Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Issue 469 - Do You Believe?

I hope Wednesday finds you well.

I didn't write on Monday as it was a national holiday here im the UK, and then I spent all day yesterday thinking that I had written it!
Ooo-er, if that isn't a sign of old age catching up with me, I don't know what is!

A big part of goal achievement theory is that you must believe , both in your worth to achieve the goal, and that the goal will happen.
If you fail to have this belief, you are effectively stating a positive belief in the opposite, and so it's the opposite to success which comes true.

However, belief will not *guarantee* success alone.
There are lots of other factors - taking action is a big one, and there are factors which we can't control.

On Saturday the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest took place in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, watched by 100 million viewers!
The winner was the Russian entry, a song called 'Believe'.

There has been lots of hoo ha in this country about the voting structure, because in the last few years it has been an open telephone vote from the viewers.
This means that the newer countries in the Baltic and Balkans tend to vote for each other, pushing the western European countries ever further down the list.
I'm not too sure about this - it sounds a bit like sour grapes from us, because we haven't won it for many many years, but that drought started long before the telephone voting came in, and both Greece and Finland have won recently, so I don't think the argument holds up that well.

Still, I bet the Russian singer 'Believed' eh? Especially since he had lost a couple of years ago to said Finnish entry, a load of heavy metal rockers in monster masks!

Talking of holding your belief to come back from failure, let's look at Paula Radcliffe.
The marathon world record holder is admired everywhere for her punishing front running style, and was hot favourite to win Olympic Gold in Athens.
Unfortunately the heat and a stomach upset took their toll, and she pulled out at roughly 20 miles, sitting in tears at the side of the road.

Belief is something Radcliffe has in spades though, and she set her sights on this year's Beijing Games.
She has had repeated injury problems though, and has recently been diagnosed with a stress fracture in her leg.
There are now distinct doubts as to whether she'll even get to the start line, let alone be at the top of her abilities.

It may mean she ends her career without that elusive Olympic Gold.
So belief has taken her to a world record and Olympic favouritism, but factors outside her control, i.e her leg bone may stop her goal achievement.

A great example of the power of belief, and the fact that you cannot rely on it alone.

Ok, that's it for today, I believe I'm about to eat some chocolate.

'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Issue 468 - Power To The People?

I hope everything is ok where you are.

Lots of choice about what to write about today.
I know that some readers loathe and detest sport about as much as I love it, so I checked to see when the last time I did a sporting issue was.

It wasn't that recent in fact, but I'll hold off at least for another week.
The story of Justine Henin retiring can wait.
And the one about Annika Sorenstam retiring.
And Oscar Pistorious winning his battle for Olympic eligibility.
And the 127th FA Cup Final.
And so on.

I could write about the Eurovision Song Contest coming up in Belgrade, where the UK will come last or thereabouts.

But no, this week it's politics.
There are votes on legislation all the time in Parliament, it's how the laws of the land are made, as the 650 odd MPs vote, each one representing around 70,000 voters.

But my question is, how well do they actually represent those voters?
It's big news this week that some votes on abortion and human-animal hyrbid embryo research will be so called 'free votes.'
A free vote means that the individual MP is allowed to vote according to his/her conscience, and has no obligation to vote with the party line one way or the other.

I get confused, not for the first time.

This shows that it's not up to the individual MP on the regular votes, they are expected to vote how the party tells them.
If the majority of the 70,000 in the constituency disagree, the MP tells them that they elected the MP and the party to make the decisions over the course of the term.
Ok, I can get that logic, but yet when MPs vote against their party, which classes them as a rebel, you'll often hear them say 'I have no doubt the majority of my contistuents and the country in general agree with me (i.e. not the party)

In that case are they saying the elecorate chose the party or the MP?
And if they chose the MP, was it so the MP could decide, or so that he could represent the constituents and vote as to their majority view?

Can you see the confusion?
There are 3 clear different options here, and what happens is that politicians claim to be following different ones at different times.

That is logic that *doesn't* wash with me, and strikes me as an obvious case of 'when it suits me'.
This leaves politicians clear to look after their own personal career ambitions rather than represent the people who elected them.
Not all MPs are this wavering in their claims - some are consistent the whole way through the term, so at least with them the voters know which one they'll get.

My view is that it would be nice if a my Member of Parliament represented the people who voted for him, i.e. me!
Surely if every MP voted like that on issues like abortion deadlines, the result would be a true reflection of the country's view on the matter.

I'm glad that I stood in the 2005 election, it's what makes my country a free one.
I thinking more and more that I should stand again in 2010, which gives me 2 years to see what kind of support I could muster before I had to commit.

What do you reckon, a good idea or a bad idea?
Another adventure to set off on, or something I need to be talked out of?
Would I be better off focusing on my curling?

Ok, that's it for this week, I'm off!
'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you know anyone else who you think would enjoy the Great Gordino Newsletter, please pass it on to them!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Issue 467 - 100,000 Dead In London

I hope Monday finds you well.

It finds me well.
I may have a bad toe, I may have noticed a little bald patch on my head, and that I need ever more quantities of dye (Excellence Creme by L'Oreal Numer 5 Natural Brown) to keep the grey at bay.
I may have maintained my remarkable ability to apparenty repulse women, but all in all I'm well.

I'm alive, I have a roof, I have food, I have choice.
Unlike all those poor people in Burma.

When the death toll first rose from 5,000 to 10 then 15,000 you knew the final figure was going to be high.
Now estimated at well over 100,000, and with disease possibly set to kill over a million as the Government stalls the help of the international community.

I called this issue 100,000 dead in London because it helps to imagine how the world would change if that were true.
As it happens it's Burma not London, but the people are people wherever it is.
What can you say when the government there is more interested in staying in power than letting other countries in to help.

I've always said this newsletter is about wealth creation as one of its' subjects, and part of that is to make sure we fully appreciate the wealth and abundance we already have but take for granted.
Not everyone has it, and we should appreciate the moment to the full.

On another subject, it's the ephemeral (ooh, good word) nature of live entertainment which appeals to me. There is nothing like sitting in an audience and watching a live performance that makes your body react by goosebumps.

The current series of Britain's Got Talent does just this.
Yes, there are the usual bozos and deluded idiots that come on, but when a non showbiz-trained person comes on, opens their mouth and produces a voice that gives goosebumps, it's one of the moments I'm talking about.

This week it was a 12 year old girl, who walked out, smiled sweetly and stood rather ungainly at the microphone, Faryl Smith.
She started to sing, and the whole theatre fell pin droppingly silent as she delivered a performance of Ave Maria to drop jaws.

The audience were caught in one of these ephemeral moments, and all they could do at the end was stand up and cheer.
She just smiled sweetly again, and said 'thank you very much.

That moment, that one moment, has gone.
She has the appeal and talent to clearly be able to sell several million albums, but it's that one moment I choose to remember.

It normally is singers that have this effect, you may remember Paul Potts who won last year.
Music can affect us like this due to the way the soundwaves act with our brain.

I wish I could sing, but when I try the soundwaves react with audiences brains in a way that normally inspires abuse or projectile vomiting.

I've been to several teachers. I remember once I went to Jay Ashton, a woman who was in British band Bucks Fizz.
My brother always joked that when she asked me what I wanted to sing, I should have said 'can you teach me to sing Making Your Mind Up slightly off key like you used to?'
I reckon she may not have found that funny, but it makes me giggle everytime.

My voice will never compete with some of these natural voices, like 12 year old Faryl Smith.
I accept it, and enjoy the moments she and others can give me.

I smile at bad jokes.
I smile at myself, and I appreciate the abundance I have compared to those 100s of thouands in Burma.
Make sure you appreciate what you have.

Ok, that's it for this week, I'm off to appreciate some chocolate.

'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Issue 466 - Shirley Temple, The Kind Of Face You Could Slap

I hope everything is ok where you are.

Shirley Temple recently turned 80.
It's something when you can look back and think your movie career ended 70 odd years ago!

I remember often seeing her films when I was younger.
The first time she sang 'On The Good Ship Lollipop' you'd think it was really sweet.
The second time you'd think the novelty was wearing off.
The third time you'd think she had a face you could slap.

Not a real wallop you understand, not a crack around the head with a sawn off baseball bat or anything, just a little tap maybe...
Only joking, and Shirley made a successful career for herself after the movies, serving as US ambassador to 2 countries.

I watched a documentary about an Irish entertainer who has also turned 80 - Val Doonican.
He's someone else I remember watching - he was on tv for around 25 years.

Working hard at his craft of music, he slowly developed work, and then joined a group.
It was when he was in a show with Anthony Newley that Newley said he should be doing solo work, so he did indeed go solo.

Then he was asked to be on 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium,' a huge show watched by millions.
The record companies had not given him the time of day before, but within 6 weeks his first record was out and in the top10 of the charts.
He was an overnight success - after 17 years!!

Yet another story, and you know I love them, of how you can't go far wrong if you do something you love, and then work hard at it.
You may get that lucky break like Doonican, who is still touring today, but for every 1 Val Doonican there may be 1,000 musicians working equally as hard who don't get the fame and big bucks.

What's important though is that you are doing something that means something to you.

Another point is that while Doonican was working all those years before the big time, it was *hard* work.
I've done entertaining in small venues, and it can be an almighty slog.

A lot of people 'give up' when they aren't prepared to put up with it like Val was.
I think 'give up' may be the wrong phrase as it implies negativity, a defeat.
That's the wrong way to look at it, it's just a choice of lifestyle, and as long as you accept and take responsibility for your choice, you'll still be content.

Ok, I'm off to the shops to buy some lollipops...

'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you know anyone else who you think would enjoy the Great Gordino Newsletter, please pass it on to them!

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