Archive for November, 2008

Desire and need – $

George F. Will asked in the October 25th issue of Newsweek “Does anyone doubt that Americans consume too much and save too little? In the three decades prior to the 1990s, Americans saved nine cents of every after-tax dollar. Since then, they have saved 3.5 cents of each dollar; in each of the last three years they have saved less than a penny of each dollar. They kept their consumption rising not only by scanting saving but also by supplementing credit-card debt with home-equity loans.”

The USA Today headline of a couple months ago asked if the current economic crisis resulted from over-extended consumers who purchased too many disposable items, not enough capital goods, and saved too little.

The answer is, to a great degree, yes.

Our response must be to balance our desire for “stuff” with our need. Our job in the next few months will be to write our budget for the new year clarifying that difference and striking a good balance between desire and need.

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3 squared

In a previous post I discussed the Rule of Random Threes: whenever a new idea comes at me from 3 totally different sources, then that idea has secured its place in current thinking and therefore in mine. I’m as much a part of the common culture as most, even though I don’t want to think so.

In any event, use the 3 squared principle as follows:

3 years I want to be _______ (define it – simply);

3 months I must have done these things in order to get there (list the tactics);

3 weeks I must have completed these tasks to meet those objectives.

Every 3 months I review the list and write another 3 month objective which will take me where I want to be in 3 years.

Every week I review my 3 week goals, subtracting one or two and adding a couple more for the next 3 week’s climb.

Try it and tell me how you like it.

Thanksgiving redeux

Each year I give sincere thanks for the family and friends who sustain me, for good health, inspiring and provocative work, and as my much loved mother always says “to have been born in pleasant places.”

This year I add to that standard list: to live in the present. Our current and shared present provides more challenge to become who we want to be, to make of the future what we want to make of it and to influence those with whom we walk.

We make our lives the better by becoming who we most want to be.

As Nike says “Just do IT” – become today who you most want to be and through that small and mindful focus, change tomorrow.