Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Benjamin Franklin Virtues

Benjamin Franklin was told at an early age that he was not good with people. Following this, Benjamin Franklin came up with 13 virtues to work on for a week at a time (and then repeat) until his death in 1790. The 13 virtues are:
  1. Temperance
  2. Silence
  3. Order
  4. Resolution
  5. Frugality
  6. Industry
  7. Sincerity
  8. Justice
  9. Moderation
  10. Cleanliness
  11. Tranquility
  12. Chastity
  13. Humility
The next 13 blogs will be about defining each of those virtues to provide a foundation to who ever wants to tackle them.

[Edit - June 5, 2013]
Ron Kurtus did an excellent job with describing each virtues. See link below:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Father Forgets

Father Forgets
W. Livingston Larned

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lies asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive-and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding-this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy-a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

-Page 15-17 of "How to Win Friends & Influence People" book by Dale Carnegie

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Going nowhere fast

"Do not live as though you have a thousand years." -Marcus Aurelius

If you don't have a dream or a goal then you'll be more likely to let anyone else instill their own schedule into your life.

"It is not enough to be busy, so too are the ants. The question is, 'What are you busy about?'" -Henry David Thoreau

For a leader to be a leader he needs to know where he's going and that's done with a dream. What is it that you want to accomplish with the time that's been given to you?

"Decisions are easy to make if you know what your purpose is." -Coach Lou Holtz

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Some of Warren Bennis thoughts on education...

"Universities, unfortunately, are not always the best place to learn. Too many of them are less places of higher learning than they are high-class vocational schools. Too many produce narrow-minded specialists who may be wizards at making money, but who are unfinished as people. These specialists have been taught how to do, but they have not learned how to be. Instead of studying philosophy, history, and literature - which are the experiences of all humankind - they study specific technologies. What problems can technology solve, unless the users of that technology have first grapples with the primary questions?"

-Warren Bennis (Page 124 of "Leadership: Tidbits and Treasures" by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady)

The primary questions, mentioned above, are related to self. How much time have you spent trying to give a sense of who you are VS the amount of time spent learning a skill only usable in the 9-5 bracket?
You spend 168 hours with yourself in a week, 40 (or so) of which is at work. Do you spend more time studying for the 40 hours a week than the 168 hours?

Don't get me wrong, mastering the 40 hour skill set is important but it's not the only thing and surely not the most important.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Inner Monsters

Inner Monsters are things we've done or fears that keep us from being at peace with ourselves. It can sometime make us think that nobody else in the world can understand us because of them. It makes us afraid to show our true self to others.

We all have Inner Monsters to deal with. Let them go and don't let them affect your life anymore.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Does your mind have a "6 pack"?

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." -Joseph Addison

I went through 12 years of schooling failing to understand the importance of a good education. After each year, my friends and I would gather around to burn our notes and books while celebrating the end of yet another school year.

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” ― Charlie Tremendous Jones

The brain is a muscle that people prefer to entertain rather than educate. The problems (finances, relationships ... etc) of the world is not the problem; our lack of knowledge towards them is. It's because we don't know how to manage money that we're in debt. It's because we don't know how to get along that we're divorced or fight with each other. Pick up a book from a great author and start that self-improvement process and think!

I'm thankful to have found an association of individuals (TEAM - LIFE) who showed me the importance of a good education. It's through their example that I found the hunger to learn.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Trying is just a noisy way of not doing something

There's a difference between being committed and being interested. When you're interested in doing something you will only be doing it when it's convenient. On the other hand, when you're committed, you will follow through no matter what.

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
― C.S. Lewis

Commitment and integrity go hand in hand. If you don't follow through on the commitments you've made to yourself then chances are you won't follow through on the ones made to others. Be a person of integrity; follow through on your commitments.

Blog inspired by "The Heart of a Leader" book by Ken Blanchard

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The recapture of the Bahamas in April of 1783 by Andrew Deveaux

During the American Revolution, the Bahamas were captured by Spain. In April of 1783, Andrew Deveaux, a lieutenant colonel of South Carolina, recruited a handful of militiamen and Harbour Island settlers and planned to take Nassau using a clever strategy.
Deveaux had only two hundred men with him, a far smaller force than that of the Spanish, but he managed to capture the high ground on the island after a brief skirmish. The Spaniards then watched as boats repeatedly ferried load after load of men from Deveaux's ships to his defensive position on shore. What the Spaniards didn't know was that the same men kept going back and forth, standing on their trip over to the island and hiding themselves by lying down in the boat on the trip back to the ships. The leader of the Spanish troops, fearing a defeat at the hands of a large force in a defensible position, surrendered.

Deveaux forced the Spanish under Don Antonio Claraco Sauz to surrender on April 17, 1783, without a single shot fired. When Deveaux took down the Spanish flag, it marked the last time that a foreign banner was to fly over the Bahamian capital.

Page 132 and 133 of "The Difference Maker" by John C. Maxwell

Monday, May 13, 2013

Are you a philosopher?

The word "philosophy" comes from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom". The introduction of the terms "philosopher" and "philosophy" has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras. A "philosopher" was understood as a word which contrasted with "sophist". Traveling sophists or "wise men" were important in Classical Greece, often earning money as teachers, whereas philosophers are "lovers of wisdom" and were therefore not in it primarily for the money.


Friday, May 10, 2013


"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."

-P.53 of "The difference maker" book by John C. Maxwell

Monday, May 6, 2013

Intimidated by some people

I feel intimidated when I'm around people who I know have accomplished way more than I did. When I approach someone thinking that he's done much and I didn't, my self confidence goes out the window. I learn a lot about myself during those times.

The best way to remove that feeling is to associate with the people we find intimidating. Once we see them fall a couple of times; we come to realize that they are just humans like us!

Have you ever met someone you found intimidating? How have you dealt with it?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cement and The greatest inventions

The greatest human inventions are, in my opinion, the below:

1. Fire
2. Paper
3. Bread
4. The wheel
5. Cement

The earliest known architecture made of cement was by the Ancient Macedonians and was popularized by the Romans.
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