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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All Good is Hard, All Evil is Easy.


Today is a follow up on habits via Marc and Angel Chernoff’s excellent book: 1000+ Little Thing Happy Successful People Do Differently: Marc and Angel Hack Life. Using my write about the page you open up to formulae, we come to 30 Challenges for 30 Days of Growth.

The chapter begins with the following statement: Scientists have suggested that, with a little willpower, it takes roughly 30 days for a person to form a new habit. As with mastering anything new, the act of starting and getting beyond the preliminary stage where everything feels awkward is 80% of the battle. This is precisely why it’s important to make small positive changes every day over the course of at least a 30-day challenge. 

Marc then offers you 30 suggestions, here they are:

  1. Use words that encourage happiness
  2. Try one new thing every day.
  3. Perform one selfless act every day.
  4. Learn and practice one new skill every day.
  5. Teach someone something new every day.
  6. Dedicate an hour a day to something you are passionate about.
  7. Treat everyone nicely, even those who are rude to you.
  8. Concentrate on being positive at all times.
  9. Address and acknowledge the lesson in inconvenient situations.
  10. Pay attention and enjoy your life as it happens.
  11. Get rid of one thing a day for 30 days.
  12. Create something brand new in less than 30 days.
  13. Don’t tell a single lie for 30 days.
  14. Wake up 30 minutes early every morning.
  15. Ditch 3 bad habits for 30 days.
  16. Watch less than 30 minutes of TV every day.
  17. Define one long-term goal and work on it for an hour every day.
  18. Read one chapter of a good book every day.
  19. Every morning, watch or read something that inspires you.
  20. Do something every day after lunch that makes you laugh.
  21. Go alcohol and drug-free for 30 days.
  22. Exercise for 30 minutes every day for 30 days.
  23. Get uncomfortable and face a fear every day.
  24. Cook one brand new healthy recipe every day.
  25. Spend 10 minutes every evening reflecting on what went well.
  26. Have a conversation every day with someone you rarely do.
  27. Pay down debt and don’t create any new debt for 30 days.
  28. Let go of one relationship that constantly hurts you.
  29. Publicly forgive someone who deserves another chance.
  30. Document every day with one photograph and one paragraph.

We often use the excuse that I don’t know where to begin, what does society say about that: let’s have a look:

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1. Recently I walked across 8 Km of beach rocks, I have no sense of balance, I definitely grew from this situation.

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2. The challenges begin within, after all, you made them a challenge: This Time.

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3. The picture says it all.

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4. Ralph puts it in your face why we challenge ourselves: Growth.

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5. To spell words correctly.

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6. In your challenges lie all your meaningful accomplishments: One Life.

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7. One small step forward a day is all it takes.

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8. Your Gut Feelings, that is what you want to know, stop ignoring them: Gut Feeling.

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9. I think Ralph should be talking to his lawyers about the origin of Gail’s quote.

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10. It’s really saying shake off the limits, isn’t it.: No Limit.

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11. Stop playing small!!

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12. Marlen Esparza is an American boxer. In May 2012, she qualified to compete at the 2012 Olympics, becoming the first American woman to qualify for the Olympics in the first year that women’s boxing was an Olympic event. She won the bronze medal in the women’s flyweight division at the 2012 Olympics in London: You Can Do It.

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13. Me, Myself, I: Challenge them all.

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14. Set your controls for the heart of the Sun: Chandelier.

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15. And some worldly advice from big Tone to finish.

You can’t do all these challenges at once, but they will make for an inspired 2019. As you progress through these challenges remember personal growth is a slow, steady process. It can’t be rushed. You need to work on it gradually every day. There is ample time for you to be who you want to be in life. Don’t settle for less than what you think you deserve or less than you know you can be. Despite the struggles, you will face along the way, never give up on yourself. You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as capable as you have ever imagined.

Today’s playlist lies in the Hip Hop stadium with three offerings. We begin with Pia Toscano, then enter the stadium with Offset. Rock offerings from Boyce Avenue and Devo follow. Usher and Ice Cube make their entry and we complete with Australia’s own Sia: All Good is Hard, All Evil is Easy.

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

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Don’t Let Anyone Else Hold The Pen!!


Back to Marc and Angel Chernoff for today’s blog, I stubbed my toe on their book 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently: Hit them Up… As is my practice when writing about a possibility I open the book to any page and voila, that is the subject for today. On page 139 is the heading “10 Ways to WRITE a Life Story Worth Living” appeared.

The chapter begins with the following words from Marc:

‘When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. Make conscious choices every day that align your actions with your values and your dreams. because the way you live each day is a sentence in the story of your life. Each day you make a choice as to whether the sentence ends in a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point.”

He then offers 10 ideas for writing a life story worth living:

  1. Find a Passion that makes you come alive.
  2. Work hard on that Passion.
  3. Live happily in your own way.
  4. Change your path when you must, but keep moving forward.
  5. When the going gets rough, keep fighting.
  6. Let go of the past and live consciously in the future.
  7. Embrace new ideas, lessons, and challenges.
  8. Appreciate the little things in life that mean a lot.
  9. Live honourably through kindness.
  10. Spend quality time with people you love.

What a beautiful, inspiring list, I’m willing to take it on. Now lets have a look at what the world has said about writing your own story, let’s take that journey:

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1. This beautiful image could be included on your vision board.

 

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2. Not all testimony is in the negative: when you have the feeling your words can make a difference, speak them: Song for Someone.

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3. Yes, You, the unique human being you are. Go on, you can do it.

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4. Mine says I am an Interculturalist: Love and Respect for All, Everyone included. Over to You: Live your Story.

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5. As Helen says, It will not always be easy. As Marc’s point 5 says, keep fighting during these time. Each little step makes a difference.

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6. To my new friend Josie, you are editing at the moment, your writing is magnificent: Write your Story.

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7. Excitement to me is covered in the expression Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs.

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8. Ready, Set Write!!!: So Much Magnificence.

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9. Even the stars don’t necessarily have great stories. Greta was one of Hollywood’s shining lights in her time.

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10. And how could we leave out Deepak when writing about our lives: Change Your Life.

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11. Or Brene!!!

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12. 我是, Wer bin Ich, qui suis-je, ko wai Ahau, kas aš esu, هستم: Who I am.

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13. We all have friends we can do this with: don’t be stingy.

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14. To each of our glorious adventures: Yay!!!: This Is Me.

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15. And finally, some blank pages for you.

I will finish with some more words from Marc and Angel:

‘If you live honourably, no matter how old you get, you’ll never lose your beauty; it will gradually shift from your face to your heart. And remember, there is no better exercise for the heart than reaching out and holding the hand of someone in need.’

Today’s playlist even contains both types of music, County and Western. We begin with U2. Then to the European continent for Auli’i Cravalho and Francesca Battistelli. I just had to put in Miten and Deva Premal’s song about magnificence. Who would have thought I would ever include a Little Mix song, but here one is. Jessica Andrews is next and we complete with the cast of the Greatest Showman: Remember, Don’t Let Anyone Else Hold The Pen.

So remember to show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until next time we meet, my dear friends:

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Breath in Experience, Breath out Poetry.


I recently attended the most transformational training week of my youthful 64 years. It is commonly known as ISTA, short for the International School of Temple Arts: Here’s the Link. In my over 350 blogs I normally write about books on a possibility, one of the other participants asked me, You aren’t going to write about this, are you? As one of the agreements is to only share your experiences, here I go.

Some background from the source:

We live at a unique and critical time on earth. At the same time as we are faced with incredible challenges to the survival of the diversity of life and consciousness on our planet, we are experiencing an incredible awakening of human potential. Not only are new energies emerging but for the first time in history, the wisdom heritage of all our cultures and traditions is available for integration just as it is most needed.

There have always been temples and mystery schools on earth where the deep teachings on sexual and spiritual wisdom were practised, developed and taught. These centres were often the hidden cause for the advancement of civilizations. Now we have a global civilization and these temples are once again emerging into the light, blossoming like chakras and Nadi points as the light body of the earth is awakened and energized.

So what has society said about transformational experiences over the years, lets take that journey:

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1. What our logical mind wants to do almost instantly, explain it away.

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2. We all took the opportunities that were offered during the week to the levels our identity would allow a change in: Changes.

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3. I received the gifts of Massive trust and energy from the Earth as I walk on this new planet.

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4. The ISTA community, you join after spending a week in the field. Prior to that your already I have done ISTA friends will just hug you when you tell them you are going to do it: You Belong With Me.

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5. To me, my priceless moment was witnessing a process and looking out over the field and realising there was nothing wrong going on, just total trust.

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6. One of my top ten, have learnt so much off this beautiful spirit: Let It Go.

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7. Integration time.

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8. Albert Camus was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay The Rebel that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second youngest recipient in history: Going Under.

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9. Much easier after ISTA.

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10. Certainly, the journey I took has me much closer to this place: I Was Here.

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11. I am so looking forward to where this new trust and energy will take me, and I don’t really care that I don’t know.

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12. Back to ancient China for this one, so many of our hearts are now travelling this path: Listen to Your Heart.

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13. And the ability of our skilled facilitators, Stephanie, Sean and Elaine.

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14. Could my new energy take me here, Who Knows: Africa.

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15. And we certainly did in that beautiful space known as the ISTA field.

The two main takeaways I received are an increase in my trust of myself and others to the Nth degree and an energy emanating from the earth that feels volcanic in nature and a sense I do not know what my future will be, and that’s a great thing.

Today’s playlist has some classic sings and songs. We begin with Mr David Bowie then one of the great pop divas Taylor Swift. A musical number from Frozen follows, then some great rock from Evanescence and her highness Beyonce. Two older memories from Roxette and Toto close out the list: Breathe in Experience, Breathe out Poetry. 

Remember to show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until we meet again, 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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Forget The Risk and Take The Fall!!


Whats meant to Be Will Be: True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering and doubting every step of the way. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.

So what it means is mostly what is meant to be will be. You have the strength to survive whatever life throws at you, even though at times you may severely doubt this. How has society written about this over the eons, let us have a look:

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1. Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali polymath, a poet, musician and artist who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore’s poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as “the Bard of Bengal”.

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2. How many years are you willing to wait to go home to where you are meant to be: I’m Going Home.

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3. You don’t have to stress and worry if it doesn’t happen straight away, no time frame to what’s meant to be.

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4. So you slept in and missed the 7 o’clock train. Don’t beat yourself up, you cannot change the circumstances: Right On Time.

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5. Reyna is a young African American woman with a YouTube channel on relationships and a best selling book called I Love my Life. Her video called How Vulnerability Can Help Us Grow is very insightful.

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6. I have had many a situation that did not turn out the way I planned only to have something better turn up soon after. I have learnt to not make it mean the world has ended because I didn’t get exactly what I wanted instantaneously, a problem in our instantaneous gratification society of today: Say Something. 

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7. The will of the Universal spirit works in mysterious ways. You may meet that person you think is the one, and God/Gaia will teach you the lesson that you need to learn at that stage.

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8. I had a period of  6 years where my mental health fell apart, I now believe if this had not happened I would not be doing the things I do that I love today: Shine Your Way.

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9. Assuming you will wake up tomorrow is an extreme assumption, but for some people, it does not happen.

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10. Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic “blonde bombshell” characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and was emblematic of the era’s attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962 (equivalent to $2 billion in 2017). More than half a century later, she continues to be a major popular culture icon: After You Get What You Want.

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11. If you have an attachment to a result when it does not happen when you expect it to, it adds much efforting to what you are up to.

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12. These practices take a lot of the risk out of living your life: Close To The Edge.

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13. That line, you have to draw the line of determination from desperation should be included in everybody’s boundary statement.

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14. Sometimes I feel really jealous when I see happy loving couples after my feeble attempts at having my romantic love affairs work out: Regardless.

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15. We go back to the years 767 CE to 820 CE  for our final quote and the words of the great Muslim cleric, Imam al Shafi’i. He was the founder of the Principles of Islamic jurisprudence otherwise known as Uṣūl al-fiqh which is the study and critical analysis of the origins, sources, and principles upon which Islamic jurisprudence is based.

The best thing you can do is keep going: Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, to dream again. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the toughest times and from the biggest mistakes. Sometimes you have to endure the worst to arrive at your best.

Today’s playlist contains some smooth soul and rocking Rock and roll, one of the great guitar anthems in my humble opinion starts it all off. Ten Years After from Woodstock then three soulful numbers from Aaron Cole, Justin Timberlake, and Owl City. Then a return to the sex symbol of the 1950’s, Marilyn Monroe. Another rock classic from Yes finishing with an ultra badass sex number from Masicka. Here’s the link, Enjoy: Forget the Risk, and Take the Fall.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends:

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Find Joy In The Ordinary!!!


It takes courage to open ourselves up to joy. Joy is possibly the most vulnerable emotion we experience in our life. Young children are great at it, society soon deals with this by sending them off to the structure of formalised education where joy is not cool anymore.

Brene Brown calls this being trained in foreboding joy,  beating vulnerability to the punch by imagining the worst or feeling nothing in hopes that the other shoe won’t drop. One way both Brene and I suggest around this is to feel gratitude, moment to moment for your ordinary life. Not wishing that it was different to what it is at this exact moment. This doesn’t mean having no dreams or goals, it means being deeply grateful for the progress you have made so far in your life.

So how does the world talk about Joy, let’s skip down that path together:

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1. Time to break out the Gumboots/Wellies. Remember those rainsoaked paths of your childhood and how long it took to walk down them as each puddle became a new adventure.

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2. Commenting on his imprisonment Nelson Mandela stated I went on a long holiday for 27 years. How many of us could retain our joy for that incredible amount of time: Nelson Mandela.

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3. We need both kinds – The dark and the light in the recipe that makes up joyfulness.

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4. This quote makes me think of the joy of being loved: Perfect.

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5. Freely Interdependent exuberance – Orgasmic!!

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6. And what brings Joy to your life? Being in Action: Confident.

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7. No regrets, please.

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8. Dumbledore is a very wise wizard, after all, he ran Hogwarts: Turn On The Lights.

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9. How does the Universe speak to you? If not joyfully time to reboot it.

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10. What will be on your tombstone? For me, my definition of Interculturalism: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included: Nessun Dorma.

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11. We are born free, what happens?

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12. Love this beautiful list of life: The Joy of Life.

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13. I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I,I, I, I.

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14. Smell the Roses: English Country Garden.

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15. His real name is Rolihlaha Mandela……his teacher gave him the name Nelson! His name means troublemaker.

To seek out moments of collective joy and to show up for moments of collective pain, e have to be brave. This means we have to be vulnerable. Brene Brown, in her 200,000 plus pieces of research couldn’t find a single example of courage that did not require vulnerability. Can you, In Your Life?

Today’s playlist contains the first Operatic song I have chosen, we begin with The Special, followed by the uber pairing of Ed Sheeran and Beyonce. Then a pop diva in Demi Lovato by the rapper Future. Then comes our operatic number with Pavarotti, then off to the Emerald Isle with The Corrs, finishing off with a quirky ditty from Jimmy Rodgers. Here is the Youtube Playlist for your viewing pleasure: Find Joy In The Ordinary.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower