“You will never be sorry for something you did not say” (Manuel Sand, 1985)

Manuel Sand was one of the main mentors of my early adult life. He is the most colourful man, intelligent and knowledgeable about life. Manuel’s conversations were always full of examples, metaphors, stories and jokes. I was in my twenties and I badly needed the guidance to made my way in life clearer. I used to come to Manuel with situations I had with people and the above phrase was often mentioned with connection to avoid using all your arguments as you make your point when dealing with a person. It does not matter who. In time, I found out how clever that piece of advice was.

“Winning is all in the mind” (David Jacobs, 1991)

David Jacobs was a senior consultant on the team of consultants that worked in “Synergy”, which later on became “Business Navigation”. The team of psychologists and David used to attend a weekly meeting to set the strategy of how to approach the consulting programmes that our company used to manage. Those conversations used to touch the most sensitive issues about the company of a customer: leadership, relationships and the harsh market of competition. David used to show us that inspiration only could come from within us. As the leader of the group, I was encouraged by David to create an atmosphere that would inspire winning in the team. David had “Winning is all in the mind”  framed and gave it to me to hang on the wall. That frame and phrase is still with me today.

“Never give up…. Never…” (Winston Churchill World War 2, 1943)

In the darkest days of the Second World War, things looked bad. London was enduring the onslaught of the Blitz, night after night. There was threat of an attack on the island that had not been conquered since the Roman Empire was real. In one of his speeches, Churchill, the legendary leader, coined this phrase. During the times that I was a leader, I knew how easy it was to sink down to despair, and from there to sink to the bottom, the point of no return.

“Life is better played without a script” (Joseph Priel, February 2004)

During the month of February, 7-year-old Keren Or suffered a life threatening injury in a road accident. Keren fought for her life and won. Her fast recovery that was more a miracle than a medical event, resulting from the hope, the belief, the will and power of Joseph, Edna, their family and friends. I shared some of the difficult moments of the wait, near the intensive care unit, in the cold and empty waiting room. While there, I had some conversations with Joseph about life and about how fragile we all are. “Life is better played without a script”. He took it from some an advert in a newspaper. Keren Or taught us the lesson of what a fierce fight is. All in all, we really do not know what tomorrow brings.

“Happy people do not offend” (Ofer Levy / Bucharest, January 2004)

Ofer was my guest on a visit to Romania at the beginning of 2004. During our long discussions about “life, love and motorcycles”, Ofer made this comment this in connection with the idea of forgiveness. I caught on to this as he spoke and wrote it down. I thought about how often we are offended by friends from who we expect only good. People offend through their frustrations, from their anger, from the unhappiness within them. When you look at it like this, it helps overcome your feelings of disappointment and anger, which usually makes us respond in a counter offense. Ofer is a true follower of his own theory. At times, I am amazed how calm he is in the face of unpleasant deeds and words of people around him. He looks at those events not as an arrogant viewer, but as a true believer that the whole offense has nothing to do with him, it’s not his, and he would not involve himself into it. Ofer is seldom angry with people. Is it not a way to live? Imagine how many friends we would have now if we had adopted this as a strategy in life. How better would our relationship be with those we love the most?

“The optimist sees an opportunity in every danger. The pessimist sees a danger in every opportunity.” (Winston Churchill)