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3_LUNCH, GIRLFRIENDS AND POLITICS


I'm back! Since work is radically minimizing my free time, I won't focus on writing correctly. I will write fast and sometimes incorrect. After all, time is the only scarce resource today. Also, a whole book written in "e-mail style" has been published, and if he can do it... I have been asked if strangers are allowed to read these letters. You betcha! Feel free to share these mails with anyone who wants to read them as long as they agree to respect that they are copyright me, belong to me and may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without my written permission, which is not given here. I may use these letters as material for a book... A correction: In my first "weekletter" (Luther go home) I took everything I dislike about Swedish mentality and blamed it on Luther. One of my readers became very upset, ran down into his basement and finally found a book on Luther deep down in a big forgotten box. It turns out that Luther was a fun loving guy who liked his beer. It was rather his priests - the pietists - who are, if anyone, to blame. I also should apologize for the story about the "naked chair morning routine". I didn't think about that that story was told in confidence and my "publishing" it might upset the person should he find out about it. I simply thought it was a cool and admirable habit. As far as I know, the person doesn't know about my writing about it. Let's keep it that way by not talking about this habit to anyone. From now on, I will anonymize my stories even more.


LUNCH AT RICHE
Riche is a fancy restaurant in Stockholm where one of my best friends work as chef du restaurant ("restaurangchef"), or whatever the title might be in french. The other day 3 old time friends, a super-intellectual and very intelligent colleague from work (who frequently makes challenging suggestions such as "think yourself"; a statement I presently find particularly disturbing) and I had lunch there. The conversation turned out to be surprisingly deep, in the uttermost positive way! (I was delighted to - for once - escape the humdrum conversations about money, things, work, career and such.) Some of the topics: (the quotes within parenthesis are not mine)
-Clinton, Lewinsky and the "friggin terrorists" ("Clinton should resign: Imagine you are a Muslim. Clinton lies, admits to cheating on his wife and daughter, and bombs us => more terrorism!")
-Who is responsible for what actions ("Difficult circumstances growing up is the explanation for most crimes. But it is also justifies them, i.e. people growing up under difficult circumstances who commits crimes aren't responsible, and shouldn't be punished. It's instead the rest of us who allow people to grow up under difficult circumstances that are guilty and to blame." WELL, personally, I buy into the explaining part, and that it would be great if everyone helped to give more people better circumstances growing up. BUT, and that's a big but, people ARE and must be held responsible for their own actions. Because if not, someone else is, and then they can always blame someone else for all their actions without guilt, without pushing themselves to improve. No incentive to better yourself. Unsurpassed chaos will follow. I also feel more sorry for the innocent victims than the perpetrator.)
-The Swedish socialist party ("they have no vision and are only interested in power")
-The philosophy of clothes at work ("When I work I wear working clothes - suit and tie - on my free time I wear leisure clothes. That way - by looking at your clothes - you know if you're supposed to be working or not.")
-Diet and longevity ("the human body is constructed to die from cancer", "by eating low-fat and in all other ways boring food one lives much longer but not necessarily more." The guy saying this probably equals having fun with eating lots of unhealthy food. Maybe I should copy this conviction; I could benefit from putting on some weight and having more fun in my life...)
-Diet and religion ("in the olden days, eating pork was a health hazard because of various diseases the meat carried. The most effective way to make people stop eating the meat was to establish the conviction that God Forbids it and that those disobeying this rule ends up in Hell.")

BASICS FOR GETTING A GIRLFRIEND IN STOCKHOLM - A friend of mine - let's call him Bob - got a job in Stockholm. Like everyone else he was struggling for quite a while to get an apartment, but then he got unusually lucky. Here's how it happened: Bob was having dinner with his parents and a mutual friend of ours - we'll call her Lisa. She is even more conservative, outgoing and sure of herself than I am. Lisa can sometimes be quite candid, and this is what helped Bob. The discussion came to the topic of why Bob didn't have a girlfriend. Lisa took charge and explained that in order to get a girlfriend in Stockholm     you have to have a nicely furnished and decorated apartment downtown. In a very certain manner of reasoning she concluded that "otherwise, the girls won't even consider the prospect". Then followed a compact silence that lasted forever. This powerful speech had such a strong influence on Bob's mom that she quadrupled her apartment finding efforts. Eventually, she found an apartment for Bob, which he now lives in!


POLITICS
I'm reading a book on Buddhism called "A path with heart" by Jack Kornfield (read it!). In it, Buddha is said to have said "People with opinions just go around bothering one another". Yes, I have many political opinions, and yes, I intend to bother you with some of them! If I had to summarize my political views in one simple picture, it would look like the one attached to this mail.

politics.gif (5602 bytes)

For those of you who can't view it: Socialist politics allows for everyone but a very limited few to have the very same decreasing standard. It's called equal and fair. The focus is that noone should have it better than anyone else nomatter what. (Only the ruling elite gets to have it good.) The only way to get rich is to get lucky and win on the government owned lottery. Having the luck of being born with smart, hard-working parents isn't allowed since the situation involves someone somewhere actually working hard and maybe even saving money. No capitalism please! Illustrative motto: take all the money from everyone and give it to the poor. Never mind if eventually no new taxes comes in at all so there's nothing left to redistribute - at least everyone will suffer in an equal and fair way! With the politics of Moderaterna everyone gets it increasingly better and everyone is better off than they would be with the socialdemocrats politics. A bigger group gets to be stinkingly rich, a huge group is very well off, everyone else have it better than they would have with socialdemocratic politics. Another way of looking at this is by studying the nature of man. I believe that man tries harder if he personally profits from the effort. Many people don't want to work if they get more money from unemployment (a-kassa), which is often the case in Sweden (people say no to jobs because they get more money) Also, working for "black-money" often pays better than doing it the legitimate way. Many people work black and get unemployment simultaneously. The EU has conducted a big study on why unemployment is much lower in the USA. They concluded that the main reason is the availability of risk-capital which is much better in the USA, the main reason being tax-related. (And NO, the new jobs aren't hamburger flipping work. but mostly knowledge related.) This is all common sense to me, but the the majority of the Swedish people see no correlation between absurdly high taxes and high unemployment, between raising taxes and falling lower and lower on the OECD ranking. Montesqieu said "the masses will always be uneducated and barbarical". I agree - at least in the area of politics.


HOW TO CREATE REAL JOBS
1) Real jobs are created by people who want to make money. 2) They raise capital by selling themselves and their idea to investors, who expect a payoff that corresponds to the risk they perceive. 3) They start a company and employ people. 4) They generate profits and are able to pay their investors and also tax to the government. Raise the taxes too much (like in Sweden) and this all gets screwed up. Take all the money from the rich and no growth occurs, no taxes are generated to redistribute. I believe that Gordon Gekko was right in stating that "greed works, it cuts through and clarifies". The director (Oliver Stone) of this movie (Wall Street) is known to be a leftist, who tries to make brokers look like parasites who do no good, who create nothing and lives out of others. He also claims that it's a zero-sum game, that the size of the cake is fixed. If someone wins, someone else has to loose equally much. HELLO! Study just a little bit economics and you see that the trend is one of long term growth and expansion. It is not a zero-sum game. Everyone gains if they invest and wait several years before selling. The key to this growth is new technological innovations. A couple of hundred years ago some people thought that since almost all the land was owned, no more growth would occur. Well, they were wrong. As we have seen, they disregarded technical evolution. It is said that "when you're young - if you have a heart - you vote to the left, when you're old - if you have a brain - you vote to the right". I have both a heart and a brain - I realize Karl Marx wrote his book in the 1800's. He obviously didn't read Machiavelli who in the 1500's explained why communism and socialism doesn't work. (Read his book which I think is called The Emperor in English("Fursten"))


THE POWER OF QUESTIONS
I want to share one of Toni Robbins great techniques for getting into a positive state of mind. Instead of asking lousy questions when you wake up in the morning like "why do I have to get up this early" or "why didn't I go to bed earlier so I could have gotten my 8 hours?" - ask these! Go ahead
- print the questions on a piece of paper and put it so it's the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. Ask yourself the questions and focus on feeling the positivism in the answers you come up with

Daily success ritual (focus on how it FEELS):
- what's really great in my life
-what am I / could I be really happy about
- what am I really excited about?
- what am I grateful for in my life?
- who do I love and who loves me?

Put up the following questions at work:

what can I do to help the company more?
how can I empower my boss?
what can I do t get through to my boss so that he really understands what I'm contributing? who already appreciates my work in this organization that maybe I haven't noticed?

Some other great questions to work with:

If I continue down my present path, what will the consequences be for my future?
What specific actions can I now take that will take me step by step to the solutions I need?
How can I get this done and have fun doing it?

ALL WRITINGS (C) PETER CEDERHOLM they may not be distributed in any way - except sending the link to this webpage - without my written approval.

 

 <-- Stocholm by Helicopter from Wheelchair (City + Bromma + Hammarby Sjöstad)

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