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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thought For the Day - Winners

"Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win"
Winners don't expect to get something for nothing. They are willing to pay the price. Game Time.....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reading My Palm - Interesting

My 10 year old daughter read my palm last night. She said I had a long life line and would live to be very old, she said I had a long brain line and was very smart, she said I had a long heart line and was very loving. She said I had a weak destiny line and I would never know what the future would bring.

Now I'm not a believer in palm reading but I would like to believe all she said was true. How could I argue with the first three and I never have known what the future would bring. I've always lived my life going through open doors and seeing where it takes me. A cousin reading my blog said it looks like I've turned a lot of corners in my life and that was a very true observation.

So I look forward to turning more corners, walking through more open doors and discovering my destiny as it appears. And hope that my life is very long so I can achieve all the goals I have.....

Thought for the Day - No Failures Just a Learning Experience

'Nothing is a failure unless you don't learn from the experience"

Lynne Cox

She was the first woman to swim the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the first person to swim the Straits of Magellan in Chile and the first to swim around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thought for the Day - Attitude is the Main Thing

Attitude isn't everything but it's the main thing. Many people fail because they don't have the right attitude. All things being equal, two people standing side by side, the person with a great attitude will win every time. And it's a choice.

John Maxwell

Ireland Homecoming - #1 Glanduff Co Mayo Cead Mile Failte

The journey home started Mar 14th on a Aer Lingus flight from LAX. Feeling excited and a little anxious. Twelve hours later we land in Dublin. We need to clear customs and catch our plane to Shannon. We have less than two hours to get to our plane. It's not looking good. Customs is moving at a snails pace and airport personnel are not interested in hearing about making your next flight. An hour and forty five minutes later we have cleared custom and we're told we need to RUN to catch our flight and it's a good ten minute Run and they can't hold the plane. OK we bolt thru the airport with my 10 year old daughter in the lead. I'm sweating but running like OJ in a old Avis commercial. Ten minutes later still running but we see the gate and we just barely make it.

We sweat the whole forty five minutes to Shannon but it's all good, we made our flight. We arrive and now it's the next challenge. I have to drive three hours to Foxford. Normally no big thing but I'm exhausted, very little sleep, still tired from our run and I have to quickly adapt to driving on the other side of the road and drive from the other side of the car. I won't say the wrong side but not my comfort zone. I think I'm up for it but first I get lost looking for my rental car in the parking lot. Not a good sign. I find it and hey I'm in Ireland. I'm cool. So I start out of the airport and it's taking all my attention to not drive on the wrong side of the road. I'm not doing bad and then I run into my first roundabout....... Okay I got to read four signs very quickly and they are in two languages and I'm on overwhelm. My wife is trying to help but I am stressed big time and let's say we are both a little testy at this point. Fun, fun fun except if you're the driver and I'm the driver. The look on my face would have made a good YouTube video. Well I survived my first roundabout but there were many more to come. Next up was a narrow and I mean narrow road with rock walls on both sides and a bus coming in my direction going at least seventy and I got no room to move over. If I could have I would have closed my eyes and prayed but somehow the bus doesn't hit us. I've lose all sense of space and physics. I'm in Ireland.

Finally four hours later we arrive in Foxford and I'm happy to get out of the car. We greet my second cousin Sharon who made this miracle reunion possible. We meet her family. They have traveled from the UK to the reunion, also a long trip for them.My niece and her family has arrived already from New Jersey and we greet them. We later meet Sharon's dad and my first cousin and his wife. They also travelled from the UK a few days earlier to organize the event. We are all very happy to finally meet in person for the first time. Finally we decide that my niece Jennifer, my cousin Tony and my second cousin Sharon and myself will go up the hill tonight to meet my Aunt Maggie and my cousin Marie. Our spouses will stay with the six kids. I'm exhausted having not slept in twenty so hours but I'm used to long hours on a film set so I'm not going to let a little exhaustion get in my way.

We arrive on top of the hill after a fifteen minute drive. The door opens and I see my 94 year old Aunt Maggie. It's a very emotional reunion. She's crying, my niece is crying and I'm crying and we are hugging each other and all talking at the same time about the miracle that brought us back together........

To be continued.........

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thought For the Day - Direction

If you don't know where you are going,
you'll end up someplace else.

Yogi Berra

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thought For The Day - Perspective

If you are ever feeling a little full with yourself or think the world revolves around you, think about the following.
A Chinese parable : No matter how great you think you are, there are one billion people in China who don’t care one bit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thought For The Day - Who We Keep With Us On Our Journey

It is not who we meet along the pathway of our lives that makes us who we are. It’s who we keep with us as we make our way forward and who we choose to leave behind.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thought For the Day - Why Not?

You See Things And You Say, 'Why?' ,
But I Dream Things That Never Were; And I Say 'Why Not?"

George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ranks of Rich Swelled World Wide

If you're committed to producing success, financial independence and wealth in your life this is good news and if you're not then it's not.....

By Daniel Thomas in London
Published: April 20 2008

The ranks of the world’s rich swelled to 8m during 2007 as the wealthy proved immune to the strains across global economies in the latter half of the year.

There was a 4.5 per cent increase last year in so-called “high net worth individuals”, those with investable assets of more than $1m excluding primary residence, according to the 2008 wealth report compiled by Citi Private Bank and Knight Frank, published on Monday.

There was particularly strong growth of wealthy populations in the emerging economies of China and India, as well as those countries that have access to natural resources such as Kazakhstan.

Countries such as Brazil, Canada, Australia and Russia also each added more than 8,500 wealthy residents in 2007 on the back of the commodity boom.

The report says that the rate of growth of high net worth individuals has outpaced growth in both gross domestic product, and GDP per head, which it believes indicates that the rich are getting richer relative to their respective countries.

“This is not a perfect measure of relative wealth growth across income levels,” it says, “but there is an indication here that the plutonomy model retained its strength through 2007 and is in rude health.”

The US is still home to most of the world’s truly rich. High net worth individuals make up 1 per cent of the US population, with 3.1m people claiming to be dollar millionaires, and 460 to be billionaires.

Japan claims the next highest population of the wealthy, with 765,000 dollar millionaires, and then the UK, where there are 557,000.

The UK has seen the biggest increase in billionaires, however. Numbers rose by 40 per cent in 2007, from 35 to 49. China’s high net worth population grew by 14 per cent in 2007, and now number 373,000, almost as many as in Germany.

The report says there was little change in the investment activity of the very rich during the credit crunch in 2007, other than a shift away from structured finance. It says the very wealthy are “weathering the crunch” much better than insti tutional investors, owing to the diversity of their port folios.

More than 50 per cent invest in property, which has fuelled a rapid growth in luxury house prices across the world.

London retains its spot as the world’s most expensive place to live, followed by the tax exile haven Monaco and millionaires’ playground St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

There were the first signs of trouble in paradise last year, however, with prime property in certain areas in Ireland and the US showing a fall in price. The report’s authors warned that there were likely to be further falls this year as the economic slowdown caught up with the world’s super-rich.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

What's very interesting is how it is also happening in Asia, Europe, Brazil and other areas of the world. Also see the video below (TED) on ending poverty......

Sunday's Eclectic Music Video #2 - Latin with a French Flavor

Alizee.Alizée Jacotey

Sunday's Eclectic Music Video #1 - Gaelic

Kíla - Tóg é go bog é

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What I'm Reading - Books

Books I'm reading:

Rules for Renegades - Christine Comaford-Lynch (Entrepreneurship)
The Middle-Class Millionaire - Russ Allan Prince and Lewis Schiff (Entrepreneurship)
Old Friend From Far Away - Natalie Goldberg (Writing)
The Greatness Guide - Robin Sharma (Leadership) reading for 2nd time

Reviews will follow.....

New Technology - RED Film Camera

A little intro to some cutting edge new camera technology. Coming soon will be an interview with a Cinematographer friend who recently shot a feature on the new RED camera.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What I'm Reading - Magazines


The latest May issue has some good articles on "How to Get Rich from a Recession". it's a good resource.

Success Magazine

Success Magazine is back with new ownership and it's first issue is out on the newstands.

Six Degrees of Separation & Optimism

I post this article because over 20 years ago when I was a anti-arson organizer for the People's Firehouse in Brooklyn I used to play basketball with NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson. It's truly amazing to see him with two lifelong enemies from Northern Ireland coming together to make a better life for both Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. I just returned from visiting Northern Ireland for the first time in my life and hearing about the improvement the peace process has made in Northern Ireland. A testimony to optimism and how people can work together.......

NYC Pledges Millions for North
April 16, 2008
By April Drew

FIRST Minister of Northern Ireland Dr. Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were in New York on Friday welcoming the announcement of a $150 million investment from New York Pension Funds to Northern Ireland.

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson announced the largest U.S. investment to date since the peace process in the north at his office.

Thompson, chief advisor to the New York City Pension Funds, committed to investing $150 million with the potential of eventually reaching $750 million.

“This announcement follows the Pension Funds’ longstanding, 20-year commitment to promoting peace and equality of opportunity for all in Northern Ireland,” he said......

“Now is an attractive time for investment… in this stable political environment,” said Thompson, a probable candidate for New York Mayor next year.

Paisley, who was stunned into silence by the multi million-dollar investment — “I never thought I’d say this but I am speechless,” he said — graciously thanked Thompson and his colleagues “from the depths” of his heart and said such an investment will provide “great stimulus” to Northern Ireland at this time.

“Their decision to choose Northern Ireland as a place to do business ma-kes this a truly great day for us and for New Yo-rk,” he added.

“This in-vestment confirms that North-ern Ireland has turned a corner. We are now a sound in-vestment location that can provide the right caliber of people and projects to successfully underpin further inward investment, particularly from the U.S.,” said Paisley.

McGuinness, who accompanied Paisley on a four-day visit to the U.S. in an effort to promote the Northern Ireland investment conference in Belfast next month, described the investment as “another piece of history.”

“New York led the way and Bill Thompson put its money where its mouth is,” said McGuinness.

Read full article....

Thought For the Day - Make it Happen

If you want something to happen, make it happen. Or another way to look at it is, If it's to be it's up to me. Success comes from taking action every day and at times massive action. So Make it Happen......

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thought For the Day - Be a Pro

Somerset Maugham said " I write only when inspiration strikes. fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp".
That's the attitude of a Pro. Create habits of success every day...... Be a Pro

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thought for the Day - Well 7 Thoughts

1. Be Proactive

"Being Proactive means more than
merely taking initiative...

'It means that as human beings,
we are responsible for our own
lives. Our behavior is a function
of our decisions, not our

'They do not blame circumstances,
conditions, or conditioning for
their behavior..."

2. Begin with the End in Mind

"...this means to start with a
clear understanding of your

'It means to know where you're
going so that you better
understand where you are now and
so that the steps you take are
always in the right direction..."

3. Put First Things First

"This habit is the fulfillment,
the actualization, the natural
emergence of Habits 1 and 2.

'It's the exercise of independent
will toward becoming principle-

'It's the day-in, day-out, moment-
by-moment DOING it..."

4. Think Win/Win

"Win/Win is a frame of mind and
heart that constantly seeks
mutual benefit in all human

'Win/Win is a belief in the third
alternative. It's not your way or
my way; it's a better way, a
higher way."

5. Seek First to Understand, Then
to Be Understood

"This involves a very deep shift
in paradigm.

'Most people do not listen with
the intent to understand; they
listen with the intent to reply."

Be flexible and take the time to
genuinely connect to the other
person's perception of the world.

This will allow you to be much
more powerful in your
communications with others.

6. Synergize

"Synergy means that the whole is
greater than the sum of its parts.

'...It catalyzes, unifies, and
unleashes the greatest powers
within people.

'All the habits already mentioned
prepare you to create the miracle
of synergy."

7. Sharpen the Saw

"...It's preserving and enhancing
the greatest asset you have - YOU.

It's renewing the four dimensions
of your nature...

* Physical - Exercise, Nutrition,
and Stress Management

* Spiritual - Value Clarification
& Commitment, Study & Meditation

* Mental - Reading, Visualizing,
Planning, and Writing

* Social / Emotional - Service,
Empathy, Synergy, and Intrinsic

'...exercise all four dimensions
of your nature, regularly and
consistently in wise and balanced

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thought for the Day - You Got a Problem, That's Great

W. Clement Stone used to shout out "You Got a Problem, That's Great". Or another way to look at it is every solution has a problem. You can't have one without the other. Don't fear problems but expect them and see them as a challenge for you to come up with the solution. Or as someone else put it the stronger the wind the stronger the tree.Welcome the problem and know the solution to the problem is always there. Solutions. Solutions, Solutions.....You Got a Problem, That's Great......

Inspirational Films - Heartland Film Festival

The Heartland Film Festival was created to showcase uplifting films that highlight the vast capacity of the human spirit. Check them out:

Monday, April 14, 2008

TED - Hans Rosling - Watch the End of Poverty

A friend of mine Ronnie sent me a presentation of Hans Rosling called "No more boring data". It was fascinating, educational and entertaining. I found his latest presentation at the TED conference and it's worth the watch.....

Thought For the Day - Good Day - Bad Day

What makes a good day for you? I heard someone say that every day he wakes up he checks to see if there is dirt above him. If there isn't six feet of dirt above him it's a good day. I've adopted that philosophy. So every day starts out a good day and then it gets better from there.
Now some people have a whole bunch of rules and musts before it's a good day and they don't have too many good days because of their philosophy and their choice.
So 6 feet of dirt above you = A Bad Day
No dirt above you = A Good Day
So the choice is yours. I choose to have a good day every day. Good day or Bad day.....Your choice....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday's Eclectic Music Video - Salsa

Willie Colon Y Ruben Blades - El Cantante

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Film Ireland - It's a Beautiful Country

Something Different

A friend Paul J sent me a very interesting story about the Rock Chant and Kansas U. So here's to you Paul and the Jayhawks. It follows:

The Rock Chalk Chant is perhaps the most distinctive cheer in all of college sports. Some have likened it to a Gregorian chant, but anyone who has been in Allen Fieldhouse and heard the chant start low, then build and roll over the crowd knows that it is much, much more.

The "Rock Chalk" chant dates to 1866, when it was adopted by the University Science Club. A chemistry professor, E.H.S. Bailey and some of his associates were returning to Lawrence from Wichita on a train. As the story goes, they passed the time by trying to create a rousing cheer. The sound of the train's wheels on the rails suggested a rhythm and a cadence to them. At first, the cheer was "Rah, Rah, Jayhawk, KU" repeated three times.

Even though KU didn't have a football team until four years later, KU students quickly took up the chant. Later, an English professor suggested "Rock Chalk," in place of "Rah, Rah" because it rhymed with Jayhawk and because it was symbolic of the limestone, also known as chalk rock, surrounding Mount Oread, the site of the Lawrence Campus. It became the official cheer of the University in 1897.

Teddy Roosevelt pronounced the Rock Chalk Chant the greatest college chant he'd ever heard. It was used by Kansas troops fighting in the Philippines in 1899, the Boxer Rebellion in China, and World War II. At the Olympic games in 1920, the King of Belgium asked for a typical American college yell. The assembled athletes agreed on KU's Rock Chalk and rendered it for His Majesty.

The words to the chant are simple. "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, KU" repeated five times. The chant is special not because of the words, but because of the tone in which it is chanted and the distinctive cadence in which each verse is delivered. The only way to really appreciate the chant is to sit in Allen Fieldhouse before a Missouri game. But, if in need of a fix, the video below should recall the rocking rafters of Phog's place.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Beautiful Day - Just Because It Really Is ......

Thought For the Day - Step Up - Be a Leader

"Real leaders are different. They look for the best in people."

You have a choice: Look for the worst or look for the best. See the problem or see the solution. See the bad or see the good. Be a problem finder or a solution finder. Blame others or make things better.

"We can curse the darkness or light a candle"

You have a choice. Step up. Be a Leader

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thought For the Day - Create Your Own Special Days

Special Days are a way to remind us to do something we should be doing more often if not daily. We have birthdays, valentine's day, mother's day and they are all good days to remember those in our lives. But we can create our own special days. By creating a day doesn't create an excuse to just do it on that day but it give us a focus. Some Special Days I have or am in the process of creating for myself are:

Appreciation Day - A day to thank all those who have worked with me, been part of my team or have been part of my life and to say thank you.

Contribution Day - A day to volunteer and give back

No Tech Sundays - A day to get away from the blackberry, email, computer and TV and just enjoy people

Play Day - Once a month a day to just have fun with my daughter

Create your own Special Days and magic moments in your life......

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Thought For the Day - Direction and Purpose

"The wind is never favorable to those who don't know where they
are going."
-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

What is your direction and purpose in life? Take some time to think about it?

Thought For the Day - Keep a Journal

One of the greatest tools for personal growth is the keep a journal. I started keeping one for a writing class at Empire State College in New York. Over the years i have filled close to 50 journals. The purpose of the journals have changed and evolved as my life has. They started as a writing tool and a way to explore my memories and evolved into a tool for personal growth and a place to capture all the moments my busy life.

I read a few books about journaling that gave me ideas on how to use a journal. Two of the books I read years ago were "At a Journal Workshop" and "Your Life as Story". There are many other books on the subject that you can read if you haven't used a journal before.

Over the years I have used my journal in the following ways:

Capturing the moments of my life
Self analysis
Goal Setting
Planning and recording Magic Moments
Writing down all my blessings and things I am grateful for
Writing down all the decisions and commitments I make
Planning for all the things I want to accomplish in my life
Recording all the accomplishments in my life
Exploring new projects
Sharing my life and history with my daughter and leaving a legacy

I could go on but the point is journaling has served me well from the days when I was working in the NY Post Office as a mail handler until the person I have become today. I used it to fuel my desire to follow my dreams and to help overcome all the obstacles I faced on that journey.

I have also passed on journaling to my daughter and have also finished over 5 journals that are for her and capture all the moments in her life and our moments together. I also use it to share my dreams, wishes and thoughts for her future life.

Journaling is a great tool if you are pursuing personal growth. Journal your life and when the time is right share it with someone important in your life.......

Monday, April 07, 2008

Book Review - Ten Successful Start-Ups

For more info:

I'm happy to recommend this book by a good friend of mine. It's an interesting insight into 10 start up entrepreneurs who he counseled and assisted as a Business advisor in New York City. The foreword is written by film director Taylor Hackford.

Book Description
The lure of entrepreneurial freedom and wealth compels many adventurous individuals to try to beat the odds-to become the one in four business start-ups in the U.S. that survives the first four years. And now, with corporate downsizing and deteriorating economic conditions, more than 550,000 new businesses are launched in the U.S. every year. So how does one identify the challenges that await the new business owner, and more importantly, how can you boost your odds for success?

Learn from others who have "been there, done that." In Ten Successful Start ups, you'll discover how these common, everyday people built their businesses into multimillion dollar companies that will sustain them in the future. Let their lessons be your guide as you travel your own entrepreneurial path.

About the Author
Harry Wells is a popular entrepreneurial training workshop leader recognized by the United Nations as a visionary in developing international entrepreneurial training programs. He works in New York City as a Certified Business Advisor for entrepreneurs and small business start-ups, and lives in Brooklyn with his family.

If your are an entrepreneur or looking to start a business check this book out.......

Thought For the Day - Just Do it

Health, Fitness and Diet books are plentiful and yet people continue to eat themselves into obesity and disease. Everyone is buying all these books looking for the "Secret" to health and fitness. The reality is there is no "Secret" and there is good information in all the books but the key is to take action every day. I believe in Keeping it Simple and Just Doing It.

Many years ago I came back from college and I had gained some weight, no I gained a lot of weight and my young nephew started to call me the "Pillsbury Dough Boy". Well that caused a lot of pain for me and the pain of that name was worse than the pleasure of the eating and drinking I was engaging in. I went on a two week water fast ( I don't recommend that but I was a little extreme at the time) and I broke my habit of overeating. I then applied for and got a job as a fitness instructor at Jack la Lanne and I got into the best shape of my life.

I would later learn that the two key motivators in our lives are pain or pleasure and usually one of them is dominant in the decisions we make. I decided that the pain of being overweight outweighed the pleasure of overeating so I remain committed all my life to taking Acton daily to maintain my state of fitness and health.

I developed a philosophy and strategy of DI (tm) or Daily Improvement. I apply this to my exercise program. I always make an improvement of either adding more repetitions or adding more weight to each workout. I always raise the bar for my self. So in summary I offer the following:

Just Do It - Exercise
DI ( Daily Improvement)
Variety - Keep changing the exercise so you never get bored
Monitor - Keep an exercise journal so you can monitor the progress

No Excuses - Just Do it

Book Review - The Pope's Children

I picked this book up prior to my 1st trip to Ireland and just finished it on my return. If you are interested in business, economics, culture,history or just want to expand your world I recommend you read this book. This is a thought provoking, funny, entertaining and educational book all wrapped into one. The book shows how Ireland has arrived and become a global nation. Ireland is now one of the richest nations in the world with the largest middle class.

My trip allowed me to see everything from the old rural Ireland on the west to the industrial north to the cosmopolitan Ireland in Dublin. The Pope's Children complimented my trip and opened my eyes to the new Ireland and the new Irish Dream.

Be prepared to learn a bunch of Irish words like craic (fun), as Gailge (in Irish), and failte (welcome) and also a bunch of fascinating terms and descriptions created by the writer including Expectocracy, Stakhanvite, Commentariat, Kells Angels, Deckland and many more. Reading the book in a lot of craic.

What's the most important theme of the book is the amazing economic progress Ireland has made in 10-15 years. Ireland has went from a nation that exported it's young to a nation that the young are moving back and it's an immigration magnet to Eastern Europe. It's a fascinating story of the good, bad and ugly of economic progress but it take a positive and optimistic view of the progress Ireland has made.

The book is the #1 best seller in Ireland but it's a book that will be enjoyed by everyone. Check it out.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thought for the Day - No Excuses

On the wall of a Dublin boxing club:

"Winners are simply wiling to do what losers won't"

"When you're good at excuses it's hard to be good at anything else"

As I like to say:

You can either get Results or make Excuses. You can’t do both. Your choice.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thought For the Day - Vision

"Most people take the limits of their vision to be the limits of the world. A few do not. Join them." Arthur Schopenhauer

We see the world as we are not as It is. We filter it to create our point of view but remember that's all it is, our point of view not reality. Or as someone else put it the map is not the territory. Time to expand your vision of what's possible. Break thru the limits and barriers. Create a big vision of what's possible......

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thought for the Day

If you are willing to do only what's easy, Life will be Hard.

If you are willing to do what's hard, Life will be Easy.