July 2008 From Kevin Knebl

7/1/08

Hello again to my friends, family, colleagues, and clients. Many of you know me personally through work, networking or through one of my speaking engagements related to sales skills, professional networking and personal development; and some of you may know me only by email and telephone. Welcome to everyone that’s new to this distribution list.

There are a lot of very smart and interesting people that I am fortunate to network with. We share books, movies, music and ideas that stimulate us. I'm always interested to learn what other people that I respect are reading, watching and listening to. This is my monthly email newsletter with books I’ve recently read, movies seen, music devoured, ideas and other things that may be of interest to you. If you find this interesting and would like to pass it on, please feel free to do so. If you’d like to be removed from this list just let me know. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you and you would like to be added to this distribution list or if you’d like to view previous newsletters, please email me and let me know.

A number of people have asked that I insert an announcement indicating whether I have any upcoming speaking engagements that are open to the public. I do have a few public speaking engagements this month in Colorado. If you have an interest in dates, times and speaking topics, please let me know.

I hope that your summer is in full swing (except you folks in New Zealand who are now into your winter season) and that you’re having a ball wherever you are receiving this.
The US Senior Open is being held at The Broadmoor, right here in beautiful Colorado Springs from July 31st through August 3rd. If you’re unfamiliar with the Broadmoor, it’s one of a handful of Five Star Resorts located in the US. We live across the street from the west side of The Broadmoor and I could put a Titleist on the first green of the Broadmoor West Course if I hit a good shot with my pitching wedge. This is the place where Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam both won their first tournaments as professional golfers.
My good friend Dirk Hobbs, has secured some VIP passes for Karin, myself and a few friends (thank you, thank you, Dirk), so we’ll be in the VIP tent having a great time for two days of the tournament. If you watch some of the rounds on TV, maybe you’ll see our mugs on the screen. If you go to www.broadmoor.com and look just to the left of the resort and just above the golf course you’ll see a small community with Spanish tile roofs- that’s us. That’s me waving- look close! Alright, you can’t see me, but I’m there.
It’s one of the nicest resorts in the country and President Bush stayed here last month when he was in town as the speaker for the US Air Force Academy commencement ceremony. If you’ve never been to The Broadmoor, it’s just one more reason (of many reasons) to come see beautiful Colorado Springs. C’mon….Karin is a great baker and we’ll leave a light on for you.

TWO BOOKS TO PUT ON YOUR MUST READ LIST

The Difference Maker: Making Your Attitude Your Greatest Asset- John Maxwell
Leadership guru John Maxwell is at it again. I don’t think this man sleeps- he must write 24/7. I lost count of the number of his books at about 50 something and about 13 million books sold. There are many books on attitude that have intricate methods and multi-step processes and this isn’t one of those books. It’s a concise read with great insights into what attitude is and also what it isn’t.
Here are a few great quotes:
“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove.”
“I think of attitude as an inward feeling expressed by outward behavior. People always project on the outside what they feel on the inside.”
As you read this book you may find examples that strike close to home. I found myself in a number of his examples, both good and not as good. What do they say- 75% of the people in the world have a low self-image and the other 25% have a bad attitude. This is a great read for both groups. Even people that typically choose to have a great attitude will admit that there are more benefits of choosing a great attitude than even they realize.
www.johnmaxwell.com

St. Francis- Nikos Kazantzakis
This is a fantastic novel from 1962 by the same author that wrote Zorba the Greek. Kazantzakis is often regarded as one of the best novelists of the 20th century. He weaves a description of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi that is not the usual tale of the famous saint. This isn’t the oft-told story of the holy man that talked to the birds. He has a brilliant way of drawing you in and revealing a human side of this famous saint. This is definitely his own rendition of the Francis story and Nikos paints a picture of a man struggling with and against the affluent and comfortable life that he was born into while rising above his situation to grasp his perception of the gospel. He renounces all prosperity and physical comforts through his teaching of “poverty, peace, love” and lives an amazing life in medieval Italy and across Europe.
Here are a few great quotes:
“Nothing is nearer to us than heaven. The earth is beneath our feet and we tread upon it, but heaven is within us.”
“We’re going to start with small, easy things; then, little by little, we shall try our hand at the big things. And after that, after we finish the big things, we shall undertake the impossible.”
“Who then is the perfect man? He who blends heart and mind harmoniously. What is the perfect order? That which has the heart for its foundation and allows the mind to build freely upon this foundation.”
“What is love, my brothers? He asked, opening his arms as though he wished to embrace us. “What is love? It is not simply compassion, not simply kindness. In compassion there are two: the one who suffers and the one who feels compassion. In kindness there are two: the one who gives and the one who receives. But in love there is only one; the two join, unite, become inseparable. The ‘I’ and the ‘you’ vanish. To love means to lose oneself in the beloved.”
There were times when reading this that I thought of the Opus Dei sect from The DaVinci Code, but all in all, I loved this book. Kazantzakis has a unique way of allowing the reader to see the human side of a figure that is often considered greater than human. Great read!

MUST GET MUSIC

Re-arranged- Little River Band
This Australian band is still around, going strong and they are as great as ever. They have 22 albums and continue to tour and perform about 100 shows each year in the US. This 2006 CD is full of their hits and they’ve rearranged them with a little harder rock edge. I have really enjoyed this CD. As I was listening to it, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t realized that it was LRB that had written and recorded all these great tunes. Every one of these songs is fantastic! Their first CD was released in 1975 and in 1980 they brought in an American named Wayne Nelson and he’s been their lead singer ever since. “Lady” and “Reminiscing” are staples of 70’s radio and these newer versions are just as good if not even better than the originals. Here are a few more titles that you may remember: “Long Way There”, “Take It Easy On Me”, “Help Is On Its Way”, “Cool Change”, and “Lonesome Loser”. They’re even playing in Pueblo, Colorado on 8/22 at the Colorado State Fair (I’ll be there). Get this CD and you’ll be reminiscing (I couldn’t resist…I tried, I really did.) about the 70’s and 80’s. These guys can rock and just seem to get better with age!
http://www.littleriverband.com

Chopin: Nocturnes- Maurizio Pollini
Ever since Pollini won the Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1960 he has been regarded as somewhat of a Chopin specialist. Chopin’s music is so beautiful and also fiendishly difficult to play (as a former professional pianist, I can assure you of this fact). About 95% of Chopin’s compositions are piano music and the remainders are some pieces for other instruments. If you are unfamiliar with Chopin’s music, watch The Pianist (2002). This is a phenomenal movie and I think that every piece in the movie is Chopin.
There are many Chopin pieces that most people recognize when they hear them. The Nocturnes are not as frequently played as many of his other pieces. The pieces range from 3 to 6 minutes long and they are transcendental and gorgeous. This 2006 2-CD set is the best rendition of Chopin’s Nocturnes that I’ve ever heard. Pollini’s playing is flawless and has tremendous soul. There are some musicians that play with amazing technical ability and the music can sometimes sound sterile and devoid of spirit. Pollini is at the other end of that extreme.
I’ve attached a clip of Pollini playing the Op.27 number 2 in D flat major. Perfection.
http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=6cxkLZoEFEk

A BRIEF INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO CLIP

This is a fantastic clip that was sent to me by my friend Dave Block (thanks, Dave). Glenn Beck is talking in this short clip about Irena Sendler, the woman in Nazi Germany who hid and saved the lives of many Jewish children and was tortured and almost killed when she was discovered, before she escaped. Glenn does a great job of explaining her life, and I can’t even begin to imagine the courage that this woman had.
This type of clip has special relevance for me since my father, Karl, who was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, was as a very young boy held in a concentration camp with his mother, brother and two sisters. The only one that survived was my father and he grew up in orphanages in Yugoslavia and Germany. His father was forcibly inducted into the German army and died somewhere on a battlefield in Poland during the war. His body was never recovered. Many people think that only Germans had concentration camps and that only Jews were in concentration camps, and that’s not true.
I’m not sending this for political reasons. I say this because Beck mentions who Irena was recently passed over for the Noble Peace Prize. I’m sure that we can all agree that Irena never did the things she did way back in the forties for a Noble Peace Prize. She did it because of who she was, and she lived and is still living her prize. I’m sure that Irena believed, as the Oscar Mayer Weiner folks say, “We answer to a higher authority”.
http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=OVw1PANUcdg

I NEED THIS HOUSE
When we were in New Zealand a few months ago we spent about 90% of our trip on the south island. We absolutely loved Queenstown and the surrounding area. The mountain range that Queenstown is located in is called The Remarkables and they are aptly named. This website has some homes for sale by the architectural firm, Slant. Go to “Properties” and click on “Arc”, Jagged Edge” and “Wave” for the Queenstown homes. The other two homes are on the north island and they’re also amazing. Make sure that you have your speakers on and watch the slide shows and the video fly-throughs for each of these five properties. We rented a six-seater plane and flew through and over the mountains to the sea. As you watch these video clips, they’re some of the same scenery that we saw and flew above. If you look closely in the “Arc” video you can see the road running along Lake Wakatipu that leads to the small hamlet of Paradise, which is where we did some horseback riding. Paradise was a location for some of The Lord of the Rings”. New Zealand is beyond words and these homes have some of the best views of Heaven, Shangri-La, Valhalla, Nirvana, Elysium or whatever you want to call the hereafter.
http://www.slant.co.nz/

BRILLIANT CLIP/HOPE…?
As of writing this, I’m spending about $100 each week on gas for my SUV. $4 gas is insane and it’s even worse where my brother, Matt, lives in Orange County, CA. This clip may put an end to that problem and we can only hope that it’s as soon as possible. This gentleman is a genius and he needs to be rewarded through the free enterprise system. 100 miles on 4 ounces of water? I have no problem with this guy becoming a billionaire…yesterday.
http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=CMovXzVOzc4

CHINESE ACROBATS CLIP
Was this done with mirrors? No, it’s actually a clip from a circus held in Monaco. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of practice that went into these acrobats perfecting their art. These people are amazing. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, they up the ante again and again. Enjoy.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=PRJxJdgc4Ng&feature=related

WINNER OF THE MONTHLY BIZARRE VIDEO CLIP AWARD

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The Leningrad Cowboys is a Finnish rock band that has some unbelievable outfits and hairstyles. They do covers of everyone from Frank Sinatra to Mettalica. This clip is from a music festival held in Berlin in 1994. I’ve seen some pretty weird stuff in my time, but this is in a league of its own. Who would have thunk…a Finnish rock band with sharp (literally sharp) hair, two foot long pointy-toed boots, the Red Russian Army Choir (yes, all 160 of them and they’re the real deal), and southern American, redneck rock and roll all mixed together in front of thousands of crazy German fans. This is like watching a bad car accident; you just can’t look away.
If you can still handle more, I’ve added another bonus clip of them from the same concert. You may need some time alone to decompress after watching this. I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself.
http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=0lNFRLrP014
http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=GzrBAEf12XY

SOME GREAT QUOTES

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life.” Sandra Carey

“Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.” Dandemis

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Ben Franklin

”For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.”

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Philo

“We have enough youth. How about a fountain of “smart”?” Unknown

“Happiness leads to achievement more than achievement leads to happiness.” Alan Cohen

“We are constantly faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” John Gardner

“In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.” Albert Schweitzer

“You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever.” Dave Barry

If you think that this will be of interest to someone that you know, please feel free to forward it on. If you have any thoughts or opinions on any of these recommendations or have recommendations of your own, please let me know- you never know where the conversation will go from there. As always, if you’d like to reach me, the easiest and fastest way is either by email or mobile phone.

To your success,
Kevin

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