Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey

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Stephen Covey is recognized as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, who has dedicated his life to demonstrating how every person can truly control their destiny with profound, yet straightforward guidance. As an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and author, his advice has helped transform the lives of millions.  His 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was named the #1 most influential business book of the last century.

He was a great man of honor and integrity.  I first met him when he agreed to be in the first Quest special on PBS.  He became a great mentor.  He did my national press Satellite launch for my last show going to air, being interviewed by journalists for 2 hours.  In between calls, I asked him how he was, and he said his wife just had back surgery, and he was leaving for Europe the next day to train the mayors of 10 cities. I said “Oh my God, why didn’t you cancel.  And he said he would never not keep his word to me”.  Can you imagine the caliber of this man?  How today’s world could use his moral leadership.

The most significant lesson I learned from Stephen Covey is about the power of choice. 

It was one of the great experiences of my life while going through the stacks of a library over in Hawaii at a University.  I pulled down this one book, and it has three sentences which are so powerful it just staggered me, it changed my life. Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space lies your power and freedom to choose your response.  In those choices lie your happiness and your growth.

“True joy in life: being used for a purpose known to yourself as a mighty one.”   Vision is perhaps the highest expression of our mental capacity.  Affirmation is the passion you feel that affirms that vision.  What’s your purpose? What are you about? What is that which gives you your passion, your excitement? What are you willing to sacrifice for?    Most people have not paid the price to reflect deeply and to decide what matters most. They have not.  I think the more we work on the leadership of our own homes, that realize that no other success can compensate for failure there. It’s the most significant work we will ever do. 

You’re always about a cause that is bigger than yourself.  Serving people, other families, kids that otherwise have no choice at all, or chance because they’ve been so abused, so violated, so neglected. We must attend to them.  And that to me is a mighty purpose.

I love the statement from George Bernard Shaw.  He said, “This is the  true joy in life, being used for a purpose known to yourself as a mighty one.  Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. 

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.”   

It was a true privilege to know Stephen Covey.   He was a great man.  He was of the belief that deep within each of us is an inner longing to live a life of greatness and contribution – to really matter, to really make a difference.  We can consciously decide to leave behind a life of mediocrity and to life a life of greatness – at home, at work, and in the community.

His support for my work meant so much to me then.  The Quest featured the leading thinkers of the time on the mind/body/spirit connection – a revolutionary idea then.   This new wave of thinking became mainstream and spirituality the biggest trend in America,   according to Chiat Day’s vanguard study on mega trends in America. They cited the Quest published by Simon & Schuster as the best product in the U.S. market.  

However it took a few years to get that and to expand our distribution on PBS from 12 cities to the entire country.  Stephen Covey’s support and participation in my shows helped me do that.  I pay tribute to him now.  I share this with you in all humility as he  was ever so gracious when he said:  Lili Fournier is a courageous visionary, a strong example of how passion and vision and commitment can be amazing change agents.  She is a woman of high moral authority whom I have been privileged to support and champion”.    Stephen Covey transformed how people think, act and lead, to live their values.  He was very influential in the development of life for  millions of people. He   passed away in July 2012, leaving behind an incredible legacy with his teachings about leadership, time management, effectiveness, success and especially love and family.   A magnificent family.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson

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Sir Richard Branson, an inveterate adventurer is a man of many passions. He is best known for his Virgin brand of some 400 companies.  From a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, the Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile…Virgin Galactic just successfully completed its fifth supersonic test, an exciting milestone that will see him achieve his dream of the first commercial space flight in history.   He has devoted billions of dollars to reviving the ecology and is one of the world’s greatest philanthropists.  He is a man of his word. And that means everything in my view.  He appeared in the last Quest special on PBS, Quest for Success.

Significant Quotes:

“In most things I do, we are the David versus the Goliath.

At least if you’re doing something you’re committed about, you’ve got a chance. Well, I think it’s about having fun in life, being the David rather than being the Goliath.  In most things I do, we are the David versus the Goliath. It’s actually easier in some ways being the David, in that you’re more nimble, you can move quicker, you can make quicker decisions, and hopefully you can bring down the Goliath. If you don’t survive, it’s not the end of the world. You know, pick yourself up and try again. So don’t be too frightened about failure.

If someone wants to have a fun life and do something similar to the life I’ve led, they could achieve it.  And I suppose I’ve been fortunate in life to have done some magnificent adventures, as well as being an entrepreneur, and I think that being an adventurer is not that dissimilar to being an entrepreneur. You’re setting out to do something that man’s never done before, you’re setting out to do it better. And then we’ve made many attempts at trying to be the first to go around the world, and we had magnificent adventures.

I think the most successful entrepreneurs are people that do things contrary to opinion. The standard business school advice is stick with your onions. At Virgin we love the challenge of becoming a way of life brand, moving into and challenging businesses in a lot of different areas. And it’s a lot more fun for us doing that. We learn a lot more, we meet more people. And if one business is suffering from competition, or new technology, another one of our businesses can do well.  

I think the most successful people are people who do not sit down and think, “how can I make a fortune?” It’s people who have a passion for something. I love music, so I found a particular band that I loved the music of, and that band, we couldn’t get anybody else to put their music out, so I decided to form a record company. Now, the end product of signing bands like the Rolling Stones, and Genesis and Janet Jackson and the like, was wealth. But that was not where I got my satisfaction. I got my satisfaction from creating a great record company that I was proud of.  But if I’d actually gone into it because I thought I was going to make good money, I don’t think I would have made a penny.   

The most important thing, if you’re a father, or if you’re a business leader, is to know how to lavish praise, to look for the best in people. To be good with people, to inspire people, not to criticize people. And I suspect that’s the number one most important thing in a leader. If you end up criticizing people all the time, people shrivel up. If you praise people, people expand.

HH The Dalai Lama

HH The Dalai Lama

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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He advocates non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He has traveled to meet rulers in more than 62 countries. He has received over 84 awards, in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. He has also authored more than 72 books. He describes himself as “a simple Buddhist monk”. 

The genuine compassion practitioner I think has more self-confidence, and is more open, sincere, truthful. I think that brings a kind of deep satisfaction to oneself.”

I had the great privilege of being in the company of his HH and Archbishop Desmond Tutu when they presented intimate and large plenaries at the Dalai Lama Peace Summit in Vancouver years ago.  I had helped facilitate a broadcast deal for the event.  Listening to their daily talks was illuminating but it was their presence that evoked a sense of elevation of the spirit that you wanted to know how to bottle this high. Together they are awe-inspiring. I was staying in a house with his HH’s brother, Tenzin Choegyal, a man of great wit and deep feeling and Brother Wayne Teasdale, who wrote the “the Mystic Heart”. He leaned on his profound Christian faith when he would tell us every night that he was beating his cancer. He died a few weeks later. Our profound talks into the wee hours at night and being in the presence of his Holiness and the Archbishop during those sublime days will remain with me forever

Some of the most significant quotes from the interview that I’d love to share with you are:

I’m not saying I’m special, but I believe every human being, each of us, is part of humanity. So my basis of conviction is, if humanity is happy, I am happy.  If humanity faces some disaster, I will face it. The consequences are on me also.  That’s my fundamental belief. Therefore, even for selfish reasons, I have to think about others. I have to think of the global effect.       

Bishop Tutu and myself and some others, making jokes and that kind of thing, laughing, then perhaps someone who’s got some trouble someplace, enters that room, may get some positive sort of vibration. So I feel this is very important on family level, on community level. I think we must create that kind of atmosphere, then there is one countermeasure of the agitated mind. I think in some way that’s helpful.   Perhaps you can do more.  But first, you implement these things in your own community, then extend.

I have too many dreams. You know, my main interest is three fields. One, promotion of human value as a global sort of interest. That’s one of my dreams. Second, all religious believers, all work together as spiritual brothers and sisters. Then the Tibet issue. Live peacefully with our Chinese brothers and sisters.

When I was younger and living in Tibet, I believed in my heart that Buddhism was the best way. I told myself it would be marvelous if everyone converted. But this was due to Ignorance.

I firmly believe that we are all the same human being. Physically, mentally, emotionally, we are same.

Lili Fournier

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall

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Jane Goodall blazed a trail and now it is up to us.  He mission with the Jane Goodall Institute is to    conserve the natural world we all share, and improve the lives of people, animals and the environment.

She believes everything is connected.  From spending years in the Gombe rainforest in Africa alone with an extended family of chimpanzees, to travelling hundreds of day around the world in aid of ecological preservation, to being appointed a United Nations Ambassador of Peace.   If you ever meet her you experience how she just radiates this passionate aliveness, an incredible gentleness and wisdom. Her face has aged so gracefully, expressing the harmony of her inner beauty, the harmony of aging at peace with aging. She wears no makeup, her hair up in a ponytail. I thought, boy, if we could see more people who aged like this, we would be less afraid of aging.  She is a true inspiration to me and the world.

“We all have a choice. What sort of difference do we want to make?”

Significant Quotes it gives me pleasure to share with you. 

My reasons for hope are not scientifically provable.  They’re more an act of faith I suppose.  And they are the human brain, the resilience of nature, the tremendous energy and enthusiasm of young people once they know the problems and are empowered to act.  And finally, the indomitable human spirit.  People I know who tackle impossible tasks and succeed. The people who won’t give up.       

If we realized our actions mattered, and acted in a positive way, there would be instant change. We have to realize that what every single one of us does every single day, does make a difference. It impacts the world around us.

I was so much more fortunate in my beginnings and my early upbringing and the chances I was given, even though my family couldn’t afford bicycles, let alone cars. If only people could get rid of this feeling of helplessness and realize that every single day their lives are impacting the world.

I think, how extraordinary! There’s a little girl born in London to a family with very little money, couldn’t afford bicycles let alone motor cars, how did that little girl get to be the Jane of today traveling around the world. 

And so I like to think of the fable that my mother used to read when I was a child, about the birds coming together to have a competition who could fly the highest.  The mighty eagle is sure that he will win, and majestically he flies higher and higher.  And eventually the other birds get tired.  But hiding in the feathers on his back is a little jenny wren.  And now she takes off and flies higher still.  And the reason I love this is that we all need our eagle.  How high can we fly by ourselves?

I think back over my life at all the amazing people who’ve helped me on this flight, helped to keep me up, helped to sort of give me some updraft when I feel low.  And I see them all as the feathers on my eagle. The big strong feathers and the little small feathers, but every feather playing its part. For everyone I suppose the eagle within the feathers is something different.  But for me it is a part of this great spiritual path on which I can gain strength when all else fails.

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra

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Deepak Chopra is an Indian-born American author, public speaker, alternative medicine advocate, and a prominent figure in the New Age movement. Through his books and videos, he has become one of the best-known and most highly respected experts in alternative medicine.  He continues to help so many people around the world on their personal and professional journeys.

Deepak Chopra was in the very first Quest Special I did, called Discovering Your Human Potential.  His ideas were visionary and revolutionary.  He almost single-handedly pioneered the concept of the mind-body-spirit connection on public television in my PBS special and on his own PBS specials.

Significant Quotes it is my pleasure to share with you. 

Passion in life and passion in love are the same thing. Rumi, the great poet once said, if you can become a passionate lover in life, you’ll be a lover in death, a lover in the tomb, a lover on the day of resurrection, a lover in paradise, a lover forever.  And if you don’t know how to be a passionate lover then don’t count your life as having been lived.  On the day of reckoning it will not be counted.

If you want something in your life, you have to first give it yourself. If you want a certain person with certain qualities to appear in your life then you start radiating those qualities of yourself. As a result of that, you set up a vibratory field of consciousness; it’s like a magnetic field.  It attracts people and events and situations and circumstances that have the same frequencies. The best way to attract somebody is to begin to reflect in yourself the qualities of the person that you want to attract. And then you don’t go looking for them, you draw them to you like a flame draws a moth.

All of us are a conglomeration of these different energies that in a sense compete for us and compete for our attention and stoke the furnace of life in our souls.  So within everyone there’s the sacred and the profane, the divine and the diabolical, the dark night of the soul, the beatitude of paradise and the sinner and the saint.  And if you’re comfortable with that, we’re not so serious anymore, and when you’re not so serious anymore, you’re not caught up the trap of your ego, and that’s when priorities change.  Priorities are normally ruled by the ego, which lives in the world of illusion.

“Your attitude determines how you age. If you think that aging is synonymous with decay and decrepitude, then that’s what’ll happen.”

If you think aging is glamorous, then you’ll have a different expression of aging. People like Tolstoy and George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo made major contributions to civilization in their later decades.  We should look at these role models and we should emulate that.  It’s not for everyone. Most people are caught up in the drama of everyday existence and they buy into the tribal mind.  If you want to have a different expression of aging, then you have to escape the tribal mind.

Jonas Salk said that the survival of the fittest has to be replaced by survival of the wisest.  Wisdom will become the new criterion for fitness.  And these are abilities that we all have but we have ignored because of power and control issues and now we have to relinquish them if we have to move forward in our evolution.

Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield

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Jack Canfield is one of the most influential transformational leaders in the world according to SUCCESS Magazine. He’s the #1 “New York Times” best-selling author of “Success Principles” and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” the biggest self-help success story in history.  The Chicken Soup for the Soul series sold over 100 million books fostering the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre. Time magazine called it the “publishing phenomenon of the decade”.

Jack Canfield is one of the most genuine and generous hearted people in the personal development. He contribution to the Quest for Success special on PBS was invaluable.  When I asked him to say something about the Quest, he gave it the most incredible on camera endorsement I’ve ever heard. See video.

Significant Quotes I’d love to share with you.

You have to get out of blaming, complaining and excuse making, and act as if you’re 100% responsible.  And when you take that approach to life, everything switches. You realize it’s my thoughts, it’s my pictures and it’s my behaviours that are producing my reality. Now I am powerful because I can change all that.

If I had to narrow it down to that one most valuable thing you could do in your life it would be to love yourself, accept yourself just as you are because in that is contained everything else.  If I love myself that means I’m going to trust my intuition.  In that process of loving myself and accepting all the parts of myself I’m going to love my dreams.  I’m going to pursue them because I know I deserve it.  Then it’s simply discovering where I am blocking that love, and moving through it.

Then I do my daily stuff.  I keep my thinking high.  I’m constantly monitoring myself in that arena.  Most people don’t do that.  They’re totally asleep.  So for me I’ve just learned to trust me, and most people don’t trust themselves, and by doing that I’ve created huge financial wealth.  We’ve sold over 100 million books.

Here’s the deal. If you take responsibility to change your own subconscious mind, your paradigms, it takes work, but you can do it.  If you are not getting what you want, look at your behaviour.  Like I’ve always had an issue with weight in my life, and I had to work really hard to keep my weight off.  So when I started to work on that I realized I felt insubstantial when I wasn’t heavy. I had this part of me that got beat up in high school, so I thought I’ll be someone they don’t want to push. I realized that was the unconscious motivation and drive that was pushing me to eat, and it wasn’t about the food. 

So I had to create some affirmations like ‘I am so happy and grateful that I now feel totally strong and powerful even though I weigh 185 pounds as opposed to the 220 I was carrying around.’  And I did this every day, day after day.  I would say ‘I’m only eating that which helps maintain my perfect body weight.’  After 30 days of doing this, when I went to reach for some dessert, I heard this little voice going, ‘is that going to help you maintain your body weight?’  We have this 30-day rule, because we discovered that the brain gets rewired and your unconscious starts to change and shift. After 30 days everything changed.

True wealth to me means waking up every morning really excited; not, oh it’s another day. .  I love that every morning I get up the first thing I do is a gratitude process. For me it goes, ‘my body is healthy, my wife loves me, my children are growing and individuating, I love my work’.  I know I could just go into a cave for a month and know I’d be happy.  I know I can do that through meditation, self-appreciation, and self-awareness.      

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a South African cleric and human rights activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s, winning the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in resolving and ending apartheid.   He will be remembered for his courage and perseverance in his continued quest for equality of all races in South Africa, especially black and white.   By 1986 he became Archbishop Desmond Tutu, making him the official leader and first black cleric to head the Anglican Church in South Africa. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

I asked him for a meeting at the Dalai Lama’s Vancouver Peace Summit.  He said he had no time but invited me to meet him at the Quest for Global Healing summit in Bali later that month.   I went and shared the vision of Women’s Day Live, a global benefit to champion women and girls worldwide every year on International Women’s Day.  He became the Women’s Day Live Patron and for over a decade He always followed through on his promises. He and Leah Tutu are extraordinary human beings.   He said that he and the Dalai Lama both agree that the world will be saved by women!   See video.

A story from the Archbishop about him as a young boy that I have appreciated deeply:

I loved his quotes about forgiveness. He said that If you can find it in yourself to forgive then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator. “It doesn’t actually matter whether you’re a Muslim, or a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist. When you’ve quarreled with your wife, If you want that relationship to continue, you’re going to talk about forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s just a reality of life

I never thought that I had inner strength. I’ve known that I depended so very much on others. I had a wonderful mother; she was not an educated person. She was incredible in her generosity. And I resembled her physically; she had a large nose like mine, she was dumpy, too, like me… but I’ve always said, I hope I will be able to resemble her in her spirit as I resemble her physically. She was such an incredibly compassionate person. And I think that I owe her and others, like Father Trevor Hardenston who came to work in South Africa. The first time I saw him, I didn’t know who he was. I was surprised.

I was about 9 years old, standing with my mother who was a domestic worker, a cook at a facility for black blind women, and this white man strutted past wearing a long white cassock, and he had a huge sombrero, and as he passed my mother he tipped his hat to my mother. I didn’t know then that that gesture made such an incredible impression on me. A white man… tipping his hat to my mother, a black woman…in South Africa in those days, it was just mind-boggling, but I discovered later when I met with Trevor Hardenston, that was how he believed, that was what he believed about human beings—that we were created in the image of God, and that we have an inalienable dignity.

And when I was about 15 or so I had T.B. and I spent 20 months in hospital. I was just a township ghetto urchin, and he a very busy person, yet almost every week of those 20 months he visited me. This very important man made me think and believe that I was special. And I’ve had so many who have nurtured me and helped me to grow into a sense of wonder of God’s creation, how human beings are of infinite worth, whatever, whoever they may be, and it was just some of that that sustained and inspired me as I, with others, struggled against the injustices of apartheid..

And we speak then of a rainbow nation. It wouldn’t be a rainbow if it had one color. And celebrate who we are.  And say, I know ultimately, that I can’t exist without you, as you can’t exist without me.

“The world is beginning to realize more and more that spiritual values, which used to be pooh-poohed, are actually what make the world go around.”   

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem

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Gloria Steinem, is an outstanding woman, one of the most influential people in changing the world during the 20th Century.    Her courageous leadership played a pivotal role in sparking the feminist revolution of the late 60’s and 70’s.  ThisAmerican feminist, journalist, and social activist became the nationally recognized spokeswoman for the American feminist movement.  She is a national treasure, who has earned the highest accolades and respect.  Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine, and a co-founder of Ms. Magazine. She certainly changed the lives of millions of women and girls.

Gloria Steinem is an original.   I had the privilege of filming her in her apartment when I produced the Women of Wisdom and Power series on PBS. Her husband David Bale had flown back early to let the crew in.  In that hour they were lighting we had the most unforgettable conversation about how he loved her and how they met.  The beauty of his soul, and eloquence of his words were simply profound. Time stood still. I thought how wonderful that they found each other.   I never understood her dictum when I was younger that the “political is personal. And the personal is political”.  We all get that now.

Significant Quotes from the interview It gives me pleasure to share with you.

Self-esteem is not everything, but nothing works without it. I think core self-esteem is marked by a sense of wellbeing, a sense of balance with the universe, oneness with the universe.  It’s not that you feel more important than anybody else, you just don’t feel less important.  You feel in balance.

There is no ideal of beauty.  It does not exist.  It’s all  the creation of an ideal of beauty, just trying to get us to do what society wants us to do. I was in an audience where a 12 year old girl got up and said, ‘you know, I don’t read beauty magazines anymore’.  I said, why not?  She said, ‘they make me feel ugly.’  I thought that just summed it up.  I think it’s somewhat easier to celebrate whoever we are because it’s not about how we look, it’s about what we do. Every time we confront and defeat external authority when it’s unjust, then we gain self-esteem. 

If you’ve really been raised in a feminine way, you may fear success more than failure.  And that you know is a great tragedy because it means that you’re pretty sure that you’re going to get punished for the best in you. You know, for ambition, for getting great grades, for knowing things.

I mean how many women start every sentence with, ‘it’s probably only me, but’.  You know, ‘I’m not sure’ … and they know very well what they think.  But they’re prefacing it in this way to try to make it okay because it’s not acceptable to be assertive, successful, strong.  It’s not feminine.

What I would hope all women could do, which is to do that which gives her joy.  I think that that is an indicator at least of following your own dream.   Your own unique self.

I’m not sure that we have even a clue as to how much has been done to our spirits by growing up feeling and being told that God looks like somebody else, not like us.  So there’s a hunger for it.  There’s a thirst for it now.

We’ve got this culture in which half the human race has been sort of told that they’re inferior to the other half of the human race, so where they come together most intimately, and sex becomes an area of domination and violence.   It’s the only way you can maintain the social order.  Since you have to come together intimately, there’s the most danger there of recognizing each other’s humanity.

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette

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Alanis Morissette is a magnificent singer with a gazillion awards and records sold.  She resolved to really go for her dreams.  When we asked her what helped her break through to achieve her incredible stardom, she said it was having compassion for herself. I find her honest transparency deeply refreshing, and her insights and wisdom for someone so young (28 at the time), wonderfully encouraging.   

I had 2 weeks to finish the Power Within to make it to air.  The third hour of the Women of Wisdom & Power trilogy and I hated it. It needed to be better than just good. So I’m flipping stations and come across Alanis, who was sheer brilliance.  It turns out she was performing at the Air Canada Center in a few days and we miraculously got an interview with her right before she went on stage. With so little time, we got in the zone. It was sublime.  This woman comes up to me from her entourage after the interview and says that was the best interview she had ever seen Alanis do. And I asked her who she was, and she said, “I’m only her Mother”.  A beautiful and gracious woman just like her daughter.

“So I would take the painful experiences in my life and transmute them into opportunities, transmute them into gifts.”

Significant Quotes that inspired me and I hope they will inspire you too.

My energy, I think, is best served in focusing on myself and taking responsibility for my own actions and my responses, and my own ability or inability to resolve conflicts.  I’ve  always believed that the micro is the macro, that what is happening in my living room is a model version of what can be extrapolated into the larger world and the larger context.

The aspiration to be as transparent as I possibly could be, having felt the effects of having hidden parts of myself or cut off parts of myself, feeling depressed, feeling sick, feeling stunted and half of who I was – quickly realizing that the more transparent I was the more empowered I was, the more peaceful I was, and the more communicative I was.  I feel that there’s a direct relationship between my throat chakra opening up and my communicating, and my physical health and my peace of mind.    

Some of what has fueled me have been things that have been incredibly painful.  If I had issues when I was younger with being invisible, it was painful but it catapulted me ultimately into wanting to be in the public eye and be very visible.  Or if I had issues with feeling stupid or power-less, it fueled me to try to be the opposite.  So seeing the gifts in the difficult times in my life has been an amazing way to transmute that energy and turn it into an opportunity for myself. 

It does takes a certain amount of courage, in my experience it has, to question the inner dialogue that is happening that says that I am anything less than holy and anything less than beautiful and anything less than pure spirit. There are many voices in there that I listen to sometimes, and aspire not to listen to very much and transmute, and I think a big turning point for me over the last couple of years as well has been integrating all parts of myself.  For a long time I was of the understanding that angry was not something that I was allowed to be as a human being, and specifically as a woman.  

That anger was not something that I was allowed to express, because it was bad somehow.  And upon having embraced that aspect of myself and expressed it in a way that felt really good – specifically through art and music,   I realized that there were millions of different parts of myself that I’d not embraced, that I’d been equally pushing away, and that it was in the embracing of those parts of myself and in the integration of those parts of myself that I felt whole and full and great.  So my aspiration turned from trying to be perfect to ultimately trying to be whole.  So focusing so much more over the last few years on what it is that I am being, rather than what I am doing, has changed everything for me. 

John Marks Templeton

John Marks Templeton

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John Marks Templeton was born in Tennessee, attended Yale University, went on to earn a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. He entered the world of finance in the mid Depression. What would have been daunting for most, he turned around to his benefit by investing in over a hundred companies on the NYSE which were listed for under a dollar a piece. After the war he rode the tide of success as America rebuilt. The multi millions eventually turned to billions but this never changed the man of simple tastes. Templeton attributed much of his success to his ability to maintain an elevated mood, avoid anxiety, and stay disciplined.  One of the greatest philanthropists of all time, he also founded the Templeton Prize.

I received a note from him saying that he appreciated my work, when the Quest first aired on PBS.  He eventually agreed to do me the honor of appearing in the Quest.  We had a very spirited argument about religion vs science vs spirituality.  I could never sway him on the subject of spirituality.  When he left the suite he turned to my husband and said Lili is a missionary.  We all had a good laugh. 

He was a man of great principle and deep values and I was very touched by his early support for my work. When he died, I learned in speaking to his son, that they had almost no video on him at all. I told them I had hours and happily donated it to the Foundation.  I loved everything he had to say.  

We should believe in ourselves.  Those people who always are optimistic produce more than those who are pessimistic. There’s a saying in one of my books, if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t.    

Nobody knows what is the purpose of life.  But I have seen, because my 50 year career in helping people with their investments, that that’s not the answer.  I have helped as many as a million people to become wealthier, but it didn’t make them happier.  

It’s one of the fortunate things, is that life is full of problems. For example, when I was second year in college my father told me he couldn’t give me even one dollar to go back to college.  That seemed a tragedy to me at the time but it turned out to be one of the great blessings of my life.  Because I was determined to go to college, and so I obtained three different jobs, at the same time tried to earn money by scholarships. 

Now in those old days, scholarships were not given because you needed the money, but because you had good grades.  So because I needed the money, I wound up as the top scholar in my university.  And at the same time was holding three jobs. Now that trained me to know that you can do more than one thing at once.  If I hadn’t had that training, I would never have been able to accomplish much in life. 

“Never put too much of your assets in any one thing, because it might be a mistake.  Diversification is its basic principle.”   

I developed this as  a sort of a joke. 50 years ago I said that my success in helping people with their investments was based on trying to be nice to everybody.  When people were desperately trying to sell, I accommodated and bought.  When people were desperately trying to buy, I would accommodate them and sold.  So I was able to get in at low prices and get out at high prices and make my clients wealthy. 

But it was a matter of understanding human nature and being humble enough to realize that you only profit when you’re doing something different from what the majority is doing.  If you do the same thing as a majority, you’ll have the same results as a majority. If you’re going to have better results than the majority, you have to do the opposite of what the crowd is doing.

If you can learn to focus your life not on trying to get, then benefits automatically come to you. You can’t keep love from coming to you if you try to give love.  You can’t help keep prosperity from coming to you if you’re trying to give everybody else prosperity.  So the secret is try to give, not get.   

Marci Shimoff

Marci Shimoff

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Marci Shimoff is the woman’s face of the biggest self-help book phenomenon in history, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her six bestselling titles in the series, including Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, have met with stunning success, selling more than 13 million copies worldwide. Marci is one of the bestselling female nonfiction authors of all time. Her breakthrough methods for personal fulfillment and professional success are summed up in her bestseller Happy for No Reason. She is a delight to be in the presence of, a constant shot of positive energy.   One of the most generous hearted people I’ve ever met. I am privileged to call her a friend.

“Success is not the basis of happiness but happiness is the basis of success.”

Significant Quotes of so many that I have selected to share with you.

We’re all going out chasing after happiness. I think the reason these days that people are so interested in the topic of happiness is that we have an epidemic of unhappiness in our society. Twenty-five percent of people claim they’re depressed.  And we are not doomed to depression.  We have more than we’ve ever had, and yet something is still missing. I hear that all the time from people, that something is missing.  

Everything that we create on the outside is truly just a mirror of what’s going on inside of us. There’s a story of a faraway village where there’s a House of a Thousand Mirrors, and one day a happy dog went to visit this House of a Thousand Mirrors, and he went bounding up the stairs and looked inside the house, and he was greeted by the faces of a thousand dogs with big grins and wagging tails.  And the dog said, “Oh, this is a wonderful place!  I love it here!”  And as he leaves, he thinks to himself, I must come back and visit here more often.  That same afternoon, a very sad, grumpy dog goes limping up to the House of a Thousand Mirrors and looks in and growls, and he sees back growling at him a thousand angry, mean dogs, and he says, ‘This is a horrible place!  I must never come back here and visit!’

There’s a great story that’s told about a Cherokee elder who was talking to his grandson and is telling his grandson that the human condition is like we each have a battle inside of ourselves, and the battle is between two wolves.  One wolf is the wolf of unhappiness.  It’s the wolf of fear and anger, and jealousy, and frustration.  And the other wolf is the wolf of love.  It’s the wolf of gratitude, of appreciation, of kindness, of generosity, of forgiveness, of compassion.  And the grandson says, ‘Well, which wolf will win?’  And the grandfather says, ‘Whichever one you feed’.  

I think the quest for wealth that we’re in search of is the quest for truth, love, and abundance in all areas of our lives that starts with this feeling of fulfillment from within. People who have created the amazing shifts in global transformation, the Gandhis, the Martin Luther Kings of the world, have done so not by focusing on all of the negative of what’s currently going on, but by focusing on the possibilities for the future and envisioning how we could have a much better future, and that’s where it really begins.

And what I’ve found is that people who are the happiest are those who have just learned to make a habit of giving more of their attention and energy to love.  That’s what it’s all about.  That’s what we’re here for.  We’re here to really win this battle between fear and love. And I don’t think the way is through denying the negatives, but it’s through opening up and embracing those, all that shows up.  And then what we find is then the fear and the anger dissolve into the energy of love because there is no more powerful energy on the planet than the energy of love.

Lili Fourier

Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick

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Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, was one of the most respected, admired and successful women in the world. This courageous visionary, publisher, and author of several books including Business As Unusual, gained worldwide recognition as a pioneer in the field of socially conscious business. She was a fearless and tireless advocate for social and human rights.  When we interviewed her she was consummately passionate about changing the vast cultural ‘story’ about women and how they are perceived in the world media and business, especially as they age, as we all must do.   I loved her gutsiness and her courage to take a stand for important global issues when no one else would.  I am privileged to have had her take on a mentor role with me, one of the first to support the vision of Women’s Day Live.  She sent out letters to CEO’s of other companies to support the Women’s empowerment initiative.  She lived her life with passionate intensity and deep commitment. I miss her.

Significant Quotes I am privileged to share with you.

It’s time for women to rise up and to be heard. I think with women my age in their late fifties, we don’t want to be seduced by this notion of what we should look like. In our fifties we just want to be heard.  We have stories to tell, we have information to tell, we want to be heard in our relationships.  Our place matters in society, in our communities and our workplace.  

The Cosmetic and Fashion Industries don’t realize that for us education is everything.  Spiritual education is everything.  We’re redefining who we are; as we grow older we get more radical. There is a big epiphany out there. Women are really good at reinventing themselves, much speedier and with much more class, grace and elegance than I’ve ever known with their counter gender. 

“There are two billion women who don’t look like super models, and only eight who do.”

This is the demand of a public that’s saying you’re not listening to us, you’re not hearing what we have to say.  The industry still thinks, ‘oh shut up, get a face lift, and diet’. When you look at the way the body is being controlled by the fashion industry, they’re assuming that the nature and shape of the body, the breasts, the hips, the thighs, the arms, everything is out of kilt unless it is almost anorexic.   

And that’s the image that they feel that we need.  It’s about dissociating ourselves from our body.  It’s successful as a strategy, but women have cottoned onto it now.  That’s why I don’t believe any woman over 50, unless they are so dull or so persuadable, would ever believe that there is a formula in a water-and-oil emulsion that will get rid of wrinkles. They would rather now spend money on a good bottle of Pinot Noir. They know it’s a lie.

We have to have a moral sense of outrage about things we’re allowing to happen.  It’s like President Kennedy said – the enemy of truth is not the big bold lie, it is the myth persistent, consistent, you can’t do this, you’re only one person.  And you read that and you hear that often enough, and you just get bloody outraged.  The passion that’s in the belly is the same passion for the last 30 years, is human rights. So for me, my life on this earth, every minute, every second, I wake up thinking I’ve got another day.  I don’t know where that comes from but I take nothing lightly.  For me, everything is measured by my actions. This is no dress rehearsal. So that’s the confidence.  And I’m on a path.  There’s no detours.   I’m down this path. So I had emblazoned on the side of one of my trucks, ‘if you think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been to bed with a mosquito’.

Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel

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Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jew, writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books including NIGHT, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald death camps. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he was praised as a messenger to mankind”, stating that through his struggle to come to terms with “his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler’s death camps”, as well as his “practical work in the cause of peace”. He delivered a message “of peace, atonement, and human dignity” to humanity.

I had heard about him all my life.  We were born in the same town, Seghat, which is near Transylvania.  His words, his thoughts, his search for meaning touched the world like few others.   I had the great privilege of filming him in New York. When I was producing the film “Expulsion & Memory”,   I met him in ’92 at the King’s Palace in Spain following a tribute he made to peace and tolerance for the historic 500th year Commemoration of the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain. It is my privilege to share with you some of his thoughts that he so generously shared with me.

 When I asked him about tolerance, he said “I don’t use the word “tolerance” because it’s condescending. I fight against intolerance, but I don’t want to fight for tolerance. I would rather fight for respect.  I want to be respected the way I respect others.  I respect the other for his or her otherness.”

 “Let them answer. I don’t hate.  They hated me before I was born.” 

“The anti-Semite is he or she who hates the Jews before they are born. They are hating Jews who they have never met.  Never met me.  Most of them have probably never read anything by me, yet they hate me because I am Jewish. And all the contradictions converge into that anti-Semitism, into that hatred. 

Rwanda was a blemish on the conscience of humanity, the United Nations, America, Canada, all of us. All these governments have reasons to regret, to feel remorse because we could have saved from 600,000 or 800,000 men, women, and children, and we didn’t. 

America, should be the leader, but not the only one. When it comes to human rights, all governments should not only be concerned, but should be mobilized to help.  Help whom? The victims.  Always listen to the victims. Don’t listen to the victimizer. Listen to the victims. If you only listen to the victimizer, then they lie, and they always lie, and they threaten, and they always threaten. Listen to the victims. They need not only our support, but at least our presence. 

What kind of world are we bequeathing unto our children?  Once again, fanaticism is dangerous, and it’s increasingly dangerous wherever it gains power.  Of course, its victims are numerous, but we’re all potential victims. In the beginning, wars were between nations given frontiers, and only those who were directly in contact were threatened.  Then, with the bombing through the Second World War, civilians everywhere were threatened.  Today, we are all threatened.  You take a bus in Jerusalem, you take the subway in London, wherever you are, you are threatened.  Threatened by fanatics who believe that whatever they are doing, they are doing for the sake and the glory of God.  And poor God if this is what they do to please Him.”  

Lili Fournier



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What Does Fearlessness Look Like?

Facing your fears, beating down fear is the gateway to freedom – then everything is possible.

Fear is a most potent self-administered drug. It locks your attention, fast. Your focus, sharp. An intense drug trip, an accidental overdose. When caught in this straightjacket of fear there is only one perception possible. All else ceases to exist. Just one set of eyes focused outward. Fear incarnate.

That is the intense kind of fear where something horrid happens and you are caught in its midst. Who knows how each of us will react in such an extreme moment.

But there is another kind of fear, one that lingers long time, building day after day. It seizes our being, growing larger and larger until it so overwhelms us that we cannot move forward. That is the kind of fear that most of us are faced with at some point in our life. It starts off small – “I’m not good on the phone”, “I’m terrible in job interviews”, “If I could only get through an important test without panicking”, “I just can’t get up the nerve to ask out a total stranger”. Now repeat this fear over and over and it becomes the major stumbling block to your getting ahead at anything, to being a success in your life.

Buddhists are fond of telling stories with a life lesson attached. So there was this young man who was instructed by his mentor to enter this particular cave and bring back what he found there. He enters the cave and sees a beautiful pearl, but there’s a dragon sitting over it, and he doesn’t want it to kill him, so he leaves. He comes back when he’s an old man, and walks into the cave, and there’s the pearl. And the dragon, it can fit in the palm of his hand. So he picks it up and takes it home to his family. So, how can you make such a transition happen for other people, to see that their fears are grossly exaggerated. And controlling their lives. It has to happen inside,  that you stop being afraid. That you can achieve the pearl.   

In his vivid film, Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan brings to life a very intense and potentially depressing tale of a military operation gone disastrously wrong. He turns it around to the winning tale that it is by focusing on the men, communally, and their ever growing fear of an enemy that they knew was closing in, but could not see. Almost Hitchcockian in tightening the tension. “These guys on the beach,” Nolan says, “were not privy to what Churchill was thinking in his study. They weren’t seeing the generals in rooms with things being pushed around a table.” Nor were they buoyed up by Churchill’s stirring oratory as the folks back home were, as they had no way of hearing it. Instead, each one was alone with their fear, alone in a mass of hundreds of thousands, as they awaited a fate that surely was going to do in all of them.

In the end almost all of them were saved by thousands of brave civilians in hundreds of tiny craft crossing back and forth the dangerous waters amidst heavy enemy fire. These too faced intense fear, but went into the fray for the greater good of all. As Nolan says, “it’s the idea that flawed human beings are doing their best in the situation they’re in and dealing with their own survival, dealing with their own humanity. I think there’s tremendous optimism from the Dunkirk story that can all add up to a communal heroism of extraordinary magnitude.”

Fear can be dealt with. Fear can be overcome. Whether short term intense, or long drawn-out inflated.

Fear once again is the weapon keeping us immobilized. But like the soldiers who stormed the beaches on D-Day and the thousands who performed the miracle of Dunkirk, we need to face that fear eye to eye. A breathtakingly liberating accomplishment.

When you do this you can say this is who I am now, this is who I have been, and you can move forward into the future with a renewed sense of faith in yourself and in the future. 

When you face the fear of whatever it is that’s holding you down – face it down, defeat it – then a wondrous load is lifted from your shoulders. You are free at last to accomplish what you most desire to accomplish. Unburdened and dancing giddy as a new-born frisky colt.



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This is not a dress rehearsal of the movie called ‘Your Life’ where you sit back and wait to see how it turns out.

This is it. So why not be extraordinary? You are the star, the director and the writer, so make it epic. It’s never too late to change and play full out.

Find out what you are made of. Success ultimately is about the person you become, and what you stand for.

Stand by or Stand up.

What Exactly is the Heroic?

For one thing, the heroic goes well beyond the physical.

Express yourself, what you are really thinking, and you are intellectually heroic.

Show your true feelings, not being afraid to be vulnerable, and you are emotionally heroic.

Have the courage to pursue your dreams and your beliefs, and you are spiritually heroic.

Put your money where your mouth is and apply yourself to succeed in business and career, without ever compromising on integrity or honesty, and you are financially heroic.

The Hero’s Journey is about achieving authentic success, coming into your authentic power, which is power based on truth and nobility. Ever wondered why the (mythical) Knights of the Roundtable were revered as noble? Because their ideals were based on these same revered principles of what it means to be a human worth looking up to. Worth knowing.

Immerse yourself in each of the stages of the adventure and you will step into a new life, one in which you will be proud to be the hero. Being a hero, truth be told, is a heck of a lot of fun. I can think of considerably less attractive ways to spend my life.

Whether it’s to be the very best parent, or to stand up for good schools or a better environment, or to explore your music career or your art or whatever it might be, each of you carries within you the great possibilities that will define your life, an assortment of paths you will choose, less-traveled or otherwise, that will determine the success of your life. Which is why the experts say that your  Quest for Success is your hero’s path calling out to you.  

Just as each of you needs to breathe in order to live, each of you needs to take that journey in order to be a success. And don’t ever for a moment believe it’s too late to begin. Go for it. What have you got to lose but your one precious life?



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“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

To feel passionate and free.  Successful.  I mean beyond the limitations of everyday dreams for fame, fortune, etc. Meaning you love your life.  Regardless of your challenges and struggles.   That despite the inevitable setbacks, disappointments and heartbreaks you are filled with gratitude for the privilege of being alive.  For being you.  That you find meaning in your existence. How sublime is that.

Stop and think for a moment. Whatever you are struggling with, no matter how unique it may seem to your personal situation here in this Facebook-world of instant communication, it has all in one form or another been a challenge to millions of your ancestors before you.

And after countless years of trials and errors, certain of these clever ancestors came up with remarkable solutions on how to deal with the ups and downs of the world, and how to make this rollercoaster of life work for you. Even make you a better person in the process. A person of heroic stature.

The problem is, if you are like most of us, that empowering part of your heritage was not exactly highlighted in your school classroom. And as anyone with a touch of reflective thought can readily see, that particular set of clever solutions was never meant to be a part of the program in the first place, never part of a system designed to matriculate cookie-cutter graduates who would fit nicely into the pre-designed jobs and careers that awaited them. Learning to think for themselves or attuning to the greatness in their individual voices, their unique individual contributions, or standing outside the box of cookie-cutter-dom, was never a requisite before being stamped ‘fully developed’. Degree and cap held high in hand.

Heroes, on the other hand, are never cookie-cutter. They stand out from the norm. They do so to accomplish great things. And they accomplish great things because they will not settle for anything less. And that in essence describes you, or at least the you who is striving to assume this honorable mantle or you wouldn’t be reading this.

The real you, not the imagined one you fantasize about being, must step out into the unknown and take a deep breath – and tell a story. Tell your story. The journey begins as simple as that. And while taking that breath look closely at your life. Not so much the life you have already lived, but the one that is coming at you just over the horizon.

The hero’s journey is never a backward looking one where you beat up on yourself about all the stupid mistakes you’ve made along the way. That obsession with the past is the focus of the Martyr (or Victim), and Martyr is the flipside of the coin of Hero. And like a coin, you cannot come up both heads and tails at the same time. So choose wisely to be the Hero. (Or go find a course about the Victim’s Journey.)

You can choose a different way to interpret your story.  Write a different ending.  A story of triumph.  Thomas Moore, the author of Care of the Soul and Soulmates, and one of my favorite human beings in the world talks about what it takes to Care for the Soul.  It’s profoundly beautiful understanding of life lived close to soul, vs spirit.  How to find a balance between the two.  It’s one of the best explanations I have ever heard.

He also says that the people he knows who’ve had to endure terrible loss and tragedy and heartbreak in their Life are some of the most alive people he’s ever met.  That their heartbreak somehow made them deeper as people  and they know what matters and what does not. 

The journey of life is a never ending journey of learning to love and trust again.  



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The Quest for Success is the core of the famed Hero’s Journey. If you look at the classical myths of the hero’s journey, you find the hero must always head out somewhere, leave home, travel into unfamiliar territory, go out into the deep mysterious world. On his own.  In search of what, he doesn’t really know as yet, but somehow in finding it he will emerge heroic. Sound familiar Frodo Baggins… Luke Skywalker… Harry Potter?

Not to be too harsh on the curriculum of our educational system, but did you ever actually spend a semester learning how to be great? How about the fine points to becoming an honest to goodness success? How to be a true hero? How to actually love someone (no, not the mechanics of ‘doing it’, which any animal readily figures out)? How to fall in love with life and all the incredible possibilities it offers to you, if you don’t let the day-to-day details bog you down?  I thought not.

So here then is a quintessential guide – well, as essential and life changing as you want it to be – to standing outside the box of ‘going-nowhere mediocrity’. The experts are very much of the 21stcentury, storytellers whose wisdom is the end result of building blocks that have been carefully assembled over thousands of years.

Ask most people today to name their ‘heroes’ and you get a list of the Dalai Lamas and Mother Teresas, Bill Gates and Martin Luther Kings who reach celebrity status that lands them somewhere in the midst of a mass of superstar athletes, movie stars and pop singing idols. Yes, the world is always in need of heroes, people we can look up to and emulate, but this cult of celebrity, this intoxication with ‘reality’ TV and paparazzi ‘revelations’, has blinded so many to the fact that each and every one of you has your own heroic path that you must walk, a path you must walk to live your life, regardless of whether you will ever waltz down the red carpet, or even care to.

As one wise woman (Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop) reminded us before her premature death, this life you are living right now is no dress rehearsal. You are HERE.  Be here NOW.  YOU are the star, the director, the writer, the producer. So make it epic.   

She went on to say “I always tell people to NEVER say I can’t.  Once I vision things, it’s happening’.

As Shirley MacLaine told me in a profound interview. “Think of it as if you’re already there. So your responsibility is to dream the dream you want.  Live! “.

Each one of us is heroic.  So if you can start to see yourself in that light and see all the things and challenges you have survived it helps.  Victim or Victor. You decide.  Change your story. Change your life. 



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Each one of us has enormous strength, wisdom and power to overcome whatever life gives us and you are no exception.

The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is really a question of definition. If you want to be a success than be that.  It has nothing to do with how the world defines it or you. In fact I believe we are in desperate need for new rules for success. It has to do with you, how you esteem yourself. Your opinion is the one that counts. And that is in your control. And ultimately its about the person that you become and what you stand for.

John Assaraf,  says that what changed his life was when he started to love himself. “So if you alter your beliefs about what you deserve and what is possible for you in life, then the altered beliefs will drive your behavior. To accomplish anything, change your beliefs about what you deserve and what you think you can achieve.”

I also love what he says as follows. “If you’re just interested then you will do what’s convenient; but if you’re committed, then you will be willing to do whatever it takes.”

I believe that follow up and persistence are key, and yes, doing what it takes, given you are always acting out of integrity. That is paramount. I also believe that what we do really matters. So make it count.  Never let circumstances and other people determine your destiny.  

Jack Canfield, the world’s leading Success Coach has this to say. “That in our desperate drive to be important, to have money, to have fame and power, many of us think that success in life is about accumulating more and more. But it’s not about becoming wealthy, though all of us would love that and it is a part of the game we are playing.   The main goal is to gain mastery in life. That is, to acquire wisdom and become more loving. From that, all else flows, allowing us to create what we want in our lives”.

Russell Simmons says “you’re only a failure when you quit”. I used to say, Never Ever Give Up or quit no matter what.  I’ve changed my mind about these die hard dictums. I still believe them but I define it differently now.   I think it’s important to get feed back and course correct. 

Learning the art of pivoting is the art of becoming resilient and strong. You are strong when you get up again and keep on keeping on. And when you keep shooting for the stars. You have only one precious life so why not play full out. It seems I’m always putting myself out on a limb with no safety net. I’ve always tested the power of my convictions by putting  it all on the line.  Living on the edge is not always a comfortable place to live. But’s it’s the only way I know how.    

 I love the philosophy  Richard Carlson put forward, when he talked about “relaxed passion”, where you don’t wear yourself out with this kind of harsh strident ambition whether its for a just cause or your own glorification and self interest.   It’s about doing all that you and then letting go.  Your destiny knows it’s own timetable better than you do. What is yours will come to you.  It’s taken a lifetime to learn this lesson. 

It takes faith and courage to live this way.