Stuff Happens!

“It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines your destination, but the set of the sail. The same wind blows on us all. … It’s not what happens that determines your life’s future. It’s what you do about what happens.” -– Jim Rohn

Life is too short to get stressed out about every negative thing that happens. “Stuff happens” to everyone, but only a relatively few get a disproportionate share. Miserable people have just conditioned themselves to believe they get more stuff. And boy do they like to let us know about it!

Miserable people …

  • focus on bad things so much that they get really good at finding them;
  • blow things totally out of proportion, making small stuff bigger than life;
  • turn good news into bad news;
  • use stuff to get attention.

Have you ever heard someone whine incessantly about something and thought to yourself, “What’s the big deal?” Here’s an example. I recently overheard a man complaining that the cost of gas this year was probably going to keep him from going on vacation. This type of response could be expected from a whiner. Suppose the vacation would require 800 miles of driving. Now, we can all agree that the price of gas by American standards is very high (probably about $1 higher than last summer.) Suppose also that the vehicle of choice gets 20 mpg meaning it will cost an extra $40 (in gas) to go on vacation than it did last year. My conclusion is that if a mere $40 is enough to keep someone at home, he has much bigger problems than the price of gas. How sad that someone would pass up a vacation, make himself unnecessarily miserable, and drag others through his quagmire instead of simply solving the problem.

  • Choose a destination that is 200 miles closer to home.
  • Stay in less expensive hotels or come home one night earlier.
  • Reduce dining out expenses by bringing food or skipping a meal.
  • Bring a friend who will share some of the expenses.
  • Go out and earn $40.

We choose our attitude in every situation. Enough of my words, here are some quotes on the subject.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -– Winston Churchill

“Pessimism is an excuse for not trying and a guarantee to a personal failure.” -– Bill Clinton

“Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.” -– Russell Baker

“A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer.” -– Joseph Addison

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” -– Martha Washington

“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” -– Robert Frost

“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.” -– Helen Keller

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff” -– Richard Carlson

“Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.” — George Carlin

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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Life Planning

I’ve heard it said countless times that Americans spend more time planning their vacations than they do their lives. If true, it’s a scary thought. Maybe that’s why lately there have been ads promoting “old-fashioned ideas” like saving, budgeting, and investing. For example, have you seen the “Feed the Pig” TV ads and Website?

Americans complain endlessly about fiscal irresponsibility in Washington D.C. and rightly so But, are individual Americans any better than Uncle Sam? How much pork barrel spending is in your family budget?

“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” — Ronald Reagan

Since we all like thinking about and planning vacations, let’s apply what we know about that to life planning. Making a life plan requires detailed answers to just three questions:

Where do I want to go? (i.e. Vision)

“George Washington had a vision for this country. Was it three days of uninterrupted shopping?” — Jeff Melvoin, Northern Exposure, Bolt from the Blue, 1994

“If you don’t have a vision, then your reality will always be determined by other’s perceptions.” — Melanee Addison

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

“Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.” — Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” — Lawrence J. Peter

Where am I right now?

“We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.” — Abraham Maslow

“We are all born with wonderful gifts. We use these gifts to express ourselves, to amuse, to strengthen, and to communicate. We begin as children to explore and develop our talents, often unaware that we are unique, that not everyone can do what we’re doing!” — Lynn Johnston

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller

“Time is our most precious asset, we should invest it wisely.” — Michael Levy

“If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life. Ideas are any man’s greatest asset.” — Harvey S. Firestone

What route will I take? (i.e. Plan)

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” — Alan Lakein

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow” — Proverb

“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning” — Winston Churchill

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” — Denis Waitley

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Bible, Jeremiah 29:11

Of course, these steps only produce the plan. Execution is required to produce results, which is another topic for another day.

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.” — Jack Welch

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: