Sunday, June 26, 2011

I've spent much of my adult life reading self-help books and listening to motivational speakers on CDs. I realized that if I had saved the money that I used to buy books and CDs I would be retired by now. What I've discovered is that there are way too many motivational speakers. I've decided that I would like to be a demotivational speaker and tell people why they can't do things. I think that 10-20% of the population is motivated by being told why they can't do something. I'm one of those people. I was a "C" student in high school. I remember hearing my dad tell my mom,"I think that Jim is a smart kid but I don't think that he will EVER graduate from college." I feel that I graduated from college because I heard my day say this. I showed him. If you're one of those motivated by demotivation, call me for an appointment. I would be glad to tell you why you can't do things. I'm also available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and memorial services.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm the President of my Toastmasters group in Escondido,CA. I have been a member since 1991. I love Toastmasters. It helps me to speak, think on my feet, and most of all listen. This is my 2nd time as President. I think it is something that will look good in my obituary when I die. "Jim Billingsley was a long time member of Escondido Club 1546 and served as President twice." The part that I need to explain about this term is that no one else wanted to do it. I was elected in December while I was having a kidney stone procedure. I wasn't even there for the election. They told me that I won the election but that no one else wanted to do it. The strange thing is that I accepted the job. It must have been my ego or wanting my obituary to look good. I think we all need to be President of something so why not Toastmasters. I've felt friendship and connection with the group but lately I've been thinking of quitting. I've always thought that I would never want to be a member of a group that I was President of.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I tend to be very impatient. I'm like many of my fellow Baby Boomers. We feel that we want and think that we deserve instant gradification. Most of this I feel can be blamed on Dr. Spock (not to be confused with Mr. Spock of Star Trek). He wrote a popular book in the 1950s called "Baby and Childcare." Everyone was taking his advice. He said to not be too harsh with your kids and pretty much give them anything they want, now. It helped create a whole generation of instant everything. He forgot the main theme of the "Tortoise and the Hare". The tortoise always wins. Being impatient myself I feel that the hare should win. I've read and reread the book several times. I always think that maybe this time the hare will win. No, it never happens. Unfortunately it's true that slow and steady does win the race. Darn! Life is a marathon and not a sprint.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

I love cliches. According to the dictionary a cliche is "a trite phrase or expression also: the idea expressed by it." I feel there is some truth in them and that is why they have lasted over time. When I was growing up I used to stay with my Aunt Aileen in Stratford California. She had her favorite sayings like: "a stitch in time saves nine", "a penny saved is a penny earned," and "that which does not kill you will make you stronger." All of this is very sage advice and sometimes in my life when I'm in a tight jam I remember these. They are all profound thoughts.

My dad, my aunt's brother had a different take on life. His favorite sayings were: "save the drama for your momma", Jim you better "wake up and smell the coffee", your life is passing you by, "you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube." Your grandfather was married five times and he didn't look back. When our dog would get out and we had to chase him down the street dad would always yell out,"Stop him Newt he's headed for the barn." This usually meant our dog had headed for the neighbor's dog food in their garage. He would also say that neighbor is "one taco short of a combination plate" for always leaving their garage door open with the dog food out. I always loved my dad's sense of humor and I hope he would say: "the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree."