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 of 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 ending journey to nowhere.

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, you before a journeyman carpenter rather than remaining a carpenter's helper). Personal growth is totally different because personal growth requires you to change your thought process and belief system. Learn about how mental maturity, physical maturity and emotional maturity happens in our life cycle. 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.

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."

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    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – 4 Stars (Excellent)

    What a relief! Like many of my fellow reviewers, I held my breath after “Dead Man’s Chest” hoping installment three “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” would not be left in the chest with Davy Jones’ disgusting, slimy beating heart.

    Three could have gone in the dumper with the average performance of Priates two, but thankfully “At World’s End” gets an excellent rating like the first Pirates’ presentation “The Curse of the Black Pearl”.

    Dead Man’s Chest got mixed reviews nationally as many reviewers could not tolerate a plot that was too convoluted to follow. Trust me when I say that At World’s End was no better in that regard, but was far and away better as important story lines returned. Here are some:

     1) The romance between Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) resumed. Just looking at Keira Knightly in her finest can take your mind off of the troublesome story line. The relationship between the two was all but destroyed in “Dead Man’s Chest”.

    2) Jack is back! The Curse of the Black Pearl had Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) front and center with all action revolving around him. Dead Man’s Chest dimmed the spotlight on Captain Jack and eventually had him “killed” off at the end. At World’s End brings Captain Jack Sparrow back front and center, where he should be as the focal point of this saga.

    Pirates of the Caribbean begins and ends with Jack Sparrow, and if he is given a lesser role the story suffers.

    3) The over-the-top sight gags in Dead Man’s Chest (the sword fight in the giant wheel which went on far too long and the hanging baskets between the cliffs) put too much focus on production gimmicks rather than the characters. People make the story of Pirates, not gimmicks.

    At World’s End has swordfights aboard ship and cannons blowing ships apart, right on, this is a pirate story for cripes sake, not some ballet production on a ferris wheel.

    Give someone credit for letting writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio tell the story without marching orders. I believe these two writers were pushed into throwing anything together to satisfy the immediate demand for a sequel that would dovetail into another sequel. Gore Verbinski directed all three movies.

    Given how convoluted the story line is, here is the best synopsis of At World’s End by J. Curcio (it certainly helps if you have seen the first two Pirate films):

    “After Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from the land of the dead (Davy Jones’ locker), they must face their foes, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander). Beckett, with control of Jones’ heart, forms a dark alliance with Davy Jones in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates.

    “Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Delma and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe to a gathering to figure out how to release the goddess Calypso, Davy Jones’ former lover, so she can come to their aid. Once Calypso is free, all of the Pirate Lords will stand together in their fight for freedom against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company.

    “During the battle, Will proposes to Elizabeth who insists that Barbossa marry them immediately. When Davy Jones mortally wounds Will aboard the Dutchman, Jack places the sabre in Will’s hand and helps him stab Davy Jones’ heart in the Dead Man’s Chest, thus killing Jones and making Will the Flying Dutchman’s captain.

    The crew cuts out Will’s heart and places it in the Dead Man’s Chest. Jack and Elizabeth escape before the ship is pulled into the whirlpool, but it quickly resurfaces with Will at the helm. Will captains the Flying Dutchman and Jack Sparrow captains the Black Pearl as they destroy Lord Cutler Beckett’s ship, killing Beckett and causing his armada to retreat.

    Although Will has been saved and the Dutchman crew has regained its humanity, Will must spend the next 10 years at sea ferrying souls to the next world. Will and Elizabeth spend one day together on an island to consummate their marriage, and Will entrusts Elizabeth with the Dead Man’s Chest containing his heart.

    The rest is simply too good to give away here. Do not make the mistake of leaving when the credits begin to roll as there is a bonus scene at the end of the credits that is critical to understanding where the movie is headed next.

    There are too many secret alliances, turncoats, double-crosses and self-centered activities going on to detail them in this review. Suffice to saw that the action happens so quickly that the plot does become convoluted.

    There was in fact an actual council of pirates at one time in history. The 9 Pirate Lords portrayed in the film are:

    Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea.
    Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa: Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea.
    Chow Yun-Fat as Captain Sao Feng: Pirate Lord of the South China Sea.
    Takayo Fischer as Mistress Ching: Pirate Lady of the Pacific Ocean.
    Hakim-Kae Kazim as Gentleman Jocard: Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean.
    Marcel Iures as Capitaine Chevalle: Pirate Lord of the Mediterranean Sea.
    Ghassan Massoud as Ammand the Corsair: Pirate Lord of the Black Sea.
    Marshall Manesh as Sri Sumbhajee: Pirate Lord of the Indian Ocean.
    Sergio Calderon as Captain Villanueva: Pirate Lord of the Adriatic Sea.

    The scenery is really outstanding in At World’s End; some of the scenes were filmed during the filming of Dead Man’s Chest so locations would not have to be revisited.

    Keith Richards, who had been courted to appear in earlier Pirate films, agreed to appear as Jack Sparrow’s father and keeper of the Pirate Code in At World’s End.

    When the Pirate’s Code is brought out to settle a dispute, Barbossa refers to the code created by “Morgan and Bartholomew”.

    This is a reference to famous pirates Henry Morgan and Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts. Morgan was famous for sacking several impenetrable treasure towns, including Portobello, the Fort Knox of its day.

    Black Bart was simply brutal without any conscience whatsoever, he killed and pillaged at will and was one of the pirates to develop a code of honor which his crew followed upon pain of death.

    These are my favorite lines in the movie:

    Will Turner: No cause is lost if but one fool is left to fight for it.

    Barbossa: Dying is the day worth living for.

    Barbossa: All men are drawn to the sea perilous though it may be.

    Will Turner (when he gives Elizabeth the Dead Man’s Chest with his beating heart in it): It was always yours . . . Will you keep it safe? (How is that for a romantic line, ladies?)

    Cabin Boy: Yo ho, haul together, hoist the colors high. Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die!

    Among the locations in At World’s End were the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the dunes in Guadalupe (CA), Niagara Falls in New York, ocean battle scenes were located near Palmdale (CA) and sea sequences in Rancho Palos Verdes (CA).

    At World’s End runs 2 hours 47 minutes, 15 minutes longer than Dead Man’s Chest and 30 minutes longer than Spider Man 3.

    Despite its length, At World’s End had the best Memorial Day Weekend opening ever, hauling in $142 million, and was second only to Spider Man 3’s best opening weekend ever at $151 million. When you add in the international numbers, At World’s End hauled in $332 million for the weekend.

    At World’s End rang up the most valuable haul among any pirate booty ever.

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    Financial Thoughts on Investing by Warren Buffett

    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.)

    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”.