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 !
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.
Someone recently asked me how I got my amazing sense of humor. I’d actually been asked the question several times before, because my sense of humor is legendary, matched only by my extreme humility. I thought about it carefully, for a whole second, and then told them that it’s really just a self-defense mechanism.
My sense of humor has saved my Life.
It’s just a way of looking at things. I developed it over time from a variety of experiences, most of them quite bitter. Instead of being angry and sad, I choose to Be Happy and laugh. This laughter is usually internal though, I try to keep a deadpan, clown-like, look on my face. It’s useful when playing Poker too. I see the absurd in situations even when it’s happening to me. The issues underlying my best jokes are usually very serious.
Shakespeare himself realized how closely tragedy and comedy were related that’s why he was able to master both forms. His play Comedy of Errors, for example, tells of a man’s tragic life experiences.
The most serious or tragic experiences can be uplifting if we choose to remain positive. If we continue to search for the Silver Lining in every Dark Cloud. Even heavy topics like Racism and World Wars have been made into the backdrops for comedy. The Jerk, starring Steve Martin, was about a white man who thought he was black and “Allo, Allo” remains a cult favorite worldwide.
I was watching the Jeffersons one night and suddenly realized that maybe 98% of the comedy on TV is just about insulting someone. Seeing someone in a terrible situation or being insulted (and realizing that it’s not us) automatically makes us laugh or feel better.
Even religious leaders and Spiritual Gurus have noticed this aspect of the human condition. In the Book “The Art of Happiness”, the Dalai Lama suggests that comparing yourself to others, worse off than you, will make you feel better. My mom would always notice when I was having a rough time and say “It could be Worse”.
You just fell off your bicycle and broke your arm ? Well smile because it could have been worse.
Some of the greatest comedians in the world are really just magnets for the worst that can happen in any given situation. Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Allen, Chevy Chase …they all live by Murphy’s Law.
Rowan Atkinson, best known in Jamaica as Mr. Bean, is that rare type of comedic genius who doesn’t even need words to elicit a laugh. Like Charlie Chaplin he gets into ridiculous situations and then his physical exploits and his facial expressions while he tries to get out of the sticky jam invariably leaves us crying with laughter or rolling on the ground.
Peter Sellers, in shows like The Party, adds the aspect of imitation to his Mr. Bean type roles. After Sellers played the role of an Indian man accidentally invited to the Party, his Indian friend Satyajit Ray took offence and never spoke to him again.
That’s the danger of this type of comedy, those who feel the joke is “on them” won’t find it funny at all. They may even plot some form of revenge, remembering the adage, “he who laughs last laughs best”.
A higher form of comedy is that of Larry David. His show “Curb your Enthusiasm” and his work with the Seinfeld series is classic. It is a brand of humour not based solely on insults or feelings of superiority over others. He uses a shrewd insight into human nature and the absurdity of common place experiences that we can all relate to.
In an episode of “Curb your Enthusiasm” Larry David dealt with the most serious eternal problem all couples face. No, not problems in communication, finances or sex, he dealt with the real tough one. Men leave the toilet seat up and Women want it down. David’s character actually is a man so lazy that he sits even when he pees and his wife is a drunkard who lifts the seat up because she throws up in the toilet after over drinking. This type of reversal of roles is a key to most great comedy. Of course, the couple now argue because the wife left the seat up.
Jamaica is blessed with great comedians too. Ity and Fancy Cat, Glen Campbell, Oliver Samuels and Simon Crosskill, to name a few.
Simon Crosskill how did he get on that list ? Yes, he may not be slapstick or crude, but he has the insight of a Larry David, the genius of a Dr. Bill Cosby. I think he should do his own Late Night show like David Letterman or Jay Leno. Although Simon’s uncanny chemistry with Neville Bell makes them a great team to watch sadly I usually miss the morning show because of work. He’d do well in his own show. He’s versatile enough to intelligently argue with political guests and sports heroes too.
Simon Crosskill can be very serious at times, during the celebrations of our athletic victories he said;
” As we celebrate the performances of our athletes it would serve us well to remember from whence they came. Remember that next time you are tempted to think you are better than someone, because of how they look, or speak, or which ghetto they come from. Remember that every Jamaican, no matter rich or poor, black brown or white, has the ability to be a world beater, if given a chance to develop his or her talent. Why do so many Jamaicans exist without social and economic benefits ? Some would say most of our people are lazy. It’s a lie perpetuated by those who are unwilling to create policies that would help spread the enormous wealth of this country. Who would dare label Shelly from Waterhouse and Melanie from Maxfield, lazy.But how many of us who have the wherewithal to make a difference even know where Waterhouse is ?”
Serious if and when required, but usually though, Simon Crosskill delivers his insights in a humorous way, sometimes even just as a question. Like on his Facebook page he once asked, (not in these exact words), “Why is it that you can get everything and anything at a gas station convenience store yet you cannot get air for your tires there ?”. He was highlighting a strange paradox that occurs frequently in Jamaica because our crime rate is so high that people even steal the air hoses from the gas stations.
In Jamaica we realize sense of humor is a means of self preservation that’s why we “tek serious ting mek joke “. Seeing the problems and still being able to laugh while solving them is a very serious business. The Court Jester must force the King to realize his nakedness. The Motley Fool, comedian, political satirist or clown has the serious task of making us ask why things are the way they are and urge us to seek better. They carry truth into closed minds and enter freely into power circles others would fear to tread.
Without these brave geniuses around we’d probably all just curl up and die after freezing with fear.
Instead, with a sense of humor, we can see the tragic and the painful, perhaps even more acutely than others. We are sensitive to the problems but we are also aware of the power of “reversal”. We know things can change completely and in a flash, one banana peel, one misstep and Goliath will fall. One pie, thrown in the face, of a haughty business man or politician, will show them who is really the don, and even as we seem to lose, or when we’re even forced to cry, we know that we will get the last laugh.
We live by a simple credo, a simple code, one that is difficult to explain, or even understand, at times, given the enormous challenges of life.
Be Happy !!
Recently I saw that Michael Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Basketball. Unfortunately I read Yahoo Sports Writer Adrian Wojnarowski
and he said Jordan had turned the momentous and historic occasion into a vicious and vapid attack, like a bully tripping the nerds of his past.
Fortunately I saw the video of Michael Jordan’s Induction speech for myself on Youtube and while it’s true that he recounted many bad experiences of his past, I think that the speech overall was great and hugely inspiring.
In my opinion Michael Wilbon wrote a more accurate view than that of Adrian Wojnarowski, but opinions will differ.
For me it was an incredibly frank speech and definitely straight from the heart. The tears were flowing copiously before he even began.
Michael Jordan has been criticized in the past for having an image that was too commercial and over managed. “Not politically savvy” and “not real enough” said some critics formerly. Now when they get Michael talking straight from the heart he’s again criticized for not being graceful or not sanitized enough.
I like the “Unplugged” Jordan a lot, the passion and the intensity and the competitive spirit are what made him a great player, possibly the greatest ever. That’s what Michael Jordan demonstrated in his speech.
He recounted a whole slew of obstacles but the purpose was to show that he used these things as motivation to get better. He said the competitive Fire forged in him by his family was the key to his success and then he described each of these obstacles he overcame as more wood to the fire. Without this wood he would not have become great.
Seeing the speech for myself I didn’t get a sense of bitterness or arrogance at all, he was actually just explaining the key to his success and for that this fan is very grateful.
His closing line “Limits, like fears are often an Illusion” was very powerful.
As for his critics, well folks they’re just going to be more wood for the Fire. MJ , “his Airness” will probably be playing somewhere at age 50 and I wouldn’t bet against him.
This symbol is commonly called the Yin Yang symbol. It’s also known as the Taichi or the Ultimate. It shows black and white combining and interacting to create a single whole, a circle. Within the black there is white and within the white there is black.
This symbol is used to represent anything in which forces apparently oppose each other and then merge to become one. Anything and everything from Business Strategy, Poker, Warfare or even Sex has been explained using it.
There are actually at least Four important Laws of the Universe explained by this symbol.
Law of Balance : For good to exist there must be bad. High exists because there is low. All things that exist have an equal and opposite counter balancing force in reality.
Law of Extremes : When a force is carried to its extreme it becomes it’s opposite. Bright Light can blind you and likewise Complete Darkness can blind you.
Law of Karma : All things are affected by all other things. What goes around comes around.
Law of Change : Things are dynamic, the only constant is change.
Although various schools of Martial Arts tend to emphasize one or two of these Laws all are actually worth understanding deeply.
Law of Balance for example is clearly shown in Aikido wherein we often see the Hard attacker neutralized effectively by Softness and purely defensive moves. In fact the attacker’s own energy is used against himself.
Many black belts possibly fear fighting a white belt more than one of the intermediate ranks. The white belt is completely unpredictable whereas the intermediate level fighter makes attacks that are easily foreseen and thus thwarted. Also, at the highest level, the highly knowledgeable realize just how much they don’t know and are therefore open-minded, like babies. This illustrates the Law of Extremes. In some styles there is even a belt above black belt which is a black belt with a white edge symbolizing this cycle.
The Law of Karma is the reason most styles emphasize that they are to be used only in Self Defence. To do otherwise will only attract doom.
The Law of Change is also clearly understood in many martial arts schools.Perhaps this Bruce Lee style JKD logo is worth looking at here.
The arrows try to show that it’s not a static or stagnant reality but a constantly changing and dynamic situation, fluid and ever moving.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” said Lao Tzu.
Understanding the Ultimate Symbol is a good place to start but remember to keep moving. Never stop.
The awesome performance of Usain Bolt in the 100m finals recently requires a new word to be coined.
His display was simply “Soboltious”. The new word means Sublime, perfection, it contains elements of what the Japanese call Shibumi or what the Italians call Sprezzatura. It’s poetry in Motion. Unbelievable Brilliance that appears almost effortless.
Second place finisher, Tyson Gay ran the race of his life, his astounding time of 9.71 seconds was a new American record and suggests to me that his complaints of a groin injury were really just a devious psychological ploy.
At this level at least 90% of the battle is psychological and Asafa Powell, who usually falters in that department, by coming third also performed at his best.
The Master Psychologist Bolt however was Soboltious. Bolt eased through the 100 m heats, clocking the fastest ever pre-final performance of 9.89 seconds with such ease that he almost appeared to be jogging.He made it look easy through all the heats and then false started in the semis (I personally believe this was intentional). This false start ploy took away the
only weapon that might be used against him by his slower
opponents and completely threw off Tyrone Edgar of the UK who false started after and thus missed the final.
The final was the first time Bolt and Gay had met in the season, and the American ran 9.71 seconds, 0.02 off Bolt’s world record run in Beijing. However, Bolt finished some distance ahead of Gay, improving the world record to 9.58 seconds to win his first World Championship gold medal. Taking over a tenth of a second off the previous best mark, this was the largest ever margin of mprovement in the 100 m world record since the beginning of electronic timing.
Such stellar performances cause ignorant skeptics to suggest that he is on drugs but this really only shows their ignorance of Bolt’s early success. He was a sprinting prodigy, at sixteen years old, Bolt had reached times that the great Michael Johnson did not register until he was twenty.
His rivalry with Tyson Gay is just what the sport needs. In fact Tyson Gay did us all a favor by showing that Bolt is not super human and if the “Lightning Bolt ” ever gets complacent, he not only can, but will, be beaten.
Their rivalry is not new. Previously finishing second to Gay in the 200m of the 2007 Osaka World Championships boosted Bolt’s desire to run, and he took a more serious, more mature stance towards his career ever since.
Under the guidance of Glen Mills, Bolt achieved the feat of being the first sprinter, since Donald Quarrie, to hold both 100 m and 200 m world records simultaneously and the first since the introduction of electronic timing to do so.
Bolt’s new personal best of 9.58 seconds in the 100 metres is the fastest ever legal time. Bolt also holds the second fastest time of 9.69 seconds. Tyson Gay recorded a time of 9.68 s at the 2008 US Olympic Trials, but was aided with a tail wind of 4.1 m/s, exceeding the legal limit of 2.0 m/s set by the IAAF and nullifying its inclusion as a world record. Obadele Thompson’s run of 9.69 s in 1996 is also not recognised as it was aided by a 5.0 m/s tail wind.
“Sobolious” is a word with no known meaning, probably first used by the Jamaican Dancehall performer L.A. Lewis in a radio interview with Barbara Blake-Hannah.
Bolt’s performance though is Soboltious !
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