Common Ground

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“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” – Thomas Jefferson

Remember when a difference in political opinion was just that, a difference in opinion.  We have a arrived at this place where it seems everyone has drawn a line in the sand and the narrative is: “Either with us or against us.”  Don’t we all want basically the same things?  Opportunities to work, raise our families, be happy?  Just because we have different ideas about the best way to attain these, doesn’t mean we need to demonize the other side.  Let’s take a second to realize that we are not as far apart as the news media would have us believe.  Lets look for common ground and build on that instead of taking every opportunity to tear down others beliefs.

Gratitude

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“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

We tend to spend a lot of time focused on what we want, the things we don’t have.  Try to make time each day to make a small list of things that you are grateful for.  A few idea are:

  • A person who has played a significant role in your life
  • An opportunity you were given
  • Something in nature
  • A list of things you are excited about for the day
  • Something simple near you

Psychological studies have shown that developing s firm sense of gratitude can fortify us in times of stress or adversity. Taking 5 minutes each day to journal these thoughts will contribute to our overall happiness.  Also, don’t forget to express you gratitude to those who are deserving.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

Value

 

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“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
― Albert Einstein

Success is not measured in dollars.  I do not believe that the person with the most toys wins. Success is measured by the value one provides to the people around them and maybe those far away.

Find a way to fulfill the needs of others and personal success will follow.  Become a valuable part of the society you live in.  Success will follow.

First blog post

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“One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.”
—William Faulkner, interview in Writers at Work, 1958

I’m making some changes.  Big changes.  I have decided that the 9-5 grind is unsustainable (thanks Tim Ferris), at least if I ever hope to be truly happy.  I’m moving on.  It’s scary and exciting all at the same time, but the truth is that it can not happen fast enough.  The walls are closing in, they have been for quite a while.

I made the mistake of sharing my new found entrepreneurial enthusiasm with my Dad and was promptly slapped with the “Your generation isn’t willing to pay it’s dues” line repeated by so many who have resigned to the idea that anything less than slaving away the best years of your life is laziness.  The reality: It would be lazy for me to sit here at my desk, day after day, waiting for retirement.  Especially because I know that I am capable of so much more.  I need a plan.