My favorite quote from this summer is a, Greek proverb, “A society grows great when old men plant trees they know whose shade they shall never sit in.”

Now that Dillons my oldest son is back from school we started our family meetings again which we have done usually on a quarterly basis. We each have a flash card where we put three of our primary personal goals down and share them. Then we review our successes, failures, and things we learned and how we can all help each other achieve our individual goals. I was enjoying reading a book by Stephen Covey and was inspired to start a family mission statement with the boys. We came up with 4L = Live, Love, Learn, Legacy.
Live= the home is a safe place to nurture each other.
Love= we offer unconditional love, this doesn’t mean we’re not sometimes unhappy with certain people’s behavior but there’s unlimited tolerance, kindness, love, and loyalty even after someone has behaved badly and we’ve had enough time to calm down.
Learn= We all want to grow and have our Human Experience Blossom like a flower. In order to do that we must be open to constantly improving and growing ourselves and learning from our mistakes and continue to stay positive and move forward.
Legacy= Do the right thing for the long term. Make things better after we move through different life environments, relationships and situations. Our time on this planet is temporary, so try to make things a little better everywhere we go when possible.  BELOW RECENT WORK

Insights and Thoughts

I read some inspirational words “Every day is a new life to a wise man.”

Recently my oldest son drove from London Ontario to Vancouver with his two housemates that he lived with for a few years. As anyone knows traveling across Canada on a seven day road trip can test any friendships patience and tolerance. I was glad to see the boys arrived in good spirits. Sometimes there’s dynamically different desires in what people want to see and do.

I have several different types of friends. I have some of my most high contact relationships with work-related friends that have a shared interest in. Some friends I speak to on an almost daily basis as we share challenges and problems and we help each other with mutual counseling. I have some old but golden friends that I don’t talk to very much, but our long lasting friendship developed through the heat of various challenges but I’m equally close to them if they were ever a need, I’m more than happy to serve and help in any way possible. There’s a saying” A friend in need is a friend indeed” and that Echoes a lot for me.

There are friends that care about you and friends that want something from you. For the ones that want something from you, I am happy to help. I sometimes want help from a friend also. Some people view this as using each other, I disagree, and I view it as kind friends helping each other. A few hundred years ago people needed friends to survive. There was no medical system, so if you got sick your friend would help you build your house and your friend would be critical to your survival if you had no food. My favorite kind of friend is the one where we receive mutual benefits by teaching and helping each other to grow up better. There are also intolerant friends that can be very volatile.  Even if you invested 20 years into a friendship, they are ready to walk away from friendship on any misunderstanding.

Intolerance and lack of forgiveness is more common now with friends. We now live in dense cities but live more physically isolated lives in our box apartments looking at the our screens in our own mental world’s being entertained by television and cell phones. Connecting through social media apps is perhaps a way for people to connect and keep in touch. We probably do not need friends to survive like we did need a few hundred years ago. In some countries that I visited people are either sleeping on the subway or looking at their smart devices but rarely look up to smile and make eye contact and start a conversation.

Loyalty and friends is super important I believe when someone invests tens, hundreds or thousands of hours with somebody communicating writing talking it’s an investment in building a friendship and it’s also unfortunate when that friendship is lost or dissolved. I often try to reach out to people that I haven’t spoken to in a long while. I only remember not reaching out to 2 friends. That’s because they were too unable to tell the difference from fact or fiction and didn’t not want to change.

I also realize that like customer satisfaction in service I also like to make my friends happy – it’s very enjoyable to help friends when it’s possible. True friends never take advantage of that fact.


I returned 3 days ago from a trip to Japan. I decided to make a list of things I like about Japan. Over 7 days I visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya and Himeji and I made the following 10 general observations:
1) The kindness and thoughtfulness that the people show is very gentle and graceful. I like the greeting that people in stores have when they make eye contact by pausing to smile and bow in acknowledgement to customers even at convenience stores.
2) Their long term loyalty they show to their employers and friends is powerful. There is very much of a work hard and then play hard after work mentality.
3) They fully accept nature’s soft impacts and can make a moss garden look great. I grew up thinking that moss was really bad for your lawn until I arrived in Japan and watch them cultivating moss gardens that looked amazingly beautiful, see attached photos.
·4) They love cherry blossom season and I often enjoyed watching many locals have picnics under cherry blossom trees.
5) They willingly helpful and honest to tourists. As a tourist you really feel safe in Japan and no one bothers you.
6) Their attention to design and detail, is thoughtful and practical. The Japanese are clean and there are hardly any public garbage cans since most people take their garbage home and carefully recycle.
7) Their modern and hygienic toilets are extremely innovative. I admire the pride and cheerfulness I saw even in older citizens in there workmanship – from the taxi drivers to the gardeners. I am amazed by the reliable technology put into many of their products – the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen which means continuous Improvement is very much engrained in their business practices.
8) I love the tasty yummy foods – not all of it is good for you but – it tastes great!
9) I like “onsen” the Japanese hotspring bath house.
10) The high speed trains and the public transportation system is the best I have seen, it is usually accurate with in the minute and very safe. I like there fair and consistent pricing you feel as a customer, even with vending machines which seem to be on every street corner.

Thoughts last 2 weeks.

Thoughts from last 2 weeks.
Great artists generally love to work and love to create work. But it’s not uncommon for many people to speak about hating their work; it’s easy for people to think work is tiring and boring and unsatisfying. People work more efficiently and succeed when engaged in work that they love or work that they perform for someone whom they love. Whenever the element of Love enters into any work the quality immediately improves and the quantity often increases without a corresponding boredom or fatigue caused by that work. Remember the commendable saying that if you do more than what you are paid for you will grow. The reverse is also true for those that render less service than what they are paid for.
Often when things do not go our away at work we start to blame others, the real causes of our failures. Instead of accepting full responsibility for our mistakes and failures many have often thought in their mind, heck I don’t need this job, I don’t like the way people are treating me so I’m going to quit. In fact I have a friend that wrote a book that was entitled F*** You Money. When I asked him what the title meant he said it’s about making enough money so you can tell your boss to F*** you. I personally would never say that to someone that was kind enough to offer me a living and put food on my table, but the title obviously appeals to many people since he tested different names for the book before he launched it. When people start to hate their jobs they feel small and then they often start to hate the people that put food on their table and employ them. This is a vicious circle that leads to a downward quality of work. If we bring an element of gratitude for having a job, an opportunity to serve and grow and then we naturally are grateful to our employers, and the people that pay us which often ultimately is the customers of the business. When we lose gratitude for the simple blessings in life this often leads to a drop in the work satisfaction and in living dissatisfaction. I remember how hard it was simply to get a job in the first place and all the struggle, I promised myself that I would never be ungrateful even for the most menial jobs. To this day I still have lovely feelings and relationships with my very first employers. I view my first two employers Bernard Dietrich, Colin Goldie and all my wonderful clients as kind people that have helped me grow and at the same time feed my children. I actually visualize them as putting food in the mouths of the 2 guys I love the most, my 2 sons. How could you not love someone that feeds your family? If you love your customers and employer and anyone that has been genuinely kind like this, it will show in your work and your love of work. I also viewed my college instructors and employees as lovely individuals that are on my team. I’ve always had great respect for all my teachers, team members, advisors and dear friends that have helped me learn life-long lessons, they have also helped feed my boys.

I write this blog for my boys, loved ones and for myself.

Self-confidence is one of the most important essential skills to living a successful happy life, but over developing it beyond the point of Reason becomes very dangerous. Just like self-sacrifice is a commendable quality but when carried to extremes can develop into the dangerous form of lack of self-control you owe it to yourself not to permit your emotions to place your happiness in the hands of another person. Love is essential for happiness but the person who loves so deeply that his or her happiness is placed entirely in the hands of another can be out of control.

My teacher and client who I admire the most, has an amaZING sense of self control. From everything to diet, work, thoughts, he keeps his focus laser beam sharp while being very considerate and kind to others.

A person with self-control will not permit himself to be influenced by the pessimists, nor will they permit another person to do their thinking for them. A lot of great achievements start with imagination plus a focused plan + self-control + action. My favorite quotes from this week are….

“Others May Sidetrack your ambitions a few times, remember that discouragement most frequently comes from within.”

“The growth of wisdom can be directly measured accurately by the decline of ill-temper and negative thinking.”

Use self control and do not give up.

It’s amazing to think that no other animal has ever been blessed with such self-control as humans. We are endowed with the power to use the most highly organized form of energy, which is our thoughts. It is possible that our thoughts are the closest connecting link there is between the material and spiritual world.

Your brain is like a generator that can be influenced and controlled with auto suggestion. But it can also be controlled by negative external forces. It is embarrassing to think the fact that most of our thoughts are produced but outside suggestions from others that are often examined without questioning their fact; We are all swayed by gossip and idle chatter and think that every thought is true. Thought is the only thing that we have absolute control over. So don’t let others enter your secret castle of your mind and deposit their negative suggestions or troubles and worries. I have the power to close the doors to raise the drawbridge to my Castle and keep negativity out. But it’s a constant exercise of self-awareness and reflecting.

Self-control is solely a matter of thought control. If you are searching for the key that will unlock the door to great power you have it between your ears. Use daily autosuggestion to develop positive constructive thoughts that harmonize with your life purposes and that mind will transform those thoughts into physical reality and hand them to you as a finished product when you combine a focused plan of action.  When you deliberately use self-control it is one of the highest and most efficient form of being a good human being.



Energy is one of the most important commodities one could possess in wanting to live a full and adventurous life. I saw my teacher/clients put in an amazing work day where we woke up essentially at 3:30 a.m. with the time difference or 5:30 a.m. local time and work until 11:30 P.M when we got back to Vancouver. He’s in his late 80’s and has incredible mental and physical stamina and clarity. At the end of the day when we were flying back to Vancouver, he walked to the back of the plane, where most of our team were asleep and half his age, yet he was still a ball of energy. He smiled and jokingly said ” Stamina ” and chuckled. It made me think how does one develop and maintain stamina at work and develop a super energetic attitude after a long workday?
I think it obviously starts with someone just loving what they do and being present while having a keen and genuine interest in growing and helping others with purpose. He was super grateful for the free enterprise system and everything it has brought him and his team. After all the struggles, it’s nice to look back on the journey that a we make while continuing to grow and say “I gave it my all, and I didn’t check out and coast through life.” I just rolled up my sleeves and went to it!

Having a life purpose gives one a blast of stamina and energy and momentum to do work, that is sometimes not always pleasant but needs to be done. It drives you to get out of bed even if you are a little sick and smile at your friends at work.
In summary being healthy and fit is the foundation to having energy. Then how you think, what you believe and wanting to achieve a clear life purpose is what pushes you to maintain the stamina you need to do……

Stamina is needed to create a significant body of art work and a career.

Observation from Oct 9th 2016 Canadian Thanksgiving

This work was created in the last few weeks.

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It was Sunday Oct 9th on Canadian Thanksgiving Day and I was standing beside the beautiful Carnegie Library in the back alley of what’s considered to be one of Vancouver’s or the world’s most drug infested areas. I had a ride with my family to serve free food from Guru Nanak Free Kitchen. Lunch has been served every Sunday around 12:30 to 2 o’clock for many years. All the food is donated by a Sikh temple lovingly prepared early that morning. No religion or lectures are given, the food is given in the spirt of ( seva) service, kindness and love for our fellow human. We were lucky enough to be able to serve perhaps three to four hundred people. I watched a young elementary school girl serve rice pudding to many older men that perhaps lived a very hard and difficult life. When she served the food, their faces just warmed up in a nice smile and human kindness showed itself. I was lucky to observe this and the encouraging kind words they would often share. As I stood there beside the beautiful Carnegie library, I thought of the man that over 115 years ago donated the money to build this Library. A man called Andrew Carnegie that had never visited Vancouver, but through his philanthropy was able to make a significant contribution that has lasted more than just about any other Vancouver building and been of great use to the East side community.
Here is some information about the library and the man that made it possible.
“On March 25th, 1901 Vancouver requested and was granted $50,000 from US steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to build a library. Carnegie agreed to give the funds only if the city furnished a site and agreed to spend $5,000 a year. The city council accepted the Carnegie gift and its conditions. Built in 1903, it was indeed the first public library in Vancouver. In 1957 the library moved on to a bigger location and it became the home of the Vancouver Museum for ten years. In 1967 the museum moved out and the building lay vacant. “Following a massive campaign spearheaded by the Downtown Eastside Residents’ Association City Council agreed to save the building and convert it to a community Centre. Carnegie Community Centre opened its doors to the public on January 20, 1980.
I then got an inspirational email about Andrew Carnegie and I am sharing it below.
“Mental attitude represents the sum total of one’s emotional feelings at any given time, and it may be controlled by self-discipline. Thus, the individual has the choice of expressing either his negative emotions or his positive emotions. Mental attitude is controlled by established habits based upon definite motives, and those habits may represent the highest type of organized thinking.
“The story of all human progress boils itself down to just that. You might state the case clearly by saying that all human achievement begins in thought but ends in work! And work becomes a pleasure or a hardship, according to the nature of the motive which inspires it and the mental attitude in which it is performed.
“Therefore, it is important that a man build his definite major purpose on as many of the ten basic motives as possible, in order that his purpose may become obsessional and thus easily and pleasantly pursued through action.”
Here we have quoted the views of one of the greatest industrialists the United States has ever produced. He was not only a great industrialist, but a philosopher, an able psychologist, distinguished throughout the world as a man who had a keen insight into the character of men. He was also a great philanthropist. He provided that the major portion of his material riches be given back to the people of America in ways designed to profit the greatest number. The Carnegie libraries, for example, are a result of this philanthropy. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929, including some belonging to public and university library systems.
My favorite thought from the last week is “It is the ego and judgement that makes me angry or sad. It is my choice of love and kindness that makes me happy and enthusiastic.”
More info on the Carnegie Library.…/vancouver-history-the-carnegie-bui…