Quote of the Day, July 3, 2014: “The philosophy of the rich versus the poor is this: The rich invest their money and then spend what is left; The poor spend their money and then invest what is left.”

I’m going to avoid the obvious meaning of the saying, that is money, and I’m going to offer an alternative view, albeit a parallel one.

I play piano. Better than some, and worse than others. I’ll leave it at that. Without going into my long history with the instrument, which included lessons while I was a young boy that I loathed at times, I will say that I fell in love and got the bug during my time at university.

There I met many pianists, guitarists, bassoonists, and all types of musicians of varying skill levels. Some were professionals already hoping to hone their skills under the tutelage of those even more advanced than they. Some may as well have been beginners, seemingly having had decided to make music their major at the last minute while registering for classes. I would have fallen in the latter category, with the exception that music was not my major at all, just a newfound love.

Though I started out behind most pianists I met, my deep desire aroused in me a rare type of discipline. The kind one usually notices in a man trying to woo a woman. I had a goal and a drive to attain it that surpassed my desires for anything else at the time, women included. I found myself “borrowing” any sheet music I could get my hands on. I found myself ditching class in order to practice. I may have ‘allowed’ the secretary at the music department to believe I was a music major so as to have access to pianos to practice on. It was so bad that I even distinctly remember blowing of an incredibly attractive blonde cheerleader (whom I had a pretty sizable crush on at the time) for a party that she really wanted me to attend with her, so that I could solidify a piece of music that I had been working on all week. So instead of partying with her, which would have been the “logical” college thing to do at the time, I instead was running my fingers over the smooth ivory keys of a baby grand deep into the night on a sultry Friday evening.first steps pic

To put it short. What I wanted above all things at that time was proficiency at the piano. I asked questions about the piano. I dreamt about the piano. I played air piano on my binder in class. And most importantly I spend my time and energy on my goal, the piano. Looking back, until my father’s death, which deadened my drive for some time, I practiced piano for an average of 4 hours a day. When my fingers hurt, or when the practice rooms were closed for a holiday, and I had some free time, then I’d go to the party or hang out with the guys. They understood though. They had drives too.

There were those who didn’t understand though. They said they wanted to be good at the piano or perhaps another instrument, but every time there was a party you’d be sure to see them there. Any time there was a cute girl to be distracted by they were ready to give her their undivided attention. On the occasional Wednesday leading up to the Thanksgiving weekend you’d see them in the practice rooms, mostly because everyone else had gone home and they were getting some practicing in to stave off boredom.

Now years later, my close friends, the ones who understood when I wasn’t at the party every Friday night, mostly because they were also ditching the party, and in the practice room down the hall from me, gig all the time. Many have become professionals and live completely off their instrument, or the royalties from music they write or perform. They have become rich beyond their wildest dreams when it comes to opportunities to use the musical talents they have spent a lifetime developing. Our other friends look at us and say, “Well you’re just a lot more talented than I am. I wish I was born with as much rhythm as you,” always thinking that it was some sort of luck of the draw or a genetic disposition that created such a gap in the wealth of musical ability. At this point there is not much to say that they will believe or understand. After all, way back, when we only had two pennies of musical ability to rub together between the whole lot of us, they didn’t understand why we would spend so much time in the practice rooms, giving the piano the first and best hours of our day, and saving the left overs for the parties and the hanging out. They did exactly the opposite and gave the most to the women and the good times, and filled in the gaps with cultivating their skills.

But in the end both got what they desired. They truly wanted the women and the parties and they got them at that time, but now they do not have the musicality because they invested only the left-overs. We at the time, invested only our left overs in women and parties, and often felt left out when people forgot to invite us to get together, being accustomed to us not showing up in the first place. But we gave our best to the piano, and it is what has born fruit for us and continues to grow to this day, for after all, once you’re rich you tend to get richer.

So one gets a frat group of drinking buddies that extends deep into their 20s and perhaps 30s. The other gets a skill that if nurtured, keeps growing and satisfies both them and those around them. Each to his own philosophy, investing first one way, then spending the rest another, or visa versa. The thing is, by the time you’re this age, the musician is the party and always gets an invite, where the guy who’s got no skills but is merely a good time often gets forgotten. Oddly enough the old adage is true, that when it comes to the poor, no matter what type of commodity of currency you’re speaking of, it does seem that even what he has is taken from him. Invest wisely.

With Nothing Less Than What You Started: Chapter 3, Excerpt 2

Now that you’ve decided why it is you want to get the attention of a particular girl, and those images you’ve conjured up of you and her 10 years down the line raising a family together and living happily ever after have gotten you all pumped to go out and talk to her, you’ve still got something else to consider. This one may prove for some to be a little tougher than the previous chapter. It may even be a chapter that you are tempted to skip, but I assure you, no matter how difficult or easy this may prove to be, without it, you will ultimately be sunk with women, but with it, you will not only increase your success with females sevenfold but in life as well. It will take honesty (with yourself which often is the hardest kind to practice), courage, and a healthy dose of reality. You’ve figured out why you want her, but now the task is to discover…why should she want you?

I’ve found that often men don’t give much thought to this. They simply see someone that they want, for whatever reason, and go for it, without ever considering how or why they are going to arouse reciprocal feelings in the other person. This is foolish for two reasons. One is that whenever you want something, you should always have a plan or a strategy on how you are going to obtain it. It doesn’t have to be a complex strategy, but a goal without a clear plan on how to achieve that goal is simply some lofty fantasy that has no ladder connecting it to your present reality. Imagine you are playing one on one basketball against a guy that is bigger than you, stronger than you, and jumps higher than you. A strategy for winning that that consists of simply scoring more points than he does is foolish. Scoring more points is just like saying, “making her want me.” Of course that’s what constitutes winning but that still doesn’t give you any clue on how it’s actually going to happen. You must assess your opponent and also assess yourself, knowing your strengths and weaknesses and how they match up against his. For your basketball game, he may be bigger but you may be much quicker. He may be able to block your shot if you take it down low but out on the perimeter he can’t guard you and you just happen to be a great shooter. And if you’re not a great shooter, become one. You have to be thinking of these strengths beforehand so that you know to play to them if you want to give yourself the best chance to win. A woman is the same way. Women in today’s world have hundreds if not thousands of learned and built in defenses to ward of ‘players’ from ‘scoring.’ Now to continue with the basketball analogy, I believe that this sports quote can also apply to approaching women, “Good offense always beats good defense.” That’s good news for us, but if you don’t already know your strengths and weaknesses, and what you have to bring to the table before you even approach the ‘game’, then you can prepare to get ‘shut out’………………..

………………….I was once told by a friend who had worked in sales for 30 years that the art of selling isn’t actually selling at all, but it’s showing the other person that you actually want to help them. A woman has needs; emotional needs, romantic needs, sexual needs. Women have Maslow written all over them and they are constantly on the lookout for someone or something that can meet these needs. Don’t let them convince you otherwise. As we know the Lord is much more than enough to satisfy our needs in their entirety but in the sense of romance, sexuality and human companionship, many of these female needs can be met by you. The only problem is that when you approach a woman with a foul pickup line or something of that nature, she can sense from a mile away that you are trying to sell her something. And just like in the sales world, that sense brings up so many negative feelings in a woman. Selling makes her think you are trying to con her, that you are only looking out for self and not her interests. Once a woman gets a hint of that, no amount of smooth talking or brilliant one-liners is going to break that barrier. Again, here the art is to know the product you’re selling (yourself) and then don’t sell it. Show her how by investing in you, she is actually helping herself meet some of those needs she has. That’s what knowing yourself is like. You have to have a good sense of what you can offer a woman and then an effective way of showing that to her. (Keep the effective way of showing her in mind. I’ll touch on that later on in the book. It might not be exactly what you think)…………………