What I'm pondering or thinking about at this time....

Saturday Musings - America IS Great

We the people...

When President Trump unveiled his presidential campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” I was a little confused. Being from Australia and a frequent traveller to the USA I can unequivocally say that America has always been great and is still great.

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After flying for fourteen hours from Melbourne in an A380 it’s a welcome relief to step off the plane in Los Angeles. You know what the first thing I notice is? No, it’s not the security guards, the chaos of immigration or the queue for the taxis. It’s opportunity.

Sadly, some Americans have become so used to the opportunities around them that they can’t see them anymore. As a foreigner let me tell you right now that America was not just a land of opportunity for the early settlers, but it is very much still a land of opportunity right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia but in terms of opportunities when I’m at a conference in the USA I feel like I’ve come from the desert and entered a tropical paradise. Every conversation has bigger numbers in it, people are willing to give something a go and even failure is seen as just one of life’s many lessons.

Just over ten years ago I took my family to the USA for a six-month road trip. It was an amazing experience where we travelled the length and breadth of the nation in a Dodge Grand Caravan. During our trip the thing that impacted us the most was the openness and hospitality of the American people.

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vanclute
The funny thing is that's not even an original slogan. Trump appropriated it from Reagan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_Amer... Read More
27 October 2019
Rawgi
I won't even go into what I think of Trump. Thanks for thinking America is a great place, its nice to know someone does. There ... Read More
29 October 2019
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Saturday Musings - Reflecting

Spend some time in reflection

I’ve really been wrestling with what to write about today for Saturday Musings. I love writing and normally I find that it just flows onto the page but today is different. I thought that I would take you on my journey for the past week and invite you to share about how you have tackled challenges in your life.

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After returning from vacation I was immediately faced with a major personal issue to contend with in my extended family and this culminated in a family meeting. Typically, these issues would really drain me, and I would be struggling for several weeks while I emotionally and mentally came to grips with what was going on. This time was different.

As many readers know, for many years I’ve been sharing openly about my own personal life journey. In many respects, Saturday Musings has become a form of therapy as I write down my thoughts in at least a semi-coherent manner.

I’ve tried to share openly so that you can learn from my quest to becoming a better, more well-rounded individual; physically, mentally and spiritually. To me, life isn’t being the one to finish with the most money or toys.

Life is a journey of self-discovery about who you are and how you can constantly improve. Afterall, the most difficult thing you can do in the world is change yourself…..as you have absolutely no power whatsoever to change anyone else.

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Saturday Musings - Part 2 - Dealing With Stress

Being deliberate to overcome stress.

This is the second part of the series on "Dealing With Stress". The first can be view by clicking here.

I woke up on day two feeling much better and like a load was off my shoulders. My mind was in a position where I could begin thinking about how to better manage circumstances moving forward.
In all my pondering I had two words resonating in my head, “Be Deliberate.”

What do I mean by this? Be deliberate where I put my time, be deliberate which relationships to invest in, be deliberate about what opportunities to pursue, be deliberate about what tasks I pick up, be deliberate about everything in life.

It was like a lightbulb going off inside my head. If I could just be deliberate, then many of the issues that I was wrestling with would come into line.

Upon reflection, the vast majority of my stress was because I let other people push me into the passenger seat of my life’s car. I was jumping from one issue to another because someone demanded that I respond immediately…..in computer terminology this is called thrashing. Nothing is finished and everything half completed.

By being deliberate I had settled once again into the driver’s seat and it felt good. After another day’s contemplation I put some things into place that have transformed who I am and made my life so much better.

What I’m going to suggest may be obvious for some readers but for me it was revolutionary. The first thing I did when I returned home was apologise to the family for my “silent treatment”. Nothing like a good serving of humble pie to start you off in the right direction.

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Saturday Musings - Part 1 - Dealing With Stress

Dealing with stress....

People often describe their hectic lives of racing around for other people, having too much to do in too short a time or dealing with difficult relationships as stressful. They would be exactly right. Earlier this year I found myself maxed out by stress and it wasn’t a good place to be.

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I’ve experienced quite a number of stressful times in my life with varying levels of intensity. For example, many years ago, when I was told that a $1.5 million payment was not coming, I found myself under a lot of stress. What was really strange was the stress I recently experienced far exceeded that event and yet, it didn’t involve any money at all.

The crazy thing is that when you’re going through a lot of stress, you’ll convince yourself that your decision making is spot on and your behaviour towards others is perfect. Nothings changed right? Wrong!

What was I doing? I hadn’t been walking around the house in a rage, or yelling at the kids….I’d done something almost worse than that, I’d retreated into silence. I may as well not have been at the meal table each night as I silently ate dinner while my mind raced through all the myriad of things I was juggling. What I realise now is that it was terrible for the rest of the family to watch me as I closed off towards them.

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The Health Gamble

The amazing impact of a little bit of exercise.

What’s your health worth? This is an interesting question that typically gets the response, “everything!” It’s when you begin to drill down on it that you soon discover that “everything” is actually a negotiable concept for most people.

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I was speaking to a person recently that was on a fast train to some major health issues due to their lifestyle choices. I suggested that they may consider making some changes to what they were doing so they don't run into the brick wall of a medical crisis that many people experience.

I asked them the question, “What’s your health worth to you?” They replied, “everything” and then proceeded to negotiate what they should and should not eat to help them get healthier. I then asked them why they felt that their health was a negotiation, and this pulled them up short.

Too many people view their health as a negotiation. For many years I did exactly that. I justified how much exercise I didn’t do and shoved food into my mouth no matter what the nutritional value. It was a crazy way to live and was damaging my body as it tried to cope with the abuse.

I’ve never believed in diets as I always had the view that as soon as you go off them you put the weight back on again. This meant that I had to make the difficult decision to make a lifestyle change. It was gradual at first but slowly but surely, I did more exercise, ate better and got into balance the different aspects of my life.

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joezeppy
Hey Mike, All with you on this but I have decided it's worth it to trade one year's worth of life expectancy for a measure of ice... Read More
04 September 2019
mgilmour
I think for me the rule is everything in moderation, including moderation. Which means there are NO taboo foods for me but I know ... Read More
09 September 2019
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