Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Information or Misinformation

The Misinformation Age

We left the information age and are living in the misinformation age. Misinformation is available everywhere and few of us can even recognize it. The right information is extremely valuable and the key not only to success but also to leaving a lasting legacy. Everything worthwhile pursuing starts with getting the right information. Misinformation is full of untruths, keeping us in dark places and struggling to make ends meet. The right information will always lead us to the right destination. If the right information is so critical, then how does one go about acquiring it and applying it in our day to day lives? Here is the process, the sequence for going from the right information to leaving a lasting legacy.


1.      Right information. The best investment we can make is in acquiring the right information. Yes, the right information is not an expense, it is an investment. There is no other investment that provides as high a return as an investment in the right information. The right information can only come from the right sources; proven and tested sources. The right information leads to the right thinking.

2.      Right thinking. The right thinking comes from studying and fully understanding the value of the right information. Take the time to reflect, the time to process the information and its implications in everything you are involved with. Learn to think like great and successful thinkers. Faulty thinking comes from using misinformation. Right thinking is absolutely critical to taking the right actions.

3.      Right actions. The right actions come from the application of the knowledge gained from studying and analyzing the right information and thinking. The right actions are the responses to the right thinking. The wrong actions are the reactions to the wrong thinking. The word of advice here is that it requires faith and courage to take the right course of actions. The right actions can only lead to the right results.

4.      Right results. The right actions can only lead to the right results. There is a delay in seeing the right results from the right actions due to the time delay and the compounding effect from the right actions. The right results boost our self-esteem, build confidence and start to build our competence and capabilities. A string of great results is habit forming, and it becomes is critical to building our character and our reputation. As we fully comprehend the impact of the right results, coming from the application of a proven process, we start forming the right habits.

5.      Right habits. Good habits are hard to make and easy to break. Bad habits are easy to make and hard to break. Habits either make us or they break us. Bad habits are natural to us while good habits must be intentional. We have the natural propensity towards the wrong habits. The world provides all we need to acquire the wrong habits. It take discipline to stay the course, to follow the right principles, take the right actions, recognize and value the right results, if we have a shot at creating the right habits. We become known for the results we produce, the fruits of our labor. The right habits create our character and our reputation.

6.      Right character. Character is who we really are and reputation is who the world thinks we are. Focus on your character and the reputation will take care of itself. Reputation is fragile and that is why the right character is critical. We live in a negative and misinformed world. People of character are expected to be believed, and when they are not, they let time prove them right. People with the right character and so few and that is why they leave lasting legacies. Abe Lincoln and Gandhi are two that come to mind.

7.      Lasting legacy. Who does not want to leave a legacy for centuries to come? We all do. Yet, few understand the process to get to a rich legacy. Few are willing to get the right information, few are willing to take the time to think properly, few  have the courage to take the right actions even if unpopular, few are willing to act long enough to get the right results, even fewer are willing to build a great character, and the very few that do, end up leaving a lasting legacy. I hope you are one to those individuals who will leave a lasting legacy. The world needs more people like you.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust"
"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious"
“Managers influence numbers, leaders influence people by inspiring them to pursue excellence”

Sunday, March 5, 2017

We can never have enough of Toscana

7 Days in Toscana – Italy

Toscana is fascinating, exhilarating, exciting, energizing, rejuvenating, motivating, and inspiring. Toscana is truly PRICELESS to anyone who takes the time to enjoy one of the greatest treasures Italy offers to the world!

If you want to create not 7, but 70 times 7 memories, then visit Toscana. Spending these 7 days in Toscana was just a preamble for spending the month of October there in the future.

Here are the 7 highlights from the unforgettable 7 days in Toscana:

1.    People
You can find all kinds of people in Italy, just like in any other part of the world. Yes, you can find from nice and polite young people to grumpy old men sitting around the parks complaining about life and government. Italians are very friendly and helpful in providing information to strangers. I love to hear and pronounce their names. The names in Italians sound really sweet to our ears. Here are some of the names of people I met: Giulio, Alessandro, Irene, Paolo, Pietro, Giovanni, i Roberta.

2.    Food
Italy is at the top of the world when it comes to enjoying a meal. I am bias towards the foods starting with p:  Paste, Pizze, Pomodori, Presciutti, Pane, Polente i Polli. My favorite this time was the polenta con cinghiale. Black olives gave a special touch to this typical northern Italian food. Eating in Italy is truly a Priceless experience. Of course, everything tastes better with a glad of red wine.

3.    Land
The lands and landscapes are fascinating and high quality nourishment for the eyes, the mind and the soul. Montagne, valli i pianure, pieni di vigneti, olive, pini, rosmarino i alloro. On a walk down the mountain to the city, I stopped to talk with a 90 year old man, pruning his olive trees. Exchanging words with the Nonno reminded of my own grandfather pruning grapevines. The views from those mountains are breathtaking and the air is fresh with the aroma the abundant bay leaf trees. I could not help, and often stop to pluck an alloro leaf, crush it with my fingers and smell it.

4.    Language
Italians don’t just speak, they also sing while talking. There is so much beauty in this romantic language. If you know Italian you can notice not only the different accents but also the different dialects spoken by Italians from different provinces of Italy. Of course, I had to buy 7 books in Italian so I can further improve this beautiful language.

5.      Cities
The 7 cities visited were: Milano, Montecatini Terme, Firenze, Cinque Terre, Lucca, San Gimigniano i Siena. My two favorites were Siena and Firenze. Historical cities are full of stores for all kinds of shoppers. It is amazing how one can quickly fall into the buying mood and spend euros like it is a cheap currency. By the way, I found Italy to be inexpensive to Americans at this time in history. With the price of Starbucks coffee in USA one can get 3 coffees just about anywhere in Toscana. All the coffees and gelati are great. Seems like the Italians know how to keep the best for themselves and export the remaining to the world.

6.      History
If there is something for everyone in Toscana, can you imagine in the whole country of Italy? From architecture to art, and that includes food, it is a daily fascinating adventure to visit so many places with so much history visible to the common eye. Walking on those narrow streets, on stones that have been laid there for thousands years, gives one a sense of wonder on whom may have walked on those iron stones before. The chiese and cattedrali or duomi makes one think how shallow, or even ignorant, we have become over the course of history.

7.      Automobiles
Italians also love their automobiles. The range goes from the Fiat 500, the little car that brought more freedom to the Italian donne in the 1960’s. Home of the great auto brands that end with the letter i: Maserati, Ferrari, Bugatti i Lamborghini. Guess all the clunkers are taken out of circulation and recycled since I only saw a few roaming the streets.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust"

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious"