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First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

Parting is such sweet sour, but over the years I learned some things. The Empire may have fallen, but I’m still here.

For every ending, there is another opportunity for a new beginning. Napoleon Hill said it better, than anyone else I know: “Every adversity brings with it a seed of equivalent advantage”. The future is seen in the minds eye and sometimes we can’t connect the dots until we have finished the journey. Blogging on a consistent basics just opened up the memory bank of a life that was a little different.

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Change is difficult, but sometime necessary. If you can’t swim, the above picture is really scary, but if you can float, you can adapt and survive.  I started blogging as something to keep my mind active because of my early retirement. It would have been nice, if I made a little money to supplement social security but staying active was my main goal. One of the core requirements was to “blog daily” to build an audience.

As a baby boomer, this blog thing was like Greek, but I have always been up to a challenge. I learned that a blog is an on-line  commentary on any particular subject; they can function as a personal diary or as an on-line advertising vehicle. They can be text, images and links to other blogs or pages. Some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photo blogs), videos (video blogs or vblogs), music (MP3 blogs) and audio (podcast). What is so unique is readers can leave comments for quick response.

For me to blog on a regular basics, required me to think about something that would hold my interest, or else I would quit. I happen to like the personal development, self-help field. I’ve had a very interesting and unique personal development story and loved to read and listen to the stories of the great motivational speakers. Plus, we all could use a little help in that area.

With the Empire Network blogging platform I didn’t understand a lot, but I was retired and had time to write. I’m not a trained writer, but I have written many things over the years. I wrote a fiction novel in junior high, a very long time ago and I wrote many staff papers and a training program for civilian warehouse workers as a U.S. Army Quartermaster Officer.

I was born and raise in Detroit MI, when it was the Motor Capital of the world. In fact Detroit was tagged the Motor City and the home of Motown. I even worked on the assembly line during my last year of high school. It wasn’t easy but I had worked my first summer job and liked the idea of having money in my pocket. I turned 18 and applied, but Pops told me I still had to finish high school.

I was home along when the 1967 Detroit Riots started (Pop was out of town and I was on my own).  I saw the movie recently with my sister when I returned back home from Philadelphia PA. Hard to believe it’s been 50 years since that happened. But the numbers are still amazing; 2,000 buildings were destroyed, over 7,200 people were arrested, 1,100 people were injured and 43 people were killed.

God must have directed my steps. It would have been very easy for me to go left instead of staying right, but because I didn’t act foolish, I didn’t become a statistic. It’s because, I didn’t cross the police line, I was able to walk the flight line in Libya North Africa (US Air Force) and later support the front line in Germany (US Army).

Even though I lost a library of material, I saved enough to write a book. This is a different platform so I’m just getting use to it. Stay tuned there is more inside.

H.G.M.

Farewell to the Queen

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When Aretha was here, she did her thing. She will always be considered the Queen of Soul. CBS News did an interview her on June 5, 2012 in which Anthony Mason asked her some questions about her health.

She said she was excited and that she was ready to do her thing. That was something that the Godfather of Soul would say and later sing. As she was making a comeback at a New York benefit concert show.

Rolling Stone Magazine named her the Greatest Singer of the Rock Era. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She was awarded the Grammy Legend Award in 1991, The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, she was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1994, a National Medal of Art recipient in 1999 and awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. But to most of us she will be remembered as the Queen of Soul.

She was born in Memphis Tennessee but considered Detroit Michigan her home. She began her singer career at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where her father, C.L. Franklin, was the minister. Aretha’s mother, Barbara Siggers Franklin, died before she turned ten. Her grandmother Rachel raised her and her siblings with a little help from people like Mahalia Jackson.  Aretha young life was surrounded by music and musicians and she learned to play piano by ear.

Her father reached celebrity status and many gospel folks would stop by the house: Clara Ward, James Cleveland, Albertina Walker, Inez Andrews, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke and Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, Martin gave her the SCLC Drum Beat Award for Musicians a few months before his death. And at the young age of 16, she sang at his funeral.

The two-day viewing of Aretha’s casket will be at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which happens to be a stones throw from where my mother’s senior tower was. My mom was born in Mississippi and she also settled in Detroit. Mom was an independent country girl who lived down the street. Glad I able to convinced her to come with me to the Museum with me on one of my visits to the city.

On my Face Book page is a photo of the Charles H. Wright Museum. The guy in the foreground is my man James. He got drafted in the Army and was sent to Vietnam. I enlisted in the Air Force and was sent to Germany after a quick stop in Libya.

Aretha has sung for the king (Martin Luther King Jr.) the Queen of England and the President of the United States. Now she gets to add her voice with the King of Pop, the Godfather of Soul and Prince.

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President Obama said, “American history wells up, when Aretha sings. Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African American spiritual, the Blues, R&B, Rock and Roll – the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope.”  Farewell to the Queen.

H.G.M.

Mary G. Ross was a Lady Boss

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Mary Golda Ross (Aug 9, 1908 – Apr 29, 2008) was the first known Native American Female Engineer. She made major contributions to the aerospace industry.

Sometimes you never know what you might learn when you click a Google Doodle. She was also the great -great granddaughter of Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Nation. She was born in the small town of Park Hill in Oklahoma where she chose to follow a nontraditional path for women.

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She taught math and science until she returned to school to earn her masters in math from Colorado State College of Education. She was very bright at a young age. At the age of 16, she enrolled into Northeastern State Teachers College.

She moved to California in 1941 to seek work after the US got involved in World War II. She was hired as a mathematician by Lockheed in 1942 where she began working on the effects of pressure on the Lockheed P-38 Lightning jet, which was one of the fastest airplanes at that time.

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After the war Lockheed sent her to UCLA for a Professional Certification in Engineering. Wikipedia stated that it was unusual for a company that hired a woman to keep her after the war had ended. They must have felt that she was a valuable as one of the guys. She must have held her own because she was one of 40 founding engineers of the highly secretive “Shunk Works Project” at Lockheed Corporation.

In 1958 she appeared on the TV program “What’s My Line?”, where contestants had to guess who design rockets and missiles. My mom who grew up in Mississippi, but lived in Detroit said that she once made it to “The Price is Right” when she visited California. She also talked about that old Indian that she never really knew. I must have missed it or it when right over my young head.

Many years pass and I’m about to enter the service for the second time, I see a movie that made me re-think about a persons world view. As an US Army Officer we talked about military history and I knew about the Battle of Little Big Horn. The movie ‘Little Big Man’ was the story of a young man who straddled two worlds. It was the first time I looked at Cowboy and Indian movies in a different light.

At the age of 96 Mary participated in the Opening Ceremonies of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. in Sept 21, 2004.

Ten years later, when I finally visited the city during the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, it was one of the places I wanted to tour. In 2010 at my mothers funeral I learned that her father, my grandfather that I never met was a Native American.        Mom gave birth to 14 kids and worked into her mid eighties catching the bus in the cold Detroit winters. To me that’s a pioneering attitude and a Native American perseverance.

Mom remembered when her mom died because she was only eight. She called the man who dropped the seed, that made her, as “that old Indian”.  I always wondered where she got her independent spirit from, and it finally made sense.  The dad that she never knew kept track of all his off spring during his life time. And when mom was born in 1919 she was the last of his 33 kids, so I wanted  to make the connection to that part of my roots.

Four Life Questions to Ponder

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Sometimes the measure of a man can be made by the questions he asks before he leaves. Jim Rohn was a master wordsmith, but I never got the pleasure of hearing him speak in person. but I remember the questions he would ask.

As leaders we should learn to help people with their lives, not just their jobs. We can touch people with a book, a blog, a poem or a good word for the day. We should say something positive because we live in a very negative world today. Say something meaningful and don’t add to the confusion. Help people with their goals and their dreams, not just the demands of the day. Help your kids to build their lives, not just their homework.

WHY? Why should we try? Why get up that early, why work that hard, why read that many books, why make that many friends, why reach out to help others at all. Maybe the answer is why not? What else are you going to do with your life? Why not see how far you can go and what you can become. You got to stay here, until you go. And when you leave what will they say? Life is not just how much you made, but what did you do with your time you had and who did you help.

WHY NOT YOU? Some people have done the most remarkable things with a limited start. Some people get to see it all. Why not you? Why not watch the sun rise in the mountains of Colorado or the Andes in Chile? Why not you seeing the sights of Spain or having lunch at a sidewalk cafe in Paris? Why not you, looking at the Mona Lisa smile, or listening to the orchestra at the Opera House of Australia?

I have been fortunate, in that I ventured out to see the world, when I was in the service (Air Force & Army). I have seen the sands of the Sahara Desert and visited ancient ruins of Tunis in Tunisia of North Africa.  When I got to Europe, I rode on the cable car to the top of the highest mountain in Germany: The Zugspitze.

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WHY NOT NOW? Why postpone your better future any longer? There are ways to see the world, but you must expand your world first. Expand your mind and you never know what you might find. Most people can’t travel the world because they have a job. But if you start the right business you can travel like the top one to two percent. Personal development is the best way to go. Ask for Gods help and he will make a way but be prepared to do your part. He provides the seed, the sun and the soil. We must plant and tender the garden of our soul. Don’t do what is easy, do what will bring you the best results by developing your integrity, your character, and your effort.

I would still love to see Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Or watch the annual animal migration on the Serengeti Plain.

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H.G.M.

Remembering 1968

The CBS Sunday Morning program featured the 50  Year birth of Intel (the company with the chip that changed the world). Who would have known that something so small, would have such a large impact on today’s world. But it did. Two middle-aged engineers Gordon Moore  and and Bob Noyce got together and ushered in the era of fast, ubiquitous electronics  and in July of 1968, Intel was incorporated. I consider that one, of the few good things from that year.

This is a picture of the company’s oldest plants in Portland Oregon which shows what a chip plant looks like today.  And they still wear Bunny Suits to keep the contamination down to the minimum.

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I remember the shocking events of 1968 more, because I lived through them. I remember that year, being the year that Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee. His voice was silenced but not stopped. Now every year we hear his I have a Dream speech: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a Nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content for their character”. Unfortunately the dream has not been realized yet.

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Dr. King felt that something might happen when he delivered this sermon. “We got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountain top. I’ve seen the Promise Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight , that we, as a people will get to the Promise Land”.

The following photo features the other history maker of 1968. President Lyndon B. Johnson was the president during the Tet Offensive in which 216 American troops were killed and 1,300 were wounded in a 26 day battle for Hue Vietnam. Robert Kennedy also featured in the photo was going to run for President but he was also assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angles California.

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Journalist Pete Hamill said that Kennedy’s assassination was more than what happened, but what could have been. He called it a LOST.  CBS reporter Jim Axelrod asked what lost? And Jim answer, “the lost of what could have been: Hope, instead of despair”. Even the story of Bobby Kennedy was a tale of transformation during those troubling times because he went from hard-charging law-and-order to social justice warrior.

In many Black households back in the day, there were three photo of warriors who left here too soon; Martin Luther King , John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy. In the photo below is Sen. Robert F. Kennedy with Marian Edelman as they were visiting an unidentified woman in Greenville Mississippi during an investigating of poverty in the Mississippi Delta in 1967. A portrait of his brother hangs on the wall. Marian Wright Edelman,Robert F. Kennedy.

I remember the year 1968 mostly as the year I graduated from high school. I got a full time job (second shift) on the auto assembly line in Detroit MI during my last semester of high school, and still managed to graduate on time. It was not easy, but I did it. As a results, I learned that, I wanted do do more than work like a machine on the line. To escape the assembly line, I joined the military line, so I could use the GI Bill and get a better position off the line. The Vietnam War was hot and heavy and my classmates were being drafted right and left.

If I was going to the war, it was going to be on the flight line, so I joined the Air Force. After basic training, advanced training and my first state side assignment,  I was shipped off to Libya North Africa to assist in the Air Base closure there. By the time I got to Germany I had heard so much about the war (from the Air Force guys that came back) I was almost ready to go. I wouldn’t mind being on a large Air Force Base in a combat zone, but by then, they were only accepting airmen in special forces units.

In a war zone, anything can happen, even on a large Air Force Base but they were going to need me as  a generator operator, out in the boonies (in the middle of nowhere). If I wanted to see that kind of action I would have signed up for an Army Airborne unit. So I didn’t sign up for a “Red Horse Airborne Civil Engineer Squadron” assignment.

Ten years later (1978) the story continues. I finally graduate from college using the GI Bill and become an Army Quartermaster Officer where I supported Special Forces at Fort Bragg North Carolina, the Home of XVIII Airborne Corps.

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Life is strange and you never know how things will turn out. In 1967 I was home along when the Detroit Riots started. I saw 82nd Airborne Troops rolling down Detroit streets in trucks and armored personnel carriers. But because I didn’t do anything stupid like get arrested or shot I was able to joint the military the next year. The numbers are still astounding 2,000 buildings were destroyed, 7,200 people were arrested 1,100 people were injured and 43 people were killed within a five or six day event. It wasn’t until I went home for a visit and saw the movie (Detroit 1967)  and read the newspapers as to  why thing happened the way they did.

H.G.M.

Barbaric and Beautiful

Precious and beautiful is the sight of pure gold, but barbaric are the actions of those who want to maintain control!

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The history and evolution of money; and the emergence of gold as the universal money supply;  is the  history of governments clipping or debasing gold coins to cheat their subjects; it is based on the false reality that any any quality of gold will suffice for a monetary system and that “more money” does not require more gold.  –  Ch.7 The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin

What is money? Is it the metal coins and the paper currency we have in out pocket, is it the numbers in our checking account or electric impulses in a computer? Does it include the balance in a savings account or available credit on a charge card? Does it include the value of stocks and bonds, houses, land or personal possessions?  Or is it nothing more than purchasing power?

In the simplest terms money is anything which is acceptable as a medium of exchange and is classified in the following forms:

  1. Commodity money
  2. Receipt money
  3. Fiat money
  4. Fractional money

The concept of intrinsic value is the key to understanding the various forms of money. During early times the usual item was some form of food , either produce or livestock. Pecuniary which means pertaining to money is derived from the word pecunia which is the Latin word for cow.

During the Bronze Age iron, cooper, tin, and bronze were traded between craftsmen and merchants along trade routes and major sea ports. The value of metal ingots was determined by its weigh. They were non perishable and they could be melted and reformed so they could be divided into smaller units to purchase minor items. The most important attribute was, they could be precisely measured; an ingot of metal is either 99% pure or it isn’t, it weighs 100 ounces or it doesn’t. One’s personal opinion has little to do with it.

Gold was selected over the years because it seemed to be just the right amount in nature to keep its value for coinage. It is less plentiful than silver, and more abundant than platinum. In addition there is demand for it in industry, art and fashion. In addition, its purity and weight can be precisely measured.

The misleading theory that gold is too limited in supply to meet the needs of modern commerce is false. In reality 45% of all gold mined in the world is in government  or banking stockpiles. There is about 30% of gold in private stockpiles. The amount of gold in the world does not affect its ability to serve as money. It only affects the quantity that will be used  to measure any given transaction. If a one ounce coin would be too valuable for a transaction then a person would simply use a half-ounce or a tenth- ounce coin amount instead.  A gram or a tenth of a gram would be even more effective.

Most of the gold reserves are weighs in the tons. National debt and budgets are in the billion and trillion dollar range. So government try to stretch their power to pay their bills. When governments became more brazen in their debasement of the currency to the extent of diluting the gold and silver content, the population  just tucks away the ‘good solid coins’ that were not diluted and used the other coins for their purchases.

The Byzantine Empire seemed to have the best record of sticking to the real currency. The emperor Constantine ordered the creation of a new gold piece called the solidus and a silver piece called miliarense. The gold weigh of the solidus became fixed at 65 grains and was minted at that standard for eight-hundred years. Is was so dependable that it was freely accepted from China to Brittany and from the Baltic Sea to Ethiopia.

The money laws were so strict back then that if some was caught clipping away from the coin, they would get their hand cut off. Now its a slap on the wrist, In fact, many financial crooks barely do any time in jail today.

In the beginning of the modern society when men accumulated more coins than he required for his daily purchases he needed  a safe place to store his coins. The goldsmith, who handled large amounts of precious metals in their trade had already built sturdy vaults to protect their own inventory, so it was an easy for them to charge a fee to store valuables for others. When the coins were stored, the precious metal warehouse man would give the owners a written receipt which entitled them to withdraw at any time their valuables. At one time the receipts had printed on the top ‘Pay to the bearer on demand’.

The paper receipt represented a certain value back by solid gold. When the receipt was honored the economy moved forward but when it was uses as a gimmick for the artificial expansion of the money supply the economy stagnated.  As the government printed  more and more money the value of the money in our pockets decreased.

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Paper money (fiat) loses its buying power with increasing inflation. Maybe now is a good time to look at the “Golden Triangle” that being built around the world. From Stuttgart Germany to Madagascar off the coast of Mozambique to the  Miami Florida. Many have discovered another method of savings.

H.G.M.

What will be your moment of transition?

Lisa Nichols tells her story to Tom Bilyen of Inside Quest. Women who are also mothers usually always think about their child first.  When she said she made a mental shift in her thinking, it began a different journey.  She was ready to die to the ‘old self’ so she could give birth to the woman she was becoming.

Eric Thomas in the Lone Wolf Motivation Video Compilation said that we should be willing to die, so that we can live. Be willing to go beyond average. 70% is OK but not good enough. 95% is great but you still need more if you want to be exceptional. When you give 120% effort there is nothing you can’t achieve over time.

For Jim Rohn it was the Girl Scout story. He felt he had to lie to keep her from knowing how broke he was, so he told he they already had some cookies in the house.  As she walked away he said to himself that he didn’t want to live like that any more. He was working to support his family but didn’t have any spare money to support the Girl Scouts and on top of that he lied. He vowed to himself that he would find a better way and he did.

The best thing you can do is get yourself together first before you can help others. Women usually worry about others before they think about themselves. But on an airplane they say put your mask on first before you help someone else. The wolf on the hill is never as hungry as the wolf climbing still. It’s a lonely walk up the hill but it makes you stronger. It builds your character, your confidence and your integrity.

She became willing to find people who had what she wanted, lived the way she wanted and knew the things she didn’t know. She became the student. Jim Rohn found Earl Shoaff and this Earl listened to the greats in the motivational field. Many of them were influenced by Jim.

There are three forms to money. Earning it, keeping it and making it grow. She found that the key to doing all three, was to be of service to others. Money for the sake of money won’t get you there. Remember Judas? Your success is on the other side of service. The reward for service out weighs money. She became hungry for knowledge. When you are climbing the hill, keep your hungry and your thirst for more. And don’t be afraid to eat ‘humble pie’.

Then she decided to pay herself first she put into the first principle of wealth creation. Most people spend what they have then trey and save what’s left. With the high cost of living there is hardly anything to save. As the government prints and prints more money to pay their bill, the power of the money in our pocket shrinks. If you want to save you must sacrifice.  You must do what others won’t. Les Brown said that success is never convenient. We must do what is necessary to accommodate it.

The brain wants to keep us safe but the spirit wants us to fly. The greatest fear is not that we will fall but that we will never be able to fly. Be that ordinary person willing to make that extraordinary decision every day.

H.G.M.

 

19 Lessons from a Military Mind

I’m not a millionaire but I do have a military mind-set. It’s been a while but I still remember boot camp. It’s an experience you never really forget. I enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. My reason for enlisting was to get away from the assembly line in Detroit MI. I had worked my first summer job and liked the idea of having some spending money, so I thought it would be a good idea to get a job on the assembly line during my last semester in high school (second shift).

My best friend also enlisted, but because he was a couple of years older he was drafted in the Army and sent to Vietnam. When the government sent me my draft notice, I showed them that my paperwork was in order, and I was due for basic training in Texas. Three months after high school and I was off to basic training.

Typically a person who causes problems are let go – given a dishonorable discharge and sent home. Pat was given an option, which most people weren’t. When he decided to stay he was tested to see if he made the right decision. It was a defining moment for him to see if he would prevail.

Maybe in the back of his mind was all the things he had already survived. He mentioned that most of the people who made it to the Harvard Business School had some kind of  ‘extreme hardship’ for a year or two before they made it there. Pat had survived hardship in Iran, war, refugee camps, divorce of parents, and running the streets.

These are the 19 military lessons he learned.

  1. Manage Chaos. Many things happen at the same time, but you must learn to stay in control. Military training is where you learn to condition your mind and body. The ‘low crawl’ under barbed wire in mud is real. It’s part of the confidence course for a reason. One mistake and you are done. In business it’s not life and physical death but the death of your enterprise.
  2. Mission Driven. The military is always about mission. It’s complete the mission whatever it may be, and take care of your comrades while you are at it.
  3. Limited ResourcesIt’s get the job done with the resources you have. In business, it’s figure out what you need to do, without all the money.
  4. Multi-task.In the military you must do many things, to last. In business you need to hold on until you can hire others to do some of your tasks.
  5. Perform under pressure. What do you do, when your performance is on the line? Some do fine and  others get left behind. True leaders are born under fire. Decisions under pressure determine the measure of the whole man: integrity and character always matter.
  6. Manage Risk. In a combat situation bad decisions can results in defeat or death. In business bad decisions result in the death of your enterprise or defeat of your mind.
  7. Thick skin. In the military you must learn to deal with all kinds of people. In basic training the drill instructors stay in your face, to see if you will crack. Over time you learn to deal with sarcastic people. In business if someone says no, don’t take it personal. You can’t please everyone. On the internet a ‘like’  does not mean everyone loves you or your idea. Move on to whoever  is next.
  8. Build a tribe. In the military you build “esprit de corps”. In business you want to build community of like minded people.
  9. Leadership. In the military it’s lead, follow or get out of the way and don’t delay. If something happens to your superior, you must be able to continue the mission.
  10. Learn other cultures. In the military people, come from many cultures for one cause – to serve. In a global economy it’s helping people all over the world and making a profit for your goods and services.
  11. Adapt. As I moved from assignment I had to adapt. I had a very unique military experience. I enlisted in the Air Force and was commissioned in the Army. As a Quartermaster Officer I dealt with civilians who had many years of experience. In Germany I had host Nation employees, civilians employees and military personnel.
  12. Survivability. In a military environment it means to be mission capable after an single engagement. In business it’s surviving a major lost.
  13. Independence. This is where you are able to do it alone.  I always felt the going into the military makes you grow up fast. The military trains young men to become warriors. We get involved in war games, but it’s not play.
  14. StrategyWhat is your primary objective?  What is your long term goals?
  15. Health. You can’t continue to fight, if you are not in condition.
  16. PreparationYou must study and read, if you want to lead.
  17. ParanoiaEnjoy your victories but always be aware.
  18. Work Ethic. Be prepare to work or stay home.
  19. Discipline. It’s not easy but if you have the discipline you will continue the fight.

H.G.M.