How I Relate

I relate to other people in many and mysterious ways but all the pieces do eventually come together to finish a puzzle and provide answers.

I haven’t thought too much about what my personal “Credo” might be but whatever it is it has been enough to get me to a comfortable place. I am not sure my “Personal Credo” can be distilled into something stereotypical unless you can crowd a lot of personal traits into one box and brand it with some nuance of eccentricity or the other.

As I have said many times before, I do not follow the herd. There is no profit in becoming a clone of a thousand somebody-else’s — and I believe that is what Society tries to do to us from day one … It begins in pre-school and continues on through the treacherous climbs up the corporate or social ladders. Herd followers end up being nothing more or less than their peers– some with a few measured benefits over others — but generally relatively the same … tuna fish in a can …sardines packed in elevators, office buildings, subways …automatons … marching in step ….that is not me.

I have always been curious, always experimenting with things, always persevering in risk taking — failing more than succeeding but succeeding rather largely when success was the reward ….

As a child, I would tinker with my mechanical toys. I would disassemble them to see how they worked. My failures in those days was that I could rarely ever put a toy back together again once I had taken it apart. It took me a long time to realize that tough assembly jobs required special tools, special equipment and people who were specially trained in the many tasks involved. Those lessons taught me the reasons why it is impractical for a single individual to build his own automobile from scratch — why it is easier to buy a wrist watch than to make one ….

One of my greatest failures in regards to taking things apart happened when I dissected a frog in a Biology class and was dismayed that I could not put him back together again. I grieved for a month over that failure. I knew right from the start that my future was not going to be in the business of taking frogs apart.

In later life this set of lessons resolved themselves into my willingness (and my faithfulness) to surrounding myself with people who knew the details of how things worked and who were willing to share their skills with me if I paid them to do so. I found out that I did not need to know how to build and repair a manual steel forge, for example, as long as I could get on a telephone and summon a machinist, a set-up person, an engineer, etc. This was a profitable lesson — this delegation of detailed tasks.

You can get an entire mansion clean from top to bottom if you can enlist the labors of enough people … people with mops and brooms, people with dust rages, people with carpet sweepers … you get the idea. (And you can do it all in record time with minimal expense if you can make those doing the work feel as though their tasks were the most important things in the whole wide world at the time they are doing them …. and if you can make those doing the work feel that they are the best people to do that kind of work that you have ever seen in your entire life.

But I would not try to meet a timeline in mansion cleaning alone.

As to the art of risk taking …. let me advise you, right off the bat …. “Do not ever take a flying leap and land, screaming as loud as you can scream, on a sleeping cat!” I did that just one time in my life and I was rewarded with a face full of claw marks and a hole in my thumb where the cat’s tooth pierced to the bone. Moral of the story: Sleeping cats look docile enough but if you do what I just described, you are going to be absolutely amazed at how quickly they can awaken and turn into fierce survivalists … and their aim at body parts while in the attack mode is surreal.

It is best to sneak up on the cat quietly and speak nothing at all until you are near enough to pet him and then speak softly until the cat stirs and pet gently until it purrs.

This all translates to the wisdom of studying potential investments very carefully before parting with any of your money to the hands of a brokerage … and once you have gained some profit from your investments, keep your mouth shut about what you did and how you did it … because success secrets are worth their weight in gold and should never be given away — they should always be sold.

Do I ever regret purchasing that handful of instant camera stock way back in the beginning? That is nobody’s business. Was there risk involved? I would say there was risk involved. The investment was somewhere in the neighborhood of a Thousand dollars (That would be a little more than Eleven Thousand in today’s terms) — Do I ever regret my early adventures into mutual funds …? No. These were risks well worth the taking but if either of them had failed, I would have lived very sparsely for a couple of years to be sure. Have I ever incurred great losses taking risks? You bet I have. In fact, I went totally bankrupt in 1978. Lost everything. But now … back to stability once again. Never lost the thrill of taking risks. Call me crazy.

Call the astronauts who took the risks to get the the moon crazy if you want to. A lot of people have done so. Call the early inventors of the automobile and the airplane and the telephone and television and radio and rubber tires … call them all crazy if you want too …. I wish I was that kind of crazy sometimes … they wanted a little more out of life and they got it by making their products and the reason they made their products was to that other people’s lives could be a little better also.

The biggest secret to all success is finding ways to make other people’s lives easier, more productive, more valuable, and more liveable … and the secret to doing all that is to find some need and fill it with something that works to their advantage in the pursuit of their goals.

An example of how this works is easily demonstrated in considering the comfort and convenience of progressing from wild leaves, corn cobs and catalog pages to soft rolls of toilet tissue in the performance of certain daily personal rituals in the bathroom. Comparing the two resources, the former and the latter, one easily concludes that the invention of soft toilet paper on a cylindrical cardboard core was a marvelous … and probably highly lucrative idea … designed entirely to make the lives of other people better.

And to the extent that you invest your time, your money and your talents in a reasonable, sane, workable plan designed to improve life for other people, the end result is always going to be that, regardless of the inevitable failures that will come along the way, you will end up creating a better life for yourself in the bargain.

Try to gain as much knowledge as possible about everything you wish to try before taking the plunge. Knowledge is power and it is the kind of power that leads to profitable results of labor expended.

An example of the value of gaining beforehand knowledge before doing things might be in the vision of the person who desires to jump from a plane flying high in the sky. Fortunate is the individual who harbors such a wish who has had the wisdom to learn about parachutes before embarking on the adventure in mind.

The wise man has spoken again.

You are very welcome.

4 thoughts on “How I Relate

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