Chris’ new book, awesome!!
Escape with me to the wonderful land of Italia, and rediscover the “Art of Vacation” for yourself! Visit the website here, and if you buy the book, I truly hope you enjoy it! Please leave a comment and tell me what you liked (or hated, I guess, but, well, never mind).
Here is a great blog from a business associate that I believe gets to the heart of what we have going on in today’s culture. This is a re-post from his 2007 Type Pad blog of the same name. Bravo Chris!! God Bless, Nate
People will often say that they are in search of an opportunity, assuming that they have the correct thinking to carry an opportunity through to success. What is most surprising, however, is that the challenge is usually just the opposite.
I know in my own case, I was convinced I knew how to think systematically. I was confident I could perform. I thought I had a good attitude. I had a great formal education, and it seemed all I needed was an opportunity.
Reality, however, was just the opposite. I didn’t so much need an opportunity as I did correct thinking. As it turns out, I had a lot to learn (and still do). I needed to develop emotional maturity, long term vision, attitude control, proper perspective, perseverence, and a long list of other things with which I wasn’t equipped. I was correct in my confidence that I could succeed, but not without a lot of personal change.
People who are unwilling to confront this brutal reality are the ones that go from “opportunity to opportunity” and never quite seem to make it. They are always on the brink of something big, but just never seem to get there. The reason is that they take the root of their problem with them into each new endeavor. That root, of course, is themselves! Without learning the thinking that leads to success, by studying the great achievers, finding a mentor, and making learning and personal change a constant in their life, they basically just experience the same failure over and over. Such a person that claims ten years experience actually just has the same experience over and over again for ten years because they haven’t grown personally.
If you are reading this blog, however, I think it very unlikely that you are in this category of people. You, instead, are reading and seeking information to help you develop your own thinking. If you place yourself on a program of personal growth, learning hungrily everything you can to improve, and if you strive to learn systematic thinking and grow in your leadership ability, you will suddenly begin seeing opportunity everywhere! The truth of the matter is, opportunity abounds, it’s people qualified to take advantage of it that is in short supply!
I sincerely wish you enjoyment, success, and significance as you take the self-discipline road of personal growth. You probably have no idea how big the opportunities are out there that await you! God Bless!
Here is a great post by Orrin Woodward that is probably the best explanation of what is going on in our economy. I think the first thing we need to do is have accountability, then we can move forward to fix things.
This is as posted by Orrin:
Ludwig Von Mises Predicts Credit Crisis
Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 18, 2012
The year 2007 humbled many Keynesian economist because they realized that the alleged answers to economic woes were actually part of the problem, not the solution. Only a few voices, mainly Ludwig Von Mises with a nod to Friedrich Von Hayek, predicted the cycle of inflationary spending as early as the 1920′s! Truth, in other words, was right under the global powers noses nearly 100 years ago, but it went against their desire for FREE money and increased Statist powers. I wrote about this in my book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, because the whole credit-crisis is symptomatic of a bigger issue: the character-crisis.
Remember, when the Big Banks and Big Government first proposed taking over our nations money system, it was to eliminate the credit cycles; however, in fact, it didn’t eliminate the cycle, but only delayed the cycles, making the waves bigger and the destruction greater when it hits the economy. Thankfully for the modern power-pundits, the masses do not read enough history to be aware of this truth and awaken themselves to the money scam perpetrated against them.
Indeed, why doesn’t anyone stand for truth in today’s modern age? I believe a huge part of it is that few people believe in truth anymore, and of the few who do, few are willing to do the heavy mental work involved to learn it. The goal of the Mental Fitness Challenge is to awaken people to the need for personal development and developing a foundation in which to learn, apply, and change oneself. Here is a fantastic article on Mises by Mark Spitznagel.
By MARK SPITZNAGEL
Ludwig von Mises was snubbed by economists world-wide as he warned of a credit crisis in the 1920s. We ignore the great Austrian at our peril today.
Mises’s ideas on business cycles were spelled out in his 1912 tome “Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel” (“The Theory of Money and Credit”). Not surprisingly few people noticed, as it was published only in German and wasn’t exactly a beach read at that.
Taking his cue from David Hume and David Ricardo, Mises explained how the banking system was endowed with the singular ability to expand credit and with it the money supply, and how this was magnified by government intervention. Left alone, interest rates would adjust such that only the amount of credit would be used as is voluntarily supplied and demanded. But when credit is force-fed beyond that (call it a credit gavage), grotesque things start to happen.
Government-imposed expansion of bank credit distorts our “time preferences,” or our desire for saving versus consumption. Government-imposed interest rates artificially below rates demanded by savers leads to increased borrowing and capital investment beyond what savers will provide. This causes temporarily higher employment, wages and consumption.
Ordinarily, any random spikes in credit would be quickly absorbed by the system—the pricing errors corrected, the half-baked investments liquidated, like a supple tree yielding to the wind and then returning. But when the government holds rates artificially low in order to feed ever higher capital investment in otherwise unsound, unsustainable businesses, it creates the conditions for a crash. Everyone looks smart for a while, but eventually the whole monstrosity collapses under its own weight through a credit contraction or, worse, a banking collapse.
The system is dramatically susceptible to errors, both on the policy side and on the entrepreneurial side. Government expansion of credit takes a system otherwise capable of adjustment and resilience and transforms it into one with tremendous cyclical volatility.
“Theorie des Geldes” did not become the playbook for policy makers. The 1920s were marked by the brave new era of the Federal Reserve system promoting inflationary credit expansion and with it permanent prosperity. The nerve of this Doubting-Thomas, perma-bear, crazy Kraut! Sadly, poor Ludwig was very nearly alone in warning of the collapse to come from this credit expansion. In mid-1929, he stubbornly turned down a lucrative job offer from the Viennese bank Kreditanstalt, much to the annoyance of his fiancée, proclaiming “A great crash is coming, and I don’t want my name in any way connected with it.”
We all know what happened next. Pretty much right out of Mises’s script, overleveraged banks (including Kreditanstalt) collapsed, businesses collapsed, employment collapsed. The brittle tree snapped. Following Mises’s logic, was this a failure of capitalism, or a failure of hubris?
Mises’s solution follows logically from his warnings. You can’t fix what’s broken by breaking it yet again. Stop the credit gavage. Stop inflating. Don’t encourage consumption, but rather encourage saving and the repayment of debt. Let all the lame businesses fail—no bailouts. (You see where I’m going with this.) The distortions must be removed or else the precipice from which the system will inevitably fall will simply grow higher and higher.
Mises started getting some much-deserved respect once “Theorie des Geldes” was finally published in English in 1934. It is unfortunate that it required such a disaster for people to take heed of what was the one predictive, scholarly explanation of what was happening.
But then, just Mises’s bad luck, along came John Maynard Keynes’s tome “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” in 1936. Keynes was dapper, fresh and sophisticated. He even wrote in English! And the guy had chutzpah, fearlessly fighting the battle against unemployment by running the currency printing press and draining the government’s coffers.
He was the anti-Mises. So what if Keynes had lost his shirt in the stock-market crash. His book was peppered with fancy math (even Greek letters) and that meant rigor, modernity. To add insult to injury, Mises wasn’t even refuted by Keynes and his ilk. He was ignored.
Fast forward 70-some years, during which we saw Keynesianism’s repeated disappointments, the end of the gold standard, persistent inflation with intermittent inflationary recessions and banking crises, culminating in Alan Greenspan’s “Great Moderation” and a subsequent catastrophic collapse in housing and banking. Where do we find ourselves? At a point of profound insight gained through economic logic, trial and error, and objective empiricism? Or right back where we started?
With interest rates at zero, monetary engines humming as never before, and a self-proclaimed Keynesian government, we are back again embracing the brave new era of government-sponsored prosperity and debt. And, more than ever, the system is piling uncertainties on top of uncertainties, turning an otherwise resilient economy into a brittle one.
How curious it is that the guy who wrote the script depicting our never ending story of government-induced credit expansion, inflation and collapse has remained so persistently forgotten. Must we sit through yet another performance of this tragic tale?
Mr. Spitznagel is the founder and chief investment officer of the hedge fund Universa Investments LP, based in Santa Monica, Calif.
An awesome blog and poem from a friend, an inspiring young lady, Catherine warms my heart that there is a generation coming up that is worthy of leading. Lead on Catherine!!
Years ago, I bought a book on how to be more proactive and stop putting tasks off for later. Staring at the book on my desk now, I hope the universe likes irony, because I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. Sometimes, it makes me laugh. Other times, when I really let myself think about it, it merely solidifies in my head the fact that I have fallen victim to the epidemic that has swept this nation: procrastination.
It’s no secret that it’s much easier to work really hard when there’s a deadline. I just happen to be the type of person who feels naturally inclined to wait until the day before the deadline to jump on a project. My justification? I have more important things to do right now. It worked really well (albeit stressfully) for me in school, and I’ve definitely pulled a number of all-nighters with…
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In economic times when most people are just struggling to keep their house and put food on the table, it looks like a group of leaders have figured out a solution. I’ve heard the analogy that if your row boat is sinking because of a hole in the bottom, you can bail all the water you want, It’s still sinking! You have to patch the hole!
Here is a group of men and women that have figured out how to patch the hole while bailing the water. Fix the wisdom issues while making money.
I personally feel we aren’t in an economic crisis, we are in a paradigm shift and getting the right information (wisdom) about that shift seams to be getting a lot of boats floating again.
All too often I hear people bleat “That sounds like a scam!” in reference to an idea which they have not adequately investigated. It seems that people are all too eager to follow the sheep-like masses. After all it relieves them of the burden of thought and the effort of investigating an idea. I have heard people bleat this response at the mention of Orrin Woodward and LIFE. A few direct questions reveal that the proclamation has no basis in an analysis of the LIFE Business Compensation Plan which the founders of LIFE carefully constructed to pay for individual performance (read “performance;” think “work”).
The basic business model of developing compensated communities, exclusive of the generosity of the LIFE Business Compensation Plan, provides a rational business proposition. For those willing to consistently engage in their LIFE business, the model opens an opportunity for a considerably higher rate of success and…
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Wow, what a great blog
What is the Mental Fitness Challenge?
I was in the middle of my run yesterday and fighting to stay at it. If you’ve worked out much at all, you know what I’m talking about. You hit that point where your heart is beating, your sweat is flowing, your lungs are working, your legs are throbbing, and you just want to quit. It’s as if a little voice in your head says, “Go ahead, wimp out, slow down, stop, no one will know. What difference does it make, anyway? Just a few less steps here or there aren’t going to make THAT big of a difference in your health!” And on it goes.
To me, physical exercise is one of the best analogies for living life well. To be fit physically requires discipline, mental toughness, commitment, and persistence – in short, all the things that are required for living an…
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A few years back, I was sitting with my wife Mary and my daughter Sammi. I announced I was going to run the Akron marathon, which was 5 months from that date. To a polished marathoner’s family that wouldn’t be a big deal, to my family, different story, with good reason. I was about 40 lbs. overweight, with bad eating habits and hadn’t worked out in a long time, let alone the fact that I never ran farther than 3 miles before in my life. Let’s just say that was the last thing anyone thought they would hear come out of my mouth.
You might be wondering what this has to do with the mental fitness challenge, (hang in there I’m getting to the point.) I got up the day after I told my family my intentions and went out to start my journey as a runner. (It was ugly!!) I couldn’t run a half mile, I had no idea how far 26.2 miles was and I had no idea how to train for it.
Along comes Buck, a friend from the gym who is an accomplished runner,( Buck is the kind of guy that if he had a couple extra hours before lunch, he will go run 20 miles.) Buck gave me training advice, a program and encouragement about my journey. He ran with me and kept my thinking right. Those first 3 weeks of training were really just figuring myself out. Look at it like getting out the cob webs, clearing the garbage out of my brain, making sure all my limbs still functioned properly. Starting week 4 was when I really started to see the big picture, much like I’m doing right now with the Mental Fitness Challenge.
These first 21 days of the Challenge have been all about creating the habits needed to make a positive change. I’m building the confidence needed and putting the habits in place for the journey I’m embarking on. We met at our Challenge group meeting on Tuesday, I got advice and support on the real life application of what this Fitness Challenge could do for me and my future. I felt like I did when Buck started helping me with my marathon training. Building habits and confidence, clearing the weeds out of my brain, (making sure everything is still wired right in there.)
Now that I have the starting point and a clean slate to work with I am even more excited about continuing my Mental Fitness Challenge, and developing more of the tools to live the life I’ve always wanted.
In case you are wondering, yes I ran the Akron marathon, my family and friends were waiting for me at the finish, I didn’t set any records, but I can say for the rest of my life that I did it.