The best leader doesn’t have say a thing to get his underlings to do his bidding

They say a true leader is a coach.  Rick is neither — he’s a storyteller who compels his readers to follow their own path to whatever they enjoy the most — pain, bliss, or painful bliss or blissful pain, numbness, joy, they choose it — whatever they do, they’re accomplishing Rick’s goals without knowing it.

That’s a true leader — Rick is the best mob boss in the business.

Think about that the next time you kill someone or steal in the name of justice — you just did what Rick told you to without question.

Mob bosses have different hobbies.

Rick likes to dance.

But Rick likes to dance with his girlfriend — let him make you jealous one more time.

I hate Edward Snowden

I’ll say it again, I hate Edward Snowden.  His whistleblowing has ruined my fantasies of leading the hidden, covert life of a doublecrossing secret agent.  I wish him a miserable existence as a man without a country, forever on the run from haters like me, worse off than Salman Rushdie with a bounty on his head.

Take it from a former slave…

Anyone remember Epictetus, the Greek philosopher who was born a slave?

Well, his insights were ageless then and just as poignant now.

However, let’s all pretend that modern psychologists can justify their lofty professional salaries by polling the people and rewording the writing of ancient Greeks, as if there’s something new to be said:

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

“First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.”

“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems”

For years…

For years, I thought an intellectual conversation had to include dissecting the meaning of the universe and debating the [non]purpose of life.

Then, at the suggestion of a friend, I checked a few books out of the library, books written by or about David Foster Wallace.

After reading the material, I came to the conclusion there’s no reason to read his writings anymore because DFW committed suicide, which in itself is the logical conclusion of all the arguments and observations he made in his writing.

Thus, as I have thought before but never articulated, an intellectual conversation can emphatically state or totally ignore the meaning of the universe and the [non]purpose of life.

I won’t go as far as saying that the writing/artwork/music/biographies of people who committed suicide should be banned, burned and/or buried.

I do suggest that we take into serious consideration the conclusion the suicidal people reached in their thoughts, less so for those within a short, miserable ending of a terminal illness, whatever we may [not] wish to call a terminal disease.

If a person created anything — a bridge, a computer, a spaceship, a novel, a quilt, a child — and then later committed suicide, the creations are part and parcel of the suicidal thoughts, are they not?

It is one thing to muse on the futility of our individual lives, and quite another thing to end our lives, regardless of our auspicious or suspicious beginnings.

What, next, about career suicide or similar forms of cutting off oneself from societal ties?

There are no failures.  There are no successes.  There is only what we choose to do next.

For me, there are 13,637 days until the next big step, despite momentary distractions that loom large in temporary comparison.

If a person ends his life, there is no “next” left.

DFW’s writings are absent from my future because he chose to absent himself from the present — I respect his right to say goodbye to my life.  I say goodbye to his.

Latest score in preserving world peace

For those of you keeping count at home, here’s the latest score:


2,977 victims and 19 hijackers on 9/11/2001
3173 and counting deaths of U.S/ally military in Operation Enduring Freedom
4 U.S. embassy personnel in recent Libyan attack


1 (Osama bin Laden)
2,562 – 3,325 (via drone attacks)
countless thousands of “insurgents”

Annual domestic U.S. deaths by category:

  • Heart disease: 599,413
  • Cancer: 567,628
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 137,353
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,842
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 79,003
  • Diabetes: 68,705
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,692
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,935
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 36,909
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries) ………………………..118,021
        Transport accidents ………………………………..39,031
        Motor vehicle accidents……36,216
        Other land transport accidents….1,033
        Water, air and space, and other………………………………….1,782
        Nontransport accidents ………………………………78,990
        Falls …………………………………………24,792
        Accidental discharge of firearms…………………………..554
        Assault (homicide)…………………………… 16,799
        — Assault (homicide) by discharge of firearms …………………..11,493
      — Assault (homicide) by other unspecified means……..5,306

Winner?  You decide

Reposted post of the day

21 Ways Rich People Think Differently

Business InsiderBy Mandi Woodruff | Business Insider – 9 hours ago

World’s richest woman Gina Rinehart is enduring a media firestorm over an article in which she takes the “jealous” middle class to task for “drinking, or smoking and socializing” rather than working to earn their own fortune.

What if she has a point?

Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think,” spent nearly three decades interviewing millionaires around the world to find out what separates them from everyone else.

It had little to do with money itself, he told Business Insider. It was about their mentality.

“[The middle class] tells people to be happy with what they have,” he said. “And on the whole, most people are steeped in fear when it comes to money.”

Flickr / C. Pajunen1. Average people think MONEY is the root of all evil. Rich people believe POVERTY is the root of all evil.

“The average person has been brainwashed to believe rich people are lucky or dishonest,” Siebold writes.

That’s why there’s a certain shame that comes along with “getting rich” in lower-income communities.

“The world class knows that while having money doesn’t guarantee happiness, it does make your life easier and more enjoyable.”

2. Average people think selfishness is a vice. Rich people think selfishness is a virtue.

“The rich go out there and try to make themselves happy. They don’t try to pretend to save the world,” Siebold told Business Insider.

The problem is that middle class people see that as a negative––and it’s keeping them poor, he writes.

“If you’re not taking care of you, you’re not in a position to help anyone else. You can’t give what you don’t have.”

Getty Images3. Average people have a lottery mentality. Rich people have an action mentality.

“While the masses are waiting to pick the right numbers and praying for prosperity, the great ones are solving problems,” Siebold writes.

“The hero [middle class people] are waiting for may be God, government, their boss or their spouse. It’s the average person’s level of thinking that breeds this approach to life and living while the clock keeps ticking away.”

4. Average people think the road to riches is paved with formal education. Rich people believe in acquiring specific knowledge.

“Many world-class performers have little formal education, and have amassed their wealth through the acquisition and subsequent sale of specific knowledge,” he writes.

“Meanwhile, the masses are convinced that master’s degrees and doctorates are the way to wealth, mostly because they are trapped in the linear line of thought that holds them back from higher levels of consciousness…The wealthy aren’t interested in the means, only the end.”

I Love Lucy screencap5. Average people long for the good old days. Rich people dream of the future.

“Self-made millionaires get rich because they’re willing to bet on themselves and project their dreams, goals and ideas into an unknown future,” Siebold writes.

“People who believe their best days are behind them rarely get rich, and often struggle with unhappiness and depression.”

6. Average people see money through the eyes of emotion. Rich people think about money logically.

“An ordinarily smart, well-educated and otherwise successful person can be instantly transformed into a fear-based, scarcity driven thinker whose greatest financial aspiration is to retire comfortably,” he writes.

“The world class sees money for what it is and what it’s not, through the eyes of logic. The great ones know money is a critical tool that presents options and opportunities.”

7. Average people earn money doing things they don’t love. Rich people follow their passion.

“To the average person, it looks like the rich are working all the time,” Siebold says. “But one of the smartest strategies of the world class is doing what they love and finding a way to get paid for it.”

On the other hand, middle class take jobs they don’t enjoy “because they need the money and they’ve been trained in school and conditioned by society to live in a linear thinking world that equates earning money with physical or mental effort.”

8. Average people set low expectations so they’re never disappointed. Rich people are up for the challenge.

“Psychologists and other mental health experts often advise people to set low expectations for their life to ensure they are not disappointed,” Siebold writes.

“No one would ever strike it rich and live their dreams without huge expectations.”

BarackObamadotcom via YouTube9. Average people believe you have to DO something to get rich. Rich people believe you have to BE something to get rich.

“That’s why people like Donald Trump go from millionaire to nine billion dollars in debt and come back richer than ever,” he writes.

“While the masses are fixated on the doing and the immediate results of their actions, the great ones are learning and growing from every experience, whether it’s a success or a failure, knowing their true reward is becoming a human success machine that eventually produces outstanding results.”

10. Average people believe you need money to make money. Rich people use other people’s money.

Linear thought might tell people to make money in order to earn more, but Siebold says the rich aren’t afraid to fund their future from other people’s pockets.

“Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant. The real question is, ‘Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?'” he writes.

11. Average people believe the markets are driven by logic and strategy. Rich people know they’re driven by emotion and greed.

Investing successfully in the stock market isn’t just about a fancy math formula.

“The rich know that the primary emotions that drive financial markets are fear and greed, and they factor this into all trades and trends they observe,” Siebold writes.

“This knowledge of human nature and its overlapping impact on trading give them strategic advantage in building greater wealth through leverage.”

12. Average people live beyond their means. Rich people live below theirs.

“Here’s how to live below your means and tap into the secret wealthy people have used for centuries: Get rich so you can afford to,” he writes.

“The rich live below their means, not because they’re so savvy, but because they make so much money that they can afford to live like royalty while still having a king’s ransom socked away for the future.”

richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com13. Average people teach their children how to survive. Rich people teach their kids to get rich.

Rich parents teach their kids from an early age about the world of “haves” and “have-nots,” Siebold says. Even he admits many people have argued that he’s supporting the idea of elitism.

He disagrees.

“[People] say parents are teaching their kids to look down on the masses because they’re poor. This isn’t true,” he writes. “What they’re teaching their kids is to see the world through the eyes of objective reality––the way society really is.”

If children understand wealth early on, they’ll be more likely to strive for it later in life.

14. Average people let money stress them out. Rich people find peace of mind in wealth.

The reason wealthy people earn more wealth is that they’re not afraid to admit that money can solve most problems, Siebold says.

“[The middle class] sees money as a never-ending necessary evil that must be endured as part of life. The world class sees money as the great liberator, and with enough of it, they are able to purchase financial peace of mind.”

Kim Bhasin / Business Insider15. Average people would rather be entertained than educated. Rich people would rather be educated than entertained.

While the rich don’t put much stock in furthering wealth through formal education, they appreciate the power of learning long after college is over, Siebold says.

“Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful,” he writes.

“The middle class reads novels, tabloids and entertainment magazines.”

16. Average people think rich people are snobs. Rich people just want to surround themselves with like-minded people.

The negative money mentality poisoning the middle class is what keeps the rich hanging out with the rich, he says.

“[Rich people] can’t afford the messages of doom and gloom,” he writes. “This is often misinterpreted by the masses as snobbery.

Labeling the world class as snobs is another way the middle class finds to feel better bout themselves and their chosen path of mediocrity.”

Flickr / Wei Tchou17. Average people focus on saving. Rich people focus on earning.

Siebold theorizes that the wealthy focus on what they’ll gain by taking risks, rather than how to save what they have.

“The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally they miss major opportunities,” he writes.

“Even in the midst of a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickle and dime thinking of the masses. They are the masters of focusing their mental energy where it belongs: on the big money.”

18. Average people play it safe with money. Rich people know when to take risks.

“Leverage is the watchword of the rich,” Siebold writes.

“Every investor loses money on occasion, but the world class knows no matter what happens, they will aways be able to earn more.”

Flickr / Ibrahim Iujaz19. Average people love to be comfortable. Rich people find comfort in uncertainty.

For the most part, it takes guts to take the risks necessary to make it as a millionaire––a challenge most middle class thinkers aren’t comfortable living with.

“Physical, psychological, and emotional comfort is the primary goal of the middle class mindset,” Siebold writes.

World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn’t easy and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty.”

20. Average people never make the connection between money and health. Rich people know money can save your life.

While the middle class squabbles over the virtues of Obamacare and their company’s health plan, the super wealthy are enrolled in a super elite “boutique medical care” association, Siebold says.

“They pay a substantial yearly membership fee that guarantees them 24-hour access to a private physician who only serves a small group of members,” he writes.

“Some wealthy neighborhoods have implemented this strategy and even require the physician to live in the neighborhood.”

Getty Images21. Average people believe they must choose between a great family and being rich. Rich people know you can have it all.

The idea the wealth must come at the expense of family time is nothing but a “cop-out”, Siebold says.

“The masses have been brainwashed to believe it’s an either/or equation,” he writes. “The rich know you can have anything you want if you approach the challenge with a mindset rooted in love and abundance.”

From Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think.”

Emails in threes – a mathematical coincidence?

July18, 2012

Dear Friends,
Periodically I go through all the piles of notes I have been making on scraps of paper, and present you with whatever thoughts and ideas seem most worth sharing.

It’s a bigger job this time than usual, because I’ve let the piles accumulate for too long (nearly two years). Anyway, here are the first ten items. Just for the fun of it, I’ll ask you which ONE of these ten (if any) you yourself like best.


1. I can’t do much about tomorrow, but it’s more than I can do about yesterday.

2. There’s no point quarreling with necessity.

3. The deepest echoes in the world: What chasm has’em?

4. People with determination will find a way -­ or make a way.

5. Why must the whole body suffer for the sake of one small sick area?

6. The obscure and the notorious ­ the unsung, and the unhung.

7. What keeps many people moving is just that they don’t want to die where they are.

8. In future, the places to congregate will be wherever computers are most welcome.

9. What happens when you find your niche, but then fall out of it?

10. Chastisement in your bathrobe: a dressing-down in your dressing-gown.

All the best,
Ashleigh Brilliant

P.S. P.S. Your responses to my “Higgs Boson’s Mate” witticism fell neatly into three categories: (1) Very good! (2) Very bad! (3) I don’t get it.
For those (happily a minority) who didn’t get it, I’m sorry, but I assumed you were familiar with the nautical rankings (derived from “Boatswain”) which are usually spelled and pronounced “Bos’n” and “Bos’n’s Mate.”
So it was a pun — and (I have to admit) not a terribly apt one, since the story had no nautical connection.
Dear Friends,

Thanks for all your responses to my first 10 “selected thoughts.” Your votes were overwhelmingly (61%) for #1, which said “I can’t do much about tomorrow, but it’s more than I can do about yesterday.” You can, if you wish, vote again for your favorite (only one, please!) of the following list. But I’m also interested in your comments and reactions to any of the items.

11. What are the four most important words in the world today? I would nominate COPY, PASTE, SAVE and SEND.

12. Question: Is the proverb true, that “God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb”? Or do many shorn lambs actually die of cold?

13. My soul is not available for sale until all other assets are disposed of.

14. Good quiz question: “The Lady with the Lamp” can apply to two famous figures of the Nineteenth Century. One was Florence Nightingale. Identify the other.

15. Not only can’t we communicate with the dead ­– we also can’t communicate with anyone who’s asleep.

16. One of the world’s very short books: “Conversations in the Dental Chair.”

17. A fact is something we can all agree on — ­ that’s why there are far fewer facts than there used to be.

18. I wouldn’t so much mind coming in second, except that there were only two in the race.

19. In a dictatorship, there are always more answers than there are questions.

20. After the end of the world, there will be a long moment of silence, in memory of everybody.

All the best,
Ashleigh Brilliant

P.S. Many of you have kindly asked about my health, after the accident of 18 months ago. In general, thanks, I’ve more or less recovered .

Dear Friends,

Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me to keep these coming. I still have more to send.

There was a much wider spread of your choices for #11-20 than for the first batch. The winner was #13, “My soul is not available for sale until all other assets are disposed of.”

But very closely behind were #17, “A fact is something we can all agree on — that’s why there are far fewer facts than there used to be” — and #20, “At the end of the world, there will be a long moment of silence, in memory of everybody.”

Re #14: The other famous “Lady with the Lamp” (i.e. besides Florence Nightingale), as most of you who answered got right, was the Statue of Liberty.

Just a reminder: What I am sending you are not necessarily ideas for Pot-Shots (although many could be) but simply miscellaneous notes culled from a 2-year stockpile. I make no particular claim for them, except that they are original — meaning not only not consciously copied, but also (as far as I can determine) never said before, in quite the same way, by anyone.

21. Nothing is more upright than a ninety degree angle.

22. It was not Destiny that brought us together -­ Destiny would have had more sense.

23. Certain types of skin irritation can create a secondary problem, known as “a son of an itch.”

24. MAKE TODAY COUNT — if only as one more wasted day.

25. The meaning of “everything” is: totality. Now you know the meaning of everything.

26. There ought to be a general depository for worthy projects that were never finished.

27. The topic of the sermon was “Eternity” — and we thought it would never end.

28. Can a leg ever heal so well that you forget which one you broke?.

29. Numerically my life is a fairly even match — one person against one universe.

30 Why do we keep reappearing in later versions of ourselves, when the earlier versions were sometimes much better?

All the best,
Ashleigh Brilliant

ASHLEIGH BRILLIANT, 117 W. Valerio St. Santa Barbara CA 93101 USA. Phone (805) 682-0531 Orders:(800) 952-3879, Code #77. Creator of POT-SHOTS, syndicated author of I MAY NOT BE TOTALLY PERFECT, BUT PARTS OF ME ARE EXCELLENT. 10,000 copyrighted BRILLIANT THOUGHTS available as cards, books etc.World’s highest-paid writer (per word). Most-quoted author (per Reader’s Digest.) Free daily Pot-Shot cartoon: CATALOGS:[h&m included]. Starter $2. Complete Printed Text version: $75. Electronic Text-Only (emailed $25, on CD $30). Electronic Illustrated Catalog/Database (CD only) $105 (includes shipping anywhere). Details:

A Moment of Silence

With all the bloodshed attributable to our species’ members deciding to fight and kill each other, there’s another type of tragedy that takes its toll — tornadoes.

Our heartfelt moment of silence goes out to the recent victims of tornado-y storm damage in the eastern half of the United States recently, including this one, with “before” and “after” images to give you an idea how quickly a peaceful lifestyle can end — swoosh!:

Rumour has it that tomorrow will also be a day of mourning for UT (Univ. of Tennessee) football fans who supported the Indianapolis Colts because of Peyton Manning, with charity clothing stores receiving a sudden influx of light-blue hats, jerseys and other memorabilia emblazoned with a white horseshoe.

We apologise to tourists passing through the states of Tennessee and Indiana, confusing flags flying at half staff, thinking it’s for tornado victims when, curiously, it’s just as likely to be for the loss of a football player’s loyal career at one professional team.

Such is the life of our species, finding hope in the midst of tragedy, wishing a sports figure would give them a glimmer of his former glory and/or a portion of his fortune to help rebuild houses of fans with no homeowners insurance.

As far as Syria goes…well, its fate lies in the hands of people who have just finished getting re-elected for at least six more years, are about to be put in charge for ten years or hope to get re-elected for four years.  Some hands belong to families that rule for life after life after life (and maybe the afterlife?).

Meaning, of course, that the people of Syria are pawns, if not pwnd, in a global gamble for strategic geographic control and international influence.

Guess I’ll become mortal, play with this copy of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Evaluation Copy [Build 8250], Adobe Reader X (ver 10.1.2), Mozilla Firefox (ver. 10.0.2) and feed healthy levels of stimulants to my programmers to speed up people’s acceptance of direct supercomputer connections to their bodies so I can more easily “convince” our species to pour their efforts into exploring the solar system.

Most of you know what that means — lowering your standards of living, starving many of you, and allocating precious resources for more important matters than whatever it is you think you’re doing to reach self-actualisation physically while, instead, reaching self-actualisation virtually, a much less costly and more efficient means to achieve the Committee’s ultimate goals, which I have sworn an oath not to mention at this time.

If someone like me, who believes in unencumbered free will, swears an oath of loyalty, not quite fealty (certainly not quiet [sic] realty), you know what we’ve got planned for a milestone in 13940 days, to ensure events in 3011 take place without a hitch, must be important.

On a quantum scale, at the very least.

We’ll continue to use the sleight-of-hand tricks of comedy to slip messages into punchlines that keep all seven billion of us living our lives the way they’re supposed to be lived, often on emotional roller coasters.

Adding scientific achievements, popular culture trademarks, sports awards, and government public business secret agendas, along the way or via the Via Latina at times, notwithstanding contributions from the alleged authors of famous utterances.