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English: Dead Sea seen from Jordan Français : ...

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The Dead Sea is an intriguing body of water.

With 33.7% salinity, it is eight times saltier than the ocean.  It is this high level of salinity that gives the Dead Sea its name, as no fish or aquatic plants are able to survive in such conditions.

The reason for such saltiness is that the Dead Sea has tributaries and rivers that channel water and minerals in, but no outlets to remove the water.  As a consequence, the dissolved salt increases over time.

What has that got to do with us?

One of the challenges of personal development is making sure that we don’t keep all that we are learning to ourselves.

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In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech in Paris to the French Parliament and was quoted as saying:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

My question today is, which one are you?

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A bull rider at the 2007 Atlantic Stampede, an...

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Bull riders have eight seconds to stay on their raging bull.

It’s not a lot of time, but I’m sure to the rider it can seem like an eternity.

Eight seconds.

Research says that 50% of web surfers spend eight seconds on each page that they’re looking at before deciding whether or not to read on.

If you have a web-site or blog, that’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention and encourage them read more.

Eight seconds. Read the rest of this entry »

English: Sunset at Ocean Beach in San Francisc...

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Edwin Louis Cole once said, “You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”

It’s a timely reminder that it’s not our problems that defeat us, it’s our inability to come up with resourceful solutions to them.

Sometimes, we get caught in the trap of focussing on our circumstances.

We think that we’re defeated and if we go on thinking that way, we are.

Let me encourage you today to keep your head above water, to keep swimming, to find a way to make it through whatever challenges are in your way.

It’s easy to allow one mistake to sidetrack our endeavours, but don’t let that happen to you.

One bad eating day doesn’t need to destroy your weight loss aims.

One bad customer interaction doesn’t need to hinder you from reaching your sales targets.

One negative comment doesn’t need to stop you from sharing your ideas.

One day of inaction doesn’t need to turn into a life of lethargy.

You may be down at the moment, but you don’t need to stay there.

Through persistence, a positive attitude, hard work and innovative ideas, you can come up out of the water.  Dripping wet and smiling!

Previous post – How to Make the Good Times Seem Longer and the Bad Times Shorter

Next post – You’ve Got Eight Seconds 

My oldest son, ever the philosopher, recently told us that he wished that good experiences lasted longer and the bad ones shorter.

Even at the age of six he understands the concept that time flies when you’re having fun, but bad times seem to linger.

Karen and I smiled at him and I responded with a few ways to make the good times seem to last longer and the bad times shorter.

I’ve thought of a few additional points since reflecting on the subject and here are my thoughts.

To make the good times last longer: Read the rest of this entry »

Logan, Hayden and Madison playing on the swings

I was playing down at the local park a couple of days ago with the kids.

They were having a great time, especially on the swings.

Madison’s hair was flowing behind her, Hayden was going higher and higher and Logan was doing the obligatory “Weeeeeeeee.”

They were in motion, flying through the air, feeling the exhilaration of the wind in their faces and enjoying the rush of the risk of falling.

Wouldn’t it be great if our lives were like that?

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English: Chinese word for crisis.

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There’s a common urban legend that the Chinese word for crisis combines the characters for danger and opportunity.

Many personal development experts use this myth to interpret that during a crisis, we have the choice to either focus on the dangerous element of the event or the opportunity that presents itself within every set of circumstances.

Alas, it’s a myth and the Chinese word for crisis (wieji) actually literally indicates a perilous time to be particularly wary.

Now that I’ve debunked that legend, where do we get the word crisis from?

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Afrikaans: Geroosterde pitte van die koffiepla...

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I came across this story a few weeks ago and wanted to share it.  I’m not sure who the original author is, so please comment below if you know.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water and put them on the stove.  Soon the pots came to boil.  In the first pot she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil and twenty minutes later she turned off the burners.

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Just imagine going to the local police station.

You’re taken into questioning and you’re asked about your alibi.

Most alibis are required to see what you were doing when a crime was committed.  Can you prove your whereabouts at a certain time?  Is it airtight?  Can you prove that you didn’t do what they are alleging?

But this one’s different.

This alibi is to find what your reason is for not doing more with your life or reaching for your dreams.  It’s a crime of omission, not a crime of commission.

Here’s the usual list of alibis that people use to justify their lives: Read the rest of this entry »

At the end of this year, we will be able to say one of two things, “I’m glad I did or I wish I did.”

I’m glad that I worked hard to make my dreams come closer to reality, or I wish I did.

I’m glad that I invested in my children, helping them to feel valued, confident and loved, or I wish I did.

I’m glad that I lived with passion and enthusiasm, greeting each day with a smile, or I wish I did.

I’m glad that I looked after myself, exercising regularly and eating right, or I wish I did.

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