Smart is the New Rich

To Discern is to Know

We’ve begun a new chapter in the world financial order. The parameters for how wealth will be created, have changed forever.

Two hundred years ago, a man worked with the sweat of his brow to generate a living. The extent of his physical capacity determined how much he would eat. He committed his efforts to the land—tilling and harvesting with the strength of his arms and legs.

A hundred years ago, things changed. The industrial revolution was the time period in which the efforts of several men created a total effort greater than the sum of the individual efforts. We manufactured and mass produced, enabling the standard of living to rise for much of the world’s population, in a very short period of time.

Humanity then entered the next phase of economic development where the products man created would grow in value over time. Real estate, “a bricks and mortar” expression, of man’s creativity and knowledge, would exist and appreciate in value decades after it was originally constructed. These results of man’s labor would dramatically outlive the men who built them.

The era of technology followed. With unparalleled tools, man’s efficiencies were multiplied, and the gathering and streamlining of man’s knowledge provided resources for the success of others—those completely unrelated to the originators.

Then came the last quarter of 2008, when the modern world experienced a financial collapse unrivaled since the Great Depression; the bedrocks of personal wealth and security were permanently undermined. This financial meltdown was, and remains, dramatically more complex than those that preceded it as a result of the multi-layered integration of a global economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Everybody is a Somebody

A Vacation Related Message for Every Day of Your Life

The taxi or car service driver.

The baggage handler.

The airline employee at the check-in counter, and the stewardess on the plane.

The custom’s person at the airport and the bellhop at the hotel.

The waiter that serves you in the restaurant and the busboy who clears the table.

The lifeguard who secures your fun and the pool boy…

 Everybody is a somebody.

 Your tour guide and bus driver.

The security guard.

The salesperson in the souvenir shop, and the housekeeper who cleans your room.

 Each one of them is a somebody. Everybody is a somebody.

Read the rest of this entry »

This Winter Vacation: Fall In Love

Remember when first you fell in love…  

THE LIST                      

You will love certain things about him,

you will like certain things about him,

and you will dislike certain things about him. 

Think about each of those.

 Make sure your thoughts are grounded in

the long term reality of who he is and what you have

between you, not what you may be feeling at the moment.

 Have the humility to look at all the beautiful elements of him –

the things you love in him –

and assess whether you value them enough. 

Know that they will become more pronounced in him

through your love.

 Objectively consider the things you simply like in him

and move them to the forefront of your thoughts.

By noticing them, you will naturally care more for him,

and your attention will strengthen those things

in him as well…

(Excerpt from: Attracting Your Extraordinary Love e-book by Ricky Cohen)

What’s your plan for this winter vacation?

How will you be spending your days away with your family or friends?

 My Suggestion: Fall in Love! Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a Whole lot of Blessing Going On!

Every time we look around, someone is being blessed…

In a long and expansive litany of verses, Jacob blessed everyone around him. First, he blessed Joseph, then Joseph’s children, and then each of his own sons. The blessings varied significantly and were very detailed and specific. Some highlighted the deeply imprinted character traits of the forefather who was being blessed. Others described the types of people who would ultimately emerge from that person; where they would live, and the roles they would play in the ultimate makeup of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel.

What’s the purpose of a blessing?

What did it mean thousands of years ago when someone was blessed? Was his/her life impacted by the blessing ─ and if so, how?

The words in the Torah are forever, as are its directives. How does the concept of a blessing work today? What does it mean when you bless your children or when you are blessed by someone?

Each Friday night, at an emotionally and spiritually exalted time, fathers and mothers are given the opportunity to bless their children. For our sons, we reference the blessing said thousands of years ago when Jacob blessed Ephraim and Menashe, his grandchildren ─ that their efforts be protected and successful ─ beyond the success that typical reality would allow. We bless our daughters with the unequaled traits of our matriarchs ─ Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah, who possessed beauty, insightfulness, courage, leadership and righteousness.

These universally uttered words are unique in that they say to every Jewish child, everywhere, that they are worthy of that which was merited by the most remarkable men and women in history!

Yet there is a continuance to the blessings – a part two – that builds from the comprehensive, universally uttered first words. It is the individual blessing each parent gives to each child. Here lies the unprecedented opportunity to do what a blessing is most meant to do: Express the vision one has for another and the direction one wants to offer the other. Read the rest of this entry »

The Real “Occupy” Movement

Inspired by Our Forefathers: Joseph and Benjamin

With the onset of 2012, groups of “Occupy Wall Street” protestors, in large cities all over the country, are working to solidify their messages and plan their next series of large scale takeovers and protests. A group referred to as Occupy Student Debt is trying to secure one million participants to unilaterally default on their student loans – and thereby force the government to dramatically lighten the financial burden endured by students. At this time, it is with great pride that I announce that Ricky&Me is starting our own “occupy” movement!

After 37 years of community and civic involvement, and many middle of the night – and middle of the day – dreams about running for political office, I believe I’m ready and qualified to begin my own occupy movement. My goal would be to have an international – rather than a domestic reach. I am prepared to dedicate the rest of my life to making sure it reaches the highest levels of every government, in every country, across the globe.

Other movements may come and go, but this movement will speak to elements of human existence so universal and timeless, that it will never lose relevance. This movement is not simply inspired by my own political aspirations, or by what’s going on in the news, it is ancient – as well as modern – given its impetus by a pronounced and memorable action taken by our forefathers, Joseph and Benjamin.

It is described that after not having seen each other for over a decade, Joseph and Benjamin fell into each other’s arms and cried on each other’s shoulders. Our Sages mention that their embrace was so heartfelt, and the emotional connection so deep and eternal, that they cried over the pain that was, and that which would be a thousand years later! The hug of Joseph and Benjamin should burn a strong imprint in our minds of something transformative, deeply telling, and forever memorable.

With the above in mind, I am naming the new movement:

UHM” – The Universal Hug Movement Read the rest of this entry »

Wake up the Morning

Torah Meets Tony Robbins

A number of years ago, I attended a Tony Robbins seminar. Robbins is a world renowned motivational speaker who has taught life and career building skills to tens of thousands of people, over a span of 25 years. He typically teaches in a large room with hundreds, and at times, thousands of people in the audience. He has great presence and the ability to communicate important ideas as he inspires people. At one point in his presentation, he suggested that we kick-start each day with excitement, self-empowerment and drive, and not allow the day to begin with our eventual involvement. He called this “waking up the morning.”

I’m a serious note taker, because I understand that when you take notes – even if you never look at them again – you are more engaged mentally, and will remember

200-300% more than you would if you simply listened. As Robbins was concluding this part of his seminar, I looked down and realized I was writing my notes in Hebrew. It was curious that I had filled my page with the pesukim (versus) and berachot (blessings) we say when we wake up in the morning, rather than writing a shortened version of what he was saying. As a follow up to that day, I went back and relearned the words and the concepts with which we start our day. The insights are exciting and crucial.

Our Sages advise that we should say, or think, three phrases as we begin each day. Each phrase stands on its own, and should be said with a focus on the words and on the concepts behind the words. Read the rest of this entry »

Hanukah, Miracles and Beauty

The Whisper Inside

There’s a whisper that shouts inside of me

expressing my most intimate of wants for all the world and me to see

 

There’s a whisper that shouts inside of me

that can make the morning – every morning – dance for me

and cause the precious hours of my day to run with great joy

 

There is a whisper that shouts inside of me

that will allow peace and contentment

that has not been known before

nor that may be known otherwise to me

 

There is a whisper that shouts the loudest inside of me

and yet is the most difficult to hear

and as the voice of profound simplicity and truth

demands the greatest efforts and courage in me

 

There is a whisper that shouts inside of me

that will not stop shouting long after time is gone for me

It serves as the invitation to the blessing of a heavenly bliss

on this earth, beyond it and in the future beyonds of me

 

So much is shouted as this courageous whisper inside of me

yet it has steadfastness that defies all efforts to silence it in me

It was breathed by our Creator at the moment of creation into you and into me

and is therefore His Being living inside of you and me

 

I must remove the shouting so I can hear my whisper shouting at me

It will take me to a place that has never been

but is completely familiar to me

a place in which to remain and not simply visit for me

 

 There is a whisper that shouts inside of me

(Excerpted from “I Once Asked a Wise Man” publication date Sept 2012) Read the rest of this entry »