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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 31, 2011 / 26 Shevat, 5771

Obstacles with Impossibilities

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Pizarro led a group of two hundred Spaniards and conquered five million Incas. Pizarro initially pretended to be the long awaited messiah the Incas had been waiting for and then kidnapped the Inca leader. Thanks to European germs and chicanery, Pizarro took control of the Incan Empire.

The gold sent from the Incas made Spain the wealthiest country on earth. Now here is my question. Do you think Pizarro could have gotten an insurance policy for his expedition before he left Spain? Nope. To do truly great things you have to aim high. Statistics, accountability, the bottom line, net worth, and points on the scoreboard, are what count after you get out of school. In grade school, church, sports, etc. we admire how hard people strive. Valiant efforts in overcoming difficulties are recognized as an attribute and admired. We all appreciate effort, but we also realize that it is ultimately the result that really counts. Scoring in the real world is based upon performance. Do you want a doctor, lawyer, or auto mechanic who tries really, really hard, or one who gets the job done? Sure, some things come easier for some people. Reasons, excuses, personal problems, problems with customers, problem with colleagues, inexperience, workload, and a bunch of other factors make it tough to get the job done. You do what must be done. Go above, go under, or go around what is blocking you, or just plow through it. A beautiful picture may be admired for centuries, but it is rare for anyone to ask how long it took to paint it. Results are life's scoreboard.

One of the worst bits of advice I ever heard came during a college graduation. The commencement speaker challenged the young, enthusiastic, new graduates by telling them, "If you can dream it, you can achieve it." The average person goes into debt to graduate from the average college with average grades. It may be inspiring to new graduates to tell them they are now equipped to go out and conquer the world. The vast majority of the graduates will only be conquering low paid entry level jobs.

You can use inspiration to help motivate yourself, but don't let it blind or mislead you. I am in favor of setting high goals, but it is just plain stupid to think anyone can do anything. The Roman poet Publis Virgilius Maro Vergil lamented, "We can't all do everything." An accurate assessment of what you can realistically do and what your skill level is will help you to hit the target. You must look at the competition and the environment. The starting point for true commitment is to honestly evaluate what assets, skills, and resources you possess. Beauty contests, elections, and many other competitions are won by underdogs; but not often. It wasn't Pizarro's weaponry that won the day. He was willing to use the ancient Inca legend to his advantage and then he changed tactics by grabbing the Incan leader. This is not nearly as much fun as just dreaming about winning. President Theodore Roosevelt urged us all to buckle down and "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Action can lead to frustration and failure, so most people would rather dream, or complain. Repeated action coupled with dedication can move past frustration and failure to success.

People love to quote Winston Churchill saying "Never, never, never give up." It is best to appreciate there are situations when giving up, is exactly what you should do. Faced with Hitler and a Nazi Invasion, I absolutely would champion not giving up the fight. But Churchill, like Pizarro, knew about changing tactics and switched political parties on numerous occasions. Churchill may have been a bulldog of a man, but it is best to remember that his dog was a little poodle. Tenacity and stubbornness are two sides of the same coin. Mark Twain cautioned, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again - then quit, don't be a damn fool."

In life there are situations where it is best to stop. Personal relationships are one category where working too hard can be an indication that something is wrong. If you have to work so hard that the objective is worthless, consider giving up. This is the case with many long-standing personal relationships. How hard and how long can you try to make both parties love each other and live happily ever after? Comfort, fear of failure, loneliness, and other baggage all condemn too many people to misery. Give it your best shot, but not your entire life.

Too many people won't quit because they are afraid of being called a "quitter." As a counselor in college, I frequently encountered students who hated, and were failing Biology. But they refused to drop the course. "Why not take Geology, Physics, or Astronomy if you have to fulfill a science requirement?" I would ask. "Oh no, I don't want my parents to think I am a failure" they would respond. Or they would worry, "Wouldn't changing courses go on my permanent record." Most would keep at it and end up with a miserable semester (or two) and low grades in biology. They suffered when they could have discovered another science they might have loved, and done well at.

Writer and comedian, Jane Wagner, who is both inspiring and cynical, observed that, "The ability to delude oneself may be an important survival tool." We can all reach a point where truth yields to foolish rationalization, revisionist history, and fabrications. These people are called by many names, but not "quitter." No far worse, they create their own reality.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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