Posts by: RON SANGHA


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…



Observations this week.

I was in Orlando Florida on a photo shoot for my customer/teacher the day before the election. I was doing some photos and video at a warehouse that made wax figures for wax museums. I saw 3 new wax figures of Donald Trump, with his thumbs up, he looked taller than I though. The next morning on the day of the election I was doing a photoshoot in a warehouse full of magazines and saw a news week cover with Hillary Clinton on the cover with the tag line ” Madam President” with the tag line Hillary Clinton’s Historic Journey to the White House. I decided to ask some intelligent mature men who they were voting for and they all said Trump.

I was clearly reminded of an important lesson reminded to me by my teacher, that even well run growing businesses with great managers get hurt if the manager is not on site or present. Sometimes the damage or mistakes will show up in a few days, months, or years but there is a real cost if the manager is not engaged or present on the job. This seems like an obvious concept, but great managers sometimes can cause a false sense of comfort. That everything will continue growing and running smooth if I am not on site, this is not true for extended periods of time. You even see it with iconic businesses like Dell computers and Starbucks when there founders walked away for a while only to return to rebuild the company.

Art Talk About Stretch.

It was 2 weeks ago when I jumped out of my Manila Taxicab from the airport after a fantastic four day adventure to one of my favorite tropical paradises, Boracay Island. I walked into the magnificent Picasso Residence Hotel. The receptionist said to me and my 2 friends that our accommodations have been upgraded, and I was feeling great like I was the king of the world….. Then the receptionist asked me for my passport, I reached into my pocket and had a feeling of slow motion panic… I couldn’t find it. How I could lose my passport! I thought to myself, this is impossible, I’ve got a flight in about 24 hours to Tokyo and I had a busy day planned to visit my aunt and uncle and a few friends and a full schedule plan in Japan to visit some hot springs near Mount Fuji in 36 hours … But it was real. It turned out that the loss of my passport that took two days of time until I can get a new passport and a new flight would be a great timeless life lesson for me and may prove to be the greatest long-term benefit from my amazing trip. During the whole trip, I had constant stimulation from my traveling companions and a fast pace travel plan consisting of about 10 flights in 12 days. Now it was just me waiting in self-imposed isolation for my new passport. It could take one day or five days to get the passport. I learned to accept the situation after doing everything I could. My biggest lesson was something that will serve me for a very long time, I developed a new practice. I call it” 3 breaths 2 questions 1 view”.

Step 1. Three deep breathes, this helps to center me and remind me that the most important thing I can do right now is simply breathe. If I was to stop breathing for 30 seconds, Nothing Else Matters. Every concern shrinks every obstacle or challenge is miniscule.
Step 2. Then I ask myself the first question” do I have any negativity Within Me?” Then I ask the second question” does it help me in anyway? ”
Step 3. View any concern as an inverse paranoid, this means to look at every challenge in my life as the universe conspiring to help me grow. If I see my challenges as blessings I find there’s more flow and happiness within me.
This practice takes me usually about 30 to 90 seconds and I try to do it 3 times a day.
It has helped me grow an even deeper feeling of courage and confidence and take risks and have a greater adventure. It helps me remember that I will win and overcome any changes that life has…. because in my world, the good guys always win!



Review of Trip.

Just returned from an epic 12 day trip with 2 friends to Vietnam, Philippines ( my birth place) and Tokyo. I usually do adventure trips on my own, I find I meet more people and have time to think and reflect. This trip was a great change because I have 2 wise positive friends with me to help me see things in a different prespective. Some of the insights and quotes I like from my readings and experiences are…

“When a person spends all his time traveling the world, he ends up by having many acquaintances but no real friends sometimes. “Ancient Roman wisdom.

He who is not content in one place, will seldom be happy in another. ASAP.

-Friendship is one Soul residing in two bodies.

Aristotle said friends are loyal positive and supportive they can help us come out of a sad situation in our lives. Not only do they make us feel more positive and confident about yourself but they also enrich our world, social life and introduce new interests and activities. Happiness is often a warm hug from a friend or loved one, a smile, a hug, a pat on the shoulder confirms this.

I love my home and work environment, home is really the best place for me!

I safeguard my creative happy and positive environment. To maintain a cheerful and joyful existence, sometimes I have to turn off the onslaught of news on murder and uprising, and disasters that can often spread worry and fear and gloom. I significantly reduce the amount of news that I watch and only scan the headlines for relevant stories and don’t go into details much ever since the Boxing Day tsunami occurred. I don’t want to be ignorant of what’s happening in the world, but when I can make a change for the good I would like to be involved. I don’t need to know the gruesome details of what a crazy man might have done halfway across the world unless it’s something I can learn from and help prevent. So that’s why I only skim the headlines. I tend to read more business section news because it often is a little more optimistic than general news. Seneca said count each day as a separate life. To live each moment in the present moment has been a challenge for many people worrying about the future or the past is how most of us occupy each present moment. But as we all know all power is present moment action. I’m not saying it’s bad to ignore the future it’s important to plan for the future make a clear time to do that and action steps. I’m also aware that learning from our past mistakes is important but being overcome with them with negative thoughts and just leads one to inaction and drains one of the happiness they could be experiencing in the present moment. Waste no fresh tears on old memories is an ancient Greek saying.

-The Buddha said you must love yourself before you love another.

-Positive self esteem and truly liking yourself and trusting your judgement and capabilities go a long way to creating a lovely happy life.


True happiness is to enjoy the present without anxious dependence upon the future. By Seneca

There’s no guarantee you will find happiness in another country or another place. The only guarantee is if we bring a great positive attitude to wherever we have a positive experience. If we give out love, we will get love and happiness back. First, we must give and then we will receive. True happiness should not be delayed until someone has achieved a certain goal in their personal life or career – It should be simply experienced during every moment along the journey. When one achieves a goal, it is just another cherry on the cake, signalling the next challenge and next mountain to climb.

“Expecting is a great impediment to living a present life in anticipation of Tomorrow we often lose the enjoyment of today. ” Ancient Roman Wisdom. “If not now, when?” by Hillel.

The happiest I’ve ever been is when I go to bed knowing that I had a productive exciting adventurous day and I was able to do something good and be of service. And then I wake up happy and excited for the pleasurable and fulfilling experiences of the day to come. I fully understand that my limited time on this Earth is meant to be filled with joy meaningful service and kindness and love, I plan to keep it this way.

Kindness in giving creates love. Ancient Chinese wisdom


The perfect charity is to give graciously and enjoy it. Ancient Indian wisdom

Let us remember that what we now have is among the things we wish for in the past. Ancient Greek wisdom

Nothing deserves greater praise than the power to forgive. Choosing to forgive people that have harmed us or our loved ones is very powerful. One of my favorite Buddhist sayings is anger is like holding a hot coal and throwing it at somebody only the person holding it gets burned. The good empowering feelings such as kindness, empathy, compassion, affection, and caring for other humans have one thing in common, they all grew out of power and capacity to love. My definition of Love is when you care for someone’s benefit equally or more than your own. True love is not selfish or self-centered it’s kindness, sharing and service for others.

As money grows, cares follow, and The Hunger for More. Ancient Roman wisdom.

Being self-reliant & financially independent creates a sense of freedom, freedom creates happiness and joy in a better experience on this short, sweat Journey we call life.
Find the middle path is what the Buddha suggested avoid extremes.

“He only lives who enjoys life.” ancient Greek wisdom. Let’s have a great time.

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Summers over and School has started for the boys.

When I was in elementary school I wanted to be an artist.  The one way that I stood out in the entire class was when I created drawings and watercolor paintings .  My teachers would often gather all the students around to take a look at my artwork.  In summary, it was the one thing I could do better than the average  person. Until I was Grade 9, while on a family vacation to London, I was struck by the image of a starving artist selling his artwork on the streets; this image never left me, I looked sad and miserable to be an artist.  I was a happy kid  and I had already started enjoying making narrative artwork . I love studying  the human face  seeing the difference in a child’s face  and an old man’s face  and at the same time I saw the child’s face in the old man’s face .  I did cross sections of Faces in my art work and paintings and I enjoyed doing  descriptive narrative artwork  that had a story, because I also had a love for Social Studies and history. I wanted to make a comfortable, significant living so I chose to pursue commercial photography.  When I became a photographer, you start viewing the world through a camera lens perspective. Your senses sharpens in your mind and eyes are  focused on  people and what they’re doing . I was always clicking a picture in my mind  at objects  even if I didn’t have my camera with me .  I learn to greatly improve my powers of observation  and it’s allowed me to experience a richer life . It also forced me to go places  which I would possibly wouldn’t have the motivation to explore and see  because of the in uncontrolled desire and thirst  to document capture an experience  something.  It forced me to go to remote islands in Indonesia that took 2 days to get two in a week to get off . I think the greatest gift from photography was it helped me to explore my life deeper  and  eventually study other people’s lives  at the same time  which has been a great blessing . When I have the time to meet a subject of a photograph  and have time to talk to them  and get to know them it’s a real gift.  It means that you encountered your whole subject matter for the time being. It means looking beyond just labels and things  and discovering  another person’s wonderful world around them . When I graduated from high school, I knew right away I wanted to be a photographer. I studied mostly commercial and corporate photography in product photography when I started it.



Favorite ideas I encountered from observations in the last 2 weeks.

Plato encouraged his fellow citizens to master their thoughts so they could do whatever they wanted with them. The ability to control our thoughts as difficult as it might seem at times is an amazingly valuable asset. It can only improve our lives and minimize the effects of stinking thinking and maximize positive productive happy thoughts, that make all the good things in our life happen and determine who we become. Simple as this principle is it is a hard habit to completely master and takes daily practice and self-awareness. Habits change into character, and character is simply habit long continued.


Went to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon via Las Vegas for a 2 day trip it was a super beautiful place and a good contrast between the 2 places.

Lesson I Learned

I got a call in the middle of the night from my father. He was not feeling well and needed to go to the hospital. We went to Royal Columbia Hospital emergency room at 2 am. His blood pressure was unstable, and felt weak and light headed. After getting some tests, the doctor came in and had a confident, positive smile. His bearing tone and voice had the look of assurance, clearly identifying him as a professional who had acquired the art of successful negotiation. After my Dad had spoken to the doctor he felt much better and reassured that he should not check his blood pressure several times a day and that he would be fine. We both went home feeling much better.
I observed a customer who is a great leader who has acquired this art. I enjoy watching how his very presence inspires the employees in his team to with confidence and enthusiasm.


The art of successful negotiation grows out of patience and painstaking self-control. Notice how easily the successful person exercising self-control when handling a customer who is impatient. The salesperson maybe boiling inside, but you will see no sign of it in his behavior or words.
A single frown of impatience, or a single word expressing disapproval will often spoil a sale. Successful sales people exercise self-control and as a rule they set their own salary. They have learned how to negotiate without friction.
The art of Self-control is the result of controlling our own thoughts. By placing in your mind the sort of thoughts you wish to have their, and keeping out of your mind negative thoughts that fear and others placed there through suggestion , you will become a person of self-control.
Losing one’s temper is an example of a person who has not yet familiarized him/herself with the Fortune of choosing the thoughts that will grow your mind.
So how does someone control your thoughts in a state of intense anger? In exactly the same way you would change your behavior and tone and voice if you were in a heated argument with any member of your family and then suddenly heard the doorbell ring, telling you that the visitors had arrived. You will calm yourself with self control because you would desire to do so.


Insights from the past few weeks.

My most successful customer often says repeatedly to his managers and employees that nothing happens until somebody sells something. This simple but powerful statement is a hundred percent true. Trucks don’t move unless there’s a sale made.  Also, most business problems can be solved  by growing profitable sales . All leaders and managers of a business and also preferably  generally all employees  are important sales people , especially anyone that has direct contact  with the customer should also be considered a sales person.
The delivery driver and the accounts receivable person – they all have contact with the customer and should be trained  in the art of salesmanship  by being  friendly  courteous honest  and enthusiastic.


I watched a documentary about Muhammad Ali. He was a kind and loving good man. He had his flaws, he has children out of wedlock in multiple relationships. He was human like the rest of us.
The good guys love to talk to people and get to know others stories, about their families, about their interests, they genuinely care for and like people. These are the characteristics of a good guy, kind people that love people.

Muhammad Ali had a purpose he asked his daughter what’s the purpose of the Sun, for light and heat and to grow things,  a cow and a horse all have a purpose. Everything that God has made has a purpose and so do we, discover and find your purpose in life. He had a great knack for predicting how many rounds his match would last until he knocked out his challenger, he was a great fortune teller he had a purpose a vision and a goal.

Favorite quotes in books…

“Excellence is a art won by training and by habit.”
“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.”
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.” By Aristotle.
“A sense of curiosity is Nature’s original School of Education.”
“Excellence is born of great sacrifice, it is never the result of selfishness.”
“Take careful inventory of all your past experiences they may disclose the startling fact that everything has happened for the best.”
“The good guys are people who approach any set of challenging circumstances with the attitude that they can get it to turn out the way they wanted to. Not once in awhile but on a regular basis because they can count on themselves.”
“The growth of wisdom follows after the decline of anger.”
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
“Luck is not chance it’s hard work and fortunes expensive smile is earned by hard work consistent self control and determination.”
“The good guy who actually knows what he wants in life has already gone a long way to achieving it.”
“It’s an unusual trait of a good guy, but it’s true, most successful people will work harder for the sake of providing good service then they will for money alone.”
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” By William Shakespeare.
“While some people May sidetrack your goals on several occasions, remember that discouragement most often arises from within oneself.”

“Both tears and sweat are salty, but they will render different results. Tears will get you sympathy, sweat we’ll get you change.” By Jesse Jackson.

Lessons from the past 2 weeks.

Lessons I learned in the past 2 weeks.
I had a great inspirational week doing what I love to do: Travel, take photos, make art and learn from my client and teacher. I went to Denver , Knoxville, Gatlinburg Tennessee, Montreal, Yorkton Saskatchewan, Calgary, Prince George, all in 5 1/2 days.
Things observed.

I came home last week on Friday afternoon after a week away for work and I felt that I made everybody angry in about 45 min. I was a little critical of my oldest sons lack of decision making and my youngest was mad at me for taking his cell phone and laptop away for 24hrs. All I could do was chuckle and laugh. Love always prevails, kindness, compassion and truth. Later that night both boys forgave me and were more receptive to my critical feedback because they understood we are on the same team.

I observed the oldest man I had ever meet he was 104 year old and was at Pearl Harbor during the attack 75 years ago. He was at the opening at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg of the Pearl Harbor exhibit. He had a lot of metals had a sense of honor and pride when he stood up and saluted to the national anthem, whenever anything interesting happen near him he had a great big smile and Happy interested look on his face. He had 3 or 4 loving grandchildren that were attending the ceremonies who had love and pride for their grandfather. In summary if he was slim, cheerful, had a loving family, pride, honor and loyalty in his heart, these are my observations only. Things just work out better if you’re optimistic and positive my favorite teachers are very optimistic encouraging and positive.

I found out indirectly that an amazing good man I know sponsors 200 hundred children in Africa that not only are orphans but they also have AIDS. I could not imagine a more difficult situation to grow up in with no parents and having a life-threatening illness in a third world country. It made me feel very blessed to be where I am today and how Lucky and Great it is to live here and now. I also felt blessed to know successful, humble, generous people that make the world a better place.
Business lessons I learned from a great client/ leader.

These may sound like very basic ideas I have heard before but I often have a deeper understanding of the thing I know when observing them in a different light.

When the business has a hard time the management makes sacrifices. They will forgo their bonus and any perks and significantly reduce they’re expenses. They encourage there team to keep at it and are 100% behind the manager.
Think positive, things always turn out better than one thinks, they always do for the positive minded honest hardworking person with a purpose.
-The first sign that the competition is gaining traction and winning customers – it’s time to make a change. Management must be able to take action and measure results.This new threat is real even if it is half way around the world. They have to find a way to overcome it in advance, managers do regular SWOT analysis.
Stay positive even after tough times, don’t be impatient. Quality relations are important; be interested in their lives, business, and how they’re feeling. Keep them focused though by concentrating on their goals as well as how they plan to achieve them.

Be honest about working hard. No substitution for hard work. Hardworking people see more opportunities.

Have fun while at work. Generally looking on the bright side and see the positive side of things even when a business is challenging and show encouragement because all businesses eventually have some problems. If you can encourage and grow the management team to take Innovative action then to fight problems before they get too big and threaten the actual survival of the business. This requires confidence in the management, encouraging them in the proper planning and action.

The internet has accelerated change in our society and this will only continue. When change comes, accept it embrace and see it as an opportunity to grow. The way to grow is to constantly innovate and look for opportunities and learn from one’s mistakes.

-It’s all about the people, great leaders genuinely love and care about people.

-If you are in a tough businesses, innovative management can make all the difference. I saw simple commodity products manufacturing business that made paper cups that even exported some of its products back to Asia. It’s usually the other way around. It was the innovative management that made the difference.

-Invest for the long-term growth of the business and examine the payback model on all major purchases.

I was invited by a Brazilian friend to go to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics broadcast live at the Rio Theatre, the room was full of Brazilians it was definitely one of the most memorable Opening Ceremonies because of the atmosphere I was grateful for the invitation. Brazilians are very warm and lively – there was a family atmosphere in the room.

Lessons I learned from a mother, “It would be great if we could only practice what we know with our family members.” That would be presence.

Attached are random photos from my cell phone from the last 2 weeks.

104 year old survivor from Pearl Harbor

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Life Lessons From Last 3 weeks.

Life lessons from the last 3 weeks from reading, living, exploring.

I had some setbacks and great lessons on projects i had spent a few months working on. I recently read that 98% of all failure comes from quitting. Most people become discouraged and they see delay as denial. The challenge of overcoming temporary setbacks in defeat is normal. Sometimes it’s going to be difficult it’s going to be challenging the obstacles that are thrown in your path. You’ll have setbacks and disappointments and one must develop the mindset of a winner. When my two sons were little, I would always ask them to “show me the winner” and they would put up both their little hands in Victory. On the business card of one of my most inspiring customers/teachers is a photograph of a small boy in a baseball jersey that says “I play to win.” To maintain that attitude is important to view yourself as a winner and view the journey as a fun game, even during setbacks is critical for long-term success. Sometimes I take two steps forward and one step back, if you have the mindset of a winner, you will make Headway in the long run. One must be creative, flexible, versatile, and adaptable and never stop until they reach their target. Just like the following a winding River in a tropical rainforest it always reaches its goal of the ocean even though at times you may feel that your going in the wrong direction. If you maintain a positive attitude and continue to work hard and strive to achieve your objective and never give up that’s the enjoyment in the Journey of life for me. I Enjoyed reading a quote ” when the end comes for you, let it find you conquering a new Mountain, not sliding down an old one.” So constantly raising the bar gives one purpose in life and it makes the game of life more enjoyable. Most people take their health for granted but living a long healthy life is not guaranteed we have to fight to stay here. You have to have a plan of action to maintain your health and your positive attitude and self-awareness. I try to put this on my to do list everyday.
I read a story about a middle-aged man, like myself describing his “aha moment” when he read an interview with Dan Rather in Esquire magazine. The article made a dramatic change in this man’s life. Rather was quoted as saying it comes down to TR (time remaining).
When you’re in your thirties or forties or even your fifties, time remaining can seem like Infinity. TR hits different people at different stages. But you get to your seventies, and you’re thinking about TR. Exactly how do I want to spend my remaining days? The middle aged man resonated with this article so deeply that he quit his job, got a divorce, and committed the rest of his life to pursuing the dreams he had always hoped to have achieved. He’d been living a very urgent lifestyle for many years to become a success in his chosen field, but now with the new thought of TR he went into complete overdrive to make it happen. When he was asked if he felt that he was any closer to achieving the success he thought he would accomplish after making all the changes in his life. He went silent for a moment and quietly answered no. Desperately wanting something is taking the enjoyment out of the journey. It can ruin their present moment and make someone run scared and work scared. This robs one’s creativity and they tend to not Act Naturally because they’re so desperate to achieve a particular target. So TR for the underdeveloped ego is like being a rat running on a wheel in a cage never reaching a final destination always running faster and faster trying to keep up but never really getting anywhere. Gandhi said “there is more to life than increasing its speed. ” The rat race for success has never been satisfying for more than just a few moments and then it’s on to the next attempt to find happiness and a sense of achievement with things and with other people. It’s good to have goals, but success isn’t just about getting things in life or just having a meaningful relationship. It’s important not to be discouraged by setbacks. All setbacks are really step-ups for something better. Keep a positive attitude and your faith unwavering. Do all the action you can do to achieve your goals and then relax knowing that everything will work out in the end, just like how the winding River will reach the ocean. I’ve met friends and Associates that have made goals but they lack to take action. Take action in the world, and the world will react. It Doesn’t always react the way our ego wants, but it reacts. To be a winner, you can start right now, your only true failure lies in the failure to start now. You get out of life what you put into it. No action, no results. So if your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.

Two interesting questions that my friend asked me:
” If you had one year to live what would you do? Why are you not doing it now?”
Am I having any negative feelings right now? What benefit do they serve right now?
One mans formula for a successful life is have the desire, take action, and let go.
My favorite James Allen quote is “circumstances do not make the man, but rather, they revealed a man to himself. ”
Everything we see in our world is a reflection of what’s going on inside us, it’s a mirror image of your State of Mind.
Avoid the stinkin Thinkin and life just smells nicer and Rosier.
Obstacles we Face are real it’s just that most people fail to recognize the role they play in generating these obstacles.
The root of many problems is in our mind it is another opportunity to recreate our reality.
Ask yourself the following when faced with a challenge .
How big is this problem in the scale of things in life?
I found a way to increase my energy level whenever I stop myself from criticizing, complaining, or gossiping simply removing the stinking thinking made much more room for positive thoughts and this gave me a tremendous amount more of happiness.
But like everything else this is a constant practice. Like exercising one’s body one must be exercising their mind to remove and filter out unproductive energy-sapping negative thoughts. One way to increase one’s self awareness is through meditation and self reflecting at the end of each day before bed, also asking the positive people around you to keep you on track can make it fun.

Weekly Insights Learned.

Weekly insights learned.

I’m enjoying reading a book which contains an ancient Babylonian talmud quote. “Who is wise? One who can tell what will be hatched from the egg that has been laid. Not he who can see the future – this is a prophet. Wisdom is seeing tomorrow’s consequences of today’s events.”

Fear only exists in the future. So in dealing with fear it helps to shift one’s Focus a little to the present moment to avoid the paralysis of fear.

When ones emotions are involved, making decisions for the future clearly is difficult. Therefore one of the clues to be coming good at seeing the future is to learn to disengage from one’s emotions. That is perhaps why a wise doctor does not attend to their own close relatives. They would rather have an associate to whom the relative is merely a patient perform the diagnosis and treatment.
Recognize when external events will affect your business or life.
Learn to interpret events without emotion or ego. Ego is an enemy of effective decision-making learning to overcome it will help make more clear decisions on one’s future.
If you want to know more about tomorrow, you should study yesterday.
Learn how to identify the patterns in history, it will help be a partial guide to learning about tommorrow.

Asking yourself the question. ” what caused this thing to happen , and what will be caused by this thing.” Is a good practical habit.
For example when interest rates dramatically drop usually real estate and housing goes up within 6 to 12 months a long with other factors.
Making time to reflect, plan and study without distraction is critical in planning your future.
Setting aside a regular time once or twice a week and turning off all distractions and putting one’s mind on receive mode while maintaining Focus on the agenda creates remarkable future prosperity.
Clearly visualizing and verbalizing your future and who you want to be is a fun process . Imagining the perfect day and how you look and feel 10 and 25 years into the happy, bright future. Then I shape my present moment and take action in what I want to create in the future that I have realized . The greatest enjoyment is the present moment Journey this where all effective action takes place . I reflected on a statement from a book . ” Nothing in the future is better than this present moment now. ” This happy truth helps me to enjoy the journey that I call life.
I find that most men, including myself are goal driven. After one goal is achieved it is fun to keep playing the game. I want to be better than I was last year or last month or yesterday. The main categories of the game I play in is to grow my physical and mental Health, relationships, time management, career/creativity, finances, service and celebration. The best players are the ones with the greatest self-control and discipline to train and they make the training process part of the game. Getting older doesn’t have to mean one gets weaker. I want to be able to do more push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups every year as I get older so this requires daily training . I want to have deeper and more present relationships and grow my finances and my service and contribution. I acknowledge perhaps I cannot run as fast as I could when I was 30 but I think I can run further. I’m much more confident in who I am and I’m also a happier man than I was when I was uncertain if I could make a living in my twenties. I’m the man I want to be, and I continue to evolve into a better version of the man as I learn and grow and laugh.

Carrying The Past

This video entitled “carrying the past” is based on an ancient Zen parable. I wish to thank Alistair Eagle for the shooting and editing, Marc Hurtubise ( the judgemental monk),
Hartley Carach (helpful monk), Liselle (the girl waiting to cross the stream).


Lessons I learned from the past 2 weeks from friends, books and observations about Art and Business:

” Three things that cannot be long hidden. The Sun the Moon and the Truth.”

This is one of my favourite Buddha quotes
Trust and honesty.
– It’s what people really want from a relationship whether it’s with a friend,  life partner, business/ partner employee or employer.
-People want to have transparency when dealing with a business. People want  “Open Kimono” , this is a new art series I am starting to work on.
-The truth is that everyone has exaggerated or lied or twisted the truth at least once. An example when I was a troublesome teenager my mother would often ask me during breakfast what time I came home last night and I would tell her I came home early which meant early in the morning to me and it meant some else to my dear mother.
-There are situations where this behaviour can be temporarily acceptable and other where one exaggeration can be a deal breaker and unacceptable.
-I have told my friends and loved ones that you need a very good memory to be a liar and it is simply to much work and pain.

These are some random photos from my cell phone over the last week.

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The balance and acceptance and understanding that somethings Constantly Change and some things Never Change.
Example of constant change: a business must constantly innovate in order to survive for the long term. There will be constant threats to your business.  You either accept some of the pain of innovation or reject it and assure poverty and pain for almost everyone all the time .
Example of the some things that Never Change: a business must be profitable in order to survive the long term.
I am making a life list of the things that will never change:

-I need to make decisions and make a judgement call on multiple things each day. This is important in Art and Leadership.
-The artist and leaders I admire the most make decisions fast based on the information they have. The indecisive person rarely makes the decision and if they do, often changes it several times.
-I use a pros-and-cons list to help me make decisions sometimes. I get a sheet of paper and make a vertical line down the middle on the left side is Pros on the right is Cons.  I place a numeric value on the weighting of certain pros and cons and totalling them up.  I try to make all my decisions and judgements based on what is best for the LONG TERM benefit and happiness of the people involved.
-Another very important exercise I learned about is to visualise and ask advice from the older version of myself. How would the 55, 65 or 95 year old me advise myself to do. Another technique I use is thinking what decision would the wisest people I know in history and religion do.
-I reflected that I grew and created myself to be a judgemental young man and that I should lose some of my pre judgements that only limit my openness when dealing with others.
– Example: as a young man I viewed all bald men as old and ugly now that I am bald. This judgement does not do me any good especially when I look in the mirror and say good morning to the good guy:)

Art Talk on Fathers day about “dreaming of Sponge Bob”

Father’s Day 2016, Lessons my father has taught me .

I woke up at 6 am with an amazing urge to write this note.

I did not really know I had a dad until I arrived in Canada when I was 5 years old. My dad had come to Canada to establish himself before we arrived. I wondered who is this man was that was buying me and my brother Legos and other toys and sleeping in my mother’s room.
My dad is like a sage to me he never showed anger or shouted or hit us as boys but he had our full respect and attention.
He is:
-Soft-spoken but always got our attention.
-Refers to me and my big brother as Good Sons and we called him Good Dad.
-Maintains a positive attitude and looks on the bright side; always trying to help people when possible
-Particularly good at fixing cars and heating problems at people’s homes. Helping others always gave him a sense of gratification.
-A good listener and gave good feedback in a kind and gentle way.

What he taught me:
-It takes two to have a fight or an argument so try to avoid arguments within your family and friends.
~Steel Boys never get tired. Being tired and lazy is mostly a state of mind.-If you have to fart while driving, roll down your window 1/2 inch it will act as a vacum and suck all the bad air out.
-To be honest with myself. This was Illustrated once when I caught my son lying and I told my dad to tell my son not to lie. Instead of saying that he told him that everybody lies and that is the actual truth. The truth is that everybody has lied. This is a long topic and I can get into it later.
-Joking and playing are fun and it’s okay to laugh at oneself.
-He showed me how to make things better in the different areas of my life , like health, wealth, relationships and knowledge and service.
-He let me win our running races and had me convinced I was the fastest kid in grade one to three.
-He taught me and my brother whatever career you choose, make sure you’re the best at it.  He taught me to love art and photography and to appreciate nature, science and mechanical things.
-He showed me what unconditional love and kindness and support mean. He taught me how to be an inspirational dad that lives his life with passion laughter and humour. I hope I can teach some of this stuff to my two boys.
~It’s okay to admire Beauty. It’s okay and  natural to look at a beautiful woman walking on the street while driving his car, even if Mom is right beside you.

Lessons I’ve learned from my two boys on being a DAD:
-Life is fun stop being so serious.
-Enjoy the present moments with me. They taught me to look into there eyes because they are always changing and growing. Really see and look at them.
-There’s always time to play and laugh and be goofy everyday.
-Be supportive but give them space especially when they become teenagers. A lot of times they need to learn from their own mistakes to understand things better. At the same time they need clear boundaries to avoid life-critical errors that may possibly jeopardize their safety and health.
-Be supportive positive and be practical. Boys need other role models, introduce them to other positive men that have a different style of raising children.

~Hip hop music sounds better loud!

– Stop being so judgemental, (I’m still working on this). The more you love someone the more judgement and expectations creep into to the relationship. Which can lead to more pain and disappointment. Try to let things go. Everything is going to work out at the end. Don’t baby them. Let them make their mistakes so they can learn from there hardship and have the greatest gift a parent can give a child, which I think is positive self-esteem.This comes from overcoming challenges.  Positive self esteem doesn’t mean arrogance and entitlement, it means to be confident yet humble and being Who You Are. Introduce them to new ideas, books, places, and people. This is just the tip of the iceberg on my lessons of being a dad I’m sure I’ll have many more challenges to learn from.

My parents and two boys have been the greatest blessing and gift I have ever received in my life.


Weekly Insights and Reflections.

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Weekly insights and reflections.
This week I had the pleasure of photographing Peter Legge in my studio. He is one of Canada’s top public speakers, the chairman and CEO of the largest independently-owned magazine publishing company in Western Canada. But the most important thing he’s a great gentleman and a fine human being. I was ready for my morning jog in front of the studio when he showed up 92 minutes early , he said he never wants to be late. We had a great discussion and during which time I thought to myself what a great life he has lived to date. When the art director arrived 30 minutes before the photo shoot was supposed to start we had already completed the job. This photo was for his next book, he has written about 15 successful books already that have motivated thousands of people toward positive change.
I like reading positive inspirational books I almost never read fiction books any more.

Learn to Acknowledge the Opportunities  to Improve  Myself.

According to Greek history know thyself is inscribed on the Ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi . I try to practice doing a diary about 5 days a week. I call it 325 I read about this practice in a inspirational book. Before bed,I write 3 things that went well today. Doing this makes me reflect on the positive things that happen in my life and also makes me feel good, even after a tough day. Then I write 2 things that I could have handled or done better. Then I write my 5 top priorities I want to achieve the next day. Doing this after a few years has taught me more about myself and my bad habits than anything else. I learn to acknowledge my bad habits and study myself. One of my bad habits is a tend to get angry at times, it is one of the most destructive emotions. I a CEO once said”When the boss is out of control and angry the staff are in control.”
Anger is a negative attribute, its shatters your romantic, social and business relationships it is just really bad. Anger is one of the most negative emotions. It is okay sometimes to display anger when you have to get something done but it’s not okay to be real Angry inside. What causes anger is arrogance, show me an angry man and I will show you an arrogant man. Anger makes intelligence go down. High emotion equals low intelligence. It is okay to suppress anger and bottle it up, and toss it away. The best way to reduce your stress and those around you is to simply not get angry. Take three deep breaths, go for a walk, do something to get the energy out of your system and have a workout. Then reflect that anger always makes the situation worse and it does not improve anything. If you feel angry a lot it is a sign of your arrogance. The more one goes inside and only thinks of themselves the smaller everyone else is. We develop a how dare someone disturb me attitude. Self reflecting in knowing thyself is a great gift and adventure in life it is essential for one’s growth. Also realize no one is perfect so accepting that I’m a constant work in progress is important. I’m not superhuman and I also feel the temptation of unwise actions at times, reflecting on it before bed helps me become wiser  for next time. It would be even better to catch my unwise actions before I take them. Once I felt a little upset or angry at someone and I noticed I tend to feel like making the other person equally angry and hurt. This is just foolish childish behaviour. I have been doing this to those I am closest to and that will completely end right now.

One of my greatest victories over anger happened about 4 years ago. My neighbour from across the street, an elderly Asian lady who had always been polite and pleasant started kicking and banging on my newly painted front door. I open the door and she was swearing and screaming at me, claiming that one of my house guests had parked in front of her house. I told the car that was parked in front of her house was not mine. She also complained that my father had once parked in front of her house.  I got angry when she mentioned my father. I’m very protective of him, he is like a Buddha to me. He has never shown me any anger or raised his voice ever. Unfortunately I was not so self-restrained and I told her to get off my property. Afterwards I felt weak, foolish by the use of unwise words. My anger had diminished my  intelligence greatly. It is very important to me to be a good friendly helpful neighbour, but her fury and anger triggered my anger. I later reflected upon this with a group of men I used to meet for a mastermind meetings once a month. They all suggested we should have a house party and all park in front of her house. Then one person asked what would Jesus or the Buddha do?
The next day I saw my angry neighbours husband Lorenzo working in his yard. He was always outside the house and she was always inside. Lorenzo was always friendly and kind to me and my boys. I told him if anyone ever parked in front of there house just to call my phone number. His wife did not have to knock on my door and I apologized that I asked his wife to leave my property.  He said he did know why she reacted that way. I thought to myself perhaps she was robbed and had a bad experience when someone parked in front of her house in the past. I searched for an explanation why she had reacted so aggressively.
2 hours later I was enjoying watching a movie in the theatre room with my boys when I heard the loudest banging in the house I have ever heard. It was the angry lady again and she was really screaming! I came to the front door. She was even more angry than the first time using the most vile language and screaming at the top of her lungs. Asking why I had given her husband my phone number? At that exact moment I calmly looked into her eyes and listen then I thought what would Jesus or the Buddha do? For the first time I actually felt very strong  over the negative emotion of anger. I felt victorious, then allowed her to scream, insult and swear at me  in front of my 2 young sons. I said thank you and then invited her in for a cup of tea. I felt in my heart I wanted to genuinely helped her.
She spent about 2 minutes continuing to scream and swear as she walked back  across the street to her home. I then realized that she was probably a little mentally ill. Lorenzo had later confided in me and confirm my assumption, one day before he decided to move away. I think I would like to make this leason into a work of art.

Below is my newest work from my trip to Japan a year ago. 2 of the images have  an angry Godzilla.

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Insights and reflections for the week.

I reconnected with two old acquaintances this week. One acquaintance, Jeff I photographed for his head shot and we discovered we could be of mutual assistance in achieving our goals. The other acquaintance, Adriana is an amazing creativity and spiritual teacher that taught me a lot about, growing my creativity, driving slowly, patience and visualizing  a positive intention for my 2 sons.
I went to an art opening of my college friend Anthony Redpath at Bau Xi gallery. I felt it was his best body of work, it looked great. I saw a mutual old friend I had not seen for 27  years. He was one year a head of me in my photography program and one of the top academic students. He was not practising photography any more and has become electrician. I did not recognize him except for his eyes and his quite kind personality which remained relatively the same. He would probably think the same of me.

Never Retire.
I often hear people tell me how they can’t wait to retire and that they hate work. I feel the complete opposite.
If you enjoy what you do , never retire. Work will flow seamlessly between enjoyment and play and keeps the body and mind engaged with the exciting Game of Life. When I was in elementary school I remember dreaming  of being a commercial photographer  and an artist . Then when I went to college and studied commercial photography  a lot of the guys in my class developed negative attitudes .  As I continued my career, I notice a lot of my colleagues  in commercial photography  have negative attitudes  to the business . I’m always surprised  when people dream of a career and then when they get  disappointment in their career  they let it defeat them. I love the words in an old Frank Sinatra song that goes” Every time I find myself flat on my face, I get myself up and get back in the race. That’s life…..”
I feel it is a honour and a gift to be able to work and to serve . I never forget that  the other option  is  looking for work  which is a lot harder than actually working and getting paid. So often when people start a new job they start with a positive attitude and enthusiasm, and they let every negative obstacle or challenge  change their attitude  on their career or job .  Another job always looks greener  and more lucrative, they think .  Then most people  start to develop a negative attitude  on their daily job . I admit I can get physically tired and a little negative sometimes then I remind myself that people often say to me “I wish I had a job like yours.” This reminder helps me to be stay super grateful and positive.
Find what you enjoy doing and what you are good at and make a career of it. Then work will transform to play as long as you are present. There is no substitute for good hard work. There are problems and challenges in every job, several times a day or even hour. That’s what I get paid for, solving challenges and with each challenge resolved a bigger one arrives to help me grow. I feel this is the winding river of life. All the while I continue to create my masterpiece.
One of my favorite analogies is,  life is like a winding river. Sometimes it seems like the river is not going in the right direction we want, but it always gets to our goal which is the great ocean.

Negativity, fatigue and being tired  are also a state of mind  which  is my option to change  at any given moment .  My father often told me  that young men never get tired .  I would agree that most fatigue and tiredness  can be erased  by simply changing my attitude towards it . I find the days that I work out early in the morning and go for a jog and or do my daily 15 minute routine I have more physical energy. Similarly if I put in a very long day I can sometimes feel mentally invigorated and excited and ironically have more energy at the end of the day.
When I started out in my career I prayed before sleeping for business. Now that God has blessed me  with work why would I ever want to stop. I often feel excited about the next day, so much so that it’s difficult to sleep. I feel when I have a purpose , the air smells sweeter , there’s more lift in my step , there’s more twinkle in every ones eyes, more presence in each moment and everything and everyone looks more beautiful. Simply put, life is more  engaging and dynamic when I have a purpose in my work/art/business life.

I feel I am fairly lucky and have a relatively simple lifestyle. I found that having a complicated Life Style can make my life too complicated. I have photographed very wealthy people’s homes and they had to maintain a large staff just to manage their estates. I never had aspirations to be like that. My goal is now to have less objects but a few quality objects. If you ever visit a Japanese Palace it has almost no furniture, unlike the European counterparts in France where you have to constantly dust the ornate furniture and decorations.  As I get older I want to minimize  the objects in my life  and simplify . Sure I like large spaces, fast cars, adventure travel and art but how I spend. My general rule is not to spend more than one months net  income on lifestyle. ( My 15 year goal would be to pay for one years personal lifestyle in one work day,  by growing my business.)

I found out that as a man I needed a purpose  a way to contribute and serve,  I needed and want to work.  I also watch my mentors and teachers continue to serve long after they did not need to work . Personal development and growth happens when  we continue to work  and face daily  obstacles and challenges with a positive attitude. I also notice that most people that do not work and stay home and watch TV, develop bad habits of often gossiping and letting trivial little dramas affect their happiness.

Work allows me the privilege of sharing my gift with the world.
Today I cannot imagine  a life without working  it’s such an amazing gift and blessing to be able to work, create and serve.
Other reasons not to retire…
– what happens to a tiger if he retires?
– an amazingly high percentage of people that retire die within 18 months, so better work to live a healthy long life.
–  Everything is either growing or dying why not extend the growing phase and shorten the dying phase.

Off topic: I really like the song ” Work” by Rihanna and Drake.
Peace out my lovely human beings.

Week in Review, and Art Talk about ” The voice inside my head.



Week In Review
“Life is Art and Art is life. Learn one, and you will have also learned the other.”
This is similar to what I wrote last week about business. When I write Art, I mean also creativity. Art and Business and Life are connected in my day. I always view my life as I am working and creating my master piece. A life that grows to be a great masterpiece is only enjoyed when it is shared with others.
It has been a epic week. I love working, and getting inspired. I was away for a 6 day trip with my favourite inspirational customer to San Antonio Texas, Indiana, Saratoga New York, Montreal, Regina, Swift Current Saskatchewan, and Kelowna. I learned a lot, and got a deeper understanding of some business principles from my teacher/customer/business role model.
-Hire slow, if you make a mistake fire fast. Do not waste a person’s life if they are not suited to the position.
High staff turn over is like trying to building a business on quicksand.
Usually people leave not because of salary it is usually because of management.
You can’t change the mistakes of the past if they were 10 years ago or 10 minutes ago, but you can learn from them and make sure they don’t happen again and plan for the future.
Customer satisfaction and employee engagement.
Respond to every single email and call, thank every person that sends you a card.
Write down old inventory, have a write down policy, take the hit now.
Get pledge from staff on what they will do to improve and grow. To better serve customers. Setting Goals makes work more fun and engaging.
The Customers are the most important person and the ultimate big boss in a business.
Make decisions for the very long term for the greater good.
Do what’s right, do not do something just for the company.
Make all decision as if they were on the front page of the local news paper , live transparently.
If we serve and take care of our good honest customers. usually they will take care of our business. That does not mean we let dishonest people take advantage of us. We serve our good honest customers.
I photographed a retirement dinner of a great humble kind leader. He was not the most charismatic leader and often stuttered when he spoke, but he earned amazing respect and loyalty from his management team. He grew an amazing business in challenging times. He would always give the credit to his team for any success. I asked some of his team how he did it?
He would simply hold people accountable with to do lists and review them and made sure what they got done. If there was a problem he would gather his team and ask “what are we going to do to fix this?”The team would then brain storm solutions.
There are many other reason why he was so successful, like impeccable honesty, attitude, practical, and accountability.
Life is full of challenges like business, taking consistent positive action when needed, gets you to where you plan to get to, but you need a plan, and once you get there keep innovating. There is constant change and challenge, it is part of the journey in creating a life that becomes a work of art.

Art Talk about “Dreaming of the Now”

Week in review.
” Life is business, and business is life. Learn one, and you will have also learned the other.”
I love reading business books because they often show me how to improve a situation that is also applicable in life. I’m enjoying reading 2 life/ business books now and will share my review about them in a couple of months.
I feel very blessed and grateful to have the most amazing lovely friends, customers, and teachers in my life. Most of my dearest friends are teachers to me. It makes our relationship such a wonderful adventure as we experience and learn new things. One of my goals is to be of service whenever capable and asked by the kind people in my life.
This is a good week for creating some very bold and different art, so bold that I’m not comfortable sharing it at this time…

I started using Instagram and have got student helping me out. My youngest son Ryan has shown an interest in photography since January and finally got his first camera now, he can use his own camera instead of borrowing his friends. He’s really been interested in Instagram and has a following of about 600 people since February. My oldest son started his first office summer job in an accounting firm. I felt warm inside seeing him dress up early in the morning to go to work down town. It has been one of the greatest joys watching a baby grow up to be a man of good service.
Next week the adventure gets ramped up, with some out of town service trip with my hero and teacher. It’s going to be fun!

Art Talk about ” Mother Commuting”

Spontaneous Art Talk about “Mother Commuting.” This video is for the people that admire and love Mothers. Great mothers do whatever it takes to feed there children.

Week in review.
I learned some important lessons about giving and sharing last few weeks. I have a friend that is going through some hard times after he suffered an injury that left him with hospitalized with a bad concussion. So he has called me often early in the morning to talk about his problems and his worries and possibly make sense of them. While listening to this humble kind friend I often counsel him by simply being present and listening to his concerns. But I have noticed that it’s me that has benefited most from these interactions as I can reflect on the general kindness and humanity of most people. I also am learning to reduce my judgements of other and to better control them. I walk away realizing how wonderful caring people can be. Most people want to give and share happiness with others. I feel blessed to have friends that can share there life experiences with me.



Spontaneous Art Talk about “Morning Routine”

Last week was a great week of learning, growing and exploring. I took a social media marketing class with my youngest son and went for a hike in North Vancouver with him. My oldest son got back from University and I wanted to greet him like the ” Return of the Pordigal Son” as seen in my favourite Rembrandt painting with the same title. He did not fall to his knees but it was really great to greet him.
I attended a gallery opening at Richmond Art Gallery which is one of the best contemporary art galleries in BC. I am on the volunteer board of Richmond Art Gallery Association for the last 18 months. The opening was very well attended congratulations to the artist Lyse Lemieux: show titled “A GIRL’S GOTTA DO WHAT A GIRL’S GOTTA DO” See photos below.
I created 4 new works last week and hope to complete 3 new works this week.
To learn more about the “Return of the Prodigal Son ” By Rembrandt
To learn more about Richmond Art Gallery

Work Series


Mother Communting




Women at Work



Manufacturing Tubes



Teaching the Teachers

Beijing Marching Guard


Stockholm Marching Gaurd





Clothes Washers April 2015