Technology fast! Free your mind…

30 04 2009

Free your mind

Guys, I have decided to go on a technology fast! For more of an idea of why I’m doing this, check out the article & comments below – taken from the Jamaican newspaper I had the idea first, then googled “technology fast” to see if anyone else had done it before – and the article came up! Hits the nail on the head – and whether you are christian, non-christian, religious or not religious, I think HUGE benefits can be gained from doing this. Test yourself. Reckon you could do it?

Anyway – I will be offline till 10am Saturday 2nd May (starting small). See you on the other side!

LIVE to the MAX.



Technology fast – crazy or cool?

Published: Saturday | April 4, 2009


At the beginning of Lent, Roman Catholic bishops in Italy called for a ‘fast’ from the technology buzz that keeps many youths up way past bedtime. This means no iPods, text messaging, instant messaging and hours-long Internet surfing. Saturday Life asked Catholics and non-Catholics for their take on the issue.


Sherese Ijewere, 31, a practising Catholic for 23 years, residing in Nigeria:

I think fasting is a way of discipline of oneself, a reminder that we are not of the world and can do without worldly things. My kids fasted from TV for five weeks. It was not too hard because I only allow them to watch TV once a week. So, a technology fast is OK. The time frame might be a bit difficult, but if practised, it can be done.


Tracy-Ann Vujic, 31, accountant, Spain:

I think the bishops’ call is relevant to the climate we live in today. Personally, it would be easier for me to sacrifice food, as I would go through serious withdrawal if I could not check my email. Just walk into any restaurant and you will see people glued to their laptops, BlackBerrys, palms, iPhones, etc., while the food in front of them goes cold. We have become slaves to technology, oftentimes at the expense of our relationships with God, our families and friends. How many of us have been asked by our bosses to make sure that we take our BlackBerrys with us on our family vacation? How many times do you see people hunched over in church texting and checking email or rushing out of service to take a phone call? How many of us would rather send a text message than pick up the phone to call a friend? Is it realistic to ‘unplug’? I would say yes. We would be surprised at how human we could be for a change. Fasting helps us to reconnect with God, refuel and refocus on our purpose.


Juliet (last name withheld), a non-Christian in her 20s, Jamaica:

Boy, I think that move would be hard. I can’t picture myself not having, much less not using, my BlackBerry. It’s like a fifth limb. I guess I probably could go a week without TV or the Internet or iPod, but the cellphone is a bit hard. And if technology includes newspapers and magazines, I’m not sure that would work either. But the idea of giving up something for a greater, deeper cause is appealing. It rings of strength, dependence on God and the need/will to be better.


Leonie Anderson Sims, confirmed Catholic at age 15, US:

The idea of a technology fast is a good one. As a young Catholic, fasting included giving up one thing for the 40 days, be it cursing, television, eating junk food, etc. I was aware of fasting, but was never totally educated regarding the benefits. I just completed a 40-day fast and the benefits are amazing. I began my fast by abstaining from television, radio, secular music. Saying my eyes were opened and my heart was lifted is an understatement. I can’t even begin to imagine what would happen if I did a complete technology fast.


Yanique (surname withheld), in her 30s, Florida:

I am not Catholic, but I think a tech fast is a very good idea. If abstaining from food can give so much clarity in mind, imagine how much clearer the mind would be if the TV, radio, computer, newspapers, etc., were put aside. I don’t know how realistic it would be to do this for 40 days, but it can be done for a shorter period, I think. Anything that can give more time with God, more time for soul searching, meditation, spiritual cleansing and strengthening is worth it.


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29 04 2009



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Appreciate Life: be deliberate!

29 04 2009

Appreciating lifeHow deeply, and how often, do you appreciate the life you’ve been given? I think two important keys to appreciation – getting the most out of life – are being DELIBERATE in PURPOSE, and in PAUSING. Let me explain.


Being deliberate in PURPOSE. By this, I mean taking an intentional approach to your life! Be proactive, not reactive. Be aware of your purpose and align everything to it. This means discarding excessive distractions – things that take you away from focusing on what you want to do, and what you do best – what you are here for! Robin Sharma, one of the world’s leading experts on leadership and personal development, recently wrote:


“You’ve heard the old story of the two workers toiling outside of a huge new structure. The first one was exhausted and disengaged and uninspired. “What are you working on?” he was asked by a passerby. “I’m cutting some stones,” was the curt reply. The other worker was then asked the same question. “Sorry, can’t speak too long,” was the passionate response, “I’m in the process of building a cathedral.” Oh how easy it is to lose focus on our purpose in what I call The Age of Dramatic Distractibility. We can be so busy sending and checking emails, following people on Twitter, connecting with “friends” on Facebook and surfing the Net for hours upon hours. But let’s not forget that being insanely busy is very different from achieving important results. So easy to lose sight of Cathedral Building. With all the attractions for escape from real work (and real life) that our world bombards us with, adopting a disciplined stance to the way we show up – and what we do from rise until rest – has never been so important. Shutting out the noise so you can focus on your *insert meaningful activity here* is Job #1. Otherwise, you’ll get to the end and feel such heartache for spending your best years engaged only in the thick of thin things.”


Being deliberate in PAUSING. Intentionally pause to reflect, and take in the wonder of life here and the things around you. It’s amazing how your perception can change the way you feel about your world. Sometimes we forget to appreciate “all the good” in a day. I guess it’s how we choose to perceive the world. Have you heard of Helen Keller? She was an American author, political activist and lecturer, and the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Amazing. She tells a story about her friend who just returned from a long walk in the woods. When Helen asked her friend what she observed in the woods, the friend replied, “Nothing in particular.”


Keller writes the following:


“I wondered how it was possible to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing of note. I who cannot see find hundreds of things: the delicate symmetry of a leaf, the smooth skin of a silver birch, the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: use your eyes as if tomorrow you will have been stricken blind. Hear the music of voices, the songs of a bird, and the mighty strains of an orchestra as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never taste or smell again. Make the most of every sense. Glory in all the facets and pleasures and beauty which the world reveals to you.”


Pretty powerful stuff! Plan your day to allow for enjoyment of the simple things (instead of letting your day plan you). Take a walk, breathe, and enjoy.  Taking a few moments to relax and put things in perspective can make all the difference in our perception of life, and its challenges and pleasures.


Never Give Up

28 04 2009

Get up like a man. Again!

 “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”



The Quitter

– from “Rhymes of a Rolling Stone” by Robert Service



When you’re lost in the Wild, and you’re scared as a child,

And Death looks you bang in the eye,

And you’re sore as a boil, it’s according to Hoyle

To cock your revolver and . . . die.

But the Code of a Man says: “Fight all you can,”

And self-dissolution is barred.

In hunger and woe, oh, it’s easy to blow . . .

It’s the hell-served-for-breakfast that’s hard. 


“You’re sick of the game!” Well, now that’s a shame.

You’re young and you’re brave and you’re bright.

“You’ve had a raw deal!” I know — but don’t squeal,

Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.

It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,

So don’t be a piker, old pard!

Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit.

It’s the keeping-your chin-up that’s hard. 


It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten — and die;

It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;

But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight —

Why that’s the best game of them all!

And though you come out of each gruelling bout,

All broken and battered and scarred,

Just have one more try — it’s dead easy to die,

It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard. 


27 04 2009

You were born for greatness

“It is, I believe, a very just observation that men’s ambition is, generally, proportioned to their capacity. Providence seldom sends any into the world with an inclination to attempt great things, who have not abilities, likewise, to perform them.”

Samuel Johnson

Delivering On Your Promises

27 04 2009

Integrity...Robin Sharma, international leadership coach and author, writes:


Promise-keeping is a core success tactic of every true leader. They do what they say – not just say what they’ll do. And they do it in a way that reminds you of the best within people.

I had a wonderful dinner the other night with two very special friends of mine. As we spoke about everything from travel to Chinese art to design to entrepreneurship, one mentioned an article he’d just read. It sounded fascinating to me. And when it comes to a great idea, I try to leave not even one unread.

He generously said he’d send me the piece, seeing my passion for it. I hear this all the time. “I’ll send this book to you, you’ll love it” or “later today I’ll forward a link to that website I mentioned” or “my plan is to put that magazine in the mail.” Almost never comes.

As I was doing meetings with my team, someone walked into the foyer of our office. It was a cold rainy day and few were out on the streets. It was my friend. And he carried with him a fresh new package. And the promised article within it.

In an age when we are all so very busy just keeping up with full plates and overflowing lives, this man’s gesture spoke to me. We all have such integrity residing within us. He had the discipline, character-strength and kindness to exercise it.

And that’s what real leaders do.


ANZAC Day 2009

25 04 2009

ANZAC Day 2009

In New Zealand the word ANZAC (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) has a meaning of Australian-New Zealand kinship and in both Australia and New Zealand, Anzac Day, on 25 April, is the main day of remembrance for the fallen in all wars.

25 April is the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli in 1915. Annual services remembering the dead of that campaign began as early as 1916 and continue today.

ANZAC Memorial Ceremony

The observance of Anzac Day as a national day of remembrance began with the first anniversary of the landing in 1916. Since that time Anzac Day services have expanded to include all subsequent wars. New Zealand services are mainly in honour of those who died, while Australian services focus more on all soldiers that served. Every Anzac Day ceremony involves the playing of Reveille and the Last Post and the reciting of the Ode.

The Flanders Poppy

Red paper poppies are popularly worn on and around Anzac Day as a mark of respect to those who died in the course of service to their country.

The use of the red Flanders Poppy as a symbol of remembrance derives from the fact that the poppy was the first plant to re-emerge from the churned up soil of soldiers’ graves during the First World War. West Flanders is the area of Belgium where the Battles of Ypres took place.

It was a poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian medical officer, which began the process by which the Flanders Poppy became immortalised worldwide as the symbol of remembrance:

We will remember them...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though
poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Another well-known poem, called “Not a Hero”, encapsulates so well what so many old servicemen must feel on this day. It’s been said that in the fields and trenches of battle, a man fights not for ideals so much as for the brother next to him. The loss of fallen comrades is something these men will never forget.

Not a Hero

The ANZAC Day march was over – the old Digger had done his best.
His body ached from marching – it was time to sit and rest.
He made his way to a park bench and sat with lowered head.
A young boy passing saw him – approached and politely said,
“Please sir do you mind if I ask you what the medals you wear are for?
Did you get them for being a hero, when fighting in a war?”

Startled, the old Digger moved over and beckoned the boy to sit.
Eagerly the lad accepted – he had not expected this!
“First of all I was not a hero,” said the old Digger in solemn tone,
“But I served with many heroes, the ones that never came home.
So when you talk of heroes, it’s important to understand,
The greatest of all heroes gave their lives defending this land.

“The medals are worn in their honour, as a symbol of respect.
All diggers wear them on ANZAC Day – it shows they don’t forget.”
The old digger then climbed to his feet and asked the boy to stand.
Carefully he removed the medals and placed them in his hand.
He told him he could keep them – to treasure throughout his life,
A legacy of a kind – left behind – paid for in sacrifice.

Overwhelmed the young boy was speechless – he couldn’t find words to say.
It was there the old Digger left him – going quietly on his way.
In the distance the young boy glimpsed him – saw him turn and wave goodbye.
Saddened he sat alone on the bench – tears welled in his eyes.
He never again saw him ever – but still remembers with pride,
When the old Digger told him of Heroes and a young boy sat and cried.

For me, ANZAC Day is a day of reflection, of remembrance, and most of all, a day of gratitude as I am humbled by the sacrifice of those men and women who have gone before, and given everything for a cause greater than themselves. In light of their ultimate gift to us, how do we live?

Let us not take for granted the immense privileges of freedom, peace and prosperity that we enjoy today.

Let us honour their sacrifice. Let us make them proud.