Financial Health Tip – Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

January 3, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Commentary, Health, Public Service, entreprenuer, financial health, financial success 

He was the worst client the company had. He was abusive, insulting, and arrogant. Two of our company’s salesmen refused to do business with him. An unsigned contract for his business was sitting on his desk for over a month. As the junior salesman, I was next in line to be assigned to his account. The president of the company called me into his office. He gave me advice that forever changed my outlook on life.(I was 26 years old and a bachelor)

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I was instructed to call “John Smith” and make an appointment with him. After doing so, I was to go to the president’s office for a pep talk.

“Mike” the president began, “Mr. Smith has been a client of this company for almost 5 years. He has always been a really nice guy until this past year, which tells me that he’s having personal problems. So, instead of talking your way into a sale, why not spend the time listening to him. Draw him out.”

From what I’ve heard about this guy, the thought was repulsive, and it showed.

“Mike, tell me something. How long do you think you will spend in Mr.Smith’s office?

I looked skyward and then replied “No more than a half-hour.”

The look on my face prompted another question from the president.

“Tell me Mike, how much commission will you earn for spending just one half-hour with him.”

I looked skyward again. When I realized how much was at stake, I sat straight up in my chair. “Three-thousand dollars!”

“Tell me Mike, what are you going to do with that money?”

An instant vision of a pretty girl I had wanted to date, but thought was out of my reach came into my mind. I saw myself taking her to an expensive French restaurant in my brand new “killer” suit. I had transformed into another person, totally focused, totally fearless. Yell at me all you want!

The president began to speak, but I held up my hand, “Sir,no need for another word. You just did me a big favor…a great lesson…thank you Sir.” I couldn’t wait for my appointment with Mr. Smith.

I now had a goal, mixed with incentive and passion to succeed.

When I walked into Mr.Smith’s office, he greeted me with “So, another new salesman to waste my time.”

As I sat down I gratefully acknowledged a family picture sitting on the window sill behind his desk. “You have a good looking family Mr. Smith.” It was a picture of him, his wife and three young girls. “Yeah, and they’re all a pain in the ass!”

“How’s that, what are they doing to you?” I said with a chuckle and a look of empathy. For the next twenty-minutes I listened to a man who was just seeking a little respect. One of his daughters was chronically ill, and his wife never greeted him with hugs and kisses, but rather taunts on why he wasn’t making more money. I found out that he was indeed a nice guy…if just someone would listen to him, for a change.

“Mike, thanks for listening,” he said with a big smile. “I guess you want me to sign this,” referring to the contract sitting on his desk.

As I was walking down the hall with the signed contract in my brief case, I kept thinking how easy that was. I didn’t say a single word that referred to sales, or the contract. I just listened…and kept that picture in my mind.

When the elevator reached the ground floor, I hit the street running. I rushed unannounced into the president’s office with a huge grin on my face and bowed before him, tossing the signed contract on his desk, “Oh Mighty One, When do I get my commission?” I don’t know who was happier.

So, how does this little story help you pay the mortgage, or the car payment, or get a better job?

Scan your mind for that ideal picture that makes you feel good about yourself. Stir in passion. When you smile…you’ll know you’ve got the right one. You will automatically start to focus on it’s accomplishment. Faith and Willpower are installed as a bonus!

On Dealing with Adversity: Try to find humor in every situation. Prior to going to college, I joined the Marine Corps to fulfill my military obligation. One day in boot camp, a Drill Instructor walked up to me as I stood at attention, and shouted in my face, “Private McCurdy, you’re not good enough to be a pimple on a dog’s ass!”

I bit down on my tongue as hard as I could to prevent myself from busting out laughing!

Here’s to Your Success in 2010!

Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher,

Eunice Kennedy Shriver – An American Saint

“In the 1950’s, the mentally retarded were among the most scorned, isolated and neglected groups in American Society. Mental retardation was viewed as a hopeless, shameful disease, and those afflicted with it were shunted from sight as soon as possible.”1 

What began as a summer camp at her Maryland farm in 1968, developed into the first Special Olympics which attracted 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada for competition. 

The idea was born when a mother telephoned Eunice Kennedy Shriver and complained that she could not find a summer camp for her child. Mrs. Shriver recalled the telephone conversation this way in an interview with NPR: “I said: You don’t have to talk about it anymore. You come here a month from today. I’ll start my own camp. No charge to go into the camp, but you have to come and pick your kid up.”

“She set out to change the world and to change us” her family said, when she died, “and she did that and more.”

At the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghi,China, a crowd of 80,000 cheered and welcomed 7,000 athletes, a country with a history of severe discrimination against anyone born with disablities.

The program has now grown to three million athletes in 180 countries.

Eunice Kenndy Shriver (puni-Euni, her family nick name)died on August 11, 2009 at age 88.

Eunice, the middle child in a family of nine, grew up with a sister Rosemary, who was mildly retarted. She detested the practice of keeping people with mental disabilities sedentary lest they injure themselves, or of keeping their existence a secret.

“When the full judgement of the Kennedy legacy is made – including J.F.K.’s Peace Corp and Alliance for Progress, Robert Kennedy’s passion for civil rights and Ted Kennedy’s efforts on health care, workplace reform and refugees – the changes made by Eunice Shriver may well be seen as the most consequential.” U.S. News and World Report said in its cover story of Nov. 15, 1993.

So, should Eunice Kennedy Shriver be considered for Sainthood? Consider this:

    In the Catholic Church the formal process of sainthood involves a complicated process taking time, money, testimonies, and miracles, and the church follows a strict set of rules in the process.

    First, to determine who qualifies, the Vatican looks to its Congregation for the “Causes of Saints”. Typically, a would-be candidate’s “cause” is presented to the local bishop by his or her admirers who persuade him that the life of the candidate was a model of holiness.   

     Once the applicant is approved as a candidate, an appointed postulator interviews those who knew the individual. Personal testimonies, letters, and writings of the candidate’s are put together. A relater then sifts through this information and prepares a position paper. If the volumes of evidence prove a life of “heroic virtue”,  the person is given the title “venerable” by the Pope.  

        The next title, beatified (blessed), is attained if it can be proven that a miracle occurred after the death of the candidate, the result of someone praying to that person for help.

       To finalize a canonization, it must be established that a second miracle occurred.  (Martyrs are the exception. The pope can reduce their miracle requirement to one or waive it altogether.)  Most often prayer requests are for a physical healing. 

Verifying a miracle is considered the most difficult hurdle in the process. Just deciding what constitutes one causes debate. A life of heroic virtue is obviously easier to establish than a healing that results from prayers.

Editors note: I’d like to cast the first vote for her as “An American Saint.”

1. The Kennedy Family, and the Story of Mental Retardation…Edward Shorter

By Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher

Gambling – A Most Happy Loser!

May 27, 2009 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Commentary, Health, Public Service 
Gambling – A Most Happy Loser!
By Michael J. McCurdy
Jan 1, 2008 – 3:10:27 PM
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One month out-of-high school, I joined the Marine Corps and underwent a period of four months of intense training – three months of boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina,and one month Infantry Training at Camp Lejune, North Carolina. I was in incredible physical and mental condition. I also got an incredible education on gambling just after graduation.Upon graduation from Marine Corps Infantry Training at Camp Lejune, North Carolina, I was issued my first paycheck. I remember it being somewhere around $350.00. I was elated, as I walked into the “Rec Room” with a pocket full of money. I was 18 and no longer a boy, but a certified American Marine. The first thing I saw, as I entered the room was a pool table that was covered with a tarpaulin, with a group of older Marines shouting and screaming at something on the table. A “craps” game. I was encouraged to join in. Now, I felt really accepted. Thirty-minutes later, I was broke!

The Navy Department paid it’s Sailors and Marines every two-weeks. I sat out those two weeks with a fierce determination to win back my money, pride and manhood!

I strode up to the table, placed my bets, and within twenty-minutes I was stone broke again. I will never forget those two-weeks that I waited for another paycheck. I couldn’t even buy a 35 cent beer at the base tavern. I sat on my bunk in deep meditation and realized what a total jerk I was for being sucked in. I have never gambled since.

To the Marines who sucked me into those games, you have no idea how many times in my life I have thanked you!

An editorial in the New York Times reminds us how many people get into serious trouble gambling on state lottery’s.

“They can dress it up all they want in slogans about buying a ticket and a dream. But the states are encouraging behavior that is too often addictive and ruinous for people who can least afford it.”

If you think that you or a loved one have a problem, there is hope. Go to: