Monthly Archives: August 2009

linklings, amazement edition


I’m a goofy dude. I’ve always enjoyed the latest self-help book, the latest how-to-invest strategy, the latest productivity blog.  But you know what?  I know I’m jinxing myself, but I finally think I have it figured out – or at least I’ve started to figure it out.  For the past few weeks, I’ve started to get everything under control and I’m starting to feel that I’ve got a system to manage my life.  If I actually start writing the book (chapter 1 is drafted) then I’ll know I’ve got things moving forward. It’s a cool feeling.  I’m hoping that it’s not a BRIP, with a BLAP to follow.  I’m hoping I’ve actually crossed a bit of a border – having taken some positive steps in my life to achieve what I always wanted:  life in the sun with my wife and kids.  My daughter in the semi-tropical sun is a minor miracle to me.  Weather and lifestyle are  small things.  Culture and family are big things.  Everything has to be placed in a balance and right now, the balance is, well…balanced.

The links, the links…!

Moving Made Easy – How to Save Money, Time, and Reduce Stress While Moving: Having just recently moved, I’ll tell you – these are good tips.

Budget Travel Tips: And again, having HOPED to travel sometime soon, these are tips I would take 🙂

“When It Rains, It Pours”: We’ve been on the other side of this recently; we thought we had reached an agreement to buy a house here in Florida and then, after weeks of negotiating, we finally gave up and decided to start looking again. It’s odd how some people can’t let go even in the face of economic inevitability – but then again, that’s part of what makes us human, I guess.

Flipping Houses for Profit: Something I have dreamt of doing often and never even vaguely acted on. I think I could manage painting and cleaning and (very) minor repair work, but actually dealing with agents and attorneys non-stop? For me? Not really.

Save Money Buying Overstock or Returned Items:  If I could game overstocked stuff into a profit, believe me… it’s a great way to make money.

MonaVie is Trying to Sue Me…: Lazy Man wrote an honest criticism of MonaVie and MonaVie’s trying to shut him up. My take? Tweet, Stumble, and do your social blogging worst to make this stupid lawsuit look…well….stupid.

Happiness For Others Comes From Contentment With Yourself: I couldn’t agree more. In my brip-blap existence, it’s been a tough lesson to learn, but here – in my mid-life – I’ve finally learned that if I’m OK with ME and not with others’ perception of me or my perception of how I stack up to others, I’m going to be alright.

Work At Home Mom Shares Tips On Saving Money: Nuff said, eh?

You CAN Argue With Results!: It’s tough to stick with the logic on this post, but Mr. Cheap is as dead-on with this thinking as you can get. Stating a result does not imply that the result is true – multiple variables ALWAYS confuse things…

How To Sell Your House Fast – 9 Tips To Get The Most From Your Home Sale: All of these are great tips, but let me tell you – #7 is key. Beyond a doubt.

Again With the Why Travel? (And Happy Anniversary!): I should write a whole post on this, but let me summarize: without travel, I am not who I am today. End of story. I grew up in a small southern US town, and living in Germany and Russia and traveling to God-knows-how-many-other-countries made me the human I am today. I can no more separate travel from my identity than I could separate my Anglo ethnicity or my native-English speaking or my hazel-colored eyes; travel made me…ME.  I am of the pro-travel camp.  I know when I am older and my kids are in their 20s and heading off to Malaysia or Kenya or Kazakhstan or whatever I’ll freak out, but really:  I am not who I am today with my time spent living in Russia.  C’est la vie.

Photo by seanmcgrath

lying in the workplace, part 2


Yesterday I wrote about Mary and Veronica, who had lied about their work under my supervision. I caught their “errors” and confronted both.  Mary, who worked hard but often made mistakes, had lied to cover up her lack of comprehension.  Veronica had lied to finish her work more quickly, but understood fully what she was doing.    So what happened?  Who got fired?

Mary was fired. It’s hard to fire someone whose biggest fault is honesty.  She had been struggling for years before she reported to me.  She simply couldn’t absorb the information.  Too much time had passed, and she hadn’t improved; it was clear this wasn’t the job for her.

Veronica wasn’t fired. Yet the senior manager we both reported to made a  blatant threat:  one more time and you will be fired and the reason why will be known in the business community.  No small threat; we worked for one of the most well-respected employers in the city and they could be influential in ruining someone’s career.  I thought that part of the threat was unnecessary, but I told her that since she worked for me, her sole concern should be doing quality work – not quantity.  But Veronica was smart and talented, and so she stayed.

Flash forward a few years… Mary was much happier in an accounting position.  It didn’t demand much judgment.  She didn’t have to travel, or work late.  Nobody expected her to be creative or decisive.  I met her for lunch one day and she was relaxed, happy, confident and most importantly, under no pressure to lie.  Getting fired, she said, had freed her.

Veronica continued to work for me for years. If you’ve worked in project years, you have either experienced or seen the development of near-perfect co-workers.  She and I worked on project after project together, and her abilities grew and grew.  Her focus on details and efficiency complimented what (I hope) were my growing skills in project management and working with clients.  We became good friends.  Her career within the firm took off, and to this day she continues to move up the ladder in her professional life.

Lying in the workplace is a terrible thing. I only have to whisper “Enron” or “most of Wall Street” for you to understand why.  But lying can have consequences far beyond what you imagined.  I was glad things happened the way they did.  It is odd to think that small acts of dishonesty by both women – when caught! – had such lasting positive results.  Never think that honesty alone will guarantee you moving ahead in the business world, or that lying will halt your progress if discovered.  Sad to say, ability will beat out honesty almost every time.

Photo by spaceodissey

lying in the workplace, part 1


Years ago I supervised two young women on two different projects.  Both were about three years removed from college; I was a new manager being given some guidance by an older and almost comically disinterested manager.  The two young women had a problem in common, even though they worked on separate clients and seldom crossed paths.  Both were liars.

Both had a problem which is common to the field of auditing. Imagine you have a document to audit – an invoice, for example.  Your audit test may be something as complicated as tracing prices back to authorized price tables, or something as simple as verifying that the person who was supposed to sign the invoice actually did.  If everything is fine, you put a note in the audit workpapers saying “no exception.”  If you find problems, you put a note about the exception.  What you don’t do is say everything is fine without checking to make sure it is fine.

Both women had done something along these lines.  I’ll call one Mary and the other Veronica.  Mary lied because she often didn’t understand what she was doing. Mary would look at her assignment and miss the point.  I would explain it to her, or another manager would, and she’d miss the point again.  To start covering for her lack of comprehension, she simply glossed over problems.  She lied to make everything look fine.  But she always was hard at work, and deliberate to a fault.

Veronica, on the other hand, was young and gung ho. She was in a rush, hurrying through her jobs and trying to look fiercely efficient.  She was sometimes sloppy – maybe she’d look at 30 documents and then assume the other 10 were fine.  She’d take a calculated gamble that she wouldn’t miss an exception.  She lied to make herself look fine.

Both were caught. I caught them, the senior manager I was working with caught them, and tears were shed.  Both pleaded for their jobs.  I was still too young to understand myself that the loss of a job is not the end of one’s life.  There will be another job.  But both women were distraught.  They made promises, they begged.  One was fired, and one was not.

I know who was fired, but I wonder what you think. Mary struggled, but she only needed more help.  Maybe a lot, but she was always trying to do her best.  Veronica didn’t struggle – she knew what she was doing and was a driven and focused young woman.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the outcome.

Photos by Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M

linklings, august 21 edition

Here we go, links of the weekend…

First up is one of the best articles I’ve read over at Zen Habits in a while. I read a lot of articles like this one – it’s become a bit of a ridiculous obsession of mine, since I don’t really plan on becoming an entrepreneur any time soon – but this one struck a chord: The Get-Started-Now Guide to Becoming Self-Employed. I’m also working my way through the audiobook version of Leo’s The Power of Less (and incidentally, pick up the book, not the audiobook – the production quality of the audiobook leaves something to be desired).

I do include affiliate links from time to time, as I disclose in the privacy policy for this site.
Using the affiliate links does help me pay for things like hosting and some of the incidental things I have to buy. For example, I just purchased the frugal theme from Eric Hamm and I’m working on changing the theme of this site over. It’s not a big change from the current theme, but it will clean up the code and make my programming life easier. Click here to visit the “frugal” Theme website and see what it will look like.

Protect Your Brand Identity: I worry about my brand. Brip Blap’s a highly-sought-after nom de plume, after all. Seriously, I do intend to protect it – these are some good tips.

Friends and Family as a Form of Insurance: I agree – I consider my family a form of investment. I don’t think it’s agreat idea; they might suffer economic hardship as well as I, but I still always count on familial support.

Your Home Is Not An Investment: Never has been, never will be.

Mining the Miners: A Different Way To Make Money: Great way to approach the money-making problem; there’s doing it and then there’s mining it.

Angies List Contractor Service Follow Up: I think I’ve got to sign up for this Angie’s List thing.

Rent vs Mortgage: Calculating Tangible and Intangible Costs and a followup, The Value of Establishing a Permanent Residence: I guess here’s the point – having lived in a home for almost 5 years, then moving into a rental and searching for our next home, renting sucks. If you have the assets, owning is preferable from a mental point of view. We’d like to be in our own home and ceasing to worry about the temporary nature of our residence.

A few more links:

“My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.” Patricia in Joe Versus the Volcano

the myth of stable employment


My father was a college professor for the same university his entire career. My mother, although switching schools several times, has had pension-laden and tenure-secured positions at public schools for decades. All of my grandparents worked for the government in one form or another other than my father’s father. All of them held jobs that were stable. They never expected to be laid off. They never anticipated being a casualty of a shortfall in a quarterly stock price target. They never expected to be part of a failing institution. They thought they had – and did have – stable employment.

I ask myself a question before my first day at every new client: how many days will it be before someone asks me if I’m scared of the lack of stability as a consultant – or some variation of the question:

“Don’t you want a stable job?”

“Aren’t you worried you might not find a client after this contract?”

… and so on. It’s usually followed, a month or two later, with a question about whether I’d like to come on board as an employee. I’d have a “regular paycheck.” I’d have a limited choice of expensive benefits. I might get promoted. I’d be part of a team.

To these statements, I reply:

  • Regular paycheck? Right now, my paycheck is irregular because if I work 55 hours instead of 40, I get paid overtime. If I get that regular paycheck, I get paid 40 all the time – and there’s an incentive for my boss to MAKE me work those 15 free hours.”
  • Benefits? I get benefits. Fifteen years ago, I didn’t pay for health care, I had a huge 401(k) match, two weeks of vacation as a lowly staff member and even had a vestigal pension. Today, most companies’ benefits are only marginally better than my own. A 401(k) with no match is WORSE than an IRA because of the 401(k)’s fees. Most employees pick up 50% of their health care premiums, but don’t give a choice about coverage. And pensions? Hehehe.”
  • I might get promoted, be part of a team? Swell. That means I have to get out my rusty corporate back-stabbing knives. I have yet to see the corporate organization where you can put your head down, work well with your staff, deliver results to your manager and move up the totem pole. You have to play politics. You can play politics with a smile or with a frown, but if you don’t play them, you’ll hit a ceiling.”

But after I run through all of these objections, the client uses what – to the corporate mind – is the trump card:

But it’s a STABLE JOB!”

Somehow that’s the final and best stuttered argument in favor of employment. It’s a myth that continues from previous generations.

It’s not true anymore.

I always ask people whether they expect to be working for the same company in five years. Do they expect to work in the same organization – no mergers, no layoffs, no new bosses with their own teams forcing them out, no acquisitions forcing them to move to the other coast? Really? Let alone the possibility that they may just get sick of the job on their own, or find a better one, and quit.

Without exception, employees stop and think for a second. With a nervous laugh, they may claim sure, they’ll be there in five years. But that hesitation and that laugh tell the truth: they won’t. Nobody will.
Of course you know the lifer: someone who’s hung on like grim death. My wife, Bubelah, knew someone like this at her last job. This person was not leaving. She would change departments, move cities, do anything to stay at her corporate job. I’ve known people like this, too: they’d do anything – accept demotions, move their families at short notice, take pay cuts, ANYthing – to keep their job.

If that’s stability, I don’t want it.

The recession has made “stability” the hot term, even while it’s harder to obtain than ever (and less certain even when it is obtained). Stability will never again be a perk an employer can offer. I know someone is thinking about the federal government, or teaching, or union jobs or some other exception. If there is an exception, the days they’ll offer stability are numbered. The work of the future will be unstable. Accept it, adjust your career to fit it and move on.

And by the way, don’t kid yourself – there is no stability in being an entrepreneur, either. If you are a small business owner, and you have all your eggs in that basket, it’s not a stable setup. An entrepreneur’s life may be more challenging, or more personally or financially rewarding, but it’s far from stable.

Stability is a thing of the past in the work world. The only stability is the creation of multiple streams of income, elimination of personal debt and spending less than you earn, while always thinking of ways to earn more than you spend. You have to build income streams whenever you can; nothing else can guarantee stability. Stable income is something that, in the past, your employer gave you.

Today, it’s something you build.


And just in case you wonder, at my current client, I had this conversation not in a matter of days… but the first day.

photo by Cold Cut

linklings, world’s smartest man edition


You’ve used the phrase “nice going Einstein” or “good thinking, Sherlock” before, right?  So before Einstein became shorthand for “super smart person,” whose name was used?  Thomas Jefferson?  Copernicus?  Plato?  This thought crossed my mind while watching “Watchmen” on DVD, in which one of the characters is referred to – and not always kindly – as the “world’s smartest man.”  Who was the world’s smartest man before Einstein?  Who will supplant Einstein?  I don’t hear anyone saying “nice going, Stephen Hawking” yet.

A few links for your Sunday reading:

Does Your Salary Match Your True Hourly Wage?:  Good question.  I imagine that for many people, it doesn’t.  I know that since I’ve switched to contract consulting on a hourly basis my HOURLY rate has soared, although I’m probably making less on a yearly basis.

Things vs. experiences: As always, an interesting take from Jacob at ERE. I agree: things have their place. I have enjoyed my mp3 player far, far more than it cost, in a cost/benefit equation. I have similarly enjoyed my bike that I bought a year ago much more than I would have enjoyed a trip to New Orleans, for example. Experiences are great, but things have their place in our lives, as well.

Don’t Have Any Money Saved Up? Start Small and Make Saving Automatic: Yep. Start now. Save a buck today, if you can. It’s more than nothing.

Introducing The Frugal Dad Giving Project: Two points: first of all, a great idea by FD, and second of all, I agree – our nation’s teachers, who work very hard, were given a “tax break” to buy supplies out of their own money. How many of us who work in corporate America would react with smiles and giggles if we were told we could purchase our own binders and paper and pens – but we’d get a tax credit at the end of the year! Short answer: none. Our society’s upside down in terms of education. You may hear a lot of horror stories about teachers’ unions and the big bad education lobby but at the end of the day, teachers are asked to give far, far more than most workers – and their job is far more important to our future.

And more…

photo by cliff1066

where the dogs are


When I worked in Bucharest, we’d go out to lunch from time to time. Our office was in a building that had a soup/deli thing on the ground floor.  The other option was a McDonald’s about a block away.  When you were there in the winter, the sidewalks would be covered by ice – public services like salt and scraping were nonexistent – but that wasn’t the biggest kicker.  I had been in numerous freezing cold locales by that point:  Moscow, Siberia, Poland, Boston.  The real problem was the dogs.

Wild dogs roamed up and down the streets in our part of downtown Bucharest. I don’t know if they were wild dogs, or just abandoned pets, but they seemed bold enough to be wild and tame enough to shy away at the last second from a human.  They were frightening, though.  They’d gather around you and snarl and bark and generally activate your caveman brain’s fear of things with teeth.

We’d watch out the windows around lunchtime to see if the local pack of wild dogs were nearby before setting off for McDonald’s. I’m not sure if they would have attacked.  They acted fierce, and they looked hungry, but I never saw them attack a person.  They were hungry, for sure.  If they came close, I’d throw a rock or two.  Usually that scared them off.  Once or twice it didn’t, and I learned a trick – barking LIKE a dog at a dog freaks them out.  But before you laugh at me, imagine having a pack of 10-12 hungry wild dogs snarling at you and think about what you’d do in that situation.

We would go to McDonald’s, of course.
If you can look out the window and see that you’re likely to make it, you may chance it, because you can only eat soup in the company canteen so many days in a row.  A cheeseburger starts to look like a filet mignon steak after a while.

But those dogs were frightening. Years before going to Bucharest, while living in Moscow, I had read reports of a young woman torn to shreds by wild dogs a few blocks from my home.  You’d have to assume she was drunk, or stoned, or just unlucky.  But people do get attacked by dogs, so a pack of wild dogs is not something to shrug at.

Week after week (I spent a lot of time in Bucharest) I’d venture by those dogs…sometimes walking through the midst of them.  Towards the end, as I mentioned, I snarled at them. They cringed when they saw me coming.  I had little fear of them.  The first time I saw them I was terrified, and the last time I saw them I was caught somewhere between disgust and pity, but fearless.

Not to go all Aesop on you here, but the moral of the story is that even things that seem scary can be conquered.  Don’t assume that you will always be afraid.  Someday – if you try hard enough, and beat away at it every day – you’ll beat it.  Fear is just uncertainty about the unknown.

photo by Javiercit0

it’s not just you


By Curmudgeon

In my 30 years in a professional career, I’ve had my successes, and I’ve had my failures. The failures are usually not very pleasant, but I can usually deal with them. The successes, however, are quite a different story. In short, they have a tendency to go to my head.

Just what do I mean by that? Simply, two things. First, I start believing my own press releases, so to speak. You know the ones – where I’m the best thing since hot buttered rum, and where I can leap mid-sized buildings without breaking a sweat. Damn, I’m good, aren’t I?

Second, I start to think that I am making it look easy. So easy, in fact, that I can lose my focus and still be an outstanding performer. I don’t intentionally lose my focus, of course, it’s just that I start to think that I can think about other things because my job is on cruise control.

Then something bad happens. Well, usually not that bad, but bad enough to jolt me out of my complacency. Something major doesn’t get done, or I screw something up. I learn pretty fast once again that I’m not only mortal, I’m damned fallible.

Guess what? After all these years, it still happens. I’ve probably gotten a serious wake-up call like that a dozen times in what is approaching my 30 years, and I still haven’t learned my lesson. When things are going well, I still think that it is my effort rather than the team or the circumstance.

Here’s what you do. When you’re in a gravy situation, one where everything you touch turns to tulips, wake up every morning and spend five minutes telling yourself that you are such an idiot that a block of cement can do your job better than you.

Well, maybe not quite that drastic. But remember that success is a team effort, and one that is highly situational on colleagues, management, the activity, and the work environment in general. Remind yourself of that constantly. Maybe it really is you that makes things click around the office, but if you share the credit, you’ll end up with a team that is fiercely loyal over the long haul.

photo by blogefl

it doesn’t have to be so


Back in the mid-90s, when I was working for a big US consulting firm in Russia, I remembered having a feeling of inevitability: I had to keep working. I had commitments, I had clients, I had a contract, I had staff and managers and partners who all depended on me. My landlady needed my rent. My friends and family would be upset if I bailed. Everything depended, in short order, on me. I was the pivot on which the world turned.

It doesn’t have to be so.

I spent more than a decade in New York City, working at increasingly stressful jobs trying to support my family. I always knew it might be easier elsewhere, but I knew I couldn’t do it. I had commitments, I had clients, I had contracts, I had people who depended on me. Everything pointed to me staying. I couldn’t forge a sensible exit.

It doesn’t have to be so.

The ease with which I sold my house (in a horrible housing market), moved (in a terrible job market), found a new contract (in a more depressed job market), and found a new house at a good price have all astonished me. The lesson I’ve learned – and it’s a powerful one – is that you can’t assume that you cannot improve your own life. Events may conspire to create a better future for you whether you expect them to or not.  Whatever your current circumstance, if it’s not what you want: it doesn’t have to be so.

If you want to make a change in your own life, you’ll hear tons of arguments against it.  You may even make the arguments yourself. It’s too risky, too drastic, too far, too northern, too western, too conservative, too liberal. Don’t listen to any of it. I have always loved the phrase “is this a test life”? I’ve too seldom lived that. Whatever your current circumstance, if it doesn’t work for you – it doesn’t have to be so.

Take what doesn’t work for you and make it work. Need to change jobs? Need to move? Need to change your relationships or your diet or your mindset? Do it. You’ll get pushback, that’s human nature. But it doesn’t. have. to. be. so. Nothing is preordained, and the best chance you’ll have in this life is the chance you make for yourself. Whatever obstacles you face and whatever circumstances you’re living under today – it doesn’t HAVE to be so.

photo by lrargerich

linklings, the next house edition

Another week’s gone by, with big movements for the Blap family. We found a house we liked here in Florida, put in an offer and are sitting around (Saturday evening) wondering about whether it will be accepted or not. It’s an odd feeling – you’ve found a place you like and you want to know whether it’s going to be your home or not, based on your (to your perception) perfectly reasonable offer.  It’s odd to move to a new area, and suddenly find that jobs are easier to find, nice housing is easier to find, schools are better, stores are cleaner, public services are better, commutes are shorter, costs are lower – and it was always here, all the time you were struggling away in a place you didn’t like at a wage that didn’t work for a lifestyle you didn’t enjoy.

On to the links:

For a Good Time Call 1-800-829-1040:  Great resource on taxes, and the title just sucks you in.  Pardon the implication…

This article – Another Pet Reminder – and this one – Dog Day Care or Not Dog Day Care… – reminded me of one of the most important personal finance tips: don’t have pets. Period. It’s not in the cards for my family, ever. I love dogs, like cats, am fond of guinea pigs and fish and turtles, but you know what? I’ll play with the neighbor’s dog when I feel the need. Me as an owner? Not in this lifetime.

Are You Planning Your Life Around Money? and Asking Why: The Purpose Behind your Financial Goals:

House and Rent Update:  Having avoided this scenario ourselves recently, I wonder whether we could have rented out our Jersey place.  I am glad we never had to find out.

A Biodegradable Credit Card?:  True, my credit card will exist for thousands of years after my death.  Is this a “green” issue that keeps me up?  Honestly, no.  I am cool with a non-biodegradable card.  If it has great benefits AND it’s biodegradable, I’ll take it.

Time Is Money, So How Do You Spend Your Day?: I linked to this on my other blog (hunt through my blogroll, you’ll find it if you want to) and as I opined over there, it’s an amazing graph.

Top Ten Songs About Money – The Frugal Dad Soundtrack: He had me at #2. All time favorite band gets personal finance cred.

Library Fines Don’t Support Your Library:  I found this slightly disappointing.  I guess it doesn’t surprise me, but it saddens me – a little bit like the time I found out that John Carter never actually went to Mars.

How to Enjoy a Tax Free Vacation:  Great idea.  I don’t do nearly enough of this, and I should – I have an aversion to conferencing, and I shouldn’t.  Some great tips.

I really liked Syd’s posts here: Luxury Vacation Envy and Luxury Vacation Envy-Part II.  Great reads and I get her point:  would I have enjoyed Vladivostok (for example) more or less had I been in a nicer hotel?  I don’t know – I suspect the experience and my remembrance of it were more formed by the place than my hotel room, despite my thinking at the time.

The Power of Resourcefulness: A Guide to Peeing in the Shower: Good concept, good execution – and a hard sell. Great idea, though.

low brow inspiration

trump taj mahal casino atlantic city

I find inspiration in stupid places. Before you read further, let me say again:  stupid places.  Sure, I’ll quote Einstein and Emerson and Franklin from time to time.  Even guys like Napoleon Hill have a little bit of non-dumb cred.  But if you tell people you get inspiration from someone like Donald Trump or Adam Carolla, you’ll get a look or two.  It took me years to realize that if I enjoy metal music and get inspiration from it, I don’t need to feel bad about hating opera.

I’d like to think I’m a cultured guy. I am, by many standards.  I’ve studied four languages and still speak two of them.  I have read philosophy, poetry and prose til I’m blue in the face.  I play the flute and tuba, and back in the day could hold my own on the bass guitar.  I knew BASIC and Pascal.  I like country music (Hank Williams, Sr. era)  and drink cheap beer.  I love dumb sitcoms and heavy metal.  I’m all over the place in terms of culture.

You may think of yourself as the kind of person who needs inspiration from wonderful sources, but you don’t.
Warren Buffet is a good guy to listen to, but let’s face it – if you get inspiration from Trump, there are bits and pieces to admire about his life, too.  People will tell you you’re a fool to draw inspiration from the dross – from Wayne Dyer or Kiyosaki – but there is something to be found in Seneca, and in the Secret; in Plato and in Oprah.

I spend more time than I should trying to find inspiration instead of acting on the inspiration I already have. It’s a failing of mine, and I imagine many people do the same.  How many self-help books suffice?  1? 10? 100?  I think if you read one and don’t act on it, two self-help books are too many, and by that standard I’m over the limit.

But find your inspiration where you can. I find it in movies and in books and even in music.  The point is not where you find inspiration – the point is whether you act on the inspiration you DO find.

photo by LancerE
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