Tag Archives: Self-Help

How To Be Lucky

Luck is great, but most of Life is hard work.

The hard truth is that we make our own luck.  If you want to be lucky enough to witness a brilliant sunrise, then you have to get yourself out of bed before dawn.  If you want to be lucky enough live your life’s dreams you must first know what you want and then do something to get it.  If you want to really live Life, then show up.

I want a better life, I need to be a better man, I want to live my dreams.  A few short weeks ago I was in the depths of Hell.  Walking the hard road up from yet another rock bottom, these are a Magnificent Seven Truths I have been shown.  These things have helped me find my luck, perhaps they may help you too.

  1. Self-Awareness.  Know yourself.  Be congruent and grounded in your own truth.  Know that you are unique and that you have unique skills and abilities.  Understand your own power.
  2. Know where you want to go.  Chart your course.  Dream your dreams.  Discover what you really need, want, and desire.  Create a vision board, or mind map, or just make a list.  If you don’t know what you want, then Be Brave.  Stop asking others what you should do, and don’t do anything that others may want you to do if it doesn’t match your own truth.  Change I should to I want.
  3. Do Something.  Take some action.  Get off your ass and do something to realise your wants, needs, desires, and dreams, even if it’s just making a plan, or writing a daily journal.  ~  just don’t do things that you don’t need to do.  Change should to could.  If you can get others to do things for you then use their unique skills and talents.  Let the Cosmos work for you too.
  4. Leverage the Magic.  Use your dreams, thoughts, words, and deeds.  Have the best attitude you possibly can.  Nobody likes an impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, unforgiving and manipulative jerk.
  5. Believe in yourself.  Be more congruent.  Make certain that your inner beliefs match your needs, wants, desires, and dreams.  If you don’t believe then you can’t achieve.  If you don’t believe then you certainly will have no luck at all.
  6. Engage the Magic.  Make a start on living your dreams.  Do something positive, even if it’s just a very small thing.  The greatest journey starts with that first baby step.
  7. Be adaptable.  After you have taken some action, look at what happened.  If what you did didn’t get you what you want, then do something else instead.  If you do what you always did, then you will get what you always got. A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Scientifically, and mathematically there is no such thing as luck.  So, if you want to be lucky in life, if you want to take advantage of random chances, if you want the good things to come to you, then work at living your dreams.

The harder I practice, the luckier I get.  ~  Gary Player

Here’s the thing, should I want to, I can win money playing cards.  That isn’t because I’m lucky, it’s because I’ve studied Hoyle, probability theory, and statistics, I can work out odds in my head, and I’m a natural card-counter.  Some say that’s cheating, it certainly isn’t luck.

Try to stay focused.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Don’t get drawn into fighting the alligators when you really want to be draining the swamp.

Some say that life’s hard and nothing ever goes right for them.  And, that they never have any luck, their whole life is a train wreck.  All I know is that the harder and smarter I try, the luckier I get.

The road goes anywhere and everywhere you want, but you have to get out there and be prepared to enjoy the journey.

Create your own luck, and then ride it hard.

~

jack collier

email:   jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

In Moonlight Shadows

Just a small town boy lost in one more lonely midnight.

I had lost all control

I need to make true changes

torn and conflicted I had no home

I had been filled with angry resentments

California Nights showed me I need new goals

when night comes again, I’ll be looking at the moon

yet you know I’ll be thinking of all those California Nights

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

just one more lonely night

but don’t stop believing

Food on Friday~ Mediterranean

Good food begins and ends with good talk.

Some say that a Mediterranean diet is good for you.  And, that if you eat a mostly Mediterranean diet you’ll be healthier and live longer.  All I know is that you should always have a really good extra virgin olive oil.

From Greece, tzatziki is basically a mixture of yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and mint, and you can buy it from your local store, or you can even make your own.  The Bojon Gourmet has this nice little farro and cucumber salad with feta, dill, and mint that not only would be nice with some tzatziki, but also combines its flavours.  Both would go nicely with some grilled goat.

Farro and Cucumber Salad with Feta, Dill, and Mint

And now, from Heidi at foodiecrush we have this outrageous herbacious Mediterranean chickpea salad.  (I had to include this just for the name of the dish.)

Outrageous Herbacious Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

From Heather Christo this week we have Mediterranean pasta with grilled swordfish, lemons and gremolata.  Gremolata is also dead easy to make for yourself. (I love grilled swordfish, but some say we shouldn’t buy swordfish ~ I will go on eating it, because whatever I do won’t affect how much fish the Japanese rape from the sea.)  This 25 minute dish is perfect for a barbecue with the kind of friend who doesn’t expect a burned burger in a cheap bun.

Mediterranean Pasta with Grilled Swordfish, Lemons, and Gremolata

Sardines are a quintessentially Mediterranean dish, and Petra from Food Eat Love has some super taste combinations in this dish of fresh sardines, roast baby beets with whipped avocado and feta.  As you’d expect it’s the beetroot that going to take the longest to cook here.

Fresh Sardines, Roast baby Beets with Whipped Avocado and Feta

This is another Mediterranean dish I love, grilled lamb kebabs, this time from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest.  (Do you want to know my own secret ingredient for grilling Mediterranean style?  7Up ~ when the charcoal gets too hot and the meat looks like it might burn, I sprinkle 7Up over the grill.)  Tieghan’s is a half-hour dish, but one should really marinade the lamb overnight.

Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Dana at The Minimalist Baker has the ultimate Mediterranean bowl, looks fabulous, and it’s easy, healthy, and gluten-free.  However, I would definitely add a little more extra virgin olive oil.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Bowl

For hose of us who like recipe collections, Olive magazine has 19 of the best Mediterranean recipes, including this cod, cherry tomato, and green olive tray roast.  Looks smashing doesn’t it.

Cod Cherry Tomato and Green Olive Tray Roast

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get yourself a cookery book

How to Stay Healthier and Live Longer

Life is not merely being alive, but being well.

If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only will you feel better, you will also add ten or more years to your life.  But, what is a healthy lifestyle?  Turns out that not smoking, (nor abusing prescription or street drugs), drinking booze only in pretty strict moderation, and keeping to a healthy weight are the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.

Smoking and drinking may look cool, for a short while, but after a short while those pastimes will turn an attractive women into a cackling, wrinkled, old hag.

The reason fat men are good-natured is that they can neither fight nor run.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt.

Personally, I would add another three things we should all do if we want to be fit and healthy well into our senior years; get plenty of good quality sleep, get plenty of appropriate exercise, and eat a good, healthy diet.  Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer a horrible and early death, from this moment on you should;

  1. Stop smoking.  Stop smoking weed too.  Smoking is dirty, disgusting, anti-social, and it will kill you in a selection of particularly nasty ways.
  2. Drink only in moderation.  If you regularly take more than a couple of drinks in an evening, if you empty a bottle of wine in a couple of days, if you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles of spirits ~ then you have a drink problem, and eventually it will make you very ill.
  3. Don’t be fat, don’t be obese.  It is very easy to stuff yourself with burgers, take-outs, canned food, and other unhealthy crap calories.  Type 2 diabetes will make you very ill, and then it will kill you.  There are three foods / ingredients you should never, ever, knowingly have in your diet;  sugar-free / diet soda, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, wheat flour, wheat products.
  4. Get plenty of good quality sleep.  Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy.  Lack of enough proper sleep causes accidents, makes you stupid, kills your sex drive, and puts you at greater risk of; heart disease, heart failure and heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
  5. Take enough appropriate exercise.  Just a daily walk can add 7 years to your life.  You don’t need to join an gym and lift heavy weights.  Both yoga and tai chi have a myriad of health benefits, improving your balance, control, fitness, flexibility, reducing the risks of falls, sprains, and other injuries, easing pain, and reducing the symptoms of depression.
  6. Have a good quality and healthy diet.  And, there are lots of cool diets to choose from; Atkins, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pritikin…  The key is don’t eat junk, have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat slowly and chew your food properly, and don’t stuff yourself at every opportunity.

Americans and the British are much less likely to live long and healthy lives than do the inhabitants of most industrialised western countries, and it has nothing at all to do with the standards of medical care in the USA and the UK.  In fact, the Japanese have the highest average healthy life expectancy in the world ~ and it doesn’t have anything to do with either sushi or rice.

Japanese people give attention to health in all aspects of their daily life.  Professor Kenji Shibuya.

Some things you can do today to work towards that fitter, healthier, happier life in your senior years are;

  • Change your attitude ~ tell yourself, convince yourself, that you will be fitter, healthier, stronger, more capable, filled with self-confidence, and more self-aware.
  • Get your blood pressure checked.
  • Eat a better diet ~ stop eating junk.
  • Stop knocking back the booze in the evenings.  Especially DO NOT drink just before you go to bed.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Start exercising.  There are both mental and physical benefits to regular exercise ~ at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week.  Walk, (at least) 10,000 steps every day.
  • Walk don’t drive.  Learn to drive in a slower, calmer, more relaxed manner.
  • Don’t get stressed.  Practice meditation and mindfulness ~ just relax.
  • Don’t hang out with people who eat junk, smoke, drink, and slob about just watching sports TV all day.  Stay out of pubs, bars, and down-market restaurants. If you can’t do those things you need to get to an AA meeting.
  • And for goodness sake, stay out of hospital.  Hospitals are incredibly unhealthy places to be for very long.

These are all simple lifestyle changes, and each one is pretty easy on it’s own.  Taken together these lifestyle changes will make a massive difference to your health, fitness, and happiness.  As a side effect you will stop throwing huge hunks of change down the drain.

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.  ~  Paul Dudley White.

Being angry, hateful, jealous, negative, stressed…, will all damage your physical, mental, and emotional health.   In fact, just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of an early death by three-quarters.

Mens sana in corpore sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

 

you can buy this book from Amazon

Gluten Intolerance

A gluten-free diet is more than just a fad.

Some say that gluten is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease.  And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition.  All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you.  Especially genetically enhanced, chemical laden, pesticide sprayed, modern American wheat is really, really bad for you.  If you have the sense your mother gave you, then you should stop eating anything made from wheat.

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are direct results of American agriculture policy and, specifically, the government’s wading into the food arena.  ~  Joel Salatin.

Gluten is what makes flour and water as sticky as glue.  Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like; wheat, spelt, rye, barley, bulgur, oats, and seitan.  There is no gluten in either quinoa or rice.  Nor is there any gluten in potato or beans.  However gluten is found in almost all processed and packaged foods, sauces, and canned food.

Non celiac gluten sensitivity is poorly understood, and there are no specific medical tests of your blood, stool, or urine that can reliably diagnose gluten intolerance.  You and your doctors can only reliably diagnose gluten intolerance by the symptoms and health problems you have.  On the other hand, there are reliable diagnostic tests for full-blown celiac disease.

Common digestive and health problems caused by gluten intolerance include;

  • Irritable bowl problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Irritation of the mouth and throat.
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, problematic memory.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability.
  • Low energy and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Muscle and joint pains.  Osteoporosis.
  • Peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
  • Skin problems, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, skin rashes.
  • Nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, anemia.
  • Asthmatic attacks.
  • Higher risk of learning problems including autism and ADHD.
  • Sexual problems and in women missed periods.
  • Gut autoimmunity, damage to the gut biome

Gluten intolerance will affect every single part of the body as the bacteria in your gut help to control everything from nutrient absorption, to hormone production, to metabolic function, to the way your brain works.

The problem is that gluten from wheat is found in just as many products as that other evil and unnatural food; high fructose corn syrup.  One should read the labels before buying any food, and certainly avoid these foods

  • bread, crackers, pizza, burritos, tortilla, cakes, cookies and the like
  • beer, lager, stouts, ales
  • barley malt
  • packaged, store bought chicken broth
  • malt vinegar ~ buy natural organic apple cider vinegar instead
  • most salad dressings including mayonnaise
  • veggie burgers unless they are certified gluten-free
  • soy sauce
  • packets of seasonings and spice mixes
  • noodles unless they are rice noodles
  • all pasta, (unless it’s marked gluten-free)
  • most condiments
  • non dairy creamer
  • miso
  • bullion cubes and stock cubes
  • canned soups
  • cheese spreads and other processed cheeses
  • sausages and hot dogs
  • ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk unless it’s from grass-fed cows.
  • Sour cream, which may contain modified food starch.

If you are even mildly gluten intolerant you will need to be very careful when eating out.  Eating out is fun, however,when eating out becomes the norm, and you find yourself eating out two, three, or more times a week, then eating out is no longer a healthy treat and is instead a bad habit.  If you are gluten intolerant dining out is very bad for your health. The same goes for buying Chinese take-out which is likely to be stuffed with MSG, (Monosodium Glutamate).  When eating out avoid fried foods, thickened sauces, and obviously bread.  Only drink gluten-free booze such as cider, wine, spirits and liqueurs, (there are gluten-free beers).  And, if you’re drinking spirits don’t have diet soda as your mixer ~ diet soda is also bad for you.

Some say that gluten intolerance might really be glyphosate poisoning.  And that pre-harvest spraying of wheat and sugar cane with Roundup makes for an easier harvest.  All I know is that I don’t want to eat food contaminated with weed-killer.

Glyphosate is for sure, in every bite of food that contains wheat.  ~  Nancy S. Mure

As it goes, wheat flour and refined sugars are just so very bad for you that your best choice is to avoid them all together.  The list of health problems caused by these two staple foods is both long and nasty.

You may want to look for non-gluten alternative foods and products, and there are lots of these if you make the effort.  Personally I have merely given up anything made with wheat flour, including; bread, cakes, pizza, pasta, cookies, canned soups… ~ and I now also make an effort to read the labels on the stuff I buy at the supermarket.

For most of us, giving up bread and beer is a pretty easy and very beneficial thing to do.

If you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour, you know it makes sense.

If you want the full story then you have to click on the links.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there is plenty of reading

Effective Time Management

Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters.

You can grasp the important essentials of effective time management in 20 minutes ~ living with it, really using your time wisely and to your own best advantage, well that takes a little more work.

So, just what is this time management thing?   Effective time management ~ it’s all about making a little go a long way.  It’s about improving the way in which you use the 86,400 seconds you get every single day.  Time management is about doing away with; displacement activities, delay, deviation, distractions, hesitation, indecision, indulgence, procrastination, repetition, sloth, stress, tardiness, and waste.

I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.  ~  Louis E. Boone.

Effective time management is all about doing the important things, at the right time, and spending the right amount of time on them.  Like everything good and important in life, effective time management is also about control, restraint, and self-discipline.  What time management is not about is making certain that you are doing the right things ~ that’s something else entirely, something we will talk about at a later date.

You already know the basic techniques for effective time management, it’s just that you never use them.  So here’s what you should do, from now on, every single damn day.

  1. Make a list.  Start with a to-do list.  These are the things you should / must / want to do today.  (Actually, tomorrow, because you should start writing your to-do list the night before.)  You can even buy a ready-made to-do list App, packed with colourful features and supposed benefits.  Don’t bother to waste your time and money.  Get a notebook, or just some sheets of paper, and write down what you need to do.  You can use different colours for different categories or importance of tasks if you like.  Personally, I merely number things, in order of importance.
  2. Cross tasks off your list only when they’re completely done and tangibly, measurably delivered, and then forget all about them and move onto the next task with a clear mind.
  3. Do the worst / most unpleasant / most important things first.  Getting the nasty stuff out-of-the-way early in the day makes the rest of the day both easier and much more enjoyable.
  4. Make more lists.  These extra lists are for sub-tasks.  For example your to-do list may say ‘do grocery shopping’ ~ so you need a shopping list, (never, never, ever go into a store without a list of what you want / need / would like to buy).
  5. Break big and unwieldy tasks down into smaller and more manageable bits.  This is called chunking, and it can be used in all kinds of situations.
  6. Keep a journal.  As well as writing down what has happened and how you feel about it, you can also use your journal as a detailed day planner, and as a place to plan and manage future events / tasks / projects.  Properly used a journal will stop you turning up for things unprepared / on the wrong day / without your passport.
  7. Avoid meaningless distractions.  These come in all kinds of shapes, but the most insidious and pointless time-wasting evil right now is social media.  If you use social media at work, or first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, or during your lunch break, then stop it.  You are just wasting time while turning your brain into mouldy dough.
  8. Take regular breaks.  Just sitting at your desk for 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 hours a day is not the way to be productive.  Worse than that, sitting at your desk for long periods is literally killing you.
  9. Get plenty of good quality sleep.  If you are tired and irritable you are also unfocused and unproductive.
  10. Develop good regular habits.  If you can run part of your day on auto-pilot, if doing some routine essential tasks becomes a habit, you are saving a hell of a lot of time and mental energy for the really difficult stuff.
  11. Learn how to say NO!  Agreeing to things that are unimportant / meaningless / we don’t want to do anyway, uses up a huge amount of our time, mental effort, and spiritual energies.  Along with that, drop people who waste your life and suck up your energies.
  12. Multi-task the routine stuff.  For example, prepare dinner while the bath is running, and let it cook while you’re soaking away the aches and pains of the day.  But be wary, multi-tasking doesn’t work for important stuff.

And then there is the tricky and oh so important number 13.

13. STOP DICKING AROUND.  There a billion things you could do instead of actually doing the stuff you really want to do, should do, need to do, absolutely must do.  Recently I read where a guy got sacked for spending all day at work looking at internet porn on his cell phone ~ if that’s not a definition of dicking around then I don’t know what is.

All of this is pretty much common sense, actually you knew most of this already, so why aren’t you using these good practices?  Probably because you’ve been lazy, lacking in self-discipline, or you think that ordinary rules and good advice don’t apply to you.  Well, let me tell you, little sister, you’d better shape up if you want that good quality, rewarding, spiritual, healthy life you’ve been promising yourself.

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.  ~  Pablo Picasso

Procrastination doesn’t cut it.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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