“I, The Jury” – The Prologue [Part 0] [An Original Online Series]

Underworld Awakening Publicity Still

“Whoever we are … Wherever we reside … We exist on the whim of murderers …”— Miles Davis, “The Rock”

***

An original online series based on characters and situations from the Vampire trilogy “The Endless Night” by H. P. Lovelace; dedicated to Mickey Spillane, his Mike Hammer, and the original, his “I, The Jury”. So, if you’re looking for Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Nero Wolf, et al, you’d best look elsewhere. Mickey Spillane … dead … but not forgotten … never …

***

Series starts January 08, 2011

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The Endless Night, The First 16 Pages – [an excerpt from IUP, Book 01]

Poisen Elves
Be careful what you wish for … sometimes you get it

Click on the image of Jenny Miller, Mondo’s BFF, to read the pages … Enjoy … :)

 

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China Will End Up Like Japan, Says Observer Who Called It in 1990

Bloomberg
By Enda Curran <Original Source>

(Bloomberg) — Forecasts for China to surpass the U.S. as the world’s main economic power are misplaced. So says an observer who foresaw Japan’s eventual demise a year before its land-price bubble began to burst.

“The vulnerabilities in China today are very similar to the vulnerabilities in Japan,” said Roy Smith, 76, who was a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner when he wrote a column saying Japan’s rise as a financial hegemon was done. “Nobody agrees with me. But they didn’t agree with me in 1990, so at least I have one right.”

Among the risks: bad loans, overpriced stocks and a frothy property market are flashing danger for China’s economy and putting pressure on a fragile financial system — similar to conditions that triggered Japan’s fall, said Smith, a finance professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. A further parallel is the burden of an aging population, with mounting pension and health-care costs, he says.

While China probably will avoid prolonged Japan-style stagnation, a major crisis could expose weaknesses that aren’t apparent now, according to Smith.

“Most people today are talking about China displacing the United States as the great power of the 21st century,” he said in a telephone interview last week. “My view is that it is more likely to end up like Japan — that is, the status of a former would-be superpower that isn’t.”

China’s Rise

China surpassed Japan as the world’s No. 2 economy by gross domestic product in 2010 after three decades of rapid growth, fueled by the largest urbanization in history. It is tipped by many forecasters eventually to overtake the U.S. in output. By other measures, such as GDP per person, China is further behind the U.S.

On a per-capita basis, China’s GDP in 2013 was still just half of where Japan was in 1960, according to World Bank data. That leaves plenty of scope to catch up to rich-world peers, more optimistic observers say.

“The key difference I see between China now and Japan in 1990 is that China is at a much lower stage of development,” said Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Hong Kong, who previously worked at the World Bank.

Even so, China’s progress has confronted mounting challenges in recent years. In 2014, the economy expanded at the slowest full-year pace in almost a quarter century.

Credit Concerns

The slowdown has thrown a spotlight on a mounting debt pile that includes souring loans to local government financing vehicles, or LGFVs, which funded a boom in construction. Doubts about the creditworthiness of LGFV debt deepened last year, when Premier Li Keqiang started to pare back implicit guarantees for the regional financing units.

China’s total debt pile, including borrowing by households, banks, governments and companies, ballooned to 282 percent of national output in mid-2014 from 121 percent in 2000, according to an estimate by the McKinsey Global Institute.

“The Chinese financial structure is very fragile because a lot of it is misreported and will reveal a great deal of weakness when it comes out,” said Smith, who specializes in international banking and finance at the Stern School. “I don’t know when it is going to come out, but when it does it is going to have consequences and take away a lot of the world’s confidence in the Chinese system.”

Some signs of stress are already emerging: Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd., a troubled real-estate developer based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen that must repay billions of dollars in borrowings this year, rattled investors by missing payment deadlines on a loan and a bond after the local government blocked several of its projects late last year.

Rocks, Slime

“They say a rising tide lifts all boats — a falling tide reveals all the rocks and slime,” said Smith. ‘There was a lot of it in Japan that people did not expect to see.’’

The former Goldman Sachs executive doesn’t claim to have a flawless forecasting record or to have been the only one who tipped Japan’s economic decline.

Still, his October 1990 predictions on Japan proved prescient. Made amid a tumble in the stock market that year, they preceded the pricking of the country’s property bubble. In a column in the New York Times, he assessed that Japanese manufacturers would shift production abroad and that the nation’s banks would be impaired by losses on property loans.

Japan Call

“Japan’s extraordinary economic and financial success has carried the seeds of its own undoing, some of which have rooted and are now beginning to bloom,” Smith wrote at the time.

He isn’t counting on a paradigm shift out of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflation program. Smith sees “some kind of twilight equilibrium” with economic stagnation and low inflation.

China’s leaders, who gather this week for an annual session of the national legislature, are trying to restructure the economy toward domestic demand led by consumption and services – – away from debt-fueled infrastructure. Economists anticipate a raft of reforms to state-owned enterprises as part of the push.

“China won’t end up in this peculiar Japanese no man’s land between growth and non-growth,” Smith said. “But I do think they could have an economic smash-down that could really set back the China dream and the China role as a global superpower in major ways.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Enda Curran in Hong Kong at ecurran8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net Malcolm Scott

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Dr Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip — The power to make each others’ dreams come true!

Like most kids, I had a dream of what I wanted to become when I grew up. But I was a bit unusual. While other kids wanted to become teachers, firemen, nurses, or policemen, I wanted to become a comedian. It was my first dream. Then I dreamed of becoming a pastor, and then a social worker.

It might sound like a rather weird dream. But hang on.

Over time, I ended up serving as a recreation manager, a radio broadcaster, a juvenile delinquency counselor, a university professor, a business owner, a professional speaker, and an author.

On the surface, it might sound like my original dream got lost in that odd assortment of jobs. Not at all! In every job, I was able to help other people. And that was my real dream. That’s what was driving me. The job was simply the vehicle that delivered the dream.

Now I have a new dream. And I know you have dreams as well. The good news is, we have the power to make each other’s dreams come true. More about that later.

Of course, some of you may not be as clear as you’d like about your dream. Then I suggest you …

1. Look at what inspired you in your early years.

For me, it was my father who inspired me.

We were a poor family living in a basement, in the ground, with no windows and no house on top. But I felt incredibly blessed because I never lived a day without feeling loved and without feeling we had plenty.

So much so that my father would routinely pick up skid row bums,(yeah, I know that’s not a politically correct term these days, but that’s what they were called back then), bring them home, sober them up, feed them, and find them a job. I saw him change people’s lives for the better, and I caught the dream. It inspired my early years and still inspires me today.

That’s why I write my weekly “Tuesday Tips” and give them away free of charge. I want to change people’s lives for the better. And from all the thousands of emails I’ve received, I believe they’re serving that purpose and helping me live out my dream. So I have willingly devoted 7,650 hours to writing all those “Tuesday Tips” over the years.

But now I have a new dream. I want to be a #1 best-selling author. And I want to help you achieve your dream at the very same time. Together we can do it.

That’s why I wrote my new book, “The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work.” It makes its official launch TODAY on Amazon and in the bookstores. If I sell a massive number of books TODAY, it becomes a #1 best-seller. That makes my dream come true.

But I also know this book contains exactly what you need to know to make your dreams come true as well. I’ll stake my reputation on it. So I’m asking to go to and buy “The Payoff Principle” today.

Some of you may be saying that you just don’t have the energy to make your dream come true. Then you need to…

2. Practice lucidity.

You see, a vague dream brings vague energy. It sounds good in theory, but you just don’t feel like doing the work to make your dream come true.

Excuse my bluntness, but that’s a lousy way to live. You’ll end your life with a handful of regrets and a host of woulda, coulda, shoulda’s. Please, please, please don’t do that to yourself.

Live like the powerful and effective former Ambassador to the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt, who proclaimed, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

So how do you get to believe in your dreams and have the energy to pursue them? Visualize your dream. Picture it as clearly as possible. Imagine every possible detail, person, outcome, color, taste, smell, and feel of your dream. Picture yourself “inside” your dream, alive in this special world, where you are experiencing and enjoying exactly what you have been dreaming.

Quite simply, psychology documents the power of a dream or the power of planting certain phrases and goals in your mind. The clearer your picture and the more effectively you use affirmations, the more quickly your dream becomes a reality.

That’s why I devote an entire chapter in my book, “The Payoff Principle,” to this process. It changed my life, and I want it to change your life as well. It helped me overcome a crippling illness when I could not walk, survive the loss of the three most important people in my life in one weekend, and handle business challenges that could have overtaken me.

I want you to have this amazing tool working for you. So I’m asking you to buy a copy, or several copies of “The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work” … TODAY. That’s how things work in the publishing world. TODAY counts more than any other day. Click here to get your copy.

Together we can make each other’s dreams come true. I can help you achieve your dream, whatever it is, and you can help me achieve my dream of becoming a #1 best-selling author.

I know that might sound a bit presumptuous, but I subscribe to the same philosophy that actor Christopher Reeves portrayed during his courageous life. He said, “At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.”

Yes, make your dream lucid, but also…

3. Make sure your dream is about others.

If your dream is only focused on what you can get for yourself, if your dream is all about “me, me, me,” you don’t have a dream. You have a greed.

When I teach that concept, some of my audience members protest. They’ll say, “How can I have a dream? I’m just a compliance specialist, an accounting supervisor, a contracting agent, a middle manager, a National Guard reserve officer, or a hundred others job titles they might mention. The only thing I dream about is getting my paycheck and paying my bills.”

I beg to differ. No matter who you are or what job you have, you can have a dream that impacts others for the good. My insurance agent, Brian Chapman illustrates that so well. On the surface, you could say he sells insurance policies for cars and homes. Not very glamorous. But on the dream level, Brian totally gets this whole dream thing.

In an email he sent me, he wrote, “So much of what we do … matters so much … to so many people. Every day we counsel our policyholders and help them define what’s important to them. We help them dream about having a good future. We help them prepare for the unexpected and guide them through the processes that will protect them. And we have most, if not all, of the tools necessary to insure their short and long term success.”

Brian goes on to write, “We all have the choice each day to be nothing more than a simple resource, or we can become a valuable resource to others. Which do you want to be? Your life and work product is a valuable commodity. Are you using all you have so that your life and work matter? Is the world a lot better because of your investment in the lives of others at home and at work? If so, you have a dream worth living.”

Profound comments.

You see, my dream of becoming a #1 best-selling author has very little to do with me. I’ve never been driven by ego or fame. In fact, if you met me, you might be surprised that I’m somewhat of an introvert. My wife and I live rather modestly. And we give a major portion of our income to charities to help other people. It’s a part of the dream we share.

My reason for wanting to become a #1 best-selling author is I truly believe my new book will quickly, easily, powerfully, and effectively help other people achieve their dreams. I want you to learn … in the matter of hours … what has taken me 30 years to research, learn, and perfect.

And when “The Payoff Principle” reaches #1 status, a certain tipping point or snowball effect goes into play. The more people that read the book, the more people will talk about the book. And the more they talk, the more dreams that will be realized.

We have the power to make each other’s dreams come true … TODAY!

So I am asking you to click here and buy your copy or copies of “The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work” … TODAY.

And then together, we can say with Mother Teresa: “Life is a dream; realize it”

Share with your friends and colleagues!
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China says probing son of former top military officer

Reuters<Original Source>

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is investigating 14 of its senior military officers, including the son of one of its former top generals, for suspected corruption, state media said on Monday, the latest wave of Beijing’s intensifying anti-graft campaign in the army.

The Defence Ministry said one of the officers under investigation was Guo Zhenggang, the son of Guo Boxiong, who retired as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission in 2013.

Guo, the deputy political commissar of the military in the eastern province of Zhejiang, was being investigated on suspicion of “violating the law”, the ministry said in a statement on its website, without elaborating. In China, “violating the law” is often a euphemism for corruption.

Guo, 45, is also a major-general, according to the Global Times, an influential tabloid owned by the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily.

Rumors that Guo Zhenggang was being investigated for corruption have swirled in the overseas Chinese press over the last few months. Reuters has not been able to reach Guo for comment.

The news comes four months after one of China’s most senior former military officers, Xu Caihou, confessed to taking “massive” bribes in exchange for help in promotions.

The Defence Ministry said in a separate commentary that the release of the new list would help combat naysayers who thought the crackdown was “just for appearances” or “a gust of wind”.

“The military is really going for it in fighting corruption,” it said.

President Xi Jinping heads the Central Military Commission, which controls the 2.3 million strong armed forces, the world’s largest, and has made weeding out corruption in the military a top goal. He has vowed to target high-ranking “tigers” as well as lowly “flies” in a broad campaign against corruption.

The anti-graft drive in the military comes as Xi steps up efforts to modernize forces that are projecting power across the disputed waters of the East and South China Seas, though China has not fought a war in decades.

China stepped up a crackdown on corruption in the military in the late 1990s, banning the PLA from engaging in business. But the military has been involved in commercial dealings in recent years due to a lack of checks and balances, military analysts have said.

Anti-graft advocates have said corruption in the military is so pervasive that it could undermine China’s ability to wage war.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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高清版:柴静雾霾调查:穹顶之下 — China’s Surprise Viral Hit: An Environmental Documentary

The Atlantic By Matt Schiavenza <Original Source>

On Saturday, Chai Jing, a former television journalist from China, released a feature-length documentary film that, unusually for China, took the government to task. Titled Under the Dome, the video featured Chai giving a presentation on stage, using both photographs and slides to examine how China’s notorious air pollution got so extreme—and why the Communist Party has failed to fix it. Jing’s interest was personal: Her daughter underwent surgery soon after her birth to remove a tumor that, Chai claims, was caused by pollution.

Under ordinary circumstances, the Chinese government might have swiftly removed the video from Youku, China’s YouTube, before it could gain much traction. But the film has been left untouched, amassing tens of millions of views and touching off a spirited discussion online. Under the Dome, which is embedded below, has even received praise from senior government officials.

高清版:柴静雾霾调查:穹顶之下

boxuntv
boxuntv
这个视频正在中国引起强烈关注,youku19小时视频播放超过130万次,播放人数­仍在快速增长。博讯特别转发youtube以方便海外读者观看。柴静此片申明是公益的­,各网站都可以播放。博讯预测,柴静此片引发的反响超出预料,宣传部门或许会出手干预­。
文字介绍:http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2…


“Chai Jing’s documentary calls for public environmental consciousness from the standpoint of public health,” Chen Jining, China’s environment czar, said. “It deserves admiration.” This isn’t how the Communist Party normally reacts to videos that criticize its governance.

The government’s reaction to Under the Dome is particularly noteworthy given that under President Xi Jinping, who took office in 2013, government suppression of the media has intensified. In addition to maintaining long-held bans on Facebook, Twitter, and other foreign websites, Beijing has cracked down on any private networks that provided a workaround to the Great Firewall. And in something of a throwback to the Maoist era, the Communist Party has even promoted a song praising Internet censorship on state-run television.

Why did Under the Dome get a pass? One reason is tone. Chai, an experienced television anchor, framed her story as a critical investigation rather than a call to action. In China, this distinction is crucial. A much-cited Harvard study found that while the Communist Party tolerates some dissent, the government works hard to stifle overt provocations. Then there’s the subject matter: Environmental problems transcend social, linguistic, and economic barriers in China, and air pollution is much harder to conceal than government malfeasance.

In this spirit of semi-forced transparency, Beijing has acknowledged that it isn’t close to solving its environmental problems. Last month, a top government official said that China had to cut emissions by as much as 50 percent in order to make any noticeable progress toward cleaner air. Achieving this while maintaining economic growth won’t be easy—but when dealing with a problem so palpable, the Chinese Communist Party has no other choice.

This article was originally published at http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/03/a-documentary-on-the-environment-goes-viral-in-china/386510/?UTM_SOURCE=yahoo

Read more from The Atlantic

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Quote for the Day, Saturday February 28, 2015

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” — Leonard Nimoy @TheRealNimoy | Spock, RIP

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Summer Rae: WWE’s Red Hot Diva aka Legs for Days

 

 

 

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Back in the Days: The Grandmaster Official Trailer

In Shaw Theatres 31 January 2013 (Thurs) – It starts as the story of Ip Man. He was born and raised in Foshan. From the time of his youth he took part in contest after contest of skill in and around the Gold Pavilion. Then, one day, Master Gong arrived from the Northeast to hold a retirement ceremony at the Gold Pavilion.

One retires, one steps forward. But who is entitled to be called a grandmaster? Ip Man? Master Gong’s daughter, Gong Er? The self-described ‘rascal’ of the Northeast? Or is it Master Gong, who took the Northern martial arts to the South?

Some are looking to recover what belongs to them. Others want to achieve enlightenment. Then there are those who are only ever able to start fires and light lamps, and those who observe the currents of a chaotic and war-torn world from the sidelines.

Kungfu, a horizontal and a vertical, falling, rising, charging forward, carrying on. An era, rising and falling, scattering, regrouping, counter-attacking, advancing. It starts in Foshan. Its heart is in Dongbei. Its feet are on the ground in Hong Kong.

This can no longer just the story of Ip Man.
It is the path of the grandmaster: Being. Knowing. Doing.

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Back in the Days: Magicka: Wizard Wars Open Beta Trailer

Anybody can download and play Magicka: Wizard Wars and try their hand at the elementary arcane arts in the spellcasting action player-vs-player (PvP) game where misspelling is deadly. Get access now: http://access.wizardwars.com/

<Original Source>

Magicka: Wizard Wars – Archmage Starter Pack
Prepare for Wizard Warfare

The Magicka Wizard Wars Archmage Starter Pack comes with  weapons, coin and all a wizard with designs to rule them all needs to dominate on the battlefront. The pack has a 75% added value and includes the following items;

  • Exclusive Green Steam Engineer Tier 3 Robe
  • Blowtorch Staff
  • Wrench
  • Gift a Starter Pack
  • 200,000 Crowns
  • Exclusive Blue Valkyrie Tier 2 Robe, Staff  and Weapon
  • Exclusive Purple Grimnir Tier 1 Robe, Staff and Weapon
  • Excelsior Line Staff & Vendetta Dagger

Magicka: Wizard Wars is a Spellcasting Action PvP game with the humor and the dynamic real time spell system of Magicka. In the new Duel game mode, players go head-to-head in intense fights, or form 4vs4 teams and blaze their way across the classic battlefield game mode. You win by combining magical elements on the fly to create hundreds of spell combinations with wildly varying effects.

With friendly fire, short rounds and unpredictable strategies, Wizard Wars gives both novice players and experienced MOBA veterans a unique tactical depth in every encounter.

The time is now to get up, gear up and go to war!

  • 2 Game modes, 4-on-4 teamplay and the new 1-on-1 Duel game mode
  • Fight intense battles – Co-op spellcasting, wielding fire and dragons as your weapons.
  • Show your skills in fast-paced action, dynamically choose your spells on the fly to counter your opponents’ attacks.
  • Friendly fire is in full effect, staying true to the Magicka tradition of “accidentally” killing your friends.
  • 100 Robes, Staves, Skins, Weapons and your Humor of choice, 100s more to come – Be the Wizard you want to be!

Explore the Community: http://www.wizardwars.com

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China trumpets Xi’s ‘Four Comprehensives’ theory

AFP  <Original Source>

Chinese state-run media gave wall-to-wall coverage Wednesday to President Xi Jinping’s newly declared “Four Comprehensives” political theory as he consolidates power and advances his own brand of Communist thought.

The People’s Daily, the ruling party’s official mouthpiece, devoted a front-page editorial to the quartet: “Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively govern the nation according to law, comprehensively strictly govern the Party”.

The concepts would be the lead item on state broadcaster China Central Television’s nightly news programme, it said, and the official Xinhua news agency was to disseminate Xi’s political theory — to be republished by news outlets around the country.

Xi first mentioned the idea during a trip to Jiangsu province in December, and a party journal carried an introduction to it last week. But Wednesday was the first time it was promoted on a mass scale.

The Communist Party has had a penchant for numbered catchphrases ever since revolutionary leader Mao Zedong. In the 1960s Mao railed against “the four olds” — old customs, culture, habits and ideas — in his quest to remake society, and the trend has continued ever since.

Former president Jiang Zemin’s somewhat intangible “Three Represents” theory was a call for more open membership of the ruling party, which has “Eight Immortals” among its elite revolutionaries.

In its editorial the People’s Daily said the Four Comprehensives would “lead the way for strategic layout for national renewal”.

But such political pronouncements are often catchphrases with little precise definition or impact on policy.

The first step in the strategy was “achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people through the Chinese Dream” — a phrase that has so far been the catchphrase of Xi’s administration.

Despite the Communist Party moving away from its Marxist-Leninist roots to embrace a more market economy — “socialism with Chinese characteristics” — propaganda output and official communications remain awash with jargon.

Jiang’s theory and his successor Hu Jintao’s own “scientific outlook on development” — a call for sustainable economic growth that has little to do with science — were invoked regularly by cadres at all levels to support the party’s policies, and have been enshrined in the national constitution.

Nearly five years ago Xi himself, then vice president, gave a speech at the central party school decrying the use of political jargon that walled the ruling party off from the country’s more plain-spoken citizens.

He gave no examples in his attack on “empty words”.

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Dr Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip — Four Ways to Avoid the Grand Mistake

How to Check Your Commitment to Continuing Education

Continuing EducationBecause he was getting older, the elderly carpenter told his employer that he planned to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life. His boss was sorry to see his good worker go after nearly thirty years and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter reluctantly agreed, but it was easy to see that his heart wasn’t in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and began using inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

Finally, the carpenter finished the job and his boss came to inspect the house. As the contractor and carpenter approached the completed house, the contractor handed the front door key to the carpenter.

“This is your house,” he said. “It’s my gift to you for your years of service.”

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it differently. Now he had to live in the house he had built.

You need to think of yourself as a carpenter and consider the life and career you are building. Are you building a mansion? Or are you making the grand mistake and unwittingly building a shack?

To build a mansion of a life and career, you must be committed to ongoing education.  That’s why I unabashedly promote my new book, The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work, because it will put you on the path to continuing education and amazing payoffs.  If you’re really serious about education, I urge you to get a copy of the book and the workbook.

If you are committed to ongoing education, you will see four pieces of evidence in your behavior.

1. You’re Humble Enough to Admit You Don’t Know It All

You know that you don’t know everything. You know there is always more to learn. And like all producers, you know there are certain skills and strategies you have to keep on learning to achieve the maximum payoffs at home or on the job. You’re in the continual learning mode, because you know it’s easier to keep up than catch up.

2. You Are Open to Change

The whole world is changing and if you’re not out there learning new things, you’re in trouble. Big trouble. Take your job, for example. Whatever skills got you into your current job may no longer be enough to keep you in that job. Indeed, if you haven’t been to several training seminars or read several books on professional development lately, you may be in danger of extinction.

And how do you know if you’re open to change? Ask yourself one question. Have you ever thought, “If I can just hang on a few more weeks and get through this change, I can get back to normal?” If so, you’re in trouble. You’ve got to accept the reality that change won’t go away. That change will never be over.

And to deal with the change, you must be engaged in a process of continuing education.

3. You Take Ownership of the Educational Improvements You Need to Make

Despite the fact these are challenging times, some people are still not committed to their ongoing development.  That became very clear to me on a recent TV news program where people were being interviewed about company downsizing and possible company layoffs. One employee said, “I want to know what my union is going to do to save my job.” Another individual asked, “How is the government going to make sure I don’t lose my job?” And so went the interview. No one asked the employees the key question, “What are you going to do?” Everyone shifted the responsibility for job preservation or career enhancement to somebody else.

And that, my friends, is a dangerous position to take. As Bettye Jean Triplett, the mother of entrepreneur Chris Gardner, notes, “You can only depend on yourself. The cavalry ain’t coming.”  You’ve got to stop blaming external people and forces in your life and start choosing the more appropriate response of continuing your education.

So I ask you, are you taking ownership for the educational changes you need to make? Or are you simply sitting on the sidelines, waiting for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, and hoping things work out?

4. You Refuse to Settle for “Good Enough”

Producers are never satisfied with getting by or squeaking through. As Debbi Fields, the founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, would say, great leaders know that “good enough never is.”

In his Telephone Prospecting and Selling Report newsletter, Art Sobczak says, “‘Good enough’ does not win championships or make people excellent, wealthy, or healthy.” Producers know that good enough is seldom, if ever, actually good enough.

However, when I’m about to offer training in a company, some sourpuss will always say, “I don’t need to go to those classes.” “I’ve taken plenty of training in the past.” “I’ve already heard all that stuff.” and “I’ve been here a long time and I’m doing good enough as it is.

On the surface, the sourpuss might think he has a good point, but put his comment in another context. You wouldn’t want to hear your cardiac surgeon say, “I had a class on heart surgery once back in medical school. That’s good enough.” Likewise, you would have your doubts about the professional baseball player who says, “I don’t need to go to spring training. I’ve been playing the game for years. I’m good enough.

Of course, this commitment to ongoing development applies to organizations as well as people. Take Tastefully Simple, for example, a direct sales company that offers easy-to-prepare gourmet-quality foods. They refuse to settle for good enough and declare “personal growth” as one of their core values. As a result, they offer a host of classes and conferences based on their TRIM model. They’re constantly looking for ways to Train, Recognize, Inform, and Mentor their employees on-site and their thousands of consultants around the world.

So how did you do on these four signs of commitment to ongoing education?  If you can say that all four signs describe you, that’s great.  If you’re lacking in one or more of the signs, I urge you to adopt a process of continuing education, starting right now.

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