Job, Career or Calling?

Jonathan Haidt in The Happiness Hypothesis:

Most people approach their work in one of three ways: as a job, a career, or a calling.

  • If you see your work as a job, you do it only for the money, you look at the clock frequently while dreaming about the weekend ahead, and you probably pursue hobbies, which satisfy your effectance needs more thoroughly than does your work.
  • If you see your work as a career, you have larger goals of advancement, promotion, and prestige.
  • If you see your work as a calling, however, you find your work intrinsically fulfilling you are not doing it to achieve something else. You see your work as contributing to the greater good or as playing a role in some larger enterprise the worth of which seems obvious to you. You have frequent experiences of flow during the work day, and you neither look forward to “quitting time” nor feel the desire to shout, “Thank God it’s Friday!” You would continue to work, perhaps even without pay, if you suddenly became very wealthy.

Thanks: Derek Sivers books page,,

Surprising Benefactor for Hurricane-Ravaged Town

It was moving day recently for dozens of families in Oak Island, Texas. Their new homes are gifts from a stranger. In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike splintered Oak Island – ruining 345 out of 350 homes. A church circle prayed in the ruins for a miracle. A stranger joined them. He never said a word – he just listened…

Video and Story Submitted by
Ronnie Richards
American Homestar

Extreme Home Makeover and ALS Awareness

Please take 3 minutes and go the link below. Watch the video. Every time it is viewed you are raising money to cure ALS. Plus you get a sneak peak at the season finale of Extreme Home Makeover airing on May 16.

We (Palm Harbor Homes) were/are honored to build the first MODULAR for the show and this family is INCREDIBLE! Enjoy and Share with others. We need this video seen to raise funds. Blessing’s!

Visit for more information on this video and how you can help find a cure for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease by watching this video and telling a friend! Or go to You can help Jeremy and other amazing people like him diagnosed with this disease.

Submitted by Steve Reyenga

Quotes of the day

“It is good to appreciate that life is now. Whatever it offers, little or much, life is now – this day – this hour.”
~Charles Macomb Flandrau

“Think of special ways you can appreciate others that will touch their lives in a personal way. These gifts are especially meaningful when they are given for no special reason except to show that you care about them, and you appreciate their presence in your life. I call these ‘angel gifts’ because they always seem to come at a time when you need them most.”
~Barbara Glanz

Submitted by RJO, Chicago, IL

How Your World Will At Last Be Built

by Alexander Green

In just a few weeks, millions of young men and women will graduate from high school or college.

As a friend or family member, you may be wondering what to give this year. Fortunately, I know just the gift your graduate wants.

Cash. (Yes, the same thing he or she wanted last year.)

However, it never hurts to throw in a lagniappe, something small but meaningful. Ideally, a graduation gift should encourage the graduate’s dreams, with one eye on the past and the other on the future.

That’s why I like to tuck the envelope inside a copy of James Allen’s timeless classic, As a Man Thinketh.

Born in Britain in 1864, Allen was a slight boy who suffered from poor health. In 1879, his father – out of work and facing insolvency – sailed to America, hoping to set up home and send for his family. Soon after arriving, however, he was robbed and murdered.

At age 15, Allen was forced to work as a factory knitter and later as a private secretary to support his family. He found the work mindless and unfulfilling but took solace in the evening among his books, often reading the Bible, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Whitman into the early hours.

In 1903, he decided to devote himself fulltime to writing and that same year published his best-known book, As a Man Thinketh.

It’s a slim volume, one that can be read in less time than it takes to snooze through the average commencement address. But it packs a powerful wallop.

The essential premise is that, even if you’re unaware of it, your underlying beliefs shape your character, your health, your circumstances, and, ultimately, your destiny. Your thoughts create your reality. You literally are what you think.

For this reason, you should be at least as meticulous about the ideas you feed your mind as the food you feed your body, since your life will largely become what your thoughts make it.

This is not to say that your mind alone can heal a serious illness, fix your finances, or change the world. Allen was no purveyor of New Age mumbo-jumbo. He was, above all else, a pragmatist and an advocate of hard work and effort. Yet he understood that every great undertaking begins with a particular state of mind.

Or, as he put it:

  • Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.
  • Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.
  • All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts … a man can only rise, conquer and achieve by lifting his thoughts. He can only remain weak, abject and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts.
  • As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.
  • A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will bring forth.
  • Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.

Allen insists that circumstances don’t make you. They reveal you. And while you can’t always command the situation, you can always command yourself.

Allen was hardly the first to recognize this. More than 2,300 years old, The Dhammapada begins with these words:

Mind is the forerunner of all actions.
All deeds are led by mind, created by mind.
If one speaks or acts with a corrupt mind,
suffering follows,
As the wheel follows the hoof of an ox pulling a cart.

Mind is the forerunner of all actions.
All deeds are led by mind, created by mind.
If one speaks or acts with a serene mind,
happiness follows,
As surely as one’s shadow.

Sadly, Allen – frail throughout his life – died of consumption at 47. His nineteen books have sold millions of copies – all of them are still in print – but most were published posthumously. Allen was never a wealthy man, at least in the traditional sense.

Yet he believed deeply in his mission. His words have inspired men and women the world over. And he was an enormous influence on followers like Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale.

More than anything else, As a Man Thinketh is a meditation. But it is also a revelation. Allen demonstrates how your life is enhanced and ultimately perfected by inward development.

It’s a fine message for graduates just setting out to tackle the world – and not a bad reminder for the rest of us, either.

Others have preached a similar message, of course. But few have put it in more poetic language:

He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it. Columbus cherished a vision of another world, and he discovered it. Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe, and he revealed it; Buddha beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty and perfect peace, and he entered it.

Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.

Carpe Diem,

P.S. If you’d like to pick up an inexpensive gift copy of Allen’s book, click here.

Alexander Green is the Investment Director of The Oxford Club. The Oxford Club Communique, whose portfolio he directs, is ranked among the top 5 investment letters in the nation for 10-year performance by the independent Hulbert Investment Digest. Alex is the author of The New York Times bestseller “The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio: Get Wise, Get Wealthy… and Get On With Your Life” and, more recently, “The Secret of Shelter Island: Money and What Matters.” He has been featured on Oprah & Friends, CNBC, National Public Radio (NPR), Fox News and “The O’Reilly Factor,” and has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, among others. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and Winter Springs, Florida with his wife Karen and their children Hannah and David.

The Butch O’Hare Story

A Successful Mission

During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One man was Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

One time, his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his flight and get back to his ship. So, his leader told him to leave formation and return.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he could see a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. With all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless.

His was the only opportunity to distract and divert them. Single handedly he dove into the Japanese planes and attacked them.

The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so they were able to learn more about the terrain, enemy planes, etc.

Butch dove at them and shot until all his ammunition was gone; then, he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make them unfit to fly. He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships.

Finally, the Japanese Squadron took off in another direction. Butch O’Hare and his fighter, both badly shot-up, limped back to the carrier.

He told his story, but not until the film from the camera on his plane was developed, did they realize the extent he really went to, to protect his fleet.

He was recognized as a hero and given one of the highest honors. And as you know, the O’Hare Airport was also named after him.

Easy Eddie

Prior to this time in Chicago, there was a man named Easy Eddie. He was working for a man you’ve all heard about – Al Capone. Al Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the murders he’d committed and the illegal things he’d done.

Easy Eddie was Al Capone’s lawyer and he was very good. In fact, because of his skill, he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail.

To show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned big money, but he also would get extra things like a residence that filled an entire Chicago city block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day.

Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up; clothes, cars and a good education. Because he loved his son, he tried to teach him right; but, one thing he couldn’t give his son was a good name, and a good example.

Easy Eddie decided this was much more important than all the riches he had given his son. So, he went to the authorities to rectify the wrong. To tell the truth, it meant he must testify against Al Capone, and he knew that Al Capone would do his best to have him killed.

Easy Eddie wanted most of all to try to be an example and to do the best he could to give a good name back to his son: so, he testified. Within the year, he was shot down on a street in Chicago.

These may sound like two unrelated stories; but Butch O’Hare was Easy Eddie’s son.

Unknown Author

Sometimes, making the right decision is not easy; in fact, we reach one of the defining levels of maturity when we realize how our decisions affect those around us. That knowledge usually causes us to choose carefully and sometimes differently. Remember, your future and success depend upon your decisions.

Submitted by Tim Connor

Fostering a Spirit of Teamwork…

The Introduction from
Change is Good…You Go First
by Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein

As a leader, however, deciding to make changes is the easy part. Getting your people on board is much more difficult. Why is that? Quite simply, change is an emotional process. We are all creatures of habit who usually resist it, and welcome routine. Uncharted waters are scary!

In the long run, however, sameness is the fast tract to mediocrity. And, mediocre companies won’t survive. Tuli Kupferburg said it best…“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” And, that is your challenge…to convince your team that the new world you are trying to create is better than the one you’re in. Is it easy? Of course not. It takes planning, commitment, patience and courage.

The truth, of course, is that change can be a wonderful gift. In fact, it is the key that unlocks the doors to growth and excitement in any organization. And, most importantly, without it…your competition will pass you by. A big part of success, as a leader, will be your ability to inspire your team to get out of their comfort zones; to assure them that even though they are on a new path, it’s the right path, for the right reasons.

That’s what this book is all about…ideas, to inspire, to motivate, and to encourage your team to move forward and to embrace change.

We’d like to share one of the chapters. Enjoy!

Learn From Old Warwick

Fostering a spirit of teamwork is critical in times of change. The key element is trust. Trust for the leader and trust for each other.

There is a wonderful story from the play, Some Folks Feel the Rain; Others Just Get Wet; and I think it’s worth sharing again to shed some light on how people think about teamwork…

A man was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to reach for the map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn’t injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help.

“Warwick can get you out of that ditch,” said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating.

“Yep, old Warwick can do the job.” The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins, he shouted,

“Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!”
And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch.

The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, “Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?”

The farmer grinned and said, “Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he’s part of a team, he doesn’t mind pulling.” ##

Inspirational Quotes

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.”
– Winston Churchill

“Attitude Makes All the Difference!”
– Zig Ziglar

Reprinted from
Submitted by RJO

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