Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

Do You Believe In You?

Einstein_1921_by_F_Schmutzer_-_restorationDid you know that Albert Einstein could not speak until he was four years old and did not read until he was seven? His parents and teachers worried about his mental ability.

Or that Beethoven’s music teacher said about him, “As a composer he is hopeless”? What if young Ludwig believed it?

When Thomas Edison was a young boy, his teachers said he was so stupid he could never learn anything. He once said, “I remember I used to never be able to get along at school. I was always at the foot of my class…my father thought I was stupid, and I almost decided that I was a dunce.” What if young Thomas believed what they said about him?

When F. W. Woolworth was 21, he got a job in a store, but was not allowed to wait on customers because, according to his boss, he “didn’t have enough sense.” I wonder if the boss was around when Woolworth became one of the most successful retailers of his day.

When the sculptor Auguste Rodin was young he had difficulty learning to read and write. Today, we may say he had a learning disability, but his father said of him, “I have an idiot for a son.” His uncle agreed. “He’s uneducable,” he said. What if the boy had doubted his ability to excel?

A newspaper editor once fired Walt Disney because he was thought to have no “good ideas.” The great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso was told by one music teacher, “You can’t sing. You have no voice at all.” And an editor told Louisa May Alcott, just a few years before she wrote the classic novel Little Women, that she was incapable of writing anything that would have popular appeal.

History will long praise each of these famous people, but what became of their critics? Nobody even remembers some of their names, which is all that need be said.

But what if these young people had listened to those critical voices and became discouraged? Where would our world be without the music of Beethoven and Caruso, the art of Rodin, the ideas of Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, the imagination of Walt Disney or the literary contributions of Louisa May Alcott? As it was so accurately put, “It’s not what you are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts.” (That from Oscar Levant.) What if these people had not become what they were capable becoming, had not done what they actually could have accomplished, just because they were discouraged by people who couldn’t see them for what they were?

We all have potential and, whether you realize it or not, your desire to do or be more than you are is your best indicator of future success. Others may discourage you, but the most important voice to listen to is your own. Do you believe in you?

Still the voices of your critics. Listen intently to your own voice, to the person who knows you best. Then answer these questions: Do you think you should move ahead? How will you feel if you quit pursuing this thing you want to do? And what does your best self advise?
What you hear may change your life. 
Steve Goodier
By Steve Goodier

SPINBRIGHTON womens health event

SPINBRIGHTON womens health event –

free fri 05/10/12

Women’s Health, Women’s Voices – Make sure NHS health reforms deliver
for women in Brighton and Hove

Brighton Women’s Centre is holding a FREE event for women to discuss
health issues on Friday 5th October 10.30am – 3.30pm at My Hotel
http ://www . myhotels . com/my-hotel-brighton/index . html

Women’s health, women’s voices is supported nationally by the Women’s
Health and Equality Consortium (WHEC), is your chance to say what girls
and women need from your local NHS and to find out how to influence
services. Speakers include: Zoe Palmer (WHEC), Christa Beesley (Clinical
Commissioning Group), Rob Jarrett (Chair of the Shadow Health and Well
Being Board) and Michelle Pooley (Healthwatch Commissioner).

Lisa Dando (Director of Brighton Women’s Centre) said,

“The NHS is currently undergoing a period of substantial reform which
will have implications for women’s organisations in Brighton and Hove
working on health-related issues.  It will be important for all those
affected to understand just what these reforms are likely to mean in
practice and to be aware of how to engage and influence the new

The meeting will update local women’s groups on the current
restructuring of health and care services and provide a chance to talk
about the opportunities and challenges these reforms create.  Women will
be able to share experiences of engaging with local health bodies and
build a strong network to campaign for local NHS services to take the
needs of girls and women into account.

A full programme for the event can be found at
http ://www . womenscentre . org . uk/index . php?Events

To book a place please email [email protected] or download a
registration form from http ://www . womenscentre . org . uk/index . php?Events
or pick up a registration form from Brighton Women’s Centre, 72, High
Street, Brighton BN2 1RP

Zoe Palmer, manager of WHEC said,

“WHEC is creating women-only spaces around the country to ensure that
the experiences and needs of women and girls’ are reflected in health
and social care policy.  We will take all the key issues to government
and present a picture that reflects what girls and women tell us they
need from the NHS.”



How important is it to offer our love, especially to those closest
to us, with no strings attached?

Ernest Hemingway wrote a poignant short story called “The Capital of
the World.” In it he tells about a Spanish father who wants to
reconcile with his son who has run away to Madrid. In order to
locate the boy he takes out this ad in the El Liberal newspaper:
“Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana at noon on Tuesday. All is
forgiven. Love, Papa.”

Paco is a common name in Spain, and when the father goes to the
square he finds 800 young men named Paco waiting for their fathers.

What drew them to the hotel? As Hemingway tells it, it was the words
“All is forgiven.” I notice that the father did not say, “All WILL
BE forgiven IF you do this or that.” Not, “All WILL BE forgiven WHEN
you do such and such.” He simply says, “All is forgiven.” No strings

And that’s the hard part – un-attaching the strings. Wiktionary
tells us that the origin of the expression “no strings attached” may
go back to ancient times when documents were written on parchment
that were rolled up and secured with a string. The Babylonian Talmud
in Tractate Bava Metzi’a tells of a man who gives his wife a bill of
divorce on such a parchment, but holds onto the string so that he
can snatch it back, should he choose to do so. The divorce,
therefore, is not considered valid since he will not give it freely.
Similarly, love, forgiveness or friendship that is given with
strings and conditions attached are a sham and not valid, since they
can be snatched back at any time.

An unknown author beautifully portrays the possibilities of
no-strings-attached love in this heartfelt story titled “The Rock.”

“As she grew older her teenage daughter became increasingly
rebellious. It culminated late one night when the police arrested
her daughter for drunk driving. Mom had to go to the police
station to pick her up.

They didn’t speak until the next afternoon.

Mom broke the tension by giving her a small gift- wrapped box.
Her daughter nonchalantly opened it and found a little rock

She rolled her eyes and said, ‘Cute, Mom, what’s this for?’

‘Read the card,’ Mom instructed.

Her daughter took the card out of the envelope and read it. Tears
started to trickle down her cheeks. She got up and lovingly
hugged her mom as the card fell to the floor.

On the card were these words: ‘This rock is more than 200,000,000
years old. That is how long it will take before I give up on

This mother is not saying, “I will love you IF.” Instead she says
that she will love her daughter forever and nothing can change
that. No strings attached.

When we learn to love like that, I think we’ll understand the words
of Emmett Fox, who said, “If you could only love enough, you could
be the most powerful person in the world.”

— Steve Goodier

Find Steve Goodier here: 

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As an airport skycap checked through a customer at curbside, he
accidentally knocked over the man’s luggage. He quickly collected
the fallen bags and apologized for the mishap. Unappeased, the
traveler burst into an angry tirade, raging and swearing at the
skycap for his clumsiness.

Throughout the traveler’s rant, the baggage handler calmly
apologized and smiled. The livid customer continued to berate the
man, even as he turned away and headed for his gate. Through it all
the baggage handler smiled and remained calm.

The next customer in line witnessed the incident and marveled at the
skycap’s professionalism and self control. “I have never seen such
restraint and humility,” he said. “How do you keep your cool when
somebody is attacking you so viciously?”

“It’s easy,” the skycap answered. “He’s going to London, but his
bags are going to Tokyo.”

I won’t recommend that we use revenge to relieve stress. But let me
tell you about someone who has found a way to go through most of his
life unfazed by the turbulence that affects most people.

He is one of the calmest people I’ve ever known and he describes how
he keeps his cool no matter how turbulent a situation becomes. He
says, “I look at it this way. A traffic jam has no power to make me
angry. It just stops my car. And that’s the way I try to look at
most of what happens to me.” With that philosophy, this guy goes
through life with a serenity I can only envy.

My friend likes to say things like, “A rude customer has no power to
make me angry; he just fusses.” And, “A mistake I made has no power
to make me upset; it’s just a chance to do better.” He shows how we
can truly find calmness in the midst of chaos.

Eminent 20th Century American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a
short prayer that has been reprinted countless times. Bill Wilson,
co-founder of the support group Alcoholics Anonymous, became
familiar with the prayer about 1941. He edited and adapted it, and
then circulated it with the title “Serenity Prayer.” You are likely
familiar with his version:

* “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”*

The prayer has been a great help to many hundreds of thousands,
perhaps millions, of people over the years. And the truth of the
matter is that there is much which cannot be changed. We can’t do
anything about this evening’s traffic. Another person’s reaction is
not something we can control. Furthermore, we may have made any
number of mistakes that we probably regret, but they are in the past
and that is something we cannot change. Reliving the past does not
help us change the future.

There’s a certain power in calmness. And those who learn to accept
with serenity that which they cannot change will find power to
change those things they can.

— Steve Goodier

Find Steve Goodier here: 


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Resilient Leaders Learn from Everyone-including DOLPHINS!

Resilient Leaders Learn from Everyone-including DOLPHINS!

Who can resist the constantly “smiling” face of a dolphin whose =
intelligence and acrobatic skill have delighted humans for centuries? =
Whether through the legends of sailors rescued by these marine mammals =
or through frescoes found on the walls of ancient Minoan palaces, humans =
continue to be intrigued by dolphins.=20

I am no exception. Nor is my 13 year-old granddaughter Siena. Together, =
we showed up at the Dolphin Research Center (DRC) where a colony of =
Atlantic bottlenose dolphins call the lagoons of the Gulf of Mexico =
home. Here, DRC researchers and trainers care for dolphins who have to =
come to them because of injuries or because prior captivity deemed them =
“non-releasable.” The Center is a not-for-profit education and research =
facility dedicated to promoting the coexistence between marine mammals =
and humans and the environment we share. Through research and education, =
we begin to understand the world of the dolphin and can study cognition, =
physiology and husbandry.=20

As a management consultant, I became fascinated with the corollary =
between engagement for high performance in order to create a resilient =
organizational life and engagement and high performance in the watery =
world of the dolphin.

To gain the trust and performance of dolphins as well as people, here =
are five lessons we might all do well to remember:

* Know everyone’s name and something unique about each one.
* Set everyone up for success.
* Build skill levels.
* Provide more stimulation for top performers.
* Allow for fun and individuality.

Lesson #1: Know everyone’s name and something unique about each one. At =
DRC, researchers tell dolphins apart by their coloring, their movements, =
and call each by their name. A special shape on a stick is lowered in =
the water and every dolphin knows which one belongs to him or her. =20

In organizations, I’ve observed managers who do not know the names of =
their employees, can’t tell you one thing unique about them, and send =
group messages that don’t take individuality into account. This =
anonymity is compounded in a virtual world. Sadly, that virtual world =
becomes the fallback way of communicating even if the person is sitting =
in the next cubicle.=20

A great manager/leader knows that every virtual team must at least start =
with a face-to-face meeting (or video face-to-face) and a personal =
sharing of more than resume data. A great manager/leader finds ways to =
highlight each person so they feel singularly recognized.

Lesson #2: Set everyone up for success. At DRC, researchers and =
trainers make sure that before asking a dolphin to do something “more”, =
they have allowed the dolphin to be successful in a current task. When =
the new “request” is made, the trainer makes sure that not every element =
is strange and so there’s a modicum of comfort.

In organizations, goals are sometimes changed before employees have a =
chance to experience and celebrate success. The bouncing ball is never =
caught. Frustration results. Likewise, when responding to the demands =
of a changing business world, a great manager/leader makes sure that at =
least some element of prior success is brought into play. For example, =
Apple used the technology of the I-Phone to create and expand into the =
world of the I-Pad.=20

Lessons #3: Build skill levels. At DRC, researchers and trainers break =
apart a task or a research project into smaller components and observe =
dolphins while adding the next step only after seeing successful =
completion of the first. Different dolphins also learn at different =

In organizations, great managers/leaders don’t expect 100% proficiency =
from the starting gate. Instead, they watch for building blocks of =
performance. By observing and listening for such blocks, a =
manager/leader also knows whether an employee can, in fact, do the =
assigned task. That manager/leader must also know what is the time =
frame for accomplishment. Not everyone is suited for specific tasks. =
Pulling the plug too late can be as dangerous as pulling the plug too =

Lessons #4: Provide more stimulation for top performers. At DRC, some =
of the dolphins were stronger and quicker than others. Dolphin Tanner =
would become bored if not offered enough stimulation. He loves the =
cognitive challenge of imitating while blindfolded with soft latex cups. =
(International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 23,671-688). Without =
stimulation and challenge, Tanner “checks out” of his work.

Organizationally, humans are no different. Skilled performers become =
bored and apathetic if not invited to explore what might be the next =
growth opportunity. A great manager/leader watches for performers who =
have “checked out”. Increased stimulation might be just the answer.

Lesson #5: Allow for fun and individuality. Dolphin Talon is a =
grandchild of Flipper, one of the stars from the television show by the =
same time. Talon literally squeals with excitement every time he makes =
an incredibly high jump and puts an extra rotation into his flip. =
Dolphin Calusa is a jokester, hiding the target poles so trainers have =
to ask her to go find them. And Molly is my special “dolfriend.” Yes, I =
adopted this 50 year-old older marine mammal with scars from a former =
life under her flippers. She is into accessorizing and has a collection =
of colored scarves that people have brought her!=20

When Siena gave Molly the command to “Bring me a gift,” Molly came back =
with an orange and red silk scarf over her snout. Siena was thrilled. =
We learned this does not happen often. Molly has been known to suddenly =
appear with a scarf over her dorsal, one on her nose, and another on her =
flipper. And to this day, divers who inspect the lagoon have NO idea =
where she hides her accessories!

We are all like the dolphins, wanting to add some color, fun and =
personality into our workday. A great manager/leader makes space for =
humor, laughter, and originality of expression. In fact, it is the =
laughter and spontaneity that keep researchers, trainers, and the many =
volunteers at Dolphin Research Center coming back for more.=20

As we drove back to Miami and our long flight back to California, Siena =
and I realized we had laughed and learned. We watched with wonder. And =
we knew that places like the Dolphin Research Center allowed us to also =
embrace our own humanity.=20

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to =
be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of humanity.”=20

– George Bernard Shaw

=A9 2012, McDargh Communications. Publication rights granted to all =
venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links =
are made live.

Eileen McDargh is a Hall of Fame professional speaker, management =
consultant, resiliency expert and top thought-leader in leadership. =
Visit The Resilient Spirit at to get her =
free quarterly e-zine, read her blog and articles. Read the =
testimonials from hundreds of satisfied clients from all over the globe =
and hire her to keynote at your next meeting or facilitate your next =

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Wood Is Good

Wood Is Good

Wood is good when it comes to interior design. It’s a look that most of us love and you can’t really go too far wrong with – whatever you choose.

An increasing number of interior designers are going for the all-wood look to create a ski cabin type of feel. But wood is a lot more versatile than many of us think. Of course, it’s just about the most traditional interior design material there is. But it can also look stunningly modern if it’s carefully engineered. And there are an increasing number of companies doing just that all around the world – and doing so from sustainable sources.

Solid oak which has been stored and kiln-dried and is from reputable suppliers and furniture manufactures can look as contemporary as any other material when it’s carefully engineered with clean lines to a contemporary style. And there are many ranges that achieve exactly that kind of look.

If you have a look, for example, at some of the oak desks from Furnishing Homes, you’ll soon see just how modern a material oak can be. It’s the mix of the traditional material with the most contemporary design that gives some of the more modern ranges that unique feel.

It’s also easy to coordinate the look throughout your entire home – no matter how big or small it is. From dining suites to coffee tables, office furniture to bedroom furniture, occasional items and kitchen furnishings – a similar theme throughout your entire home really brings a wonderful feeling of design continuity achieving whatever overall look you’re trying to.

It’s the theme that has overriding importance here. If it’s a theme that complements your home setting – so much the better. But if you love all things modern and contemporary and have mentally written off an all-wooden theme or a motif which includes a lot of wooden furniture, then this may be an oversight; wood is good!



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Creating The Perfect Guest Room

Creating The Perfect Guest Room

When you’re setting up a guest bedroom it can be really great to make it a perfect room so that your guests feel pampered and spoiled when staying at your home. And as well as making it nice for other people, revamping a guest bedroom is a nice project as you can usually take the time over the redecorating and furnishing because you won’t need to displace anyone while you do it.

As the guest bedroom is used by a range of different visitors, you should try and pick a theme for the room that suits all tastes – as well as your own. Examples of things to avoid would be decorating the whole room in flowery pinks or with very bold colour choices. Choosing a neutral base for the walls and adding some touches of colour with the curtains and bed linen is a much safer approach – so the guest room is as suitable for your mother in law as it is for a work colleague to stay in.

You can buy furniture from one of the many bedroom furniture collections that retailers now offer. Start off by deciding what kind of style furniture you like. Do you prefer metal bed frames or wooden ones? There’s such a range to choose from that you need to narrow your choices before you start looking. For example, it’s really easy to buy cheap oak beds online, but they don’t all look the same. Some are painted cream or white, with wooden ends, others are waxed and some are stained to a dark rich colour.

A nice touch for a guest room is to have a dressing table. Some bedrooms don’t have room for dressing tables, but in a guest room, wardrobe space is not quite as essential as in your own bedroom, so you could make space for a dressing table and provide a smaller wardrobe instead. A dressing table can be a really nice feature in a room, especially if you choose one that has intricate carving on it, or an interesting mirror on the top. It also adds a touch of luxury to a room, making sure that your guests will have that pampered feeling while they’re staying in your home.

Finishing touches in a guest room are really comfortable bedding and pillows, and a set of towels which coordinate well with the bedroom. The only trouble with making a guest room too nice is that you might find your guests never want to leave! Do you have any tips for the other readers on how to create the perfect guest room?

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The ideal living room

The ideal living room should really live up to its name and be a living room. After all, this is the only room in most of our houses where the room’s designated purpose is leisure and relaxation. All the other room we use have a purpose which is largely functional. The most functional of all the rooms in the modern house is, of course, the kitchen where we prepare food, wash and clean up after ourselves and usually do a whole lot more like eat, store food and drink, and maybe even entertain occasional guests etc.


Obviously, our bedrooms are highly important as we spend more time here than anywhere else in the house – though most of the time we’re unconscious of course.


Other rooms are generally used for storage and, of course, we eat in our dining rooms. So for most of us in this day and age – we’re left with the appropriately-named living room or lounge to , well…, live and lounge around!


The problem comes when the room isn’t much of a living space but, instead, is rigidly formal and a little boring. Often, the living room furniture people choose is designed to make a room look smart rather than to have fun and relax in. But we can still achieve both these goals with the right furniture choices which are also good fun.


Take the recliner chair, for instance, which is great fun to sit and relax on, but also looks neat and tidy immediately in its non-reclined position. There are many other choices that achieve the same purpose like a smart pouf that fits into the corner of a corner sofa looking perfect when not in use – but affording the whole family the chance to lie down together in front of a good film on a cold winter’s night. The ideal living room is really about living!

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Sainsbury’s TU Clothing Introduce ‘Dear Zoo’ Babywear this Autumn

Sainsbury’s TU Clothing Introduce ‘Dear Zoo’ Babywear this Autumn

Sainsbury's TU Clothing Introduce 'Dear Zoo' Babywear this Autumn

Sainsbury’s TU Clothing
Introduce ‘Dear Zoo’
Babywear this Autumn


23 Aug 12

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic children’s book, Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, a range of gorgeous babywear products will be available in TU at Sainsbury’s this autumn.

The cosy cream coloured neutral babywear features characters from the classic Lift the Flap children’s book and will be in stores from 16th September.

The range, which is completely new for 2012, includes a Sleepsuit and Matching hat set with mini ears detail, £8.50 [aged newborn to 12 months]. There is also a pack of two short sleeved Bodysuits [aged newborn to 12 months] featuring the puppy character from the story, £8.00.

There is a gorgeous 3-piece gift set which includes a pair of booties featuring the monkey character, as well as mitts and cute little hat. All three items come in a cream gift bag [aged newborn to 6 months] £8.00.

To compliment any baby’s nursery, there is a stylish and neutral coloured cream sleeping bag featuring the monkey from the Dear Zoo book as well as a gorgeous repeat-pattern of all the characters from the story. The Sleeping Bag is 2.5 Tog which is perfect for Autumn/Winter nights and is £15.00 [aged newborn to 12 months].

To complete the range there is a pack of two bibs featuring the puppy and other Dear Zoo characters, £5.00.

All products are available from TU at Sainsbury’s from 16th September 2012.

Powered by WPeMatico Helping Students Make Post-16 Decisions Helping Students Make Post-16 Decisions Helping Students Make Post-16 Decisions Helping Students
Make Post-16 Decisions
     23 Aug 12

Whatever the GCSE results – good or bad – for the first time thousands of 16 year-olds across the country will be making choices that will influence the rest of their lives. All this is happening at a time when jobs are harder than ever to come by, working lives are likely to be longer, university fees are increasing and one-to-one careers advice is no longer freely available. Whether youngsters chose to stay at school, go to college, get an apprenticeship or find work, their success will depend largely on their attitude.

Celia Middleton, founder of, has interviewed hundreds of people in the early stages of their working life and is in no doubt that people who start thinking about their career early have a significant advantage. ‘Once someone has an idea of what they want to do, they are able to work towards that goal.  Even if they change direction later on, they will still have gained skills and experience. Motivation is a powerful tool and respected by employers.’ The website offers students inspiration and information via videos of young employees, entrepreneurs and apprentices. They volunteer their time because they remember how difficult it can be to find first-hand information and want to help the next generation.

According to Dr Deirdre Hughes, OBE, Chair of the National Careers Council, ‘Young people with better career exploration skills are more positive about their post-16 and post-18 choices. Having access to good quality careers information and advice, especially around exam results time, is crucial.

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Tippitoes Expands into Travel Systems

Tippitoes Expands into Travel Systems

Tippitoes Expands into Travel Systems

Tippitoes Expands into Travel Systems

22 Aug 12

Tippitoes is delighted to announce the launch of its brand new 3-in-1travel system, Toto which is now available to purchase at with an RRP of £385.

Suitable for use from birth and designed to adapt to parent’s needs as baby grows, the Toto 3-in-1 is the first travel system from leading nursery brand Tippitoes.  It has everything you need to ensure getting around with your baby is as hassle-free as possible. Incorporating pushchair, carrycot and car seat functions each option is designed with your baby’s comfort in mind.

Available to buy individually the car sear, carrycot and pushchair are easily converted without the need for adapters. The carrycot and pushchair options are parent facing to encourage development through talking, laughing and interacting. The pushchair can also be used forward facing to allow baby to take in the world around them.

The Toto car seat is a group 0+ baby seat suitable for babies from birth until they reach a maximum weight of 13kg/29lbs (approx 12-15 months).  It features an impact absorbing shell with side impact protection to ensure your baby’s safety in the event of a side on collision. The lightweight car seat also features an adjustable five point safety harness, with chest pads and head hugger.

When not in use the complete travel system folds compactly for storage. The Toto travel system features front swivel pneumatic tyres complete with front and back suspension, linked rear brakes and an ergonomic sponge grip handle which ensure a secure and smooth journey for both baby and parent. Other added extras include adjustable hoods and spacious shopping basket.

Available in a stylish black finish complemented by silver piping, the Toto 3-in-1 combines style, safety and quality at an affordable price.



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Stoop and Drink

Stoop and Drink
There are some things I think I do pretty well. There are others that need improvement and still others that are probably beyond anything I can help. I picked up golf for a while. How hard could it be, I wondered? I soon learned. It didn’t take long before I was consistently shooting in the lower seventies. Pretty much every hole.

Two people actually gave up working with me to improve my game. Which is okay – I have more time now for doing things less frustrating, like solving the problem of world peace.

I heard of a hotel that has a water fountain in the lobby that is operated by an infra-red beam of light. When a thirsty person wants a drink, she simply bends down and the water automatically turns on. There is a sign above the water cooler that reads, “Stoop and drink.”

What a marvelous parable for a life attitude. Stoop and drink. Especially when we have something to learn, when we want to drink from the fountain of knowledge, we may need to stoop and drink.

Like Albert Einstein. He once arrived in London carrying his violin case. After greeting him, an old friend asked, “You still play the violin, Albert?”

The mathematical genius nodded and said, “Yes, but not very well. My teacher says, ‘The trouble with you, Mr. Einstein, is that you can’t count.’”

He knew that he had much to learn if he were to play the violin well. And he was wise enough to know that he would learn better if could approach it with a sense of humility; he had to stoop in order to drink.

Have you ever skied? Even if you’re an adult, if you’ve never attempted downhill skiing you would do well to begin by taking a lesson on the beginner’s slope. Yes, you may be the only person in the group over four feet tall, and you may also be the only one to slide down the slope backward while little people are whizzing by. Believe me, I know. But you’ll never get the hang of it unless you learn the fundamentals. If you stoop to take a lesson or two, you can leave the bunny slope behind forever.

Author Barbara Sher says something interesting about this approach to learning new things. She says that you “can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.”

I think she’s right. I takes some stooping to approach something new like a beginner. But that is the way we learn best — at any age.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that anybody can teach me, if I let them. Young people and old people, the uneducated and the learned — anyone can be a teacher. But not anyone can be a learner. It takes the right kind of attitude to learn. But if I’m able to stoop, I’ll have plenty to drink.

— Steve Goodier

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Bonmarche Summer Dresses

Bonmarche Summer Dresses

Find Cool Summer Dresses

You won’t be disappointed when you go to the Bonmarche online emporium, with a great choice of quality styles for all sizes and pockets.


Bonmarche Summer Dresses

The Bonmarche dress selection has something for any occasion – parties, work wear, holiday’s, weddings or celebrations. With styles designed by their in house team or our exclusive range from David Emanuel, you won’t be disappointed.

Their dress styles this summer range from easy to wear, stretch jersey wrap to the ultimate in glamour. With their bold colours and patterned prints, they have everything you could need for work or play. For the Wedding, party and races season, they have a range of cocktail dresses in bright colours and fabrics, but never forgetting the little black dress. They also have a selection of full length dresses or a selection online exclusive designs.

Bonmarche specialises in plus size ladies fashion, offering clothing, footwear, accessories and bags for all occasions in classic and contemporary styles. Their online shop gives you the flexibility to shop when convenient to you, safe in the knowledge that your items will be delivered to your door or to your favourite Bonmarche store with their free collect in store service, available nationwide. Fashion that fits your pocket. Fashion that fits your style – Fashion that fits in sizes 12 – 24.

Kids Go FREE on LEGOLAND Holidays in June & July

Kids Go FREE on LEGOLAND Holidays in June & July

LegoLand Kids Go Free 1 June – 31 July

LegoLand Kids Go Free

Book a fun-filled family break to the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort for a minimum 2-night stay this June or July and Kids Go FREE! Prices start from just £205 for a family of four, which includes all of the following: • Two days in LEGOLAND Windsor • Two nights at a nearby LEGOLAND partner hotel • Delicious breakfast With an extra day in the Park, you get more time than ever to enjoy over 55 fantastic rides and attractions, including the new LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Experience. This incredible Kids Go Free offer is only available until 31st July, so book your LEGOLAND short break today!


Furnishing A Small Apartment

Furnishing A Small Apartment

Furnishing A Small Apartment
Small flats and apartments can be great; if you choose the right furniture to go in them, and don’t let them get overcrowded with belongings. The secret to doing this is to decorate and furnish the flat as one unit rather than looking at each room separately.
So, for example, choose furniture from one store to give a feeling of cohesion. There are ranges of furniture which can complement both a dining room and living room. If you have a kitchen diner, you can choose a practical table that will double up as an extra food preparation surface. Position the table near to the working end of the kitchen so that you don’t have to carry items to and from the table too much.
A dining table with extending leaves often works well in a small property, as you can fold down the leaves outside of meal times, increasing the feeling of space in the room. Many stores now sell dining room sets – a table and four or six chairs – which offer good value compared with buying a table and chairs separately.
When furnishing the bedroom, look out for units that contain both hanging space and drawers. You might consider getting fitted wardrobes built-in along one wall of the bedroom. Although you’ll lose a bit of the floor space, you can create a great amount of hidden storage there.
The lounge area can also have extra storage space inside furnishings like the sofa and coffee table. These are great places to put items like magazines, books and DVDs.
The best place to look out for bargains and furniture sales is on the internet. For example, you can see the latest offers from Harveys Furniture on YouTube, as well as catching up on the archive of the store’s funny ads from over the years!

Furnishing A Small Apartment

Furnishing A Small Apartment

Furnishing A Small Apartment
Small flats and apartments can be great; if you choose the right furniture to go in them, and don’t let them get overcrowded with belongings. The secret to doing this is to decorate and furnish the flat as one unit rather than looking at each room separately.
So, for example, choose furniture from one store to give a feeling of cohesion. There are ranges of furniture which can complement both a dining room and living room. If you have a kitchen diner, you can choose a practical table that will double up as an extra food preparation surface. Position the table near to the working end of the kitchen so that you don’t have to carry items to and from the table too much.
A dining table with extending leaves often works well in a small property, as you can fold down the leaves outside of meal times, increasing the feeling of space in the room. Many stores now sell dining room sets – a table and four or six chairs – which offer good value compared with buying a table and chairs separately.
When furnishing the bedroom, look out for units that contain both hanging space and drawers. You might consider getting fitted wardrobes built-in along one wall of the bedroom. Although you’ll lose a bit of the floor space, you can create a great amount of hidden storage there.
The lounge area can also have extra storage space inside furnishings like the sofa and coffee table. These are great places to put items like magazines, books and DVDs.
The best place to look out for bargains and furniture sales is on the internet. For example, you can see the latest offers from Harveys Furniture on YouTube, as well as catching up on the archive of the store’s funny ads from over the years!

Living in the Same Box

Living in the Same Box

Living in the Same Box
David Wallechinsky in The Complete Book Of The Olympics (Penguin Books, 1984) gives us a story that is worth retelling.

It is 1936. American Jesse Owens seems sure to win the long-jump competition in the Olympic games. The previous year he had jumped 26 feet, 8 1/4 inches – a record that will stand for 25 years.

As he walks to the long-jump pit, however, Owens sees a tall, blue-eyed, blond German taking practice jumps in the 26-foot range. Owens feels nervous. He is acutely aware of the Nazis’ desire to prove “Aryan superiority.” And as a black son of a sharecropper, he knows what it is like to be made to feel inferior.

On his first jump, Owens inadvertently leaps from several inches beyond the takeoff board. Rattled, he fouls on his second attempt, too. One more foul and he will be eliminated.

At this point, the tall German introduces himself as Luz Long. “You should be able to qualify with your eyes closed!” he says to Owens, referring to his upcoming two jumps.

For the next few moments, the African American and the white Nazi chat together. Then Long makes a suggestion. Since the qualifying distance is only 23 feet, 5 1/2 inches, why not make a mark several inches before the takeoff board and jump from there, just to play it safe? Owens does and qualifies easily.

In the finals, Owens sets an Olympic record and earns the second of four gold medals. But who is the first person to congratulate him? Luz Long – in full view of Adolf Hitler.

Owens never again sees Long, who is later killed in World War II. “You could melt down all the medals and cups I have,” Owens later writes, “and they wouldn’t be a plating on the 24-carat friendship I felt for Luz Long.”

Luz Long made his mark in world history and taught the rest of us a valuable lesson.

Someone else put it like this: “We can learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp… some are pretty… some are dull… some have weird names… and all are different colors…. But they all have to learn to live in the same box.”

– Steve Goodier

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Brush Up On Your Barbeque Etiquette

Brush Up On Your Barbeque Etiquette

Brush Up On Your Barbeque Etiquette

Summer has arrived, marking the beginning of the barbeque season. This is the
time of the year when the grill is hauled out and cleaned off, the required
cooking utensils are inventoried, the lawn furniture is hosed down, and the
sauces and rubs are added to the grocery list. It is also the time for
revisiting your barbeque etiquette.

If barbeque etiquette sounds like an oxymoron, it isn’t. There are indeed rules
for properly conducting yourself as a host and as a guest. Just because these
festive events are held outdoors and are casual in nature does mean that
anything goes. Whether the occasion is for business such as the company picnic
or simply a neighborhood gathering, there are standards to follow.

Etiquette Tips for the Hosts:

1. Be prepared. That means making sure you have enough of everything from
charcoal or propane to food and beverages and don?t forget the cups, plates and
napkins. Grandma?s china and crystal are not appropriate substitutes when you
run out of serving items.

2. Have a rain plan. While rain should be forbidden during outdoor events, it
will occasionally show up. Either arrange for tents or know how you will handle
an indoor picnic.

3. Provide all the food and beverage. Unless you are hosting a family reunion
or the traditional neighborhood party, don?t ask people to bring things.

4. Have plenty of bug spray and insect repellent. Your guests should be the
ones eating, not eaten. If you live in a ‘buggy’ environment, it is a good idea
to have food domes on hand, not only to keep certain foods warm, but to keep
flying pests out of your culinary delights.

Etiquette Tips for the Guests:

1. Keep your grilling advice to yourself. Your host is in charge of the grill.
You may have what you consider is a better way of doing of things, but unless
you see that the host is about to set the place on fire, keep your mouth shut.
Open it only for conversation and food.

2. Leave your legendary potato salad at home. Unless you are asked to bring a
dish, don’t. It would be an insult to your host.

3. Volunteer to help. Now that?s good barbeque etiquette. These events can get
hectic at the last minute so offer your assistance in case it is needed.

4. Use your napkin to clean off your sticky fingers. Tempting as it may be to
lick your fingers, it is simply not good manners. Neither is using your finger
nail or toothpick to pick the corn out from between your teeth. Be sure to have
dental floss on hand, but excuse yourself to use it.

Etiquette Tips for the Business Barbecue

1. Maintain your professionalism. While you are there to have fun, be mindful of
your actions and your words.

2. Dress like a professional. Business attire is not expected, but make sure
that your casual dress is conservative. Avoid anything that is sloppy, shabby,
sexy or revealing.

3. Hold back when serving yourself. Piling on as much food as your plate will
hold makes you look like you only came to eat. You can go back for more once
everyone has been served.

4. Play it safe with the drinks. If alcohol is being served, limit your intake.
Warm weather, alcoholic beverages and a company barbecue can be a dangerous

Barbecues and picnics provide a relaxed way for family, friends and co-workers
to gather together, to catch up and get to know each other better. Enjoy
yourself and others but always be mindful of your manners. Demonstrate your best
barbecue etiquette so you will be invited back and you will still have a job on
the next working day.

© 2012, Lydia Ramsey. All rights reserved. Reprints welcomed so long as article
and by-line are kept intact and all links made live.

Lydia Ramsey is an international business etiquette expert, based in Savannah,
Georgia. Through her keynote addresses, live seminars, executive coaching, her
books and other products, she has helped individuals and organizations add the
polish that builds profits. Visit her website to learn more:

Do All the Good You Can

Do All the Good You Can

Do All the Good You Can
Someone advised, “If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.”

You’ve probably heard it said that it’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice. And there’s truth in that. But isn’t there something even more important than being nice? More important even that being good? What about DOING good? What about standing up and being counted? When courageous people take unpopular stances, they aren’t always seen by their opposition in a soft and gentle light.

Not too long into the American Civil War the Union finally won a victory at Antietam. President Lincoln used the occasion to produce a proclamation to free American slaves. He called his cabinet together and laid the document before them. He had been shaking the hands of well-wishers all morning and his arm and hand were stiff. He rested his arm and spoke to Secretary of State William Seward.

“If my name ever goes into history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it. If my hand trembles when I sign the Proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter will say, ‘He hesitated.’”

Then he picked up a pen and signed “Abraham Lincoln” in bold writing. There were a large number of people that day who would not have used the word “nice” to describe his action. In fact, a great many not only couldn’t say anything kind, they couldn’t even be vague. He was slandered, maligned and demonized. But that signature, coupled with a later Union victory, changed the course of history forever. American slaves were finally to be freed.

How many slave-owners of the day were reputed to be nice people? And in most areas of their lives, many probably were. But there comes a time for each of us to stand up and do right thing. To DO good.
I hope that that my personal moral code will always be broader than simply trying to be a pleasant person. I hope I don’t back down when I have a chance to DO good, to make a real difference, even at a cost.
I don’t think it was never put better by anyone than by eighteenth century church reformer John Wesley.

“Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as ever you can.”

What if we tried to live by the motto: DO all the good you can? Now, THAT would be nice.

– Steve Goodier

Find Steve Goodier here: 




Even though her toddler was throwing a furious tantrum, (or, as my southern
American friends might say, pitching a fit) from the seat of a grocery
cart, one mother was unfazed. You may as well give up on the crying, she
said as calmly as if she were soothing her to bed instead of leading her
out of the store. It won’t work. You’re stuck with me for 18 years.

That little child may not know how lucky she is to be stuck with her for 18
years. Even when she’s cranky, out of sorts or otherwise going through a
phase, her mother will be there. She’s stuck with her. Most relationships
that truly matter are built on that kind of sticking-power. And not
everyone has someone they can always count on to stick around.

A university instructor posed a riddle to her graduate education class.
What has four legs and leaves she asked, hoping the students would
realize that by considering alternative meanings to the words legs and
?leaves? that they could arrive at the solution  a table. However, one
woman unexpectedly answered, My last two boyfriends. Maybe you can relate.

People will leave relationships for any number of reasons. And sometimes we
should put certain relationships behind. Not every friendship or romance
has a healthy future. Sometimes we bring along so many destructive problems
and behaviors that a happy relationship has no chance of long-term
survival. Sometimes addictions make staying in a relationship impossible.
Sometimes leaving is necessary.

But there’s also a time to stick around. Something all relationships of
many years have in common is this: every one of them is made up of people
who have had plenty of opportunities to bolt or quit, to move out or to
move on, but they stuck around. Maybe because they knew that the people
they love are not always lovable or easy to be with, and that’s okay.
They want a relationship that matters, one that is important and lasting,
and that kind is nurtured by patience and understanding.

Author John Gray sometimes tells about a young mother who asked her
visiting brother to get her some pain pills. He forgot and, when her
husband returned home, she was upset and in pain more than a bit crazy.
He experienced her anger as a personal assault and exploded in defense.
They exchanged harsh words and he headed for the door.

His wife said, Stop, don’t leave. This is when I need you the most! I?m in
pain. I’ve had no sleep. Please listen. You are a fair-weather friend. If
I’m sweet, you’re okay; but if I’m not, out you go! And then tearfully,
and more subdued, she said, I’m in pain. I have nothing to give. Please
hold me. Don’t speak…just hold me. He held her and neither spoke,  until
she thanked him for being there.

I suspect there will be plenty of other times their relationship will be
tested. And I also suspect that every time it goes through a rough patch
and survives some sort of adversity, every time they decide that being
together is important enough to stick it out and fix what’s wrong, then it
will change. Maybe not much, but a little. And in time, little by little,
that relationship, their togetherness, will become a thing of beauty; a
pearl of great value.

And definitely worth sticking around for.

– Steve Goodier

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