How To Argue And Win Every Time (Gerry Spence)

Gerry Spence is one of the most successful trial lawyers in American history; his portfolio includes the Karen Silkwood case, the defense of Imelda Marcos on racketeering charges and numerous others. He has not lost a civil case since 1969 and has never lost a criminal trial by jury.

“How to Argue and Win Every Time” is a great read and taught me a lot not only about having an argument, but about communication. When we want to win an argument, we don’t throw verbal rocks at your “opponent”. We open the other person up to our side of the story and enable him to join us in our key arguments (or at least meet us halfway). That way, we end up with a mutually beneficial situation, a “win-win”.

The following video is from a mock trial with Gerry Spence.



Spence divides How to Argue and Win Every Time into three main parts.
In the first part, he talks about mindset and the basics of communication – storytelling, body language, tonality and the choice of words.
In the second part,  we use these tools to structure a winning argument.
In the third part, we apply these principles to the most common scenarios in real life – the family and the workplace.

In “Bachelor Pad Economics“, Aaron Clarey makes the case to use truth and facts for our arguments. Gerry Spence gives us the tools to open the other side to our arguments.

Since the fundamentals of a successful argument are rooted in communication, this book is useful beyond the courtroom:

1. for anyone who wants to learn more about storytelling;
2. for anyone who wants to develop his charisma;
3. for anyone who wants to learn about emotional honesty.
Taking the “jump”, the leap of faith on chances life throws at him is a big part of the book.
We learn how to communicate with others… and ultimately that begins and ends within ourselves.

Continue reading “How To Argue And Win Every Time (Gerry Spence)”

Benjamin Franklin: Original Prankster And Minimalist

Benjamin Franklin is one of the leading personalities in United States history. He is the only Founding Father who signed all four major documents that gave birth to this country (Declaration of Independence, Treaty of Alliance with France, Treaty of Paris and the United States Constitution).

This is the review of “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”. You can buy the book from Amazon here:

Since Franklin is a figure of such historical significance, I have also included links to some of the books he read and articles he wrote throughout the text.

I have mostly focused on his personal life and habits, development of his social skills and starting his newspaper. The way Franklin went about these items can still teach us something today. I will explain his political career and scientific findings in a later article.

Benjamin Franklin
Next time you throw a “Benjamin” around, you know whom to thank…



Franklin’s autobiography includes the years from 1706 to 1757. We learn about a man who approaches life from a “can-do” spirit, who takes it on with wonder and curiosity and as someone who genuinely likes people.

He is a leader, but early on, his peers do not always take kindly to him taking the spotlight. He learns from his mistakes though and molds himself into a beloved statesman highly regarded for his diplomacy, pragmatism and capability of “getting things done”.

Continue reading “Benjamin Franklin: Original Prankster And Minimalist”

One Juice Per Day, Single Malt Edition

Thanks for tuning in – way past my bedtime, and I am too tired to write a full-fledged journal post.

However, “One Juice Per Day” has to be drunk…


To check the description of the “One Year of Discipline” challenge, click here.

To see yesterday’s post, click here.

To get back to the homepage, click here.

(*) I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Ripley’s World: The First Steps To More Money, Part I

Where am I right now and which direction am I headed?

You struggle with your finances and would like to have more. But you can only improve if you have a clear definition of what works for you. Simply wishing “I would like to have more” does not really work. You need a structure, a goal and a purpose.

Thus, you can use these three steps:

     1. Record where you are now.

     2. Record where you want to go.

     3. Ask yourself how YOU can achieve it.

You see, totally easy. And yes, I am serious, it IS easy. A sample of how it works?

Continue reading “Ripley’s World: The First Steps To More Money, Part I”

Silencing Dissent

This article is related to an incident that happened in the middle of november.

Silencing dissent











Mike from has written about it:

There are two other excellent articles on this topic here:

Continue reading “Silencing Dissent”

NoNothingNovember, Day 28

NoNothingNovember is almost done…

Today is the last big push for upgrading and adding to my blog.

I have a lot of free time over Thanksgiving.

It is especially important that I stick to very regular schedule on these days, otherwise the free time is gone very fast.

I realize that a regular job provides one big advantage – it provides an automatic schedule and structure for the day.

It takes a little bit of a mindset shift to regard working on my blog as regular job.

But every time I am writing on here, it is so fulfilling, because this work is completely mine. So I am starting the day and ending the day a happy person!

Continue reading “NoNothingNovember, Day 28”

NoNothingNovember, Day 23

Getting into the final week of NoNothingNovember.

75% of this challenge are done. I am getting pumped to amp up my efforts.

I have gotten the vices I wanted to lose during NoNothingNovember mostly in check, so that I can focus my energy more and more on this website and my paper draft at work .

Over the weekend, I had the chance to double my efforts in writing blog posts, now I have to catch up with writing the manuscript.

Oh, and I also have to file some remaining documents for my Green Card application… and there is also the Science Writing class that I want and need to put a bit of effort into. Will be quite a busy week. And such days are fun!

NoNothingNovember goals


No problem. The “duty” to go to bed on time creates a good incentive to get stuff done during the day.

Sweets and snacks

No sweets and snacks today, but I did eat a lot of other food. Quite curious how that translates into body fat – my guess is that it does not change much, since the only source of carbs was oatmeal with blackberries and apples, sweetened with honey. But we’ll see over the next days.

Social media

Almost no twitter and Facebook at all, only one posting in the morning, that was it.

I did spend a lot of time communicating back and forth with a friend via eMail, though. He had sent me a guest post for my blog, and I was translating that from German to English.

What have I achieved?

Work and Blog

No work on my manuscript at all, since the whole day was taken up by my blog, and in the beginning, things are just a bit slow.

I could have been a bit more efficient by focusing on two to three different tasks instead of working on 5 – 10 items in parallel. Have to transfigure my excitement more into focusing on the task at hand.

In the end, I am happy I got the article my friend sent me – see above – translated and published, in addition to my NoNothingNovember post.

I have now written/translated 4 extra blog posts over the last 4 days – in addition to my daily NoNothingNovember journal. I am happy and a bit exhausted.

Without me getting used to a daily writing habit over the last 8 months, I am not sure I could have done that without any sweets and snacks and still gotten regular sleep.


Nothing. Sunday was just a good day to lean back and enjoy life.

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 24 tomorrow.

(a description of my #NoNothingNovember challenge:

Ripley’s World: The Pen Moment

Is Ripley’s World Worth Reading?

There are so many endless blogs and books and broadcasts from people who promise a better life, becoming rich in ten days and the ability to love one thousand women in one year.

Quite frankly, I think this is all total nonsense and a waste of time. There are definitely ways to get rich quick (while still legal). There certainly are some safe ways that are easy to do.

But a formula to make everyone rich in short time without working contradicts various laws (which I might follow up upon in a later post).

What really works for anyone who wants it bad enough is a long-term plan which can lead to great prosperity.

I am working in sales since 21 years. As the saying goes, that means I sell a product to the end customer.

In concrete terms, this means I sell mortgage loans to bank customers as an independent sales representative.

Over those 21 years, I have built up a five-digit (albeit small five-digits) monthly income plus almost $ 2 million in real estate assets, which yield a rental income of $ 6,500 per month.

I mention these numbers only as a guide. I myself will not earn more. I will not build up a a three-digit million dollar fortune by the end of my life and I will never earn six figures a month.

Within this framework, I can indeed tell you how you can achieve riches. Attainable for every hard-working person. Not so bold as “I’ll make you a millionaire in 3 simple steps”, but understandable and repeatable.

Since that is the formula for success: To achieve measurable objectives through repeatable actions.

A one-time sales success is like hot air: it fizzles. Only if I can repeat what brings me money, no matter what it looks like, I can speak of success!


The Pen Moment

Perceptual filters.

They determine our lives.

You will see a butterfly and think you see it with neutral eyes, completely unaffected, the way it is.

Far from it. The human eye can neither see ultraviolet nor infrared light. The colors on the wings are caused by refraction of light.

You could even have a visual impairment. Particles in the air can change the impression of colors. Light and brightness may alter your visual experience.

Belief filters.

They also govern our lives.

In some African tribes, you can sue spirits. These are real trials, part of the society.

If I can prove that your Grandfather’s spirit destroyed my harvest, YOU are liable for it. Why not? (if you like to see a link to this: Google helps. What do you mean? read Schlauchfuzius later).

In other words:

The world as we perceive it does not exist

If the world does not exist, then I don’t need to adhere to its rules. I can just walk across a red light, run people over with my car – and if a cop aimed a gun at me, I can just laugh at him and walk away. Right.

Unfortunately, there’s the thing with the pen.

Belief filters – that are just a part of the perceptual filters -, neurological limitations, cultural or societal restrictions and linguistic or individual limitations, give us a distorted picture of the true world and restrict the term “reality”.

Having $100 in my hands is indeed real, though. No matter what I think, these are $100. It’s called “facts“, and it has nothing to do with filters of any kind.

“Success” lives in the intersection of reality and perception.

In general, success is defined as achieving a goal. This goal must therefore be a measurable value that can be attained in a given time frame.

However, every one of us desires different goals – and beyond the bare mathematical wisdom, a goal not backed by our own philosophy of life is not desirable for us.

And what does all this have to do with the pen?


Success means selling

Politicians are the kings of the penless life. This not only refers to the ruling leaders, but also to the CEOs of corporations and starving artists.

Bad scores are glossed over. Responsibilities delegated. Explanations, excuses, distortions and denials.

If you want to achieve real goals, think about the pen: you hold it in your hand, release it, and … what does the pen do? It drops.

And to recognize this reality – as easy as it sounds – is the foundation of every success.

Accepting reality. No “if”s and “but”s. No discussions. You accept it, just as it is.

Recognize that there are situations that I can not modify and must live with.

And you can really not sweet talk your way out of it.

Pulp Fiction Before






Or can you?

Pulp Fiction







Arguing that the pen would not drop in outer space; that it could have been tied and therefore kept suspended in mid-air; or that it might be magnetic and floating in a solenoid – those are subterfuges into very unique and highly unlikely situations. These cop-outs distract from the real world.

Realities. Respect. Accept.


Thus ends this blog post.

This post – I’ll call it introductory contribution – is the first of a series that will describe my definition of the world and success on a professional and private level in individual steps.

I will explain the Schlauchfuzius, in 20 steps – a collection of wisdom about life, the Universe and all the rest (thanks, Douglas Adams – who does not know who this is: Google is your friend). I’ll explain practices and incidents from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (thanks, Richard Bandler) – and will fuse this all into one unit.

I conclude with a phrase I heard the other day on a talk show. Unfortunately I can not provide a list of sources, since I do not know who it was, but I was very sympathetic upon hearing this statement:

“He who believes in exponential, unlimited growth in a finite world…

…is either mad or an economist.”


Click here to read Part I of the series “The First Steps to More Money”:

Check this link to get back to the overview:

NoNothingNovember, End of Second Week

My life is noticeably improving.

Time to look back at another week of the NoNothingNovember challenge. I am almost disappointed that two weeks are ALREADY done. Time just flies by.

And I am looking at some significant improvements compared with october or the months before.

What did I experience in my NoNothingNovember goals for the first two weeks?



Whereas I did not sleep in a regular manner AT ALL, most often less than 6 hours, in other words: not enough – I am now on a regular rhythm of a little over 6 hours. While drinking coffee still enhances my attention…

There are now days where I do not need any coffee at all.

Furthermore – and somewhat surprisingly -, I am still as efficiently – if not more so! – working on my tasks as I was before. The “missing time” that I now spend sleeping… it pays off the next day, when I need less time to finish my projects.

In addition, my stress levels are down. For example, right now I have still 1.5 hours to write this and one other post before I call it a day. I am focused, yet relaxed, since even if I don’t get this article written tonight, I know I will finish it tomorrow.

Sweets and snacks

Funny Ice Cream

Yesterday was my traditional “cheat day”. In the months before, that almost certainly meant I would stock up on sweets on friday and then indulge in cookies, chips and ice-cream on saturday. Needless to say, this made me lazy and almost completely destroyed the progress I made in terms of weight and body fat loss. In addition, I was bleeding money.

These problems are gone.

I have saved a whopping $204,64 on food since the beginning of november.

I have gone from 25.3% to 23.8% body fat.

Now here is the thing: the NoNothingNovember challenge has no cheat days. Yet, I still wanted to indulge a little bit.

So what to do? Cook my own sweet meal, based on fruits and honey… and my favorite right now is oatmeal with blackberries and fried apples.


So I ate one portion of it, froze away the rest, and when I was sitting in the bus a little later on my way to work, I realized that I was pretty full. And happy. Even now, 5 hours later, I don’t feel any more cravings for sweets.

Instead of shoving sweets and chocolate into my mouth and sometimes not even thinking about what I am eating…

I am now enjoying a whole meal that is every bit as sweet as it is healthy.

Social media

In past months, I could never even wait to get off work before I checked Facebook or my eMails.

Now, days go by where I am reading a book on my way home…

… and I am completely oblivious to my eMail account!

There is one additional observation I made:

I am connecting to more people in person.

I can’t use Social Media to do that anymore.

What have I achieved in these first two weeks of November?


We are still doing necessary experiments. That’s good.

However, I still need to become better organized and focussed so I can work on assembling the figures for our manuscript.

That’s one area that will benefit most from further improvements. Luckily, I still have time to reach my goals of finishing all figures for which we already have data by the end of november.


I have realized over the past two weeks that I can publish one blog post per day, which is good. These “Dear Diary” entries follow a clear structure, and I need 30 – 60 minutes finishing one such blog post.

Beyond that, articles normally take longer, though I am fairly quick “rambling on” about any topic.

Since I am writing every day for more than half a year, I now have literally hundreds of drafts collected over the past eight months.

I need to edit them, add pictures etc. – and I should be able to come up with 2 – 3 of these articles per week, maybe even daily.

What takes much longer in general is editing the layout of my blog. I am just not used to drawing graphics, choosing the best colors, the right perspectives etc. This will be an interesting new part for me to learn. I expect I’ll become faster eventually, as well.


I may have mentioned before that I am doing 100 push ups, squats and sit-ups every day. As a result, my arms are growing. It’s cool to watch. Here is the most notable improvement over the last weeks: I used to hate squatting, now though…

Where I had to bend down before to pick something up, I can now just squat without problems.

I would have never thought NoNothingNovember would be that life changing, but I am finally getting rid of some of the most destructive vices I had.

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 16 tomorrow.

(a description of my goals for the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here: