2012 Reading Challenge Update

August 26, 2012
By
2012 Books

Two years ago, I set myself the goal of reading about a book a week, so that by the end of each year, I should have read about 50 books. I blogged about it here. When I recently updated my Goodreads profile, I was surprised to discover that I am lagging behind in my progress toward my goal of reading 50 books this year. You can follow my reading challenge booklist here. I’ve been so busy this year that I have only read 23 books to date. I listen to audiobooks every day when getting ready in the morning and commuting to and from work. I easily clock between 60 to 100 hours of “reading” each month. But it …

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What’s Your Mindset?

August 21, 2012
By
success-failure-sign1

“I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures. I divide the world into the learners and non-learners.” -Benjamin Barber August 2012: at the company I worked with, it was the time of year when budgets were being set and financial projections established for the fiscal year ahead. My boss, the intrepid entrepreneur had, as usual, set stiff targets for the group. My EBITDA target was sent to me via email. The number jumped right out of my laptop screen, hit me with a blow that almost knocked me senseless and said “hey there, my name is “IMPOSSIBLE” and your name must be “LOSER”. It left me with a black eye, a …

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Thirteen Teaspoons of Sugar

August 9, 2012
By
13 teaspoons

Staying Well-Hydrated is Essential to Maintaining Good Health One afternoon, I held an informal meeting with my Contact Center team. Working in a contact center can be both stressful, and draining. Being in close proximity with so many people, and being on the phone all day can take its toll. Near the end of the meeting I asked for a show of hands from everyone who was drinking at least 2 liters of water daily. I’ve posted before about the importance of staying hydrated (see link here). The hot summer months put many of us at even further risk of dehydration, and expose us to a host of illnesses including colds, flus and unwanted infections (again, see here). Drinking Sodas is like …

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Leadership Lessons: Remember Everyone is Important

August 7, 2012
By
creating magic2

After a busy spate at work which lasted months, followed by a glorious week off in Toronto, I have finally gotten around to re-starting the next book on my leadership list: ‘Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney’ by Lee Cockerell. Lee Cockerell managed Walt Disney World resort operations for over ten years. He has won many leadership awards and crafted Disney’s ‘Great Leader Strategies’. “It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic.” On a resort the size of San Francisco, with a staff complement of 40,000, Lee achieved one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry and created magic. I have just finished Chapter …

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6 Easy Ways to Lower Your High Blood Pressure Now

August 6, 2012
By
eat healthy

A staff member walked into my office today and told me she had just come from spending an hour at the doctor’s office. She is a young, vivacious and attractive young woman who has high blood pressure (160/90) and now has to take two different types of medication. She is not alone. 99.95% of the modern population is at risk of developing high blood pressure, and one in three adults have the disease, but may not even know it. High blood pressure (HPB) occurs when the force with which the heart pumps blood through the blood vessels and around the body is too strong. Over time the high pressure of the blood causes overstretching of the arterial walls and tiny …

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5 Reasons Why Moving to Yahoo Was the Right Choice for Marissa Mayer

July 17, 2012
By
Marissa Mayer New Yahoo CEO

On July 16, 2012, Yahoo announced that Marissa Mayer would take the helm as its new CEO. The news of Marissa’s appointment shook the tech world, raising both eyebrows and hopes. After finishing high school in the Midwestern town of Wausau, Wisconsin, Marissa headed to Stanford University where she specialized in Artificial Intelligence, and obtained both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. In 1999, Marissa joined Google as its first female software engineer and quickly began her climb through its ranks. By 2001, she had already been promoted to Product Manager, and was promoted again less than two years later to Director of Consumer Web Services. By late 2005, Marissa was appointed VP, Search Products and User Experience, giving her full responsibility …

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Today I’m Inspired by: Alice Herz-Sommer

April 15, 2012
By
Alice Herz Sommer

The oldest living Holocaust survivor At 108 years old, Alice Herz-Sommer is both the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor and the world’s oldest concert pianist. She was eight years old when the Titanic sank, saw the start and end of the first world war, survived the atrocities of the Nazi prison camps, outlived her mother, husband and only son, and is a twenty-five year cancer survivor. Through unspeakable tragedy, Alice is still smiling, victorious over the anguish, pain and death that could have killed her shining spirit many decades ago. Alice is an incurable optimist. A life of privilege Alice Herz was born in Prague in November 1903, into a privileged secular Jewish family of five siblings. Her father, Friedrich, was …

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14 Leadership Principles from Steve Jobs

March 26, 2012
By
© Richard Davies

  Like hundreds of thousands of Apple fans, I am fascinated by the incendiary brilliance of Steve Jobs and by the revolutionary products he created. I have no fewer than four Steve Jobs biographies in my library. I’ve read the unpleasant stories, and there are many: from Steve’s lack of basic hygiene in his youth, and his initial denial of paternity of his first daughter to the suggestion that he continually duped his long time partner, Steve Wozniak, the real brains behind Apple in its early days, but his luster remains. I am an admitted Steve Jobs junkie. Through his companies, Jobs transformed at least seven industries including animated movies, personal computing and music. I was delighted to find that …

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Today I’m Inspired by: King Short Shirt

March 11, 2012
By
Ghetto Vibes Short Shirt

McClean Emanuel was born on February 28, 1942 on the island of Antigua. The last of nine children, he is the son a fisherman, and grew up in the low-income urban district of Point. At the age of 20, he brought his awesome talent into the spotlight, when he entered his first calypso competition. He made it to the finals, but was eliminated in the first round.  By 1964, however, he walked away with the crown that would start his first three-year winning streak as King Short Shirt, Calypso Monarch of Antigua. Short Shirt was confident and brash, calling himself the “Cassius Clay of Calypso”. He won the local crown again in 1969 and went on to win six more …

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Happy Birthday to the Master Blaster

March 7, 2012
By
master blaster

Happy 60th birthday, Sir Viv! I remember the early-eighties glory days of the indomitable West Indies cricket team. I am proud of this handsome, charming, uber talented and passionate Antiguan “Son of the Soil”, Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards. In the words of King Short Shirt: Vivi is the name, cricket is the game Brother I don’t know how he could play cricket so But his batting, bowling, fielding, catching is breathtaking Sometimes I does wonder if he’s a next Sobers In the making That man Richards Could really bat Is something him on the attack Plundering bowlers again and again It’s remarkable how he does dictate the game CHORUS No bowler holds a terror for Vivian Richards Not …

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Be That Great Generation

March 7, 2012
By
great generation

If you still don’t know who Joseph Kony is or haven’t heard about the Kony 2012 campaign, then consider yourself a modern-day Rip van Winkle. Here it is in a nutshell: Joseph Kony is a Ugandan warlord who came to power through religious family ties. His aunt was her tribe’s mystic and started the Holy Spirit Movement. Kony asserts that he is a prophet sent from God to purify Uganda and to bring peace under the rule of the Ten Commandments. As the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Kony has been engaged in a monstrous campaign to set up theocratic leadership in the African nation since 1986. Over the last 26 years the LRA have abducted and enslaved …

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Today I’m Inspired by: Bob Marley

March 5, 2012
By
Dont Worry Bob Marley

Growing up in the seventies and eighties on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean, Bob Marley’s music was everywhere. From the soul-stirring “No Woman, No Cry” to the doleful “Redemption Song”, to the militant “War”, to the upbeat “Jammin”, his music will forever be part of the fiber of my being. As Jann Wanner put it, “Bob Marley was the Third World’s first pop superstar. He was the man who introduced the world to the mystic power of reggae. He was a true rocker at heart, and as a songwriter, he brought the lyrical force of Bob Dylan, the personal charisma of John Lennon, and the essential vocal stylings of Smokey Robinson into one voice.” Although Bob Marley died …

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Today I’m Inspired by: James De La Vega

March 4, 2012
By
become your dream2

James De La Vega is a controversial visual artist and graffitist. He has become famous for the murals he creates all over Spanish Harlem and in the rest of New York City. His drawings show up all over public surfaces such as sidewalks, cardboard boxes and old furniture and are usually accompanied by a pithy, inspirational epigrams. James De La Vega was born in East Harlem, and studied at York Preparatory School and later at Cornell University, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1994. De La Vega continued his studies at the Sorbonne and University of Oxford. While he lives in in Soho, he also works Paris, Italy, and Tokyo. In 2004, Salon.com called him “probably the …

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5 Reasons Why You Should Want A Tough Boss

March 4, 2012
By
Charmaine and me in 2008, 15 years after we first worked together.

Whenever I encounter someone struggling under the weight of new professional demands, I share the story of my very first job. I was 18 years old and straight out of A-Levels. After re-sitting Chemistry, I took a job for a few months at a boutique before starting University in the fall. My attitude going in was that working in a retail clothing store would be dead easy. Charmaine was my boss. Every day, she would grill me on the exact way to write up receipts, make sure all the hangers faced the same direction, and how to fold the clothes so that they formed precisely uniform stacks. The racks were to be dusted twice per day, and all the windows …

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Sugar Free Me

March 2, 2012
By
Sugar free

After watching Matt Cutts’ three-minute Ted talk, I’ve been inspired by a new friend to go completely sugar-free for 30 days. While I am passionate about the benefits of living a healthy, low carb lifestyle, I’ve never gone completely sugar-free.  For the first time, I won’t even allow myself a few packets of Splenda or Equal. A 30-day, cold turkey sugar-free journey starts now.   About Joya MartinI am an award-winning business leader and experienced accounting professional living in the gorgeous Caribbean. I'm inspired by books, photography, art, beauty, nature, freedom, learning and love. My passion is continuous learning, growth and improvement. I believe in people. Here you will find the tools, tips and motivation you need …

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What Dreams Will Die with You?

February 26, 2012
By
Come Alive

Dr. Howard Thurman A few weeks ago, I was driving home from work and listening on my iPhone, to a speech by the dynamic and inspiring, Les Brown. During this speech, I was captivated by a quote which he credited to Dr. Howard Thurman. Dr. Thurman was a remarkable man: an author, civil rights leader, educator, philosopher,  scholar, theologian and mystic. Some say, that if there had not been a Howard Thurman, there would not have been a Martin Luther King Jr as we know him. Howard Thurman was born in segregated Florida in 1899, and raised by his once enslaved grandmother. He rose from his upbringing in the “dirty south” to graduate from Morehouse College as valedictorian in …

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How to Live Without Regrets

February 22, 2012
By
Je ne regrette rien

Edith Piaf was born into considerable disadvantage in Paris in 1915. Her rough early life continued with her living on the streets of Paris and singing for money, until her powerful voice was discovered while she was still in her teens. Nicknamed ‘The Little Sparrow’ due to her waif-like appearance and 4’8″ stature, she would eventually become one of France’s most-loved popular singers. Her story is told in the motion picture ‘La Vie en Rose’ starring Marion Cotillard. Edith Piaf recorded her famous love song ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’ at the age of 45. You can listen to it here.  If it sounds familiar, you might have heard it in the score of the 2010 Christopher Nolan film …

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Today I Am Inspired by: Benjamin Franklin

February 19, 2012
By
What good shall I do today

I am thrilled to have just started a new biography: ‘Benjamin Franklin: An American Life’ by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson, has also written biographies of Einstein (which I absolutely adore and highly recommend), Steve Jobs (which I have not yet finished) and Kissinger. So, I am excited to get started on the story of Benjamin Franklin. The publisher’s note describes him as “the founding father who winks at us”. Indeed, I have been fascinated with Benjamin Franklin since childhood. Growing up on the Caribbean island of Antigua, two years of my early education were spent at a church-run school, St. John’s Lutheran. For better or for worse, the American-run school had the unusual feature of a 100% U.S. curriculum. In …

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Kevin Costner’s Tribute to Whitney Houston

February 18, 2012
By
Costner Whitney tribute

At Whitney Houston’s funeral on February 18, 2012, Kevin Costner, her costar from the 1992 blockbuster, ‘The Bodyguard’, paid his last respects in a moving tribute. “Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you, you weren’t just good enough, you were great. You sang the whole damn song without a band. You made the picture what it was. A lot of leading men could’ve played my part … but you, Whitney, I truly believe you were the only one who could’ve played Rachel Marron at that time. You weren’t just pretty, you were as beautiful as a woman could be. And people didn’t just like you Whitney, they loved you.” “To you, Bobbi Kristina, and to all …

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100 Things About Me

February 18, 2012
By
Joya, Joya Martin, Joya L. Martin, Joya Labelle Martin

1. My middle name is Labelle. 2. I was born on the island of Antigua. 3. Beautiful things, places and people inspire me. 4. I am addicted to sparkling water. 5. My astro sign is Aquarius. 6. My Myers-Briggs personality type is ENTJ. 7. I love animals. Dogs are my favorite. 8. I love nature. 9. I love looking at the sky (dawn and dusk, day and night). 10. I love photography. 11. My favorite artist is Vincent van Gogh. 12. I avoid grains and processed carbohydrates in my diet. 14. I am an optimist. 15. I don’t watch TV. 16. I love learning new things. 17. I love books. 18. I get bored when I am not …

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