Monday, February 27, 2017

Prosperity Practitioners

Prosperity Practitioners
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 27, 2017

Have you ever heard of or listen to or read and of the works of people like Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Jon Gordon, Joe Tye, Kieran Revell, Michael Dunn, Dr. Tom Hill, Connie Podesta, Andy Andrews, Jeffrey Gitomer, Dr. John Maxwell, Earl Nightingale; the list is endless.  These people teach through their presentations and writings that the individual has within him or her the ability to attain all that the individual desires provided they remain focused on their goals and desires instead of what they do NOT want in their lives.  In a sense, they are all “prosperity practitioners.”

Why do I say that?  I have been reading the many works of Orison Swett Marden who wrote in the late 1800s and early 1900s about the life and times of that period of history.  Shockingly he writes about environments and personal attitudes that exist today that existed then.  He writes about how vitally important a person’s mind is in obtaining all that the person wants to achieve and that failure to remain focused on the goals, objectives, or dreams and failing to take decisive action will ultimately lead to failure to achieve those goals, objectives, or dreams. 

Consider what Marden wrote in his book The Victorious Attitude in 1916:

“The time is not far away when we shall have prosperity practitioners who will make a specialty of teaching people how to free their minds from thoughts that produce poverty by replacing them with their opposites, thus constantly enlarging the mental power of attraction until the mind becomes a powerful magnet, ever attracting prosperity.”

Who teaches our children?  Parents?  Elementary School Teachers?  Middle and Senior School Teachers?  College Professors?  Pastors, Priests, Rabbis and other religious professionals?  Obviously all of them.  The question should be; who teaches our kids the value of their thought processes?  The value of the mental pictures they form of their everyday lives and more importantly the mental picture they create of their future lives.  In his book, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber asks the question, what will your business look like when it is finished?  (The book is an excellent read for anyone in business and I highly recommend it.).  Gerber’s question is a GREAT QUESTION! 

A slight deviation of that same question should be answered by every individual; the question?  What will your life look like when IT is FINISHED?  What chapters will you have written before the final chapter has been written and the book is closed on your life?  Who have you met?  What have you done?  What have you created?  What have you achieved?  What will you leave as a legacy for your families and others to read and follow?  Will it be worth following?

There is a great book The Dash: Making a Difference with Your Life from Beginning to End, by Linda Ellis and Mac Anderson where they describe the hidden meaning of the “dash” between the dates that you see on the tombs of the fallen.  Date born – (Dash) – Date Died.  It is the DASH that contains ALL that happened in between those two dates.  Also included in that “dash” is the HOW it all happened.

If and when you read The Victorious Attitude by Marden, and I sincerely hope you read it, you will discover that YOU are the ONLY PERSON that dictates what YOUR DASH will contain once the book on your life is closed.  He describes exactly what YOU MUST DO to create the life YOU WANT.  No other person can or will create that life for you.  It all begins with how you think and what you think and then how you act upon what you have thought.  As Henry Ford so famously said,  “If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right!” 

With that thought, if you truly CAN think you CAN do something or you CAN truly think you CANNOT do it, why would you ever think you CANNOT do the very thing you so desire to do or accomplish?  Why?  More importantly, if your future can be created by your thoughts, why would you INTENTIONALLY set the bar so low when it is within your mental powers to set the bar at whatever level you desire?

I have come to believe that all the great books and thoughts about how to achieve success, however you define your level of success, written by so many great men and women, they all started with the words and concepts contained in Marden’s books such as The Victorious Attitude published in 1916.
Think about the book that Marden did not write – The Participation Attitude.  No he wrote about the VICTORIOUS ATTITUDE.  Winning has taken on a different meaning of late, almost as if only winners (the New England Patriots) can win and not everyone can be a winner (the Cleveland Browns); I had to say that.  If you truly believe that, then why try?  Why make the attempt?

The path you could take to achieve success was written for you in 1916.  The only reason that people like you and me may not have reached our desired achievements may be because we have never been taught how to achieve them OR we simply did not pay attention to what we were taught OR we did not believe what others have taught us.  Which is it?  For me, it was not until I was in my mid 40s before I heard of any such teachings and my learning was TOTALLY ACCIDENTAL!  That is criminal given that this information has been around since the 1890s.  I went through all 12 years of public education, 2 years of college, and 20 years of military training and not one person ever put forth the concept that each and every one of us controls our own futures by what we think our futures should look like.  Not one!  Nor did I hear it from my parents.  Why was that?  Because they were not taught the power of our own thoughts and therefore were not in a position to advance the teachings like Marden’s or anyone else’s.

For everyone who reads this Nugget you can no longer make the excuse that your children do not know because you were unaware.  Read The Victorious Attitude or any of Marden’s books and you will know exactly what kind of information, encouragement and actions you should be providing to your children as I should have mine.  There is an ancient proverb, “you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” and it certainly applies.  You can make people aware of the path to success but you certainly can make them take it.  I only wish that I would have unfolded the mental map to success at the earliest of my children’s ages had I known then what I know now.  The sky is truly the limit! 

Every person should be “prosperity practitioners” whether we are talking about teaching our children or teaching our employees.  If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right!”  So why would you think you can’t?  Why would you ever want you children or employees not to know that they can?

The Winning Recipe for Success 
  • Add in serious consideration as to what you want your lifetime goal to be
  • Blend in 100% of your focus and belief
  • Thoroughly beat in 100% of your actions
  • Carefully remove those particles of doubt and discouragement
  • Periodically check for benchmarks of accomplishments
  • Let simmer over a lifetime
  • Result – your life’s goal achieved! (*) 

(*)Warning, it is quite possible that this recipe may result in a life’s goal being achieved long before the book on your life has been written in which case it is highly recommended you create a new life’s goal or mission and follow the same recipe.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

He Went To Jareds

He Went To Jareds; AND Plays a Titleist!
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 22, 2017

I just read a most remarkable book, Selling Things by Orisin Swett Marden  The book was written in 1916 (you can purchase it for just 99 Cents as a Kindle version on  I have read over 1000 books and articles on sales and motivation and was shocked to read the words and passages in this book that I have seen entire books written on.  One such example was how Marden described the effort put into making water boil at 212 degrees and how so many salespeople work and work and get their “water” to 211 or less and then wonder why their sales career has stalled; when it would take but one more degree of effort to get the water boiling; thus creating steam that could drive huge locomotives.  Sound familiar?  Remember this was written in 1916.

Chapter 20 of Marden’s book, titled A Salesman’s Clothes struck a chord with me when he wrote, “The consciousness of being well and fittingly dressed has a magic power in unlocking the tongue and increasing the power of expression.”  He continued, “In differentiating the essentials of success in selling,” a specialty expert said, “I find that when I am in prime condition physically, and am well dressed, so that I do not have to think about myself or my clothing, I can put up a much better canvass, because I can concentrate on my mind with greater force.”

In a letter to his home office, a rising young sales man wrote, “To me there is a great mystery in the influence of good clothes.  Somehow I think more of myself when I am conscious that I am well groomed, well dressed, and I can approach people with much more confidence.”

This got me thinking about of all things the game of golf, especially the word “confidence.”  Why you might ask?  It is because of the golf ball used in the game of golf.

I asked a good friend, an exceptional golfer and a Professional Golf Professional what kind of golf ball he played?  He said, “Whatever I find.”  That means that as he plays a round of golf, he typically finds golf balls that other players have lost and those are the golf balls he uses to play his game.  Not quite the answer I was expecting.

How many different kinds and/or brands of golf balls are there; hundreds if not thousands.  One brand, let’s use Titleist, has several models all using the Titleist name.  Same with Nike, Callaway, Wilson and the list goes on.

The critical differentiation is whether the player is an amateur or a professional golfer.  Does it make a difference what type of golf ball an amateur golfer uses?  I sincerely doubt it.  A golf ball is designed using science to exact from the golf ball the maximum spin, distance and control that a professional golfer can impact upon the golf ball and from that the professional golfer expects a certain degree of accuracy not just from the golfer’s personal skill level but also from the equipment he or she uses PLUS the physical qualities of the golf ball.  To a professional golfer it makes a difference what type and manufacturer golf ball he or she uses.  It could and does mean money in their bank accounts; it is that crucial.

To an amateur golfer I seriously doubt it makes much of a difference what type or model golf ball he or she uses, it just isn’t that critical; the quality of their swing and game is what makes the difference.  Amateurs, except for the occasional side wage, do not play for money as professionals do.  Amateurs rarely actually practice their golf game, certainly not like professionals and it shows in their results or lack thereof.

What does matter to both amateur and professional golfers is what they are visually looking at as they get ready to hit their golf balls.  A great many Amateurs actually do play whatever they can find or whatever someone gave them as a gift.  So when they look down at their golf ball in preparation for the next shot, they may be looking at a shiny new white/yellow/pink golf ball or more likely they are looking down at a scuffed up white golf ball that someone may have been using for quite some time.  A golf professional would never do such a thing.  A professional would be always looking at a brand new golf ball in mint condition; top-of-the-line.

Does it really matter if a golf ball is brand new and in mint condition for it to perform at its maximum capability?  Not really.  But the perception is that it does matter.  That is why professionals change out the ball they use quite regularly just like collegiate and major league baseball teams change out the baseballs they use once they are hit by a batter or even if the ball hits the ground and picks up some dirt marks.  As Spock from Star Trek would say, “It is illogical!”  But is it?

From my own experience I have learned that when you look down at a dirty, scuffed up golf ball as you prepare to hit it, there is a section of your subconscious mind that is reminding you that it is okay if you lose this golf ball or hit it into the water to be lost forever because it is dirty, it is scuffed up, it has been used, and you paid little or nothing for it.  Therefore it really doesn’t matter what kind of golf shot you hit.  Another side of both your conscious mind and your subconscious mind is forever telling you that you want to and expect to hit nothing but good golf shots and that equates to shooting a good round of golf.  How can you have it both ways?  On one hand it is okay to hit dirty, scuffed, previously used golf balls because the ball may be lost while on the other hand you expect to do well and NOT lose the golf balls you use.  My advice would be to remove that one measure of doubt from your mind and hit a new golf ball.  True you may not weigh the cost of a new ball versus the minimal cost if any of using a previously used golf ball.  It really comes down to creating a degree of confidence, there’s that word, in your own ability to get the job done whether it is golf, sales or painting a house.  What will give you the best chance of succeeding?  Having confidence is HUGE!  Practicing before you attempt something is also huge!

I have also learned that to excel in any sport or actually any endeavor like sales, you must remove as many variables as possible and that will increase your chance of succeeding in whatever you are attempting to do.  If you have the right tools, the right training, the right words to use, if you dress for success and you have the right attitude, the world is just waiting to witness your success.  It is like a six-shot revolver.  You have weapons (tools) in the form of 6 bullets you can use to hit your target.  If you remove just one, you reduce the likelihood of hitting your target by almost 17 percent.  Obviously going into a golf game or a sale, a battle would be a very different situation with different potential outcomes but the point is that you want all the ammunition you have available to you no matter what you are attempting to do; you want a full chamber of shells.  You may discover it only takes one but you want all 6 nonetheless.  Why would you not want them all?  Anything less than a full chamber of shells is foolishness.  It would be like playing cards with the Aces removed from the deck.

If you watch any of the Professional Golf Tournaments you will see golf ball advertisements for Titleist Golf Balls.  There are typically 144 golfers at any given event.  Titleist is the predominant golf ball used by these professionals to where Titleist can make the claim that of the 144 starters, 130 or some other number use a Titleist Golf Ball.  That is impressive!  Why so many?  Three reasons.  First, Titleist, like all golf ball manufacturers, spends a lot of money on research to create a golf ball that will produce the expected results professionals seek to achieve.  Secondly, there is safety in numbers.  When so many use one type of golf ball, others “believe” there is a valid reason and they too should be using the same ball/equipment.  Third, Titleist has been very successful promoting the fact or belief that “they are the best” and as such, Titleist enjoys a very profitable relationship with Professional (and Amateur) golf.  As such they have the money (profits) to spend to promote their products and that INCLUDES paying professional golfers (sponsorships) to use their golf balls and wear their logo clothing.  It is a process that feeds itself to become even more successful.

So what can sales people learn from this process?

  • Image matters
  • Practice pays
  • Dress the part, look the part, and play the part
  • Don’t settle for scuffed up equipment, image matters consciously and subconsciously

But there is more, a lot more, at least in my opinion.  Most professional golfers can be seen throughout a televised golf tournament wearing the Titleist Brand Golf Hat.  So if 130 out of 144 golfers are wearing Titleist hats, the entire world is very conscious of that fact.  That sells more Titleist golf balls does it not or at least it creates the desire to play what the pros play does it not?  It does and you know it does.  It is very much like what happened within the jewelry industry.  Who ever heard of the jewelry company Jared several years ago?  But then something remarkable happened.  “He went to Jared’s!”  That is all it took for the industry to completely turn around and Jared became the “go to” jewelry store of choice.  Who did not want a gift box that read “Jared’s” on it?  Who did not want a golf hat or golf ball that read Titleist?

So to all my fellow sales people I must ask the question, if branding is so vitally important in sales and we all know it is, why have so few sales people not taken advantage of their company name like a Titleist or a Jared has?  When was the last time you saw any salesperson outside of the service industries like plumbing, carpentry, electricians wearing their company colors and logos on sales calls?  If you believe as I do that you MUST have the best tools available to you, would you not be working at the best company for that to happen?  IF you ARE working at the best company, why are you not promoting that fact just like golfers promote Titleist and husbands around the country want that box that reads Jared’s?  It makes a difference!  Why are you not using it to your advantage?  I have been in sales for over 33 years and this one discrepancy has befuddled me for all of those 33 years.

Why do people want to be seen driving a Lexus?  A Cadillac?  A Lincoln?  Why do people want to be seen wearing a Rolex watch?  Why do people want to be seen wearing a Titleist hat or giving a gift in a Jared’s box?  They want people to know they have chosen products perceived to be the best.  Who wants second best?  Do you think you customers want second best?

Want more reasons to wear your company colors/logos?

  • Items are tax deductible
  • Cleaning of the items is tax deductible
  • You don’t have to have an endless wardrobe of clothing to choose from to “look different” every day none of which would be tax deductible without the logos
  • You are creating visual images of you and what you are selling – you are advertising
  • Advertising and Marketing create sales
  • Sales creates income
  • Income puts food on the table
  • Food provides nourishment and energy to make more income
  • Income pays the bills!!!!!

If you do not have enough pride and belief that you are working for the best company and selling the best product or service that meets YOUR CUSTOMERS desires and needs, maybe it is time to change companies, change products and/or change the service you are attempting to sell.  The easiest way to resolve that issue is with a question: 

Would YOU buy the product or service you are selling with the understanding it is or should be in YOUR best interest to do so?

If not?  What are you doing to change the premise?

What’s in YOUR golf bag?

Sales Tip:

If you can obtain a Jared’s jewelry box large enough to hold a golf ball (you may have to buy something to do so), you have a priceless sales tool.  Early in your sales presentation, pull out the Jared’s box.  That would get people’s attention.  Explain how people “go to Jared’s” for perceivably the “best” jewelry on the planet.  Open the box and show them the Titleist Golf Ball, preferably a Pro-V1 (top-of-the-line model).  Explain how the best professional golfers use the best golf ball to win.  Then explain how when they, the customer, chooses you, the product you sell and/or the service you provide, they are choosing the best in the best and ask them why they would ever expect anything less to meet their desires and goals.  PRICELESS!

Did you notice?  Branding? 

  • Titelist – golf ball
  • Jared – jewelry
  • “What in your golf bag?” spin off on the Capital One Credit Card Ad
  • Priceless!  Mastercard

What are you doing to capitalize on the tools you have available to you?

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Article by: Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, 2/19/2017

I first heard Zig Ziglar say, “To get everything you want in life; help someone else get what they want!” but it DID NOT include the word “FIRST.”  When Ziglar said it, I immediately wrote it down because I thought it was a profound statement of truth.  I memorized it.  I repeated it.  I wrote it down whenever I could and often. I had it posted above my desk.  I even had it posted on my bathroom mirror. I used it as a reminder to define what I “should” be doing as compared to what I might be doing.

Then I read how Jeffrey Gitomer added a definitive punctuation to the quote with just one word – “FIRST!”  As good as the Ziglar statement was before; it was really special with the addition of just that one word – FIRST!


In Gitomer’s book, The Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude, Gitomer lists his DAILY affirmations he uses to maintain a positive SERVING attitude.  One of his affirmation staples is “I love to serve” to which he ads “EVERY DAY!” 

Question:  Do you have a Life Mission Statement?  Do you know why you do whatever it is you do or what you want or should be doing?  What do you hope to achieve?  Do you know?  If not, why not?  The following is a tip from my good friend, author and mentor Joe Tye regarding a Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ) that he devised.

The DDQ tip:  Ask yourself questions as to your motives regarding what you are about to say or do.  It is one of the most simple of tips yet could make the biggest difference in your life.  If you FIRST create what you believe to be your Life’s Mission, learn to use the DDQ to help keep you on your desired path towards achieving whatever it is you want to achieve.  Here is how it works using Gitomer’s affirmation, “I Love to Serve – EVERY DAY!”

“Is what I am about to say or do consistent with my goal “I love to serve – FIRST!” 

Over 30 years ago I used the Zig Ziglar quote to develop my personal Life Mission Statement which is:

“To help people do what they do, to do it better!”  I have since added Gitomer’s word first to that statement, or,

“To help people do what they do, to do it better – FIRST!”

Therefore, using Joe Tye’s DDQ and my personal Life’s Mission Statement, this is how it works for me:


From this point, it gets really easy.  If the answer is YES, you say or do it.  If the answer is NO, you don’t say or do it.  It works every time.  Want to lose weight?  Ask: Is what I am about to eat or drink taking me to my desired weight?  If YES, eat or drink it.  If NO, don’t!

As real life example I will use my duties as a Team Leader (Manager) and Designated Broker for a large real estate office.  I had 105 licensed real estate agents and 5 employees for whom I was responsible.  I could have done like most business organizations and create an organizational chart with the owners being at the top of a pyramid and the agents/employees being at the bottom and yours truly somewhere in between.  You have all seen organizational charts like this before; your company may actually have one very similar - our chart was different.

The Licensed Agents were at the very top of the chart, the owners next to the bottom, I was on the bottom.  Why?  Because without the agents, I had no job/position and the owners had no company and the employees no jobs.  Therefore, when I discovered the Zig Ziglar statement it became obvious that if I truly wanted to achieve great things in my life I was not going to be able to do it by myself; I needed help.  About the same time I attended a Keller Williams Realty International seminar hosted by Gary Keller, where he referred to people as having “wealth builders” in their lives.  Don’t be confused by the term “wealth” because in this definition it not only means “money” it also means those people who lift you up to where YOU want to be in regards to all of your goals including your financial goals.  It was like a lightning bolt!  If I wanted to be responsible for a successful real estate office, there was nothing more important that I could do than to help each and every Licensed Agent become the best they each could become in relationship to their individual goals and desires.  Therefore the AGENTS were the most important people in our organizational chart.  By helping to insure they became the best each one could become, they helped to increase not only the size of our real estate office but they each added to the “bottom line” or “profits” and ultimately the “value” of our real estate office.  Each agent became one of my many wealth builders just as the owners of the company and each company employee became one of my many wealth builders.  Subsequently everyone within our organization became a wealth builder for each other in our company.  That is a roundabout way of defining a win-win situation or organization.  When one wins, we all win.  When one loses or is in trouble, we all rally to support the agent/employee.  It is really that simple.  In my mind, that is a “servant mentality” needed to become successful in any endeavor.

Which affirmation would have a bigger influence on the way you conduct your life.

I have a servant mentality,

This Nugget consists of lot of words and they are just that - words.  If no one reads them there would be no net gain on my desire to help people to do what they do, to do it better.  But if just one person reads it and takes away my desire to help people and use this Nugget to achieve more of their goals and desires, this Nugget will have achieved its and my goal to help people do whatever they do to do it better.  If it helps you, pass it on.

On a slightly different topic, I am currently reading a book, by Stephen Pressfield titled, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t; Why that is and what you can do about it.  It really is a fascinating book and I highly encourage everyone to read it because it will help you to become a better communicator and even write better advertisements for your business.  In this case I hope he is wrong and people will want to read my “sh*t”; I believe it could make a difference.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

On Being The Friendliest

On Being The Friendliest
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 16, 2017

Disclaimer:  There was a time in my life when I took Jeffrey Gitomer’s words from his book, The Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude to heart.  I have read the book at least 6 times and have listened to it on CD even more times in my car.  There was a time when a friend of mine called just to tell me that he called on that day just to hear the positive attitude in my voice because I always had one and he needed a lift.  That was then, this is now.  On February 16, 2017 I realized I had slipped away a great distance from that type of attitude and while I can offer you many reasons why, it is safe to say that the primary reason has been the world of politics.  I had a belief that something I had to say or something that I had given a lot of thought to regarding world politics would make a difference in our world.  On this day I realized just how fruitless that belief actually was.  So on February 16, 2017, I officially resigned from being the Chief Executive Officer of the World.  I would strongly recommend others give serious consideration of doing the same. If there is one thing I am certain, there cannot be two or more or as I have discovered Millions who feel they too can be the CEO of the World.

Definition:  Friendliest:  characteristic of or befitting a friend, showing friendship; like a friend; kind; helpful; favorably disposed; inclined to approve, help, or support; not hostile or at variance; amicable; able to coexist with something without harm or trouble.

Initial Thoughts on Friendliest:  When I first read this quote from Gitomer, my initial thought was that becoming the “friendliest” person would mean becoming a person that other people would want to be around; being someone people would seek out to be uplifted by just by “being around.”

From Orison Swett Marden’s book, Cheerfulness as a Life Power“He alone is the happy man who has learned to extract happiness, not from ideal conditions, but from the actual ones about him. The man who has mastered the secret will not wait for ideal surroundings; he will not wait until next year, next decade, until he gets rich, until he can travel abroad, until he can afford to surround himself with works of the great masters; but he will make the most out of life today, where he is.”

“Where he is!”  That is the key.  Not where you wish you were or how you wish things were, but where you are right now!  If you take the time to look around “where you are”, you will discover that there are many things that you should be grateful for but so often take for granted or simply overlook.  Again, there was a time, way back when, when I carried a “gratitude stone” with me.  It was a great habit, past tense.  It was nothing more than a glass rock purchased from a local Hobby Lobby store.  The premise was simple.  You carry the gratitude stone with you EVERYWHERE you go.  You kept it in your pocket or your purse and EVERYTIME you saw, felt or touched it, you paused and gave thanks for something in your life at that moment in time.  It could be something as simple as just being able to breathe or it might be the car you are driving, your spouse, your children, your home or a cold glass of water.  The point is that there are always things, hundreds of things that you can be immediately grateful for.  Pause and think about those things when you can and then give thanks they are in your life. 

Why?  Because it is impossible to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time or at least that is my belief.   If you are constantly giving gratitude for what you have in your life, you have no time for thoughts of any other kind.  I found myself listening and watching the news and the news is horrible; always has been, always will be;  if it bleeds, it leads!  With the advent of cable news, we now have access to the news 24 hours a day.  As an example, for the past two hours I have not watched or listened to the news for even one second.  I have no idea what the President Trump haters or lovers are doing; they are going to do it whether I agree with them or not.  I don’t know what the Russians are doing or the North Koreans or the Iranians.  I only know what I have been doing – listening to good music and thinking about writing this Nugget.  Pretty simple and a better expenditure of my time than watching the misery on TV or listening to it on the Radio or scanning and responding to the numerous Facebook posts.

What do I hope to accomplish:  It is important for me to always be aware that what someone else thinks of me is none of my business; regardless!  Is also critical to be aware not to give people a reason to think unkindly of me.  If I can convince just one person that there is a better way to achieve happiness and success by being grateful thus friendly; I will have succeeded.  Maybe that one person will be you.

Gratitude Stone Learn More:  If you want to learn more about the Gratitude Stone, I encourage you to go to where you can read what Tara Walker has written.

Conclusion:  I believe that to be the “friendliness” person you must first be a person of gratitude for all that is good in your life and in the world.  Moving from where I had TEMPORARILY landed to where I NEED to PERMANENTLY be will not be easy and will require a constant reminder – a gratitude stone.  This time I have given up my ruby red gratitude glass stone and replaced it with a U. S. Coast Guard Commemorative Coin.  Why?  First it is heavy so I will always know that it is in my pocket.  Secondly because it represents some of the happiest and most content days of my life while serving in the U. S. Coast Guard and starting my family.  I’ll see it every morning as I remove it from my dresser and put it in my pocket.  I will feel it in my pocket all day long and every time I put my hand in my pocket.  I will see it the last thing every evening as I replace it on top of my dresser until the next morning.  And every time I see, feel or touch it I WILL pause to give thanks and be grateful for what I have.  I WILL return to my roots of working on a positive attitude by once again becoming grateful for what I have.

Action Plan:  I will… 

  • Carry my Coast Guard Coin with me at all times
  • Pause and give thanks for that which I have in my life
  • Greet everyone, no exceptions, with a smile and a good morning, afternoon or evening
  • Pause BEFORE I answer the phone to clear my mind, smile and then answer the phone
  • LISTEN to people before I think about what I will say next; wait for my turn to talk
  • Imagine everyone with a forehead tattoo that reads: WCILFTP, (What can I learn from this person?)
  • Get back to the habit of asking people questions about their lives
  • Spend more time listening to good music
  • Return to the habit of reading at least two books a month; less time watching television, except for Elementary, Elementary is fascinating as are most shows on the History Channel
  • Return to the habit of writing “thinking of you” note cards and sending them out daily
  • Add to this list as situations arise

Friday, February 3, 2017

Washington Kindergarten Class

A Dangerous Kindergarten Class in Washington
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 2, 2017

It was September 20, 1965, I raised my right hand and took a solemn oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.  There was no expiration date on that oath nor is there an expiration date on the very similar oaths our elected politicians have taken like we just witnessed as President Donald Trump was sworn in.

What does that mean?  It means, in my opinion, exactly what it suggests – that anyone taking the oath WILL DEFEND the Constitution of the United States.  That means every second of every day.  What it does NOT mean - ONLY WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT.  Therein you have my grave concern about the current atmosphere within America.

President Obama made no mistake about WHAT he said when he said he had “a pen and a phone” and would do whatever was necessary to get what HE wanted done even if that meant circumventing Congress.  I don’t think that is what he was elected to do.  In fact I know it was not what he was elected to do.  Still…when he issued his many Executive Orders, many declared to be illegal, his Democratic and some Independent followers/supporters all cheered and encouraged him to do even more while at the same time his detractors found fault with those Executive Orders.

Now it is President Trump who has the pen and the phone and he has started his first two weeks mostly signing Executive Orders.  To be fair to President Trump, most of his Executive Orders if not all thus far have been more administrative in nature even the one on immigration.  He has NOT AS YET written any new laws taking the form of an Executive Order that I am aware of. Instead he has said he intends to enforce the laws on the books and instructed his Cabinet Officers to do the same.  And all while he has been doing this, his Republican and some Independent followers/supporters all cheered and encouraged him to do even more while at the same time still finding fault with the Executive Orders President Obama had put into effect.  Isn’t that hypocritical?

Lost in all this activity is a question.  Are Executive Orders or Memorandums even legal as per our U. S. Constitution?  It is my belief that they are legal as long as they remain administrative in nature and they DO NOT create a new law.  Writing law is the job of Congress.  In fact, if you read the U. S. Constitution, you will discover that the President’s main job is to sign the laws Congress approves.  It is then the job of the U. S. Supreme Court to determine if the laws written and signed by the President are in fact Constitutional.  But even then, the Supreme Court does NOT get involved by making an arbitrary decision on a law signed into effect until such time as someone feels they have been harmed by the enforcement of the new law takes legal action.  That action may or may not eventually work its way to the U. S. Supreme Court; most do not.  If and when it does, THAT is the time the Supreme Courts decides the constitutionality of the law; NOT BEFORE.

Yet while discussing the Supreme Court, nowhere in the Constitution does it grant power to the Supreme Court to write and enact laws.  Its job is to determine if an enacted laws is deemed Constitutional.  This is NOT what happened when it reviewed portions of the Obamacare.  The Supreme Court took exception to a very important part of the law.  Instead of returning the law to Congress for clarification and/or revision, the Supreme Court CHANGED the law, thus enacting a law BY the Supreme Court and Obamacare became law. 

The three branches of our government are suppose to be EQUAL BRANCHES.  Of late any semblance of being equal has vanished.  Congress writes laws, the President has written laws and now the Supreme Court has written laws.  Meanwhile we the people sit back and let them.  Folks therein lies the problem we are now facing within the United States.  WE LET THEM!

I think anyone reading this can agree that there are lot of Americans who do not like President Trump, I being one of them.  To those people I say there are an equal number of Americans who did not like President Obama; again I being one of them.  I liked neither of these men when they were candidates but once they became President, it is unconscionable to disrupt government because you do not like someone.  That is exactly what the Democrats in the Senate Committees are presently doing to President Trumps’ nominees for various positions.  Granted it is not their job to just roll over but it is their job to either approve or deny the candidate his or her opportunity to VOLUNTARILY serve his or her country.  To arbitrarily denounce a candidate because of a dislike of a new President regardless of political party is just wrong.  To use “tactics” such as not appearing at scheduled hearings as a means of delaying a vote is also very wrong and even childish.  Then to witness the systematic destruction of individuals solely because they have been nominated to serve the country is even more wrong if that is even possible.

Is it no wonder that Presidents, Obama and Trump may have decided that cooperation in the House and the Senate is so bad and so non-existent that they have taken matters into their own hands through the use of their pens and their phones?

I would like to see revolving doors installed on Congress and create Term Limits for both the House and the Senate.  Folks in Congress know they have a great thing going and they refuse to leave.  As such the struggles of politics continue with no relief in sight.  The result?  We get people like Senators Schumer and McConnell and Representatives Pelosi and Ryan.  They are in their positions FOREVER!  The result is that nothing of significance ever gets done – EVER!  History has shown this to be true.  Imagine the contrast.  Presidents Obama and Trump both had 4 years ahead of them and they each had agendas.  If they wanted to accomplish the items on their agendas they had to get to work.  Each one then ran up against a Congress that because they were so entrenched in their collective positions, there was no hurry to get anything done and they just sat and argued and called each other vicious names.  I have felt as thou I have been watching a kindergarten class of 5 year olds.

What is the solution you might be asking, if not you should be asking that question.  It is not making one political party stronger than the other.  On the contrary, the answer is making them more equal and less powerful and give them only a specified amount of time to do the work they felt was necessary for them to decide to run for office in the first place.  The change needed in our government IS NOT going to happen by expecting the President, the Congress and/or the Supreme Court to do anything so constructive.  Nope, just not going to happen.

THE ONLY WAY real change in our government is EVER going to happen is through the convening of a Convention of States.  No one in Washington, DC will EVER reduce their power voluntarily.  NO ONE!  For those who might not be familiar, Article 5 of the Constitution follows:

Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

This is, in my opinion, the ONLY WAY our government will ever be reformed and become a working government OF the people, FOR the people, and BY the people!  A Convention of States can circumvent the U. S. Congress and change the U. S. Constitution like requiring a balanced budget, like installing term limits for the House and Senate members, like making Executive Orders illegal, etc., etc.  Maybe then, we may get some adults in Washington DC.  Maybe you will be one of them.