Leonardo da Vinci’s Procrastinations

Here’s an anonymous quote I came upon a while back: “In order to do great things, it is necessary to be slightly underemployed.”

Leonardo da Vinci seems to have agreed. He told one of his patrons, “Man of lofty genius sometimes accomplish the most when they work least.” He explained, “Their minds are occupied with their ideas and the perfection of their conceptions to which the afterwards give form.”

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Benediction

Finish this day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow will be a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

What lies behind you and what lies before you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you.

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

For the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived, and lived well.

—-Ralph Waldo Emerson (compiled and edited by Gene Griessman)

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How To Interrupt Gracefully

If you are interrupted and wish to add a point or if you want to make a point after you have finished speaking and the conversation has moved on, one way to re-enter the conversation is to say: “If I could (might) add…”

Also you  increase the odds of a successful re-entry if you call the person by name: “Bob, if I could (might) add…”

Here’s another phrase you can consider using: “If I could jump in for just a minute…”

 

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Martin Amis on Donald Trump

Trump’s defining asset is “a crocodilian nose for inert or moribund prey…Trump can sense when an entity is no longer strong enough or lithe enough to escape predation.”
NYRB: 9-27, 2018

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don’t leave

–Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and consultant.  His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations.  He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or abe@mindspring.com

Don’t leave yet. How To Say It Right brims with wisdom from master communicators. Maybe you are a CEO or coach, parent or teacher, supervisor or motivational keynote speaker, or a private individual who wants to learn to communicate persuasively and effectively.  Check out more great articles. You’re already here. Why rush off? We guarantee you’ll be a better communicator and more successful if you invest your time here.

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Writing advice

FEATURED ARTICLE:
“Writing Advice” by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

“Lamiele” asks the following request about writing preparation:  “I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing; however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?”

Here are four recommendations to help you when you want to write an essay, article, or blog.  (Writing a book or a dissertation is an expansion of these basic steps.)

  • One.  Before you actually sit down to write, make a few brief notes about possible ideas to develop.  Even if you are out and about, running errands or the like, you can send yourself an email or text from your smartphone, or give yourself a call and leave the idea on your voice mail.  Don’t worry about grammar, etc.  Just get your  ideas down. Think of the ideas that come to you from reading, from conversations, and from just thinking as bullet points or paragraph headings that you will develop.
  • Two. When you do sit down to write, just start writing.  You can pick any one of the ideas you’ve jotted down or recorded.   Again, don’t worry about how your words read or sound at this point.  Just put words on paper.  You may eventually throw away what you’ve written.  What you are doing is getting your motor turning over.
  • Three.  If you can, write in the same place and at the same time every day.  Forming a habit about time and place will send a signal to your brain that you are supposed to be writing.  I’ve found that if I do this, sometimes as if by magic the words begin to come to me.
  • Four.  When you’ve completed a rough draft of one of your basic ideas (or modules), read it out loud.  Reading it aloud with help you catch grammatical and logical errors, make your expression more natural,  and help you smooth out jerky sections.
  • Finally, don’t be worried if it takes you 10 to 15 minutes to get started.  Some great writers work on a single sentence for hours or days.
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Movie Review. Spielberg’s “Lincoln”

By Gene Griessman, author of “Lincoln and Obama,” “The Words Lincoln Lived By,” and “Lincoln on Communication”

Some movies are based on a true story. This Is a true story. And one of the most important stories in history.

As told by Spielberg, history is alive, compelling and thrilling. But is it historically accurate? The answer is yes, even down to Lincoln’s jokes.

(I was delighted at the masterful way Daniel Day-Lewis tells an earthy joke that I just included in “Lincoln and Obama.”)

And, yes, Lincoln told dirty jokes. Sorry about that, hagiographers.

This is not the naive, country-bumpkin Lincoln that has been standard fare in Lincoln movies of previous generations.

This is Lincoln the politician. This is the man one contemporary calls “the purest man in America” aiding and abetting the wheeling and dealing and vote-buying that put an end to slavery in the US forever.

The Lincoln in this movie is the man whom his biographer Carl Sandburg had in mind when he wrote a letter to FDR: “I am glad that you are cunning, as Lincoln and Jackson were cunning.”

And why did Lincoln behave this way? Because he understood if slavery was not completely destroyed, that it would cause yet another civil war down the road. And the hundreds of thousands who had died had died in vain.

Without the 13th Amendment, the most generous thing historians could ever say about Lincoln is that he put down a rebellion.

I’ve performed Lincoln hundreds of times–including twice at Ford’s Theatre. So naturally I wondered about the acting choice Daniel Day-Lewis would make.

He nailed it.

Three supporting actors are in line to get Oscar nominations. David Strathairn (William Seward), Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln), and Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens)

The movie invites Lincoln and Obama comparisons. My research has led me to many, many Lincoln-Obama parallels.

And the repetition is not limited to presidents. The people who invented and reinvented America were just like us.

They fought fiercely, were mean and magnanimous, craven and principled, hot-headed and cool. blind and far-seeing, foolish and wise.
They adored and demonized the president. Just over 45% of Americans who voted in 1864 voted against the man whom a later generation carved on Mt. Rushmore.

They made the messy political compromises that make democracy work. Politicians still do that, and some of them get to be known as statesmen.

The arc of history bends toward justice, but that bending is sometimes uncertain, costly and painful.

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Harold Holzer Endorses Gene Griessman’s new book

The Controversial New Book–“Lincoln and Obama”–Gets Endorsement From Renowned Lincoln Scholar.

Harold Holzer is in the same league as Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals.

Holzer is the author  of many books on Lincoln.  He is the co-chair of the national Abraham Lincoln Bi-centennial Foundation.

Here’s Holzer’s endorsement:

Gene Griessman has done it again–with yet another fast-moving, unexpected, captivating riff on the history we thought we knew. This book sheds new light on what may be the most meaningful presidential relationship that has ever existed across time.

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Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln Criticize the Supreme Court

Special announcement

During the next few weeks I will cut back on my posts and tweets.   Am hard at work on a new book about Lincoln, and hope that you will continue to visit the website.

As a way of thanking you, you will be the first to know about the book, and we will provide you with a special discount.

Now, here’s an excerpt from the new book.  There’s a lot of interest in what the US Supreme Court will do about Obama’s health care plan, so it is a post about Abraham Lincoln and the Court.

What Presidents Say Publicly When the Supreme Court Makes a Bad Decision by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Relations between the U.S. Supreme Court and the President are often strained.  And for good reason.  The potential is always present for unelected justices to overrule the wishes of the people, as expressed by their elected leaders.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in his classic analysis of democracy,  mentions this as an ever-present threat.  And Lincoln in an early draft of his first inaugural address writes about the “despotism of the few life-officers composing the Court.”  Lincoln is persuaded to take those words out of the final version of his speech., but that’s what he thinks even if it is strong language.

Three decades earlier, the fights between Andrew Jackson and Chief Justice Marshall are titanic. The gnarled old hero of the Battle of New Orleans believes that the President has just as much right to interpret the Constitution as the Court does, thank you very much.  When the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Cherokee Indians in a case involving the State of Georgia, Jackson, according to some reports, says John Marshall has made his decision, now let John Marshall enforce it.   We do not know for sure if Jackson actually says that.   But we do know that Jackson does not enforce the ruling, and it comes to nothing.

That happens in 1832.  Now it’s 1857.   The Supreme Court has a new Chief Justice by the name of Roger B. Taney.  The Taney Court, in a 7-2 decision, rules against granting the slave Dred Scott and his wife their freedom.  It is a momentous decision.

The court rules that African American slaves or their descendents have no rights as citizens under the Constitution.  But the Court goes further.  It rules that the Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional, because it deprives an owner of his property. Moreover, Congress has no right to restrict the spread of slavery into federal territory.  It is the first time since the Madison administration that the Supreme Court rules that an act of Congress is unconstitutional.  (That happened in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison, the very first time that the Supreme Court ever ruled whether an act of Congress is constitutional.

Taney explains the Court’s decision: “It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in regard to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted; but the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

How’s that for enlightened thinking by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!

Whatever the intent of the justices might have been, the consequences of the decision are profound.  Dred Scott gives America the Civil War. The delicate compromises that have been laboriously stitched together are torn apart. Angry quarrels and killings begins.

And Dred Scott gives the world Abraham Lincoln.  When the firestorm spreads to the prairies, Abraham Lincoln, who hates slavery, is aroused to action.  It is not what he expected.  Lincoln expected slavery to die out eventually in the cotton states, but now knows it will spread into the West if something isn’t done to stop it.  He decides to re-enter politics.

Dred Scott gives America the Republican Party. Meetings are called for everyone to attend who opposes the spread of slavery.  Those meetings turn into an organization, and that organization comes to be known as the Republican Party, the GOP.

—Gene Griessman is an award-winning professional speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or abe@mindspring.com Learn more about Gene Griessman at presidentlincoln.com and atlantaspeakersbureau.com

Don’t leave yet. Check out more articles. You’re already here. Why rush off? Whatyousay.com is a gold mine. We guarantee you’ll be a better communicator if you spend time here.

And consider making a donation to promote and sustain Whatyousay.com. Whatyousay.com supports the PRESIDENTLINCOLNFUND that takes Lincoln to schools and libraries.

“Dramatically change your life for just $9.95! You will learn how to complete important projects, find more time reach elusive goals, see your dreams come true, have success in your career, and feel inner satisfaction. These 99 principles tap into powerful sociological and psychological forces. Based on the best-seller Time Tactics of Very Successful People.”

99 WAYS TO GET MORE OUT OF EVERY DAY [Kindle Edition] $9.95

“Do just one of these time tactics for just one week, and we guarantee that you will more than pay for the price of this book. If it doesn’t happen, let us know and we will cheerfully refund your money.”–Gene Griessman

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Delegation Advice

What you say when you delegate authority and want to stay involved

Two partners at a big law firm are on the phone in an episode of the CBS classic “The Good Wife.” One partner is heavily involved in another project and can’t get free to hear all that’s involved in discussions with a prospect.

“I might be able to sign them,” one partner says to another partner.  “I can decide for both of us?”

“Yes. Just keep me in the loop.”

This is an efficient, courteous, business-like way to proceed.  You need to delegate but you don’t want to be blindsided later.

So… you must make it your business to be kept informed.  “Keep me in the loop” is a valuable power phrase to help make that happen.

(Look at the section on delegation in my book “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” for further elaboration of delegation as a time tactic.) G

—Gene Griessman is an award-winning professional speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or abe@mindspring.com Learn more about Gene Griessman at presidentlincoln.com and atlantaspeakersbureau.com

99 WAYS TO GET MORE OUT OF EVERY DAY [Kindle Edition] $9.95

Do just one of these time tactics for just one week, and we guarantee that you will more than pay for the price of this book.

99 WAYS IS AVAILABLE ON KINDLE AT THE LINK BELOW

AMAZON.COM: GENE GRIESSMAN: KINDLE STORE

Start reading Lincoln and Obama on your E-reader in under a minute.

eBook  Amazon KINDLE:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009AIE15S

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