Wednesday, August 20, 2008

John Challis 1989 -2008

Courage + Believe = Life!!

John Challis -- the courageous and inspirational teenager we chronicled here on this Blog focused on Strength, Courage, and Inspiration - has passed away after a hard-fought Battle with his Cancer!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.

We will NEVER forget his bravery and Spirit during his fight - and the Message he shared with us all ... COURAGE + BELIEVE = LIFE!!

He will always remain an inspiration to us all!!

You can see the video on John here... if you missed it on this site before --- please do not miss it again here!
An old Irish funeral prayer:

Here, freed from pain, secure from misery, lies
A child, the darling of his parents' eyes:
A gentler Lamb ne'er sported on the plain,
A fairer flower will never bloom again:
Few were the days allotted to his breath;
Now let him sleep in peace his night of death.
- Thomas Gray

God Bless and Stay Strong!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some Powerful Thoughts from Teach U...


What's truly important now- at this moment - is to SMILE!

This shows you're content with where you are NOW, and it invites your neighbors into this MOMENT of contentedness.

Spread that smile in the next moment and when you do cross that path, when a smile is missing-look and search out that neighbor's smile that you put there in the moment that had passed.

I am in search of a smile FROM you.

I will do my best to smile FOR you.

It's not easy to be content, it's not easy to battle negatives-

But it is easy to smile!

--- Teach U

Keep up the Good Fight!!

Hey - I know it ain't EASY to constantly battle Negative Thoughts and to identify these "killers" as they occur!

I know by experience that it can be overwhelming to repeatedly pushback on these seemingly invincible powers that aim to render us weak and powerless and slaves to every negative thought that infiltrates our minds!

I know - I understand!! I am with you!!!

However, WE HAVE NO CHOICE!!!! Zero!!! Not one iota of a choice but to keep fighting the good fight to banish and/or destroy these false beliefs, nagging negative nay-sayers that keep us from living our DREAM LIFE!!

Understand this - we -ALL OF US - are in a Battle for our Lives!!! Maybe not life-or-death, but just as SERIOUS!!! It is the battle to decide if we live out our existence here as weaklings, afraid of everything and everyone, and biding our time until the Grim Reaper calls our number.... OR as Strong, Confident, Powerful. Loving, compassionate, JOYOUS and GRATEFUL beings - seeing what we want and going after it with our entire mind, body and SOUL - cloaked in Positive and Strong ENERGY!!!

That is what is at stake here for all of us!!

Which one do you want to experience??

Well - it is not an EASY battle but it is a Battle we all CAN and MUST WIN!!

Have you ever been stuck in your car on a snowbank, or ice patch in the Winter?? Well in order to dislodge your car from that predicament we must apply a force GREATER than the force that is keeping the car trapped! We will rock the car a bit, get some momentum going and the apply massive force to "unstuck" the vehicle!!

Well this is what we need to do in our Battle versus Negativity!!

We MUST apply a force GREATER than that applied in our Negative thoughts in order to dislodge and smash the negative energy!!

You can do this by first IDENTIFYING negative thought compounding as it sneaks into our minds!!

Then HALT it by recognizing this is your ENEMY NUMERO UNO!!

DO NOT LISTEN to it!! DISMISS it as false and harmful!!

Immediately shift your thoughts to your MAITH (Mental Ace in the Hole) we discussed last week!!!

Go on the OFFENSIVE - change the momentum and SMASH those weak, evil, negative thoughts with your MAITHs about hope, dreams, plans and GOALS!

This will make you VICTORIOUS!! And it will make you JOYOUS, Strong and in control!!!!

Try it -- and KEEP BATTLING!! Victory is not far off and it is OURS!!!

Stay Strong!!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

True Wealth - Final Part III

Final Thoughts from the "True Wealth" Team...

"9) Be open to wise counselors. Aristotle believed that the first sign of wisdom is when we are able to learn from the experience of others. With that in mind, seek the advice of financial professionals who can steer you onto a path of personal and financial freedom. Seek the advice of fitness experts who can help you live a healthy life. Seek the advice of other teachers, coaches, and professionals whose messages connect and resonate with you. However, always remember that you are yourbest teacher.

No matter what you hear or read, make sure it is congruent with your values, your purpose, and your faith. Please remember, if you go through life taking no risks, you're actually taking a big risk.

Beginning your journey to uncover True Wealth may seem very scary at first. It requires you to be honest with yourself and to look deeply within yourself to uncover your deepest hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

You may discover that you need to make major changes in your life, or, you may discover that you've been on the right path all along and this just gives you confirmation of what you already know.

The risk you take by not beginning your journey to uncover True Wealth is that at the end of your days, you may look back on your life with sadness over what you might have done, might have been, or might have become.

So, step out of your comfort zone and begin your journey to True Wealth right now. "

I told you the story of my Dad and how I am certain he regretted to some degree in his dying days that he did not recognize the love people had for him his whole life - until it was too late!

Do NOT let that happen to you! Seize the Day - TODAY!!!! Be whatever you want to be and DO NOT LET OTHERS thoughts, or interpretations, or judgements, or discouragement KEEP you from attaining your Goals!

Turn away your FEARS - they are nothing in the face of Love, Faith and Hope!!

Stay Strong!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Your Fortune Told...

I am always bemused by the actual content of the the "fortunes" found in Fortune Cookies.

I mean wouldn't it be great to watch a documentary on how these fortunes are created? Who is actually writing them? Are they linked to the "Horoscope" people at all? Come on - I NEED to know!! I think I might write to Discovery Channel and ask them to get on this!!!

Who is with me??? Ok - just me!!

Well my kids wanted Chinese food last night (while watching Oympics from Beijing - coincidence??) and we complied with their request.

After the last eggroll and Sweet and Sour chicken was consumed, our attention turned to the all-knowing and prophetic Fortune Cookies!!

Well - I have to tell you that normally I do not pay attention to the cookie philosophy - but last night's cookie was a vastly different cookie!

The message I found in my cookie was as follows:

"Everything has Beauty but not everyone sees it"

I pondered this message for a bit and it absolutely rang true to me regarding our perceptions of ourselves and our perceived value!!

Just because you do not see YOUR "beauty" or perhaps you have difficulty identifying the "beauty" and "value" in your life - does not mean the beauty is not there!!

Trust me - EVERY one of us has a purpose on the brief journey on earth - EVERY one of us has a value and value to add - to make other's lives more palatable, enjoyable, worth-while!!!

Every one of us has a "Beauty" and despite our inability at times to recognize it or to see it - IT IS THERE!!

Celebrate it - share it - SEE it!!! Like EVERYTHING that matters, it takes FAITH to get there!!!

Life for everyone is BETTER because you are here!!!

It may take some searching to see it - but never doubt the existence of your purpose and BEAUTY!!!

Stay Strong!!!

Go USA!!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thought of the Day

I happened to be Channel Surfing late the other night and came across a woman who was presenting to a group of individuals. I was moved by her emotion, her apparent determination and the sense of urgency in her voice.

She spoke for a long while, but after an email exchange with a friend over his current situation this morning, I was reminded of a compelling concept she had discussed that rang true to me in his situation!

I am paraphrasing here but her message was as follows:

"So many times I encounter people struggling with issues in their lives - career, relationship, family, financial, health related, etc. Some of these people are in the throes of despair and seem angry about their current predicament. They say to me that "God - the Universe - whomever they believe to be a Higher Presence - has abandoned them and they are angry about it. They ask WHY is God not helping me out of my dilemma, situation, circumstance?? How can God let me wallow here in this state?"

She paused a long while and delivered this answer to what she posed:

"Some people see things negatively because they’ve experienced unhappy circumstances all their lives and can't imagine anything getting any better. Then there are those who see everything as bad and negative simply because that’s the way they feel on the inside. Whatever the cause, a negative outlook leaves a person miserable and unable to make any progress toward the “promised land.”

She continued...

"I was one of those people for many years of my life. I was on my way to the Promised Land (heaven), but I wasn’t enjoying the trip. My mind was in the desert, and I was dying in the wilderness. My wilderness mentalities, or wrong ways of thinking, were keeping me from dealing with those areas of life that God wanted to touch and redeem."

" I was stuck...going around and around the same mountain; but thank God for His mercy. He helped me identify and change those wrong mindsets."

" Today, my mind is renewed. I have a new way of thinking, and I've been rescued from the desert. "

"What God did for me, He can certainly do for you. Ask Him to show you your wilderness mentalities and help you make the necessary changes. He can deliver your mind from the desert and help you enjoy the journey to the promised land! "

The point is that the "Promised Land" you are seeking is right there for you - but if you do not have the proper mindset - the proper attitude - the correct approach of Faith and Belief - You will not experience it!

You have to change your mindset - start believing that the "Promised Land" (Happiness, Joy, Peace) in your own lives is right around the corner - and YOU WILL REACH IT!!!

However - One cannot occur with the other!

It is "Surrender" when you blame your current circumstances on your past experiences - and do not set your mind on the right path to what is rightly yours to claim!

Have Faith and Believe --- but YOU have to do it yourself!

Stay Strong

True Wealth - Part II

Where you see despair, bring hope; where you see darkness, bring light; where you see sadness, bring joy.

--- St. Francis

More Principles of True Wealth from our friends at True Wealth...


4) Be accountable through your goals. One of the ways that we can ensure that we are contributing at our highest level is to set goals and be accountable to them.

Goals challenge us.

They stretch us to think bigger and try harder than wewould without them. They help us measure our progress through life. When set for the right reasons, goals motivate us to take action when we're tired, to dream big when we're feeling small, and to persevere when we're facing obstacles.

5) Cherish your relationships. Nothing in life is more enriching than having close, genuine relationships with those you love. Relationships are not easy. They require attention, commitment, and a sincere desire to be close to another human being.

Miss out on true heartfelt relationships, and you will miss out on life itself.

6) Value your health. Leading health expert John Robbins, author of the book, Healthy at 100, says that in the last 100 years, we've added about 30 years to the average life expectancy of people in the industrializedworld. He says people are living longer today, but all too often, they are dying longer too. For some people, we've increased the human life span but not necessarily the human health span. Improve your health and you will dramatically improve your life.

7) Wisely use your financial resources. Financial success should be a by-product of doing everything else in our lives the right way.

Money is not the goal; it's the result of doing the right things, at the right time, on purpose.

Live well but not greedily. When you are financially successful, become a conduit to do even greater things for your place of worship, your community, and society.

8) Find ways to be compassionate with the world. There will always be people less fortunate than you.

The greatest gift you can give is to help another person in need, so when you see pain and suffering, alleviate it.

As St. Francis said, where you see despair, bring hope; where you see darkness, bring light; where you see sadness, bring joy.

Great insight -- more on this topic on Monday!

Stay Strong!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

True Wealth - What it means to you...

Life is about learning and sharing - so I will share with you some great insight from an organization called "True Wealth" over the next few days!

They have a thought-provoking and wonderful message to share! Enjoy!

Think About It"When all is said and done, our life will not be measured by what we have done but by the people we have touched." -Todd Linaman & Laura Sowers

The 9 Principles for Uncovering True Wealth

We wanted to leave you with a summary of the 9 principles:

1) Be a living example of the transformational power of love. Yes, we all want more love in our lives, but how many of us are taking the first step toward having more love in our life? How many of us are being a living example of love? How many of us are responding to the situations in our lives with a loving heart? The more we can live our lives with a loving spirit, the more we'll be able to transform ourselves, and the world around us into a joyful and happy place.

2) Stick to your core values. There's a very popular book written in the 1970s by M. Scott Peck, titled, The Road Less Traveled. He begins the first chapter with a very simple sentence, "Life is difficult." Life can indeed be difficult at times. However, by understanding what our core values are and by sticking to them through thick or thin, we can make the difficult times more manageable.

3) Be driven by your purpose. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "A few can touch the magic string and noisy fame is proud to win them. Alas for those who never sing and die with all their music in them."

All of us have some God-given talents and gifts. Unfortunately, some of us are going to take them to our grave and they'll never see the light of day. That's not only a tragedy for us if it happens, it's a tragedy for the world because the world can be a much better place if all of us are using our gifts. If you look at the intersection of what your talents are and what you are passionate about, that is likely where you'll find your purpose.

Think about it!!! More to follow tomorrow,,,,

Stay Strong

Imagine all the people.....

John Lennon penned the song that lives on today and provides such inspiration, hope and vision and in doing so he hit upon a truly powerful notion that we must explore here in this space!


The ability to imagine is a GIFT to us and a remarkable tool we need to utilize as we strive to achieve the life WE ARE MEANT TO LEAD!

I touched upon "day dreaming" in a prior post and discussed my passionate feeling that it is critical to our development that we "visualize" often if we are to move past our current situation! (scroll to read on right).

Well - Visualization and Imagination are two peas in a pod! They go hand in hand and are interchangeable!!

Here is an idea that I think you will be able to put to use as you visualize the life you WANT to lead -as opposed to the current situation you may be experiencing!

IMAGINE - close your eyes and imagine exactly what life would be like if you could:

-- Wake up every morning refreshed and excited and enthusiastic about the day to come

-- You NEVER let any action or situation put you in a bad mood - or take you out of your game!

-- You truly enjoyed interacting with other people and listening to them and discovering how you can help them be happier, more fulfilled, more positive.

-- Not experience FEAR or ANXIETY or WORRY (The Three Deadly Horsemen of our minds) in reaction to circumstances or situations we encounter.

-- Learn to love and cherish EVERY moment in our lives and TRULY EXPERIENCE the blessings we all have in our lives that we take for granted!

-- Approach any situation with confidence and compassion and fearless - knowing that your faith and beliefs will carry you through anything that is thrown at you!

Wouldn't these things be PHENOMENAL - How do you imagine you would feel and act?

A little differently than you do today perhaps?

How great would it be to be around someone like the person you are about to become - that type of person above? The NEW you!

Right now - observe how you feel thinking about living your life this way - I bet you feel enthused, rejuvenated, excited and full of positivism - full of HOPE!

Well - the GREAT NEWS is that you CAN do this - and you can do this TODAY!!!!

You must use the gift of imagination -- ERASE ALL the old, musty, negative and dragging memories that constantly haunt our mind whenever we try to break out and away!

These old inhibiting and false beliefs are there SOLELY to keep you Grounded like a tree with 100 foot roots --- YOU MUST FACE THEM and flush them out TODAY!!

You are not the same person you were in High School - College - heck, perhaps not even last week! So stop dwelling on other people's judgements and beliefs of what you CAN and CANNOT do!!

BELIEVE that you are growth seeking and that ANYTHING you have done in the past is best left right there -- in the PAST!!!

Open your mind - IMAGINE a life you would love to lead - IMAGINE the person you want to be on a daily basis -- THEN take a first step toward becoming that person! ACT - and follow your heart!

Say goodbye to the OLD YOU -- He/She no longer exists! This is the Funeral - Today - of that person!!

NOW is YOUR TIME - NOTHING is holding you back now! No one can Stop you and No one can discourage you from living the "perfect" life!

Believe it - Imagine it - and Go Do It!!

I believe in YOU! Now it is your turn!

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Power of ONE...

Never, ever, ever underestimate the Power YOU possess to influence and positively change another person's mood, outlook, attitude, state of mind, or LIFE!

We tend to believe or think that we as one person in this vast universe cannot have a major impact on effecting positive change!

This is absolutely False!!

I received a wonderful text message from a friend this morning that absolutely changed my mood - uplifted my spirit and set my mind on the proper path to take on this day!

This came about ALL from just one person deciding to take a moment to share their thoughts with another person -- and the result is pure MAGIC!

WE ALL can do this - RIGHT NOW!! We all have the POWER to SAVE someone from the depths of despair, furstration, Fear, and anxiety - simply by letting that person know that YOU are there for them!

A wise man once said that there is no greater action than to let another human being hear you say: "I BELIEVE IN YOU!"---

We all crave that type of support and NEED to hear it - even if we do not recognize it outwardly!

So take a moment TODAY to identify someone you know is down, sad, frustrated, in the throes of despair or uncertainty - and call them, email them, text them ---

LET THEM KNOW they are not alone - that you are there for them- that EVERYTHING WILL BE OK - that you are HAPPY that they are in your life - THAT YOU BELIEVE IN THEM!!!!

It does not take much to do -- and the RESULT of that minor effort is immeasurable to the recipient!! and it will make YOU feel pretty good too...

Stay Strong! Keep GROWING ----

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Never Leave Home without THIS....

As the American Express commercial suggests, there are some things that we ought never leave home without bringing with us!

The Most Important thing in our discussions that you must always bring with you is your "Mental Ace in the Hole"!!!

This "MAITH" does not take up any space - is usually pretty easy to remember, and is invaluable in Correcting a Day, or a Minute, or a Thought that strays from us!

"What are you talking about" is an appropriate exclamation!

When we feel and sense a negative "thought compounding" event taking place in our heads - We must grab this MAITH from our memory banks and REPLACE the negative thought IMMEDIATELY!

Think of it as a mental ERASER that, once called upon and summoned, wipes out the negative thought that tries to infiltrate our mind and is replaced by a pleasant, consistent, positive, uplifting message!

All you have to do is CREATE the MAITH - (or you can have several MAITHS to draw upon) you are going to use daily and practice pulling it out and focusing ONLY ON IT!

Now, your MAITH can be an image of your spouse, your children, your family, your dog, etc. It can be a reminder of your GOALS, your reason for pursuing those goals, etc.

It can be religious - you can remember that we are all on "that same train" and that "everything is going to be ok", etc!

It should be the embodiment of your FUTURE DESIRES, WISHES, HOPES and WANTS -an image, a picture, a scene --- it should stir that feeling of excitement and happiness that only comes from our Seeking Growth and optimism in what is to come - no matter how bleak and frightening the PRESENT appears!!

It is essentially a MANTRA or a visualization that is able to "Sound an alarm" and bring your MIND back to focus on what is important -- Your NEXT step toward Joy and Fulfillment!

I did this today on the train - saddled with some negative thoughts and "worst-case" scenario worries about life in general, I was able to:

A. Identify the "Negative Thought Compounding" as it tried to take over my thoughts!

B. STOP it DEAD in it's tracks by Identifying it for what it truly is!

C Use my strongest MAITH to erase the negative thoughts and worries and put things back in perspective!

D Resume POSITIVE and OPTIMISTIC thoughts of the day, the week and the future!

It truly works -- but you have to have the MAITH ready to go at the drop of a hat!

Stick with it - like anything else, PRACTICE makes perfect!!

Do not grow discouraged and keep pulling out that MAITH at the first sign of negative emotion, worry, anxiety, and FEAR!! Keep at it!

Stay Strong --

Remember why you are here -to GROW and experience JOY - if you are not doing either of these or both, You MUST re-focus and your MAITH is the "Most Powerful Weapon" available to accomplish just that Goal!!!

Daily Thought from "Teach U"

Stay Strong

Today is another day - Similar to yesterday, yet completely different from yesterday.

What's before us is special.

Yesterday is special.

Seize now and those past seized special moments will contribute to make Today not just another day..

Live Strong, Stay Strong and Carpe Diem

"Teach U"

Monday, August 4, 2008

What "Motivates" You??

When it all boils down to the bottom line - the critical question that must be asked and answered in order for us to experience JOY in our lives is simply this:


Seems simplistic and with all the self-help books and media surrounding us we tend to take the word "motivation" lightly and for granted.

However - if we can get to the ROOT of what Motivates us I can ASSURE you that Success, Joy, Contentment, and PEACE will follow directly!

Why is this? Because in order to experience HAPPINESS we, as Human Beings, MUST seek GROWTH!!


We MUST constantly seek to GROW or we become complacent, depressed, stagnated, and make it impossible to experience JOY!!

Stay with me on these lines now ---

So we MUST seek to GROW - how is it that we do this? We must ACT on something and in order to pursue a PASSION we must have something DRIVING us to do it!

The Driver - or MOTIVATOR - can be anything that clicks with you! For me, it is my Family - period! Everything that drives me to GROW is the result of my desire to do it for my family! This gets me out of bed in the morning, and keeps me striving to make myself BETTER!

For others it is Money -Fame - Success - Glory - inner pride - some chase the dem0ns of a bad childhood -WHATEVER does it for you YOU MUST IDENTIFY it first!!!

Define what is your Passion! If you do not have one that you can identify -- then decide to CREATE one right now!

Go after that hobby you always wished you had pursued! Start taking guitar or piano lessons - try a sport you had never really played before but always wished you had! Join a Running club- a social group - play softball - join a Book Club!

The point is that it DOES NOT MATTER what you choose as long as it is something that will Drive you - will MOTIVATE you!

Set a GOAL for that passion and WRITE IT DOWN!!! Then GO GET IT!!

You Control the next steps in your life! Not your spouse, parents, siblings, boss, friends, kids -- YOU!!!

If you are not happy with your situation -THEN CHANGE IT!

Understanding what motivates and drives you will allow you make that change quickly and keep you driving towards happiness and Joy!!!

Try it - it works and it WILL Work for YOU -- not just "those other people" that seem to be happy and peaceful!

You have waited too long -- NOW It is YOUR TURN!!!!

Stay Strong

Friday, August 1, 2008

Welcome to The Land of Hope and Dreams

Well ,the "Boss" and the E-Street Band certainly did not disappoint as he rejuvenated and reinvigorized the tremendous sell-out crowd at Giants Stadium last night.

It is impossible to go to one of his shows, and NOT get caught up in the spirit of enthusiasm, comraderie, joy and Hope that he exudes in his 3 hour plus effort!

It is absolutely inspirational and uplifting!

Bruce embodies the battle-weariness of the Human Spirit, the "never-say-die-no-matter-how- bad-things-look" and how low you feel - you have to keep Soldiering on - keep battling - Keep the Faith that EVERYTHING WILL BE OK!
Because it ALWAYS IS OK!!!

Bruce did not perform this song last night, but this is a song he used to end his shows a few tours back!

It captures his message about where we are headed --- and how we are ALL in this together!
All walks of life - rich, poor, fat, skinny, successful, lost, etc -- WE will all end up in the same destination - at the end of that Train Ride we are on -- and it is the JOURNEY and how you travel that matters!
Who would you rather be remembered as if you had the choice when you pass - Donald Trump with all his wealth and name plastered all over the place (no offense to DT as he is clearly a successful individual and I do not begrudge that) or Mother Theresa who did not have a penny to her name?
The Journey and what we leave behind - as well as how we impact others while here and able - that is what matters!!

Dreams will not be thwarted - and Faith Will be REWARDED!!

Enjoy the beautiful weekend - take a deep breath - count your Blessings as they are more plentiful than you truly comprehend!!!

And oh yeah, Stay Strong!!

Land of Hope and Dreams

Grab your ticket and your suitcase

Thunder's rolling down the tracks

You don't know where you're goin'

But you know you won't be back

Darlin' if you're weary - Lay your head upon my chest

We'll take what we can carry - And we'll leave the rest

Big Wheels rolling through fields Where sunlight streams

Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

I will provide for you - And I'll stand by your side

You'll need a good companion for This part of the ride

Leave behind your sorrows - Let this day be the last

Tomorrow there'll be sunshine - And all this darkness past

Big wheels roll through fieldsWhere sunlight streams

Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

This train Carries saints and sinners

This train Carries losers and winners

This Train Carries whores and gamblers

This Train Carries lost souls

This Train Dreams will not be thwarted

This Train Faith will be rewarded

This Train Hear the steel wheels singin'

This Train Bells of freedom ringin'

This Train Carries broken-hearted

This Train Thieves and sweet souls departed

This Train Carries fools and kings

This Train All aboard

This Train Dreams will not be thwarted

This Train Faith will be rewarded

This Train Hear the steel wheels singin'

This TrainBells of freedom ringin'.......

(available on iTunes -)