I had stumbled across this poem by Rudyard Kipling in 2009 on Kelly Perdew’s (from the apprentice) website. It truly seemed to be a message I needed then.
Recently, my daughter found it and shared it with me again. As I listened to her read it, I realized I needed it again, now.
Maybe you need it today, too:
Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”
If you can keep your head
when all about you men are losing theirs
and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
but make allowances for their doubting, too.
If you can wait but not be tired of waiting,
or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
and yet don’t look too good nor talk too wise,
If you can dream but not make dreams your master,
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with triumph and disaster,
and treat those two imposters just the same,
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
and stoop and build them up with worn-out tools,
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
and risk it on one turn of pitch and toss,
and lose and start again at your beginnings
and never breathe a word about your loss,
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone,
and to hold on when there is nothing in you
but the will that says to them “hold on,”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with kings nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
if all men count with you but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
with 60 seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
and which is more, you’ll be a man, my son.
Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, The Virtue of Selfishness, and several other incredible books, has had many quotes attributed to her. Here are my two favorite, at this time of my life:
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible. It’s yours. — Ayn Rand
Every time I read this, I get some energy to press on and achieve even greater than ever before!
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
This one keeps me reminded of what to allow and expect of other people, and the standard I need to hold myself to.
Here’s a website of additional quotes by Ayn Rand: http://www.ayn-rand-quotes.com/ayn-rand-quotes/
Another old post, from January 2007:
I recently reread a fascinating little book, which I had originally read 15 years ago, called Acres of Diamonds. It is a written copy of a speech given by Dr. Russell H. Conwell in approximately 1910. Reading this insightful book really helped me recently.
Dr. Conwell works diligently throughout his speech to explain that there are an unlimited number of opportunities sitting right in front of each of us, just waiting to be noticed and implemented. All one needs to do is look at what is needed and do something about filling the need.
He talks about MANY people who started simply filling a simple need, such as the poor man out of work in Hingham, MA who whittled children’s toys out of his firewood and eventually is rumored to have become the richest man in Massachusetts selling his amazing toys. Or a woman in New Britain, CT who invented the snapping button because her regular button had gotten stuck in the hole one time.
He tells a funny story about a man from PA who wanted so badly to work for his cousin in the oil business (and get rich) that he studied hard, sold his farm for $833.00, and moved to Canada to work in the oil business. Amazingly, the man who bought his farm found that the previous owner had put a plank across a brook of scum to cross. It turns out that the scum was actually oil and the farm produced over $1 billion over its lifetime!!
He also does a great job of explaining how making money is a good thing and is in no way something to be ashamed of or bashful about.
What’s this go to do with the Internet?!? Well, just before I read this book, I had been thinking recently that it seems the Internet opportunity of the past had dried up. It felt to me that every great idea had already been taken and fully exploited, and that any worthwhile venture would take an enormous amount of money to accomplish because the Internet standards and expectations had been raised so high.
However, after reading this little book, it became clear to me that at ANY TIME IN LIFE, especially RIGHT NOW, there are opportunities sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF US just waiting for us to pick them up and take advantage of them. Often these opportunities are hidden because they’re SO close that we don’t even see them.
So, this book really changed my outlook and shifted my paradigm such that I’m starting to see new and interesting things already right in front of me. Like most successes, these things I’m seeing are not at first earth-shattering or monumental, but little things I can do (and am doing) to fill a need or make something better in what I already do.
Amazingly, in the past 2 weeks, I’m already noticing improved results beginning to appear in an exponential way – small at first, but almost growing as if they have a life of their own.
I’m really interested in your ideas regarding the INTERNET Acres of Diamonds sitting right in front of us. Please read this little story and let me know if it changes your insight, as it did mine. I’d enjoy reading your comments.
Another old blog post from 2006:
I’m reading The New PsychoCybernetics now, on audio-book (from Audible. I had read this book back when I was a kid (picked it up from a tag sale) and then again when I was in my 20’s (recommended by Worldwide Dreambuilders). Both times it seemed very different.
I’m reading it again, on the advice of my business coach. I thought it would feel like an old repeat, but it doesn’t. In fact, it seems like a completely new book! Perhaps this is because much of it has been updated or maybe its because I’ve changed again.
So far, I’m at chapter 3. The basic concept is that we’re built for success. Just like an animal, which has instincts for success, we too have success ‘instincts.’ However, ours are in the form of the goal-seeking mechanisms in our brains.
Simply put, if we accurately create a strong goal in our brains, we can’t help but accomplish it. Unfortunately, many people either don’t focus on goals or focus on negative thoughts. In either case, they bring about the failure they dwell upon.
A recent article I read from Self-Realization Fellowship spoke of the same topic, from the perspective of fear. If we allow our minds to focus on something we fear, we will actually increase the odds of that event occurring. Instead, we need to focus on that which we want. When fear comes into our minds, we need to consciously put it aside and return focus to our goals.
This is one of my old blog posts from 2006 (before Facebook), which still has a lot of good, useful points for all parents to know regarding the safety of their children on the Internet:
Part I: The Problem
Why isn’t the Internet Safe?
1 out of 5 kids have been solicited sexually online. 1 out of 17 kids have been harassed, threatened, or bullied online. One third of kids have been contacted by a stranger and half of these were considered inappropriate. Most kids will not report inappropriate Internet contact to their parents because they are afraid of losing Internet privileges. 9 out of 10 parents will never know that any inappropriate contact has occurred.
Problem #1: Access
– Access to the Internet is easy
– Prevalent: The Internet today is as much a part of every-day life for children as food, shelter, and clothing
– Kids are nonchalant about using the Internet – it has been around as long as they can remember!
– Children can very easily be exposed to inappropriate written content/images, bad behavior, unsuitable friends, and Internet predators online
Problem #2: Anonymity
– Children think their actions on the Internet are safe
– Predators know that kids often are not monitored and trusting
– People think that what they do on the Internet isn’t real
– Some Internet culture actually encourages deception and alter-egos
Problem #3: Allure
– The Internet is exciting to kids
– Peer pressure
– Kids want to join and be part of a group
– Most online social networks are dangerous and deceptive and encourage dishonest, untrustworthy, and risky behavior
Kids WANT TO BE PART OF SOMETHING, especially 12-16 yrs old. Examples of typical social networks: Family, Church, School, and Clubs (boy scouts, girl scouts, etc.) What do we value in a social network: Honesty, Openness, Trust, Safety, and Nourishing. Many Online Social Networks (i.e. MySpace, etc) violate these values by requiring kids to lie to join, sharing who you are, you put yourself at risk, can’t build trust when you can’t really know who you’re talking to Story after story of kids hurt by people they met at these sites
Visit: www.TheDeadKidsOfMySpace.com if you don’t think this is an issue!!! Read some of the writeups on there! After reading this site for 20 minutes, you’ll completely understand the risk and feel compelled to do something about it!! Webkins!
Problem #4: Assumptions
– Parents assume that the Internet is safe and benign
– Easily assumed that everything on the internet is legal, moral, or ethical
– People assume that the person they are talking to on the Internet is who they say they are
– Many people assume the Internet is monitored in some way
Using the Internet, the most heinous criminal is effectively closer to your children than the person sitting next to them now! And they are available to them 24/7!
Problem #5: Avoidance
– It is easily assumed that bad things only happen to other people
– Often parents don’t know as much about computers or the Internet, so they defer to their children
– Having a discussion with your child may be uncomfortable
– It takes time and responsibility to understand and address this problem
Part II: The SOLUTION!
– Parental Involvement
– Control Access
– Monitor Usage
– Become the Solution
SOLUTION #1: Parental Involvement
– Get involved in your child’s life
– Commit to helping your child stay safe online
– Move all computers to central, open locations
– Insist on being aware of your child’s online activities
– Require your child to read and sign an Internet Usage Agreement, such as the one found at http://www.komando.com/kids/
Parents are still parents, when their children are online! You wouldn’t allow your child to walk alone down the streets of new york city at night – Why would you allow them to wander around the Internet? Be willing to ban certain areas of the internet, including chat rooms, social networks, and peer-to-peer services. Parents: Get yourself your OWN MySpace.com account – See with your own eyes the things your child(ren) are being exposed to! Get your children involved in local clubs, where you can meet those involved fact-to-face.
SOLUTION #2: Awareness
– Dedicate time to learn about technology
– Learn about the online dangers and discuss them with your children
– Help your children understand the very real and extreme dangers and risks
– Read and discuss some true stories regarding Internet dangers with your children
– Insist on moral and ethical behavior online
TRUST! Work together as a family!
SOLUTION #3: Control Access
– Use an ISP that offers some form of parental controls
– Install software that blocks access, like CYBERsitter ($39.95)
– Meet all your child’s friends in person and don’t allow your child to spend time with any strangers either online or in-person
– Don’t allow any peer-to-peer software on your child’s computer
You wouldn’t leave your front door wide open with a sign saying “Come on in”? That’s what you’re doing when you’re in the Internet without following these suggestions
SOLUTION #4: Monitor Usage
– Install a stealth monitoring program, like Spector Pro ($99.95)
– – It watches every email, chat, IM, website and keystroke
– – It sends this information to your Email address and even includes screenshots
– – It is undetectable by the computer user
– Randomly review the content of you’re the computer your child uses, including Email, chat logs, and downloads
Tell your kids that you will be reviewing their content, per the agreement they signed
SOLUTION #5: Become the Solution
– If you suspect any online dangers to your children, contact your local police or the FBI immediately!
– Talk about this issue of Internet safety with family, friends, co-workers, teachers, and the parents of your children’s friends
– Join an online safety organization, like http://www.WiredSafety.org
– Encourage your children to join an online safety organization, like http://www.TeenAngels.org
– Encourage all child-centric organizations you know to discuss and educate parents on this issue
– The Internet is a powerful tool, but it be just as easily used for evil as it can for good
– It’s up to YOU to decide what you’ll allow into your home
– Take the time understand and address the problem TODAY, while you can!
– It’s easier than you think!
I was recently motivated, by a friend’s blog, to start writing again. How good it feels! My original blog from 10+ years ago was running old software which was easily hacked. Rather than repair it, I moved this site. Perhaps someday, I’ll bring over some of my old blog entries.
What is Blinker Click? Well, when cars were first invented and signal lights added, relays were used to actuate the lights themselves. But these were special relays which had a piece of connecting metal that both heated up as current flowed through it and also bent with heat. This caused it to slowly bend away from the other terminal as it heated, eventually bending away enough that it disconnected the circuit, causing both the signal light to go off and the metal to begin cooling. Once it cooled enough, it bent back and made contact with the terminal, causing the signal light to go on and the metal to heat and bend. This process caused the signal light to blink and continued until driver turned off the signal light. In addition, it made that “click click click click” sound we are all so familiar with when our signal (blinker) is on.
I enjoy the idea of cycle that occurs automatically, creating benefit. This is in many ways all tools and technology, especially including the Internet, and specifically software. (I was a software engineer for many years).
However, the real appeal of Blinker Click for me is the human side of it. Let me explain. As technology advanced, there was no need to use a piece of metal that heated an bent. Instead an IC (Integrated Circuit) chip could do the work cheaper, more reliably, and more safely. But, when cars were made with signal lights that didn’t “click,” people revolted! We were so conditioned to need the sound of the clicking to know our blinker was on and actually working, that we demanded the “click” be returned. Some cars actually used a speaker replicating the clicking sound. Others put back the mechanical blinkers.
So, there is real irony in this, for me. While technology marches on, the human capacity for change remains the limiting factor.
My goal for this blog is to compassionately challenge human thinking and other limiting factors, in order to advance the lives of as many individuals as possible by maximizing their potential.
I welcome all comments, replies, confirmation, support, arguments, concerns, and opposing views. In no way do I ever intend to preach or profess via this blog. But instead, I hope to spark thought on topics which are traditionally accepted as fact, but can really improve your life.
I especially like the concept of people challenging each other to become more and look forward to the day when we all can do that without fear and hesitation. But that requires trust and people so hurt as we are find it difficult, if not impossible, to trust completely.
It is like martial arts sparring. I’m not talking about tournament fighting, but the sparring you do with your partner. Your partner is someone you care about, as you have trained together for 100s if not 1000s of hours. You have substantial trust with this person, which enables you to challenge each other in order to benefit each other.
If you were fighting the objective would be for one to win. This means that, be default, the other person would lose or get hurt. However, in sparring we use self control, focus, and strength to know ourselves and our partner so well that we can sharpen each other without causing pain. I envision that might be what we all can enjoy in our human relationships someday.
I recently saw these definitions of patience:
- suffering delay, pain, irritation etc quietly and without complaining
- capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint
- calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay
So, if love is this, what does that mean?
How many times do people we love cause us delay, pain, irritation, hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience? Often, right? This may be because we spend so much time with them, that they are those most likely to cause these feelings, as well as all the wonderful feelings we feel with those we love. It may also be because we care about them and their opinion of us; We open ourselves up to them.
So, according to these definitions to love someone is to not complain, remain calm, self-controlled, and even tolerant when we’re feeling these strong feelings which we normally might not respond to with such restraint. But to show this restraint is indeed love.
How many times do the little things get on our nerve causing us irritation or inconvenience? We are hereby challenged to endure this and respond without complaint when the source is one we love.
Love is patient; love is kind. Perhaps it’s the other way around and patience actually is love.