JoeMillerLaw - March April 2020

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What It Takes to Change Your Perspective $1 MILLION FROMWARREN BUFFETT

There was a guy sitting on a park bench in Omaha, Nebraska, sobbing his eyes out with his head in his hands. An old man walks by and asks if he’s okay. The guy explains that he owns a factory in the next town that has been in his family for three generations. They employ the whole town, but now he has to declare bankruptcy and sell the company. At this point, the old man starts asking a bunch of questions. After an hour of really digging into the situation, the old man says, “My friend, there’s nothing wrong with your company. You have a great product and a great company. Your problem is cash flow! Do you know who I am?” “Well, my name is Warren Buffett, and I buy companies like yours that are in distress. And when the company is successful again, I get paid back.” Warren Buffett offered to write the factory owner a check for $1 million, on the condition that they meet back in a year and the man returns the money plus $250,000. Of course, the factory owner is ecstatic. He thanks Warren Buffett and runs back home as fast as he can to show everyone. Then he takes action, telling the people at his business what they need to do to make the check worth it. “No.”

check. He likes looking at it so much that he wants to hold onto the check for a bit longer. He ends up framing the check in his office, all the while making phone calls to renegotiate loans and rebuild the company. Three months later, his lawyers call to tell him they no longer have to file for bankruptcy. A year after the fateful meeting with Buffett, the company is turning an amazing profit and has grown dramatically. The factory owner never deposits the check. In fact, he goes back to the park bench ready to return Warren Buffett’s original check and then some. Sure enough, Warren Buffett is there, but before the man can give him the check, he’s interrupted by two people in white coats who call the old man Henry. They’re doctors who explain that the old man is a resident from a nearby retirement home who gets really into his acting lessons. I first heard this story a few weeks ago during a speaking event hosted by Charlie Harary, author of “Unlocking Greatness: The Unexpected Journey from the Life You Have to the Life You Want.” Harary starts each of his public speaking events with this story, and it’s easy to see why. His message is about rewiring your brain to achieve more. Though the check was never real, the factory owner still managed to turn his whole company around. He didn’t need $1 million. He just needed to “He didn’t give you any checks, did he?” they ask in a panic.

change his attitude, or his “schema,” as Harary would say.

Your schema is the psychological filter from which you view the world. Nobody really lives in “reality” because our brains are incapable of picking up all the data and information in the world around us. Instead, it filters things out and leaves only what we think is most important. This is our schema. It’s what we believe about ourselves, the world, and our own potential. Someone with a schema that says it’s okay to take risks will find more success because they’re willing to go after the unknown. Meanwhile, someone with a schema that insists they aren’t good enough will always struggle. In his speech, Harary presented scientific research that shows we can change our schema. This is what “Unlocking Greatness” is all about. What if instead of looking at a new challenge and thinking, “I’m not good enough to do that,” you instead thought, “What a great opportunity!” What would you accomplish if your brain wasn’t standing in your way? The story about the $1 million check highlights exactly what our schemas are capable of. In the beginning of the story, the factory owner had already decided that he was a failure and that his business was over. Then he gets handed a check and suddenly his perception changes. With $1 million in his hand, his schema

The next day he’s at the bank, and the factory owner realizes that he’s not ready to cash the

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If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-667-8295 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies That Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. Call now, before it’s too late.

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