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June 2006

The Secret of Contentment

The Secret of Contentment by Terry Austin

Buddy Post is living proof that money cannot buy happiness.  He is a 58-year-old former carnival worker and cook.  In 1988, he won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania Lottery.  Since his “lucky day,” Buddy has been convicted of assault, his sixth wife left him, his brother in law is in jail for trying to kill him, and his landlady successfully sued him for one-third of the jackpot.

“Money didn’t change me,” said Post, “it changed people around me that I knew, that I thought cared a little bit about me.  But they only cared about the money.” 

Buddy is trying to auction off the future payments, valued at nearly $5 million, in order to pay off taxes, legal fees, and a number of failed business ventures.  He plans to spend his life pursuing lawsuits that he has filed against police, judges, and lawyers who he says conspired to take his money.  “I’m just going to stay at home and mind my p’s and q’s,” he said.  “Money draws flies.”

Although Buddy Post may not be a philosopher or a theologian, he made a very profound observation.  Money not only draws flies, it also has an enormous attraction for people. 

State-run lotteries have become billion dollar bonanzas.  The vast majority of people in this country have purchased lotto tickets, or at least dreamed of what it would be like to win the big jackpot.  Perhaps you are waiting for Ed McMahon to knock on your door with a $10 million check.  Casinos are packed with people 24 hours a day, all of them hoping to win big so they can fulfill all their dreams. 

Attention to the stock market is at an unprecedented peak.  There are men and women who spend more time with Wall Street numbers than they do with their children.  There is even a cable television channel devoted to helping us track our earnings. 

A recent poll revealed that 75% of Americans believe the American Dream is “harder to attain” than a generation ago.  Sixty percent say achieving the dream requires more financial risk than it did for their parents.  Americans with household incomes under $25,000 believe it would take $54,000 a year to fulfill the American dream.  Those who make $100,000 crave to have an average of $192,000.  In other words, the American Dream usually requires twice as much as we have. 

Money is certainly a major player in our lives.  One of the reasons we have such a difficult time with money is that have never answered the question – “How much is enough?”  Have you determined what that number is for you?

The Buzzard, the Bat and the Bumblebee

I came across this the other day.  Although the author is unknown, it’s still something to think about.   As you read this does it resonate with you?  Are you flapping your wings so hard, hitting your head against the wall and going nowhere?  Read on.  Your answer. your resolution, your breakthrough is sooooo simple!

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In many ways, there are lots of people like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. They are struggling about with all their problems and frustrations, not ever realizing that all they have to do is look up.

Wow!  Do you remember the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!  Look around, look up … get outside your box. Get outside your comfort zone. Only YOU are blocking your success.  You won’t find your solution staying right where you are.  You have to move.  What does it take to move?  Change.  Change your point of view.  Change what you are doing.  Change how you are thinking.  Your breakthrough is yours for the taking!    So take it!

The Fat Man Walking Across America

Fatmanwalking The Fat Man Walking Across America

Steve Vaught started walking across America one year, 2465 miles and 130 pounds ago.  His original motivation was to lose weight and regain his life.  “I am not happy because I am fat and being fat makes every day unhappy,” Steve said when starting on his journey.  With his goals in sight and less than 400 miles to go, Steve gives us all cause to stop and celebrate a goal achiever extraordinaire.  Spend a moment getting inspired and read the rest of his story...