What if Life is no Gamble?


Scott Adams is the creator of the hugely popular Dilbert cartoon. At the beginning of his career, he found it virtually impossible to find a mentor setting him off on a lifetime journey of researching what it takes to succeed culminating in the writing of his highly popular book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big Kind of the Story of My Life : Get It Here. Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance: – Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
– “Passion” is bull. What you need is personal energy.
– A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
– You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others. In the book Adams wrote the following:

“You could word-glue goals and systems together if you chose. All I’m suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous pre-success failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at every turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their systems. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.

The systems-versus-goals model can be applied to most human endeavours. In the world of dieting, losing twenty pounds is a goal, but eating right is a system. In the exercise realm, running a marathon in under four hours is a goal, but exercising daily is a system. In business, making a million dollars is a goal, but being a serial entrepreneur is a system. For our purposes, let’s say a goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don’t sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, it’s a system. If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal.”

So how do you live your life, via setting possible goals or following systems, here’s what society says about winning big:

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1. Back in the day, my goal was to run the Moscow Peace Marathon in ten months. My system was to get up at 5 a.m. every day and run as far as I could, something I had not done for 15 years.

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2. You win the door prize if you can name which witch Alyssa Milano played in my all-time favourite TV series, Charmed: A Thousand Years.

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3. One of a few comments on success by world leaders in this blog.

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4. You are a struggling entrepreneur and sometimes it feels like you are pushing a 3-ton boulder up a steep hill. Costs keep mounting and you are considering giving up. Well before you do, check out these 10 setbacks that Walt Disney had, some were financial nightmares that put him millions of dollars in the red:

A. Walt formed his first animation company in Kansas City in 1921. He made a deal with a distribution company in New York, in which he would ship them his cartoons and get paid six months down the road. He was forced to dissolve his company and at one point could not pay his rent and was surviving by eating dog food.

B. Walt created a mildly successful cartoon character in 1926 called Oswald the Rabbit. When he tried to negotiate with his distributor, Universal Studios, for better rates for each cartoon, he was informed that Universal had obtained ownership of the Oswald character and they had hired Disney’s artists out from under him.

C. When Walt tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927 he was told that the idea would never work– a giant mouse on the screen would terrify women.

D. The Three Little Pigs was rejected by distributors in 1933 because it only had four characters, it was felt at that time that cartoons should have as many figures on the screen as possible. It later became very successful and played at one theatre so long that the poster outside featured the pigs with long white beards. 

E. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was sneak previewed to college students in 1937 who left halfway during the film causing Disney great despair. It turned out the students had to leave early because of dorm curfew.

F. Pinocchio in 1940 became extra expensive because Walt shut down the production to make the puppet more sympathetic than the lying juvenile delinquent as presented in the original Carlo Collodi story. He also resurrected a minor character, an unnamed cricket who tried to tell Pinocchio the difference between right and wrong until the puppet killed him with the mallet. Excited by the development of Jiminy Cricket plus the revamped, misguided rather than rotten Pinocchio, Walt poured extra money into the film’s special effects and it ended up losing a million dollars in its first release.

G. For the premiere of Pinocchio Walt hired 11 midgets, dressed them up like the little puppet and put them on top of Radio City Music Hall in New York with a full day’s supply of food and wine. The idea was they would wave hello to the little children entering into the theatre. By the middle of the hot afternoon, there were 11 drunken naked midgets running around the top of the marquee, screaming obscenities at the crowd below. The most embarrassed people were the police who had to climb up ladders and take the little fellows off in pillowcases.

H.  Walt never lived to see Fantasia become a success. 1940 audiences were put off by its lack of a story. Also, the final scene, The Night On Bald Mountain sequence with the devil damning the souls of the dead, was considered unfit for children.

I. In 1942, Walt was in attendance for the premiere of Bambi. In the dramatic scene where Bambi’s mother died, Bambi was shown wandering through the meadow shouting,” Mother! Where are you, Mother?” A teenage girl seated in the balcony shouted out, ” Here I am Bambi!” The audience broke into laughter except for the black-faced Walt who concluded correctly that war-time was not the best time to release a film about the love-life of a deer. 

J. The sentimental Pollyanna in 1960 made Walt cry at the studio screening but failed at the box office. Walt concluded that the title was off-putting for young boys.  

Walt was human, he suffered through many fits of anger and depression through his many trials. Yet he learned from each setback and continued to take even bigger risks which combined with the wisdom that experiencing failure can provide, leading to fabulous financial rewards: Let It Go.

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5. With a nickname like Bum, NFL coach Oail Andrew Phillips could not but live by this credo.

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6. A leaders job is to learn from each interaction, there better be smarter people to learn from in your vicinity: Most Girls.

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7. Paul Allen and Bill Gates took some risks while founding Microsoft. One huge risk taken by Gates was that he dropped out of college to help create Microsoft, Gates could have stayed in college to learn more but instead, he took the risk to drop out and live his dream of creating Microsoft. Bill Gates also took the risk of starting his business on a vision, the vision of the personal computer being a useful tool on every office desk and in every home. When Gates was asked about these risks he said that he feels that he did not take a risk but instead he had a plan that if his business failed, he had enough money that it would not hurt him. As for dropping out of Harvard, he did not drop out, he took a formal leave of absence that left him tied to Harvard if things did not work out. He had a system in place if his goal did not work out.

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8. Systems like lots of hard work in place equal luck, A Ho: Harder, Better, Faster.

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9. Yes, that Donald Trump, our one, and only POTUS.

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10. And from another side of the world and an earlier era, another world leader has her say: Rap Battle, Hilary vs. Donald.

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11. I want a million dollars, I have a million dollars, are you willing?

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12. John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was an American oil industry business magnate, industrialist, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time, and the richest person in modern history: I’m Rich.

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13. And this from the most respected world leader of all time.

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14. And this is not the way to do it: That’s Life.

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15. Marcus does not exist on Google, The more famous quote is by Vince Lombardi which begins the man at the top…

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard goes something like this: If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it. It sounds trivial and obvious, but if you unpack the idea it has extraordinary power. I know a lot of people who wish they were rich or famous or otherwise fabulous. They wish they had yachts and servants and castles and they wish they could travel the world in their own private jets. But these are mere wishes. Few of these wishful people have decided to have any of the things they wish for. It’s a key difference, for once you decide, you take action. Wishing starts in the mind and generally stays there. When you decide to be successful in a big way, it means you acknowledge the price and you’re willing to pay it.

I like today’s playlist, it has deep songs and silly songs, a bit of fun and thought. It begins with Christina Perri, then a Disney tune. Hailee Steinfeld from my collection of pop divas up next, then Daft Punk. The silly track is a Rap Battle between Donald and Hilary. We end with Ada and Frank Sinatra: What If Life Is Not A Gamble?

Show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until next we meet, my dear friends,

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Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

When Life Give You a Hundred Reasons To Cry.


I am about to do a course called the International Schools of Temple Arts Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Experience/Training and in the registration form, it asked what spiritual path or tradition do you follow or have followed, my answer was Shakya Tibetan Buddhism which I was deeply involved in for a period of 7 years. I thought that would be a great subject to write a blog on and did some online research as I gave away all of my Buddhist tomes several years ago.  I came across The Buddha in Your Mirror Practical Buddhism and the Search for Self by Woody Hochswender, Greg Martin, Ted Morino: Get It Here.

In it they write the following:

“If we were to apply these notions to the realm of human relations, certain insights would emerge. We would begin to realize that the lives of those in our immediate environment tend to mirror our own inner lives. Generally, if an individual finds other people unfriendly, it is often because he or she is provoking that reaction, one way or another. Similarly, if that person becomes friendlier, the people around that person will begin to react differently. An unusually kind and good-hearted person will tend to believe that others are the same. To a person possessed by lust for power, even the most selfless, benevolent actions of others will appear as cunning moves to gain power. When we cherish people with the same profound reverence as we would the Buddha, their Buddha nature functions to protect us. On the other hand, if we belittle or regard people with contempt, we will be disparaged in return, as though gazing into our own image reflected in a mirror. As much as we sometimes resist the idea, a smile and a few kind words can achieve near miracles by reducing hostility in many situations. There are people who can walk into a room and immediately lighten things up and lift everyone’s spirits. These are all illustrations of what Buddhism terms the principle of the oneness of life and its environment.”

So what has society said about the Oneness of Life, here are some of my favourites:

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1. What do you do to make yourself proud?

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2. How many times has your life unexpectedly changed in the last year, your clinging to supposed to causes anxiety around this: Club Controller.

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3. This is more my spiritual practice these days.

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4. Here is a way to bring your oneness in life to life: The Lie.

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5. At 64 this statement rings true for me.

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6. Two of my friends reached the end this weekend, they were both quite a bit younger than me, what was their what-ifs they hoped to fulfil before they were 64: Take Your Chance.

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7. Your Oneness is unique, never forget that:

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8. Oneness is not stopping and hoping things will change, It’s dancing with it: Singing In The Rain.

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9. I can feel it getting closer and closer.

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10. We cannot live forever, but the greats create something that liver long past their physical form. Nelson, Martin, Theresa, etc. etc. etc.: Someone Like You.

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11. Confucius’s principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle “Do not do to others what you do not want to be done to yourself”, the Golden Rule. He is also a traditional deity in Daoism.

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12. You’ve got to fight for the right to Party.

 

 

 

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13. Your Oneness with Life will pay you back in kind.

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14. Speaking the truth Carol is: I’d Love to Change the World.

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15. But finally, remember that your Oneness in Life is yours, for you and that part of it is respecting others way of thinking.

Another tenet of Buddhism mention in the book is another link to an enriched life: “No one exists in isolation. We are connected to parents who conceived and raised us, to teachers who have educated us, and to friends who have encouraged us. We are also linked to people we have never met who harvest and distribute our food, manufacture our clothing, write the books that shape our thinking—in fact, we are connected to everyone whose efforts help hold together the fabric of society. There is no one in the world who has no connection to us.” So we have Oneness in Life and no one existing in isolation to tie together.

The playlist today begins in South Africa with Prince Kaybee and friends, then some spoken word from the Lie. Three different type of songs follow. They are Fun Factory, Gene Kelly and Adele. One of the classic anthems by the Beastie Boys is the penultimate track ending with a beautiful ballad by Jetta: When Life Gives You a Hundred reasons to Cry.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Never tell people how to do Things, Tell them what to Do.


This list is from John C. Maxwell’s excellent book: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Get It Here.

What would happen if a top expert with more than thirty years of leadership experience was willing to distil everything he had learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life! John C. Maxwell has done exactly that in “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. He has combined insights learned from his thirty-plus years of leadership successes and occasional mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can. Here is the list:

THE 21 LAWS OF LEADERSHIP

1. The Law of the Lid. There’s a lid to your potential; it’s determined by your leadership ability. Therefore, expand your leadership capacity and expand your ability to impact the world.

2. The Law of Influence. As Maxwell says a number of times throughout the book, “The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.”

3. The Law of Process. We can’t snap our fingers and become great leaders overnight. Maxwell tells us: “Leadership develops daily, not in a day.” 

4. The Law of Navigation. Steering the ship is relatively easy. Leaders chart the course—seeing where they want to go and charting the most effective course to get there.

5. The Law of Addition. Leaders serve. They focus on creating value for others. It’s not so much “What’s in it for me?” but “How can I serve?” That’s the law of addition.

6. The Law of Solid Ground. Maxwell tells us that trust is the foundation of leadership. We must stand on the solid ground of solid character—living with integrity, being trustworthy.

7. The Law of Respect. People “naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.” We must cultivate our strength if we want people to respect us and be willing to follow our lead.

8. The Law of Intuition. As Emerson says, we must trust ourselves—“every heart vibrates to that iron string.” As a mentor of mine once said, “Trust yourself. Always.”

9. The Law of Magnetism. Who you ARE is who you will attract. Want to attract great people? BE GREAT. That’s the law of magnetism.

10. The Law of Connection. We must connect with others. Maxwell tells us, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.”

11. The Law of Inner Circle. Our potential as leaders is determined by those closest to us. Whose in your inner circle?

12. The Law of Empowerment. You need to be confident enough to give power to others. Trust yourself and trust your team to crush it.

13. The Law of the Picture. People will do what they see. We need to create a “picture” of what awesome looks like which inspires people to follow our lead. Embody your ideals.

14. The Law of Buy-In. You have a great vision. Fantastic. (And essential.) But know this: People buy into YOU, the leader before they buy into the vision.

15. The Law of Victory. Victory. Leaders are FIERCELY committed to winning. Period. That relentless pursuit of victory is essential. (We’ll chat about this more as well.)

16. The Law of Big Mo. Mr Momentum. Is a very close friend of effective leaders. We need to create (and celebrate!) little wins—always remembering that progress is uber-powerful.

17. The Law of Priorities. It’s not enough to be busy. We need to be effective. Leaders take the time to properly line up their dominoes and focus on what’s most important.

18. The Law of Sacrifice. The higher you go, the more you need to be willing to give up. Leaders trade-off freedom with responsibility.

19. The Law of Timing. As Jim Collins says in Great By Choice, not all moments are created equal. Leaders know when to lean in and seize the moment.

20. The Law of Explosive Growth. Maxwell tells us about “leader’s math”—if you want to multiply your growth, create more LEADERS not followers.

21. The Law of Legacy. What do you want people to say at your funeral? Leaders keep this vision firmly in mind and dedicate their lives to its fulfilment. A quick inventory: Favourites? Strengths? Weaknesses?

“In a study of ninety leaders from a variety of fields, leadership experts Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus made a discovery about the relationship between growth and leadership: ‘It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguish leaders from their followers.’ Successful leaders are learners. And the learning process is ongoing, a result of self-discipline and perseverance. The goal each day must be to get a little better, to build on the previous day’s progress.

So how many of the Laws do you work on daily, here’s what the world says about Leadership:

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1. You can’t do it on your own, Go that way and it will work out is what the leader is there for.

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2. Master, Miss, Ms, Dr, Mrs, Mister, they are titles, being a leader is not: If You’re Out There.

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3. Actions not words, Leadership 101.

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4. Obviously, they are speaking about Donald Trumps leadership style, aren’t they: When I’m Gone.

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5. I don’t take up the Challenge every day, do you?

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6. Presence, Presence, Presence, Leadership: My Immortal.

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7. Mark Yarnell died in 2015, lauded as the Worlds greatest network Marketer, he was truly inspiring — “I’ve lived a “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” life he said. “I’ve squeezed every ounce of joy out of every single day. It’s been an absolute blast!” And, he encouraged each of us to become the best possible version of ourselves while living a life of freedom.

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8. Even for your mistakes, that’s what real leadership is: Responsibility.

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9. Are you the former or the latter, Your Choice.

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10. Trying leadership on: Try.

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11. Word origin of ‘courage’: Middle Eastern & Old French – corage, heart, spirit  Latin cor, heart. Where we find our passion, In the heart.

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12. I recently came back in contact with Fiona, the woman who showed the leadership to get 13 disparate individuals to travel from Australia to Moscow to run a marathon in the name of ending world hunger, her leadership was inspirational at the time. It was the year before the Berlin Wall came down and communism ended in Russia: Fight Song. 

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13. Remember, it’s your actions that create the opportunities for others to become leaders too.

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14. I would change the middle quotes to Goes there own Way: Go Your Own Way.

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15. It’s OK to take walks, but it’s leadership that makes the difference after all.

As author Hans Finzel observed, ‘Leaders are paid to be dreamers. The higher you go in leadership, the more your work is about the future. At the same time, leaders are practical enough to know that vision without action achieves nothing. They make themselves responsible for helping their followers take action.” Great leaders are BOTH visionary *and* practical.

Today’s songs begin with John Legend, then we travel to the rap of Eminem. Rock takes over for the next three tracks with Evanescence, MxPx and Janis Joplin. It closes out with a very cute video of Rachell Platten and a whole lot of kids and finishes with a classic Fleetwood Mac number: Never tell people how to do Things, tell them what to Do

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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We Can’t Direct the Wind, but We can Adjust Sails!!


I was browsing through the offering of Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes, when he commented that he had never come across a book that he would recommend to read to help live an ideal life until he read Sonja Lyubmirsky’s The How of Happiness: A Practical Guide to Getting The Life You Want: Get It Here.

The key tenet of THE HOW OF HAPPINESS is that every human being has a happiness ‘set point’ which, depending on how high or low it is, can determine how positive or negative they feel. This book offers a practical approach to help readers increase their set point, and find a level of happiness above that which they would normally feel, and feel more satisfaction in life.

“In a nutshell, the fountain of happiness can be found in how you behave, what you think, and what goals you set every day of your life. ‘There is no happiness without action.’ If feelings of passivity and futility overcome you whenever you face up to your happiness set point or to your circumstances, you must know that a genuine and abiding happiness is indeed within your reach, lying within the 40 per cent of the happiness pie chart that’s yours to guide.”

Through remarkable studies with identical twins separated at birth, scientists have discovered that about 50% of our happiness is determined by our genetics and that we have what they call a “happiness set point”—a level of happiness we tend to gravitate toward. So 50% is FIXED. We can’t do anything about it. Now, there’s another 10% of our happiness that’s determined by our life circumstances. Most people spend all their energy on this variable but research shows that increasing our wealth, attractiveness and stuff like that has both a negligible and a temporary impact on our well-being. Which leads us to the 40% we want to focus on: “What makes up this 40 per cent? Besides our genes and the situations that we confront, there is one critical thing left: our behaviour. Thus the key to happiness lies not in changing our genetic makeup (which is impossible) and not in changing our circumstances (i.e., seeking wealth or attractiveness or better colleagues, which is usually impractical), but in our daily intentional activities. With this in mind, our pie chart illustrates the potential of the 40 per cent that is within our ability to control, the 40 per cent for room to maneuver, for opportunities to increase or decrease our happiness levels through what we do in our daily lives and how we think.”

Part II of the book delivers 12 Happiness Activities that’s been scientifically proven to increase our happiness levels. You’ll wanna get the book to explore the various studies that have established why these activities work and we’ll highlight a few of my favourites below. For now, here they are:

1. Expressing Gratitude

2. Cultivating Optimism

3. Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison

4. Practising Acts of Kindness

5. Nurturing Social Relationships

6. Developing Strategies for Coping

7. Learning to Forgive

8. Increasing Flow Experiences

9. Savouring Life’s Joys

10. Committing to Your Goals

11. Practising Religion and Spirituality

12. Taking Care of Your Body: Meditation + Physical Activity + Acting Like a Happy Person

(Another cool point Sonja makes again and again (!) throughout the book is that it’s *essential* for us to choose activities that inspire us as we’re much more likely to follow through on those activities than doing something we think we “should” do.)

So which of the above activities do you use to get your happy on? Statements on achieving happiness differ from their approach, here are just a few:

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1. Considered one of the happiest people on the planet, His Holiness The Dalai Lama knows it is through your actions that this state is achieved.

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2. The first of the 12 activities mentioned above, expressing gratitude for the fact that recognising what we have is a powerful first step to happiness: Grateful.

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3. A moot point to remember in the dark times.

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4. As Mandy points out, It’s our daily intentional activities that ensure happiness, not those of others: Follow The Sun,

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5. I got caught at the railway gates today, it went for five minutes. The person in the car behind me was losing it, this is a little thing.

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6. Such a simple example, but beautiful in its concept: That’s Entertainment.

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7. An empowering fridge magnet to read daily.

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8. Dancing is one way I choose to do it: Feel Good.

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9. Waitley was also a founding member of the National Council for Self-Esteem and a former chairman of psychology for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council. A worthy life of Happiness what a great title for the council.

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10. Happiness spreads when you release it into the world due to its infectious nature: Spread a Little Happiness.

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11. Back to the 1400’s for this quote that leaves out 50 per cent of the population. Erasmus was considered the greatest scholar of the Northern Renaissance.

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12. Out beyond the horizon of accepting your imperfections lies the land of happiness: Perfect.

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13. From the man with the most famous bedraggled hair in the world, Albert points out that giving away your happiness to people and things don’t really work.

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14. I spent many years trying to be liked by everyone, it cost me a great deal of happiness, I’m getting better at not doing it: You Can’t Please Everybody.

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15. And for our final look we return to the beginning of modern time, Seneca was around from 4 BC-AD 65. Still very relevant today though.

Pema Chodron says pretty much the same thing in her great book The Places That Scare You: “Acknowledging that we are all churned up is the first and most difficult step in any practice. Without compassionate recognition that we are stuck, it’s impossible to liberate ourselves from confusion. ‘Doing something different’ is anything that interrupts our ancient habit of indulging in our emotions. We do anything to cut the strong tendency to spin out… Anything that’s non-habitual will do—even sing and dance or run around the block. We do anything that doesn’t reinforce our crippling habits. The third most difficult practice is to then remember that this is not something we do just once or twice. Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”

The Playlist from today’s blog is quite joyous as you would expect songs dedicated to happiness to be. Empty Hands Music begins the journey, followed by an anthem from Xavier Rudd. I sneak some rock in with the Jam next, then some EDM with Felix Jaehn and Mike Williams. It gets a little darker with Sting followed by a beautiful duet from Ed Sheeran and Beyonce ending with some old time Funk from Rose Royce: We Can’t Direct the Wind, but We can Adjust Sails!!

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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In a Cat’s eyes, All things belong to Cats.


I am part of a year-long training program called Warriors of Love where we declare a life essence and bring it into being powerful. I chose Intimate Belonging, my friend suggested I read Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown: Get it Here.

I really enjoy Brene’s take on life, so I have been doing that this week, what really spoke to me was the following:

4 PRACTICES OF TRUE BELONGING

“What emerged from the responses to these questions were four elements of true belonging. These elements are situated in the reality of the world we live in today. The theories that emerge from this methodology are based on how we engage with the world in our everyday lives; they’re not hypothetical. This means you can’t develop a theory of true belonging without addressing how our increasingly polarised world shapes our lives and our experiences of connection and true belonging. I didn’t intend to write a book about belonging set against a backdrop of political and ideological chaos. But that’s not my call to make. My job is to be true to the data.

As you take a look at each of the four elements, you can see that each is a daily practice and feels like a paradox. They’re going to challenge us:

  1. People Are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In.
  2. Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil.
  3. Hold Hands. With Strangers.
  4. Strong Back. Strong Front. Wild Heart.”

Imagine if we everyone did this every day in their lives, what a different place the planet would be. In fact, how have we looked at belonging over the decades, here are a few of my favourite takes at it, profoundly Brene influenced:

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1. Love and Belonging do not come out of a Mills and Boon episode, It comes from doing things that seem imperfect, that is vulnerable and real.

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2. One of my daily battles, between the intellectualism of my mind and the love I have in my heart for my community: Love Myself.

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3. Another Famous quoter named Brown. No relation, he was an African American baseball player born in the 1940’s.

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4. Not by someone named Brown, but the worlds most famous, Ms Anonymous, this is an excellent recipe for well being: We are all Connected.

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5. No change required, just genuinely being who you know you are.

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6. Who wired us to use our mind to feel a sense of belonging not our hearts, a lousy person: You’re Worth It.

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7. After 5 years of Mental Health episodes I woke up one day and made this decision, my life changed overnight.

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8. A prominent 20th-century Jewish rabbi who was raised in Germany expelled to Poland by the Nazis and fled to America, Heschel’s sister Esther was killed in a German bombing. His mother was murdered by the Nazis, and two other sisters, Gittel and Devorah, died in Nazi concentration camps. He never returned to Germany, Austria or Poland. He once wrote, “If I went to Poland or Germany, every stone, every tree would remind me of contempt, hatred, murder, of children killed, of mothers burned alive, of human beings asphyxiated.: No Tears Left to Cry.

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9. Self Love 101.

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10. Have to think about this one, I apparently have not felt it fully: Feels.

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11. Part of the four, Strong Back. Strong Front. Wild Heart.

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12. When we talk about these, get vulnerable, we realise that: We are all in This Together.

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13. If you feel like you belong where you are, why would there ever be a need for snobbery?

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14. Renee has ten questions in her about Renee on her website, they were asked by a garden gnome apparently. My personal favourite:  If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be: The most delicious food from all over the world. Seriously. I travel to eat. It may seem shortsighted to you, but I swear I would be much happier than the jackass with a roomful of gold: We Belong.

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15. How far can we take belonging? 

This box is a flub-up.
 

Aldo Leopold was an American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac (1949), which has sold more than two million copies. Leopold was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. His ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement, with his ecocentric or holistic ethics regarding land. He emphasised biodiversity and ecology and was a founder of the science of wildlife management. I think we forgot to take his advice.

Byron Katie has another great metaphor. She tells us that thinking the problem of belonging is “out there” is kinda like thinking the imperfect image on the movie screen is the problem. Nope. It’s the lint on the projector’s lens. Clean THAT off, and the movie screen of life is golden. “As you inquire into issues and turn judgments around, you come to see that every perceived problem appearing ‘out there’ is really nothing more than a misperception within your own thinking.”

A very bouncy playlist today. We begin with Hailee Steinfeld, then we do the connected dance. A positive number from Cimorelli, Arian Grande next, followed by Calvin Harris with a guest list of mega-stars. A boppy musical number from High School Musical, finishing up with an anthem from Pat Benatar: In a Cat’s eyes, All things belong to Cats.

Namaste until next time we meet, my dear friends:

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If at First, you don’t Succeed, You’re Normal!!!


 

In her excellent, book: Mindset, The New Psychology of Success – How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential: Get it here. Carol Dweck, Stanford University psychologist in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset.  Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. The major difference between the two is as follows, Carol writes:

“The growth-minded athletes, CEOs, musicians, or scientists all loved what they did, whereas many of the fixed-minded ones did not. Many growth-minded people didn’t even plan to go to the top. They got there as a result of doing what they love. It’s ironic: The top is where the fixed-mindset people hunger to be, but it’s where many growth-minded people arrive as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do. This point is also crucial. In the fixed-mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.”

“Is it ability or mindset? Was it Mozart’s musical ability or the fact that he worked till his hands were deformed? Was it Darwin’s scientific ability or the fact that he collected specimens non-stop from early childhood?” 

“People with the growth mindset know that it takes time for potential to flower.” ~ Carol S. Dweck, PhD.

So how has the growth-minded mindset been viewed over the centuries, here are a few of my favourite sayings:

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1. Out there on the edge, that is where we discover what we love to do. What it is that we really want to spend our time on.

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2. What happens to the hundreds, even thousands of children’s mindset who were going to be astronauts when they grow up and that of the rare few that actually make it: How Far I’ll Go.

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3. The yellow ones say it all.

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4. As long as you really believe 100 per cent, another way of saying doing something you love: I Believe In Miracles.

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5. First attempt in Learning, Forever Acquiring Important Lessons, First Action in Learning equals your flaws.

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6. My group is called the Warriors of Love, brought together by my mentor Arion Light to spread Essence work around the globe: Essence.

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7. Did you see that chance fly by? No sorry, it isn’t part of my growth mindset.

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8. Definitely, from the land of the growth mindset, a challenge may not exist as a concept in Fixed Mindset land: Hey World, Don’t Give Up.

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9. “Every child needs someone to be crazy about them.” These are the words of Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher and principal, and nationally recognized educator. They shape his life-long commitment to answering the question, “How do we ensure that every child achieves their greatest potential?” This question lies at the heart of the national dialogue on education policy, the day in and day out work of school personnel, and the hopes of every parent. Central to this challenge is how we succeed with children who are facing the most serious barriers to success: poverty, violence, neglect, and low expectations.

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10. It’s easier to master when it is truly doing what you love: #that Power.

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11. Everything, your body is not deaf, like we think it is at times.

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12. They have growth mindsets, they came out as someone’s bundle of joy just like the rest of us: Not Afraid.

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13. From Carol, three amazing important W questions to ask yourself each day.

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14. Beep, Stop-Go: I am not my Hair!!

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15. Obstacles, challenges, mistakes, frustrations, etc. etc. , all part of life.

What is the danger of the fixed mindset? If you are stuck in this mindset it can get us in (a lot of!) trouble. Let’s take a quick look at the “growth mindset”: “In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”

Some rock rhythms in today’s playlist. It begins with a soundtrack hit from Alessia Cara, then Hot Chocolate have us believe in miracles. We then rock it out with Lucinda Williams and Michaele Frente. Then pop from this century with Will.I.Am, an Eminem anthem finishing with India.Arie: If at First, you don’t Succeed, You’re Normal

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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We want Presence, Not Presents!!!


Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on Your Body shapes who you are is the second most watched after Sir Ken Robinson’s one on Creativity. Her book on Presence, funnily enough, called Presence: Get it Here. is a powerful look into what separates the great from the ordinary. In it, Amy states:

“The opposite of powerlessness must be power, right? In a sense, that’s true, but it’s not quite that simple. The research I’ve been doing for years now joins a large body of inquiry into a quality I call presence. Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities. That’s important, because if you don’t trust yourself, how can others trust you? Whether we are talking in front of two people or five thousand, interviewing for a job, negotiating for a raise, or pitching a business idea to potential investors, speaking up for ourselves or speaking up for someone else, we all face daunting moments that must be met with poise if we want to feel good about ourselves and make progress in our lives. Presence gives us the power to rise to these moments.”

Presence = “the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.” Note: That’s not a *permanent* state of nirvanic bliss. It’s a moment-to-moment experience in which “We are no longer fighting ourselves; we are being ourselves.”

How do you relate to being present, for me, it has been an ongoing dichotomy with that little voice in my head that says Who do you think you are to………………….., fill in the dots. How has the world related to Presence over time, here are a few of my favourite takes at it:

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1. In September 2011, Mos Def joined the cast of the environmental children’s hip-hop musical – Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature – as narrator. He stated “the earth was given as a trust to mankind, so we have a responsibility to look after it, take care of it, treat it with respect ’cause it’s a gift from the creator to us… We’re so dependent on the natural world. The natural world’s also dependent on us… If we don’t treat it good, it’s not gonna treat us very good either.”

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2. Perfectionism, often related to as the booby prize, when do perfectionists begin their projects: Living in the Moment. 

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3. During my Mental Health period, it was the presence of my siblings that got me through, not their words.

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4. I have reduced my Facebook online presence from seven days a week to three to express the above scenario: Glorious. 

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5. We all know people who enter the room, and the room stops.

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6. Where’s Wally: In my Presence.

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7. Remember to add value wherever you are at any time.

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8. I am still seeking that special someone: Boo’d Up.

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9. In 1969, Harbhajan Singh established the 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) Foundation to further his missionary work. The Yogi’s brand of Sikhism appealed to the hippies who formed the bulk of his early converts. The Sikh practice of not cutting one’s hair or beard was already accepted by the hippie culture, as was Sikh vegetarianism. They liked to experience elevated states of awareness and they also deeply wanted to feel they were contributing to a world of peace and social justice. Yogi Bhajan offered them all these things with vigorous yoga, an embracing holistic vision, and an optimistic spirit of sublime destiny.

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10. Another way Eckhart Tolle expresses the Power of Now equalling being present: Redemption Song.

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11. Soul presence, very special.

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12. Drescher’s first acting break was a small role as the dancer Connie in the blockbuster movie Saturday Night Fever (1977), in which she delivered the line “So, are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?” to John Travolta’s character. She is a uterine cancer survivor: Fran Rocking It.

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13. Marshall gifted the world Non-Violent Communication. According to his biographer, Marjorie C. Witty, “He has a fierce face– even when he smiles and laughs. The overall impression I received was of intellectual and emotional intensity. He possesses a charismatic presence. 

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14. Right Here, Right Now: Right Here, Right Now.

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15. Some of these conversations are silent.

Amy also asks us to recall a moment when you felt personally powerful. A time when you felt fully in control of your own psychological state—when you had the confidence to act based on your boldest, most sincere self, with the sense that your actions would be effective. Maybe it was at work, at school, at home, or in some other part of your life. Take a few minutes right now to remember and reflect on that experience of your personal power, on how it felt.

It’s that feeling we seek in our life, it’s available moment to moment if we let it blossom.

We begin with some modern tunes this playlist. Starting off is Jason Mraz, then Macklemore, Drake and Ella Mai. Then back in time to Bob Marley, Fran Drescher, yes, the Nanny, finishing off with a Fatboy Slim classic: We want Presence, not Presents.

Namaste until next time my dear friends, there’s now a search button to look up your favourite blog subjects:

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