Yes, Life is Tough but You are Tougher!!


Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be. But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities for growth and happiness.

I really like Marc Chernoff’s list: 40 lessons for finding strength in hard times, here they are:

  1. You are not what happened to you in the past.
  2. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
  3. Struggling with problems is a natural way of growing.
  4. It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.
  5. Life is fragile, sudden,  and shorter than it often seems.
  6. You will fail sometimes.
  7. You have the capacity to create your own happiness.
  8. Emotionally separate yourself from your problems.
  9. Don’t make a problem bigger than it is.
  10. Everything that happened is a life lesson.
  11. View every challenge as an educational assignment.
  12. Things change, but the sun always rises the next day.
  13. Giving up and moving on are two very different things.
  14. Distance yourself from negative people.
  15. Perfect relationships don’t exist.
  16. You must love yourself too.
  17. Don’t let others make decisions for you.
  18. Resentment hurts you, not them.
  19. You’re not alone. Everyone has problems.
  20. You still have a lot to be thankful for.
  21. Consciously nurture your inner hope.
  22. It’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie.
  23. It’s hard to tell how close you are to success.
  24. Not getting what you want can be a blessing.
  25. Laughter is the best medicine to stress.
  26. Mistakes are important to make.
  27. Worrying is literally a waste of energy.
  28. Even when it’s hard to move, take small steps forward.
  29. There will always be people who dislike you.
  30. You are better off without some people you thought you needed.
  31. You can’t control everything that happens to you.
  32. You are only competing against yourself.
  33. Life is not Easy.
  34. Your future is spotless.
  35. You are not trapped; you just need to re-learn a few things.
  36. Everything in life is two-sided.
  37. You always have a choice.
  38. Let others in when you’re in a dark place.
  39. If you ask negative questions, you will get negative answers.
  40. The end is a new beginning.

How does the world recommend you move forward in hard times, let’s take that journey:

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1. The answers are not out there, you are looking in the wrong place if you are seeking the solution from others.

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2. Love truthfully and unconditionally, a worthwhile life to lead: Soul Kinda Feeling.

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3. I survived after five years of mental health crises, that was my true inner strength speaking.

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4. And then there are times you use your inner strength in service of others: Praise You.

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5. From the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund points us towards where our strengths come from.

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6. You are the creation of your experiences: You Get What You Give.

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7. And then there is meditation.

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8. And then your Inner Pilot Light is always on your side: Don’t Stop Believing.

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9. My friend Em took me in my troubled waters recently, my trust in myself was totally cleansed.

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10, And from a singer of both types of music, Sara Evans points out from little things, big things can grow: A Little Bit Stronger.

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11. Nothing, Nada, Nil.

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12. My 2019 set out for me: Small Stuff.

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13. All champions know it is not the destination but the inner journey that is the more important to achieving the final result.

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14. How much dust have you shaken off recently: Shake It Off.

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15. And some advice from Yoda: May the Force be With You. Some days are harder than others to locate it.

So, say to yourself: “Dear Past, thank you for all the life lessons you have taught me. Dear Future, I am ready now!” Because a great beginning always occurs at the point you thought would be the end of everything.

Not many divas on the playlist today, mainly rock and both types of music, country and western. We rock it through the first four artists with Dynamic Hepnotics, Fatboy Slim, The New Radicals and Journey. Then Sara Evans and Alabama provide both types and we complete with Taylor Swift: Yes, Life is Tough, But You are Tougher.

So today, show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included to your beloveds until we meet again, my dear friends.

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We are What we Repeatedly Do!!


Have you heard of James Clear, he wrote the insightful book on getting done what you want to called – Atomic Habits An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones: Get it Here, Free Shipping Worldwide.

People think when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call.

He calls them atomic habits.

In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter. Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.

These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life.

He sums it up with the following statement:

“If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, it is not because you have lost your ability to improve. It is often because you have not yet crossed the Plateau of Latent Potential. Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees. Your work was not wasted; it is just being stored. All the action happens at thirty-two degrees. When you finally break through the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an overnight success. … Mastery requires patience. The San Antonio Spurs, one of the most successful teams in NBA history, has a quote from social reformer Jacob Riis hanging in their locker room: ‘When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.’”

So how are you with creating good habits, then again how is the planet, let’s have a look.

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1. Blessed may your day be if you take this on.

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2. What a simple action per day can do for your future: The Seven Habits.

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3. It’s not the peak experiences that make the ultimate difference, It’s what you do after them when it comes to light.

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4. The first ingredient in a brand new future: Have It All.

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5. Napoleon Hill is the grandfather of the self-development movement, He is known best for his book Think and Grow Rich (1937) which is among the 10 best selling self-help books of all time.

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6. Have we been listening, Aristotle who made this statement was born in 384 BC: This is How We Do.

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7. What’s your favourite addiction, is it good or bad for you?

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8. You wake up one day and feel really motivated. But that will not produce the result, taking up the habit of what you were motivated about is where the answer lies: Burn Bright.

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9. Sixty a day of these for ten years then I became a marathon runner.

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10. Self Love will help you walk this path: Love Myself.

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11. They are also known as breakthroughs.

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12. Make your destiny a grand one, in whichever way that shows up for you: High Hopes.

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13. Step one, write a bad poem, paint a crap portrait, just begin a new habit today.

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14. Maya is one of my top ten on the internet: Yum: And Still I Rise.

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15. Oops, seems they left out a bit in Aristotle’s quote at number Six, makes more sense now.

How to Create a Good Habit and then How to Break a Bad Habit The 1st law (Cue) Make it obvious. Make it invisible. The 2nd law (Craving) Make it attractive. Make it unattractive. The 3rd law (Response) Make it easy. Make it difficult. The 4th law (Reward) Make it satisfying. Make it unsatisfying. This seems like it would be simple enough to do , but with the busyness, we fill our life up with these days, maybe not so, time to unclutter and allow space for some new good habits.

The playlist today is full of pop diva songs of possibility: We begin with Jannah Bolin, then Jason Mraz. Three great pop divas follow: Kate Perry, Natalie Grant and Hailee Steinfeld. Then a bit of Electronica from Panic at the Disco finishing with some sage wisdom from Maya Angelou. Enjoy: We are What We Repeatedly Do.

Remember to spread Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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Paradise has never been about Places!!


Not about a book this time, it’s about an experience. On the weekend I attended Collective Potential’s People on Purpose retreat: Here’s their contact page. My friend Emeli, the facilitator had a surprise for us on Saturday night, it would test my physical and trust issues to the Nth degree. I had to let my fears of walking down any slight slope when I inherited when I fell down an escalator drunk at the age of 18, a long time to hold onto something seeing I am now 64, but my balance has been shot ever since.

I am one of the worlds great givers, even having the nom de plume, The World’s Greatest Volunteer, but am sometimes naff at receiving, I realise there is a profound cost to this, but have trained myself harshly from the I am Unlovable shadow world.

What I learned was the power of the tribe, of true connection, can have people do things that they had told themselves they were incapable of. What has the world said about the power of connection over the decades, let’s have a look:

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1. Number one spot to Brene, the Queen of Vulnerability.

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2. I love the quote: You can get a kiss easily enough, having sex isn’t that hard really, but finding those people that touch your soul, that’s another thing: Listen To Your Heart.

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3. Relationship 101.

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4. Find Your Others: People Help the People.

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5. Actions not words, true connections not Roses…

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6. As James, the financial planner on the retreat said, you do not change your habits overnight, this is especially true in relationships: Time after Time.

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7. For the Barbara De Angelis fan on the retreat.

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8. I was the elder at 64, there were lots in their 20’s and 30’s, even a teenager I think: Human.

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9. Albert was born in the 18th Century, still relevant today.

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10. Too me this is more profound in shared experience: Shared Experiences.

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11. They are your weirdo’s after all.

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12. Has to slip in Emeli’s favourite word: Purpose: Love Connection.

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13. I think I did this with someone on the weekend, we don’t meet them that often, Emeli was one for me, so glad to meet another.

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14. I  have had these conversations, and they have gone for days: Fresh.

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15. Nada!!!

So go out there and find your others, allow true connection in your life, Collective Potential is a great place to start if you are new to the journey.

The playlist today has some certifiable classics in it: We begin with Roxette, then Birdy’s anthem to People. One of my top ten songs by Cyndi Lauper, then the bass tones of Rag and Bone Man. An unknown electronic classic by Menog. And what would a love connection playlist be without some Bollywood by Shubham Tiwari and some disco to finish off by Kool and the Gang…

Remember to show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until we meet again, my dear friends.

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Now a Soft Kiss.


I am attending a retreat next weekend organised by my friend and Anam Cara Emeli Paulo via her self-development company Collective Potential: Check them out here. One of her heroes is Joseph Campbell so I thought to revisit one of his books Pathways to Bliss: Get It Here.

Joseph Campbell famously defined myth as “other people’s religion.” But he also said that one of the basic functions of myth is to help each individual through the journey of life, providing a sort of travel guide or map to reach fulfilment — or, as he called it, bliss. For Campbell, many of the world’s most powerful myths support the individual’s heroic path toward bliss. In Pathways to Bliss, Campbell examines this personal, psychological side of myth.

In this highly enjoyable book, Campbell says: “There are something like 18 billion cells in the brain alone. There are no two brains alike; there are no two hands alike; there are no two human beings alike. You can take your instructions and your guidance from others, but you must find your own path.” Defining it as BLISS = THE TRANSCENDENT WISDOM WITHIN YOU – “Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you. So when the bliss cuts off, you know that you’ve cut off the welling up; try to find it again.”

So how does the world look at Bliss, lets take that journey:

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1. Lisa starts her webpage as follows, Dear Highly Sensitive Soul, Everything happens for a reason, I am so glad you have found yourself here! Let me remind you how special and unique you are AND that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! I know that being a Highly Sensitive Soul can sometimes feel like a curse, but in reality, it’s a blessing. You just need to know how to navigate your way through a world that doesn’t always understand what it means to feel things so deeply.

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2. Make sure your daily reality is not too far from your bliss: From Little Things.

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3. Probably Josephs most famous quote.

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4. the ultimate form of bliss, to know self-love and love for another: All of You.

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5. Not what I hold bliss to be, at all.

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6. the opposite of bliss: Ignorance.

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7. Thomas Gray was an English poet, letter-writer, classical scholar, and professor at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He is widely known for his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, published in 1751.

Gray was an extremely self-critical writer who published only 13 poems in his lifetime, despite being extremely popular. He was even offered the position of Poet Laureate in 1757, though he declined.

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8. If you are looking out there for it, go back, wrong way: Baby It’s You.

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9. Shadow and Light, they travel together.

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10. Think I found this opportunity this weekend: Soul Kind of Feeling.

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11. Appears to be getting harder and harder to do in these Tinder driven times.

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12. All three spiritual fields please: Mind, Body and Soul.

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13. The definition of Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs.

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14. 4 great blissful quotes: Safety Dance.

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15. The right ones will open.

LIFE IS CALLING  but “When the call isn’t answered, you experience a kind of drying up and a sense of life lost.” Life is calling. Are you answering? If not, beware. No matter how much you try to numb yourself, the pain’s not going away. Not till you step up and answer the call. Then? Well, then God’s on the line and flowing through you. Enter: Bliss, Enthusiasm, all the things you want but are afraid you may not get so you keep on doing the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. 🙂 * ring ring * * ring ring * PICK UP, already! 🙂

Some great tracks today. We begin with Missy Higgins and Paul Kelly, followed by a John Legend classic. Then a Paramore super hit, then Beyonce. Over to our more obscure numbers, a great Aussie band The Dynamic Hepnotics, then a re-released obscurity by The Flaming Ember. We finish off with Men Without Hats with their dance ditty: Now a Soft Kiss.

Remember to spread Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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There is no Elevator to Success!!!


I was having a deep and meaningful conversation with a friend into what prevents us from meeting our goals which made me think of Angela Lee Duckworth’s great book Grit: Why Passion and Resilience are the Secrets to Success: Get It Here. 

Here are some great lines from the book: 

“What I mean by a passion is not just that you have something you care about. What I mean is that you care about the same ultimate goal in an abiding, loyal, steady way. You are not capricious. Each day, you wake up thinking of the questions you fell asleep thinking about. You are, in a sense, pointing in the same direction, ever eager to take even the smallest step forward than to take a step to the side, toward some other destination. At the extreme, one might call your focus obsessive. Most of your actions derive their significance from their allegiance to your ultimate concern, your life philosophy. You have your priorities in order.”

“Why were the highly accomplished so dogged in their pursuits? For most, there was no realistic expectation of ever catching up to their ambitions. In their own eyes, they were never good enough. They were the opposite of complacent. And yet, in a very real sense, they were satisfied with being unsatisfied. Each was chasing something of unparalleled interest and importance, and it was the chase— as much as the capture—that was gratifying. Even if some of the things they had to do were boring, or frustrating, or even painful, they wouldn’t dream of giving up. Their passion was enduring.

In sum, no matter the domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways. First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking. Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, but they also had direction.

It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.”

How does the world navigate this thing called Grit: Lets take that journey:

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1. John Ortberg is an evangelical Christian author, speaker, and senior pastor of Menlo Church in Menlo Park, California. One of his publications, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, has sold more than 500,000 copies.

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2. Grit is a lifetime hobby: Work It.

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3. John says give peace a chance, Wayne not Lennon.

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4. You can have it all – that’s what we think as kids, unfortunately, this is taken away from us in our school years: You can Have It All.

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5. I am ……………

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6. Come across to the other side, its fun over here: On the Dark Side.

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7. Passion and Perseverance – Fuck Yeah!!!

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8. Minna Thomas Antrim was an American writer. She is famous for the quote “Experience is a great teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.” She was also well known for her collection of toasts: Say Something.

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9. Way back to the 18th Century and Ralph Waldo Emerson for part of the recipe of Grit.

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10. Thrusting, now that takes Grit: Call on Me.

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11. I agree with Brene, possibly the bravest thing we will ever do.

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12. Never give Up in search of your dreams: Tough Lover.

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13. Ovid, way back in the times of the Roman Emperor was known as a poet of Love.

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14. Jon Gordon, known for his earth-shattering book, The Energy Bus, which is said about: “If you want to fuel your family, your career, your team, and your organization with spirit read this book. Jon’s energy and advice will leap off the page and help you cultivate positive energy in everything you do—and you will make the world a better place for your having been here: We Shall Overcome.

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15. How often are you unyielding, what does it take?

“In fact, when people drop out of things, they do so for a reason. Actually, they do so for different reasons. Any of the following four thoughts might go through your head right before you quit what you’re doing:

‘I’m bored.’
‘The effort isn’t worth it.’
‘This isn’t important to me.’
‘I can’t do this, so I might as well give up.’

There’s nothing wrong—morally or otherwise—with thoughts like these. As I tried to show in this chapter, paragons of grit quit goals, too. But the higher the level of the goal in question, the more stubborn they are about seeing it through. Most important, paragons of grit don’t swap compasses: when it comes to the one, the singularly important aim that guides almost everything else they do, the very gritty tend not to utter the statements above. …

 

Together, the research reveals the psychological assets that mature paragons of grit have in common. There are four. They counter each of the buzz-killers listed above, and they tend to develop, over the years, in a particular order.” They are Interest + Practice + Purpose + Hope.

The playlist today contains quite a few Pop divas: We begin with Rihanna and Drake, Then some rock and roll from Yo Lo Tengo and Eddie and the Cruisers. Two Christina Aguilera tracks are intersected by Eric Prydz and we complete with some wise words from Martin Luther King: There is No Elevator to Success. 

Remember to provide Love and Respect for All, Everbody Included until we next meet, my dear friends.

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Choose to Shine!!


I have returned to Marc and Angel Chernoff’s first book 1,000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently, which was the book I discovered this remarkable couple through – Get on Board. Using my write about the page you open to, I am writing about 12 Choices Winners Make Every Day. How do you relate to the term winning: Here is what Marc says about it:

‘Follow in the steps of a winner. Don’t wake up at seventy-five-years of age, sighing over what you should have tried. Just do it, and be willing to fail and learn along the way. At least you will know you gave it your best shot.

At the end of the day, whether you chose to go with it, flow with it, resist it, change it, or hide from it, life goes on. If what you did today didn’t turn out as you hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity to do it differently or to do nothing at all. What’s important to realise is that you have a choice.”

Here are the 12 choices they suggest:

  1. They don’t give up on the things they believe in.
  2. They work with and spend time with, the right people.
  3. They concentrate on the present.
  4. They maintain a positive attitude.
  5. They endure the pain.
  6. They ignore the naysayers.
  7. They live through Love.
  8. They accept 100% responsibility for their current situation.
  9. They take action and plant the right seeds.
  10. They don’t lose themselves in the commotion.
  11. They appreciate what they have.
  12. They make a positive difference.

A pretty great list – let us look at winning:

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1. A definite win in your life when this happens.

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2. You don’t have to win every battle, choose wisely which ones you fight: Battle Hymn of The Republic.

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3. This would be winning, in my eyes.

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4. You can choose Yes or No, It’s up to you: No Excuses.

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5. Another way to spell winning.

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6. Renee Oldstead is an American actress and jazz singer. She is a vegan. She appeared in a PETA ad, Fish Are Friends Not Food, urging her fans to become vegan themselves. In 2012, Olstead joined PETA’s campaign to free the elephant Mali from captivity at the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, where she has been alone for the last three decades: Count on Me.

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7. Win or Lose, it’s your choice.

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8. All of your friends like this, they are your winners: Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

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9. Shadow and Light, we move between them constantly.

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10. Where is your winning post?: A Thousand Miles.

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11. An unusual take on winning by a very famous man.

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12. And you will have won: Time of My Life.

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13. What are your winning values?

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14. Internal not external: You can get it If You Really Want It.

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15. Show me new ways, and then I can win at what I previously lost at.

Zig Ziglar has a great saying about winning: “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”

Today’s playlist begins with the United States Army Field Band, then pop diva Meghan Trainor. Bruno Mars then funks it up, followed by a Queen rock anthem. Then two females – Vanessa Carlton and Madonna, finishing with Jimmy Cliff.

Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until next time, my dear friends.

Self Love 9

Great Heart Will Not Be Denied.


In their excellent book, The Tools: Get it here. Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, offer 5 tools for efficiency. The Tools is a dynamic, results-oriented practice that defies the traditional approach to therapy. Instead of focusing on the past, this groundbreaking method aims to deliver relief from persistent problems and restore control–and hope–to users right away. Every day presents challenges–big and small–that the tools transform into opportunities to bring about bold and dramatic change in your life. These transformative techniques will teach you how to

GET UNSTUCK: Master the things you are avoiding and live in forward motion.
CONTROL ANGER: Free yourself from out-of-control rage and never-ending grudges.
EXPRESS YOURSELF: Learn the secret of true confidence and find your authentic voice.
COMBAT ANXIETY: Stop obsessive worrying and negative thinking.
FIND DISCIPLINE: Activate willpower and make the most of every minute. A change in attitude won’t stop you from screaming because attitudes can’t control behaviour; they’re not strong enough. To control behavior you need a specific procedure to use at a specific time to combat a specific problem. That’s what a tool is. … The point is that a tool—unlike an attitude adjustment—requires you to do something. Not only does it take work, but it is also work you have to do over and over again—every time you get frustrated. A new attitude means nothing unless followed by a change in behaviour. The surest way to change.

THE TOOLS There are five tools. Each solves a different type of challenge and is associated with a different “Higher Force.” Here they are in a nutshell:

Tool #1: The Reversal of Desire. The Higher Force: Forward Motion.

Tool #2: Active Love. The Higher Force: Outflow

Tool #3: Inner Authority. The Higher Force: Self-Expression

Tool #4: The Grateful Flow. The Higher Force: The Source

Tool #5: Jeopardy, The Higher Force: Willpower

They say Willpower is the most important to master, how are you with willpower on a daily basis, How has society spoken about its importance over time, let us have a look:

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1. I love Dan Millman’s book, The Way of the Warrior, a really deep look at Willpower.

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2. Willpower does not occur overnight, it is an ongoing practice that develops over time: Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

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3. One of the great challenges of building willpower.

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4. I’m going through a period of flabbiness at the moment, so glad to read this and take it on: In My Feelings.

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5. Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

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6. I remember playing football with my classmates back in the day. Three or four had the ability to make the highest level, yet only one did, what separated him was his determination to succeed at all costs: Believe.

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7. On the journey to Willpower, you will discover what to let go of.

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8. Yes or No?: Changes.

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9. Pay the Full Price and you will reach your graduation day.

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10. A very satirical poster on Willpower, do not give in: Wake Up.

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11. Make Willpower one of your New Years Resolutions and keep it.

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12. Known for his starring role in the Superman movie, On May 27, 1995, Reeve was left quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He used a wheelchair and needed a portable ventilator to breathe for the rest of his life. He lobbied on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Centre: The Impossible Dream.

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13. Mother Teresa places it at top of the list.

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14. Back a few centuries for this quirky take on willpower: When a Blind Man Cries.

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15. And finally, from The Girls Guide to Health webpage, a gift for you.

A final comment from the authors on Why, Willpower?

“A few rare individuals refuse to have limited lives. They drive through tremendous amounts of pain—from rejections and failures to shorter moments of embarrassment and anxiety. They also handle the small, tedious pain required for personal discipline, forcing themselves to do things we all know we should do but don’t—like exercising, eating right, and staying organized. Because they avoid nothing, they can pursue their highest aspirations. They seem more alive than the rest of us.”

Today’s playlist is dotted with a lot of rock groups and Rap artists. We begin with the Animals from back in the day, moving onto Rap with Drake. Another group in Mumford and Sons is followed by the too soon gone Tupac. A live offering from The Arcade Fire is followed by the beautiful voice of Luther Vandross. We finish with Richie Sambora: Great Heart Will Not Be Denied.

Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until next time, my dear friends:

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