December 2011

When it comes to relationships with your loved ones;

Love is spelled  T-I-M-E.

So I’ll do just that for the next 2 weeks.

I’ll be back next year!

Happy New Year!

“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware,

 joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

Henry Miller (1891-1980) US novelist


When I am completely aware and living in the NOW, it is easier for me to accept the things as they really are and not as I want them to be. It’s when I’m preoccupied with the potential problems of the future that I lose most of my awareness. This is why it is so important for us to put things in perspective, especially a long-term perspective. If I ask myself questions like the following ones;

What will I think of this particular problem in 1, 5 or 10 years?

How will I feel about this frustration a week from now?

Why am I so annoyed with this person?

How can I keep my calm when I’m stuck in a traffic jam?

Who cares if this stranger is insulting me?

 you can continue with your own questions here.

When we think of it, it is often these petty annoyances that disturb us the most.

After we take the time to answer these questions with a long term perspective in mind, we can start to live in the NOW again, and that improves our quality of life. Awaress is in the NOW .


Why does it take so much time to so many of us to understand this simple reality?

Or if we understand it, why is it so difficult to practice in our own lives?


Time Flies! Use your time well by avoiding meaningless busy work.

At every instant of every day, you are making a choice of how you spend your time.

You have a very limited amount of time, so your time is extremely valuable.

You can’t do everything you consider doing, or everything others demand of you.

You establish your real priorities in life by your choices of how you allocate your time.

Whenever you spend time on some mindless activity you have chosen your priorities…

but have you chosen well?

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 % of yourself.


The nature of life is constant change.

The world is not the same today as it was yesterday, and it will be different still tomorrow.

We can be victims of that change, or we can drive change.

Benjamin Franklin used to say:  Drive your business or your business will drive thee.

Think about it, he wrote this thought almost 200 years ago.


The steps towards reaching your goal and overcome your resistance to change.

Visualize the end result.


Take action.

Obstacles will appear.


Receive feedback.

Adapt your plan.

Take action again.

More obstacles will appear.


Celebrate victory. Reward yourself.

Don’t be afraid of change!

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?

“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.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hope for.”



Most of us want more and more…

More material, more entertainment, more fun, more exciting experiences, more knowledge, more and more of so many things.

And this is our human nature.

The challenge for us is to appreciate each moment, good and not so good.

It’s time to appreciate what we have NOW, TODAY.

appreciate what you have...

In 1996, I  have read a book which had a profound influence on my  personal time management. The title of the book is “The 7 habits of highly effective people”.The reason why this book had a greater influence than other books is that I systematically put into practice its content. I used to work with  daily to-do lists and when my day was over, I was very frustrated that I did not accomplish what I wanted. So here is what I learned from this book.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

One of the great messages of the book is to plan every week in advance, preferably the Sunday before the workweek begins. Then, review your planning every day in advance, preferably the night before. When you make a list of everything you have to do the following day, your subconscious mind works on that list all night long. When you wake up in the morning, you will often have ideas and insights to help you accomplish the items on your list.

Sometimes in our daily routine, things can get out of control and we end up not doing what we were supposed to do. This is why when we plan a week in advance, it gives us the opportunity to organize most of our tasks throughout the week. It gives us a better way to deal with the unexpected situations.

Another key message is to separate the urgent from the important. In the process of managing your time, you must separate the urgent tasks from the important ones. Urgent tasks are determined by external pressures and requirements. You must do them immediately. Once you took care of the urgent tasks, it gives you the freedom of mind to give your full attention to the important ones.

If you feel frustrated at the end of your days with the impression that you never have enough time to do all you want, I recommend that you try this very simple technique of planning a week in advance.

One more thing, leave some free time in your agenda to have time to deal with the unexpected situations. There will be some.

“Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift”

Mary Manin Morrissey


It seems to me that Natasha Richardson had almost everything going for herself. She seemed to be happily married to Northern Irish actor Liam Neeson. She had two sons. She came from a famous British family of actors and actresses. I assume that she was financially wealthy. She left this world unexpectedly at the age of 45 (16747 days).

On 16 March 2009,  Natasha Richardson sustained a head injury when she fell while taking a skiing lesson at the Mont Tremblant Resortin Quebec, about 130 kilometres (81 mi) from Montreal. The injury was followed by a lucid interval, when Richardson seemed to be fine and was able to talk and act normally. Paramedics and an ambulance which initially responded to the accident were told they were not needed and left. Refusing medical attention, she returned to her hotel room and about three hours later was taken to a local hospital in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts after complaining of a headache. She was transferred from there by ambulance to Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur,Montreal, in critical condition and was admitted about seven hours after the fall. The following day she was flown to Lenox Hill Hospitalin New York City, where she died on 18 March. An autopsy conducted by the New York City Medical Examiners Office on 19 March revealed the cause of death was an “epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head”, and her death was ruled an accident.

Source Wikipedia, January 14, 2011


It reminds me of an incident that happened to me on October 1 st 2005. I was coaching at the hockey school. I wasn’t wearing my helmet that morning… I fell on the ice and hit my head really hard. My wife was sitting on the bench and heard the sound of my head hitting the ice. (do you remember how noisy it is at the arena?) I didn’t hear a thing but I sure felt it. I was completely dizzy. It took me a good 30 minutes to start feeling normal again. When I read Natasha’s story, it makes me realize that what happened to her could have happened to me.  I am so thankful that my life was spared that day.

This is another reason why I try to live each day like it’s the last.

Does this make you realize how fragile your life really is?

If your answer is YES…

Start living now!

Every day is a new day, and even every minute is a new minute.  You can make a choice to change at any time.

Most people think life forces them to make choices.

I  think your choices make your life.

You make the choices, and then your choices make you.

Your wealth, health and the way you are living today, are the result of the choices you’ve made up to this point.

Which choice will you make today?

Do you ever become frustrated with the areas of your life when you don’t witness any progress?

I do.

You try and try, again and again, and the results are not visible.


Hire a coach,

There are as many coaches today as there are fields of endeavour.

Yes but, it cost a lot of money to hire a coach, I hear you say.

OK, did you consider the cost of …

wasting your precious time without attaining the desired results?

The cost of ignorance,

the cost of lost opportunities,

the cost of being frustrated,

These different costs add up like if they would be in the hidden cells of Excel spreadsheet.

They exist even if you don’t see them on your screen.

So If you really want to save time and eliminate some frustrations in your life,

Please consider hiring a specialized coach!

Laugh as often you can.


Apologize when you should.


And let go of what you can’t change.


A weird thing I do is scribble in books. Do you know how many people I have offended by writing all kinds of notes in books?

Many times, people looked at what I was doing to my books with complete disbelief.

I wouldn’t write in other people’s book, of course, I write notes only in mine. I write comments with pencils and markers, jot down definitions, translations and I wouldn’t hesitate to rip a couple of pages from the book if there was no copier around me. The books can be quite messy after I’m done with them. I have a lot of respect for the message of the book and a complete disrespect for material support itself.

Why do I write my ideas in books? These are some of my reasons… Books are tools for me, books are interactive when I take notes, books are conversational when I argue with their content, they feed my mind and feed my soul. When I’m done with a book, it doesn’t look too good, but it saves me a lot of time later on when I refer to the book once again.

I encourage you to become a student of life by taking notes, taking pictures or by writing a journal.

Some people told me they don’t have time to write their thoughts. I think that we have a tendency to find time for the things that we really enjoy. We just have to see the value of doing it.

One day, perhaps you’ll be happy to look back at your notes and re-discover what you were thinking 1, 5, 10 or 25 years earlier.

Will you take time to write your thoughts?

“It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness”

Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson was describing the “Flow” before it was clearly defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.

According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task.

Colloquial terms for this or similar mental states include: to be on the ball, in the zone, in the groove, or keeping your head in the game.

(source: Wikipedia, english, May 18, 2010)

How often are you experiencing the Flow?

Every day, I witness too many people who are complaining. (myself included)

If only we would realize how short life really is, we would stop complaining and stop wasting precious time.

Since our time is so limited, doesn’t it make sense to figure out what we really enjoy and try to spend as much time as possible doing what we like?

We all have responsibilities, but we also have spare time, and it is in that spare time that we can improve our quality of life.

One of the ways I found to minimize my own complaining is to count my blessings every day. When I focus my attention on what goes well in my life, I notice that there is much more good than bad. If you have time today, take a piece of paper, make two columns, one for the good stuff and the other for the bad things.

Chances are that you will write much more on the side of “good stuff”.

Good health, good friends, healthy family members, good food everyday, living in a safe country, able to give money to charity, easy credit to buy the dream house, the big screen TV or the new car.

And the bad things…

Since I  have started doing this exercise many years ago, it has helped me realize that there is more good than bad for most of us, most of the time…if we choose to look at things this way.

It is an exercise that has to be repeated every day when possible, or as often as possible. When we neglect counting our blessings, there is a chance that people around us will notice it in our attitude. I could compare it to taking a shower, if we skip it for too long, someone somewhere will notice…

Do you find yourself complaining too much?

Don’t you think it’s a waste of time and energy?

Will you try to write down a list of the good things in your life?

I was talking with someone recently and she was asking me why I was spending soooo much time exercising at my age.

At my age???   I’m only 45.

I couldn’t believe the comment I was hearing. So I thought I would tell everyone why I invest so much time exercising.

Yes, I say it is an investment because I can get a reward for my efforts.

My reward? The more I exercise, the more energy I have left for my other obligations and responsibilities.

The hour that I invest everyday doing different kinds of physical activities is actually paid back to me the same day in the form of additional energy. When I invest 1 hour a day exercising and it gives me 1 to 3 hours of additional energy. Wouldn’t you agree it is a good return for my investment in time. And this is only the immediate reward. Exercising regularly is supposed to provide additional benefits to our overall health and well being.

Some people say they don’t have time to exercise, I disagree. Even when we are extremely busy, it is possible to walk from one place to another, we can take the stairs instead of the elevator, we can do sit-ups or push-ups or even yoga positions in some quiet areas indoors or outdoors. Cleaning our house, mowing the lawn and washing the car are good physical activities.

Instead of seeing these chores as a burden, we should start looking at them as practical physical activities. We would kill two birds with one stone. On the walls at my Gym,they wrote a message saying that putting back our dumbells at their place after using them IS exercising. Usually, when we say that we don’t feel like doing something, it is because we are too tired or we find it too boring. When we are very motivated to do something, we figure out a way to do it.

The most difficult part is to make it a daily habit. If you stick with it for 4 to 6 weeks, you should be able to turn it into a regular habit just like flossing or brushing your teeth.


Take good care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.



“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils”           

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) French composer


Time is a great teacher when we dare to make mistakes.

Time is a greater and more effective teacher when we accept to learn from our mistakes.

Time is the greatest and wisest teacher when we learn from the mistakes of others and avoid to make them ourselves.

Time will eventually kill all of us, and since we don’t know when,

one of the most important lessons Time can teach us is:

To live each day like it was our last .

What would you do differently if you learned that you had 100 days left to live?