Posts Tagged ‘education’

You know, sometimes it’s the only way I can watch the man speak.

Take a drink whenever Obama says, word for word:
Let me be clear OR Let me make this clear
Put[ting] insurance companies back in charge
Millionaires and billionaires
Reach[ing] across the aisle
Era of bipartisanship
Eight years of failed policies
Tragedy in Arizona
Second amendment
Bring civility
Heated rhetoric
Jobs created or saved
Worst recession since the Great Depression

Drink an entire beer whenever Obama makes one of these claims:
Claim: Limiting availability of weapons makes people safer
Claim: Porkulus pulled our economy “back from the brink”
Claim: GOP has not presented any ideas
Claim: Economic recovery depends on green energy and/or education
Claim: The wealthiest Americans have more than they need
Claim: The repeal of Obamacare will cost $[any] dollars more than leaving it intact

Orwellian Doublespeak: Whenever one of the following terms is used, the last person to cross their arms and make quacking motions with both hands must drink.
Term: Any use of Investment OR Reinvestment that does not involve the stock market
Term: Any use of the term Progressive that actually means Democrat
Term: Any use of the term Terrorist that actually means Radical Islamic Terrorist
Term: Any derogatory use of the term Wall Street that actually means Successful US Businesses

Soaring Rhetoric: Any player can yell out, “Rhetoric!” The last person in the group to hold their arms out like a bird must drink, but only if at least half of the group agrees that Obama’s statement was, actually, soaring rhetoric.


Have fun, and always make use of your designated driver. Unless it’s a par three hole.


A couple of years ago I was feeling particularly disgusted with my lack of progress in life. I’ve always lacked self-motivation. Procrastination was like a demon that would regularly possess me, keeping me from doing the amazing things that had to be done to raise me from mediocrity.

I grew up in the rust belt, where there really is a pervasive mindset that the “little man can’t get ahead.” I really started chipping away at that paradigm when I got a grip on my finances via the Financial Peace University curriculum. Many of the processes, ideas and wisdom are adaptable to other areas of life, and I found my bow was pointing on a course that made everything seem possible. The most important revelation was that, looking back at my twenties, if I had worked harder every time I felt lazy, I might have already achieved every dream I ever had. I could have already gotten there. I’m not there now, but I could have been… if I had kicked my own ass. And if I continue doing what I’ve been doing, I’ll keep getting what I’ve been getting.

What I Need to Succeed

In a burst of creative activity, I took a Sharpie and wrote eight fundamental “needs” on every third line of a legal pad. Then I took a pen and began to fill the lines in between, and the margins, and soon every available space around these needs with actions that I could take and arguments to support them.

The end result? It’s a beautiful mess. It really has taken on an artistic aura. And it’s the most inspiring thing I’ve ever written. I have displayed it in a place in my home where I can read it (or at least parts of it) every day. And my life is better, more organized, and less prone to lethargy than ever before.

The image is probably not legible, so the full manifesto is below.

What I Need to Succeed

Avoiding (& Killing) Indecision & (Self-Imposed) Delay


(happy happy happy happy happy)

  • I’m smarter than 60% of the small business owners I see. 40% are smarter, but they don’t know me and don’t matter.
  • Feeling powerless will kill a good attitude.
  • I can. I’m able. I have done before.
  • Embrace change!
  • Be a servant.

Hopeful Spirit

  • Be excited about where God’s going to have put you five years from today. He might allow me to go through rough times, but he won’t make me stay there. He loves me! I am not a victim.
  • Find joy.
  • It’s up to you. Take responsibility.

Trust in God’s Help

  • Add to prayers: “Rid me of indecision, give me great confidence.” He put me here; He’ll give me everything I need. Obstacles are God’s gym equipment.
  • Be humble. Be a servant.
  • Worry? Is it something you can fix? Fix it or leave it alone.

Focused Effort

  • Get rid of distractions.
  • Don’t let low priority items take over my schedule.
  • Break big tasks into little ones.

An Answer to “I’m Too Tired.”

  • STAND. Ask, “Am I really tired, or just discouraged?” if it’s real fatigue, schedule some rest. If it’s not, dig out the root of discouragement. Kill it.
  • Find joy (see “Attitude”). Talk to someone who thinks you’re great (maybe even God!)
  • The Blues: Do something fun. Watch out! It’s tempting to nurse this feeling. Force yourself to smile for ten minutes.

An Answer to “I Haven’t Got Enough Time.”

  • God gives us everything we need – including enough time to get His work done. Running out of time means either I’ve mismanaged God’s gift of time, or I’m mistaken about how much time God thinks I need.
  • Overwhelmed? Two minutes of quiet, dark, alone, prayer, sit, walk, deep breaths or whatever will not make you so late or behind schedule that it matters, but it will make you think clearer.

A Tactic to Get Started

  • Break big tasks into little ones. List-making is good.
  • Be encouraged.
  • Stand up. Walk.
  • Make a short schedule mapping out the next small piece of time, like an hour.

Knowledge: The Fear-Beater

  • Fear is not a fruit of the Spirit. Dig out the root of the fear – knowing exactly what’s scary makes it smaller. Sometimes that’s all you need. Keep researching until the fear is gone, or give the fear (& the decision) to God.
  • Insecurity is childish (see “Attitude”).

This quote has been credited to Mark Twain, Dave Ramsey and MacMcMillan, but most sources attribute it (or something very close to it) to Charlie “Tremendous” Jones: “You’re the same today as you will be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.”

I have always been a ravenous reader; mostly I have read fiction, and it used to be that you would usually find me re-reading an old favorite. It was often because my reading schedule moved faster than my book-buying schedule. There’s something exasperating about having thousands of books in the house, all of which I have read at least once before, but being in a mood for something new. Lately I’ve kept stocked up, and tried to pick up five or six books at the used bookstore at a time. I’ve also discovered much more nonfiction in my rotation in the last couple of years.

A couple of months ago I found in the library’s sale bin “The End of Marketing As We Know It” by Sergio Zyman, former CocaCola executive and scapegoat for the “New Coke” mess. I still don’t know why it caught my eye, but I’m glad it did because I really enjoyed it.

Someone gave me (and everyone else on their Christmas list) Bill Bennett’s two volumes on US history, “America: The Last Great Hope”. I looked forward to it, because I have noticed that sometime in my early thirties I had developed an interest in history. It was a fun read, but every once in awhile (especially when writing about events in his own lifetime) he would let his personal prejudices slip through. To his credit, the rest of it was an entertaining and unbiased look at world events and America’s place in them.

I am currently re-reading The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis). This book continues to creep me out, because I feel like I have fallen in real life for some of the diabolical tactics that Lewis’ fictitious demons employ. I’m currently leading a Bible study on this book; hopefully this will give me a chance to scripturally work out some of my doubts, questions and heretic thinking on the subject of Satan and evil. Something about teaching a subject helps embed it into your mind quite firmly, especially if you try to be thorough doing the research. The same thing happened when I taught the high-school youth group at our previous church; it helped me put together the lessons that I wanted my own kids to learn.

I wrote this down on an index card in 2004, after observing reluctance by one of my kids to participate in one of their classes: “Learning is one of the few things, maybe the only thing, that immediately becomes easier once the decision is made to pursue it as a goal. Without that desire, it becomes only a difficult chore.”

I’ve run through all of the nonfiction books I had available and will have to find a new one soon. I should probably set aside a few minutes this week to think about what topic I would like to learn about.

Wednesday February 13, 2008 – 10:49am (EST)