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/Amazon.com)  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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James McCartney Interview: Inspirational Lessons in Life from a Rising Superstar

James McCartney and "Get the Life you Love" book

Who is the most inspirational person you have met in your life?

And what lessons in life did you learn from this person?

One of the best ways to improve your life and take it to the next level is to learn from people who have already done it or doing it now, or from someone who is about to take off in life within their own chosen sphere.

Sometimes in life you meet someone who you just know is going to make a big impact in the world – and one such person I know and have in my life as a friend is rising star James McCartney, who is both an accomplished musician and an artist.

I first met James almost 6 years ago and I have had the pleasure to see him grow and develop over the years, both as a person and in his profession.

He has really focussed on what he wanted in his musical career and all his hard work and efforts are now coming to fruition.

Last week I saw James McCartney perform live in London in front of a sell-out concert and he blew the audience away with his powerful and moving performance.

He even out-shined two all-time musical legends, Ronnie Wood and Sir Paul McCartney!

James McCartney is now on the threshold of a sell-out USA Tour featuring 47 dates over 2 months.

I had the opportunity to interview James and ask him to share some of his lessons in life with us – and here’s what he shared:-

1. James, welcome to Make it Happen! Thanks for making the time in your busy schedule to share your inspirational story with my readers. And congratulations re your forthcoming USA Tour and the release of your forthcoming album!

Please tell us more about your USA tour.

Thanks Arvind for the warm welcome – I am delighted to be here.

My USA Tour begins this Saturday 6th April when I play in Portland Oregon – I then continue around the country with a total of 47 gigs all around the USA in 27 States.

I am really excited about this new adventure and it’s great to know that the tour looks like it’s going to be a sell-out.

Next week, I am looking forward to playing at Coachella in California and from there to gigs in New Mexico and the rest of the country. I can’t wait to get going!

2. James, it’s all so exciting!  I have listened to some of your new tracks and I also heard you live last week at your sell-out London gig, where your Dad joined you on the stage.

Please tell us more about your forthcoming album.

I can’t talk too much about the album as it’s not finalised yet! My first full-length album is called Me and for my first album I wanted to make a record that would be intimate, deeply personal, and honest

I wanted to create an album that would say, ‘This is who I am…both musically and personally. This is Me.”

I can’t say anything more – and I have to be a bit coy. There may be some surprises – so all I can say is watch this space….

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How to Keep Standing No Matter What Life Throws at You!

joyalone1

Have you ever met someone whose life story just blows you away?

Someone who makes you wonder how they got through everything life can throw at them – and yet they got through the darkness to share their story with the world?

5 years ago, I met Mel Carnegie in Solihull near Birmingham for a quick business meeting – she wanted to tell me more about one of her projects. Nothing more came of that meeting and over the following few years we lost touch, until mid-2012.

She then told me what she had been through in her life and especially over the previous 4 years. Her whole life had been turned upside down after she found out that her husband and her supposed soulmate was in reality a lying and cheating psychopath.

It was like that character in the famous movie starring Julia RobertsSleeping with the Enemy, except this was for real!

Mel explained how she was now resurfacing after all that she had been through and had written her life story.

Her book is called “I’m Still Standing” and has been snapped up by a publisher. I have just received a signed, preview copy – and I am so pleased that her story is going to inspire many readers and change many lives.

It’s a real life story of how to make it happen for yourself no matter what – and at the same time make a difference to others.

The book is now available as a Kindle book (Amazon UK /Amazon USA) and will be available as a paperback in early April.

Mel has also kindly given me two signed pre-publication paper copies of her book “I’m Still Standing” to give away to two readers – please see more details at the bottom of this post.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mel about life story and the lessons she has for all of us here.

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Why We Must All Listen to this MotorBike Crazy Mystic!

Sadhguru the motorbike crazy mystic!

Without working on human consciousness, trying to change social or national or global realities means there is no serious intention.” – Sadhguru

Who is the most inspiring person you have met in your lifetime?

I must say I have been lucky to have met so many inspirational and wonderful people in the last 10 years.

I have met and even worked with many spiritual masters, religious leaders, world politicians, business leaders and others who have touched me with the depth of their wisdom, the scope of their vision and their passion for what they believe in.

And then there’s this motor-bike crazy mystic called Sadhguru!

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Thanksgiving Week Lesson 4 – How To Harvest the Wisdom from My Top Blogger Friends

time to harvest some wisdom!

Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!

As you spend this day of thankfulness and togetherness celebrating with your loved ones, I would like to offer you the collected wisdom from my blogger friends.

They are some of the best known, established and renowned bloggers in the world today. And you are in for a thanksgiving treat.

Now I appreciate that you may not even be celebrating Thanksgiving Day today – if so, then please do take some time out to get present to all the goodness in your life.

This is the fourth in my series of five special posts for thanksgiving week.

Check out the first three posts here:-

Thanksgiving Week Lesson 1 – How To Embrace What You Already Have

Thanksgiving Week Lesson 2 – How To Let Yourself Give and Receive

Thanksgiving Week Lesson 3 – How To Add a Little Sizzle to Your Relationships

To start with, here’s a question I invite you to reflect on:-

What is the greatest gift you can give to the world on this day?

I asked my blogger friends exactly this question and invited them to share their favourite articles from their blogs for today and explain why they had chosen that particular post.

The outcome is that they have a contributed an awesome bounty of wisdom that will stand you in good stead always and not just today.

I am not given to exaggerating, but your life will never be the same again!

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Think Crazy to Make It Happen!

I have a dream! - Martin Luther King

What makes one person a Gandhi or a Dr Martin Luther King?

Is it pure coincidence or do such inspirational historic figures have some special powers?

Well, this afternoon a friend linked to a short but inspirational YouTube video on Facebook which may give us some clues. The video has this description:-

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Lessons in Leadership from a 95 Year Old Man

Nelson Mandela's light:-)

There is a man celebrating his 95th birthday today in a hospital in South Africa. But it is not just any man. It is indeed Mr Nelson Mandela, the man who cleared his country and the world of apartheid and also united his country without the much feared bloodbath.

South Africa too is celebrating with him and hoping for his recovery as are many people around the world. Here is a man who dedicated his life to his people and his country. Since his “retirement” from public life, he has played a major role around the world as the most respected and revered elder statesmen of our time.

Here is a timeline for Mr Mandela’s amazing and inspirational life.

During a series of public appearances around the world over the past few weeks, Mr Mandela’s life and work have been celebrated around the world. People from all walks of life recognise how this one man got rid of apartheid without bloodshed, and also how he united South Africa despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

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Muhammad Yunus – Creating A World without Poverty

Professor Yunus in London with supporters

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to hear live a lecture by Professor Muhammad Yunus at the wonderful St James Church in Piccadilly London. Professor Yunus was honoured and recognised for this life changing work amongst the poor of Bangladesh with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

I was especially lucky to have had front row seats – and you can see more pictures on my Facebook profile.

It was quite an inspirational day – here was an amazing man with the lofty ambition of eliminating poverty from the world and to one day make it simply non existent – so that we would need “Poverty Museums” to show future generations what life used to be like for the majority of people on earth. They will wonder why poverty existed so long in humankind – and how there could have been so much inequality in the world.

That really is a question that bugs me too so often – why is there so much poverty and inequality in the world. And more importantly what we can do about it?

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Gandhi’s Message as Relevant Today as 60 Years Ago

the light goes out of our lives

It is 60 years ago today since Gandhi was assassinated.

What would the world be like if he was around today?

Check out this video to see how he would have spread his message using the Internet!

Turn up your speakers, sit back and enjoy.

Gandhi may not be around but 6o years on his legacy and his message lives on.

Lessons in Compassion from My Father

light up the world with more compassion for one and all

Just over a month ago, my father suddenly passed away after a short bout of flu and a chest infection. The time since then has been rather tender and yet surreal as we come to terms with our great loss.

It seems only yesterday that I wrote about Father’s day and how it was time to remember just what your father has done for you

What has kept us going during our time of grief has been the support and love from so many friends and family. It is amazing just what compassion and kindness people are capable of showing at such times.

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What would Mother Teresa say About the Last 10 Years?

Mother Teresa's joyous smile

It is ten years today since Mother Teresa passed away amongst her favourite people – the dying and destitute of Calcutta.

As she passed away the same week as Princess Diana, it seemed at the time that her passing away was hardly noticed. Yet, here was an amazing human being who spent decades helping the lonely, the poor and the dying in the worst possible environment for such humanity.

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