What If There Were No Visible Stars?

    Running – Cross Country and Track and Field

    Arthur Lydiard on Running

    A Senior Moment – Dinner with 3-Time Olympian and American-Record Hammer Thrower Ed Burke

    Meet “Pre” – America’s Greatest Running Legend and Greatest Middle Distance Hero

    The Problem With USA Track & Field: There Simply Is No Fire in the Belly

    Karen Steen Shatters World Steeplechase Record at the 2009 National Masters Meet

    Self-Improvement and Communication

    All God’s Creatures Have Work To Do

    A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing, Drink Deep, or Taste Not the Pierian Spring

    “Desiderata” Is a Brilliant Piece of Writing with Simplicity and Significance of Message

    Failures Would Be Surprised to Learn That Winners Have Failed Many More Times

    Here Are My Personal Favorite Quotes That I Live By, Learn By and Grow By

    The Easiest Way to Become an Internet Articles Writer

    Time to Do Everything Except Think

    Sports Quotes By Famous Coaches

    Famous Football Quotes by Vince Lombardi, the Great Green Bay Packer Coach

    “The Wizard of Westwood” – Famous Quotes by John Wooden, the NCAA’s Winningest Basketball Coach

    What Ed Reads

    More than one reader has posed the question “What does Ed read?”
    Here is a partial list of books that I have read and benefited from doing so, and I invite you to consider reading them as well, especially if one of your strengths is a “learner”. Some of the book titles have comments following and others do not.

    Arthritis Revisited
    by Dr. Mark Wiley
    Dr. Wiley takes on America’s medical community for its inadequate and ineffective answers to treating osteoarthritis. Wiley reveals how to naturally let your body help you stop the advance of osteoarthritis and, in some cases, even begin to reverse the damage. I absolutely believe in Dr. Wiley’s methods and unconventional approach to controlling osteoarthritis and living a better, more productive life.

    Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
    by Walter Isaacson
    Benjamin Franklin remains one of those Americans about whom we can never know enough. Franklin was America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, business strategist and one of the most practical political thinkers in American history.

    Bufffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
    by Roger Lowenstein
    When it comes to finance, Lowenstein offers a landmark portrait of a uniquely American life.

    Citizen Jefferson – The Wit and Wisdom of an American Sage
    Edited by John P. Kaminski
    Thomas Jefferson was a statesman, architect, musician, inventor and the primary author of the United States Constitution. He knew how to craft a turn of phrase and had some advice worth reading.

    Essential Liberty
    by Mark Alexander
    Essential Liberty is a 3.5 by 4.75-inch, 138-page book that recounts our nation’s founding and examines our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution of the United States. Among other points of interest, it notes that the freedoms we enjoy are not free and that our republic (rule by law) is not a pure democracy (rule by majority) if you have not already noticed. Our capitalist society offers us the most freedom and best opportunity to advance among all cultures on Planet Earth. Our cause is the cause of all mankind and we fight for their liberty in defending our own. “We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately,” said Benjamin Franklin in signing the Declaration of Independence. Not all of us understand and appreciate this common truth. If our citizens expect to be ignorant—and free—it a state of civilization, they expect what never was and never will be. Sadly, almost half of our population does not appreciate the gift God has given us. They kicked God out of our schools, confusing the relationship of church and state, and would love to kick God our of our country, opening the door to socialism, communism or fascism to name a few other forms of government. Many believe it is their right to eliminate human life through abortion (2,500+ abortions daily during 2014 in the United States). I cannot imagine that God is pleased with this turn of events and I have no interest in testing God’s patience with us, although many are willing to try. If you have not read Essential Liberty, you might want to educate yourselves about why your forefathers fought and died for the freedoms you enjoy today.

    Hemingway – A Biography
    by Jeffrey Meyers
    One of American’s greatest writers. Hemingway’s basic principles of writing have provided a model for every author who has followed him (see page 137 in Meyers’ brilliant account of a master storyteller).

    Holy Bible – The Authorized King James Version
    Holy Bible – The Catholic Edition with the “7 Lost Books of the Bible”
    Both Versions of the Bible are Inspired by Jesus and His followers
    The Holy Bible is the most important book I have ever read in my life. If you read it the way I read it your life will be changed. Most people read the Pentateuch (which means five books), the first 5 books of the Bible-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy-and the Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Like some people I have read, highlighted and underlined both the King James Version and the Catholic Version cover to cover and benefited greatly from the experience. Life is short and death is certain. I would recommend that you get with it if you haven’t already.

    Perfectly Yourself – Discovering God’s Dream for You
    by Matthew Kelly
    This book is about the dynamics of change. Be honest, understand that diets don’t fail, we fail at diets. Savings plans don’t fail, we fail at savings plans. Relationships don’t fail, we fail at relationships. Kelly shares why: We fail to achieve real and sustainable change because we focus too much on the desired outcome and not enough on the progress we are making. When you read Kelly’s book, he just might make you a believer.

    PRE – The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
    by Tom Jordan
    Pre ran for the University of Oregon. He became the first person ever to win 4 NCAA titles in one event (the cross-country national championships), he set the national high school record for 2 miles in 1969 (8:41.5), and for 5 years no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. At age 24 Pre was killed in a freak automobile accident and became a legend, an icon and an American hero like no other. If you want inspiration, read PRE.

    Resisting Happiness
    by Matthew Kelly
    Most of us want to be happy and many of us are not happy. Matthew Kelly offers a reason why: Resistance can stand between us and happiness. For many people, the hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists because you can be at war with resistance every day. Why? Well, try laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension and self-sabotage. Enough said? This book shares how to defeat resistance.

    Running – The Lydiard Way
    by Arthur Lydiard with Garth Gilmour
    Arthur Lydiard is the greatest distance running coach in the history of world. If you are a distance runner (2 miles and up) who would like to learn the physiology of running and have enough God-given speed to become an Olympic champion, following Lydiard’s philosophy will get you there.

    The Capitalist Code – It Can Save Your Life
    by Ben Stein
    If you are part of the Millennial Generation (those born between 1981 and 1996) and want to get better information on how to make it financially in America, read this book carefully and understand why you don’t want to be given everything in life and live in a socialist country.

    The Empire of Business
    by Andrew Carnegie
    Published in 1902, it is my understanding that much of the text of this book is speeches Andrew Carnegie gave to students in the graduating classes at Harvard University. His message was not that of an upbeat, positive motivator about the excite the graduates. A quote from Carnegie: “The millionaires who are in control started as poor boys, and were trained in that sternest but most efficient of all schools-poverty.” Yea, it’s an eye-opener by a man who sold his steel business in 1901 to J. P. Morgan for $480 million, instantly becoming the wealthiest man in the world. The average annual wage for a worker in 1901 was $450, or $8.65 a week.

    The Moral Compass
    by William J. Bennett
    The decline of the American family constitutes perhaps the greatest long-term threat to our children’s well-being. We should give our children examples that help instill in our children a reverence for the blessings and duties of home and health, and reading is a great medium to help the process along. The Moral Compass does exactly that. Bennett has put together a compilation of heartfelt stories from cultures worldwide that can be read by an adult to the family gathering around the table after your holiday meal. This is what I have done many times for my immediate family. Four stories from The Moral Compass are examples of story time teaching: “All God’s Creatures Have Work to Do” (Page 193), “A Sound for a Smell” (Page 226), “No Greater Love” (Page 466), and “The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey” (Page 221).

    The Power of Silence – Against the Dictatorship of Noise
    by Robert Cardinal Sarah with Nicolas Diat
    The essence of Robert Cardinal Sarah is if you want to get nearer to God and know God better, you must do so in silence, otherwise, we are bombarded by so much stimuli in the modern world that the voice of God that can touch us through the Holy Spirit it drowned out. The Power of Silence is the second most important book I have ever read in my life. Robert Cardinal Sarah was born in Guinea, West Africa and was made an Archbishop by Pope John Paul II and a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.

    The Tao of Warren Buffett
    by Mary Buffett and David Clark
    Learn Warren Buffett’s smartest, funniest and most memorable sayings that reveal his life philosophy and investment strategies.

    When Pride Still Mattered – A Life of Vincent Lombardi
    by David Maraniss
    Vince Lombardi transformed football into a metaphor of the American experience. He became a living legend, a symbol of leadership, discipline, perseverance, teamwork and winning.

    Financial Thoughts on Investing by Warren Buffett

    (Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

    On Investing: Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1. (Ed’s Note: The great secret to getting rich is getting your money to compound for you, and the larger sum of money you start with, the faster it will compound. No less of a genius than Albert Einstein said that compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.)

    On Investing: I made my first investment at age 11. I was wasting my life up until then. (Ed’s Note: The first lesson of investing is patience. Start early and sit on your investment until it has time to hatch, it may take 20 or 30 years to hatch, but if you are in the right investment you will do very well. Do not keep moving your money into and out of different investments—all that does is make your broker rich at your expense.)

    On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying. (Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

    On Investing: You cannot make a good deal with a bad person. (Ed’s Note: If you cannot trust them now, you will not be able to trust them later, so why trust them at all? The most important trait any person has is integrity. People with integrity are predisposed to perform; people without integrity are predisposed not to perform. It is best not to get the two confused.)

    On Investing: The great personal fortunes in this country were not built on a portfolio of 50 companies. They were built by someone who identified one wonderful business. (Ed’s Note: The key to Warren Buffett’s success is that he has been able to identify exactly what the economic characteristics of a wonderful business are—a business that has a durable competitive advantage that owns a piece of the consumer’s mind.)

    On Investing: It is impossible to unsign a contract, so do all your thinking before you sign. (Ed’s Note: Before signing a contract, imagine all the things that could go wrong, because they often do go wrong.)

    On Investing: It is easier to stay out of trouble than it is go get out of trouble. (Ed’s Note: To stay out of trouble, just do the right thing at the right time. To get out of trouble, you need a lot of money and a lot of legal talent, and even then, you may end up serving a lot of time.)

    On Investing: You should invest like a Catholic—for life. (Ed’s Note: You should view an investment decision from the perspective that you will never be able to undo it. In 1973 Buffett put $11 million into the Washington Post Company. The first 33 years he held the investment, it increased in value to $1.5 billion.)

    On Investing: Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway. (Ed’s Note: Buffett thinks it strange that successful and intelligent businesspeople will take investment advice from stockbrokers too poor to take their own advice. If their advice is so great, why aren’t they rich? Could it be because stockbrokers make their money charging you commissions on the investment transactions they advise you to take?).

    On Investing: Happiness does not buy you money. (Ed’s Note: Buffett never confuses being rich with happiness. When asked by some college students to define success, he said it is being loved by the people you hope love you.)

    On Investing: It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to lose it. If you think about that, you will do things differently. (Ed’s Note: Buffett says that Berkshire can afford to lose money, even lots of money, but it can’t afford to lose reputation, even a shred of reputation, and in the long run, Berkshire will have whatever reputation it deserves.)

    (Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffet’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)

    The Story of My Life

    Copyright © 2015 Ed Bagley

    When we are born, grow and develop, we form a concept of what life has to offer. If we grow up in a single-parent home without a father, have little exposure to an abundance of food, shelter and clothing, live in a low-income housing area, and experience poverty, drug activity and violence, our outlook on life is considerably less positive and encouraging than if we grow up in a home with both a mother and father, have adequate to abundant food, shelter and clothing, live in a high-income housing area, and experience stability, substance, support, encouragement and opportunity, our outlook on life is far more positive and productive.

    We learn quickly our station in life, and as a youngster we also realize that we do not have the knowledge, experience, maturity, means and opportunity to easily overcome our circumstances when at an apparent disadvantage. This is when our concept of what life has to offer now also develops our expectations of what life has to offer, and whether we can, if disadvantaged, overcome our circumstances and begin to develop a new and better life for ourselves. Some of us manage to do this, others do not.

    As we come to understand our exact circumstances and place in life, we face the challenge of what to do next. It should come as no surprise that what happens to us as we muddle our way through the up and down process of growing up with what we perceive to be successes and failures, out attitude determines much of what happens to us.

    If our attitude is negative, our personality will become more negative and people will see us as more as a liability than an asset, someone who is more difficult to satisfy and deal with. We quickly learn that we have enough issues of our own without being burdened by the issues that others struggle with. Life does, after all, present all of us with challenges we need to overcome. It is as common as breathing to say that we all have our crosses to bear.

    If our attitude is positive, our personality will become more positive and people will see us a normal, productive, positive person who is easy to be around and helpful to us. The positive person will become a people magnet, someone everyone wants to be around and work with, that includes everyone except the negative person, who will likely see the positive person as someone more fortunate than themselves. This can lead the negative person to jealousy, envy, anger, frustration, disappointment, and ultimately violence, causing no one to want to be around them or have them as a friend.

    It is easy to say and sometimes harder to understand that attitude drives personality. If you show me someone with a continual bad attitude I will show you someone who is a great candidate to develop a bad personality. If you show me someone with a continual good attitude I will show you someone who is a great candidate to develop a good personality. This is a fundamental fact of life, and what happens to us as we grow up and hopefully mature into productive, well-adjusted adults who can handle duties, responsibilities, commitments and obligations, and raise their children to do the same while becoming well-adjusted children in future generations.

    Abraham Lincoln said that people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. You will agree that Abraham Lincoln was exactly right when you understand that attitude is a choice in your life. You have a choice to be positive or negative in every event in your life. Some people say that life is about 10% of what happens to you and 90% about how you respond to what happens to you in life. Unless you are one of life’s greatest losers, you will be cheered up and motivated by stories about people who have overcomer great odds to achieve amazing accomplishments.

    This is where our concept of what life has to offer, and expectations of what life has to offer, meets our challenges of what life has to offer. This is about whether our hopes, dreams, aspirations and achievements will be possible for us. One thing is for sure: unless believe we can do something, we never will.

    Our attitude is so key as to whether we will be able to overcome our setbacks in achieving where we want to end up in life. When we believe something becomes possible to achieve, it will happen quicker when we bring a good attitude, ambition, effort, determination, acquired knowledge, skill development, understanding and maturity to the process.

    Clearly, we can accomplish goals when we want to or need to, that is to say, we need a reason to do something, and it has to be a deep-seeded enough reason to overcome the obstacles on our way to accomplishing our goals and desires.

    If you are hungry and starving, and need food to live, you will find a way to get food as an adult without stealing or begging for food. It is a matter of understanding that in any life event, there are only two outcomes: results or excuses. We are ultimately exactly where we are in life as a result of the choices we have made.

    If we want better results, we must make better choices. We may not achieve every one of our goals in life, but we can achieve many of them when we make the right choices at the right time for the right reasons. If you do nothing more in life than do the right thing for the right reason, you will become very successful.

    Success in life is much more than making the most money, living in the best house, driving the best car, or having the best vacations. Monetary and material success can certainly make your life easier, but it has little to with happiness. If you ever expect to be happy, you have to add people to the equation. You must become other-centered rather than self-centered. When you are single, you can afford to be self-centered if not happy. When you get married and have children, it is no longer just about you, it is also about your wife and children, who need your support, love, affection, understanding and encouragement.

    All of us need something to do, someplace to go, and someone to share our life with, in other words, a job with a career or becoming the best housewife and mother, a home with security and love, and spouse or partner who you love as they love you. Albert Schweitzer said it best: Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. No one with a bad attitude and a bad personality is happy, everyone with a good attitude and a good personality can enjoy happiness. Again, attitude rules the day, and ultimately where you end up in life.

    Albert Schweitzer found his happiness in Africa. Schweitzer was a theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher and physician. In other words, a very smart, accomplished person.

    He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophy of the “Reverence of Life”. His philosophy was expressed in many ways, but most famously for founding and sustaining the Albert Sweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, in the part of French Equatorial Africa which is now Gabon. Sweitzer knew happiness; it was Sweitzer who first said: “Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success”.