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  September 24, 2010
The Haves and Have-Nots...

The other day I went on a long bicycle ride with my good friend Jack spanning well over a hundred miles.  One of the by-products of such a long ride is the quality time you get to spend catching up with old friends which also makes the time in the saddle seem much shorter than the 7 plus hours of actual ride-time.
Jack and I ended up talking about a variety of subjects along the way.  One of the subjects that we talked in great length about was that of a growing population of "entitlement people"...that is...people who demand that society take care of them even though they themselves have consciously chosen not to contribute to the very society that they are demanding goods and services from.

One of greatest virtues of a capitalistic society is the ability to better ones self.  Regardless of one’s station in life upon entering this world, a person can grow as an individual acquiring great knowledge, skills, wealth, and freedom in their lifetime.  The probability of one’s success grows exponentially by dedicating one’s life to following the "Four If’s" of a better life.
The First "IF"
Nobody become successful if they are stupid.  Life become worthwhile IF a person dedicates themselves to being a life-long learner.  The first 18 years are relatively easy as formalized education is free (and in fact...mandatory).  Book smarts are only one part of being a learner.  Ones own experiences and the experiences of others play an important role in the learning process.
The important skills of observation, analysis, creativity, and critical thinking play important roles in the learning process.  Most importantly, life-long learning is just that...never ending.  There is no end-game with learning because the world is an ever-changing and evolving place.  What is true today may be obsolete in the not too distant future.
Learning is continuous and never ending.
The Second "IF"
Success is more likely to come to you IF you try.  Experiences come to those who try.  One of the best way for a salesperson to avoid a customer’s rejection is to never make the sales call in the first place.  The safest place for a ship is in the harbor.  The easiest way to never fail is to never have tried to begin with.
Ask a group of people if they can jump two feet off the ground.  Some might say "yes"...others might say "no"...but the true reality is that most people haven’t attempted this feat so they really don’t know if they can do it or not because they’ve never tried.   
Trying leads to and doing leads to a more successful life.   Never be that person who at the end of their life looks into the mirror and doesn’t regret failing...but rather regrets never trying.  The record book always records wins and losses...but never the records those who never showed up.

The Third "IF"
Falling down is not a sin...but failing to get back up again might just be.  We will succeed IF we persist.  We all get knocked down from time to time.  It’s just the universe’s way of pointing out our insignificance in the overall scheme of things and helps to separate the strong from the weak. 
Persistence is the way to move a mountain or build a skyscraper.  Persistence isn’t about staying forever...but just until the job is complete.  Finishing what you started and then moving on to accomplishing something else. 
Great things are not done in a moment of time but rather over the course of weeks, months, and years.
The Fourth "IF"
A life is only worth living IF you care.  It starts with caring about yourself.  Keeping yourself healthy, fit and mentally strong.  Moderate your intake of nutritionally void foods, alcohol and drugs (even legal ones).
Care about your environment and always strive to better it.  Care about loved ones and help them to find success.  Be an active contributing part of the world in which we all live in.  Leave a positive mark that can continue on long after we leave this earth. 

Don’t ask what society can do for you...ask what you can do for society.
Perhaps...if more people followed the 4 "ifs"...then the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" would be shrinking rather than growing...with each new step we begin a new course...what will be your direction?           
Thank you so much for your support of OptiFuse where we hope to win your business IF we create value for you.

Jim Kalb

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