As President of the United States, that’s what I would do. That’s right, and I’d slash corporate taxes to offset the increased labor costs, thereby creating a zero-sum game of sorts – so the government gets their fair share of taxes and companies can still make profits and thrive.
Let me explain.
For the past 6 years I’ve lived a creative life that wasn’t about the white-collar world and its 9-to-5 days filled with coffee breaks and softball games (or maybe now it’s soccer). In the creative world, getting a job to support your passion is all about blue-collar and minimum wage, not to mention how difficult it is to even get a job. And who can live off $8 an hour? Do the math: $8 x 7 hours (with your mandatory breaks) equals $56. After the government takes their share, let’s be generous and call it $50. Times 5 days a week equals $250 – a measly $1000 a month.
Now who can claim their Independence – let alone afford health insurance – on $1000 a month?
Nobody can, unless you share a studio apartment with 3 other people and eat peanut butter and bananas every day. Sure, you can get lucky and land a server or bartender job where you’ll earn tips on top of that, but it’s not that much more. Trust me, I know. And the work is stressful and grueling, so always remember to tip your wait staff. And go for the 20%…it makes a difference.
Today the news said that 20% of Americans are struggling to meet their financial needs on a day-to-day basis. That’s 1 out of every 5 Americans who can’t make ends meet. Way too many.
Being thoughtful of others can be quite elusive, especially when you’re dealing with some form of adversity in your life. Nevertheless, it’s something that makes for a better human experience, so always be conscious of how your actions – and inactions – will affect others.
Case in point: Yesterday I had the afternoon free and I was really looking forward to seeing the film Mud, with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon (I heard it was excellent!). And since my friend and I were running a bit late – which is usually the case in Los Angeles for a boatload of reasons – we knew we had minutes to spare once we got there. But as soon as we parked, my friend takes a call from her Mom.
Because she proceeded to have a heated discussion with her with no regard for me or the start of the movie. So what did I do? I waved for her to meet me inside, then I darted off to buy the tickets. And to wait…which I did for the next 15 minutes until I refunded our unused tickets and went back to the car – where my non-thoughtful friend was still arguing with her Mom.
So whatever your situation, remember that your actions will affect others…so Be Thoughtful.
Enjoy – R
PS – here’s a thoughtful clip from my AudioBook, Chapter 54 – Mother’s Day
A sixty year-old man stood watching me blast my biceps in the gym this morning before he approached me and said, “This is my very first time here and I think I know what to do, but not how to do it.” I relied, “To perfect your body in the gym, knowing what exercises to do is not enough. It takes perfect form – including your posture and breathing – in everything you do. Not to mention good focus and concentration, just like a surgeon would in the operating room.”
That’s right…like a surgeon in the operating room. Because getting results from any kind of exercise regime takes a seriousness that goes beyond just knowing what to do.
So if you’re one of those fitness buffs who thinks you can perfect your body with ‘speed and quantity’ rather than ‘precision and quality’, think again. No matter what you do in the fitness world – weights, yoga, pilates, or my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts – take your time, pay attention to your posture, breathe deeply and slowly and don’t hold your breath, and use perfect form.
Trust me, it works.
Because achieving a perfect body – or one that looks and feels 20 years younger like mine does – takes a hellava lot more than knowing what to do.
Set your sights on new goals and opportunities, and weigh in. That’s right, it’s New Year’s Day so get on the scale and check your body weight. Because your weight matters, and having a known starting point for the new year is important. And the next thing you should do is workout. That’s right: weigh in and workout. Because preserving your body starts with a daily fitness program. So set your sights for 2012, and know that exercising every single day helps push back the hands of time – and unnecessary pounds of time.
Today I weighed in at 151, then did 30 minutes of abs and yoga stretches, then 30 minutes of weight lifting (mostly machines). Afterward I drove the amazing 5 mile stretch from Hawaii Kai to the Makapuu Lighthouse, hugging the shoreline around the southeast corner of the Island as the waves crash into the rocks below. The certainly challenging but very do-able uphill run starting from the Kalanianaole Highway up to the Lighthouse, well, it ranks second only to my favorite – Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. Not that the 1.5 mile loop around the Reservoir in NY’s Central Park, or the beautiful West River Drive and the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps aren’t great runs too! But the breathtaking ocean views along the narrow blacktop road leading to the Lighthouse are incredible. Not to mention the energy you feel as you pass the lookout for the Humpback whale sanctuary. Totally awesome. And worth running or walking – at least once in a lifetime!
I never imagined I would be traveling this lovely Hawaiian path when I first set my sights on publishing my memoirs less than six months ago. So believe in yourself and believe that you can. Then get on the scale and get started with your daily fitness program. Wherever you are! And if you don’t know where to start, how about strengthening your core with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #81 – Plank Crunches. Happy New Year – R
We’ll soon begin a 30,000 journey across America visiting all 50 states – 100 Cities in 100 Days – to raise money for my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation. We teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. Ambitious? Yes. For a great cause? Yes. Impossible? Certainly not! I expect it to be life changing. For all of us, as well as all of you because we intend to EDUCATE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER and ENTERTAIN you with cool, trivia-filled workout videos from historical sites everywhere.
Here’s me teaching the women and children at the San Diego domestic violence shelter:
Here’s the Hollywood Sneak Peek Trailer for my Fat Burn America Tour. Enjoy! – R
It felt like a ghost-town when I walked into the gym this morning at 6am. I expected it to be light because of the holiday, but it was barren. And as I was making my way past the Chest machines, this older gentleman sat up tall and said to me, “I’ll glad you’re here.” Of course, right. Because when it comes to a daily fitness program, sometimes it helps to get a little boost from your compatriots. Let’s face it, honoring our Nation’s Independence deserves a day off from exercise, right? Wrong. That’s all the more reason to honor yourself and your freedom with a strong body – clear mind. So don’t let the Fourth of July festivities spoil your routine. Grab a fellow barbecuer and challenge yourself with today 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #95 – Dancer’s Pose. Enjoy – R
The other night I had dinner with Stephani Drapeau, my dear friend and co-star of my film, Boulevard Zen. We were discussing the concept of “freeing your mind and your soul” from anything that prevents you from evolving to a higher level. That is to say, letting go of the “ties that bind” you to past beliefs, or rather, disbeliefs about your dreams, your desires, and your life’s destiny. Because when you free your mind and your soul, you evolve to a much better and brighter place. A place where anything is possible if you truly believe it. So make a conscious effort to become Free Squared, especially when it comes to fat burning and a daily fitness routine. Because anyone and everyone has at least 5 minutes a day to respect themselves with a little exercise. So enjoy firming your Core & Abs with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #97 – Side Plank. My best – R
I just read an LA Times editorial by Randy Lewis expressing his appreciation for the late Clarence Clemons. Similar to Randy, I’ve also been a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band fan for more than 35 years now. And I agree with Randy that, “Clemons was there to express that which transcended mere language.” Because with the Boss and the Big Man, it was about reaching into your mind, body and soul to echo feelings and images, not just sounds. I still remember a bootleg version of Prove it All Nightfrom 1979 with the Boss’s heart-felt guitar riff and the Big Man’s incredible sax. “The wondrous thing about Clemons was that everything he played, in solos or accompanying his bandmates, was astonishingly simple from a technical viewpoint.” Thanks for pointing that out Randy, especially to us non-sax people, because technical simplicity should also apply to your daily fitness program. So keep it simple and technically correct with today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #98 – Elevator Squats. And thank you Clarence Clemons! RIP – R
Oftentimes we receive compliments from friends or people we recently met, and just let them slide off us without really absorbing their energy. That is to say, really taking compliments to heart and warming yourself with the admiration. Especially guys. We can easily prefer criticisms to compliments because of our male conditioning. But it’s OK for anyone to basque in the moment of the compliment. Like what happened to me this morning. I saw a friend in the gym I haven’t seen in a while who complimented me on my film, Boulevard Zen, and my 100 days of blogs when she went on about how she loved the film’s characters, and my “totally believable” girlfriend, and my “powerful blogs”, until she finally said, “And you know what Rich Tola, you got heart.” Now that made my day. And why shouldn’t it, right? So take note and absorb that positive energy. Take compliments to Heart! And enjoy firming your Core & Abs as we countdown with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #99 – Core Power II. – R