Copyright © 2005 By Ray Thomas
Stay away from negative people except to use them as a means of "taking the temperature" of the world. Earl Nightngale always said, "Any time you have a new idea, tell it to ten people. If at least nine of them tell you it's a bad idea -- do it. It's a proven fact that such people are their own worst enemies because they condition themselves to failure by looking at life in a negative fashion. Always look at the positive side of anything that happens. I had a small stroke in 2003, and have not been the same since. My energy is very low and I can't work for much more than three hours before I have to go and lie down for a while. I haven't been able to work a full day straight at anything more than once a week. Did I look at this as a "bad thing?" No. It gave me a lot of free time I could put to good use. Instead, I made plans to travel the state of Colorado (and perhaps Utah and Wyoming, too) selling real estate signs to real estate dealers and auto dealer decals to auto dealers. These will be my primary lines because the prospects are easy to find. All I have to do is drive down a busy street and I can find them easily. I will also be able to provide all kinds of signs and decals for other purposes, such as labeling on bottled gas containers or on water heaters -- or on about anything else people sell to the public.
If I want to find those not on the streets I'm on, I go to my computer and use the "Yellow Pages (in my area, it's Dex Online. It will tell me who and where these people are, in any way I want: alphabetical, by address, area, etc.) If you don't have, or have access to a computer, use the Yellow Pages Book. I'm able to walk for short distances and drive for longer periods. So I will be able to use this as a means of moderate exercise and a means of earning money. Although earning money is not the main goal. I have enough money. But I am not rich. I can use the proceeds of the one day a week I work for someone else as "seed money," to buy gas and oil, and to pay for the motel rooms I'll need while on the road. When there's enough money from sales, I can stop that one day of the week I spend working for somebody else.
I was very tempted to be "down," thinking, "what kind of a life is this?" where I have to stay home all the time and am not able to do anything meaningful. It's not having a purpose in life that kills most people who suffer from strokes. Many of them are debilitated, losing the permanent use of one side or the other. I only lost the use of my left side temporarily. It's still weak, but getting stronger all the time. Man is basically a "goal-striving animal." Actuarial figures prove that women outlive men by an average of eight years. Did you ever wonder why? It's simple: hubby retires, and from then on has no purpose (goal) in life. Soon, he dies. Momma goes on doing what she's been doing all her life and lives forever. Look in the newspaper. You'll see repeated over and over again in the obituaries, "so and so retired three months ago. Or six months ago. Or a year ago. To retire is to die! Let me rephrase that: "to retire and have no goals left is to die." The key here is "no goals." You must have goals that you're striving for, even if it's nothing but growing valuable rare orchids. It is that "striving" that keeps you alive. And you'll be surprised how often such "goal-striving" created a whole new career for you. Have you ever wondered why so many rich people die, take up drugs, do other self-destructive things? You'd thing those people had everything, wouldn't you? They lack the one thing they absolutely need to stay alive: a goal in life.
I was a sign painter for 45 years. I was already "retired" when I had the stroke. But I spent all my time not at work before that on this computer writing, publishing (on the Internet) and designing web sites. I got "computered out" of the sign business years ago. That's the reason for the "retirement." Note that my time on this computer was "when not at work." Don't think I just stopped working when I got "computered" out of the sign business (they came up with computers that they thought could replace the sign painter and the sign painting jobs dried up). Not even! Computers threw me out of a lifelong profession, so computers can help me to find a new profession: writing, publishing, and designing "simple" web sites for others. Until that starts paying off significantly, I only use it to keep my mind active. I use sales to keep my body exercised, and make money, too. The whole point here is, never let circumstances depress you. There's always something you can do to keep your mind and body active, and thus stay alive. Do NOT "retire" and do nothing. That's a "death sentence."