Monday, April 13, 2015

Opera singer Xenia Puskarz Thomas

Had the pleasure of meeting Opera singer Xenia Puskarz Thomas at a performance of the Queensland Youth Orchestra as organised by Maestro John Curro

Queensland Youth Orchestras director John Curro says Xenia Puskarz Thomas is not renowned for her violin playing but he listened to her sing, he was enraptured.

SHE’S being touted as the next big thing in opera, but a group of primary school children in central Queensland has already given young soprano Xenia Puskarz Thomas her first reality check.

Bliss is your innermost nature

Pleasure is momentary, of time, for the time being; bliss is non-temporal, timeless. Pleasure begins and ends; bliss abides forever. Pleasure comes and goes; bliss never comes, never goes — it is already there in the innermost core of your being. Pleasure has to be snatched away from the other; you become either a beggar or a thief. Bliss makes you a master.
Bliss is not something that you invent but something that you discover. Bliss is your innermost nature. It has been there since the very beginning, you just have not looked at it, you have taken it for granted. You don’t look inwards. This is the only misery of man: that he goes on looking outwards, seeking and searching. And you cannot find it in the outside because it is not there.

Confucius says …

1. “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.”

2. “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

3. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

4. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

5. “The Superior Man is aware of Righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.”

6. “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”

7. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”

8. “He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”

9. “He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”

10. “If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”

Some wisdom from the masters

1. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

2. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

3. “Challenges is what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

4. “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” – Viktor Frankl

5. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

6. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

7. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

8. “In seeking happiness for others, you will find it in yourself.” – Unknown

9. “Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for thosewho rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” – Henry van Dyke

10. “I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.” – Corazon Aquino

11. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

12. “Falling in love is not a choice. To stay in love is.” – Unknown

13. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

14. “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” –Albert Einstein

15. “He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because he fears.” – Michel De Montaigne

16. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

17. “True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.” – Paul Sweeney

18. “The only way that we can live is if we grow. The only way we can grow is if we change. The only way we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we are exposed is if we throw ourselves into the open.” – C. Joybell

19. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernhard Shaw

20. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” – Bil Keane

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sense of Adventure

Sense of Adventure
Exploring new places and ideas, I view my whole life as an adventure, full of amazing experiences waiting to happen, lots of wonderful people whom I have met and am yet to meet.

Like a person who has stowed onto a ship and after 7days abroad has stepped onto the deck for the first time and is experiencing the Wind and sun in my face and realises that the whole world lies before me ….waiting.

In another time and life I think I am a Pirate and a Genie, my life has been full of magic and I believe that traces of this are still part of my life now.

            Stretching my horizons
Best Personality Traits

My work requires me to develop strategic alliances and partnerships with a number of talented and gifted people. I have been blessed with the ability to learn how to encourage these people to work together on these projects. It has given me the wonderful gift of attracting these people into my life.

some ideas I found online about making life a little better

#1. Start spending time with the right people. These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

#2. Start facing your problems head on. ñ It isnít your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what youíve done. Itís all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.

#3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. ñ Be honest about whatís right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, youíll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and youíll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.

#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. ñ Your needs matter. If you donít value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, youíre sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

#5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. ñ Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be ñ the best version of you ñ on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.

#6. Start noticing and living in the present. ñ Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didnít happen in the past. Learn to be in the ëhere and nowí and experience life as itís happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

#7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. ñ Mistakes are okay; theyíre the stepping stones of progress. If youíre not failing from time to time, youíre not trying hard enough and youíre not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ëmistakesí you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.

#8. Start being more polite to yourself. ñ If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.

#9. Start enjoying the things you already have. ñ The problem with many of us is that we think weíll be happy when we reach a certain level in life ñ a level we see others operating at ñ your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there youíll likely have a new destination in mind. Youíll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.

#10. Start creating your own happiness. ñ If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, youíre missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, youíll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

#11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. ñ In life, itís rarely about getting a chance; itís about taking a chance. Youíll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing wonít work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.

#12. Start believing that youíre ready for the next step. ñ You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges their gifts that will help you to grow.

#13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. ñ Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect ñ people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a personís actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.

#14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. ñ It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend youíve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

#15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. ñ Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only ñ yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

#16. Start cheering for other peopleís victories. ñ Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places ñ productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people youíre cheering for will start cheering for you.

#17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. ñ When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining ñ the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories ñ all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you havenít.

#18. Start forgiving yourself and others. ñ Weíve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesnít mean youíre erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means youíre letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

#19. Start helping those around you. ñ Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.

#20. Start listening to your own inner voice. ñ If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.

#21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. ñ Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When youíre at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure theyíre in line with your goals.

#22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. ñ Instead of waiting for the big things to happen ñ marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery ñ find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.

#23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. ñ Remember, ëperfectí is the enemy of ëgood.í One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes itís better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldnít accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

#24. Start working toward your goals every single day. ñ Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ëworking on it,í I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

#25. Start being more open about how you feel. ñ If youíre hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.

#26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. ñ Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, youíll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it wonít always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.

#27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. ñ Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You canít be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you donít need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

#28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. You cannot change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

#29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. ñ The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you cannot control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone's life has positive and negative aspects ñ whether or not your happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness.

#30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. ñ Henry David Thoreau once said, ìWealth is the ability to fully experience life.î Even when times are tough, its always important to keep things in perspective. You didnít go to sleep hungry last night. You didnít go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didnít spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

Istanbul underground cistern

Lured by the magnificence. Of the light and carried arrived away by the haunting sounds
Underground   In this cistern, built by the conquerors so long ago, for their beauty and use, its easy here to hear the spirit, to feel it stir within. The voice is an echo from the distant past, yet it speaks to me in a language which is so easy to hear and understand. It reminds me off the majesty that lies within me and within us all. Our ancestors spoke in a way that even today the message is the same as when it was first communicated. Within you lies a great and true beauty, it's always been there and will be with you forever, one simply needs to hear and listen and it will speak to me.

It's cool here and even though there are thousands of people here marvelling at this wondrous place, it's easy to image what it will be like tonight, when everyone goes home and this place is silent, still. The large fish in the water making not even a sound, yet fully alive in the darkness and in the silence.
Each time I step away from the things that fill my life and mind, I am drawn to the silence and to the voice within me, it is when if can hear it most. There is an eternal spirit that I sense and that I have always known to be with me, is me. Al my life, and it grows clearer and louder to me each passing day. It is a direct line to all that I have been, am and am becoming, it is a life story that spans millennia and many places and people, and the common denomination is my spirit. Me. It urges me to remember and reconnect to be with it and to step into the life that is mine by divine fight one that I have earned and lived and that has shaped me without me fully understanding the process of being shaped. I am aware that to know this experience deeper there is only to step out of that easy and allow myself to rise to the surface, it is not complicated nor difficult. The only obstacle is me myself. The classic and ultimate paradox of life for humans.

The spirit begs me to leave the corners of my mind and free myself so that at it may speak with my soul, my heart and be moved to love it to know its dot let it be the way forward the only way. As Rumi said that which is you seek is seeking you.

Interesting experience in Istanbul. Felt right at home as the photo shows

Belle Beth Cooper introduced us to the term sunk cost. It’s refers to any time, effort or money spent that can’t be gotten back. The reason most of us can’t get past them is because our brains are wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain. A tough mind doesn’t get stuck in the sunk-cost fallacy and has the strength to make a rational decision without getting mired in the emotional muck of regret.

Trying to control things takes up a lot of energy. Instead, by accepting the situation and letting go of outcomes, a strong mind can adapt and thrive--even when the going gets tough.

We’ve heard many an entrepreneur’s tale to fail fast and get on to the next thing. To really deal with failure, a tough mind needs to wrap itself around what went wrong andfigure out how to do better next time.
Acknowledging mistakes is also important for moving on. In doing so, you not only sidestep the psychological pitfalls of cover-up, rationalization, and guilt; you may also find that you enhance your own brand through your honesty, candor, and humility.

Acknowledging that you may reach greater success if you think out of the box also comes with the risk of making more visible mistakes. Those with more mental strength can silence the saboteur inside their heads and weigh the risk rationally to make an informed decision. On the plus side, taking a calculated approach to risk cuts the recovery time even if you make a mistake.

Emotional intelligence, that is, the ability to tune in and control your own emotions and be aware of those in others, is an excellent indicator of success. Resilient minds are able to navigate through the currents of emotion in any situation and don’t get pulled into the undertow of office or family drama.

At collaboration software startup Asana, they create a road map for blocks of time called “episodes.” At the end of each they pull together a document that summarizes their hits and dissect their misses to share with the team, investors, and entire rest of the world. A tough mind can handle the sheer transparency because it understands that the exercise is about learning and not blame.

It takes a tough mind not to get stuck in the unproductive fight/flight/freeze state exacerbated by procrastinating until the last minute and doing ‘good enough’ work. Those who can rise above take the time to be alone with themselves and learn to listen to the silence, even for just five minutes a day.

Even “rock star” executives can’t make a sustainable splash in a short period of time. A tenacious mind understands that it takes time to listen to customers and constituents, and teasing out a solution can take months--or years. To succeed in the long run, there has to be a balance between the passion for instant gratification and practicality.

Not every email or request needs to answered immediately. A resilient thinker will chew on the best way to deal a problem or concern and substitute "I think" wherever others are tempted to say "I feel." Tough minds don’t obsess about hidden meanings. They simply address the issue by removing any fraught emotion. 

“The old adage ‘competition brings out the best in people’ deserves a proper burial,” says professor Paul Baard of Fordham University. Instead, a tough mind will naturally gravitate to motivation that ranges from extrinsic ("What can I earn or win in doing this task?") to intrinsic ("What can I enjoy by doing this?").