November 4, 2009
Posted: 10:16 PM ET
Dan Senor, Former spokesperson for U.S. led coalition forces in Iraq and current adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, answered “5 questions” about his new book, Start-Up Nation. In it, he and co-author Saul Singer argue that the United States and other countries can look to Israel – with its small population of 7 million people – for answers on how to energize the economy. According to Senor, despite being such a small, young country, Israel has more start-up businesses per capita than anywhere else in the world. Below, Senor discusses why Israelis might have a head start over much of the world…
1. LKL Blog: YOU SAY ISRAEL IS THE WORLD'S QUINTESSENTIAL START-UP NATION. WHY?
Dan Senor: It has the highest density of start-ups in the world. There are more start-ups in Israel per capita than any country in the world. There’s a start up in Israel for every 1,885 Israelis. And their start ups are unique in the world for coming up with radical solutions to really complex problems. And finally – the whole notion of the modern Israeli state is – in and of itself – a start up. It’s less than 60 years old. It was an idea by the founders of modern Israel to build a modern state and a modern economy with a modern biblical language or modern version of the biblical language in the country of their ancestors, or the territory of their ancestors – going back almost 3000 years.
So this whole notion of building this country, where they built it, how they build it and what they built is a start-up. A quintessential start up. It’s both a nation of start-ups and the whole notion of modern Israel is a start-up too.
2. LKL Blog: WHAT MIGHT BE SURPRISING TO SOME PEOPLE IS THAT IT IS SUCH A YOUNG COUNTRY – RELATIVE TO THE UNITED STATES – AND DESPITE THE SECURITY SITUATION IN ISRAEL: THE THREAT OF TERRORIST ATTACKS, WAR...YOU SAY INDUSTRY AND INNOVATION HAS THRIVED.
Dan Senor: What Israel does – they have a number of unique policies that we think are factors ranging from innovative immigration and assimilation policies - some 70 nationalities are represented in Israel. They bring talented people from around the planet and welcome them. Israeli politicians don't view immigration as a burden; they campaign for office talking about how many immigrants they're going to bring in. And if they don't bring in a lot, they have failed. There’s an innovative approach to research and development. The country has the highest percentage of any country in the world, the highest percentage of its economy on civilian research and development. And they have very innovative ways on how they spend that money.
But I would say the most important factor is that Israel teaches its young people how to be entrepreneurs. There’s enormous emphasis in the country to get to people when they're young and teach them about leadership orientation and teamwork and improvisation and what it means to make decisions with imperfect information.
October 30, 2009
Posted: 05:14 PM ET
Noted therapist and psychic, Laurie Levin, answers our 5 Questions...and says everyone has psychic abilities. Her book, God, the Universe and Where I Fit In, explains how we can all tap into that divine guidance...if we just open our minds to it.
1. LKL Blog: You are a therapist but call yourself a psychic? Laurie Levin: I really like to refer to myself as an intuitive, because that’s more all-encompassing. I’ve been this way for a long time and I went to get my doctorate to bring spirituality to psychology and psychiatry. There are many people who have spiritual experiences that are not psychotic or having hallucinations.
2. LKL Blog: I’ve read that you say that everyone has 'psychic abilities' – so I’m wondering if you can sort of explain that, how people can get in touch with those abilities.
Laurie Levin: There are senders and receivers – and we are guided by ancestral lines that protect, love and guide us. There’s also your connection to people who are living. Let’s say that you graduated college a few years ago, and you're thinking of your college roommate that you haven't seen in 10 or 15 years all day - and you come home and they are on your voicemail. There are times when you thought you were on a directive to go to the store and for some reason you decided to turn right. And turning right on a whim was the right move because something happened – you avoided an accident, or you avoided traffic, or you got a better parking space. There was something that guided you on a whim, that wasn't what your directive was. Men don't have an easy time saying intuition or psychic. But they do have an easier time saying instinct or gut knowing.
There are things that are beyond random or beyond coincidence. And now we're outside explainable, traditional, tangible senses. Let’s say you’re in a diner waiting for a friend. You’re in a booth. Just take the time to self-consult in a different way. Everybody has questions that you’re asking yourself all day long – but what if you ask a question like (assuming you are connected to something beyond the five senses, and you’re willing to try that on) – what if you did say ‘what might I not even know to ask?’ Whatever your religious belief system is, whatever your position is on what’s out there that makes us senders and receivers – it doesn’t have to be religion, doesn’t have to be spiritual. It might be that you’re atheist but you believe that we’re connected. Whatever it is, call on that what you believe in and say ‘what might I want to know that I may not even know to ask?’ Given that there is something out there that is guiding us, let it come forward and speak to you. Leave room. Stay empty. And then watch for the signals. The signals may come in very different ways for everybody. Some may have a knowing light in the moment. Some might have a dream. Some might have a day dream. Some may have a body-knowing. Some may wake up in the morning and have a refrain of a song in their head that they can’t shake. And in singing that song, they may realize there’s a lyric, or a riff of that lyric, that has profound significance to something that they are working on or through.
October 29, 2009
Posted: 02:36 PM ET
World champion fighter and Olympic gold medalist, Oscar de la Hoya, cut the ribbon on a brand new building for his Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter School in East Los Angeles this morning. De la Hoya, who has donated millions of dollars to open the school, answered our "5 Questions" about education, motivation and giving kids a 'fighting' chance...
5 Questions for Oscar de la Hoya:
LKL Blog: You've donated millions of dollars of your own money to create and build this school. Why was it so important to you to see this school opened?
Oscar de la Hoya: Well, it's all about opportunity for the kids. Ever since my mother passed away from breast cancer in 1991, her dying wishes were that the more you receive, the more you give back. So whatever I can do to help out in, first off, my community & in my country, I'm going to do whatever it takes. And this opportunity presented itself and it was a no-brainer for me because all we're doing is giving these kids the opportunity.
LKL Blog: What are the challenges facing kids today – not only in East Los Angeles, where this school is, but in other parts of the country?
Oscar de la Hoya: I think the challenges are them feeling that people don’t care, that people are not paying attention. What we've done here at the Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter High School is that we've made sure that the parents are involved. We've made sure that the teachers care about the students, they pay attention, they treat the students as if they were their own kids. We make sure that we devote our time & give them the necessary time to succeed. All the kids want is someone to care. Someone to care, someone to feel they care & someone to pay attention to them.
LKL Blog: What was school like for you? You grew up in East Los Angeles and have said it's important to keep a positive attitude and focus on your goals. What motivated you to do that?
Oscar de la Hoya: Well I went to Garfield High School which was a very difficult neighborhood to grow up in which was in East Los Angeles. It was overcrowded, kids obviously wanted to learn but we didn't have too many passionate teachers who wanted to teach us. It was very difficult. Very difficult but I've always maintained my focus. I've always been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think the most important thing today is that kids have to keep a positive attitude, the feeling of never giving up. Yes, life is a struggle. Life is difficult. And to reach your goals can take a very long time but the ultimate message here is to never give up.
LKL Blog: Was there a teacher or a person who you looked up to? Who was that? How did they change you?
Oscar de la Hoya: My government teacher in High School, Mr. Benson, who I owe everything to because there were times when I had difficult moments in my life where I did want to drop out of school, or I didn't care, or I wasn't paying attention to my grades. And Mr. Benson cared about me. He cared about what I did with my life; he cared about my future. He spent time with me during the class teaching me & telling me and just feeling that energy from him that he did care of what I became, really changed my life. That's what kids want today: people who care; teachers who really take their time to make sure that the students are going to be well off.
LKL Blog: The Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter High School, which is celebrating the grand opening of its new facility this week, has been ranked #53 in the nation by US News – what do you attribute that success to? What is the school doing differently?
Oscar de la Hoya: I believe that it's the devotion, the passion and also the fact that the parents have to be involved. They have no choice but to be involved with the education of their kids. One thing that the Green Dot Schools do, including my school, is that parents have to sign contracts and donate several hours a year to be with their kids and teach them and donate their time. And I believe the fact that it's a school in Los Angeles and it's a school named after my name makes the kids feel proud. They feel proud that they're representing a champion, a champion in boxing. I believe it's a school becoming where yes, I became a champion in boxing but the students have an opportunity to become a champion in life. So they really want to succeed and make me proud, and make the school proud, and ultimately make their city proud, and eventually making their country proud. That's one of the reasons why I feel this school has been very successful.
October 28, 2009
Posted: 11:38 AM ET
Sherri Shepherd, co-host of The View, star of the Lifetime comedy, Sherri, and author of the new book, Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break, recently sat down with Larry to talk about her life. After the show, she answered our "5 Questions."
1. LKL Blog: Your new book is about giving yourself permission slips to make mistakes in life. Is it harder to forgive yourself for mistakes that you’ve made or to forgive others for mistakes that they’ve made?
Sherri Shepherd: I think it’s harder to forgive ourselves for mistakes that we made because we keep dwelling on it. We want to know how it affects other people, if they liked us for it, if they didn’t like us. I think we stress over it, we replay it in our mind. It becomes an old tape that years later we continue to play it in our mind.
2. LKL Blog: Besides yourself, who is the last person that you had to forgive?
Sherri Shepherd: My son, because we were wrestling and he kicked me right in my eye and I said, “you hurt mommy.” And he didn’t care! He laughed manically. I really had to forgive my son because I know that’s going to happen a lot.
3. LKL Blog: You talk very candidly about the struggles you’ve had in your life. What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you and why?
Sherri Shepherd: The best piece of advice someone has ever given me was 'do it scared'. And no matter if you’re scared, just go ahead and do it anyway because you might as well do it scared, so it will get done and you will feel so much better if you step out of your comfort zone.
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