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“I Cannot Teach Anybody Anything, I Can Only Make Them Think.”

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” Socrates. Ever read a book and got nothing out of it? Or attended a seminar and learned nothing? Believe me, having been in front of hundreds of audiences around the world over the years I have observed many people who; did not want to be there, were getting nothing out of the material or just were in La La Land the entire time. I came to realize many years ago that I do not have the right to preach “anything”. My job – as a speaker and author is simply to ask you to go inside and the think about what you are being exposed to and how it relates or does not to you and your life or circumstances i.e., to just ask you to think! Having read thousands of books during my life the only authors that influenced me were not the ones who were telling me what to do, what to stop doing, what to do differently etc. but the ones who made me think about what I was doing or not doing and why. No one has the right or obligation to change others including teachers, spouses, parents, bosses, or even the Clergy. The role of these folks in our life is to help us take the inner journey with more wisdom, openness, honesty, clarity, and even speed if necessary.

 

“Keep looking backward and before you know it, you’ll be back there again and again.” Tim Connor. Surprised? I have dozens of quotes I have developed over the years, but I seldom share them except with people, I am close to. But I decided this week to share one of my favorites with you. We all have three areas we can focus on, and they are the: past present and future. We can’t change the past and we can’t control the future, so it only makes sense that we stay focused on the present. Yes, we can learn from the past and have hope for the future, but we can seldom have control over the things in front of us. Yes, it makes sense from time to re-evaluate past choices, decisions, lessons, and actions but what I am referring to here is to not spend unnecessary time, resources, or energy dwelling on or regretting or even whining about past behaviors, mistakes, or failures or bragging about achievements, successes or victories. All of them in both areas are either over, done history or they are in an uncertain future, one that is a blank slate.

 

“Life is a risk.” Diane Von Furstenberg. Ever jumped out of an airplane? Tried surfing in Hawaii? Invested in stock as a first-time investor? Ever taken any risks? First, let me define risk, The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger. A factor, thing, element, or course involving uncertain danger; a hazard. From my perspective risk can be found in any life area, finance, career, relationships, travel, marriage, business, etc. So, the real question is to consider the risk/reward ratio or benefits vs. the losses. If you think about it – isn’t everything a risk? When you drive to the local grocery store, eat a meal at your favorite restaurant, start a new job, have your first child – I could go on for pages with examples so, let me ask you when it comes to the risk-reward ratio on a 1 to 10 scale – 1 being a low tolerance for negative outcomes and 10 is a high tolerance for negative outcomes, how would you rate yourself? And yes, your rating could vary depending on the life area. Eating at your favorite restaurant is not an issue for you but taking your first “out of the country” vacation may be a bit of concern or starting your own business, a major issue as your future financial stability could depend on your success or failure. Life is risk folks, everything – so learn to not let it deter you from what is new and possible or you can just spend the rest of your life in front of the TV or a cabin in Vermont

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