Thursday, December 26, 2013

I was Walter Mitty until I was 12. And then Life happened.

I'd like to think I had an extraordinary childhood.
Perhaps I did in some ways, perhaps to other people I was just another boy growing up in a small town.
A movie is coming up called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, starring Ben Stiller.
It's about a man who has "zoning-out" episodes, in which he imagines himself as a hero in a scenario, but is actually quite different from his real life.

I don't know why, but I used to zone out as a kid. People would look at me and think what on earth is happening with that kid.
Others just laughed and said there he goes.
I even wrote some of them down in my compositions and essays for school.
The ones I remember most were my "episodes" about playing tennis in Wimbledon. I was such a tennis freak then, and I could imagine the feel and the smell of Wimbledon grass. I even had imaginary games against Stefan Edberg and Ivan Lendl.

My tennis coach got a full dose of my zoning once when I imagined myself at sea, and frantically calling out to my swimming coach,"Mr. Chan, Mr. Chan" in the middle of my tennis lesson.
My tennis coach's name was Uncle Robert.
I'm sure my childhood friends would remember.

I even swung my arms as I walked sometimes. Imagining that I was playing tennis against a great, but without a racquet!
People would just give my brother a queer look to say,"that's your brother?" as he walked alongside a boy swinging his arms.

All of this ended when I reached 12. My mother was critically ill, and I think reality hit me.
I think it's a shame, because kids are born with an open mind, and their imagination grows as much as you allow them to.
Nowadays, they're being constricted by social media, mass media and in-game media. So that kind of manouevering will restrict their way of thinking and not allow them to grow.
I hope that we will have Walter Mitty's around us, and it's not too late to cultivate imagination and innovation.
Our kids deserve their space to imagine and think differently.
Let them be.

To see the world, 
things dangerous to come to, 
to see behind walls, 
to draw closer, 
to find each other and to feel. 

That is the purpose of Life

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Time waits for no one

It's now coming to the end of the year. Time for reflection, and time for forward planning.
I hope you can realise the value of time.

To realize the value of one year:
ask a student who has failed a final exam

To realize the value of one month:
ask a mother who has given a birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week:
ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour:
ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute:
ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one second:
ask a person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Time waits for no one . 
Treasure every moment you have.

Monday, December 16, 2013

What do you want?

Everything you want should be yours.  

The type of work you want; 
the relationships you need; 
the social, mental, and aesthetic stimulation that will make you happy and fulfilled; 
the money you required for the lifestyle that is appropriate to you; 
and any requirement that you may (or may no) have for achievement or service to others.  

If you don’t aim for it all, you’ll never get it all.  

To aim for it requires that you know what you want

Bob Perks to his sons

Great message from a father.

 "I was wrong!" A father's confession.
by Bob Perks

Keith, Evan...
I'm on a different journey in my life. I'm getting old and I'm on my
own for the first time.  I always thought things would be different.
I may not have a chance to say these things to you.  So, permit me to
say them now.
Wait, don't say a word, sigh, moan or tune out as though you already
know what I'm going to say. You think perhaps I've said it all before
like some broken record and you don't want to hear it again.
What could I possibly say that I haven't said before?
"I was wrong."
I knew that would get your attention.
When I told you how much I loved you, I was wrong. It turns out I
loved you even more.
When I said, "You can become anything you want." I was wrong. You're
becoming even more than you thought you could.
When I said, "You didn't hear a word I said!" I was wrong. I've heard
you say "I love you!" a million times.
When I told you "Hold my hand when we cross the street. You'll be
I was wrong. I really wanted to hold onto you while I could. I knew
one day you'd let go of me.
When I said I'm very proud of both my sons, I was wrong. I never
imagined how incredibly proud I could be.
I've heard you say that you want things to be different when you
have children and you don't want an ordinary life.
I said the same thing. I was wrong.
I did indeed do things differently than my dad, you will, too. But
in the end I wanted the same results. I wanted the very best for my
children.  So did he.
In spite of all his imperfections, inability to communicate his
love properly, stubborn, sometimes arrogant ways, my father did okay.
My brother is an incredibly successful man and I'm still working on it.
So, as I venture into this new life let me leave you with one final thought.
Don't take anything for granted.  Work hard to make love the focus
of your life.  Don't assume that everything is okay with your
marriage. Ask, listen and change where you need to make changes.
You can say the words, "I love you!" but you must also show it.
You can show her that you love her, but she must also know you mean it.
You can sing to her, cling to her and think you are everything to her,
but don't assume you are, just because she's still there.
You may turn around one day and find yourself alone.
Oh, yes.  One really big thing...
Don't ever be too proud to say, "I was wrong."

I love you,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Human nature

Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within

Thursday, December 05, 2013

How do you want to live?

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the day ends. 

I have responsibilities to fulfill today. 

I am important.  

My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have. 

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or ...

I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can grumble about my health or...

I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or...

I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or...

I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or...

I can feel honored because Life has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. 

And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have! 

Why not make it a GREAT day???

Monday, December 02, 2013

Life is a miracle

Life is a miracle
Don't let it slip away,
Open your heart to others
Give of yourself each day.

See the beauty in everyone
Regardless of where they've been,
Some have a difficult journey
And really need a friend.

Share your gifts and talents
Listen with your heart.
Do the things you dream about
But don't have time to start.

Pick a bouquet of flowers
Show someone that you care,
Be gracious and forgiving
Life is never fair.

Hold on to your courage
You may need it down the road,
We all have a cross to bear
It could be a heavy load.

If you practice all these things
No matter where you roam,
You may find both sun and rain
But you'll never feel alone!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Be willing to go there

By Bob Perks

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're
on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the
one who'll decide where to go..."

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

"Off in the distance is the place you want to be, whether it's just for today, tomorrow or three.
The challenge, my friend is not in the dream, scheme or care.
but having the strength, the plan and the will to go there.

- Bob Perks, Setting Goals

There is so much we want to happen in life.  There are big plans and little hopes and dreams that keep us alive.
The problem I am suggesting is all about the will.
If you ask someone what they would like to do, or where they would like to be, most people would smile and share their inner most desires with you.
But then ask them the question that often stops them in their tracks.
"Are you willing to go there?"
We often see the dream but the road leading to it is rough, hard to maneuver and filled with pot holes.
The dream falls short because the will to make it happen is weak.
If you were told that in order to make your dreams come true you would have to go to the edge of a cliff and stand there,
would you be willing to go there?
If you knew you had to fall a few times before you could stand tall, would you be willing to go there.
Would you be willing to walk away, change, face the monster,
fight, love again, stand down or stop dreaming the dream?
I discovered a long time ago that in most cases, there is a simple answer to why people have not reached their goals in life.
They share with me all the things that they've done, all the plans that they made.  They speak of trying over and over again.
Then I tell them to answer this simple question.
"In pursuit of your dreams, what is it that you are not willing to do?"
Often there is a pause in the conversation.  Then they begin to list certain things that they took out of the dream equation.
"That may be the reason you have not arrived, not fulfilled your dreams."
One shared her dream of starting a business.
"I want to start a business but the local economy is bad."
"Then move to where it is better."
"Oh, I don't want to move."
Another talked about how his job was affecting his health.
"I hate my job.  I am so stressed out that I am physically ill.
My doctor says my blood pressure is up and I've lost too much weight."
"Then leave your job for a less stressful one so you can regain your health."
"Oh, I can't.  I'll never find another job that will pay me this much."
"So, the alternative is you could die making a good salary."
It's what they are NOT willing to do that is stopping them.
Career changes may call for more education but some are not willing to go back to school.
It's what they are not willing to do that prevents them from advancing their careers.
I recently posted another message about forgiveness.  Many shared their doubts and inabilities to do such a thing.  It is a proven fact that the benefits of forgiveness for the one doing the forgiving far outweighs the destruction it causes to carry the pain for the rest of their life.
It's what they are not willing to do.
I suggest that any dream can manifest in your life if you are willing to do what it takes to get there.
But don't feel defeated by impossible dreams.  There is an answer for that.

"Not Willing to do"
By Bob Perks

If you can't have the dream that you think that you want.
If you've tried and you've gotten nowhere.
Then change your dream to a new dream or two
and always be willing to go there.
For it's not what you've won
Or where you live in the end
It's not the size or the tries, nor you.
It's simply not what you've done so far, my friend
It's what you aren't willing to do.

"I believe in you!"
Bob Perks

Good Monday to you

Learn to appreciate what you have before
time makes you appreciate what you had. 

Be patient. Things will change for the better. 

Standing alone doesn't mean I'm alone, it means
I'm strong enough to handle things all by myself. 

Follow your dreams, they know the way. 

Once you replace negative thoughts
with positive ones, you'll start
having positive results. 

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Butterflies don't know the colour of their wings
but human eyes know how beautiful it is. Likewise,
you don't know how good you are but others can
see that you are special. 

When someone is going through a storm,
your silent presence is more powerful
than a million, empty words. 

Three things you cannot recover in life:
the WORD after it’s said, the MOMENT
after it’s missed and the TIME after it’s
gone. Be Careful! 

Open your heart to the beauty in Life,
and your Life will reflect the beauty in
your heart.

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch
breaking because her trust is not on the branch
but on its own wings. 

Every morning you have two choices,
continue your sleep with dreams or
WAKE UP and chase your dreams.

I can’t change the direction of the wind
but I can adjust my sails to always reach
my destination. 

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did but people will never
forget how you made them feel.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning
but anyone can start today and make a new ending.