It is by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.
- Joseph Campbell
Struggle and Strength are often related. Stumbling is a part of life. Too
often we focus on the pain of falling and forget to learn the right lessons.
We become traumatized instead of gaining wisdom.
Pain is more bearable when you realize that others have endured even more
than you and come through better because of it. The Chrysalis seems
unbearable but it’s a crucial part to the future flight. Keep fighting, keep
kicking, a breakthrough is coming.
We’ve all seen movies like Limitless, Inception and Total Recall but what
if these weren’t just movies. What if it was really true? What if you could
actually reprogram your mind and change your reality? What if you could meet Morpheus in real life?
I did meet him and this is what happened to me when we spoke on the phone.
“Would your conscious mind be willing to learn from your unconscious mind
what the cause of the problem is ?” Dr. Wesley Morris asked.
“Yes.” I answered.
With that simple word I began a journey into my own mind.
I was guided on the journey by Dr. Wesley Morris and reached a moment in
the very distant past, felt like a previous lifetime, when I felt as though
I was being held down under water and drowning.
The strange thing is I was very calm even while drowning and did not feel
scared or fight back in any way. Another strange thing is that I could not
see anything. It was all an emotional feeling not a visual one. I think it
was the way my Subconscious mind saw the problem affecting me.
Lack of confidence was holding me down, I was drowning and not even
The process, which I later learned is called Timeline therapy,continued by
going even further back in time to a point before this traumatic experience.
It felt like it was way, way back ,in my case, maybe three lifetimes back.
We began to come back to the present but along the way I suddenly began to
get vivid images of an event that happened to me, in this lifetime. Some
years ago I was robbed while on a visit to Boston. I suddenly realized that
I could have fought back (I was doing Martial Arts at the time but I saw
myself not fighting but just shouting at my attacker while being willing to
fight and thereby dissuading him from attacking). My mind had reframed the
situation and was seeing new options.
Then we came back into the present. My subconscious and conscious mind both
agreed that I needed to be more assertive and fight back when necessary
rather than be passive. I then progressed on the Timeline in my mind to the
future and saw myself handling situations in a more assertive and confident
manner. Dr. Morris then brought me back into the present with a newfound
perspective on Life.
I felt great and we spoke for awhile. At one point Dr. Morris pointed out
to me that I was speaking more confidently already and I laughed. It was
true, I was already speaking clearly and fluently instead of my low-key tone
that had become customary. I told him some of the reasons why I’d always
been interested in psychology and NLP in particular. I discussed some of the
other challenges I was experiencing in my life.
Dr. Wesley Morris demonstrated the technique to me again.
This time he asked ” What problem are you facing in life now, you don’t
even have to tell me what it is write it on a paper near you. “
I scribbled “Money” on a paper, meaning that lack of money seemed to be a
recurring decimal that was holding me back.
He then asked “Would your conscious mind be willing to learn from your
unconscious mind what the cause for the problem is?”
Again he guided me back in time, in a journey in my mind to a traumatic
event related to my concern, my lack of money.
To my surprise, maybe because I was getting the hang of it, or maybe
because my feelings related to money had a more recent cause, the results
were even clearer and more immediate than before.
I remembered a time, years ago, when I had substantial savings in a bank
and unfortunately that bank collapsed and I now realised that in doing so it
has shaped my attitude towards accumulation of wealth. For the last several
years I had considered it futile to strive after material wealth and had
little interest in financial planning. It sounds simple but it was a major
insight for me I had not even thought of this event for years.
Again Dr. Morris guided me to a time before the event when I was untouched
by trauma and then we reframed what happened and learnt lessons that could
help me in the future. I saw myself losing all my money again in the future
but this time reacting differently. I’d be able to calmly build back my
financial holdings. He brought me back to the present with new insight into
my problem and more importantly how to solve it. I had replaced a sense of
Futility with one of Enterprise. I could now Think Positively and Grow Rich.
Money comes and money goes but we can always build and get it back.
Dr. Wesley Morris used NLP to reprogram my brain. He did this over the
phone. His office is in Kingston Jamaica. You can find more information
about him and the innovative techniques he uses at his website
Now I’m a magnet for the ladies, I attract Success, I’m more confident,
more energetic, happier, smarter and winning more at chess. I’ve replaced a
passive and pessimistic mindset, that’s been holding me back, drowning me,
one which felt the accumulation of Money was Futile, with a sense of
Enterprise. My fears still exist but they are now spurs to action and
improvement, motivators as I Build.
Dream my friends, Dream big for they do come true !
As the New Year begins at least some of your goals should be like the
Prehistoric Cave girls drawn by Robert Crumb…Big, Hairy and Audacious
Studies have found that those who have written goals are at least four
times more successful than those who just drift through life aimlessly.
Sadly I must admit that up till now I’ve been a drifter and I have all
the lack of results to prove it.
As we go into a new year it’s an appropriate time to pause and
reflect on the year that was and,more importantly, a time to envision
what we want to achieve in the future.
In making our resolutions or goals we should tap into our passions.
Find projects we will be motivated and happy to complete and stay
committed to the process of achieving them. It’s essential to write the
goals down. Also they should be very specific, not vague.The clearer the
goal is in your mind, and then on paper, the more likely that one day
it will be realized.
Those who understand themselves well can easily create a Life
Mission but for most it requires some serious soul searching and
imagination. Having a clear Mission makes it easier to see if a goal
really fits you or not.
Think of your own funeral or if that’s too morbid then imagine your
hundredth brthday party. Now that most of your life goals would
hopefully have been completed what would people say about you ? What
would you want people to say about you ? Are you working towards
achieving that ?
Another, somewhat morbid, exercise that can help clarify your purpose, and
thereby assist in setting good goals, is to imagine what you’d do if you
knew you only had a week or a month left to live. Clarifying your
deeper value systems, by doing exercises like this,will help you set
really meaningful goals.
Most people don’t set goals. They know it would help them be more
succesful but although it’s easy to do,it’s also very easy not to do,as Jim
Rohn said. You must fight procrastination, don’t put off setting your
goals, there is nothing more likely to aid your future success.
Another mistake people often make is to set really easy goals or goals
that don’t reach for much. They set safe targets that will not take
them out of their comfort zone. Although these goals are generally achieved they
don’t bring much happiness or change the world.
Some experts believe that the best goals are those that are so
outrageous your friends would laugh at you if you told them about it.
Other experts advise that you include friends and family in your most
meaningful goals. I think it depends on the goal and also on the type
of friends you have.
In general though it’s good if you have the support of Family and
Friends and a strong faith to help you make it through challenging
times. Whether this means you share the details of all your wildest
dreams with them is a matter of personal choice.
Remember to balance both professional and personal goals and have a
mixture of each type. Use methods effective in one arena in the other
as well. If you use elaborate spreadsheets to monitor your business
finances why not balance your personal credit card expenses that way
Many goals,especially the Big Hairy Audacious types,will be long
term. It’s not hard for the more meaningful ones to require over five
years to accomplish so the next step is critical.
Break down the Major goals into daily steps. Take your Big, Hairy
and Audacious Goal, Something crazy, something so ambitious that people
would laugh if they knew you wanted to achieve it. Then work backwards
and determine the timeline of likely steps to achieve it and when
they’d have to occur.
From this timeline you can create the 5 year goals, the one year
goals, the monthly goals and the weekly and finally daily goals.
Eat the Elephant one bite at a Time.
Many self made success stories have emphasized that it’s the
achievement of daily goals which are most meaningful as they forge the
habits you really need for lasting success.
Disciplined success habits must be honed each day until they become
Be undaunted in the pursuit of your Happiness. Follow your Bliss.
Keep evaluating your progress.With focus and determination and creative flexibility
your success is guaranteed.
One day, quite unexpectedly, an acquaintance of yours gives you a
You love Mango and as you bite into it you realize how sweet it is
and your hunger is satisfied. More fulfilling than the mango is the
fact that someone cared about you, cared enough to share. Friendship is
sweet and your hunger dies. The pain of loneliness becomes a distant
The friendship blossoms and you visit this kind friend’s house.
Surprisingly you discover they live in a house surrounded by huge Mango
trees. The mangoes are every where even more than you could ever eat.
You suddenly realize that what you thought was an act of extreme
kindness involved no sacrifice at all.
The sweetness becomes sour. You’ve eaten a worm. It gnaws at your
stomach, it sickens you. Not immediately, slowly. Slowly but surely,
the Worm of loneliness grows. It grows till it fills you up.
But as the worm grows the friendship dies and you realise there was
never any friend there was never any friendship. There was really never
any Mango and there was surely never any worm.
All there ever was, and all there is now,is you.
Generosity comes not from the Gift, nor from the Giver, but from the
attitude of those who receive.
Had a strange dream recently.
I was in some form of “Heaven” and it was occupied by “Athiests” when I asked “God” why ? He explained that the absent “Christians” were only doing good in hopes of a reward, so they were not really worthy of that reward, while these “Samaritans” had done kind deeds with no expectation of “Heaven” and therefore deserved a higher one.
Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself because no one seems to understand what I’m saying, but other times I feel like I’m talking to myself because people say exactly what I’ve thought before.
In the first case people are usually totally bored and think you’re stupid because they really can’t quite follow what you’re saying or it does not seem important or true to them.
It’s like you’re speaking an Alien language. When this happens to you a lot it can either mean you’re crazy or you’re a genius.This happened to me so much that I decided to just call my personal alien language “Voynich”.Of course I believe I’m a Genius. Some close friends say I’m just slightly “off my rocker”.
How many people do you think enjoyed chatting with Einstein about what it would be like to be “sitting on a lightbeam” ? How many sailors do you think were wondering what kind of brew Columbus was drinking when he first tried to convince them that the world was really round ?
The second type of ”talking to yourself ” is even more fascinating. In this scenario people are now quite excited to talk to you about some idea, they find amazing and novel, but while they are expressing it your eyes are the ones that might just glaze over because they are merely telling you something you already knew. They’re speaking to you with your own “voice”.
Years ago I said on a personal website that “Chess is the Martial Art of the Mind.” People in Jamaica were silent or a few just snickered. Chess has no similarity to Martial Arts, I’ve never heard that before, this guy is crazy, they all thought.
I was already being called the Chess Ninja by a few who knew my personal theories of the game, they thought it was an insult or a joke. I didn’t mind the name though and considered it a badge of honour because I understood that I was merely speaking Voynich to them. They could not understand. My site was called Chess Ninjas Dojo and I couldn’t even get the local chess federation to put a link to my site.
Someone who worked with Kasparov, the world’s best chess player at the time, came upon my website. He wrote me telling me he was very impressed by my site. He put a link for my site on Kasparov’s site. Kasparov’s site was the most popular chess site in the world at that time.
Strangely, it seemed that the World understood Voynich.
This man who worked for Kasparov later launched a website entitled http://www.chessninja.com . Chessninja.com became one of the world’s most popular chess sites. It is built on the concept of teaching chess like a martial art.
Now fast forward into 2010 and one of the most popular chess videos features Jamaican born grandmaster Maurice Ashley. In this video he promises to teach the secrets of chess.
Grandmaster Ashley makes a startling statement in the video “Chess is Intellectual Karate”. He is telling me my own idea. It’s like I am speaking to myself. My eyes glaze over. The world Applauds. It’s a standing ovation.
Remember this the next time someone says you’re crazy or they can’t understand. You’re possibly just speaking Voynich. One day the world will applaud and perhaps even beat a path to your door.
Indeed while it is true that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come, it is also very true that big ideas will most likely be questioned and rejected, then perhaps ridiculed and worst of all… be ignored… long before some latter-day champion , like Newton, “stands on the shoulders of Giants” and the ideas then become accepted as brilliant and then later on they’re considered obvious.
I’d like to encourage all my readers to become more aware of your strengths and focus on finding ways to make use of them. This is the theme of the book “Now, Discover your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham(http://twitter.com/mwbuckingham) and that book provides a good starting point.
After doing the tests provided along with that book my main strengths were identified as :
Strategic —I naturally create alternative plans and spot relevant patterns and issues.
Ideation —-I generate and express ideas easily. Also able to synthesize apparently disparate phenomena.
Individualization—–I quickly recognize the unique qualities in every individual.
Input——–I love to collect information and store it in my brain.
Intellection —— People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
As simple as this process is it can be very powerful.
Traditionally most of us have been focused through the educational system on our weaknesses and the correction of various flaws but the current trend in Human Resource management at progressive organizations is to harness your strengths and maximise those. The example given in the book is Warren Buffett. He was able to capitalize on his rather unique strengths and maximise them and the rest is as they say history.
It will soon be time for the Greatest Show on Earth to take centre stage once more.
The World Cup of Football. FIFA, the international fraternity of Soccer playing nations and the sporting federation with the most member countries will stage their spectacular event, held every four years, for the first time on the continent of Africa. South Africa plays host to the 32 countries vying to hoist the treasured cup.
I will now make a stab at predicting the results and giving some basic info on the teams in each group.
For the initial stage of the competition the teams will be divided into groups of four teams each. These four teams will play a round robin among themselves and two top teams in each group advance to the next stage. Various seeding and selection processes have been done to minimize the chances of groups from the same region meeting each other in the first round.
Group A comprises host nation South Africa, Mexico, France and Uruguay. I’m actually upset that only two of these teams can advance. Host South Africa might sadly become the first host nation in history not to advance to the next stage. Mexico is my pick to make it out of the group second.France will win the group I expect. Past Champions Uruguay are quite a talented team but they tend to get too emotional and play very rough. I just hope that they don’t damage the Mexicans and the French too much with their ugly tackles.
Group B features South Korea, Greece, Nigeria and Argentina. I anticipate some incredible matches from this group but eventually when the dust settles I expect Argentina to win the group followed closely by Nigeria. The well coached Greeks and the hard running Koreans are going to have a rough and short tournament this time around.
Group C will be easily won by England over the USA with Algeria and Slovenia boarding the planes to watch the rest of the tourney at home.
Germany and Ghana are my choices to top Group D. This group also features a tricky Serbian team and the hard working Veteran Aussie Socceroos who could hopefully pull a surprise or two.
Netherlands should easily win Group E and I expect Cameroon to benefit tremendously from the South African home crowd support and also make it out of the Group. Japan and Denmark will display their respective styles of play but the lack of star quality and inability to surprise will tell in the end.
Defending champions Italy are expected to find a way to win the Group F ahead of strong defensive unit Paraguay. New Zealand and Slovakia will be leaving shell shocked but wiser.
In Group G North Korea is likely to get hammered by three of the best attacking units in the World. I expect Brazil to top the group ahead of Ivory Coast and sadly Portugal featuring the highly paid Ronaldo are likely to come up short due to defensive gaps that Drogba and the Brazilians will surely exploit.
For the final group,Group H, I am hoping that Spain and Honduras overcome Chile and Switzerland.
Moving into the Second Round all the games are now very exciting. If my predictions for the Group stage pan out then we’ll see a matchup between France and Nigeria. I expect the French to win out here by at some stage putting Cisse on the field instead of Henry. Henry has lost a step or two and lacks the confidence and killer instinct that made him so formidable in the past. Nigeria’s team is not quite as deep as the French and by this stage of competition they would have some injuries or sending offs that will prove fatal against the Fighting Cocks (as the french team is known).
Game 2 will be Argentina versus Mexico. I think Messi will be forced to show why his entire nation is counting on him because the Mexicans will prove a difficult opponent to finish off. It will require incredible dribbling skills to create the key opening. Argentina will find a way through.
Game 3 England versus Ghana I expect the English to prevail. Ghana’s team is powerful but I think England is ready to go all they way this time round.
Germany versus the USA my crystal ball says the USA will actually win this one surprising most. Landon Donovan becomes a World wide hero after this.
Netherlands will easily dismantle Paraguay in Game 5 but they will suffer from some serious injuries and a few cards by the time it’s over.
Cameroon become the African Heroes when they snuff out the Italians in Game 6.
Brazil barely squeezes past Honduras in Game 7 making some wonder if they are really watching Brazil or did the Hondurans swap jerseys before the match.
Spain versus Ivory Coast presents another upset to the World Order when Ivory Coast smashes Spain in Game 8.
The Quarter finals, Netherlands versus Brazil and after throwing everything at the Brazilian defence the Netherlands finally win due to a goalkeeper lapse by Brazil. Brazil is red carded in the second half and a key Dutch player seriously injured.
France versus England and the French team which looked ominous so far gets a severe test from the English. Cisse scores early for the French but Lampard fires from outside the 18 to equalize at the edge of halftime. A cagey defensive second half results in many fouls and yellow cards.Rooney makes the difference with one moment of brilliance in overtime after an otherwise lack lustre game. England wins.
Argentina loses to USA. Messi is marked out of the game and the rest of the team fails to sparkle. Donovan is brutally fouled after finally unlocking the Argentine defence. His replacement scores the winning penalty kick.
Cameroon versus Ivory Coast, the first All African clash, sparks a great degree of interest, but neither team has their full compliment of players due to cards recieved in earlier rounds and they seem nervous. After a fairly boring game Cameroon scores one more goal totally against the tide of play. Drogba and Eto’o exchange shirts and smiles in a photo sent around the world.
Semi finals :
Netherlands lose 4-1 to England a dazzling display of attacking artistry Rooney doing what Gasgoigne did at Euro 96.
Cameroon beat the USA on penalties after Donovan skies one and a Damarcus Beasley sidefoot shot is easily stopped by the Cameroon keeper.
Finals — Cameroon versus England and after an early goal by Eto’o it’s England all the way. England wins 3-1 in normal time.
Recently I was forced to face one of my greatest fears.
I drove home and my little daughter was sitting in the back seat. I was about to turn into my gate which was closed when I noticed two well dressed young men walking up the road.
Suddenly I felt fearful. Although I really had no rational reason to feel scared I suddenly realized that if these two men were up to no good and if I turned in to open my gate then as I opened the gate the two men would have the perfect opportunity to ambush me.
Always being one to trust my intuition, I drove past my house, and past the two men, and turned my car around at the top of the road. By the time I turned the car around the men had continued walking straight past past my house and were now around the corner and out of sight. I figured I must be just getting old,paranoid and crazy, or something, but hey, better safe than sorry, right ?
I drove quickly to my gate… got out the car and opened it and then drove in fast. As I got out the car I could hear the sounds of a tv inside and remembered that my wife had a day off today and was inside already.
My daughter, who normally goes with me to close back the gate, was actually sleeping, in her car seat, so I closed the gate by myself and I was busy taking her out of the car when I sensed a presence.
I looked up and sure enough at the gate peering over at me were the two men. They had doubled back and looked menacing.
I was now facing one of my worst nightmares. My life and that of my wife and daughter were in danger if these men chose to attack us. I called out my wife’s name and heard a click as she opened the latch on the front door.
The men realized I was suspicious of them and they hesitated a bit. I suddenly heard my fear talking to me. “They aren’t sure if you have a gun or not”. It was my only chance I had to appear fearless and confident. I stretched to my full height as I took my daughter, still sleeping out of the car only using my left hand and kept my right hand at akimbo, like a gunslinger, ready to draw.
I turned and looked straight at the men and in my mind,silently, I shouted,
“Step across that gate and you’ll both die !”.
My silent telepathic shout seemed to make the men jumpy, amazingly they actually started to step back and they actually ended up on the far side of the road, still watching me like scavengers on the hunt.
I went inside quickly with my daughter lying on my left shoulder. I then put my daughter in a bed, she was still sleeping, as I frantically tried to explain to my wife what was happening. I looked out the window with sweat washing the side of my face.
I could not tell if they went up the road or down. No sign of the men they had disappeared quickly.
Fears usually do when you stand up to them.
There was a man similar to Usain Bolt, Bill Gates, Brad Pitt, Vybz Kartel and even Michael Jackson.
This man was once a speed record holder, he was one of the richest men in the World and he had famous love affairs with several Hollywood starlets. He had a slew of critics too, they said the art he created was too Sexy and too Violent and he later became a crazy recluse.
He was Howard Hughes.
Ok, so it’s true that Hughes didn’t run on a track, like Bolt does and Howard Hughes used airplanes to set all his speed records and yes it’s true that Hughes didn’t sing Dancehall songs, like Vybz Kartel, instead his art form was Big Budget Movies, but I think it’s still clear that Howard Hughes lived a legendary life.
Bolt often says in interviews that he wants to become a Legend, I hope he will avoid all the pitfalls that Hughes fell into. In fact I think we could all learn a lot from the Howard Hughes life story.
Nowadays though few people want to read long books so perhaps you can just watch some movies inspired by Howard Hughes instead.
It is, understandably, nearly impossible to capture such a multi-dimensional character fully in one film but the Martin Scorcese film, “The Aviator”, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, was quite excellent. Every detail was just perfect from the Acting straight down to the musical score and costuming.
I also recently discovered that Howard Hughes is one of the inspirations behind the famous Marvel comic character “Iron Man”, (or more precisely his alter ego Tony Starks) who, despite being brilliant, has severe personal flaws. The comic-based movie “Rocketeer” also has a Hughes-inspired character.
Two other movies “Melvin and Howard” and “The Hoax” also detail aspects of the bizarre incidents that often surrounded Hughes.
The first is about the so-called “Mormon Will”, that surfaced after Hughes death, and the second is about a false biography, that someone wrote about Howard Hughes while he was alive, that forced the hermit magnate to defend himself with legal action.
As good as all those movies were though I enjoyed most of all the documentary about Hughes in the Modern Marvels series shown on History Channel. It showed the brilliant side of this incredible man. His company is still at the forefront of aviation technology and also critical in the development of the satellite television broadcasting that has made our world smaller. It showed how even when Hughes was in hospital for severe burns from a plane crash he designed a better hospital bed that is still in use today.
Howard Hughes, the inventor, the legend, we Salute you.
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