Commencement 2019. You made it this far.

What a wonderful time of year. The grass is green, the sun is shining and the days are getting longer! And, oh yeah, how could I forget graduations are in full swing?

So here is to you, Graduate, and a nice reminder to us all. Short and sweet!

Three Simple Things:

# 1 ATTITUDE

This is yours. It is the one thing, the only thing I might add, that you have total control over. This is unless you hand control over to someone else. I implore you to never allow your attitudeto be controlled by others. You have heard that “Perception is Reality?” Your Perception stems from your attitude; therefore, if your attitude is good your perception will be good and your reality will be great! For you see, Good + Good = Great!

Attitude – never ever forget that yours is yours and yours alone!

# 2 THE BIG PICTURE

Picture yourself as the only human being left on earth. Even for an introvert such as myself, being totally alone forever is a depressing thought. My point is that people are necessary, and yes all people, although that is pretty hard to comprehend at times. They may not all agree with you or like doing the things you like doing, but believe it or not, they are all necessary. In the Big Pictureof everybody in the world, where do you fit in? What can you contribute to the greater good of everybody? You have a talent that is unique to only you. Discovering that talent and putting it to use for the greater good will far outpace putting your talents to use for selfish pursuits over the long run.

The Big Picture – you are not the sole person in this world, nor want to be, remember that!

 # 3 HOUSING

You all, I’m sure, have heard of the following two phrases:

  • You are what you eat
  • No pain, no gain

Food fuels our bodies, and we all have different fuel requirements just as airplanes, rockets, tractors, cars, and boats all need fuel. They all use different types of fuels and we humans are no different. There is no one set of fuel for all.

Exercise compensates our bodies for the mostly sedentary lifestyles we live today. But like different fuel requirements, we all have different exercise requirements. Some need to put themselves through excruciating pain to feel as though they have accomplished something whereas others can simply go for a nice stroll through the park.

Our bodies are where we house Attitudes,and our Big Picture. As long as our housing unit does not take away from those two things, all is good. We were not all meant to be Barbie and Ken (or anywhere close thankfully!).

Take care of your House!

In closing, I congratulate you and you alone for this is your accomplishment. You too should congratulate yourself on a job well done — It’s Over!

I hope you will always remember:

  • the mind – attitude – is yours to control
  • the soul – the big picture – your heart
  • the body – housing – simply holds the other two while you are on earth

Keep all three in proportion, for these are you and you alone!

PS Please enjoy the ride as you go!

Quote:“We don’t stop going to school when we graduate.” Carol Burnette

Song: “Take it Easy” – The Eagles

Game Exercise:Take some time this week to simply enjoy the moment. It would be great if you would go for a walk by yourself or go find a nice park bench by yourself and take a few minutes to reflect on all that you have done in your life.

I think it is so sad. And here’s why.

If given the chance, would you rather be given a million dollars or would you rather earn a million dollars?

Several months ago, I was listening to a local radio station and the two DJ’s were discussing a survey that asked people that question. The overwhelming majority of people said that they would rather be given a million dollars than earn a million dollars.

I think that is a sad state of mind. Every day, for most of us, our self-esteem or feeling of self-worth is under assault. We think we’re: too fat, too skinny, not fast enough, not strong enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not gifted enough, the list goes on and on. 

True accomplishments

The only thing that saves us from the onslaught of self-doubt is our list of accomplishments in life. I don’t want to get side-tracked on what we define as accomplishments because I can assure you that “true” accomplishments vary quite drastically from “societal approved” accomplishments.

Personally, I think it’s important to keep in mind all the little things we do in life, and maybe, just maybe, they aren’t as little as we may think. Your success in life – I define success as living a happy purposeful life – depends in large part on how we feel about ourselves. [Note: this is dependent upon how we feel about ourselves and not how we perceive others feel about us.]

Therefore, it is often the small victories that we achieve in life that help us suppress these negative waves of “I’m not good enough.”

We often hear and say how much better we feel when we lose 10 pounds, or how much better we feel once we get back in shape … or how much better we feel because we have a clean house. Yes, it is true that these things can make us feel better physically, but I think that the true “feeling better” stems from the victory we scored by forcing ourselves to accomplish these feats. 

Never underestimate the power of feeling good about yourself! 

Remember, you are your greatest asset. Now go earn that million dollars! – if that’s really important to you. If not, quit wishing someone would give it to you! And that’s worth a lot. 

Soulful Quote:  “Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves” – Nathaniel Branden 

[Note the word acquire (the small victories) and not give.]

Song: “Greatest Love of All,” by Whitney Houston

Game Exercise/Life Changer: Answer the question for yourself and check your Self Reliance gauge! 

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Don’t Be A Cow and Follow the herd says Chicago Trib writer

We love that he is sharing our advice. BE HAPPIER. Don’t follow the herd. And have a happy Mother’s day.

Column:

Don’t be a cow and follow the herd. Stay home on Mother’s Day.

John Kass

John KassContact ReporterChicago Tribune

If you’re thinking about going out for Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday, gathering the siblings, in-laws and their kids to make the special mom feel special, you must do something first.

You must plan. Otherwise, Mother’s Day brunch will be a disaster.

And as a veteran of many such brunches, and as an American of Greek descent whose DNA affords him an insider’s perspective on the ins and outs of brunches and “relaxed family dining,” I have simple rules you should follow.

Everything will be perfection, don’t worry.

Before you gather your wife and kids in the car, with everyone properly dressed in their Sunday best, and with Mother’s Day flowers in hand, have them stand out on the driveway to take pictures.

While the kids are preoccupied with the only things they truly love — their phones — walk out on your lawn. They won’t notice you.

Now cut a big chunk of sod. Put it next to your lips.

And eat it.

Now feed some sod to your kids and more sod to your wife, since this is Mother’s Day for her, too, and to your mom, since, naturally, she’s your mom. Whether they like it or not.

Rush everyone back inside to brush their teeth. You can’t have gloppy eggs Benedict or “picked over” smoked salmon or bad steam table potatoes if you have sod dirt on your lips. Wipe that sod off. Rinse. Repeat.

And later, while at the crowded restaurant, be calm.

Don’t get upset (as usual) when all the in-laws show up late (as usual) and cop an attitude because you haven’t been seated yet.

Just remain calm as the extended family is jammed into the waiting area, also known as Mother’s Day Purgatory. I prefer the bar.

But that’s crowded too. Everyone sweats, the kids are hungry, and they’re fidgety. And a few announce they hate everything, and Grandma says, “Will you please have them put down those phones?!” and the kids stare at you.

Everyone hates you now. So just sit quietly. And when you’re told that it will take 45 minutes to an hour to be seated — even though you had reservations — don’t cry.

Merely pass out some extra sod for everyone to enjoy. Chew it. Chew it good. Use the back teeth, the molars, and chew like a mighty herbivore in a herd of mighty critters.

Notice your wife sitting there, in Mother’s Day Purgatory, whispering to herself, “Happy (bleeping) Mother’s Day,” or your mom; and then notice your sisters-in-law mouthing the same dang thing.

Happy bleeping Mother’s Day.

Eat some more sod, and say loudly so all may hear: “Moooooo!”

Because you’re cattle. Because you’re livestock. And you know it.

And if you’re going out for brunch on Mother’s Day, you’re nothing but livestock herded halfway to hell. How long will you wait for your table?

How long would it take to count all the grains of sand in all the beaches in the world?

“Oh, if only I had the wits to listen when John Kass warned me about Mother’s Day,” you might say, waiting to pay around $200 per person for the Mother’s Day brunch at the Peninsula hotel.

Moo cow. Moo.

You herded yourselves quite willingly, because you read something in the paper or on a website on “20 Great Places for Mother’s Day Brunch!!!”

But what will that get you? Nothing. It won’t even get you the Dutch Baby Apple Pancake.

Fools.

No one in the restaurant business would go to Mother’s Day brunch for the thick, gloppy hollandaise and the cold toast and eggs as dry as your grandfather’s scalp.

Don’t go out for Mother’s Day. Are you crazy?

Go out the day before or days and days after and say it’s a Mother’s Day brunch. Your mom or wife will feel better.

I’m not going out. Because I hate being herded like cattle, in politics or food.

And the best chef in Chicago, Michelin star winner Carrie Nahabedian of Brindille (my favorite restaurant) isn’t going out on Mother’s Day either.

At Brindille, she’s having a Mother’s Day tea on Saturday. But it’s sold out. Sorry.

So book another tea on another date. If you haven’t the exquisite French-influenced desserts crafted by Brindille’s master pastry chef Craig Harzewski, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. Craig is a genius, and he’s from Buffalo.

Nahabedian’s family thought about going out Sunday morning. Her mom is 90.

“But then I thought, ‘Oh, no, wait a minute,’ I better cook for the family at home,” she said. “I just cooked two weeks ago for them at Easter, so what the heck?”

My easy brunch-at-home trick is to get a good coffeecake and serve killer Bloody Marys, but not from a mix. Make them from scratch.

And while they’re drinking, you make lunch:

Mother’s Day Roast Chicken and Potatoes ala Kasso. Don’t ask me for the recipe. I don’t have one. Just use the basic elements of all life: lemon, garlic, olive oil, pepper, salt, oregano.

Parboil the red potatoes, quarter, toss in the seasonings, in an aluminum pan. Put the pan on the bottom rack of the grill, with the live coals on either side.

On the top rack, set up chickens for, yes, Beer Can Chicken. Or go with roast lamb. The meat fat drips into the potatoes and bastes them.

It doesn’t taste like grass.

Give your wife some flowers, thank your mom for giving you life, watch some home movies when you and the kids were little. Laugh with each other. Enjoy each other.

And don’t forget:

Happy Mother’s Day.

Listen to “The Chicago Way” podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at www.wgnradio.com/category/wgn-plus/thechicagoway.

jskass@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

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