Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thought for the Day - Life Metaphors

"Approach life as a game with growth as the objective. If you do you"ll put yourself in the right frame of mind to engage in and enjoy the adventure, whatever it brings."
Dan Sullivan

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thought for the Day - Raise the Bar

" A funny thing happens when you raise the bar. People find a way to get over it, once they realize it's expected. Human beings can do amazing things - if they are asked to."
John Powers

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thought for the Day - Resourceful Mind

"The more positive your system of beliefs, the more overall belief you will have in you ability to control your destiny. Likewise, the more you believe you have the power to control your destiny, the more expansive your mental paradigm will be; the less you are imprisoned by preconceived notions. What all this leads to is a "resourceful mind", a mind that is willing to consider virtually all possibilities."
Robert J. Ringer

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thought for the Day - Attitude

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one attitudes in any given circumstances, to choose one's own way."
Viktor Frankel

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thought for the Day - Accept Responsibility

"The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs."

--Joan Didion

No Excuses.......

Thanks to Tom Hill's Friday Eaglezine.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thought for the Day - Contribution

"Everyone has the need to contribute. It is one of the six human needs. If you give from your heart, it will come back to you tenfold."
Anthony Robbins

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thought for the Day - Perspective and Blessings

I'm reading a book " Fist Stick Knife Gun", a sociological memoir by Geoffrey Canada about growing up in the South Bronx. Mr Canada grew up in the South Bronx around the same time I did. He tells a story of a crooked finger he got around 1964 and he writes... " The slight deformity is such a small price to have paid for growing up in the South Bronx. So many others paid with their lives. Many who are still alive are addicted to drugs or are in jail, or have AIDS, or are debilitated by mental or physical injuries - all traceable back to the South Bronx. I feel so lucky to have only a part of one finger as the toll I paid to make it out. But I don't want to forget what life was like. There was a time when getting out of the South Bronx was a distant dream, one you kept in the back of your mind. Fear and the struggle to survive were ever present realities."

Very true. I recently heard about a friend I grew up with in the South Bronx who just died from an OD. It puts things in perspective and makes you appreciate your blessings. I guess given where I came from I especially have a lot to be grateful for.

Geoffrey Canada has went on to be a role model for education reform and continues to change the lives of young people. He is the CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone. Look at the great work he does.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thought for the Day - Learn From Mistakes

"It's all right to get your fingers crushed in the door, but don't let the same door crush them twice."
T Boone Pickens

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thought for the Day - My Personal Philosophy

I have developed my personal philosophy and beliefs for life the hard way. Some I have borrowed, some I have made up. Some of my key core principles are:

Make Your Life a Masterpiece
The Glass is 3/4's Full
DI - Daily Improvement
CANI - Constant and Never Ending Improvement
Maybe Yes, Maybe No
It's not a Problem, It's a Challenge
There's Always a Way and Always a Solution
Be Grateful
Adopt Empowering Beliefs
Develop a Phd in Results
Use Common Sense
Use Street Sense
No Excuses
No Whining
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
KISS - Keep it Simple Sammy
Treat others the way you want to be treated
Be Respectful
Step Up
Be a Leader

These and a few others guidelines support me in how I try to conduct my life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thought For The Day - Life isn't Things

Life Isn't Things and Things Aren't Life.

That's important to remember in this time of financial uncertainty. I know what it is like to have nothing. I've been there for a lot longer that I liked. But at my lowest point where I had less than $10 to my name I learned the best lesson of my life. I learned that even in that moment I was very fortunate. I had my health, I had hope, I had dreams and I had the possibility of turning it around and I did. Now I have a lot more than I had then and today while I value and promote prosperity I also understand life is much more than things and possessions.
Life is about what you accomplish, who you love, what you give back and what legacy you leave behind.
So today I chose to focus on what I can do not on what I lost in the economic downturn.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Book Review - The Drinking Life

I just finished reading Pete Hamil's "The Drinking Life", a memoir of his life growing up as an Irish- American kid in Brooklyn.
I remember reading Pete Hamil's columns in the New York newspapers when i was in my 20's. I used to enjoy his writing at the time and appreciated how he worked his way up from his working class roots to be a journalist. I remember that Pete Hamil and another journalist Jimmy Breslin stood out for their working class style of writing and and their Irish roots.
Reading the book triggered a lot of my own personal memories growing up in the South Bronx. Pete's book brings to life his Irish-American experiences in Brooklyn and his struggle of being torn between two worlds, the working class world of Brooklyn and the middle class world of Manhattan. He also struggled with two identities, one the neighborhood guy vs the educated artist guy.
Of course his biggest struggle is summed up in the title "The Drinking Life". Well for most of his life he just gave in to alcohol and was "Living in the Bottle" as Gil Scott Heron used to say. Yet he reached a turning point and made a decision at that moment to change his life and he did. How he changed from a drinker to a non- drinker is different and I know a few people in my life who did the same.
The book is a very good read and also give the reader a historical context to his life. His story is a fascinating story in how he built a life and how he life spiraled from dropping out of high school to working in the Navy Yards, going to art school, joining the Navy and finally becoming a journalist and a writer.
One story that stands out for me is when he took his father back to Belfast Ireland in 1963 for the first time since his father left in 1932. The description of hearing the news that John F Kennedy was shot on the TV in Belfast was a powerful moment. It also crystalized his life long struggle and relationship with his father.
A lot of this book has a very personal connection to my life. Growing up the son of Irish immigrants in the Bronx, I went through a lot of similar struggles and a few different ones. I was from the next generation after Pete Hamil which brought some unique challenges for my life. I had to construct a successful life with no role models and no idea of how you achieve it.
I will be sharing a lot of these stories as I embark on my writing project this year.
If you are interested in memoirs I suggest you read Pete Hamil's book....

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 2 - Flashdance

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 1 - Living in America

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And Then There's Magazines

Right now I subscribe to and read the following magazines:

Fast Company

and I also read a few other magazines that I don't subscribe to. Too much to read too little time....

Books, Books, Books - Scratch Beginnings

My passion for reading started with Marvel comics when I was a kid. It accelerated when I dropped out of high school at age fifteen. It continued when I finally went on to college ten years later and continues to today. I once said that my image of heaven is a huge bookstore and I get to read every book ever written.

So I Just added another book to my reading list. It's a really long list and I know it just keeps growing and I'll never finish reading all the books on it. But I'll enjoy the journey.....

"Scratch Beginnings" seems like an interesting story of a young student on a journey to see if the American Dream is still alive. He starts out with only $25 and the clothes on his back and sees if he can work his way out of homelessness in a year. I'll review it after I read it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thought For The Day - Point of View

How do you see the world? Are you like a frog in a well or an eagle?
How you see the world comes from the perspective you have. It can come from either your personal experiences or how much you learn from others experiences. try to expand your perspective and point of view. Learn to see things from many sides not just one.
Choose a perspective that allows you to see things from above with the broadest perspective possible. Be an eagle not a frog.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thought For The Day - Do it

"there is no try, there is only to do or do not."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thought For The Day - Lead Don't Follow

It is in times of turmoil, crisis and challenge that leaders and leadership are needed. Leaders are the ones that keep their head in the middle of the storm. They keep things in perspective and look to find solutions. Everyone of us has the potential to be leaders in our families and in our lives. Think and act like a leader and not a follower. Step up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thought For The Day - Feel the Fear

"Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway"
Susan Jeffers

Courage is not an absence of fear but the ability to acknowledge the fear and act in spite of it. This is a lesson that I have had to apply many times in my life and I anticipate I will have to apply many more times in the future.
I wasn't a big risk taker or outgoing as a youth. Outwardly I'm sure people couldn't tell but I lacked the courage to overcome a lot of the obstacles in my life. It was only when I pushed myself forward in spite of the fear did I begin to grow.

Every achievement and growth I made was accomplished because I moved through my fear to act.

I remember the first time I spoke in public, I was shaking so bad I could not hold my note cards to read them. Somehow I get through it. I continued to push my self pass my shyness and fear of public speaking and went on to act in theater and in murder mysteries and learned how to become not only comfortable giving speeches but actually enjoying doing it.

I've taken the lesson from this area of my life into all the other areas as well. So I encourage you feel the fear and do it anyway....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thought For Day - Power of Crisis

Today we are facing great challenges and crisis. How should we react and respond. We need to respond to fear and uncertainty with courage, faith and action. Here is an interesting website that offers a community to help people face and overcome any challenges they face.

Tony Robbins

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Memoirs and Novels - Personal Ramblings

I just committed to a outrageously large goal of writing a first draft of a memoir in sixty days. I used this strategy before to write a script in thirty days and I achieved it. I'm in the process of laying the ground work for my writing by outlining the chapters and brainstorming different ideas for my book. As part of this process I am reading a bunch of memoirs and urban novels before I get started to just inspire myself and to think about how others have told their stories. I've read many memoirs and novels over the years and I plan on immersing myself in them to focus my writing over the next few months.

Some of the memoirs and novels I intend to reading over the next couple of weeks are the following:

Tis - Frank Mcourt
A Drinking Life - Pete Hamill
All Souls Day - Michael Patrick MacDonald
Honky - Dalton Conley
Bodega - Ernesto Quinonez
Sleeping Arrangements - Laura Cunnigham
Fist, Stick, Knives - Geofrrey Canada

Some of the books deal with life in the Bronx, some deal with the Irish American experience, some deal with the New York experience and all deal with the urban experience. I can see pieces of my life in all of them which is why I've chose to read them before embarking on my own writing.

I am determined and committed to having a first draft by the end of 2008. Let the writing begin....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thought For the Day - You Fix You

"...You need to remember that you need to take control of your life. ...YOU are in charge of your destiny. YOU are in charge of your life....YOU have to fix you!...Go be somebody....."
Dave Ramsey

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thought For Day - "From Jail to Yale"

It's All About the Choices We Make

Last night thanks to a good friend Eileen I attended a performance of "From Jail to Yale" with Charles S. Dutton. You probably know him as "Roc". Mr Dutton shared his story of how he went from Jail to Yale's drama program. A fascinating and inspiring story. I later got a chance to meet him and share stories. It was a enjoyable evening of theater as Mr Dutton performed parts from playwright August Wilson's plays.
Charles story of how he accidently took a book of plays into solitary confinement and after reading it made a decision to change his life is inspiring. I know from my life growing up in the South Bronx and dropping out of HS at age fifteen how the choices you make or don't make determine the life you live. I learned to make better choices later on in life.
And we all have the power to make choices no matter where we start out.
Charles Dutton's life is an example of the power of choices and becoming a positive role model. The Dramatic Arts Education Fund is starting a new and innovation dramatic arts education program inspired by Charles Dutton to reach 1 million "at risk" junior and senior high school students across the country.

For more info, to donate or get involved.....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Thought For Day - Get Your Finances in Shape

"Who's responsible for your financial situation? You Are. No really, You are."

Now is a good time to commit to getting your financial house in order. Here are two online resources.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thought For Day - Power of Questions

"Always make Your Questions Bigger Than Your Answers"
For some people, their entire sense of security and self-image depends on having all the answers -- on never being wrong. As a result, these people try to understand everything in terms of what they know. But all growth lies in the territory of the unknown. What we already know is in the past. What we have yet to discover is the future. Always make your questions bigger than your answers, and you'll keep drawing yourself into a bigger future with new possibilities.
Dan Sullivan

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thought For Day - Attitude is Everything

I received this from my cousin Sharon who is facing some rather large challenges. Yet she always has a smile and a word of encouragement. She is a ray of sunshine on a rainy Irish day.
She really exemplifies the message of this post. So I share it with you....


There once was a woman who woke up one morning,
looked in the mirror,
and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
'Well,' she said, 'I think I'll braid my hair today.'
So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up,
looked in the mirror
and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
'H-M-M,' she said,
'I think I'll part my hair down the middle today.'
So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up,
looked in the mirror and noticed
that she had only one hair on her head.
'Well,' she said, 'today I'm going
to wear my hair in a pony tail.'
So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up,
looked in the mirror and noticed
that there wasn't a single hair on her head.
'YAY!' she exclaimed.
'I don't have to fix my hair today!'

Attitude is everything.

Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle .

Live simply,

Love generously,

Care deeply,

Speak kindly......Walk with God

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...

It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise - Personal Ramblings

Seventeen years ago I made a big decision to change my life and I drove cross country from New York to California to start a new life. The change was dramatic although it wasn't easy. I arrived with less than $100 in my pocket and had to scramble quickly to survive. With a little help from my friends I survived and strived. Yet no matter how hard it was and it was, I felt like I had gone on a permanent vacation. Maybe it was the weather or the feeling of possibilities I got from the open spaces, the ocean and the mountains but whatever it was I still feel that sense of being on vacation after all these years.

Every day seems like another "Day in Paradise". Now part of that is what I've chosen to focus on and appreciate.

Yesterday was an example. I started the day participating in and cooking at a a Father's Day Breakfast at my daughter's school. The day started with some light showers and turned out great. We had a great time, Later that evening we went to a BBQ at a Horse Ranch where my daughter takes riding lessons. They had a fun Murder Mystery that reminded me of the ones I acted in when I first arrived in California, It was a great day.

So life is good and I feel grateful for the life I have and I know it all started because I overcame my fear seventeen years ago and took a big risk to move to California and go out on a limb to change my life. I have no regrets and hope to be able to always call on the courage to take the future risks I need to take.

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 2 - Hope You Dance

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 1 - Haddaway


Friday, October 03, 2008

Thought For Day - Larger, Brighter Future

'Always Make Your Future Bigger Than Your Past"
Dan Sullivan

This philosophy is the opposite of "Glory Days' and living in the past. Your job is to create a brighter compelling future for yourself that will surpass your past.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thought For Day - Entrepreneurship is the Way to Go

As the father of a young daughter it's great to read the following,

"... the latest statistics show women own almost half, or 10.1 million, of small businesses nationwide, and generate about $2 trillion in revenue."
Entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs are major driving forces in our economy. Things have changed a lot in my lifetime in this regard.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thought For Day - Nothing is Simple

"Nothing is Simple"

Just when you thought Soy was the wonder product research is showing the some serious problems with it. Some of the negative reviews are not that new. So is it good or bad? Time to do a little research and make the decision for yourself. Everyone has something to sell but it's up to you to do the work and decide do you want to buy it and is all the hype just that hype.
Life is complex. Educate yourself and be critical. It's your life....
So nothing is simple don't you be simple....