The world would be a happier place if we could smile on our passport photos

We are not allowed to smile on our passport, drivers license, and other ID photos. Now, we have to look so serious. For passports, this has an effect on Customs agents. It has to! Looking at thousands of grumpy passport photos all day affects their whole mental attitude. If they saw all these smiling faces it would lighten them up. “Hey, great photo, looks like you were having a great day.” Customs officers would become cheery, happy representatives of their countries, and in no way taking away from the seriousness of their jobs.

Do terrorists smile? Do they look happy? If not, what a great way to pre-screen people. And its free! Suspect those who don’t smile, and don’t pick on the average, cheery gal or guy.

Getting passport and drivers license and other ID photos would be more fun. Instead of “look straight ahead, don’t smile and look serious“, it would be “Smile and look at the little birdie. Squeak squeak.”

How do they do it in Bhutan with their Gross National Happiness? Do they smile on their passport photos?

One of the best ways cheer ourselves up is to smile, a real genuine smile, with eyes turned up, lips parted and teeth showing. Try it! Smile, and the world smiles with you!

BNI Chilliwack part one

Last April, when my nephew told me what his new business was, I told him he had to seek out and join a local BNI group. When I went looking for one, through the BNIBC website, I found out there were none in the area. I left it at that.

Yesterday, at a Japanese restaurant with my father, he picked up a Coffee News. I looked through it and there was an ad for an information session to start a BNI chapter in Chilliwack. I got excited! I called the number on the ad, introduced myself, and invited myself to the meeting.

Then I called my nephew and invited him.

Then I made notes, because I recalled my very first BNI meeting, around the turn of the century. It was also an informational meeting. The presenter was very poor, unexciting, and unenthusiastic. I did not come away with a warm feeling. The feeling I came away with was that I had escaped a shark tank.

I vowed this meeting would be different. If there was a poor presenter, a dull, unreceptive crowd, I would do my best to get them excited an motivated, because I am a convert, I see the power of BNI.

Let’s see how it goes.

I sent a text home. Elizabeth responded. I put my BlackBerry in my pocket, and it pocket-texted a smiley emoticon.

Cute. It read my mind.

Starting The Year

Had my hair cut yesterday. Conversed with my barber, Heesun, about investing and people we know who’ve made high risk investments and been burnt, badly, and lost homes, retirement funds, damaged personal relationships. While it tends to be true that the higher the risk, the greater the rate of return, one should be acutely aware of what one could lose if the investment goes south and what the negative impact will be. Depending on one’s circumstances, invest an amount so that if one loses it, there is no hardship.

On Problem Solving

Had a conversation today with another small business owner. She read recently that one of the strong skills successful small business owners have is that of problem solving. Whether there are production issues, or client issues, or staff issues, or regulations, we have to be able to solve problems. That is what I do, solve problems. I thought of making it a company motto that “We solve your problems” though that is too vague. A professional hitman could use the same line.

As I watch or listen to performances of talented people, in music, dance, the arts, what goes through my mind when I think about talent is that I strive to improve things, to make them work, to find a more efficient way of doing things. “I just want it to work.” That is problem solving. When we solve problems, we improve things, we improve processes, we improve outcomes. At least we strive to.

One aspect that separates excellent employees from average employees is the ability to problem solve. Excellent employees use their skills and experience to solve problems, to deal with an issue. I prefer that over passing the problem to someone else, or procrastinating on it. Sometimes I get questioned on an issue and I want to say “Think! Think about it. Think it through. You know the answer. You don’t need me to tell you.”Even if the action turns out to be wrong, or does not have a good outcome, I try to keep in mind that the person tried, to the best of her/ability, and I work on improving the outcome.

That also brought up the conversation about our school system in which we spend twelve plus years telling our children what to do, how to do it, and what to think. Then we wonder why so many become brainless and get to the point where the highlight of their day is vegetating in front of the TV, usually with a shot of alcohol, so they do not need to think. The world has changed so much in the past two decades, how do we educate people for a world that we cannot conceive of? One of the most valuable skills will be that of problem solving. In this province our school system is failing at that.

Psy’s Gangnam Style and the end of the World on Friday December 21, 2012.

No, it isn’t happening, the supposed prediction from Nostradamus that when Psy’s video reaches one billion viewers, the world will end. It was all invented, as reported at GMA News: admits to ‘inventing’ end of the world prophecy involving Gangnam style. It isn’t even a hoax, because there was no intent to deceive. It will be great if the video reaches one billion views on Friday, December 21st, 2012, the day some talkaloti conspiracy theorists say that because the Mayan calendar ends, the world would end. You would have to be living in a cave not to know that – it is all over the media. Or maybe you are living in a cave because you are stocked up with food and supplies for whatever cataclysm overtakes us.

I was about ten years old when I first heard of that date on the Mayan calendar, and thought it would be fascinating to spend the day at an ancient Mayan Temple, perhaps waiting for the aliens to return – that is one interpretation, that the Mayan gods will return. That means: the aliens are coming! That would be fun.

Instead, I will help Psy get to 1,000,000,000 views. I showed his video at my Toastmasters group today, and sent the YouTube link to my BNI group. I am doing my part. Nice catchy song, interesting video. Shallow but sure is entertaining. For your enjoyment, and to make it easier for me to find the video, here is a link to Psy’s Gangnam Style on YouTube, and embedded here. As of this embedding, the count is 971,518,818:



Happy Anniversary – It Has Been A Year

Happy Anniversary to me. It has been exactly a year since my last blog post: December 13, 2011. It is nothing to be happy about. It isn’t like I have anything to say, and I do not want to use the excuse that I was too busy. I have been too busy the last few months, with a 20 percent increase in our client base, and my business partner out of commission. But now that I have an assistant in place, and did some productive organization, so now is the time.

A motivator is that I know three people who have recently or are currently publishing books, and have recently started working with a publishing company, a new client. I would love to publish a book. I don’t know what it would be on, but if I start blogging seriously, the material will come from that. Well, non-fiction anyway. Enough thoughts form in my brain, enough experiences happen. I will endeavour to post more, once per week. For content I could recap the past year, in segments, cover my business and personal growth, and ramble. No one reads this so I can say anything.

Now I have updated this WordPress site, back and front end, and will begin to post to my blog regularly. This cannot be considered a New Year’s Resolution, because I am making it in early December. So away I go. Or rather, here I come.

I saw a ghost this morning

This morning I saw a ghost, a white apparition, on my street. (more…)

I woke up an hour earlier today

I woke up an hour earlier today. Daylight Savings Time ended on the weekend. Since the last time we moved to Daylight Savings Time, I have not set an alarm to wake up. I use my internal clock to wake me up. Before going to sleep I tell myself how many hours I will sleep, and what time I will wake up. (more…)

The Id: What Others Can Do, What We Can Do

An associate of mine has said he couldn’t do what I do. (more…)

Thoughts on Body Types and Wrong Information

I have been reading the Yoga diet book, which states that, in Ayurvedic medicine there are three body types. The book contains a simple sell questionnaire for determining the body type. I took the test, whcih corresponds with other times I have taken this Ayervedic type of test, with the same result each time: my body type is Kapha.

The book gives a list of foods each body type should eat, including super foods they should aim to eat the most of, and foods they should avoid. In my case, a low fat, low sugar and no dairy regimen of eating. Another of the body types, Vata, does well by having more fats in the diet.

I’ve been reading the Mercola website about fructose, which is one type of sugar, and have been reducing my intake of fructose. Today on the Mercola site I read:
“… these contradictory results actually support nutritional typing, which predicts that one-third of people will do very well on low saturated fat diets (which supports the studies showing that they work), but another one-third of people need high saturated fat diets to stay healthy.”[Ref]

A cascade of information can easily lead to the wrong conclusion.

It works like this: Someone has a bit of wrong information, but they are confident about it so they spout it out. A second person who is unsure decides that the first person must be right, and chooses to go along with that theory. A third and forth person who may have had a right answer, then changes their minds because they believe the two others must know more and be correct.

And on it goes as each person assumes the others can’t be wrong.