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“The Early Bird Special — And The Biker…”

In this story, Michael Friedlander tells a true funny story about an experience he had during his adventure with cancer. He ends with a joke that mirrors the gifts his story offers…

Again, the gifts of his story are truly universal and can indeed make a difference for the better in the lives his story touches… As these gifts emerge from the story, you’ll see that they apply to almost anyone you can think of…

Please enjoy…

“A Doer’s Tale”…

In this story, Michael Friedlander tells a story that Steve Linde shared with him… Steve was the former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post…

The gifts of Steve’s story are truly universal and can indeed make a difference for the better in the lives his story touches… As they emerge from the story, you’ll see that they apply to almost anyone you can think of…

Please enjoy…

Re-launching Our Site And Program…

A message from Michael Friedlander…

Michael Friedlander
 Michael Friedlander, the founder of The-Gift-Tree

Hi All,

I thought I’d briefly explain some of the changes we’ve made to our site and program…

But why make any changes? Well, why not? 🙂 We’ve recently received such an outpouring of support that I thought now might be time for us to move forward to the next step.

Nothing’s really changed — too much!

Our site now has a slightly new “look.” And while our content now has a little more focus on video, our mission and goal has remained unchanged —

“Through the magic of storytelling, our mission and goal is to make a difference for the better in the lives of those we touch…”

As we move forward, we continue to believe in this John F. Kennedy’s timeless truth—

John F. Kennedy: We can – and we should!
John F. Kennedy: We can make a difference – and we should!

Continue reading Re-launching Our Site And Program…

Conventional Wisdom: Assume Nothing…

Never-assume-never-expect-just-hope-saying-quotes

A prologue to “Conventional Wisdom”…

I was nervous. It was 8am on the first day of my first job as an attorney in Johannesburg, South Africa. As I arrived in the office manager’s office, he handed me a note. The senior partner wanted me in his office the moment I arrived.

I reacted to the senior partner’s summons as any self-respecting insecure 23-year old new lawyer would have reacted: I freaked out… Could this be the shortest first job in legal or other history, I wondered? Had the senior partner already changed his mind about offering me the job? My anxiety was now spinning totally out of control…

With only unhappy thoughts swirling around my head, I somehow dragged myself up to his executive suite. Breathlessly, I knocked on his door…

Continue reading Conventional Wisdom: Assume Nothing…

Networking: The Gift Of A Gift…

I smiled as I thought about my first book of short stories for The-Gift-Tree. Why not start, I thought, with a story about networking and the gift of a gift? And that’s what made me smile! Indeed, why not?

Once upon a time…

T’was on a wintry New York afternoon almost 30 years ago. That was when I received the networking advice that would open so many doors for me. This advice would later help me realize some of my dreams. This was the advice I now want to share…

Not only did it also help me launch my first law firm, it would later give birth to this program. Did I then have any idea the difference this would make in my life? No, I had no idea. And I still don’t…

quote-succeeding-in-business-is-all-about-making-connections-richard-branson-84-46-36
Succeeding in business – Richard Branson

Continue reading Networking: The Gift Of A Gift…

An Icon’s Masterclass…

In the way distant past, I wrote a story about how, in trying to realize our dreams, we  should really take nothing for granted. To make my point, I wrote about how almost everyone who has ever read the story of  David and Goliath has taken it for granted that David, the small shepherder with only a modest slingshot and a few smooth small stones, was the underdog in his epic encounter with the giant, Goliath, with his suit of armor, shield and sharp, shiny, deadly weapons of war.

I wrote about how only David seems to have understood why he never regarded himself as the underdog in that encounter. And, for the reasons I described in that story, we now know he was right. Amusingly, we now know that the only underdog in that encounter was actually Goliath…

As this hopefully percolates furiously in your minds, I’ve another David and Goliath story for you. Like in the biblical tale, you might be tempted to treat the David in my latest story as the underdog in the encounter with his Goliath. But, if you are so tempted, you’d also be quite wrong…

mandela-enemies-quote

Continue reading An Icon’s Masterclass…

A Dancer’s Tale…

When Gillian Lynne was asked how she became a dancer, a charming and quite delightful tale emerged. Indeed, her answer entranced me. This is her tale.

Gillian Lynne
Dame Gillian Lynne

I also saw the tale as offering yet another example of the ever-present need to challenge conventional wisdom. I saw it as a wonderful example of how challenging conventional wisdom can sometimes help us bring dreams to life…

Continue reading A Dancer’s Tale…

A Father’s Gift…

When I first heard this story about a father’s gift to his son, I experienced one of those rare “Ah-Ha!” moments. I hope it’ll have the same effect on you.

This isn’t my story. It’s Richard Feynman’s story. Its about something his father had shared with him when he was very young. Its about something that I’m convinced can help us all realize our dreams…

For those who have never heard of Richard Feynman, we should really talk.

Until we do, I hope that, after reading this, you’ll know just a little more about him…

rockstars

Continue reading A Father’s Gift…

An Intelligence Test I Failed – Or Did I?

Prologue

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold “two opposed ideas” at the same time—and remain sane… Is this an intelligence test?

I think we’ve all been there, although some of us have found retaining our sanity in this situation a lot more difficult than others!

Fitzgerald – test of intelligence

Continue reading An Intelligence Test I Failed – Or Did I?

An Ethics Question For The Ages…

[This is an updated version of an earlier blog we published]

Why do some folks act unethically?

For me, this is “the-ethics-question-for-the-ages“:

“Just why do people act ethically in some situations, but those same people act unethically in other situations?”

I hate to disappoint you, but the answer ain’t at all clear to me…

Sure, I have some thoughts that I’ll share with you, but if you feel you must excoriate me for not knowing what I’m talking about, go right ahead. After all, who am I to deprive you of a little joy?  🙂

Despite not having a clear answer myself, though, I still find myself asking the question whenever I can.

Continue reading An Ethics Question For The Ages…

making a difference for the better…