You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2011.

Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Today is Valentine’s Day.

It’s a special day for Karen and I because it was on Valentine’s Day 16 years ago that we started dating.

We’ve certainly been blessed in our relationship and we have now been married for over 14 years and have three great kids.

As I think about relationships on this day I’m reminded of the story of the married man who went to see a marriage counselor.

“I don’t feel any love for my wife anymore.”  he confessed to the therapist.

The therapist looked at him and asked, “When was the last time you acted in love for her?”

“It doesn’t really matter because I don’t feel anything for her anymore.”

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In his all-time classic book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill tells the story of  R. U. Harby.

Harby’s uncle had gold fever, so he staked his claim and started digging.  After a lot of hard work, the uncle found a vein of ore, so he covered up his find and returned home to raise the money for the machinery that he would need to bring the ore to the surface.

They raised the money and Darby travelled with his uncle back to the site to make their fortune.

Things started well and before long, they had enough to clear their debts.  They were excited, everything from here on would be profit and things were looking good.

Then the supply of gold stopped.  The vein of ore had disappeared.

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It happens every year.

Great intentions, great goals, great start, terrible follow-through.

January’s a great month to get started on your goals as there are not too many conflicting priorities, but when life starts up again in February, it can get too hard and we often fall back into old habits.

It may be that you were aiming to save more, exercise more, pray more, read more or spend more time with your family this year.  Whatever it is, what can you do to help you get back on track and start building momentum again?

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I turn 40 this year, so I think that qualifies me to use the phrase, “When I was young.”

When I was young, you could only buy three flavours of ice-cream, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.  If you were feeling adventurous, you could buy all three in one tub called Neapolitan.

When I was young, there were no mobile phones (yes that’s right, there was a time), so everyone had land-lines that all sounded the same when they rang.

How things have changed, for the better in my opinion.

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The average person will spend 100,000 hours at work over the course of their career.

That’s far too long to spend doing something that you hate.

It may be the boss, the hours, the location, the money or the actual work itself.  It doesn’t really matter.

What matters is what you’re going to do about it.

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I am continually amazed by the resilience and persistence shown by people who experience tragedy and hardship.  Being able to carry on despite challenging circumstances is one of the keys to success in any area of your life.With that in mind, I have put together my favourite quotes about persistence to encourage anyone who is going through a challenging time and may need building up.

Here are 10 of my favourites:

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Cluster of barnacles on Right Beach, near Home...

Image via Wikipedia

Barnacles are small molluscs that attach themselves to large ships.

One barnacle doesn’t make any difference to how a ship moves, neither does two.

I’m not sure what the tipping point is, but at some stage, there are so many barnacles that they start to have a negative impact.

Seaweed and other debris starts to get caught and the ship doesn’t move with as much efficiency as it used to.

And then it’s time for the owner of the ship to have the barnacles scraped from the hull.

The same is true for us as well.

There are things that can encroach upon our ability to meet our goals in life.  They may be small and one or two may not have much of an impact, if any, but over time if we don’t deal with them, we will be dramatically slowed down in our aims, perhaps even sunk.

What could these barnacles be for us?

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Gary Neville playing for Manchester United F.C.

Image via Wikipedia

Manchester United right-back Gary Neville announced his retirement from first team football today.

He was one of those players fans loved to hate.  He was much-loved at Old Trafford for his passion for the club and was despised by opposition supporters (especially Liverpool ones) for his combative style and outspoken nature.

Gary retires after 602 games for his club and another 85 for his country with an incredible eight Premiership medallions (no-one from any other club has more than three), a European Champions League and three FA Cup Medals amongst other awards.

Upon the announcement of his retirement, Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson described him as “the best English right-back of his generation.”  High praise indeed!

So what makes Gary Neville inspirational?

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There are times in life when things seem to get on top of us.  When chaos reigns and circumstances seem to conspire against us.

During these stages in life, it can be very easy to fall into a victim mentality, to think that there’s nothing that you can do and that you’re destined to be unhappy.

Here are a few tips that I’ve used to halt that mindset and become optimistic and resourceful again:

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Image by misswired via Flickr

I’m not a wine connoisseur, but I’ve heard of Penfold’s Grange.

People in wine circles talk about it in reverent tones and to have a bottle of Grange in your collection is a badge of honour.  It’s so prized that in 2004 a bottle of the original vintage (1951) sold for just over $50,000.  That’s insane!

It’s rare, it’s world renowned, it ages well and it’s expensive.

We can be that too!

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