May 2011

Expect the best.

Prepare for the worst.

Capitalize on what comes.”

Zig Ziglar


How much time and worrying would we save by adopting this attitude in life?

“ Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ”

Ferris Bueller
American student
from the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)


Will you take some time today to really enjoy every moment?

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

 Abraham Lincoln


Are you tempted to do what is easy instead of what is necessary?

With your health?

With your personal finances?

With your job?

With your employability?

With your kids education?

With the time you invest with family and friends?

In our leisure society, it is very tempting to get busy with non-important things.

Let’s take our responsibilities first, and after, the leisure times will be even more enjoyable.


When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest, if you must, but dont you quit.


Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–

You may succeed with another blow.


Often the goal is nearer than,

It seems to a faint and faltering man,

Often the struggler has given up,

When he might have captured the victor’s cup,

And he learned too late when the night slipped down,

How close he was to the golden crown.


Success is failure turned inside out,

The silver tint on the clouds of doubt,

And you can never tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems afar.

So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit

It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.


What are we doing right now?

Will it make us healthier?

Will it make us smarter?

Will it give us peace of mind?

Will it make us more likable?

Will it make us self-reliant?

Will it inspire us?

Will it make a difference in our lives or the lives of others?

Will it leave the World a better place?

If your answer is YES, it should be a good use of your personal time.

You can write down your own questions because they are different for each one of us.

I know a lot of people who say they don’t have time to read. ( Although we always seem to find time to do what we really enjoy)

I don’t understand this.

I don’t have the time to read all the books I’d like to, but it seems that I always to find the time to read the most important content.

But here is the good news for all of you who don’t like to read.

There  are more and more book summaries of the Web. This is one way you can get an idea of the content of the book while saving time.

There are more and more audio books available that you can listen while you drive your car.

If you prefer videos, you can watch the TED conferences online. Many great authors are public speakers as well.

To me, investing time to read or to watch great thinkers is a great investment of my personal time.

And it isn’t what the book costs; it’s what it will cost if you don’t read it.

To follow your dream, you don’t need the greatest amount of knowledge about anything, but it does call for the persistent use of whatever knowledge you may have.

Knowledge without action is not as valuable as applied knowledge.

Richard Branson calls this “Learning by doing”

Donald Trump advice is “Always question”

Reg Revans used to say: “The best knowledge happens in real life with real problems and real people. It doesn’t happen in the classroom with Know-it-all-teachers.

So what is your dream?

What is your major purpose in life?

How are you using your time?

How much of it are you wasting, and how are you wasting it?

What are you going to do about your dream?

Time is so precious that we should make sure no one ever comes to us without leaving BETTER and HAPPIER.

How do you do this?

Instead of thinking: What’s in it for me?

Ask yourself: What can I do NOW to make a difference in this person’s life?

If you concentrate…

It’s possible to make the next hour a good hour,

and then the next morning a good morning,

next comes

a good day,

a good week,

a good month,

a good season,

a good year,

a good decade,

chances are you will have a fairly good life.

Life is a succession of moments and you choose how to react to each one of them. (good and not as good)

How will you choose to react to your next moment?

Do I do my best every day with the resources that I have?

If I only give you 60 % of myself today, I cannot give you 140 % tomorrow.


Because it’s impossible to give more 100 % or yourself.


“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

 George Bernard Shaw


Don’t wait because time will never be right.

Start wherever you are with the tools available to you.

Better tools will be found as you go.

Do it now!

Act now!

Because Now is all you have.

I don’t want a personal history.


Because I can renew myself daily?

It’s not about who you were. It’s not about who you are.

It’s all about who you are becoming that is important.

Do you want a personal history?

Do you ever ask yourself: What am I becoming?

When I cannot control events, I let events control themselves.

What else could I do?

Get angry?

Become frustrated?

Be impatient?

Blame others?

Shouldn’t we focus on what we can control instead?

Wouldn’t be a better use of our precious time and energy?

If you know you will laugh at what’s happening to you in a year, two years or 5 years,

Why not try to laugh about it now?

Let the Universe manage itself. It always had. It always will.

“Sometimes I wish life had a fast-forward button.”

Dan Chopin


When it’s time to pay the bills,

When it’s time to take out the garbage,

When it’s time to clean the house,

When it’s a rainy day,

When we experience illness,

Of course most of us don’t enjoy these moments, but how could we really appreciate the good times if we always have good times?

We enjoy earning money and after we pay the bills.

We produce garbage with our lifestyle, then we must get rid of it.

We live in our houses and have to clean them once in a while.

We enjoy the sun especially after a couple of rainy days.

We enjoy feeling energetic after being slowed down by the flu.

So yes, sometimes I wish life would have a fast-forward button, but it’s only a wish, it’s  not reality.

Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is a mystery.

Today is your gift.

Use  it wisely.


“If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions.”

“If you want to know your future, look into your present ACTIONS.”

Chinese proverb


“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”

Virginia Satir


Realism. Why is it so difficult to be realistic? To see things as they really are and not as we want them to be. To learn to accept things as they are, is, in my opinion, the beginning of Wisdom.

To accept things as they are, we must acknowledge the difference between what we control and what we don’t control.

The challenge is to figure out which is which.

Do you accept things as they are?

“Do not allow the little things of today to disturb you.”

Author unknown


When an issue upsets you, try to remember how small and insignificant that issue is in comparison to what other people are going through all over the world. Some people have no food, no water, no shelter, no health…is your problem really that important?

Why do we give so much time and attention to the little things?

Why are the causes of disagreement so often on the little things?

Perhaps we should count our blessings instead.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”



We are so good at making  life complicated. Don’t you find it amazing that we can send people to the moon and bring them back, and yet,  so many of us have a hard time dealing with our day to day lives?

I had a time travelling experience on Mother’s day.

I went to visit my mother’s family in the country side.

As I was spending time with them, I realized that 25 years had gone by since the last time I visited this place.

I felt like I was back in 1986.

I was with the same people in the same location and nothing much had changed except for the wrinkles in all of our faces and a recently paved road.

My uncle took us in his old pick up truck to the river where we used to go fishing when I was a kid. It made an impression on me because I was at that same location 25 years ago with my wife. Now, I was there with the same uncle… and a 15 year old daughter.

When we met with the family, I remembered the old days and everything sounded familiar to me.

Same people, same house, similar home cooked-meals, people playing cards, new kids running outside with new dogs.

The place was so quiet and everything around me was moving in slow motion.

And then I realized how much my own life had changed in 25 years.

Living in the city, I have embraced all the new technologies and the lifestyle that goes with them. Living at  a fast pace most of the time, I have forgotten what it’s like to live at a slower speed.

Even when we choose to relax, we plan it in our agenda…

Fax machines, portable phones, PC’ s, Internet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, smart phones, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and blogging are part of our lives. With every new innovation, our personal space is invaded.

When I add up all the time I spend with these technologies, I wonder what I was doing with my time before they existed.

Enough nostalgia!

When we feel overwhelmed  with our daily schedules, let’s try to remember how well we have integrated all these communication tools in our lives year after year.

Would you go back to the pre-internet era?

I wouldn’t.

I much prefer the world that we live now much better.

When we learn to use these technologies without becoming a slave, it enhances our quality of life.

We must learn to use them as time-saving tools. Not the other way around.

I was happy to visit my family.

And I’m very happy to be back home.

“What is destructive is impatience, haste, expecting too much too fast”

May Sarton


I admit it. I’m extremely impatient. It can be both a blessing and a curse at different times and in different circumstances.

But for most of the time, I would disagree with May Sarton.


Because when impatience is channeled at the proper time and in a proper way, it can turn into a blessing more than a curse.

There are processes that we cannot bypasss, yet.

For example, growing fruits and vegetables, learning new skills in sports or in the field of knowledge.

It takes time. It is a step-by-step process.

The reason we have the comforts of modern life is because people that came before us were impatient to improve their circumstances.

In this way, impatience can turn into a blessing.

What makes you impatient?

What can you do about it?

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.

Mary Anne Radmacher


“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience”

Victoria Holt (1906-1993)

British writer


“Start by doing what’s necessary,

then what’s possible,

and suddenly you are doing the impossible”

Francis of Assisi


This is a great recommendation against procrastination,

against complaining, against discouragement, against laziness.

Ask yourself:

Do I put these suggestions into practice?

Do I neglect anything that I know of?

Only you can answer these questions.

Many of us spend and waste a lot of time thinking that things will be better WHEN we lose weight, get promoted, move into a nicer place, make more money, get married, have children, get out of debt, have more free time, get the kids out of the house, retire, recover from a specific injury, illness, or whatever else it is we think needs to change in order for us to be happy.

Life is not “WHEN” ; it is TODAY.

“What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do”



To choose or not to choose?

To invest or to spend?

To compliment or to criticize?

To exercise or to relax on the couch?

To eat healthy food or junk food?

To drink wine or green tea?

To study or to watch TV?

To smile or to look sad?

To look at things positively or to look at them negatively?

To feel gratitude or to complain?

To look forward or to look back?

To use our time in a smart way or to waste our limited time?

What will you choose?

“There are very few men – and they are the exceptions – who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment”.

Carl von Clausewitz 1780-1831



One of the most difficult things to practice in our lives is to delay gratification and to take a long term perspective with our projects. Our consumer society doesn’t help us when it encourages us to BUY NOW and PAY LATER. Many times, we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people who don’t care. We should always try to make the difference between an expense and an investment. We should try to avoid instant gratification. It’s a big challenge because it goes against every major trend in our society.

It applies to other areas in our lives as well;

The Olympic athlete has to make a lot of sacrifices to reach his/her goal. The medical student has to concentrate on his/her classes in order to get the diploma. The investor has to learn patience if he or she wants to earn dividends.

It is difficult because we should enjoy every day like it is the last and at the same time invest our efforts and our resources for the future. The challenge for us is to find the balance between these two concepts.

Do you have the right balance between your daily activities and your long term projects?

Do you find it difficult to say NO to what you don’t really need?

Can you resist the temptation of buying NOW and paying LATER?

Through my efforts, I gain the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

To live one day at a time;
Enjoy one moment at a time;
Accept the hardships as natural balance;
Taking this beautiful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting in the balance;
That I may be able to see myself as happy in this life

(Many authors have worked on this one, I don’t know who to give the credit to)


This is much easier said than done, but I’ll keep on trying until…

The real challenge is to live by it when we are confronted with daily frustrations.

“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”

Kofi Annan


It’s not always easy to choose because we must take responsibility for our choices. In my opinion, when we choose for ourselves, we increase our own personal  freedom  and we cannot blame others for what happens or what doesn’t happen to us.

Another difficulty with choosing is that when we say YES to one thing, we are saying NO to another thing because our time and space are limited.