Monday, July 20, 2009

Jul 20th - A Man On The Moon? Don't Be Bloody Ridiculous!

I hope Monday finds you well.

Regular readers of my wafflings over the years will know that I have often talked about shuttle missions since started again after the Columbia accident, so it comes as no surprise for me to mention the first lundar landing, 40 years ago today. It was either that or the Open golf, so it's the 1969 lundar landing this time...

I remember it well, being a mighty handsome 3 year old. Er, actually not true, I don't remember it at all - come on I was only 3!

In 1961 Alan Shephard became the first American in space, incidentally he became one of the 12 men who walked on the moon, in fact it was he that hit the golf shot off the surface.

So shortly after that 1961 success, President Kennedy announced that the US would send a man to the moon by the end of that decade. He may have been high on pills at the time, and the scientists involved were shocked as they not the faintest idea how to get to the moon!

That started a fierce push of invention, constantly racing against time, and safety barriers, in fact 3 astronauts were burnt alive in the Apollo 1 capsule as it sat on the launch pad.

In 1969, the whole operation could have done with another 5 years to get ready, but Apollo 10 was sent up and did everything except actually land. When Apollo 11 went up, it was seen around the world, and as Neil Armstrong said, it really was a giant leap for mankind, an accomplishment of endeavour and goal achievement.

As it happened, we already knew the moon was grey and lifeless without having to set foot on it, so after 3 years of further missions which revealed little else, the Apollo missions were stopped.
It's only really as the 40th anniversary loomed on the horizon that the idea was mooted of going back, but this time as a stepping stone to sending manned flights to Mars.
Hmm, I'll believe it when I see it.

The space programme really is a marvel when you think of goal achievement. So many things that we take for granted came from space orientated inventions. Mind you, when the Americans expended huge effort to invent a pen that worked upside down so it could be used in zero gravity, the Russians just used a pencil...sometimes the simplest option is the best!

It's always been dangerous, the 2 shuttle explosions showed that, and even today as the shuttle Endeavour is in orbit, that launch was delayed 5 times, mainly due to weather safety restrictions.

On the International Space Station there are currently 12 men and 1 woman, from 5 different countries. Some on their first mission, some on return visits, but each of them with their own story of how they go there.

Can you use the lunar landing and space exploration as a spur for yourself? Of course!
Just think about how hard the scientists and engineers had to work 40 years ago, in such a short time frame.

I'm sure that you could set a 10 year goal, and it would be easier than landing on the moon.

I'm sure someone somewhere will have already achieved your goal, meaning that the route to it is already there.

You just need to decide to follow it, take the first step, and keep at it!

Ok, that's it for this time, I'm off to reminisce about Space Dust, the powder that popped and crackled when you put it on your tongue - remember it?

'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!
My book - Transform Your Life In 21 Days (it may show you how to get to the moon!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

14th July 2009 - Twenty Years Since Tiananmen Square!

I hope everything is ok where you are.

2009 sees the 20th anniversary of events in Tainenmen Square, in China's Beijing, Peking as it was called then. A much publicised event, the start of the whole incident is not known by many, so let's take a closer look, and remind ourselves of the freedoms we take for granted...

15th April saw the death of Hu Yaobang, and it was this which triggered the chain of events. Hu was a pro-reform member of the government, and students wanted to mourn him.
They started to gather and the numbers grew, and it wasn't long before various slogans started appearing, calling for the type of reforms that Hu had championed.

As the student numbers increased in Tiananmen Square, as sense of possible change grew - the Glasnost of Gorbachev's Soviet Union led people to believe something similar was possible in China.
Although no-one was demanding the fall of the communist government, the students started to gather support from general workers, who had seen their jobs lost as part of China's opening up to Western style markekt economy.

The government began to get concerned about the protests when the hunger strikes started, and with a state visit by Gorbachev looming, they did not want to appear as if they had lost control. An earlier declaration of martial law had failed to stabilise the situation, so with hundreds of thousands in the Square, the troops were sent in in early June 1989.

A famous picture shows a man standing in front of a line of tanks, holding a carrier bag and climbing on top of the tanks.
It's assumed he was executed after being taken away, because the government was never able to produce him after international requests.

The government says that no-one was killed in the square, in fact at first they stated that no-one died at all. Eventually they admitted deaths, with a figure of a couple of hundred.
Estimates vary, but a consensus seems to be that thousands died, with the army firing indiscriminately into the crowd.
International media on the ground described the back streets as being full of bodies.

There is nothing in the Square to mark the event, the government says only that a few soldiers died after troublemakers caused a riot. The iron fist of the state government clamped down on those identified as part of the protest, and the events of 20 years ago can still be seen today. China as a powerful international force, with massive growth of capitalist markets, but controlled by a die-hard one party communist state.

In 2008 the Olympic marathons ran through Tiananmen past the ever present portrait of Mao Zedong.
If you think you can run through Tiananmen today with a protest flag, think again. Even the Olympic athletes were warned to show no dissent in any form.

If wherever you read this you can shout in public that you disagree with the governement, be thankful - not everyone has that opportunity.

If you can stand for government office, be thankful - not everyone has that opportunity.

If you can work where you want, doing what you want, with free access to the internet, be thankful - not everyone has that opportunity.

You see where I'm going with this - people in Britain where I live may moan and groan, and it's the same in many countries around the world, but the next time you fancy a moan, think back twenty years to Tiananmen, and make sure you fully appreciate what you have.
Even a message like this could get me into trouble if I were in China.

Ok, that's it for today, I might just go and shout some protest out of the window, although the little old man doing the gardening may wonder what's going on!

'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!

My book - Transform Your Life In 21 Days:
(click the picture of me at the bottom of the page for the special price!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

10th July 2009 - Michael Jackson Died!

I hope this issue finds you well.

I guess it's possible you didn't know who Michael Jackson was, and you may not have heard that he died, so in case you were in outer space, Michael Jackson died 2 weeks ago.
It certainly was, and still is, a big news story, mainly due to the sudden turn of events, similar to when Elvis died.

I was 11 when Elvis pegged it, and can still remember the wall to wall coverage, the Jackon coverage just used different media, with the intermet at the forefront.

The Jackson story has lots of contradicitons on the goal achievement front, some quotes say that he had told 'close sources' he would never die like Elvis, and yet other quotes have 'close sources' saying he had told them he would die just like Elvis. As good an example as any to show that you couldn't believe everything you read.

Some things seem clear.
He started at a very young age, being pushed by his father to the point of abuse.
He develop any talent he had with pure hard work, and hour after hour of it, day after day, week get the idea.

This action and hard work led to success, meteoric success in fact, and from that point on it could be argued that Jackon never touched based with reality again.
The Jackson 5 had great success, and then Michael teamed up with Quincy Jones to create Off The Wall and then Thriller.
Thriller is still the best selling album, and at that point he was on top of his game, with a string of massvie hits to his name, and the iconic moonwalk and image to hang onto.

A long break saw him return, and I remember my wife and I seeing him in London in the late 80s on the Bad Tour. To be honest I could have done without the crotch grabbing, yelps and hiccups, and the fake tears (that was just from my wife!).
It was a great spectacle of a show though, and then just as the 2009 London shows, he had a young rocking blonde on geetar,which always helps.

The press over here had got their teeth into him as a nutcase, and the allegations of impropriety with children changed his image permanently.
The plastic surgery and skin whitening had left him looking not normal to say the least, and it seems clear that his mental state was not normal either.

When his London comeback shows were announced, it was immediately gossiped that he could never cope with 50 gruelling shows.
2 weeks on from his death it seems that the drug cocktail in his body is still unkown, but there was almost certainly a lot of substances that he was taking.

So although the Michael Jackson story shows what can be acheived with lots of very hard work, it's also a salutory tale of caution, showing what can happen if you let things get out of hand.

The outpouring of grief has been a bit strange, people blubbing in the street. If you asked them to name one track from his last album they might be struggling, and I suspect the media is using his story as much in death as in his life to make sales.

I'd be hard pushed to name my fave Jackon track, he sure recorded some corkers - you can go from I Want You Back, to One Day In Your Life, through Beat It, on to Black Or White and Earth Song.

Ok, that's it for this week, I'm off to dig out some Jackons tracks that haven't been played ad nauseum for the last fortnight.

'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!
My book - Transform Your Life In 21 Days:

Monday, July 06, 2009

6th July 2009 - Time To Set Your New Year Resolutions!

I hope everything is ok where you are.

When we hit June 22, we got to that time of year where the days start getting shorter.
If that's not something to think about, when we hit July 1st, we got into the 2nd half of the year, less time left than has already gone.

It's a great point to use as a staging post, to assess what you have done so far compared to what you said you would do at the beginning of the year.

You *did* set plans for the year, right?

And I'm not talking about the 'stop smoking' or 'be less of a fatso' ridiculous New Year Resolutions. Everyone laughs about those, joking that they will fail within 2 weeks, which of course, they then go on to fail within 2 weeks.

No, I'm talking about proper goals, clearly defined, written down, that you can recite at any moment. Goals with a plan of action to get there, actions that you can tick off once taken.

If you didn't do that at the beginning of the year, why not do it now! July is a perfect time to set New Year Resolutions - obviously not for the New Year as we are into the 2nd half of it, but you can make plans for the next 12 months for sure, or if you prefer, set them for the next 6 months, up to the end of the year.

I can assure you, if you make properly laid out goals, set actions to take, and set about those actions, you will look back on the 2nd half of 2009 as way more productive than the 1st half!

Let me know what you think, I love the feedback!

This is the kind of thing I talk about in my book 'Transform Your Life in 21 Days!'
I was thrilled to have it described as 'motivational magic' and a 'true gem in the field'.
Grab your copy right now, even if it's 2am in the morning!
(if you click my picture at the bottom of that page, you get a special price deal!)

Ok, that's it for this time, I'm off to check my own plans for the 2nd half of the year!
'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!

My book - Transform Your Life In 21 Days:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4th 2009 - Independence Day...YAWN!

I hope this issue finds you well, and a Happy Independence Day to all my US readers.

The yawn I refer to in the title was today's all USA Womens Final at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams was playing Venus Williams - again. It was the fourth time they had met in the final, and the second successive year.
In fact there has only been 1 final since 2000 that hasn't featured one of them at least.

It's not their fault that no-one else seems good enough to get there, but boy does it make for a boring watch.
I don't think for a minute that the games are fixed, but there is no way that they play with the same menace when they face each other.

Let's not take away from their story though, and it's a classic of goal achievement.
Born in a very rough area of LA, their father Richard just decided he would get his girls to the top of the tennis world, so learnt the game himself from books and tapes.

He then set about training the sisters, and because he didnt enter them into the junior circuit, there was already something of an enigmatic feel around them when they did eventually burst on the scene.

They brought an unseen level of strength to the game, with ferocious hitting, and sure enough, as he had predicted, both of them went on the be at the top of the game and Wimbledon champions.

It's not all been plain sailing - they've had much criticism, and I myself have written about the ugly histrionics that Serena in particular is prone to.
Guess what though, they couldn't care less, in fact when people tell them what they should or should not do, they reply with action not words, and do what they themselves think they should do.

It's unorthodox, and in the tennis world that can be frowned upon, but the results speak for themselves.

It's also important to remember that they got where they are, and stay there, only after years and years (and years) of hard hard work.
There are many stories which perfectly illustrate the formula for success and goal achievement, but that of the Williams sisters is a doozy!

Ok, that's it for this time, I would like to say I'm off to open an Independence Day bag of sweets, but in truth there's no way sweets should be reserved for just one day, so I'm off to open an 'anyday' bag of sweets!

'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!
My book - Transform Your Life In 21 Days:
(Click on my picture at the bottom of that page for the special price!)