Sunday, September 30, 2007


When we divide our attention, we’re actually neither here nor there.
~ Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

A young boy traveled across Japan to the school of a famous martial artist. When he arrived at the dojo, he was given an audience by the sensei.

“What do you wish from me?” the master asked.

“I wish to be your student and become the finest karateka in the land,” the boy replied.

“How long must I study?”

“Ten years at least,” the master answered.

“Ten years is a long time,” said the boy. “What if I studied twice as hard as all your other students?”

“Twenty years,” replied the master.

“Twenty years! What if I practice day and night with all my effort?”

“Thirty years,” was the master’s reply.

“How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?” the boy asked.

“The answer is clear. When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the Way.”

author unknown

From: Zen in the Martial Arts
Author: Joe Hyams
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam

Saturday, September 29, 2007


How far is far, how high is high?
We’ll never know until we try.

- from a song from the California Special Olympics

I was the editor of Bits & Pieces magazine from 1996 to 2001.

Bits & Pieces was a motivational magazine that published motivational quotes and inspirational stories. Thousands of them.

In all the years I edited B&P, the following story got the greatest reader response.

Hundreds of people contacted me wanting to know whether this story was true.

When readers asked me that, I’d always answer that I didn’t know if it happened, but I do know that it’s always happening.

I hope you love this story like our Bits & Pieces readers did.

At a Special Olympics track meet, a young girl had just won the 50-yard dash and was jumping up and down all excited.

She yelled out to her parents, “Look, Mom and Dad, I won.”

Her parents instantly burst into tears.

At the awards ceremony the young girl proudly stood there as a medal was placed around her neck.

Then she ran over to her parents, who were crying now even more than before.

The three of them hugged . . . as the parents kept crying.

A Special Olympics official who had watched the whole scene became concerned and went over to the parents and said, “Excuse me, is there anything wrong?”

Through her tears, the mother said, “No, nothing’s wrong. Everything’s right . . . . We just heard our daughter speak for the first time.”

Friday, September 28, 2007


I write when I’m inspired and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning. – Peter De Vries, writer

If you make the work interesting, the discipline will take care of itself.
– E.B. White, writer

Diligence beats intelligence every single time!
- Rob Gilbert, blogger

Our greatest weariness comes from work not done.
– Eric Hoffer, philosopher

If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?
– George Carlin, comedian

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
– Confucius, philosopher

Work is more fun than fun.
– Noel Coward, playwright

The world is filled with willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them. – Robert Frost, poet

The harder you work – the harder it is to surrender.
– Vince Lombardi, football coach

The dictionary is the only place where “success” comes before “work.”
- Mark Twain, writer

There is no magic secret . . . there is no special talent . . . if you want to be a great student the only requirement is a willingness to work hard.
- Melissa Sapio, A.B.D., school psychologist


I know you can read. The question is, “Do you love reading?”
I know you can write. The question is, “Do you love writing?”
I know you can work. The question is, “Do you love working?”
-Rob Gilbert, blogger

Thursday, September 27, 2007



I joke with my students that I know they’re living, but I’m not sure that they’re totally alive.

Have you seen Professor Randy Pausch’s lecture (MESSAGE #173) yet? It’s a totally alive person talking about being totally alive.

It’s required viewing!

Writer Jack London (1876-1916) . . .

I would rather be ashes than dust!

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze, than it should be stifled by dry rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.

I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.

I shall use my time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


If you’re one of my Success Hotline callers and if you’re a loyal reader of this blog, I know one thing about you.

All of you have something in common --


I don’t know what level you’re on right now – you might be a rank beginner or a certified master – but I do know you want to get to the next level.

You have that burning desire to improve.

You’re not content with the status quo.

People who get to the next level also take their craft to the next level.

Babe Ruth took baseball to the next level.

Elvis took rock and roll to the next level.

Shakespeare took writing to the next level.

Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Walt Disney also took it to the next level.

Tiger Woods is currently taking golf to the next level.

Michael Moschen has taken juggling to the next level.

Who’s Michael Moschen???

Watch this . . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I’ll bet you that you can’t read the following without laughing or giggling or smiling.

Here goes. Try to keep a straight face!

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” -- Mark Twain

“How come it’s a penny for your thoughts but you have to put your two cents’ worth in? Somebody’s making a penny.” – Steven Wright

“Coffee just isn’t my cup of tea.” – Samuel Goldwyn

“One nice thing about egotists – they don’t talk much about other people.” -- Lucille S. Harper

“I took a lie detector test the other day. No, I didn’t.” – Steven Wright

“I would have given my right arm to have been a pianist.” – Bobby Robson

“I refuse to join any club that would have me for a member.” – Groucho Marx

“Have you ever noticed? Anyone going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.” – George Carlin

“When we played softball, I’d steal second, feel guilty and go back.” – Woody Allen

“With my dog I don’t get no respect. He keeps barking at the front door. He don’t want to go out. He wants me to leave.” – Rodney Dangerfield”

“Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.” – Yogi Berra

“I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous – everyone hasn’t met me yet.” – Rodney Dangerfield

Monday, September 24, 2007


I just got off the phone with “sports guru” John McCarthy. I asked him some questions about “home-team” advantage. He said that all things being equal in football or basketball – bet on the home team. Playing in front of your home fans is an advantage.

John said that in sports, it is “always” an advantage.

To make it very simple – people perform better when people cheer for them.

This works with football and basketball. It also works with every other sport. It also works if you’re a singer or dancer or comedian or any type of performer.


I love the following story. It’s in the book The Spirituality of Imperfection by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. . . .

Some years ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Seattle, a young priest stopped to talk to a parishioner and her five-year-old daughter, Carmine.

The little girl had a new jump rope, and the priest began to demonstrate the intricacies of jumping rope to her.

After a while Carmine began to jump, first once, then twice.

Mother and priest clapped loudly for her skill. Eventually, the little girl was able to jump quite well on her own and wandered off with her new-found skill.

Priest and mother chatted a few moments until Carmine, with the saddest, widest eyes imaginable, returned dragging her rope.

“Mommy,” she lamented, “I can do it, but I need lots of clapping.”


You might not always have people around to cheer for you . . . but you can make sure that you’re around to cheer others on!

Have you watched Professor Pausch’s lecture yet?

Rob Gilbert

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I hope you've been following the last few messages about the amazing Professor Randy Pausch. I’ve watched the 80-minute video on yesterday’s blog three times. Please watch it -- IT IS LIFE CHANGING!

If you haven’t watched it, let me entice you. Here are ten quotes from the professor . . .

1. “I don’t know how not to have fun — I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left because there’s no other way to play.”

2. “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

3. “Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things.”

4. “Brick walls let us show our dedication. They are there to separate us from the people who don’t really want to achieve their childhood dreams.”

5. “The best way to teach somebody something is to have them think they’re learning something else.”

6. “Loyalty is a two-way street.”

7. “Don’t bail: The best of the gold is at the bottom of the barrel of crap.”

8. “When people give you feedback -- cherish it and use it.”

9. “Don’t complain — just work harder.”

10. “Never give up. Anything is possible.”


Rob Gilbert

Saturday, September 22, 2007


A Beloved Professor Delivers
The Lecture of a Lifetime

Wall Street Journal - September 20, 2007; Page D1

by Jeff Zaslow

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, was about to give a lecture Tuesday afternoon, but before he said a word, he received a standing ovation from 400 students and colleagues.

He motioned to them to sit down. "Make me earn it," he said.

They had come to see him give what was billed as his "last lecture." This is a common title for talks on college campuses today. Schools such as Stanford and the University of Alabama have mounted "Last Lecture Series," in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question to be mulled is this: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

It can be an intriguing hour, watching healthy professors consider their demise and ruminate over subjects dear to them. At the University of Northern Iowa, instructor Penny O'Connor recently titled her lecture "Get Over Yourself." At Cornell, Ellis Hanson, who teaches a course titled "Desire," spoke about sex and technology.

At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch's speech was more than just an academic exercise. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a rollicking and riveting journey through the lessons of his life.

He began by showing his CT scans, revealing 10 tumors on his liver. But after that, he talked about living. If anyone expected him to be morose, he said, "I'm sorry to disappoint you." He then dropped to the floor and did one-handed pushups.

Clicking through photos of himself as a boy, he talked about his childhood dreams: to win giant stuffed animals at carnivals, to walk in zero gravity, to design Disney rides, to write a World Book entry. By adulthood, he had achieved each goal. As proof, he had students carry out all the huge stuffed animals he'd won in his life, which he gave to audience members. After all, he doesn't need them anymore.

He paid tribute to his techie background. "I've experienced a deathbed conversion," he said, smiling. "I just bought a Macintosh." Flashing his rejection letters on the screen, he talked about setbacks in his career, repeating: "Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things." He encouraged us to be patient with others. "Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you." After showing photos of his childhood bedroom, decorated with mathematical notations he'd drawn on the walls, he said: "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it."

While displaying photos of his bosses and students over the years, he said that helping others fulfill their dreams is even more fun than achieving your own. He talked of requiring his students to create videogames without sex and violence. "You'd be surprised how many 19-year-old boys run out of ideas when you take those possibilities away," he said, but they all rose to the challenge.

He also saluted his parents, who let him make his childhood bedroom his domain, even if his wall etchings hurt the home's resale value. He knew his mom was proud of him when he got his Ph.D, he said, despite how she'd introduce him: "This is my son. He's a doctor, but not the kind who helps people."

He then spoke about his legacy. Considered one of the nation's foremost teachers of videogame and virtual-reality technology, he helped develop "Alice," a Carnegie Mellon software project that allows people to easily create 3-D animations. It had one million downloads in the past year, and usage is expected to soar.

"Like Moses, I get to see the Promised Land, but I don't get to step foot in it," Dr. Pausch said. "That's OK. I will live on in Alice."

Many people have given last speeches without realizing it. The day before he was killed, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke prophetically: "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place." He talked of how he had seen the Promised Land, even though "I may not get there with you."

Dr. Pausch's lecture, in the same way, became a call to his colleagues and students to go on without him and do great things. But he was also addressing those closer to his heart.

Near the end of his talk, he had a cake brought out for his wife, whose birthday was the day before. As she cried and they embraced on stage, the audience sang "Happy Birthday," many wiping away their own tears.

Dr. Pausch's speech was taped so his children, ages 5, 2 and 1, can watch it when they're older. His last words in his last lecture were simple: "This was for my kids." Then those of us in the audience rose for one last standing ovation.

(Click here or click the "play" button on the viewer below)

Friday, September 21, 2007


Professor Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University gave a lecture last Tuesday that ranks up there with the greatest speeches ever given.

Here is a video about the lecture.

I hope that ever watching this “preview,” you’ll go to YouTube where you’ll find the rest of Dr. Pausch’s lecture.

Be prepared to gasp . . .

Thursday, September 20, 2007


If you can start you day without caffeine or “pep” pills,

If you can be cheerful and ignore aches, and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food day after day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,

If you can overlook when people take things out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs . . .







Author unknown

Wednesday, September 19, 2007



As a motivational speaker, what do I want from my audiences?

Laughter? Sure.

Applause? Of course.

A standing ovation? Absolutely.

But, there’s one thing I want more than all of these things put together...


A gasp is the ultimate compliment.

There’s nothing like telling a story or showing a video that gets a gasp.

I spend tons of time reading books, searching the web, and listening to tapes – trying to find stories that’ll make you gasp

I do the same thing with YouTube looking for videos.

I’m a prospector for gasps.

PLEASE READ THIS: No matter how much time I put in, my best stories and videos come from YOU!!!

The listeners to Success Hotline, the readers of this blog, and my students at Montclair State University have given me my best “gasp” material.


The best present you can ever give me is a story or a video that has “gasp” potential. Please keep them coming.

Over the years, there’s been one person who has given me more “gasp” material than anyone else. That person is the GREAT ED AGRESTA.

Ed did it again yesterday.

He spoke in two of my classes at Montclair State and he showed a video that got all of us to gasp.

Here’s the video . . .

Thanks, Ed . . .


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was a poet and philosopher. He also might have been America’s first motivational speaker. In addition, he was an inspirational writer.

Emerson gave us the best definition of success I’ve ever come across:

To laugh often and much;

to win the respect of intelligent people and

the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics and

endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty,

to find the best in others;

to leave the world a little better;

whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

to know even one life has breathed easier

because you lived.

This is the meaning of success.

Monday, September 17, 2007


James Leigh Hunt. (1784-1859)

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,

An Angel writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


The greatest weakness for most people is that they don’t realize their own strength.

-- Author unknown

Jason McElwain wasn’t trying to inspire anyone. He was just doing his job as well as he could.

Jason was the manager of the boys’ varsity basketball team at Greece Athena High School outside of Rochester, NY. Jason didn’t want to be the manager -- he had always wanted to play. He tried out, but he wasn’t even able to make the junior varsity. So for three years Jason was totally committed to his job as the team’s student manager.

February 15, 2006 was senior night for Jason’s team -- and Jason was now a senior. Coach Jim Johnson rewarded Jason for his dedication by having him put on a uniform and sit on the bench as a player for his final home game.

With just four minutes left in the game, Jason’s team was ahead by 20 points. Coach pointed to Jason and told him to go into the game.

The fans went wild. Everyone wanted to see Jason make a basket. His teammates passed him the ball and he missed his first shot. Then he missed his second shot. Sad, but what would you expect from the team’s manager who spent the last three seasons picking up towels, filling water bottles, and cutting up oranges?

Jason wasn’t trying to inspire anyone. He was just doing his job as well as he could. Teammates kept passing the ball to Jason, and he kept shooting. And finally, the kid got his basket. The fans went even wilder. But then something magical happened -- he got another basket and then another and another! In less than four minutes, Jason sank six three-pointers and one two-pointer. Jason scored 20 points. In his first and only varsity game, Jason was the high scorer!

Jason wasn’t trying to inspire anyone. He was just doing his job as well as he could. What makes this story even more inspiring is that Jason stands only 5’6” tall and he’s a special education student. Jason is autistic. But when his time came, and he got his chance to play, he scored 20 points in less than four minutes. The kid played like Michael Jordan.

How was he able to do that? He was able to play like Michael Jordan because there has always been a basketball superstar inside Jason McElwain.

Now here’s the most inspiring part of this story. It has nothing to do with Jason — it has everything to do with you! Jason just proved what’s always been true. There’s a great athlete, a great student, a great writer, a great actor, a great whatever it is you want, already inside of you, too. There’s a superman or superwoman already inside you. You are not lacking potential. Just because you’ve never tapped into it doesn’t mean the potential isn’t there.

Are you doubting yourself and thinking that what’s written in that last paragraph can’t possibly be true? Don’t. Do not doubt your potential. Never doubt your potential. Whether you tap into it or not the potential is still there. But if you must doubt something, doubt this — doubt your limitations!

It’s extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.

-- George Will, journalist

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Here’s you’re assignment.

#1. Watch this amazing video. Maybe view it two or three times to get the full impact. (I’ve watched it well over 100 times and still get goose bumps!)

#2. Then answer this question: “HOW DID JASON DO IT?”

Please leave your comments by clicking right here. I’ll leave my comments tomorrow.


Rob Gilbert

Friday, September 14, 2007


Want to know an easy way to meet and exceed your goals?

Want to know an easy way to motivate yourself and others?

Want to know an easy way to become rich and famous?

Guess what? It doesn't exist!

There is no easy way.

Not only that -- it's not supposed to be easy.

If you want to stop smoking, lose weight, get in better shape, make more sales, etc. -- IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EASY.

If you want to get stronger -- that barbell at the gym SHOULD feel heavy.

If you want to get better grades -- that book SHOULD have concepts that take time to understand.

If you want to close that big account -- that client SHOULD demand a lot of time, attention to detail, and a great deal of follow-through.

No matter what you want to do -- IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EASY.

I'm shocked that people are shocked when they start something new and they groan, "This is not easy!"

Once you begin, it takes discipline to persevere BUT, the good news is, that eventually the discipline will turn into desire and if you persevere...


You won't have to diet, you'll WANT TO diet.

You won't have to work out, you'll WANT TO work out.

You won't have to _____ you'll want to _____ (You fill in the blanks.)

It doesn't start out as easy but it does get easier.

Make it easy on yourself, realize that it's not supposed to be easy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

3. A loss of interest in judging self.

4. A loss of interest in judging others.

5. A loss of interest in conflict.

6. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

7. A loss of ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

8. Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

9. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

10. Frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes of the heart.

11. Increasing susceptibility of love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

12. An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to make them happen.

Author: Jeff Rockwell

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

MESSAGE #163 - "THE WORD IS . . . "

If you could choose only one word to express the character trait you value most, what would that word be?

During a 1998 commencement address at Emory University, United States Senator Sam Nunn told the following story:

During the Korean War, General William Dean was captured by the communists, taken to an isolated prison camp, and told that he had only a few minutes to write a letter to his family before his execution.

“Tell our son, Bill,” he wrote to his wife, “the word is ‘integrity.’”


“My father was very strong. I don’t agree with a lot of the ways he brought me up. I don’t agree with a lot of his values, but he did have a lot of integrity, and if he told us not to do something, he didn’t do it either.” – Madonna

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not. – Oprah

“It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”

– Francis Bacon, Sr.


In the city of Baghdad lived Hakeem, the Wise One, and many people went to him for counsel, which he gave freely to all, asking for nothing in return.

There came to him a young man, who had spent much but got little, and said, “Tell me, Wise One, what shall I do to receive the most for that which I spend?”

Hakeem answered, “A thing that is bought or sold has no value unless it contains that which cannot be bought or sold. Look for The Priceless Ingredient.”

“But, what is The Priceless Ingredient?” asked the young man.

Spoke the Wise One, “My son, The Priceless Ingredient of every product in the marketplace is the HONOR and INTEGRITY of him who makes it. Consider his name before you buy.”

-- from a 1921 advertisement for Squibb

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Based on a true story . . .

Nobody loves motivational quotes more than I do. But be very careful because every once in a while you’ll find a quote that might sound good but isn’t true. And if you believe that quote, it might actually do some harm.

Let me tell you a story . . .

It was the most important Little League game of Eric’s life. He was 11 years old and his team, the Pirates, was playing the Giants in the championship game.

It was the bottom of the sixth inning and the Pirates were ahead 2-1. But the Giants had the bases loaded with two outs and their best hitter was at bat.

He hit an easy fly ball to Bobby, the Pirate’s right fielder. Bobby circled under the ball as everyone held their breath. The ball fell into his glove and then bounced out of it. Bobby picked up the ball off the ground and by the time he decided where to throw it, two Giants had scored.

Final score:

Giants 3

Pirates 2

It would be “wait until next year” for the Pirates.

As the Pirates moped off the field, something totally unexpected happened. Their manager started yelling and screaming at Bobby. “You lost the game for us. You cost us the championship!”

Bobby started crying and ran off the field and vanished into the woods.

After the game, Eric went to meet his parents in the parking lot. Eric’s dad wasn’t there. Mom said he had something to do. As they were driving home, Eric saw something that startled him.

Way in the distance, he saw his dad walking Bobby home. His dad had his arm around the kid who probably felt like he didn’t have a friend in the world.

Eric never forgot the kindness his dad showed that evening.

As the years passed, whenever Bobby saw Eric’s dad, he always greeted him warmly because he’s never forgotten either.

So whenever I hear this type of story, I think of this quote . . .

Winning is not the only thing,

it’s everything.

This quote makes my blood boil because the manager in this story actually believed that this quote was true. He actually believed that winning an insignificant Little League game was everything and that the feelings of a fragile 11-year-old boy were nothing.

The truth of the matter is that winning is not the only thing. Winning is not everything.

Real winners don’t necessarily hit home runs and make spectacular catches. Real winners know how to be kind. Eric’s dad was a winner.

Here’s a quote that’s true and won’t do any harm . .

Winning is not the only thing,

but kindness is everything.

Thanks for reading my story,

Rob Gilbert

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday, September 9, 2007



greatest waste

of our

natural resources

is the

number of


who never

achieve their


Get out

of that

slow lane.


into that

fast lane.

If you think

you can’t,

you won’t.

If you think

you can,

there’s a

good chance

you will.

Even making

the effort

will make

you feel

like a new



are made

by searching

for things that

can’t be done

and doing them.

Aim low:


Aim high:


This is one in a series of motivational advertisements

ran by United Technologies Corporation in the early 1980s.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Coach Bill Snyder was a legendary football coach at Kansas State University.

Want proof? They named the football stadium in Manhattan, Kansas after him -- and he’s still alive!

Here are Coach Snyder’s rules . . .

1. Improve every day as a player, as a person, as a student.

2. Care about your teammates, friends, and family.

3. Show great effort and enthusiasm.

4. Associate with only quality people.

5. Expect more of yourself, always.

6. Do it right, don’t expect less.

7. Be genuine.

8. Make discipline a way of life.

SPECIAL NOTE: Want to contribute something? Just click here and type away!


Rob Gilbert

Friday, September 7, 2007


The #1 most important thing you can do right after you read this message is to TAKE ACTION.

The only thing that can stop you from taking action is GETTING STARTED.

Here are some thoughts that’ll get you jump started . . .

It’s the start that stops most people.

The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.Mark Twain, writer

The greatest amount of time wasted is the time wasted in not getting started.

The first step to working out is showing up.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.Jim Rohn, motivational speaker

I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9:00 o’clock every morning. -- William Faulkner, writer

Do it. Do it right. Do it right now.

The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better. -- Stephen King, writer

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Right now -- stop reading and start doing . . . .

Rob Gilbert

Thursday, September 6, 2007


If you want to be more creative, the first thing you need to know is the formula for creativity. Here it is. . .

C = M.S.U.

Creativity = Making Stuff Up

That’s it! You just make stuff up . . . right out of thin air.

Want an example?

How J. K. Rowling conceived Harry Potter

My boyfriend was moving to Manchester and wanted me to move, too.

It was during the train journey back from Manchester to London, after a weekend looking for a flat, that Harry Potter made his appearance.

I have never felt such a huge rush of excitement.

I knew immediately that this was going to be such fun to write. . . . I didn’t know then that it was going to be a book for childrenI just knew that I had this boy, Harry.

During that journey I also discovered Ron, Nearly Headless Nick, Hagrid, and Peeves. But with the idea of my life careering round my head, I didn’t have a pen that worked!

And I never went anywhere without a pen and a notebook.

So, rather than trying to write it, I had to think it. And I think that was a very good thing.

I was besieged by a mass of detail and if it didn’t survive that journey, it probably wasn’t worth remembering.

-- Joanne Kathleen (J.K.) Rowling

Source: Success edited by J. Pincott, published by Random House Reference


Absolutely, positively, guaranteed!

Rob Gilbert

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Dr. Haim Ginott (1922-1973) was a teacher, child psychologist, and author.

The following were taken from the book Teacher and Child by Dr. Ginott:


I’ve come to a frightening conclusion.

I am the decisive element in the classroom.

It is my personal approach that creates the climate.

It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool torture or an instrument of inspiration.

I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.


Dear Teacher:

I am the survivor of a concentration camp.

My eyes saw what no man should witness.

Gas chambers built by learned engineers.

Children poisoned by educated physicians.

Infants killed by trained nurses.

Woman and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates.

So I am suspicious of education.

My request is that teachers help students become human.

Your efforts much never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmans.

Reading, writing, arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007



The great motivational speaker Ed Agresta tells the story about an incredibly successful business executive who was asked to speak to business students at a prestigious university.

Toward the end of her presentation, one of the students asked the woman if her academic degrees were instrumental to her success.

With total conviction, she responded, “I only have one degree and it has made all the difference in the world. I have a Ph.D. When I was younger, I was Poor, Hungry, and Determined!”


Ed Agresta has a great motivational hotline called Power Thoughts –

(609) 660-8156, press 2

A RIDDLE: Nothing in the world can stop a person with it. Nothing in the world can help a person without it.

THE ANSWER: Go to the blog entry for Friday, April 27, 2007 – Message #25.

Desire wins,

Rob Gilbert

Monday, September 3, 2007


Over this weekend on Success Hotline (973-743-4690), I’ve had a mini-seminar on college success.

On Saturday’s message, I interviewed Melissa Sapio. Melissa is the only student I’ve ever known who had a perfect 4.0 grade point average while an undergraduate. She took 44 courses and earned 44 As. Not even one A minus!

I asked Melissa what’s the secret to getting great grades in college.

Here’s Melissa’s response:

“There is not secret gift.

There is no special talent.

There is just a willingness to work hard.”

There are a lot of people who go to work – but, there are very few workers.

There are a lot o people who go to school – but, there are very few students.

If you’re like Melissa and have this “willingness to work hard” . . . you will reach any goal you set. Why???

Because there is so little competition.

Here are some other thoughts on having a “willingness to work hard” . . .

* * * * * * *

“Blame nobody, expect nothing, do something.” – Bill Parcells, pro football coach (temporarily retired)

* * * * * * *

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” – Gandhi

* * * * * * *

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: first – hard work; second – stick-to-itiveness; third -- common sense.” Thomas Edison

* * * * * * *

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious!” -- Vince Lombardi, football coach

* * * * * * *

“A free lunch is only found in mouse traps.” – John Capuzzi, author

* * * * * * *

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vince Lombardi

* * * * * * *

There’s no thrill in easy sailing,

When the sky is clear and blue.

There’s no joy in merely doing

Things which anyone can do.

But there is some fulfillment

That is mighty sweet to take.

When you reach a destination

You thought you couldn’t make.

-- Author unknown

Here’s to “a willingness to work hard” . . .

Thanks, Melissa,

Rob Gilbert

Sunday, September 2, 2007


My hotline (973.743.4690) and this blog are advertisements.

Not advertisements for me and my books, but advertisements for YOU.

After all, you already know everything I’ve been telling you . . . I’m here to just gently remind you of what you already know.

K – A = 0

You already know this one. You might not recognize the formula, but you do know the concept . . . let me remind you:

K – A = 0

Knowledge minus Action equals Zero

One way to get this message to become more memorable so it will stick in your mind is to reinforce it with a story. Another advertising technique. A story like this one:

Early one evening a young salesman approached a middle-aged farmer who was relaxing on his front porch.

Very excitedly, the salesman showed the farmer a book titled, “Everything You Need to Know about Farming.

The farmer took the book and quickly leafed through it. Then he looked up and said, “Young man, I know everything that’s in that book. I could probably write a book just like it. You see my problem is not knowing it – my problem is doing it!”

K – A = 0

Knowledge minus Action equals Nothing


K + A = E

Knowledge plus Action equals Everything

Your constant and continuous reminder,

Rob Gilbert

Saturday, September 1, 2007


If you’ve ever looked for a philosophy of life . . . look no further.

You already know everything you need to know – you learned it years ago.

In 1986, a Unitarian minister named Robert Fulghum’s had a book published that became a huge best seller.

Robert Fulghum’s -- All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten -- is now a classic.

Here’s the passage that gave the book its title . . .

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.

Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.