Monthly Archives: April 2012


As the sun sparkles and shines on the morning bay our local fisherman is heading out to work for the day.  You could set your clock by his coming and going.  The only time he is not out there is in bad weather.  He doesn’t have to fish for a living.  I have gotten to know him and his partner as I pass their home almost every day when they are getting up.  He does it because he likes to have fresh fish for his family and friends.  He loves being out there.  He says that if there is something you like to do, you just do it; it becomes a habit in your daily routine.

We once talked about whether habit was the same as discipline and he reckons it is.  The discipline creates a routine and he thrives on routine.  He has no alarm, he gets up and does the same thing almost every morning.  His partner appreciates that kind of discipline/habit as it also structures her morning.  She gets up paints, the catch of the day arrives at noon, they cook lunch together and most days friends join them.  Their day goes into a nice slow meander; after three o clock they read, he looks after his boat, chats with his friends who also have boats, she continues to paint, they go for a walk, a swim in the summer months, meet more friends and family for an aperitif at 6.30pm, home for supper and bed by ten o clock.

Their lives were not always like this.  He was a doctor in a country practice and his partner was the local art teacher.  They always wanted to live by the sea together.  As soon as their children from separate families were finished college they moved to the coast and are very, very content with their lives eighteen years later.  They are in their late sixties now and both of them say that you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you have courage, tenacity, discipline and in their case oodles of love for each other.  You can achieve anything, any time in your life if it is a burning desire or something that will put a smile on your face.  Once you smile ‘that’ kind of smile you will always want more of it.

So what does wikipedia have to say about self-discipline?  Self-discipline can be defined as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state. Qualities associated with self-discipline include willpower, hard work, and persistence.  Self-discipline is the product of persisted willpower.  Whereas willpower is the strength and ability to carry out a certain task, self-discipline is the ability to use it routinely and even automatically (as if through reflex).  An analogy for the relationship between the two might be defined as follows: Where willpower is the muscle, self-discipline is the structured thought that controls that muscle.  In most places it is believed self-discipline is the ultimate path to success.

What do you want to achieve?
What are your goals?
What kind of shape or way of life do you want to live?
How can you make small shifts that improve the quality of your existing life?
How do you get from where you are now to that place you want to be in?

Whether it’s health of mind or body you want to achieve, to be less angry, closed or judgmental, write that book, build that website, start that business, close your business, move house, move country, separate, divorce, marry or live together, take that trip or just take time out and travel the world, make that call that will change your life or a part of it, create that photographic archive, make that career change, be more loving, kind or trustworthy, be more generous; don’t wait to be asked to help, take that course or workshop, open-up to the world and yourself etc.

You can wish and think about ‘it’ forever, it’s only when you choose to make your desires, thoughts or wishes a goal and apply action, courage and discipline will you achieve it.  It’s as simple as that or you choose to stay living a mediocre life because you are too lazy, not motivated or inspired by life or your life in general.

How did you develop the habits you have that are good for you?
Is there or was there discipline involved?

Assess the ways you are disciplined and see how you can apply it to the parts of your life that will help you to achieve your goals.  Remember life is no dress rehearsal, you are on stage everyday publicly and privately, how do they differ?

Make your day a wonderful memory!

“Discipline imposed from the outside eventually defeats when it is not matched by desire from within.”  Dawson Trotan

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

“The problem with patience and discipline is that it requires both of them to develop each of them.”  Thomas M Sterner

“Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got.” Jim Rohn

“Discipline is remembering what you want.” David Campbell

“Pity the man who inherits a million and isn’t a millionaire. Here’s what would be pitiful, if your income grew and you didn’t.” Jim Rohn

“The most powerful control we can ever attain, is to be in control of ourselves.”  Chris Page

“When a child hits a child, we call it aggression.
When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.
When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.
When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline.”
Haim G. Ginott  -That is not the self-discipline we want to cultivate in this world of ours.

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012


and the music played…….

“To wake with joy
To think with joy
To speak with joy
To love with joy
To laugh with joy
To run with joy
To eat with joy
To drink with joy
To see with joy
To touch with joy
To  listen with joy
To smell with joy
To write with joy
To work with joy
To sleep with joy
To play with joy
To walk with joy
To think with joy
To sit with joy
To stand with joy
To jump with joy
To skip with joy
To give with joy
To go with joy
To leave with joy
To come with joy
To stop with joy
To ponder with joy
To scribble with joy
To live with joy

…….will make you feel a whole lot better,” sang happiness to sadness as they danced in the morning sun.
“Keep singing, it’s working.” whispered sadness as s/he leaned into happiness’s arms.

Joy puts a smile on everyone’s face.
You just got to spread it about.

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.”   Albert Einstein

“I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.”  C.S. Lewis

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”  Leonardo da Vinci

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”  Charles Dickens

“It was morning; through the high window I saw the pure, bright blue of the sky as it hovered cheerfully over the long roofs of the neighboring houses. It too seemed full of joy, as if it had special plans, and had put on its finest clothes for the occasion.”  Herman Hesse

“If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worth whilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough.”  Audrey Hepburn

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”  Mahatma Gandhi

“The brain is like a muscle.  When it is in use we feel very good.  Understanding is joyous”  Carl Sagan

“ Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“ Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”   Emily Dickinson

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves  to recognize how good things really are.” Marianne Williamson

©Copyright The Possible Self

©Copyright Danielle Maxwell

Oh to be courageous

When the sky is falling in

Oh to be honest to see it

Oh to have the perseverance to hold it up

And, oh to have the zest for life and not get gobbled up!

The sky has been falling since 2008

The news spread far and wide.

And then it reached home

Your home

My home

Their home

Our homes

Your village

My village

Their village

Our villages

Your town

My town

Their town

Our towns

Your city

My city

Their city

Our cities

Your country

My country

Their country

Our countries

Your mind

My mind

Their mind

Our minds

What would happen if we had the courage to let it fall in and get gobbled up by the wolf as in the story of Chicken Licken?

Who profits?

Who falls?

But what about you, them, theirs and me!

What happens to us?

The minions of us who work in e.g. education, health, the arts, maintenance services, manufacturing, engineering, construction, innovation, farming, retail, finance, private and public banking, the pickers in the worlds largest garbage dump in Rio de Janeiro are all part of the global stew, and wolves love stews.  What about us?

  • Those of us, who sweep the floors, clean and polish the windows.
  • Those of us, who manage those who sweep the floors, clean and polish the windows.
  • Those of us, who profit from companies we own who supply the people, who sweep the floors, clean and polish the windows.
  • Those of us, who contract our companies to other companies to sweep the floors, clean and polish the windows.
  • Those of us who re-invest our profits from our companies to construct the buildings that own the companies, who are contracted to other companies to sweep the floors, clean and polish the windows.
  • Those of us who invest profits from our companies in the earth’s natural resources that supplies the raw materials to build the buildings, the brushes to sweep the floors, materials to clean and polish the windows.
  • Those of us who invest profits in the earth’s natural resources from the profits of our companies to feed, clothe and house us so we can own more buildings and companies to sweep the floors, clean and polish the windows.
  • Which of us control and own the natural resources below our feet and the economic world sky above our heads that keep us sweeping floors, cleaning and polishing windows to keep the fires burning?
  • Which of us are advising and directing the governments who set the rules to manage the sky so that we can keep on sweeping the floors, cleaning and polishing windows on the global stage?
  • Do we have the courage to want to know ‘the games’ that are being played with our profits, sweat and wit on our behalf as we continue to sweep the floors, clean and polish the windows?

What courage we have all demonstrated getting up each day of our life, going to work, selling our time and knowledge for cash to live our lives, educate our children, and enjoy the fruits of our labor.  The more we got the more we wanted.  Like the wolf we gobbled it all up and the roof is still falling in.

What now Mr. Wolf?

Who is next?

Where can to-days Chicken Licken and her followers go to tell that the roof is falling in and who has the courage to help them not get gobbled up?  What can be done?  Do you know?  Do I know?  Do they know?

Courage like the possible self can work for or against you……courage to get what you want at any cost, to be the greedy person or not.  It’s all a choice.  Courage to make changes that effect your life and those around you, courage to be the possible self that can radiate compassion, empathy, love, generosity, gratitude, trust and kindness as the sky falls and as we put scaffolding under it.  How we are behaving, what we are saying, what we are doing, what we are thinking matters in times of change and challenge.  It takes courage to see the possibilities and potential and even more so to take action, bold action to make a difference when our own roof is falling in.

©Copyright The Possible Self

Chicken Licken Story


‘If the earths’ sun is a star how come we don’t see it at night?’ asked Lootie of her big sister Heather as they brought warm milk to the cats in the barn on the other side of the farm.

“You be the sun and I will be the earth.  You are the nearest star to the earth.  You spin and I spin.  At night-time we are turned away from you so you shine on the people below our feet on the other side of the world and in the day time we are turned towards you so you are above our heads.  The earth rotates on its axis as it journeys around the sun giving us night and day.”

“ Yeah but…………..went on Lootie……..

Last weekend I was at supper in a friend’s house and the grandfather of the family who is eighty-two, a very gracious, charismatic and a kind man, asked the same question Lootie asked her sister Heather and there was silence at the table.  The conversation earlier on was about the new images on national geographic about the monster tornado on the sun that his niece showed us.

One of the guests piped up in astonishment,  “Didn’t you go to school Daniel?”

“I did but none of that interested me then, and it does now,” said Daniel.

One guests tried desperately to show off all he knew and got into an argument with another guest.  They controlled the dinner conversation without any sensitivity towards Daniel’s question nor did they leave ‘space’ for an input from the rest of the guests.  Daniel told us it took great courage to ask that question and now he was off to his bed none the wiser because there were too many know-it-alls at the table.  He needed to hear Lootie’s and Heather’s conversation………

Daniel was the most interesting person at the table in my estimation.  He had been telling stories of the local village and the people who had lived there; farmers, bakers, butchers, shopkeepers, families, writers and artists mostly.  He had a way of telling a story too that was intriguing.  Italian was his first language and he spoke four other languages which he used so everyone at the table could be included in the story as it unfolded.

According to an entry in Wikipedia courage includes, bravery, perseverance, honesty and zest.
Which of these human strengths do you have?
Are you a courageous person all the time, some of the time and why is that?
Do you have the courage to remove the masks you wear and let the world and you see what goes on behind the masks?
When do you remember being your most courageous?
Why are you courageous?
Why are you not courageous?
Do you stand up for what you believe in or do your let others do it for you?
Do you have the courage to own up to your faults and greatness?
Do you feel truly alive and have a zest for living?

Courage is all around us: on the streets, in homes and in minds.  Watch out for signs of it in your own life and in the world around you this week.

I had forgotten to say last week that I have had no coffee since the 1st of February and no alcohol in three weeks.  Our friend whom we are supporting in not partaking in alcohol is doing real well in the Hippocrates Institute.  (she had many health issues).  Are we being courageous in our resolve?  Yes we are with a huge amount of tenacity, love for each other and ourselves, friendship, humor and imagination.  Our courage is working for all of us.  How are you doing in your resolves?  Remember it’s a day by day thing!   Keep on smiling whatever you are doing.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” Ambroise Redmoon.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tsu

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”  E.E. Cummings

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin

“If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”  John Irving,

“Creativity takes courage. ” Henri Matisse

“Courage is found in unlikely places.” J.R.R. Tolkien

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” Mark Twain

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Andre Gide

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