Writing Every Day – Journaling

Writing Every Day – Journaling

JournallingI find I don't think about my daily writing task all that much. I just start writing and it kinda flows. I don't have an agenda, although I sometimes, like today, reflect on a conversation I had a few days ago and wonder what I did/said that was capable of improvement. What that improvement might look like, and what I am going to do going forward to address the situation.

Sometimes I just talk to myself - often a bit like a teenage girl’s angst-ridden diary sorta thing (pretty cool from a 70-year-old gent). Often I do grateful stuff. Things I am grateful about today. You know, simple things like the sun is out. Often a bit deeper, like I am glad I am alive and can actually see that the sun is out.


There isn’t much structure about what I write. Sometimes it is rambling, sometimes an article I have been wanting to write, often a reflection on my day or days and occasionally even a kind of a loose planning session in my head for the days or weeks to come.

Every now and then I decide to write something directly from my imagination – a piece of pure fiction if you will. In this case, I make up, remember or am reminded of during my morning meditation, a word or phrase, and this becomes the beginning of the opening sequence of a story in the making.

An example might be, “I wonder what it would be like if the sky really did fall on chicken-licken?” Then off you go. Stream of consciousness.

The Artist's Way

“The Artist's Way” method I have read and often spoken about works. This is from the book by Julia Cameron and is a masterclass in discovering how to unlock your latent creativity in many areas not only writing, and how to make your dreams a reality.

Julia Cameron leads you through a program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity. It links creativity with spirituality.


It was quite some time ago that I figured if I was going to be a writer then I needed to practise the craft.

You see, you need to exercise this writing muscle of yours and it needs to be a daily occurrence. I work on doing it at approximately the same time each day, but as long as it has become a habit you will feel really bad unless you do it. And habits don’t really take that long to develop.

I always do it in longhand in a foolscap book, and once the pen hits the page it doesn’t leave until the time is finished. Oh, didn’t I say? I allocate 10 mins every day to this task.

No Overthinking

I never overthink this writing task. Nor do I read what I have written back. When that happens it shits itself and I can't continue. When the 10 mins I allocate to this each day is up. I stop. Just like that.

Published Author

What Did You Learn Today?

Downsizing Minimalist Approach

Downsizing – The Minimalist Approach

Recently, I have stopped (or am in the process of stopping) a lot of the things I have been doing around town. Not because I don’t enjoy them, but because with so much happening I was beginning to let people down. And this was a huge let-down for me.

DownsizingYou see, I LOVE to do stuff for people, but if I forget or run out of time or change my priorities, then things drop through the cracks.

It is VERY important to me to keep to my word. If I say I am going to do something then I WANT to do it, and I want to do it sooner rather than later, to over-deliver if you will.

Too Much

When I arrived here in paradise I took on anything and everything I could to get me out in the community and mixing with people. I loved it. Still do. But there comes a time in everyone’s life, I expect, when you have to take a hard look at things and decide what activities and which people are giving you the most enjoyment and excitement even. Then you focus on this part of life.

Stop Doing So Much

Keeping Promises

Sometimes this means taking a minimalist approach and downsizing.

I am better able to keep my promises (and we all I am sure promise much more than we can ever do in several lifetimes) if there are fewer of them stacked up.

My list of things to do is often overwhelming and never reduces to any manageable number. So it becomes necessary to chop. And chopping I have been.

New Challenges

It is sad to see some things go, but change is inevitable and we all have new challenges we want/need to follow. If we add them onto our already full schedules, something has to give. And the result of this is failing to meet the expectations you have put upon yourself and the rise in guilt and self-recrimination when deadlines and appointments are missed and people are let down.

Look After Yourself First

It is NOT selfish to sort out your life and your activities. Remember the airline: put your mask on first. If you are not in control of your own life you cannot offer any part of yourself to others, and this is certainly my aim in life. What’s yours?

Finding Yourself

Fear of Change eBook

“Fear of Change” eBook

Within the next 6 weeks or so I will be publishing my first full book. (I already have a published chapter in the book of which I spoke in an earlier post).


All Me, Quotes and History

This will be just me. And a lot of quotes from, I guess you’d call then my mentors, (although I have not actually met any of them), and help from my Face Book friends.

This book will investigate change through the eras from the Stone Age through until today. Did you know Plato (428BCE to 348BCE) thought writing and books sucked? More About that in Ch 3.

Covering 50 Shades of Change

This book will look at many different types of changes, and the reactions of people of all ages, races, walks of life and all socioeconomic strata, to find out why we fear this change thing.

What is it we fear, and what can we do about it will be discussed.

Some options will be canvassed and further readings suggested.

I’m expecting it to be about 15-20K words and sell for about $0.99c. Should be a bestseller in no time?

Beta Readers

A lot closer to publication time, I will be calling on a few of my friends, colleagues and/or acquaintances to have a bit of a look as beta readers or whatever you want to call them, and provide me with some positive feedback (positive doesn’t mean feedback all has to be good – far from it, I will need all the help I can get, but “this book sucks” is not really very effective nor helpful feedback. Right?) Just sayin’.

Any Ideas?

While we are on the feedback thing, if anyone out there reads this and reckons they have some questions about Fear or Change or Fear of Change, let it all hang out. Hit me up with some stuff I can put in the book. You might even get your name in it. My Yoga instructor has secured a chapter heading quotation under her name. This could be you.

Anyhoo, you may think of something you reckon I ought to address in the book (what you see here is a very, very limited synopsis) send it in, and ya never know.

Published Author


Coffee as an Agent of Change



Yesterday I was chatting with an Aboriginal woman who was telling me how upset she was with a comment from a chap sometime earlier who had said, “No way. You’re not an Aborigine. You are too white.”

After telling him she would return with her boomerang and spear made from her family tree, she walked away disgusted.

She told us this.

A cup of coffee is said to be black if no milk is added. Add a little and it becomes slightly less black. Continue adding milk until it is really very white. “Is it not still a cup of coffee?” she asked.



A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high flame. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavour, to them?


I have no idea where this came from, (so I can't give credit to the author which is a pity) but it was too good not to share.

Learning. What Did You Learn Today?

Depression, Anxiety & Compassion

New Kind of Alarm Clock

New Kind of Alarm Clock

I’ve found a new Alarm Clock. I think. My bladder.

alarm clock


Let’s go back for a moment.

Recently I’ve been following my doctor’s orders (no mean feat in itself) and doing my level best to drink approx 2 litres of water each day. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately as you’ll see from what follows), I manage to finish the last 500ml only about an hour before bed at let’s say 11.00pm.

Right. Now to the point of all of this.

Bathroom/Toilet Call

At somewhere between 5.00am and 6.00am I awake, finding that I need to go to the bathroom/toilet.

Aside: I am a retired chap and don’t have to get up for a JOB, but I have so much to do, I really need to get up not much later than 7.30 to fit it all in.


I reckon if you are awake enough to go to the toilet at this time in the morning and not pee on the floor or in the closet, then you are awake. Go ahead and do your Miracle Morning routine (wash face, brush teeth, comb hair, use mouthwash etc) and get on with your SAVERS ritual. If you don’t know what this means, check out the links below.

Obviously, I am speaking as a guy here, I guess it’s not a whole lot different for the ladies amongst us – except for the floor, Oh yeah and the closet – but you get my meaning. You are awake enough to pee, you are awake enough to get up. Damn it, you are already up. Why wreck this and go back to bed?

No Alarm Clock

You won’t need an alarm clock stashed somewhere other than the bedside table, that you have to dash for before all hell breaks loose. You have been doing this (getting up for the bathroom), most of your life, so not waking up a partner is already taken care of.

Back To The Sack

What has been happening to me, until very recently, is that because it is not alarm time – I have headed back to the sack. What occurs about 90 mins later, when the alarm goes off, is the snooze button gets a workout and I end up rising at say 8.00am or 8.30am or something. A late start to my day. Sometimes VERY late and I feel washed out for most of what’s left of the morning.

Do It

Give it a try. Turn off the alarm, drink water about an hour before bed (visit toilet just before sleeping – a 2.00am call spoils the whole thing) and let your body/bladder be your NEW alarm clock. You’ll wake up when you need to; not at some arbitrary time decided by a noisy alarm.

How does that sound?

Give it a go for a few days/weeks and let us all know how it works for you.

Nanna Naps

We can talk about nanna naps another time.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning And Your Why

Want More – Be Grateful

Want More – Be Grateful

Two things have come to mind today that we need to talk about.

Why do we often want more? And as the obverse of this coin, why are we not grateful for what we have?

Want More Be GratefulNothing

Just the other day, I woke-up feeling that I wanted to do NOTHING.

For the shortest time, I gave-in to the erroneous belief that I had to do something. Anything. Lying around was not an option.

I considered this, then dropped back onto the bed, snuggled up a bit in the warm and – retrieving my phone from the night-stand, began to follow-up on a few emails that had come in overnight, catch up on Google news and check out a few of the writing groups to which I belong. Ahhh luxury.


It was lovely. Finally dragged my body out of bed about 10.00 in the AM when I could no longer ignore the pressure in my nether regions.


Sorted that out, then dropping in on my favourite breakfast nook I began to heat up the kettle for coffee (a morning elixir I find hard to ignore) and fired up my trusty toaster for my sustenance for the first part of the day.

I didn’t NEED to do anything today, oh yeah I had a lot on my plate so to speak, but it was all of my own making. I wasn’t feeling lazy as such, just disconnected from the need to WANT anything other than what I had.

Want V’s Need

What do I have? All I need is the correct answer. Sure there is more. More money, more friends, more excitement, more meetings, more travelling, more things to achieve etc.

When you boil it down, if more of us were, every now and then, satisfied to just ‘Let It Be’ then we’d all be a lot happier and much more relaxed in our attitude and approach to life.


This is not to say we should not strive to change it up, write something awesome, build a better mousetrap or whatever; but being grateful for what we have right here, right now is a very useful strategy.


I am grateful that I am alive and pretty healthy, all things considered, for a bloke approaching 70. (I know a lot of people who do not have the physical agility and mental acuity I still have). I am grateful that I can decide to just stay in bed for another hour or two on my ‘lazy day’; do what pleases me when it pleases me and STILL have enough time and resources to, well, just do it.

What Does It All Mean?

Let’s finish with a kind of a summary of the main points of today’s little piece, shall we?

1. We don’t always have to strive for more, even though change only happens when we do – it is NOT necessary 24/7 365 days of the year.

2. Be grateful for what we actually have (remember a bird in the hand?) and say ‘Thank You.’

3. De-stress by lowering the CONSTANT expectations we put upon ourselves, and luxuriate in the fact that while we may not have it all, we quite possibly have enough. For now.

The Imposter Syndrome Remedy

Values – Be A Better Person

Values: How To Be A Better Person Using Values

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
Ayn Rand 1905 - 1982, US Russian-born novelist and Philosopher.

Values are often founded on our beliefs and the rules we associate to these. Values are what we have decided to hold onto. Values describe individual or personal standards. Values are emotional states which we want to experience. Values are waypoints on the map of our life. And they are merely thoughts. Figments of our imagination.



Everyone has values - They are important and often unconsciously developed; meaning we may not be aware of what they actually are but they are still running our life. What's with that?

Values are the present or current state of our thinking, not a goal – they are an end point, not a journey or a means – and they are a feeling/emotion you want to experience on a regular basis but not something you are aiming for or moving toward.

Values may have bubbled up out of the primordial soup of our life up to now. They are, according to the dictionary: principles, ethics, moral code, morals, standards, codes of behaviour. Stuff like that.

They are what we think is important in our lives. Perhaps a bit like the ingredients list required when baking a cake. Everything is based on them, can't happen without them, but what you do with them is entirely up to you.


Personal standards are nothing more than a set of behaviours. They are the set of behaviours that we have decided to live by. While the dictionary definition of values contains the word standards, it is better to think of these as the way, through our behaviours and actions, we embody or represent our values.

The manner in which we live is usually a reflection of our personal standards, or to put it another way what we are prepared to put up with. We often We have to step out of our comfort zone if we wish to raise our standard
If, for example, one of my values is Learning, I would ensure that I am open to new things and this would set the standard for my daily pattern of life. I do not seek 'sameness', but raise my sights and my standards so that I come away from each day's endeavour with something new. No matter what is presented to me, I find a way to learn from it. That is espousing the value of learning and the increasing the standards by which I carry on my day to day business. What did you learn today becomes my daily mantra.

Tony Robbins

According to Anthony Robbins - life values are:

• your Personal Compass. Values guide our every decision and, therefore, our destiny.
• a personal / life value is something that is very important to you; that is a principle that you will live by no matter what happens.
• generated from a mixed bag of experiences, of lifelong conditioning through punishment and reward.
• the cause of difficulty making an important decision: you can be sure that it's a result of not being clear about your values.

Robbins further divides values into two different categories:

• Moving-toward values which are those where pursuing a reward or pleasure is paramount. For example: common sense, self-respect, integrity, making a difference, freedom, learning, significance, humour.
• Moving-away-from values which are those where avoiding punishment or pain is the main objective. Things like: rejection, anger, frustration, loneliness, depression, failure, humiliation, guilt.

Evaluating Values

Not all values are equal. There is, and needs to be a hierarchy – some you will follow in one set of circumstances and some in others. Some are more important. A bit like “Animal Farm”. 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'.

• Avoiding 'values conflict' is vitally important. For example, Health/Vitality might be a top value for you, but Fun/Happiness as a value within the same hierarchy might suggest late nights with friends - eating and drinking too much and not feeling like exercise in the morning. These two values cannot co-exist for very long without some heavy pain. You be the judge.
• Similarly, if your top moving-toward value is Success, and your top moving-away-from value is Rejection then you are setting yourself up for a major conflict. And a major failure.

◦ A person trying to achieve the pleasure of success without ever experiencing the pain of rejection will never succeed in the long term.

Another example: Honesty and Integrity may be in conflict at times too. If being honest about a situation would result in pain and suffering for another person, but your value of Integrity forbids that type of action – then how do you deal with that? Perhaps you replace Honesty with Integrity or juggle the hierarchy to get them both to work?

In a time of war, for example, on being captured by an enemy you may be asked, “Are you alone?” If you are with another soldier, the answer, “Yes.” is dishonest, but may save a colleague who has not as yet been detected. The answer, “No.” will invariably end up in the capture of someone else. A situation probably best avoided in a war scenario. Integrity, as a value, allows a person to be dishonest in this circumstance and still remain true to their higher standard.

Figure out your current values. Remember they are not real. They are just something that you chose or was chosen for you to live by. If they don't match your current life. Get rid of them. Find new ones. Just pick one or more value words from the list available at one of the following websites:

400 values Barrie Davenport.
Values - Steve Pavlina

Just make a decision. Don't over think. Choose from the lists.

Final Words

As usual with this kind of thing, values are nothing if not applied to your life. They are building blocks, pieces of the jig-saw, maps. The whole point of any of these discussions is becoming the best person you can possibly be.

Take this knowledge and use it.

Check your values. Do you know what they are? Are there any conflicting values, or are some of your older values incompatible with the new you. The person you are now, or want to be in the future?

This must always be about how to get better results at work or home, how to have a better relationship, how to be a better parent etc. Values per se are nothing, they exist only as the basis for the standards by which you live. They define the essence that makes up the person that you are.

Bring your life into sharper focus with values.

Your Success book for Mithra Publishing

Success Unlimited – Mithra Publishing

Finding Yourself

Retirement, Redundancy – Life Plan

Retirement, Redundancy - Life Plan

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Title stolen from a movie which was a 1964 black comedy that satirized the cold war fears of a nuclear conflict between the USSR and the USA.
But the fear of life after retirement or worse, redundancy is even greater. It is MUCH larger than ANY nuclear conflict could EVER be. It IS the BOMB.
Many men and women have often had very little life outside their jobs or careers. Career equals Identity.

The Issue here is:


Often after retirement, redundancy or being told by a doctor we can no longer work at our normal life career, we find ourselves getting up late, sitting around under our partner's feet, resenting that our partner still has a career or a life purpose. Playing too much golf or bridge. Gambling. Eating and drinking too much, waiting until the evening so we can go to bed, watching too much TV. Annoying friends and family is up there. Beginning to stop taking care of ourselves and this can include cleaning the house, or even eating and showering regularly. What's the point some might say.
Men and women often feel  dumped, betrayed, bitter, worthless, stupid, not trusted, not loved, a waste of space, depressed, suicidal, better off dead.

Anything else I am missing?

When it comes to life, people are often spectators. They let life happen. They may plan their careers, the building of a new home, or even a holiday, (most people spend more time planning a one-week holiday than they spend planning their life).

They are reactive rather than proactive.

They drift along, often to destinations they would have never consciously chosen: poor health, failing relationships, a stalled or no longer existing career.
That is why so many people end up discouraged, disillusioned, and wondering what went wrong. They arrived at the wrong destination.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be or stay this way."

If you have been recently retrenched, retired or deemed unable to work at your usual occupation for health reasons, then this is you we are talking about. THIS IS YOUR LIFE!

OK. What do we do about it?

What we need is some kind of strategy to change the current state to something we want, like, or need.  A new career. A new hobby, New people to talk to, new stuff to learn, a new way to spend time that feels worthwhile.


You realise, of course, that: "Life is What Happens To You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans."

My life:

YCW, teaching, photographic classes after school hours, theatre directing, community radio, help desk manager, process improvement, facilitating workshops, training – coordinator, course development, public speaking seminars, and now!!!

What pattern can we see here?

What am I doing now? Is there any link to this pattern?
What about patterns in your lives? Anyone care to share?
In a moment - not yet - we will talk about developing a 'life after career plan'.

6 Core Needs

There are a couple of things we need to look at before we move on.
We all have 6 core needs that MUST be fulfilled, one way or another?

Certainty, Variety, Significance, Love and Connection, Contribution, Growth

What we are good at, or not doing so well. Wheel Of Life?Wheel Of Life

Right. We have established that those who are scared of the two big R's and the MU words have not zero, not one – BUT THREE things they can think about and do to make their life worth living again. Does that sound fair so far?
These are: Look for patterns, investigate our core needs, fill out a wheel of life. (Don’t know about this Wheel of life thing, then let me know in the comments and we’ll cover that next time.)

Now that we have that part sorted – It's time to have a look at a 'life after career' Plan!

Why do you need a life plan? Three reasons:

1. It will give you clarity about where your life is headed.
2. It will keep you in balance when things get crazy.
3. It will give you peace of mind, knowing you are addressing those aspects of your life that matter most.

Making up a 'Life after Career Plan. What do we need?

Look back to our patterns from before. Write down on the back of the sheet the pattern you see in your life. Just one thing. Pick one.
(8 things) Interests, strengths, hobbies, sports, other leisure time pursuits, jobs you have had, friends you have, wish (bucket) list.

To develop a life after career plan – we need to:

  • Find a pattern
  • Understand your core needs - Certainty, variety, significance, love and connection, contribution, growth
  • Identify your strengths and talents. What you are doing well, not so good. Wheel of life.
  • Use these patterns, needs, strengths and weaknesses to generate goals. (SMART) 3 or 4 only.
  • Review these goals to make sure they address the most important aspects of your life.

Apply this to your life now.
Perhaps you have a few better ideas of where you can go from here, what you can do to make your life a lot more fun? A lot less pain?

Looking back over what we have done:

  • patterns in our lives.
  • 6 core needs
  • wheel of life
  • 'life after career' plan
  • SMART goals (3-4)
  • where to next?

Where will we be in 1 month if we do nothing?
If we make some changes as above?
What about 6 months?
Knowing what we now know, where will we be in 2 years from now?
What will we be feeling that is different?
What will we be hearing that is different?
What will we be saying to ourselves that is different?
What will we be seeing that is different?

Life Plan – How to write

Change Your Life for Good PAME Code

Goddard - Revision

Neville Goddard’s Revision Technique

Neville Goddard's Revision Technique.

Goddard - RevisionGo back and change the past in your mind. See things that didn't go so well; working the way you had planned.
It talks about editing the memories in your mind so that any time in the future that this or a similar situation arises, you will only see the positive result. Kinda interesting. But what does it mean, and how does it work? Is it a scam?

Neville Goddard - Reddit:

Neville Lancelot Goddard was a spiritual teacher and author from Barbados, widely regarded as one of the most influential New Thought and Law of Attraction teachers. He originally came to the United States to study drama and became a dancer, but his study of metaphysics led him down a different path.

The Technique in Detail:

Revision was taken from Neville Goddard’s 1954 lecture, The Pruning Shears of Revision.

1. Review an event that didn't go the way you wanted it to go. Don’t judge it, just review it.

2. In your imagination, rewrite and revise the event the way you wish it would have gone.

3. Get into a state akin to sleep (SATS). Many wonder what this means - it is simply a state where you feel completely relaxed, and can be done in any comfortable position.

4. Relive the revised event in your imagination over and over again, until the imaged state begins to take on the tones of reality. That is until it starts feeling as though it may have actually happened the way you would have preferred.

5. Either fall asleep while repeating the scene or wake up from this drowsy state once you know it is done.

Neville suggests that at the end of each day we revise our day the way we wish it would have gone, then relive the day in our imagination in accordance with our desires until it feels real. Through this method, you can revise any unwanted event, and you will find that in the coming days and weeks, things will start to change for the better in accordance with your revision. (Reddit.com)

Manifesting and ACTION

This is another way of postulating that we should manifest or visualise a desired outcome. It is a tool.
There seems to be quite a lot of information on-line about Revision, including a large number of articles explaining how the technique has worked for the writers.
As in all manifesting/visualising techniques, though, most writers have pointed out that there is a requirement for action. You need to follow the process, but also put steps into place to make it more likely that the required outcome will happen in the future. Nothing happens if you sit on your hands, they say.
It can, some have said, be used to heal and/or repair our bodies as well, by envisioning the event that apparently caused an injury or illness, as having happened differently, and the bad or undesired outcome is not the result. A bit “out of this world”?

Not sure how this meets the action criteria, but we have been told by a very large number of Gurus that ‘we get what we focus on’, and there is, of course, a huge body of literature on both sides of this argument.
But I believe ‘The Revision Technique’ has merit.

Try Revision

As I said, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that this process actually makes a difference. Give it a go and let us know in the comments how it has worked for you. Or not as the case may be. BUT remember it may not happen overnight.

What’s it all about? We are in Control of our lives!

Learning. What Did You Learn Today?

Learning. What Did You Learn Today?

Just been reading about Metropolitan Opera star Rise Stevens, an American operatic mezzo-soprano. Beginning in 1938, she sang for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for more than two decades during the 1940s and 1950s. She was most noted for her portrayals of the central character in Carmen by Georges Bizet.

Once, when she failed an audition, she realised she had a lot to learn. One of the things was more languages because opera singers often sing in languages such as German or Italian and others don't they?

Required Learnings Not Always Obvious

Made me think. Sometimes what we need to learn is not immediately obvious. An opera singer needs to expand her voice range. goes without saying. Expanding your languages, less so.

Me (And You)

I think I need to look around me at what is happening and perhaps the learning I need is equally not obvious. Much food for thought as I ate my breakfast this Friday morning.

What Did You Learn Today?



With apologies to David Bowie.
I have noticed (isn't it strange how things on our mind come to the fore in other parts of our lives?), a few videos on Facebook about change recently; Mel Robbins & Russell Brand to name just two. And also a large number of posts about life in the sixties and how different - read better, it was. These on Facebook too.


Green & Growing / Ripe & Rotting

I was reminded of the ‘We either are “green and growing”, or we are “ripe and rotting”. Change is inescapable’, quote (often attributed to Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame), which I first heard during my coaching training. The bell curve came to me. When we consider we are at the top or peak of our existence ie the 60’s - and we do nothing to keep growing (why should we? This is the best we've ever been?), then we begin to rush down the precipice. Down the slope of the curve. We begin to rot or at the very least not grow.


If the 60’s were the best - everything for the last 60 years has been down hill? Nothing that has changed since then has been worthwhile? Really? This is obviously not true but we often seem to think like this. Our ‘Change is ALWAYS bad’ mindset.

The Past

We can and possibly should, look back with nostalgia, reminisce about what we loved in the past; be excited about our lives and what we did. But we must realise that we only have NOW. The past, as wonderful as it was, (and we only seem to look at the really cool things like playing outside and billy carts for example, while not remembering the great sadnesses of the period), is not going to happen again. It can’t. Things are different now.


Yep, the past has gone, never to be seen again. The future is as yet unknown - it may never even happen. All we have is NOW. The decisions we make this very moment will decide what we will be, do or have in this future; and therefore, what happens to us for the rest of our lives - no matter how short or long that turns out to be. Check out “The Power of Now” by ‘Eckhart Tolle

Our Choice

We can decide now to be better - or do nothing. Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting. It is our choice to change if we are not happy, or stay where we are and rot.

CHANGE – Cannot be Avoided

Coffee as an Agent of Change

Nothing Changes By Sitting On Your Hands

The Ego & Positive Thinking

The Ego & Positive Thinking

Today I want to talk again about positive thinking. I've been reading ‘The Power Of Now’ by ‘Eckardt Tolle’ Egoand it is wonderful. He talks about the equality of opposites. What? He goes on - he mentions ego - quite a lot. In fact he maintains that “ego” which we know because of the band Skyhooks; is NOT a “dirty word” is, in fact, the be-all and end-all of our existence. It controls our life completely. If. We. Let. It.

  • The ego must feel good
  • It must feel in control
  • It must feel complete
  • It must have its own identity.

EGO in Control

Let's say you feel depressed. This might be a chemical imbalance in your body, but it might be your ego telling you it's not getting what it wants. This is probably not compatible with what you, the organs etc that make up your body, want or need; but it doesn't matter. The ego will make you unhappy because IT is unfulfilled.

And there is another side to this. If you make efforts, consciously, to be more positive (positive thinking), and to feel better, the ego goes into defensive mode. “Why are you doing this to me?” it says. “Firstly you deny my needs, and now you say you want me to be something different?”

Give up Its Identity

The EGO has identified (and it does this very quickly in most cases), with the depressed you. To become undepressed will require the ego to give up its identity. Of course, it will fight against this positive change you are attempting.

Positive Thinking

Therefore you will say. “Positive thinking doesn't work. I am still depressed. Why am I pretending that all is well when it obviously isn't? I need others to help me.” (ego again - because if others are helping or pitying, or empathising or worrying about me - then I matter) - the ego talking. You will remain depressed because the ego will make it so.

Positive thinking does not, of course, preclude the negative. It does not say, “If I think good thoughts the bad stuff will go away.” It (positive thinking) actually says, ”Learn from the setback whatever it maybe. Don't deny it, but don't dwell on it either.” Meet depression and anxiety head-on. Realize it is an ego issue and make plans to change it.

Two Sides of a Coin

Look at a coin. It has two sides. A coin cannot exist without two sides. One is the main side (the head) the other is the tail. Doesn't matter really, they are the one whole.

Cyclical Nature Of Being


What about the cyclical nature of being. There are ups and there are downs. These just ARE what life is all about. The two sides of our coin. They are only good or bad depending on what your mind tells you. Summer is fantastic if you are a beach type but if you don't like the heat, it is a terrible thing. The worst season.

On the other hand the opposite Winter is fabulous if you are a skier. But a person may feel that the cold is so bad that they may not be able to enjoy winter at all. The worst season.

Wouldn't it be great if you could sunbathe in the cool or ski in the warm, without the extremes?

The cold and heat are two sides of the same coin. They are required. One part cannot exist without the other. Resistance is futile.

The heat and cold are necessary. They are only evil if you let them be.

It is a fact of life but most people's bodies can adjust to the temperature range we experience. That is not to say we enjoy this difference, but it is part of our physiology.

Accept What We Cannot Change

We can help this by being positive about the fact that we cannot change the situation. We could, of course, move around (different parts of the country or different hemispheres), and have continual summer or winter, but for most, that's not possible or practical.

So just let it be. Love where you are. Be positive. Think positive thoughts. Be grateful because, “this too shall pass.”

Ego – A Book Review: A New Earth: Create a Better Life – Eckhart Tolle

What’s it all about? We are in Control of our lives!

Published Author

Published Author

I Am A Published Author

Being a Published Author is supposed to be of great assistance in furthering your career as a writer. I reckon that means you have to tell people about this published bit? Right?

There is a book published in 2015. Success Unlimited The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Success, Kizzi Nkwocha (Ed), Sussex UK: Mithra Publishing.


Sixteen contributors to this book (thought leaders) have all written articles (chapters) speaking to areas of success in which they have expertise.

Many of these people are world renowned and come from varied backgrounds and disciplines. There are entrepreneurs, teachers/trainers, bloggers, psychiatrists, life coaches, business men and women, professional speakers, writers, leaders, marketing and sales executives just to name a few.

Most are from Australia, and among this illustrious crowd, you will find me. Yep. I am a published author.

My contribution is called ‘Beliefs, Rules, Values and Language – Their Role In Your Success’. It can be found on pp.(200-218).

Not Mainstream

You cannot find much of the material in this book in the mainstream, (although the book is available in most great bookstores and online from the various outlets), but that that does not discount the value that can be gained from these insights. The writers are all speaking from real life experience and the information is absolutely top notch.

No Vested Interest

You cannot find this kind of stuff in books by the well-known self-help and personal development writers, because in ‘Success Unlimited the authors have no vested interest in the sales of the book, nor in the acceptance or otherwise of their ideas; their aim is to function as servants, operating out of a wish to share their experiences, successes and sometimes fears, so that others may be better versions of themselves after having read the various articles in this wonderful book.

Nothing Changes By Sitting On Your Hands

Your Success book for Mithra Publishing

Goals, Change and and Process Improvement

A book I recently read about Change, called “Switch” by brothers ‘Chip and Dan Heath’ mentioned some research they had encountered in relation to popcorn - discussing how the size of a popcorn bucket influenced the amount a person would  eat, even if the smallest quantity was more than enough; and more importantly, even if the popcorn was old, stale and horrible.

Why am I failing?

"I've read so many books on goals, taking small steps, creating new habits, affirmations and manifesting - to name a few. Why are they not working?."


The conclusion was that it was not people and their popcorn eating habits that ought to be targeted in an attempt toget them to eat less unhealthy food, but the size of the bucket.

It was not, the research concluded, a people problem, it was a system issue.

People or System

Recently I encountered a similar situation. A venue had been established wherein an event would take place that required people to enter, and after a few minutes to complete their business, leave again.

A track had been set up that didn’t work. Staff were required to constantly redirect existing customers to the approved exit, (about 85% of those entering tried to leave in a fashion contrary to the established path). Signs and barriers were amended and moved and added to - all day. It was the opinion of the staff that the people were not very smart if they couldn’t figure it out.

Not A People Problem

In my opinion, it was not a people problem at all. It was an issue of incorrectly allocating the exit and entrance doors.

If they had been swapped around, customers would have been able to move into the area and after doing their business continue to circle to the right (we are predominantly a right-handed society – so this is how we often would go) and then leave by the nearest pathway to the outside. As it happens, the way they all tried to exit anyway, but this time there would be no need of staff to redirect wayward clients, because the normal, natural way to leave would be the way they all chose by default.

It would have appeared in this case then, that almost all people were very clever and were following the signs/barriers erected to help them.

Preferred Pathway

The reason given for the ‘preferred’ pathway, was that it had a ramp for wheelchairs. A great thought, but only 3 wheelchairs entered and left (through the same allocated entrance/exit door) during the whole time the venue was open, but staff were required to direct the errant exiters all day.

Once again, a system issue not a people problem.

Life – Change – System Issue

It started me thinking about myself and how I go about my life. Am I making my life all about me (the person) and ignoring the system? Perhaps the process is wrong? Maybe it’s not a problem with me at all? Am I feeling guilty when it’s actually not my fault, not personally at least?

What do I mean by this?

Perhaps I have set my goals too high? Maybe I’ve not taken the action required to achieve these goals? How am I going to reach this point, make changes I think are necessary for my life? Of course, there’s more than this, but it’s a start, isn’t it?

What Do You Think?

Is a consistent failure to achieve goals a people problem or a system issue? In my case, I use excuses, procrastination, other priorities, lack of time, lack of money etc to stop the progress. Most of the time. What do you think?

Affirmations Morning Routine

Morning Routine Affirmations

Purpose My life's purpose is to ADD VALUE to the lives of others, which starts with achieving everything I want in my own life, and never settling for less than I can be, do, or have so that I can 'pay it forward' and learn through experience how to help others to achieve everything they want.

Infinite Wisdom All things are possible when I actively connect to the infinite wisdom available at all times through the power of the Universe. Remember my thinking brain is restricted by my physical, mental and emotional limitations, but when I actively connect with what the universe has available for me at all times, that is when miracles are possible.

Authenticity I will give up being perfect for being authentic. I won't make everybody happy, some will judge me, criticize me and talk behind my back, while others will praise and respect me, spread goodwill about me and pray for my continued success. Everyone who truly knows appreciates me because of the value I give to others. They support me financially with connections and resources to bring me to my goals. I am grateful for those people.

Overcoming fear and worry Fear and worry a misuse of my intelligence and imagination. Only think positive self-affirming and confidence inspiring thoughts. If I am to use my imagination, it should be only to imagine myself doing or writing something great.  there literally is nothing to fear or worry about, because I cannot fail - only learn and grow.

Rest and Relaxation Taking regularly scheduled periods of R&R are crucial to my happiness, health and success. I love to travel; trips and me with new perspectives & ideas by removing me from day to day routine and allowing me to share carefree timelessness with my family and friends.

Reflection I will invest time in reflection, gaining a deeper perspective by asking questions like: "What am I doing well that I need to acknowledge myself for? What can I be doing better? What am I not even thinking about doing that I should be?"

Self Confidence I am just as worthy deserving and capable of achieving everything that I want in every area of my life as any other person on earth. The only thing that separates me from the most extraordinary life I can imagine is my level of commitment to becoming the person I need to be to achieve everything I want. From this moment on I am 100% committed to my personal development each day so that I can create and sustain the levels of success that I truly want and deserve. I commit now to schedule and follow through today with the necessary actions that will ensure that I create the extraordinary life I deserve to live. From this moment on I give up being perfect for being authentic. I will be myself, I will love myself and others will too.

Relationships I will love all people unconditionally because that is how we all deserve to be loved. I refuse to judge others because I recognise that I have no way of knowing that, had I lived another person's life, I might talk and act exactly the same way. I also understand that the more value I add to the lives of others, the more value that I will receive in return. So I will focus on adding as much value as I can, to enrich the lives of every person with whom I come in contact.

Adversity including depression I know that where I am in my life now is both temporary, and exactly where I need to be to learn what I must learn so that I can become the person I need to be to create the life I truly want. Even when life is difficult, especially when life is difficult, the present moment is always an opportunity for me to learn to grow and become better than I've ever before. Just as others have done, I can turn any adversity into an advantage by accepting all that is out of my control - past present and future, so that I can give myself freedom from emotional pain, to be at peace and create the life I truly want.

5 Key Take-Aways 7 Favourite Self-Help / Personal-Development Books

5 Take-Aways - 7 Favourite Books

5 Key Take-Aways

Soon we will look at 5 Key Take-Aways from the each of the 7 books in the first list of my favourite books, that will be sent to those who already subscribe to my mailing list and, automatically, to ALL who subscribers going forward. Completely free. This post is a teaser. I am not ready to begin yet, the summaries have not been written.

But ...

The first seven books will be as follows: 1. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne; 2. Atomic Habits – James Clear; 3. The Miracle Morning - Hal Elrod; 4. Cheaper By The Dozen – Frank Gilbreth; 5. Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard – Chip & Dan Heath; 6. Think And Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill; 7. The Slight Edge – Jeff Olsen with John David Mann.

Not reviews - Summaries

I have been reading Self-Help or Personal-Development books for many years. The plan for this particular ebook is to give you a summary (not reviews as such) but a list of the lessons I have learnt from these books. I will limit each summary to no more than two pages, so this whole ebook should take 10 to 15 minutes of your time, and will, I hope, give you an insight into each of the books I have chosen. I have included each one of these because in one way or another they have affected my life. Some more than others. Some I remember long after the initial reading, some I only think about every now and then. Some I have read more than once and have rather heavily annotated either in the physical or the electronic versions.

Changed my Life?

To say they have all ‘changed my life’ is somewhat clichéed and probably not completely true. I use many of the principles I have read, often in my life and this is a good thing.

All these books have in some way made some kind of change IN my life. Some minor, some quite major. Change in the way I think or do things rather than the over-arching changing my life situation is what we are going for here.

My Opinion

This list and the views herein expressed are mine alone and this isn't in any way a recommendation that you should buy any of these books. If you do, I might make a small commission (see the disclaimer note). But that is not the point. I want to give you all the same chance as I had to ‘do life’ differently.

Not Self-Help or Personal Development

One of the books in this first list could not be categorised in any way as Self-Help or Personal Development, per se. I first read it when I was about 10 or 12 years old in New Zealand, and I still act, to this day - some 60 or so years later, in ways that I first did when I originally read this book. This is what I mean by change the way I do things.

Alphabetical Order

The lists are organised (and there will be five lists or tranches in all at the end of the series), in alphabetical order according to the surname of the first credited author so there is no hierarchy here. These will all be free and automatically forwarded to current subscribers and progressively to new members of this exclusive group as they sign-up.

There is however a hierarchy in the series - tranche 1 would include books that were more influential in my life than those in the lower tranches. Does that make sense?

Purpose According To The Author

I will start each summary by stating the purpose of the book as postulated by the author; then we will look at my five key take-aways. (Please don't take me to task because your understanding of these key points is different from mine - they are bound to be). Do engage in positive comments. I would love that. You can agree or disagree, it's up to you, but in the end, this is my list. Oh yes.

Five Lists

There will be 5 tranches in all. They will become available over time, as I generate them. Some of your favourite books may make it into this or later lists. And by the way, I am only human and have not read more than a very tiny percentage of books in either of these genres. Some I have deliberately passed over (or ignored), many I have not had the pleasure, nor time, to get to.

Therefore these lists are not ‘all inclusive’, nor ‘exclusive’ – and they do not intend to be. If you know of a book that you believe I should read, let me know. I'd love to read it and perhaps include it in a later - 6th list, perhaps? Or it might push itself up to an earlier list. Who knows? OK?

To Finish

On a final note, as I go deeper into my bookshelves both physically and electronically, I may find books that need to go into a list that I have already completed. Oh well. It will go where it will go. I’ll point out if something belongs higher in the order of things as I come to it. Whatever, as they say.

What Did You Learn today?

Judging, Judgment of Others

JudgingJudging Others

Judging another person by making assumptions or expressing uncalled for opinions, usually negative, often when the other person is not there or not capable of responding is a very sad thing. Instances of this abound throughout the known world.

Judging Is Hard To Avoid

There are a number of issues we can discuss with relation to judging.

Firstly - It is very hard to avoid. We many times find ourselves making statements which, in the first blush, seem to be just ‘shooting the breeze’ but when you listen to yourself carefully, you find that what you have just said is uncalled for judgement.


Listening to our own utterances is extremely important. It is, perhaps, better to only speak about yourself or another partner in the same conversation. That way, if any judgement is made, however unlikely, in a face-to-face encounter, then at least the judged will have a chance to respond.

Almost every time we speak of another who is not present, it is negative. We hardly ever say, “Oh Bill. He's fantastic.” well not rarely, perhaps, but less often than the opposite.

If we are not happy about one person’s words or actions (even inactions often), while speaking with another; the best bet is - do not say anything about him/her it all. If you can't say anything good, say nothing at all, is a common saying we might all remember in this instance.

Judging Another Person’s Life

Quite often the way a person speaks or acts is a product of some issues in their past, and we are not to know that if we lived another person’s life, then we might act or speak in exactly the same way.

Safer to say nothing at all.

If you, as often happens, find yourself copping a quick look over your shoulder to ensure that no one is listening, when you are making a comment then you must question, ‘Why do I care if there are any listeners?”

Be aware of your comments. If you don't wish anyone to hear your comments - don't make them.

Judgement Awareness

But it is often hard to be continually aware of your own speech. Often you'll catch-on after comments have been made. It is one of my fondest hopes that I will never judge another person, but it’s a sad fact I often don't catch my judgement speech at all or catch it too late. Sad really. It is so important.

Before speaking think, ‘Would I say this about Beatrice if she were sitting in front of me right now?’ If the answer is no - shut up. If yes. Then go ahead. Say it. If it is a judgement or not, Beatrice probably will be chuffed to hear what you are thinking.

Bad Habits

As with all bad habits, this is one bugger of a thing to stop.

As I have already said, the hard part is becoming aware that you are doing it.

Many conversations contain comments made by others that are judgemental and before you know it you are commenting in like manner, or agreeing with negative assertions about others not present or worse still not able, even if they were present, to respond.

Speak No Ill Of The Dead

The old “Speak no ill of the Dead” comes to mind here. Perhaps we might think of all our conversations as being only with the living; and those not with us,  are no longer with us at all, then that old adage might kick in and our judgements or assumptions might be caught in time. When your conversation partner(s) makes a negative comment about someone not present - note it and avoid responding. Even if you believe it to be true.


There may be reasons for the judged words or actions that you have no way of knowing.

What Is A Judgement, Really?

The other part of this 'do not judge' argument is if you do judge someone - take a moment to look inside. Your judgement may say more about you.

Finding Yourself

Change Your Life for Good PAME Code

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Powerful Words

Some Great Book Suggestions

Books to read that may CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Powerful WordsFriends, I read a lotta books, many in the self-help genre. Many of these have caused me to change my life in some way.

Some by doing something differently, some by stopping doing something, and a few by adding something to the way I live my life.

Have a look and see if any resonate with you.

Some Great Book Suggestions

Remember, when self-help pundits say you need a mentor, they are right, but it needn't be someone you know. You may wish to follow an author and read all or most of his/her books and take the ideas on board. That is mentorship at its best. I talked about this in a couple of articles referenced below.

Get A Mentor #1      Get A Mentor #2

Disclaimer / Disclosure

Miracle Morning For Writers

The Miracle Morning For Writers by Hal Elrod & Steve Scott

The Miracle Morning For Writers by Hal Elrod and Steve Scott

Sub-titled “How To Build A Writing Ritual That Increases Your Impact And Your Income.”, this is a book for all budding writers.

Miracle Morning For Writers

I am more than ¾ through this wonderful book and have highlights on almost every page. Many pages I ended up tagging the whole page. So many gems. And Links? Did I say Links? Yep, almost every page has links to other resources you can use to add to the information included.

In The Beginning

The first chapter or two contains a run-down of The Miracle Morning SAVERS ritual as espoused by Hal in ‘The Miracle Morning’, and the different perspective is amazing. I thought I understood TMM, but this book gave me new insights, and I hadn’t at that time even reached the point where it actually spoke about writing. I wasn’t disappointed. It was the same only different as my daughter used to say many years ago.


There is a whole series of these books based on different issues Hal figured needed to be addressed, and the best thing about ALL these books is the list of short, easy to follow steps that lead you, inexorably to the result that has probably been eluding you for so long.

Just follow the yellow brick road to success. Steps are logical, common sense, achievable, but they require faith in yourself and in the process, not to mention the extraordinary focused effort necessary to make sure the steps are understood and followed.


"The Miracle Morning for Writers" combines Elrod's global phenomenon with Steve Scott's proven writing habit techniques (which helped him get on the Wall Street Journal bestsellers list). You learn how to take charge of your morning and maximize "the rest of the day" for your writing efforts.

That is all you need. “Miracle Equation next on my list, then “Millionaire. Can’t wait.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod         The Miracle Morning And Your Why