Personal Directions: Often we think ourselves into old age
By Christina Dodd,
Recently I have been reading – or re-reading – a book by Dr
Maxwell Maltz on the Magic Power of Self Image Psychology and I thought I
might share some thoughts and insights of the author with you. This is
valuable reading for anyone but more so for those who are approaching
“retirement” and indeed for those of you who have already had it done
to them! A while ago one of my articles touched on “goals in
retirement” and this adds a little more flavour to the pudding! It is
very likely that you have a good grasp of what Maltz says, but it
doesn’t hurt to refresh our ideas with other people’s viewpoints. Hope
you find it interesting.
“When you ‘retire’, you retire from your true
self-image. You destroy a self-image that has taken a lifetime to build;
you put yourself in a concentration camp, making an underprivileged inmate
of yourself. Faster than George Washington cutting down the cherry tree,
you slash your self-image to ribbons. You surround yourself with barbed
wire, make yourself the victim of brutal jailers, snuff out your life
force in a gas chamber. No secret police come in the middle of the night
and enforce this indignity upon you: you do it to yourself.
You’re as young as you
You’re 65 now so you’ve arrived at middle age,
you’re still in the prime of life; new horizons lie before you and the
future is yours.
“What!” you say. “Maybe you didn’t hear me
right. I said I was 65, not 35!”
I heard you. You’re 65 and you think you’re old,
and lots of people think you’re old, but you’re not. I’m in the same
boat as you, and I’m young. I wake up in the morning and I see the sun
shining. The sky is blue in my world and the birds sing and people live. I
eat a hearty breakfast and I don’t gulp it down absently. I eat it and
enjoy it and a planned, constructive, life-filled day.
You, too, can be young and I don’t care what your
chronological age is. There are people who are old at 21, because their
self-image is dried up. And there are people who are still young in spirit
Don’t live by the book! Write your own book of life!
Often we think ourselves into old age. Expecting to
grow old at a certain age, we prepare ourselves for negative goal images.
Tapering off on both physical and mental activities, we lose both the
flexibility of our joints and the life force of our minds and spirits.
With this type of attitude, one naturally becomes old.
But today a person of 65 is middle-aged. Advances in
medicine are increasing life expectancy and diseases which are dread
killers today will be curable tomorrow. So if you’re 65 enjoy your
middle age. Take part in life and feel young, no matter what your age.
Give to life and it will give back to you and you’ll feel that life is
good. Naturally there are limits but if you keep your mind fertile and
your body fit and useful you’ll feel young all your life!
More living: A
prescription for you
I’d like to repeat my prescription for people of
retirement age, who suffer from the disease of apathy and lethargy; Take
lots and lots of MORE LIFE!
The whole business of living is to remember is that
every day is a composite lifetime for the person who is happy. A day must
have a beginning, a middle and an end, and the whole must be harmonious.
Those who are happy look forward each day with faith
and hope to realizing the goals that they set for themselves. Each day
there must be goals related to life and the society in which we live –
no matter how simple, they are fundamental. The goals may be something as
simple as riding a bicycle through a park or getting some overdue letters
out of the way. Don’t laugh at these goals, for whoever has them, if
they have their hearts in what they are doing, the activities are
important! For example, to someone the bike might be a symbol of living,
enjoying movement and emotionally going somewhere, rather than standing
still with the possibility of falling down.
It is in doing nothing, in being bored, that people die
Retirement from life is criminal because it is
self-inflicted. You become a traitor to yourself when you walk away from
your daily goals, denying the life force that God has given you. Age is no
excuse at all. When you retire from life you walk away from reality and
self-respect, write off your self-image and voluntarily isolate yourself
in an inner concentration camp. You put your soul in jail.
Some of you probably think that money represents the
solution, but experiments on the problem of living longer have indicated
otherwise. Researchers have found that what makes retired people happy are
preparation, vitality, interest in the contemporary world, work of any
nature, and an ability to take pleasure in others.
Life is Your
Wine is not good until it is aged; it mellows with the
passing of the years. It can be like this for human beings. Young people
may be able to race effortlessly around tennis courts and pick up on the
latest technology a lot faster, they may live a life of discos and more
fun-filled days. But they often lack understanding which comes only
through the experience of many years of living. They make tragic mistakes,
products of their inexperience. And they often lack compassion and wisdom.
If you’re older, you’ve had many successes and
failures – and you will recognize the points I have raised in the
preceding paragraph. It must be this way – no life is perfect. Don’t
dwell on the failures; picture your proud moments. See yourself at your
best and admire your self-image! If you do, you will never shrink from
life; it will hold no terrors for you. You will live fully all your life,
living each day the best you know how, going to sleep peacefully when the
day is done, dreaming pleasant dreams.
You will live fully after 65 and if you can live –
with goals, with friends, without self-pity, without resentment, without
regret, you will love life. And living life this way you will never retire
from it – as long as you live!”
If you would like to contact me about Personal Life
Planning or indeed any of our personal or business skills programs, then
please email me at [email protected] asia trainingassociates.com
Until next time, have an invigorating week!
The Doctor's Consultation: Live to be 100
by Dr. Iain Corness
With the advent of our daughter Arisa, I had to promise my
young wife I would live to be 100. This I readily pledged, saying on oath,
that I would live to be 100, or die in the attempt! All eminently achievable.
(Beat that for a classic get-out!)
However, longevity has been increasing in most countries
(even Thailand despite the Songkran road toll!), but for those of you who are
looking for eternal youth, I discovered the ingredients of the longevity
potion for a gentleman called Gustav of the House Merinita. Gustav is
currently only 40, but you may wish to chart his progress. I now present the
potion, which you will have to alter as required to suit your position.
Glands from a magical skunk (to reflect the Magus’ foul
Water from the well of Haindorf (the village of Gustav’s
Ashes from the hearth of his childhood hut (reflecting his
affinity with Ignem)
Eggshells from a hen laid on May Day (symbolizing birth and
sympathetic to his faerie blood)
Footprints of a Sylph in the faerie forest of Bohemerwald
(hearkens to a tale in Gustav’s youth)
Snow that hasn’t touched the ground collected under
Capricorn (his constellation of birth)
Nails from his father’s coffin
Plus the final magic ingredient - a snake found in a
graveyard (signifying his ‘demon-tainted’ flaw).
So there you go. I am so sure of this potion that I am
looking for investors with large bank accounts and small intellect to form 50
percent joint ventures with me on this one.
However, there are some factors that will assist you as far
as longevity is concerned, none of which will have you raiding the
neighbour’s chook pen on May Day.
First off, you are what you eat. If you eat a diet rich in
fats, you will be a fat person. Simple. So the answer is to eat a balanced
diet, and that doesn’t require a set of kitchen scales either. The easy way
is to eat salads one day a week, a European diet two days a week, a Thai diet
three days a week and anything you want on Sundays. Try to avoid the well
known fatty foods like chips (other than on Sunday). You should also eat when
you feel hungry, not when the clock dictates. Your blood sugar levels depend
on what and when you eat, not on “three square meals a day” (anyway your
plates are round).
Plan for at least one AFD (Alcohol Free Day) per week, and
on the other days try to drink sensibly. Getting legless six nights a week is
not recommended, but one beer or a glass of wine is. (Moderate drinkers live
longer than teetotalers).
Never smoke cigarettes. If you are a smoker, give up today.
Right now! In two years your lungs will be clean and in ten years your chances
of problems will be about the same as a life-long non-smoker. But give up
Get enough sleep. For adults, seven to eight hours a day
seems best according to the longevity studies. Rip Van Winkle was a myth, so
there’s nothing to be gained by lying in.
Get some exercise every day. Build it into your lifestyle.
Walk to the shop. Walk to where you get lunch. Take the dog for a run. As the
sportswear manufacturer says, “Just do it!”
Take 100 mgm of aspirin every day. Faithfully.
Think positive. Do all the above and believe in yourself.
I’ll have a drink for you when you reach your century!
I notice that you have become more and more critical of the accuracy of
letters sent in of late when I’m sure that the readers are looking for a
response to the content. How petty! Tully, for example, has “less than
excellent punctuation, syntax and spelling.” Well, I’m sure I’m not
the first to point out that the accuracy of your written English is far
from perfect. You make punctuation mistakes on a regular basis,
particularly by using commas when semi-colons or full stops are required.
You’ve even apostrophized ‘its’ when it is intended to be a
possessive pronoun. Your use of ‘however’ in reply to Roger’s letter
in today’s column was the sort of mistake I get from my Grade 6 ESL
students. And don’t start slagging me off for being an under-paid
English teacher because I’m not. What do they say about people in glass
houses? Or should that be ebony towers?
Dear Prof Red,
I would certainly not even think of “slagging” you off, as you so
nicely put it. After all, as you have written, you are not an under-paid
English teacher (by the way, Petal, you don’t need a hyphen between
under and paid), so I presume you are then an overpaid one. Who employs
you? Several of the readers would like to teach there too. I notice that
you have sprung to the defense of Tully. It was he who wrote, “My
message was impeccable in it’s (sic) syntax, parallel structure,
punctuation, spelling, etc., which evidenced a solid degree of tertuary
(sic) education.” Unfortunately, it was none of those things, as even he
acknowledged a week later, writing, “In reviewing the message I found a
few typos that I would like to correct on the off-chance it finds it way
into print. They are as follows;
1.) first letter in Pseudonym should be lower case.
2.) In aiming for the “i” in “tertiary” I missed and hit the
3.) In typing the word “transgression” I came up one “s” short.
4.) Eliminate unnecessary comma after “name” in the phrase “and the
use of my name in what appears to be”.
I believe that should be an adequate response to your content. Please
correct me if I am wrong, Ajarn.
Your chocs and bubbly have now been transferred to a submersible tuk-tuk
(Seagoon i/c). This is a precautionary measure to avoid young ladies with
sweet teeth, floating around on lilos (eg. Ying, sister same Nit). You
should now be prepared to slip into your rubber suit and scuba kit to
recover your water-cooled goodies. Seagoon has a red bath mat on board to
make you feel at home. I hope this finds you all excited.
You are sadly mistaken, young boy. Hillary does certainly not don scuba
gear, snorkels or anything similar to attempt to recover sunken treasure,
especially when you are the one who has placed the X on the treasure map.
At best the bubbly bottles would be empty. You have reneged too often,
We are often in Thailand and I would like to think that we are generous
kinds of people, but one thing that does completely confuse me is the
subject of tipping - when and how much? I have got smart recently and look
down at the bottom of the menu to see if “service” charges are
mentioned, but then if the establishment charges a “service” fee,
should you tip as well? What do you do? I am led to believe that the wages
are not high for some of the people in bars and restaurants and they share
the tips, but I do not want to throw money away either? What’s your tip
Confusion reigns supreme
Confusion reigns supreme,
Don’t be confused, Petal, help from Hillary is at hand. Here are the
tips on how to pick your way through the terrors of tipping. There are two
situations here - Service Charge or no Service Charge. If the
establishment adds on 10 percent (the usual amount), then as far as
Hillary is concerned - that’s the tip. You have just paid an extra 10
percent of the bill to cover ‘service’ (whether you got it or
otherwise). There are some places that no doubt pocket the Service Charge,
but that’s not anything of our or your doing, nor can we change it. That
is something between the employees and the owners to work out. However, if
Hillary feels that the waiter or service provider has gone well beyond
that which could be expected, then I reward with a little extra something
for that person, irrespective. You know the sort of things I like - a
little fawning, grovelling and lots of compliments. In an establishment
that has no standard add-on Service Charge, then it really is up to you.
Small change left over or up to 10 percent is quite normal. The Thai
people are grateful for anything you leave them. It all adds up by the end
of the day. A small tip - in most bars, if you leave a tip from the
change, this goes into the communal tip box, but if you wish to tip your
service person (and not the whole bar), then give the tip directly to her
Camera Class: What to shoot
in the Wat
by Harry Flashman
Thailand is a photographer’s paradise. None of those cold
grey days here. The ambient light levels are strong, shadows are strong and
images are also strong if you use light and shadow to your advantage. The ideal
venue to use all these aspects is in your local Wat (temple). You can certainly
describe it with words, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
you are aware, Thailand has thousands of Wats. Unfortunately the sheer number of
them can blind you to the fact that they have a unique quality. Wats are not
commonplace “back home” and so a definitive “Wat” photograph will have a
So here is how to take that great Wat shot - only it isn’t
one shot. It is impossible to show a Wat with one snap. It requires a series.
One of the reasons for this is the fact that a Wat is a microcosm of Thai
society. People eat there, live there, learn there and go there after they die.
So really you are trying to show not only the grandeur of the architecture, but
the fact that the Wat has its own life going on within its boundaries.
Here is how I would approach the subject, and remember we are
looking for production quality shots here. The preparation is to go there the
day before your shooting day to see how the sun shines on the buildings. To get
the textures and colours you need the sun striking the walls at an angle. Full
shade or full sun is not the way. It’s back to using light and shadow to show
form. You will have to note what are the best times of day to record the various
architectural details. Also be prepared to use a close up shot or two to
highlight some of the small details. By the way, always remember that a Wat is a
place of religious worship and significance, so do take your shoes off and be
Wats are inhabited by much more than the saffron robed monks.
There are teachers, nuns, novitiates, school children, street vendors and
tourists. A very mixed bag. Try to take shots to show just why these people are
there in the Wat and its compound. This is where a “long lens” (135 mm
upwards) can be a help. You can get the image you want without having to intrude
into the person’s personal space. However, remember that if there is any doubt
as to whether your subject would really want that photo taken - then ask
permission first. It is my experience that the vast majority of people will
happily respond positively to your request. Even when there is no common
language, a smile and a wave of the camera in their direction and an “OK?”
is generally all that is necessary.
Taking pictures inside a Wat is not as easy as the exterior
shots. The light levels are very low and there is often the feeling that you are
intruding in someone else’s religious practices. Taking a flash photograph
really is an intrusion in my view. This is where the tripod is great. Set the
camera up on the tripod, compose the shot, set it on Time Exposure and quietly
get that shot of a lifetime. You will probably need around 5-10 seconds at f5.6,
but that is just a guide and you should experiment. If you set the camera on
Auto mode and turn off the flash you will get better results.
By now you should have taken almost one complete roll of film on your local
Wat. Verticals, horizontals, close-ups and wide-angle shots. Do not be afraid to
shoot film. It is the only way to improve and the only way to get great shots.
Film is the cheapest thing in photography, always remember that. Just avoid
taking the ‘same’ shot four times - one vertical and one horizontal for each
subject, but that is all.
Corner: Gone to the dogs -
a “ruff” place to be!
In the Chinese horoscope it says that the only animal
that can defeat the tiger is the monkey because it jumps out of a tree and
grabs the tiger by the tail. Mrs. DoLittle being born in the Year of the
Tiger, can assure you, there is some truth in this. On February 4th, just as
the monkey leaped in, the tiger had her tail pulled, although it felt more
like being grabbed by the hair and given a good shaking up, to say the
was Mrs. DoLittle’s very first dog. A terrier mix picked up off a dirty
street in Singapore 1974, she died in Bangkok 1989. She came to Thailand
along with her own pets, Daffy the duck and Smokey the rabbit. Jodie was a
bright girl, constantly alert and interactive with humans. For several years
she ‘mothered’ a duck which she found somewhere in the middle of the
night. Daffy followed her everywhere; Jodie protected it from everyone and
everything. In the evening both Daffy and Smokey were rounded up at bedtime
by Jodie, licked all over and put into their boxes. Then she slept next to
them. If there were people in the house, she’d be there like the sheriff,
checking everyone out, but would keep going back in to check if her
‘babies’ were still in their boxes. All three came to Bangkok together
When Mrs. DoLittle saw the light of day again, there was
a whole lot of pain to be felt, not only in the head, but also in the
knuckles and the bones. And speaking of bones, on last New Year’s Day,
Year of the Monkey, there were an awful lot of bones to be distributed. Mrs.
DoLittle was faced with the grueling task of having to clean and feed over a
hundred animals, 26 of which were distressed dogs.
Not one person in sight, or hearing range, who could
help! With no room for hesitation, it was time for autarky! Just had to
knuckle down to the fact that the animals were one hundred percent reliant
on Mrs. DoLittle to provide them with everything they needed! That day and
the next, and for however long it would take to get help with the chores.
Let me tell you, dogs are the most demanding creatures on
this planet! I will testify to that in court. Dogs being so close to people
and considered as man’s best friend have grown to be so much like mankind,
that they reflect human behavior. When they are kept in a group, they become
extremely selfish. Their whole world is geared around what they can get from
Apart from food, what they want most is somebody to look
at them adoringly, preferably 24 hours a day and to respond to every need
and want. Mrs. DoLittle found herself with a big bill at the “dog chew
shop”. Although they would rather have hugs and kisses, those arms
weren’t long enough and the body just not wide enough to reach them all
when they wanted it, which was ALL AT ONCE.
The other animals in the sanctuary seemed to be content
to wait their turn for food and belly rubs. But the dogs would fight for
attention even while they were getting it. Dogs with full bellies become the
most arrogant of beasts; will even attack a friend over an old sock. Dogs in
packs offer a good reflection of today’s humanity. If people don’t have
space, or freedom to be who they are, they will fight for it and in extreme
cases even terrorize each other’s neighborhoods.
But, have dogs become like us, or have we become like
them? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Perhaps it doesn’t really
matter; if we evolved together we’ve rubbed off on each other. We’ve
“grown together” so to speak, excuse the pun. The fact remains; dogs and
people like each other’s company very much and probably arrived here on
the same spaceship before the year dot. Hey that’s a good name for a dog!
Sirius that is!
Dogs, much like people, become nicer when you know get to
know them on an individual basis. First the sunny side shines. Neither can
do enough to make a good impression, try to control bad habits and sit
neatly with legs folded, just so.
Later, when getting tired of sitting still and behaving,
then the real personality stands up. Some go play ball, others rip up the
whole neighborhood. Whether you are a chicken killer or a “meow-meow
terrorist”, seems to have something to do with heritage and life
experience. People and dogs come in multi-colored packages shaped by those
who control them. Whether you are choosing a partner or a dog, you don’t
really know what you’re in for.
That’s why it’s a good idea to stick to one and get
more personal. Focus on being a loving, caring companion constantly and you
will automatically become a better person. Plus, no more begging at the
table, you know the tidbits are coming for dessert. Contentment becomes a
Discipline is important in both species. The one with the
loudest bark calls the shots. No sticks needed.
That’s why Mrs. DoLittle has been a bit hoarse
answering the phone lately. The shelter now has two dogs suitable for
adoption, both young sterilized females, looking for love (in all the wrong
places). If you are in the mood for a devoted relationship, for at least the
next 10 years, then call 053-301192 after 5 p.m. to arrange for visit to
meet Dee Dee or Snukki. Or email: thai tur keytalk @hotmail.com
Having dealt intimately with hundreds of dogs over the
past 20 years, there has not been even one that has not responded to loving
kindness. This is where dogs and some tormented people seem to differ. But
perhaps the reason for this is that there are still millions of people (and
other beings) in this world who have not yet experienced unconditional love.
It’s time to get everyone together and there will be ‘no love lost’
(no pun intended), no homeless and no strays!
The morale of this story is: Humanity has gone to the dogs!