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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