How Tony Robbins Made Good Morning America Great Again

On March 23, 2016, this tweet from Tony strikes panic into my heart!

Are You An @TonyRobbins Super-fan and in New York  next Tues? Get Tix to see him live

I am flying from Vancouver to New York the next day, my itinerary is full, and now I want tickets to see Tony live on March 29th!

But wait! I’ve never been to New York! I don’t know my way around, and I am staying in Brooklyn, not Manhattan, and “GMA” sets up before sunrise.

Focus on Where You Want to Go, Not on What You Fear

~ Anthony Robbins

Every day I do something that scares me, so I email Good Morning America for tickets.

“DECIDE!” I can hear Tony say in my mind.

A while back, I wrote down the five people I would most like to meet, and Tony Robbins was one of them. Tony always advises to take massive action and pursue your dreams.

I admire his work because he refused to let his pain define him, turned his life around, and used his knowledge to help so many others, including me and my son.

In the 1990’s I bought his cassette tapes at a library book sale and I wore them out listening to them. By association, I also wore out my youngest son’s tender ears. He has been listening to Tony unleash the power since age 3, during the long trips in my mini-van to visit his Nana. He turned 20 today.

“GMA” replies and asks me why I want to be in the audience. I write that I am a blogger, and my son and I have been Tony super-fans since the 1990’s, and it is my son’s 20th birthday today. They email me two tickets (the maximum)to print off! We are in! I am soooo excited!

But wait! The fine print says we are not guaranteed to get in. I don’t care! Even the chance of getting in is so exciting! I tell da birthday boy he has a chance to see da man himself! He is more excited about seeing Tony than The Lion King on Broadway later that evening.

This son started his own business at age eleven, teaching fourteen year old kids how to play drums. He began negotiating business deals with adults to produce music shows by the age of sixteen. I am convinced his confidence and ability came from all those hours of listening to Tony Robbins on cassette. Tony instilled an entrepreneurial mindset in him. We joke that he was raised by Tony Robbins.

“The only person holding you back is YOU. No more excuses. It’s time to change and take your life to the next level.” Tony Robbins

It feels like Tony is on the 102nd floor view deck of The Empire State Building of self-actualization, extending a hand down to me, on the ground floor, to pull me up to learn how to live my dreams like him.

We arrive in Times Square to scout out GMA’s location a few days ahead of the show so we are prepared.

“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.” — Tony Robbins

We find a door marked stage door on 44th Street, but there is no Toys ‘R’ Us nearby.

At the Wax Museum, I ask where Toys ‘R’ Us is located and nobody knows, then I ask an employee at The Star Wars Exhibit, who says the store has moved, and there is construction where it used to be. My best guess is that we line up at the stage door across from the construction. I wonder why GMA hasn’t updated their tickets.

To look sharp for the show, I buy pants and a top at The Loft in Times Square and new make-up at Sephora. I will wear the sweater and shoes I have in my suitcase, and my son will wear the clothes in his luggage.

On March 29, we wake up at 4 am, shower, and catch the subway train to Times Square. We arrive at 6:30 am and are relieved to find a small line-up outside the stage door. Last check in for the show is 7:15 am. Nobody greets us, or checks us in, or asks to see our tickets or passports. We stand in line for two hours until 8:30 am.

In the shade of the high rises, it was 46 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was freezing in the narrow wind chill tunnel. My hands turn white from the cold. I push past the cold and imagine Tony immersing himself in freezing cold water. His morning ritual is to plunge into a cool 57-degree Fahrenheit pool of water upon waking. But I am dreaming of going to a Tony Robbins firewalk instead.

After an hour or so, the production assistant, I think her name is Julie, announces that anyone who received a special email from her can step to the side. I hear “What the?!” muffled in the crowd, as she ushers the VIPs into the studio.

Julie comes back out and says they are reducing the filming space and only half of those with tickets in line will get in. “If anyone wants to leave now, they can” she says. Her blasé tone, prompts the guy behind me to call out: “Welcome to New York!” He was wearing a long wool coat and ear muffs. My son and I name him the heckler. He told us he was from New York. Some people leave the line at this point.

The Assistant comes back out about 20 minutes later and says 20 people of the 40 who remain in line will get in, and we are mid-line. She leaves us dangling, however, when she says she might take the first 20 people in line or she may do a draw, she hasn’t decided. What??? This is a fast paced New York live television production where snap decisions are made faster than a ball can drop in Times Square. I imagine Tony in his deep voice, gone hoarse from talking, telling her to “Decide!” We take a leap of faith and stay.

A security guard with a K9 sniffer dog walks past the line and asks us to open our purses and empty the contents of our pockets into our hands. The dog sniffs all of us and finds nothing.

Another twenty minutes pass, and a black SUV pulls up, and David Hasselhoff steps out! The line erupts into cheers and my son takes a selfie with “The Hoff.” David signs autographs, chats to the crowd, and poses for photos. He is super nice, tanned and flashes a big white smile. My son will gloat later about seeing The Baywatch star to the four people back at our apartment in Brooklyn who are asleep.

Then Geraldo Rivera’s black SUV drives by, and he waves at us from the passenger’s seat! I watched him so many times on the show 20/20! My son doesn’t know who he is. He was on GMA talking about getting ousted from Dancing With the Stars. My adrenaline is pumping so fast I want to dance, but like Bob Dylan’s Tamborine Man: my toes too numb to step.

Then Tony Robbins steps out of a silver SUV, and criss-crosses the sidewalk towards us. Some Wall Street types brush him off their shoulders as if he is a pest. Tony is unfazed. He seems humbled by the little scream that erupts from the line-up. He smiles warmly, and bows his head almost bashfully. Then all 6 foot 7 inches of him confidently enters the studio wearing a sharp blue suit. No time for a selfie with him, but great to see him.

Tony’s humble presence and warm smile deliver up the essence of why he does what he does — he cares about the people he helps. The little guys like us, braving the cold, leaving home in the dark to stand on the sidewalk to see him. Helping people fires up his soul more than fire walking. I saw it all on his face. He loves the people in line with all his heart. And, they love him back ten times more.

I am so happy we came! We have already seen Tony and the show is going to be great!

ALL LOVE TONY

I am showing my bloodless fingers to my son, when the heckler gives me a hand warmer. He is friendly and engaging, and asks us to play Tony Robbins trivia.

His first question is: “what is Tony’s wife’s name?” “Sage!” I say, and then share my own trivia that she is from Langley, BC, next to Cloverdale, where we live.

Then the heckler answers that Tony’s step dad was a semi-professional baseball player. In a New York nano second, my excitement about the show turns to a sinking feeling in my stomach. I remember the quote: “never mistake an at-bat for a hit.” We are only “at bat” to see Tony on the show, no guarantees.

I can’t put a numb finger on it, but something is wrong. GMA’s ratings are down this year, and I see the desperation from ratings pressure in Julie’s eyes. I Google GMA’s target audience, and it is measured by AGE. It is age 25–54, much younger than what I suspect is their actual audience of 45–65 yrs old. Their actual audience is nostalgic for the good old GMA days when they got their children up for school, and sat them down to eat a bowl of Fruit Loops in front of the TV to watch GMA.

Fox News Reports:

“Television’s top morning show is in its first prolonged slump since overtaking NBC’s “Today” in popularity three years ago. “GMA” is losing viewers, most rapidly among a younger demographic that advertisers eagerly seek, where NBC has wrested back the lead from its rival.”

They have 3 great guests on the show today, all baby boomers. Tony is 57, The Hoff is 63, and Geraldo is 72. The Production Assistant is 30 ish, and she picked a studio audience aged 35–40 years old. No one in the studio audience is even as old as the average age of the guests.

25–35 year old millennials watch their phones more than their televisions. The generation that watched GMA since 1975, is aging faster than their marketers know. They are bucking the headwind of the aging baby boomers in search of younger fans. Their actual fans are now grandparents who are retiring, and tuning back in to the show more regularly.

The Assistant comes out again: “I’m picking some really CALM people to go in,” she says.

I feel like my frozen hands were slapped with a wooden stick. We are all calm, we have been sedated by the cold. She chooses 20 people between 30 and 40 years old — ten from in front of us, then she passes right by us, and picks another ten from behind us, including the heckler, and a lady who recently cut in line beside us from the back of the line. They all go into the studio.

Then in a glacial tone the Assistant says: “The rest of you don’t get in. That’s it!”

I observe that GMA issued 80 tickets for 40 spots, picked 20 local media/bloggers, then cherry picked from the line-up.

I feel like a giant ice sculpture of a fist has punched me in the face. It stings doubly as a parent, because it is a one two punch, one for my son and one for me.

My son is an adult, but a mother’s love doesn’t age.

His disappointment amplifies mine. I am supposed to bandage his wounds, not salt them, especially for his birthday! I am sorry for getting his hopes up to see Tony on the show, and I hope he doesn’t get bronchitis from exposure to the unrelenting cold.

Then I imagine what Tony would say to us if he were walking beside the line:

“Give me a break — You’re not in Somalia — Get over it already!”

I scramble for something to be grateful for, to instantly change my emotions.

“We saw Tony!” I say.

“Seeing ‘The Hoff’ was a total bonus for me,” my son says.

“We learned how to do a live TV show,” I say.

Then my son speaks the truth, as always: “we learned how NOT to do a live tv show”, he says.

Then we bust our guts laughing!

But our laughter is silenced by loud shouting ahead in the line-up. A couple in their 60’s who were first place in line, didn’t take Julie’s news delivered coldly as well as we did.

They are shouting at her in British accents: “We’ve been standing here since 6 am!” said the lady.

“We were the first in line! And you pick people from the back of the line!!!?” she said loudly.

Julie’s face started turning as red as the rest of ours. I felt bad for her. She was only doing her job, the way she has always done it, and getting the same results and not understanding why. GMA wants to improve their ratings, but they are “too busy sawing to sharpen the saw” as Steven Covey would say.

I feel worse for the British people than I do for anyone, including my son or myself. They are older than us, colder than us, and have stood outside longerthan us. As Tony says: “pick someone who is ten times worse off than you and help them.” I wonder how I can help them. The couple are part of GMA’s global audience, and Tony’s global audience. The show airs in Canada, so it likely airs in Britain too. They aren’t GMA’s target audience, they are theiractual audience. This is too weird.

New York is not only an American city, it is a global city, where 171 languages are spoken. The guests on GMA are global stars. Back in 1984, when I was in Ireland, I bought a ‘Knight Rider’ car for my young nephew in Ireland who was a huge fan of the show ‘Knight Rider’ (starring David Hasselhoff).

Nobody cares about your little problem in the BIG APPLE. Everyone is moving forward. Stop on the sidewalk to salt your wounds and you will get trampled.

But we learned in kindergarten how to treat people better than this.

A girl on The Brooklyn Bridge yesterday was wearing a donut t-shirt that said:

I Donut Care

We traveled 3800 miles from Canada, and the Brits traveled further, and lined up in the dark, but they donut care that we braved the wind and didn’t get in.

To Be #1 You Gotta Care

I learned how resilient my son is. He waved me over to the front window of the studio. We are stunned that we can see the show being filmed from the front window in Times Square.

Tony Robbins and David Hasselhoff are being interviewed 20 feet in front of us. I hear Tony say:

“I have failed a million times, but it’s not failure if you ask — what can I learn from this experience?”

On the subway back to the Airbnb, we discuss what we learned from the experience. We think of ways GMA could improve:

  • They could omit the Toys ‘R’ Us reference from their tickets.
  • If they ask people to arrive early and line up, they shouldn’t surprise them by picking people from the back of the line. The people at the back aren’t expecting to get in, the people at the front are.
  • Pick the audience members once the deadline to line up has passed. Don’t drag out the suspense for two hours. It isn’t wise to release frustrated customers into the world to tell their friends about their bad experience.
  • This is show business, not the justice system, and life isn’t always fair, but in the race to the top, GMA is missing out on marketing opportunities. They could connect with their fans and the line-up on social media. Tweeting Tony trivia would have equaled ratings gold. They could have held a draw for Tony’s new book ‘Money-Master The Game’(see link here:http://goo.gl/LI1fTF), or handed out swag bags to be photographed for Instagram, or offered cups of coffee with a GMA logo on them.

As Seth Godin says: “your best customer is your best marketer.” He also says: “People don’t like surprises…if you give them your word, keep it.”

I wonder what Tony would say to us about the experience?

I think he would chunk it down into parts. We took action and were prepared. We planned our trip from Brooklyn and arrived early. We dressed as sharply as we could from a suitcase, and we didn’t give up.

We did our best, and found something to be grateful for and learned something.

We saw Times Square at dawn.

My son got a picture of David Hasselhoff. I saw Geraldo Rivera.

We both saw Tony Robbins up close and he smiled at us.

We stuck it out despite the odds. We committed, and we learned something about ourselves.

And as always, my son got an education from this Tony experience. He dreams of one day being interviewed by a show like GMA as a music producer. The experience crystallized for him: the goal is not to line up outside the arena, but to work so hard that people line up outside the arena to see you. “Well said, Tony Jr.”

My son and I have a great amount of respect for those who are in the arena — whatever their arena is. They have faced a million disappointing experiences, and they keep rising higher and higher above them, and set a better example.

I was proud to be part of the line-up to show Tony our gratitude. He has given so much of himself to so many for so many years, that showing up, and showing our appreciation is the least we could do to thank him. We are the reason he does what he does.

Tony says to find someone worse off than you and help them. To honor that, I dedicate this story to the couple who were first place in line. I hope it makes them feel better, whoever and wherever they are.

They were true Tony fans. Tony says: “you get what you tolerate,” and they refused to tolerate what happened in line. They bravely expressed what twenty other people were feeling, but didn’t express. “If you want something better than what you are getting, you have to raise your standards,” says Tony.

Tony’s fans were exactly what GMA needed. He has taught his fans to expect something better, and to take massive action to make the change. The Brit’s actions may lead to changes in the way they treat their future line-ups. If Good Morning America can put down the saw for long enough to listen.

8
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    AnnHoy

    Welcome to my blog annhoy.com — #loveyourself. Writer for The Writing Cooperative and BeYourself on Medium.com

  • Your Problems Are But A Drop Of Water In The SEA Of Life

    Your problems are but a drop of water

                                                                                                                                                          Roberto Nixon / Unsplash

    Have you noticed that when you have a problem people will sympathize with you initially, but soon they’re back to the daily grind, and you lose that support that you so desperately seek from them? It is because they have their own equal and opposite problems. To dwell on your problem, means they might drop the ball on their problem, in this continuous juggling game of life, and they have to keep their boat afloat.

    To wallow in your misery along with you is not love. It anchors you to your problem. They care about you, and they want you to pull yourself out of your problem, because you are the only one who can pull yourself out. Others can help, but only you can do it. Maybe all you need to do is change your perspective. Maybe your so-called problem is the way you are seeing things. Your problem may turn out to be a blessing. Maybe it’s time for you to “Sea” Life’s Beauty.

    Being happy is a choice. It is choosing to think positive thoughts from the second you open your eyes in the morning, no matter what your circumstances are. Yes, a choice. It is your attitude about your circumstances that matters. Is yours an attitude of gratitude? I found a book in the “discard” bin in the public library 20 years ago. I was a little low on confidence at the time, so I took it home, and it was so fascinating that I’ve read it 100 times over the years and it changed my life. It is ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale. It said that gaining faith in yourself is like a skill that you can practice until you get it right.

     

    The book has a similar philosophy to the law of attraction. If your thoughts are positive, you attract positive energy back, so you might as well make it positive, because the alternative is worse. Your thoughts about what is good or bad are not always based on reality, but on your perception. The good news is, you can change your perception in a minute. Sometimes all it takes is to re-frame your thoughts and you will see your situation entirely differently, and you will see an abundance of good and opportunity instead of a shortfall. Go ahead and Soak Up Positive Energy.

    A while back, my finances were a worry. I had a lot of credit card debt, but on paper, I owned 50 percent of an expensive property. I sold the property, bought a home with suites and lived in one of the suites, which was much smaller than the big house I had been living in. By downsizing, I was able to pay off my credit card, put some cash in the bank, and gain rental revenue to help pay my mortgage. I had the same amount of money as I did before the move, but my perspective changed. Instead of seeing a sea of red, I saw a stream of cash.

    I recently wrote a post about living well, and a reader asked me to explain what living well meant to me. Here is a link to it: https://goo.gl/Km7l3t, What living well means to you is likely quite different from what it means to me. Please share what living well means to you, and here is my list:

    Wisdom Of The Ocean Listicle: Living Well

    1. Living well is appreciating what you have and attracting abundance.Complaining about what you lack is the law of lack, and it attracts more lack. This keeps you in the bilges, always bailing out the dirty water from the ship instead of sailing smoothly on by.

    2. Living in the present is living well. This sounds obvious, but most people are distracted by regrets about the past that they can’t change, or worrying that something dreadful will happen in the future, that never actually happens. They are thinking about what they are going to say next in their conversations instead of listening to what people are saying to them, or romancing with their cell phones while sitting next to the person they love most in the entire world, instead of telling them they love them. Now is the only time you have to embrace life. Why is that the hardest thing to do? Your sailboat has it’s own pace. Don’t rush things with an engine. Go With The Flow and don’t get ahead of, or behind your own sailboat.

    3. Living well is loving the voyage. Giving what you can to others after you have satisfied your own needs, and accepting their offerings to you and honoring the giver in them is love. Come Out of Your Shell and show love.

    4. It is beautiful to be who you are and love who you are. Living well is cherishing the divine creation you are, and not measuring your worth based on your gender, age, weight, looks or bank account. Self-confidence attracts more self-confidence. To be proud of who you are is honoring your divine nature, which we all have inside of us. Be Shore of Yourself

    5. Nurturing your health with mind, body and soul is Living Well. Healthy food and exercise are better than medicine from the pharmacy for your body. Lifelong learning by reading is medicine for the mind. Positive expansive thoughts about your purpose in life, and aligning your actions with your positive thoughts is medicine for your soul. Don’t Get Tide Down with a poor lifestyle

    6. Living well means seeking your own approval over the approval of others. If they approve, awesome, if not, don’t sweat it. Do what you know is right for you. Likewise, don’t judge others when they do what’s right for them. Spend time doing what you love, as in Do What Floats Your Boat.

    7. Oh yeah, and don’t be crabby – and take time to coast!

    • sources — Wisdom From The Ocean
    • Thanks for reading. Shout out to Michele Trainer for suggestion
    • Thanks for collaborating Anna Henricson
    • Have a beautiful day! If you liked it please hit the heart button and recommend it.
    • Please comment on what living well means to you.
    • AHoy!

    Do You Want to Be a Hero? Live WELL

    Heroes Live Well

    Lea Dubedout photo  – Unsplash

    When you live in the past you live badly.

    Your past is like a condensed movie of your life that flashes by the side of the highway as you speed by; the years passing by faster than street lights.

    In the re-run of your life, you are embarrassed by your mistakes, and want to edit those scenes out, but you are an evolving organism, and learning hard lessons made you stronger.

    Your shame made you aware, and your awareness made you forgive yourself and move forward, then you forgive other evolving organisms for their mistakes.

    Looking back shows how far you have traveled on your journey. You have been altered by your experiences have altered you in the eternal classroom of life.

    In the space-time continuum, your pit stop on earth can be free from regrets if you decide to search for ways to live WELL.

    You were put on earth to be a hero. To reach your true potential. To become someone you admire.

    To work hard doing what you love, maintain your body, expand your mind, and nurture your soul with positive thoughts and gratitude.

    Honoring yourself transforms you into a tiny hero.

    When you express yourself you light a tiny candle and your light spreads.

    It illuminates the path of your future.

    Death inches closer each day, kindling your urgency to live well – to love lots, and to value your life.

    You don’t fear death when you are fully immersed in life.

    You raise your standards, and perform brave deeds and noble acts.

    Your plot has new twists. You adopt a dog. He has hero worship in his eyes for you. You feel good.

    You show compassion to a person who needs some. You feel good.

    Your struggle with life is gone when you do what feels good, and connect to others.

    You remove your 3-D glasses and see things as they are. The world is beautifully imperfect.

    You understand that everything happens for a reason. Chance occurrences benefit you.

    You wouldn’t change your journey because it brings you to the movie of your future.

    When your journey has ends you are a full grown hero. Mission complete.

    When you love and live well, you die happy!

    The last scene of your life is not a flashback, but a foreshadowing of your next journey. Your perspective has changed. Your body will dissolve, but your spirit will remain.

    You are drawn to the warmth and peace of the ambient light from the screen. Love is everywhere. The music fades to a humming chorus and transitions you to a new time zone.

    The credits roll. It’s a happy ending. You look forward to the after party!

  • Go to the profile of AnnHoy

    AnnHoy

    Welcome! I write about expanding your life on my blog annhoy.com  — #loveyourself, #positivethinking, #optimizingyourself, and #wellbeing are recurring themes.

  • Most popular Medium stories tagged Love
    • AnnHoy

    Where Do You Go To Get Your Answers?

    The Thinker - Photo pin creative commons

    The Thinker – Photo pin creative commons

    My mind is a noisy place, where my worries and doubts compete for my attention like auctioneers.

    But I have an unfair advantage.

    Where the noise stops.

    An old soft chair.

    When I curl up in it for ten minutes in peace, the static in my mind disappears, and I feel better.

    “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” — Plutarch

    I inhale, aware that the air flowing through my body is shared with everyone on earth. Exhaling, my muscles relax — shoulders, spine, knees and toes feel softer. I detox from negative thoughts.

    My inner voice softly speaks to me, telling me I have control over myself, and I can choose to be happy no matter what my circumstances are.

    “Wisdom doesn’t come from speaking…It comes from listening.” Tao Te Ching

    I hear that I have infinite worth.

    I melt into the soft chair, like a glowing candle of pure radiant loving light. I am free from distractions, and free from fear. I am a success.

    I am newborn with source energy, and am strong enough to take on anything.

    I am no better or less than anyone. We are all divine love.

    I feel thankful for everyone on my journey, and love for myself.

    Sitting in the chair clarifies my priorities in life.

    Suddenly I know what to do, confident that my actions when I leave the chair will be right, and will come from a place of love.

    Whenever I begin to feel disconnected, my chair draws me back so I can replace my racing thoughts with simplicity, patience and compassion.

    Refreshing my mind and body helps me return to bliss.

    I love who I am becoming with the wisdom in my soft chair.

    Where Do You Go To Get Your Answers?

    This story appeared on Medium.com/

    Coffee Headaches: How I Overcame The Incurable Pain

    Coffee Headaches

    My behavior doesn’t define me, my ability to change it does

     

    After trying unsuccessfully to quit coffee for three months, I quit in ten minutes.

    How did I do it?

    I did it with the help of my three sons.

    The idea of quitting coffee had been percolating in my mind for a while, and the boys knew it.

    On our way to the park one day, I stopped at a coffee shop to grab a coffee. It was a scalding hot day in July.

    My middle son said: “Why do you need a coffee on such a hot day?”

    “Don’t you want a cold drink instead?” said the oldest.

    Then the youngest said: “Didn’t you say you were quitting coffee, Mom?”

    I always told them to do what they say they’re going to do, and I wasn’t following my own advice.

    Worse than failing to quit coffee, was failing to lead by example. And I was being held accountable.

    Why quit coffee? The adverse side effects:

    1. The shaking hands after drinking three cups. 2. The “coffee headaches” if I didn’t drink a cup upon waking up. 3. The coffee cravings that felt like I wasn’t choosing coffee- it was choosing me.

    I quit coffee that moment in the parking lot, but the shift in my behavior came with side effects.

    I didn’t drink coffee that day, or the next day, or the day after that. I had a coffee withdrawal headache that continued for three days. But on the fourth day, my coffee headache was gone.

    My new habits no longer revolved around drinking coffee. I didn’t miss the smooth, dark, warm, aromatic beverage — much!

    I started drinking water or tea instead.

    I knew what I had to do, but it was the guilt from my family that made me commit.

    My behavior didn’t define me, my ability to change it did.

    In the end, I quit for love. Love for myself and my kids.

    Once I was freely choosing what to drink, I found that coffee really wasn’t my cup of tea.

    photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/11037770@N00/287004622“></a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a

    pref=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/“>(license)</a>

    This story was also published on Medium.

    52 Weeks to Optimizing Yourself – Week 10 – Go As BIG As The Taj Mahal With Recording Family History

    Go Big as The Taj Mahal

    An Inspirational Building

    My brother is recovering from an illness, and when we met this week it was nice to have some laughs together and to see that he is feeling better. I am going to write down some of our family history this week, so it is not lost, and my brother is going to supply me with some information as he has all the records.

    We had so many laughs from discussing our dad, who was quite the character, a rough around the edges seaman with amazing stories to tell. My brother dubbed him the original “Indiana Jones”. He spoke five languages and travelled the world many times, often in the grip of some danger or mystery.

    He took on the riskiest missions while in The Canadian Navy during WW11, delivering sensitive intelligence to Allies on the cargo ships, with the boxes up on deck with ropes, and orders to dump it all in the ocean if they came under attack. He once captured a German prisoner in his submarine during WW11, clamping his injured artery together in his hands until they got to shore for medical help. After the war, he lived in a boat in Vancouver’s Coal Harbor for a while, and when I was young, he had some land jobs, like walking the high beams as an ironworker building bridges, and driving a gas truck and getting danger pay for it.

    For this week’s optimizing yourself, I am going to write down some of his stories, so they are not lost, and I am going to find a Richard Halliburton book, as he was an important part of our childhood:

    One of our dad’s heroes was travel writer and seaman Richard Halliburton, and my brother remembered the name of his book that was our family treasure. It was called “The Royal Road to Romance” and my Dad used to read it to us as kids. My favorite story was about The Taj Mahal.

    Here is a write-up on Richard Halliburton. (Richard Halliburton was a great writer with columns in many newspapers, including The Toronto Star).

    He had a reckless love of life and romance.

    Writer, Lecturer, and World Traveler, Richard Halliburton published numerous books during his short lifetime. During his world travels, he visited exotic locales such as the Taj Mahal in India, climbed the Matterhorn, flew across the Sahara desert in a bi-winged plane, and swam the entire length of the Panama Canal. He also roamed the Mediterranean Sea retracing the route followed by Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey and crossed the Swiss Alps on the back of an elephant in a recreation of Hannibal’s expedition. Halliburton died in March 1939 as he and his crew attempted to sail a Chinese junk, the Sea Dragon, from Hong Kong to San Francisco as a publicity stunt. The vessel was unseaworthy and went down in a storm around March 23-24, 1939. His body was never recovered.
    Amazon.com

    I will let you know how my family history recording goes next week.

    Photo: photopin/flickr/creative commons

    Everyone Will Regret Not Saying This

    An 'I love you' call

    An ‘I love you’ call

    The distinctive voice on my answering machine is my brother’s: “no need to call me back, this is an ‘I LOVE YOU’ call”.

    Aaaawwww!!

    He knows it is not possible to say I love you too many times.

    He has been mentally and physically handicapped since he was one years’ old. He never had a partner, a wife, or children, but he phoned his mom every night when she was alive, and told her he loved her.

    I am the youngest of his four siblings. He often sends me and my sister ‘I love you’ text messages with smiley emoticons and kisses 🙂

    He knows it is impossible to overuse the words ‘I love you’, because he’s smart, and realizes that some of the people he used to say it to are no longer here.

    Don’t be afraid to say these words, everyone likes to hear them, and you won’t regret it.

    photo credit: Toni Blay via photopin cc

    Happy New Year 2014! – 52 Weeks to Optimizing Yourself – Week One

    Happy 2014

    Happy 2014


    The next 52 weeks are filled with promise. A new year’s resolution is a promise to yourself, to start doing something you want to do, or stop doing something you don’t want to do. With a positive attitude and a sense of well-being, I hope you will have a year of optimizing yourself.

    A year can feel like an eternity to commit to a goal. We are always evolving, and our goals are always changing too.

    The goal you set at the start of the year may lose its’ urgency by the end of the year.

    As I reflect back on my 52 weeks of optimizing yourself for 2013, I sometimes found it difficult to work on my goals for even one week, but by setting the goal, I remembered to work on it for the rest of the year, while also working toward other goals, because many of my goals are linked together.

    This year, with a brand new 52 weeks of optimizing yourself ahead of me, I am going to create a habit of thinking big to achieve my goals, because I already know what happens when I think small.
    This year I am choosing to go big or go home!

    Innovators dare to think big:

    Some men look at things the way they are and ask why? I dream of
    things that are not and ask why not? -Robert Kennedy

    For some of my life goals, I already think big, but other times I settle for less than reaching my full potential. Since I have nothing to lose by thinking big in all my goals, and potentially much to gain, I feel I owe it to myself to try.

    Jumping off my comfortable path will help me build momentum to move forward and experiment.

    By forming new ways to reach my goals each week, I will try something different to see if I get a different result.

    For week one, I am going to note down all the goals that I need to think big on, and as the 52 weeks unfold, begin working on each one to continue to optimize myself. I will let you know how it goes next week.

    I am wishing everyone a year filled with peace and love, and may your reality be health and happiness in 2014!

    Photo credit: Photo pin/ 52 weeks

    Winter Needs Christmas

    Winter needs Christmas

    Christmas brightens winter

    Many people are not religious, but they still love Christmas.

    Christmas has become more secular, and more spiritual.

    In those parts of the world where winter is cold, Christmas warms our bodies and souls from the inside out.

    Christmas is a time of expansion – we eat too much, spend too much, drink too much, but our hearts expand in the process.  When we extend ourselves for others, we feel better, and associate Christmas with abundance and love.

    A Happy Celebration

    A Happy Celebration

    The neighbours’ Christmas lights stay on all day and night, leaving an added glow, brightening the outside, when the days are short and the temperatures are cold.  When the letter carrier delivers the mail, it`s only a Christmas card, yay no bills!

    My sister hosted a family Christmas gathering at her house, a wonderful opportunity for family bonding. No need to fly to a sunny location for Christmas; almost everyone wants to be home for Christmas, spending time with loved ones.

    At Christmas, we give what we can.  It’s a time of goodwill and peace. We call a truce to arguments and wars, we see people we only see at Christmas, reminisce about Christmases past, and get updates on their lives today.

    Christmas trees and decorations transform the inside of the house with colored lights twinkling like stars, with an angel on top.  We relax by the fire with hot cocoa, grateful for all the riches around us.

    Christmas breeds joy in our hearts, of giving and receiving, rewarding service,  holidaying from work and stress, making wish lists, filling stockings with names on them, shopping in bustling toy stores, going to parties, making gingerbread houses, and smelling pine cones.

    goodwill to all

    goodwill to all

    People I meet are wishing me a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, and to me it means have a happy celebration, good fortune, good food, and love.  I am not offended if they wish me a Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa, although I am not Jewish or African-Canadian, because I know they are wishing me the best celebration they can imagine.  Christmas is a family time that warms the heart and shortens winter.

     

    photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/2094406126/”>Darwin Bell / photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameliatwu/6541663721/”>CameliaTWU

    photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29233640@N07/8303780929/”>** RCB **

    Week 51 – 0ptimizing Yourself – Dec 9-15, 2013 – Go On A Journey To The Spirit

    Journey to the spirit

    Journey to the spirit

    For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to go on a journey to the spirit.  Since the human spirit is full of goodness, I am going to listen to my spirit this week so my decisions will be influenced by love instead of fear.

    In In Gary Zukav’s book, “The Seat of The Soul” he describes a shift from pursuing external power to pursuing authentic power, based on the values of the spirit, such as reverence, compassion, and trust. External power is based on the five senses, and includes using manipulation and control which has caused conflict and destruction.

    I am going to practice Gary’s philosophy  of pursuing authentic power this week, and I will let you know how it goes next week.

    photo credit: photo pin

     

    Review of Week 49 – Optimizing Yourself – Clearing Clutter with Feng Shui

    For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I purged my clutter following the principles of feng shui.  I cleared many items that didn’t have a place, or that I no longer needed, used, or loved.

    Those items were providing stagnant energy and blocking the flow of energy, or chi, in my house.  Creating some space allowed new energy to circulate around the rooms.

    I started removing items from the carport, because that area wasn’t working.  There were items from a car stereo installation lying around, and once I got rid of them, it looked much better in there.

    My purging was effortless, as I was in a calm mood when I started, so my energy wouldn’t be counterproductive.

    I opened the windows, and fresh air provided new energy to the rooms.  As I filled up bags with stuff, I sipped a cup of hot green tea, and had fun.

    By throwing away and donating items that did not have good memories and fond associations, it made me feel good, and the bad energy in the rooms was replaced by good energy.

     

    Linda Binns – Feng Shui

    Review of Week 45 – Optimizing Yourself – Listening is an Act of Love

    Liste

    Listening is Love

    As I worked on actively listening to those that I spoke with this week, I found that truly listening to the people in my life was hard work, but well worth it. Dr. M. Scott Peck says it is rare that someone listens to you with their full intention, as people’s minds wander, or they are busy driving, or cooking, and are not giving their full attention to you.

    This week I put in the effort to listen to the people in my life, and it made a difference. Instead of thinking about what I was going to say in return, I let them talk. I could tell they were aware of the intensity of my listening by the look on their faces, and they felt my love.

    I also learned that listening is healing to the person you are giving your attention to.

    I have a friend who is retired, and this week he told me about a friend who moved away to a gated community. I worked hard to give him my undivided attention, and soon realized why he told me about his friend – he himself was thinking about where he was going to live for the rest of his life, and I felt empathy for his situation, and actively listened to him talk for about ten minutes.

    At the end of the conversation a huge smile lit up his face, as if he was happy he had told someone about his plans, and as if a load had been lifted from him. I felt like I had given him a gift that had cost me nothing. When he drove away, I realized that I too had received a gift. By putting in the effort to not interrupt him or change the subject, I grew and developed as a person through the conversation we shared.