So, here we are in March: Women’s History Month. It’s a time to celebrate the females from our past and present who are contributing to better, more inclusive lives for all.
Of the 32 people I interviewed from around the world for my newest book “Pushing The Boundaries” (pushingtheboundaries.life), 15 of them are extraordinary women who have reached beyond their fears to take on new dimensions while heightening their existence. We’re talking about Tuedon Morgan, who lost over 100 pounds to become one of the most decorated Nigerian marathon runners ever… Ghislaine Landry, who has showcased excellence in women’s rugby by winning Olympic Bronze… Ariane Labelle, who casts aside convention to transform her world in unconventional ways… Steph Jagger, who quit her job and sold everything to ski across five continents… Sarah Caylor, who races in demanding marathon bicycle events against much younger competitors… Yvonne Heath, who has forfeited her career as a nurse to become an author, speaker and TV host. It has been a distinct pleasure and honor to meet each of these amazing ladies, and the others I talked with, and learn about their ability to expand lives.
I mentioned before that when I was running my marketing agency, I paid females at the same rate as males, as well as provided equal opportunities for advancement. Just seemed natural to me that women in the workplace ought to be treated equally to men. Surely there’s not room for a different approach today.
So in this Women’s History Month, I say: Here’s to the Ladies!!!
Onlinebookclub.org reviews books and publishes their findings (whether good or bad) online. One of their reviewers, Chiwelite O, has read and evaluated my most recent book “Pushing The Boundaries”, giving it a 4 out of 4 stars rating. I won’t ask you to take the time to read his entire review, but here’s a precis:
“4 out of 4 stars”
In the journey of self discovery and finding purpose, there are so many oppositions to be confronted. Amidst all these oppositions, some fearless individuals succeed in breaking these boundaries without succumbing to challenges on their way to greatness. Out of these individuals spring notable leaders we know today.
“Pushing The Boundaries!” by Peter Jennings is a unique publication that takes us on a tour of many people who have survived and triumphed over limitations. This book contains so many positive aspects. There is a lot to benefit from while examining every character in this book. It tells us how these people did some clueless and unbelievable things, encouraging us to find possibility in the darkest moments. There are so many intriguing lessons to be learned while reading this book. These lessons apply to businesses and life generally. Furthermore, the book is well articulated because when giving profiles on each person's achievements, it also includes their dark side and the mistakes each person made.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars: it is an excellent read. I recommend this book to those that love reading motivational books.
Thanks you Chiwelite, I very much appreciate your review.
Writing my newly published book “Pushing The Boundaries” (pushingtheboundaries.life) has involved a real turn of events for me. When I first started conducting interviews for the book, it was based on a fairly straight-forward notion: people will be fascinated to read about folks who do extraordinary things… individuals who push aside conventional limits by thinking outside the box and coloring outside the lines. Seemed to me like a winner.
But then my son Charlie, who’s an educator and a very intelligent guy, asked me, “Dad, what’s your thesis here?” Truth be told, I hadn’t gone that deep in my thinking to even have a thesis. But as Charlie and I discussed it more, I began evolving the feeling that there was a real opportunity here: yes, people could read about fascinating folks, but they could also learn from them. Here was an opening for readers to take steps to blend the strategies of the individuals they meet in the book, and incorporate them into their own approach. In that way, they would end up getting more out of life.
And so, Jack Canfield became my Foreword writer. Jack (renowned co-author of the hugely successful “Chicken Soup For The Soul” series, and for whom I’m indebted for writing the wonderful opening for “Pushing The Boundaries”) introduced the concept of taking risks in order to move ahead. He asks us…
“Are you ready to take chances to achieve your goals? Or is fear
standing in your way? The fact is, fear is the single biggest thing
that holds us back. Unless you can step past that fear, you’ll just
end up playing it safe and avoid trying new things. And that means
it’s unlikely you’ll ever fulfill the dream most of us have of living a
more rewarding life. But remember this: fear is all about what might
happen, not what will happen. And even more importantly, all your
fears are self-created by your imagining a negative outcome. You
have the power within you to overcome that fear by using the same
power of imagination to envision the positive outcome you want,
and then take the kind of calculated risks that can lead to success
just like the people you’ll read about in this book.”
Indeed, my son’s encouragement to explore this thesis, along with Jack Canfield’s urging to get beyond your fears, have combined to produce a better book. So, if you’ve got the wherewithal to throw aside caution, push some boundaries and take on new dimensions, then for sure you’re going to get more out of “Pushing The Boundaries”. And a whole lot more out of life.
And doesn’t that just fit well with my overall mission of writing books that inspire people to expand their opportunities to heighten their existence.
It’s always tough writing about grief. Still, I wanted to let you know how sad I’m feeling in sharing news about my sensational Border Collie/Husky rescue pup Molly. If you are a dog owner, you’ll know how our pets become family members and how tough it is to see them suffer.
Molly had been fighting pancreatitis. She had started responding to the meds the vet had her on. But then things started to deteriorate. Molly went into “severe cardiac arrest” and began bleeding from the nose and mouth with very labored breathing. By the time we were able to get her to the vet, Dr. Jennifer Sullivan – a terrific vet who has looked after both Molly and my other pup Macy (also a rescue dog, part Lab/part Shepherd) – explained that Molly had become comatose and would not be able to respond. “At best, she might languish through a couple of days but with tubes down her throat and no quality of life at all.” I asked her recommendation: “Peter, It’s time to let her go”. And so I gave permission to euthanize poor Molly.
She was cremated and the other day we spread her ashes at the wonderful off-leash park she loved so much in the town where I live.
Molly turned 14 last month which is a great run for a dog. She had a wonderful life and as much as I’ll miss her terribly, I would not want her to suffer.
Now, Macy will get undivided love!
I listen to documentary producer Michael Moore’s podcast when time allows and recently he stated he’s worried about how the U.S. is being viewed elsewhere. Well Mike, you are right to fret. Take me and many other Canadians I chat with for example. I used to be a big fan of our neighbour to the south. Your industriousness, inventiveness, creativity, might and power were awesome. But my feeling of reverence and respect has been replaced by bewilderment. I can no longer sit back and gape with awe at a country that elected a lying, misogynist cretin like Donald Trump as your president. I cannot accept that too many of your citizens are QAnon believers, buying into the theory about Trump waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media, and that Hillary Clinton will be arrested and executed. I am saddened that your Republican party members continue to support Trump and do everything they can to suppress voter rights so they can re-gain power (do they not care about the country and its citizens at all, just themselves?). I am exasperated by a country that has developed amazing vaccines yet is nearing one million dead citizens because people don’t get vaccinated (BTW, these same anti-vaxers who profess distrust of medics and scientists are only too happy to fill up hospital beds when they get sick!) I am offended by one of the Fox “reporters” who actually compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to Josef Mengele, the Nazi who performed audacious medical experiments on hapless Jewish prisoners. I am disgusted that a gun lobby group openly supports access to military weapons that kill people and claims that citizen rights are under attack. I am dispirited that Democrats fail to recognize that those two lowlifes Manchin and Sinema are either Republicans or being paid off by that party to ensure President Biden’s efforts fail (you can’t “bargain” with them when their agenda is so obviously totally against yours).
I could go on but won’t: it’s just too depressing. That great country I once revered is sinking faster than the Titanic, and it’s not pleasant to watch.
So yes Mike, your country has lost the lustre it once had.
So very sad.
I was going through some files recently and came across some writing I did a while back for a local magazine. It was a series of columns under the theme, “When Was The Last Time…” Thought I’d share one with you.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU EXPERIENCED THE KISS OF DEATH?
Don’t you find word association beguiling?
I was in the midst of a friendly debate about lawyers when I found myself uttering “That’ll be the kiss of death!” And quicker than greased lightning, I was mentally transported to years before and thousands of miles away.
It was on the west coast where I had traveled to attempt a farewell to Aunt Pat. She was losing ground to the curse of cancer and we'd been warned the chance to bid adieu was now or never. Pat and I had been close so I lost no time.
She was the wife of Uncle Dave, my Dad’s youngest brother. Contrasting his role as a somewhat diffident consort, she was multi-dimensional, a wonderfully red-headed eccentric lady, outspoken yet never out of opinions. Shocking the peace with a vibrant, horsy laugh (Phyllis Diller if you kept your eyes shut), Pat was a beaut. Yet she had about her a duality, being at once a loyal friend to the chosen she deemed “authentic”, but an impatient nemesis to those who didn’t. She could smell a phony a country mile away.
That Aunt Pat believed she was a white witch was merely accepted as par for the course.]
Two memories of her abide. The first was overhearing her on the phone ordering “chicken fronts” from the butcher. “Imagine what he'd think if I said 'breasts' in public, dear? It's hardly becoming of a lady,” she explained earnestly in answer to my query. And she certainly was a lady. The butcher knew that. We all knew that.
The second, more stirring reminiscence resulted from our last encounter.
Being in the final throes of cancer and never one to miss a beat, Pat knew her days were numbered. Yet she wasn’t about to go quietly into that good night. She’d set up residence abed in the lavish main floor library with its view of the pool (“A bedroom is such a depressing place to lie around in, don’t you agree?”). Dave, bless him, was seeing to her every need, albeit trying to maintain compos mentis in the vigorous process of anticipation while she tilted at windmills long since stilled to other lances.
The place, once the scene of her boisterous, “très gaie” parties for hundreds, was now hushed as a hospital. Some who arrived to pay homage were turned away. I was among the lucky ones.
Pat knew I’d flown in from the east and you could tell she was pleased to be acknowledged. We talked of this and that, including her frustration with the weakness this illness had brought. Other than the sign of tired resignation in her eyes, there seemed little about her that signaled life’s ebb.
But then, without warning, her hands began flailing at her head as if a swarm of bees had found the honey motherlode. Sensing delirium, I panicked at what must surely be the end. All too quickly, though, her actions bore fruit. She tore from her head the luxurious wig she was wearing, much to my surprise. Bald as a billiard ball, the calling card of chemotherapy, she announced “This thing’s so damn hot and what the hell, I don’t need to impress you!” And so, we spent the rest of our time talking, she sans hair and me full of admiration but guarded emotion lest I reveal my inner sadness (surely verboten to one as stoic as Pat).
It being time to go, and knowing that she loathed protracted goodbyes at the best of times (“Always say simply ‘See you soon, dear’; that will suffice!”), I held her face in my hands and kissed her farewell. It was one of those moments you cherish when you know the world can never again be the same. But suddenly tears dampened her eyes and she motioned me away, embarrassed. “What’s this?” I demanded. Deftly composing herself as best she could, Pat explained that no one had kissed her in ages fearing they might contract her disease through touch. It had left her desolate and physically detached from the world.
“Hey, anything you’ve got has to be miles better than what the rest of us have,” I offered and vamoosed before she could see me crying like a baby.
A few days later, Pat was gone, the kiss of death all but a sad memory between us, waiting to be culled from the shadows of my mind.
Prince Andrew stripped of military roles and royal patronages amid sex assault lawsuit
Aw, poor Andy…
It’s well known I have no devotion to the “royals” who have surely outlived their usefulness to everyone (except themselves). Andy’ll just have to learn to pare down and live on the tax-free payment of $323,000 he gets each year from his mom, the Queen, plus the $26,000 he enjoys from his “service” in the Royal Navy. And he’ll have lots of time to enjoy that, having had all his royal duties expunged out from under him.
Apart from always being “cash poor”, the poor old sod now is reduced to having a measly net worth of only $45 million. How sad.
I’m sure we all feel terribly sorry for him.
Well… don’t we?
Yup, Covid takes the lead yet again!
My friend and I were scheduled to head to the warmth of Antigua later in January. Given the tremendous amounts of snow and high winds that have occurred here, this was to be a welcome getaway for sure.
But my travel agent has just contacted me to say that flights to Antigua are cancelled. Seems everyone is running around in circles of fear about the Omicron virus and “battening down the hatches” is the order of the day.
What: me bitter? Naw.
Oh well, what’s a fella to do?
So near... yet so far.
Here’s a little market research rant.
“How likely are you to recommend our product/service to friends (scale of 1-10)?”
Ever get presented with a survey question like this? I seem to be getting a lot of them these days, from banks to breweries. And it pains me to say that the folks looking for verification from this “research” are missing the boat. With me anyway.
You see, the way I look at it, they first ought to be asking me, “Do you ever recommend products/services to friends?” Then, if the answer is yes, fine, they can continue with their “How likely are you to recommend...” rating question. But if the answer is no, move on.
Why do In say this? Simply because I virtually never recommend products or services to friends. I just figure it’s none of my business. Doesn’t mean I don’t like the particular product or service, it’s just that I’m not about to endorse it to others. So if you ask me how likely I am to recommend your product or service to my friends and family, my answer will always be 0. Now, (and I know this because I used to do a lot of research in my marketing agency days for my clients), this will skew their results unfairly. My answer will be honest and to the point, reflecting reality, but they’ll not appreciate why I’m answering negatively (especially in this A.I. algorithm world where humans don’t necessarily get to interact with data). They’ll think I dislike what they’re selling when the opposite may well be true. What a shame.
Good market research firms will appreciate the intricacy of how to phrase questions in surveys. But far too many of them don’t. At least, the ones contacting me sure don’t appreciate the subtleties.
So, if you happen to know anyone interested in learning how good their product or service is, make sure they know whether the folks they’re asking actually do advocate to their friends. The results will speak volumes.