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Philosophy of Life

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I put this email in the masterpiece category – it’s one of the best messages ever, because it’s so true.   I was unbelievably blessed in so many ways when Mark and I met less than six months ago, but it’s amazing how much our philosophies of life run parallel.  (Scary how well he knows me. :))  I’m regularly impressed by the flow of quality people we meet on this planet.  I’m so grateful our paths crossed.

Fate looks certain, but then nothing’s guaranteed.” – Asia
Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” – Aldus Huxley
Do not let what you CANNOT do interfere with what you CAN do.” – John Wooden
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldow Emerson
Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” – General George S. Patton
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn
If you wanna live life on your own terms, you gotta be willing to crash and burn.” – Mötley Crüe.

I hope 2010 is your best year ever! I’m thankful for you.
JC

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: A little longer email, parphrased & plagariized from friends of mine, experiences and reading
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 08:26:31 -0500
From: Mark J
To: John C

Seabrook NH [physical location], Kekaha, Kauai [mental location]

Howdy…!
Today, I want to say “Thanks” to all the wonderful people in my life.
And I hope you’’re having a great holiday.
Sure, the airports are clogged with sneezing, coughing mobs enraged by delays and the prospect of being locked in a house with relatives they can’t stand for a week.  And yes, the politics of this country continue to crawl ever deeper down the rabbit hole leading to Crazy Land.  And everywhere you look, greed and fear and suspicion lurk.
And yet… the world spins on, and if you can just let your mind settle for a few moments, the raw gorgeous beauty of everything can still take your breath away.
There’’s a clever Chinese toast that carries both a curse and a blessing:
‘“May you live in interesting times.”’
As all wordsmiths know, that word “interesting” embraces both the good and the bad, the yin and the yang, of life. Danger, excitement, and adventure.  The kind of events that will either kill you or make you stronger.  These interesting things become, for the most part, life-defining moments.  Is that overstating?  I think not.
Each moment, challenges, discouragement, victory, defeat, acceptance, rejection ~ an endless list really ~ happen to everyone. The difference is whether we define that moment or the moment defines us.  I learned a long time ago, and, I forget it regularly, that I define and determine the outcome, not the other way around.  In business, we never should let prospects or distributors determine the growth of our business.  We all do from time to time, of course but if we find it interesting instead of ‘defining’ everything changes.  In life, and let’s face it, our business performance is nothing more than a reflection of our life, the same principle applies.  A broken heart is celebrated by some as part of the experience of life ~ the privilege of actually feeling ~ and by others, who sadly let a relationship define them, that same broken heart is a crushing blow that inhibits one from seeing the unspeakable beauty that surrounds us every minute of everyday.   The critical difference, of course, is this: are we feeling observers while simultaneously participating in the elegant chaos or do we believe we are powerless drones who are overwhelmed by life’s calamities?
We’ve lived an interesting life.  Sometimes it’s too damn interesting and part of  me would welcome a long restful period, where not much happened……
As you can imagine living with me and my idea-a-minute mind gets a little too interesting for her and she thinks she’d like long latent periods too.  But we both know we’re ruined.  We  have a permanent jones now for the far end of the Feast table, where it’’s raucous, noisy, and unpredictable.  Are we junkies?  Hell no.  We love peace and calm, unplugging from everything ~ phones, email, relatives , etc., and especially the biggest cause of brain damage on the planet, the internet.   But, the adventure of life, the unmerited gift of being feeling observers while simultaneously participating in the elegant chaos, calls to us like the sirens in Homer’s Oddessy. You may recall, from your school days, Ulysses strapped himself and his crew to the masts so they would not be drawn to the sirens and crash upon the rocks, ending in certain death.  We are not strapped to the mast and feel very differently about it all.
How so?
Well, we believe certain death, of the spirit, is the sirens’ song if we are exclusively seeking calm and planning an adventure once a year [vacation?].  Yeah, I know its a little Zen-like here, but stay with me for a moment.  What if we looked at it all as a vacation ~ a delicious, unpredictable, honest-to-goodness fun house and used those weeks of vacation for the calm instead of adventure?   Ain’t it cool that you DON’T know what is going to happen and, in truth, it just doesn’t matter?  Playing it safe is the same thing as crashing onto the rocks, playing is safe and hoping for calm is the siren’s song.  The gift of life is about feeling alive and while I’d rather be succeeding than failing I clearly understand and believe that success and failure are both impostors, distractions to what my friend Doug calls ‘the real deal’ – feeling alive.   It is being able to participate, make choices…..not just choices about ‘what to do’ but the bigger choice of DECIDING to embrace the entire experience.  It’’s where the truly interesting people gather.
So bring it on, World.  Heap on the chaos, the uncertainty, the upheaval and especially the occasional jolt of sheer mind-bending astonishment.
Just allow me a moment, here and there, to appreciate the ride.
Take a look at John C.  New dad, first timer.  Fighting for more days with a toddler, not less days, while building a business with a new company and a pioneering concept.  And playing basketball.  And building a team page.  Some people have kids and stop.  Some people have kids and rock to new levels of achievement.  I am sure he feels overwhelmed at times……just wait till Sofie hits the terrible 2’s ~ LOL….but John is in.  I am not talking about the business here….he is not getting sucked in by the sirens coveting calm……he is experiencing and embracing being a single, a dad, a leader, a business owner and a leader……while talking a pretty good game of basketball.   He is embracing the adventure and not listening to the sirens’ song……surely a haunting melody promising calm, serenity and rest.  It’s death to the idea many hold as the reason for our existence.  To experience it all…..the entire kaleidoscope. Just like Artie, John is ALL-IN as they say in Texas Hold ‘Em.
We are facing health problems, business challenges, emotional challenges with some of the kids, time challenges, a blind Mom, a granddaughter with Leukemia……and moving to Kauai….seems, well, impossible……it is all awesome.  Is it all the way we would like it?  No.  But it’s all awesome.  Don’t think so?  Go talk to some folks like we did this week, all over 70, who miss, most of all, the action…..and regret…..not what they did……but what they did not do.
Professionals get paid……spectators pay to watch players play.  So who are we?  Who are you?
We’re not talking business here, we are talking professionals of life.  How do we get paid?  Experience and feelings.  The gift of feeling the entire spectrum of life is the pay.  Spectators pay with their life, giving up the ‘spirit’ to watch and not get hurt, stub a toe, have a heart broken…fail, get knocked down…..they miss it all.  The price is too high and, we don’t know it until it is too, too late.  Seriously, to talk to some 70-somethings…….so clear the ones who were ‘all-in’ all the time and have no regrets versus the one who are filled with regret.
To the folks still on the ride with me, have a great holiday:
Doug, John C, Sneaky Pete from Down the Street, Boggie, Bruce, Dori, Lisa, Carrie, RBI Machine Grant, Mike K, Giff ~ who actually sailed AROUND the world.… and……heck, you know who you are….
And to those already on the Next Big Ride… well, I’’ll always keep a chair empty for y’’all, cuz you’’re missed and still appreciated: Dad, Dick, Chips, George, Candy, Joanne, Dave, Cabby, Israel K, Linda, Aunt DiDi……
Breathe deep, let go of the bull-crap, and never stop appreciating the little joys of life, realizing it is all joy.
Live this day like it is your last……….
Dance like no one is looking
Sing like no one is listening
Love like you’ve never been hurt……

To all of us: Hug your friends and family like you mean it, like you will never see them again.
“You’’ve got to be digging it while it’s happening, cuz it just might be a one-shot deal.“  (Frank Zappa)
believe
mark j
Fate looks certain, but then nothing’s guaranteed.” – Asia
Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” – Aldus Huxley
Do not let what you CANNOT do interfere with what you CAN do.” – John Wooden
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldow Emerson
Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” – General George S. Patton
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn
If you wanna live life on your own terms, you gotta be willing to crash and burn.” – Mötley Crüe.
JC

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: A little longer email, parphrased & plagariized from friends of mine, experiences and reading
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 08:26:31 -0500
From: Mark J
To: John C

Seabrook NH [physical location], Kekaha, Kauai [mental location]
Howdy…
Today, I want to say “Thanks” to all the wonderful people in my life.
And I hope you’re having a great holiday.
Sure, the airports are clogged with sneezing, coughing mobs enraged by delays and the prospect of being locked in a house with relatives they can’t stand for a week.  And yes, the politics of this country continue to crawl ever deeper down the rabbit hole leading to Crazy Land.  And everywhere you look, greed and fear and suspicion lurk.
And yet… the world spins on, and if you can just let your mind settle for a few moments, the raw gorgeous beauty of everything can still take your breath away.
There’s a clever Chinese toast that carries both a curse and a blessing:
“May you live in interesting times.”
As all wordsmiths know, that word “interesting” embraces both the good and the bad, the yin and the yang, of life.  Danger, excitement, and adventure.  The kind of events that will either kill you or make you stronger.  These interesting things become, for the most part, life-defining moments.  Is that overstating?  I think not.
Each moment, challenges, discouragement, victory, defeat, acceptance, rejection ~ an endless list really ~ happen to everyone. The difference is whether we define that moment or the moment defines us.  I learned a long time ago, and, I forget it regularly, that I define and determine the outcome, not the other way around.  In business, we never should let prospects or distributors determine the growth of our business.  We all do from time to time, of course but if we find it interesting instead of ‘defining’ everything changes.  In life, and let’s face it, our business performance is nothing more than a reflection of our life, the same principle applies.  A broken heart is celebrated by some as part of the experience of life ~ the privilege of actually feeling ~ and by others, who sadly let a relationship define them, that same broken heart is a crushing blow that inhibits one from seeing the unspeakable beauty that surrounds us every minute of everyday.   The critical difference, of course, is this: are we feeling observers while simultaneously participating in the elegant chaos or do we believe we are powerless drones who are overwhelmed by life’s calamities?
We’ve lived an interesting life.  Sometimes its too damn interesting and part of  me would welcome a long restful period, where not much happened……
As you can imagine living with me and my idea-a-minute mind gets a little too interesting for her and she thinks she’d like long latent periods too.  But we both know we’re ruined.  We  have a permanent jones now for the far end of the Feast table, where it’’s raucous, noisy, and unpredictable.  Are we junkies?  Hell no.  We love peace and calm, unplugging from everything ~ phones, email, relatives , etc., and especially the biggest cause of brain damage on the planet, the internet.   But, the adventure of life, the unmerited gift of being feeling observers while simultaneously participating in the elegant chaos, calls to us like the sirens in Homer’s Oddessy. You may recall, from your school days, Ulysses strapped himself and his crew to the masts so they would not be drawn to the sirens and crash upon the rocks, ending in certain death.  We are not strapped to the mast and feel very differently about it all.
How so?
Well, we believe certain death, of the spirit, is the siren’s song if we are exclusively seeking calm and planning an adventure once a year [vacation?].  Yeah, I know its a little Zen-like here, but stay with me for a moment.  What if we looked at it all as a vacation ~ a delicious, unpredictable, honest-to-goodness fun house and used those weeks of vacation for the calm instead of adventure?   Ain’t it cool that you DON’T know what is going to happen and, in truth, it just doesn’t matter?  Playing it safe is the same thing as crashing onto the rocks, playing is safe and hoping for calm is the siren’s song.  The gift of life is about feeling alive and while I’d rather be succeeding than failing I clearly understand and believe that success and failure are both impostors, distractions to what my friend Doug calls ‘the real deal’ – feeling alive.   It is being able to participate, make choices…..not just choices about ‘what to do’ but the bigger choice of DECIDING to embrace the entire experience.  It’’s where the truly interesting people gather.
So bring it on, World.  Heap on the chaos, the uncertainty, the upheaval and especially the occasional jolt of sheer mind-bending astonishment.
Just allow me a moment, here and there, to appreciate the ride.
Take a look at John C.  New dad, first timer.  Fighting for more days with a toddler, not less days, while building a business with a new company and a pioneering concept.  And playing basketball.  And building a team page.  Some people have kids and stop.  Some people have kids and rock to new levels of achievement.  I am sure he feels overwhelmed at times……just wait till Sofie hits the terrible 2’s ~ LOL….but John is in.  I am not talking about the business here….he is not getting sucked in by the sirens coveting calm……he is experiencing and embracing being a single, a dad, a leader, a business owner and a leader……while talking a pretty good game of basketball.   He is embracing the adventure and not listening to the sirens’ song……surely a haunting melody promising calm, serenity and rest.  It’s death to the idea many hold as the reason for our existence.  To experience it all…..the entire kaleidoscope. Just like Artie, John is ALL-IN as they say in Texas Hold ‘Em.
We are facing health problems, business challenges, emotional challenges with some of the kids, time challenges, a blind Mom, a granddaughter with Leukemia……and moving to Kauai….seems, well, impossible……it is all awesome.  Is it all the way we would like it?  No.  But it’s all awesome.  Don’t think so?  Go talk to some folks like we did this week, all over 70, who miss, most of all, the action…..and regret…..not what they did……but what they did not do.
Professionals get paid……spectators pay to watch players play.  So who are we?  Who are you?
We’re not talking business here, we are talking professionals of life.  How do we get paid?  Experience and feelings.  The gift of feeling the entire spectrum of life is the pay.  Spectators pay with their life, giving up the ‘spirit’ to watch and not get hurt, stub a toe, have a heart broken…fail, get knocked down…..they miss it all.  The price is too high and, we don’t know it until it is too, too late.  Seriously, to talk to some 70-somethings…….so clear the ones who were ‘all-in’ all the time and have no regrets versus the one who are filled with regret.
To the folks still on the ride with me, have a great holiday:
Doug, John C, Sneaky Pete from Down the Street, Boggie, Bruce, Dori, Lisa, Carrie, RBI Machine Grant, Mike K, Giff ~ who actually sailed AROUND the world.… and……heck, you know who you are….
And to those already on the Next Big Ride… well, I’’ll always keep a chair empty for y’’all, cuz you’’re missed and still appreciated: Dad, Dick, Chips, George, Candy, Joanne, Dave, Cabby, Israel K, Linda, Aunt DiDi……
Breathe deep, let go of the bull-crap, and never stop appreciating the little joys of life, realizing it is all joy.
Live this day like it is your last……….
Dance like no one is looking
Sing like no one is listening
Love like you’ve never been hurt……

To all of us: Hug your friends and family like you mean it, like you will never see them again.
“You’ve got to be digging it while it’s happening, cuz it just might be a one-shot deal.“  (Frank Zappa)

believe
mark j




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