Father’s Day Presents

Fathers day presents range from the simply giving of fathers day cards, to gifting extravagant presents. Fathers day is a time for family lunches and family orientated activities, spending quality time with fathers is what it is all about.

In some countries buying presents for dads is common practice. Fathers day is a perfect time to get him that special gift that you know he will really appreciate. It is easier than you think, men like simple practical things, often presents that are related to their hobbies and leisure time activities.

Weird and wacky presents for dad also have a strange attraction, something with humour will put a smile on his face, and can be a lot of fun for the whole family. All dads love a good book or magazine that relates to their hobbies and interests and with the internet at our finger tips, these are easy to arrange.

Fathers across the world appreciate the thought you put into choosing him a present, much more than how much the present cost. Fathers day poems and quotes, are opportunities to express love, respect and appreciation, without a price tag. Home made card means more to most dads than bought ones. To simply spend time with our fathers is perhaps the kindest gift of all.

The human soul is energised and refuelled through the act of giving, no matter whether your presents for your dad cost a fortune, or a few dollars, all fathers day presents and the kind thoughts are warmly received. Whether your gift to dad is a warm cuddle, a poem, or a special gift, it really is the thought that counts. As a father perhaps the best present I ever received was a T shirt with iron on pictures of my three children plastered randomly front and back. It is special because they worked together to create it for me. Even though they have now all grown up and live independently around the world, I still wear that shirt when ever I miss them.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night: What Might Have Been

“What the hell was it that I wanted to buy?”

That line is said by James Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical play (made several times into a movie), “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

James Tyrone is a stand in for O’Neill’s real life father, James O’Neill, who made a fortune playing the title role in “The Count of Monte Cristo” over and over and over again. When he tried to take on different roles, audiences wouldn’t accept him. For James O’Neill, this was the central tragedy of his life.

It’s the tragedy that Marlon Brando, playing a failed boxer, echoes so beautifully in “On The Waterfront” when he says to his brother, played by Rod Steiger, “I could have been a contender.”

James is convinced he could have been one of the leading actors of his generation had he not been so focused on pursuing the almighty dollar. As the poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.”

In a long monologue, James reminisces on what might have been had he pursued being the best rather than the richest. He believes he would have been a contender for the title, “greatest actor of his generation.” He concludes the monologue with the statement I quoted at the top of article.

In his famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost notes that “Two roads diverged in a wood” and proceeds to ruminate on what might have been had he taken a different road than the one he took. Two roads always diverge. And we will always consider what might have been had we taken the road other than the one we took. We’ll never know. For sure, we would have ended up in a different place. But would we have been happier? Would we have been more content?

I often think of what might had been had I made different choices. But I didn’t. And James didn’t either. For that matter, neither did Frost or Whittier or Marlon Brando or any of us. We made the choices we made. And what keeps us unhappy now is not the choices we made but the story we tell ourselves about those choices. How we would have been happier, richer, more content, famous, respected and admired had we only pursued a different road.

No matter which road we take, we will have cut ourselves off from a different life than the one we chose. But we can only have what we chose. We can never have in reality what we only imagine.

The question is not, “What might have been” but, rather, “What now?” What choices will define us now? What road will we take now from among the unlimited number of roads that are before us?

First and foremost, I’m a movie fan, but not of all movies. I noticed that there are certain movies I watch repeatedly because of what they teach me about living a life of meaning and purpose.

Challenge Your Thinking to Face Your Challenges

Goal achievement is a combination of thought, action, attitude and behaviors. You will have a greater chance of achieving the goals you set when you think through each phase. You have to think about where you are, where you want to go, and how you are going to get there. You have to make adjustments for the variables in life and think about the contingency and mitigation plans. Improving your goals will require a great amount of intellectual energy. It will also require a great deal of purposeful and measurable action. When thoughts, desires, and dreams are not coupled with action, all you really have are fantasies. Your goals should illicit a level of emotional investment that causes you to want to succeed. Mediocrity and passivity have no place in the strategic goal process.

Whether you are setting strategic goals to develop personal character, produce financial independence, or manage life a little differently, you will experience headwinds, but you cannot be worried about going with the flow of the culture. If you are going to achieve great things you will have to think differently than the next guy. These axioms provide a different perspective, a different way of viewing the world and of making decisions. Hopefully, they will inspire you to have a sense of pride in how you manage your life. Not the kind of pride that is puffed up and seeking self aggrandizement, but the kind that creates an inner sense of peace and gives you a sense of positive achievement. It is the sense of pride that comes from the accomplishments you achieve and the way you strive to add value to the lives of those around you.

Sometimes you have to give in to get up

Occasionally, as I was growing up, my father would have a few minutes to wrestle with me. At times, when he would get the best of me, I would have to say “I give” in order for him to let me up. This usually occurred after several minutes of me struggling to gain control over the situation. He would straddle me and hold my arms down while I fought against his strength. After a few minutes I would say the magic words and he would let me up. Life can be similar to those early days. Although today’s struggles will pursue you as you pursue your goals and they will continue to try to hold you down, you have to understand the difference between giving up and giving in. If you recall in chapter one, I spoke of the principle to never give up. It would seem that this axiom is in direct contradiction of that principle. However, let me explain what I mean in a finer context. In chapter one I wrote that Nehemiah stayed on the wall. He never gave up on the task at hand. In the face of opposition and threat of physical harm, Nehemiah continues to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

In contrast to his tenacity, he did not try to control those things that were outside of his ability to control. He never gave up on the vision, but he did give in concerning trying to control the noise and chaos that was at work around him. When you find yourself in a position where you are struggling against the situations and circumstances of which you have no control, sometimes you have to give in to get up. You have to admit that you do not have the ability to control the situation. That does not mean that you give up on your sustainable targets. What it does mean is that you can acknowledge that there are certain circumstances and situations where you will not have control. It is far better to acknowledge your limitations than it is to struggle over going the wrong direction. I believe that there are times when God is trying to tell you to follow a different path. When everything you try fails to materialize in the desired results, you have to start thinking that maybe this is not the way to go, or at least the way to go about accomplishing what it is you are trying to accomplish.

Giving in is not the same as giving up. Giving up is a surrender while giving in is an acknowledgement. You can still achieve your goals, but you might have to achieve them in ways that may not at first be apparent. When I started writing, I tried to write fiction. That was a complete disaster. I would have an idea in mind and then tell the entire story in less than one chapter. I tried my hand at being a playwright, but did not seem to have the creativity to create a workable screenplay. For a couple of years I wrote poetry. As much as I enjoy reading a great poem, I wrote literally hundreds of poems, but could never capture the mind’s eye with my verse. After so many attempts to write something of value, I gave in to the realization that I do not have the ability to control in what medium I would find my expressive voice. I gave in but I never gave up. I continued to think about my passion for writing and how I might find a way to express what I had inside of me. After nearly fourteen years of silence I found my voice in non-fiction. Producing informational books based on real life opened up the flood gates of the literary world. To give in means to acknowledge that you do not have the power to control the circumstances and situations of life. This is diametrically opposed to what it means to give up. To give up is to quit, giving in means to relinquish control. Giving in often allows you to get up because you are no longer wasting time and energy trying to control those things of which you have no control.

To give up is a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual surrender. It is to choose to not move forward. To give in is just an intellectual acknowledgement that the circumstances are beyond your control. There are times when you will realize that you are being prompted to define or redefine your target, but you have not gone through the process of physically, intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually surrendering. You are merely re-evaluating your original plans, direction, and sustainable targets. As I lead you into the next axiom, this difference between giving up and giving in will be even clearer.

Any dead fish can float with the current, but it takes a live fish to swim against it

As an ENTP, that would be an Extrovert iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving temperament type, (Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator MBTI®), I love this axiom. A fish that gives up is a dead fish. As such, it can only float with the current. It cannot pursue a goal, it cannot produce results, and it cannot achieve its purpose. A fish that is full of life can swim against the current. Sometimes the current may be too swift for the fish, but because it has life, it can find the weakness of the current and swim forward. The fish may give in to the reality that the current is too strong. However, the fish has the ability to adjust its position within the river to where there is a more favorable current. This can happen because the fish has life. So the fish makes the adjustment and continues to make progress. Earlier I stated that mediocrity and passivity have no place in the strategic goal process. Mediocrity always attacks excellence and passivity is the precursor of failure.

To be mediocre is to be of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance. You cannot be excellent while your thoughts, actions, and attitudes are of moderate or low quality. Therefore, you have to think faster than the current is moving. You have to act sooner than the next guy. You have to maintain a more positive attitude than those who are desirous of the same achievement. Mediocrity is the process of dumbing down the general population to believe that only a select few get ahead. Strategic goals stand in direct opposition to mediocre thoughts, actions, and attitudes. However, worse than that, passivity and apathy will destroy any opportunity to achieve any goal of value. Passivity is the purposeful decision to not take an active or dominant part in the process of achievement. Apathy is the condition of not having a measurable amount of emotion or interest. If you fail to have an emotional interest to take an active or dominate part in the process of achievement, you will be no better than a dead fish that is floating with the current of popular culture.

To improve your goals, you have to intentionally participate in the thoughts, actions, attitudes, and behaviors that cause you to win. Do not be a dead fish that is only good for fertilizing other people’s goals and achievements. In this process you will face swift currents, so learn to give in but to never give up. Keep moving from one side of the river to the next until you find the more gentle current that allows you to begin to make progress towards your goals. Then swim like mad!

Between black and white there are many shades of gray

When I was younger I saw the world as very black and white. For me, the light bulb is either lit or dark, but then they come out with the dimmer switch. Introduced into the equation was a new reality. A reality that said, based on the amount of energy supplied to a given circuit, there can be varying degrees of brightness. Don’t get me wrong, in my world the light is still either on or off, but there can be varying degrees of brightness or darkness. Even though I am still a black and white kind of person when it comes to my values, principles, and beliefs, I have learned that most of life is lived in these areas between brightness and darkness. In some circumstances the reality is clearly seen, while in other circumstances you struggle to see clearly.

Equipped with this knowledge, you can improve your goals simply because you have a greater understanding that there will be days of rejoicing and of sorrow. Most life happens somewhere along the gray scale. Between your darkest day and the lightest day, the rest of your life happens in the shade of gray. In some moments, you will experience the brightness of the white and in others you will be captured by the darkness of the black. But for most of life’s trials and tribulations, you will find yourself somewhere along the scale. This philosophy should be applied to your experience concerning your goals. There will be days when you feel energized because your progress is at an all time high. There will be days when you plateau and very little progress is being made. Then there will be times when you will suffer a set back and have to employ your contingency plan. In all of these circumstances, it is imperative that you do not become the shade of gray where your experiences lay. Acknowledge where these experiences appear on the gray scale, but take heed to not allow your emotions to follow an experience down the scale. The gray scale simply communicates that your life, like so many other people’s lives, is lived in the gray areas.

Your direction is dictated by your decisions…

… but your success is predicated by your persistence and perseverance. When you have reached that proverbial fork in the road, you have to decide which direction best meets your requirements. According to the law of opportunity costs, when you decide to take one path, you forfeit the other. So, in that sense, what you decide will directly dictate your direction. If you have made some choices and the outcomes were negative, don’t jump to conclusion that it was everything other than your decision that decided your outcomes. I could give a myriad of examples where a negative outcome was preceded by a bad decision. Everyone makes bad decisions, but the key to achieving your goals is having the persistence and perseverance to fight through the bad outcomes. Bad decisions can be overcome by persistence, which is the process of taking an experience, learning a lesson, and applying the new principle. These are the three parts of persistence that you must have in plentiful supply. When a bad decision leads to an undesirable outcome, don’t blame someone else for the miscalculation. Accept the experience, draw lessons from what you observed, and apply those lessons to future decisions of a similar nature.

Bad decisions can be overcome by persistence just as less than desirable outcomes can be overcome by perseverance. The key is to not turn away when adversity strikes. There is a oft quoted line from the Bible found in the Gospel of John where Jesus said “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 – New King James Version (NKJV)) Did you catch it? You will have tribulation, which is translated as troubles. Bad things do happen and they do happen to good people, so no one is immune. You will have trouble, you will face adversity and sometimes you may even think you are making the correct decision and still have difficulties. You will make bad decisions and face the consequences. Therefore, do not be disheartened by a mistake or resistance to your goals. Stay persistent and continue to persevere. The way to improve your goals is to make better decisions. Since your direction is dictated by your decisions, you have to acquire the knowledge, learn the rules, and get better at your analytical skills. Beyond that, you have to be willing to not only get in the game, but be willing to stay in the game even when you’re hurt, tired, weary, or exhausted.

It is important to change the way you think so that you can make the required adjustments in your actions that result in greater levels of achievement. In my next article I will discuss the six steps of sustainable change. Change can cause uncertainty. The fear of an unknown outcome can cause you to resist taking the first steps towards making the necessary changes to achieve your goals. Therefore, having a process for making changes can assist you in managing change with skill. The six steps of change management will not make the physical process of change any easier. You will still have to do the hard work of adjusting your behaviors to the world around you, but these steps will provide you with a steady, predictable pathway to managing the process of change.

Bar Mitzvah Speeches and Speech Writing Tips

Writing a Bar or Bat Mitzvah speech can be a daunting task. The sheer importance of this life event can make even the coolest heads experience moments of stage fright. Composing and rehearsing a well-written, heartfelt Bar Mitzvah speech can eliminate some of the anxiety that is so commonly associated with this familiar ritual. At BarmitzvahCards.net, we understand what you’re going through – so we will attempt to provide a comprehensive review with suggestions and tips of how to create the perfect Bar or Bat Mitzvah speech.

For Parents:

Most mothers and father who speak at their sons and daughters Bar or Bat Mitzvah want to be able to say something profound, meaningful, and memorable. The best tip is to stick to writing from your heart. As corny as that may sound – it’s very true. But for those who need more guidance than that…here is a basic outline and a few ideas.

The Introduction:

While all Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah attendees are there to focus on the young man or woman – it is the parents’ speech that is often the most eagerly anticipated. With that being said, it is very important to spend a considerable amount of time and thought on a very special introduction. A short story or fond memory about your boy or girl that speaks on their character is a popular way to start a speech. As always, famous Jewish quotes are another common segue.

The Body:

Unlike with your teenager’s speech, there are no best practices or rules to follow. Your speech can last anywhere from a short toast – to a 10 minute spiel. Go with the flow and proceed with whatever you are comfortable with.

A few ideas for topics to cover (it’s alright to choose one, none or all!):

* Share your own experiences on becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah
* Your feelings about and wishes for your child in reaching adulthood
* An anecdote that represents your child’s personality
* Why you are proud of your son or daughter?
* What does Judaism mean to you?
* Which characteristics about your child remind you of your forefathers (or foremothers)?
* Include Israel and mitzvoth. Donate, organize, or otherwise provide charity to celebrate this milestone occasion.


Conclusions commonly contain a few thoughts dealing with thanks and gratitude. It is a respectable way to end a very important speech. The ideal Bar/Bat Mitzvah speech should be informative, sentimental, & entertaining. It is important that you are satisfied with the results; otherwise keep trying until you are. This is among the most memorable moments in your life – make sure everything is absolutely perfect for you and your child!

For the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah:

Although your children’s speeches will usually be written with the help of your tutor or Rabbi – we still felt it might be helpful to go over some of the basics for an effective Bar/Bat Mitzvah speech.

The Introduction:

Often, one of the toughest parts of writing a B’nai Mitzvah speech is coming up with the right words. It is not uncommon to start your speech off with a famous quote or words of wisdom. A powerful statement that is relevant and meaningful can set the tone for the rest of your speech, and is always a safe addition. Poems are also a popular way to lead. Depending on what type of mood you would like to set, this introduction can be philosophical, reflective, or even humorous (to an extent). It is easy to find a list of profound sayings using a search engine. Start by looking for a particular topic, author, or meaning – in no time you will have the perfect introduction for your Bar Mitzvah speech!

The Greeting:

After the introduction, a greeting is proper. This section usually offers a warm welcome for everyone kind enough to attend the ceremony. There is also a thank you of sorts for all those sharing with you this special coming of age moment in your life.

The Topic:

Depending on your synagogue, you may have a choice between speaking from and giving commentary about a recent Torah and/or Haftarah portion – or you may have specific requirements. Either way, it is very important that you spend a good deal of time and energy thinking about the meaning and how it can be applied. It’s customary to highlight one or more portions of the reading and provide additional dialogue or personal knowledge on the subject. Being one of (if not the most) important aspects of your speech – it cannot be stressed enough to put some personal thought and reflection into your words.

Personal Feelings about Adulthood:

Describe the impact being a Jewish adult will make. What will you do to show your ongoing, growing commitment to Judaism?


Reiterate thanks to:

* All in attendance
* Your Parents
* Your Rabbi
* Your Family and Relatives who traveled from out of town
* Hebrew school teacher (if applicable)

These are some of the main points to cover in Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah speeches. While speech writers are common place and can be hired for cheap – it is important to personalize yours and incorporate your own feelings, attitudes, and experiences. As difficult as writing it may be, when it’s all over, you’ll wish it wasn’t. Hopefully this helps – and don’t worry – it will only be remembered for the rest of your life!

A few tips about Bar and Bat Mitzvah speech writing:

1. Take time to brainstorm
2. Organize your thoughts into lists
3. Take your lists and provide commentary on each topic
4. Re-order everything until it flows right
5. Take a day or two off – re-visit your speech and make any necessary edits
6. Share with someone close to get feedback (optional)
7. Rehearse! Rehearse! Rehearse! (Out loud too!)
8. When giving your speech – Relax! Relax! Relax!
9. Make sure your speech was recorded. It will be priceless to you in a few years
10. Enjoy this special day!

Wedding Ceremony Prep – What You Need To Know

No matter who marries you, take time to talk about and write down any customs, music or traditions that are important to both of you. Then start outlining the actual ceremony together:

If you are having a religious ceremony, the person marrying you should be able to help you craft the order of the wedding ceremony. Lean on that person to guide you.
If you are having a ceremony that is not overtly religious, you have different options. Look at what is important to you and your groom, and pull in elements that are personal.

Some of the traditional elements include:

Prelude (or music) that plays prior to the ceremony beginning.
Seating of the guests.
Seating of the parents. The mother of the bride should be seated last.
Wedding Processional that begins with the Groom and Officiant and includes all of the wedding party (except the bride.)
Grand entrance – this is where special wedding music is played and the bride enters (traditionally with her Father.)
Opening remarks from the officiant and a reading or prayer are common.
Giving away of the bride.
Charge to the bride and groom which includes a few words about the privilege and bond of marriage.
Exchanging of wedding vows.
Exchanging of wedding rings.
Declaration of marriage by the officiant and that first kiss!
Presenting of the newlyweds and their recessional walk back down the aisle together

There are only a few legal requirements for a wedding, so have fun creating a wedding that is special to you both! Then work with your officiant to create the perfect event flow.

After you are comfortable with the way the wedding ceremony has come together, go ahead and create your wedding program. A wedding program can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. It’s a wonderful way to let guests know more about your ceremony, and it should have the same feel as the rest of your wedding.

What goes into the program is up to you and your fiancé, but the names of the bride and groom will typically be listed at the top with the date and location immediately following.

Other information you might want to include:

Name of your parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen, the officiant, musicians, ushers, flower girl and ring bearer. Choose the people who you want to recognize in your wedding program.
Wedding ceremony agenda, including the names of any songs and readings that occur.
Personal notes. This may include a favorite poem or quote, a note about special friends or family that have passed on or a special, or information about special religious rituals that are part of your ceremony.
Housekeeping. It’s helpful to have a note that requests guests turn off their cell phones.

Share the ceremony outline and program with your bridal party and family. It will help everyone be better prepared for your big day!

Bride Connections has more tips and tools to make wedding planning just a little bit easier!

Dreams and Creativity

Dreams do tell us who we are and what interests us. Dreams help creative persons to create their best.
Goethe solved many definite scientific problems in his dreams and also composed poems.

La Fontaine composed ‘The Fable of Pleasures’ in his dream.
Coleridge was in deep sleep, when 200 to 300 lines of the, ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ came to him and he was fortunate enough to wake instantly and write them. The same process occurred with Kubla Khan’.
Bernhard Palissay made one of his most beautiful ceramic pieces on dream inspiration.

Maury confesses: “I have had in dream ideas and inspiration that could never have entered my consciousness when I awake.”
R L Stevenson’s ingenious plots were evolved in his dream state. The chapter on ‘Dreams’ by him in his volume ‘Across the Plains’ contains a description of most successful dream experiments thus far recorded.
Yeats, Tennyson, Walter de la Mare, Richard Church are the poets to whom inspiration came in dreams.

Materlink also frequently dreamed parts of his books and wrote, “Unless we are guilty of
Systematic and childish incredulity, we are compelled to admit that prophetic dreams have always existed and they must definitely be classed among the most defensible acquisitions of metaphysics.”
Srinivasa Ramanujan, the great mathematical genius of Tamilnad, India worked out mathematics during dreams.

Mr. Subbarayan wrote:”Ramanujan was staying for sometime with my father in Triplicane, Madras. Both of them used to work mathematics on slates till 11.30 pm.

On several days during this period Ramanujan would get up from sleep at about 2 p.m and write down something in the slate in the dull light of the hurricane lamp. In regard to this action, he used to say that he worked out mathematics in his dreams and was jotting down the results then and there to remember them the next day.

The celebrated mathematician, Henri Poincare, tried day after day to discover some general method by which a whole group of equations could be solved. He related that one night he retired to rest, after thinking deeply on the problem for a long time, and on getting up the next morning discovered to his intense surprise on his table several sheets of paper on which he had worked out a complete solution to the problem.

In 1932, the famous naturalist Professor Agassiz was busy with his monumental study of fossil fishes. In one case he could not reconstruct the fish from the imprint left on the slab. At this juncture he experienced three dreams of the fish on succeeding nights. In the third dream the entire fish stood reconstructed before him. He then drew on paper in the dark a copy of his vision and on consulting the slab in the morning found that the dream reconstruction was correct.

There are hundreds of such incidents one may quote.
One after other the great writers, poets and artists confirm the fact that the work comes to them from beyond the threshold of consciousness.