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Choose Your Attitude

I don’t normally pay much attention to emails, and chains that I get sent..  Often, they’re just a waste of time, and occasionally there’s something in them, that make me stop and think about some of the choices I’ve made in my life.

I don’t know why, and I normally would never do this, but I read this, and felt like sharing it, with the readers of this blog.

Yes, it is a “chain” email that is probably doing the rounds.  And yes, there probably are a very select group of people, who I’m going to finger out, and send this email to, but for once I thought I’ll share it on my blog.  Just because it feels so “right” for me, where I am in my life ;)  Sometimes it’s good to look at things from different perspectives…

Choose Your Attitude

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say: When someone would ask him how he was doing, He would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how they could look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

Michael replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘You have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” Michael, said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. Your bottom line: “It’s your choice how you live life.” I reflected on what Michael said.

Soon after, I left the company to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied. “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

“The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of my soon to be born daughter,” Michael replied. “Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.” “Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.

Michael continued, “…the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘he’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Michael. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled…


Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”

You have two choices now:

1. Delete this.

2. Forward it to the people you care about.

I hope you will choose #2. I did.


UK’s Tech Community Mourns the Loss of One of It’s Colleagues

Rob Williams, one of the co-founders, of Dolphin Music, a UK based online retailer of music equipment, died in a skiing accident on Monday evening, in Verbier in the Swiss Alps.  Mr Williams, aged 29, was on a weekend break, with a group of UK Entrepreneurs (Verbier: ICE 2009), and he along with his friend, and co-founder Jason Tavaria were separated from their group, on Monday afternoon, after some harsh weather conditions led to poor visibility.

The search for the two went out across Twitter, and with the help of the community, their phone number was located, and with their iPhone and Google Maps, which helped establish their co-ordinates, a search team was able to make their way to the co-ordinates that were communicated back.

Because of the harsh weather conditions, it was impossible to send out a helicopter rescue, and so the search teams went out on foot, to find the pair.

Unfortunately, Jason and Rob had gotten seperated from each other, and after Jason was found, safely, it took longer to find Rob, who unfortunately, didn’t make it.

It is a great loss to the UK’s Tech community, and my condolences go out to his family, and friends.  I cannot imagine what it must be like for them, and can only pray and hope that they get through this eventually.

As tragic as this loss is, it could have so easily been any one of us, in the UK Tech Community.  At 29, he had so much to live for, and so much of a life ahead of him, and being the same age, I realise just how little we can predict in life.

I hope and pray that his family get through this, with as much love, and support from the community as we can send to them.  Our thoughts are with Rob and his family, and I just want to acknowledge, and thank the UK Tech community for choosing to abstain from publicly tweeting about this, until after his family had been informed.  The solidarity shown by the community meant that his family didn’t have to hear about this from the TV, or read it in a newspaper, but were able to be told in person, before the news was publicly published, and acknowledged in the Twittersphere.

It goes to show that whilst it’s possible for news to be spread like wildfire, the community can also show restraint, where appropriate, and using the more private back channels, like DM’s, emails, and SMS, still serve to communicate, where appropriate, without the whole world being informed, until it’s appropriate to do so.

TechCrunch UK have written an excellent tribute to Rob, which summarises some of his many accomplishments, and achievements, and I’m going to duplicate it here.  You can find the original here.


rob_williams_dolphinmusicRob launched Dolphin Enterprises – today one of the leading providers of musical equipment on the internet in the UK – with Jason while they were still at university in September 1999. Rob was originally responsible for creating Dolphin’s original php/MySQL web application and running its platform thereafter.

The pair had been friends since school in St Albans, selling everything from computer games to magazines to the other kids in the playground.

The two friends used their student loans to start the business. Like many typical startups they ran the business from home, but it has since grown to a staff of over 65 with turnover of £13m. In 2007 it was ranked Britain’s 11th fastest-growing company. They also opened retail stores in Liverpool, Gateshead and Huddersfield and had plans to expand into Europe and the Far East. Along with Jason, Rob was profiled in The Daily Telegraph in December last year. Dolphin Music was also presented with an award for Best Performing Business at the Kick Start Awards.

In December 2007 Dolphin Music was named in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list for the second year running. The Liverpool-based musical instrument retailer was listed as the 37th fastest growing company in the UK, and was the only retailer to appear in the list. Dolphin is also on Twitter.

Rob was a great supporter of schemes to help young people into the entrepreneurial life, supporting the government’s Make Your Mark initiative. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Publishing Full Content Through My RSS Feed in WordPress

Ok, I’ve just recently changed my RSS feed settings, so that it should now publish detailed blog postings, via RSS..

Had a request on twitter, by one of the readers of the blog, asking me why I didn’t publish the full content of the article, via RSS, and truth be told, I didn’t even know there was a setting.

Perhaps I had mistakenly set it earlier, or previously, but I didn’t really have an recollection of the setting at all..

Eventually, I found it, under Settings/Reading (in Wordpress), and apparently I had set my feed summary to show only a brief portion of the article through the RSS feed.  It wasn’t deliberate, but in retrospect, people may prefer shorter summaries from me, given that some of my posts can be quite long and detailed, since I’m a firm believer in over delivering in value, and content, and less about generating lots of  ”fast”, “snappy” content, to try to increase my google ratings, or some such reason.  Besides, that’s not what I want to focus on here.  This is my personal living room, the place where I share with you my thoughts, my ideas, my perspectives in life.. And frankly, I want to make it as comfortable as I possibly can for you to listen in, and participate in conversations when you want to.

With that in mind – if anyone else has any feedback they’d like to share with me, about this blog, it’s RSS, what works, what doesn’t work, what they think of it.  I’d appreciate your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback :)  I’ll be blogging more over the coming weeks.. and apologise in advance if I haven’t finished off that article I said I would.. It’s in the pipeline.. I just have to figure out when to write it ;)

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