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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Economic Optimism - Glass is 3/4's Full

Warren Buffett: U.S. on Right Track Long-Term

As dark as things might look now, the U.S. is on the right track long-term, says billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

"My children will live better than I did, and my grandchildren even better," says the world's third-richest man and its most famous investor in an hour-long interview recently on CNBC.

"In the 20th century, the real standard of living in the United States went up seven for one. A great many of the factors that went into producing that really unprecedented gain in how people live ... are still present.

"We have a market system, we have a meritocracy, we have the rule of law.”

“None of them are perfect, but they have combined in the past to move one generation after another ahead of the one that preceded them. That will continue to be the case."

Visualization of Bach - Fascinating

Friday, May 30, 2008

Big Ideas - Futurist Ray Kurzweil - # 1

Singularity Summit - Artificial Intelligence

Thought for the Day - There is No Failure Only Feedback

The only way you can fail is to quit. Failure is feedback on what doesn't work. The objective is to keep trying something new until it works or you succeed. Think about it.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thought for the Day - No Whining

“Whining is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Creativity & Education - Ken Robinson at TED

Fascinating talk on creativity, education and the challenges for the future....

Thought for the Day - Who We Become

"It is not what we get. But who we become, what
we contribute ... that gives meaning to our lives."

— Anthony Robbins: Authority on leadership psychology

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - Thank You

In memory of my Dad Patrick Duffy who served in WWII in the Philippines.

Fallen But Not Forgotten

and a personal thanks to a friend Victor L (Sgt. Marines) who served in Iraq and a good friend's husband John J (Sgt. Marines) who is serving in Iraq today I say thank you to them and all the young men and women who serve. Be safe and return soon....

Make a contribution to an organization that supports the young men and women who serve.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Power of the Human Spirit - #2

See previous post below on Mother and Daughter team who scaled Everest and now the oldest man. The power of the human spirit in action...

KATMANDU, Nepal — A 76-year-old Nepalese man reached the summit of Mount Everest on Sunday to become the oldest person to climb the world's highest mountain, mountaineering officials said.
Min Bahadur Sherchan reached the 29,035-foot summit early in the morning with his climbing guides.

Sherchan is just 25 days from his 77th birthday.
He beat the record set last year by Japanese climber Katsusuke Yanagisawa, who scaled the peak at age 71. Sherchan was in good health and was descending from the summit. The former soldier has climbed smaller mountains before his Everest feat and has been an active sportsman.

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 2- Flashdance

Irene Cara

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 1 - Angela Bofil

A Bronx Original.....

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Saw Prince Caspian this weekend with my daughter. Really enjoyed the movie and this song. Enjoy....

Regina Spektor - The Call (Narnia Soundtrack)

8 Rules for Success

Richard St John - TED

Power of the Human Spirit

Another record is broken....

Mum, daughter climb Everest
May 24, 2008 1
Article from: AAP

TWO Sydney women have reached the summit of Mount Everest, creating history as the first mother-daughter team to climb the world's tallest mountain.

Cheryl Bart and her 23-year-old daughter Nikki reached the peak at 9.05am (AEST) today after setting out on April 1.

The pair - dubbed Oz Chicks with Altitude on their official website - have endured bitter cold and several delays on their 8850 metre Himalayan ascent.

A team spokesman said they were now the first mother and daughter team to have climbed the tallest peak in each of the seven continents.

The pair have had to contend with delays such as the ascent of the Beijing Olympic torch and having their communications gear temporarily confiscated amid the tight security.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thought for the Day - Results

Results are the best measurement of human progress. Not conversation. Not explanation. Not justification. Results!

Jim Rohn

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thought for the Day - To Be or Not To Be; To Do or Not to Do

Each of us has two distinct choices to make about what we will do with our lives.

The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less and think less. To try less and discipline ourselves less. These are the choices that lead to an empty life. These are the choices that, once made, lead to a life of constant apprehension instead of a life of wondrous anticipation.

And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive and produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice.

To do or not to do. To be or not to be. To be all or to be less or to be nothing at all.

Why not do all that we can, every moment that we can, the best that we can, for as long as we can?

Jim Rohn

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thought for the Day - Let it Go, It's Gone

If you drop your keys in a sea of hot lava, let them go because they're gone.
Jack Handley - Deep Thoughts

A humorous thought but true, sometimes you just got to let things go in your life....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thought for the Day - Act in Spite of Fear

I learned that the goal isn't to eliminate fear but to act in spite of it. I remember the first time I did a firewalk and I walked even though I was afraid. I would go on to push myself through other experiences that I was afraid of. Looking back I realize that my life grew and improved because I was willing to push through my fears. So push through your fears.......

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thought for the Day - "Time Based" Projects

I came across an interesting idea for workouts named "time-based" workouts. The goal is to allocate a specific amount of time to the workout. The trainer Ryan Lee proposes extreme all out 20 sec burst of interval training, recovery and then another 20 sec burst such as a all out sprint. It's an interesting distinction to the normal and latest emphasis on interval training for fitness.

The concept of "time based" can also be applied to specific work projects with the goal of getting more done with short burst of focus.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Personal Journey - On Writing - Old Friend from Far Away

Just finished reading a great book on memoir writing entitled "Old Friend from Far Away". I love the title. The author Natalie Goldberg reignited a flame. It's re-inspired me to write and study writing. The book reminded me of my love of books, writing, language and stories. Years ago I started in that direction during my two years in a MA program on creative writing at City College of New York. I studied writing with many teachers but I remember one teacher Grace Paley who was also an author. I read fiction voraciously and remember my love of a few authors including Raymond Carver, Madison Smart Bell and Andre Dubus. It's been years since I've read fiction or memoirs. Today I still read 1-2 books a week but they are mainly non-fiction. I feel a fiction and autobiographical phase coming on.

Years ago I came at writing from many interesting directions. I read oral histories and conducted oral history interviews, studied journaling and started a writing journal that has now expanded to over fifty life journals, studied writing and performance of one man shows , read books by Spalding Gray, Eric Bogosian and other performance artists and wrote and performed in theater performances of my autobiographical material. I used my journal writing to explore stories from my life, keep a dream journal, used it to self analyse myself and kept writing about my life.

During the passing years I have filled fifty journals, filled five journals for and about my life with my daughter, written a one man show, wrote an autobiographical screenplay now entitled "Sugar Cane" and now have turned another corner and started a blog that while focused on motivation has also explored some of my personal life journey. Yet I don't think of myself as a writer or even think that I write that much.

The latest chapter in my life has reconnected me with my roots and taken me back to Ireland and family. The Chinese have a saying we live in interesting times and i have had a very interesting and unique life. A cousin described it as I've turned a lot of corners and I have turned a lot of corners, walked through a lot of doors, reinvented myself many times and lived many different lives all in this one life. Having met my lively ninety four year old aunt I hope I have many more lives left. So I step off the cliff again and hope I can fly. It's time to write to explore my daemon, my unique spirit and share the stories of my life. It's time to write to challenge myself again and to get another completion in my life. it's time to write..... Write on.....

Motivation Speech - Steve Jobs

Some good insights.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thought for the Day - Be a Winner

You were Born to Win, but to be a Winner,
You must Plan to Win, Prepare to Win, and Expect to Win
- Zig Ziglar -

Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius won his appeal Friday and can compete for a place in the Beijing Olympics.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thought for the Day - Life is Precious - Appreciate it

The incredible, unpredictable and almost incomprehensible loss of life in China and Myanmar bring home the reality of how precious life is. The world feels the sorrow for the losses in these countries. A truly sad situation. Life is Precious.... Take a moment to be grateful for the gift of life....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thought for the Day - Follow Your Dreams

I don't know if he's related to my mother's family the O'Donnell's in Glanduff,
County Mayo but I celebrate his call to Follow Your Dreams....

A motivation inspirational book from Ireland's Daniel O'Donnell.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thought for the Day - Create a 30 - 90 Day Challenge

I'm a big believer in creating challenges for myself from the little to the big. One way I do this is by creating 30 day or 90 day challenges. I used to do 30 day juice fasts as a way to interrupt and reprogram my eating habits. You can focus on one area to make a break thru or I like to make it 3 areas.
I am creating a 90 day challenge for myself in the following three areas:

Internet Marketing

I set goals in all three areas and create a list of daily musts in each area. If you haven't done it before try it and if you have done it start up some new ones.....

"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thought for the Day - Keep Moving Forward

A little extreme view of life maybe but some words of truth. As Les Brown puts it "When life knocks you down, make sure you land on your back, because if you can see up you can get up".

Be willing to pay the price and keep moving forward.....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day - R&B and Irish Musical Tributes

I''ll Always Love My Mother - In Memory - Ann "O'Donnell" Duffy

Ireland and the UK celebrate Mother's Day in the last week of March.

So a belated Happy Mothers Day Aunt Maggie. Happy Mother's Day Rose & Sharon and all the mother's in my new extended O'Donnell Clan.

This is for you Mom. And for your sister Aunt Maggie who sang a "Mother's Love" for us in Glanduff / Foxford Ireland on St. Pat's 2008 and there wasn't a dry eye. I made it to Glanduff for you. I know you're smiling.

Thank You. You're always in my heart.....

Happy Mother's Day Jean, Happy Mother's Day Jeanne.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Thought For the Day - Four Things

"Leadership begins with recognizing that everybody needs FOUR things," "something to do, someone to love, something to hope for, and something to believe in."

Lou Holtz

What do you Do?
Who do you Love?
What do you Hope for?
What do you Believe in?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thought For the Day - Choose to be Happy

It was at the darkest moment in my life that I realized that no matter how bad things were in my life I could choose to be happy. And I did choose to be happy.

Winter is always followed by Spring. And just like the seasons my personal winter passed and spring returned and I turned things around but I also realized that I could be happy no matter what was going wrong and that was a very empowering belief.

So Choose to be Happy no matter what.......

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thought For the Day - Commitment

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy". The answer is to move from What If I Can't to How Can I?
I'm in that place right now trying to make a decision and applying to above to the situation

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Thought For the Day - Choices

Your life is determined by the Choices you make. You always have a choice.......

I read two stories this week in the LA Times that brings this home.

The first story is about a teenager in community college in Berkley who was scheduled to go car shopping the next day with his Dad. The night before he made a choice a bad one and stabbed a honor student to death. He destroyed two lives with one bad choice.

The second story is about former gang members in Los Angeles called "The Businessmen" who are trying to make up for the poor choices they made when they were young and are working to make a positive difference in their neighborhood. They are role models for the reality that it's never too late to make some good choices and a difference.

Choose carefully and make some good choices.....

California Dreaming

It's why I moved to California from New York. I saw this view twenty years ago and the decision was made.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Brainstorming Tool - Mind Mapping

There are software programs that use these principles. I use the software "Inspiration" for my MacBook.

Motivational Mix - Jim Rohn & DJ Vattivegas

Thought For the Day - Power of Decisions

The decisions you make will shape your life. Decide wisely.....

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Knight's Tale: Brave Boy to be King of O'Donnell Castle

A nice moving story about dreams and people making a difference...

BRAVE little Erin Logue, was yesterday made a knight in shining armour to realise the dream of a lifetime.

The nine-year-old from Loughanure, Co Donegal, rode up on his steed to be given a sword of honour at a medieval investiture ceremony in a real castle -- Solis Lough Eske Castle near Donegal town.

It was the start of a special weekend which will include a banquet in his honour before he gets to "battle" his way through enemy knights on Monday to rescue a golden Labrador in another castle, the 500-year-old O'Donnell Castle in Donegal town. He will also judge a jousting contest and other knight events.

Erin's adventure of a lifetime was all made possible by the Make a Wish Foundation when it was told of Erin's dream by a nurse at Letterkenny General Hospital.

Erin has been battling a rare cancerous brain tumour for 18 months. His illness was one of only three of its kind seen by his surgeon in the past 20 years.

His amazing courage is being recognised after he revealed his favourite dreams -- to be a knight and to own a dog.

His mum Mary said: "Erin has bounced back from his illness well and is in great form these days."

- Paddy Clancy

Power of Decisions and Choices

Sidney Poitier:
I became an actor by accident. I was a dishwasher in New York City. And I was alone. My family was in the Caribbean, where I came from originally, and I was in New York washing dishes for a living. I used to get my jobs out of a black newspaper called The Amsterdam News. I was in the want-ad section one day looking for a dishwashing job and on the opposite page there was a theatrical page and it said "Actors Wanted," just like it said dishwashers wanted, and porter and elevator operators wanted. So I said what the hell, "Dishwasher Wanted, Actor Wanted," and I looked up the address and went to the place that was saying this and I got to The American Negro Theatre at 135th Street and Lenox Avenue in the basement of the Schomburg Collection Library. There was one guy in there. The theatre was not quite as large as this--it had a small stage like this--and the guy said, "Can I help you?" I said, "Yes, I saw this thing in the paper about actors."
He said, "Are you an actor?"
I said, "Yes."
And, to make a long story short, he said, "OK, here's a script." I never knew what a script was. He said, "Page 21. You read so and so, I'll read so and so."
So I got up there and I'm reading, but I went to school for a year and a half in my life, so I hadn't really yet learned to read very well. I started reading everything marked under "John,"--I assumed that's what he wanted me to read--and I was stumbling over the words. He saw immediately that I was not an actor and he came up on the stage--he was a very big guy--and he grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and yanked me off the stage and marched me to the door. As he threw me out he said, "Stop wasting people's time. Why don't you go out and get a job as a dishwasher or something?"--absolutely true.
I'm walking down the street, going to the bus and I said to myself, "How did he know? Was there something about me that gives off that I am dishwashing material?"
It was that day that I decided to be an actor. Not to be an actor, but just to show him and myself that there was more to me than washing dishes. I intended to become an actor to show him one day and go, "he, he, he" and then give up the business. It didn't happen that way.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Self Growth Articles

Articles I wrote on Self Growth website:

Inspirational Story - No Limitations


NEW YORK — John Fernandez should not have been playing lacrosse in the Army-Navy alumni game at Madison Square Garden.

By all rights, the former U.S. Army first lieutenant should be dead. But luck intervened.
"It was just a matter of chance — pure luck," said Fernandez of Shoreham, Long Island, who was severely wounded in Iraq after a U.S. plane dropped a 500-pound bomb on his Humvee in a case of friendly fire on April 3, 2003. Shrapnel from the explosion shredded his legs. "I crawled," Fernandez recalled. "I couldn't walk."

More than five years later, the soldier can do more than just walk. He can play lacrosse thanks to prosthetic limbs as he demonstrated during the Heroes Cup, which preceded the New York Titans professional game Saturday night.
"Change of direction is a little bit more difficult just because I don't have ankles," Fernandez said. "I get around. I'm not necessarily the guy who's going to be taking the ball and driving from behind the cage. I'm out there and playing. Running around, setting picks and scoring goals."

Fernandez speaks impassively when he recounts what happened to him. But his story is extraordinary. Somehow the bomb, which ripped through his Humvee, spared Fernandez who was sleeping next to the vehicle on a cot south of Baghdad in Karballa. It did not spare his driver, gunner nor the platoon sergeant who was nearby in another Humvee.
Seven others were injured.

Afterward, Fernandez, 30, was flown to a naval base in Spain and then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Doctors delivered a grim prognosis when he arrived. Part of his right leg had to go. They could try to save his left foot but it might be more trouble than it was worth. There could be lasting complications. Fernandez told doctors: "Just take it off. Cut it off and move on. It's literally cutting your losses."

Surgeons amputated his right leg eight inches below the knee. They also removed his left foot. But Fernandez was undeterred. He returned home that June for many months of painful rehabilitation. The soldier in him refused to lay down — so did his wife Kristi who helped Fernandez recover. "We just kept looking ahead," she said while watching Fernandez play at the Garden, cheering the Army players who eventually lost to Navy 10-6.

The first few years were a learning process, but over time he adapted to his new legs. His latest set are made mostly of carbon fiber. He's been able to play sports for about four years. "I put on my legs in the morning like you put on your shoes," said Fernandez, now alumni director of the Wounded Warrior Project in New York dedicated to veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And he never limited himself.
"I wanted to be able to do everything I could do prior to the injury," said Fernandez, who has two children and a third on the way.

One of those things was lacrosse. Fernandez played at Rocky Point High School on Long Island. He was also captain of his team at West Point. Fernandez wasn't quickest player. He wasn't a star. But he had other skills. "My saving grace was that I hard shot," he said.

When he takes the field with his prosthetic limbs, changing direction can be difficult though he was able to bound up and down the artificial turf at the Garden with little problem. His wife says he gets better each time he plays, and he scored in a previous alumni game.

The other players show him no quarter and certainly the ones from Navy did not at MSG. Most of the time, players aren't looking at his legs. They're looking to jar the bar loose with a good hit. "I try my hardest," he said. "I try to put the ball in the back of the net." Playing lacrosse at the Garden, perhaps, isn't his proudest moment on two legs since his injury.

Fernandez had intended to marry his wife in a big ceremony but had to quickly tie the knot in a civil service shortly before he shipped out to Iraq. "The deployment got in the way," he said. A proper wedding had to wait. Only seven months after Fernandez narrowly avoided death, the couple finally had one.

"I danced and walked down the isle," Fernandez said. "I did it all."

Irish American Story Project

Article I wrote for Irish-American Story Project

Submit articles to them about your experiences as an Irish-American.......


A fact that makes you go Hmmmm

It's estimated by Technorati that over
112.8 million blogs exist in the world
and that over 175,000 new blogs are
launched EVERY day!

That's 112.8 million blogs. Fascinating

Thought For the Day - Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself

"Stop shoulding all over yourself" - Just Do It........

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thought for the Day - Flexibility is Power

If it works, great. If it does not try something else. Don't act from rigidity or dogma...Be flexible... Be wiling to try something new.
Flexibility is Power.........

Ireland Is At Peace - Bertie Ahern

The great day of hope has dawned

The following is an abridged version of the address by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress, Washington DC, yesterday.

Your invitation to address this Joint Meeting this morning honours my country and honours me also. It reaffirms the enduring bonds of friendship and esteem between our two peoples and between our two republics. Those bonds have been built and nurtured and refreshed over the centuries. America and Ireland have something that goes beyond a friendship between countries. To be an Irishman among Americans is to be at home. So, Madam Speaker, I stand here before you as a proud son of Ireland. And I stand with you as a steadfast friend of the United States of America.

Parnell turned to the United States, as have many Irish leaders since, as we strove to emulate the achievements of America and to vindicate the principles that inspired your founding fathers: the principles of liberty, of equality and of justice.
In the early part of the last century, Eamon de Valera came here seeking help as Ireland struggled for her independence. In more recent times, many Irish leaders have come here in the quest for peace in Northern Ireland. Whenever we have asked for help, America has always been there for us -- a friend in good times and in bad.From the very outset, Ireland gave to America presidents, patriots and productive citizens of a new nation.....

The Irish helped to build America.

The New Ireland -- once a place so many left -- is now a place to which so many come....

The Irish are to be found in the police departments and the fire houses, in the hospitals, the schools and the universities, in the board rooms and on the construction sites, in the churches and on the sports fields of America.
Their contribution is seen in much of the great literature, film, art and music that America has given to the world. Each of them is a green strand woven into the American dream.
In all of America, there is Irish America.

On September 11, 2001, some of the most terrible, evil events in world history occurred. Close to Ellis Island, near this very building and in the skies and fields of Pennsylvania.
It is a day that is etched into the memory of all humanity.
On that day, Father Mychal Judge, the chaplain of the New York Fire Department and the son of Irish immigrants from Co Leitrim, rushed to the World Trade Centre to help those who were in danger and to minister to the injured and the dying. Along with so many other good, innocent people, Fr Mike died inside the Twin Towers that day. He was officially designated Victim Number 1. Of course, he was no more important than any other victim. He was just a simple man of faith and of courage trying to help others. In recognition of the bravery of all who died on that terrible day, I am deeply honoured to be joined here today by some of Fr Mike's comrades from the New York Fire Department and New York Police Department. I honour them and all of their fallen comrades -- those who fell on that day and all who have fallen doing their duty to serve the people.
There was a day of national mourning in Ireland after 9/11. Every city, town and village fell silent in remembrance of the dead.

Ar Dheis De go raibh a nanam dilis go leir.

In Ireland, we firmly believe our experience of hardship and of forced emigration is at an end. For that achievement, too, we owe so much to America.
Our two countries are reaping the rewards together. We are investing in each other's economies, bringing together our entrepreneurial energy and creating employment across Ireland and across America. That is the true measure of our economic achievements together. It points to a friendship every bit as strong in the future as it is today.

This year, in Ireland, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. It was a defining moment in Ireland's history. In the years since then, some doubted that the Agreement would endure.
I never did.
I knew it would last because it is built on the highest ideals of democracy -- the ideals of liberty, of equality, of justice, of friendship and of respect for our fellow men and women. Above all, the settlement of 1998 will flourish because of one simple and unalterable fact.It represents the will, democratically expressed, North and South, of all of the people of Ireland to live together in peace. That is far more powerful than any words of hatred or any weapon of terror.

On St Patrick's Day 2008, a few short weeks ago, I came here to Washington. I came with a simple and extraordinary message: That great day of hope has dawned. Our prayer has been answered. Our faith has been rewarded. After so many decades of conflict, I am so proud, Madam Speaker, to be the first Irish leader to inform the United States Congress: Ireland is at peace.

Our dream, and the dream of all of the friends of Ireland in America and across the world, has come true. To you, to your predecessors and to all of the American leaders from both sides of the aisle who have travelled with us, we offer our heartfelt gratitude. We also recognise the steadfast support of President Bush, of President Clinton, their administrations, their envoys and of their predecessors.

Do not underestimate the good you have done. Do not forget the legacy you have forged. And if ever you doubt America's place in the world, or hesitate about your power to influence events for the better, look to Ireland.
Look to the good you have done. Look at the richness of so many individual futures that now stretch out before us for generations, no longer subject to conflict and violence. Look to the hope and confidence that we now feel on our island.
The healing of history. Look and be glad.

An American President once said: "The supreme purpose of history is a better world".
Making a better world is also the supreme purpose of representative politics in our two democratic republics.

I will shortly step down from the office of Taoiseach after almost 11 years.
I am honoured to have been elected by the Irish people to serve them in that great office.

On May 6, I will go to that famous field on the banks of the River Boyne in Ireland where, over three centuries ago, fierce and awful battle was waged between the Protestant King William and the Catholic King James....

Today, both sides, proud of their history and confident of their identity, can come together in peace and part in harmony. They can offer each other the open hand of friendship. They will reaffirm again what Ireland has achieved and what we know in our hearts to be true.
Centuries of war, of strife and of struggle are over, and over for good. The field of slaughter is now a meeting place of mutual understanding.
Our children will live in peace. And their children will enjoy the fruits of their inheritance. This is the triumph of people and of politics. This is the achievement of democracy. The great achievement of Ireland and the great blessing of peace.

There are no finer words with which to finish and upon which to say: In history, in politics and in life, there are no ends, only new beginnings.

Let us begin.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh.
A thousand thanks to you.

Read the full speech......