Saturday, August 30, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Tanner grew up slashing across the coping of empty pools on his skateboard and plowing through plush piles of fresh powder on his snowboard. To mix things up he would add some two-wheel mayhem into his adrenaline fix and rip up muddy motocross tracks.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Happiness. It’s the term thrown around more often than any other term when people are asked what they are looking for in life. A loving partner, a fun high-paying job and endless world travel are also amongst some of the most common answers, however all of these are preference-based means to the one ultimate end, which is happiness. Being so sought-after, I thought I’d comprise a list of common traits that seem to be found in happy people -and I’m talking about the genuinely happy people, and not just those who appear to be so on the surface.
By compiling this list I’m not suggesting that these are the only keys to happiness, I’m simply shedding light on some common characteristics I’ve come to find.
1. Love Themselves For Who They Are
On the surface this may sound incredibly egotistical, but by it I simply mean that they are truly comfortable in their own shoes. They accept and embrace themselves physically, they maintain their true character traits regardless of whether or not they receive approval and they work to make the best of the human experience they are living -rather than wallow in what others would define as weaknesses or shortcomings.
2. See Relationships As An Extension To, Rather Than The Basis Of The Human Experience
Relationships, whether friendly, familial or romantic, are certainly one of the greatest parts of the human experience. However, far too many of us let their presence or absence, and even more so the value we attribute to them dictate our overall happiness in life. I’ve found that genuinely happy people tend to find complete contentment within themselves, and see all relationships as the awesome extension to their self-content. It’s often when we are not looking for others to fill a particular void, or to make us feel a certain way, that most of the truest and most-valuable relationships are formed.
3. Embrace Change
Life is a constant lesson and happy people tend to be well-aware of that. Not only are they always open to change, but they truly listen to suggestions, respect and consider all opinions and take criticism constructively rather than offensively.
4. Celebrate Rather Than Compare Themselves To The Accomplishments Of Others
Jealousy is a killer, and as Gary Allan once said, “You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.” We are all capable of accomplishing anything in this life and are the only ones that are going to find the drive within ourselves to do it. Rather than observe and compare to those who have accomplished, the truly happy tend to celebrate it and use it as motivation to accomplish things within their own lives.
5. Never Dwell In Being A Victim
We’ve all been the so-called ‘victim’ to several things in life. Whether it be an unexpected break-up, getting fired from a job, or even something as serious as the recipient of domestic abuse. Truly happy people tend to be those who choose not to dwell in it. They choose to let the victimization strengthen them, rather than wear it as a badge of weakness or as the thing that makes them consistently worthy of receiving sympathy.
6. They Live In The Present
As fun as reminiscing about the past or fantasizing about the future can be, nothing will ever be done in anything but the present and happy people tend to realize that. Not only do they realize it, but they tend to use it as motivation to make the most of it. In addition to being motivating, presence can also come in handy for truly appreciating those moments of relaxation, allowing yourself to be truly in them, rather than projecting future concerns into them.
7. Trust That Everything Happens For A Reason
This can very easily be paired with the choice to not be a victim, but happy people tend to trust the process and existence of everything in their life. They know that nothing is ever too big to handle and choose to embrace what life is currently throwing at them rather than cowering at the sight of it.
8. They Don’t Let Money Dictate Their Lives
Nobody is denying that in this world right now we all need money to exist, and as a result many of us spend the bulk of our lives doing things that help us earn it. What I’ve found to differentiate happy people is that they don’t let money be the ultimate dictator in their life. They still make sensible choices within their means, but they never let money: A) prevent them from pursuing a so-called “risky” passion, B) be the factor that is blamed for why their life is so miserable, C) complain about how little they have. There are creative ways to do everything in this world, and seeing money as only being possible to make in the standard ways is the most crippling thing to that creativity.
9. Look Within For Solutions
One of the most powerful realizations a genuinely happy person will often operate based on is “change starts within.” The empowerment that comes as a result of not only realizing this but even more so in using it as the backbone to everything in life can be quite remarkable. There are thousands of books, mantras, techniques and practices out there that can all help us to find solutions to so many things in life, but they all require one thing to truly be serviceable: the consciousness to support them.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
What started as a coup d'état is now moving into the 'purge' phase. On May 22 the Thai military, after six months of political bickering, dumped the elected politicians and said 'enough was enough'. The street protests were not peaceful and people died, many more were injured. So decry the move away from democracy if you feel so self-righteous but realize that many good Thai people are alive because of this move to peaceful progress rather than a continued, and violent, stalemate.
One thing is very clear, three weeks into this regime. It has been brilliantly planned and executed, so far. There is no way this coup was a whim of General Prayuth, fed up with political talks going nowhere. There is a grand plan behind all this, 'grand' being the key word. The re-writing of school's curriculum to reflect the true nature of historical battles rather than the rather romantic versions Thais have learned as they grew up. Students will also be taught about the nature of corruption and how it has been such a bad influence in the Kingdom. These changes of the curriculum are not whimsy, they have been carefully researched and planned. They are grand and worthy plans indeed.
Let's move south to the former tropical paradise, now euphemistically called 'Phuket Inc.' Greed-gone-crazy as a chair and table on the beach has grown into elaborate 150 pax beach clubs in a matter of four or five years. And not just one establishment. Literally hundreds of unregistered, unlicensed, illegal constructions have sprung up along former pristine beaches to overcharge silly tourists for the pleasure of a beer or a hamburger overlooking the west coast beaches. Now these establishments have seven days to reverse time and remove the buildings, some extremely extravagant and expensive. This wasn't a knee-jerk decision - this has been clinically planned and executed with documents and the legals all carefully prepared.
Look no further than the Phuket's very own 'Day of the Long Swords', D-Day for the local taxi and tuk tuk industry, when the army and police moved in, arrested 95 taxi drivers (plus a few allegedly corrupt officials), pulled down their little 'gang huts' and, in one swift motion, dismantled decades of rife corruption, intimidation, extortion, bashing's and even deaths in the battle for their slice of the lucrative public transport income pie. You don't have to be half smart to realize that public transport in Phuket has been priced well in excess of world standards - around five times the price of similar services in the capital, Bangkok, or more. Now the roads are free to be repopulated with a useful, workable and fair public transport 'system'. Again, this has not just been a 'good idea', it has been thoroughly and strategically planned. The replacement plans were already worked out it seems.
Then there is the country's broadcasting services. On Day One of the coup all TV and radio was taken off air and only the government stations allowed to broadcast. (In those first few days there were calls for a new music director of the military-run radio station with a handful of folksy, patriotic Thai songs playing on high rotation. But I suspect even these songs had been carefully picked for their benign nature to start the process of 'healing'.) Three weeks later and all cable services, local and overseas, have been restored. But small commercial 'community' radio stations in Thailand are still off air as the purge sorts out the 'real' from the purely political. This is going to take longer than we might think as the many thousands of small radio stations need to be individually checked for technical compliance (and political compliance one would assume). But there seems to be a plan to all this, hammered out over time, not merely in the hours or days following May 22.
Importantly, there was a detailed 'road map' to a return to full democracy issued days after the coup. Was this document hastily hacked together by the military PR department in the hours following the official Coup? Of course, not. It is clearly a well-researched document with the hand of wiser political academics seen in the writing and preparation. This road map details the many stages of social and political reform necessary before fruitful elections can be considered in the former Land of Smiles.
In 2014 every business, event or idea needs a catchphrase. The Military PR Department (they obviously have one) have come up with the concept of 'bringing happiness back to the Thai people'. It cuts through the politics of colored shirts, the long decade of bickering and offers the Thai people what they love and appreciate most.
So, the hand of detailed and rigorous planning appears behind just about every move of the Thai Junta so far. The longer you live in this wonderful place, the more you realize that there are firmer hands on the steering wheel than the elected politicians. Whether it is a plan to De-Thaksinise Thailand or just restore civility and pave the road ahead, it IS a Grand Plan.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
The man who built one of the most famous bikes in the world, Ben Hardy … Ben Hardy, born Benjamin F. Hardy, was an African-American motorcycle engineer and chopper builder, who is best known for creating the customized choppers for the characters ‘Captain America’ and ‘Billy’ which featured in the 1969 Peter Fonda road movie Easy Rider, a movie which influenced more people to take an interest in motorcycles and choppers than any other.
The “Captain America” bike, made from a then 20 year old, heavily customized Harley-Davidson “Panhead” is considered one of the most iconic motorcycles ever built, one which captured the zeitgeist of a generation and became an anti-establishment symbol…