The Lesson

A number of years ago I met a young woman with all sorts of naive ideas about politics, communism, and human nature, so  I thought I would enlighten her a bit about the real world.

Life Statement

How we live our lives makes a statement about who we are and who we aspire to be. It is a statement of what our values are and what we really believe is important. Think about the preceding!  Who are you really?  What you say is irrelevant, as is the church you attend, the clubs you belong to, etc.  How do you currently live your life? What really matters to you are those things which you are doing right now, not the things that you plan to do some day, or the person you plan to be some day.

Downsizing 2 - Take a Hike!

In Downsizing Your Life many ways were discussed to shrink the amount of space you live in, but there is another approach which in recent years has helped me to shrink my footprint even further.  Take a trip, the longer the better, and better still, make it a hiking / camping trip where you have to carry everything on your back!

How to Get Rich!

There are lots of books available which will tell you the details of all sorts of schemes for becoming wealthy: real-estate, stock market, precious metals, etc..  Unfortunately, the single most important detail is usually left out.  Except for people who get rich by the windfall method (lottery, marriage, inheritance, etc.), there is one absolute requirement to becoming wealthy; in fact, it is not just difficult - it is IMPOSSIBLE to become wealthy if you do not follow this one simple rule:

The Gift

Perhaps the greatest gift I ever received was given to me by my father.  I'm sure he didn't realize it at the time, it is just part of who he is, but my brothers and I all now possess this same gift.

When we were children we watched (and often helped) our father and learned.  He always assumed that he could do pretty much anything that came his way, whether it was fixing cars, the house, or assembling some new gadget he had purchased.  If it was something he didn't know anything about, he might buy a book on the subject and use it for reference.  It wasn't just his assumption that he could do it that taught us, it was also what became sort of a standing joke: he would say to us "When all else fails, read the instructions!"


We as humans have a tendency to look for the simple answer to any problem, even though there may not be any simple answers.  In the course of my work I meet many green / eco types who have concluded that many if not most of the world's problems are due to overpopulation, but when I ask them what the correct maximum population is, they either don't know, or respond with a number which they have no data to support.

Wealth Is Not A Number

If you are reading this, you are already extremely wealthy!  You may not be rich by your definition or even by the definition of the society you live in, but by the standards of a large percentage of the world's population, you are in fact, rich!  You can read, you have access to a computer and the internet - this makes you much better off than many people in the world.

What is the longest you have ever gone without eating?  Has it ever been even 48 hours?  Many people have gone without food for a week or more, or had regular but insufficient food for months or even years.  By these standards you (and in some countries, even the homeless) are in fact very wealthy, so what are you going to do with all your wealth?

The Ugly House

All houses are ugly. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder, so this statement is subjective, and you are of course free to disagree, but, all houses are ugly! You will no doubt find this statement ironic given that it comes from someone who, among other things, travels the world teaching workshops on how to build your own house.

Less Toxic

Years ago some new "Green" organization was being created by a group of people and, among other things, one of their stated goals included something about making a new generation of "less toxic" houses.  This got me to thinking, if someone offered to sell you a house that was 10% less toxic, would you want to buy it?  My reaction would be "what about the other 90% of the toxins still in the house?".

Enough Exercise?

Many of us like to believe we get "enough" exercise in our daily lives without dedicating some time specifically to working out. In most cases this is roughly equivalent to someone who eats only ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner saying they get enough food each day! The reality is that we are looking at just quantity, which is meaningless without considering the type and quality of the exercise. The person who only eats ice cream may get sufficient calories, but they will be lacking many necessary nutrients.


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