The Magnificent 5

As part of my commitment to success, personal growth and do great things in life, I wanted to set up a support group to keep myself accountable for my actions, to ask for help or advice, suggestions and to share my journey with other people. To think of making this effort was more difficult than actually doing it because at first I was not sure I could find people who will support my goals. I was immediately proved wrong once I let go of the stupid thought and started to look around me. I have a good friend who is doing this, updating his inner circle of friends with progress on his dreams and ambitions. I am honored to be in his inner circle and I have seen great leaps forward, achieving whatever he put his mind into. I admire him and after valuing the benefit of having a support group, I decided to create mine.

Prospecting for people to support my goals was easier than anything else I expected.  I want to select a few friends whose attitudes are in alignment with mine. I want positive, engaging people, who have goals of their own and have the right mental attitude to move things forward. I want drivers not back seat passengers; someone who can help me in how to make it happen not telling me why it cannot happen.  I wanted people who can give me their opinion without sugar-coating it, someone who can motivate me when I need a shoulder to lean on, and someone who can say more than simple words. After careful consideration, I found those people and they were right around me. I call them, the Magnificent 5.

These are friends that I admire, they inspire me and I value their opinion. More importantly, I believe in them! They are my Magnificent 5, my success support group and with my commitment and their support, success is inevitable.


Fun is Cheap!

My daughter has a lot of toys; dolls, stuffed animals, most of them are reasonably priced and some rather pricey for being just a toy. Her new plaything however, is a big cardboard box she saved from being recycled. I have never seen her so excited or so interested in anything else than this ordinary large cardboard box. She has made it her princess castle, her spaceship, a puppet theater, her hiding fort decorating it with her doodling and writings all over it. I cut out holes to make the windows at her request. “Now I can watch TV” she said, from inside of the box. She brought half of her teddy friends to have a party at her house. That included her favorite to play with, her little brother Ian Karlo. She loves to tell him stories she drew on the wall. What an imagination! She is having so much fun with a thing so commonly found everywhere, which doesn’t mean a thing for us at first glance, but for a child it means a whole lot of fun. I didn’t cost me any money and we both gain a lot from it.  I got to appreciate the innocence and worry free spirit of children. It is amazing how kids can have so much fun with a simple cardboard box. It brings to mind good old memories from my childhood. I used to build spaceships out of big refrigerator boxes, drawing big levers and round dials with cut out windows to see the cosmos.  Those were the days; innocent and care-free fun. Now, I enjoy looking at my daughter play with her little brother in their first cardboard house. Yes, Fun is cheap!

A dream experience: driving a Bentley Continental GT

I am driving on I-95 northbound on a beautiful, clear morning  behind the wheel of a luxurious dashing green Bentley Continental GT.  The interior looks sexy, handmade craftsmanship with exquisite trimmings.  I put my hand on the soft, contoured dashboard to feel the suppleness of the leather, admire the sophisticated details of this beauty on wheels. It feels real, it screams success! The road beneath me feels smooth like rolling on clouds; I hear nothing but the powerful, fine-tuned engine purring as I step on the gas pedal, feeling like the master of the road. The handling of this vehicle is impressive; firm yet excellent steering response, total control with elegance.  I feel victorious, driving the symbol of refinement and excellence at its best, results of hard work, thriving relationships and profitable businesses. As I grip the hand crafted remarkable soft steering wheel, feeling in command, on top of the world, I accelerate on the open road leaving the ordinary and monotonous behind.

And that’s when the magnificent Bentley Continental GT with its real owner drove off leaving me way in the rear unable to maintain any longer. My old truck tried to keep up with the Bentley for a great distance, while I admired and experienced one of the most fantastic and vivid visualizations I have ever felt. I was transported inside the car, in place of the driver, feeling everything as if I was really driving it. I could see the road in front of me, so present, living it. I could hear and feel the car’s engine, steering and thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in fine luxury of what I think it feels to ride a Bentley and what a fine experience that one was.

For the Greater Good

I heard a touching story on NPR radio about how Black American people face bone marrow donor shortages. Between finding a donor that is compatible and then having that donor to commit to donate it is a very a difficult process because of the genetic makeup of black Americans as well as mistrust in the health system causing potential donors to resist to take part in the  program. I listened to the entire story to the point of views from different people, their stories and the facts of the problem they are facing today. I decided at that moment that I have a new goal and that is to become an organ donor. I intended that in the event of my death, my body organs will be donated to help people in need to live or live a better life they deserve. However, I am also thinking about helping people now instead of helping someone after I die. Since I don’t plan to die any time soon, I want to contribute more directly with anyone that his or her life can be improved with my help; therefore I decided that I am going to take the ultimate step of being a living organ donor. Let’s get things clear:  I don’t like hospitals or clinics, I despise needles let alone donate blood, I could donate my sperm either for research or to help someone who cannot have children, don’t see much difficulty in that, but I associate anything  of the medical term with anxiety and fear. I realize that this was an opportunity to overcome those fears.  You could have asked me yesterday if I want to do this and I would have told you with a resounding NO, but not today. Today I want to take the first move towards a self-less deed; I want it to be for something higher than myself, for the greater good of giving someone the opportunity of life, a second chance, an improved life, to make a difference in someone else’s life… I am in!

Just wanting to do well or the intention to help others will not help at all in achieving this goal, so some organization and planning is in order.  I’ll do my due diligence researching information on what is like to become a living organ donor. I know for a fact that it just takes a little change on the driver’s license records to add the “organ donor” classification. There are many websites related to donating organs, facts about bone marrow, liver and kidney transplants. As I read a ton of information, data, facts and procedures, fear and doubts were creeping around the corner. Despite of the overwhelming information, both in favor and the downside (if there is such a negative) I am still moving forward with this goal. There is much good about this goal over other considerations such as medical evaluations, the procedures and recovery time and care.

I am fully aware now of the effort this is going to take since I don’t relate to anything with ” medical”  written on the same sentence, but inside I feel that this is a great thing to do, a challenge to overcome fears that though still rooted in me, I know I can defeat…for a greater good.


Systema study: movement and presicion

Recently I participated in a conference in which our group had a demo and two-hour training session to present to whomever wanted to see what Systema is all about. I don’t remember when was the last time I laughed so hard and had so much fun. Despite the bruises, minor cuts and aches, I felt happier and in my element. Out of these intensive training sessions, my friend David and I collected  key points  that have helped us in our movement and precision of executing Systema. There is work in progress and much more to learn but these key points help us define our Systema:

  1. Work as a whole, not as parts: body in aligned structure, balance and connected with energy and direction of the attack
  2. Work from the ground up; that is, move your feet first: feel energy and direction of attack and move feet in that direction (escape)
  3. Keep your eyes on opponents but do not stare. Soft focus: aware of surroundings never leaving opponents sight while moving
  4. Move with the pace and speed of opponent: do not anticipate movement, redirect away from your body or block the angle or direction of attack.
  5. Work on all 6 levels ( wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle): look for the opportunities to break structure and connect for take down
  6. RELAX and keep breathing:   unrestricted breathing keeping the body free of tension.


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Thy will be done

A difficult situation presented its ugly face today. It got me completely off guard, unexpected and without a warning. It was devastating because I never saw it coming, not in a lifetime at least not to me.  These are difficult days for anyone trying to make progress or struggling to make ends meet because of the current economic situation across the nation. As a business owner, I have felt the pressure of striving to make a living while staying competitive in the market. Just when I thought I was getting back to normal, I received a huge blow with an interruption of a service that I ultimately rely on to keep my business up and running. I immediately made the calls and eventually found out of a discrepancy on a bill a while back and thus came the interruption of service. Until I solve this problem, the service was going to be down and my business as well as my lifestyle will suffer a great deal. It presented a huge financial burden for me at this point and saw no immediate solution without losing even more money. With no viable solution in the horizon, I looked up and asked God for help.  Have you ever asked God for a “sign” to guide you when you feel hopeless and don’t know what to do?  I was feeling desperate and did as much I could have done it was done, so I prayed with all my faith for guidance… and I got my answer. It came in small packages; God told me  ” be with your children, it is what’s important right now and anything else will find its solution on its own… thy will be done” and as my daughter tugged my shirt to get attention,  I didn’t question it nor resisted and immediately let go of my worries to spent time with my kids, playing with them, reading  books and even got the old guitar out. I forgot about my problem to live in the present, taking care of what is important, my children.  I am grateful for being able to listen to his message delivered through my children for not falling into hopelessness and yes, the solution came a while later bringing more good news that I ever expected. Trust that it will be done and forget because thy will be done.

How to listen to a personal development audio-book

For full engagement and understanding:

  1. Listen all for the first time without taking any notes. Just listen intently. If driving, just sit back and listen don’t worry at what you may have missed. If you have to leave your car, when you get back, start the material a few tracks before from when you left it, so that your mind can engage again in the material.
  2. Listen again and this time you will notice that you may have missed some parts or that you now understand it better. Write down whatever you think is important and take action right away. Create a plan; organize your ideas with key points of the material you are listening to. Start immediately, following all the material’s suggestions and recommendations. Be diligent with your plan.
  3. Listen again for the third time for reference, follow your action plan. You may have missed information before or that you really understand what the material learned can do for you and its true potential. There is a learning curve for this, especially if you are driving and cannot pay full attention to the material.
  4. Repeat this process until the material is part of you. As Tony Robbins will say, “repetition is the mother of skills”. You will be surprised at how much you may have missed, didn’t get right the first time or that simply you now understand its meaning.

In my experience, I have to review the material an approximate of 16 times before it gets embedded into my subconscious. This is not difficult to me as I travel a lot and spend time just by myself.  This time is sacred to me for my own personal development and I enjoy it thoroughly. So enjoy it! Never think of it as a “have to” or an inconvenience. Think of it as quality, personal time with yourself and you will gain a lot for the time dedicated in education.

GMAN’s 13

I have been reviewing a book called “Life’s Missing Instruction Manual, The Guidebook You Should Have Been Given at Birth” by Joe Vitale. I found it to be both thought provoking and inspiring. Unlike everything material we purchase, we come to this world without instructions, no owner’s manuals, operating procedures or “how to” guide. It always has been this way for ages and generations. We were raised by the traditions and values our parents taught us and the generations before us and thus we pass these onto our children and so on. I would have never considered this notion of having instructions to live a healthy life of love, gratitude, compassion, prosperity and life skills until I became a parent. Since then I’ve been thinking what I would tell my children to prepare them for life, the lessons, principles and experiences to help them to become a better person. After listening to Joe’s guide, I decided to write what has served me well over the years, based on my experiences and what I value.

I have hundreds of notes that I have written over time in any piece of paper I had available. Many of my lessons in life and past experiences I wrote them down and save them for future reference not thinking really that I will use them later. I committed over time to transfer those thoughts, lessons and experiences from paper to a digital document and was surprised by the amount of information I collected over the years.  I am glad that I did this and here is my guide of values that I will pass on to my children so they can understand its meaning and use them while writing their own manual.

So here they are in no particular order, GMAN’s 13:

  1. Live life to the fullest and in your own terms. It is better to say “ I am glad I did it, than I wish I had”.
  2. Treat others as you want to be treated. Be kind and compassionate with others.
  3. Always behave as if someone is always watching you. Act with integrity, be polite and respectful.
  4. You are in control of your life and its outcome. Never say I can’t. Try it and then decide if it is for you or not.
  5. You are responsible for your actions. Be accountable. When in doubt go back to # 3.
  6. Share abundance, be grateful, pay it forward, give without expecting anything in return and life will repay you dearly.
  7. Believe that you can Be, Do and Have anything you want in life. Do your part to make it happen.
  8. See the opportunities in problems, what is the lesson learned? Be solution driven.
  9. Take care of yourself mentally, physical, emotional and spiritual. You are what you think as well as what you eat.

10.  Live life in constant and never ending improvement to become a better person, brother, or sister, friend, husband or wife, Mother or Father.

11.  Love unconditionally, forget without resentment, appreciate, be thankful and be the first to say I’m sorry when you’re wrong.

12.  If fallen in love, make sure you’re loved back sincerely. Always express your feelings.

13.  Family relations are important as it will surround your life and the life of yours forever. Appreciate them, listen to their advice and be respectful. Go back to #2 and #3 whenever needed. This is golden.

There are too many to list, many lessons and experiences I have endure and appreciate. I am thankful for being aware of these and for making it part of me. The list can and will be modified over time as nothing is permanent and I can add, condense or totally re-do my list as I see it fit. I am doing this with the intention that my children will follow through with the values, lessons and experiences that have served me and I know it will serve them as well, I will make sure of that. Also so they can use it, live it and modify it as they see it fit in their lives and pass it on to their children all through generations.

It’s not enough to aim, you must hit

It is an Italian proverb that I see every day when I get on my truck and go to work.  It is one of few key personal quotes I have selected over the years and placed on the back of the windshield,  at the visor level, just for me to  see.  These are significant to me; words that truly motivates , inspire, and moves me forward. It reminds me that the things I think and dream about being, doing and having and want so much in my life will not matter at all if  don’t get on and start doing them. I can aim for a better future, financial independence, be great at this, do and have that, but if I don’t follow through, organize my goals, set a plan to carry them out and  do them, I will end up with nothing but wishful thinking and frustration. It is all beautiful and so right inside my mind; I can see myself achieving everything that I have thought about, realizing my dreams, making reality of what I deeply want and so righteously deserve. However, sometime ago, it was all just that wishful thinking. I would dream about becoming a better person , doing and having the things I like, but none of that happened and I became frustrated with my life. It was until I decided to do something to realize my goals,  set in motion my plans, organizing and taking action that I started to attract what I was looking for.

Even just doing something  was not enough. I would lose my momentum at some point because of  external circumstances, lost sight of what I was taking aim and  discarded  the idea or replaced the goal by something more urgent, more real and easy.  I needed a constant reminder to follow through, to carry on with the plan.  Looking for help online, I found many resources for goal setting, achieving dreams and much more. I subscribed to daily quote reminders and been receiving daily motivating and empowering messages for years. These help me to stay focused on my targets.  So I am thankful for  appreciating the meaning of this proverb because to me sets the intention, to  continue to improve and move forward doing everything possible to hit what I am aiming for.