Self Improvement – Let’s Get Earthy!

"Earth Day"Earth Day April 22nd – that’s just a load of hippie tree hugging nonsense, right? Well, no, and in this article I’m going to tell you why not, and what you can do about it for your own self improvement…

Let’s go back a few years, to April 22nd 1970, and the first Earth Day, organised by US Senator Gaylord Nelson. Environmental issues were so far down the agenda back then, that basically they *weren’t* on the agenda.

Nelson managed to galvanise various campaigning groups and the public to get together, and 20 million Americans took part in events.

Fast forward to today. Right now. Have we made leaps and bounds in environmental issues? Well, that question really opens a can of worms, doesn’t it!

It could be argued that yes, we have. Corporations and governments have taken action, put laws in place to protect the environment, and this has led to a greater awareness from individuals.

Other people would argue the opposite – that corporations and governments are as bad as ever, maybe even worse, and that on an individual level, the majority of people could not care less about the issue.

Both sides of that argument have valid points, but I want to go to the individual level to talk about self improvement to make 2 points…

1. I hear a lot of people say that what they do makes little to no difference, and compared to the big guns of business and government, they are a worthless drop in the ocean.

Complete nonsense! Utter codswallop, with bells on.

There are, what, 6 billion people on our planet. Lots of those people are restricted in their personal choices unfortunately but vast numbers *do* have vast choices to make, and if you are reading this, you’re in the group with choices!

How about separating your rubbish so as not to fill up landfill sites unnecessarily? How about buying a reusable bag for your shopping? How about talking a little walk instead of the car?

Little things making no difference? No. Consumer power can turn businesses, and our household choices can add up together, which leads me to my second point…

2. Appreciation and abundance. I’ve written about this for many years, it’s slap bang there in my book as well. We live in a world of abundance, we live on a planet of abundance. Appreciate it. The simple act of appreciating what we have can do wonders for our self esteem, and a higher self esteem leads us to make better choices for an improved future.
If that sounds like hippie tree hugging nonsense, or happy clappy motivation, then I’d say this – try it.

Take the opportunity on Earth day to think of something you appreciate about the planet you live on, both on a global scale and down to your own personal level. The think of another thing, and carry on until you get to at least 5 things you appreciate right now, today.

Put yourself either physically or mentally in your favourite place outside, and think about the Earth, think about your own self improvement – it might just make your day!

Do let me know what you think, leave a comment below!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. My book mentioned in the article is available at a ludicrouse price still!
Transform Your Life in 21 Days!

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Goal Achievement – Doing It Your(selfie)!

"Gordon Bryan"When Oxford Dictionaries made ‘selfie’ their word of the year for 2013, it caused a bit of a fuss. You may wonder why I’m writing about it a quarter of the way through 2014, but it’s all to do with some goal achievement lessons I got from the story…

There were a lot of negative angles given to the story, the narcissism of the selfie, but since I always like to focus on the positives, I saw a couple beaming out to me.

Firstly, let’s look at doing it yourself. As Jim Rohn says, you can’t hire someone else to do your pushups for you. You can study up about the benefit of exercise all you want, but if you expect that to be enough to produce results, then that’s why you’ve never achieved the results you wanted.

You have to do your own push ups. You have to be the one taking action, and more often than not it will require effort. Once you start, it becomes easier to do more push ups, and your motivation increases as habit and momentum kick in.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it, do it yourself.

It’s not a new idea, nor is it a complicated idea, but it’s something that leaves so many people with unfulfilled lives, when all they had to do was get started.

The second goal achievement idea that sprang to mind regarding the word ‘selfie’ is to with opportunity…

"Mike Hopkins"Here’s a selfie taken by astronaut Mike Hopkins. Man landed on the moon way back in 1969, probably using less computer power than we have in our home technology today! The advance of technology has been so fast in recent years, that communication is at our fingertips 24 hours a day.

Information is at our fingertips 24 hours a day. You can publish to a global audience 24 hours a day, pretty much for free. That’s not an opportunity that was available even a few years ago.

Go back even further and you would be looking at time and effort to find information on how to do things. You’d be looking at time effort and money to publish information.

The digital age we live in gives us that opportunity right now. Don’t look to the past, don’t wait for the future, take advantage of the opportunity you have right now.

I did say I like to look for the positives to outweigh the negatives, but the negatives shouldn’t be ignored, so here’s one negative from the rise of the selfie – hopping on the bandwagon. You do see some pretty ridiculous selfies going around, with people following various crazes on social media simple because everyone else is.

People feel they are not part of the crowd unless they join in. It’s classic herd mentally classic peer pressure. I’ve always written that you should surround yourself with people who have similar interests/goals to you, but that’s different from following crazes just to fit in. Being yourself is the most important thing, and since we live in age which allows us to do it, there is no need to blindly follow others.

Be yourself. Look at ‘selfie’ being the 2013 word of the year, and look at your goals in 2014. Have you taken action, so far this year, or are you expecting results to happen by magic? Are you using enough of the amazing technological opportunities around us today?

If not, then look at your goals again, work out the next step you need to take, and go out and start doing it yourself(ie)!

Do let me know what you think, I love the feedback.

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. Don’t forget to take a look at my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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Paralympic Goal Achievement – Inspiring Yourself?

"paralympics", "inspiration"Watching sport is an easy way to get an inspiration fix. The Winter Paralympics 2014 was the first time I had really been able to see a lot of that event, and it gave me a twist to the ‘usual’ inspiration…

When you watch top level sport, it can be hard to remember how hard the sports actually are. Because you’re watching the best in the world compete, the competitive side is there for all to see, but the actual skills involved can be forgotten.

As an armchair sports fan, I’ve watched many a sport over the years and thought ’that doesn’t look that hard,’ only to go and try the sport and find that it’s *really* hard!

Winter sport on TV rarely conveys the steepness of the mountain that they are throwing themselves down, for example, and it’s something that was brought home during the Paralympics. Hurtling down a steep mountain on skis is one thing, but to do it on one leg is another. Or virtually blind. Or on a single sit ski.

I find the interviews with the athletes can be more watchable than the able bodied athletes, because their competitive sporting stories have the added colour of how they came to be disabled, and the battles they have had to deal with it.

Also, they have had less media training, so their answers are less ‘stock reply’ and more actually how they feel. I was watching one of the interviews, without noting the name of the athlete (which is unusual for me), and I found myself mulling over something they had said which is the idea I want focus on here…

The interviewer asked her how she felt about being an inspiration to people watching. The athlete answered that it was a good thing, but it was a by-product of what she did. If she actively thought of inspiring anyone, it was to inspire herself.

I’m going to repeat that…

If she actively thought of inspiring anyone, it was to inspire herself.

What a line! As the day wore on, I kept coming back to that thought, and how we could all learn from it in pretty much any area of our lives. Inspiring others is great, nothing wrong with that at all, but being an inspiration to yourself – wow, that’s powerful stuff!

Look at your goals, look at the way you lead your life. It may inspire others, it may not, but does it inspire *you*? If not, then is there something you are hiding or glossing over, are you acting in a way you know should be different?

From my own life, I can think of times when I did inspire myself – I set goals and I acted to go after them, and the results came. I hope that way I treat others is up to the standards I set myself, and my general default outlook is to see the positives.

Long time readers will know this, as most of my articles have that idea at their base.
I’ve also had times when I haven’t inspired myself. Looking back, I would probably use words like ‘insipid‘, or ‘flat’ ahead of ‘inspiring’. The reasons for that are as complicated as they are in anyone’s life, mine or yours, so let’s take a look at *your* life…

As you read this, I don’t know who you are or what your story is, although of course I’d love you to get in touch and tell me! I do know though, that you can probably think of times when you inspired yourself, and times went you certainly didn’t.

Inspired or not, the past is the past, and we can’t undo it. Looking forward though, we most certainly *can* undo it, because it hasn’t happened yet. Despite what others may try and tell you, it’s not fixed, it’s up to you.

You can create your future by your actions, and you can dictate your actions by your attitudes. One attitude that’s well worth having is a decision that you will act in a way that inspires you.

Let that concept sink in.

As you talk to other people, is it in a way that inspires you? If not, change it.
As you talk to yourself, is it in a way that inspires you? If not, change it.
Do something today that *will* inspire you. That may be committing to a goal, or getting something done that you have been putting off.

The Winter Paralympics only come around every 4 years, but that one line from an interview is something we (that’s you and me!) can hang on to and nurture. When the 2018 Games come around we can look back at the intervening 4 years and judge whether we took the advice to inspire ourselves or not – I know which version of myself I’d like to see, how about you?

Do let me know what you think!
‘Til Next Time,
Health * happiness,
Gordon
P.S. You can grab my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ as an instant download, right now!
P.P.S. You can also type paralympics into the search box (top right) to bring up my other paralympics articles

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Goal Achievement – The Road To Waterloo!

ABBA Ring RingApril 1974, 40 years ago, and Sweden win the Eurovision Song Contest. Simply a lucky break that they rode for all it was worth? Well, not quite as easy as that…

I remember watching a documentary about Agnetha, and learnt a lot more about her story, and since April also sees her birthday, let’s take a closer look.

She had been into music from an early age, writing songs as a young child. At 16 she was working a day job and performing in a band at night. When she collapsed at the day job from exhaustion, her mother told her to choose between the day job or the music. No surprise that she went for the music, and having a supportive parent should be noted as an important factor in facilitating that decision.

The band sent a tape to a talent scout, but he was only interested in the singer, not the band. Her first single, written by herself, was released, and at just short of 18 she found herself at the top of the Swedish charts.

You can already see the success lessons – following a passion, hard work, making choices, taking opportunities.

Agnetha then became well known in Sweden doing lots of shows, and travelling around on the circuit she got to know various people, including Bjorn Ulvaeus who she started a relationship with. The two of them started performing around the cabaret tour in a group with 2 other friends, with the rather clunky name of Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid.

Agnetha had entered to Swedish competition to find their Eurovision entry back in the late 60s, as had Benny Andersson, and also Anni-Frid Lyngstad. When the group was offered a chance again in 1973, they wrote ‘Ring Ring‘, translated into English by Neil Sedaka.

Despite confidence in the song, it didn’t even win the Swedish selection event. End of the road? Er, no! They tried again the next year with another song you might have heard of, ‘Waterloo’.

That song won both the Swedish event and the main event, and that’s the moment when people would say ABBA got lucky. It did give them huge exposure, yes, and it did provide a launch pad for a worldwide phenomenon, yes, selling nearly 400 million albums – not 4 million, not 40 million, nearly *400* million.

It wasn’t just a lucky break that came out of nowhere though, there was a lot going on up to that point.

In fact the massive global success proved a hard strain for Agnetha, finding the travelling and punishing schedules difficult to balance with a young family. People often don’t realise the workload that goes into keeping a pop group at the top of the tree.

Eurovision can be easily dismissed as nothing more than a meaningless sequin-fest, and although it’s certainly a different beast than it was 40 years ago, it provides entertainment for millions of people, and the goal achievement lessons sparkle along with the sequins right up to today.

Think about Agnetha’s story, and look to your own goals – are you putting in the work to create your own ‘luck’ just as she did 40 years ago?

Let me know what you think!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. You may enjoy this article Goal Achievement – Mama Mia!
p.p.s. Don’t forget to take a look at my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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Self Improvement – Get Ready To Tax Yourself This April!

Tax Yourself in April!The beginning of April looms large in many people’s minds, as here in the UK it marks the end of a tax year. Of course that also means the start of a *new* tax year, and you can use this as a nudge for your self improvement goals…

Accountants get swamped with last minute workloads, and various company departments can go on a budget spending spree to use up any leftovers before the tax year ends. Once the calendar clicks over to April 6th, the whole thing starts again, new budgets are released, and plans rolled out to achieve the targets set out for the next tax year.

It can all be rather, for want of a better word, taxing. What’s this got to do though with your own self improvement..?

Well, April marks three months of the year gone. A quarter of the year has passed, and as arbitrary a figure as that may be, it’s a good a time as any to take a step back and look at the year so far.

Has it gone according to plan? Are you as far down the road to your goals as you thought you’d be? You *did* set goals for the year, right?

Maybe your year so far has gone exactly the same as last year, and that’s because you’ve been doing exactly the same as you did last year! Your results won’t change unless your action changes.

Yes, your actions are unlikely to change unless you’ve made efforts to change your attitudes, but all the attitude changes in the world won’t make any difference unless they are backed up with action.

If you’ve taken no action, but expected different results, then that’s your answer right there – both as to why nothing’s changed, and for what you need to do to make things different.

If you’ve taken some action, then you have gone in the right direction, because you will have learnt if that action is in the right direction or not. You may have decided that it’s not something you want to pursue any more, which is fair enough, but do make sure you have given it a good enough go.

In most cases though, people simply haven’t taken enough action. They just haven’t worked hard enough. No-one said self improvement or goal achievement was easy. I’ve not said that in all the years I’ve been writing about it.

I have said that the formula and theory can be made easy, yes, but that never takes away the need for good old hard work. Show me anyone who has achieved their goals, and I’ll show you hard graft. There are exceptions, of course, but as the saying goes, it’s normally the exceptions that prove the rule!

So, as another tax year end ticks by, use it as a staging post, an opportunity to reflect on the year so far, and how you want the rest of the year to pan out. It will pan out one way or another, so why not be the one in charge of how it goes? Take control – set, or reset your goals, your self improvement targets. Then get ready to buckle down and tax yourself and see how much hard work you can put in!

Do ket me know what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. You can grab my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ as an instant download, and if you don’t like it, you simply get your money back!
P.P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates via the box at the top right of any page!

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Are You Fooling *Yourself* On April 1st?

"spaghetti April fool"April 1st, the day when we all play a jolly jape on everyone and gleefully shout ‘APRIL FOOL!’ However, it’s also worth considering if you are fooling yourself in key areas of your life…

The origins of April Fools seems hard to pin down, hundreds of years certainly, but here’s a classic example from the BBC back in the 1957 about spaghetti trees. Many people contacted the BBC to ask about growing their own spaghetti, and they were told to put a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best!

I have written for many years about goal achievement, self improvement, personal development. A key driver in these subjects is people wanting to be happier, to change things in their life to give them a contentment which they currently don’t have.

When looking at this, and goal achievement is the result that drives the rest, there are 2 points at which we often fool ourselves, not just on April 1st, but every other day of the year too -

1. Are your goals actually *your* goals, or are you fooling yourself?
2. Are you taking action towards your goals, or are you fooling yourself?

1. Are your goals actually your goals? Many people, if they look hard at themselves, will realise they are on a path that they didn’t choose. They may have dreams or ambitions in one field, but find themselves in a totally different field. I know it’s happened to me before.

This is because other people tell us the kind of goal, or indeed the specific goal we should go for, because these other people seem to know what’s good for us. It may be our parents, it may be our peer group, but it can be a powerful force, and before we know it we are way down the road towards a goal we don’t actually want ourselves!

It can be difficult to get out of this situation – firstly we have to extricate ourselves from the current goal path we are on, and then we have to make a new start down the path of our own choosing. Both of those things can be done, people do it all the time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean either will be easy. In fact, this difficulty can be an underlying factor behind the second way we fool ourselves…

2 Are you taking action? Many people teaching goal achievement, and I include myself in this, teach that you have to put in some serious thinking at the early stages. This thinking includes defining your goal, and working out the steps to take in order to get there.

All well and good, but the next step is probably the most important – taking action.
Without action, all the thinking in the world won’t achieve your goal, and it could be argued that taking action can be done without the thinking part, as the results of that action can help define the next steps and the ultimate result.

I’d still argue that planning is always preferable, but action is *essential*. So many people think that working out their goal and the path to it is enough, that they can then sit back and wait for the goal to happen. Well, that’s going to lead to a lot of waiting, and it’s fooling yourself.

I call ‘action’ one of the 4 magic words. It may sound obvious that action needs to happen in order for things to change, but so many people simply don’t act. It may be that they are scared by the difficulties ahead as I mentioned earlier, that it’s easier to keep the dream as just a dream, to not rock the boat which action will invariably do.

It’s fooling yourself though, and April Fool’s Day is as good a time as any to take a look at your life. Are you fooling yourself? Are you following someone else’s goal rather than your own? Have you fallen into the trap of thinking that a goal will be achieved without action? If you find that you’ve been fooling yourself, what are you going to do to change it?

Do let me know, I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. I write about taking action in my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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Infographic – You’re Not Just Using Your Blog Posts Once, Are You?

"infographic", "blogging"

That’s my first go at an infographic – if you like it, please do share, like, tweet, pin, etc – thanks!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
Gordon
P.S. Don’t forget to grab by free audio training –
The Blogging Secret The Gurus Don’t Want You To Know!

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The Great Gordino Newsletter – Mar 18th 2014

Hi,
I hope all is well with you.

Sunday saw the closing ceremony of the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi. I really enjoyed it. These ceremonies can often leave me cold, but in a country with a rich circus history, there was a distinct Cirque du Soleil feel to the show, and that always pushes my buttons.

There was a decidedly odd feel to the event though – the stadium was built just to host the opening and closing ceremonies of these 2 winter games, and it will now be converted at huge cost to host football matches.

Also, Vladimir Putin was there soaking up some glory, while at the same time grabbing land from Ukraine with little impunity from the west.

People said we shouldn’t have gone to either games, because of the Ukraine situation and Russia’s approach to gay people. I’ve always said that boycotts have little effect though, and damage the athletes more than anyone else.

Oh yes, the athletes…

As ever, the Paralympics have that extra layer of inspiration over the Olympics, because of the back story of overcoming obstacles that every athlete has. I’ve never seen so much coverage of the Winter Paralympics before, and it was stunning.

My jaw was on the floor as blind skiers went down the mountain, skiers with one leg, skiers with no legs, and so on. Just amazing.

Not only do they inspire others, they inspire *themselves*, and it made me wonder this…

Do you act in a way that would be inspirational to others? Just as importantly, or maybe more importantly, do you act in a way that inspires *yourself?*

In case you missed them here are a coupe of related articles:
An Athlete Misunderstands An Interviewer’s Question – Her Response Will Inspire You!

Olympic Goal Achievement – Learning From Ludwig!

Do let me know what you think, leave comments, share, tweet etc, I always love the feedback!

‘Til next time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates of new posts via the box at top right of any page!

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An Athlete Misunderstands An Interviewer’s Question, And Her Response Will Inspire You!

"Kelly Gallagher"I’ve never been a huge fan of the immediate post race interview in sport, but yesterday I saw one that struck home when the athlete misunderstood the question…

The athlete in question was Kelly Gallagher, a visually impaired skier. Kelly, with her guide Charlotte Evans, had just won gold in the Super G at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

That was the first British gold ever at a Winter Paralympics, so that makes it worthy of special note. The interviewer Rachael Latham asked the usual question – how does it feel?

Let’s face it, the athlete is hardly going to say ‘it feels cr*p’ are they, and that’s what makes these interviews a bit inane in my view. Even though the questions are designed to get the athlete talking, they normally just give stock answers from their media training anyway.

One of Latham’s follow up questions was to do with Gallagher missing out on the medals coming 4th, at the last Paralympics in Vancouver. ‘Was it worth the 4 year wait?’ she asked.

To me, Latham was asking if the feeling of winning gold was enhanced because it came after having to wait 4 years for another go, but Gallagher took the question slightly differently, and this is her answer that made me take note, and put a smile on my face…

‘It wasn’t waiting,’ she answered, ‘it was 4 years of work. Hard work, all the time.’
She then went on to talk about the challenges she and her guide had faced, including coming last in the downhill the previous day, that both of them had to recover from bawling their eyes out.

Inspiring.

I always find myself inspired by the Olympics, but find the Paralympics has that extra wow factor of knowing what they go through with their disabilities. Throwing yourself down a mountain at 60 mph eyes with next to no vision takes guts, and I just want to clap my hands at the television all the time!

If you think you have barriers to your goals, take a long hard look at these athletes, then take a long hard look at yourself. Do you have the kind of barriers that they have, or is your life an easy road in comparison?

Yes, we all have difficulties to overcome in life, but some people have extra difficulties to start with. Then take a look at the work that Gallagher mentioned. Are you prepared to put in years of hard work to get to your goal, or do you prefer to moan at life instead?

Well done Charlotte, and well done Kelly. That one answer to one question could be the moment of the games for me, and it’s something I can think about for years to come if I need some inspiration. That’s why I’m writing about it, and I hope you can see the same inspiration that I can!

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
Gordon
P.S. This is the kind of thing I write about in my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’
P.P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates of new posts via the box at top right of any page

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Sport Still Making Me Go All Gooey!

"Sochi"You won’t have to know me long before you find out that sport pushed my buttons. As the 2014 Winter Olympics came to a close, I found my buttons suitably pushed, and here’s why…

The picture is from the closing ceremony, when the designers gave a nod to the fact that one of the rings in the opening ceremony hadn’t opened. That put a smile on my face, which was the intention. Throw in that fact that the rings were made from performers wearing sparkly sequins, and you’ve got me!

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee gave another great speech, making very deliberate remarks about the example being set by the athletes, examples of hard work and dedication, engagement and respect for others, and that how politicians could learn more than thing or two.

It’s easy to say that things are different in the real world, and the unsmiling face of Vladimir Putin in his seat certainly gave a counter balance. I’ve said it many times before though, and I’ll say it again now, I believe it’s a choice as to what attitude we take…

You can choose to take the negative road, moaning and blaming, or you can choose to take the positive road, hopeful and taking responsibility. If you’re reading this, you are more likely than not living in a country that offers amazing opportunity.

That opportunity might be to start your own business, to indulge your passions, to move where you want, to say what you want, and yes, the opportunity to pursue sport.

That may come in the form of setting out for an Olympic medal, or it may just be the health benefits of regular sport. The social aspect of sport is amazing, it can bring people together from different life circles who might not come together otherwise.

Sport has also provided employment for millions for many many decades, and it will continue to do so.

For some people, sport leaves them totally cold – no interest whatsoever, and no understanding of what it can bring to others. That’s fine, we all like different things, but there’s a big part of me that wants to scream about what they’re missing out on!

Back to the closing ceremony – the host country usually displays its’ cultural heritage, and so we had books, music, ballet, all ‘button pushers’ for many people, and I include myself in that. I love anything which stirs passion in people, that can bring people together, bringing an emotional connection which might not be available otherwise.

Politicians often do a terrible job of bringing people together, but when you play sport with a stranger, or enjoy watching or discussing sport with a stranger, you can learn way more about them and their culture than the politicians can ever hope to offer.

Don’t get me wrong, sport is not immune from politics – it’s full of it! It can be as divisive and frustrating as in other walks of life, but as the new head of the IOC, Bach gave two speeches which spoke more than any of his predecessor’s, in my view.

He summed up great principles that sport shines a full spotlight on, that can be used in any field of life, I mentioned them earlier, and they’re worth going over again – commitment, hard work, good health and respect for others. That seems like a good mix to me!

Sport has given me gooeyness for decades. In fact one of my earliest memories is a sporting one from 1974, when I told my father to be quiet so I could hear the world cup final on TV. That episode didn’t end particularly well as it happens, but 40 years later, my buttons are still being pushed by some sequins and some medals!

Did you watch the Winter Olympics? What was your favourite moment, do let me know!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Hapiness,
Gordon
P.S. Don’t forget you can get my guide all about how to Make Money From Sport!
P.P.S. The ideals shown in sport are featured all through my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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