Live Backwards.

“If you want to know how to live your life, think about what you want people to say about you after you die, and then live backwards.” – Michael Josephson

Caring - relentlessly generous

Be Relentlessly Generous

“Be relentlessly generous in your judgments and actions. Give others the benefit of the doubt and stop being so hard on yourself.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: The Parable of Brother Leo

An old legend tells of a monastery in France well-known throughout Europe because of the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately the monks began to bicker over who should do various chores. On the third day they met another monk who …

Change - if no change no butterfly FB

Change Happens

If things never changed, there would be no butterflies. Change happens whether you want it or not, so embrace it and make the best of it.

Character - choice

The Content of Your Character is Your Choice

The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become. “Your integrity is your destiny; it is the light that guides your way.” – Heraclitus (Greek philosopher 535-465 B.C.)


Years ago I heard a story of a dad named Paul who gave his young son a small chalkboard to practice writing on. One evening his son called out from the bedroom, “Dad, how do you spell best?” Paul answered him. Moments later, the boy hollered, “How do you spell kid?” Finally he asked, “How do you spell ever?” When …



“One man with courage is a majority.” – Andrew Jackson  

Accountability - what you don't know

Responsible Vigilance

“Responsible vigilance is a potent risk management strategy. What you don’t know CAN hurt you. What you don’t do WILL hurt you. What you try to cover-up WILL KILL YOU.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: The Blue Stone and the White Lie

This story is about a truth-versus-caring ethical dilemma I once had. I think I did the right thing but I keep wondering if there was a better way. I was putting my two-year-old to bed when Abrielle, who was four, came screaming down the hall in a panic. Samara, the five-and-a-half-year-old, was right behind her equally terrified. “I swallowed a …

Change world FB

People of Character

People of character to do the right think even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world.” – Michael Josephson  

COMMENTARY: Advice About Teens

Here are three suggestions for the parents of young teens, all learned through my own mistakes: First, remember, with emerging demands for independence, worries about peer acceptance, pressures of school and extra-curricular activities and a continuous search for self-identity, adolescents are on a physical and emotional roller coaster. Like every generation before them (including yours), young teens are often arrogant …

Choices - makes your life


The choices you make in life will make your life.” – Michael Josephson  

Choices Rationalizations - rat race

The Rat Race

The problem with participating in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin Rationalizations world like an anesthetic to the conscience. They don’t’ change the moral content of our choices, they simply prevent us from feeling guilty about them.  

Creativity garden

The Garden of Creativity

Creativity flourishes in a wild garden of ideas where fear of failure and worry about what others may think are unwelcome.” – Michael Josephson  

Forgiveness and happiness

The Road after Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not something we do for others; it is something we do for ourselves so we are free to find new roads to happiness.” – Michael Josephson  

Growth - improvement

I Will Never Be Perfect

I am not and never will be perfect. I am not always as honest, respectful, responsible, fair, or kind as I should be. All I can do is what I should do – Strive every day, with every decision, to be the best person I can be. I don’t expect to be perfect but I know I can be better.” …

Happineess and success


“The happiest people in the world are not the richest, best looking or most powerful; they are people who find value, meaning and purpose in selfless service and making a positive difference in the lives of others.” -Michael Josephson  

Happiness - good for your health

Choose to be HAPPY!

“I have decided to be HAPPY because it is good for my health.” – Voltaire  

COMMENTARY: Box Full of Love

Todd was a sadly quiet eleven-year-old struggling to adjust to the death of his mother. His father left long ago and he was living with an aunt who made it known that she resented the responsibility. On several occasions, Sheryl, the boy’s teacher, heard the aunt tell Todd, “If it weren’t for my generosity you would be a homeless orphan.” …

People & Things

Use Things Not People

People are made to be loved and things are made to be used. Things begin to go wrong when things are being loved and people are being used.    


What Golfers and Leaders Have In Common

Just as good golfers know how to use an array of clubs to get them to the hole, good leaders know how to use an array of relationship styles and strategies to get them to their goal. But what makes the good golfer and the good leader great, is knowing which club to use.” – Michael Josephson  

COMMENTARY: Do I Have to Tell Everything?

Can a job applicant properly withhold information about a criminal record or being fired in a previous job? Can a woman who has just started dating properly say nothing about a previous marriage or abortion? These are problems of candor: When does an ethical person have a duty to reveal negative information about his past? First, let’s reinforce a basic …

COMMENTARY: Mental Sunshine and Flowers

Dave had to undergo painful throat surgery. Since he’s not a young man and makes his living as a professional speaker, the experience was frightening and traumatic. He told me his surgeon was skilled and the hospital workers were competent, but the cold indifference of the parade of nurses and doctors who came in and out of his room was …

Persistence - try again

Successful People

Successful people treat failure as an opportunity to TRY AGAIN, eager to use the new stepping stones discovered while failing. – Michael Josephson  

COMMENTARY: Using All Your Strength

A young boy was walking with his father along a country road. When they came across a very large tree branch the boy asked, “Do you think I could move that branch?” His father answered, “If you use all your strength, I’m sure you can.” So the boy tried mightily to lift, pull and push the branch but he couldn’t …

Independence Day and Courage

We celebrate this year’s Fourth of July holiday at a time when millions of people in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen are at various stages of their own struggle to replace dictators with some form of democracy. It’s a good reminder that the fight for liberty has always required courage. In our own case, 56 men we now …

Greatest Quotes on Patriotism

                He loves his country best who strives to make it best.  – Robert G. Ingersoll This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.  ~Elmer Davis I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I …