Thursday, December 22, 2011

Back to Bloggin Again...

After some encouragement today.... I am going to try and start doing a little writing again.

I have been up here for so long... it's interesting to read past thoughts and feelings.  Sometimes it makes me feel pretty smart... and other times pretty dumb!

This isn't an intensive or thought provoking entry I know... but to make it worth your while and just in case you haven't seen it... check out this youtube video.  It is awesomely clever.... and funny.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Personality -vs- Character

Holy cow... this is a great read.  It reminds me of the following quote:

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good Morning’ at total strangers.”
—Maya Angelou

How many people do you know that can be short, abrasive, disrespectful to ones closest to them... and have an instant change of attitude around an outsider?  

How Could Everything Change So Dramatically
By Mort Fertel

"The difficultly with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but we must live with a character."
- Peter Devries

We can only appreciate the depth of this statement if we understand what is meant by CHARACTER.

"Personality" is easy to understand. Your "personality" is how people experience you. It's your public persona.

But what is "character?" And why is "character" so crucial in your marriage?

Character is who you are when no one is watching.

Let me say that again so you can read it slowly and really digest it this time.

Character is who you are when no one is watching.

You see, when you and your spouse met, you met each other's PERSONALITIES. You showed your spouse and you were shown by your spouse your public personas. I'm not saying you tricked each other. It's just your personality; how you display yourself to others.

But marriage lasts too long in too close quarters for anyone to sustain a public persona.

Personalities eventually give way to an INNER SELF that gets revealed for the first time. And there you each stand, naked as if no one is watching. But someone is watching. And that's when you meet for the first time...again!

You and your spouse don't meet the person who charmed each other's friends, bought gifts for each other's parents, and always smiled from ear to ear. No, this time it's a meeting of your CHARACTERS.

In many cases, it's not only that you're meeting each other for the first time, but it's that you're meeting YOURSELVES for the first time.

Many people wouldn't be caught dead treating anyone the way they treat their spouse. Most people don't recognize their own behavior. "I'm just not myself with him/her." Well then who is that person?  That's's
your character. (And your spouse meets their character.)

The reason so many people fail at marriage and an attempt at marriage renewal is NOT that they don't like their spouse. It's that they don't like THEMSELVES. And while everyone else in their life is like a mirror reflecting their personality, their spouse is a mirror reflecting their character.  And most people don't like what they see.

Many people would rather choose to be with someone else than remain with their spouse and have to continue to be with themselves. (Did you get that?)

Balthasar Gracian wrote in his 17th century manual on success, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, as follows: "You are as much a real person as you are deep.

"As with the depths of a diamond, the interior is twice as important as the surface. There are people who are all facade, like a house left unfinished when the funds run out. They have the entrance of a palace but the inner rooms of a cottage."

Marriage renewal and individual character
development go hand-in-hand.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What's your expectation?

I can disappoint myself. I can fall short of my own expectations. There are lots of days that I have regret that I didn't do enough, and quietly reprimand myself. Lots of days... well probably most days.

Sometimes I wish that I could just enjoy and let go. Not always carry the guilt of my self perceived underachievement. It's like I am trying to hide something from myself all the time, not quite acknowledging it and always a little anxious that I may be discovered.

I'm not quite sure what that is all about and neither do I know what to do to change it. It feels as though I'm being measured up and judged, but I couldn't really tell you by who.

There is a lesson that I have been learning, oh I don't know for about the last twenty years or so, and it goes something like this.... if you can disappoint yourself, others will certainly disappoint you. I mean think about it - you know what you want, how you feel, you know you better than anyone else and you still disappoint yourself. It is a guarantee that someone in your family, parents, spouse, children, close friends will disappoint you too.

Now before you get to thinking what a downer this post is - this is the power of this realization, for me anyway. We spend way too much energy on being disappointed. Let it go already. When you realize that being disappointed by a loved one, is a reality of having a loved one, it's easier to take it in stride, not take it so personally, and move on.

There is another side to this as well. There are people in your family/friend circle that you have certain expectations and desires of. Take your parents for example - most people, although some will deny it - want their parent's approval and love. We want to feel loved. Problem is that the way our parents may demonstrate their love, may not be in the way that makes us feel loved.

Your parents may have showered you with gifts, but you need quality time, time to talk and time to be heard to feel loved. Or maybe you need words of affirmation, to hear that they are proud of you, and love you, but they show their love through acts of service, by doing things for you. This is not just with your parents, of course - any relationship has these mismatches to deal with - although some people have similar "love languages" which certainly makes those relationships very comfortable.

This can be blindsiding to some relationships. A husband that thinks he is showing his spouse love through paying the bills, and keeping things organized, simply can't understand why his spouse doesn't feel loved. But for her, it quality time and physical touch that make her feel loved.

You don't have to rack your brains to figure out what everyone else wants, but if you have some relationships that are important to you - it would be wise to try and figure it out.

There is a great book I read a few years ago called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.  It is very insightful and I believe you will have no trouble figuring out what your language of love is, and as importantly, your spouse's.

By now your probably tired of reading... when is this going to end... well if you still with me - hang in there.

Here's something I'm struggling with big time. I seem to have expectations that someone else will treat me in a fair way, a kind way, or in a way that feels loving to me, even though historical they never have. Every time I am gob smacked and surprised and mutter something to myself like, I can't believe it.... Thankfully, I'm wising up a bit and what's occurring to me now is a different statement... why would I be surprised?

So logically, I know that my initial expectation doesn't make sense, but childishly, I allow it to hurt. It's almost like I'm waiting for that other person to treat me in accordance with what makes me feel loved and accepted, and when they don't, I feel rejected and like there is something wrong with me. If I take a broader look - it's not about me. It's nothing to be taken personally, it's just how that person is.

The simple premise is this - If you don't treat me in a way that makes me feel loved, and you are some in my life that is supposed to love me, then I feel like I'm must not be worthy of your love. That is painful.

Although this has taken me decades to figure out, and I still struggle with it at times, I understand now that I just have to be ok with me. I can't base my happiness on whether or not I feel like I have earned someone else's approval, love or acceptance. If you treat me poorly, that is a reflection on you, not me.

In your important relationships it is vital that you share what makes you feel loved and what your needs are. Don't take for granted, or make the mistake of if he loves me then he'll know. Express your needs - if the other person values the relationship, and you, they will want to meet your needs. If they don't then sadly it is time to move on, this is not just with a spouse, but family, friends, etc... Don't spend a lot of time with people who don't care about your needs - every relationship has two sides.

I know it sounds scary to move on. I have done it. It was scary, it was hard, it was painful. But it was  worth it. Discovering love is worth it. Being truly loved is worth it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Marika Hamilton as the Anti-Candidate

Guess what?  I'm running for Congress.

I have found myself getting more and more disenchanted with our political system, to the point that I am leaning towards dropping out.  I don't want to follow it.  I don't get anything from watching two politicians snapping back and forth on the news, both calling the other a liar.  Well I take that back, I do get something.  It's called anxiety.

For some time now I've been teasingly saying that I'm going to run for congress.  Run the Anti-Campaign.

How about someone who is just a regular person?  A real person?  Someone who wants to run for the short term, and not turn it into a career, someone who is less worried about being re-elected, less worried about trying to appear the well-rounded, all American family man right down to the two kids and golden retriever and is more worried about what is best for this country?  How about it?

Maybe it's time to shake the system up a bit.

So there it is.  I throw my hat (my Jimmy John's Visor) into the ring!

I will attempt to run a campaign that is the opposite of what everybody expects.  Sounds kind of fun doesn't it?  What about a campaign poster that reads..... "For the perks, not the people."  I mean isn't that truly why most politicians seem to run anyway.  Who in their right mind would want to be a politician...?  What a sick and twisted system.

That's why you should vote for me, this special election, next election... it doesn't matter, because I don't care if I win.  Maybe that's the key to correcting our political system... or maybe our political system, our country, can't handle such a thing.  Why would you want to vote for anyone who wanted to run anyway?  Doesn't that make their judgement questionable right off the bat?

I don't have any interest in being a plastic wind up doll - with a fake smile, and a conservative business suit.  I am real.  I don't want to kiss babies for photo ops, or sit on boards hob nobbing trying to secure as many votes as possible.  You'll find no ass kissing here.  But guess what....?  I'm not running for you.  I'm running because instead of becoming more apathetic about the system and dropping out, I think I owe it to America, to myself and to my kids, to try something different.  You know the old saying, you are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.  

So here's my resume, I assure you it isn't very impressive:

  • I'm a 38 year old single mom of two girls. (Divorced! One nail in the coffin for my political career right off the bat, crap)
  • I own a Jimmy John's Franchise here in Fort Wayne, IN
  • My family immigrated to America from England in 1978
  • I am a high school graduate, and a college drop out
  • I pay my bills and meet my obligations
  • I enjoy writing, I enjoy exercising, but not enough to actually do it (lately anyway)
  • I swear sometimes. (see below)
  • I have a quirky sense of humor, and like stupid, yet clever jokes.
  • I care more about being comfortable, than being fashionable - maybe you'll see me on CSPAN in jeans and a t-shirt!
  • I love our country, our flag and democracy.
  • I am a natural runner when being chased by something scary.
  • I have made plenty of mistakes and screw-ups in my life - and will make a bunch more
  • My Hero:  World War II Vets
  • My Favorite Treats: (an abbreviated list):  Snyder's Chocolate Covered Pretzels and Lay's Salt and Vinegar Chips and of course #12 Beach Club sandwich at Jimmy John's, it's why I bought into the franchise.
  • Weaknesses (an abbreviated list):  Color blind, left handed, immigrant with a funny name and a tendency towards attention deficit disorder.
  • I believe in God and want to have a deeper relationship with Him.
  • I think bail out money being used to pay exorbitant bonuses to CEO's is bull shit. 
  • I don't want the government taking care of me.
  • People who litter piss me off, especially on our War Memorials in Indianapolis.

So there you go.  Nothing noteworthy, nothing spectacular, no military service, no golden retriever.  I'm not a hero, some folks like me, and other folks don't.  No money to run a fancy, polished campaign, and no backers to speak of.

VOTE FOR ME!  Marika Hamilton the Anti-Candidate
Running for the Perks, not the People

follow me on twitter

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What's important...

I have the same questions that everyone else has - the same question that has been asked not just today, but going back perhaps since the beginning of mankind.  Why are we here, what is our purpose, what is our destiny?

What is really important in life?

It seems to me that we have created an unnatural definition of what is important, what brings us happiness and what defines success.  What makes us look successful to others, often times isn't what brings us contentment and happiness inside.  Yet we are driven to make sure that we keep what we have, and to keep on the road that we believe will get us more.

Why?  Why do we spend our most precious resource, our time, on things that are so meaningless in the big scheme of life.

There is no doubt that we must be able to provide for ourselves and our loved ones.  We must eat and keep a roof over our heads.  But what else do we really need when the basics are taken care of?  And how much is enough?  Does having more money, stuff, bring greater happiness?  Is there more joy in the wanting and anticipation of something, or the having?  For quite some time now my belief has been simpler is better - the more I have - the more I have to lose.

Yet we all live in fear of losing what we have.  So much fear that we worried and fret, allow it to steal our peace of mind and to divert our time and energy to it, instead of to what is really important to us.

Often times when I feel I am not on my life's purpose and want to switch direction - people close to me will often become fearful.  Not only do I have my own fear, of losing what I have to contend with, I have to contend with other people interjecting their own fear on my behalf.  I can't tell you how many times I have allowed others to discourage me.  The questions of, what will you do, where will you live, how will you support yourself, all well intended.... but don't they think that I have already thought of those same questions?  Is it not alright to just have faith in myself and God and know that I will land on my feet in the end?  Am I stupid?  No.  Am I crazy?  No.  Am I wanting to take some risks to make sure that my life is lived with passion and allow myself to do things my way, not just follow the path that everyone else wants for me....?  Yes.  I want to experience life, I want my life to be an adventure, and I want to be bold and brave and I want to die with few regrets.

Sometimes I think the illusion of control is our greatest problem.  We go about our daily lives with our schedules and to-do lists, watching the clock, planning ahead like we know what the next hour, minute or second will bring.  We accomplish things, create wealth, have stuff, and believe that there will be a tomorrow, a next year, etc...  However, despite our denial and best efforts to delude ourselves, deep down inside we know we are not in control and try to hide this fact from ourselves.  I believe that this is one of the hardest things to accept.  Nowhere is this more apparent than when we are faced with a loved one becoming ill, or a tragic accident occurring.  Who's in control now?  Why did this happen?  What could have been done differently?

Fact is that no one escape death.  Doesn't matter who you are, doesn't matter how rich or famous you are - it has never helped anyone dodge the bullet... Princess Diana, Michael Jackson... death is still as real, even though the personality and bank account maybe larger than life. 

A couple of experiences lately have brought this concept to the fore front of my thoughts again.  It reminds me that life is short, and the only things we truly ever have is this moment, right now.  It's ok to plan for the future, but don't do so to the extent that you miss today.  Don't let your worries of tomorrow, steal you of the joy that is here today.  Remember that no matter where you are in life, there will always be those that have less, and those that have more... and they have the same worries and concerns that you do.

I read a commencement address made by Steve Jobs today - and his message I think was an important one, I hope that you will have the opportunity to read it. Here's the link:

Take care - and remember - Life is what is happening today, while we are planning for the future.

Marika Hamilton

RIP:  David Linnemeier

The funeral mass for David Linnemeier will be on Friday, May 21 at 11:00 am.  The location is St. Vincent De Paul Parish, 1502 East Wallen Road, Fort Wayne, In 46825. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

How a squeegee changed my life... (Part One)

It wasn't too long ago when a squeegee and a question from my daughter changed my life.  Weird, right?  A squeegee.  I know.

Well let me explain.  I had recently moved into a new home that had a glass shower enclosure.  To prevent hard water build up on the glass, I bought a squeegee.  Before getting out of the shower I would squeegee off all the water drops.  It didn't take too long before the novelty of the squeegee wore off and it hung lonely and unused in the shower.

Then one day my then 9 year old daughter asked me a question when I was getting out of the shower.  Caitie asked, "Why didn't you use the squeegee?".  To this I replied, "I don't know, I guess I just got tired of using it".  The next thing she said changed my way of thinking.  She said, "Why did you buy it, if you are not going to use it?".  I didn't know how to answer this question.

Did I purchase the squeegee for the fun of it?  Did I really want the glass to stay in nice condition?  Was squeegeeing to much work, or take too much time?  Was I just lazy?  Did I know when I bought it that I wasn't going to keep on using it?  Was my own expectation of myself to only use it until I got bored of it, then push it aside?

I picked up the squeegee and quickly ran it down the shower walls.  It takes about 30 seconds to do all the glass.  Surely I can fit that into my schedule, and it was worth it to keep the glass looking nice.

I didn't know it at the time, but this moment, brought to me courtesy of a 9 year old child, would change my life and what I believed about myself.

I squeegee my shower EVERY time I use it.

The problem was that I didn't expect myself to keep on squeegeeing the shower, and there were lots of other things that I would start and not finish, or sometimes not even start, because I didn't expect myself to finish, so what was the point.  I had come to accept this about myself - this was me, this was my make-up.  I didn't like it and it impacted my self esteem, but I accepted it.

Though this belief ran deep and affected many things in my life, I realized that it may not be 100% true.  This idea stayed with me, and one day something happened that began to weaken that belief even more. I was getting out of the shower and realized that I had just squeegeed.... and didn't even realize that I had done it.

Sounds silly, but I was floored.  Could it be that I could have developed a habit, where a habit didn't used to exist?  I didn't believe this was possible.  The realization of this changed my life, my way of thinking, and made me recognize some other self imposed limitations I placed on myself, and made me question the other beliefs - things I believed true about myself and lived my life around.

Well, that squeegee represents a lot more to me today than spot free glass.  The squeegee serves as a reminder everyday - that I can choose who I am - and what I want to do, and who I want to be.  The commitment to using the squeegee has helped me form a new belief - I can and I will do so much more than I previously thought I could.

Part Two to follow

Marika Hamilton

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

KitchenAid Appliances, Problems, Poor Design, a Disappointment

Ahhh... new kitchen appliances, what can do more to bring new life into a tired kitchen...? The type of purchase that you make just a couple times over the course of your life. So you try to chose wisely, go with a brand that not only adds a touch of class to your kitchen, but that will perform well.

Shortly after buying my home, I decided that new appliances would add great value to my kitchen, aesthetically and otherwise. I went the route that is so common nowadays and went for all stainless steel. Now the very top brands were out of my budget, not to mention unrealistic for the price range of my home. But I chose KitchenAid, as I believed in their brand, and I suppose had bought into and believed their marketing campaigns. KitchenAid, that's a good brand right?  It's certainly not at the bottom of the appliance food chain.

So after much debate, I purchase a new slide in range, microwave, dishwasher and side by side refrigerator. The cost, almost $5k.

They look lovely. Too bad I actually have to use them.

My side by side refrigerator has an ice dispenser in the door. Yeah! This was a new feature for me, but unfortunately, I can't get it to dispense ice. After the repairman visited, I was told that it is common problem with this brand. The dispenser trap door lets enough warm air into to partly melt the ice... and once this happens it will no longer dispense ice, because all the ice freezes into a giant lump inside. We live without ice now, because I am not strong enough to break the ice container free (I stopped trying after I was yanking on it, my hand slipped and I punched myself in the face).

My dishwasher is kind of crazy... usually you can open a dishwasher's door add an item and when you close the door it resumes... not the KitchenAid. You have to push buttons to get it to restart... why? My dishwasher does not drain the water out when the cycle is done either. I have to push the cancel button and then the bottom of the dishwasher will drain.  My dishwasher smells bad and so do my clean dishes when I unload them.  Last night I cooked salmon and later ran the dishwasher with the plates from dinner.  This morning I opened up the dishwasher and about gagged.  Everything smells like dirty salmon water at the bottom at the dishwasher.... lovely.

My oven has the touch panel controls on the front. This is ok, I guess. But when the kids go to use the microwave and lean up to push the microwave buttons, the oven control panel is activated turning the oven on. Not exactly what you want to happen when the kids are trying to fix popcorn. But the worse part is the gas range top. It looks great. But I have never used a gas range that took so long to do anything. I swear it takes 30 minutes to boil water. This is an $1800 range. It occurred to me that the problem must be that the grate is too high, and too far away from the actual flame. How did this get missed in KitchenAid's R/D department? I have now turn the grates upside down so the bottom of the pans are closer to the flame. it looks like crap, but at least I can feed my children before they pass out from hunger.

My microwave automatically turns on the fan if the cook top below produces a certain amount of heat.  Not a bad idea, I guess.  But it is extremely irritating that you cannot turn it off if you want to.  It turns on by it's self and it will turn off when it is ready to.  You can not override it - and my table is in the kitchen and it is very noisy to try and eat and talk with the fan in the background for another twenty minutes after you are done cooking.

Well - what's my point with all of this...? That's a fair question. I suppose to give people a heads up when considering any sizeable purchase. Just type in Google the brand name and the word "problems". When I recently typed in KitchenAid Problems... I was shocked at what came up. Lots of poor souls just like me that gave a manufacturer the benefit of the doubt... and wound up with the short end of the stick.
If you have your own problems with KitchenAid - please post it here and perhaps we can help other avoid making a costly mistake.

Thanks - Marika Hamilton

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti Update - Platter Winner and Fund Raising Results

Hi Everyone - Thanks so much for checking in... I'm saving you some reading!

Check out the video below and find out how much we raised and..... drum roll, please....


Thanks so much -

Marika Hamilton

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Helping Haiti - American Red Cross - Jimmy John's

As you are aware, there is terrible suffering in Haiti.

It a good time to count your blessings and know that your family is safe and sound.

I hope you can join us on Friday, January 22nd to help raise some money for the Haiti Relief Fund. For every sandwich we sell at Jimmy John's on West Jefferson Blvd, in Fort Wayne, on Friday - we are going to donate $1.00 to the American Red Cross.

This is an all day event.

Please help us spread the word and encourage your friends and co-workers to have a sandwich for Haiti on Friday.  Please post this on your Facebook and Twitter accounts so we can hopefully get a big turn out for this event.  This is valid on dine-in, take-out and delivery orders.

Any questions, please leave a comment below.

Thanks so much for your help -

Marika Hamilton

Monday, December 7, 2009

Twas the night before....

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile..
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities.. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

Bob Parsons - GoDaddy Founder - 16 Rules

I use GoDaddy to register and host the different domain names that I use. I have noticed that the founder of GoDaddy, Bob Parson's has a video blog. I didn't take the time to check it out, partly I think because of the GoDaddy girls.... if you're familiar with the culture of GoDaddy (picture a Hooters version of Google)... it's not too hard to imagine some of the content of the video blog. Not being a dude... I really wasn't enticed to watch a video that features "smokin hot blondes"... or brunettes....--->

Well, something caught my eye today, and I decided to take a look. Ok... yes there was of course a smokin hot blonde... but it would be a mistake to let that detract from the message.

If you get a chance check out Bob's site at and if you don't want to do that... check out Bob's 16 Rules below:

1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone.

I believe that not much happens of any significance when we're in our comfort zone. I hear people say, "But I'm concerned about security." My response to that is simple: "Security is for cadavers."

2. Never give up.

Almost nothing works the first time it's attempted. Just because what you're doing does not seem to be working, doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that it might not work the way you're doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn't have an opportunity.

3. When you're ready to quit, you're closer than you think.

There's an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: "The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed."

4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be.

Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of "undefined consequences." My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, "Well, Robert, if it doesn't work, they can't eat you."

5. Focus on what you want to have happen.

Remember that old saying, "As you think, so shall you be."

6. Take things a day at a time.

No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don't look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.

7. Always be moving forward.

Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.

8. Be quick to decide.

Remember what General George S. Patton said: "A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

9. Measure everything of significance.

I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

10. Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.

If you want to uncover problems you don't know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven't examined for a while. I guarantee you problems will be there.

11. Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you're doing.

When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance.
Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.

12. Never let anybody push you around.

In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you're doing as anyone else, provided that what you're doing is legal.

13. Never expect life to be fair.

Life isn't fair. You make your own breaks. You'll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus (i.e., fare).

14. Solve your own problems.

You'll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you'll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: "You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others." There's also an old Asian saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: "A wise man keeps his own counsel."

15. Don't take yourself too seriously.

Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck.
None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.

16. There's always a reason to smile.

Find it. After all, you're really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother.
He always reminds me: "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time!"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Relationships.... what are they?

Life is busy. Time goes by too quickly, and before you know it you are looking backward over the years, wondering where it all went.

It has been said that your life can be measured by the quality of your relationships. I think that is true.

But with time being our most precious asset, why do we spend time on so many relationships that aren't quality?

I think it is important to take an inventory of the important relationships in your life. Just because they are important, doesn't make them quality. I'm going to say that again - just because they are important relationships, doesn't make them quality relationships. For example, a relationship with your father is important, but it is not quality if he is an abusive person.

A painful process to be sure, but can you take a honest look at these important relationships and determine whether they are worthy of your time and attention?

What is a quality relationship to me, maybe not be for you. But I do believe there are some basic truths. Do you trust them? Can you count on them? Are they reliable? Do they have integrity? Are they consistent? Are they honest? Are they kind hearted? Do you respect them? Do they exhibit respect for you and others? Can they accept you for who you are?

You can pick and choose what your basic truths are, heck you can even add your own. What is important to you? If you don't know, it's important you find out.

Relationships are a two way street, right? That means that each party has to want and value the relationship. Each party has to care about the other. Each party is willing to invest in the relationship. What if you have an important relationship that isn't a two way street? What do you do then?

Well, first you have to get honest with yourself, and second you have to get honest with the other person. It may be a relationship that you think should be important, but it really isn't that important to you. If that's the case - you can just let it go. Or it might be an important relationship to you, because it is an important relationship. In that case, you need to tell the other person how you feel.

Here's the scary part. You have to be willing to give these relationships up. You are only part of any relationship. If it is more important to you than the other person you need to let it go, so you can make room for a different, quality relationship.

You only have so much time and energy to expend on your relationships. You can't afford to cheat yourself by investing in a relationship that the other party doesn't value. If you find you have one sided relationships - like you only ever hear from that person when they need something, or you check in on them, but they never contact you - it's time to evaluate the situation.

It can be painful to face the reality that someone you love values the relationship differently than you. But it is what it is. You cannot make someone love you, take an interest in your life - it's free will. You can however, respect yourself enough to cherish and nuture those relationships in your life that are quality, and are mutually satisfying.

Life is short - so whether it is family or friend, it's time to trim the dead wood and embrace the new growth that will certainly emerge.

Enjoy - Marika Hamilton

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Here's a video that may make you stop and think. I'm not going to say too much about it here, as I think you should form your own conclusion. Marika :)