Covid-19 Epidemic: A Time For Reflection…?

A year ago I had great plans to celebrate my 50th birthday. It was going to be the big HAWAII-50…! I had many other great plans as well that I was working on. I’m sure many of you reading this had made plans for this time of year, however great or small, but also never anticipated what the world is currently experiencing due to this sudden and unexpected outbreak of the coronavirus. It has impacted the lives of practically every single person on this planet, and has changed our lives forever. Most countries are on ‘lock down’, many people for the first times in their lives are being forced to isolate. Thankfully I was already in a semi state of lock down due to caring for my fiance going through Chemo and Radiotherapy – we were already isolating and limiting our contact due to her potential lowered immunity – so my 50th birthday plans had already been put on hold back in December.

This time of personal isolation, and now witnessing the rest of the world do likewise, has given me time to reflect on a few things, a few things I thought it worthwhile to share in the hope that they resonate with some others out there.

As far as I can remember in my lifetime, this is the first and only time the entire world (or a pretty decent chunk of it at least) is fighting the same enemy.

At school I learnt about both World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, was born during the Cold War – the fear of the H-bomb dropping at any minute! – and lived long enough to live during the metaphorical ‘War On Terror’ (whatever that is really supposed to mean?) but never did I have to experience an invisible, indiscriminate, ‘enemy’ like we are facing today, until now. And do you know what? It doesn’t scare me. It encourages and empowers me to think that if the entire world can drop its petty squabbles and power-mongering and focus on combating a ‘common threat’, what hope we might have for a truly better future!

Take America, for example, in their 250+ years as a united state, there have been fewer than 10 years that they have not been at war with some country or another, including themselves! Isn’t that insane? Look where wars have taken us: they make the armaments industries even richer, they make the bankers richer, and they make the business elite richer, whilst it’s the ‘man on the street’ who puts their lives on the line. That sounds like insanity to me. I’m not singling out America, they are just a very obvious case that both produces and uses the weapons of ‘terror’.

What if that energy was put to better use? What if it was used for positive purposes? Isn’t this new ‘invisible’ enemy more deadly than the ‘perceived’ enemies we have been told to fear in the past? More on this later, perhaps, but let’s look closer to home…

A complete change in the way we live our lives: time to reboot…?

In the same way we impatiently ‘reboot’ our computers when they are not functioning correctly, perhaps this is the wake-up call the world has needed to tell us all we are off track? Why not think about using this enforced down time to reflect on your own life and see where you could make tiny, daily changes to become better, become more grounded, help others more, give more than you take, participate rather than criticise, seek more happiness rather than more money…? How can you reboot and defrag yourself…?

Most people don’t stop and pause at all during the day. They wake, they have breakfast, they dress, they go through the motions often thinking of something completely different, never completely in the moment, never truly experiencing their lives. I often compare this to reading a book without punctuation – can you imagine that? No capital letters, no commas, no full stops, no breaks, no pauses, no paragraphs, no chapters… It would be exhausting to read. So why would a life lived with no punctuation be any different?

“If we are going to change the world, first we must change ourselves.”

I want to change the world. I’ve always wanted to change the world. I just never knew how. Government and politics didn’t seem to be doing a good job, so that was the wrong route. The only way to execute change on a massive scale is through the people changing, and that means on an individual basis. If I wanted to change the world, I first had to change myself, change my thoughts, change my actions, change my beliefs.

Everybody is in the same boat, let’s paddle together!

We are in completely uncharted waters. What is happening in the world has never happened before, it can’t even be compared to the Spanish Flu. Countries are so much more inter-connected via the financial markets, global businesses, international trade, conglomerates, international travel, etc., and the Internet allows a much greater level of information to be dispersed – both good and bad. Don’t be fooled that governments have any better idea what’s going on than you do. They may have more information, yes, but do they know what’s going on and how to react to it correctly? Of course they don’t! I think they are right to advise people to limit their direct interactions with others to the barest minimum (and I do wish people would understand that the more times you go out, the greater the chance of spreading this becomes! PLEASE only go out if you ABSOLUTELY have to, PEOPLE’S LIVES DEPEND UPON IT, including your own!)

We will see the death toll hit One Million before this is over!

This isn’t scaremongering, it’s probability. The curve is going upwards every day, and it will continue to do so for a few weeks – more if people continue to go out and socialise as much as they are currently doing. Only go out if it is ESSENTIAL. Yes, I know you love your bike and cycling. Yes, I know you love jogging. Yes, I know you need to get of the house/ flat/ room/ whatever, but is it essential? Could you put it on hold for three weeks? Could you try to be less selfish and save other people’s lives? Could you maybe think about other people for once in your life? Could you? It won’t kill you not to go out, but it might just kill someone else… Or could it kill you…?

It’s going to get much worse before it gets any better, and that’s a fact that we have seen in country after country, and none so far have gotten it under control completely. It’s a virus, they have a very clever habit of adapting very quickly. Even once we get our ‘R’ number in check (and we’re a long way off from that folks!) we still need to make sure it doesn’t flare up again and we’re right back where we are now, or worse!

A Global Village Experiencing an Epidemic… is World Peace that far behind?

If you’ve read this far, well done! I didn’t really expect anybody to read these crazy ramblings of a (now) 50 year old…! I’m probably preaching to the choir, but since you’re still with me, let’s explore the real positive possibilities that lie ahead of us. I loved the concept of a ‘global village’ when the Internet first started out, but never really quite understood what it meant until now. I believe spiritually we are all interconnected, and technology has allowed us to communicate faster, but not always better. Now we have a real chance to reach out to other ‘villagers’ in the world that are going through the same ‘war’ and see if we can’t forge a new world of better understanding and peace.

Most people are only thinking of themselves and their own survival right now. Many don’t even see what is happening here and around the world as such a big deal, but it’s only just begun. As isolation continues, and as restrictions begin to tighten (as they will) people will want to reach out. Look inwards first, before you get angry. Make peace with yourself, then make peace in the world around you. Forgive.

Take this time as a great opportunity. Sit quietly and make a list of all the people you hate, dislike, have a grudge against, cut you up on the freeway, short-changed you, called you names, whatever! However petty it may seem, make a list of everything that consumes your unconscious thoughts in this way and purposefully forgive them, let it go, even go one step further and picture them having an amazing life, picture them successful, happy, loved… Let go of the baggage – the real baggage – that has been weighing you down.

The future…?

What sort of world do you want to live in once this is all over? Who do you want to lead you? How much responsibility for YOUR life will you continue to take? Will you continue to go for money rather than happiness and quality of life? Allegedly we all live in a democracy, so we can participate and decide what kind of a world we want to live in, right? So, put some thought to it. When the next epidemic appears – and be sure there’ll be another – how prepared do you want your new world to be? Do YOU want to be more prepared? How do you want your country to be run? Do you want the people to have more say and input, well that starts with you caring more, doesn’t it?

I think the only way forward is for people to rely less on hand-outs and being happy abdicating responsibility to others, and taking more self-responsibility for their life circumstances. I think they need to look at what really makes them happy rather than believing what they are told will make them happy. I think they need to pause and think more about how they are living their lives. If nothing else, this virus has made many people think about their own mortality. Sadly for some people, they may not live long enough to read this post. But if you have read this far, you brave soul, let’s work together to make this an amazing new world, a world of love and peace.

Imagine… World Peace…

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Pattaya, Thailand

If you are visiting Thailand and looking for a reputable elephant experience, I can whole-heartedly recommend the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary just outside Pattaya (or any of their three other locations for that matter!) I promise you it will be something that will stay with you forever.

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If you’re in a rush, click on the image above to go to their website

Just before Christmas last year, I had the good fortune to visit an old friend in Thailand for the first time. One of the items on my ‘Must Do‘ list was to spend time with some elephants, as I’ve loved them since I was a kid – I mean, who doesn’t love elephants? A quick online search showed there were three choices in the Pattaya area, but which were ethical and not just tourist traps that exploited the creatures? It didn’t take long to discover the only one that didn’t mistreat the elephants was the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. The other two sites chained their elephants, let people ride them – which is a totally no-no as it’s not good for them – and their were even reports of the elephants at other sites being beaten in view of the visitors!!!

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary – My Experience in Words and Pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll try and balance the two, and hopefully not bore you with either too many words or too many pictures, but I wish to capture my wonderful experience as best I can, not only for your benefit, but also in the hope that it will shed more light and support on this wonderful organisation and their great work

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The sanctuary offers a number of experiences dependent upon the amount of time you have and your budget, from a quick visit to see and pet them all the way up to a whole day trekking with them. I opted for something in the middle, which could either be a morning or afternoon experience. The price for this was 2500 Thai Baht, which worked out to be about sixty quid. Now, before you go screaming to the hills about the price, first remember the Baht is at an all-time high, but hear what you get for your money. This price included return transportation from my hotel (which would have cost at least 1000 Baht!) and a superb meal (which would have cost upwards of 500 Baht!) And that’s before I’ve told you what you get for the rest of your money (1000 Baht) which if you don’t think is terrific value for money, you probably can’t afford to travel to Thailand anyway, and should really think about buying a good book and a stay-cation instead!

What You Get For 1000 Baht

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I opted for the afternoon experience which began with the taxi picking me up from my hotel at 12.30. We stopped twice along the way to pick up two other elephant-lovers, and half an hour later we were out of the noisy city and in the countryside, bouncing up a dirt road towards the sanctuary. There was already a group of other eager elephant-lovers milling around the facility and interacting with the animals, and the guides told us to get to know the elephants while we waited for one more small group to arrive.

The Pattaya location had managed to rescue six elephants (other locations have more, especially the oldest site in Chang Mai to the north of Thailand) which ranged from the youngest, who was only three years old, all the way up to the Grandpa, who was over sixty! No matter what age, elephants are just so amazingly cute. Apart from on telly and in London zoo, I’ve never seen an elephant in the flesh, so to be in such close vicinity to these peaceful, majestic ‘land whales’ is almost beyond words to describe, but I’ll try.

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It’s hard to see, but this lovely lady is almost due to give birth!

The most obvious thing about elephants are their size, but they are anything but scary, as they move very slowly and cautiously – apart from their trunks when there’s food around! They have a very calm, almost meditative aura about them, and my first reaction was to just go up to this ‘mummy-to-be’ elephant and give her a big hug and kiss on the nose. As you would expect, their skin is very thick and tough, and stroking them is like getting an exfoliation! By the time the last group arrived by taxi, I’d said hello to all six elephants, and had learnt a lot from the many guides and handlers that were on site.

Feeding Time!

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Our group was approximately 40 in total, and came from all corners of the world. After a brief introduction given in very good English by one of the guides, outlining the action plan for the afternoon, safety protocol, and the ‘do’s and don’ts’ around elephants, it was time for the first activity: feeding the elephants! There were many, many baskets of food (bananas, cucumbers, and other vegetation) which we could feed the elephants either by holding it out and letting them grab it with their trunks, or – if we were feeling brave – say the word, “Bonn” and they would open their mouths, stick out their tongues, and we could feed them directly!

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Naturally, I chose to feed them directly, and was amazed how easy it was (and how enormous their tongues are!) There was so much food, it was probably about half an hour before all the food had gone, and the whole time was filled will laughter, amazement, and pure child-like bliss for all participants (and even a few strange shrieks from some of the more timid participants who got ‘goosed’ by the odd trunk or two!) As we were feeding the elephants, the wonderful aroma of Thai cooking wafted through the air, as the cooks prepared our meal.

The Elephant Mud Spa!

Having been instructed to change into our swimming gear, next on the agenda was to grab more bananas and lead the elephant troop alone a dusty pathway to their muddy watering hole for a well-earned mud spa! Guess who lead the way…?

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Oh, I forgot to mention, as I add all these wonderful photographs to this post, additionally in the price, there was a photographer on hand snapping merrily away, so you didn’t have to worry about missing anything, and could just focus on fully enjoying the experience! That probably would have cost another 1000 Baht to arrange!

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I don’t know who’s muddier, me or the baby elelphant!

Time to strip off and get muddy! Since I was there during the dry season, their mud hole was particularly dry, but the staff had prepared for that and there were plenty of buckets and wheel barrows full of lovely, sloppy mud for us to play with. Being almost 50, this experience simply knocked the years off me, as I became a big kid again! Looking around at the others, I could tell I wasn’t alone in this experience, especially as the guides actively encouraged us to get muddy ourselves!

Rinse and Scrub Time!

Like any good spa treatment, at some point you have to get clean again, and this is where the REAL fun began…

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Armed with water bowls and scrubbing brushes, we and the elephants plodded to the other side of the path where their ‘swimming pool’ was, and actively began tossing water over the elephants and ourselves, scrubbing them clean. We were all upstaged by baby elephant to immediately lay on his side, completely submerged, with only the end of his trunk sticking out of the water like a snorkel, and began to thrash his legs about with glee!

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If you look VERY closely, you can just see baby elephant in the water in front of me.

Playtime over, it was time to lead the elephants back to camp, and have a proper shower and clean-up before dinner time. All of the facilities were clean, in great working order, and more than you would have expected for such a remote and basic location – trust me, I witnessed far worse facilities in some of the bars and restaurants in Pattaya!

Our Thai buffet was ready and waiting for us with food aplenty! They had even catered for all participants dietary requirements with vegetarian and vegan options, and fruit to finish off with. Between bites of food, the conversation was filled with expressions of how amazing the experience had been and, “Way more than I had expected…” and, “This is such great value for money…!”

And as if that wasn’t enough, they had even more surprises: each of us got a reusable, sustainable shopping bag as a keepsake and reminder of our experience, and there was one final activity before our taxi rides home, but I’ll let you search their website to find out what this one is! The only clue I’ll give you is that it sure surprised me…!

Find Out More About Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Thank you for reading all the way to the end. I hope I’ve whet your appetite and you’re keen to know more, or have the experience yourself. If that’s the case, or you simply want to help spread the word about their great work, please share this post, use the links below to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and generally spread the word!

Website: https://elephantjunglesanctuary.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ejspattaya/

Twitter: @ejspattaya

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Anthony Donnelly is a British author, actor, and life coach, more recently known for his charity, children’s book series, “Charlie, the Migrating Snail”, which is available to buy on Amazon by clicking the book cover to the right.

Don’t Make Resolutions, Set Goals!

As we start to see Christmas merchandise flood the shelves of our stores, it reminds me that another year is soon coming to an end, and that means some people will be thinking about making some New Years Resolutions.

My advice to you is… DON’T.

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Click on the book cover above for a free audio book

 

Instead I’d advise you to start thinking and planning what you want for 2020 now. Ask yourself this question: “If you didn’t plan to be in the situation you are in now, who’s fault is it?”

This is not an opportunity to blame other people, it is YOUR fault that you are where you are now, if you didn’t PLAN to be somewhere else. In my book “My First Goal-setting Book” you will learn that goal-setting is natural, easy, and can be a lot of fun. In plain English I explain all the steps you’ll need to take to achieve absolutely anything you want in life.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t wait until you’re full of Christmas cheer and looking back on 2019 wondering why your life isn’t as great as it could be. Take control of your future and set some goals, make some plans, act on them daily, and who knows where you could be this time next year!

 

 

Super-discounted Amazon Price Only £2.43 – Limited Time Offer!!!

For reasons that totally baffle me, Amazon has discounted the paperback copy of my book by over 75% from £9.99 down to only £2.43. I don’t know why they’ve done this and I don’t know how long this special offer will last, but if you’ve not bought a copy of Charlie, The Migrating Snail yet, now is a perfect time to make that purchase!

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Stay tuned for exciting news to come soon about Charlie’s Causes Painting Competition, and follow us on our new Facebook Page.

Video: When The Trees Held Their Breath

After the successful publication of the ebook version of When The Trees Held Their Breath, the environmental fable I wrote back when I was Greta Thunberg’s age, I’m happy to have now finished the video version with me reading the prose as the haunting, real life black and white photographs cross fade on the screen. I hope you enjoy it, and it has an impact on you. If it does, please feel free to share it far and wide on social media.

Please consider sharing this, make a comment on YouTube, or purchase an ebook via the link below. Proceeds from book sales go towards my efforts to help global reforestation programs.

BUY THE EBOOK HERE

Book Reviews: When The Trees Held Their Breath

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Greta Thunberg

Since staging her school strike last year, Greta Thunberg, the young, Swedish student, has brought the urgent topic of Climate Change back into the media spotlight. But it is not enough for us to just read and talk about this crisis, we need action now! We all need to do our part, but most importantly we need to put more pressure on our politicians and big business to reverse the effects of Global Warming.

In 1986, when I was Greta’s age, I too was a strong campaigner for environmental issues, as I still am to this day. I have personally grown and planted thousands of trees in the countries I have lived over the years. Unfortunately, back when I was 16, we had no internet, no social media, and you had to walk to the local call box to make a phone call. On top of that, the majority of people still believed that “children should be seen and not heard”, so to get any adult to listen to you was practically impossible! The best I could do was to write about my concerns, so I penned “When The Trees Held Their Breath”, a short, but very powerful piece of poetic prose about the plight of our planet, and sent it to publishers. Hundreds of publishers later, at age 29, a very small imprint picked it up and released it the next year.

Trees 2019 Book CoverAlthough there was a lot of talk and hype in the media about Climate Change, Global Warming, Animal Extinction, etc. – it was all, quite literally, just ‘hot air’ – the book was a flop! The Right Wing media and book reviewers shredded it, including some hate mail.

It wasn’t all bad news though. Those that did read it were very praiseworthy, and the reaction from people that heard me read it at public events were often brought to tears.

Through the new technology of the internet and self-publishing, I am now able to release my words once more, and I hope more people are listening this time, as it’s now 33 years later and the problem is even worse than ever before. I thought I’d share with you some of the kind reviews people have posted from when it was first released:

“From the first few lines of this book to the very ending it speaks so loudly ! This is an environmentally awakening poetic prose which tells a simple story of how the world we live in has through ‘progress’ created a world of polluted and congested by-products. It is a simple reminder of the state of things on this planet Earth.”
“How can such a small book say so much? This book is deep, moving, enlightening… I could write many more adjectives, however… all that is needed to say is ‘Go read the magic for yourself!'”
“Oh God YES…!!! This book just says it all, says everything that needs to be said LOUDLY to the world about what we are stupidly doing to our dear planet Earth.”
“‘When The Trees Held Their Breath’ by Anthony James Donnelly,is a wonderful story,he captures your mind and brings you into a journey your soul has never been. It is sad that todays world justifies the killing of our Earth for the almighty dollar.This story allows you and encourages you to explore the effects that Humans and Technology have on Our Mother Earth.As an Environmentalist and a future teacher I would reccomend this Magificent Book…”
“This book… well, it blew me away! I’ve always thought I was ‘into the environment’ but once I read this book I realized how little we have achieved. Donnelly doesn’t really talk about ‘issues’ (well, how much can you talk about in so few words!?) but what he does do is write such powerful and poetic images that you are tranced… I was… just a few images in I was off, thinking about how bad this could get unless we REALLY do start doing something to change the mess we are in!”
“This amazing work of art is an inspiration to all; young and old alike to take a step back and look at the disintergration of our beloved planet. As important as progress is, we, THE EARTH’S PEOPLE, have gone too far; mining every last resource of the earth, detroying the forests, and worst of all, producing not just the wonderful products mankind is so proud of, but also the bi-product-POLLUTION. If everyone held their breath for a minute they would see just how precious oxygen is to us. I highly recommend this book to everyone adult, child, and every industry known to man.”

BUY THE EBOOK AND HELP SAVE OUR PLANET AND OUR PEOPLE

Front Page News…!

IT ISN’T EVERY DAY YOU GET TO MAKE HEADLINE NEWS.

In the wake of the Notre Dame fire and other tragic news, it is very refreshing to know that people doing good deeds can also get some space in the media, albeit if it is only at a local level.

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(Scroll down for the full article)

I can only imagine how excited these two, young teenage girls must be feeling to see themselves on the front page of their local newspaper! Rightly deserved for what they are attempting to do with my little book. Trying to raise 10,000 Euros for an under-funded charity in Dublin (ICHH) that is actively helping the homeless is a mammoth undertaking. In a time when far too many teenagers seem only interested in social media gossip, knife crime, gangs, and other antisocial behaviours, it is so inspiring to know there are young adults out there that have a social conscience and wish to make a positive impact on their environment. Well done girls, recognition well deserved!

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Although the fire in Paris has shocked the world, it saddens me to see that so much money can be raised so quickly for a BUILDING. As historic and beautiful as it may be, there are still millions of PEOPLE at home and around the world that are homeless and in desperate need of help. My only ‘silver lining’ is that if people can unite like this for one of our ancient monuments, just imagine what we could achieve if we all decided to follow the lead of the Dublin community and joined together to help stamp out homelessness forever?

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Click here to order your copy of Charlie, The Migrating Snail – Book One

Can A Snail Change The World?

I HAVE A DREAM…! To many, a laughable dream. To some, an unachievable dream. To others, perhaps, a dream worth dreaming and thinking about:

World Peace.

Isn’t it time?

With all the wealth, with all the people, with all the technology, the social media, and all the resources we have, surely, wouldn’t you think we would have achieved World Peace by now?

It’s been decades since Dr. Martin Luther King jr. gave his iconic speech, Mahatma Gandhi has long since passed into the annuls of time, Nelson Mandela is no longer imprisoned on this plane, and the lyrics to John Lennon’s amazing song are mere ‘Imagine-ation’… So where are our new Peace-leaders going to come from?

I hate to use the ‘B-word’, but if we are relying on our Governments to sort out the REAL issues in the world, we’ll be waiting a really, really, really, really, no, really long time! It is, and always has been in my mind, down to us – The People – to take action and be the change we want to see in the world!

#BeTheChange has that been taken yet? What would the great Peace-Leaders of old have made of the Internet? Would they have made a bigger impact, or would they have been easier targets for trolls, lobbyists, and nay-sayers? We can only speculate… So, who is brave enough to pick up the baton of peace and start running with it now?

Enter “Charlie, The Migrating Snail”

Peace Charlie

He may not be the smartest contender, but look at who he’s up against…? More to the point, let’s look at what he is achieving with very limited resources compared to our World Leaders. He’s already on a campaign to raise 10,000 Euros to help homelessness in Dublin! That might not sound like much, but he’s only a month old and has raised over 500 Euro already! Just imagine what he could do given the chance…?

And this little charity snail isn’t stopping with homelessness, through Charlie’s Causes he’ll be making a massive impact in all sorts of other areas too!

Please check out his website and check out his story.

World Peace may be a few years off yet, but just imagine what we can achieve as we journey towards that goal…? If not now, when?

#CharlieTheWorldPeaceSnail

Life: Some Words To Live By

LIFE:

You’ve either got to to deal with it, or it will deal with you. Shit’s gonna happen, accept it. Some of it you’ll have caused, some of it you’ll have attracted, some of it will be beyond your control, learn from it. Life is your biggest teacher, if you’re willing to listen and learn. Things won’t always go your way. Find a new way. Keep moving forward. Time does. Learn from it.

There is no dress rehearsal for Life. This is it. Give it your all. Give it your best. Fill your life with as much and as many experiences as you can. Some will be good and some will be bad. That’s what keeps life exciting: you never truly know. Hopefully you’ll find balance along the way.

Keep your expectations high, but your acceptance higher. Nobody’s perfect, but they are unique. Find and love your uniqueness; those things that make you ‘you’. There is greatness within all of us. Seek it out in everyone you meet, and your own greatness will be reflected back at you. Add love to every situation, good or bad. Love is the energy of Life. Love your friends. Love your family. Love yourself. But love your enemies more, because we are all one. We are all love. We are all Life.

Live your life so you can look forward to the future, if you are lucky enough to have one. Don’t dwell on the past, it’s a ship that’s sailed and is never coming back. Regrets, like grudges, will drown you, let them go, forgive, seek  forgiveness, and swim on. Embrace the present, for that is all you ever have and will have. Unwrap it as the gift it is. This is all you have and all you are.

This is your life, live it your way, on your terms. Don’t try and live someone else’s life for them, and don’t let them tell you how to live yours. Be grateful for everything you have. Even if others have more, there are many more with less. Seek them out. Help your fellow Man. In helping and serving others you will gain much, much more than you could ever give.

If you only ever believe in one thing, believe in yourself. Respect your elders, but accept they may not know what’s truly right for you. Pursue your dreams, for that is the rainbow that will bring your happiness to life. You are never given a dream without the ability to achieve it. But know your true happiness always is within you.

Live your life with passion. Laugh as often as you can, but never at anyone else’s expense, unless it’s your own.

I hope when you look back on your life you’ll smile, feel proud, and even if nobody else noticed, at least you knew you were here.

(c) 2019, Anthony James Donnelly

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my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleAnthony James Donnelly is an author, motivational and business coach, and life guide. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life. In his latest book, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life.

 

 

How To Overcome Fear – Part One

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleMy FREE BOOK weekend was a big success, so thank you to all of you that partook. I hope you find it useful in getting a great start to 2019. However, some people who have read my book, “My First Goal-Setting Book”, have written to me asking about overcoming fear, so I thought I’d tackle this subject in a blog post.

I deliberately left this out of the book, as it is aimed at people that already have dreams and goals in mind, and have already overcome the hurdle of inactivity due to fear, but I’ll cover it simply below.

Many of you may have heard of the acronym for fear:

  • False
  • Expectations
  • Appearing
  • Real

The first thing to know about fear is that it’s natural. Everybody at some time in their lives (yes, even me!) experiences fear. Now, just so we are all on the same page here, when I talk about fear in this context I’m not relating to phobias nor situations of mortal danger, I’m referring to negative mental games we play with ourselves that stop us acting on our goals and dreams. You may be surprised to know that fear is the major reason the vast majority of people never even TRY to do anything new or different in their lives!

So, if we all experience fear, how come some people allow it to stop them, and others deal with it and get on with life?

Even successful people feel fear from time to time, the difference is they have developed systems to combat that fear and move through it. I’m going to highlight a few basic techniques you can use to overcome most of your fears.

1. Write It Down!

Most of our fears are ‘mental demons’, they live in our heads, we try to hide them, certainly never talking about them, and the more we feed our fears with attention, the more our imaginations run wild. Take a few moments to write down EXACTLY what it is you think you are scared of. Often times just the exercise of really thinking about it ON PAPER is enough to put it in perspective.

2. Action ALWAYS Cures Fear!

The next time you feel fear, shorten the time between feeling scared and actually acting on it. As said, most fears are not real, they are mental monsters, and the longer we sit on them without acting, the bigger they become. Perhaps you have a phone call to make, but you are scared of how it will go, rather than dwell on it, just pick up the phone and make the call. Perhaps you want to ask someone out on a date, why wait until someone else asks them out, just go for it!

3. Play It In Reverse.

This is the one that I find most useful in my life. Whatever it is I’m procrastinating about or scared of doing – usually those awkward phone calls! – I write down what I’m scared of, then I picture the outcome I want, I really get in touch with how I FEEL after I’ve made that call. I play the scene backwards with that feeling. Only when I feel totally calm and comfortable do I make that call. You know what, over 90% of the time the call goes exactly as I imagined it.

Obviously there’s not enough space in one blog to fully cover this topic – there are hundred of books on the subject, if you wish to find out more – but these are just some of the tricks that I use and work for me. As with most new things, it’s going to take some time and practice, but of all the things you can learn in life, getting a grip on your fears will be one of the best things you did.

I’d love to hear how you get on, so just drop me some of your experiences in the comments section below.

HOW TO OVERCOME FEAR – PART TWO

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my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleAnthony James Donnelly is an author, motivational and business coach, and life guide. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life. In his latest book, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life.

 

Cashing in on Christmas: FREE BOOK!

Most authors of self-help books might be cashing in at this time of the year, especially if it’s one about setting goals and New Year’s Resolutions, but because I want people to actually read and benefit from my book, it’s FREE all this weekend, and if you can’t afford to buy the book after this offer expires, you can email me here and I’ll send you a free pdf or audio file!

“Set goals that you are willing to fail for.”

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindle

 

 

Emerald Book Reviews: My First Goal-setting Book

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleI always say, “A review to an author is like applause to an actor.” This is ‘thunderous’ applause! What an absolutely amazing way to start the week and new month, and to end the year! With the New Year just around the corner, last month I reached out to some reviewers for my little goal-setting book –  since it’s the season of New Year’s Resolutions – and was thrilled to find this review today. I was so touched and humbled that it actually made me cry!

I cannot thank the reviewer enough, so I have copied it here. If you’d like to read the original review, and discover other great reads and reviews, click on this link: Emerald Book Reviews.

 

“Making a positive difference in people’s lives.”

REVIEW

By Piaras on December 3, 2018 (Emerald Book Reviews)

I really enjoyed reading this book. And, I suspect all fans of the Self-Improvement genre will love having a read of this one also! My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals, is a very well written life improvement book. This book is intelligent, wise and packed to the rafters with practical common-sense advice. It becomes very obvious as you read through this page turner that the author is imparting his wisdom and understanding as to what happiness and success really means. It’s an excellent guide for putting things into perspective.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘Have you always wanted to get more out of life? Have you wondered why some people are more successful than others? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions, but never seem to keep them? If so, this book is for you.

In this concise, easy-to-read book you will learn the simple secrets to setting SMART goals, learn how to create a strong reason why you want to achieve your goals to keep you motivated along the journey, and create a simple action plan that will ingrain new habits to help you achieve every goal you set in life.

Written in plain English, the author shares his experience and knowledge gathered over the past two decades working with people of all ages from around the world. His life purpose is simple: “To make a positive difference in people’s lives”.’

This book will help you to clarify your thinking, process your feelings, and make better decisions. If you are you ready to stop drifting and design a life you love, this read will help you on your journey. The author has put his heart in the pages of this book and will encourage and give hope to the reader. So many wonderful and courageous people share their experiences through books, and I thank this author for sharing his.

The overall tone was simply imparting knowledge, personal experience and wisdom in a gentle and generous way. His words will help to better equip you to interpret and handle life in a whole new way, which in turn will bring peace, love and joy into your life. If you are looking for inspiration and encouragement in the face of serious issues, this would come highly recommended from me.

No matter what your situation is today, this book will put you on the right path to better things. I’ve been around the block a few times myself and even I found this read to be very insightful. This wonderful new book will show you how to properly tune into life and the simple rules you must follow to achieve this. This by far is one of the best Self-Improvement books I’ve read in a long time. The author must be commended for his time and effort for producing such an insightful book. Also, the writing style is friendly which makes for an enjoyable read.

My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals is a wonderful read that will leave you feeling like a better person for having read it. It’s an impressive work for author Anthony James Donnelly and I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from him in the future. I would highly recommend this perceptive and intuitive read. A well-deserved five stars from me.

Taken from the original review here: https://emeraldbookreviews.com/2018/12/03/my-first-goal-setting-book-how-to-effectively-set-achieve-your-life-goals/

If you would like to buy a copy of the book for yourself or a friend, please click here or on the book cover image. Many thanks!

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindle

The Essence of Goal-Setting
A step-by-step approach for moving from your status quo to your heart’s desire

By Mary Vinnedge

               If most goal-setting and action plans seem overly complex and intimidating, read on. Motivational coach-author Anthony Donnelly distills the process into easy-to-understand steps in My First Goal-Setting Book: How to Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals. Goal-setting might seem new to you, but Donnelly says in practice, you do it constantly: getting out of bed at 6:30, doing your laundry, etc. The trick is to be conscious and intentional with goal-setting. “If you’ve been waiting for your wishes and dreams to come true, but nothing’s happened so far, it’s most likely because you are leaving it up to chance,” he writes.

               Begin by jotting down notes about what you want, possibly related to health, leisure, family, career, education, health and/or giving back. Be sure each is something you’re extremely passionate about. Passion is the fuel that drives every successful person, Donnelly says.

               Also key: Zero in on a modest goal from your wants. For instance, if you’d like to launch a business, try selling online or persuading a merchant to give you a corner display rather than leasing a 15,000-square-foot building straightaway. If you want to run a marathon but have never done more than dash to your front door in the rain, aim for a 5K race (3.1 miles)―not a half-marathon (13.1 miles)―in two months.

               A key early step in Donnelly’s strategy is the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) planning tool outlined by Albert Humphrey in the 1960s. Divide a blank sheet of paper into SWOT quadrants and fill them in honestly and without rushing. Your strengths might include technical skills and tenacity. Perhaps weaknesses are impatience or shortage of money. Opportunities? Maybe a trade show or a mentor offering help. Threats could be competitors or a recession. Donnelly explains that this exercise forces you to think deeply and long-term, revealing problems to fix or avoid.

               Now develop your goal statement based on SMART―aka Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound―guidelines. Don’t just write, “I want to quit my day job and be a solopreneur.” Instead be precise about your quest, establish a metric (perhaps a startup treasury plus emergency fund total), make sure it’s realistic (honest assessment), be certain the goal suits you (do you see yourself still reveling in this achievement well into the future?), and determine a deadline, something like “I will raise $15,000 and quit my job to do XXXX by next Dec. 31.” Type or write it out, and read it to yourself aloud for a positive affirmation.

               Also write down five reasons why your goal matters. An example for an aspiring personal trainer: “I feel great about helping others become fit.” Incorporate the reasons into a paragraph that starts, “The reason this is important to me is…” Read this reasons statement silently and aloud. If you don’t feel thrilled about the five-point summary, put your paper aside, perhaps overnight, Donnelly says. Then revise the statement until it feels empowering. Add it below your SMART goal statement, and read these statements at least twice every day, aloud if possible. Doing so at bedtime is especially beneficial as your brain will mull them as you rest and provide you with fresh insights after you awaken.

Of course, the best plan in the world means nothing unless you act.

The next step in Donnelly’s process is the creation of action items and intermediate goals. Referring to that $15,000 needed by Dec. 31, state what needs to happen after nine months (savings of, say, $12,000), six months, three months, two months and one month. Write out these interim goals and deadlines and track your achievements. Personal-development experts emphasize the importance of celebrating each milestone with a reward such as a new book, massage or special coffee drink.

As you push forward, write weekly goals and focus on each while also visualizing the big picture, that final goal. Donnelly considers the ability to visualize your progress to be crucial for success.

               Once you experience great results from setting and reaching that first modest goal, Donnelly predicts you’ll incorporate goal-setting into every area of your life, with your objectives becoming ever more ambitious.

The Perfect Christmas Gift for the Person That DOESN’T Have Everything.

*** LATEST REVIEW IN ***

IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ A HUMBLING, HONEST, AND INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THIS BOOK, PLEASE CLICK ON THIS.

Christmas is a time for giving, a time for loving, and a time for sharing, but it can also be very stressful with all of the holiday shopping crowds vying to find that ‘perfect’ gift for somebody. Books make great gifts because they just keep giving, especially if they are as packed full of useful information as MY FIRST GOAL-SETTING BOOK by development coach and mentor, Anthony James Donnelly.

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleMany people start to think about New Year’s Resolutions at this time of year, but the reason most people fail in their endeavors is they don’t have a workable plan of action.

“Just making a New Year’s Resolution won’t make it happen!”

In MY FIRST GOAL-SETTING BOOK – How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals, Donnelly clearly lays out every step you need to take in order to prepare for RESULTS.

He uses clear, simple language with no ‘fluff’, just the information you need to succeed.

If you’ve never set goals before, or set them but not hit them, or are shopping for somebody you know that needs help setting goals to get their life back on track, this is the book for you. It’s available in three convenient formats: Kindle, Paperback, and Audio Book, narrated by the author.

*** LATEST REVIEW IN ***

IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ A HUMBLING, HONEST, AND INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THIS BOOK, PLEASE CLICK ON THIS.

#NewBook – “Why Do i Care?”

It has been a while since I released a new book. I have many works simmering in the background, and fortunately my acting career has taken a front seat this year involving a lot of international travel. I have also been preoccupied with a new song project, which I’ll expand on towards the end of this post.

Why Do i Care COVER (2)BUT finally the wait is over!

It’s a short book with a very unassuming cover, much in the style of my goal-setting book. The focus is on problem solving this time: practical steps to put your personal issues into perspective and create workable solutions.

An extract from the introduction should shed some light on the direction of this new work:

“There are more diamonds in the world than people… AND we think they are precious! There are more bank notes in the world than people… AND we think they have value! There are more books in the world than people… AND we think they contain knowledge! There are more flowers in the world than people… AND we think they have beauty! BUT, as insignificant as you may feel, you are UNIQUE, so that kinda makes you rather special, don’t you think?”

It was inspired from a very long conversation with a great friend that I’ve known for many, many years. They were stuck in what they saw as an impossible situation, and our conversation circled round and round without them really wanting to take any action to remedy their problem. They were using every trick in the book to try and get out of accepting THEY were responsible for where they were. In the end I had to hang up and send them a copy of one of my parables to read in the hope the simplicity and metaphor would soak into their subconscious and they would find the right path again.

This book is  a dilution of that conversation. I hope you enjoy it, and it is of use to you.

If you’d like a review copy in exchange for your opinion and thoughts on it, please write a message in the comments section below. Thank you!

 

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my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleAnthony James Donnelly is an author, motivational and business coach, and life guide. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life. In his last book, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life. A great accompaniment to “WHY DO i CARE?”

 

Supporting Tone Def Tony & His Song

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a striking resemblance between the famous Christmas song crooner, Tone Def Tony, and myself. A little like the similarity between Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus! This is purely coincidental. However, I would like to pledge my support for his contribution to seasonal song-man-ship, and help promote his latest fundraising efforts:

If you can support in any way, even if it’s just like I’m doing here and sharing his project, that would be great! Thank you for supporting starving artists!

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN LINK

 

Thank You NHS Song…

Inspired by the #clapforourcarers event tonight, I was struck with the idea of a song to say thank you. As many of you know (although I’m definitely NOT a musician) I have written lyrics in the past and a whole bunch of poetry. It’s a pretty big challenge, but perhaps there are some people out there that would be interested in cyber-collaborating on putting this to music…?

 

THANK YOU NHS SONG

by Anthony James Donnelly

 

To all the nurses and doctors putting their lives on the line,

Tirelessly working to beat this virus in time,

We want to thank all of the people at our NHS,

Though in isolation, we think you’re the best!

 

These are critical times and we must all play our parts,

We want to thank you sincerely from the bottom of our hearts.

Day after day you turn up for work – uncomplaining

To save the dear lives of all us that’s remaining

 

Thank you NHS! Thank you NHS!

You do us proud, you help the sick.

Thank you NHS!

 

We’ll fight this together, we’ll work as a team,

What lies in the future remains to be seen.

But one thing’s for certain, of one thing we’re sure,

We’ll beat this together, and we’ll find a cure.

 

Thank you NHS! Thank you NHS!

You do us proud, you help the sick.

Thank you NHS!

 

A Day To Apply For Universal Credit…?

These are unprecedented times we are all living through right now, and everybody could be pointing fingers saying the Government should have acted faster, should have been more prepared, should have locked down sooner, and the Police should have said that they COULD enforce a lock down, rather than say they couldn’t (which might have stopped the THOUSANDS of Londoners flaunting the warnings yesterday as I drove my fiance to her cancer treatment yesterday!)

We could be pointing fingers, but I won’t… instead I’ll share some bureaucratic humour… We all know – well, those of us who have ever tried to get some kind of benefit or anything essential (like a passport, drivers license, etc.) – that civil servants and government/ council controlled/ public sector organizations are ridiculously archaic, inefficient, and in no rush to actually come up to speed with everybody else in a competitive, free-market economy, because they don’t have to, and can just tax us poor tax payers more to foot the bill of inefficiency! But I did have to laugh at this…

12.52 – I had already been waiting since noon

When I first was redirected to digidentity.eu and their ‘waiting room’ there were almost 13,000 people in the queue ahead of me. I had nothing better to do, so I just waited… and waited… and waited… After almost an hour, I decided to take my first screen shot and email the Sun, who had published a helpful article suggesting self-employed folk, like myself, could apply for Universal Credit while we patiently wait to see what the Government decides to do about helping us out financially.

digidenity

I posted it up on Facebook to help other people potentially avoid the exceedingly long wait. At time of writing this, I’m still waiting, and predict it will be about 10pm tonight that I get to the front of the cue….

3.06 pm – I’m still waiting…

Digidentity2

93,800+ are still ahead of me, and I take a gamble and get ready to drive my fiance for her daily radiography treatment at the hospital… I wonder how many selfish, mindless zombies we’ll pass out in the open spreading COV 19 this trip…? I shall write more on my return and probably post another screen shot… stay tuned…

4.53pm – back from dropping off at the hospital… 87,606 people still ahead of me!

Digidentity3

Glad to report that there was a lot less traffic on the roads, and better yet a lot less people just idly wandering around, but I still don’t think people have truly grasped the severity of what we are going through. Three weeks of stringent isolation: if you DON’T HAVE TO go out, STAY HOME. The Olympics has been postponed, so have most sporting events, it won’t kill you not to go out running and cycling every day, but it probably WILL infect and KILL somebody else!

The message from the Government couldn’t be any clearer:

STAY HOME!!!

If people who think they are adult, but continue to act like children continue to act like children, the Government will be forced to impose even stricter regulations and legislation, AND prolong this lock down for even longer. Do you not understand???

We only go out for our urgent care hospital appointments, and once a week for essential groceries, that’s it, period. Three weeks is not a long time to stop being selfish for once in your lives, stay the f**k home, and help save people’s lives.

I’m still behind 85,436 people… don’t these numbers give you any indication of how serious this is? That will very soon be the global death toll, and it will keep climbing if you don’t do your bit and act right now!

I’ll keep you posted…

6.26pm – Only 67,587 People Ahead Of Me…!

Digidentity4

Radiotherapy unit running on schedule, so back from the hospital pick-up early, but still waiting online… Are we ALL self-employed, or is this everyone that’s trying to claim…? If it keeps up like this, I’ll be at the front of the queue by midnight I’m sure. Well, there’s not much else to do but wait… then the next question will be, will we be entitled to anything, which is the really big and more important question?

If I get bored, I might post another update, but that’s it for now…! Stay safe, stay healthy, and STAY INDOORS…!

11.08pm – ten more minutes to go…!

Digidentity5

Thankfully I found a part of the ‘waiting room’ where you could reserve your place via your email – whether this was added since I joined the queue, or I simply didn’t look before, I have no idea, but I decided to persevere, and will soon be at the front of the queue and see what steps I have to take next… Wish me luck…!

 

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Charlie One ThumbnailAnthony Donnelly is a British author, actor, and life coach, more recently known for his charity, children’s book series, “Charlie, the Migrating Snail”, which is available to buy on Amazon by clicking the book cover to the right.

THANKS FOR LEAVING THE SEAT DOWN

A little poem for all the women out there in Cyberland…
 

THANKS FOR LEAVING THE SEAT DOWN

 
I love the little things you do,
Like leaving the seat down on the loo,
And not just after you have a poo,
I wish other men were as thoughtful as you,
It really isn’t that hard to do.
 
(A.J. Donnelly)

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Charlie One Thumbnail

Anthony Donnelly is a British author, actor, and life coach, more recently known for his charity, children’s book series, “Charlie, the Migrating Snail”, which is available to buy on Amazon by clicking the book cover to the right.