America Leaps Into The ‘Stoned’ Age

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Since last December, when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos surprised Charlie Rose of 60 Minutes with the futuristic plan of air-delivering packages door-to-door by drones, the debate and controversy was quick to spread across America. While most were tormented over the alleged invasion of privacy, I was reminded of another, less attractive, definition of the word drone that continues to plague America (drone: a person who lives on the labor of others; a parasitic loafer).

A recent survey conducted by Mashable.com and SurveyMonkey revealed that nearly 10% of all Americans go to work high each day. As shocking as this sounds (especially to the sober-minded), I expect this number to get even worse in the near future.

Cannabis can now be purchased legally for medicinal use in just about every other state; which has caused its recreational use to skyrocket. Unfortunately, with our national debt breaking record highs and a recession in slow recovery, this couldn't be happening at a worse time for Americans.

I am not against the use of medicinal marijuana, but I am against the abuse of it. There are many who truly benefit from using cannabis to reduce nausea from chemotherapy, or to treat pain and muscle spasticity. However, those who smoke pot each day for pleasure or as a remedy for common aches, risk suffering from both short and long-term side-effects that will negate any gain. A few of the side-effects include: anxiety, sensory distortion, lowered reaction time, suppression of immune system, lack of motivation, mood changes, inability to understand things clearly and many more.

As a very proud and hardworking American, I am often reminiscent of how the 300,000 immigrants who came to this country, unable to speak the language and with little more than the shirt on their backs, prevailed against The Great Depression. This dedicated group left their families and everything they loved behind for the hope and dream of building a better life and brighter future in America. Failure was not an option and the devastated economy didn't change that, nor did it stop the discipline, focus and ambition that each American had to succeed.

For the tough immigrants of this era, there were almost no handouts and nothing came easy. They begged for work and gratefully accepted anything they could get their hands on, believing that outperforming the competition was the only way to succeed. Every task or job completed, no matter how small or light in pay, was of superior quality; which made every accomplishment about pride and building a strong reputation.

The immigrants of this great nation were hungry and did the right thing each day with very little reward. They were resilient and found countless ways to prevail against every pressure; which included unemployment rates > 20%. With exhausted bodies and stressed minds, our ancestors never looked to escape reality, they broke their backs to change it!

Today the opposite appears to be true, and America has lost its competitive edge as a result of it. The collapse of our education system further removes hope of our recovery towards greatness any time soon ... According to the Program for International Student Assessment, we now rank 24/65 on high school literacy. The Economist Intelligence Unit also reports that the United States ranks 17/40 in overall educational performance. Those days of providing our children with the advantages necessary to thrive are officially now over.

America's shoddy performance only begins here, as it can be observed in just about everyone and everything that surrounds us ... From spineless people, like the greedy who deliberately take what very little others have, and the slackers who charge top dollar for sub par work, to our many products and services that fail to meet expectations, quality or safety standards, all are telltale signs that the pride of this once great nation is in a death spiral. Today, everything is all about the money, and the American pride and integrity we once shared has been sold-out.

cannaamericaIf things are this bad now, just imagine what America will be like when 20, 30 or 40% of the people go to work or school stoned each day. How much further removed from greatness will our county get? In a dazed and confused society, nothing ever gets learned or done right. The contractor who received half upfront, never shows up to complete the job, college students opt for another loan before ever leaving the couch to earn a buck, and our most brilliant doctors take to the golf courses on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Motivation is an internal engine and a catalyst to sustained greatness for all Americans who have it. Motivation is the fuel our ancestors of the 1930's used to drive us back into power, and it is exactly what's needed today to restore our strength once again.

Unfortunately, motivation is also what's first to be destroyed by the use of cannabis. Smoking pot for recreational use will bring unnecessary hurdles into your life and derail your future before it has the chance to get started. In a world where companies are after the brightest and most talented employees, Americans are now forced to compete globally for every new position, and the competition couldn't be happier. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if China, India and Russia subsidized our free consumption of recreational marijuana. But let's not be so eager to point the finger, just beware of how weak minds are first to be exploited.

Our government recognizes this and proves to be another great detriment ... through its eagerness to innovate new ways of income redistribution and other forms of entitlement, all are designed to remove us from power and squash our ambition ... as opposed to helping us acquire the skills and disciplines needed to succeed.

There is no denying that this country is in trouble, and in desperate need of monumental change; which means that our ability to focus is now of most importance. The rebuilding of American Pride is not something that can be outsourced or carried out by others. Our success as a nation starts with the dedication and commitment of each and every individual; which includes you and me!

We must all possess the ambition and motivation to strive for full potential. This is only achieved by removing any distractions and focusing on performing our very best. It's hard enough for both Generation Y and Z to put down their devices, or shift eyes away from the latest Tweet. Asking this group to also contend with a spirit-crushing force as great as marijuana may be the final blow that does us all in.

It is not too late to fight and keep your dream, the American Dream, alive. Appreciate the fact that there are still many in the world who wish they had the opportunity Americans do today. When we take everything we have for granted, nobody will ever work hard to keep it. Always stay hungry for more, and realize that success comes to those who believe there is no tomorrow. Start being the person you dream to be today!

If you find yourself in a position of weakness, or gravitating towards the use of cannabis, play the audio clip below and focus on staying motivated to perform your best. Listen to the recording over and over again if you must. When you have the right attitude and mindset, nothing can break you.

rocky

 

Play audio to hear the parting advice of an American icon

 

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"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential Continue Reading

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John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed edge on how to succeed."

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Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed Continue Reading

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way. He is right on the mark and hits home as I relate back to the early part of my career. The corporate world is a very competitive environment that can be loaded with stress, ill feelings towards others as well as being a very unhealthy place to be. It is only those who understand how to identify roadblocks and how to handle them who thrive in such settings. In his book, Carmine has done an excellent job in highlighting all of this and giving some great advice to the corporate rookie, but I will also say that it is a refreshing read for us veterans that have been through it. I found that I was very entertained and recommend it to all."

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Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way."

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Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

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"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read this book."

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"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read Continue Reading

"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

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Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found that it brings clarity to events that have affected my own professional career. I strongly recommend the read."

Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

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Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found Continue Reading

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

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Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

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Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Del Sordi knocks it out of the park."

Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

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Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Continue Reading

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

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David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."
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