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To acquire knowledge, one must study,

but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.


Science without religion is lame,

Religion without science, is blind.


Doubt kills more dreams

than failure ever will.


He who is not courageous enough to take risks

Will accomplish nothing in life.


Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.


You never fail until you stop trying


Never give up what you really want to do.

The person with big dreams is more powerful

than the one with all the facts.



Jan 8th, 2024.

The above are a few quotes that I wish I had when I was starting out in life.  I believe that I put many of those words of wisdom into my life but probably not as soon as I should have. I particularly like the last one as much of my life would not have been as interesting if I went by reason and facts, and ignored what I wanted to accomplish. What a wonderful opportunity to live long enough to be able to look back and review all the good and bad, one has endured just getting through this life. As I have said many times, we can’t appreciate the good times until we have had bad times for comparison.

The first real set-back in my life was at the age of 27. I was settling into a new job in a new city with two very young children that were both born deaf. We were struggling to do the best for our new family and had very little money and only hope and trust that things would start to improve. The date was July 19th 1963. I won’t elaborate on the story as I have written it in detail previously, but to say, I was very lucky to have been spared being killed in a horrendous car accident. What was at the time devastating to me and my wife and two boys, it was in fact an event that shaped my life and attitude toward my future that one would hardly believe. Only in hindsight can I say today how my life would have been so different if that day in July was just an ordinary one. When one comes so close to death at such a pivotal point in one’s life, your attitude changes, at least mine did.

When I was released from the hospital, five weeks later, before they wanted to let out, I was in constant pain with a cracked spine and violent headaches. I needed to return to work as my contract depended largely on commission and with no sales there would be no food on the table. Because of poor timing on my part and a very foolish law that was rescinded a few months after my accident, I was unable to sue the two trucking companies that destroyed my new car and perhaps my life. Thankfully the car could be replaced with a leased one and my future life would be entirely up to me. I didn’t have my life flash before me at the time of the accident. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realized how short life can be and I had better start making some new life plans.

They called it a Bucket List when the movie was made in the70’s. I was ten years ahead and called it my Life Want List, 10 goals that I never thought I would achieve but did. One was to live like a millionaire but not necessarily to be one. In the 60’s, a millionaire was pretty rare.

In my old age, I can wisely look back and in re-constructing my life, realize that my demeaner and attitude toward my future was going to change. They used to say “devil may care” and that was my attitude. What more other than taking my life can this world do to me? We were starting over a new life with nothing but a desire to do better and that is what we did.

Wisdom came into my life when I met my mentor, John A. McMaster. He was a salesman just like me, with little education. Guys like us were a dime a dozen.  However, there was something special about this old man and I fell in love with him in a strictly spiritual way. He showed me that being a salesman was not to be frowned upon. I took on this garment of shame because I was uneducated and not the sharpest hoe in the shed, my respect for my position needed to be sharpened and developed into a very lucrative profession. McMaster was a salesman but even more he was a psychologist, a thinker, richer beyond anything I could aspire to prior to meeting him, and above all, he was wise. Slowly and stubbornly, I began to understand the real meaning of wisdom. You can’t be taught to be an entrepreneur nor can you learn to be wise.  It takes observation and curiosity. If you watch professionals doing what they know best long enough, there is a likelihood you can duplicate the moves and learn the techniques over time. Your Hairdresser or Barber is a good start. John A. was a perfect subject to pattern a life of wise decisions and success equal to anyone’s standards was my subject. Without his direction and position as Vice President of sales for this fledging manufacturing company we represented, it would never have reached the level of success that it did. With younger legs and connections that I possessed, we were able to use his wisdom to grow and be a very good profitable candidate for a take-over making the owner, who was a man of considerable talent, very rich. As in all games John passed and I went on to even more success in manufacturing, retail, importing, Innkeeping, real estate, travel, writer and more, but all with the backing of a successful sales background. Over the years, I have known many wise men and women.  They have floated in and out of my life and some have had a great influence on my life but none as wise as my dear friend and cohort John A. McMaster.

Lucky am I to have been a curious old fart. Sometimes to my detriment but most times to gain a tiny bit more of the knowledge of this world. Age and experience go a long way to success and being a bit wiser than I was coming into this world, I feel that I can write with confidence and not feel as if I am bragging that as all of us over 80 years old, we are a bit wiser than most.


Paul D. Scott                                                                                                    

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