7 More Favorite Quotes

In August of 2008, I shared 7 of my favorite quotes. (link is below)


I love quotes as they often uplift and inspire me. Below are 7 more:

Scars remind us of where we have been. They don't have to dictate where we are going.
--- Author Unknown

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don't want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.

-- Miller Williams

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
--Martin Luther King Jr.

Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.
--Langston Hughes

Let the world wait, while we procrastinate...it's too hot now
There will be time, to wake up-tow the line...but it's not now
--Michael Franks (from the song Dragonfly Summer)

If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up.
--Deepak Chopra

Have a Happy Gswede Sunday!

2007 - Swedish youth enjoying the beauty of summer.

Daily Relaxation Tips for A Happier You

While reading an article rarely do I think, "Wow, I would have written on that subject using much of the same tone and language". The article below on staying relaxed falls into that category.

Being relaxed during the course of any given day is difficult for many people. We all have numerous "to do's" on our plates yet many of us rush through the day at breakneck speed while allowing stress to be the dominating factor instead of letting a bit of peace and happiness take hold.

Everyday I witness one of these 3 scenes - 1) the unhappiness in a person's stressful eye 2) The hurried state of a busy executive or young person 3) A child missing out on a comfortable morning because a parent is unfocused and stressed.

Last Friday, a parent was rushing at my son's day-care - one of his children was crying and the other was a bit stressed. This man always seems to be in a hurried state and I suggested to him once (after a nice discussion) that he should consider getting up earlier if he is always behind in the morning. It turns out that he does get up early but the main problem in the household seems to be a lack of relaxation as the parents are getting the children prepared for school. In this situation, it's a lose lose for everyone - the parents rush and the children are being taught that rushing and stress are normal and/or good qualities.

Children test our patience at an extreme level yet is there anything more important than setting a good example for them in terms of handling stress and being a strong parent?

The following article can benefit most of us but it is particularly important for parents as I think you will find a few worthwhile tips to help lessen the daily stress burden. In my opinion, a parent should be calm and comfortable when interacting with a child especially in the morning. The morning hour(s) should be a enjoyable time for a child as it is the start of the day. Don't we all like to begin the day with a dose of sunshine instead of a rainstorm?

I have printed the article titled "How Happy Is... 5 Easy Ways To Stay Relaxed Now!" in its entirety below. You can click on the title to go to link on the Huffington Post. The author is Sophie Keller and her website is http://www.howhappyis.com/

Enjoy the tips. They provided some valuable insight for me.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

How Happy Is... 5 Easy Ways To Stay Relaxed Now!

Relaxing and unwinding is about being in a chilled out state as much as you possibly can through out your day, rather than having to take time out to do it as a reaction from the rest of your day, which you have decided to make stressful. So here are a few ways in which you can stay permanently calm regardless of what you are going through and what is going on around you.

Tip 1: Change Your Language: The every day language that you use will govern whether you see life as exciting or frightening, easy or hard, effortless or worrying. If you go through life as if it's a struggle and you wake up to 'battle a new day' or you think people are 'out to get you', your body is going to be in a heightened stressed state, thinking that it is at war. Perhaps if you take the time to become a bit more conscious of the words that come out of your mouth to describe your experiences then you will be aware of whether you need to start to use words that relax and excite you, rather than those that have you in a state of constant defense.

Tip 2: Let Go Of Tension: Every now and again in the day check in to your body and notice where you are holding tension. Could your shoulders be more relaxed? Could your jaw loosen its grip? Could you perhaps breathe a bit more deeply? If you are aware of where you hold your stress, you can direct your attention to those places in order to let go of it.

Tip 3: Be Present, Now: At the same time that you notice where you are holding tension, take your mind from the past and out of the future and become a bit more present to what is happening around you. Listen to three noises you are hearing right now as you read this and notice three colors that you see in front of you. If you really want to know where you are, then take a look at your feet, as where your feet are, is where you are.

Tip 4: Let It Go:
Let your thoughts and feelings pass in and out of you, because they are always changing. The more you can let go of being attached to them, the better. They are not who you are, you have them. So, if you feel mad, let it go quickly, if you feel anxiety, release it and move on. Remember, that when you react to something that happens, after the incident is over you are reacting to the memory of it, not the actual incident itself. So let it go!

Tip 5: Happiness vs. Achievement: Do not mix up having a sense of achievement of reaching your goals and your ability to be happy and calm regardless of whether you have or haven't. It's important to have goals in life, as it's exciting to work towards reaching them. But be a bit patient and don't let the fact that you might not have reached them yet suspend your ability to be happy and stress-free every day. Be happy, regardless of where you are on your journey, because if you are waiting to reach a goal before you decide to enjoy your life, then you will look back and notice that you have wasted most of it.

That's it for this week. Some of you may have noticed that I disappeared off the Huffington Post for a few months. I have now started to do regular 'howhappyis' television segments on the KTLA morning television show and have completed my website which I would love you to visit at howhappyis.com, where you can read many more articles, watch the KTLA videos, make contact with me, ask any questions and sign up for a monthly newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you. Love Sophie x

A HOT moment on the beach - Southern Sweden in summer 2007

Tiger - Okay, He's Human.....Now Let's Enjoy His Golf

I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.
(http://web.tigerwoods.com/news/article/200912027740572/news/) - Tiger Wood's Website

I suspect you knew something didn't quite make sense in Tiger's world after hearing about a driveway car accident at 2:25am, scratches on the face and his wife holding a golf club. It seems many gave Tiger the benefit of the doubt as they believed that he was a squeaky clean family man. Upon hearing the news, a marital problem was my first thought mainly because Tiger has had (until now) a superior image and maintained a super secretive private life. This bizarre accident seemed out of character for a man who loves his privacy. I'm glad he finally came clean earlier this week with his "transgressions" as it should serve him well in the future with his family, the public and his sponsors.

What is quite scary for his fellow PGA golfers is that his ordeal might make him a better golfer.

The worst kept secret is finally out and now the greatest golfer ever has a few blemishes. It's fascinating how HUGE this story has become and I wanted to address some of the issues that my inner circle has discussed as well as commentary I have read.

Family Man

Tiger Woods never claimed to be a "family man" or "man of values". All he ever talked about was golf and nothing about his private life. He did mention that he was a boring guy although we now know that nothing could be further from the truth. Previously, the perception of Tiger was a good guy who had it all - golfing perfection, beautiful Swedish wife, two kids, money to burn...so most people assumed that because of the perception, the integrity of the man was solid.

We should never forget these wise words - "Never judge a book by its cover".

Tiger cheated on his wife, let down his family and his integrity has taken a severe blow. I have written about him (one link is below) on more than one occasion yet purposely never talked about his family life as I didn't want to give the impression that he was a loyal family guy as how could I or anyone else know. I had hoped that Tiger's integrity was rock solid but having worked in sports and with famous athletes, his admission didn't shock or even surprise me as I have seen the mighty temptations that exist in their world. In no way do I condone his actions although it's important to remember that he never claimed to be anything other than a guy who wanted to be the best golfer that he could be.


Jesper Parnevik

Jesper Parnevik is the Swedish professional golfer who introduced Elin Woods to Tiger. Before Elin met Tiger, she was the nanny for the Parnevik family. Most of Tiger's PGA peers have steered clear of talking about this story - not Jesper.

He said:

I really feel sorry for Elin — since me and my wife were at fault for hooking her up with him," Parnevik said Wednesday on the Golf Channel. "We probably thought he was a better guy than he is. I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of the 3-iron. "It's a private thing, of course. But when you are the guy he is, the world's best athlete, you should think more before you do stuff. And maybe not 'just do it,' like Nike says."

Jesper's anger is justified although his words could have been more tasteful. My immediate reaction to his comments were twofold:

a) Why didn't Jesper give Elin an education about what she was getting into? He had to know about the secret lives that numerous men in sports (including golf) have. Did he share the potential pitfalls with her? If not, someone should have as going from unknown 21 year old to the wife of the most famous athlete in the world is an extremely tough transition.

b) It's not Jesper's fault (as he claims above) for hooking Elin up with Tiger as all adults are responsible for their behavior and choices in life.

Why Tiger Made the "transgressions" Admission

In my opinion, there is one main reason why Tiger wrote so candidly on his website about his inappropriate behavior - his sponsors. Nike, Gatorade and numerous others pay Tiger approximately 90 million dollars a year and he obviously didn't want them going away. In addition, the sponsors didn't want to lose the worldwide appeal of Brand Tiger and the money he generates for them. They knew what a public relations nightmare it would be if Tiger stayed silent so they probably encouraged him to make a statement.

It's not surprising that all of his major sponsors strongly supported him during this chaotic period. The marketing of Tiger Woods will go on.

On Being a Role Model

Whether they like it or not, Tiger and all other athletes who our youth look up to and admire are role models. In my opinion, the former NBA player Charles Barkley had it wrong when he mentioned that he was not a role model.

The millions of youth who admire Tiger may be confused and/or disappointed about his situation. They will be watching to see if he cleans up his act and becomes the genuine family man that he now seems to want to be.

Even though I am no Tiger Woods (especially my golf game), I consider myself to be a role model to those I mentor or look to me for support/guidance. I take the role of "family man" and "responsible behavior" seriously as do some of my close friends. Temptations are plentiful for everyone from the common man to the rich athlete but it takes a real man to resist those temptations and do the right thing.

Yes, Tiger has lost a few stripes. That is the bad news.

The good news is that he has a new motivation (improving his family life and repairing his image) and that is troubling for the golfers who will soon be competing against him. Tiger always comes to play but when he is motivated, there is something special in his game and he tends to excel at the highest level.

Let's give him a break now as I am tired of the endless media attention and articles.

Here's a quote from the LA Times about Tiger:

Because Woods couldn't be more right. He's not a public official nor a high-minded preacher or cable TV public scold. What he does with his private life should be his own (pardon the pun) affair. Sure, he has zillion-dollar endorsement deals from the likes of Nike, but he earned those deals because he's the greatest golfer of his generation, not because he's a paragon of personal virtue. But in today's wildly intrusive media universe, being a winner isn't enough to protect your privacy.

Everyone will be watching when Tiger plays his first golf tournament early next year. I know I will as he is one of the few athletes I make time to view when he appears on television.

The media attention will be enormous, the public interest will be high and Tiger's motivation will be enormously high. His fellow PGA golfers better be prepared!

I hope he gets his private life back on track especially for the youth who idolize and hold him in high regard. In the interim, I plan to enjoy his golf game and quest to win a record 19 Major Championships.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

3 Swedes enjoying the winter wonderland of a beautiful 2007 snowfall in Stockholm.