Category Archives: Relationships

How to Have a Father Daughter Relationship

1-½ minutes to read

My daughter reminded several times she’s glad I’m home. I was on navy duty most of the last two weeks away from my family. So we spent most of yesterday together. We didn’t do anything special. Washed the car. Shopped for groceries. Ate lunch together while she showed me a Peanuts movie she loved. At the end of the day, she told me it had been great, just spending time together.

How to Have a Father Daughter Relationship

There’s No Substitute for Time

Military life teaches there’s no such thing as quality time. Short, intense interactions like going to Disneyland don’t substitute for the consistent togetherness that builds enduring relationships. If a father fails to make this time commitment what is he teaching his daughter about male attention?

When we go places I take the time to open the door for her when we get into and out of the car and stores. I ask her advice when buying food. Over the years I’ve guided her choices and little by little have made progress. We share audio books while driving. I’ve seen her mind expand from listening to A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Absent positive father-daughter interaction, where will she learn how to deal with boys and later men? Consider how the wrong guy could take advantage of her need for attention.

Father Daughter Enhances Mother Daughter

My wife and daughter have a terrific relationship. But they argue too. I understand. Sometimes my wife and I don’t see eye to eye.

When mother-daughter conflict gets too hot, I’m there to help get the relationship back on track. Likewise, my wife does the same for father daughter discord. All our bonds are tighter because we have strong paired-connections too.  The quality of my marriage will probably dictate how good her's is.

I found another version of Grouch Marx’s Father’s Day song. I hope my daughter and yours will echo the sentiments of the last line that Groucho and Dick Cavett sing together: “For they say a child can only have one father and you are the one for us.”

How do you build a father daughter relationship? Please comment below.

How to Recognize the Warnings Before Trouble Strikes

2 minutes to read

Parsha Nugget Bechukosai – Leviticus 26:3-27:34

I can’t stand punishing my daughter. My heart breaks when I have to ground her or restrict her from playing video games. I know there has to be consequences when she does something wrong. Especially after several warnings. If not, when she’s an adult she’s likely to suffer far worse. Sometimes she acts surprised when I hold her responsible for misbehavior. But my disciplinary system is sound. It comes from this week’s parsha, Bechukosai:

If you will follow My decrees… But if you will not listen to Me… (Vayikra/Leviticus 26:3 and 26:14)

How to Recognize the Warnings Before Trouble Strikes

This Sabbath’s parsha is the final one in Leviticus. It gives the blessings and the curses the Israelites will suffer depending on whether they follow G-d’s decrees and commandments. The rest of the parsha deals with gifts to the Temple and how they are redeemed. It ends with the procedure for redeeming houses and fields, and tithing.

The Process for Redirecting Behavior

Put this week’s and last week’s parsha together. You’ll see G-d’s procedure for correcting the Israelites’ conduct. First, G-d tells Moses to speak to the Children of Israel and explain a commandment. Then the Almighty describes the blessings for obeying His will. Last, He details the punishments for failing to fulfill his laws and decrees. These three steps will help someone change his behavior:

  1. Make expectations clear.
  2. Give an incentive for complying.
  3. Explain the consequences for noncompliance.

The same pattern works for adults and children. When incentives don’t work behavior gets redirected through unpleasant repercussions. We call them punishments. But in reality they’re warnings. G-d doesn’t want to punish His children. It’s too negative and can damage the relationship. So He created a notification system mirrored on the stages of admonitions in the parsha.

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G-d’s Warnings Start Subtly

When you do something wrong, the Almighty starts out with a subtle notification. I call it the heavenly tap on the shoulder. Often it’s mistaken for being a minor annoyance. Like when someone touches you on the shoulder and you’re busy. You brush it off.

Having not paid attention, G-d’s next warning is stronger. He gives you time to reflect on what’s happening in your life. You’ll have a chance to figure out a change of behavior is in order. If you ignore this warning too the next one is more urgent. Eventually, real trouble must come into your life to get you to pay attention.

On occasion something negative may happen in your life seemingly without explanation. Know that G-d isn’t punishing you. He wants you to take time to reflect. Make an accounting of your relationships. Examine your business dealings. Review your conduct. Maybe you’re doing nothing wrong. But are you doing everything right? Are you making greatest use of your G-d given abilities?

By making positive changes early you can avoid real trouble.

What do you do when faced with life’s challenges? Please comment below.


Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. It is named after the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.

What verse in the Old Testament would you like to know more about? Ask a question and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!

The One Thing You Must Do to Get What You Want

2-½ minutes to read

Remember the last time you got a gift? Did you get what you wanted? It’s disappointing when you don’t isn’t it? But it ruins the surprise if you drop hints. My daughter loves to hear me tell of how I prayed for a girl when my wife was pregnant. In this case the hints worked. Prayer is a powerful tool for getting what you want. But you shouldn’t treat your aspirations like gifts. You’ll have to take direct action.

The One Things You Must Do to Get What You Want

Forcing People to Read Your Mind

Rejection tops many people’s lists of fears. Sales is a tough profession. For every yes, the typical salesman had heard nine to 24 no’s. A lot of people cannot take such rejection day in and day out. But the professional arena isn’t the only arena where people fear rejection. Some avoid relationships or let theirs stagnate rather than risk being told no.

Why didn’t you get the job you wanted? How come you didn’t get a date with the guy or gal that sparked your interest? Did you ask for what you wanted?

At the end of a meeting to discuss a job, if you want it you must ask for it. Jobs aren’t gifts. You have to close the deal. If you don’t, the next candidate will. The same goes for getting a date and having the relationships you desire. People have to know what you want. They can’t read your mind. You’ll have to tell them.

The Kindness of Asking for What You Want

You’ve heard it before. If you don’t ask the answer is definitely no. What have you got to lose?

In many situations the other person may fear rejection. When you take initiative they don’t have to worry about being turned down. As well, most people don’t like rejecting others either. So by giving them the chance to say yes without fear of your saying no to them you make it as easy as possible.

Ask in the way it's easiest for the person to say yes:

  1. Preface your question with a reminder of why the person should say yes: “Given our understanding of the scope of the job and how well my qualifications fit…”
  2. Be positive: “Are you prepared to give me the job?” Not negative: “You wouldn’t want to hire me would you?”
  3. Be confident: Smile and look the person in the eyes as you ask.

If the person does say no, you can still make progress toward what you want. Having turned you down, he is more likely to say yes to your next request. Ask for a referral to someone who needs an employee with your qualifications. Be specific about who you want to connect with.

By giving the person a chance to help, you relieve him of any guilt he may feel about saying no to the job.  All the above is true for sales and personal relationships. In fact, it applies to anything you want.

The best way to get over a fear of rejection is to ask a lot of people for what you want. Despite hearing no 90% or more of the time you’ll find enough who will say yes. You only need one yes to get the job you want. You’re going to marry only one special person. When you close 4% to 10% of your sales prospects you’ll have a big income.

Ask for what you want. Expect to hear yes. If you don’t, move on. Repeat.

What prevents you from asking for what you want? Please comment below.

The Best Networking Advice You’ll Ever Get

2-½ minutes to read

“In the end, the most important thing will not be the titles you have held or the money you have made but the kind of person you have become.” ∞ Judy Robinette, Author of How to Be a Power Connector

Not long ago a friend mentioned he was considering enrolling in an expensive executive MBA program. I was surprised since he already has a successful business. He said it would be good for networking. This got me thinking. At a minimum cost for an EMBA of about $50,000, is it worth it?

The Best Networking Advice You'll Ever Get

Why Does Someone Want to Know You?

There are three ways you can use an EMBA to make contacts. Get to know businesspeople teaching the classes. Attend job fairs and other arranged interactions with companies and their recruiters. Connect with the school’s alumni.

Here’s the rub. Getting your foot in the door is the easiest part. The person might help you merely because you both went to the same school. It depends on his strength of feeling for the school since he knows little or nothing about you.

There are other, potentially better grounds for connecting. The U.S. military is the largest fraternity in the world. Service members want and like to help each other out. And having military service in common, we know more about each other than people who attended the same school.

If you haven’t served in the military or gone to college never fear. There are other reasons someone would want to know you. Do you love dogs? Are you passionate about fishing? Do you have a particular challenge raising your child? People in all walks of life from CEOs to manual laborers have these interests in common. Unless you and the person you’ve connected with are both diehard fans of your school, a common, deep interest is more fertile ground for the hard work ahead.

Networking is About Relationships

When you don’t know someone well, are you likely to do him a favor that puts your reputation at risk? Most people won’t. It makes sense. You’ve built up credibility among your colleagues. Why squander it by going out on a limb for a stranger.

Before you ask a contact for help you need to establish a relationship. Strengthening connections takes thought and work. If all you share is having gone to the same school, reasons to touch base can be hard to come by. Conversation can lag. If you share a common passion you’ll always have something to talk about.

This is what makes social media so powerful. You can find people at a target organization who have similar interests.

There’s no bigger waste of time than networking to collect names. Unless you establish a basis for an ongoing relationship don’t bother. Do you have at least one common interest? Do you share similar values? Do you like speaking with the person? If you answered no to any of these questions you lack the foundation for a fruitful connection. Move on. As The Marvelettes sang, “There’s too many fish in the sea.”

You don’t need to spend ten of thousands of dollars creating a reason someone might want to know you. With such abundant fishing holes as LinkedIn and Facebook, you can easily find great people to connect with.

What passion do you have on which to build relationships? Please comment below.

Let Me Show You How to Be Perfect

2 minutes to read

Parsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Kedoshim – Leviticus 19:1-20:27

Searching for perfection is usually counterproductive. Fear of failure prevents people from taking action. After all, if they make mistakes they aren’t perfect. But striving for perfection can be beneficial in one area of life. Parshas Kedoshim explains:

…you will love your fellow as yourself… (Vayikra/Leviticus 19:18)

Let Me Show You How to Be Perfect

This Sabbath’s parsha list many mitzvahs from practical to religious. Each gives you a way to improve your relationship with G-d. They include respecting parents and elders, giving charity to the poor, being honest in business, observing the Sabbath, not dabbling in the occult, not taking revenge, and forbidden relationships.

“This is the great rule of the Torah” - Rabbi Akiva

How realistic is it for G-d to insist we love other people as much as we love ourselves? Isn’t the Torah hopelessly naïve to demand such selflessness? The Sages say you should act as if you love others. Such behavior will eventually transform your emotions.

The Tanya, a classic work of Chassidic mysticism, teaches that you must put aside physical matters and focus on the spirit. By concentrating on a person’s soul you may truly come to love him. Too often people are preoccupied with a person’s appearance, the sound of his voice, how she dresses, or annoying habits. None of these physical concerns embody the essence of a person. Superficialities do not emanate from the soul.

People say someone has a good soul. Do they really have the depth of insight to view a person’s core? Does it make sense to suggest that someone has a weird or annoying soul? Habits can be described this way, but a person’s core, the soul? It’s a spark of the Creator in each of us. It is perfect.

Be Perfect at Recognizing Someone’s Essence

What is the practical result of this philosophy? Suppose you know someone who rubs you the wrong way. You have two choices.

  1. Let your irritation rise to the point where you think the person is a monster.
  2. Counter your exasperation by telling yourself that perhaps the person is like Shrek, an ogre on the outside but with a heart of gold.

If you’re honest you’ll realize some people dislike you for external factors. Yet you believe you’re good. If you want to receive the benefit of the doubt, shouldn’t you offer it others?

To be perfect, look beyond people’s superficialities. Engage with them soul to soul. Love your fellows as yourself. A simple change of perspective will help you be perfect and improve your relations with family, friends, and strangers.

How do you view people? Please comment below.


Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. It is named after the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.

What verse in the Old Testament would you like to know more about? Ask a question and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!

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