Category: Motivation

Do These 12 Things For Yourself In 2012

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

magic in 2012One of the greatest inspirational speakers of our time, Zig Ziglar, said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” So, let’s start off a great 2012 with these 12 things to do for yourself!

  1. Spend time with the right people. — There’s not enough time in life to spend what precious little of it with people who drain the very life essence out of you. The people that make room for you are the ones that want you in their life. Don’t force yourself on those that don’t value your contributions and worth. True friends will be there when life isn’t smooth.
  2. Face your problems head on. — Don’t run from them. Sure, it’s not easy. Every person in the world has had their go at adversity, and not everyone has handled it with perfection. Instant problem solving is not genetically infused in us. Human DNA has the survival instinct in it. We get upset and mad, sad and hurt, we stumble and fall. But we rise and fight, learn and adapt, experience and succeed! This is what helps us become the developed person we aspire to!
  3. Speak truth to yourself. — You can lie to everyone, but you can’t lie to yourself and mean it. We improve our state when we engage the risk. One of the first risks we can engage is being totally honest with ourselves.
  4. Be your own self. — Stop trying to be someone you are not. The world seems to challenge us to be conforming and like others. You can always see someone else who is more intelligent, more sophisticated, arguably more attractive or younger, and they will never be you. In the same vein, don’t change them to be like you and don’t change yourself to be like them. Be yourself, and those that matter will love the person you are.
  5. Be courageous when facing tasks ridden with potential for mistakes. While failure may not be an option, the fear of failure should not be a show-stopper. Look at all the successes that had years of failure that paved the way. Many performers of 20 years become ‘over-night’ sensations.
  6. Look for happiness in yourself. —Don’t look exclusively to others to fulfill your happiness. You have to create your own happiness by being happy with who you are. If you aren’t happy with who you are, take some steps to get your inner relationship corrected.
  7. Get busy. — Take action. Don’t over analyze or you’ll create a problem where one never existed. Evaluate quickly, then act decisively. You won’t change what isn’t confronted. You can’t make a 15 yard completion if you never throw the ball. Progess involves taking risks.
  8. Reject self-pity and negative talk. — Don’t complain and feel sorry for yourself. Adversity comes for a reason: to cause you to take action, change a course of direction. At the moment things happen, you may not see the reason or understand why, with reflection, you’ll see that they often have led you to become a better person .
  9. Practice forgiveness and forgetfulness. — You shouldn’t live your life with hate and grudges in your heart. You end up hurting yourself more. When you forgive, let go, find peace, and be free from the emotional entaglements the grudge or wrongful act has brought to you. And the part about forgetfulness is to let the other person know, without saying a word, that the grudge is truly in the past. By the way, while you’re at it, remember to forgive yourself.
  10. Rise above the fray. — When those around you would pull you down into the mud to muck it up, take a stand and refuse to wallow in their level. Adhere to higher standards.
  11. Take time to enjoy precious moments. — Rejoice in the little things, for little things have a tendency to become big things. I’ve heard stories over and over of elderly folk who discovered late in life that one of their most influential moments in life had been one considered by them to be quite trivial, but the one who shared that moment had experienced a mountain of importance.
  12. Focus on what you want to happen. — Avoid focusing on what you don’t want happening. The basic tenant of every success story is positive thinking! When your day begins with thoughts of what wonderful things that will happen today, you tend to seek those wonderful things. And when you seek them, you find them.

And for the baker’s dozen, be thankful. I am thankful for all that I have materially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My dream for 2012 is to be the best employee I can, to do more magic shows, and to enjoy my family more than ever.

“Holiday” Greetings

Published / by Molly Whitehouse
Grinchy Type
Stolen from a politically correct legal type:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your own choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all … and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year of 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only “America” in the western hemisphere) and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice or computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

(By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms). This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting whichever comes first and this warranty is limited to the replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Bye Staples. Hello OfficeMax!

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

My wife does coupons. I mean she really does coupons. And she has gotten THOUSANDS of dollars in savings for us. We have often gone to the Staples office supply store in Allen, TX on McDermott Road to shop. Occasionally, we have an OfficeMax™ coupon that Staples accepts. It’s nice to save some $$.

Last Saturday, I needed some things to finish up a few props for my new magic show and I drove the 2 miles up to Staples. In my hand I had another OfficeMax™ coupon for “20% off everything you can fit in your shopping cart!”* See the “*”? That means there are serious disclaimers. No monitors, computers, store brand ink cartridges, HP ink cartridges, Canon ink cartridges…. yada yada yada…. It just so happened that I needed construction paper, and a KODAK ink cartidge. Total price RETAIL? about $35. I had something else in my hand too. My lovely little Angelynn. 2½ years old and full of distracting daddy. So we go to the checkout, and the young male cashier can’t make the 20% work. He asks the more senior cashier (she must have been at least 3 months older than him), and she called someone. The someone said, “we can’t take the 20% off coupon from OfficeMax™.”

So, I left my purchase and started out the door. Then I stopped. I needed more of a reason than some phone call to some office. I asked to speak to the manager. After about 7 minutes (a LONG time when wrestling with a 2½ year old), here comes Jayme Browder strolling from the back of the store sucking on some fast food soft drink. I surmised from a distance that she was the Manager On Duty. She looked to have been recently graduated from SFA (go Lumberjacks.) She passed me and Angel standing in the middle of ‘no-man’s-land’ and inquired with the cashier who called her as to with whom she should speak. Of course, she was directed to me.

I explained I didn’t understand why they would not accept the coupon since it had been their policy to accept competitor’s coupons before. Here was her explanation, which was so well spoken, it had to have been a part of management training (Staples should be proud.) The coupon is for all you can get in your shopping cart and there is no way they could honor that.

I countered with the massive amounts of exceptions plainly spelled out on the coupon. She countered with there was nothing she could do.

I countered with showing my wife’s Staples reward card with thousands of dollars of purchases made on it, explained that the $7.00 discount she was avoiding giving me would result in no more purchases on the Staples reward card. She countered with “If I do this for you, I would have to do it for everyone else.” Now why would a 50+ year old man get flustered by a early 20’s manager girl (I know ways that SOME men would get flustered, but this was NOT one of them)? I simply thanked her and said good day.

Here’s what I SHOULD have done and said (of course I would not have gotten my satisfaction.) I should have looked around and said, “What others? There’s no line of people here with 20% coupons. They are all at OfficeMax™ using their coupons which is what I’m about to do!”

Staples is 2 miles, OfficeMax™ is 6. That’s 4 miles I can use to talk to my brother and sisters.

See you next time, OfficeMax™. Staples, Staples management, and Jayme truly made this an Easy decision.

Keeping Keen

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

Happy birthday do me! Today is the anniversary of me discovering America. And since it is an event that marks the passing of youth, I take this time to tell you how to keep the youthful vim and vigor not expected of the old and ancient.


A lengthy discussion about the things going on at work with one of my colleagues led to some observations of how to implement fixes. And this lead to discussion of reading material. So, two books were brought to my attention, and I immediately made obtaining them top priority.

360 Degree Leader by John C. Maxwell was the first one we discussed. In just the first two chapters, I can tell I’m going to get a lot out of this book. Of course John C. Maxwell is renouned in his leadership writings.

Next we discussed Love Is The Killer App. Just by the title I didn’t think it would move me too far, but I was mistaken. This is really a good look at how to get the most from everyone you come in contact with; not in a commercial way, but to get the best from them when you give your best.

Hopefully, I’ll be full of vim and vigor for many years to come. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have.

Time Warner Cable and Burglars

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

It was late February 2008. I was living in a 2 bedroom condo near Walnut Hill and Webb Chapel in Dallas. I didn’t have a lot to do that day, but I went to visit a couple of near by customers. Even though the neighborhood was not known for being pristine and crime free, I had not had any significant trouble since residing there in 2006. I locked my door, but not the patio gate, as was my normal procedure when leaving. I had finished with my first customer, and contemplated going home for lunch, then returning to the other customer. But I decided I would just rather get it all done, and then when I got home, I would be done. When I did arrive home, about 1:45pm, I noticed the door was messed up some. I instantly thought that workers doing some work around the condos might have been working on it. Then, when I got inside, and noticed some computer parts in the living room that had been upstairs, I wondered why someone I had given a key to my condo had come by and moved my stuff? After realizing that something bad had happened, and not knowing if they were still in the place, I dashed outside and to the town home office. There I was informed that one of the employees had chased three teens from my condo. He wasn’t successful in catching them, and it probably was a good thing he didn’t. They took some stuff, including a handgun (I didn’t have a safe then) and my cable box. The cable box is what this story really is about.

Obviously I couldn’t watch TV. So after the emotions of being burglarized eased, I was able to go about the insurance, police reports and everything else to get my life back in order. New steel door, dead bolt locks, safe, burglar alarm, etc. Then, I went to Time Warner Cable (TWC) near my office. I had called by phone to inform them of the burglary and stolen cable box. I also asked for a value so I could claim it on the insurance. No one could tell me a value. Even with a supervisor, face-to-face in the office, I could get no answer on what the amount was. No one at TWC would provide me with an invoice. They did give me a new box, though, and I gave them the police report.

I filed my insurance claim, listing the cable box, but no dollar value. I got a check less deductible for all my stuff (except the cable box.) Texas Fair Plan was exactly that! FAIR! Thank you, Russ Davis.

One service issue I was having with TWC was concerning High Definition. Seems I was paying extra for HD, but EVERY night, I would lose the HD signal. Some times it was for a few seconds, most of the time it was for a couple of minutes. They made two or three trips to test the lines from their system to my box. Every time, they could not find a cause. Once they reburied the cable to my condo. So fast-forward to Oct 2009. We bought a house in Allen. Since I knew I would be leaving TWC, I decided to stop paying for service. And of course I got the phone calls from collections. Even months before making the decision to stop paying, I had been trying to get TWC customer service to do something about the outage. It got to be a game: call in, first person couldn’t help, would check with a supervisor, supervisor not available but would call back. I documented 49 times (YES, FORTY NINE TIMES) that I was promised a supervisor would call me back. A couple of times, I did get to speak to a supervisor after being passed from the customer service representative. But they would always say they would investigate further and call me back. And those failures to call back are included in the 49.

I did say ‘fast-forward’ right? Okay, now we are moving from the condo, and I have disconnected my TWC. I go to take back my equipment, and the guy says: “Where’s the other box?” I had actually forgotten about the stolen box. But when I realized what he was talking about, I remembered what the supervisor at the TWC center in Irving, near my office, had said when I pressed her for an invoice: “Don’t worry about it.” At this point, I am VERY upset. Weeks later the collections calls and other things started happening, and I decided it would be me against them, and I wasn’t going to give in! And I didn’t. I told multiple callers from TWC that they could have a supervisor call me, and one never did. I did finally get a bill for a couple of months of over due service AND $325 for a cable box. I just laughed.

Then one day, I was checking my credit, and there was a “bad debt” from TWC. So, I finally decided to see if I could slay this dragon. I sent the invoice of $325 to Texas Fair Plan. This was in March 2011. They paid it! Then I went to the TWC center near my office again. I wanted to pay what I rightfully owed, the cable box cost. I got to speak to a gentleman, Antwon Whiteman, Retail Supervisor. You won’t believe what he did. He LISTENED to my issues, he APOLOGIZED for the trouble, and he TOOK CARE OF IT! I told him that he was fighting an uphill battle and that I hoped he was rewarded adequately for his service at a place that seems to have forgotten what customer service really is. He wrote me a letter that I can post to any lingering credit bureau blots.

Needless to say, I had less trouble with the burglars than I did with TWC. But in the future, if you have issues with TWC, try to talk to Antwon Whiteman.

New Friends and Old in 2010

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

As we enter the last week of 2010, I am grateful to have made so many new friends. Moving to a new city gives you ample opportunity to do so. Hopefully, 2011 will present additional chances to expand my friend circle. With that in mind, I can’t help but realize there is a small circle of friends that we all call ‘close friends.’ After reading “The Power of Who” by Bob Beaudine, I want to make sure that I become a good friend and that my good friends are mutually benefited.

I recall a passage that I read a few years ago. I do not know the original author, and I may have made some changes to the original document. Regardless, I now present for your reading pleasure the definition of Real Friends.


Are you tired of all those sissy “friendship” poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship:

  1. When you are sad – I will help get you drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.
  2. When you are blue – I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
  3. When you smile – I will know you finally got laid.
  4. When you are scared – I will rag on you about it every chance I get.
  5. When you are worried – I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit whining.
  6. When you are confused – I will use little words.
  7. When you are sick – Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don’t want whatever you have.
  8. When you fall – I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

This is my oath…I pledge it till the end. Why, you may ask. Because you are my friend.

Send this to 10 of your closest friends, then get depressed because you can only think of two and one of them isn’t speaking to you right now anyway.

Remember: A good friend will help you move. A really good friend will help you move a body. Let me know if I ever need to bring a shovel.

Jokes I like to share

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”

The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,” replied the vet..

“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.”