Talent, Beauty, Wealth, Fame Not Enough

A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all.–Clive James

It is sad and shocking news that the beautiful and talented Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton yesterday.   I had always enjoyed listening to Whitney’s beautiful voice and was saddened when for a long period of time she had not been so public with her music.  Like many a famed personality, she too was caught up in the world of substance abuse which pretty much became her demise.

We tend to think that being famous, beautiful or handsome, having lots of money and tremendous talent would solve all of our problems, we would be happy and in need of nothing.  As we can see here, and in so many cases with those who have “made it” in the world, it can lead to even greater depression and even loneliness and despair.  Life goes on and we are all susceptible to the very same feelings, illnesses, choices and decisions.

I feel sorry in fact for celebrities who find themselves caught up in the lime light and are unable to have normal moments of peace and tranquility without being harassed by the media and fans.  If not handled properly, too much adoration can lead to depression as well.  Celebrities are also human, they need to feel loved and cared for, the world that they find themselves in often is  very superficial and it can be even more hurtful to not have a feeling of sincere love and care.  More often than not, this “love” that they get is more due to their success and is rather fickle, “here today and gone tomorrow” when the money and success runs low.

As Lord Byron wrote, “I have quaffed every drop of pleasure, I have drunk every drop of fame..and yet I die of thirst!”

The material world cannot satisfy the real need in our lives of love and being loved.  Having things, being well-known, and being attractive are nice, but they will never ever feed the true yearning of the soul.  My prayers go out to Whitney’s daughter and family, may she now have true peace.

The Minefield Of The Mind

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.–Buddha

I was thinking..(now that is a good start to a post on the mind!) anyway, I did think about how easy it is for the mind to wander.  Our minds are always at work, night and day, and we can be totally on to something one moment, and if we are not able to discipline our mind, we can lose whatever it was in an instant!  It really is like a muscle that needs to be worked on a regular basis in order to keep it  fine tuned and in shape.

The other night I couldn’t sleep as I was getting all inspired about something I wanted to write about.  I was practically wide awake but somehow I convinced myself that I could just “hold that thought” and I surely would remember it the next morning. Well, the next morning I did remember the subject matter, but one I had put it on paper it didn’t sound so “wow” is it had the night before. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak, and unfortunately the flesh won the battle over the spirit!

I’m sure it happens to all of us, but I have been a victim of my lack of  mind discipline.  I will think of something that I need to do in another  room, reach the room and I have already totally forgotten what it was that I had gone there to do!  Our minds will just keep on working away, thinking of so many things during the course of the day, that if we are not disciplined we can get lost along the way.

It is as though there is a mine field of distractions that are set there to keep us form getting anywhere, and unless we work towards getting rid of these distractions, we can do all kinds of great things, but miss out on getting the exceptional done!  This is just an innocent problem we encounter on a daily basis.  But it can get worse of what we expose our mind to a constant flood of useless or even negative muck!  We have to be on guard so as not to allow this mine field to get there in the first place.

I have witnessed an amazing come-back in my stepmother’s health.  She has been paralyzed from her waist down now for the past 5 years. Jut 2 years ago she was totally bedridden, she had a tremendous problem with negativity, entertained negative feeling and thought about others and was generally confused  most of the time.  (I believe that the medicine that she had been on played a role in her state of mind). Once she was taken off certain medicines (she was at that time on hospice) she began making an amazing turn for the better and the nursing home took her off of hospice and placed her on a physical therapy course.  Today, she is able to sit up in a wheel chair all day, spends most of her time reading and had regained a very positive attitude.

Just the fact that she is now able to train her thoughts and exercise her mind has given her a new lease on life and changed her overall condition!  She had to take the stand, make the effort, clear the mines and get her mind back under her subjection.  It takes a concerted effort,  just as it would have taken for me to get out of bed, write down my thoughts of inspiration the other night and not expect that my mind freeze and hold that thought!

Do you ever battle with your mind? What do you do to overcome?

We Are Masters Of Our Own Fate

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.–Franklin D. Roosevelt

So many people leave things up to “fate”, in other words they let things happen without coming to the realization that  they are the masters or designers of their own fate!  It bothers me when I hear people blame their situation on others in their lives! “well, I am this way because of my parents”, “I wouldn’t be in this situation if it weren’t for my husband/wife” etc..

Of course “life happens”, things do come about in our lives that cause us to make decisions and sometimes they are not easy decisions at that.  But usually the things that do “happen to us” are in direct response to decisions that we have made in the past.  It is important to realize that to every action there is a reaction and we will attract to ourselves the results that we ourselves have put into motion (or may not have put into motion).

It is all too convenient to blame others for the situations that we find ourselves in when all along we have a great deal to do with the predicament that we find ourselves in. We all want to be “right” or at least “righer” than the next guy and it helps us to convince ourselves that we are just a tad bit better than anyone else and of course we don’t deserve what we have gotten ourselves into.  But really, if you want things to get better, then it would be best to grab a hold of the helm and steer the ship in a different direction, or at least away from the rocks!

If you sit around and cry in your soup about your lot in life, well think about this.  Imagine you were raised in an abusive home, you are a black American in Tennessee and a female at that!  You could deduct that you are so unfortunate and that there simply is no hope for you and your “fate” is surely sealed and decided at birth, you will have a terrible life ahead of you! Well, I just described to you Oprah Winfrey!  One of  the most, if not the most successful women in America! She didn’t just sit back and accept her “fate” to decide for her, she took ahold of the helm and steered her ship into the deep and exciting waters where there are no limits to what she can do!

So don’t allow your mind to talk you into defeat! You were born to succeed regardless of your circumstances! It is up to you to steer your ship in the right direction, so take a hold of the helm!

 

Social Media and Marketing Takes Commitment

I was talking with my sister the other day who is an MD and now specializes in diet, nutrition and helps people take care of themselves to avoid taking unnecessary medication.  She has so much to offer people and has a practice and clinic that is pretty successful, but I feel that she could do so much more and reach so many more people if she were to move towards an online business, blog and consultancy.  She is really not so into the Internet and is in fact a bit resistant when it comes to going online and “putting herself out there”, in her words.

Although I can understand her concern with the “dangers” of the internet and social media I have to say it is just as dangerous and perhaps even more so to drive to work and back!  She can’t see herself sitting at a desk in front of a computer hour after hour as she prefers the face to face approach.  I can see that, I too prefer the personal touch, however my view on this subject is that regardless of what you decide to do, whatever way you perform your work, your duties, it will take hours and a great amount of your time… it takes a commitment.

In order to become successful it takes a great deal of time, and the more people who you come in contact with, the higher the percentage of success there is! If you have something valuable to offer people, such as my sister has, I feel that you can’t afford to ignore social media, the Internet, and cyber marketing.  If you don’t jump in and commit your time and attention to this powerful tool that has been opened up literally to any and everybody then you are likely to be left behind. I agree that the personal touch is still very important and should not be ignored, however in order to set the height of potential for your influence all together, social media is very important.  I would say a good balance between the two is important, and neither should be neglected.

Many people are afraid of the “big brother” all-seeing eye that is obviously there with online work.  But believe me, big brother has been watching you anyway, even while not online!  Just having a cell phone, turned on or turned off, will transmit your presence at every minute every day! And if you have a credit card, for decades, you have been followed! The social media revolution is here to stay, so you might want to get on board before you get run over!

Tragedy Unites Foes

I just watched the resignation of Gabriella Giffords from the Senate this morning and the number of outpourings of support and love that were shared at the senate floor by both sides of the aisle.  I can’t express how nice it felt to see these politicians who are for the most part divided on issues, unite and show us their human side, albeit for a moment, to give Gabby the send off that she deserved.

I can remember as if it were yesterday the day that the shootings happened in Arizona and the heart-break that I felt for the families of those who had lost their lives that day.  It has amazed me throughout this year of how well Gabby has recovered from the potentially fatal shot to her head.  I can’t help but feel that Gabby must be a very special person and that she is still needed here on earth to fulfill a purpose.

Today, on the day of her resignation, she seems to have brought about a sense of camaraderie within the senate and the country in general.  It is election year, and things tend to get pretty nasty and just plain unpleasant.  I don’t enjoy this time when so many rhetoric is thrown around to place doubt on the other parties and candidates.  So many unfounded “facts” to mislead the country.  Gabby’s beautiful smile, so simple, so pure touched the hearts of everyone on each side of the political aisle and helped us see what we really want in our hearts.  We want, we need we desire peace, unity and recovery from many years of war and economical woes.  We can nay obtain this if we hold dear to this very spirit that we were given a glimpse of today through Gabby.

I don’t know about you, but I was touched today, and I pray that we can continue with this spirit of unity!

The Benefits of a Schedule

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.–Anne Dillard

Boy lately I have been seeing how beneficial it is to have schedule and in a sense for a routine!  I have been traveling lately and visiting relatives and it has been absolutely wonderful! However, as far as getting any work done it has proven to be problematic! Of course, I am on a vacation and that is what a vacation is all about, getting away from the normal grind and changing things up and God knows how important that this is.  It is important to get away from time to time so that once you do get back to work you are refreshed, renewed and ready to take on things better and more efficiently as you would, should you have never taken a break!

I was thinking about schedules and following routine and how it can seem to be a bit boring on one hand, but it can also be very beneficial in that by planning things out in a predictable way you are better able to manage your time in order to accomplish more.  You can get tired of following a certain pattern after a while, but it is really the only way to progress in your life.  Whilst in our youth, follow a routine is like death incarnate!  Young people like excitement and constant change otherwise they go crazy, but then you see that this i usually why they are unable to make substantial progress with investments and earning their way until they have grown out of the unsettling age.

It takes a bit of that boring, scheduled discipline in order to get things done!  A lot of patience goes into accomplishment, some real stick-to-itiveness to bring our work to being a real masterpiece.  As we grow older our priorities tend to change, we no longer feel that just “having fun” is as important as it was when we were young, footloose and fancy-free.  I have seen my nieces and nephews on this trip and they have made significant changes in their priorities as well as their progress towards reaching their goals.

But having a schedule can actually be real fun, especially when you have the satisfaction of getting things done! What are your thoughts?

 

Growing Old Is Only For The Brave

Old age is no place for sissies.– Bette Davis

My Dad taking a rest.

I am presently spending time with my dad who will be turning 91 this year! He lives in an assisted living home where they can maintain their independence yet be somewhere near others and any emergency help that they may need.  It is very convenient in that they have all of their meals prepared for them in the cafeteria with a friendly staff.  I have been staying here with my dad now and have done so on a couple of previous occasions and as I have shared before, I have gotten to know some of the residence who have been here for a while.

Last night my dad had a little fall as he was trying to put his dog on the bed for the night. Our balance is something that most of us take for granted, we bend down, we get back up, we push, pull turn and swivel with ease and take much of our movements for granted.  But as one is getting older, staying on your feet becomes every day more and more of a challenge.  Any physical difficulty that we face in life can become a struggle and frustration.  I know as I too have an ear that has lost a good part of its hearing!  It all happened in a day and I have since have had a problem hearing from that one side.  It has caused me no end of frustration to have experienced this lack.  Another common problem are your eyes when it becomes difficult to read up close, it can be troubling to say the least.

A sign in the room!

When you get to my dad’s age there is no end of difficulties that you face on a daily basis, such as the tumble he took which gave him a wound that is now needing attention.  I appreciate this time with my dad each year, as I know he needs this attention!  But along with this, it is also a help to me to see how important it is to be sensitive to the elderly and their needs.  It is so very frustrating for them to be faced with daily crisis that keeps them on edge.

We need to learn to appreciate each day for the blessing that it is and the fact that we can do so much!  The day will come that we will be in need of that extra consideration and a helping hand!

 

SOPA Causing No Small Stir!

Today we are waking up to a major protest to the SOPA and PIPA bill proposals that are being considered to become law.  While I can understand the reasoning behind these proposals to help protect copyrighted materials, I do believe that it is taking power a bit too far and could result and a huge backlash and repercussions that would cause more damage than good.

When I first heard of this I was reminded of when Google, for very similar reasons left the PRC due to over-censorship.  It got to be way out of hand and caused no end of a waste on time, personnel and became necessary to pull out all together.  I can see how this could happen within a country like China that has an all controlling one party government and has a zero tolerance level to anything that might suggest an opposing view.  In fact, it is the only country that I have ever been to that you can pick up a newspaper and only read good news, mostly news about how wonderful the government is.  I remember being in a hotel room and while watching BBC the station would often experience “down time” or be swiftly changed to a commercial to avoid broadcasting something critical of its government! Is this what you want?

Now, while I understand that the idea behind SOPA is not to avoid our talking negatively about our government, I still do not see how in the USA we would have agencies of any kind making sweeping Gestapo type controls over the INTERNET.  It is almost as silly as having the police show up at your door and take your car away because it had been reported that you had run a red light.  It is already actually easy enough to find anyone who is working illegally through the digital tracks that are left behind, it will eventually catch up with you, but to start censoring everything because there is illegal activity online.  It is almost as silly as closing down a discotheque  because there are some people who have sold drugs there.

I’m afraid that law enforcement needs to just realize that they will just have to work harder in order to stop the bad guys without punishing the rest of the world.  Let’s try to stay “the free world” and not succumb to a all controlling, manipulative nation! What do you think?

The Rebel With a Cause Now a Hero!

I was thinking about the Martin Luther King holiday and at what an amazing significant holiday that it is!  I have witnessed through the years the direct results of the great sacrifice that this one man-made through his fight for civil rights movement that means so very much to each one of us today!

Dr. King had a dream, he had what many at that time seemed to be an impossible dream  for it to become a reality.  He peacefully carried out his mission and was met with violence by those who were fighting against that very dream yet through his death he ended up being the victor!

How many times throughout history  a simple truth gets pushed down, persecuted, squelched only in the end to grow ever more in strength and those who previously were accused of being the betrayers end up living on to become great leaders of causes and heroes of humanity.

When I think about this man and the changes that he has helped to bring about in this country, it gives me hope once again that there will be a better day, we will prevail we will succeed in getting through these tough days, as long as we hold onto the dream, and we push forward in faith knowing that victory is assured! I have a dream!

Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover!

Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance. –Jean de La Fontaine

We all go through so much throughout our lives! Not only that, we all go through so much throughout even only one day!  If we go through moments in which we are not at our best, then you can pretty much bet that everyone is on that same boat!  If you have your bad moments then you are in good company, or as I had heard it expressed at one time about a fellowship, it is just a bunch of fellows on the same ship!  We are all in a sense of like passion, and at the same time we all have similar weaknesses, we all have our moments!

This thought came to mind today as I was observing a person that I have met a couple of years ago, saw again last year and during this time she was always a very cheerful person.  This time around, having seen her more recently it is apparent that she is going through a difficult time in her life as she simply is “not herself”.  How do I know that she is “not herself”, well it is because I have met her on different occasions.  She is a waitress at the assisted living facility where my dad is living.  It would be unfair, in my opinion, were I to form an opinion about her personality just by having met her at this time in her life.

Sad to say this is what we do over and over in our lifetime!  We meet someone and they may be going through a rough spot and are not the nicest people who have met and we will deduct that they are simply “grumpy people” when the fact of that matter is, they are only going through a temporary low.  You simply cannot judge people on a one time meeting and yet, we are being judged continually based on this one time encounter.  If only we could be more like God who judges outr hearts and not by our outward appearance.

Yes it is true, first impressions are the most lasting, be we need to be careful not to get stuck on that first time encounter and give people a break.  Perhaps they need you to give them a smile, an encouragement of some sort, or compliment that could “make their day” and perhaps restore their faith in humanity!

Don’t judge a book by its cover, try reading it through a few chapters and then you can have a better idea of what it is all about!