Don Rickles

How did Don Rickles get away with insulting people often in a brutal way and yet his targets and audiences loved him?

Between politics and the false empowerment from social media the world is full of vicious insults but these insults are despised by everyone.

Maybe it’s because Rickles also made fun of himself (“Fat Jew”) and his wife (“Likes to lie in bed, signaling ships with her jewelry”). Even his own mother didn’t avoid Rickles’ vitriol (he called her “the Jewish Patton”).

That’s it.

Rickles also made fun of himself and his own family. Off the stage he was known by actors and entertainers as a nice guy.

Politics was also a contact sport, but during the last election cycle on both sides of the spectrum insults cut deep, honesty was at a premium and according to polls, both candidates running for president had the lowest favorability ratings of any two candidates ever.

Insults characterize the way we live now.

But malice toward others is not funny unless it is used in jest and with a heavy dose of self-deprecation.

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Jason Day Leaving Golf for Mom

The world’s second best golfer on the pro tour this year, Jason Day, walked off the golf course at a tournament in Austin, TX and conceded the match.

He said his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer at the beginning of this year and it’s terminal.

His father died of cancer when he was 12 and Day said he’s going to be with his mother for her surgery to hopefully extend her life.

Because his father died when he was young, it was Day’s mother who motivated his golf game.

Many people make sacrifices for their loved ones who are ill or dying but it is less common to see a public figure who has so much money on the line to put it all aside to do the right thing.

As often is the case, when a child makes a choice like this, they got good upbringing.

We will never miss one more golf tournament or a special occasion as much as we will miss a little more time with someone we love.

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The Path to Happiness

It boils down to whether we want to be happy or not.

A choice.

And we rarely see it as a choice because, face it, we don’t think our happiness is totally under our control.

But it is.

As I told my college students in LA, this town is filled with successful people who are keeping psychologists and psychiatrists in business.

We lose our job or our partner or our health so we can’t be happy, right?

But if you can still choose “I want to be happy” you may find that out of bad comes good.

This is not Pollyanna.  Some people have serious psychological problems that are beyond what I am saying here and no offense is meant.

But, for many of us – happiness is a choice and an important one that has to be made with certainty.

When we decide to play a sport to win, we don’t vow to win sheepishly.

Same with happiness.

Command it, expect it and enjoy whatever life brings you because life is a constant surprise.

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Taking Back a Ruined Day

You check your phone upon awakening to find emails or texts that threaten to sabotage your day even before your feet hit the floor.

Or feeling the karma of another person who is unhappy with their job, themselves or their lives.

Then turn on the news while exercising at the health club and many days it seems like it’s hard to get out the door in the good mood you woke up in.

The key to turning around a ruined day is the way we talk to ourselves.

That conversation that takes place in your head while you’re driving or thinking.

The world is so connected that what happens with others affects us almost immediately so it is important to not lose the narration going on in your mind.

I can’t wait to get to work to solve some problems and help others solve theirs 

I’m grateful for lots of things and people (name them) 

The world needs one more person to lift it up not drag it down – that’s me

I’m looking forward to (name it) 

More and more, unhappy or stressed out people can affect our happiness in real time.

Keep your narrative.

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Advice from Coach K

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has led his team to over 1,000 wins and five NCAA championships.

He’s 70 years young and has no plans for retirement:

“I don’t want to plan it.  If you do, and the time comes and you’re not ready that’s bad.  So is waiting for the time you planned when you should already be out.  I’m involved in teaching, speaking and things I can go to.  But I’m not prepared to leave right now” – Harvard Business Review March-April 2017

Aspire, don’t retire.

No matter what your age – and especially for those many years from retirement – Coach K’s plan to have things to go to is especially good advice for people who find themselves unemployed or between jobs.

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