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Friday, April 30, 2010

Thought for the Day - Learned Optimism

"Find a way to move from 'Learned Helplessness" to "Learned Optimism".

-- Martin Seligman

Thursday, April 29, 2010

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Roots: It All Began Here - 400 E 141 St. The South Bronx

The first 18 years of my life were lived in this apartment building on 141st and Willis Ave in the South Bronx. My Irish immigrant parents lived here. I was brought home from the hospital to our third floor railroad flat apartment. My father was a butcher in a meat plant and my mother was a domestic and a factory worker. Both have them never finished grammar school. My father died in this apartment when I was four years old. My widowed mom raised my brother and me here on two checks. She received a Veteran's check for my father's service in WWII and a Social Security check.

I lived here when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. I lived here when Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1964. I lived here during the big blackout of 1965 and the race riots of 1964 and 1968. I lived here during the days of the Black Panthers and the Black Muslims. I lived here during the heroin epidemic that swept New York in the 60's. I lived here when they coined the term urban decay to describe my neighborhood in the South Bronx.I lived here during the beginning of "White Flight" and was one of the few remaining white families in the neighborhood. I lived here when the Bronx was burning during the arson epidemic. My neighborhood the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx was one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country at the time and still is today.

I lived here and dropped out of high school at the age of 15 years old. I survived a gun aimed at my head at age fifteen when I was working at a neighborhood grocery store. To the rest of the country and the world it was "Fort Apache - The Bronx" or a symbol of the worst of urban decay in America. Yet to me it was my neighborhood where I had lots of great friends and a fun childhood.

I moved out when I was eighteen to the Northwest Bronx. My mother remained in the same building for a few more years until 1976 when I was able to convince her to move to the North Bronx. The building was burned in an arson fire sometime after she moved out but before it was demolished I was lucky to have a friend take a picture of the building.

The picture above is on my wall as a reminder of where I came from. It's been a long and interesting journey from the South Bronx to today. I went from the Bronx to Hollywood and to Ireland. I walked through my parents childhood homes and my life has come full circle. I've often wondered how I got here from there and have begun to explore it in my blog but also in a memoir that I am writing entitled "Black Irish - Not Your Average White Boy".

I will continue to share moments from my journey in the future....

Thought for the Day - Writing the Story of Your Life

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it."

-- james M. Barrie

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thought for the Day - Stories Create Our Reality

"What we say to ourselves, creates our reality and guides our actions. Jim Loehr's "The Power of Story" teaches us that through the stories we tell ourselves and others about what is possible and impossible, we limit ourselves or unleash unimagined potential".

-- Susan J. Ashford

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thought for the Day - Build a New Model

"You never change things by fighting an existing model. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

--Buckminster Fuller

Monday, April 26, 2010

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Monologue - God's Ears

Sometimes you come across some great words of motivation or wisdom in a movie and as I listened to this monologue in a friends film I found these words inspiring and moving...

Actor/Boxing Coach John Saxton in movie "God's Ear"

"No matter how many great things you do in life. it's the one great thing in life you didn't do that wipes all the other off the board"

"I would take every punch to my face a thousand times over to have two seconds back for some blown chance.... two seconds just long enough to say , Yes I will when I wasn't able to...

But no matter what you do, take that wrong turn or step up to the plate. Hold her hand forever or breathe that lovers last breath. make sure yo do it with all your heart because at the end of the road that moment of truth is all we will ever own."

We all come from different worlds but in the end we manage to create our own..... That is life, that my friend is love."

Writer/Director Michael Worth

Check out the trailer:

Thought for the Day - Thorns Have Roses

"You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses."

Thanks Robyn Lattaker-Johnson

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thought for the Day - Test of Mission on Earth

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't.”

- Richard Bach

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thought for the Day - I Bought In

"I didn't sell out. I bought in."

- Masha

Thanks Aye Thinzar Aung

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Man Up

I just read a depressing story about how over 3/4 of children in parts of England will be born to unmarried mothers. No matter how you look at this it is not a good situation. Families with single mothers tend to be poorer and be condemned to poverty for generations. Kids without dads have a harder time in life and tend to have more problems adjusting. Now I know this is a very complicated problem with no easy solution and I don't plan on trying to address it here but there is one facet that I would like to touch on and that is the role of men.

I speak from experience having my father die when I was 4 years old and being raised in poverty by a widowed mom. Life is harder in a one parent family. The issue I want to address and is one factor in the situation is that men are not acting like real men and stepping up to their responsibility as a fathers. I think there is a need for society, peers, schools, churches and the culture to demand that men "Man Up".

What does it mean to be a man. It's not just a biological reality but it's about acting like a man should with courage,values, role modeling, and sacrifice. When a man becomes a father he needs to step up his game. It's no longer all about him, it's about the family and especially his responsibility to his kids. If he can't handle it or isn't ready then he shouldn't have kids cause he's not a man but just a big kid. Or as a friend of mine put it he just might be the king of the midgets but he's not a real man.

I know in my life after having a child I was called upon to step up and be a dad and a leader in my family. I had to let go of behaviors that got in my way of being a great father. Of all my accomplishments and successes in life I consider being a good parent my greatest accomplishment. To me being a man is to be a leader, to hold your self to higher standards, to have character, to take responsibility, to role model the best you can be so your children learn from your actions, to have courage, to sacrifice if necessary for your family and to protect them. That's a man.

A while back I came across this website that addresses the question "What Does it Really Mean To Be a Man". I recommend you check it out:

I just heard a story about a man who's marriage broke up because of his cheating and he doesn't want to make child support payments even though he can afford it. What message does that give his kid. What kind of man is this? I think you know the answer.

I think it's time for many men, to put it in my old street vernacular "To Man the F' Up".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thought for the Day - Who You Become

"What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you became during the journey."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thought for the Day - Successful People

"Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, What's in it for me?'."

Thanks Sharon Burton

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thought for the Day - Treat Life as a Game

"Treat life as a game where you are constantly being challenged. Then nothing fazes you"

-- Pauline Estrem

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thought for the Day - Winner Not Whiner

"Tough times separate winners and whiners."

-- John Maxwell

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Personal Ramblings - Favorite Magazine

What's your favorite magazine? I still like to read hard copies of magazines even though I only read newspapers online.
I regularly read everything from: "Inc" , "Fast Company", Wired", "Markee" , "P3" "Movie Maker" "DV", "Filmmaker" and "Success".
I read a few others as well. I would have to recommend "Success" as my favorite magazine.

Thought for the Day - Attitude

"Attitude isn't everything but it is the main thing that can make a difference in your life?

-- John Maxwell

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thought for the Day - The Journey

" It's about the journey--mine and yours--and the lives we can touch, the legacy we can leave, and the world we can change for the better."

- Tony Dungy, former NFL coach and SuperBowl winner

Thanks Michael Josephson

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Big Five For Life

Revised April 15th.... Re revised April 17th I knew I had to add more...

I came across the idea of a Big Five for Life after reading about John P. Strelecky's Book. He describes the Big Five for Life as
something you get to choose. They are the five things you most want to do, see, or experience in your lifetime. The five things so powerful to you, that if you do, see, or experience them before you die, then you will feel that your life has been a success by your own personal definition of success.

So I created my Big Five for Life well My Big Seven for Life....

1. Write and Publish My Memoir "Black Irish"

2. Produce A Documentary Series I"ve created called "American Dreamers"

3. Write, Direct and Produce Feature Film entitled "Goodbye My Friend"

4 Become a Professional Motivational Speaker

5. Buy my daughter a horse

6. Attend my Daughter's Wedding

7. Produce/Work on a Feature Film in Ireland

8. Write and Publish Motivational Book based on my life's experiences

9. Big Hairy Audacious Goal. (To Be discovered or created...._)

Of course I had to add a few more and may add more. I'm sure Five isn't enough for me. I encourage you to create your own Big Five for Life or Big Nine or......

For more info check out :

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thought for the Day - Wrestling With a Gorilla

"Some of life's problems are like wrestling with a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired. Heres a clue: when the gorilla come to believe you won't quit, he will."

-- Michael Josephson

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thought for the Day - Assumptions vs Reality

"We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions."

– Stephen R. Covey, author, professor

Sunday, April 11, 2010

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Best Days Are Ahead of You

When you're young you take it for granted that your best days are ahead of you. As you age there comes a time for most people that their best days are behind them. They look forward to retiring and in the words from Bruce Springsteen:

Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister but
boring stories of glory days
Glory days well they'll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days

I guess I always was a little different but I can't wrap my mind around the concept of retiring. I've lived a very colorful and adventure full life yet I don't think my past is my glory days. I believe my glory days are still ahead of me.
I have so much I want to do and accomplish that I believe in life you keep challenging yourself until eventually you run out of time. I still believe my best days are still ahead of me. I have a huge bucket list and it keeps growing.

I met an elderly veteran last week who is 95 years old and he is talking about wanting to write a book. So I offer you the idea "May Your Best Days be Ahead of You"

John Duffy

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos 2010 # 2- White Flag

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos 2010 # 1- Pink Floyd 2001

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday's Motivational Video - Awaken Possibility in Other People

About nine minutes into the talk, Mr. Zander describes a transformational moment in his conducting career, when he realized, "I don't make a sound....I realized that my job was to awaken possibility in other people."

What a wonderful metaphor for speaking!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Thought for the Day - Free Cheese

"The only free cheese is in the mousetrap."

-- Unknown

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Thought for the Day - Take Responsibility

" You are responsible for your life, so take responsibility."

-- John Duffy

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Magic Moments

Years ago I was exposed to the concept of Magic Moments and I adopted it into my life. Since then I have experienced or took note of so many magic moments in my life. I usually attempt to capture them in my Journal or the Journal I keep as a gift for my daughter. Some of the magic moments were small like spending a day just hanging with my daughter and talking or some were huge like reconnecting with my Irish family in Ireland in 2008.

Some magic moments happened to me and some I created for the loved ones in my life. I believe at the end of our lives it is these magic moments that we will look back on and it will be these moments that our loved ones and friends will remember. So I look forward to creating as many magic moments as I can in life.

This weekend was a one of those magic moments. I took the family to San Francisco to spend time with my cousins and their families. We had a great time, visited the Fisherman's Wharf, went to Easter Mass to in honor of my two recently deceased cousins Pat Gavin and Peter O'Donnell. All this was magic moments but on the final day my wife told me my daughter wanted to play ping-pong with me. She saw me playing with her 14 year old male cousin and she wanted to play me. I guess she didn't want to ask me and of course I invited her to play me. Well we played game after game and she was beaming the whole time and didn't want to stop. My back started to hurt but I kept playing until it was 11pm. I guess if anyone looked at me I was probably beaming as well.

Now it may seem small but I believe it was a very special magic moment that we both will remember. So I offer you the suggestion to be aware of, create and capture the magic moments in your life and of those of your loved ones and friends.
Maybe keep a journal of magic moments or capture them in a regular journal. And if you don't keep a journal you might consider starting one.

Here's to living a fulfilled life and a life of magic moments.....

John Duffy

Thought for the Day - Laugh at Life

" Laugh at life, laugh at yourself. Life ain’t all that serious until it is."

-- John Duffy

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thought for the Day - What You Can Become

"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

-- Tony Robbins

Monday, April 05, 2010

Thought for the Day - Soul on Fire

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

- Ferdinand Foch

Friday, April 02, 2010

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Introduction

I created my blog The Glass is 3/4's Full to share my philosophy and experiences in life with a large audience than just the people I work with and meet in life. I wanted it to be a place to inspire and share thoughts that challenge people to stretch beyond their limitations and fulfill their potential in life.

The blog structure so far has been the "Thought of the Day", "Saturday's Motivational Video" (from Youtube), "Sunday's Eclectic Music" (from Youtube) and occasionally some additional content. I would like to step it up and add a more personal regular selection called "John Duffy's Personal Ramblings". I will start out posting one a week and if I can find the time I will aim to make it a daily column.

I thank all those who read and follow the blog and hope to contribute even more to your personal success. I welcome any feedback and suggestions for improvement and comments about my ramblings.
Here's to your continued success and growth in life. The best days are still ahead of us.

"Make your Life a Masterpiece"

John Duffy

Thought for the Day - Our Gift to God

"What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. "

- Eleanor Powell

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thought for the Day - Live As If You"ll Die Today

"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."

--James Dean