Things I’ve Learned …

November 20, 2011

The below words were sent to me by a friend.  Every bit of it is worth reading.  I especially liked opportunities, toilet paper, and climbing mountains  …  so true.

Written by Andy Rooney, a man who had the gift of saying so much with so few words:

I’ve learned…. That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned…. That when you’re in love, it shows. I’ve learned…. That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.

I’ve learned…. That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned…. That being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned…. That you should never say ‘no’ to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned…. That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him or her in some other way.

I’ve learned…. That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve learned…. That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve learned…. That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve learned…. That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned…. That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

I’ve learned…. That money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve learned…. That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I’ve learned… That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned…. That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve learned…. That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you. I’ve learned…. That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I’ve learned…. That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve learned…. That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I’ve learned… That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I’ve learned… That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

I’ve learned…. That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I’ve learned…. That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned…. That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

I’ve learned…. That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve learned…. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve learned…. That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in their little fist, you’re hooked for life.

I’ve learned…. That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned…. That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

 

I heard Andy Rooney deliver these words.  As I read them now I could just hear that distinct Andy Rooney voice and style  as he delivered it from his desk on 60 Minutes.

 

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the Founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to take their business to the next level. 

Find out more about Mike and his business at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com

 

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Ouch! … That hurt!

May 26, 2009

I’m sitting here with my knee up after last week’s arthroscopic surgery.  (Gosh, I hope I spelled that right … you’d think that if I had it I’d at least know how to spell it!)  Anyway, don’t worry; this article is not about my maladies or whining about the recovery process.  It is, instead, a short opportunity to observe some easy parallels and associations between recovery processes.  (I dare you to read on … it may not be as boring as you think!)

1) The actual cause of my malady, years of abuse and excess wear on my knees from sports, exercise and being on the “never slender” side took its toll over time.  It was insidious, and snuck up on me.  Sure, there were plenty of warning signs and even several admonitions from experts who warned against the excesses.  But I have always been pretty healthy and was confident that I could overcome or endure just about any hardship.  So too was the degradation of the U.S. economy.   There were warning signs and warnings from experts and talking heads alike.  But we as a nation partied on as if there was no day of reckoning.  Nevertheless, the damage was being done … quietly … insidiously.

2) Last Friday I chose to be asleep while the most painful part of the correction took place.  Except for the humiliating backless surgical gown (not a pretty sight) and the intravenous line that Nurse Tutti Fettaganuchi started pre-op, the artful work of Dr. Daniel Kharazzi could have gone unnoticed, were it not for the giant bandage around my now pretty swollen knee.  Kharazzi must be good because I hobbled out of the surgicenter pretty much on my own.  I’m still not quite sure what he did in there.  He didn’t even know what he was going to do until he got in there and actually saw and understood what the situation was.  Remember back to the beginnings of TARP?  Bailout or bad asset buy-up?  Treasury changed its collective mind mid-stream.  The point here is that we don’t quite know or understand what the remedy is that is being applied; and at times neither do those doing the work until they get there.  Some of us who abhor pain or falter at the sight of our own blood even choose to sleep through the event, trusting that the appropriate corrective measures are being initiated.

3) I will learn more and see the Dr. K’s handiwork next Tuesday at my post-op appointment.  Until then, I trust that the right work was done.  And if he got it approximately right, the rest of the work is up to me.  Recovery now involves balance; keeping the insulted joint from swelling out of control using simple cooling techniques while gradually introducing mobility and eventually rebuilding strength.  (It also involves a fair amount of whining on my part.)  I must choose when, how much, and how hard to apply the cooling, the mobility and the strength exercises.  The result will have a significant influence on the nature and quality of my life, both short and long term.  Likewise, on both a micro and a macro level, economic recovery is a function of the steps that are taken individually and collectively.  I can control what steps I take, and be aware of the macro movement that occurs around me and its direction.

        ** MacroNotes

  • Last week California failed to pass remedies put forth by Sacramento to address the $21 billion shortfall in the budget.  The Governor announced his intention to layoff at least 5,000 state education workers.
  • Last week Chrysler announced the inevitable, ordering the shutdown of 789 dealers across the nation.  GM could follow with a similar order for as many as 2600 dealers.  By the time this is over nearly 20% of the nation’s auto dealers could be out of business.  According to the dealers association (NADA), these two moves alone could add 150-188,000 to the unemployment rolls.
  • Banks are about to receive (may already have) an incentive to allow borrowers to sell their home at a loss rather than go through foreclosure.  Under the plan, the U.S. taxpayers will yet again mitigate the loss that the bank will experience by sharing the cost.
  • Though the drop in housing prices seems to be slowing, and Joe Consumer is beginning to open his pocketbook (probably with an accompanying uptick in consumer sentiment), we are reminded that we have just endured a period of the worst capital spending record for businesses since 1930.  The third leg of the stool, corporate spending is down 35-40%.  Businesses don’t make decisions to shell out dough based simply on “cautious optimism.”  It will take more … much more; and without a return of the corporate spending early recovery attempts may serve to simply suck in unwary investors seeing a false bottom.  Beware!  

4) Recovery will take time.  I can have a significant effect on how I come out of this based on my awareness, my decisions, my actions and my timing.  However, I also recognize that some things that are beyond my control and what goes on in the environment around me plays a big role in where I ultimately end up.  I will do my best to avoid missteps and lousy decisions.  But I will not allow myself to be inactive or a passive participant. 

Now, I must think about my next move … cool it down or light it up?  For me, I think cool it down and reflect a bit makes sense for the moment.

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to bring balance back to their lives and take their business to the next level.  Find out more about Mike and his business at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com

 

Copyright © 2009-2010 by Michael Stockwell

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or digital, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system or search, without permission in writing from the author.

Lest we forget …

April 5, 2009

 

Lest we Forget …

Mike Monsoor, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow Seals. 

During Mike Monsoor’s funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , SEAL’s were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming  a column of two’s, with the coffin moving up the center.  As Mike’s coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.  By the time the coffin arrived graveside, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for this warrior hero.

Mike’s story was emailed to me by a friend from my law enforcement days.  He is now serving in Iraq, training Iraqi police.  He sent it because he wanted to know why this story was not on the front page of every newspaper in America.  Those who serve in harm’s way … like Mike Monsoor, sometimes get called to move beyond service and, in a split second,  make the ultimate sacrifice.  Mike answered that call and deserves our highest recognition and gratitude for doing so.  I, in no way want to diminish the huge act of heroism of Mike Monsoor.  I do want to recognize that there are many like Mike Monsoor who risk their lives every day so that we may enjoy the peace and the freedoms that we do.  They serve in the military, in law enforcement and other public safety services.

Long before I was in law enforcement, police officers began receiving “shoot, don’t shoot” training.  The cop must decide in a split second whether the target presented is a threat and whether or not to eliminate the threat with deadly force.  Because you never shoot to wound, in a split second you must decide whether to take the life of another.  As you probably suspect, when I a police officer in San Rafael I had to know that I could make this “shoot, don’t shoot” decision quickly.  As you would imagine, I already knew that, if need be, I could take a life to stop the imminent threat of serious harm to another or to me.  Now here’s the part you probably don’t know.  When every cop, fireman or soldier serving you puts on that uniform, each has already decided to put his or her self in harm’s way for this way of life that we enjoy; for you, for their families, and for the colleagues with whom they serve.  Just last week Oakland P.D. Officers Mark Dunakin, John Hege, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai were laid to rest after put themselves in harm’s way to protect.  This week we lost three more in Pittsburgh.

You might wonder why I decided to include this story about a Navy Petty Officer in this blog of observations about balance, business and life.  The answer is simple.  I took Mike Monsoor, his fellow warriors, every police officer, sheriff’s deputy and fire fighter for granted.  I did it every day … and I’m betting that if you haven’t served, you did too.  It’s time I stopped taking them for granted and said “thank you.”  Neither Petty Officer Moonsoor, nor Officers Dunakin, Hege, Romans and Sakai will ever know what I’m about to say.  But I know that others who are there, protecting us and our way of life will. 

To those in uniform who serve: Thank you for serving; thank you for protecting me, the freedoms I enjoy, and the American way of life.  Thank you for keeping me, my kids and grandkids safe and out of harm’s way.  Above all, thank you for already having made the decision that, if called upon, you too are prepared to step in harm’s way. 

One last thing for the rest of you who are reading this … the next time you see a cop or firefighter doing his or her job, if you make eye contact, try smiling, try lifting your hand off the wheel as though you’re waving to a friend, maybe even mouth the words, “thank you.”  And in the airport, if a service member is travelling to or from their duty station, at the very least, a look at his or her name tag; and then a “thanks for serving Petty Officer Monsoor” would be a nice gesture.  It may be your  last opportunity to show your gratitude.

*********************************************************************************************************

 http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/m/moonsor.htm

The Moving Funeral of Petty Officer Mike Monsoor-Truth!

Summary of the eRumor:  
The eRumor describes the funeral of Navy petty officer Mike Monsoor, who lost is own life in Iraq to save the lives of other Navy SEALs.  At his funeral in San Diego, California, SEALs lined up on both sides of the route of the pallbearers and loudly slapped gold tridents from their uniforms on the wooden casket as a tribute to their fallen comrade.
The Truth:  
The story is true and, despite the comment about not being reported by the media, was given coverage by several news outlets across the U.S. including Fox news.Monsoor was killed in Iraq in 2006 and was awarded the Medal of Honor in April.  His funeral took place in July, 2008 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.Other Navy SEALs lined the procession and placed the tridents from their uniforms on the casket.  The trident is a U.S. Navy special warfare badge worn by SEALs.  It represents the three aspects of SEAL special operations, sea, air, and land.

He died after throwing himself on a grenade to prevent it from killing others whom he had been assigned to protect on a rooftop.

 

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to bring balance back to their lives and take their business to the next level.  Find out more about Mike and his business at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com 

 

Copyright © 2009-2010 by Michael Stockwell

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or digital, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system or search, without permission in writing from the author.