More e-mails

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Here are some more highlights from my reading and e-mails:

Seven-step secret of success -- how to get where you want to go:

1. See your destination in your mind. "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." -- White Rabbit

2. Start walking. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -- Lao Tzu (604-531 B.C.)

3. Think ahead as you walk. "It's like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." -- E.L. Doctorow

4. Don't quit walking. "Don't wait. Where do you expect to get by waiting? Doing is what teaches you. Doing is what leads to inspiration. Doing is what generates ideas. Nothing else, and nothing less." -- Daniel Quinn

5. Make no deadlines. "Patience is the best remedy for every trouble." -- Titus Marcius Plautus (254-184 B.C.)

"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." -- Margaret Thatcher, April 4, 1989

6. Look back at the progress you made each day. "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning -- the sixth day." -- Genesis 1:31

7. If evening finds you at the same place you were this morning, take a step before you lie down. The magic isn't in the size of your actions, but in the relentlessness of them. "It is better to burn the candle at both ends, and in the middle, too, than to put it away in the closet and let the mice eat it." -- Henry Van Dyke

Never let a day pass without making, at the very least, a tiny bit of progress. Do not tell yourself you'll make up for it tomorrow. (That seductive lie is the kiss of death.) Make a phone call. Lick a stamp. Correct a misspelled word. Something. Anything. You realize I'm talking about business, not hiking, right? A second common mistake is to get these steps out of order. If you skip Step 1, "See your destination," and go straight to step 2, "Start walking," you'll be a wanderer, a drifter on the ocean of life, sadly on your way to lying beneath a tombstone that says, "He Had Potential." Even more dangerous is to go from Step 1, "See your destination," directly to Step 3, "Think ahead" without ever doing Step 2, "Start walking." These are the people who never get started.

Analysis paralysis. Lots of anxiety and plans and meetings and revisions and studies and evaluation and research can make you think you're getting somewhere when you're not. Gen. George S. Patton said it best. "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." In other words, there is no perfect plan. Shut up and get started. This is the Journey of Life. If you find yourself headed in the wrong direction, you can always correct your way. But only if you know your destination.

-- Roy H. Williams, The Wizard of Ads


Government showdown: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were midway through a joint ode to big government in their last debate when a disbelieving Wolf Blitzer interrupted. Were they both really going into a general election proposing "tax increases on millions of Americans," inviting the charge of tax-and-spend liberals? "I'm not bashful about it," said Mr. Obama. "Absolutely, absolutely," chimed in Mrs. Clinton.

In the middle of an election that is supposed to be about "change," the country is instead being treated to the most old-fashioned of economic debates. The fun of it is that neither side is being shy about where it stands, which has only sharpened the old choice: higher taxes and bigger government, or more economic freedom and reform.

With health care, entitlements and education all on the agenda, the stakes are huge. Mr. Obama's wish list for just one term? Some $260 billion over four years for health care. Another $60 billion for an energy plan. A further $340 billion for his tax plan. A $14 billion national service plan. A $72 billion education package. Also, $25 billion in foreign assistance funding, $2 billion for Iraqi refugees and $1.5 billion for paid-leave systems. Mr. Obama says he'll pay for these treasures by stopping the Iraq war and taxing the rich. But both Democrats have already spent the tax hikes several times over, and even a Ph.D. Would struggle with this math.

Making a message of fiscal responsibility harder is Mr. McCain's reputation as a fiscal tightwad, and his role as one of the fiercest critics of his own party's spending blowout. Watch him also expand this debate to earmarks, as he's already done with an ad ripping into Mrs. Clinton for her $1 million request for a Woodstock museum. Mr. McCain's earmark requests last year? $0. -- Excerpt from Wall Street Journal editorial

Rush Limbaugh -- Buckley was my greatest inspiration: America's No. 1 radio talk-show host and most influential conservative, Rush Limbaugh, eulogized Bill Buckley -- who died recently -- as his greatest inspiration and one of the "formulative forces" in his world view. Rush told listeners that his "desire to learn" came not from school, but from his father, his grandfather-and conservative icon Buckley.

Rush said he began reading Buckley's newspaper column around age 12 and remembers being "mesmerized" by Buckley's observations, which he said "literally created my desire to learn. ... "The single greatest motivation I had to learn to read, write and speak the English language as best I could, to expand my vocabulary, came from Bill Buckley.

"He is irreplaceable. There will not be another like him. His intellect and good humor were inspiring to me. Buckley was one of the formulative forces in my world view, my politically conservative view of all things."

Rush said it was Buckley who first showed him how lowering tax rates can actually increase income revenue. "I could cite countless other things of conservative orthodoxy" that came from Buckley, Limbaugh told listeners, adding that for him, "All of the inspiration, all of the bright lights going off in moments of ecstatic understanding -- all are due to Bill Buckley."

Rush recalled that when he told his father he was quitting college after one year, he said he was setting off "to be like Bill Buckley," to be able "to sit around and write and speak." Years later, after he established himself as a leading conservative talk-radio personality, Rush was invited to a National Review editors' meeting at Buckley's New York apartment. Rush said he felt as if he was being "summoned by as close to God on earth as you can get."

-- Newsmax, Feb. 27, 2008


The highest bidder: I saw these three little books of quotations from Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and George Washington (1732-1799) published by Applewood Books. Given the interesting political times of this year, it seems as if it would possibly offer some insight into what these three great gentlemen were thinking so long ago.

¿-- Mark Vittert, St. Louis Business Journal

* Those who denied freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves. -- Lincoln

* The bulk of mankind are schoolboys through life. -- Jefferson

* The better part of one's life consists of his friendships. -- Lincoln

* His (Stephen Douglas') explanations explanatory of explanations explained are interminable. -- Lincoln

* Health is worth more than learning. -- Jefferson

* Everyman is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. -- Lincoln

* Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. -- Jefferson

* I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of a falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion does not justify or excuse him. -- Lincoln

* Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser -- in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. -- Lincoln

* When angry, count to 10 before you speak; if very angry, 100. -- Jefferson

* Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. -- Lincoln

* It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world. -- Washington

* Always take hold of things by the smooth handle. -- Jefferson

* The way for a young man to rise, is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him. -- Lincoln

* I find as I grow older that I love those most whom I loved first. -- Jefferson

* The most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do. -- Jefferson

* Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. -- Washington

* Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. -- Jefferson

* Whenever a man cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. -- Jefferson

In my recent column, one of the e-mails I shared with you attributed a piece on taxes to David R. Kamerschen. Even though this has been widely attributed to Dr. Kamerschen, he is not the author -- however, it is still a valid example.

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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