Who holds the keys?

Never let the other fellow set the agenda. James Baker 1930 – I’d like you to consider a question: what would it take to make you happy–or at least happier than you are now? What changes in your life do you long for the most? Take a moment or two and really give this issue some thought. I don’t know what circumstances sprang to mind for each of you. But if you’re like most people, you have a few deeply held desires, and you believe that attaining them would make you truly happy. Now imagine that you’re in a warehouse …
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A fairer judge

No one should be judge in his own case. Publilius Syrus 1st century B.C. When we see the words “judge” and “case” in the same sentence, our thoughts naturally turn to the legal system. It seems obvious that, within that context, you should not be the judge for your own case. We all have a natural bias that would prevent being totally objective. But if you stop and think about the words of Syrus, you’ll see that they apply far beyond the legal system. We’re often judge in our own case. And most of the time, because of our natural …
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Building a house

A man’s character is his fate. Heraclitus c. 540 – c. 480 B.C. Many years ago, I worked for a home building company, and I observed very interesting behavior among people purchasing custom-built homes prior to construction. Because of the soil conditions in the area, it was necessary to drive pilings to support the concrete slab. After the slab was poured, the frame was erected. New homeowners rarely visited the house prior to the framing, but once the house was framed and sheetrock was hung, the new owners generally stopped by every two or three days. The closer it got to completion, the …
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