Saturday, November 29, 2008
This story demonstrates strength under control.
Chuck Norris avoided a battle and won the war.
The Book: “The Secret Power Within”
The Author: Actor and martial arts expert Chuck Norris
Not long ago, after a day of filming my television series,
I went alone to a small Texas bar for a cold beer. As I sat
in a corner booth, savoring my drink, a large man towered
over me and said with an edge to his voice that I was sitting
in his booth.
I didn’t like his tone or his implicit threat, but I said nothing
and moved to another booth.
A few minutes later, though, the big fellow headed back in
my direction. Here it comes, I thought, a local tough out to
make a name for himself by taking on Chuck Norris in a fight.
When he arrived at my new booth, he looked directly at me.
“You’re Chuck Norris,” he said.
“You could have whipped my butt back there a few minutes
ago,” he said. “Why didn’t you?”
“What would it have proved?” I asked.
He thought that over for a moment and then offered me his
hand. “No hard feelings?” he said.
“None,” I said, and shook his hand.
I had avoided a confrontation and made a friend.
I won by losing.
Friday, November 28, 2008
“Alex & Me” by Irene Pepperberg.
It’s subtitled: “How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered
a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence – and Formed a
Deep Bond in the Process.”
This book will make you laugh.
This book will make you cry.
This book will make you think.
Let me introduce you to
Alex and Dr. Pepperberg...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by
the great Dale Carnegie (1888-1955).
It was originally published in 1936 and more than
15,000,000 copies have been sold.
Carnegie’s Rule #1 was:
DON’T CRITICIZE, CONDEMN OR COMPLAIN.
In explaining this concept, Carnegie wrote:
IF YOU WANT TO GATHER HONEY,
DON’T KICK OVER THE BEEHIVE.
I found this advice on Coach Mike Tully’s
Peptalk Hotline: (973) 773-2151.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Nearly halfway around the world, the Thousand Oaks resident has encountered many dangers since setting off in June. His next stop is Mauritius.
By Pete Thomas
November 9, 2008
Zac Sunderland is alone on a sailboat off Indonesia, five months into a journey around the world, when he senses the worst kind of danger.
A large wooden vessel in the distance, rising and falling over the swells, is clearly on intercept course.
It does not show on the radar. It flies no flags. Its crew doesn't respond to radio calls. Zac alters course, the pursuers do likewise.
What's a 16-year-old to do? Zac isn't sure, so, with his heart racing, he dials home on the satellite phone.
Laurence Sunderland has just begun Sunday dinner with his wife and six other children in their Thousand Oaks home when the phone rings.
A daughter answers and Zac's shout erupts through the receiver, so his father snatches the handset and rushes into another room.
He calmly instructs Zac to load his .357-caliber pistol before announcing his plight and position on the emergency radio channel.
He then directs his son to be prepared to shoot to kill.
"It's hard to tell a 16-year-old that, but this is real life, not a video game," Sunderland says in an interview.
"I said if they have guns and they're coming to do you harm, you're going to have to shoot to kill. Otherwise you will be killed."
Halfway to history
Zac Sunderland had long since discovered that trying to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone is not child's play.
(He has until January 2010 to break a record held by David Dicks, an Australian who was 18 years, 41 days old when he accomplished the feat.)
Zac, who could not legally drive a car, had piloted the 36-foot Intrepid 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean during the initial leg to the Marshall Islands. He endured long windless periods as well as violent squalls and turbulent seas.
His parents were criticized for allowing their eldest son to trade a teen's normal life for such a dangerous adventure, despite his extensive sailing experience.
Zac, who says he is chasing a dream, now has 12,000 miles under his keel. He's due to arrive any day in Mauritius, off Africa, which will mark his halfway point.
But he'll have little time to celebrate.
His beleaguered boat requires extensive repairs, and the most treacherous portion of his journey -- from Mauritius to Durban, South Africa, and around the Cape of Good Hope -- lies ahead.
"It's been frustrating," he said in an interview on election day, as a disabled front sail flapped wildly in the background. "Because whenever anything goes wrong, it always happens in the middle of the night."
How long ago it must seem to the high school sophomore that he embarked from Marina del Rey on June 14, looking both heroic and naive.
Since then, he has lost weight and become hardened beyond his years. It was just four weeks ago that the presumed assailants in the 60-foot wooden boat sized him up as he sailed south of Indonesia, a reputed trouble spot.
When the boat closed to within a quarter of a mile, Zac said, without mentioning his call to his father, "I jammed some bullets into my gun and just waited."
The 6-foot, 165-pound teenager watched as the vessel, its crew hidden, swept to within 200 yards, into Intrepid's wake. It remained several minutes before changing course and motoring off.
"I'm not sure how useful it would have been if it was a boat full of pirates," Zac said, referring to a weapon he surrenders to authorities at every port. "But I didn't get to find out, so it's a good thing I guess."
The journey has exacted no small toll on his parents and siblings. Costs for the largely unsponsored project have been so overwhelming that the family has set up a donation link on the Zacsunderland.com website.
Zac phones home twice a day, in mornings and evenings Southern California time, so calls at other times cause pangs of worry.
Zac's parents, who remain fiercely supportive of his ambition, will not forget the day -- as their son was negotiating the hazardous Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea -- he dropped his satellite phone into water in the sink.
It sent an erroneous signal to the phone company, relayed to the parents, which placed Intrepid's position atop a reef 120 miles off course.
They were moments from initiating a search-and-rescue mission when a message, delivered via high-frequency radio to their computer, said, "Hi mom. I'm OK."
"He was oblivious to our concerns and just happened to send that message," Laurence Sunderland said.
More recently, as Zac traveled from Darwin, Australia, toward the Cocos Keeling Islands, the Intrepid was tossed about so violently one night that its tiller arm broke.
He pieced it together with clamps but steering was difficult, even with autopilot, and when the boat jibed abruptly, the boom swung swiftly over the deck and snapped, leaving the Intrepid without a working mainsail.
It limped into Cocos Keeling, where Zac -- using his parents' credit card -- sought a carpenter to make a new tiller and fashion a sleeve around the broken boom.
His troubles worsened eight days ago, as violent winds tore part of his front sail rigging loose. He worked through the night on deck in 12-foot seas, strapped into a harness, water cascading all around, trying to furl the sail and gather its rigging.
"I've been telling my friends to pray for him because the next four days could be a long four days," Marianne Sunderland said Monday, in reference to her son's push toward Mauritius.
"It's hard because I know how tired he is. He's not eating right. He can't cook or even clean up when it's rough."
Persistent problems prompted a detour to a nearby island, further delaying his arrival at Mauritius, where his father, a shipwright, awaits with tools and a new boom.
Steady as he goes
Remarkably, when Zac was reached Tuesday evening -- Wednesday morning in the Indian Ocean -- he sounded as calm is if he were at home on the sofa.
He confessed to eating cold meals from a can, to not having energy to wash after so much work, and to missing his family, whom, with the exception of his father, he has not seen since July in Hawaii.
But he has visited so many amazing places, made so many unforgettable friends.
Sadly, he'll spend Thanksgiving and his 17th birthday, Nov. 29, hurrying to Durban, trying to beat the storm season.
What he may not know is that he'll take from Mauritius dozens of birthday presents and "a microwave cake complete with candles," his mother said.
With luck, he'll have some leisurely moments to savor them.
Coach Tully, thanks for forwarding this!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
“I want a fulfilling career, but . . .”
“I want to be healthier, but . . .”
“I want to be happier, but . . .”
IT’S TIME TO GET OFF OUR BUTS!
When faced with an exciting new opportunity,
one that might expand our capabilities
and move us ever-closer to living our dreams,
we respond with one of two three-letter words:
YES or BUT.
(Yes, some have merged them into YES-BUT,
but they really mean BUT.)
When used in a sentence, BUT means,
“Ignore all that good-sounding stuff
that came before -- here comes the truth.”
“I’m excited about my new exercise program, but . . .”
“I’m really concerned about the environment, but . . .”
“I know how important it is to love myself, but . . .”
Getting off our buts sounds very nice,
BUT HOW DO WE GET OFF OUR BUTS???
Simple. Just . . .
SOURCEBook: “DO IT!”
Author: Peter McWilliams
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
all we want, let’s
not poison our days
with worry and
be good to ourselves.
Let’s be philosophical.
And philosophy according
to Epictetus, boils down
to this: “The essence of
philosophy is that people
should so live that their
happiness shall depend as
little as possible on
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
go into the Baltimore slums to get case histories
of 200 young boys. They were asked to write an
evaluation of each boy’s future. In every case,
the students wrote, “He hasn’t got a chance.”
Twenty-five years later, another sociology
professor came across the earlier study. He had his
students follow up on the project to see what had
happened to these boys.
With the exception of 20 boys who had moved away
or died, the students learned that 176 of the remaining
180 had achieved more than ordinary success as
lawyers, doctors, and businessmen.
The professor was astounded and decided to pursue
the matter further. Fortunately, all the men were in
the area and he was able to ask each one,
“How do you account for your success?”
In each case, the reply came with great emotion,
“There was a teacher.”
That teacher was still alive, so he sought her out
and asked her what magic formula she had used
to pull these boys out of the slums into successful
The teacher’s eyes sparkled and her lips broke
into a gentle smile, “It’s really very simple,” she said,
“I loved those boys.”
Author: ERIC BUTTERWORTH
Saturday, November 15, 2008
you’ll find it in the number 10,000.
My favorite author?
No doubt about it:
He teaches me stuff.
On Tuesday (November 18, 2008),
his newest book, “Outliers: The Story of Success,”
His previous books --“The Tipping Point” and “Blink” --
Here’s part of an interview that Reader’s Digest
recently conducted with MG . . .
RD: How does a kid become the next
Bill Gates or Tiger Woods?
MG: Both of these men had parents who allowed
their children to focus almost exclusively on what
brought them joy and what they were good at.
And both of them were able, as children, to invest
an extraordinary amount of time in pursuing that
particular passion. Again, not just a little time.
The magic number for them, for Mozart,
and for so many outliers, as I call them,
appears to be 10,000 hours.
RG: 10,000 HOURS. That’s 20 hours-a-week for ten years.
You can start now!
Friday, November 14, 2008
2. “Keep on, keeping on.”
3. “The road to success is dotted
with many tempting parking spaces.”
4. As the great Albert Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart,
it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
5. “Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”
Samuel Johnson, English author
6. “There’s no telling how many miles you will have to run
while chasing a dream.”
Thursday, November 13, 2008
a rise in decibels
is in direct
to the importance
of a message.
“We want you
to head our
“Would you accept
“Chill the wine,
I’ll be right over;”
“I told you
I didn’t want
in the car?”
at top volume,
in the glass-shattering
Screaming is an
and when the
shouting is over,
the cold facts
In the 1980s, United Technologies ran
a series of advertisements in the “Wall
Street Journal.” This is one of my favorites.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
by changing the words
that you use.
Rich DeVos has based
his enormously successful
career on being positive.
What has he done?
He’s the co-founder of Amway
and is currently the chairman
of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.
His newest book is
“Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People.”
From the dust jacket of the book:
“Simply by adding these phrases
into your daily conversations you
can help to build relationships,
motivate achievement, instill
confidence, and change attitudes
in your work and family life.”
Want to know these phrases are?
Here you go . . .
TEN POWERFUL PHRASES
FOR POSITIVE PEOPLE
1. “I’m wrong.”
2. “I’m sorry.”
3. “You can do it.”
4. “I believe in you.”
5. “I’m proud of you.”
6. “Thank you.”
7. “I need you.”
8. “I trust you.”
9. “I respect you.”
10. “I love you.”
Now that you know them – USE THEM! You can do it.
Thank you for reading.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
PART II: THE VIDEO
PART I: THE STORY
On November 11, 1999 singer
And song writer Terry Kelly
was in a Shoppers Drug Mart store
in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
At 10:55 AM an announcement
came over the store's PA asking
customers who would still be on
the premises at 11:00 AM to give
two minutes of silence in respect
to the veterans who have sacrificed
so much for us.
Terry was impressed with the
store's leadership role in adopting
the Legion's "two minutes of silence"
initiative. He felt that the store's
contribution of educating the public
to the importance of remembering
When eleven o'clock arrived on that day,
an announcement was again made
asking for the "two minutes of silence"
All customers, with the exception
of a man who was accompanied
by his young daughter, paid their respects.
Terry's anger towards the father for trying
to engage the store's clerk in conversation
and for setting a bad example for his child
was later channeled into a beautiful piece
of work called, "A Pittance of Time".
Terry later recorded "A Pittance of Time"
and included it on his full-length music CD,
"The Power of the Dream".
PART II: THE VIDEO
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
If President-elect Obama did what he did . . .
it means that you reach your dreams too!
You can overcome the odds.
You can believe in yourself
when “they” don’t believe in you.
When they all laugh at you,
Realize you’ll get the last laugh.
The more improbable your success . . .
the better the story of your success.
It’s all good.
THEY ALL LAUGHED
George and Ira Gershwin
The odds were a hundred to one against me
The world thought the heights were too high to climb
But people from Missouri never incensed me
Oh, I wasn’t a bit concerned
For from history I had learned
How many, many times the worm had turned
They all laughed at Christopher Columbus
When he said the world was round
They all laughed when Edison recorded sound
They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother
When they said that man could fly
They told Marconi
Wireless was a phony
It’s the same old cry
They laughed at me wanting you
Said I was reaching for the moon
But oh, you came through
Now they’ll have to change their tune
They all said we never could be happy
They laughed at us and how!
But ho, ho, ho!
Who’s got the last laugh now?
They all laughed at Rockefeller Center
Now they’re fighting to get in
They all laughed at Whitney and his cotton gin
They all laughed Fulton and his steamboat
Hershey and his chocolate bar
Ford and his lizzie
Kept the laughers busy
That’s how people are
They laughed at me wanting you
Said it would be, hello, goodbye.
But oh, you came through
Now they’re eating humble pie
They all said we’d never get together
Darling, let’s take a bow
For ho, ho, ho!
Who’s got the last laugh?
Hee, hee, hee!
Let’s at the past laugh
Ha, ha, ha!
Who’s got the last laugh now?
Now that you have the lyrics,
sing along with Fred Astaire . . .
Saturday, November 8, 2008
So I’ll never forget it.
I love lists and this is one of the very best.
From the great author Marion Winik . . .
1. the path is not straight.
2. mistakes need not be fatal.
3. people are more important than
achievements or possessions.
4. be gentle with your parents.
5. never stop doing what you care most about.
6. learn to use a semicolon.
7. you will find love.
Friday, November 7, 2008
many different chapters.
Some tell of tragedy,
others of triumph.
Some chapters are
dull and ordinary,
others intense and exciting.
The key to being a
success in life is
to never stop on a
to never quit on a
Champions have the courage
to keep turning the pages
because they know
a better chapter lies ahead.
Rich Ruffalo (Montclair State University ’73)
P.E.P.: The Seven P’s to Positively Enhance Performance
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"The will to win is
not as important
as the will to prepare
Everyone wants to win,
but not everyone wants
to prepare to win.
Preparing to win is
where the determination
that you will win is made.
Once the game, or test, or
project is underway,
it is too late to prepare to win.
The actual game, test, or project
is the end of a long process
of getting ready, in which the
outcome was determined
in the preparation stage.
So if you want to win,you must prepare to win."
This quote comes from
by the great Edward W. Smith
I liked Ed’s book so much
that I wrote a testimonial for it . . .
“Sixty Seconds to Success is an incredible book.
Ed Smith is a motivational genius. There’s a pep talk
on every page!”
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
My good friend Gary Pritchard knows music.
He majored in voice and music education at Ithaca College.
So when Gary sends me a video of his favorite song sung by
someone he calls “gifted,” I’m interested.
Here’s the late, great Eva Cassidy (1963-1996).
Thanks, Gary . . .