Use Your Imagination To Your Advantage!



“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”
– Albert Einstein

I’m sure you knew that Albert Einstein was a clever guy, that he knew so much more than the average person and yet did you know that he said “Imagination is more important than knowledge!” Einstein only came to the conclusion he did because he had a playful imagination himself.

He was sat in the classroom as a schoolboy about fourteen years of age, looking out of the window, bored with the lesson that he had already understood. The teacher saw him looking out of the window and said “Einstein! Eyes forward!” So he started looking at the clock on the wall above the chalkboard.

He saw the second hand moving slowly around the clock face and
asked a question of himself. “How am I able to tell the time?” but he didn’t stop with the answer of how was he able to convert the  movement and place of the hands on the clock to know what time it was, he went further! He also answered the question by saying “I can tell the time because of the light in the room, if there was no light I wouldn’t be able to see the clock.”

Then he went a little further with his thinking and asked a different question. “How fast can I tell the time?” The answer was “At the speed of light!” Then one more playful question, “What would I see if I could see the clock faster than the speed of light?” The answer he gave himself was “The clock’s hands would start moving backwards!”

His conclusion was that time would seem to be going backwards if he was traveling faster than the speed of light. All this from a bored young man who made use of his imagination and began to stumble upon the beginnings of his great “Theory of Relativity” and his belief that you can’t travel faster than the speed of light or go backwards in time.

As you use your imagination to visualize the future, make sure you dream of the future you want and not the one you fear, because what we think about comes about!

Be Unwilling To Accept Defeat!



“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your
attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be
mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”– Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is one of the reasons why I got involved in the Personal Development industry. Whilst selling life insurance back in 1988, as part of my training my manager had me listen to series of sales training tapes that Brian had recorded. I remember going home all excited telling Anne (my wife) that we had to have written goals!

The result was that 12 months after writing a long list we checked back and found that we had accomplished over 80% of those goals without looking at the list in between times. My thought back then was how things could have been even better if we’d read the goals every day. In my coaching work I encourage my clients to have written goals and to read them out loud every day with a big smile on their faces.

However, back to today’s quote, which is about attitude. You may have heard the challenge in the words that “we are made of sterner stuff” which implies that sometimes we have to roll with the punches, take it on the chin and accept the reality of what is happening in our lives. In the song “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” we are told “The blues they sent to greet me, won’t defeat me! It won’t be long till happiness steps us to greet me!”

If you are someone who can find the resolve to pick yourself up every time you fall, then life will not master you, you will master it! You cannot be defeated in the long run if you are not willing to accept that defeat! We must accept that “it is what it is” but not be willing to accept that “what it is” will remain, if we chose for it not to!

How To Make Your Success A Certainty



“Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse-sense and persistence, is
the quality that most frequently makes for success.” – Dale

Does success frequently evade you? Here’s the recipe that Dale Carnegie came up with, for making your success and mine a certainty. He says employing enthusiasm, common-sense and persistence will result in our success! Dale was the author of the famous book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” a 1936 personal development classic, that sold over 15 million copies!

Enthusiasm, flaming enthusiasm at that, is a joy to behold! I love to watch people when they display enthusiasm for what they are doing; when you can see that their heart and soul is totally involved! The word enthusiasm literally means “god within” so the way I understand it, enthusiasm is doing whatever god intended us to do.

I can’t say that I’d ever heard of ‘horse-sense’ before I read this quotation, so I Googled it. The free reads: Noun horse sense – sound practical judgment and then it uses it in context: “Common sense is not so common”; “he hasn’t got the sense God gave little green apples”; “fortunately she had the good sense to run away.”

In my coaching conversations, my clients sometimes like me and you “can’t see the wood for the trees” and all they need to get them back on track, is a little common sense. It is a quality that can escape us when our attention is on other things. It’s always worth asking the question “What is the advice I would give to someone else to help them, if they were in the same set of circumstances that I find myself in right now?”

Finally, persistence is not a hallmark of our 21st Century society, that wants instant gratification, and yet those who are successful in life will tell you that in diligently persisting in following their dreams, they arrived at the moment when their dreams became their reality. So, if you want to succeed, make use of enthusiasm, common-sense and persistence, like Dale Carnegie suggested.

Don’t Settle For Less Than Being Who You Are!

10032 Muhammad Ali - Don't Settle For Less


“The biggest temptation is to settle for too little.” – Thomas Merton

Have you ever been tempted to settle for less than what you thought was your fare share in life? I know I have and I even have to admit I gave in to the temptation on more than one occasion, whispering to myself: “Oh, anything for a quiet life!”

Please don’t misunderstand me here; I’m not suggesting that you ought to become argumentative and unpleasant with people when you don’t seem to be getting your own way! Instead I am challenging you to hold on in your thinking to your original goals despite what the material world seems to be throwing at you.

If you are resolute in your own mind that things are going to work out the way you want them to, you can adopt a silent determination to see your project through and to make sure things always work out, the way you’ve planned. In this life there has to be give and take, but never let go of the things that are important to you.

One such man was Colonel Sanders. He retired aged 65 with a pitiful State Pension which was barely enough to pay for his basic needs. He decided he wanted to find some other income, so he asked himself what goods or services could he exchange for this money. All he had was a chicken recipe that a lot of people seemed to like.

So he determined to go around America, offering his chicken recipe to restaurateurs in exchange for a percentage of their increased profits as a result of them cooking his chicken recipe instead of theirs. He could have easily settled for less, because he had to visit over 100 restaurants all around America before he found someone willing to “give it a go.” Thankfully for many people who love to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken he didn’t accepted the rejection of those who weren’t interested in his offer.

Your Decisions and Your Destiny



“It is in the small decisions you and I make every day that
create our destiny.” Anthony Robbins

Is your life turning out to be all that you ever hoped and dreamed it would be? Are you disappointed with the progress you have made so far? The truth is, that you are where you are right now because of all the decisions big and small that you’ve ever made! No one else is to blame, you have chosen the life that you are now living!

Yes we can all point to mitigating factors, but are we really saying that we are unable to like the salmon, swim against the tide. Surely we’re made of sterner stuff than a fish, which only has instinct to aid it on its journey. We have intellect; we can out think a fish!

Life is like a game of chess, to play it well we need to think ahead. We need to realize that our actions have consequences and even though we don’t know exactly how the other side will make their moves, we can anticipate what will happen if …

Every decision is a crossroads that can take your life in many different directions. Take each choice and like Abraham Lincoln of old consider all the reasons why you should do it and why you shouldn’t. See where the weight of the argument lies and move forward, willing to take the risk because you’ve considered the outcomes.

One Plural


Although a dozen years have passed, the story of our age just keeps growing in its importance to our time and generation. We hear the story via TV from so many angles, a number of channels on my sky box have been playing back to back documentaries for the last week. Everyone has an opinion, many lives were changed on 9/11 and I for one have avoided speaking about the subject on line apart from a poem I wrote more than nine years ago, but today I want to have my say about this global tragedy.

First let me share the poem I wrote about the events of that sad September morning in New York twelve years ago:

Written and © Copyright 2004
By Andrew Paul Smith 26-06-2004

What do you feel
When looking at Manhattan
As hatred fills the skies

Can you feel hope
Or just adolescent rage
As many people die

Hope cries out now
Vengeance is no answer for
The evil that men do

Now there is love
To be found in the rubble
To pity this world view

The answer has never been
To kill our “enemies”
One thing is always certain
We’re all a part of “me”

You destroy your brothers
When you hate the human race
Love will be the answer
When peace has found its place

So no surprises for you there, if you have read other writings of mine you know I am for peace, love and light but what of my thoughts around the tragedy of nine eleven?


I see two towers, they are twins! The symbol of the World Trade Centre for me represents dualism!

A). War & Peace – There are those who believe in war and those who believe in peace. There are those who believe therefore that might is right, the ones with the best weapons are more likely to win so we need to have the most and the best weapons. Then there are those who believe that when all the killings are over we will still have to sit down and talk about it and make our peace, so why do so many lives have to be torn apart and why should even more fuel for further conflict be created.

B). Conspiracy & Unavoidable Events – There are those who see a hidden agenda in everything and those who do not. The conspiracy theorists tell us that 9/11 was an inside job, that the American government or those who pull its strings to the administration were complicit, as it was with so many other events; the assassination of JFK and Bobby his brother, MLK and even John Lennon. Not to mention the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed, etc etc

C). Us & Them – It’s all part of a global story of us and them! There are the controllers and the controlled; the 1% and the 99%; the Judai/Christians and the Arabs; the East and the West. The dichotomies never end or do they? I believe there is an answer to the age old problem of disagreements and the evil that men do to each other and the planet, and the funny thing is I know you dear reader are going to take sides with me or against me on this. It makes me smile!

In some ways I really shouldn’t need to say more than this photograph says.

The photo along with the one that preceded it offers us all the choice between continuing as we are with our unwillingness to live and let live or becoming willing to seek a solution to our problems instead! Surely being able to get along and embrace the dualism that is at the heart of what we speak of as reality, is in all of our interests?

The day after 9/11 a friend of mine wrote a song whose lyric I want to share with you now:

Words and Music Tony Moore September 12, 2001
Written and © Copyright 2001

There is you, standing silent
Looking up – at the sky bent
Out of all shape – Since the day was begun

There is me, in the distance
Just a speck of existence
Yet I can feel – What you feel – In unison

There is nothing between us – smithereens can’t defeat us

We are one plural, facing each other reflected
We are one plural, I am – You are – We’re connected
If you’re in pain – I’m affected

There is us, in the middle
So aware that we’re brittle
Yet we have strength – that defies comparison

There is nothing can reach us – We have love to complete us

We are one plural, facing each other reflected
We are one plural, I am – You are – We’re connected
We are one plural, symmetry made, love perfected
We are one plural, when we embrace – we’re protected
I’m in pain – you’re affected

There are those, who would hurt us
Thinking fear will convert us
But they don’t see, unity is every one


As in Syria right now, there is a possible point of world conflict. A brutal regime is trying to keep control over those who oppose it from within. A watching Western World feeling initially unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the past by attempting to go in and resolve matters with their superior fire power, but now based on the latest atrocities and the use of chemical warfare to kill hundreds of innocents are now feeling honour bound to do something and yet fearful of the consequences.

Then when it comes to the evidence of who committed this atrocity, America and Russia have different culprits and they say categorical proof of who is to blame. The peace of the region and maybe the whole world is at stake. The American President doesn’t seem to be as “gun-ho” as his predecessors were over Iraq and Afghanistan, the British Parliament already voted down the taking of military action, I think the West is a little scared of the consequences. After all we don’t want our civilisation to end up looking like the picture above and yet we can’t just ignore the use of chemical weapons, can we?

9/11 was a great tragedy and although in my mind there is probably more evidence than I would previously have liked to publicly admit for the validity of the conspiracy theorists on the events of September 11, 2001. I am more concerned about finding a way to prevent such things from happening again, than who we need to point the finger of blame at. After all who came off worst as a result of that extremely sad day?


The Syrian conflicted has already claimed 60,000 to 100,00 lives, between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 have become refugees and almost 4,000,000 have had to leave their homes and are now living in a different part of Syria.

There is no doubt that if this had happened in America, the UK or some European Country the Western World would not have sat idly by and yet doing what the Russians and Chinese have done in the UN Security Council did make sense to me when I heard the Chinese Ambassador to the UK speak on the radio recently. He said something along the lines of “We don’t believe in interfering with the internal conflicts of sovereign nations!”

Do we in the West interfere or do we care? Do you see how easy it is to take opposing views on this and just about anything that happens globally, locally or personally? My answer to all the conflicts and disagreements important and petty has already been revealed in this article, it is simplistic and yet most of the solutions that we find eventually after our great quests as human beings usually are!



So let me repeat what I said earlier; the solution is to “live and let live!” I have some other qualifying statements to make about this, so here goes!


Anything that divides us and brings us into violent conflict is not good for you, for me or for humanity! The human race needs to accept that as wonderfully uplifting a message we have been able to receive from our religions, political theories and philosophies however much they have given us a sense of belonging to a large group of people, it is as if whilst-ever we remain in their power we are children clinging to our mother’s apron strings.


It’s time for the human race to become enlightened and realise that individuality is to be celebrated and that the universality of the desire to express ourselves creatively within the structures that feel most comfortable to us, even though that means we will all want to live our lives slightly different to everyone else and very different to others. If we want to be allowed by others to live our way, then it seems fair to me that the trade-off should be to allow others to do the same.


We belong together and yet we need to be able to express ourselves individually. When someone does something that offends you, celebrate that individuals separateness from you whilst reminding yourself that we ALL belong to each other! As I said this is a simplistic solution, but if you and I put this to work in our lives and be the change we want to see in the world, maybe the likelihood of another September 11th tragedy becomes less likely?


Please forgive the use of my own religious culture past for me to illustrate the deepest longings of my soul today on the anniversary of the 21st Centuries most well-known tragedy and all that has happened since that extremely sad day. Here’s a song and a Bible verse that express hope for a future world of peace that I seek, live and pray for today, the fact that they are Christian in nature tell you of my where I am from, not where I am going in my heart and mind. I am willing for you to live your life your way as long as you do it peacefully and constantly search for peace in your heart because that is where I promise you it is waiting for you and me, in our hearts!

Love and light to you from Andrew  <3

SONGWRITERS: Lyrics: Linda Thompson & Music: David Foster

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies

Well I’m all grown-up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal a hurting human soul


What is this illusion called
The innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief
Can we ever find the truth


“They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore!” Isaiah 2 Verse 4