New Internet Marketers - How To Handle The Credit Crunch/Recession In The Coming Months http://ping.fm/SOdK3

That Which We Are, We Are

"Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
— Alfred Lord Tennyson

Our Deepest Fear

"...Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-- Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love

Remember The Titans

This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin' with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men.

I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don't care if you like each other or not, but you will respect each other. And maybe... I don't know, just maybe we'll learn to play this game like men

-- Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), Remember The Titans (film)

Twitter helpful and useless in midst of crisis

Twitter helpful and useless in midst of crisis http://budurl.com/zbyv

Atmospheric Optics

“Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Some can be seen almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime sights. Find out where to see them and how they form. Then seek and enjoy...” http://ping.fm/dvO74
Alltop is an Internet magazine rack, fed by blogs. It is a site that aggregates summary content from multiple blogs into categories of interest. The source blogs feed information into Alltop by way of their RSS feed, but all of this plumbing is hidden away under the covers so that Alltop users don’t have to think about it http://budurl.com/ch8a

Twitter App: "Spy"

Spy is an app spawned by Twitter that makes it possible in crises to monitor the social media for news on the ground http://budurl.com/396u

BBB warns consumers of 'Cyber Monday' deals

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota is asking consumers to be cautious when it comes to finding shopping bargains online this holiday season. http://budurl.com/hx3f
Follow these tips for a safer shopping experience during the festive seasons http://budurl.com/hyny
In a scene from the movie “Batman Begins”, the Dark Knight said to Rachel (the DPP) “It is not what I am inside but what I do that defines me”.

Is that true?

If so, does that negate all those “It’s what’s you are inside that counts” philosophies?

I find myself haunted by that phrase. Because if I substitute the words “who I am” with any of the following, I find myself being confronted by my responsibility for my actions and consequences.

The substitute words:

- what I feel
- what I think
- what I intent
- how angry I get
- how “motivated” I am
- how much (or lack of) money I have
- what IM ebooks/memberships/courses/etc I’ve bought
- insert any other reason or excuse you can think of

“It’s not (insert the substitutes here) but what I do that defines me (or my character/life/success/destiny/results/etc)”

“It’s not who I am but what I do that defines me”

“It’s not who I am but what I do that defines me“

That is a scary proposition. That sets up a standard that brooks no excuse for not doing what needs to be done...and for stopping what shouldn’t be done. Much harder than staying comfy in my own little zone, choosing to believe what I believe, and using those “beliefs” to justify that “who I am” precludes my doing/not doing something, thereby excusing the results (or lack thereof) that I’m experiencing right now in my life.

I find myself thinking of certain things that I should be doing but aren’t and my thoughts going “but that’s just because...”. Then along comes this excuse-killer and stops me cold in my tracks. “It’s not ‘who I am’ but what I do that defines me” and I have to literally sit down and confront the reality that I had been evading and avoiding. And do something about it.

That little ditty has been pursuing me ever since. Somebody get it back to its owner and get a refund please! Then again, we, each of us, are its owner, and it can never be given away. And there are no refunds.

You can shut it up, paint over it, keep it out of sight, whatever. But in the end… there it is. Like the Joker, it smiles and smirks and laughs at your pitiful attempts to dislodge it. And if you still do nothing about it, then, like the Joker, it asks you a more sinister question, because the the consequences of your failure to confront it are similar to the metaphorical consequences of doing exactly what the question asks:

“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

Propaganda Is Making The Truth Movement Totally Irrelevant

Propaganda is making the Truth Movement Totally Irrelevant http://budurl.com/sk8d

How To Manage Competitive Intelligence

How to manage competitive intelligence: Lack of attention to industrial espionage can have repercussions for the entire ethical culture of an organization
http://budurl.com/tekk
This 23-year veteran fire-fighter is single-handedly hauling the city's fire department into the Web 2.0 era. He has about 80 projects in the works--involving everything from Twitter to BlogTalkRadio--that will not only help broadcast urgent information to the public but also gather crucial intel to assist first responders on the ground.

"Great use of existing technology and current social/market inclinations to serve a great cause"

http://budurl.com/pnf8
Heh...Twitter IS a bit like IRC. Nice. Can be addictive too, I think. Better be careful :)
Have mercy, stay your hand. I'm new to this and am testing :)

First Steps Down New Roads

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision” - Ayn Rand

Books by Ayn Rand

Finding Stability -- Within

In his introduction to his 1994 book, "The Six Pillars Of Self Esteem", author Nathaniel Branden wrote:

"The turbulence of our times demands strong selves with a clear sense of identity, competence, and worth. With a breakdown of cultural consensus, an absence of worthy role models, little in the public arena to inspire our allegiance, and disorientingly rapid change a permanent feature of our lives, it is a dangerous moment in history not to know who we are or not to trust ourselves. The stability we cannot find in the world we must create within our own persons"

This is as true as ever in today's turbulent world of change, uncertainty and doubt. It had always been true; the only difference were the labels used to describe it. We must all create within our own persons the stability we seek.


Haiku - Amid Willowy Mists

Amid willowy mists I stand
Waters beckon to fallen leaves
Shadows dance on the lake


Great Writing

Here is one of the greatest of all speeches ever made. Millions of Americans have probably heard it, heard of it or read of it in some way. But we can use it in another way: as an exercise in great writing.

If you' would improve your writing style, if you would enhance the impact of your writing, read the words of this speech in your own words, your own (quiet) and unique style. Feel the speech in your gut.

Feel the language pattern. Feel the flow of the words. Pretend YOU are the one speaking or writing it or as if you're in a play, dramatizing it. By this means alone, you can improve not only your writing, but also your command of the English language.

I'd suggest that you read the text first in the way prescribed above, and then listen to the speech. See if the actual speech then makes a more memorable impact on you.

Here it is: Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream"

"O Me, O Life"

In the movie “Dead Poets Society”, the inspirational teacher, John Keating (played brilliantly by Robin Williams) said:

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.

And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman, 'O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?' Answer. That you are here--that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"

The powerful play of of the human drama goes on; it has been going on for millennia, and will continue to go on for as long humans walk the earth. It goes on because life exists, and identity. Tap the archetypes of identity and the verse you contribute will be nothing short of magnificent.








Return To Roots

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" - Santayana

Lately, having reached a certain age (And what age would that be? Ahhh, you'd like to know, wouldn't you?), it seems expedient to me to entertain the notion that history has something to teach us...especially the history that comes from our own ethnic and/or cultural roots.

On an off-the-cuff suggestion of my old-time online friend, Paul Myers (Rascal! He has a habit of making you think), I've begun to deepen my already existing examination into the roots of my own culture. We were having a short private message "discussion" and somehow I said to Paul, "I'm too "Westernized" to be a card-carrying traditionalist and too traditional to be a card-carrying 'Westerner'"

And Paul replied to the effect "Lots of people find themselves in this situation. Maybe there's a book in there somewhere".

While the idea of a book sounds intriguing, the main reason is to go back and take a long, deep look at my roots, which is Chinese. I was educated in an education system that was English-medium-based, and had never learned to read and write Chinese. At that time, there wasn't much need for a Chinese education in my country. While I can communicate in Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien, I had never learned to read and write. These days, I can do a little of both but I'm a long way off from average proficiency. In all other respects, however, you'd find me a "typical" Chinese, whatever that may be.

In her book "Watching The Tree", Adeline Yen quotes an old Chinese proverb that goes "Even if the tree grows to the height of 10,000 feet, falling leaves return to their roots" (Su gao qian zhang, luo ye gui ken). A reading of Lin Yutang's "My Country And My People" seem to corroborate that sentiment.

And so, I' embark on a quest to understand my Chinese roots and how 5,000 years of history has influenced the way I, a Chinese, live in the present day. I'm brushing up on written Chinese and on the history of China and the Chinese people through all its history, successes, and turmoil. And I'm also taking a prolonged look at the development and transformation of China as a modern-day superpower and how this would impact (and IS impacting) our world as a whole.

Whether you're Chinese or not, I believe you'd agree that China the New is already having a tremendous impact on the world on all fronts and that this impact will only increase in the times ahead.

In your own way, perhaps you can join me in this fascinating journey and, together, we may play a small part in shaping our world.

Witnessing To Our Own Lives

We write because we must, we write because we are members of the human race. From the beginning of humankind to the present, we as a race have always been attempting to communicate in one way or another.

Writing is one of those ways.

We write because we're human. And we have stories to tell. Stories of love, of romance, of heroic struggles. We write because deep within us we must tell our stories, lest they (and the memory of "us") be lost to the winds of time. We write because we want to leave a legacy, a memory, in order that others may know that we had passed this way, and that we had lived.

Thus we write as a witness to our lives -- for ourselves and for posterity.

I'm not a professional author. I have no bestsellers on the market. Neither am I a professor of languages, nor a teacher of writing. I write only for my own pleasure. I write because I must. I write as a witness to my own life.

Writing, then, is all about LIFE...about OUR lives, and writing thus becomes the instrument we use to explore it.

Leaves Fall

Leaves fall.

That is the "secret" of life. It speaks more profoundly of the truth of life than all the voluminous tomes ever written on the subject throughout the ages.

Leaves fall, dying.

But in dying, they nurture the next generation of trees, bushes, flora, etc. In dying, they continue to "live" in the next generation of life. They never really "die". They live on. And so it is with us. We "die" but we do not die. We live on...in some way.

Whatever that way may be, however you believe it to be, if you remember that we live on, then life and death become simply the natural "turning of the wheel". There is nothing to be scared of, nothing to fear.

There is only LIFE...

Leaves fall, but they live on. We, too, fall. But we, too, live on. So, live well, live free, and bring light to the next generation...