How to Get a World-Class Education Without Spending a Fortune

News broke a few weeks ago about a college admissions scam regarding two high profile actresses and some very prominent universities including Yale and USC. Like many people, I was both shocked and angry. Why would people with millions of dollars need to pay to get their kids into college? They can afford the best schools and the best tutors.

The story revealed just what a bias we have towards name-value when it comes to education and some parents will do whatever it takes to get them into prestigious universities and colleges.

Having spent the 20 plus years here in Japan, I can say that education here is important, very important. Education is the key for children to have a better life. Families are willing to spend large sums of money to help their children get into the best schools and universities by investing in their education because they believe it will pay for itself many times over.

Back before the internet, I admit there was a large gap between the haves and the have-nots with regard to education. A quality education was expensive. Today though, thanks to smartphones, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn, it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, we can get a world-class education for less than you might imagine regardless of where we live.

The information is out there. The technology is available. The books are out there. Videos, podcasts, audio training, and best of all, much of it costs less than $100. Personally, I started out with books, many of which were secondhand. The pages may have been warped, but the information was like gold. Cost, $5-20 each.

Then I moved on to audio training which ranged from $30-60. While books were eye-opening, CD programs by Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar took things to the next level. It allowed me to turn my car into “a mobile classroom” as the late great American business philosopher speaker Jim Rohn would say.

To think that today parents shell out thousands of dollars a year to schools for textbooks alone is madness when you can learn from such legends for the price of lunch. The sad part is, many people I talk to either have never heard of those people or worse, think personal development material is a waste of time.

Kids spend years in school learning, but the big question is learning what. As a productivity consultant, time is all I think about. I want to squeeze every last drop out of it which is why I want my son to invest his time into the right things.

When I talk to my friends’ kids about what they are learning in junior high and high school, I just scratch my head. They are learning pretty much the same stuff I did. But the industrial world I grew up in has become the digital age which is why I believe kids should divide their time into five key areas if they want to succeed in the 21st century.

  • The basics (language, math)
  • Specialization (science, music, health)
  • Time management
  • Personal development
  • Programming


School does well with the first area. The rest is up to us. As for specialization, the more niche the better as you are less easily replaced. With AI on the horizon, I shudder to think how many people without specialized skills in so many industries are going to struggle in the years to come.

Time management is obvious, it affects every area of our lives whether we’re a doctor, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a teacher or a student. We can all benefit from techniques and strategies that make us use our time more effectively in whatever we choose to do.

Personal development for me was like the missing piece of the puzzle. It helped make me understand how to utilize my unique gifts and how to achieve success in life.

For those interested, I’ve included a list of the best personal development programs I’ve come across. They might not be easy to track down, but wow do these pack a punch.

  1. Triggers by Joseph Sugarman
  2. The Classics by Jim Rohn
  3. How to Stay Motivated by Zig Ziglar
  4. Get the Edge by Tony Robbins
  5. College of Millionaires by Gary Halbert
  6. Teleseminar Secrets by Alex Mandossian
  7. The Weekend Seminar by Jim Rohn
  8. Insane Productivity by Derren Hardy
  9. Consulting Transcripts by Jay Abraham
  10. Magnetic Marketing by Dan Kennedy


Lastly, like it or not, we live in a digital world and the job opportunities will only increase in the years to come with things such as VR and AI in their infancy.

As a parent, I believe it’s my responsibility to prepare my son for the world and the good news is three of the five areas I’ve mentioned are within the reach of nearly everyone.

Some of the parents involved in the college admissions scam paid a small fortune to get their kids into those schools, but today, a great education can be had for much less.

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from The Good Men Project

A Premeditated Starving by Michael Morgan

When the teenaged girl’s physician joined us, I knew it was no ordinary transport to another hospital. At first I thought he wanted to keep us on our toes, but he ignored us. He hovered over his tiny patient. She was too tiny for a 17-year-old. He watched the girl as we loaded the gurney. We counted “one, two, three” and lifted her with precision and gentleness. That was easy to do because the gurney was so light it felt empty.

The elderly doctor climbed into the ambulance and sat on the bench next to me.

“Riding along?” I asked.

He shook his head.

A car with a bad muffler annoyed us with a rough idle. To shut out the noise my partner closed the rear doors from outside. He went to the driver’s seat and put the key in the ignition, leaving it off while the doctor struggled to make small talk with the young woman. He did not tell us how long he would be on the bench and we did not ask. Men grow quiet when we sense problems peculiar to women.

Our patient had a brown, pretty face that would have been prettier had it not been gaunt. Safety straps crossed the linen and blanket, slack because of her size. She made little downward movements to bury herself. That prompted the doctor to say, “In no time at all you’ll be back on your tennis team.”

She wriggled deeper into the stretcher pads. “I feel secure here,” she said. Except for her head, she was ensconced in bedding, all we could see was her face and the long, brunette hair that flowed over the sterile covers.

The doc chatted with her, smiled, and kept his crinkled eyes focused on her face with laser beam intensity. He did not look at me, but pointed in my direction, so the girl glanced my way. “He’s a really nice guy.”

He didn’t know me from Adam. I was 21, longhaired and looked young for my age. Nonetheless, he passed the ball to me.

In life as in sports, men do not need to look at each other to pass the ball. It was my job to catch it and move it forward. If you fumble the ball in sports, your athletic reputation diminishes. You can restore your reputation with a successful catch later on. If you drop the ball in life, you don’t get a second chance. Though opponents in sports may be your teammates in another game, opponents in life do not play games. This day my opponent was anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder that, unchecked, leads to starvation.

After the doc hurled the ball into my chest, he opened the doors. The muffler racket had ceased. There was a hush. He turned and managed to speak some final words of comfort to his patient. I listened to the softness of his voice, but heard no words. I was too busy squeezing the ball into my chest and into my heart. No way was I going to drop it.

The doc closed the doors, and I locked them from inside. My partner started the engine and the journey began. It was spring and he avoided the potholes, which was not an easy thing to do in Detroit. Some never got patched and could shake an ambulance and the people inside. We swerved a few times, but it was a smooth transport.

The girl stared at the corner cabinetry stocked with white towels and bandages. She scrunched up her nose.

“We’ll get to the hospital in no time at all,” I said. I tried to make my voice sound reassuring like the doctor’s, but it sounded forced.

The girl did not reply. The juxtaposed doe-like eyes and sharp cheekbones revealed the indignity of her medical condition. Not much was known about anorexia nervosa in the late 1970s. Most men had never heard of it. Worse, we couldn’t wrap our minds around it. It was impossible to hold onto hunger. How could thin young ladies premeditate starving?

Music is a useful topic in the back of an ambulance. To break the ice, I rattled off the names of some contemporary teen heartthrobs. I schooled myself with music magazines so that I could rely on all genres for all sorts of patients. Many disliked sports, but almost all, male and female, wanted to teach me music appreciation.

She was beyond the teen idol phase and into Detroit native, Stevie Wonder.

“When you get well, you can see him live in concert,” I said.

She smiled at me.

“Maybe you’re ready for a sandwich,” I said. “When we reach the hospital …”

Her precious smile crumpled into a grimace as her gaze drifted off.

My shoulders tensed up. When women suffer, men lose courage, which is often replaced by exasperation.

The girl should not fear food. She should complain about the greasy grub for lunch in her high school cafeteria, and she should pig out on chocolate fudge brownies at night. In the morning she should huddle in a corner of homeroom locked in a race with the bell to squeeze in a new day’s gossip. She should decide which girls to invite to her next slumber party. In place of cot straps in an ambulance, she should be strapped up in a bikini at a beach flaunting her suntan. Her skin was the type to achieve a Coppertone hue. She was the girl from Ipanema. She should shop at the mall with a gaggle of girls – or shop at the mall alone, turning the heads of young men. She should babysit some lucky little kids. They should play Twister and make “ants on a log” with raisins, cream cheese and celery.

“You should eat some food,” I told her.

“I know,” she said in a flat voice.

“What’s your favorite song from Stevie Wonder’s new album, Songs in the Key of Life ?” I asked.

Her smile returned. “As,” she answered. She half-sang some lyrics in a fragile voice. “Listen to the fade-out at the end,” she instructed. “It goes on and on.” She hummed the ending to “As” three times. Her voice strengthened as a cause and consequence of music.

She turned her head from side to side when I talked about Joni Mitchell’s album, Court and Spark. She firmly told me why Joni Mitchell couldn’t hold a candle to Stevie Wonder. My agreement broadened her smile.

If she does not eat, she will not be able to flash that smile. Doesn’t she know how lovely her smile is? She will never dress up for the high school prom. She will never wear a corsage or slow dance with her date.  She will never walk the stage at her graduation ceremony. She will never flip a tassel to the left side of her graduation cap. She will never work part-time jobs to help with college. She will never charm customers into buying her recommended music, the latest fashion accessory, or the special of the day.

“You’ll never see Stevie Wonder in concert if you don’t eat,” I told her.

“I know,” she said.

She flicked her hair off her pointy chin, revealing the plucked chicken skin of her neck. She was at once adorable and repulsive to me. Her illness was a decision, not an infection. Any fool could see she regretted it.

This fool had to make a last-ditch attempt to compel her to fill a plate with food. Why?

Because she must eat for the energy to choose which battles were worth fighting and the energy to fight them. She must appreciate constructive criticism from her tennis coach. She must mentor a younger girl and teach her to challenge barriers without declaring war on men. She must fall in and out of love. She must experience the bitter sweetness of kiss and make up. She must forgive others. She must find the strength to forgive herself so she can eat again.

“You must eat some food,” I said.

I waited. “Okay?” I pleaded.

She did not reply.

We arrived at the hospital and I pulled the blanket up around her neck. That precious smile reappeared.

“Thank you,” she whispered. The ambulance stopped. The smile flickered out.

The last thing I remember that day was sitting in the ambulance cab staring over my shoulder through the interior window at the empty gurney in the back. I wondered what the old doctor would have thought. I knew I had not dropped the ball. There was never a ball in the first place. The only thing that had been passed between two men, one old and one young, was ignorance over a pretty girl starving herself to death.


Michael Morgan was born in Detroit. He held a variety of jobs in Detroit and received degrees in English and teaching from The University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. Expert storyteller Mary Morris recommended him for a scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College, Vermont, where he was mentored by acclaimed novelist, Tim O’Brien. Michael retired from the University of Detroit Mercy where he worked as an educator for twenty-six years.

Originally published on Heart of a Man.


Read more “Heart of a Man: Men’s Stories for Women” on The Good Men Project. Coming soon!

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A step on the path to gender peace offers stories by men who are opening their hearts to women. the book is scheduled to be published in Summer of 2019.

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from The Good Men Project

Stop Calling Us Bossy!

As a woman (and former little girl) there’s something that I want men (and boys) to know. Women are very sensitive to being called “bossy.” Why? Well, because so many of us have been called that all our lives. Bossy is what ‘girls’ are called when we stand up for ourselves, speak out, or have good ideas for how to organize something. Calling any of us women or girls bossy is a tool for shutting us up and shutting us down.

When you engage in name-calling (no matter the name), you immediately put the other person on the defensive. As a result, they won’t listen to what you have to say, even if your point is valid. If you call me bossy, I won’t stop to wonder whether I could possibly make my point in a better way or whether I’m trying to take charge of something that’s none of my business. If you call me bossy, I will just get pissed and think, “How dare you!” This is a natural and appropriate reaction to generations of oppression against passionate women.

But, when I say you shouldn’t call us bossy, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t call us out.

If I’m hurting your feelings, I want to know that. Also, If you have a good idea that we should consider, then I’m open to hearing it. If my behavior offends you, let’s talk about it. Talk about the behavior, not about my ability (or should I say “lack thereof”) to think in a “big picture” way with innovative ideas and a passion to see them implemented. That is not up for negotiation. It will never be up for negotiation. My zeal for organizing and efficiency should not and will not be tamed.

But my method of communicating my zeal can always use some fine-tuning. If you erase the word “bossy” from your vocabulary, then I will listen to what you have to say. (Seriously, never use the word bossy again.) Instead, say, “Hey, friend, when you told me what to do right now it made me feel bad. It made me feel like you were trying to be in charge of me when I already know how to be in charge of myself.” Then, I will tell you why I thought my idea was way cooler and you can tell me why you disagree. Ultimately, we’ll decide, together, where we go from there.

This is what the dismantling of the Patriarchy looks like, one word at a time.

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Photo credit: By SIphotography @ iStock by Getty Images

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from The Good Men Project

Larry and Vic Explore a Mysterious Street in ‘Danny Patrol’

danny patrol, doom patrol, tv show, action, adventure, comedy, drama, season 1, review, dc universe, warner bros television

Larry and Vic try to help someone out in ‘Danny Patrol’

Last time on Doom Patrol, Cliff had a bit of a mental breakdown. He wasn’t acting like himself, and no one was really sure why. The team decided to try to talk things out, and this had some mixed success. Towards the end some things were said that proved to be pretty hurtful. When it was revealed what was going on with Cliff, it was definitely unexpected. Now someone has asked Vic and Larry for help in ‘Danny Patrol’. I was able to watch a screener of this episode and this is what I thought of it.

danny patrol, doom patrol, tv show, action, adventure, comedy, drama, season 1, review, dc universe, warner bros television

(c) Warner Bros Television

You can read the premise for ‘Danny Patrol’ here:

A sentient, gender-queer, teleporting street named Danny who’s being hunted by a secret government agency, the Bureau of Normalcy, needs help from Niles – but gets Vic and Larry instead.  Meanwhile, Cliff and Rita track down Karen, one of Jane’s personalities, who’s a hopeless romantic with the power to compel people to fulfill her wishes.

danny patrol, doom patrol, tv show, action, adventure, comedy, drama, season 1, review, dc universe, warner bros television

(c) Warner Bros Television

Larry and Vic see some wild things in ‘Danny Patrol’. It is a rather magical place, and it seems it needs their help. In the past Larry got caught up with a secret government organization, and now they are after this street. Meanwhile a new personality of Jane’s comes to the surface, and it could be her most dangerous one yet. It is up to Rita and Cliff to stop her from making a huge decision before it is too late. As this episode came to a close a crisis gets averted, and Jane may never be the same again.

danny patrol, doom patrol, tv show, action, adventure, comedy, drama, season 1, review, dc universe, warner bros television

(c) Warner Bros Television

Doom Patrol ‘Danny Patrol’ is available now on DC Universe. You can follow this show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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from The Good Men Project

Chasing Permission: How Addressing Self-Worth Can Change the World

“Why address self-worth?” This was a reporter’s question after I gave a speech entitled “3 Reasons Why Increased Self-Worth Leads to a Better Money Story.” Even after listening to a presentation that listed three distinct answers to this question, they still couldn’t quite absorb the idea that addressing self-worth is crucial for growth. They were young, conservative, freshly graduated…not to mention self-worth barely gets a first glance as people focus on acquiring certificates and credentials. Small wonder it was a difficult concept for them.

Take note that self-worth is not the same as self-esteem

Although they are quite similar terms, there are distinct nuances that set them apart. Where self-esteem is your basic confidence in your abilities and skills, self-worth goes even further. It is your unwavering belief in your value and all that you bring to the table.

There are two ways to acquire skills and knowledge that translate into value: through experience, and through schooling. Neither of these is “better” or “worse” than the other, but they do tend to be perceived very differently.

A person with high self-worth who wants to try their hand at coaching, for example, might consider taking a course or two, but they will immediately start focusing on how to serve. They will start looking for ways to identify their message and their niche, and then reach out to an audience. They know that they already have skills and insights that can help others, and they are ready to put them into practice. They trust themselves.

On the other hand, someone who has lower self-worth will first look into getting certified. Their sense of value relies on outside sources telling them that they are capable. They will only consider coaching formally after they are officially deemed “qualified.”

“Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.” – Wayne Dyer

How to identify someone with high self-worth:

They DON’T panic when they hit a roadblock. They DO re-evaluate and come back with an alternative.

They DON’T say “Yes” out of obligation. They DO say “Yes” out of interest and excitement.

They DON’T act out of “FOMO” (fear of missing out) or desperation. They DO have the patience and confidence to wait for the right opportunity.

They DON’T obsess over small details. They DO keep their focus on the big picture.

They DON’T wait for someone else to tell them they are qualified. They DO know the value of their unique experience and skillset.

If you see yourself reflected in the DO category, congratulations! You’re doing great! If you relate more to the DON’T category, it’s okay. There’s no need to feel upset about it. Here are some steps you can take to boost yourself out of the rut you’re in:

1. Keep a list of “100 Reasons Why I’m Special.”

By creating a list of the qualities that make you stand out from the crowd, you are learning to see yourself as something special and valuable. If you can’t think of 100, start with five or ten, and keep adding as you think of new ones.

Reading this list regularly will help keep you centered on who you are and what you bring to the table. It will bolster your confidence so that you will be able to better handle rejections and challenges. This allows you to easily move forward, instead of getting stuck in remorse or resentment when things don’t go your way.

2. Never focus on the “No.” Look for a way to turn it into a “Yes.”

Whether you are pitching a business idea or a service, or asking for a raise or a favor, sometimes you are going to hear “No.” Having high self-worth means that instead of “No,” what you hear is “Help me say ‘Yes.’” When you understand that a “No” can simply mean “Not right now,” you can step back to see what you might have missed, then clarify, fill in the gaps, and try again.

People prefer to be around those who empower them rather than with those who make them feel ashamed, guilty, or pressured. You’ll find a much warmer response when you try to see things from the other person’s point of view.

3. Work within the system.

Creativity isn’t just about thinking outside the box. It also includes thinking within boxes. It’s easy to feel frustrated when you can see ten steps ahead of everyone to the opportunities that could be brought forward through certain changes. However, changing what’s considered possible – or even acceptable – can take up to a century or longer because, as previously mentioned, people are naturally resistant to what’s different and new to them.

Long ago, for example, women couldn’t engage in commercial activities. If a woman were to simply demand that the government allow women to trade, the system would shut her down. However, if she first engaged in trade under a man’s name, and through her actions, slowly raised awareness that women were capable of doing business, then the system would slowly and collectively open up to that idea.

“Self-esteem is that deep down inside the skin feeling you have your own self-worth.” – Denis Waitley

When you simply explain how things are wrong, you will be faced with resistance. But when you actively show others how things can be better, ou create lasting change. You inspire. You make a difference. And faced with the positive transformations you have brought about, how could you not swell with pride and self-worth?

So, again, let us ask the question “Why address self-worth?” Because it is perfectly alright to jump in and begin without waiting for someone else to tell you you’re ready. Because working on your self-worth means more possibilities, more creativity, and more compassion. And because gaining clarity on what you bring to the table – and implementing those traits and skills – makes you more capable of creating a better world for us all.


Sabrina Explores her Darker Side in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Part 2

chilling adventures of sabrina, tv show, supernatural, horror, kiernan shipka, part 2, review, netflix

Evil is stronger than ever in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Part 2

I was very impressed with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina part 1. This show has a stellar cast, an amazing soundtrack and was a great reboot of this character. So is wasn’t much of a surprise when I heard this show got picked up for 3 more seasons. When I saw the first trailer for part 2 I couldn’t wait to watch it. I was able to get screeners of the first five episodes of season 2 and here is my thoughts on them.

chilling adventures of sabrina, tv show, supernatural, horror, kiernan shipka, part 2, review, netflix

(c) Netflix

You can read the plot for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 here:

Part 2 finds Sabrina exploring her darker side, curious to learn more about her heritage, while struggling to maintain her friendships in the mortal world. Romantically, Sabrina is caught in an unholy love triangle with between sexy warlock Nicholas Scratch and salt-of-the-Earth mortal Harvey Kinkle. Meanwhile, The Dark Lord, Madame Satan, and Father Blackwood continue to conjure chaos in the Spellman household and the town of Greendale. And they aren’t the only ones trying to raise hell. Everything is in question…relationships, identity, true intentions…when the devil’s work is at hand.

chilling adventures of sabrina, tv show, supernatural, horror, kiernan shipka, part 2, review, netflix

(c) Netflix

I was very impressed with these Chilling Adventures of Sabrina part 2 episodes. Some things have certainly changed since last season. Sabrina is dabbling in her darker side, and at first it looks like she might lose herself in the process. One relationship comes to a close while another springs up in its place. Her friends go through some big changes too. Meanwhile evil is lurking, and it seems to be getting stronger as it begins to become clear what might be coming next. If you enjoyed part 1 you will definitely want to check out this season.

chilling adventures of sabrina, tv show, supernatural, horror, kiernan shipka, part 2, review, netflix

(c) Netflix

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina part 2 is available now on Netflix. You can follow this show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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from The Good Men Project

The Key to Success is Massive Action

“The path to success is to take massive, determined actions”-Tony Robbins

The distance between your dreams and its manifestation is called action. The disconnect between ‘saying’ and ‘doing’ is action. Steve Maraboli once said, “Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.” I have observed that some people are so much knowledgeable but not successful. Do you really know what the missing link is? The missing link is ‘action’. The key to success is massive action. I have realized in life that taking action is better than waiting for perfection. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” By acting you will learn three critical things: ‘What works’, ‘what doesn’t work’, and ‘what can be made better’. Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Confucius said, “The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.” Success is a product of taking massive action in the right direction. We must cultivate the habit of taking prompt action on what we know and have in the present. Make mistakes, improve on your previous knowledge, and make better decisions. After you’ve designed your goals, then you need to write down the actions that need to be taken for the realization of the goals.

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still- not taking actions! Contrary to normal belief, we don’t get tired because we are taking more action steps, we get tired when we don’t take any action at all! Even if you are slow in making decisions, you can compensate for this weakness by being prompt and quick to act.

One man that exemplified the science of taking massive actions is Thomas Alva Edison, an American inventor and one of the greatest innovators of all time. During his career, Edison patented more than 1000 inventions, including the electric light, the phonograph, and the motion-picture camera. In the period from 1878 to 1880 after Edison had built a small laboratory in New Jersey, he worked on at least three thousand different theories to develop an efficient incandescent lamp. Many inventors had tried ever before him but couldn’t produce perfect incandescent lamps. By January 1879, Edison had built first high resistance incandescent electric light just as he desired but still, the lamp only burned for a few hours.

In order to get the perfect ‘filament’, Edison went from one experiment to another, he tested thousands and thousands of numerous materials to use for the filament, but they did not work with the tools available at that time. He tested carbonized filaments of every plant imaginable; he tested no fewer than 6000 vegetable growths. He was never discouraged or inclined to be hopeless of success, despite his several mistakes. He finally discovered they could use a carbonized bamboo filament that lasts over 1,200 hours. After thousands and thousands of failures, mistakes, and errors, Thomas Edison finally invented the first practical incandescent light.

Though it took Thomas Edison about 10,000 trials to make the light bulb, he gave the world some of the best invention that has heralded the ‘modern’ world. When a reporter tried to ridicule his various attempts by asking him how he felt to have failed for 10,000 times, he said something that stunned the whole world: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”! He has an unbreakable record; he not only eventually succeeded but established a system of electric power generation and distribution to homes. Edison also develops the first movie camera; he was the first to record sound. Edison gained worldwide acclaim for his inventions, and he continued working even with advancing age and in frail health, amassing a total of 1093 patents, more than any other inventor at that time. His last patent was obtained at age 83. He died at 84 on October 18th, 1931 in New Jersey. Three days later on the night of October 21, as a national tribute proclaimed by President Herbert Hoover, millions of Americans turned out their lights to plunge the country into momentary darkness in order to illustrate how the world was before Edison discovered the light bulb. When someone called him a genius, Edison made the famous reply, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” A statement that testifies to his virtues of tenacity and persistence even in the plethora of his errors.

An overzealous reporter once wrote a headline about Edison: “God said ‘let there be light’ and there was Thomas Edison”. He was a light to the world for when Edison died; the lights were put out as a tribute to this legend that set the world aglow with the discovery of the electric bulb light.

Despite the plethora of his errors and blunders, Thomas was unflinching in his resolve to make the world brighter than he met it as he continuously took massive action towards the discovery of his amazing light bulb! He relentlessly took massive action on his conviction. Quitters never win; Winners never quit.

After you’ve designed your dreams and goals, the next thing is to make a Massive Action Plan (MAP) towards the achievement of the goals. MAP is a 3-step process designed by Tony Robbins to achieve tangible results and live an extraordinary life. Once you have absolute clarity about the exact result you want and why you must achieve it, the next step is to create the MAP (Massive Action Plan) to get yourself there. Using a MAP goes beyond goal setting; it changes the emotional meaning behind all of your activities and forms a stronger link back to the outcome, making it more likely you’ll achieve it.

When you’re creating your MAP, ask yourself, “How much?”, “By when?” and “For what purpose?” Then write it down. Make it a permanent, tangible expression of your mental target. The three main components of MAP are: “Write down the results you want to achieve”, “Write down your purpose (compelling reasons why you want to accomplish your goals)”, “Develop a sequence of priority actions”.

Dreams don’t fulfill themselves. The habit of putting ideas into action is the key to success. Take more of actions and do less of talking. You can’t build a reputation on what you are about to do, take actions! C.G. Jung said, “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” Enough of talking and start taking actions! Take daily actions that will lead you to accomplish your goals. Faith without any accompanying action is suspicious! TALK is Nothing; ACTION is Everything. Robin Sharma said, “The tiniest of actions is always better than the boldest of intentions”.

Chauncey Depew said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are”. Visions without execution are just hallucinations. Visualize your success, then take actions! Dreams become regrets when left in the mind, never planted in the soil of action. Cultivate the winners’ habit of taking actions and leave the talking to others. Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Action is the antidote to despair! No matter how despairing or herculean a task seems, take the necessary actions. The only impossible journey is the one you never begin. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”. Not in speech, not in thoughts, I see greatness, only in actions!

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” -Abraham Maslow


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Remembering Autism Remembrance Day

Monday we remembered the autistic children who have eloped and died.

A 2017 study found that almost a third of reported ASD (autism spectrum disorders) missing person cases related to wandering/elopement from 2011 to 2016 in the US ended in death or required medical attention. According to this study, accidental drowning caused over 70% of lethal outcomes, followed by fatal traffic injuries. Injuries or traumas found ranged from minor scrapes and bruises to non-fatal traffic injuries, near drowning, dehydration, and physical/sexual assaults after the elopement.

Lethal outcomes to autism elopement occurred at a rate of about once a month on average in 2011 to about two to three times a month on average in 2015 and 2016. Children at ages 5 through 9 exhibited the highest number of deaths, while children under 5 faced the highest lethal risk with cases ending in death nearly 60% of the time.

Most people who elope or wander off were found in or near water, traffic, at a stranger’s residence, or in the woods. Low-sensory locations are also a common theme such as abandoned areas and vehicles, cornfields, farms, tree nurseries, libraries and other typically quiet settings.

People in this study were under different types of supervision when the elopement occurred, with non-parent supervision accounting for 45% of cases. Times of transition, commotion, and stress increased elopement risk, and those who were noted to be upset or agitated showed a higher risk of abruptly exiting into traffic or other high-threat situations.
Today is one of the saddest days of the year for many on the autism spectrum as well as family members and loved ones of children on the spectrum. It’s the day that we remember those autistic children who have wandered away, died, or drowned over the years.

Why are we remembering these kids?

Because children on the spectrum are attracted to high-sensory places. In fact, when a young autistic child goes missing, families are told to head straight to the nearest body of water to look for them.

It doesn’t take much water to drown. A little boy was with his father walking in a park last year and had gotten a bit ahead of Dad, still close enough where dad could see him when suddenly the child bolted.

After several hours of searching, they found the child face down in a stream in six inches of water.

Six inches of water is all it took.

When I mentioned I was writing this piece, people asked me why kids autistic children are drawn to water. It’s because when we’re in the water we tend to feel relaxed and comfortable. For someone on the spectrum, like me, I can say that most of us like it because there’s even pressure on our bodies.

Young children only know that they feel comfortable; kids don’t think about the fact that they can’t breathe, and we all know the end result of trying to breathe underwater:

Death by drowning.

How can we prevent these tragedies from happening? If we know we have a runner, we can focus our attention on keeping them close. We can teach them to swim. We need to alert the local authorities about our children who wander so they can prepare in the event of an elopement. We can get a service dog.

Most people think service animals start at $10,000 and skyrocket from there but that’s not true. My service dog, Tye, came from Dogs Nation in southwest Missouri and is a rescue dog, just as all dogs are at Dogs Nation.

They work on a donation basis (and not from the families that take the dogs). They rely on donations of food, flea and tick prevention, doghouses and financial donations.

A service dog can help block the child from entering the water and if a worst-case scenario happens and the child hits the water they can alert parents or family members.

Shawn Abell of Dogs Nation told me a story of something that happened nearly a decade ago near her home: A child went into the water and a nearby dog, a non-service dog who was a retriever, did what he was trained to do and went into the water to retrieve the child and saved his life.

Today is an important day for parents, family members, and loved ones of children on the spectrum and a day to educate those that aren’t aware of just how serious a problem elopement is. Amongst deaths of young autistic children, 91% die by drowning and that is way too many. Even one is too many.

If you’re reading this, please share it with families of autistic children and their caregivers so that no child has to go through this again and so that next year we’re not remembering deaths from 2019.


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This post was previously published on Band Back Together and is reprinted with permission of the author.

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We are Only Recognizing 10% of our Potential…and It’s not What You Think! (Part 1)

It has long been believed that we humans are only using 10% of our brains, and that the remaining 90% lies dormant as untapped potential. I remember the first time I heard this and was wowed by the implications of the statement. “Just imagine what I could achieve if I had access to even a percentage of that extra brain-power!”, I would tell myself.

The theory had been attributed to Einstein, who was considered to be a shining exemplar of harnessing this potential and one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. I have spent the greater part of my adult life finding ways to develop my mental fortitude, through reading, writing, and meditating, fascinated by the idea of the power of the mind in shaping our experience.

While I am grateful for these years of dutifully working out my mind-muscles, there was a growing recognition, with my underlying pervasive sense of unease, of what recent scientific studies have uncovered—we have been oversold on the exclusivity of the cranial brain and cognition with regards to maintaining one’s mental health and well-being.

Neuroscientists have been able to isolate what parts of the brain are being activated when people think or do something by placing them in a scanner and using a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). What they discovered was that even the simplest of actions, such as clenching and unclenching one’s hand, was stimulating far more than a tenth of the regions of the brain. These findings were startling as they clearly opposed popular belief, debunking the myth of potentiality that I myself had invested in on the mind.

We Are Enamored With 10% of Our Experience

What does this tell us? That perhaps we devote too much attention to the region from the neck-up. It could be argued that the vast majority of us urban dwellers live in our heads, with rationality and a mind-over-matter attitude as being hoisted as the pillars of our desired experience. Unfortunately, as a result of this cultural conditioning—where will power and having control over one’s environment are praised as virtuous and acceptable behavior—we have divorced ourselves from our bodies, effectively denying our emotional lives in the process.

For those of who you identify as the intellectual-types, you may say to yourselves something along the lines of, “Good riddens…emotions and bodily concerns just get in the way of success and have no place in my life. As long as I have my wits about me I am golden.” To that, I would say that you are only about 10% correct.

I too once believed that all sensory information and processing power came from our brains, and that the rest of our body was merely the vehicle for us to get around in. What scientists have also been able to verify, however, is something that the ancients of old have known for ages: our guts are speaking to us, constantly, acting as our second ‘body’-brain that inform our decisions.

The two brains are in continual communication with each other, and this is mediated by the central vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system, connecting the brain stem with the rest of the body. Amazingly, around 90% of the vagus nerve is comprised of sensory nerves, while only 10% is allocated to motor nerves. What this means is for every one motor nerve fiber command from the brain to the gut, nine sensory nerves are sending vital information from the gut to the brain.

Food for Thought

Having detached ourselves from awareness of our bodies and consequent sensory information, it is no wonder why more and more people in today’s society are feeling disconnected, anxious, depressed, beset by chronic pain, and uncertain of their place or purpose in the world. In our quest for enlightened thinking and technological innovation, have we lost touch with the essence of our humanity? Perhaps psychologist and author Erich Fromm was right when he said that humanity’s separation from the natural world has produced feelings of loneliness and isolation. But is it the world’s changing landscape that is the source of our distress, or simply our primal connection to it? What would happen if we were to embody all of our experience instead of the fraction we covet in the space between our ears?



* Feist, J., Feist, G., Roberts, T. (2013). Theories of personality (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

* Levine, P. (2010). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. North Atlantic Books

Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.

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The Non-Stick Relationship

First, let’s talk about what the “sticky” in a relationship is. Simply put, if I had to cut straight to the chase, it’s the dysfunction. But it doesn’t feel like dysfunction. It feels like a New York slice straight from the oven. At three AM while you’re drunk and starving. It’s hot, drippy, delicious, and you can’t get enough of it. Until of course, the stomach ache hits.

The sticky in a relationship is the codependency and enmeshment that runs underneath like a river, turning love into possession and two complete people into one incomplete. The feeling produced by this process is a cocaine high and what many people mistake as “true love”.

Where does it come from?

Everything we didn’t receive as a child. From the lack we feel in ourselves. From society’s shoulds and the giant ticking clock we claim to ignore. From old wounds we are not healing. From our own fears and insecurities. From what smells familiar from old relationship patterns. Our inability to draw boundaries. From learned dysfunctional relationship dynamics (usually parents). From the absent father. From our addictions or the gene in our family tree. From lack of trusting oneself. From sexual abuse. From not doing work on ourselves. I can go on but I’ll stop here or this article will turn into an ebook.

Chances are one of these hits home for you. This means you’ve most likely experienced the stick. Or maybe you’re experiencing it now in your new relationship but still not quite sure. Because let’s face it, when you’re in something that feels so good, you can’t see the bad. The control. Jealous behavior. Losing oneself. Dependency. High drama. Lack of communication. Poor boundaries. Difficulty making decisions and identifying feelings. Daily eggshells. Valuing the approval of the other more than oneself. Low emotional expressivity. Always feeling compelled to take care of the other. Your logic gets hijacked by your emotions. Lenses get foggy due to the feel goods.

NOTE: The reason why sticky relationships feel amazing is because a sticky relationship means an intense relationship. And we mistake intensity for love. This intensity may feel familiar from the lack of boundaries in your family while growing up. And you mistake this feeling for love. Without it, love can feel boring. Flat. Strange. Unfamiliar. The absence of the sticky which made us feel desired and valued, can create an eerie silence and not feeling loved or worthy.
So we grow up and don’t know what it feels like to be held (a healthy relationship with boundaries). We only know grabbed (without boundaries). And we’re like, What is this? Are we just friends? Because the intensity is not there so it doesn’t feel like love. Well, it’s there. It’s just a different intensity so you don’t recognize it. It’s a healthy intensity, non stick. Not an unhealthy one. So you peace out. Stamp the relationship as “not the one” or something is missing without realizing that true intensity, like trust, is built and earned over time. This means you have swim pass the discomfort and what may feel “boring”. Healthy doesn’t come in a bottle. It is built.

Once you realize this, the road forks. And where ever there is a fork in your path, there is an opportunity for growth.

As long as you see it.

Path one.

You can get out of this relationship quick and find something with more stick. This will give you the feeling you’re used to, again. And you will fall right back into a Korean drama, jealousy, control, possession, and everything being life or death. What you’re used to will kick right back in. The fights will start. The tears will come. And you will question your self worth and wonder if you will ever find “true” love. And by “true” you mean healthy but you don’t know it because you always choose this path.

Choose this path and nothing changes save faces.

Path two. — the new.

You make the brave decision to go down a new road. Sit with the discomfort and unfamiliar. Look inward when you feel resistance. Because it will come and you will feel it. But this time, you decide not to react — push away, leave, sabotage. Instead, explore. This means you start asking yourself different questions like, Why do I feel this way? Where is it coming from? Is it truth or just new because it’s something I’m not used to? Do I not like this because for the first time in my life I don’t have to take care of someone else and that makes me feel unworthy? Have I been mistaking possession for love? Do I feel unloved because he has his own life and isn’t dependent on me? Am I putting expectations on this and comparing it with other relationships instead of taking it in as a brand new experience that will open me up and redefine what love can look like?

Let’s be real. The second path is the harder one to take. It’s much more difficult to create new tracks instead of following ones that have been already laid. What we’re used to requires a lot less effort than riding waves of something new. But the only way to grow, learn, and evolve is to take the road less traveled. Always. This is a general life rule. Because the road less traveled takes courage and leads to an inner journey. And this is also true for love but with love it’s so much harder. Because with love comes intense feelings and feelings are always more powerful than logic. That’s why giving yourself a new experience is so important. You have to feel healthy in your bones. Not just read about it or see it. You have to actually experience it. But the experience lives pass the shore break like I mentioned above. You have to swim there by pushing pass the familiar, what may feel good, and stay in the uneasiness of non-stick. Because shit’s going to come up. Your discomfort will make you want to run or hide.

Fighting this is what healthy looks like. By fighting, I mean not fighting it. I mean processing what continuously comes up for you as you start to build healthy. Knowing that what comes up, the internal stirring is growth soil. It’s the building blocks of healthy, but only if you really look at it. Sit with it. Breathe through it. Process it. Look inward and explore where it’s coming from and why. It’s the only way your relationship will be non-stick. But more importantly, actually have a chance.

  • Angry

This post was originally published here and is republished with permission from the author.

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