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Just Some Random Positivity


I have this picture on my iPad and I regularly look at it. I love this little girl’s positivity and I also feel positive when I look at the kindness and the power of encouragement of these window washers.

I am a believer in the concept that if you replace negative thinking with positive thinking…positive things will happen.

I saw a book review on the following title:


Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old 

It was written by John Leland. I just thought that it has some good positive reminders on happiness in life, based on looking back at life. Here’s what he says, “Live in the present. Focus on the good things. Find your purpose. Love unconditionally. Accept adversity. Feel gratitude. He says to acknowledge that “problems were only problems if you thought about them that way. Otherwise they were life — and yours for the living.”

At the end of his life, Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened“.

Every now and then someone will ask me for some advice on life. I have thought about that a lot. If I could travel back in time to talk about life with young Joel Bieber… I would tell him that it’s all going to work out, and don’t worry so much about it.

I wanted to close the blog today with something positive… but not heavy. Then I saw this again and I laughed:


Removing the Obstacles!

I like to think of Monday as the perfect day to fix last week’s mistakes! Here we are!

At what age do you start to say, “I am getting too old for this”.


It’s all about attitude. Right?


So for this Monday, I thought I that would post the obstacle story. I have read it in many positive thinking books. It’s one of those reminders that I keep around. A good one for Our Monday!

There once was a very wealthy and curious king. This king had a huge boulder placed in the middle of a road. Then he hid nearby to see if anyone would try to remove the gigantic rock from the road.

The first people to pass by were some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers. Rather than moving it, they simply walked around it. A few loudly blamed the King for not maintaining the roads. Not one of them tried to move the boulder.

Finally, a peasant came along. His arms were full of vegetables. When he got near the boulder, rather than simply walking around it as the others had, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. It took a lot of effort but he finally succeeded.

The peasant gathered up his load and was ready to go on his way when he saw a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The peasant opened the purse. The purse was stuffed full of gold coins and a note from the king. The king’s note said the purse’s gold was a reward for moving the boulder from the road.

The king showed the peasant what many of us never understand: every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Removing our obstacles! It’s going to be a great Monday!!!!


And finally, these “facts” made me laugh:


Lessons From Pilots

I am treading on dangerous territory because I am about to discuss plane crashes. I say dangerous because I don’t like to fly; which also means that I don’t enjoy plane crash thoughts. So, you can already be assured that this is a positive blog. I promise promise!

Studies of plane crashes between 1940-1990 always showed the same statistic. 65% of the time, airplane crashes were due to pilot error. It didn’t matter what the airlines did.

They increased pilot classroom training. They implemented aviation reforms. They required specific flying hour limitations. Still, no matter what the airlines did, bad decisions in the cockpit still caused crashes 65% of the time.

Then that statistic changed! In the late 1980’s, airlines introduced realistic flight simulators. Now pilots could practice landing in a sudden downdraft thunderstorm, or with only one engine. They could learn what it was like to land a plane with landing gear problems; or fly without wing flaps.

Their experience of problems was better than training by “chalk and talk”. They were doing, even though it was by simulator. Federal Aviation representatives labeled it as “the goal is to learn from those mistakes when they don’t count; so when it matters, you can make the right decision”.

This training process was coupled with a method called CRM (Cockpit Resource Management), which made flying a team effort to include the other members of the flying team. Soon, pilot error as the cause of crashes had been reduced to 30% of all crashes, which also meant that there were far less crashes. More specifically, it now became safer to fly than drive in a car. See… positive!

I believe that same thought applies to trial work. Experience and team! No matter how many seminars you attend on trial and depositions, nothing replaces actually doing it.

What does this mean at the firm? Well, I always try to make sure that our lawyers have a second chair with them. That’s part of the team concept. Also, it’s experience in the courtroom. It doesn’t mean that we don’t keep attending seminars. That’s the chalk and talk of our work.  Unfortunately, there is no substitute for experience. Right?

And for pic o’ day, this isn’t to mean that I don’t enjoy work. Still…. he makes me laugh!


The Heaviness of Loneliness

We all know that obesity is a problem. Now, we’re told that just sitting and working at a desk is much like smoking for your health. But from comes another “health issue”. The article is titled Loneliness is Deadlier than Obesity.

Researchers in more than 200 studies evaluated the health effects of social isolation and loneliness. The studies evaluated four million people.

Their findings connect loneliness to length of life. The primary finding: lonely people had a 50% increased risk of early death, compared to those who had relationships. As a comparison, obesity raises the chance of dying before the age of 70 by around 30%.

Lead researcher, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University, Utah, advises that the study shows that people should be preparing for retirement socially, just as they prepare financially. For most, the workplace is their biggest source of companionship. I think that’s a great response to those who think that people that are injured on the job, don’t want to get back to work.

According to Holt-Lunstad, “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to both well-being and survival. Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment. As she notedYet an increasing portion of the population now experiences isolation regularly.”

Campaign To End Loneliness states that 17 per cent of the elderly see friends, family and neighbors less than once a week, while one in 10 may see more that one month pass without seeing any loved ones.

There was a time that people would walk next door to get a cup-of sugar and spend some time on the neighbors porch. (At least you see that in the movies, right?)  Now, Facebook, email, Instagram and other methods on the Internet have become the preferred way of staying in touch. Just a thought of our reality.

Some ways in combating loneliness include making a habit of helping others and staying connected. Proverbs 18:24 tells us that “For a man to have friends, he must show himself friendly“. (Be Friendly)

Unfortunately, I see some clients who are hurting and isolated and don’t feel like connecting with others. Emotional trauma from a car crash can ultimately lead to isolation. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean loneliness. I think that loneliness really comes from not feeling valued by someone else.

On a positive ending, it’s a great feeling to feel connected!

And for pic o’ day, two great expressions that made me laugh:





















Looking Up to See the Positive

I am still in the middle of a jury trial. Today we are finishing up with closing arguments. That’s why I’ve been sporadic in my blogging. However, I thought I would just quickly post a story that seems to have been told at many sources. I saw it in a book of stories by Jim Purdue.

It made me smile because it’s a reminder to see positive… even in the storms.

A little girl walked daily to and from her school. On this particular morning, the weather (much like our recent weather) looked rainy with more clouds forming,  As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning.

The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school. And, she was also afraid that the electrical storm might harm her child.

Following a particularly loud roar of thunder and then lightning,  the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her daughter’s school.

Soon, she saw her little girl walking along. She noticed that at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up, and smile. Another flash of lightning would crack through the air and her little girl would again stop, look up, and smile.

Finally, the mother called over to her and asked, “What are you doing?”

The girl answered, smiling, “God just keeps taking pictures of me.”

And for our pic o’day, this just made me smile. Have a great weekend!




Looking Backwards Forward

A great way to plan ahead:


Do something today that your future self will thank you. (Sean Patrick Flannery)

For whatsover a a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

I saw a story ( about a World War II bomb that exploded at a construction site in Euskirchen, Germany. A bulldozer driver was killed when he hit a bomb that had been buried since the war. Another 13 people were injured because of the explosion.  Window, roofs, and doors over 400 meters away (quoting the article since I’m too lazy to do the metrics mathematics) were also damaged in the blast.

Another explosion occurred in Goettingen, Germany. The explosion happened at a site where they knew that a bomb existed and needed to be removed.  About 45 minutes before the men planned to take the final step to remove the bomb, they had to wait to allow a passenger train to go past. Moments later, the bomb went off.

The team had been working on explosive removal for years and were highly experienced in defusing buried bombs from World War II. More than 2,000 tons of American and British bombs; as well as German grenades and Russian artillery shells, are unearthed in Germany each year. The great majority are defused without incident. The reminder is that the past still catches up, whether positively or negatively.

I suspect that you didn’t think I would be blogging about a World War II story. Bombs in the past that are dangerous in the present.

Sometimes I think it would be more fun to blog that Kenny Rogers has announced, “You can count your money. The dealing is done“.  Or maybe “chicken in the bread pan picking out dough“. Something like that.

Instead, just a reminder of the principle that can be positive or negative. It can be a disconcerting thought… or a comforting thought. We reap in the future what we are sowing today. As Uncle D likes to say, “You need to wear work boots, if you want to make footprints in the sands of time”.

And for pic o’ day, I am guessing that the editor took the day off:


Positive Reminder Lesson on a Plane


Did that Monday blog starter sound familiar? It doesn’t mean that you’re not ready for Monday though. Right?

I got my idea for the blog today, from someone sitting in front of me in church yesterday. He was telling me about his past week and he mentioned flying back from Denver to Richmond. I don’t even enjoy talking about flying!

He and I were commiserating about flying in turbulence. Just don’t like it! He was flying next to a young boy who truly was enjoying the turbulent conditions. The more the plane bounced, the more he enjoyed it. Like a roller coaster. The optimism of youth. Seeing the joy in difficulty.

If you attend a high school or college graduation, you get to see the joy of the tossing of the graduation hats. All the possibilities that the future holds. There is no cloud of being burdened down by jobs, bills, illness or sorrow. Just the positive future.

As a kid, I was a fan of Winnie the Pooh. I wanted those books to be read to me over and over. “What day is it?”, Pooh asked. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

I like what former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton said about being positive, “Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you“.

These reminders were good for me. I choose today to be positive. To see the joy in difficulty. It’s going to be a great week! Plus, there are lots of reasons to laugh. Right?

And this pic o’ day just makes me laugh. No difficulties!!!


Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive

Everyone likes positive. Many books have been written on thinking positively. Maybe that’s why the song Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive has been so popular.  First stanza:

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
                                                  Eliminate the negative
                                                  Latch on to the affirmative
                                                  But don’t mess with Mister in-Between

I was going to post the names of everyone who has sung that song over the years. So, I went to Wikipedia and realized how long the list of singers. More proof that music and singers like positive. Then, I saw the long list of movies and TV shows that have included this song. More proof!

I thought about this as I was having breakfast yesterday, as I listened to a business venture recently started. The business is premised on organizing expenses to avoid problems with the IRS, so you can get quick documentation.

Their description of the business dealt mainly in the negative as a way to track expenses, set aside money for taxes, and properly take care of your finances to avoid an IRS audit. A good goal but sounds a bit negative to me… avoidance of an audit.

We discussed how insurance companies have learned to market in the positive. Car insurance companies market price savings, not security that you’ll know that you are covered when someone runs into you. Life insurance companies don’t focus on death. They focus on your peace of mind… knowing that your family will be fine. They… AC-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive!

Long ago, to properly try a case, you have to present what a verdict will do for the client. I later learned to simplify damages by addressing how to fix, help, and make up for what was caused by the crash. Juries want to hear what their verdict will do in the positive.

And then…


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