Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

You Should Be Doing This, But You’re Probably Not

“Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me.  And that genie said, ‘Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice.  It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it.  Brand-new.  And it’s all yours.’

Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch?’  And the genie would answer, ‘There’s only one catch.  This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life.  So it has to last a lifetime.’

If that had happened, I would have picked out that car.  But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it?  I would read the manual about five times.  I would always keep it garaged.  If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting.  I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.

That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body.  You only get one mind and one body.  And it’s got to last a lifetime.  Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years.  But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.

It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.”


These investments are the most important ones you will ever make, so choose them wisely!  If you don’t know where to begin, start simple, invest in one of these BOOKS and do something active that allows your body to do what it was designed to do, move!

Happy Wednesday!


* Hat tip to The Snowball: Warren Buffett and The Business of Life


Harness Naïveté: Overcoming “Impossible”

When new engineers joined the incandescent lighting group of General Electric in the 1930s, the director of the division liked to play a joke on them.  He assigned them the task of inventing a coating for light bulbs that would remove the hotspot in the then current state-of-the-art-design.

The joke was that this uniform glow bulb was “impossible” to create.  Engineer after engineer tried and failed at this task.  When each newbie admitted failure and was told the task was impossible, the scene brought out laughter from the rest of the engineers.

This was a wonderful initiation rite until around 1952, when a new engineer brought in his creation, screwed it in, turned it on, and asked the director if this was what he was looking for.  Upon seeing the “impossible bulb,” the director said, “Ah, yup.  That’s it.”

In a way, this is a corollary to thinking different: “Find someone who has not yet thought about the problem at all or someone who doesn’t ‘know’ it’s impossible.”


Most things are impossible not because they are in fact impossible but rather because of the limitations we place upon ourselves.  Much like the engineer at GE over 50 years ago, you have the capacity to accomplish the impossible.  But the first thing you need to fix is your mind.

Your mind is what tells you that you can’t do something.  It will tell you it’s too hard.  Or it will make excuses for why it’s not a good idea.  You have to train it, so you can look past those limitations to the possibilities that the world has given you.

It doesn’t matter what it is.  Maybe it’s losing 20 pounds, maybe it’s getting a new job, maybe it’s moving to a new country or maybe it’s doing something that you’ve always dreamed of doing but for one reason or another never took action on.  Maybe if you stop “knowing” that something is “impossible” you can focus on the doing – which is where all great things are accomplished.

As Google founder, Larry Page, once said, “Have a healthy disregard for the impossible.”

Happy Wednesday!


* Hat tip to Rules For Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki and The Weekly Q

The Power Of One Idea

In an era where there is more information than any of us could ever know what to do with, we need a filtering system.  That filtering system is the power of one idea.  Take out a piece of paper.  Write “all you need is one idea” on it and put it in a place where you will see it every day.  This is the way you need to start thinking.

Information overload and paralysis by analysis may be the biggest reason why no one ever gets anything done.  When you shift your focus to the goal of finding one idea, you’re able to start blocking out the useless noise around you and start focusing in on what’s really important.  Right now, as you read, you should be thinking about this one idea.  What am I saying?  Is there a message in here that you can translate into your life?  This is the way you need to think.  Don’t just mindless read or listen to or watch stuff.  Turn your brain on!  The more you use it the better it runs.

I think this way all the time.  Even if I’m reading a book that isn’t knocking my socks off, I stick with it and finish it, because maybe on page 285, of 290, is the one idea that I’m looking for.  It could be the one idea that changes my perspective, my career or my life.  And that’s how you have to think.  You have to be hungry for that knowledge.

The power of one idea can be as big or as small as you make it.  But the first step is recognizing the one idea.  Like the one idea to make it easy for friends to connect: Facebook.  Or the one idea to organize information on the internet: Google.  One idea to inspire and nurture the human spirit: Starbucks.  One idea to deliver happiness to its customers: Zappos.

You have to have an open mind that is ready to find, and do something with, these ideas.  It doesn’t matter where you’re at or what you’re doing, every day of your life gives you tons of ideas.  The problem is that you’re not in the right frame of mind to see them.  And subsequently, you’re not in the right frame of mind to do anything with them.  Can you imagine this: one new idea every day for the next year?  That’s 365 new ideas.  Imagine the possibilities!

The funny thing about all of this is that nothing around you is really going to change, you’ll simply start recognizing things that have always been there, but you didn’t have the right mindset to see.  To think there are hundreds of ideas floating around you that could improve your life.  Time to put new glasses on.  You have to start seeing them!

So what is your one idea?  And what are you going to do with it?

Happy Wednesday!


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