Economies Are Similar All Around The World

As you may know, I am in France right now and trying to adjust to a French keyboard! So this may be a short post as I am typing at about half my normal rate.

But to the point of the post...it is definitely slower here this year. Not as many people. And a change made at the start of this year is definitely making a difference. Smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants. Now smoking is part of the French culture. Sitting and eating a meal, then lingering over your coffee or wine while smoking is just how it was always done. But now there are less people in the cafes and restaurants...and according to the waiters it is not just the economy but the ban on smoking that is keeping people away.

So not just the economy is hurting the cafes and restaurants, but a change in law. And to make it even worse people have actually walked out on their bills when they say they are going outside to have a smoke.

Ripples throughout the economy based on a law affecting the culture. Travel is so interesting, not just for the sites you see but what goes on at a local level.


"Think and Grow Rich" - Thoughts Relevant for Today

On the Forum that I frequent we have a "book of the month" that we read and comment on. This past month it was Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich."

One of the main themes is that your thoughts are things. Many people have said this in one way or another over the years but going back to the source is interesting. It helps to remind me that we have been through tough times before and gotten through them, and the idea that what we think becomes our reality (obviously to some extent) has always resonated with me.

I remember reading somewhere (sorry I can't give credit - I just don't remember the source) about how people react to seeing an envelope from the Internal Revenue Service. The majority of people would react negatively, with dread. But what if the letter was to tell you you had overpaid your taxes and had a refund coming? The envelope itself, nor the return address gave you any clue as to the content, but the "thought" that it was bad news would be enough to create a negative feeling, maybe even a physical reaction of a quickened heartbeat, in most people.

Our subconscious mind really does control our knee-jerk reactions to things. Yesterday we had a record drop in the stock market, today it went back up substantially. In tough times when the "talking heads" have nothing but doom and gloom to impart maybe it's time to turn the TV off and read something uplifting and insightful. It just might help you keep perspective.


What Exactly Does "Fortunate" Mean?

I was in San Diego last week filming a video interview and had the opportunity to spend time with a young man, not quite 18 yet, who is "going places" in life. He's already started a non-profit organization, raises money for it, has spoken before large groups of high school students, and on and on. This young guy is charismatic, well-spoken, humorous and engaging - a real pleasure to spend time with.

I found myself thinking about him on the long ride home and the word "fortunate" came to mind. And then my mind screeched to a halt...I had just associated the word "fortunate" to a young person who was left at a Mexican hospital at birth, lived in Mexican foster homes and orphanages all his young life and was subjected to the most horrendous abuses that you can imagine, all before the age of 14 when he was finally adopted by my friends and brought to the U.S.

And yet "fortunate" seemed an appropriate word because he kept his humanity and his love of life through what would have derailed the majority of kids faced with the life he found himself living. Now he is surrounded by parents and people who love him and are helping him reach his full potential in life. That's fortunate. He has faced some of the worst life can dish out and he's come out on top. That's fortunate. He has an ability to look at life from the perspective of "what's the worst that can happen...certainly not anything worse than I have already experienced" which is incredibly freeing. That's fortunate.

Please take a minute and go to his website, www.Thundermission.com - his charity's Mission Statement is "Changing the World One Child @ a Time" and his personal mantra is "Why Change One Life When You Can Change Two?"

You just may be able to someday say, "I knew him when..."