Peace in Our Time – Special Evening of Peace with Eva Schloss


“Peace in the World begins with you and me – every single peaceful action you take makes the world a better place” Arvind Devalia 

Today there is more conflict and strife in the world than ever before. At the same time, we are all more stressed out. It almost feels hopeless as we all strive to improve our lives.

So where do you even begin to bring more peace into the world? And what needs to change?

This is a question I have struggled with almost all my life – it seemed so daunting and overwhelming I had no idea where  to even start.

Then I realised a few years ago that change begins with me – and I can only do what I can – and  I can make a huge difference to others by my inspirational words and powerful actions.

To this end I have written a number of articles, such as 9/11 remembered – 11 articles to sow peace and healing.

Yet I still feel I could be doing much more, especially in light of the current world situation and the refugee challenge in Europe right now.

So I am excited and yet humbled to announce my first ever Peace Evening.

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Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic 2015 (Year 14!)


Time for my annual picnic in Regents Park!

Called “Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic”, it is held every year – and this is YEAR 14!!!

This year it is to be held on Sunday, 9th August 2015.

13 years ago, I had a vision of bringing people together in community in a spirit of fun and contribution – and so I invited all the people in my life to a picnic. And I asked them to invite all their friends too.

So my “Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic” was born!

That first year, around 60 people came, despite it being a cold and rainy June Sunday.

Then in 2013, I had over 400 people attending – and it’s getting bigger every year!

Thanks to all of you who bought into my vision of bringing people together.

It’s actually a very simple concept.

The idea is to get a lot of friends and their friends together. I invite all my friends and they invite all their friends and they invite their friends and so on……and before we know, there will be 100’s of friends, new and old, having a lot of fun.

Everyone is invited to bring their own food and drinks plus some extra to share. We will also be playing Frisbee, frisbee etc for fun, so bring those trainers and sports gear. And of course children are most welcome. If you haven’t got any, borrow some for the day :-)

I recently got some Hula Hoops so it should be entertaining watching some people have a go!

There are lots of things you can do in Regents Park. There is boating on the lake, heronry and waterfowl collections to visit, and of course the world famous Rose garden.

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101 Ways to Make It Happen and Rock your World


How is your life going? 

What’s missing in your life? And what are you doing about it?

If you are like most people, you are having another day of challenges, deadlines and being overwhelmed. Or worse still, you are having another day of boredom. And despair.

Just what happened to all your childhood dreams? How did they get vanquished and forgotten over time?

Pause for a moment and look around the world you live in today.  Turn on the daily news and all you get is more doom and gloom around you.

The world seems to face so many challenges that you might despair and feel completely hapless as to just what one individual like you can do. Especially when you have so much going on in your own life.

Just where do you begin to create the sort of life you want, and to live in the type of world you want?

Where does one begin from this point?

The answer is actually quite simple – you begin exactly where you are at right now.

Your future and all the things you desire, dream of, wish for and want to create don’t exist anywhere other than here, right now.

That future is created here and now – not just for yourself but for those around you.

It’s simply all about you deciding to change – and choosing to make it happen for yourself and the world.

You see in life, you are either reacting or creating. Always.

Next time you are in a crowd in any setting – social, family or work, notice how people are either complaining about something or ranting.

On much rarer occasions,  the conversation is about moving forward, resolving challenges and heaven behold, even about creating something majestic and lasting!

So are you going to be reacting and ranting – or stepping up and creating?

Your life transforms the moment you choose to transform. The moment you decide that enough is enough and you are going to make it happen for yourself.

That time is here now.The time to rock your world.

It is time for you to step up and be the sort of person you have always wanted to be – and be the leader you know you were born to be. And then one day you too can rest in eternity, just like one of the greatest human beings who ever lived.

I have worked hard enough, so I can now rest in eternity” – Nelson Mandela

You too can aspire to be a “Nelson Mandela” too!

Yes, quite a challenge, but why not?

Mr Mandela has left quite a legacy – and you can begin to walk in his footsteps by adopting some of his lessons in leadership.

So where do you even begin to follow in Mr Mandela’s footsteps? You start by first making your own life the best you can – a life based on high moral and ethical values.

At the same time, you do your best for the world around you and you create our legacy.

To help you get started, I have created a treasure collection of my all-time, best life-changing articles I have ever written. This is an extra-ordinary anthology to help you get more out of all areas of your life and to make it happen.

I looked through all the almost 600 blog posts I have written over 8 years and I have picked out what I consider the best 101 articles.

It was quite a challenge to pick these out and organise them into one post but this has been a labour of love for me – and I sincerely hope you get a lot from the 101 articles below. These are life-changing articles you can return to again and again.

I have put them under some relevant categories but there’s clearly a lot of crossover.

I suggest you read a few articles at a time and bookmark the ones that resonate with you – and please do share them. It would be a crime not to share these life-changing “secrets” :-).

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How 30 Minutes of Intense Chest Pain Changed My Life For Ever – and Will Change Yours Too
Have you ever had a deep life-changing experience?

An experience which left your previous life in tatters and forced you to face up to life like never before?

There you are – one day simply meandering through life, care-free and thinking that life was going to go on forever.

Then what happens…

Suddenly you are jolted by a thunderbolt – and life is never the same again.

Something happens personally that hits you deeply in the groin of your soul – and you have no choice but to take stock of your life. And then perhaps you can choose to actually start living the life that you really want.

You see we all go through life as if it is going to last forever. In our head and in fairy tales, we get to live happily ever after.

Except that it’s never ever forever. And most of the time, it’s hardly even happy.

And the insane thing is that though logically we know that this life is not going to last forever, we live our lives as if it is going to last forever.

The reality though is that one day we die. And then a few loved ones and many strangers come along to pay their final respects.

They all look as serious and solemn as they can, address your coffin and tell you what a fine fellow you once were.

And soon after all the lofty eulogies which never saw any daylight whilst you were alive, they bury you and throw some mud over you. Or in my case, being of Hindu origin, they’ll burn me. Then scatter the ashes in some polluted river.

The worst and the most harrowing bit is this – like it or not, every day brings you and me closer to just such an ignominious end.

So what comes between now and that solemn but frivolous ending? And when are you going to wake up and get that your clock is ticking?

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick Tock.

We all have two lives. The second one begins when you realise you only have one” – Tom Hiddleston

Are you ready to wake up and truly live your life? Or are you going to be just like the masses who are living with this illusion of immortality?

So what do you do? Become despondent and depressed that this is all there is and what a failure you have been?

Become fatalistic as it’s all going to go belly up one day anyway?

Or do you finally get clear about your life and focus on the legacy you are going to leave behind? And at the same time, you have a blast and have some rip-roaring, rollicking fun along the way!?

How about living a meaningful life?

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Love is all that Matters – and NOT Just On Valentine’s Day!

So how is Valentine’s Day going for you?

Did you spend some quality time with your loved one – or was it just another day for you?

It always amuses me to see people spending a small fortune on just one day every year to show their love for someone!

What happens during the remaining 364 days of the year!?

It’s crazy and dumb to only celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day!

Why not make it a fun Valentine’s Day every day?

Does “romantic love” evoke a vision of red roses, serenading in the park, moonlit walks and champagne?

In our world of glossy magazines and glitzy media, where we are constantly bombarded with images of the ideal, love struck and “perfect” couple, is it any wonder that the real meaning of love has been so diluted!?

Love for some is about being starry eyed and going gaga over someone. The actual being in love becomes more important than ever truly loving someone.

But love is MUCH more than that.

What would the world be like if we truly loved others the way we love our close ones?

I imagine the world would then be transformed and there would be fewer or no wars and we would live in peace and harmony.

In the words of John Lennon, just imagine a brotherhood of man and imagine all the people sharing all the world. It’s easy if you try.

As we look around the world today, such unity would seem to only exist in our imagination and in songs.

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Why It Takes Love and a Lot of Guts to Survive and Thrive

Life is a miracle!What’s the biggest personal problem you have ever faced in your life?

Given the chance, if you are like most people you may just rattle off some of the challenges you have faced in your life. Some people might even show me their battle wounds

Let me be clear – this is a rhetorical question and not an invitation for you to wallow in your past or share any pain you are going through now.

We have all faced challenges during our life journey – and the very fact you are reading this shows that you survived.

As a wise man said to me once – your life is a success every time you wake up in the morning. You have survived another night and maybe you will thrive for another day!

It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves as we meander through life’s ups and downs – and wonder how and why life got so hard for us along the way.

Then along comes somebody who has faced such astonishing challenges and is still dancing and smiling through life. They just blow you away with their zest for life, optimism and positivity.

One such person is my long term friend and mentor Evelyne Brink. Three years ago in November 2011, Evelyne was due to visit my home for lunch. She was 7 months pregnant at the time and was due to visit me after a routine hospital check-up in the morning.

She never made it to mine that day.

Instead she called me in the afternoon to say that the doctors had discovered something not quite right with her baby. She was in shock and still taking in the news. I offered to join her at the hospital but her partner Thomas was already on the way.

That day Evelyne’s life changed for ever. As did Thomas’s and all the close people in her life.

Their son Tuffel was born a few weeks later without a bowel and despite all the odds he is now a bright, gregarious 3-year old.

Tuffel is a miracle baby and has become the first ever survivor of “ultra short gut syndrome“, living with no small intestine.

Evelyne has now written and published a heart-warming book about her journey over the last 3 years – “It Takes Guts” (Amazon UK/  an uplifting and deeply emotional journey which will fill your heart with new hope for what is possible for each and every one of us.

As the subtitle says, it is a story of love, hope and a missing bowel.

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Why It Makes Sense to do Good Every Day

miracle of nature

Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!

Wherever you are in the word today, I wish you all the best for today even if you are not celebrating this tradition of thanks giving marked in so many countries and cultures around the wold.

I love the idea of having a special day of thanks giving whereby we can express our gratitude for all that’s good in our lives.

At the same time, living with an attitude of gratitude all the time is something we can all cultivate.

Having once experienced Thanksgiving Day with my brother and his family in the USA, I know what a special day it is for so many people around the USA.

On this day, in theory anyway, we get to see all that’s good in our lives and in the world – and for a few hours we connect with our own greatness. Bit like Xmas Day, except a few weeks earlier.

Then we get back to being our “normal” grumpy and stressed selves!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day were to be like this, a day of goodness, gratitude and appreciation!?

At the same time, I feel that people are forgetting the original meaning of this thanksgiving celebration. Even in the UK over the last few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been marked with a buying frenzy and special deals – so you can buy more of the stuff that you didn’t really need or want in the first place!

And the focus seems to have shifted more to eating, drinking and getting merry – and away from thankfulness and appreciating what we have.

I’ll stop myself there before I start ranting!

Let me walk my talk, by thanking all of you who have continued to read my blog and followed me despite my infrequent postings and multiple cyber disappearances. It is you who inspire me and make me want to become a better human being. Without you and the other people in my life, I am nothing.

Thank you for allowing me to contribute to you – and please know that I continue to aspire to serve you more. And together we can and we WILL make this an even better world.

Also, during this week of Thanksgiving, please remember that no matter what challenges you may be facing in your life, we all have so much to be grateful for.

So why does it make sense to do good every day, and not just on some special day like today?

As Mother Teresa said, do good anyway, no matter what.

People are often unreasonable and self-centred. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.” – Mother Teresa

If you look around, the world faces umpteen challenges today and it’s really time for us to rise to the challenge and make it happen for a better world for all us. At the same time we have to make the most of our own lives and make the most of what we all have.

This morning, we had a tragic reminder of the need to make the most of each day and our limited time on earth.  Australian cricketer Phil Hughes passed away, 2 days after being hit on the head with the ball. A reminder of just how fragile and delicate our lives are – and yet so precious.

Life is indeed so precious and it breaks my heart every time I hear about more senseless killings and deaths.

Of course it is not how or when you die, but ultimately what matters is how you lived your life – and the legacy you created.

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11 Key Lessons from Gandhi for Leading a Powerful Life of Commitment

Gandhi the ultimate minimalist

This week was the 145th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest human beings who ever lived.

If you have never heard of Gandhi, where have you been!?

As Einstein said:-

Generations to come, it may well be, will scarcely believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” – Einstein

As regular readers will know, Gandhi is one of my all-time heroes and I have written a number of key articles about his life and his message.

Indeed, this post about lessons in life from a 140 year old man is one of the most popular posts on my blog.

Do also check out the following 3 posts:

1. Gandhi the Ultimate Minimalist

2. Let Your Life your Be your Message

3. Lessons in Peace from Sammy, also known as Gandhi

Being a keen and ardent student of people, I have always being intrigued by what makes a “Gandhi” a Gandhi?

What made him so committed to his cause that he changed the lives of millions of people and his legacy still lives on in the world today?

And what makes it so that the majority of us can’t even get committed to our own well-being?

What is Commitment?

Firstly, let’s get clear what we mean by commitment.

The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity etc” – Oxford Dictionary

Please understand that what I mean by commitment in this context is not just another word you throw around loosely – but a way of being and something you take on being for the rest of your life. Just like Gandhi did.

Commitment is an act, not a word.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

Commitment is about declaring your word to something bigger than you.

For this life-changing article, the real question is really not about what Gandhi and others like him have achieved in their life – but what made him and them stand out from the rest of us?

So this is really an inquiry about what allows you and me to be totally committed to what we say we are committed to.

And as a backdrop, I’ll use Gandhi’s life as an illustration of what he was committed to – and how he changed the world as a result.

I learnt a lot about the power of commitment when I recently came across The Deuce Story – all about how an American Footballer transformed overnight after declaring his commitment to be the #1 player in his position.

Deuce’s story partly prompted me to write this post – he literally became an overnight sensation. All after just one powerful, chance conversation with Steve Hardison, the Ultimate Coach.

Yes, that’s the power of thinking big coaching. :-).

Ironically, Deuce’s story is also an illustration of how one’s commitment has to be renewed daily. He flopped just as quickly as his star had risen.

You see not even the ultimate coach can empower you, if you don’t take action to renew your commitment on a daily basis.

To use this analogy in my own life, I too have had many false starts. By way of writing this first blog post after a few weeks break, I am renewing my commitment to serve you through my words and by sharing my insights about life.

In the words of Steve Hardison, I am here to:-

“Be Me, Be Love and Be in Service”.



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Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic 2014 (Year 13!)


Have you noticed there’s so much strife and unease all around us in the world today?

People in so many parts of the world seem intent on killing each other and wiping out civilisations which have taken centuries to grow and develop.

And locally too, there seems to be an ongoing unrest with pockets of violence and in-fighting.

As much as we would like to change what’s happening globally, to me there seems to be a general sense of despondency and hopelessness. Rather than taking a stand, it’s seems so much easier to vent our fury and our prejudices on social media sites!

budhist bootcamp

Whilst most of us cannot do much about global affairs, or even have the desire to do anything beyond fulfilling our own daily challenges of survival, we can certainly make a difference in our local communities.

What I strongly believe is that more than ever before today, we all need to take a stand in our own communities and see how we can be united and bring people together.

And this brings me nicely to the theme of my post today:-).

Time for My Annual Picnic in Regents Park!

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Lessons in Life, Love and Peace from a Holocaust Survivor

Eva Schloss at dinner party at Arvind's home

Just what’s going on in the world today?

What’s with all this strife, conflict and war around the globe?

For a while now, I have been avoiding watching the news but I can hardly turn a blind eye to what’s happening right now in places like Gaza and the Ukraine.

It breaks my heart to see all this anguish and sorrow happening around us. When will we ever learn!?

There must be people who remember World War II and the Holocaust who can help us get out of this rut” – Martin Scorsese.

I feel that the world quickly needs to remember and apply the lessons taught by the likes of Gandhi and Mother Teresa:-

1. 6 Key Lessons in Life from a 140 year old man.

2. Mother Teresa on Loneliness, Love and Peace.

Then recently, with almost divine intervention, amidst all my anguish and hopelessness I met Eva Schloss.

I had the real privilege and honour to meet Eva Schloss recently at a book reading event in Waterstones bookstore in Hampstead Village. It was a life-changing event and got me reconnected to what’s really important to me and also what truly matters in life.

It was a surreal evening as I then discovered that Eva and I are neighbours, and we literally live around the corner from each other!

A couple of weeks ago, I invited Eva to my home for tea – and also to share her wisdom and views on peace and life for my blog readers.

Eva Schloss has an incredible story. She was arrested in Amsterdam by the Nazis on her 15th birthday and sent to Auschwitz. Thanks to incredible luck, her own determination and the love and protection of her mother Fritzi, Eva somehow survived Auschwitz.

After the war, Eva and her mother returned home to Amsterdam – alas only to learn that both her father and brother had been killed during the war.

Before the war, Eva had been friends with Anne Frank, who went on to change the world through the legacy of her diary. Though their fates were very different, Eva’s life became entwined with her friend’s for ever more, after her mother Fritzi married Otto Frank, Anne’s father.

Eva subsequently kept quiet for many decades about her holocaust experience, but in recent years she is on mission to spread her message of peace and reconciliation.

She has published a number of books and her most recent book is “After Auschwitz” (Amazon UK / Amazon USA) , which is a searingly honest account of how an ordinary person survived the Holocaust. It is also a heart-breaking, exploration of what happened next and Eva’s struggle to live with herself after the war.

When the power of love overtakes the love of power, peace will reign”Jimi Hendrix (click to tweet)

war is organised murder

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The #1 Secret to Living Big that Successful People Don’t Want to Tell You!


What secrets do successful people hold under their hats that you’d love to know?

How do they progress from zero to where they are today?

How can you do the same?

Let’s see how it all starts:

I turned to look at her one last time before I left.

She refused to return my gaze. Her pain was visible.

As I’d made the decision to leave my home in the North of England for the dizzy heights of London, I had no intention of hurting her. But she was hurt all the same.

She was hurt because I hadn’t listened to her advice to stay in the city I was raised in.

She was hurt because she felt betrayed by her own child. How would she explain to the neighbours that her unwed daughter was now living alone?

But most of all, she was hurt because she was afraid for my safety. She wouldn’t be there to protect me.

She was my mother, after all. This reaction was as much chemical as it was emotional.

It took me some time to realise that her hurt was in her control. It wasn’t caused by me, brought on by me, and neither could it be controlled by me.

She created it. She would make it go away.

But this post is not about forgiveness, difficult relationships, or coming to terms with your decisions.

This post is about a subtle shift in mindset.

A mindset that moves you away from simply dreaming, and starting to truly live.

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