Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves

The progression of wealth begins with a Builder, transferring down to a Janitor, and finally disappearing from the clutches of a Debtor. There is a better way to leave an inheritance for our Children.

One of the greatest burdens on children is the inheritance of wealth. Yes, I know this sounds counterintuitive. Yet, with 35+ years of experience working with three generations of families, I can attest to the validity of the premise.

Each culture has its phraseology:

  • Old English: “there’s nobbut three generations atween a clog and clog.”
  • Italy: “from the stable to the stars and back again.”
  • Japan: “rice paddies to rice paddies in three generations.”
  • China: “from peasant shoes to peasant shoes in three generations.”
  • Scotland: “father buys, son builds, grandchild sells, and his son begs.”
  • America: “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

Why is this true? Answer: “We want what we don’t have.

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We Learn By Doing

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Until we get our hands in the clay, there is no way a new masterpiece can be formed. All works of creation require effort by able and willing hands.

Colleges and Universities have profited greatly from the most vulnerable: our Children. Higher “education” is big business. Literally, the focus is on the money available to these institutions via student loans. Our young people are encouraged to be Debtors before even beginning their careers and professions.

The result of all this hubris? Answer: educated idiots! We have lost what at one time not long ago was defined as “common sense.” Now, Ignorance is the norm, with a large portion of society working for Cents. Yes, that’s right, slaving — in servitude to a Banker — for pennies on the dollar.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)

Those are the choices: Tell, Teach, or Involve. Professors everywhere are coy to assure us they are Teachers. Of all professions, teaching is a noble cause. Yet, the matter at hand is that seldom do we find skilled Teachers in our classrooms.

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I Release YOU

You’ve surely heard the expression, “Never wrestle with a pig. You just get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”

In your Life, right now, does it feel like you’re wrestling with a PIG — of any shape or size? If so, please LET GO of the dang pig!

Climb out of the pigpen, sling the filthy mud from your clothes, remove the memory from your mind, soothe the pain of emotions, purge the stink from your soul, and DECIDE to never, ever, DO that, again. There is a better WAY — to enjoy your Life and all the goodness available to YOU.

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One Good Direction

You’ve heard the stories of horses saved from burning barns to turn right around and run back into the flaming structures. Why do they do that?

Wouldn’t it make more “horse sense” for them to continue moving far away from the inferno? Maybe, there’s no logic involved. Maybe, we’re creatures of habit. If you’ve enjoyed time around horses, you know each of them has their favorite stall and are quite insistent on it.

Speaking of which, do we use “common sense” when escaping from the Hell of our mistakes? Or, do we have a burning desire to go back?

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Dynamic Conversation

When was the last time you enjoyed a dynamic conversation? The question is sincere — because my recent experiences make me wonder if we’ve lost the art of conversation.

In this Age of Devices, we’re so dang connected we’re disconnected. A text message, here — and an email tome, there — gives the impression we’ve done our duty to communicate.

Oh, I agree; there was a Transmission — but, was there Reception. You know what was Sent. Do you know what was Received? Odds are very good, there’s a chasm between the two. The third leg of communication is Feedback.

Any relationship is between two people. Not, three or more — TWO. For those two individuals to build a relationship, there must be communication. Communication can occur over a variety of channels. The most effective method of communication is a dynamic conversation.

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Living In The Light

To cast dispersion on your valiant effort, a favorite expression of the naysayers is, “Yeah, well every light casts a shadow.” As if YOU living in the light somehow takes away from their enjoyment of the darkness.

A shadow is caused by an obstruction to light. Remove the obstruction and no more shadow. Yet, rather than be a shiner, the naysayer prefers to be a whiner — from the comfortable and darkened recesses of their mind.

Refusing to light a candle, they curse the darkness. Even when others open the door to a better way, they turn away. When encouraged into the brightness of a new path, they angrily respond in wrath. Why?

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The Hero’s Journey

The most dangerous place in the world is Comfortable. To receive the rewards waiting for each of us, we must embark on The Hero’s Journey.

This journey is not for the faint of heart. In fact, you might not currently feel like much of a hero. Yet guaranteed, you will emerge from the wilderness a changed and better individual.

Before we begin, let’s consider WHY this is so important.

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Dare to Care

The one thing standing between us and greatness is the tendency to Compare — ourselves with others. Magic happens when we stop the comparisons and Dare to Care.

To dare means to have courage, to be a Trailblazer, and to go where angels fear to tread. To care encompasses a desire to serve. The focus is on others; it is NOT on ourselves. In other words, our worldview is outward not inward.

Last week on Friday, two Master Craftsmen were discussing a “fair price” for their Customers. Earlier in the week on Wednesday, the three of us had met and prepared a Better Business Plan for the remainder of their year.

At the moment we finished preparing their Better Business Plan, they were quite confident in what a “fair price” was —for themselves and their Customers. Yet, two days later they were talking about a “flat rate” book.

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Beacon of Hope

Are you a beacon of hope?

If so, thank YOU!

Because, many individuals are reflections of misery. Their focus is inward, rather than outward. So, in the simplest of words, we can capture the essence of these two categories of society in this way: Mirrors or Beacons.

If the focus is inward, people love mirrors — because their image is cast back to them. When driving, the rear-view mirror receives full attention. In thought patterns, ruminations of the past are a favorite activity.

If the focus is outward, you love beacons — because light is cast forward into the Universe. When driving, the windshield provides unlimited possibilities. In thought patterns, dreams are a glimpse into the future.

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Protect Your Heart

“Above all else, protect your heart,” encourages an old Proverb.

How important is that singular phrase? Simply: a matter of life and death.

Do we ever pause to THINK? “No one cares as much about my life as I do.”

Generally, the answer is, “No.” Because, we are beset with the societal propaganda encouraging a Rich and Famous lifestyle. In other words, the focus is on obtaining individual worth from the lives of others.

There’s a name for that: Narcissism.

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