36525 days


Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans”

John Lennon (1940-80) British rock musician

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We often say things like, “when I’m older, I’ll do this;

if I had more time, I would start this project;

when my children are grown up, I’ ll have more time to take  care of myself.”

If, If, If, when, when, when…are just excuses to test our determination.

When we really care about someone, we do what we must do.

When we really care about something, we become very creative in order to get what we want.

What we can be, we must become, ultimately, it is one of the best ways to be at peace with ourselves.

Stop waiting and start acting NOW.

 

 

So many times, in different  circumstances, I am guilty of not giving my full attention.

My mind is wandering in many directions and even though I am there physically, I am elsewhere emotionnally and mentally.

Examples? Yes I’ll give you many…

One of my kids will come to me to ask me something and I will give them a quick answer and expect a quick understanding.

A colleague at work will come to ask me a question and I will give them an quick answer so I can resume what I was doing.

Keeping our smartphones ON in a meeting is very rude to others and very distracting as well. ( I have stopped doing this completely, well almost…)

Giving our full attention in every conversation is essential to building and maintaining good relationships.

Another surprising thing is that we often act this way with people we care about the most.

Many times, I have fooled myself by thinking I was saving time by multi-tasking. VERY WRONG.

Giving our full attention to people we care about is a good investment of our time and it shows respect for the time of others.

 

 

 

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”

Julie Andrews, actress

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Why do we give up on some of our projects? Because it’s too hard. It takes too much time. We don’t have the patience.

The irony is that when we keep persevering, we usually save time in the long run.

 

 

Seize the Day, Carpe diem, the Latin sentence for “seize the day,” is all about being right here, right now.  The more willing we are to surrender to the present moment, embrace it, and fully experience it, the more we can appreciate and enjoy life.

As John Lennon famously said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”  Living like we’re going to die is about remembering to fully engage in the present moment, being grateful for the gift that it is, and doing our best not to dwell on the past or worry about the future.

If today were your last day, how would you want to live?

“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
 
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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 as if 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 struggle with your short term desires and long term objectives?
 
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“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

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Yesterday is gone.

Gone. Gone. Gone. There is nothing we can change. The only opportunity is to profit from past experiences.

Tomorrow has not yet come.

None of us know the future. All we can do is adapt and give our best in all circumstances.

We have only today.

Today is the day to do what each one of us is supposed to do. And it’s different for everyone. Face the challenge. Do what you don’t feel like doing because it’s probably the right thing for you to do.

Let us begin.

The time is now. Not tomorrow, not after tomorrow, but now. Let’s act now.

Work is hard.

Distractions are plentiful.

Time is in short supply.

 

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”


Denis Waitley

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Lifestyle is style over amount. And style is an art—the art of living. You can’t buy style with money. You can’t buy good taste with money. You can only buy more with money. Lifestyle is culture—the appreciation of good music, dance, art, sculpture, literature, plays and the art of living well. It’s a taste for the fine, the unique, the beautiful.

Lifestyle also means rewarding excellence wherever you find it by not taking the small things of life for granted. On Valentine’s Day, I wanted to illustrate this with a personal anecdote:

Many years ago my lady friend and I were on a trip to Carmel, California, for some shopping and exploring. On the way we stopped at a service station. As soon as we parked our car in front of the pumps, a young man, about eighteen or nineteen, came bouncing out to the car and with a big smile said, “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” I answered, “A full tank of gas, please.” I wasn’t prepared for what followed. In this day and age of self-service and deteriorating customer treatment, this young man checked every tire, washed every window—even the sunroof—singing and whistling the whole time. We couldn’t believe both the quality of service and his upbeat attitude about his work.

When he brought the bill, I said to the young man, “Hey, you really have taken good care of us. I appreciate it.”

He replied, “I really enjoy working. It’s fun for me and I get to meet nice people like you.”

This kid was really something!

I said, “We’re on our way to Carmel and we want to get some milkshakes. Can you tell us where we can find the nearest Baskin-Robbins?”

“Baskin-Robbins is just a few blocks away,” he said as he gave us exact directions. Then he added, “Don’t park out front—park around to the side so your car won’t get sideswiped.”

What a kid!

As we got to the ice cream store we ordered milkshakes, except that instead of two, we ordered three.

Then we drove back to the station. Our young friend dashed out to greet us. “Hey, I see you got your milkshakes.”

“Yes, and this one is for you!”

His mouth fell open. “For me?”

“Sure. With all the fantastic service you gave us, I couldn’t leave you out of the milkshake deal.”

“Wow!” was his astonished reply.

As we drove off I could see him in my rear-view mirror just standing there, grinning from ear to ear.

Now, what did this little act of generosity cost me? Only about two dollars—you see, it’s not the money, it’s the style.

Well, I must have been feeling especially creative that day, so upon our arrival in Carmel I drove directly to a flower shop. As we walked inside I said to the florist, “I need a long-stemmed rose for my lady to carry while we go shopping in Carmel.”

The florist, a rather unromantic type, replied, “We sell them by the dozen.”

“I don’t need a dozen,” I said, “just one.”

“Well,” he replied haughtily, “it will cost you two dollars.”

“Wonderful,” I exclaimed. “There’s nothing worse than a cheap rose.”

Selecting the rose with some deliberation, I handed it to my friend. She was so impressed! And the cost? Two dollars. Just two dollars. A bit later she looked up and said, “Jim, I must be the only woman in Carmel today carrying a rose.” And I believe she probably was.

Can you imagine the opportunity to create magic with those around you, and all for the cost of a few dollars, some imagination and care. Remember, it is not the amount that matters but the thought and care that often has the greatest impact upon those you love.

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It’s already June 30 th!

If you really want to achieve most of your goals and become what you are capable of becoming, you have to get your time under control.

A sense of control over your time should reduce your stress level and increase your overall well-being.

One of the first things you must do is to clarify your priorities.

It is impossible to do it all.

I know because I tried and I failed miserably.

In the past, I planned to accomplish too many goals and objectives at the same time only to become frustrated.

Recently, I focus on 3 or 4 important goals only, and I do everything I can to follow through.

To choose or not to choose!  This is today’s question.

Will you be a victim of the over-abundance of possibilities or will you choose to focus on what is most important for YOU?

Do you have the ability to set clear goals for yourself ?

Have you develop the ability to get yourself organized and work on your most critical tasks, every minute of every day?

Do you have a way or a system to measure it?

Your choices and decisions have combined to create your entire life to this moment.

To change or improve your life in any way, you have to make new choices and new decisions that are more in alignment with who you really are and what you really want.

Do you know who you are?

Do you know what you want?

Have you CHOSEN what you really care about?

Have you written it down?

Do you review it DAILY?

Begin with a list.

These lists drive my wife crazy…because she knows that I will stop at nothing to get them done.

And sometimes, there is a price to pay…

The fact is that we can’t manage time; we can only manage ourselves.

That is why time management requires self-discipline and self-control.

Time management requires that you make the best choices and decisions necessary to enhance the quality of your life and work.

Then you follow through with your decisions.

Make a list of everything you would like to be, do, or have in the months and years ahead.

Analyze your list and select those items that can have the greatest possible consequences in your life.

Oh before I forget… DID I MENTION YOU HAVE TO REVIEW YOUR LIST OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES DAILY. (regularly)

Hey I know it’s not very sexy, but guess what, IT WORKS !!!

“It is wonderful what you can do when you have to”

C.S. Lewis

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Why are we so productive the day before we leave on holidays? We want to make sure everything is done before we go.

This is evidence that we waste time on other days. This is evidence that we procrastinate a lot.

Whatever you would like to do or know that you must do, act now, act today!

Will you try to act on 1 or 2 things this week end ?

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The time for action is NOW.

It’s never too late to do something.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Where are we?

Here!

What time is it?

Now!

Life comes down to a few moments.

This is one of them.

Enjoy!

Have a great day!

“Nothing is too difficult, you only need to know how”

Yiddish proverb

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When I was about 14 years old, an older person once told me that most of us learn at least one thing every day.

Being 14 and somewhat skeptical, it took me a while to fully grasp what he said.

I realized later that it was absolutely true. In fact, we can learn much more than one thing every day, we can learn and re-learn many things every single day.

There are two conditions;

The first one is:  we must have the right attitude towards change and learning.

The second one is: we must pay attention.

Yes but it takes so much time to learn…I hear some of you say.

And my answer is: What about the time we waste by refusing to learn?

I wonder which one is more costly.

You CAN do anything you put your mind to.
The phrase I CAN’T is what limits you from doing everything you want to do.

What will you learn today?

 

In the end, it’s not the years in your life…

It’s the life in your years that counts !

Abraham Lincoln

We live, we learn.

Stay away from know-it-all teachers with pre-fabricated answers.

The best kind of learning happens in real life with real problems and real people.

And when it hurts, we learn faster.

It even saves time, sometimes…

We learn by doing.

We fail. We fall.

It costs!

We ask insightful questions.

We try again, again and again.

We get up. We act. We succeed.

We live. We learn.

Am I becoming  healthier?

Am I becoming wiser?

Am I becoming smarter?

Am I becoming more likable?

Am I becoming more self-reliant?

Am I becoming wealthier?

These are little annoying questions to check out the value of your daily activities. ( Sorry)

Have a great day!

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

George Washington Carver

 

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Ever  think about work/life balance?

Many people work crazy hours to fill a void in their life.

Some are just so driven and excited about what they do everyday that they cannot think of anything else.

In my case, I still don’t feel successful with work/life balance because I don’t work from 9 to 5.

The lines are blurry.

So from now on, I’ll stop trying.

From now on, I’m aiming for harmony instead of balance.

What does this mean?

It means that I will try to enjoy every moment whatever I’m working on.

Thomas Edison said that he never worked a day in his life… and yet, he was spending 18 hours a day in his labs.

Apparently the lucky S.O.B. could count on his better half to listen to him when he was showing up around midnight.

He was never successful with work / life balance because for him it was all play.

What an inspiration (hope) for those of us who are getting off on our passion!

About 3 years ago, there was a message in my Inbox that challenged me in a very simple way.

I kept the email in front of me to look at it everyday  and remind myself to act on it.

Here it is…

 

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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The things that scare each one of us are different:

for some of us, it could be to call on a big prospect,

for others it could be to say “I love you” to someone

for others it could be to say “I’m sorry” or “Please forgive me”.

It could also be to go bungee jumping or skydiving.

It could be to speak in front of a large audience that you don’t know.

Each one of us have unique fears.

It doesn’t have to be big fears either.

If you practice confronting small fears, you will strengthen your “courage muscle” and it should be easier to face bigger challenges later on.

Am I making you feel uncomfortable?

Do you find it too challenging or demanding?

The purpose of this post isn’t to preach or to judge,

Instead, let’s try to see it from another angle.

     “Today is a day to open your eyes to the unfamiliar.”

     “Today is a day to let go of the familiar”

     “Today is a day to get out of your comfort zone”

 

 

Will you try ??????

 

 

OK, he didn’t say it exactly like this…

Excuse my french!

But, somehow, I think that’s what he meant…

Socrates said many years ago “A life unexamined is not worth living”  

 

 

Well, why is it that so many people don’t take the time to quiet their minds and take a look at their lives?

Why don’t they ask themselves some important questions like;

Who am I? 

What do I want to do with my life? 

What are my natural talents or skills?       

What makes me happy or unhappy?         

What am I afraid of and why?    

Why do I think I’m too old or too young?                 

Who do I like to spend time with?

And why?              

What can I do to improve my circumstances? 

Really?

How?

Do I have a tendency to blame others for my own failures or limitations?

Why?

Why do I neglect to take a close and honest look at my life?

Most important question for today is the following:  What will I do NOW to make a difference in my life?

Do you realize that your self-image a key determinant to your quality of life? You usually perform on the outside in a matter consistent with the picture you have of yourself on the inside.

I started using the visualization technique a couple of years ago. At first, I was very skeptical, but as I kept visualizing and working towards my goal, things started to happen at an accelerated pace. In consequence,  I started accomplishing my goals faster than I used to because of this technique.

As I became more successful with a few projects, it gave me the confidence to start bigger ones. It became like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A few examples… going to the gym for me was the most boring activity I could imagine. Now I couldn’t imagine more than a few days without exercising. Saving money when I was younger was so hard for me to do. Now it has become a systematic habit for many years.

I could give you so many examples in many areas of my life where things seemingly impossible became a reality over time.

Practice visualizing yourself as you want to be, not as you may have been in the past. You can actually change your self-image permanently by repeatedly visualizing yourself as someone who is able to get things done.

Remember that it takes about twenty-one days of practice and repetition to form a new habit pattern. It has taken you your entire lifetime to become the person you are today, with the time management habits you have at this moment. It takes time and commitment to change. But once you do, it increases your self-image and self-confidence tremendously.

When developing the habits of time management, start in just one area where poor time management is holding you back. Don’t try to change everything at onceIt will discourage you if you do. Change just one habit where you know that improvement could be very helpful to you.

Begin your new time management habit strongly. Never allow an exception once you have decided that you are going to become excellent with a specific behavior.

Avoid self-indulgence !

Avoid procrastination !

Respect yourself!

Respect your time!

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 47.

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.

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

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Did you ever try to predict the consequences of doing or not doing something? The potential consequences of any task or activity will determine what is really important to you. Your attitude towards time has an enormous impact on your behavior and your choices. People who have long-term views about their lives always seem to make much better decisions about their time and activities than people who give very little thought to the future.

In the movie “Scent Of a Woman” Al Pacino gave a powerful speech and at one point he said:

“Every time in my life, I always knew what to do, but I didn’t do it.”

 “Do you know why?”

“Because it was too damned hard”

 

By definition, something that is important has long-term potential consequences. Something that is unimportant has few or no long-term potential consequences. Before starting on anything, you should always ask yourself,

“What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?”

The clearer you are about your future intentions, the greater influence that clarity will have on what you do in the moment. If there is a task or activity with large potential positive consequences, make it a top priority and get started on it immediately.

Thinking continually about the potential consequences of your choices, decisions and behaviors is one of the very best ways to determine your true priorities in your personal life. Clarifying your priorities will take some of your time NOW but it could save of lot of time in the future.

We have control over our choices!

We don’t have control over the consequences of our choices!

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then …

Wait to hear the answer.

“Many people walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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“Oh my God, why is this happening to me?”

It is not what happens to us that counts. It is how we react to what happens to us, especially when we have unexpected problems of any kind. This is the philosophy of the Stoics from Ancient Greece.

What can we do to assure ourselves that our attitude will be the very best, under all circumstances?

Personally, what I find the most difficult when something bad happens to me is; how long will it take to get myself out of this mess? What I try to think when this happens:I was able to get out of trouble before and I should be able to get out of it this time too. With more life experience, of course.

I try to focus on the future and this gives me hope of better days ahead. It gives me the courage to go through what I have to go through. I have to admit it is not always easy, but most of the time, it’s possible.

Whatever challenges you face, focus on the future rather than on the past. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, focus on where you want to be and what you want to do. Get a clear mental image of your future, and then take whatever action you can to begin moving in that direction. Get your mind, your thoughts, and your mental images on the future.

I have so many examples of events that looked so bad at first glance, and then eventually I was able to see the good coming out from it. Sometimes it took me years to realize it.

Whenever you’re faced with a difficulty, focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Think and talk about the ideal solution to the obstacle, rather than wasting time brooding on the problem. Solutions are positive, whereas problems are negative. The instant that you begin thinking in terms of solutions, you become a positive and constructive human being.

Believe that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge.  The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive. The wonderful thing is that if you look for the gift, you will always find it.

Believe that whatever situation you are facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful. This situation has been sent to you to help you learn something, to help you become better, to help you expand and grow.

But I hear you say: What if the problem can’t be solved?

The only answer I have for you is: What can’t be cured must be endured !

Otherwise, take some time to write out every detail of the problem, when you can figure out the real causes of the problem, it’s already half solved !

The 3 “P”s of my life are Passion, Patience and Persistence…

Passion for life is what gives me my purpose, drives me to learn, to discover, to be curious and keeps me working to master and improve my craft.

Patience and persistence are demonstrated when I turn the day-to day grind into something I really care about and don’t quit when life gets in the way, and guess what… it always does and always will.

 

 

What about you?

Did you do a reality check on your 3 “P”s recently?

Yesterday is history.

Today is the only reality.

Tomorrow is a mystery.

Then why not be free from worry?

How does one make time for anything nowadays? It ain’t easy.

If you plan to start a big project, it will take lots of time.

You will have to make sacrifices and somehow figure out a way to modify your daily itinerary.

Do you head out for work early every morning to pick up that cup of coffee from Tim Horton’s or Starbucks?

Sounds like you could save fifteen minutes here.

Do you go out for lunch with your friends everyday?

This one may have to go , too.

Your favorite program on TV?

Gone.

It sounds tough, but if there is one universal truth that go-getters with families and full-time jobs share, it is that all of them are pressured to scavenge time that seemingly doesn’t exist.

Me? What do I sacrifice?

80 % of Hollywood & Bollywood movies, TV watching, Internet surfing without a purpose, and many other activities because I’m curious  and interested in so many things.

I have learned to say NO without feeling upset or guilty. in order to say YES to what truly matters.

I probably save at least 20 hours a week because of this old-fashion word “sacrifice”.

Sacrifice is just a boring word in our wealthy societies of instant gratification.

When was the last time that you heard a friend of yours use it?

For most of us, we make small sacrifices when we must choose some activities over others.

Remember; it is impossible to do it all.

But as the old saying goes, if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it!

This way, by being more productive, we end up having less to sacrifice.

What are you ready to sacrifice to get what you want?

What is your own personal sacrifice?

Personal indulgence?

What kind of price are you willing to pay in order to fulfill your dream?

Are you a morning person or an evening one?

Personally, I’m more productive and creative early in the morning.

Why?

I believe it is because there are fewer interruptions.

With less interruptions, I can focus completlely on the task at hand.

When our attention is divided between all the emails, the text messages, the smart phone, the office phone, colleagues asking questions and the unexpected visitors, we waste so much time.

One solution is to block uninterrupted time in our schedule.

One hour of undivided attention with the task will be worth many more  hours with distractions and interruptions.

This is one of the ways to recover quality time with yourself and for yourself.

 

What Would You Have Done?

 
NO REGRETS
By Steve Goodier

 

At the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, the sport of canoe racing was added to the list of international competitions. The favorite team in the four-man canoe race was the United States team. One member of that team was a young man by the name of Bill Havens.

As the time for the Olympics neared, it became clear that Bill’s wife would give birth to their first child about the time that the U.S. team would be competing in the Paris games. In 1924 there were no jet airliners from Paris to the United States, only slow ocean going ships. And so Bill found himself in a dilemma. Should he go to Paris and risk not being at his wife’s side when their baby was born? Or should he withdraw from the team and remain with his family?

Bill’s wife insisted that he go to Paris. After all, competing in the Olympics was the culmination of a life long dream. But Bill felt conflicted and, after much soul searching, decided to withdraw from the competition and remain home, where he could support his wife when the child arrived. He considered being at her side his highest priority, even higher than going to Paris to fulfill his dream.

As it turned out, the United States four-man canoe team won the gold medal in Paris. And Bill’s wife was late in giving birth to their child. She was so late, in fact, that Bill could have competed in the event and returned home in time to be with her when she gave birth.

People said, “What a shame.” But Bill said he had no regrets. For the rest of his life, he believed he had made the better decision.

Bill Havens knew what was most important to him. Not everybody figures that out. And he acted on what he believed was best. Not everybody has the strength of character to say no to something he or she truly wants in order to say yes to something that truly matters. But for Bill, it was the only way to peace; the only way to no regrets.

There is an interesting sequel to the story of Bill Havens…

The child eventually born to Bill and his wife was a boy, whom they named Frank. Twenty-eight years later, in 1952, Bill received a cablegram from Frank. It was sent from Helsinki, Finland, where the 1952 Olympics were being held. The cablegram read: “Dad, I won. I’m bringing home the gold medal you lost while waiting for me to be born.”

Frank Havens had just won the gold medal for the United States in the canoe-racing event, a medal his father had dreamed of winning but never did. Like I said, no regrets.

Thomas Kinkade eloquently said, “When we learn to say a deep, passionate yes to the things that really matter, then peace begins to settle onto our lives like golden sunlight sifting to a forest floor.”

 

What would you have done?

 
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Goodier is an author and speaker. You can visit his website by going to
 
 
 
 
 
 

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