Read Next

Goodbye 2012

I'm sitting by a crackling fire at my aunt and uncle's house in New Jersey and we're just a couple hours into the new year, which means that it's a perfect time to review the year and look forward.

If I were to title my year, I'd call it the year I got serious. Something interesting happened near the end of 2011-- I realized that I wasn't actually on track for a lot of my goals, that I was going to have to actually get serious about stuff, and that this seriousness had to come in the form of action, not talk. I ended 2011 with a few months of solid productivity under my belt, and a year-end post that optimistically predicted a productive year.

I'm happy to say that the productive year materialized, and that my focus on getting serious has intensified.

When I was young, maybe third grade or so, a psychologist did a study at my middle school. We answered some questions and were offered two choices: a small prize now or a large prize later. I took the small prize now. I think knew it was the wrong move at the time, but the pack of stickers on the table looked like a lot of fun. Later on the big prizes were given to the waiters in such a way that I was able to see what they got. Sure enough, their prizes were a lot better and my stickers were long gone.

Poor Salesmanship


A slight dust kicks up in the hot air, walking in the shadow of China World in Beijing.

It's a city with some of the best salesmanship in the world -- and some of the world.

The Chinese hustle. They work hard and constantly, relentlessly sell.

But sometimes their sales skills need some work.

I'm walking past a booth adverting a gym with swimming pool, tennis, and nice facilities.

Rendering New Theme...