Thursday, March 25, 2010

Know When to Hold 'Em

"Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well." Josh Billings

Josh Billings was the pen name of humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818 – 1885). He was perhaps the second most famous humor writer and lecturer in the United States in the second half of the 19th century after Mark Twain, although his reputation has not fared so well with later generations. He may have been a humorist, but this quote is worth more than a laugh.

How well will you play the game today? I had a boss who taught me that poker is a game of people not cards – the key, he said, was in knowing how they’ll react with the cards they’re dealt. That simple truth got me thinking about how this applies to life and work and play. You’ll deal with lots of people today, and chances are you’ll have to figure out whether they’re telling the truth and acting in good faith. Understanding human nature is so important in every facet of our lives – our families and friends and neighbors and teammates and customers are all telling us one thing and it’s up to us to figure out if what they’re saying is really what they mean. Knowing the difference will determine how successful you will be today. The cards that are showing may not be as important as those that are still held – take time today to know the folks you’re dealing with and how and why they do what they do. In today’s complex world you’ll have to participate with lots of different people, so make sure you understand them. That’s how to get the most out of life!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Beam of Light

"You're a beam of light that comes from the mind of God, and you have a purpose on this planet." Carlos Santana

Carlos Augusto Alves Santana (born July 20, 1947) is a Mexican rock guitarist. Santana became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered rock, salsa and jazz fusion. The band's sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin percussion such as timbales and congas. His first album was unique and certainly had an impact on the music scene at that time.

What’s your purpose? You may go through life and never contemplate this question but it’s one that should be answered. Do you have family, friends, neighbors, colleagues at work, clubs you’ve joined, activities you take part in, services you attend, songs you sing, stories you write, work you perform, hobbies you love, hopes you dream about, ideas you think might work??? All of these could or should make your being here and doing what you do have a meaning beyond what they merely are. Any one of these could be the reason you’re here and make a difference to someone or something – a meaning that could brighten the lights and sharpen the minds and improve the lives of others. Santana’s music burst upon the scene in the late sixties and was unique and exciting – it reflected an ethnic flavor that made some proud and others more aware and the rest simply moved by its beat. You may not write music but you can create impressions and memories that will mean a great deal to others. You are unique – now go be you and do what you do and leave your mark somewhere, somehow, some way. Let your light shine today!