Heaven awaits, but one must die first.
There are many fates worse than death, but we view death as the ultimate bad fate.
We all want to live the best life we can, for as long as we can.
But reports of people who have seen death for a few seconds have talked about how beautiful it was.
We never know when death will come, but when it approaches, we must manage it.
When we are very much alive and competent, we must ask ourselves at what point have we lived enough? What diseases, injuries or prognoses are worth fighting? What potential outcomes may be worse for us than death?
Those with certain religious beliefs say we have no business managing our deaths.
Many of us believe in miracles, but we cannot plan on them. We have to take the best information we have and make decisions.
We can pray for miracles, but at some point we have to determine that the miracle we want is not coming, and decide accordingly.
Remember that there is no right or wrong decision. But there are consequences with each decision. We have to make these decisions with family and friends, but our loved ones have their own interests. We must do what’s best for us.
If we are not in a position to make that decision, make sure the person we designate to make that decision is clearly aware of what WE want. That’s why talking about this with loved ones while we are very much healthy and competent is crucial.
We are never ready to die, just like we are never ready for any other fate. But it’s not what one is ready for, but what one MUST deal with.
In the case of illness or injury, it’s wise to consult medical practitioners. But remember that some practitioners may not have the patient’s interest completely at heart. A surgeon, for example, doesn’t get paid as much for electing not to do a surgery. But the patient, or the patient’s designated decision-maker, must make that surgeon thoroughly explain the consequences of any decision.
When a problem arises, it’s crucial to get as much good information as possible to make the appropriate decision.
When life throws us curves, we find ways to straighten them out.
We learn to play the hand we are dealt. We learn not to give up.
We learn to live to the fullest. If you are looking for something to help you live to the fullest, visit You may find the one thing that will help make your time on earth as fulfilling as you can make it.
Don’t fear the reaper. He may not always be grim. Sometimes, it’s appropriate to fight the reaper. Other times, fighting the reaper may bring you something that would be worse than facing him.
Only you can decide which is best for you. Make those decisions when you are healthy and competent, so the person making those decisions when you can’t, knows what YOU want.
Sometimes, our best life is one lived to the fullest, until death quickly comes.



“Better not start spending that big raise you might be expecting this year,” says Doug Carroll, a reporter for USA Today.
For the last few years, a raise has been hard to come by. In fact, a job was not easy to come by, so one may not have expected a raise. A steady paycheck was good enough.
But Carroll, whose article was published April 27, 2014, in the Tennessean newspaper of Nashville, says eight of 10 businesses say they expect subdued wage growth in the next three years. By subdued, they mean 0 to 3 percent, adjusted for inflation, Carroll quotes a survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).
We can probably hear each other thinking the same thing: our cost of living goes up, but our paychecks don’t. And, if they do, they don’t go up enough to cover those extra costs.
Let’s put this in perspective. A salary was never designed to cover OUR costs. A salary is something an employer gave a person for work he does. What’s done with the money is the worker’s decision. In decades past, a worker figured out how to make a life with his given salary, and regular, if not annual, increases helped him better his life as time passed.
Combine the extra salary with the worker’s life efficiencies, such as paying off a mortgage, having children grow and leave the house etc. Now, examine today’s world. Raises are smaller. Those life efficiencies are getting fewer. Mortgages are more difficult to pay off because houses likely have dropped in value. In fact, foreclosures have skyrocketed in the last few years.
Children that grow into adults are leaving home later, if at all. Those adult children may be finding it difficult to support themselves, perhaps because they have lost a job and are having trouble finding another. If they do find another job, it is often for less money than they were making, compounding the difficulty of independence.
Financial upward mobility is more difficult to achieve because employment that may have been secure decades ago is far from secure now. We have to find multiple sources of income so that we are not so dependent on one job, or one employer.
The good news is there are many such income sources out there. For one of the best, visit You’ll find financial assistance in two ways: spending less and earning more.
It’s logical that high unemployment keeps wages down. It’s also logical that as employers’ non-wage costs rise – 31% of those surveyed by NABE reported rising material costs, Carroll reports – employees will pay for it with flat wages.
We can curse out our employers for not paying us enough. One might argue that we almost never get paid enough working for someone else. But cursing or blaming your employer wastes energy.
We have to manage our own financial situations ourselves. We have to continually look for jobs or other income that will better our lives. We also have to spend what we have wisely.
In fact, living BELOW one’s means may be the first step toward financial independence. If one lives below one’s means long enough, and invests wisely what he is not spending, eventually he can live better, if not the way he wants, regardless of his employment situation.
So, to paraphrase Chik-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, earn your money, however much or little, honestly. Spend it wisely. And, if you are fortunate enough, give the rest away to worthy causes.



We have to start life somewhere.
When we do, our relationship with the future is, well, complicated.
Kate O’Neill, founder and principal of KO Insights, discussed this idea in a May 11, 2014, column in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
O’Neill discussed a project she had worked on for a large firm. One of the executives asked her how long a particular feature would take. She told him eight months. He asked how sure she was in that projection. She answered, “70 percent.” He told her that the longer it takes to get something done, the more risk there is and the less certain we can be about it.
The lesson: “Every day could be your last,” O’Neill writes. “Whether it is or not, you can take intentional, meaningful risks today to build the future you might get to enjoy.”
We hear a lot of talk today about uncertainty, as if forgetting the old adage that the only things certain are death and taxes. Part of the uncertainty talk is about taxes, and the fear of rising taxes is keeping some potential employers from expanding, so they say.
No one can know what will come next, but it should never stop us from acting. If you know you have something good, go for it. If you are unsure that what you have is good, then it may be best to stop, think and evaluate. How can I make this idea that I THINK might be good a little clearer to me?
Fear, sometimes irrational fear, can sometimes prevent us from doing something that would be good for us. Don’t let fear, particularly irrational fear, stop you.
Don’t blow something off because you THINK you know it may hurt you, before determining for certain that it will. In other words, standing in front of a moving train certainly could hurt you, so don’t do it. But examining a new business venture, or interviewing for a job that you may have never done before may benefit you. The worst that can happen is failure that you are certain to learn from. The best that could happen is a very positive life-changing experience.
You feel great when you’re “in the zone.” But if that zone is a comfort zone, be wary. The comfort could disappear, then what?
O’Neill writes that our complicated relationship with the future can make us live our days in a balance of hope and impatience. Have you ever told your (pick one: parents, spouse, teachers) that you are onto something big, and they ask you when you expect to achieve success? Though you would like it to be tomorrow, success often doesn’t come quickly. You may have an idea of a perfect time, but that perfect time may come and go. If you know what you have, and what you are doing, are good, don’t give up because your predicted timing has come and gone. As O’Neill says: “try, fail, learn adjust. Try, succeed, learn, adjust. Then, try, fail, learn, adjust” etc.
If you are open to looking for something that could give you the future you want, visit You will see how others are living their dreams, and how you could, too.
If you fear uncertainty, learn that uncertainty is a way of life. But don’t avoid positive action because you fear the uncertainty. Take, as O’Neill calls them, meaningful risks. Step outside the comfort zone if the comfort has disappeared. You will survive. You could thrive, if you maintain the drive. Forget the fret. It wastes energy.
You may not know the perfect time, but it is out there if you keep looking for it.


Most of us just want to fit in.
We value community, rules, an education, a good job, a life box.
But what if we think outside the life box?
John J. Murphy did just that. The author of “Half Full: Your Perception Becomes Your Reality,” was born on Friday the 13th. His last name is synonymous with the law of things going wrong. He’s had many life-threatening mishaps, gave up a good job and got divorced. Yet, all of these things have made him look at life as “the only time that matters is right now.”
We were all taught to plan for the future. Make sacrifices now and reap the rewards later. That is great advice that has helped many people. But Murphy teaches us that life is filled with unexpected turns and unplanned moments. As he says, we must learn to let go, and let flow.
Murphy doesn’t advocate doing nothing and letting life happen. One cannot go through life with no purpose, no action and no ambition. But he recommends not getting attached to your situation to the point of being miserable, or unable to respond to an excellent opportunity that you may not have expected.
Murphy had a great job that he hated. He was willing to give up that job, take another that paid less, but that he enjoyed more. Today, he’s a well-regarded teacher, consultant and author. His divorce hit him like a ton of bricks at first. But as soon as he gained perspective, he and his ex-wife became, and are still today, great friends.
His message may boil down to being open for the unexpected. Your parents, teachers, bosses and preachers may have given you solid grounding throughout your life. But only you can know what’s right for you. Sometimes, you may not know what’s right, but you definitely know what’s wrong.
Are you not where you want to be financially? Do you have a job that pays you well, yet is killing you? Are you ready to find your way, but may not know in which direction your way is?
If you are open and ambitious, visit It could not only give you potential financial security, it may take the work stress away and could show you the direction of your way.
So don’t give in to life. Give yourself life. If you view your glass as half-empty, as Murphy puts it, you have to wonder whether what’s in the glass is worth having anyway.
It’s easy to need something, and not know what that something is. To find it, you have to keep looking. You have to go through a lot of what you don’t want, to find what you do want. Sometimes, what your elders and mentors thought was good for you, may not be.
Author and speaker Andy Andrews also talks a lot about perspective. When he was homeless, living under a beach pier and eating sardines, his mentor, Jones, taught him that he was enjoying seafood with an ocean view.
We hear a lot about clouds and silver linings. When bad things happen, good people always, eventually, see the positive. If they don’t see the positive right away, they know it will make itself evident. God may close a door and leave a window cracked. We may not see the cracked window right away. But we have confidence to keep looking.


Golfer Jack Nicklaus beat polio as a boy to become a champion.
Today, though he holds the record for the number of major tournaments won, he remains humble.
Bob Greene, a commentator for CNN and author of the book “Late Edition: A Love Story,” discussed the Nicklaus way of golf – and life – in an April 4, 2014, column in The Wall Street Journal.
Greene says Nicklaus’ theory for golf and life is to do your best, and everything else will take care of itself. He points out that Nicklaus played in the era of Muhammed Ali and Joe Namath, two athletes known for declaring their own greatness and predicting unpredictable victories.
Nicklaus, though, preferred to let other people declare his greatness, Greene says.
Humility is a scarce character trait in people today. Many who rise to power often tell us of their greatness, even before it is achieved. We need more people who don’t just act before they speak, but prefer not to speak at all. Their actions say all that needs to be said.
They may, or may not, object to having others verbalize their greatness. But they see themselves as a person just doing what he loves, or doing what he believes he was created to do – quietly.
It’s been said that one should put his money where his mouth is. Or, one should walk the walk if he talks the talk. Namath and Ali did that, but Nicklaus did it as he remained quiet.
Humble people don’t talk the talk. They just walk the walk. They put their money where it belongs, not near their mouths.
They give and get, and never take. They do their thing without expectation, though they expect much from themselves quietly.
Have you ever had a bombastic boss? How did he treat you, his employee? Did he take a lot from you, while giving you little? Did he make you feel as if he were doing you a favor by employing you? Did you feel that he was more comfortable being served, than serving?
We all have the ability to gain wealth and/or power. How we get it says as much, or more, about a person as the achievement itself.
Humble people accomplish things quietly, yet openly. They accomplish things honestly and give generously. They favor the accomplishment itself, and what it can do for others, rather than what it can do for them. They don’t talk of greatness. They Just Do It, to quote the Nike slogan – and do for others.
Do you consider yourself humble? Do you have goals that you don’t talk about with others, but hold deep inside? Are you genuinely kind to others, and eager to do for others, even when no one is watching?
If so, and are looking for a way to put that genuine goodness to use, visit You may find the best thing you can do to help others, and perhaps achieve what you’d like for yourself.
Successful people do more and talk less. Like Nicklaus, they take life one shot at a time. Then, go to the next shot. They do their best each time, all the time. They always give credit to others. As Greene put it, Nicklaus believed his major tournament record would have been broken by now. But, at age 74, he still leads in the clubhouse.