“…over time I learned that I can choose how to respond to the past. I can be miserable, or I can be hopeful — I can be depressed, or I can be happy. We always have that choice, that opportunity for control. I’m here, this is now, I have learned to tell myself, over and over, until the panicky feeling begins to ease” — Edith Eger

NOTE: I am going to take a few days off to recharge my batteries before NYU resumes classes again in a few weeks. This seems like a good time. See you in a few days — Monday August 22.

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The winner of the recent $1.28 billion Mega Millions Jackpot can take it in a lump sum of $433 million after taxes.

Financial consultant Don McNay who wrote Life Lessons from the Lottery says even large sums of money cause unhappiness, winners wind up broke, commit suicide, run through their money (easy come, easy go) and go through divorce”.

Happiness does not come from the outside, but from the inside.

All the money, success and recognition in the world can’t buy happiness — searching for happiness externally will always deliver disappointment.

The happiness lottery is won by every person with a losing ticket who can be grateful for all they have.

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Why is it that when connected to an automated message, they often advise you to listen carefully to the menu because the options have recently changed — it’s not believable, but they probably want to get you to listen to all the options.

Why not tell the truth — one of the 9 options may help you get connected faster. Here’s the list.

Being authentic and honest is a better way to work with people.

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Karl Rove was the bulldog presidential advisor to President George W. Bush.

David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s bare knuckles advisor.

The two couldn’t be further apart on just about everything but when you look for common ground, you find your opening.

Both Rove and Axelrod lost parents by suicide while they were young saying “if you probe people’s stories, it’s hard to hate”. While disagreeing in politics, they have worked together on suicide prevention projects.

“Sometimes you talk to people who you think you don’t admire …. and then, there are elements of them that you learn that you do.”

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Billy Joel holds back seats in the first few rows of his concerts — the story is he’s tired of looking at bored, rich people (who can pay the high prices).

Instead, he sends his crew into the venue and upgrades a select group of people with the worst seats to sit up front.

They are more than happy to be there — so Joel plays off of that but it also underscores the benefit of exceeding expectations.

Outside the arena of our lives, the ability to exceed expectations has a dual benefit.

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The legendary TV producer Norman Lear of “All in the Family”, “Maude”, “The Jeffersons”, “One Day at a Time” among others has just two words of advice on the meaning of life on his 100th birthday.

Over and Next.

“When something is over, it is over and we are on to next. Between those words, we live in the moment, make the most of them.”

And actress Rita Moreno referring to Lear had one of the greatest compliments you could give a person:

“I wish there was a way that they could make copies of him. Wouldn’t that be marvelous? … What a super, super addition to the human race he is.”

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Jerry Del Colliano

Jerry Del Colliano

Professor NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, Publisher InsideMusicMedia.com and DayStarters, USC Professor Music Industry