Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I don’t know most of the readers of this blog or the callers to Success Hotline.

Even though I don’t know you – I do know something about you. And this is the one thing that almost all my readers and callers have in common.

Here’s what I know about you: There’s something inside you that wants to


I don’t know what level you’re on. You might be a beginner or an expert. You might be a rookie or a veteran. You might work for the company or own the company. IT DOESN’T MATTER! There’s a burning desire inside you that wants to


I love people who have this “get-to-the-next-level” type of burning desire. I love people who have taken their craft to the next level. Michael Jordan did. The Beatles did. Oprah Winfrey did.

That’s why I’m a big fan of Terry Fator’s. He’s a ventriloquist who also does impressions. Or he’s an impressionist who’s also a ventriloquist. In either case, he’s a master of what he does. He’s taken it to the next level.

Don’t settle – take it to the next level! For a great tip on how to do this – call Success Hotline today at (973) 743-4690 . . .

Rob Gilbert

P.S. You might know Terry Fator from America’s Got Talent. If you want to see someone taking it to the next level . . . just click here.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Thanks to all the readers who contributed their lists to yesterday’s blog.

I’ll keep it going with a top ten list from Dr. Funk.

Who was Dr. Funk?

Have you heard of Funk & Wagnall’s dictionary?

Dr. Willard Funk, the famous dictionary publisher, was once asked to pick the 10 most expressive words in the English language.

Here they are...


The most bitter word – ALONE

The most tragic word – DEATH

The most reverent word – MOTHER

The most beautiful word – LOVE

The most cruel word – REVENGE

The most peaceful word – TRANQUIL

The saddest word – FORGOTTEN

The warmest word – FRIENDSHIP

The coldest word – NO

The most comforting word – FAITH

Here’s what I’d like to know...

What are the TOP TEN places to visit?
What are the TOP TEN healthiest foods?
What are the TOP TEN inspiring movies of all time?
What are your TOP TEN favorite motivational quotes?
Who are your TOP TEN heroes/heroines?
What’s your favorite David Letterman TOP TEN list?

Now it’s your turn. Just click here to submit.

Thanks for reading my blog. Now contribute to it.

Rob Gilbert

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Never a day went by when you didn’t learn

something from McCarthy.
- Joe DiMaggio, baseball superstar

Joe McCarthy (1887-1978) was a legendary baseball manager. McCarthy’s commandments first appeared in the Boston Herald in 1949. They still hold true for baseball and for life.



1. Nobody ever became a ballplayer by walking after a ball.

2. You will never become a .300 hitter unless you take the bat off your shoulder.

3. An outfielder who throws in back of a runner is locking the barn after the horse is stolen.

4. Keep your head up and you may not have to keep it down.

5. When you slide – slide. He who changes his mind may have to change a good leg for a bad one.

6. Do not alibi on bad hops. Anyone can field the good ones.

7. Always run them out. You never can tell.

8. Do not quit.

9. Do not fight with the umpires. You cannot expect them to be as perfect as you are.

10. A pitcher who hasn’t control hasn’t anything.

If you know baseball, you realize that McCarthy’s list is close to perfect.

What is your expertise? Teaching piano? Writing romance novels? Raising teenagers?

What are your commandments? Why don’t you write them down? After all, you have a unique perspective.

Here’s my list . . .



1. Show up.

2. Pay attention.

3. Ask questions.

4. Ask for help.

5. Help others.

6. Take great notes.

7. Do the work whether you like it or not.

8. Never ever cheat.


10. Call Success Hotline (973.743.4690)

This was adapted from my book How to Have Fun Without Failing Out: 430 Tips from a College Professor.

Now share your list with the world! No, it doesn’t have to be Ten Commandments. It can be whatever you want -- after all, IT’S YOUR LIST!

Now it’s your turn. Just click here to submit . . .

Thanks for reading my blog. Now contribute to it!

Rob Gilbert

Saturday, July 28, 2007


A PREDICTION: Sometime today you’re going to get irritated.

That’s a pretty safe prediction, isn’t it?

What’s not so predictable is how you’re going to respond to that irritation. Are you going to focus on the


Here’s a story from Connections newsletter . . .

A grain of sand finds its way inside the shell of an oyster. The intruder, though microscopic, is a source of irritation and pain to the soft body of the oyster. Unable to rid itself of the unwelcome pebble, the oyster seeks to reduce the irritation by coating it with layers of soft, iridescent mother-of-pearl material from its own shell. Over time, the oyster creates a beautiful pearl of great value.

Today when you’re irritated are you going to concentrate on the pain or the possibilities?

Are you going to complain about your “pebble” or are you going to start making a pearl?

Problems become possibilities.

Weaknesses become strengths.

Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.

Give me a call today at Success Hotline (973.743.4690),

Rob Gilbert

Friday, July 27, 2007


GUARANTEE: Nine minutes from now, you’ll be worry-free!

Here’s all you have to do:

Step #1. Right now -- think about all your worries.

Step #2. Read WHY WORRY #1

Step #3. Watch the video at WHY WORRY #2.

Step #4. Call Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690.


There are only two things to worry about –

Either you are healthy or you are sick.

If you’re healthy, there’s nothing to worry about.

But, if you’re sick,
There are only two things to worry about –
Either you will get well or you will die.

If you get well, there’s nothing to worry about.

But if you die,
There are only two things to worry about –
Either you will go to heaven or you will go to hell.

If you go to heaven, there’s nothing to worry about.

But if you go to hell . . .
You’ll be so busy shaking hands with friends
You won’t have time to worry!

Author unknown


Long-time Success Hotline call Ed Smith sent me this great video.

I think you’ll love it.

Now all you have to do is call Success Hotline (973.743.4690)

Rob Gilbert

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Doc Counsilman, the great swimming coach at Indiana University from 1957 to 1990, hung a banner over his pool. There were only three words on it:


On the first day of practice every fall, Coach Counsilman would gather his team on the pool deck and point to the banner.

Counsilman would then tell his swimmers that if they wanted to compete for Indiana University, they would have to train every day until they hurt. But, if they had bigger goals and they wanted to be an NCAA or a national champion, they would have to train until they were in pain. But, if they had even bigger goals, and they wanted to be a world or an Olympic champion, they would have to train until they were in agony.


The following story is one of my all-time favorites from Bits & Pieces magazine . . .

Although Henri Matisse was nearly 30 years younger than Auguste Renoir, the two great artists were dear friends and frequent companions.

When Renoir was confined to his home during the last decade of his life, Matisse visited him daily.

Renoir, almost totally paralyzed by arthritis, continued to paint in spite of his infirmities. One day, as Matisse watched the elderly painter working in his studio, fighting torturous pain with each brush stroke, he blurted out: “Auguste, why do you continue to paint when you are in such agony?”

Renoir answered simply, “The beauty remains; the pain passes.”

One of his most famous paintings, The Bathers, was completed just two years before his passing – 14 years after he was stricken by his disabling disease.

And so, almost to his dying day, Renoir put paint to canvas.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Many years ago, Irv Furman, the great storyteller and magician, gave me this story . . .

A team of research scientists had selected four groups of monkeys for a pharmaceutical experiment.

The animals in the first group were to receive a high dose of the drug being studied.

Those in the second group were to get a moderate dose.

The monkeys in the third group were scheduled to receive a low dose of the drug.

And those in the fourth group were to be injected with a placebo.

The day before the experiment was to begin, the monkeys in the high-dose group were deprived of food while those in the other three groups were fed as usual.

On the morning of the experiment, tests revealed unexpected nutrients in the blood of the fasting monkeys. The researchers were surprised. They decided to repeat the previous day’s procedure, but this time they were going to observe the behavior of the monkeys at night when the lights were off.

The researchers made a touching discovery.

The monkeys who were being fed were passing their food to their hungry friends who were being deprived of food.

* * * * * * *

Today’s message is a sequel to Message #112 – FRIENDS FOREVER.

Give me a call today at Success Hotline – (973) 743-4690 . . .

Rob Gilbert

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This story is something totally different . . .

She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of Chardonnay.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar, into the hollow of the curtain rods.

She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.

When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell.

They tried everything, cleaning, mopping and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were steam cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked.

People stopped coming over to visit.

Repairmen refused to work in the house.

The maid quit.

Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move.

A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they could not find a buyer for their stinky house.

Word got out and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls.

Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going.

He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.

Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day.

She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork.

A week later the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home, including the curtain rods.



Monday, July 23, 2007


This is a picture of a life-saving hug. After birth, the twins were separated and placed in separate incubators.

One of the twins was got very sick. When she was near death, a nurse placed the girls together in the same incubator.

Instinctively, the healthier girl lovingly placed her arm around her sister.

The sicker twin began to thrive and soon the twins were sent home . . . where they shared a single crib.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I first heard about Michael DeSisto when the late-night talk-show host Joey Reynolds would sing his praises. Reynolds had a child who attended the DeSisto School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Michael DeSisto was a genius in working with “troubled” adolescents and his school was reported to be remarkable.

I got further intrigued when I discovered that one of my students at Montclair State had attended the DeSisto School. I loved her stories about the place.

Unfortunately, Michael DeSisto died in November 1, 2003 and the school closed in 2004.

My student, knowing of my interest in her school, was kind enough to give me a card that was given out at the funeral.

On one side on the card is a picture of a butterfly and . . .

A. Michael DeSisto

May 29, 1939

November 1, 2003

On the other side . . .

The butterfly is the most ‘human’ of all insects,
for the pain of its metamorphosis most closely
resembles the pain experienced in human growth.
If we know that the beautiful butterfly inside the cocoon
is fighting to get out and we love it and help it by doing
for it, we kill it. The struggle that it undergoes is what
gives it the strength to live. Children also, if we really
love them, must be allowed to struggle, for only
through the struggle of adolescence can they acquire
the security of adulthood. At DeSisto, loving is not ‘doing for,’
but ‘sharing with.’

Thank you, Michael...

Rob Gilbert

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Ten Rules for Coping with Panic

Author Unknown

1. Remember that the feelings are nothing more than an exaggeration of normal bodily reactions to stress.

2. They are not in the least harmful or dangerous – just unpleasant. Nothing worse will happen.

3. Stop adding to panic with frightening thoughts about what is happening and where it might lead.

4. Notice what is happening in your body right now. Not what you fear might happen.

5. Wait and give the fear time to pass. Do not fight it or run away from it. Just accept it.

6. Notice that once you stop adding to it with frightening thoughts, the fear starts to fade by itself.

7. Remember that the whole point of practice is to learn how to cope with fear – without avoiding it. So this is an opportunity to make progress.

8. Think about the progress you have made so far, despite all the difficulties. Think about how pleased you will be when you succeed this time.

9. When you begin to feel better—look around and start to plan what to do next.

10. When you are ready to go on . . . start off in an easy, relaxed way. There is no need for effort or hurry.

* * * * * * *

For an extremely effective relaxation technique, call Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690 and when you hear my voice press 2. You’ll hear a three-minute relaxation practice session. If you call this for 21 straight days – you’ll be more relaxed and you’ll be able to relax yourself!

Friday, July 20, 2007


The most well known and, arguably, the best piece ever written about ATTITUDE comes from American religious leader and author Charles Swindoll . . .

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.

It will make or break a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you, we are in charge or our attitudes!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


It was low tide. Thousands of starfish were washed up on shore. Most of them would die under the hot mid-day sun.

A young boy was picking up the starfish, one at a time, running to the water’s edge and gently placing them back into the water. Then he ran back and got another star fish.

An elderly man approached the youngster and said, “Son, take a look at the thousands of starfish along the shore. What you’re doing won’t make a difference.”

The boy held up the starfish that he was holding in his hands and said, “Mister, it will make a difference to this one.”

For an inspiring story about another person making a difference click here . . .

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Life is a marathon not a sprint. How do you run a marathon? One step at a time.

You can get anything you want if you keep on keeping on.

Here are ten thought that’ll make you UNSTOPPABLE . . .

1. “Continuous effort -- not strength or intelligence -- is the key to unlocking our potential.” -- Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

2. “Everyone starts from scratch, but not everyone keeps scratching.”

3. “I never tried quitting and I never quit trying.” -- Dolly Parton, entertainer

4. “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.”

5. “What this power is, I can not say. All I know is that it exists . . . and it becomes available only when you are in a state on mind which you know exactly what you want
. . . and are fully determined not to quit until you get it.” -- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor and educator

6. “I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep trying!” -- Tom Hopkins, sales trainer

7. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” -- Calvin Coolidge, 30th U.S. President

8.Rule #1: Take one more step.
Rule #2: When you don’t think you can
take one more step, refer to Rule #1.” -- H. Jackson Brown, author

9. “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, until it seems as though you cannot hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” -- Harriet Beecher Stowe, author

10. “Any place is within walking distance if you have enough time.” -- Steven Wright, comedian


Rob Gilbert

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007



When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is funny with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure has turned about
When they might have won had they stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Once upon a time, there was a young man who dreamed of becoming a knight for King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.

Before he could become a knight, he had to pass one last test – he had to slay a dragon.

The young man was scared to death.

He asked one of the knights what he should do about his tremendous fear. This knight advised him to see Merlin the Magician because Merlin had a magic sword.

When the young man told Merlin about his problem, Merlin went to his back room and brought out a beautiful, gilded sword.

Merlin then instructed him, “This sword is magic and the day that you go out to slay your dragon, come see me and I will give you this magic sword. But make sure that your scabbard is empty. And remember that this sword only works its magic if you are in danger.”

One week later, the would-be knight returned. He was dressed for battle and, as Merlin instructed, his scabbard was empty.

As Merlin went to the back room again, he told the young man to close his eyes. Then Merlin returned and put the sword into his scabbard.

As the young man left, Merlin reminded him, “This sword will only work its magic if you are in danger.”

The young man, now more confident, rode his horse out onto the plains where he confronted his dragon.

It was a fierce battle. The dragon was breathing fire. The dragon’s tail knocked the young man off his trusty steed.

The young man was on the ground and the dragon came in for the kill.

Just at that moment, the young man remembered about the magic sword. He took the sword out of his scabbard and started slashing the dragon’s legs.

The dragon was hurt and fell down. The young man jumped onto the dragon and put the sword into the dragon’s heart and killed the dragon.

The young man returned home victorious.

The first person he went to see was Merlin.

He told Merlin about how the magic sword saved his life.

As he took it out of his scabbard to return it, he looked at it in amazement. “Merlin this isn’t the same sword you showed me last week. This isn’t the beautiful, gilded magic sword. It’s just an ordinary sword!”

Merlin nodded and said, “There is no magic sword. The magic is believing!”

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I don’t remember where I first found these “Rules.”

I don’t remember when I first read these “Rules.”

The only thing I know for sure is that I don’t read them enough. So I’ve put them right here for all of us. Now you’ll always know exactly where to find them so you can read them whenever you want.


1. You will receive a body. You may like or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in an informal school called “LIFE.” Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes -- only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error. Experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”

4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. You can then go onto the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive – there are lessons to be learned.

6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you either love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you. The answer to Life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

10. You will forget all this.

11. You can remember it whenever you want.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Once upon a time, there was a queen who was sad a great deal of the time.

One day she asked the wise man how to deal with sadness.

The wise man reached into his pocket and gave the queen a silver ring and said, “Wear this.”

The queen wore the ring for a week, but there was no change in her mood.

The queen told the wise man that the ring was very beautiful but it wasn’t helping her with her problem.

The wise man said, “The purpose of this ring is to remind you of the four words that are inscribed on the inside.”

The queen took the ring off and read the four words.

Almost instantly the queen realized that she discovered something very important.

The four words were: “This too shall pass.”

The queen lived happily ever after.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


The following article originally appeared in The Hartford Courant on August 6, 2001.

It was written by Gina Barecca and titled: "An Emotional Rescue in the Dark Night of the Soul."

Ready for some tough questions this morning?

What's your demon? What's your nightmare?

What wakes you up in the middle of the night - not in fear but in the threshing buzz of low-grade panic?

The dread of being alone? Of getting older? Of illness? Of death? Of being unable to help alleviate the sadness of those close to you?

I have a friend, a woman I consider one of the blessings in my life, who is facing a whole bunch of those nightmares right now. Her nightmares are sitting there at the kitchen table with her. Maybe you know her; maybe you are her. Many of us have been where she is, in the dark night of the soul, at some point - but when you are inside the tumble and hiss of the bad time, it is almost impossible to imagine rescue or survival.

But we, more or less, survive. Either the worst happens, or it doesn't. We brush up against the savage edge of loss and cut ourselves, counting ourselves lucky to have been only scarred, only mangled.

Because there are worse possibilities: those times when you can't back away and you can't move out of range; the edge saws away until it can no longer be borne.

Or change the image. The hurricane that obliterates everything in its path goes through a place we once thought safe as if to teach one lesson: Nowhere is safe. At least not forever. At least not all the time. Happy times and bad times move through our lives like the weather. There are accurate predictions to be made, but there is nothing to be done when a force of nature moves in. You can see the horizon darkening, but whether you run to it or flee from it, you cannot change what will happen. You are stuck in that moment of time, with only yourself as your shelter.

So what is there to say when someone you love is deep inside that storm?

Or change the image again: What is there to say when a friend is playing a part in a great tragedy, on a stage too removed, too terrible and too awesome for you to offer help? You can't shout out lines because the script is not yours to invent; you can't offer to replace her in the part because it is not your role. What is there to say that does not trivialize pain by offering sentimentality or that does not show disrespect by offering mere palliatives?

What I want to say to my friend is this: I honor you as you move through this time. Not as a martyr or saint full of gracious sorrow, but as a fighter, as a warrior, as someone engaged in a contest for her soul, as someone who refuses to surrender to despair or to plot a coward's escape.

And I would remind her of an old story:

Late one night, three demons decided to ambush a woman who lived alone. The three demons were manifestations of her worst nightmares: fear, anxiety, and despair. They made a racket, breaking things, ruining what she held dear, disfiguring what she cherished. Gleefully, they spent hours immersed in their rampage. They were enormously confident because they figured she was all alone and past her first youth, so why should they stop?"

They went at it for hours, into the darkest part of midnight. The woman they were tormenting was almost inconsequential; the destruction of her world had little to do with her.

When she started to build a fire at the hearth, therefore, they barely glanced over. But the demons became more thoroughly distracted when they noticed her busily setting out a kettle.

Wary now, they ratcheted up their activities. When she calmly set out three cups nevertheless, they stopped in their tracks. Her hands weren't even shaking. She looked calm, if weary.

"What are you doing?" they cried in unison, breathless from their tasks of destruction. "We are everything in the world that is against you. Why are you boiling water and setting out dishes?"

The woman stared at them and tolerantly shook her head as she opened the cupboard. "I know all of you by now. You've been here before, and you'll be here again. You might as well make yourselves at home."

Raising one eyebrow and fully meeting their gaze without rancor, wholly in possession of herself, she asked familiarly, "What kind of tea would you like?"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


If you’re reading this blog – you want to do something BIG!

You want to leave your mark.

You want your life to stand for something.

You want to change the world.

Here’s some advice written by an unknown monk in 1100 A.D.:

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.

I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.

I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize that the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.

My family and I could have made an impact on our town.

Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have change the world!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Captain Edward A. Murphy is immortal. You might never have heard of him, but you’ve heard of a law named after him:

MURPHY’S LAW: If anything can go wrong, it will.

Now here’s your opportunity for immortality.

Just follow these three simple steps:

#1. Make up a law.

#2. Name it after yourself.

#3. Click here to submit it.

And then just wait for fame and fortune to come your way!

I’ll get the ball rolling . . .

GILBERT’S LAW: The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.

Here are some more:

MAXWELL’S LAW OF LOVE: All the good ones are already taken.

ED JONES’ LAW: The only thing I know for sure is – you cannot know anything for sure.

HELEN’S LAW: If it can’t be fixed with duct tape – it can’t be fixed.

WILLIAM’S LAW: There is no mechanical problem so difficult that it cannot be solved by brute force and ignorance.

PATTERSON’S LAW: The greater the challenge – the greater the reward.

SARGESE’S LAW OF TIME MANAGEMENT: Procrastination only pays off in the present.

KELLEY’S LAW: The more you worry . . . the more there is to worry about.

BROOKS’ LAW OF CATS: The more expensive an item in your home is – the more likely it is that your cat will destroy it!

SKWOR’S COROLLARY TO GILBERT’S LAW: The less you know, the more you’re convinced that you are right.

Now it’s your turn to become immortal. Just click right here.

Rob Gilbert

Monday, July 9, 2007


If you’re crazy – you’re in good company.

As Professor Lisa Sargese said:

“There is no great genius without a touch of madness.”

As a 1997 award-winning ad for Apple Computers said:

Here’s to the Crazy Ones.

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They are not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do – is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They invent.

They imagine.

They heal.

They explore. They create. They inspire.

They push the human race forward.

Maybe you have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?

Or, sit in silence and hear a song that hasn’t been written?

Or, gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kind of people.

While some may see them as the Crazy Ones – we see genius.

Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world . . .

Are the ones who do!

If you’re crazy you’re in good company . . .

Click below to see the ad you might remember from TV.

Who are the Crazy Ones?

Albert Einstein. Bob Dylan. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Richard Branson. John Lennon & Yoko Ono.

Buckminster Fuller. Thomas Edison. Muhammad Ali.

Ted Turner. Maria Callas. Mahatma Gandhi.

Amelia Earhart. Alfred Hitchcock. Martha Graham.

Jim Henson. Frank Lloyd Wright. Picasso.

A young genius.

So, if you’re crazy, you’re in good company.

Think different,

Rob Gilbert

Sunday, July 8, 2007


H. Jackson Brown, Jr. was the owner of an advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee. His son was going away to college. Dad wrote a list of 511 reminders on “how to live a happy and rewarding life.” Dad’s list to his son was on the New York Times best-seller list for more than two years! You probably know it as Life’s Little Instruction Book.

Brown has written 33 books.

Here’s what he says about them: “Most of us know what we need to do to make our lives more fulfilled, but sometimes we forget. My little books are gentle reminders of those simple things which, if done well and in a spirit of love, can significantly change our lives.”

Here are H. Jackson Brown, Jr.’s . . .


1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.

3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.

6. Be generous.

7. Have a grateful heart.

8. Persistence . . . persistence . . . persistence.

9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.

10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.

12. Commit yourself to quality.

13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.

14. Be loyal.

15. Be honest.

16. Be a self-starter.

17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.

18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every aspect of your life.

19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

20. Take good care of those you love.

21. Don't do anything that wouldn't make your Mom proud.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


There is a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on the earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable.

You can see this even in insects and animals and birds. All of us are the same.

A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of out inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet.

To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what the world is, how we tick and how the world ticks, how the whole thing just is.

If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we’re going to run; we’ll never know what’s beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing.

The Wisdom of No Escape
by Pema Chodron,
published by Shambhala (1991),
page #3

Friday, July 6, 2007


From the moment the attack began on September 11, 2001, Rudolph Giuliani, the Mayor of New York City, seemed to be everywhere giving his fellow New Yorkers a shoulder to lean on.

He seemed to be tireless.

But no one could possibly blame Mayor Giuliani if he had forgotten about Diane Gorumba during this time.

Diane’s mother had met the mayor at her son’s wake.

Michael Gorumba, a New York City firefighter, died of a heart attack while he was on duty on August 28, 2001.

At Michael’s wake, Diane’s mom tearfully explained to Mayor Giuliani that Diane no longer had a father, grandfather, or, now, a brother to give her away at her wedding. Mom asked the mayor if he would help the family by giving her daughter away at the September 16 ceremony. The mayor said he would be honored.

Then September 11 . . .

On Diane’s wedding day -- a Sunday afternoon just five days after the disaster -- everyone in St. James Lutheran Church in Brooklyn was hoping that the mayor didn’t forget.

The groom, a New York City police officer, took his place at the altar.

Five minutes later, those waiting inside the church heard cheers coming from those outside the church.

The mayor had arrived as he promised he would.

He had been standing up for an entire city for five straight days and now he was going to stand up for Diane Gorumba.

Behind the beautiful bride, her elderly grandmother whispered, “God bless you, Rudy. God bless you, Rudy.”

-- adapted from a story in the Los Angeles Times

Rob Gilbert


P.P.S. Do What You Say You Will Do!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


One day a woman in her early fifties had a massive heart attack.

She was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

Unfortunately, she died in the emergency room.

She went to heaven and was met by God.

God said, “What are you doing here? This is a huge mistake – you’re not supposed to be here for 30 years, fours months, and five days. I’m sending you back to earth right now.”

Instantly, the woman was back in the emergency room. The doctors had paddles over her heart and they were shocking her.

She came back to life -- a miracle!

The next day while she was in the recovery room, she called a nurse over and said, “Do you do cosmetic surgery here?

The nurse said, “Of course! We can do anything you want and it’s just down the hall.”

The woman was transported to cosmetic surgery, where she had a total makeover – a tummy tuck, breast enlargement, skin abrasion, hair implants, caps on her teeth, etc. . . .

When she finally left the hospital, she looked like a million dollars.

After she was home for a few days, she realized that she needed a brand new wardrobe.

While she was driving to the mall, she got into a horrible accident. She was crushed to death by a huge dump truck.

She died again.

She returned to heaven and she stormed into God’s office.

“God, just the other day you told me that I had 30 years, four months, and five days left and you killed me again. What’s the story?”

God said, “Please just give me a second. I need to get your file.”

God got her file and looked at her picture and then he looked at the woman.

He looked at the picture again and he looked at the woman.

He looked at the picture a third time and then looked at the woman.

Then God said, “I’m very sorry. I didn’t recognize you!”



You’ll save yourself a whole lot of problems.

Rob Gilbert

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


The California coast was shrouded in fog that fourth of July morning in 1952. Twenty-one miles to the west on Catalina Island a 34-year-old woman waded into the water and began swimming toward California, determined to be the first woman to do so.

Her name was Florence Chadwick and she had been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.

The water was numbing cold that July morning and the fog was so thick she could hardly see the boats in her own party.

Millions were watching on national television.

Several times sharks, which had gotten too close, had to be driven away with rifles to protect the lone figure in the water.

As the hours ticked off, she swam on. Fatigue had never been her big problem in these swims – it was the bone-chilling cold of the water.

More than 15 hours later, numbed with the cold, she asked to be taken out.

She couldn’t go on.

Her mother and her trainer alongside in the boat told her that they were near land.

They urged her not to quit.

But when she looked at the California coast, all she could see was dense fog.

She had been pulled out only a half mile from the California coast. Later she was to reflect that she had been defeated not by fatigue or even the cold – the fog had defeated her because it obscured her goal.

It was the only time Florence Chadwick ever quit.

Two months later she swam the same channel, and again fog obscured her view, but this time she swam with her faith intact – somewhere behind that fog was land.

Not only was she the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, but she beat the men’s record by some two hours!

--- from The Best of Bits & Pieces

* * * * * * *

Keep your eyes on the prize.

Rob Gilbert

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


In yesterday’s blog, I gave you the following challenge:


Once upon a time, Fire, Water, and “X” were hiking deep in the woods.

The conversation turned to what they should do if they got separated from each other.

Fire said, “If we get separated, look for the smoke – that’s where you’ll find me.

Water said, “If we get separated, look for the green grass and flowers – that’s where you’ll find me.

“X” said, “You’d better not lose me because if you lose me you might never find me again.”

What is “X”?


I’ll tell you the answer in the form of a story.

From a recent book by Stephen M.R. Covey . . .

I think of a defining moment in the life of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia.

King Darius III of Persia had offered 1,000 talents to anyone who would kill Alexander.

Alexander had contracted pneumonia and was near death.

The physicians were afraid to treat him because they thought he would not survive, and they were fearful that if he died they might be falsely accused of poisoning him and accepting Darius’s bribe.

But Philip, a friend and physician who had attended to Alexander since childhood, was willing to treat Alexander because he had confidence both in his medicine and also in Alexander’s friendship.

As historian H.A. Guerber relates:

When the fever was at it worst, [Philip] said he hoped to save the king by means of a strong medicine which he was going to prepare.

Just after Philip went out to brew this potion, Alexander received a letter which warned him to beware of his physician, as the man had been bribed by the Persian king, Darius III to poison him.

After reading the letter, Alexander slipped it under his pillow, and calmly waited for the return of his doctor.

When Philip brought the cup containing the promised remedy, Alexander took it in one hand, and gave him the letter with the other.

Then, while Philip was reading it, he [Alexander] drank every drop of the medicine.

When the physician saw the accusation, he turned deadly pale, and looked up at his master, who smilingly handed back the empty cup.

Alexander’s great trust in his doctor was fully justified; for the medicine cured him, and he was soon able to go on . . .

-- from The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey

Get it?


If you lose trust you might never find it again.

“Trust is like a vase . . . once it is broken, though you can fix it, the vase will never be the same again.” – author unknown

Rob Gilbert

Monday, July 2, 2007

MESSAGE #91 - "X"?

Today’s message is a MYSTERY for you to solve.

Solve the following story for “X.”

Here’s the story . . .

Once upon a time, Fire, Water, and “X” were hiking deep in the woods.

The conversation turned to what they should do if they got separated from one another.

Fire said, “If we get separated, look for the smoke – that’s where you’ll find me.

Water said, “If we get separated, look for the green grass and flowers – that’s where you’ll find me.

“X” said, “You’d better not lose me because if you lose me you might never find me again.”

BE A DETECTIVE! Who or what is “X”?

Is “X” a person, place, or thing?

Is “X” a character trait?

Click right here and show us how creative you can be.

Rob Gilbert

Sunday, July 1, 2007


What would you do differently if you had a chance to live your life over?

The late Nadine Stair of Louisville, Kentucky was asked that question. She wrote this answer when she was 85 years old . . .

If I had my life to live over, I’d make more mistakes next time.

I’d relax. I would limber up.

I would be sillier than I have been this trip.

I would take fewer things seriously.

I would take more chances.

I would take more trips.

I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.

I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them.

In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.

Just moments.

One after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had it to do over again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.

I would go to more dances.

I would ride more merry-go-rounds.

I would pick more daisies.

* * * * * * *

Nadine Stair is no longer with us. You are. Whatever you would do differently – you still can. You can start right now! You don’t need a chance to live your life over – you have the chance!

According to writer Tom Robbins, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

Rob Gilbert