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We have eleven official languages in South Africa, but the lingua franca is clearly English. Not surprising, then, that those of us for whom English is our home language, tend to be critical of the pronunciation, or choice of words, of those whose home language is one of the other ten. But stop for a moment and think it through. Can you speak that person’s language? Fluently? Correctly? I doubt it. So what right do you have to scoff at them? Rather learn to listen to what is being said. The person is endeavouring to communicate with you, and communication…

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Here’s how to free up the flow of ch’i or prana in your rooms. Just as the flow of prana or ch’i through your body can get stuck, so the flow through spaces, such as rooms can get stuck. By applying feng shui principles, you can improve this flow, but there’s another technique. It’s called creating sacred space and is closely related to minimalism. Think of a room, your study, for instance. Are there shelves or cupboards stacked with piles of books, old documents, boxes of clutter? Have you…

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Whether you’ve studied Japanese martial arts, Reiki, Chi-gong, Tai chi, my Mind Power Training, pranayama, yoga or acupuncture you will have come across ch’i or prana. What is it and how can you harness it? Prana (India), or ch’i (China) is, perhaps, best described as the universal energy of life. It flows into your body through your breath, the third eye (in the centre of your forehead), the top of your head and up through your feet. It flows around your body down the front, between the legs, up the spine and over your scalp, branching…

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If you read my blog, you will know that last year we sold our house and gave away practically all of our possessions (hey, there’s an 11 letter word with 5 s’s! Too many for Scrabble.). We had decided to go minimalist. Oops! We gave away all our white goods, furniture and just about everything except our clothes and cars. No, we were not planning to leave the country (heaven forbid). We just wanted to live in rented property and have freedom from household maintenance, pesky neighbours, bodies corporate and all the baggage that comes with owning your home. The…

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Once you can solve “Expert” sudoku puzzles, you’re almost certainly an addict (otherwise you wouldn’t have become an expert). Then the challenge is the race against time. With this in mind, I’ve been searching for quicker ways to reach the solution and here’s what I’ve found – I’m assuming that you’re an expert already, so won’t set out the tips for solving the puzzles. These are readily available via Google. but nowhere have I found speed techniques. First is your choice of App. Find one that makes your scanning and searching quick and easy. My favourite is Sudoku – Free…

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Occasionally either my wife, Helen, or I come up with a cure for an ailment that is not mentioned anywhere on Google. It’s just our bodies telling us what they need. Here are a few examples. Itchy bites This is one from Helen. Sure, you can use an anti-hystamine cream, and they often help, but how about blowing hot air onto the bite with your (or your wife’s) hairdryer? That’s what she does and it works like a charm! Scabby hands At my age, it is almost a given that I will develop scabby patches on the backs of my…

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You may have read my article on Mind Power and Essential Tremors in which I describe how, about 2 years ago, I cured my uncontrollable shaking hands using my mindpower techniques and thereby saved my medical aid the R1m that they had pre-authorised for a brain operation. I’ve now decided to cure my high frequency deafness the same way. It’s a well known fact that if you go public on something you intend to achieve, you increase your chances of success dramatically. So I’ve decided to challenge myself publicly to self cure my high frequency deafness (let’s call…

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As you know I am crazy about the Japanese abacus (soroban). I have to undergo speed tests to progress from one level to the next. At yesterday’s International Soroban Competition, where I was the guest speaker, I learned that, at age 75, I have progressed from elementary to the 7th Kyu (it goes elementary, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 …) faster than any past student of Abacus Maths. Here’s how I monitor and motivate my progress while practicing. It’s called a scattergram. I plot my time on the…

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What is it about a winner that makes them win? First up, they decide that they were going to win. You will never win by chance (unless you are gambling, but that’s not the kind of winning that I’m talking about).   Next, they figure out how they are going to win. Sometimes, it’s just practice, practice, practice, but not always. There needs to be a clear plan of how to come out best. Once embarking on the winner training, they monitor their progress and carefully analyse anything that goes wrong along the way. They learn from it and move…

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The most important advice that I give to students who come to me for free mentoring is how to pass their exams. Most of them think that the purpose of an exam is to demonstrate to the examiner how much they know of or understand the subject. Wrong! An exam is a mark scoring exercise. Nothing more, nothing less. I owe this to Charles Huttingh who helped me through Honours/CTA and the Board Exam. So how to pass your exams – 1) I have to assume that you know the subject. When learning, use lists, mind maps…

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I’ve always said that financially you must plan to live forever. Most of us won’t live as long or as comfortably as we could because of stupid things we did or the good things we didn’t do when we were younger. Here are some of them – But first, the context. I am 75 years old. I guess that on average, I meet one new person a day at my offices, where I consult at no charge. It is guaranteed that anyone over 60 looks and acts older than me, so I guess I’ve earned the…

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Sugar gives you energy! Sugar is good for you! Sugar will give you diabetes! Sugar will kill you! Many years back, I regularly added four teaspoons of sugar to my cup of tea. Then I read a book called “Sugar Blues”. I went cold turkey, from four to none in one hit. Thank goodness I did. Do you know what sugar does? When it hits your bloodstream (and it gets there fast), your blood sugar skyrockets. Your pancreas gland then shoots out insulin to normalise the blood sugar level. Trouble is it kind of panics and sends too much insulin,…

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How many crises have you had in your life? And how many major turning points? Aren’t they the same thing? Certainly, when I look back over my life I cannot help but recognise that every crisis started me in a new direction, every one of which was a dramatic improvement on my quality of life. So much so, in fact, that my crises all turned into my greatest blessings – they forced me to re-think where I was at and where I was going. I also have to say that none of them were in any way pleasant (they would…

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Since I started learning to use the soroban, or Japanese abacus, I have also picked up some fascinating features of certain numbers. Take 37 for example. I was given the finger exercise of 37 + 37 + 37 +37 +37 + ……………. , quite an interesting challenge on the abacus, but imagine my surprise when one of the totals came up as 111, then later up comes 222 then 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888, 999. It turns out that this is because 111 is 3 x 37, 222 is 6 x 37 and so on.

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My grandson introduced me to the Japanese Abacus or Soroban in 2015 and I was completely blown away. Here’s how it works and what it does for your, or your child’s, brain. The abacus in its original form appears (Wikipedia) to date from as far back as 2700 – 2300 BC. It has gone through various stages and remains in Russia in the form that most of us are familiar with where there are 10 beads per rail for decimal counting (all images copied from Google) – This developed into the Chinese abacus which has a 5 and a…

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The path to self realisation is never ending and we all step along it, treading in the footsteps of those who have passed this way before and leaving footprints for others to follow. Of the many lessons that we need to learn is to be kind to ourselves or, as my lovely wife, Helen, puts it “Do for yourself what you would do for others” This is her twist of “Do to others as you would wish them to do to you”. Her point is that whilst many of us take great care to encourage and support other people despite…

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I have achieved the most amazing results with Mind Power. I have a condition called Essential Tremors (ET). This causes uncontrollable shaking. With some people it can be the head, with others the legs, often in the form of so called restless leg syndrome and in my case, shaking hands. Over the last ten years it has become progressively worse despite increasing dosage of chronic medication. Eventually it got to the point where I could not drink coffee with clients because I would have to use both hands to hold the cup and I could no longer read my own…

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Quote of the month -“I just lower my expectations until I am pleased with my achievement” Where did that come from? No, it wasn’t Angie Motshekga, the ex-Minister of Basic Education! It was my response to my lovely wife, Helen, when she said something about me being so proud of my body (we train regularly) whereas she is never satisfied with her achievement. But really, I was only joking. The real me believes in aiming so high that I can never actually achieve what I aim for, but by striving for the impossible I almost invariably achieve the improbable. That’s…

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You may have read books on the power of the mind. There are plenty of them out there. Why? Because the mind is so powerful. Many years ago I coined an expression for one of my consulting techniques. I called it “Dreaming dreams”. It works. Like this – Forget about where you are at, ignore how you are going to achieve your goals, simply imagine you are already there. Picture the perfect business, lifestyle, golf shot or whatever it is you would like in life. Just one dream at a time – don’t make it too complicated. Focus on the detail, see it happening…

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Two diametrically opposed interpretations My darling wife had always believed that this meant that if you kept jumping from one thing to another you would never gather value, whereas I had always understood it to mean that if you stood still you would be overgrown with moss and stagnate. So I googled it and she was right. But then there came up another interpretation which was consistent with mine. So which is right? Well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to answer that one. It all depends on the meaning of the word “moss”. If it means wealth,…

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