Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!



Job 4:1-7:21  Job’s friends give him plenty of bad advice. They mistakenly blame his sufferings–Job’s dead workers, dead animals, and illness–on his personal sins rather than God testing and growing Job.  Job cries out to God, “If I have sinned, what have I done to you?  Why make me your target?   Why not just forgive my sin and take away my guilt?  For soon I will lie down in the dust and die.   When you look for me, I will be gone.”

1 Corinthians 14:18-40  Apostle Paul encourages Christians, “My dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues.  But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.”

Psalm 37:30-40  Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.  But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.

Proverbs 21:27  The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when offered with wrong motives.






August 22, 2012 Posted by | Attitude, Change, Christianity, Compassion, Education, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, History, International, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Math and Science Made Simple at Khan’s (Free Virtual) Academy!

I didn’t choose a business or a science field because I couldn’t make sense of what I should have learned in high school; but from this day forward, I’m saying “Adios!” to my math and science phobias!  

If you can relate, welcome aboard.  Check out Kahn Academy, where YouTube’s ‘professor’ Sal Khan make both basic and seemingly difficult concepts — from addition to calculus, chemistry to physics — a walk in the park!

Khan’s lessons are free, 10 minutes or less, simple, visual, and self-paced — start and pause as we please!  If I can learn, you can, too!

These testimonials say it all:

  • “I learned more about calculus in the last few hours than in the whole of the last semester at university.  I was almost ready to change majors because I wasn’t understanding much of the content but am now up to speed.” (Derek Hoy/ Geophysics Major at University of Queensland, Australia)
  • “I think he rocks.  I’m studying pre-algebra and I love it!”  (Felix Thibodeau, 11, Wilmington, N.C.) (Full Story)

Happy learning! 🙂

June 27, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Business, Change, Education, Freedom, History, International, Passion, Purpose, Success, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philanthropy: The Difference Between Enabling and Empowerment

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  (Chinese Proverb) 

Over the years, billions of dollars in aid have poured from the developed to developing nations.  Yet 80 percent of our world’s population live on less than $10 per day.


Perhaps one answer to this complicated issue may lie in enabling — temporary relief — not empowerment.  

Temporary reliefs are handouts.  They’re necessary, especially in life or death situations.  Basic needs — shelter, food, and water — must be met before improving lives. Once immediate needs are met, however, should additional donations continue to simply feed and clothe its recipients?

Are such acts of “kindness” empowering the people or are handouts in the name of “donations” degrading creative minds and resilient spirits into beggars and dependents?

In The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, the Salwens sold their house and gave away $800,000 to the Hunger Project in Ghana; to equip and empower its people to take back their lives and become self-sufficient:

(Click for video)

We go back into the villages of Ghana [where my family and I invested our funds], and this time the chief hands us a list of things they have accomplished.  ‘Look what we’ve done.’  They are proud of their own activities.  Oh, this is good.  [Empower, not enable].  We are making progress.

The Salwens asked five questions before committing to their work in Ghana:

  • Will our work empower or be a Band-Aid?
  • Do we respect the culture? Do we have enough humility to see our new partners/recipients as equals?
  • Are those partners fully engaged in designing the project?
  • Are we doing this work for the same reasons as our partners, the folks we’re trying to help? Do we have a different agenda?
  • Are we committed for the long haul?  Change does not happen overnight.

Steep learning curve, for me, anyway.  But each of us can make a small difference.  Lots of small differences will result in change!

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.  (Anita Roddick)

To enable or to empower … THAT is the question.  🙂


March 14, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Food, Freedom, God, Health and Wellness, International, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Money, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Success, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coco Chanel C’est Magnifique!

“To be irreplaceable, you have to be different.”  (Coco Chanel)

Attractive, ambitious, charming, capricious, creative, elegant, simplicity, feisty, progressive, rebellious, legendary! 

Vive Chanel!

October 11, 2009 Posted by | Art, Attitude, Beauty, Business, Change, Dream, Europe, Heart, International, Leadership, Mind, Movie, Passion, Success, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Million Minutes — The 21st Century Education

“American students are capable of competing academically with the best in the world given the right curriculum, the right teachers, the right inspiration, and expectation for success.”  (Robert Compton, Executive Producer Two Million Minutes

To expect less than the best from our children and our students is CHILD ABUSE.


September 28, 2009 Posted by | America, Asia, Attitude, Business, Change, Education, Health and Wellness, International, Introspection, Leadership, Movie, Success, USA, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People” (Summary)

In a nut shell, treat others the way you want to be treated — respect, listen, empathize, encourage!

I wonder how long it’ll take my head knowledge to drop down a foot and become heart knowledge — hopefully, not a lifetime!

For readers joining us today, click on the link(s) which interest you:

  1. The Art of Leadership
  2. Three Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  3. Six Ways to Connect With People (I)
  4. Six Ways to Connect With People (II)
  5. Twelve Ways to Persuade    (I) — Blow Off Steam or Problem Solve?
  6. Twelve Ways to Persuade   (II) — Empathize, Ask Questions, Listen
  7. Twelve Ways to Persuade (III) — Place Others First
  8. Twelve Ways to Persuade  (IV) — Take the High Road, Dramatize, Challenge!
  9. Nine Ways to Change People Without Arousing Resentment (I)
  10. Nine Ways to Change People Without Arousing Resentment (II)

Mr. Carnegie, THANK YOU for your wisdom and insights.  I will integrate them throughout life’s journey.

Thank you all for your support! 🙂

July 19, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, International, Introspection, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dale Carnegie’s “Nine Ways to Change People Without Arousing Resentment” (IX)

Bottom line, we humans are emotional (illogical) creatures.  Rub people the wrong way, we can be right — dead right.  I’d much rather smell the roses, not the coffin.  How about you?

So how do we navigate life?

  • Begin with praise and honest appreciation
  • Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
  • Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing others
  • Ask questions; avoid giving orders
  • Save face

Principle 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation

It’s always easier to listen to unpleasant comments after we’ve heard some praise and good points (like the dentist who uses Novocain prior to drilling teeth)

A manager of a credit union informed her supervisor regarding her new hire’s sub par ability to balance the books.

After the office closed, the branch manager, who had been taking Dale Carnegie’s course, went over to talk to the employee.  Understandably, she was nervous and upset.

The branch manager praised the employee for her professional and friendly manner with the customers and complimented her accuracy and speed during that work.

The branch manager then reviewed the closing procedure.  Once the employee knew her top manager’s confidence in her, she easily followed the suggestions and quickly mastered the functions.

Principle 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly

Charles Schwab was passing through one of his steel mills when he came across his employees smoking in the “No Smoking” area.  Schwab walked over to the men, handed each one a cigar and said, “I’ll appreciate it, boys, if you’ll smoke these outside.”

(SAVVY!  I WOULD LOVE to shadow Mr. Schwab.  I’ll learn more from him in one day than I ever will on my own in a lifetime!)

Principle 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing others

(Absolutely!  Bitter pills are much easier to swallow with a dose of empathy.  People are MUCH MORE CONVINCING when they share their experience in the trenches as well as their triumphs.  “I understand.  I’ve been there.” —Voila!  Instant bond, listening ears, respect!)

Principle 4: Ask questions instead of giving orders.  Promote participant’s buy-in.

Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; questions often stimulate the creativity of the persons whom you ask.  People are more likely to accept an order if they have had some input in the decision.

(True.  No one likes to be told what to do.)

Principle 5: Save face

Even if we are right and the other person dead wrong, we only destroy the ego by causing someone to lose face (more importantly, lose productivity — big time).

Ever heard of a top-notch employee who decides to work for the competitor after losing face at a high-stakes meeting?

(Likes attract.  Emotionally challenged bosses don’t deserve highly qualified workers).

“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes.  What matters is not what I think of him but what he thinks of himself.  Hurting a man’s dignity is a crime.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the legendary French aviation pioneer)

Lots of insights!  Steep learning curves!  Live and learn — one day at a time!

Wish me luck!  🙂

July 15, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Freedom, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, International, Introspection, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, People, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dale Carnegie’s “Twelve Ways to Persuade”–Take The High Road, Dramatize, Challenge! (VIII)

Two days left!  Let’s cut to the chase!

Before we begin, however, please note that principles stated in Mr. Carnegie’s books are not merely bag of tricks for improving human relations.  According to our expert, “Principles must be implemented with care, sincerity, and honesty.”

(Great point!  We can all smell flatterers and manipulators miles away!)

Principle 10:  Appeal to noble motives

People are idealists at heart.  We like to think of motives that sound good.  So in order to change others, appeal to nobler motives.  Example:

James L. Thomas collected “uncollectable accounts” by empathizing, listening, and appealing to customers’ nobler motives:

“I’m sorry you’ve been annoyed and inconvenienced by one of our representatives.  As a representative, I apologize.  As I listened to your side of the story, I could not help but be impressed by your fairness and patience.  Because of your fairness and patience, I’m going to ask a favor.  I believe you can do it better than and know about it more than anyone else.  I’m going to ask you to adjust your bill, as you would if you were the president of my company.  I’m going to leave it up to you.  Whatever you say, goes.”

(I’m not sure how often this strategy works but from what I’ve read so far, I can see that hurting people’s ego is NOT the way to get results.  A two-year-old can tell it like it is.  I’ll try the above.  I only fail when I fail to try.  Wish me luck!)

Principle 11:  Dramatize

Merely stating facts isn’t enough.  You have to make an impression.  The facts have to be made vivid, interesting, and dramatic.  Use showmanship.  The movie does it.  Television does it.  If you want attention, go for it!

(Want an interview?  Stop sending resumes.  Study the organization inside out.  Show up at the CEO’s office with a 30 second spiel.  Make a positive impression.  Inform.  Tell the manager how your skills will benefit the company.  In the next 30 seconds, share your portfolio.  Show and tell.  Make a strong first impression.  Screw the red tape! … I was desperate for a job — get hired or stay home.  What have I got to lose?  NOTHING! …  I got the job!  If I can do it, you can do it better!  Good luck!)

Principle 12:  When all else fails, throw down a challenge

Successful people love the game: the chance for self-expression, the chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win.  Why do contestants participate in relay races and pie-eating contests?

Charles Schwab got his mill workers producing by stimulating competition between the day shift and night shift workers.  At the beginning of each shift, employees would see on the floor how much the other shift produced.

(Smart guy!  Mr. Schwab capitalized on employees’ desire to excel.  The challenge was non-threatening because the result displayed group [not individual] effort.  AND the challenge was doable; not overwhelming or impossible.)

Frederic Herzberg, one of the great behavioral scientists, concurred.  He conducted an in-depth study of work attitudes of thousands ranging from factory workers to senior executives.

His findings?

What stimulated employees the most — money, professionally decorated offices, benefits?  None of the  above.

People were motivate by the work.  If the assignment was exciting and interesting, the worker looked forward to the task and was motivated to do a good job.

(I agree and disagree.  As long as employees receive a livable wage, money and benefits may not be at the top of their lists.  As psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “Basic needs — food and shelter — must be met before self-actualization can take place.”)

Thoughts?  Two more days!

Thanks for your support on this journey! 🙂

July 14, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Freedom, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, International, Introspection, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, People, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dale Carnegie’s “Twelve Ways to Persuade”– Place Others First (VII)

Sounds simple enough … in head-knowledge, anyway.  If I could do this 24/7, especially amidst adversity, I will see a halo over my head.

Certainly not yet but I sure can try.

(7) Principle 7: How to get cooperation — Let others believe your ideas are theirs

Make suggestions.  Let others think they reached your conclusion.  People don’t want to be told what to do.  There’s more enthusiasm and buy-in when people are consulted:

A salesman for an x-ray manufacturer sold his equipment to one of the largest hospitals in Brooklyn.  How?  By seeking his potential customer’s suggestion and thoughts on product-development and improvement!

(The salesman didn’t tout his horn or force his ideas on his customer.  Smart guy — a well deserved sale!)

(8) The magic formula: Try to see the situation from others’ perspectives

The glass is always half full.  People respond favorably to warmth and encouragement; never to harsh actions and criticisms.

(Right on Mr. Carnegie!  You and Aesop understand human nature so well!)

(9) Empathize with others’ ideas and desires.

Three-fourths of the people you’ll meet are hungering and thirsting for empathy.  Give it to them.  They will love you:

A manger of an elevator-escalator company persuades a leading hotel manager to shutdown his escalator for a few hours.  The first manager suggests, “I know your hotel is quite busy and understand your concern.  We would like to keep the escalator shutdown to a minimum.  Our diagnosis of the situation, however, shows that if we don’t complete the job now, your escalator may suffer more serious damage resulting in inconveniencing your guests for several days.”

(Fill a need!  Let people know “what’s in it for them.”  Love your insights, Mr. Carnegie!)

Last but not least, the chapter concludes with a 2500-year-old Chinese wisdom:

The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them.  Thus they are able to reign over all the mountain streams.  So the sage, wishing to be above men, put himself below them; wishing to be before them, he put himself behind them.  Thus though his place be above men, they do not feel his weight; though his place be before them, they do not count it an injury.

Truth — universal, eternal, supreme.  🙂

July 13, 2009 Posted by | Art, Asia, Attitude, Beauty, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Freedom, God, Health and Wellness, Heart, History, International, Introspection, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Mind, Passion, Peace, People, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freedom — The Right of All Mankind

Throughout history, dictators — despicable tyrants — have fought tooth and nail to control the masses.

If  they would only understand — violence and oppression may guarantee short-term power (a generation or two, at most), but never the respect nor the support of its people necessary for the governance and prosperity of a sovereign nation.

Iran, for example, is at a point of no return.  People are openly defiant; cell phone photos and the Internet exposing the regime’s violent acts for the world to see.

The dust will settle; sooner, if not later.

Then what?  Who will be next on world’s stage?

North Korea, perhaps — an isolated nation of human tragedies, a regime thriving on criminality, “hell on earth” with an estimated unemployment rate as high as 95 percent — where bribery, stealing, starvation, human trafficking, imprisonment, and torture are the norm.

Atrocities abound:

  • In North Korea, good people can’t survive; stealing, a necessary evil.
  • High-ranking North Korean defectors have testified before Congress saying that the government is overseeing the production and export of heroin and methamphetamine.
  • The quality of fertilizer South Koreans give the North is so good (and expensive), the North Korean government sells it to a Southeast Asian country.  The North continues to use fertilizer full of acidity, yielding minimal harvest.
  • The regime practices collective punishment — guilt by association.  “Political wrongdoers” and their families (accidentally sitting on a newspaper printed with the leader’s face, not hanging leaders’ portraits in homes [officials check residences], etc.) — up to three generations — are imprisoned for their “crime.”

Despite horrific accounts, positive changes are taking place inside one of the world’s most oppressive regimes.  Political shifts are occurring due to the flow of refugees back and forth from China.

These days, North Koreans are openly criticizing their government — when a few gather, discontent spills over … North Koreans are learning their country is not “paradise on earth.” (Full Story)

As people discover the truth, the regime’s grip loosens … Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, is now the last bastion of super-control.  The rural area is becoming the ‘Wild West.'”  With fear declining, there’s great potential for change.  The regime’s control is deteriorating. (Tom White, Executive Director of Voice of the Martyrs)

June 24, 2009 Posted by | Asia, Attitude, Body, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Citizen, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Freedom, God, Heart, History, International, Introspection, Iraq, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, People, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress, Success, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment