Category: Purpose & Meaning

How to be a Winner: 10 Attitude-Adjusting Commitments to Make to Yourself

The Comfort of Mediocrity

Growing up, I struggled with low self-esteem. Sometimes I would get ‘A’s at school, but because of my poor self-image, I would often get ‘C’s and occasionally ‘F’s. I was bright and talented, but I was not confident enough to apply myself to my studies or to sports or to art. I was inconsistent – at everything.

I had a desire for success, but I wanted to do well without actually trying. I was mortified of daring to really study. What if I tried my best and then failed? Even worse, I was scared of putting in the effort, and actually succeeding. That would mean I would have to continue working hard to keep it up. …

What Are You Grateful For Today?

Did you take a moment to be grateful today? Gratitude consists of being fully aware of your current circumstances with all its worrying details, both big and small, and being able to recognize the good.

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In our modern daily lives, it is easy to take for granted the gifts we have been given by the many thousands of people who have gone before us. It is mind-boggling to try to fathom the effort that has gone into giving us the lives we enjoy simply by virtue of having been born …

See Beauty in the World

Today’s powerful affirmation:

“I accept responsibility for seeing beauty in my world.”

There is beauty all around us, if we will but choose to see it. It is easy to wake up on a Tuesday morning, still feeling tired from the weekend, and grumpy from Monday, rush to the shower, rush to get the kids ready, perhaps guzzle down a cup of coffee, and maybe even spill it, all without taking the time to recognize anything beautiful in your world.

Did you stop to notice that your husband winked at you while saying goodbye? Did you notice how cute your daughter looked with her oatmeal smeared face and a twinkle in her eye? Did you notice the brand new hibiscus …

10 Great Ways to Rise Above Office Politics and Be a Winner in the Workplace

“Mondays aren’t so bad, it’s your job that sucks.” -Anonymous graffiti artist

It’s Monday again, groan… This is the exasperated refrain that can be heard around the world, in every language at the start of each new work week. In the photo of street graffiti above, we are cheekily chided: “Mondays aren’t so bad, it’s your job that sucks.” In a typical case of “it’s funny because it’s true”, the accusing words resonate with us. But are those irreverent words really true? Do the millions of people around the world who dread each Monday’s arrival really have jobs that suck? With all the drama, frenemies, nonsensical rules and un-stimulating environments many of us experience at work, maybe do have horrible …

Anna Karenina: The Beauty and Tragedy of Life

Anna Karenina by Lucio Palmeri for Dolce & Gabbana

Anna Karenina has been on my must read list for many years. I have been keeping lists – and book lists in particular – since my first summer journal at eight years old. The epic Russian novel appears at the top of many top ten novels lists and has been referred to as “flawless” and “the greatest novel ever written” by two of the most celebrated novelists of our time.

I have owned a copy of Anna Karenina for about ten years. If I have made any attempt at all to read it, I have never gotten much past the first sentence, which is one of the most iconic quotes from …

A Century of Wisdom: 34 Quotes from the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor

Monday, November 26, 2012 – Alice Herz Sommer celebrates her 109th birthday. Living alone in a small London apartment, this amazing woman is the world’s oldest living holocaust survivor. A former concert pianist, Alice has been playing the piano since she was five years old. Using only eight fingers, Alice still practices for hours every day. Alice’s story is a testament to the power of the human spirit. She and her six-year old son survived two years in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt, escaping almost certain death. She has witnessed unspeakable cruelty, watching hundreds go to their deaths in the gas chambers or through sickness and starvation. And yet, this living hero has never stopped smiling. This ever-laughing centenarian …

Antigua and Barbuda, Have You Made A Pledge?

Antigua and Barbuda Independence Flag

Antigua and Barbuda Independence Flag

Memories of My First November First

Antigua and Barbuda celebrated its 31st anniversary of independence on Thursday, November 1st. As an Antiguan national recently transplanted to St. Lucia, I indulged in a proud display of nationalism. Photos of what I consider to be the most beautiful flag in the world adorned my facebook page, and I tweeted YouTube links to the patriotic son-of-the-soil calypso renditions of yesteryear.

In 1981, I was six years old — old enough to appreciate that something of great significance was occurring. I remember standing uniformed in the dusty schoolyard of the local Maria Montessori school singing our national anthem, ‘Fair Antigua and Barbuda’, and waving mini flags as a tribute to our newly independent nation. …

Today I’m Inspired by: Alice Herz-Sommer

The oldest living Holocaust survivor

At 108 years old, Alice Herz-Sommer is both the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor and the world’s oldest concert pianist. She was eight years old when the Titanic sank, saw the start and end of the first world war, survived the atrocities of the Nazi prison camps, outlived her mother, husband and only son, and is a twenty-five year cancer survivor. Through unspeakable tragedy, Alice is still smiling, victorious over the anguish, pain and death that could have killed her shining spirit many decades ago. Alice is an incurable optimist.

A life of privilege

Alice Herz was born in Prague in November 1903, into a privileged secular Jewish family of five siblings. Her father, Friedrich, was …

Today I’m Inspired by: King Short Shirt

McClean Emanuel was born on February 28, 1942 on the island of Antigua. The last of nine children, he is the son a fisherman, and grew up in the low-income urban district of Point. At the age of 20, he brought his awesome talent into the spotlight, when he entered his first calypso competition. He made it to the finals, but was eliminated in the first round.  By 1964, however, he walked away with the crown that would start his first three-year winning streak as King Short Shirt, Calypso Monarch of Antigua.

Short Shirt was confident and brash, calling himself the “Cassius Clay of Calypso”. He won the local crown again in 1969 and went on to win six more …

Today I’m Inspired by: James De La Vega

James De La Vega is a controversial visual artist and graffitist. He has become famous for the murals he creates all over Spanish Harlem and in the rest of New York City. His drawings show up all over public surfaces such as sidewalks, cardboard boxes and old furniture and are usually accompanied by a pithy, inspirational epigrams.

James De La Vega was born in East Harlem, and studied at York Preparatory School and later at Cornell University, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1994. De La Vega continued his studies at the Sorbonne and University of Oxford. While he lives in in Soho, he also works Paris, Italy, and Tokyo. In 2004, Salon.com called him “probably the …

Promise Yourself…

“Promise yourself to today to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.” ~Christian D. Larson

Christian D. Larson penned these inspiring words in 1912. They appeared in his book ‘Your Forces and How to Use Them‘ (now in the public domain) and form part of what has become known as the Optimist Creed, adopted by Optimist clubs worldwide. These beautiful words have been inspiring me for years and I hope they do the same for you.…

What Dreams Will Die with You?

Dr. Howard Thurman

A few weeks ago, I was driving home from work and listening on my iPhone, to a speech by the dynamic and inspiring, Les Brown. During this speech, I was captivated by a quote which he credited to Dr. Howard Thurman. Dr. Thurman was a remarkable man: an author, civil rights leader, educator, philosopher,  scholar, theologian and mystic. Some say, that if there had not been a Howard Thurman, there would not have been a Martin Luther King Jr as we know him.

Howard Thurman was born in segregated Florida in 1899, and raised by his once enslaved grandmother. He rose from his upbringing in the “dirty south” to graduate from Morehouse College as valedictorian in …