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Friday, June 30, 2006
Wealth is relative.


I met a woman today who works as a nanny for a wealthy family. She travels quite a lot and has been on more cruises than she can remember. She was a great resource for comparison of cruise lines, but also had interesting commentary on the work ethics of Americans and Non-Americans.

International cruises hire much of their staff from countries where the people make very little per year. Those workers really appreciate their jobs. They work very hard, take the job very seriously and are supportive of one another, and their families. Americans, on the other hand, prefer to complain and don't like serving people all that much.

A haven't been on any international ship, so I couldn't agree or disagree with her assessment. Although I do notice how that is similar to the farming situation in California. People like to complain that people are Mexico are taking away jobs from Americans, but then the Complainers aren't all that willing to go work in the hot fields all day under the same conditions as the Migrant Workers.

I did notice that this particular crew did openly complain about various conditions, from the crew's quarters to each other… things that the nanny told me would get them fired if they every worked on an international ship.

I guess you could say that Americans have been spoiled. We have a minimum wage, unionized work conditions and a sense of entitlement from all our infomercials and internet days. I think part of it comes from the fact that we've always wanted to give our children "a better life than what we had" (something my parents used to say a lot when I was younger) so we never really got an understanding of just how much hard work is required to succeed. If it looks easy, it must be easy… and if it isn't easy, why bother?

Not that we have to live under harsh conditions to appreciate what we have… but I don't think it would hurt to learn a little from the people who have been there.

Appreciating our jobs, serving others and working hard isn't a bother; it's an honor.

9:37 PM

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Just outside... 
A whole different world can exist right next door.


Today we arrived in Maui. It's amazing to wake up, have breakfast outside on the lanai with a whole different view each morning.

I have a day and a half at port here, which is great. It's not as rushed as some other stops, and I can explore it a little bit more.

Maui is more mellow than Oahu. It's kind of in between Kauai and Honolulu (literally as well as figuratively). It's got a lot of modern conveniences, without the hustle/bustle.

I spoke with a 'local' while getting a drink at Bad Ass Coffee. He lived on Maui much of his life and voiced many of the concerns of Hawaiians. One was his annoyance at how Maui's money was going to Honolulu and they weren't getting their money's worth (politics are everywhere). His second, and bigger complaint, was that the Hawaiian culture was dead. His mom-n-pop store being in the middle of the largest mall on the island accentuated his point.

It is true though. Condominiums are cropping up everywhere you look. So many people are tearing up nature in their search for it. And now everyone gets their Hawaiian outfits at Walmart.

The theme of disappearing culture was carried into the evening, when I went to see a local show "Ulelena" a modern dance performance that recounts the story of the Hawaiian Islands. Very similar to the story of Native Americans… indigenous people living peacefully with the land, European ships appearing on the shore, with disease, debauchery and death soon to follow.

Disease, debauchery, death and discounts… Welcome to "progress."

Despite that depressing message, the show was quite terrific. If you manage to get to Maui, I highly recommend it. I also recommend paying the extra for the "Producer's Package" because after the show, you get to meet the cast and get a behind the scenes view of the show. Ironically, I met a cast member who used to live in Burbank, not too far away from where I live now.

"It's a small world" as they say… (but then they only say that when you run into situations like this.)

10:35 PM

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Nature has a power beyond its beauty.


Crunching like granola under my feet, with the smell of eggs all around, it was like a bad breakfast was in the air. What I was experiencing though was nature in all its glory.

The big island of Hawaii is the youngest in the chain and as such it's still very much alive with volcanoes. Just seeing the work of the goddess Pele, I was awestruck. Everywhere I looked was black, from large boulders to little pebbles. It all came from the center of the earth not too long ago. In fact, I walked over a lava flow that was laid down in 1982.

Down the road just a bit was a lava tube – a natural cave, created when hot molten rock flowed like a river, cooling above and flowing out underneath.. Walking through it has so far been one of the most spiritual experiences in all my time in Hawaii.

11:33 PM

Monday, June 26, 2006
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, open your eyes and behold.


Hawaii is so full of beauty and life. The sights and sound can be overwhelming. It has just about anything you can ask for… there's always some sort of activity if you want to do something, or relaxing beaches if you don't.

The main reason I came was for a friend's son's graduation party, which was on Saturday. It was a really special event, with over 250 friends and relatives in attendance. One of the most special moments was when his grandmother sang to him a song she used to sing for the USO in WWII. He's always had a smile that could light up a room since the time he had teeth. This time, from ear to ear, it was blinding; whether it was from joy or teenage embarrassment, I couldn't tell, but it was memorable.

While here, I decided to take advantage of a cruise on the Pride of Hawaii, the newest ship for Norwegian Cruise Lines. It's set to go around all the islands; waking up at a new port nearly every morning.

We set sail just a few hours ago. Yeah, yeah, I know… I'm already on line. It's just that they have an internet special that I had to sign up for on the first day, in order to get the best rate. I'm planning to work more on my tan than my computer, but just in case, I'm ready for both.

9:49 PM

Friday, June 23, 2006
First believe... 
The belief comes before the proof.


It's a good thing I've been listening too a whole bunch of teleseminars lately. Each one has been reinforcing the power of visualization. If you keep picturing things will go wrong, they have permission to go wrong. If, in the face of adversity, you reaffirm the positive... amazing things can happen.

I knew I needed that more than ever, when I swiped my card in the eticket machine at the airport and it linked back "cannot check you in, would you like to fly standby?" The agent behind the counter explained that it was past the check-in deadline and that there was no guarantee that I'd make it on the flight. With less than an hour in San Francisco, that would also mean not making my flight to Honolulu either.

I said "I will make it on this flight."

The agent feverishly typed into her terminal and while shaking her head, said "I'm not sure you'll make it, but your checked in." She then directed me to the line for security.

The line that went down the hall, around the corner, down the next hall and next corner.

"I will make it on this flight."

Two halls down, they started to call my name to come to the ticket counter.

"I will make it on this flight."

The security officer directs me to the shorter line and things begin to look up. Each bag comes through the machine.... my computer... my jacket... my shoes (note to self: always put shoes through first, so you can get them on while you wait)... my backpack rolls on through... and then they stare... the conveyor going back and forth... and a second officer looks to the screen. The bag with all the electronics has got them curious. "We need to examine this," comes their reply.

As they unravel my tighten organized suitcase, the agents at the gate are getting antsy. If I don't get on that plane, they will have to leave without me.

"I will make it on this flight."

Each piece is wiped down and the cloth is run through the tester. Each second ticks past like an hour. Final call.

"I will make it on this flight."

Finally, they hand me back a disheveled pile and I have to stuff it and zip and I run to the gate. Like a juggler, I balance my laptop and cords, while handing them my boarding ticket. Then nearly running to the wrong plane (note to self: Say "I will make it on MY flight" next time).. the flight attendants call me over to the right stairway... and I'm on my way.

"I made this flight."

During the 45 minute flight up to San Francisco I also took the time to visualize a better seat on the airplane (which ended up front row of the section, with tons more legroom)... a better view that 'cityview' at the hotel (you can see the ocean fairly easily from the balcony) and lots of beautiful weather (hey, it's Hawaii, that's an easy one).

Now it would've been very easy to say "I'm not gonna make it" or "what a disaster!" and then it would've been easy to blame everything and everyone for our bad time... but why would we want to do that? We don;t want it to happen, and yet we expect it to. It took just as much time to say "I will" as "I won't"... and yet that one little change is so dramatic, so powerful. It's worth a try anyway.

I will.

11:27 PM

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Past the pinnacle lies the destination.


Today marks a turning point for so many things. Wednesdays, being 'hump day' is usually when the majority of the week is behind and the focus is heading towards the weekend. Being that my week ends tomorrow, the pinnacle was more like 9 o'clock last night (but more on that later).

My project also passed the point of 'pilot' (to rave review, thankyouverymuch) and is now heading towards 'project.'

And I've been thinking a lot about a friend of mine, whose business has taken a turn for the much-much-better and he's sitting at the pinnacle of small-time and big-time.

And, hey, isn't it the official turning point of Summer? (for us on this side of the globe anyway).

Transitions are such amazing things really. It's a letting go of the past and a big heave-ho into the future. It can be scary for some, exciting for others. It's that whole unknown thing, and what are imaginations do with the emptiness of uncertainty.

For each of the aforementioned things, I've very excited.

I am so excited for my friend... and so very, very proud of him too. He started with a dream, and is creating a real force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

I'm thrilled about Summer, because I don't like wearing too much clothes (and no, I don't have any loin cloths, thank you). I moved away from the East Coast to get away from winter, so Summer is my time of year. Plus, my birthday's during the summer, so I gotta like that too!

My project? Well, sure I'm happy... but my mind is already onto something else.


Heading back over to Hawaii for 10 days. Some land and lots of ocean! A week aboard the Pride of Hawaii, the largest ship in Norwegian Cruise's lineup. It promises to be very exciting.

They have internet access, of course, but if I'm out working on my tan, I trust you'll understand.

8:54 PM

Monday, June 19, 2006
Think outside... 
Sometimes I have so many thoughts outside the box, I need a box to hold them in.


I like challenging myself, creatively more than anything else. It's really important to remain flexible and open to 'anything goes' or else it's just same-ole-same-ole thinking... which results in same-ole-same-ole results.

Faced with video from last week that threatened to not work together, I just thought 'what's it gonna take to make you fit?'

Rather than focus on what I didn't have, or what I wanted to have or any other negative thought, I chose to work with what I have, right now, to make something better than its pieces.

It's starting to show.

I'm trailblazing, using software in ways I haven't done before, and everything is yielding to the process. It's as if to say 'of course it's done this way.'

It goes to show you that we never really know until we try.

11:02 PM

Saturday, June 17, 2006
The ties that bind 
Friendships are the shoelaces of our lives.


I went to a life changing birthday party tonight. A dear, dear friend, whom I've not seen in quite some time is celebrating a milestone (with a '4' in it) and it was just a good excuse to catch up.

No 'moment' happened during the party per se, but rather each and every moment built upon the events of the last few days.

I have two things going for me lately... a habit of saying 'no' to new projects, which keeps me focused on completing the current ones... and stubborn friends who don't take 'no' for an answer.

My co-worker/new best-friend-forever pointed out the importance of digging into a niche and exploding with ideas... and with the niche connections that I already have... another (much more focused) book has been born. Sharing the idea with my friend at the party (who's well connected to the niche market), he said without blinking an eye, "of course we'll be a part of it, you're our family."

This coming week, I'll be going over to their offices to go over the details, but I gotta tell ya... it's gonna be good.

11:30 PM

Thursday, June 15, 2006
Time will tell... 
Sometimes, less time tells more.


Today was full of surprises. It started off as another slow one, but didn't last for very long.

Sometimes, doing a video is definitely challenging. I had a script in the morning, with only hours to cast and shoot.

Just because you don't have unlimited choices, doesn't mean you can't make some really good choices. It's simply amazing how you pick out 'creatives' (really interesting types)... essentially non-actors with funky hair... and end up with a product that can be one of the best ones yet (I know it's still early to tell, but, hey, I'm an optimist)

The lessons here are many: Don't judge a book by its cover, people are more than you think they are and never be surprised by the surprises that come when you show faith in someone.

All too often, we get set in our little ways; thinking our world is the whole picture. We act as if we know the score, like we understand ourselves and those closest to us... but do we really?

Everyone has a surprise... and sometimes all it takes is a little pressure to bring it out. Today cooked up something amazing.

9:18 PM

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Go with the flow... 
Emotions are like water... they're best in motion.


I just finished reading Dr. Brenda Shoshanna's chapter on the various forms of anger and how dangerous they can be. This digest version of her program hints at a very extensive study into this one fiery emotion.

I think Anger gets a bum rap. In and of itself, it's not a bad emotion really. In fact, Anger - when properly channeled - has been a leading force in world changes. It's only when Anger festers that it becomes a really bad thing (this is Dr. Shoshanna's position as well, so I'm not suggesting that she's giving Anger a hard time).

Anger takes on many forms (24 according to Dr. S) and its presence is felt throughout the world. We see it in our wars, as out-and-out violence... as segregation and bigotry in our laws... we see it on the faces of our children, with eyes filled with rage or tears of depression, as they struggle to find their way among the mess we leave.

Someone recently asked me if I ever get scared. A different emotion, but my answers pretty much the same.

Do I feel fear? anger? sadness? of course. I live in a world that has emotions... and for a good reason... so to deny feeling them is to miss out on all the experiences Life has to offer.

The point is, emotions are not collector's items. They're meant to be felt, then let go... (in a constructive way, of course.) If I get angry I have one of two choices, 1) Do something about it or 2) forget about it. Anything else gets me nowhere.

Sure I'm a pretty forgiving guy, but that's because I'm also pretty forgetful.

What were we talking about? (Cute puppy!)

If you really do let things go, you really will forgive and FORGET. I've listened to detail after details of things so far gone it's as if they're about someone else... and I think "now here's someone who hasn't forgiven (that and "look, cute puppy!")

But really, life is about going with the flow... So Let Go with the Flow too.


To read more from Dr. Brenda Shoshanna's Anger Diet, check out her website at www.theangerdiet.com.

Buy "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life today.

8:48 PM

Sunday, June 11, 2006
Like wine or cheese 
In order to age well, great care is needed long before it seems so.


Shirley Mitchell talks about being fabulous over 50 in her chapter of "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life." I don't quite know from experience... yet... but I'm gettin' there.

I'm a firm believer in taking care of yourself. I started going to the gym in my 20's and still go 6 days a week. I don't smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs... I only drink water, iced tea or juice... take my vitamins... watch my carbs... use sunscreen.... AND use moisturizer when I shave. It's ingrained in my lifestyle.

I met a number of people genuinely surprised that I'm 10 years older than their guess. (I think the guy who said '65' was joking).

Sure, I've got some signs of age, like having to keep the monitor farther away when I read, but I enjoy the FREEDOM that staying young grants me. I like being able to move without making too many of my parents' noises. I like not having to fight with my clothes in the morning. I like looking how I feel.

I don't plan to 'fight' aging, as much as I plan to ease into it gracefully. until I kick this mortal coil, I'm going to need me as long as I can. It's all about improving our chances.


To read more from Shirley Mitchell, check out her website at Aging Outside the Box.

Buy "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life today.

10:01 PM

Saturday, June 10, 2006
Say What? 
Your future lies before you... that's why it's important to know which way you're facing.


Michael J. Russ, Founder of Powerful Living, writes about the power of self-talk in our collection, "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life." Some of my recent events (and some from way back) can really attest to his words of wisdom.

Every day, as I'm pushing my way through the morning ritual into daylight, I say outloud "this is going to be a great day!" Oh sure, sometimes it feels funny to say that, especially after I just bumped my toe stumbling towards the light switch... but just saying it really gets me off on the right foot (the good one, not the stubbed one).

It's like turning on the light... depending on how dark it is at the time will make it seem either shocking or gently welcome. Either way, once you get used to it, you can see a whole lot better.

I also mix it up with "I'm going to do amazing things" or "I'm going to make someone else's life better today" or just "I am at peace." And if I notice something creeping in like "ugh, I have three meetings this morning.." I follow that up with "but they're going to be great meetings and we're going to get a lot done!!"

OK... I heard a bunch of you scowl with "I hate cheery people like you... errrrrr"... and to you I ask, "did you just hear that negative sentiment just now?"

Come on, you know you wanna smile...

Anyway, with that little phone call from my 'frowner' a couple of days ago, still lingering in my thoughts, I think about the self-talk that he's been doing lately (or rather, he's been doing for a very very long time... just he's STILL doing it). His mornings start with "I'm not going to get what I want today"... "I'm never going to have what I want, or who I want, or anything else for that matter" ... "I don't even want to try anymore."

He feels powerless, but just look how powerful he really is... he doesn't have what he wants, or who he wants... he has nothing just like he tells himself every morning. He says his future is going to be bleak and sure enough! Now he's not happy about it (of course not) but he's not saying anything about happiness. Why should he have something he's not going after?

Just because the world is moving, that doesn't mean you can go from New York to Paris just by sitting down. You gotta be sitting down on a PLANE (or something that's at least heading in that direction).

He wants happiness in SPITE of what's he's doing, rather than FROM what he's doing.

He doesn't me say that.

So I say it here.

We start by facing the direction we want to go... then we actually have to put in some effort to go there. We may not find what we think is there, but then we can always change direction and keep going. It doesn't really take that much to change directions. Even slight moves change the course by a huge amount over time.

And if you think it doesn't.. then do nothing and see what happens...

Or do SOMETHING and see what happens.

Because something will happen whether you like it or not.


To read more from Michael J. Russ, check out his website at Powerful Living or check out his terrific collection of Angel Cards at Angel Cards by Michael.

Buy "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life today.

8:29 PM

Thursday, June 08, 2006
Time is a gift, that's why they call it the Present.


A typical workout was ending when all the excitement began. At first I thought they were playing around downstairs, with all the yelling that was going on. When I heard them shout "call 911!" I knew the joke was over.

People ran everywhere and the alarm began to wail.

I walked over to another area of the balcony. Squinting through the wires I could see a man lying beside the treadmill. He was more than unconscious. He was gone.

I kept thinking "come back... today's not your time... come on back..." Not so sure, but still hoping it was true.

The valiant staff surrounded him, working diligently, methodically shifting between breaths and chest compressions. Soon, another member prepared the defibrillator and after a few shocking jolts, life returned to his body.

The crowd quickly dispersed and I smiled at his return. I sent out a wish to him and his family for the long road ahead.

As I left the gym, I thanked the staff for their great response. Through distressed eyes, one of them stammered out a "thanks."

All day, the thought of that man lingered like the clouds overhead. Would he be okay? Would this change his life? Would this change the lives of those who witnessed it?

For me, it was yet another reminder of how precious life truly is. We can't take our moments for granted, for we never know how limited they really are.

And I though of my friend's comments and how he's lost his desire to live. Would something like this change him; shake him out of his despair enough to do something about it? Or would his old habits live a fuller life than he ever will?

All we can do is be thankful to be alive; and grateful to those people who care enough to save the lives of others.

It goes to show you... we need each other far more than we realize.

10:53 PM

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Seeing is Believing 
To make something happen, see it first.


Days and nights have passed, frustration building with each passing moment. While I'm very excited about taking a cruise around the Hawaiian islands at the end of this month, I realized that I could not find my passport about a week ago.

I put it in a 'safe place' of course... which means I've been tearing up my entire house in the search.

To add to it, I even went as far as taking new passport pictures and filled out all the forms... only to discover before I left for the post office that one of the pictures was gone!

I kept visualizing the passport and the picture showing up. I resolved myself to having to take yet-another-set of pictures. And I kept trusting that the answer to my frantic 'why are you doing this?' was 'because you will find it soon.'

So this morning, as I dressed with my new pictures in mind, I kept hearing 'just one more box... just one more box.' So I gave in. Going into the war torn room of my suspicions I took down one more box and set it aside. Nothing. ::Sigh::

OK, maybe not a box... maybe the expandable folder on the file cabinet. I mean, seems 'safe' to me.

There, nestled in between the pages, just waiting for me... as my passport!!

Humbled, thankful, and relieved I grabbed my papers to put into my bag... and dropping out to the floor... that missing second picture!

Talk about the power of visualization!!

What we see... what we believe... is what we create.


A phone call from a depressed friend proves the point from the darker side.

He's given up... on his career, his lovelife, his body, his dreams. All he sees is the big four-oh coming and nothing else. He doesn't want to try anymore.

When he turned the dreaded three-oh I said to him 'go after your dreams, you don't want to be 40 like you are today.'

Today, just add 10.

I told him to just go for the experience, not the goal. Live in the moment and enjoy what you have; experience what you want. Don't think that every little thing is some commitment to something larger you can't handle. Just do the little things for what they are, not for what you think they're supposed to be.

So often it goes like this:
If I walk, I'll have to jog, and if I jog I'll have to run and if I run I'll have to go to the gym every day... and I don't have all that time... and if I don't go to the gym, I'll just get fatter... and no one will love me, and I'll die alone.
So he doesn't walk.

What we see, what we believe... we create.

It's true whether its finding a lost passport or a lost love or a lost dream.

We don't see it, then believe it. Seeing it IS believing it.

So what do you see?

10:12 PM

Tuesday, June 06, 2006
An addiction is like a pebble... it's small until it's been in your shoe for a while.


Continuing with my travels through "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life" author John Baldasare discusses addictions and what to do about them.

Everyone has something they cling on to. Most of the time they're small, manageable and fairly legal. If they weren't, Starbucks would just be a little coffee house in Seattle. However, for a sad few, the addictions run deep and dangerously close to the heart.

I've watched some friends go into the deepest, darkest of places and struggle so hard to get out. I'm so proud of those that made it through. I miss those that didn't.

My own addiction is socially acceptable... even fad worthy. "My name is Gurustu... and I'm a carboholic." You see, that sounds funny; might have even made you smirk a little. Unfortunately it IS true. I have looked at bread like people look at alcohol... and have felt the same sort of body-shifting satisfaction that happens when I give in.

Even with Atkins and South Beach legitimizing the situation, it still sounds more obsessive than addictive. When a slice of bread outdoes weeks of work at the gym, I know the damage that it can do. Still, seems obsessive, right?

Yet both my parents are overweight with Type II diabetes. My father, more than my mother, 'obsesses' over bread like I do. So does this addiction have an affect? Is it life-threatening? In some ways, yes.

Carboholism creates Junkfood Junkies (along with sugar addictions, of course)... and if you don't think we have a national crisis on our hands, just check out the children today?

Any "-ism" needs to be taken seriously. No matter how funny it might seem, or how much it looks like someone else's problem. If we're ever to reach our goal of a truly miraculous life, then we must remain in the driver's seat, and not give in to our addictions.


To read more from John Baldasare, check out his website at The Slugger's Path.

Buy "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life today.

8:44 PM

Monday, June 05, 2006
Remember more than the past... so we're not doomed to repeat it.


25 years ago, there was this article. I don't remember reading it.

But it was the beginning...

and that I remember.

I was living in New York. It was the epicenter of the world (and will always be, depending on who you ask). It was the first half of the 80's and in show business. Everything seemed so full of promise; so vibrant with LIFE.

But by then the dark clouds were gathering just outside the door.

A friend was talking about this strange pneumonia that was only attacking gay men. I wondered how it knew.

There were enough cases that they were starting to call it GRID... Gay Related Immune Deficiency. I didn't know anyone who had it; even when my friend mentioned a few names, I couldn't recall their face.

Then I'd run into a few friends and wonder whatever happened to that guy they used to hang out with? "Oh, didn't you know...?" wouldn't usually be the response.

Before I knew it, it became the topic of every coffee shop chat... The popularity of the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, the latest great hamburger place that piled on the mushrooms or that place near the park that served chicken for two... those who had "it" ... those that didn't make it through.

The "gay cancer" had now been changed to AIDS. A diet commercial had to be pulled off the air. "AYDS helped me lose weight!"

I remember.

I remember wondering if Ronald Reagan would ever acknowledge that this 'thing' was killing off so many people. Why wasn't he saying something? Anything? People became so enraged that "Silence=Death" posters began to appear around the city and a new group ACT-UP had taken to the streets as well.

That group refused to disappear, even when its members did.

I remember plays and musicals being recast much sooner than they used to be; the old members being unable to carry on even a few simple steps, let alone being able to dance.

I remember when Ben was healthy.

I remember Jay, whose parents claimed it was cancer, and Frank... and Robert... Richard... and the 'other' Ben, with the southern twang... and then there was Ernie, who just got too tired to take it anymore.

I remember when Rock died and suddenly it seemed important.

The 'cocktails' started showing up and so did PLWA (People Living With AIDS) started showing up at cocktail parties.

I remember the hope and sense of survivorship in the eyes of the people who made it through. I miss some of them too.

And as I move on to another epicenter, Hollywood and a whole new set of fresh faces, I remember hearing of risky behavior, skewed comments about how 'you can't get it that way' and a whole new crop of daredevils known as 'bug chasers.'

I didn't have to remember the pre-GRID comments of reckless youth, because I was hearing them all over again.

Now, as I finally get through all those boxes stacked up in my new home, seeing the photographs and useless address books, I look back and I remember.

I relive those days.

Hopefully the kids of today won't have to.

6:29 AM

Saturday, June 03, 2006
Little Things 
The mightiest of oaks begins from the tiniest of acorns.


In Chapter Two of "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life" author Rick Beneteau is inspired by a little bird to write about the power of small. It reminded me of one of articles... It's the Little Things.

In it I talk about how so many of the largest things we have today, be them trees or giant corporations, all began small. That means that all of the small things we have today all have the potential to one day be as big.

One of the things I do at work is write "BTN" in a little box when drawing up a diagram of some new project. People look at it and think I'm talking about a "button" so they thing it's some web design or something. What it stands for though is "better than nothing."

Too often we dream up these really big plans, trying to come up with some gigantic perfect solution.. then we talk about it until we talk ourselves out of doing anything. A "BTN" is a simple little solution to an immediate need.

If it fails, then it's a little nothing that we can just throw away. If it fills just that little need, then it can be replaced when something better comes along. More than likely though, it's the seed that grows into something that lasts for years. Why? Because it's already there, it's "too much work" to replace and no one wants to do anything until the next best thing arrives.

The NBT (Next Best Thing) BTW (By The Yay) usually ends ups being yet another BTN (Better Than Nothing) because while the jury is still out deciding what to do new immediate needs have cropped up.

So when we think about our every day lives, BTNs are just (if not more) important. If we're hungry and wait until we come up with the prefect plan to end world hunger, we'll starve. When we're hungry, we eat... BTN!

When we dream of that perfect life, we can make it bigger and bigger until it's out of our reach... or we can do one little thing to solve one tiny need. Our perfect dream may still be far away... but it's now far-away-minus-one-step... and that's MBTN (Much Better Than Nothing!)


To read more from Rick Beneteau, check out his website at Make Every Day a Great Day.

Buy "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life today.

9:44 PM

Thursday, June 01, 2006
Acceptance is freedom.


Yesterday, my official copy of "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life" arrived... lookin' all perty like. I started to read through it when I got the proof copy and got in touch with a number of the other authors.

I've decided to touch on the topics of each chapter, with my own spin, here in my daily thoughts... then I'll introduce you to the author and you can go off and hear what they have to say. Good people, I think you'll like them.

The first chapter (it goes in alphabetically order) is "Acceptance." Acceptance comes in many forms... from tolerance to Love. It's very freeing, Acceptance. In letting everything else just be, we give ourselves permission to be real.

One day, I was sitting outside the post office. It was a beautiful summer day and I was just watching the people as they walked in and out of the big metal doors. Suddenly a thought struck me... "what if everyone is okay, just the way they are?"

You know how we just quietly go about thinking, "oh he's this" and "she's that?" Whatever it is, good or bad, is our judgment. It has nothing to do with them, even if they're the object of our attention.

From that moment I still looked at them going by, but I only looked at them directly; not through my judging eyes. We were all free at that moment.


Then there are the times where it helps to be accepting of our situation. As I write this, I'm quietly waiting to hear from a friend who's in town. We've planned to get together, but things aren't looking all that promising. I've had some feelings of disappointment and even more pangs of hunger. (I didn't eat lunch since that was the latest plan, and here it is five hours later... and neither my stomach nor my phone have anything on them).

I accept it for what it is.. and now optimistically look forward to seeing her one-of-these-days (and dinner.. definitely looking forward to dinner).


In the book "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life" author Cindy Stone talks more about accepting you as you are, instead of the misconceptions of how you're supposed to be.

I'll accept that :-)

She's a very nice lady and we made a great connection early on. Check out her site at IncidentalGuru.com.

4:49 PM


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