Sep 052016
 
Masters Degree is Well Worth It

There has been a lot of debate in recent years about the “relative value” of a college education, especially in light of skyrocketing college costs and the corresponding student debt. From my perspective, that’s the wrong debate. Common sense tells me that, if your goal is “to be all you can be” — to do your very best — finishing college is a given and a must. Sure, we have all heard the stories of the brainiac college drop-out who founded [more…]

Aug 252016
 
Have a Daughter, Part 4

Hollywood says that it portrays better equality in the movies, but in truth, they are handily flunking the test. The message in well over 85% of movies is male, and violent, and the prize is the girl at the end of the movie. When a girl is featured, she is usually a warrior dealing out violence as well. Parents of girls have to see the issues and messaging clearly and do their best to compensate because Hollywood is not helping, or changing anytime [more…]

Aug 212016
 
Optimism and Greatness

For the last few weeks, we have watched the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Sport, especially at the Olympics, is the most obvious lab that proves that greatness requires optimism. Does anyone win a gold medal without hope and belief? It is hard for me to understand why pessimists and realists think it is better to be a pessimist or a realist. Make the right choice with your life. I.M. OptimismMan

Aug 152016
 
Regrets, Resilience, Positivity, and Gaming

As you can imagine, I, OptimismMan, am a great believer of the power of positivity. But I have to confess that I have had my doubts about dedicating time to social networking and gaming, as both of these clearly seem to conflict with all my theories on investing one’s time instead of spending it in foolish ways. I’ve also explored what people regret when they are dying for clues to how to be brave and live better. So then I [more…]

Jul 222016
 
A Question for Parents

Do you prefer to be told what to do, or sold on the wisdom of doing something? Imagine that your doctor tells you “lose 20 lbs by the end of next year…” and then walks out the of room. How much commitment would you feel? On the other hand, imagine that your doctor shows you three new studies that are very convincing showing, given your family history and DNA testing, that losing 20 lbs is very likely to add 5+ years to [more…]

Jul 092016
 
Changing Higher Education

The reality today is that lots of sharp minds around the world get left behind, missing out on the value of higher education, for a many valid reasons such as financial hardship, cultural barriers, or unfortunate domino-like events in people’s lives. Without the degree, the doors to many career opportunities remain closed, although a person might have the energy, drive, optimism, and capability to excel in a particular field. The internet is changing everything — and it is inevitable that it will re-write [more…]

Jun 122016
 
Halfway Point of 2016

It is halfway through 2016. Are you halfway done on your resolutions? Do you remember where you put the list? It is a great good time to review what you decided to accomplish this year. I believe resolutions are a great tool to replace bad habits with good habits. Changing habits is not easy without daily focus, accountability, and willpower. For that reason, minimalist champion Leo Babauta is right: focus on one habit change at a time. Habits take time to [more…]

Jun 102016
 
Be Original

What makes one person more creative than another is hard to grasp. We all want to have more original ideas that change the world, make things better, or at least get us noticed. But, in practice, you must have the courage to have a lot of bad ideas to have a few great ones. To be an original, you have to put it out there, in the harsh light of public scrutiny. I think the greatest misconception is that most [more…]

Jun 082016
 
Want Fresh Ideas?

I sometimes hear people say that they are out of fresh ideas to overcome a challenge. When I later ask them about how much they read (books in particular), I invariably find that the answer is that they are heads down busy and haven’t cracked a book in months or years. I have yet to find a person that is both a) out of ideas and b) an active, avid reader. I also have noticed that whenever I read, a [more…]

May 232016
 
Food for Thought: Fixing America

Re-uniting the country is a tricky topic these days. Red vs blue seems to be getting worse. Race issues continue to crop up and violence spills out onto the streets. We have a huge group of voters that are sick and tired and want to send Washington a message, no matter the cost. The middle-class is getting squeezed. Jobs continue to vaporize to the dragon of outsourcing. I ran into this short presentation about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that might be [more…]

May 212016
 
Priceless Persistence

Far too many people think “the brilliant big idea” is the root of home run success. I believe home runs happen more often with good ideas, not great ones. The home runs come when three elements are applied — full ‘whatever it takes’ commitment, unquenchable positive enthusiasm, and extraordinary dogged persistence. Success is barely the tip of the iceberg above the surface for the casual observer to see.  No one realizes the amount of work it took for the successful to [more…]

May 182016
 
Social Media and Political Quagmire

Silicon Valley and the avid users of social media, which is nearly everyone under a certain age, think that social media is great for society. I believe, like any technology, there are negative consequences that few appreciate. What seems clear to me is that social networks — Facebook, Twitter, and the rest — are the key contributor to the political quagmire we see in Washington. There will always be programs that the nation must tackle that will not be popular but necessary. Social [more…]

May 032016
 
Opportunity in Simplicity

Everything is become more complicated and interconnected. When faced with a difficult decision, almost everyone adds more detail, weighs more aspects, analyzes the problem to the n-th degree, and creates complexity. I personally work to sell solutions that create timely, valuable, and actionable insights from data, a topic that is truly large, complex and ever-growing, given the explosion of “big data” as zillions of devices connect to networks and every aspect of business becomes digitized by computers. The result is thousands of topics [more…]

Apr 072016
 
Commitment to Be Your Best

Over the years, I have often written about the essential requirement to be 100% committed to whatever you are doing. Overcoming adversity demands it, and every one of us will run into plenty of adversity. In my life, I learned this painful lesson as a freshman in college, when — and this is most definitely not my proudest moment — I literally threw away a full ride scholarship because I was not committed to doing my best and doing what [more…]

Apr 032016
 
Ten Great Quotes About Friendship

Success is empty and hollow without sincere, good friendships. The problem of course, is that most friendships are not true lasting friendships; rather, they are shallow friendships of convenience that do not weather the storms, the misunderstandings, the disagreements, the years, or the separations. A friend is not a friend if they only show up when they need your support. As with all worthy pursuits in life, great friendships require optimism and action. To have great friendships, you must invest [more…]

Mar 292016
 
Learn to Do One Extraordinary Trick

Is learning a cool-as-heck trick hard? Probably not — it just takes time and patience and a vision. Click to watch this video: Why not? What’s stopping you? It doesn’t have to be as tech-savvy as Marco’s trick, but why not learn one thing that can amaze kids and adults alike. Life is too short to waste it. I.M. Optimism Man

Mar 102016
 
Big Breakthroughs Matter

We have often faced what seems like impossible problems. Unfortunately, 99.99% of people throw their hands up into the air and believe that impossible is impossible. But are they really impossible? Mike Huckabee, in the recent Republican debate, sounded ‘pie in the sky’ to the 99.99% when he talked about curing the 4 diseases that are the primary expense of U.S. Healthcare, and the extraordinary effect it would have on our nation’s, our world’s financial and personal family outlook. I commend Mike [more…]

Feb 252016
 
The Great Personal Differentiator

Differentiation is important. People decide who they want on their team, who they hire, who they promote, who they buy from, who they associate with, and who they become friends with, based on what they perceive makes a person special and different than the rest. Personal differentiation is driving force behind who gets elected, who a person marries, who succeeds and who flails about. What makes you special? What makes you better than the average guy? What makes you stand [more…]

Feb 212016
 
I want -- is simply not good enough

Almost every conversation I’m engaged in or overhear contains a large number of “I wants…” within. I can’t help but notice that the vast majority of those wants remain unfulfilled for most people. I hear people say that they want to earn more money, but do very little, if anything, to earn more. I hear others say that they want to lose 10 pounds, but the weight stays velcro’ed to their waistlines.  I hear many say they want to find [more…]

Feb 132016
 
The Art of Taking on Risk

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Four words that have survived since the mid-1300’s. Why? Truth thrives. I have often written about the extraordinary opportunities available to all of us. We live at an extraordinary time, a time of fantastic and rapid change, in the best country in world. I believe that the opportunities to achieve whatever one wants to achieve in today’s America are limitless. Yet, I know a lot of people that look at the same things I do and simply [more…]