Author's Blog

You’ll Never Know, If You Don’t Try

Jamie rushed up to his best friend, excited about the prospect of making the football team at school. Tryouts were the next day, and he had signed up.
“Hey, Sam! Guess what? I’m trying out for the football team this year.” He was hopeful, having trained all summer to be in shape.

 

“You’re joking, right?” Sam asked, shaking his head. “There’s no way, with your size, that they’ll pick you. Have you seen the size of the guys they choose?”

That was not what Jamie wanted to hear. He’d had such high hopes on making the team after training so hard. Doubt wedged its way into his thoughts.
He had grown several inches in the last year to reach five-foot-five, and his scrawny physique had filled out considerably with all the weight lifting he had done. But Sam was right, he was short compared to the five-ten-plus players that usually made the cut. Would talent be enough? Maybe at his height, it wasn’t enough to get him on the team. Maybe he should wait or pick another sport. If only he loved another sport as much as he loved football.

 

 

How often has someone said to you, “That’s impossible!” or “You can’t do that,” instilling doubt of success in your mind, perhaps even causing you to give up.
These statements are anything but uplifting and often hold us back from experiencing our true potential. Physically or mentally, we can all be so much more if we stop putting limits on ourselves.

Here are individuals who succeeded despite the odds against them:

Michael Jordan had been cut from his varsity basketball team during his sophomore year. At 5’11”, he was considered too short back then. He went on to become a legend in the sport.

Thomas Edison, the American inventor of the light bulb, was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything. He had in his lifetime 1,000 U.S patents to his name.

Ludwig Van Beethoven was deemed hopeless and told by his first music teacher that he would never succeed as a composer. He became one of the greatest composers.

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter Series, had her first book rejected by numerous publishers. She became the first billionaire author.

 

One of the things I do besides writing my novels is writing magazine articles. Although not all topics are extraordinary, I do get opportunities to write about fascinating people with unbelievable feats. One such person is Chad Netherland, 10-time Guinness World Record holder in strength. Two years ago, I wrote an article about him for the Inside Kung Fu magazine (See article below). Then already, I thought his feats were miraculous- unbelievable even. Since that time, he has gone on to break his records and set many new ones. This type of dedication to success is commendable. If people used his level of dedication to achieve their goals, the sky would be reachable.

 

 

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. – Napoleon Hill

 

Click on pages to enlarge print.

 

Frustrating Resolutions: 5 Things That Doom Us to Failure

 

Come the New Year, we all reflect on our past and future, and come up with resolutions that we resolve to implement to better our lives. A few of these resolutions make the top list every year:


  • Spending more time with family and friends
  • Getting fit
  • Losing weight
  • Quitting vices – smoking, drinking, biting nails, etc.
  • Enjoying life more
  • Getting out of debt
  • Helping others

An admirable list, and we have good intentions of carrying out our resolutions when we begin the New Year, but how many of us actually implement and carry through those resolutions.

 

 

Why is it that many of us can’t keep the promises that we make to ourselves?

 

 

I’m sure the reasons vary, but there are five root problems that doom us to failure, often before we even start.

1. Not being specific enough with your intentions – How can you do something you are not clear about? When something is vague, there is no intention behind it. If you say your resolution is to lose weight, then be specific. Say, I will lose twenty pounds in four months. Clarity fosters a state of intention.

2. Setting your goals too large – Setting unreachable goals is a sure failure. Frustration sets in, discouraging you from continuing. Set a resolution that is the right gradient for you, ensuring you reach that resolution.

3. Not setting your priorities straight – You must prioritize your tasks because if your resolutions are not high enough on your to-do-list, they will inevitably be omitted and then deleted. Survival tasks are foremost, but prioritize your resolutions as high as possible, to see they get accomplished.

4. Fluctuations in our resolve – There are times when we feel we can conquer the world, yet other times, we can barely lift ourselves from the bed. At the best of times, it is hard to motivate ourselves to carry out our resolutions, so when our will power is extra low, we often resign in our tasks. Remember to ask others for help. A friend, family member, or co-worker can help motivate you on those days when your willpower is low.

5. Amount of time won’t permit it – You can do anything you set your mind to do, but realistically, how much time and energy do you have to devote to your resolution? Time is a scarce commodity for many. Obligations to family, friends, a job, and even to yourself will interfere with the quantity and quality of time spent for your resolutions. Set realistic time expectations. If you only have an extra half hour every day available then don’t plan to use two hours for a resolution. Less time will make your progress slower but you will eventually arrive at your destination.

Paying attention to these five points will help you to formulate realistic resolutions and encourage your intentions of completing them.

 

There is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars but plan realistic steps of how to get up there.

 

I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year, and may you succeed in reaching your resolutions in 2012!

A Rare Best Friend

I read a quote on twitter the other day regarding best friends that grabbed my attention .

 

“Friends are there when you get knocked down and help pick you back up. Best friends are there and say “stay down, I got this.” – PreRandom

 

This quote emphasizes to what lengths a “best” friend will go to help. Best friends always go that extra mile. These types of friends are rare and one can be fortunate to have even one best friend like this in their lifetime.

(The word “best” means, better than all others or of the highest quality.)

My father loved literature and often told me stories when I was younger. One story about friendship that always stuck in my mind was the story based on a ballad by Friedrich Von Schiller called, The Pledge or The Hostage (Die Burgschaft).

In summation, the story tells of two friends, one of them, Damon, who is sentenced to death by the king, but has one last request, to be granted three days to take his sister to her future husband to marry. The king grants him his wish, but to guarantee his return, his friend must take his place. His friend agrees despite knowing that if Damon does not return, he dies in his stead. In his travels, Damon experiences many obstacles, trying to bar his timely return. In the last minute, he succeeds. No one, except his friend, thought he would come back, least of all the king. The two friends embrace, and the king who is so touched by their strong bond of friendship, asks to join their circle of friends.

How many people have such a friend, one who would be willing to give all?

Nowadays, where a handshake no longer means anything, and the word “I” means everything, strong bonds of friendship are rare.

Someone once told me that you should count yourself lucky to have such a cherished friend. I don’t think luck has anything to do with it. Friendship is a two-way street, an equal give and take relationship, and a relationship that needs as much nurturing as it does devotion. If someone has such a cherished friend, they have him or her because they have earned that friendship.

“A friend is someone who reaches for your hand but touches your heart.” – By Kathleen Grove

What is your definition of a “best friend”?

 

 

To Give

The core meaning of  the word “give” is to present or deliver something of yours to someone else to keep.

The USA Thanksgiving Day is coming up, reminding people to give thanks, and a Philanthropist who I follow on Twitter, posted a tweet asking, why give?

The responses that followed this tweet were amazing and heartfelt. With all the tragedy you hear on the news, with all the sickness and death that affects many families, and the heavy financial struggles that burden people, hearing these kind and selfless responses was uplifting.

It reminded me of a day in our community each year, since 2008, which has been dedicated as ‘Random Act of Kindness Day’. It’s a vision of the KWCF, to help build a better community and to join hearts and hands to celebrate the community we live in.

Since its starting, it has become a huge success and has spread to other communities.

How it works is, in the weeks leading to the Random Act of Kindness Day, citizens are encouraged to give out Random Act of Kindness cards. The card says, “You have been touched by a Random Act of Kindness.” On that day, after doing an act of kindness, you give the person your card and they in turn perform an act of kindness and further pass along the card. Of course, you don’t need a card, and in case you are stumped as to what acts of kindness you can do, the website lists 101 Random Acts of Kindness for you to choose from – http://www.kwcf.ca/buildingle/randomacto

What most people derived from their kind deed was how good it made them feel by doing something for someone selflessly, without expectations, and without payment. Can you image the impact it would have on the world if each person did even one Random Act of Kindness every day.

Here are but a few of the many answers that flooded in for reasons of, ‘why give’:

“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”

“Giving is a natural human instinct.”

“I give because I want to do my part.”

“I give because God gave to me.”

“I give because so many have less than I have.”

“Because the world needs more love and generosity.”

“I give for no other reason than to help my fellow man.”

“To improve and enhance the lives of others.”

“Because it’s the right thing to do.”

“I give because the universe gives in abundance to me.”

“To make the world a better place.”

“I give because I’m passionate about seeing people thrive.”

“It’s about nourishing your soul by helping others.”

I think Winston Churchill said it right, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

 

My blog was inspired by Michael Chatman, a Philanthropist and a man I admire – http://www.michaelchatman.com/