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Having a special number that has sacred meaning for you is something that’s simple to do, but offers invaluable strength when facing daily challenges like deciding what PIN number to program into your ATM card.

One case in point: the number four (“4”) is sacred to the Zia Indians, as this digit embodies the powers of nature – the four directions of east, west, north, and south, the seasons, and the ages of man. 4 was also Babe Ruth’s number, a fortunate choice as he powered the Yankees to 7 world championships and hit 714 homers aided only by hotdogs, not steroids.

Of course, the Chinese would disagree. 4 is a dreaded number in their view. This is because it sounds similar to the Chinese word ‘si’ which means ‘death’.  The Sultan of Swat died at age 53, so they might have a point.

For your number, you may want to reflect on the best year of your life thus far. Then again, you could just pick a number out of a hat and immediately tattoo it on your chest in a sign of “letting go.” Whatever you decide, choose a number that means something to you.* Write it down and place it in your wallet for easy referral.

Use your new number as often as you can. If you’re drafted by a professional sports team, request the number on your jersey. When asked how many silver dollar flapjacks you want at breakfast, request this number.  If you customize your license plate, use it after your nickname, or “go big” and legally change your name to a number as our extremely successful friend 834,216 did.

May your number prove to be a winner in all areas of life. Good luck to you!

*If want to get esoteric about it, you could ask a numerologist to “do your numbers” for you. Among them are your life path, your destiny, your soul urge, and your inner dream.  Some swear by it. Some swear at it. It’s entertaining, whatever your view.

In August 1953, an obscure country boy named Elvis Presley walked into the offices of Sun Records. He aimed to pay for a few minutes of studio time to record a two-sided acetate disc: “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.”

A Boy From Tupelo. Early Elvis Presley recordings.

He later claimed that he was merely interested in what he “sounded like”, although there was a much cheaper, amateur record-making service at a nearby general store. Biographer Peter Guralnick thinks that he chose Sun in the hope of being discovered. Asked by receptionist Marion Keisker what kind of singer he was, Presley responded, “I sing all kinds.” When she pressed him on who he sounded like, he repeatedly answered, “I don’t sound like nobody.”

Elvis Lives! anagram t-shirt

Keep hope alive with this positive anagram about the King of Rock and Roll.

Elvis couldn’t imagine what was coming next for him. How could he foresee a glorious career of legendary fame and musical adventure? The future is hidden until it happens. You never know what you might be capable of, until later. If you knew what was in store for you, life wouldn’t be nearly so interesting. So maybe it’s time for you to head down to Memphis.  You never know what might come of it.

Whether it’s a cure for procrastination, a way to beat the stock market, a method for hacking your brain to achieve total clarity, or the one diet that will help you shed pounds without giving up your favorite coconut cream pie, there’s no lack of people will to offer you “the answer.”

Greetings to our Philadelphia-area readers.

Yet why don’t the experts’ directives live up to their hype? Because the true answer to the pressing issues you’re facing right now is this: there is no answer. Each life is a curious amalgam of genetic markers, family skeletons, previous experiences, and standardized test scores. There is no one-size-fits-all answer in any category. Nor can anyone give you assurance that the path you are on will lead to your hoped-for destination.

Think you’re in control of your destiny? This mathematician proves otherwise.

“Abandon the search for reason” is the ancient Daoist healing practice to unshackle you from the desperate need to get things right. When the questions arise in your mind, like “Why me?” or “Where is God now?” or “Who put soy milk in my no-foam latte?”, you can be freed of the burden of having to find the answer before your time on earth is up.

Translation: “I don’t know” in Cantonese.

It’s much more enjoyable spending your days living in the mystery, where the real excitement can be found. This way, you can plunge ahead, taking actions that might be right or wrong. Or neither. Only time will tell.

Lift the veil, from the 7th century B.C. to the 7th century A.D.

As for the bellicose authors, control-freak life coaches, and cardboard spiritualists with their ALL CAP PROCLAMATIONS OF 30-DAY MIRACLES, you can confidently answer their come-ons with the powerful understanding that they do not have “the answer” — for in fact, there isn’t one!*

*However, if you find yourself in legal trouble, make sure you consult an experienced attorney.

That’s what happened to a young man named Paul McCartney on this day in 1957.

A friend of his from the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys invited him to come check out a band called the Quarrymen, playing at St. Peter’s Church.  Now he could have said no, but he didn’t.   And if he had only shook hands with Eric Griffiths (guitar), Colin Hanton (drums), Rod Davies (banjo), Pete Shotton (washboard) or Len Garry (tea chest bass), then history wouldn’t have been written.

But he focused on the guy leading the band.  “He was singing ‘Come Go With Me,’ the Del-Vikings’ song, which I thought was fabulous until I realized they weren’t the right words,” recalled Paul.  “He was changing them. ‘Come go with me … down to the penitentiary’ — he was nicking folk-song words and chain-gang words and putting them into the Del-Vikings’ songs, a clever little bit of ingenuity.”

Why not take a cue from Paul and venture outside to meet someone new?  Who knows where it might lead?  Perhaps to the toppermost of the poppermost!