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One of the books that I’m reading at the moment is “The Hoops Whisperer” by Idan Ravin.  In it, I found this fantastic quote.

“Life boils down to a series of jump shots:

Some you make, some you miss, some you wish you’d taken, some you wish you hadn’t.

Great players move on, looking forward to the next possession.”

I love this reminder that when we live life to the full, some things will work and some won’t.

And I know that there are a lot of things over my journey that I wish I had done, or done sooner, or done differently, or not done at all.

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Steve Way leading the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games at the one mile mark

Steve Way leading the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games at the one mile mark

Seven years ago, Steve Way was sitting on his couch at home, smoking 20 cigarettes per day and eating take-away curry every night.

He weighed 16 and a half stone (102 kg), which when combined with his smoking habit, led to breathing issues that kept him awake at night.

So, at the age of 33, Steve got off the couch and started running.  He hasn’t looked back since.

As his stamina improved, he started to enter himself into longer races, eventually running marathons.

He got to a point where at the 2014 London Marathon, he finished 15th and was the third fastest Englishman.  He didn’t realise this at the time, but the London Marathon was the qualifier for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and with the two Englishmen ahead of his running other events, at the age of 40 he was selected to represent his country.

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Once a dream or aspiration is implanted in your mind, how long do you get to achieve it before it’s too late?

One year?

Five years?

A decade?

If you haven’t achieved your goals by the age of 30 is it too late?

What about 40, 50 or 60?

I know that some goals are dependent upon your age.  If I wanted to become a professional athlete, I probably needed to start well before now.

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I live in two alternate dream worlds.

In the first one, everything goes according to plan.

None of my loved ones get sick or have their feelings hurt.

Everyone is kind and considerate.

I have lots of money and don’t have to work too hard to get it.

All of my plans and aspirations are achieved with minimal effort and within very short timeframes.

In the second world, I understand that not everything works out quite so perfectly.

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Wherever you go, take a book with you.

When you go to visit the doctor and know that you will have to wait, it will help to make good use of the time.

When you travel anywhere by train, bus or plane, a good book is a great way to maximise the trip.

When you have to pick up the kids from school, you can flick through a few pages while you wait.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, just take a book.

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One of my new heroes, the Forest Man, Jadav Payeng

One of my new heroes, the Forest Man, Jadav Payeng

In the North East of India, lies the largest inland island in the world, Majuli Island, which is home to over 150,000 people.

Mainly due to significant deforestation, the annual monsoon floods have eroded away much of the island, causing massive damage to the area.

Starting as a 16 year old in 1979, Jadav Payeng, set about reversing this issue and started to plant seeds along the sandy, barren coast of the island.

Over the next 30 years, Jadav planted 1,360 acres of trees, creating a marvellous forest larger than New York’s Central Park!

What caused him to take such massive action?

In his own words, “The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover.  I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms.  It was carnage.  I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it.  There was nobody to help me.  Nobody was interested.”

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Before the final of the Australian version of the Voice, and the other coaches, Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden and Ricky Martin had dinner with their talented proteges.

As they shared stories, reflected on their journey so far and admired each other’s talents, Will said to the group that they all had the potential to become superstars, but the difference between superstars and potential stars is:

“…An open mind, thick skin and relentless dedication.”

It was great advice to these young artists and is transferable across all spheres of life. Read the rest of this entry »

A pond is a small body of water.

It has limited resources and there is only so much room.

Of course, there are times when there is extra water from the rains that fall, but there are also periods of drought that puts extra pressure on all who live in the pond.

By contrast, an ocean is immense.

It has seemingly unlimited resources and there is an abundance of space.

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Ideas seem to come from everywhere.

They can come from a great book or an extraordinary speaker.

They can come whilst walking along the street or through the Australian bush.

They can come while you’re in the shower or on the toilet (seriously, what is it about plumbing and ideas?).

They can come at 3 am when there’s only you and your thoughts or at 3 pm in the middle of a busy day.

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Are they responsible for your happiness, or are you?

Are they responsible for your career success, or are you?

Are they responsible for your development, or are you?

Are they responsible for the quality of your relationships, or are you?

Are they responsible for your reaction to challenging situations, or are you?

Are they responsible for your financial situation, or are you?

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