Samuel Ullman

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what's next and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station: So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at 20, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at 80.

What is Success
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden
patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

Cat's Cradle
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Dell Publishing Co., Inc. New York, 1963.

"All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

'Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been."'

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (pp.73-75)
Dell Publishing Co., Inc. New York. 1968.

He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards, the story went like this:

American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bombay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were in operation night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.

The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.

The Richest Man in Babylon
George S. Clason
Hawthorn Books, Inc. New York

In old Babylon there once lived a certain very rich man named Arkad. Far and wide he was famed for his great wealth. Also was he famed for his liberality. He was generous in his charities. He was generous with his family. He was liberal in his own expenses. But nevertheless each year his wealth increased more rapidly than he spent it.

And there were certain friends of younger days who came to him and said: "You, Arkad, are more fortunate than we. You have become the richest man in all Babylon while we struggle for existence. You can wear the finest garments and you can enjoy the rarest foods, while we must be content if we can clothe our families in raiment that is presentable and feed them as best we can."

"Yet, once we were equal. We studied under the same master. We played in the same games. And in neither the studies nor the games did you outshine us. And in the years since, you have been no more an honorable citizen than we."

"Nor have you worked harder or more faithfully, insofar as we can judge. Why, then, should a fickle fate single you out to enjoy all the good things of life and ignore us who are equally deserving?"

Thereupon Arkad remonstrated with them, saying, "If you have not acquired more than a bare existence in the years since we were youths, it is because you either have failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth, or else you do not observe them."

"'Fickle Fate' is a vicious goddess who brings no permanent good to anyone. On the contrary, she brings ruin to almost every man upon whom she showers unearned gold. She makes wanton spenders, who soon dissipate all they receive and are left beset by overwhelming appetites and desires they have not the ability to gratify. Yet others whom she favors become misers and hoard their wealth, fearing to spend what they have, knowing they do not posses the ability to replace it. They further are beset by fear of robbers and doom themselves to lives of emptiness and secret misery."

"Others there probably are, who can take unearned gold and add to it and continue to be happy and contented citizens. But so few are they, I know of them but by hearsay. Thing you of the men who have inherited sudden wealth, and see if these things are not so."

His friends admitted that of the men they knew who had inherited wealth these words were true, and they besought him to explain to them how he had become possessed of so much property, so he continued:

"In my youth I looked about me and saw all the good things there were to bring happiness and contentment. And I realized that wealth increased the potency of all these."

"Wealth is a power. With wealth many things are possible."

"One may ornament the home with the richest of furnishings."

"One may sail the distant seas."

"One may feast on the delicacies of far lands."

"One may buy the ornaments of the gold worker and the stone polisher."

"One may even build mighty temples for the gods."

"One may do all these things and many others in which there is delight for the senses and gratification for the soul."

"And, when I realized all this, I declared to myself that I would claim my share of the good things of life. I would not be one of those who stand afar off, enviously watching others enjoy. I would not be content to clothe myself in the cheapest raiment that looked respectable. I would not be satisfied with the lot of a poor man. On the contrary, I would make myself a guest at this banquet of good things."

"Being, as you know, the son of a humble merchant, one of a large family with no hope of an inheritance, and not being endowed, as you have so frankly said, with superior powers or wisdom, I decided that if I was to achieve what I desired, time and study would be required."

"As for time, all men have it in abundance. You, each of you, have let slip by sufficient time to have made yourselves wealthy. Yet, you admit, you have nothing to show except you good families, of which you can be justly proud.

"As for study, did not our wise teacher teach us that learning was of two kinds: The one kind being the things we learned and knew, and the other being in the training that taught us how to find out what we did not know?"

"Therefore, did I decide to find out how one might accumulate wealth, and when I had found out, to make this my task and do it well. For, is it not wise that we should enjoy the fruit of our labors while we dwell in the brightness of the sunshine? For when we depart for the world of spirit, it must all be left behind."

"I found employment as a scribe in the hall of records, and long hours each day I labored upon the clay tablets. Week after week , and month after month, I labored, yet for my earnings I had nought to show. Food and clothing and penance to the gods, and other things of which I could remember not what, absorbed all my earnings. But my determination did not leave me."

"And one day Algamish, the money lender, came to the house of the city master and ordered a copy of the Ninth Law, and he said to me, 'I must have this in two days, and if the task is done by that time, two coppers will I give to thee.'"

"So I labored hard, but the law was long, and when Algamish returned the task was unfinished. He was angry, and had I been his slave he would have beaten me. But knowing the city master would not permit him to injure me, I was unafraid, so I said to him, 'Algamish, you are a very rich man. Tell me how I may also become rich and all night I will carve upon the clay, and when the sun rises it shall be completed.'"

"He smiled at me and replied, 'You are a forward knave, but we will call it a bargain."

"All that night I carved, though my back pained and the smell of the which made my head ache until my eyes could hardly see. But when he returned at sunup, the tablets were complete.

"'Now,' I said, 'tell me what you promised.'"

"'You have fulfilled your part of our bargain, my son,' he said to me kindly, 'and I am ready to fulfill mine. I will tell you these things you wish to know because I am becoming an old man, and an old tongue loves to wag. And when youth comes to age for advice he receives the wisdom of years. But too often does youth thing that age knows only the wisdom of days that are gone, and therefore profits not. But remember this, the sun that shines today is the sun that shone when thy father was born, and will be still shining when thy last grandchild shall pass into the darkness."

"'The thoughts of youth,' he continued, 'are bright lights that shine forth like the meteors that oft make brilliant the sky, but the wisdom of age is like the fixed stars that shine so unchanged that the sailor may depend upon them to steer his course."

"'Mark you well my words, for if you do not you will fail to grasp the truth that I will tell you, and you will think that you night's work has been in vain.'"

"Then he looked at me shrewdly from under his shaggy brows and said in a low, forceful tone, 'I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. And so will you.'"

"Then he continued to look at me with a glance that I could feel pierce me but said no more."

"'Is that all?' I asked."

"'That was sufficient to change the heart of a sheep herder into the heart of a money lender.' he replied."

"'But all I earn is mine to keep, is it not?' I demanded."

"'Far from it,' he replied. 'Do you not pay the garment-maker? Do you not pay the sandal-maker? Do you not pay for the things you eat? Can you live in Babylon without spending? What have you to show for your earnings of the past month? What for the past year? Fool! You pay to everyone but yourself. Dullard, you labor for others. As well be a slave and work for what you master gives you to eat and wear. If you did keep for yourself one-tenth of all you earn, how much would you have in ten years?"

"My knowledge of the numbers did not forsake me, and I answered, 'As much as I earn in one year.'"

"'You speak but half the truth," he retorted. 'Every gold piece you save is a slave to work for you. Every copper it earns is its child that also can earn for you. If you would become wealthy, then what you must earn, and its children must earn, that all may help you give the abundance you crave."

"'You think I cheat you for your long night's work,' he continued, 'but I am paying you a thousand times over if you have the intelligence to grasp the truth I offer you."

"'A PART OF ALL YOU EARN IS YOURS TO KEEP. It should not be less than a tenth no matter how little you earn. It can be as much more as you can afford. Pay yourself first. Do not buy from the clothes-maker and the sandal-maker more than you can pay out of the rest and still have enough for food and charity and penance to the gods."

"'Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.'"

"So saying, he took his tablets and went away."

"I thought much about what he had said to me, and it seemed reasonable. So I decided that I would try it. Each time I was paid I took one from each ten pieces of copper and hit it away. And strange as it may seem, I was no shorter of funds than before. I noticed little difference as I managed to get along without it. But often I was tempted, as my hoard began to grow, to spend it for some of the good things the merchants displayed, brought by camels and ships from the land of the Phoenicians. But I wisely refrained."

"A twelfth month after Algamish had gone he again returned and said to me, 'Son, have you paid to yourself not less than one-tenth of all you have earned for the past year?"

"I answered proudly, 'Yes, master, I have.'"

"'That is good,' he answered, beaming upon me, 'and what have you done with it?'"

"'I have given it to Azmur, the bricklayer, who told me he was traveling over the far seas and in Tyre he would buy for me the rare jewels of the Phoenicians. When he returns we shall sell these at high prices and divide the earnings.'"

"'Every fool must learn,' he growled, 'but why trust the knowledge of a brick-maker about jewels? Would you go to the bread-maker to inquire about the stars? No, by my tunic, you would go to the astrologer, if you had the power to think. Your savings are gone, youth; you have jerked your wealth tree up by the roots. But plant another. Try again. And next time if you have advice about jewels, go to the jewel merchant. If you would know the truth about sheep, go to the herdsman. Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having. He who takes advice about his savings from one who is inexperienced in such matters, shall pay with his savings for proving the falsity of their opinions.' Saying this, he went away."

"And it was as he said. For the Phoenicians are scoundrels and sold to Azmur worthless bits of glass that looked like gems. But as Algamish had bid me, I again saved each tenth copper, for I now had formed the habit and it was no longer difficult."

"Again, twelve months later, Algamish came to the room of the scribes and addressed me. 'What progress have you make since last I saw you?'"

"'I have paid myself faithfully,' I replied, 'and my savings I have entrusted to Agger the shield-maker, to buy bronze, and each fourth month he does pay me the rental.'"

"'That is good. And what do you do with the rental?"

"'I do have a great feast with honey and fine wine and spiced cake. Also I have bought me a scarlet tunic. And some day I shall buy me a young ass upon which to ride.'"

"To which Algamish laughed, 'You do eat the children of your savings. Then how do you expect them to work for you? First get thee an army of golden slaves and then many a rich banquet may you enjoy without regret.' So saying he again went away."

Nor did I again see him for two years, when he once more returned and his face was full of deep lines and eyes drooped, for he was becoming a very old man. And he said to me, 'Arkad, hast thou yet achieved the wealth thou dreamed of?'

"And I answered, 'Not yet all that I desire, but some I have and it earns more, and its earnings earn more.'"

"'And do you still take the advice of the brick-makers?'"

"'About brick-making they give good advice,' I retorted.

"'Arkad,' he continued, 'you have learned your lessens well. You first learned to live upon less than you could earn. Next you learned to seek advice from those who were competent through their own experiences to give it. And, lastly, you have learned to make gold work for you.

"'You have taught yourself how to acquire money, how to keep it, and how to use it. Therefore, you are competent for a responsible position. I am becoming and old man. My sons think only of spending and give no thought to earning. My interests are great and I fear too much for me to look after. Go to Nippur and look after my lands there. And as the value of my lands increases, so shall I increase the gold I pay you for your efforts.'"

"So I went to Nippur and took charge of his holdings, which were large. And because I was full of ambition and because I had mastered the three laws of successfully handling wealth, I was enabled to increase greatly the value of his properties. So I prospered much, and when the spirit of Algamish departed for the sphere of darkness, I did continue to follow his precepts and so greatly increased my own holdings."

So spoke Arkad, and when he had finished his tale, one of his friends said, "You were indeed fortunate that Algamish made of you the manager of his lands."

"Fortunate only in that I had the desire to prosper before I first met him. For four years did I not prove my definiteness of purpose by keeping one-tenth of all I earned? Would you call a fisherman lucky who for years so studied the habits of the fish that with each changing wind he could cast his nets about them? Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared."

"You had strong will power to keep on after you lost your first year's savings. You are unusual in that way," spoke up another.

"Will power!" retorted Arkad. "What nonsense! Do you think will power gives a man the strength to lift a burden the camel cannot carry, or to draw a load the oxen cannot budge? Will power is but the unflinching purpose to carry a task you set for yourself to fulfillment. If I set for myself a task, be it ever so trifling, I shall see it through. How else shall I have confidence in myself to do important things? Should I say to myself, 'For a hundred days as I walk across the bridge into the city, I will pick from the road a pebble and cast it into the stream,' I would do it. If on the seventh day I passed by without remembering, I would not say to myself, 'Tomorrow I will cast two pebbles which will do as well.' Instead, I would retrace my steps and cast the pebble. Nor on the twentieth day would I say to myself, 'Arkad, this is useless. What does it avail you to cast a pebble every day? Throw in a handful and be done with it. When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure."

And then another friend spoke up and said, "If what you tell is true, and it does seem as you have said, reasonable, then being so simple, if all men did it, there would not e enough wealth to go around."

"Wealth grows wherever men exert energy," Arkad replied. "If a rich man builds him a new palace, is the gold he pays out gone? No, the brick-maker has part of it and the laborer has part of it, and the artist has part of it. And everyone who labors upon the house has part of it. yet when the palace is completed, is it not worth all it cost? And is the ground upon which it stands not worth more because it is there? And is the ground that adjoins it not worth more because it is there? Wealth grows in magic ways. No man can prophesy the limit of it. Have not the Phoenicians built great cities on barren coasts with the wealth that comes from their ships of commerce on the seas?"

"What then do you advise us to do that we also may become rich?" asked still another of his friends. "The years have passed and we are no longer young men and we have nothing put by."

"I advise that you take the wisdom of Algamish and say to yourselves, 'A part of all I earn is mine to keep.' Say it in the morning when you first arise. Say it at noon. Say it at night. Say it each hour of every day. Say it to yourself until the words stand out like letters of fire across the sky.

"Impress yourself with the idea. Fill yourself with the thought. Then take whatever portions seem wise. Let it be not less than one-tenth and lay it by. Arrange your other expenditures to do this if necessary. But lay by that portion first. Soon you will realize what a rich feeling it is to own a treasure upon which you alone have claim. As it grows it will stimulate you. A new joy of life will thrill you. Greater efforts will come to you to earn more. For of your increased earnings, will not the same percentage be also yours to keep?

"Then learn to make your treasure work for you. Make it your slave. Make its children and its children's children work for you."

"Insure an income for thy future. Look thou at the aged and forget not that in the days to come thou also will be numbered among them. Therefore invest thy treasure with greatest caution that it be not lost. Usurious rates of return are deceitful sirens that sing but to lure the unwary upon the rocks of loss and remorse.

"Counsel with wise men. Seek the advice of men whose daily work is handling money. Let them save you from such an error as I myself made in entrusting my money to the judgement of Azmur, the brick-maker. A small return and a safe one is far more desirable than risk."

"Enjoy life while you are there. Do not overstrain or try to save too much. If one-Tenth of all you earn is as much as you can comfortable keep, be content to keep this portion. Live otherwise according to your income and let not yourself get niggardly and afraid to spend. Life is good and life is rich with things worth-while and things to enjoy."

His friends thanked him and went away. Some were silent because they had no imagination and could not understand. Some were sarcastic because they thought that one so rich should divide with old friends no so fortunate. But some had in their eyes a new light. They realized that Algamish had come back each time to the room of the scribes because he was watching a man work his way out of darkness into light. When that man had found the light, a place awaited him. No one could fill that place until he had for himself worked out his own understanding, until he was ready for opportunity.

These latter were the ones, who, in the following years frequently revisited Arkad, who received them gladly. he counseled with them and gave them freely of his wisdom as men of broad experience are always glad to do. And he assisted them in so investing their savings that it would bring in a good interest with safety and would neither be lost nor entangled in investments that paid no dividends.

The turning point in these men's lives came upon that day when they realized the truth that had come from Algamish to Arkad and from Arkad to them.

"A part of all you earn is yours to keep"

3 lessons:

"A part of all you earn is yours to keep"

Seek advice from those who were competent through their own experiences to give it.

Make gold work for you - reinvest

Notes from Dr. Thomas Morris's lecture
(Notre Dame & St. Thomas Church)
09/12/91 @ MCC

Live within a moral framework

Three pressures on ethics

Exclusive short term thinking

Exclusive bottom line thinking

Exclusive self-centered thinking

Beliefs + Desires = Decisions
Beliefs/values connected

"Know Thy Self" - very important

The Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Three keys to wisdom and virtue

Network with sages - you become like the people you associate with

Take care in little things - they add up

Develop a perceptive imagination

Imagination is more important than knowledge itself - (Einstien?)

With each decision - Am I becoming the person I want to be?

Death is more universal than Life: Everyone Dies but not everyone Lives.

Roger Schank
December 1991
BYTE p.371

Questions Are the important thing. Answers are less important. Learning to ask good questions is the heart of intelligence. Learning the answer--well, answers are for students. Questions are for thinkers. And there are three kinds of questions:

(1) Reasons : What goals does a relevant actor have?
(2) Causation: What chain of events caused an event to take place?
(3) Outcomes : What will happen next?

Ben Smith
1991 BYTE p. 372

And as we become dependent on seeing the world through our highly evolved computer systems, we become intolerant of the slower and less predictable world of normal human communications. We become impatient. We filter out the subtleties of conversation. Eventually, we will eliminate the richest aspect of our lives: the real world around us. Instead of computers becoming extensions of us, we become little more than extensions of our computers.

Maturity Is

To be able to stick to a job until finished,
To be able to bear an injustice without wanting to get even,
To be able to carry money without spending it,
To do one's duty without being supervised.

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
Psalm 145:18 KJV

Nine Critical Beliefs In Managing People

Extracted from: Kishwaukee Independent, Wednesday 16, 1992 p.14.
List given by: Charles Cawley, President & CEO, NBMA America

* No one is a employee, but rather as a person

Customer satisfaction must be a set, unswerving goal above all others.

Everyone must know of the absolute obsession with quality.

Customer satisfaction must be measured daily and everyone rewarded when it is achieved.

Hire people who like other people.

Let people know what to expect and what is expected of them.

Educate people from the time they are hired.

Create an environment that makes people feel good and supports their enthusiastic pursuit of customer satisfaction.

Treat people like customers.

Think of yourself as a customer.

A Walden passage
Henry David Thoreau

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves. I had not lived there a week before my feet wore a path from my door to the pond-side; and though it is five or six years since I trod it, it is still quite distinct. It is true, I fear that others may have fallen into it, and so helped to keep it open. The surface of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men; and so with the paths which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity! I DID NOT WISH TO TAKE A CABIN PASSAGE, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Deming's 14 Points

1. Create constancy of purpose
2. Adopt the new philosophy
3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality
4. Cease doing business on the basis of price tag alone
5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service
6. Institute training on the job
7. Institute leadership
8. Drive out fear so that everyone may work effectively
9. Break down barriers between departments
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets
11. Eliminate numerical quotas
12. Allow pride in workmanship
13. Institute a program of self-improvement
14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation

It was not the apple on the tree,
but the pair on the ground,
I believe,
That caused the trouble in the garden.

M.D. O'Connor

Abraham Lincoln

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more then your income.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.

You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do themselves.

By Charles Swindoll

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It's more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company. . .a church. . .a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We can not change our past. . .we cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. . .I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. . .we are in charge of our Attitudes."

(Notes taken)
By Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

Ch 4

If your inventories haven't gone down... and your employees expense was not reduced... and if your company isn't selling more products-which obviously it can't, if you're not shipping more of them-then you can't tell me these robots increased your plant's productivity.

Ch 5

The goal of a manufacturing organization is to make money.

If the goal is to make money, than an action that moves us toward making money is productive.  And an action that takes away from making money is non-productive.

Ch 6

Three measurements which are central to knowing if the company is making money:  net profit, ROI, and cash flow.

I would want to see increases in net profit and return on investment and cash flow - all three of them.  And I would want to see all three of them increase all the time.

From the above, the goal:  To make money by increasing net profit, while simultaneously increasing return on investment, and simultaneously increasing cash flow.

Ch 8

There is more than one way to express the goal.

The goal to increase net profit, while simultaneously increasing both ROI and cash flow is equal to the goal of making money.

Three measurements which express the goal of making money:  Throughput, Inventory, Operational Expense.

Throughput - The rate at which the system generates money through sales.

Inventory - All the money that the system has invested in purchasing things which it intends to sell.

Operational Expense - The money the system spends in order to turn inventory into throughput.

Ch 9

Another goal derivation:  Increase throughput while simultaneously reducing both inventory and operating expense.

Ch 10

Each one of those definitions contains the word money.  Throughput is the money coming in.  Inventory is the money currently inside the system.  Operational expense is the money we have to pay out to make throughput happen.  One measurement for the incoming money, one for the money still stuck inside, and one for the money going out.

All employee time - whether it's direct or indirect, idle time or operating time, is operational expense.

The market determines the value of the product.  In order for the corporation to make money, the value of the product - and the price we're charging - has to be greater than the combination of the investment in inventory and the total operational expense per unit of what we sell.

Ch 11

There is a mathematical proof which could clearly show that when capacity is trimmed exactly to marketing demands, no more and no less, throughput goes down, while inventory goes through the roof.  Because inventory goes up, the carrying cost (an operational expense) goes up.

A manufacturing line experiences dependent events and statistical fluctuations.

 Dependent:  One step depends on the previous one(s)
 Statistical Fluctuations:  Items that cannot be precisely determined.

Most of the factors critical to running your plant successfully cannot be determined precisely ahead of time.

Ch 13

If we're all walking at about the same pace, why is the distance between Ron, at the front of the line, and me, at the end of the line, increasing?

As long as each of us is maintaining a normal, moderate pace like Ron, the length of the column is increasing.  Except between Herbie and the kid in front of him.  Every time Herbie gets a step behind, he runs for an extra step.

The catch:  I see Davey slow down for a few seconds.  He's adjusting his packstraps.  In front of him, Ron continues onward, oblivious.  A gap of ten... fifteen... twenty feet opens up.  Which means the entire line has grown by 20 feet.

There are limits:  Can only go as fast as I am capable, and/or as fast at the person/event ahead of me.  I can go as slow as I want.

Ch 14

This chapter displays the 'matches' production line.  With five pans lined up on a table (manufacturing stations), a die is to be rolled at one station at a time and the number rolled is the amount of matches processed by that station (that can then be moved to the next station).  As the die is rolled, matches start to accumulate and the average production of 3.5 matches per round falls short (about 2.0 matches per round).  The charting of the 'work in process' depicts a tumbling line for the stations at the end of the production line.

Ch 15

Manufacturing always makes the end of the line run to catch up - never slow the front of the line down.

So one operation can produce faster than the rest - so what - does this produce more product.  No.  Only enough product can be produced by the slowest operation.

Ch 17

If operation #1 can process a variable amount of product in a set amount of time - and operation #2 can only process a SET amount of product in a set amount of time then operation #1 can only usefully produce the amount of product in a time frame that operation #2 can process.

 "The maximum deviation of a preceding operation will become the starting point of a subsequent operation."

Ch 18

We have to change the way we think about production capacity.  We cannot measure the capacity of a resource in isolation.  Its true productivity capacity depends upon where it is in the plant.  And trying to level capacity with demand to minimize expenses has really screwed us up.

What we know now is that we shouldn't be looking at each local area and trying to trim it.  We should be trying to optimize the whole system.  Some resources have to have more capacity than others.  The ones at the end of the line should have more than the ones at the beginning - sometimes a lot more.

A bottleneck is any resource whose capacity is equal to or less than the demand placed upon it.  And a non-bottleneck is any resource whose capacity is greater than the demand placed on it.

You should not balance capacity with demand.  What you need to do instead is balance flow of product through the plant with demand from the market.  This is the first of nine rules that express the relationships between bottlenecks and non-bottlenecks and how you should manage your plant.

Balance Flow, Not Capacity.

Bottlenecks are not necessarily bad-or good - they are simply a reality.  Where they exist you must use them to control the flow through the system and into the market.

To find the bottleneck:

First, have to know the market demand for the product.  Second, have to know how much time each resource has to contribute toward filling the demand.  If the number of available hours for production (discounting maintenance time for machines, lunch and breaks for people, and so on) for the resource is equal to or less than the hours demanded - the bottleneck.

Processes can be divided into 'work centers' - groups of people and/or machines with the same resources.

Searching the numbers is one way to find a bottleneck - if the numbers are good.  A second method is to talk to the people on the floor and see where they think the backup is taking place.

Bottlenecks probably have huge amounts of work in process in front of them.

Ch 19

Bottlenecks stay bottlenecks - just find enough capacity for the bottlenecks to become more equal to demand.

On a non-bottleneck resource some idle time is acceptable - even expected.  On a bottleneck resource this is quite the opposite.  The throughput of the system depends on the throughput of this the slowest part of the system.  An hour of lost production on this resource is an hour lost for the system.

Do all of the parts going to a bottleneck have to go to a bottleneck.  Some parts are reject parts as they wait for the bottleneck - so weed them out before the bottleneck wastes processing time on a reject part.  Recheck that some of the parts do not need to be processed by the bottleneck - maybe they simply don't need to be.

Don't have bottlenecks work on parts to go into 'inventory' when it could be working on parts to go into sales.

The operational costs of a bottleneck resource to sit idle for one hour is the sum of the costs of each resource for the product to sit idle for one hour.

Ch 25

Activating a non-bottleneck resource in excess of a bottleneck resource just ends up with excess inventory of the non-bottleneck part.

Rule number two:  Activating a resource and utilizing it are not synonymous.

Ch 26

Cut batch sizes in half for non-bottleneck resources and more money will be made.  With batch sizes cut in half, then there will be half the work in process on the floor.  Even cutting batch sizes of delivered items from vendors.  In all, less money will be tied up in inventory - better cash flow.

From the time a piece of material enters the plant to the time it leaves the plant it goes through four 'elements.'

 Setup - The time it waits for the resource, while the resource prepares to work on the part.

 Process Time - The amount of time spent being modified into a new form.

 Que Time - The amount of time it waits for a resource which is working on a different part.

 Wait Time - The amount of time it waits, not for a resource, but for another part, so that it can be assembled.

Setup and Process are small amounts of time.  Que and Wait are immense.

Que is dominant at bottleneck resources.  Wait is dominant at non-bottleneck resources.


A person/company should never be satisfied.  There should always be change - change for improvement.

Everybody needs to know the constraints.  Every persons move should be made in consideration with the constraints.

The first step is to remove the resistance to change. 


Notes from "The Alchemist"
by Paulo Coelho

English version (c) 1993 by HarperSanFrancisco, a division of Harper Collins Publishers.
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-250218-6
ISBN-10: 0-06-250218-2


"What is our Personal Calling? It is God's blessing, it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth."

Four obstacles:
1) We are told everything is impossible
2) Love - thinking we should not pursue it out of love of others - but others would love us better if we did pursue it.
3) Fear of pathway defeats
4) Fear of realizing the dream

"The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and get up eight times." (importance simply on getting up one more time than you fall down).

"...if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here."


  "Whenever he could, he sought out a new road to travel."
jw: Something that also touches me.

  "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting..."

  "...dreams are the language of God."

  "When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person's life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but not about his or her own."

  What is the world's greatest lie?
  "...that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie."

  But let's say that the most important [reason] is that you have succeeded in discovering your Personal Legend.
  It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.
  At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.

  ...there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.
  The Soul of the World is nourished by people's happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realize one's Personal Legend is a person's only real obligation. All things are one.
  In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important for them than their own Personal Legends.

  People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being. Maybe that's why they give up on it so early too.

  The boy felt jealous of the freedom of the wind, and saw that he could have the same freedom. There was nothing to hold him back except himself.

  In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.

  Don't forget that everything you deal with is only one thing and nothing else. An don't forget the language of omens. And, above all, don't forget to follow your Personal Legend through to its conclusion.

  "A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.
  "Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platter of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man's attention.
  "The wise man listened attentively to the boy's explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn't have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.
  "Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,' said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. `As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.'
  "The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.
  "`Well,' asked the wise man, `did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?'
  "The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
  "`Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,' said the wise man. `You cannot trust a man if you don't know his house.'
  "Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of at on the ceilings and walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything that he had seen.
  "`But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?' asked the wise man.
  "Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.
  "`Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,' said the wisest of wise men. `The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.'"
  The shepherd said nothing. He had understood the story the old king had told him. A shepherd may like to travel, but he should never forget about his sheep.

  The sale of his sheep had left him with enough money in his pouch, and the boy knew that in money there was magic; whoever has money is never really alone.

  He recalled that when the sun had risen that morning, he was on another continent, still a shepherd with sixty sheep, and looking forward to meeting with a girl. That morning he had known everything that was going to happen to him as he walked through the familiar fields. But now, as the sun began to set, he was in a different country, a stranger in a strange land, where he couldn't even speak the language. He was no longer a shepherd, and he had nothing, not even the money to return and start everything over.

  When I had my sheep, I was happy, and I made those around me happy. People saw me coming and welcomed me, he thought. But now I'm sad and alone. I'm going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me. I'm going to hate those who have found their treasure because I never found mine. And I'm going to hold on to what little I have, because I'm too insignificant to conquer the world.

  "I'm like everyone else - I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does."

  He looked around at the empty plaza again, feeling less desperate than before. This wasn't a strange place; it was a new one.

  He walked slowly through the market. The merchants were assembling their stalls, and the boy helped a candy seller to do his. The candy seller had a smile on his face: he was happy, aware of what his life was about, ready to begin a day's work. His smile reminded the boy of the old man - the mysterious old king he had met. "This candy merchant isn't making candy so that later he can travel or marry a shopkeeper's daughter. He's doing it because it's what he wants to do," thought the boy. He realized that he could do the same thing the old man had done - sense whether a person was near to or far from his Personal Legend. Just by looking at them. It's easy, and yet I've never done it before, he thought.

  "Well, why don't you go to Mecca now?" asked the boy.
  "Because it's the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That's what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible cafe. I'm afraid that if my dream is realized, I'll have no reason to go on living.

  But the sheep had taught him something even more important: that there was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time that he was trying to improve things at the shop. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.

  But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things.

  But he was excited at his intuitive understanding of the camel driver's comment: maybe he was also learning the universal language that deals with the past and the present of all people. "Hunches," his mother used to call them. The boy was beginning to understand that intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it's all written there.

  But the disaster taught me to understand the word of Allah: people need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.

  "You should pay more attention to the caravan," the boy said to the Englishman, after the camel driver had left. "We make a lot of detours, but we're always heading for the same destination."
  "And you ought to read more about the world," answered the Englishman. "Books are like caravans in that respect."

  When you want something with all your heart, that's when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It's always a positive force."

  The camel driver, though, seemed not to be very concerned with the threat of war.
  "I'm alive," he said to the boy, as they ate a bunch of dates one night, with no fires and no moon. "When I'm eating, that's all I think about. If I'm on the march, I just concentrate on the marching. If I have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other.
  "Because I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man. You'll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we're living right now."

  Because people become fascinated with pictures and words, and wind up forgetting the Language of the World.

  He had lived every one of his days intensely since he had left home so long ago. If he died tomorrow, he would already have seen more than other shepherds, and he was proud of that.

  "It's not what enters men's mouths that's evil" said the alchemist. "It's what comes out of their mouths that is."

  Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.

  "Fatima is a woman of the desert," said the alchemist. "She knows that men have to go away in order to return. And she already has her treasure: it's you. Now she expects that you will find what it is you're looking for."
  "Well, what if I decide to stay?"
  "Let me tell you what will happen. You'll be the counselor of the oasis. You have enough gold to buy many sheep and many camels. You'll marry Fatima, and you'll both be happy for a year. You'll learn to love the desert, and you'll get to know every one of the fifty thousand palms. You'll watch them as they grow, demonstrating how the world is always changing. And you'll get better and better at understanding omens, because the desert is the best teacher there is."
  "Sometime during the second year, you'll remember about the treasure. The omens will begin insistently to speak of it, and you'll try to ignore them. You'll use your knowledge for the welfare of the oasis and its inhabitants. The tribal chieftains will appreciate what you do. And your Camels will bring you wealth and power."
  "During the third year, the omens will continue to speak of your treasure and your Personal Legend. You'll walk around, night after night, at the oasis, and Fatima will be unhappy because she'll feel it was she who interrupted your quest. But you will love her, and she'll return your love. You'll remember that she never asked you to stay, because a woman of the desert knows that she must await her man. So you won't blame her. But many times you'll walk the sands of the desert, thinking that maybe you could have left . . . that you could have trusted more in your love for Fatima. Because what kept you at the oasis was your own fear that you might never come back. At that point, the omens will tell you that your treasure is buried forever."
  "Then, sometime during the fourth year, the omens will abandon you, because you've stopped listening to them. The tribal chieftains will see that, and you'll be dismissed from your position as counselor. But, by then, you'll be a rich merchant, with many camels and a great deal of merchandise. You'll spend the rest of your days knowing that you didn't pursue your Personal Legend, and now it's too late."
  "You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it's because it wasn't true love . . . the love that speaks the Language of the World."

  Men dream more about coming home than about leaving.

  "If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return."

  "The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom. [...]"

  "Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there."

  "But my heart is agitated," the boy said. "It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it's become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I'm thinking about her."
  "Well, that's good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say."

  "My heart is a traitor," the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. "It doesn't want me to go on."
  "That makes sense," the alchemist answered. "Naturally it's afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you've won."
  "Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?"
  "Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you're thinking about life and about the world."
  "You mean I should listen, even if it's treasonous?"
  "Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you'll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them."
  "You'll never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you'll never have to fear an unanticipated blow."

  "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
  "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

  [...] when he awoke, his heart began go tell him things that dame from the Soul of the World. It said that all people are happy have God within them.

  "What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved toward that dream. That's the point at which most people give up. It's the point at which, as they say in the language of the desert, one 'dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'
  "Every search begins with beginner's luck. And every search ends with the victor's being severely tested."
  The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.

  "When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there's no need at all to understand what's happening, because everything happens within you, and even men can turn themselves into the wind."

  The boy reached through the Soul of the World, and saw that it was part of the Soul of God. And he saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, coul perform miracles.

  I'm an old, superstitious Arab, and I believe in our proverbs. There's one that says, `Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.'