Once upon a time, the counting of electoral votes was sacrosanct. Even Richard Nixon respected the process. Yes, the same guy who covered up his role in the break-in of democrat headquarters during the 1972 presidential election.
Nixon may have been all-in on trying to influence the vote, but he respected the count. As Vice President in 1961, he oversaw his own defeat to John F Kennedy. Despite allegations of voter fraud, he refused to contest the election because he thought it would convey weakness to the rest of the world.
I don’t recall what Cara looked like, only what she said on our first and only date —some vague reference to my thinning hair. Time has clouded my memory, so I can’t claim her comment was intended as an insult. Perhaps she found it attractive or distinctive, and I merely misinterpreted her words.
Regardless, the effect it had on my confidence devastated me for almost a decade.
Back in the 90s, as a young twenty-something, the smallest insult, the most insignificant rejection, and even the hint of indifference would decimate my self-esteem, sending my anxiety off the charts.
If you’re a fan of the show The Twilight Zone, you might know the name, Romney Wordsworth. He was the protagonist in the episode “The Obsolete Man.”
Wordsworth, a librarian, stands trial accused of being obsolete in a world where the state has banned all books. Wordsworth argues his case passionately, but the chancellor of the proceeding declares him obsolete and calls for his execution.
In the real world, the penalty for obsolescence can result in a metaphorical death — the death of a career, financial health, and even self-esteem.
That’s where I found myself one morning in 2005, hiking…
When Terry entered the room, nobody noticed him, not even me. He struggled to get a foothold in the conversation, too quiet, too nondescript to draw attention.
When someone finally made introductions, the rest of us stared as if we were in the presence of a secret celebrity. Wow. This skinny, unassuming guy set up the event.
As the conversation advanced, Terry chose his words carefully, rarely talked about himself, but gradually attracted folks into his circle until it turned into a crowd.
Just when it seemed like his mythical trance over us waned, he’d compliment someone on their use…
Sixteen years ago, I had no job, no income, less than $1,000 in savings, and debts totaling $22,000. My one shot at entrepreneurship put me in precarious financial and professional jeopardy.
Today, I’m what you’d call a middle-class millionaire. When I add up assets and subtract liabilities, the net balance exceeds the mythical threshold, but you’d never know it from my lifestyle.
My house looks like a generic old home you’d find in Anytown, USA. It needs more work than we can afford, and not a day goes by that I wish I had resisted the drama of home-ownership.
Life lessons come in two flavors. The first kind demands you give up an unproductive behavior to avoid a painful outcome.
Here’s an example:
Let’s suppose you show up to work an hour late every day. Eventually, your boss will fire you. The pain of losing your job and all it entails will motivate you to be more punctual with your next employer.
The other type of life lesson requires you to endure pain before reaping a reward.
A college student knows they must study to get good grades, but they opt to party because studying bores them while partying…
During the Las Vegas renaissance of the early 90s, I worked as a room reservations agent at one of the glitzy new resorts. That’s where I met Amy — the confident, outgoing alluring woman everyone worshipped.
She liked rebellious guys, the kind where friends would ask, Are you sure about him? Nobody had ever labeled me as a rebel, so it shocked me when she invited me to a dance club with her friends.
After several sketchy mixed drinks, we slow danced to techno music. Yup, we were that annoying couple. …
Whether you’re a writer of short stories, blogs, or emails, there’s a simple exercise you can do to strengthen your craft.
Revisit an old piece a week or two after publishing. It’s easier to spot flaws when you read your piece without the emotion of impending publication or the pressure of a deadline.
In almost every piece, you’ll find a typo, a confusing sentence, a silly cliché, or some other shame-inducing writing faux pas.
That’s what happened to me this morning. I opened a recent story and nearly cried at my blatant defilement of the English language.
A former copywriting mentor once advised, “When you write sales copy, pretend someone’s pointing a gun to your head saying sell this or die.”
He reasoned that you wouldn’t worry about coming on too strong or trying too hard in a life or death situation. You’d do whatever’s necessary.
The advice never worked. Your brain knows the difference between imagining a gun pointed at your head and the reality of a real one pressed against your temple.
Even though his method failed, his argument rings true. …