Ray's musings and humor

Archive for October, 2009

Are you prepared for luck?

Luck is when opportunity knocks and you answer.




I often tell folks that I would rather be lucky then smart. The reason I say it is that I have been truly lucky all my life and I am really not all that smart. Time after time as I took on a new assignment, sat next to an especially interesting person on an airplane, was offered a new opportunity I felt fortunate and yes, lucky. I could go on and on about the many times I have felt surprised as I found myself in some fortuitous situation.

I know it really is not all that important to figure out why good things happen, it is far more important to be ready for them when they do. There are probably thousands of missed opportunities every day because people were not open to them, did not recognize them or had fallen into a rut so deep that they could not see out. Again I think a lot of it is our old friend Attitude. I think that those who are not afraid to take a risk once in awhile and who are always open for the new get more out of life than most, lucky maybe but it really is more likely earned reward.

In my experience if you expect good things to happen and are open to them when they show up you find that they happen all the time. So maybe I should not say I would rather be lucky than smart but rather that I would like to be smart enough to be ready to be lucky.

A few months ago someone sent me the following that was posted by blogger Thomasina Cruz that is worth your consideration:

Okay, I don’t actually believe in luck, but I do believe in opportunity and that luck is determined by how well you respond to that opportunity. Here are a few ways you can be prepared to make the most of each and every opportunity:

1. Take risks. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to run into fantastic opportunities!

2. Embrace failure. If you haven’t failed, you must not be trying hard enough! It’s often the fear of failure that holds us back. Letting go of that fear leaves you free to take advantage of opportunities that come your way!

3. Expect success. Optimism will get you everywhere! You’ll be more likely to spot opportunities as they arise.

4. Network. Talk to everybody – you never know where your next great opportunity is going to come from!

5. Work hard. Opportunities are only as good as what you make of them. Be prepared to take each and every opportunity as it comes and run with it!

Do you believe in luck, or do you make your own luck?


All of us have bad luck and good luck. The man who persists through the bad luck — who keeps right on going — is the man who is there when the good luck comes — and is ready to receive it.

Robert Collier


Standing on the tee of a relatively long par three, a confident golfer said to his caddy,

"Looks like a four-wood and a putt to me."

The caddy argued with him a bit and suggested that he instead play it safe and hit a 4-iron then a wedge.

The golfer was insulted and proceeded to scream and yell at the caddy on the tee telling him that he was a better golfer than that and how dare the caddy under estimate his game.

So, giving in the caddy handed the gentleman the four-wood he had asked for.

He proceeded to top the ball and watched as it rolled about fifteen yards off the front of the tee.

Immediately the caddy handed him his putter and said, "And now for one hell of a putt…"


"The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up."


The mail carrier had a registered letter that needed a signature for a party on his route.  Receiving no response to his knock on the front door, he went around to the back door which he found open, except for the screen door.  He knocked. A high pitch voice from inside said, "Come in."

Upon entering the kitchen, he was confronted by the largest German Shepard he had ever seen. The dog bared his fangs menacingly, forcing the mail man against the wall. The mail man shouted, "Lady, call off you dog before he eats me alive." The only response he got was that same high pitch voice coming from the next room saying, "Come in."

Pressing his body against the wall, he slowly worked his way to the door way leading to the next room. Looking around, he saw the room was empty, except for a parrot in a cage. After the threat from the huge dog, he was becoming quite irate and said to the parrot, "Darn you, don’t you know any words besides ‘come in’?”

Without a moments hesitation the parrot responded, Sic him!"


I have enough money to last me the rest of my life unless I buy something.


Two guys are out hunting deer. The first guy says, "Did you see that?"

"No," the second guy says.

"Well, a bald eagle just flew overhead," the first guy says.

"Oh," says the second guy.

A couple of minutes later, the first guy says, "Did you see that?"

"See what?" the second guy asks.

"Are you blind? There was a big, black bear walking on that hill, over here."


A few minutes later the first guy says: "Did you see that?"

By now, the second guy is getting aggravated, so he says, "Yes, I did!"

And the first guy says: "Then why did you step in it?"


I sure enjoyed the ads for prescription drugs a lot more when they didn’t tell me the side effects.


Suffering from a bad case of the flu, the outraged patient bellowed, "Three weeks! The doctor can’t see me for three weeks? I could well be dead by then!"

Calmly the voice at the other end of the line replied, "If so, would you have your wife call to cancel your appointment?"


"He’s turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he’s miserable and depressed." 

David Frost


Playing golf with his buddies, my grandfather had to make a slick 25-foot putt. As he lined it up, he announced, "I have a dollar bill that says I can make this putt. Does anyone want to bet?" His three friends eagerly agreed to the wager. My grandfather missed the putt by ten feet, and his friends gathered around to collect their money. Granddad pulled out a dollar bill on which he had written, "I can make this putt." His pals are still trying to collect on the bet and grandpa is too.


"I think that’s how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, ‘Gee, I’m enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn’t cold enough. Let’s go west.’"

Richard Jeni


Out in space, two alien forms are speaking with each other. The first spaceman says, "The dominant life formed on the earth planet have developed satellite based weapons."

The second alien, who looks exactly like the first, asks, "Are they an emerging intelligence?"

The first spaceman says, "I don’t think so. They have them aimed at themselves."


I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.

Brian Tracy


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Thanks Mary and Bob

“I may be here for a shortwhile, gone tomorrow into oblivion or until the days come to take me away. But, in whatever part you play, be remembered as part of a legacy…of sharing dreams and changing humanity for the better. It’s that legacy that never dies”

Author Unknown





The last day or so has included feelings of regret, sadness, remembrance and gratitude as well as mourning. Two important and good people have passed on.

One was Mary Shafer the wife of Past Kiwanis International President Bo Shafer. Mary was one of gods special people, she always exhibited kindness and treated every one with style and grace, always leaving those she met with a feeling of warmth. Mary had been battling cancer for about 10 years and even during periods of debilitating treatments she sustained a positive outlook. Each of us go through life meeting the great, the near great and those who are just good ordinary folks and as we do we sometimes run into someone whose glow lingers after they have moved on and for me Mary’s glow will live forever.

The other loss was Past Kiwanis International Foundation President General Bob Moorhead. Bob was an amazing man, many of us are fortunate to reach the top in one thing while Bob achieved greatness in the Army, Auto Racing, public service and much more. Bob was one of the most important people in my life for he made it possible for me to work with the Kiwanis Foundation and later to have a leading role in the global partnership between Kiwanis International and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Bob was always the kind of guy who went out and did what needed to be done while everyone else sat around talking about it. He had lost most of his eyesight some years ago but it did not slow him down very much as he continued to live one of the richest and fruitful lives possible. Unfortunately he had been very ill for a number of years but now he has found peace, he may no longer be with us in body but his legacy will continue to provide dividends through the folks he has left behind to do the work; people he chose, motivated, pushed and positioned to share in his greatness.

These two are examples of lives well lived and the thing that they have in common was their concern for others. I like to believe that they also enjoyed being able to go home each day with the positive feeling that comes from a job well done.

It is those who just exist each day without much concern for others who deserve our tears while sweet Mary and the General deserve our gratitude.

So good by old friends you did well.


"The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind."

John Allston


While I am tempted to end today’s Daily leaving only the above, I don’t think Mary and Bob would want me to as they enjoyed life too much. So please accept it in the spirit of which it is offered as we do need pleasure to offset the pain.



A Recently Spotted Bumper Sticker:

"The Ten Commandments Are Not Multiple Choice."



A guy goes to the psychiatrist. "Doctor," says the guy, "I feel as if I’m two different people! Two totally different personalities. Do you think I need help? Can you help me? Am I doing the right thing seeing a psychiatrist?"


"Whoah! Whoah! Whoah!" says the doc. "Please, one at a time."


I began thinking about my own mortality after I became a widow.  One day my daughter called home from college, and I announced to her, "I think it’s time for us to talk about where I would like to be buried."

   "It’s way too soon to even think of anything like that," she snapped indignantly. Then there was a brief silence.

  "Wait a minute, did you say married or buried?"

   When I repeated buried, she said, "Oh, okay, sure."


"Some people believe that holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go –  and then do it."

Ann Landers


Flying home after visiting her daughter in England, she arranged to have her husband meet her plane at the Vancouver, B.C. airport.  This meant a stop at the border crossing between the United States and Canada, where her husband was asked: "What is your reason for entering the country?" and "How long are you planning to stay?"

He replied that he was picking his wife up at the airport after her trip to England.

Without missing a beat, the guard asked two more questions in the same businesslike tone: "Is the house clean?"  And, "Are there fresh flowers on the table?"


Don’t worry about avoiding temptation.  As you grow older, it will avoid you.


At a small parish in rural New England there lived a priest, and several nuns. One day, one of the older nuns was noticing that the rugs in the church were beginning to fray. She went to the priest and told him "Father, I believe your rugs need to be replaced soon."

     The priest thanked her for bringing it to his attention, and told her that he thought that she had been there long enough to refer to church property as "our" not "your."

     Several days later, the same nun noticed that the hedge needed to be trimmed. She again went to the priest and told him "Father, I’ve noticed that your… I mean our hedge needs to be trimmed."

     The priest thanked her for again bringing something to his attention and this time asked her if she had seen his watch that had gone missing. She assured him she would look for it.

     Another few days passed, and the parish received word that the bishop would be coming for a visit.  The whole parish was in a uproar of cleaning, etc.

     On the day the bishop arrived, the same nun came down the front stairs yelling "Father, Father, I found your watch!!"

     The bishop said, "How wonderful my child."

     After saying ‘hello’ to the bishop, the nun turned to the priest and said "Why, yes, Father, I found it under our bed."


"The word ‘aerobics’ came about when the gym instructors got together and said:

If we’re going to charge $10 an hour, we can’t call it jumping up and down."

Rita Rudner


Molly was worried that her three-year-old son was unusually precocious, and took him to a psychiatrist. "Right," said the shrink, "We’ll just try a few simple tests." To Morris the boy, he said "Say a few words – anything that comes into your mind." The boy turned to his mother and asked, "Does he want logically constructed sentences or just a few random and purely isolated words without any split infinitives?”


"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn’t. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."

Horace Walpole


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Another opportunityt to say yes to life!

"What I regret is not the occasions on which I have suffered, or made a fool of myself… I regret rather the occasions on which I could have said ‘Yes’ to life, and in fact said ‘No.’ ….it is the missed opportunities… that worry my conscience – the sins of omission rather than of commission. The most tragic thing in life would be to lie on one’s death-bed thinking of all the things one had not done, the experiences one had not had, but would have liked to. So if I had to push people at all, I should try to push them into fuller lives, to persuade them to say ‘Yes’ to life and not to say ‘No.’ …we only have one life; and we might as well make the most of it."

John Wilson




My dear friends I am sure it will come as no surprise that I have again let events carry me away. I have an early Doctors appointment this morning followed by a seminar and then lunch with a favorite friend. That just shoves other “must do today” stuff into a much smaller window so I am going to see if I can find something I really like from an earlier edition of Ray’s Daily. While I am looking for it why not practice your using your happy face so you can greet the world with a smile today.



Ray’s Daily October 13, 2004

Years ago I thought of life in terms of what I would be doing next year and generally going with the flow. My company and my family pretty much established the framework for my days, weeks, and months. It was not that I said no to life, it was more like I ignored the alternatives. As time has gone on I have found that each day provides the opportunity to say yes. Instead of looking forward to next year, next month, my next vacation, or whatever, I now look forward to each day. Every day provides me another chance to do or see something that I have missed over the years. There are people to meet, seminars to attend, sights to see, books to read, the list goes on and on. While my backlog of things I would like to do is staggering, it does provide me the chance to pick and choose. Today I am having breakfast with a pal, going to a Quaker meeting, attending a presentation on Indiana air quality, cooking something I like for our dinner, and of course putting on my pith helmet so I can go on safari and search the web for new ideas.


The less routine the more life.

~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~


Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Such number as may be deemed to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the strictures of the following agreement:

Whereas the party of the first part, also known as "The Lawyer", and the party of the second part, also known as "The Light Bulb", do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entry way, terminating at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the second party (Light Bulb) and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the parties.

The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps:

1.) The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Light

Bulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a counter-clockwise direction, said direction being non-negotiable. Said grasping and rotation of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be undertaken by the party of the first part (Lawyer) with every possible caution by the party of the first part (Lawyer) to maintain the structural integrity of the party of the second part (Light Bulb), notwithstanding the afore-mentioned failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) to perform the aforementioned customary and agreed upon duties. The foregoing notwithstanding, however, both parties stipulate that structural failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) may be incidental to the aforementioned failure to perform and in such case the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall be held blameless for such structural failure insofar as this agreement is concerned so long as the non-negotiable directional codicil (counter-clockwise) is observed by the party of the first part (Lawyer) throughout.

2.) Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part (Light Bulb) becomes separated from the party of the third part ("Receptacle"), the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of disposing of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a manner consistent with all applicable state, local and federal statutes.

3.) Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of beginning installation of the party of the fourth part("New Light Bulb"). This installation shall occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in step one of this self- same document, being careful to note that the rotation should occur in a clockwise direction, said direction also being non-negotiable.

NOTE: The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the first part (Lawyer), by said party of the first part (Lawyer), by his heirs and assigns, or by any and all persons authorized by him to do so, the objective being to produce a level of illumination in the immediate vicinity of the aforementioned front (north) door consistent with maximization of ingress and revenue for the party of the fifth part, also known as "The Firm".


I learned when I was a commissioner in the Boy Scouts that it always rains on tents. 

Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds, for the opportunity to rain on a tent.



She said: Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children.

One day I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her shot.  "NO!  NO!  NO!" she screamed.

"Lizzie," her mother scolded, "That’s not polite behavior."

At that, the girl yelled even louder, "NO, THANK YOU!  NO, THANK YOU!"


Each day is a chance to make dreams come true and a celebration of value and accomplishments.


Bobby and Ralph were walking home from Sunday School, each deep in his own thoughts.

Finally Ralph said, "What do you think about all this devil stuff we studied today?"

Bobby replied thoughtfully, "Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. This is probably just your Dad, too…"


Remember, once you get over the hill, you’ll begin to pick up speed.


Judi and Gayle were having a rare heart to heart talk.  "What do you consider your worst vice," Judi asked.

"I don’t like to admit it," Gayle said, "but my worst vice is vanity.  Sometimes I sit in front of the mirror and just admire my face."

"I wouldn’t worry about it," said Judi.  "That’s not vanity.  That’s imagination."


As long as I can remember, I’ve had amnesia.


A woman was chatting with her next-door neighbor. "I feel real good today. I started out this morning with an act of unselfish generosity. I gave a five dollar bill to a bum."

"You mean you gave a bum five dollars? That’s a lot of money to give away like that. What did you husband say about it?"

"Oh, he thought it was a good thing to do and thanked me."


Two important things are to have a genuine interest in people and to be kind to them.

Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991)


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Having a bad day?

“May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past”

Irish Blessing




Few of us can get through a month without at least one day we think of as a “Bad Day.” If you are like I am they often aren’t really that bad but we just want them over with. Sadly there are even some of us who seem to have more bad than good and for these folks the solution may require a change in scene, employment, lifestyle and if I may say it, attitude. But for most of us we need to fall back on just making the best of it. I know for me it helps to just go with the flow knowing that I am not going to let the dad day feed on itself and spill over to tomorrow. That wise woman Gretchen Rubin has a few techniques that help her, maybe one or more will the helpful to you as well. Here is what she wrote not too long ago:


To have a Good Bad Day, I make sure to:

1. Exercise. For me, exercise is a key element to managing my moods. It calms me and energizes me at the same time. Its rituals are comforting. It’s productive but not intellectually or socially demanding. Also, exercise is so obviously a key to good health that if I manage to exercise, I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile in my day, no matter what else happens.

2. Do something nice for someone else. The first part of the Second Splendid Truth is “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy” (also known as the “Do good, feel good” provision). I sent out some emails that I knew would be useful for other people. Doesn’t sound like much, but it took a lot out of me.

3. Stop ruminating. My inclination was to go over and over the details of the upsetting episode and to conduct imaginary arguments. Instead, I try to keep my resolution to find an area of refuge. Studies show that dwelling on negative thoughts amplifies their power in your mind. In fact, some researchers suggest that a reason that more women suffer depression than men is that women are more likely to “overthink,” while men are better at distracting themselves from negative thoughts.

4. Connect with someone important to me. I called my sister.

5. Tackle a nagging task. Crossing things off a to-do list is energizing and cheering. I took the time to clear my desk – not just physically removing piles of papers, but also doing the tasks that the papers represented. Copying research notes from various sources, making a dentist’s appointment, and making progress on my blog re-design gave me a feeling of control and accomplishment.

6. Do something silly and lighthearted with my children. I videotaped my four-year-old as she danced and sang in her mermaid costume with her new mermaid doll, and we had a family bubble-blowing extravaganza. And throughout all these steps, I tried to…

7. Act the way I want to feel. Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. I get worked up very easily, but I tried to act cheerful instead of allowing myself to get agitated, wring my hands, etc. My mother often reminds me, “Stay calm,” and I need that advice frequently.

8. Ask for help. I said to my husband, "I really need to talk to you. I’m really upset, I want to tell you what happened today and talk to you about it, okay?" Being a sympathetic listener isn’t my husband’s strongest point, and truth be told, he wasn’t very comforting — but I think that by explaining that I needed him to try to do his best to help, I did help him do the best he could.

But nothing really worked. I still felt lousy. So I made sure to…

9. Go to sleep early. It’s true, everything does look better in the morning. Also, the longer I work on my happiness project, the more importance I give to sleep. Getting enough sleep just makes a tremendous difference to happiness.


“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”

Carrie P. Snow



One hand on wheel, one hand on horn: New York

One hand on wheel, one finger out window: Chicago

One hand on wheel, one hand on newspaper, foot solidly on accelerator: Boston

One hand on wheel, one hand cradling cell phone, brick on accelerator: California; with gun in lap: L.A.

Both hands on wheel, eyes shut, both feet on brake, quivering in terror: Ohio, but driving in California.

One hand on latte, one knee on wheel, one hand cradling cell phone, foot on brake, mind on game: Seattle

One hand on wheel, one hand on hunting rifle, alternating between both feet being on the accelerator and both on the brake, throwing a McDonalds bag out the window: Texas city male

One hand on wheel, one hand hanging out the window, keeping speed steadily at 70mph, driving down the center of the road unless coming around a blind curve, in which case they are on the left side of the road: Texas country male

Both hands on steering wheel in a relaxed posture, eyes constantly checking the rear-view mirror to watch for visible emissions from their own or another’s car: Colorado

Two hands gripping wheel, blue hair barely visible above window level, driving 35 on the interstate in the left lane with the left blinker on: Florida.


If I were here more often, I wouldn’t be gone so much.


A wife, one evening, drew her husband’s attention to the couple next door and said, "Do you see that couple?  How devoted they are?  He kisses her every time they meet. Why don’t you do that?"

"I would love to," replied the husband, "but I don’t know her well enough."


Sign at a railroad station: "Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted."



This virus works on the honor system:

Please forward this message to everyone in your address book.

Now delete all the files from your hard disk.

Thank you for your cooperation.


If you have nothing to do, don’t do it here.


Did you know that:

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.

A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

I know, who cares?


If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of payments.



Yes = No

No = Yes

Maybe = No

I’m sorry. = You’ll be sorry.

We need = I want

It’s your decision = The correct decision should be obvious by now.

Do what you want = You’ll pay for this later.

We need to talk = I need to complain

Sure…go ahead = I don’t want you to.

I’m not upset = Of course I’m upset, you moron!

This kitchen is so inconvenient = I want a new house.

I want new curtains = and carpeting, and furniture, and wallpaper…..

Hang the picture there = NO, I mean hang it there!

I heard a noise = I noticed you were almost asleep.

Do you love me? = I’m going to ask for something expensive.

How much do you love me? = I did something today you’re really not going to like.

I’ll be ready in a minute = Kick off your shoes and find a good game on TV.

You have to learn to communicate. = Just agree with me.

Are you listening to me!? = Too late, you’re dead.

I’m not yelling! = Yes I am yelling because I think this is important.


“You want an elixir for life’s drama? Laugh!”

Robert W. Merriweather


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Just good enough is not good enough.

I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.

Abraham Lincoln




Last night the Indianapolis Colts our local American Football team played the Tennessee Titans in a game that was televised nationally. The Colts won decisively. They did it by mounting a powerful offense coupled with outstanding defensive play. I watched as young and often rookie players blended in with those more seasoned players as they filled in for players who had been injured. I truly enjoyed the game mainly because of how it was played.

The Colts appear to have a culture based on a combination of teamwork, excellence and perseverance that includes everyone on the team and in the organization. I could not help but believe that they always strive to do their best; just good enough does not appear to ever be good enough. They also always seem ready to play, everyone benefits from knowing the plays, knowing their teammates and knowing what is expected of them. Living in their hometown provides me the opportunity to also see what they do in our community, everything from the major Payton Manning Childrens hospital to participating in charity drives. They make appearances promoting education and good citizenship. They are good people both on and off the field.

As I thought more about it I again realized that winners commit themselves to always doing their best. They don’t waste time thinking about how they might just get by. Again I think the key is an attitude of personal excellence, not breaking every record but rather understanding that always doing your best is in itself excellent. If you are like I am you would benefit by stopping once in awhile and asking yourself if what I am doing is the best I can do, and if the answer is no making the decision to do better or not to do it all. People committed to personal excellence don’t waste time stopping to think about just getting by, they just get up and do it while too many of us sit on the sidelines waiting to decide what we want to do.


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.



Kids rules for life:

Never tell your mom her diet’s not working." – Michael, age 14

"Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat." – Joel, age 12

"When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she’s on the phone." – Alyesha, age 13

"Never try to baptize a cat." – Laura, age 13


If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.


Recently, a magazine ran a contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real-life managers. Here are some of the submissions:

1.  As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks. (This was the winning quote from Fred Dales at Microsoft Corp in Redmond, WA.)

2.  What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter. (Lykes Lines Shipping)

3.  E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)

4.  This project is so important, we can’t let things that are more important interfere with it. (Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

5.  Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule. No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We’ve been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I’ll let you know when it’s time to tell them. (R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)

6.  My Boss spent the entire weekend retyping a 25-page proposal that only needed corrections. She claims the disk I gave her was damaged and she couldn’t edit it. The disk I gave her was write-protected. (CIO of Dell Computers)

7.  Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

8.  "How About Friday?" My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me." (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)

9.  "We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees." (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

10. We recently received a memo from senior management saying: "This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding the subject mentioned above." (Microsoft, Legal Affairs Division)

11. One day my Boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!" (New business manager, Hallmark Greeting Cards.)

12. Speaking the Same Language: As director of communications, I was asked to prepare a memo reviewing our company’s training programs and materials. In the body of the memo one of the sentences mentioned the "pedagogical approach" used by one of the training manuals.

The day after I routed the memo to the executive committee, I was called into the HR director’s office, and told that the executive vice president wanted me out of the building by lunch. When I asked why, I was told that she wouldn’t stand for "perverts" (pedophilia?) working in her company.

Finally he showed me her copy of the memo, with her demand that I be fired – and the word "pedagogical" circled in red. The HR manager was fairly reasonable, and once he looked the word up in his dictionary, and made a copy of the definition to send back to her, he told me not to worry. He would take care of it.

Two days later a memo to the entire staff came out directing us that no words which could not be found in the local Sunday newspaper could be used in company memos. A month later, I resigned. In accordance with company policy, I created my resignation memo by pasting words together from the Sunday paper. (Taco Bell Corporation)

13. This gem is the closing paragraph of a nationally-circulated memo from a large communications company: "(Company name) is endeavorily determined to promote constant attention on current procedures of transacting business focusing emphasis on innovative ways to better, if not supersede, the expectations of quality!" (Lucent Technologies)


I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.


   A husband and his wife advertised for a live-in maid to cook and do the housework.  A likely-looking girl came in from the country, and they hired her. She worked out fine, was a good cook, was polite, and kept the house neat.

   One day, after about six months, she came in and said she would have to quit.

   "But why?" asked the disappointed wife.

   She hemmed and hawed and said she didn’t want to say, but the wife was persistent, so finally she said, "Well, on my day off a couple of months ago I met this good-looking fellow from over in the next county, and well, I’m pregnant."

   The wife said, "Look, we don’t want to lose you.  My husband and I don’t have any children, and we’ll adopt your baby if you will stay."

   She talked to her husband; he agreed, and the maid said she would stay.  The baby came, they adopted it, and all went well.

   After several months though, the maid came in again and said that she would have to quit.  The wife questioned her, found out that she was pregnant again, talked to her husband, and offered to adopt the baby if she would stay.  She agreed, had the baby, they adopted it, and life went on as usual.

   In a few months, however, she again said she would have to leave. Same thing. She was pregnant.  They made the same offer, she agreed, and they adopted the third baby.  She worked for a week or two, but then said, "I am definitely leaving this time."

   "Don’t tell me you’re pregnant again?" asked the lady of the house.

   "No," she said, "there are just too many kids here to pick up after."


Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.

Ralph Marston


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

I want to be on the common ground

Truth springs from argument amongst friends.

David Hume




I had the good fortune last night to attend a meeting with the Honorable Lee Hamilton where he made a plea for those in attendance to always consider the impact of what we do and what we ask for on the common good. In today’s polarized society it seems that far too many concentrate only on what’s in it for themselves. This applies to both individuals and organizations that lobby for a larger share of the pie while leaving little for others.

I am off to a follow-up meeting this morning I did not however want to leave for the day and have my computer send you something else out of the past. So today I am sending you an article written by life coach Steve Brunkhorst on conflict resolution for as I drove home last night from my meeting I thought about what Hamilton said. It seems to me that we often ignore the common ground because our differences escalate into conflicts. Conflict is not necessarily bad if it results in our sitting down and exploring our differences and finding solutions that are the result of compromise that comes out of respect for each other, it becomes bad if it results in greater polarization. In any case here is what Brunkhorst offers to help us resolve conflict.

Here are 5 key essentials to remember when resolving a conflict in either a personal or professional relationship.

1. Tell the truth about why you disagree. If another’s opinion threatens you in a personal way, or someone has demanded that you take a side against someone else, then you have another matter to resolve before you will ever resolve the conflict. Similarly, you’ll want accurate information about the other person’s position. Let the other person or group know the truth about your position. This allows an honest assessment needed for both parties to reach agreement.

2. Seek common ground. There is a lighthearted quote by Alison Boulter: "Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else." Although our talents and experiences differentiate us, all of us do have commonalities, ideas, and opinions upon which we can agree. I am not referring to the shallow adage, "We must agree to disagree sometimes." When we seek and find true common ground, we look with sincerity and intention for peaceful solutions that will benefit both parties.

3. Work toward mutual benefits. A common error in conflict resolution is to seek a win rather than the win-win outcome that Robert Alan described in today’s featured nugget. We cannot resolve conflicts with more conflict, seeking revenge or gains of power over others. How often have you seen that result in resentments and further damage to relationships? The ultimate goal in conflict resolution is not to "win" a conflict. The ultimate goal is to enhance personal and professional growth through problem solving.

4. Focus on issues rather than personalities. Resolving conflicts is best done in a courteous manner: getting the facts, listening closely to the other’s opinions, asking for clarification, and communicating ideas clearly. Our focus remains on the issue at hand, not on the people involved. We must separate the issues from personalities to resolve conflicts effectively.

5. Watch for the benefits. Could your conflict actually bring you benefits? Absolutely! If you resolve a conflict in a constructive manner, you might receive greater understanding of the working style of your group or another individual, greater knowledge of your values and the values of your partner, enhanced group dynamics and mutual respect between team or family members. As stated in essential 3, you can enhance personal and professional growth in this process.


As human beings with dignity and worth, conflicts can allow us to share the value of our unique experiences. We can treat those with whom we disagree with respect and dignity while learning from their experiences. In this way, we will benefit from our differences as well as similarities. We will grow toward our capacity for living abundantly and peacefully, extending the full range of our gifts to others in the service of our Creator and our world.


Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

Dorothy Thompson:


Radar: "Flight 1234, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees."

Pilot: "Roger, but we are at 35,000 feet, how much noise can we make up here?"

Radar: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 727 makes when it hits a 747?"


"I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!"

Tom Lehrer


She married him because he was such a "strong man" She divorced him because he was such a "dominating male."

He married her because she was so "fragile and petite." He divorced her because she was so "weak and helpless."

She married him because "he knows how to provide a good living." She divorced him because "all he thinks about is business."

He married her because "she reminds me of my mother." He divorced her because "she’s getting more like her mother every day."

She married him because he was "happy and romantic." She divorced him because he was "shiftless and fun-loving."

He married her because she was "steady and sensible." He divorced her because she was "boring and dull."

She married him because he was "the life of the party." She divorced him because "he never wants to come home from a party."


My wife tends to leave well enough alone.Unfortunately, things are rarely well enough.


The wise old Mother Superior was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable. They gave her some warm milk to drink, but she refused it.

Then one nun took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and poured a generous amount into the warm milk. Back at Mother Superior’s bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.

"Mother," the nuns asked with earnest, "Please give us some wisdom before you die."

She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said, "Don’t sell that cow."


It’s frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.


A young preacher was contacted by the local funeral director to hold a grave-side committal service at a small local cemetery for someone with no family or friends. The preacher started early but quickly got himself lost, making several wrong turns.

He arrived a half-hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, and the workmen were eating lunch.

The pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place.  Taking out his book, he read the service.

As he was returning to his car, he overheard one of the workmen say: "Think we should tell him it’s a septic tank?"


"A child of five would understand this. Send somebody to fetch a child of five."

Groucho Marx


On a trip to the zoo, I made a casual stroll by the cage of a laughing hyena.  A young man was leaning over the bar at the edge of the cage, whispering something in the animal’s direction.  As I stepped closer, I heard him say, "Did you hear the one about…"


You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.

Indira Gandhi:


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

It is better when we do it together

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

Mark Twain




Ray left early this morning and will be gone until this evening. I am not going to wait for him so you’ll just have to be satisfied with what I find.

Ray’s Computer


Ray’s Daily October 8, 2003

I have often thought that it is the things we share together that brighten our lives. It may be the sunset we see together, or a book we both enjoyed, or our just spending time together getting through the day. I recently read something by Anthony de Mello, SJ that I think says it very well. he wrote:

A newly married couple said, "What shall we do to make our love endure?"

Said the Master, "Love other things together."


I still believe that shared experiences are best; they are the fields where we grow the ties that bind.



Men of the noblest dispositions think themselves happiest when others share their happiness with them.

Barry Duncan


Thanks to Andy Rooney for the following:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

         An over 40 woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn’t care what you think.

         If an over 40 woman doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And it’s usually something more interesting.

         An over 40 woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants, and from whom. Few women past the age of 40 give a darn what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

         An over 40 woman usually has had her fill of "meaningful relationships" and commitment. The last thing she wants in her life is another dopey, clingy, whiny, dependent lover.

         Over 40 women are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

         Over 40 women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

         An over 40 woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. A woman over 40 could care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

         Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to an over 40 woman. They always know.

         An over 40 woman looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women.

         Over 40 women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

         Yes, we praise over 40 women for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.


A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.


When my cousin, Tom, was at the police academy, prior to joining Chicago’s finest, one of his instructors asked him during an oral exam,

"What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?"

He immediately replied, with conviction,  "Call for backup."


When you have accumulated sufficient knowledge to get by, you’re too old to remember it.


We were on our way to the hospital where our 16-year-old daughter was scheduled to undergo a tonsillectomy.  During the ride we talked about how the procedure would be performed. "Dad," our teenager asked, "how are they going to keep my mouth open during the surgery?" Without hesitation he quipped, "They’re going to give you a phone to hold."


Recently we called a business phone number and heard the following:  If you are calling from a touch-tone phone, press one now.  If you are calling from a rotary phone, hang up and call back from a touch-tone phone.


Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree

discussing things meant to be.

Said one to the others, now listen you two,

there’s a rumor going round that can’t be true,

that man descended from our noble race

the very idea is  a great disgrace.

No monkey has ever deserted his wife

starved her babies and ruined her life

and you’ve never known a mother monk

to leave her babies with others to bunk,

or pass from one onto another

till they scarcely  know who is their mother.

Here’s another thing a monkey won’t do

go out at night and get on a stew

or use a gun or club or knife

to take some other monkey’s life

yes, man descended, the ornery cuss

but brother, he didn’t descend from us.


I dialed a wrong number and got the following recording:  "I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call.  I am making some changes in my life.  Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes."


There was a woman who spent some months serving God in Kenya.  On her final visit to a remote township she attended a medical clinic.  As the Maasai women there began to sing together, she found herself deeply moved by their hauntingly beautiful harmonies.  She wanted to always remember this moment and try to share it with friends when she arrived home. With tears flowing down her cheeks, she turned to her friend and asked, "Can you please tell me the translation of the words to this song?" Her friend looked at her an solemnly replied, "If you boil the water, you won’t get dysentery."


"A day without laughter is a day wasted."

Charlie Chaplin


When the new patient was settled comfortably on the couch, the psychiatrist began his therapy session.  "I’m not aware of your problem," the doctor said.  "So perhaps, you should start at the very beginning."

"Of course," replied the patient.  "In the beginning, I created the Heavens and the Earth…"


Many individuals have, like uncut diamonds, shining qualities beneath a rough exterior.

Decimus Junius Juvenalis (c. 60-127 a.d.)


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

I hope you are as satisfied as I am

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.





In a conversation with a friend the other day we talked about Indianapolis, the city in which I live. As our talk continued we examined our view of what our city is and what it has to offer. Naturally there were comparisons made with other cities, their attributes versus ours. Some of our focus was on institutions like museums, recreational areas, theatre, restaurants and the like. In my case I sang the praises of the Art Institute in Chicago, Theatre in New York, Shows in Las Vegas, Gulf Coast beaches, Southern Barbecue and the like, all good stuff.

I really enjoy partaking what others have to offer but I truly like what we have, we don’t draw from a diverse population of millions but we do have our own special gifts. Our Art Museum is excellent and is always rewarding, of course our Indianapolis Colts Football time is world renowned, while none of our restaurants will ever be rated as 4 star in the Michelin Guide they do offer a wide variety of great experiences. We do benefit from major visiting Musical road shows, concerts and so on but to be honest not as many as we would find elsewhere and for that I am grateful for the result is a wide variety of modestly priced theatrical and dance organizations that bring a special brand of theatre to us. The intimacy that comes from the bond between performers and their audiences is really special.

I love our easy access to so many great things, all close by, all special in their own way. We get some great experiences without the hassle or the expense found elsewhere. For me I am not interested in us aspiring to be the biggest, loudest, or gaudiest what a I want us to do is appreciate what we have and always do what we can to be the best of what we are, a great place to live. Life is grand if you appreciate what you have and don’t long for what you don’t have.

Here is a story about a child that understands what I mean:

One day . . . a wealthy family man took his son on a trip to the country, so he could have his son see how poor country people live. They stayed one day and one night in the home of a very humble farmer.   At the end of the trip, and when they were back home, the father asked his son, "What did you think of the trip?"

The son replied, "Very nice dad."

Then the father asked his son, "Did you notice how poor they were?"

The son replied, "Yes."

The father continued asking, "What did you learn?"

The son responded, "I learned that we have one dog in our house, and they have four.  

Also, we have a fountain in our garden, but they have a stream that has no end.  

And we have imported lamps in our garden . . . where they have the stars!  

And our garden goes to the edge of our property.   But they have the entire horizon as their back yard!"

At the end of the son’s reply the father was speechless.  

His son then said, "Thank you dad for showing me how poor we really are."

Isn’t it true that all depends on the lens you use to see life? One can ask himself what would happen if we give thanks for what we have instead of always asking for more.

Learn to appreciate what you have. Wealth is all in one’s point of view.

Author unknown


"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Author Unknown


So there’s this soldier who is all excited about joining the army. He heads for the local recruiter’s office and says he’s psyched to join. The recruiter says "Hey, great! Here’s your gun," and hands the new soldier a broomstick.

The new dude says, "Hang on, what kind of a gun is this? It doesn’t even have a bayonet!" The Sarge ties a piece of string on the end, and says "You’re all set now, just head out to the battle front, point your gun, and say ‘Bangity-Bangity-Bang’ and the gun will work fine. Swing it around, and say ‘Stabity-Stabity-Stab’ and the bayonet will do its thing." The soldier is a sceptic, but he’s also not the brightest guy, so he believes the Sarge and heads for the battle front.

There he is, in the middle of all the fighting, with a crazed look in his eye. He picks up his trusty broomstick, and waves it around at the enemy, saying "Bangity-Bangity-Bang!, Stabity-Stabity-Stab!, Bangity-Bangity-Bang!, Stabity-Stabity-Stab!" To his amazement, everyone on the field is completely wiped out. Everyone, that is, except for one fighter, who is advancing very slowly and steadily toward our hero.

The soldier thinks, "Hey, no sweat," and aims his broomstick. "Bangity-Bangity-Bang!" No difference — the enemy soldier keeps advancing, slowly and steadily. Our man waves his weapon threateningly and says "Stabity-Stabity-Stab!" Still nothing. The enemy advances steadily toward the soldier. He bumps into the soldier, knocks him down, advances up over his legs, stomach, chest, and face and continues over the other side — slow and steady.

As the enemy moves away, the soldier hears him saying "Tankity-Tankity-Tank."


"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf."

Will Rogers


Mama goes shopping and scrutinizes everything. Here is how her shopping went..

Mama: "I don’t like the looks of this whitefish."

Merchant: "Lady, for looks you don’t buy whitefish; you buy goldfish."

Mama: "Oy, and this chicken, it has a broken leg."

Merchant: "Look lady, you gonna eat it or dance with it?"

Mama: "And before you weigh the meat, take out the bones."

Merchant: "Lady, I buy with bones; you’ll buy with bones."

Mama: "I don’t pay with bones."

Merchant: "All right, no bones."

Mama: "Thank you, you are a gentleman. Now put the bones in a separate bag for soup. And never mind the meat. I don’t like your meat anyhow."


"I Wish the Buck Stopped Here — I Could Use a Few"


A fellow in a bar notices a woman, always alone, who comes in on a fairly regular basis.

After the second week, he made his move. "No thank you," she said politely."

"This may sound rather odd in this day and age, but I’m keeping myself pure until I meet the man I love."

"That must be rather difficult," the man replied.

"Oh, I don’t mind too much," she said. "But, it has my husband pretty upset."


"I don’t mind going back to daylight saving time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I’ve saved all year."

Victor Borge


Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

The man said, "I do Father."

The priest said, "Then leave this pub right now!" and approached a second man. "Do you want to got to heaven?"

"Certainly, Father," was the man’s reply.

"Then leave this den of Satan," said the priest, as he walked up to O’Toole. "Do you want to go to heaven?"

"No, I don’t Father," O’Toole replied.

The priest looked him right in the eye, and said, "You mean to tell me that when you die you don’t want to go to heaven?"

O’Toole smiled, "Oh, when I die, yes, Father. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now."


Ignorant men don’t know what good they hold in their hands until they’ve flung it away.



Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Do you know how good you are?

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.

Author Unknown




One of my greatest concerns these days is the toll that the current economic conditions are taking on so many of the people I meet. I find more and more folks are in distress to the point that they have lost confidence in themselves. For those who have always lived a successful life it is not easy to deal with day after day of no success in finding a new job, managing financial obligations with a depleted nest egg or finding the money to pay a mortgage on a house that is no longer worth more than your mortgage. They are caught in situations that are not the result of their actions or failures – They did not speculate in shaky financial instruments, they did not take out a sub-prime mortgage, they did not refinance and borrow only to buy more and increase their personal debt beyond the breaking point and they are not responsible for the closing down of so many businesses that there are few opportunities for those in need of work.

The truth is that these fine people are as good as they ever where, if not better. What they are in is a trap created by far too many searching for far too few jobs or financing. For many the solution may be in working an interim plan that allows them to see some progress rather than only seeing failure and despair as they send out hundreds of resumes and go to interviews that are held for a large number of applicants applying for each job opening. Taking part time work, signing up for a skills building course, volunteering and demonstrating what they can do all help to sustain confidence and momentum. Rather than blaming themselves or others for their plight they can occupy their time doing things that keep them active and ready. It is like the athlete that prepares for the big championship, you practice and prepare but you don’t just train, you also live.

If you are one of our readers who is caught in today’s economic turmoil just remember it is not you, you are not guilty. Don’t look at failing so far to land your next big job as always being your fault, there just aren’t that many jobs around. But while you are training and marketing yourself for that job do something more, a part time job or whatever, just don’t give up for we know you are good, you should too. I know one thing, if you have lost your self confidence you must rebuild it back for that next great job will go to the person who demonstrates self confidence not to someone who is unsure of themselves.

Here is something Ralph Marston wrote years ago that hits the nail on the head:

Confidence is a golden key to achievement of your most treasured dreams. Confidence will open doors for you and will enable you to perform with excellence once you get inside those doors. Confidence will earn you respect and will get you results. Confidence will free you from countless hours of wasted worry. It will bring a priceless energy and enthusiasm to whatever you undertake.

Confidence is not something you acquire by seeking it directly. Instead, it grows as you give it more reason to grow, as you make the foundation for that confidence more solid. True confidence comes not as a result of attempting to be confident, but rather as a result of working to make a difference in the world.

Confidence comes from knowing that what you’re doing is right, and that what you’re doing is right for you. It is built by taking risks and seeking challenges. It is strengthened through experience, perseverance and commitment.

Know who you are and where you’re going, and your confidence will grow. Keep yourself focused and disciplined, and your confidence will soar. Live with integrity and the awesome power of true confidence will be yours with which to do great things.


We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.

Roderick Thorp


She says this is what we really mean:

"I can’t find it." MEANS: It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I am completely clueless.

"That’s women’s work." MEANS: It’s difficult, dirty, and thankless.

"Will you marry me?" MEANS: Both of my roommates have moved out, I can’t find the washer, and there’s no milk left.

"It’s a guy thing." MEANS: There’s no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.

"Can I help with dinner?" MEANS: Why isn’t it already on the table?

"It would take too long to explain." MEANS: I have no idea how it works.

"I’m getting more exercise lately." MEANS: The batteries in the remote are dead.

"We’re going to be late." MEANS: I have a legitimate reason for driving like a maniac.

"Take a break, honey, you’re working too hard." MEANS: I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.

"That’s interesting dear." MEANS: Are you still talking?

"Honey, we don’t need material things to prove our love." MEANS: I forgot our anniversary again.

"You expect too much from me." MEANS: You expect me to stay awake?

"It’s really a good movie." MEANS: It’s got guns, knives, fast cars, and half clothed women.

"You know how bad my memory is." MEANS: I remember the words to the theme song of F-Troop, the address of the first girl I kissed, and the vehicle identification number of every car I’ve ever owned, but I forgot your birthday.


A Doctor’s secretary called an old farmer out my way and said: "Your check came back."

The old man replied, "So did my arthritis."


Bob is a favorite conductor among commuters on the Long Island Rail Road.  He has great rapport with the regulars, but occasionally runs into a problem rider.  One passenger, for instance, seemed irritated at having to hand over his ticket to be punched.

"Where are you going today?" Bob asked, smiling.

"Well, what does the ticket say?" replied the traveler sarcastically.  

"Um, it says you’re on the wrong train," Bob informed him.

"What am I supposed to do now?" asked the flustered passenger.

Returning the punched card, Bob replied calmly, "Ask the ticket."


"If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive.

Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved."

Maurice Chevalier

In the same vain, an executive of a company I once worked for told me that he “would rather have an imperfect Christmas Tree in mid-December than a perfect tree in mid-January.” His words have stuck with me ever since. How often do we withhold something of value because it is not yet perfect? In my experience we often find that others can fine tune our work and perfection soon comes after we have made a timely release of something of value.



"If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?"

Steven Wright


A man walks into a dentist’s office and says, "Excuse me, can you help me. I think I’m a moth."

Dentist: "You don’t need a dentist. You need a psychiatrist."

Man: "Yes, I know."

Dentist: "So why did you come in here?"

Man: "The light was on…"


People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Chose your own path

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson




Between shots, tests and appointments today suffice it to say that they were able to wear me down. It is almost 3 PM and I have been on the go since 6:30 am so rather then embarrass myself I’ll blow the dust off a past Daily and send that today.


Ray’s Daily

October 5, 2006


I was with a friend today who said he had decided that he had wasted too much of his life blindly following others. What he said reminded me of what Earl Nightingale wrote many years ago. It still has meaning today.

Don’t Follow the Follower

Processionary caterpillars travel in long, undulating lines, one creature behind the other. Jean Hanri Fabre, the French entomologist, once lead a group of these caterpillars onto the rim of a large flowerpot so that the leader of the procession found himself nose to tail with the last caterpillar in the procession, forming a circle without end or beginning.

Through sheer force of habit and, of course, instinct, the ring of caterpillars circled the flowerpot for seven days and seven nights, until they died from exhaustion and starvation. An ample supply of food was close at hand and plainly visible, but it was outside the range of the circle, so the caterpillars continued along the beaten path.

People often behave in a similar way. Habit patterns and ways of thinking become deeply established, and it seems easier and more comforting to follow them than to cope with change, even when that change may represent freedom, achievement, and success. If someone shouts, “Fire!” it is automatic to blindly follow the crowd, and many thousands have needlessly died because of it. How many stop to ask themselves: Is this really the best way out of here?

So many people miss the boat because it’s easier and more comforting to follow without questioning the qualifications of the people just ahead than to do some independent thinking and checking.

A hard thing for most people to fully understand is that people in such numbers can be so wrong, like the caterpillars going around and around the edge of the flowerpot, with life and food just a short distance away. If most people are living that way, it must be right, they think. But a little checking will reveal that throughout all recorded history the majority of mankind has an unbroken record of being wrong about most things, especially important things. For a time we thought the earth was flat and later we thought the sun, stars, and planets traveled around the Earth. Both ideas are now considered ridiculous, but at the time they were believed and defended by the vast majority of followers. In the hindsight of history we must have looked like those caterpillars blindly following the follower out of habit rather than stepping out of line to look for the truth.

It’s difficult for people to come to the understanding that only a small minority of people ever really get the word about life, about living abundantly and successfully. Success in the important departments of life seldom comes naturally, no more naturally than success at anything — a musical instrument, sports, fly-fishing, tennis, golf, business, marriage, parenthood.


“The wisest men follow their own direction”



A boy is about to go on his first date, and is nervous about what to talk about. He asks his father for advice. The father replies: "My son, there are three subjects that always work. These are food, family, and philosophy."

The boy picks up his date and they go to a soda fountain. Ice cream sodas in front of them, they stare at each other for a long time, as the boy’s nervousness builds.

He remembers his father’s advice, and chooses the first topic.

He asks the girl: "Do you like spinach?" She says "No," and the silence returns.

After a few more uncomfortable minutes, the boy thinks of his father’s suggestion and turns to the second item on the list. He asks, "Do you have a brother?" Again, the girl says "No" and there is silence once again.

The boy then plays his last card. He thinks of his father’s advice and asks the girl the following question: "If you had a brother, would he like spinach?"


If the computer is so smart, how come it gets blamed for our mistakes?


Doug had always been teased by his friends that his wife was more successful than he was. Some even went so far as to insinuate that he was overshadowed by her and henpecked. Doug had a sense of humor and always laughed it off. One day, one of his fiends asked the tiresome question AGAIN, "Who wears the pants in your family?"

"I do," replied Doug.  Then, after a pause, he added, "I also wash and iron them."


"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That’s where we come in; we’re computer professionals. We cause accidents."

Nathaniel Borenstein


What Exactly Is Marriage?

  • "Marriage is when you get to keep your girl and don’t have to give her back to her parents" -Eric, six years old
  • "When somebody’s been dating for a while, the boy might propose to the girl. He says to her, ‘I’ll take you for a whole life, or at least until we have kids and get divorced, but you got to do one particular thing for me.’ Then she says yes, but she’s wondering what the thing is and whether it’s naughty or not. She can’t wait to find out." -Anita, nine years old
  • How Does a Person Decide Whom to marry? "You flip a nickel, and heads means you stay with him and tails means you try the next one." -Kelly, nine years old
  • "My mother says to look for a man who is kind….That’s what I’ll do….I’ll find somebody who’s kinda tall and handsome." -Carolyn, eight years old


Action is the antidote for despair.

Joan Baez


She said: As I was nursing my baby, my cousin’s six-year-old daughter came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast-feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing. After mulling over my answers, she remarked, "My mom has some of those, but I don’t think she knows how to use them."


For fast acting relief; try slowing down.

Lily Tomlin


A noted psychiatrist was a guest at a blonde gathering, and his hostess naturally broached the subject in which the doctor was most at ease. "Would you mind telling me, Doctor," she asked, "how you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?" "Nothing is easier," he replied. "You ask a simple question which anyone should answer with no trouble. If he hesitates, that puts you on the track." "What sort of question?" "Well, you might ask him, ‘Captain Cook made three trips around the world and died during one of them. Which one?’ The blonde thought a moment, then said with a nervous laugh, "You wouldn’t happen to have another example would you? I must confess I don’t know much about history…."


He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.


Two retired professors were vacationing with their wives at a hotel in the Catskills.

They were sitting on the verandah one summer evening, watching the sun set.

The history professor asked the psychology professor, "Have you read Marx?"

To which the professor of psychology replied, "Yes and I think it’s these pesky wicker chairs."


"You must have courage to bet on your ideals, to take calculated risk, and act.

Everyday living requires courage if life is to be effective and bring happiness."

Maxwell Maltz


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

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