Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feng Shui Means, "Make More Money!"

"Cleanliness is next to godliness" Francis Bacon – Advancement of Learning (1605)

Feng Shui is Quack Science you think? Think again. Feng Shui is just plain common sense. By the time you finish this short article you will see why it is so painfully obvious and you’ll wonder why you didn’t figure it out sooner.

Do you want to make lots more money? It’s easy; clean up that mess. Do you want to have a more fulfilling life and a happier home? Easy; clean up that mess. Do you want to relieve stress and be more creative therefore more productive? That’s easy (and you already know the answer); clean up that mess. Cleaning up your mess and having a clean, open, well-lit home and workspace are keys to Feng Shui.

What is Feng Shui? I don’t really want to turn you off by getting into this part too much, but I suppose at least a little background information might be helpful. Feng Shui literally translates into, "The way of the water and the wind." In layman’s terms, that might mean that you don’t row a boat up a rushing river and against the wind. That should sound simple enough. Feng Shui, originating from ancient China, has been used by Asians for thousands of years.

In spite of all that you may have heard or read about Feng Shui, I’d like to take a few moments of your time to explain in simple terms why Feng Shui will help you accomplish all the things that you want from life: A happier family, a more relaxed home, relief from stress, more accomplishment, and a much better financial situation; and all just by cleaning up your home, office, or store. Feng Shui requires no investment, little time, and no hiring of hippie quacks to come to your house to tell you what’s wrong. All it requires from you is some diligence and a little effort. What could be simpler?

It might sound a bit ridiculous if I told that you could increase your business and make more money by vacuuming your space every day, but that’s the way it is. Here’s why and please consider the next scenario with me.

You are driving through the countryside with your wife and kids. You all are tired and hungry so you decide to stop for something to eat. There are two restaurants next to each other. You walk into the first one and the exterior and interior are dilapidated. There is a halfway dead tree with brown leaves falling off of it and dead plants near the entrance of the restaurant. The tables and chairs are old and broken down. There are stacks of old papers and trash piled up behind the cash register. The floor looks like it hasn’t been mopped in weeks. The ceiling fan looks to be on its last legs…

You walk into the second restaurant. It is clean. The carpet is not new, but it is clean and the tables are shiny. There are beautifully kept palm trees at the entrance of the establishment. The waitresses are all wearing nice, clean uniforms…

Well, I could go on, but why? I think both you and I have decided already which restaurant we are going to take our wife and kids to.

Isn’t it obvious? How could anyone expect that you or your business is doing well when you won’t even take the time to clean up and look after what is yours?

Don’t have dead plants in your office or home. Of course you should never have any dead plants at the entrance to your place of business or your abode. When people walk in and see dead plants, what could their subconscious possibly be telling them about the way you run your affairs? I mean, how hard is it to take care of a houseplant? If you can’t do that, then how could you possibly expect that you will be trusted with someone else’s business or their money? You can’t. You are dreaming if you think you can.
Don’t leave stacks of trash on your desk or behind the cash register. What does that tell me and other customers about the way you handle paperwork and your other affairs? You know what they say about ‘tip of the iceberg?’ If you have trash piled up in front of the store or restaurant, then I’d hate to see the disaster that lies behind those walls!

If you are a salesman (and, in a way, aren’t we all?) then you must expect that people do judge by appearances. Perhaps you can’t afford a shiny new car, but you can take the time to clean up that car of yours. How would I feel if I got into your car and there were old candy wrappers, empty coffee cups, receipts, trash, or even money on the filthy floor of your car? Not good, I can tell you that.

Think about it: How could anyone expect you to be doing a good business when your workplace and your home are filthy? They couldn’t. And if you sincerely stopped to think about it, you’d admit that what I’ve written here makes perfectly good sense.

The same rules will apply to your place of residence. It must be kept clean. A home is a place where one can escape the hustle bustle and reinvigorate themselves. A home is a place where one can relax. Relaxing is enjoyment. Who doesn’t want to relax? Who doesn’t want enjoyment? How can you relax or enjoy yourself in a pile of filth?

A home is warm. A home has an identity. That individual identity – whether it is yours as an individual person – or your family identity – must be preserved. You cannot do this without a home. Well, how in the world are you going to relax and refresh yourself when the place you live in is a filthy mess? You can’t. You need a home. Homes are to be kept clean.

Clear out that trash. Vacuum the floor; and especially do something about those dead houseplants.
It’s funny, when you stop to think about it, how dead plants remind people of, well, death; and how death doesn’t seem to correlate to good business unless, of course, you are an undertaker.

Many psychologists, and I think most people would agree, that we are products of our environment. Now what kind of product do you think you can produce, as a person, or as a business, when your environment is filthy? As the great statesman Benjamin Disraeli once said, "Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them."

Consider my friends: One can sit there all day thinking about ways to make more money, but they’ll not come up with a good idea while they wallow in filth. Good ideas are great. Great ideas don’t come from filth.

Do yourself a favor, clean up. And while you clean you’ll be refreshing your inner spirit and be able to make a place where you can relax and refresh; a place where your mind can create and play.

So remember: Feng Shui is not only common sense, Feng Shui means, "Make more money."



Keywords: Feng Shui, clean, Mike Rogers, Mike in Tokyo Rogers. cleanliness, Marketing Japan,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

1964 Tokyo Olympics Newsreel (Cool Video!)

Here is a newsreel of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics from the Internet Archives by Universal Newsreels.

Wikipedia says of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics:

The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport eventheld in TokyoJapan in 1964. Tokyo had been awarded with the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honor was subsequently passed to Helsinki because of Japan's invasion of China, before ultimately being canceled because of World War II. The 1964 Summer Games were the first Olympics held in Asia, and the first time South Africa was barred from taking part due to its apartheid system in sports. (South Africa was, however, allowed to compete at the 1964 Summer Paralympics, also held in Tokyo, where it made its Paralympic Games début.) These games were also the first to be telecast internationally. The games were telecast to the United States using Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite, and from there to Europe using Relay 1.

This Olympic Game was a watershed moment for Japan as the Japanese consider this the turning point for Japan into becoming a modern western nation and economic powerhouse. The games were the spark for most of the average Japanese to buy their first TV set.

With the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, consumerism had arrived in Japan.

It was also the last Olympics that Japan did well in medal count in and they came in third after the USA and the Soviet Union! (Note that Western Germany was 4th!)

 Rank NationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 United States36262890
2 Soviet Union30313596
3 Japan165829
4 Germany10221850
5 Italy1010727
6 Hungary107522
7 Poland761023
8 Australia621018
9 Czechoslovakia56314
10 Great Britain412218

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Japan's Debt Off the Charts

Thanks to Zerohedge!  

Japanese debt too large to fit on graphs anymore....

By now every single chart laying out every possible permutation of a hopelessly insolvent and overlevered world has been compiled, created, colored and in some cases, animated and socially networked. The following chart showing global debt dynamics over time from the WSJ is no different: it is animated (check) it has lots of pretty colors (check), and it is quite informative because it remembers that in addition to public sector debt, there is a thing called the private sector (sadly it avoids shadow debt: perhaps someone good at making 3D animated charts should take a stab?) and succeeds in incorporating everything in one cool animation.  

Yet why it may be most memorable, or not as the case may be, is that it is merely the latest chart in a seemingly infinite series which are just not big enough to fit Japan.  Perhaps it is time to make a chart of all the charts that need to be bigger to show the true Japanese state of affairs. 

That, or in reverence to the sadist joke, pardon "experiment" (as Jens Weidmann would say) that is Abenomics, we can finally start making bigger charts.  

Go here to play with the interactive chart. It's, er, "fun"! http://graphics.wsj.com/national-debts/#i[]=999

Friday, May 24, 2013

It's All a Part of the Journey

I have a friend who is a multi-millionaire. He is a very intense, dedicated and hard-working man. He is a great inspiration... He also is, perhaps, a bit crazy (but aren't we all?) The guy is a one-man business cyclone! He works constantly and has been rewarded for decency and that hard work.

"Rick" (not his real name) is the kind of person that people either love or hate. I've met some people who seem to hate him (he seems to not care). But I've also met lots of people who really love him. 

It seems the people who have bothered to take the time to really get to know him, really respect him. I do. I really respect him, but I say that being with "Rick" for too long can be a tiring experience because he is probably one of the most intense individuals you'll ever meet.

One day, I went to Rick's office and it looked as if he had just come from the dentist. He was wearing a sort of brace on his jaw. It was obvious he was in pain. He could hardly open his mouth.

I said to him, "Rick! That looks very painful. Are you alright?"

Rick smiled to me, put his hand on my shoulder and, while hardly moving his mouth because of pain, he said, "It's alright, Mike. It's all a part of the 'journey.'"

He means the 'journey of life.'

That moment so impressed me! It impressed me so much that I have adopted it into my life philosophy and it is what I tell my friends and loved ones when things (business & life) aren't going well...

And, these days, what business is going well? So, recently, I've been saying this to a lot of people. I also find I am always reminding myself of the same thing; All this pain is part of the journey.

All this pain is part of the journey.

Wow! You don't know how much that thought impresses me. 

I can admit that, my work life hasn't gone well for over 5 years now. I think I'm not alone in that area and it's been the same for most since 2008.... Things are difficult for everyone...

I think we have to always remember that this is all part of the journey and that, if we do right, and live right by other people, God and ourselves, then there will be a reward at the end of the rainbow.

When others complain to me about problems at work, and they sound like they might be depressed, I remind them (and remind myself), 

"It's alright. It's all a part of the journey."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Isn't Japan Wonderful?

Another vignette that shows how much better life in Japan is than life in the "Greatest Country in the World." 

A letter from a friend:

Hi Mike san,

Seems like you've been busy.  I hope everything is OK in your life.   Your blogs seems less frequent, so I was wondering.
Something happened here tonight that I thought you would find interesting.  It's a small thing, but I believe it represents the spirit of Japan.  There's this certain sake that my wife and I like and it's only produced in the springtime.  It's called Do Pink.  You probably never heard of it, but it's tasty and bubbly and a powerful nigori (unclear) style. Its made in Hachimine, Akita pref.

The local sake guy ran out of it and we couldn't get more than two small bottles.  My wife searched the internet and found a liquor shop about 90 minutes away that carries it.  She called them and had them send 4 isshobin (the big bottles).  A few days later, a deliveryman brought it to our house, just a few minutes ago in fact.   I noticed we didn't have to pay upon receipt so I asked my wife if she already paid the storeowner.  
As it turned out, she had not paid.  The storeowner sent us the 4 bottles, paid for delivery, and simply put an invoice in the box.  Of course, we'll send him the money.   He doesn't know us at all, yet he trusted us to make payment. 

Could you imagine this happening in a certain large, greatest in the world country?  Store to home delivery of alcohol simply would not be permitted without great difficulty, if at all. Never mind the fact that no one sends anything, especially booze, without being paid in advance.
Isn't Japan wonderful!
Your friend,

Delivery of alcohol and no pre-payment? Yep. That's Japan - even in 2013.

Basically says it all, doesn't it?

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