August 24

Look to the * for today’s advice.



John Green 1977

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One user asked how he deals with his anxiety while appearing at press events for the screen adaptation of his novel Paper Towns. 

In a word: Poorly,” Green wrote. “I’ve known that I have this mental illness for a long time, and I’ve had a lot of therapy and learned a lot of strategies for dealing with my illness. I know the benefits of exercise and meditation and medication and CBT strategies and etc.”

You may wake up in the morning and wonder, “What’s the point of trying?” With CBT, you learn to tell yourself, “That’s not a helpful thought. Making an effort has lots of rewards. I’ll start by getting out of bed.”

*See a therapist today and ask about CBT strategies that you can use to help with anxiety. Of course you will exercise today and throw in some meditation too. Watch some of John Green’s Crash Course videos to learn something new today. As a U.S. History teacher, I would like to use these videos instead of actually teaching each subject.


Cal Ripken Jr. 1960

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On the night before the start of the season in which he would break one of the most prestigious records in baseball history, Ripken played two-on-two wearing loafers, because there was a hoop and there were players. Did his team win? “We crushed,” he said.

*If you can’t get 18 guys and umpires together to play a game of baseball, at least get 4 to play some 2 on 2 hoops and crush your opponent.

No matter what, do not miss work today. Keep the streak alive.


Howard Zinn 1922

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That was the spirit of Howard: think for yourself, act for yourself, challenge and question authority. But do it with others. As he writes in Marx in Soho, “If you are going to break the law, do it with two thousand people … and Mozart.”

Support Teaching for Change

Your donation to Teaching for Change (a 501-c-3) is tax-deductible and helps us provide teachers and parents with tools to create schools where students learn to read, write, and change the world.

*Think for yourself, act for yourself, and question authority today. Consider donating to Teaching for Change and start reading A People’s History of the United States. As a U.S. History teacher, I would like to use nothing but Zinn’s books and website.


Vince McMahon 1945

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Keep It Exciting and Fun

You have to begin with passion and then keep that passion burning. That may mean never being fully satisfied, but if you’re having fun along the way, you’ll stay motivated and happy. McMahon says, “I have a voracious appetite, for life and everything in it.”

*As you are creating your dream job/business, remember to keep it exciting and fun – it will keep you motivated and happy.


Dave Chappelle 1973 – watch Chappelle’s Show

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It’s not just a show — it’s a social phenomenon. Dave Chappelle’s singular point of view is unleashed through a combination of stand-up bits and street-smart sketches. Hailed by critics and beloved by fans, Chappelle’s Show brings the funk and the noise — and some of the funniest comedy on television.

*Take a break from reality and enter the world of Dave Chappelle.


Marlee Matlin 1965 – noodle kugel

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When her father had a “Deaf Child” sign installed on her street, Marlee learned to see it as an opportunity. “At first I wasn’t crazy about the sign. Instead of helping to protect me, I thought of it as telling everyone I was different, that I needed to have ‘help.’ But it was my mom and dad who told me I should look at the sign a different way. That sign said, ‘I’m Marlee! Want to stop by and say HI? I’ll be your best friend!’ None of the other kids had a sign of their own in the neighborhood! And they were right. What a feeling of validation that was!”

*Watch Marlee Matlin become the youngest to win an Oscar’s Best Actor award in Children of a Lesser God while enjoying her traditional Passover Kugel

SNUB – Reggie Miller

Review –

  • See a therapist
  • Play some 2 on 2 hoops
  • Question authority
  • Keep it exciting and fun
  • Watch Chapelle’s Show
  • Make noodle kugel

August 23

Look for the * for today’s advice.



Jeremy Lin 1988

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Believe in yourself when no one else does. Lin’s only the 4th graduate from Harvard to make it to the NBA.  He’s also one of only a handful of Asian-Americans to make it. He was sent by the Knicks to play for their D-League team 3 weeks ago in Erie, PA.  He’d already been cut by two other NBA teams before joining the Knicks this year.  You’ve got to believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

*Believe in yourself. If an Asian-American Harvard graduate can cause Linsanity in the NBA, you can do anything today.


Barbara Eden 1931

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‘I spin three times a week. Then I work with a trainer for half an hour with weights. It’s important to lift weights for your bones.’


Jeannie’s skimpy pink-and-red harem costume was an instant iconic look for the show, but aside from the fall 1965 pilot, titled “The Lady in the Bottle,” Eden was significantly covered up for the first 10 episodes of the series.

*Take a spin class today and work with your trainer for half an hour with weights – for your bones. Watch I Dream of Jeannie for motivation.


River Phoenix 1970

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River’s sister Rain described how the three eldest children decided to turn vegan. They were on a ship to Florida when they witnessed how a group of fishermen were slamming live fish against nails sticking out of the side of the boat. This disturbed the children greatly, and they told their parents that they would no longer eat any animal products.

*Think of going vegan today. Animals have souls too. This means you’ll have to ignore the FOOD section today.


Harry Frank Guggenheim 1890

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The Guggenheim Family has created a legacy by funding the development of foundations, schools, the creation of museums, art collections, acts of individual creation, innovations in science, aeronautics, and the advancement of critical thought.

The case of the Guggenheim family demonstrates how donors who have strong ideologies behind their philanthropic activities and continue to be an active part of their foundations create lasting grounded organizations

*Now that you are making, saving, and investing money, develop a strong ideology behind your philanthropy. If nothing else, take today to think about donating to the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation or the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation


Rick Springfield 1949

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“When you get depressed you look in and ask what’s going on. Introspection is a great tool for an artist,” he says. “It does help in a weird way.”

*Look in as you listen to Rick Springfield today. Today is also the day to let your friend know that you are in love his girlfriend.


Kobe Bryant 1978 – griddle seared Kobe

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In a 1998 interview with Sports Illustrated, Joe Bryant told the magazine that Kobe was in fact named after a restaurant in Philadelphia. “I don’t know if I should say that, they might want the rights to the name,” said the father of the then-rising star. Ironically, owners of Kobe temporarily renamed the restaurant “The Answer” before the 2001 NBA finals where Allen Iverson’s 76ers squared off against Kobe (and Shaq’s) Lakers. The Lake Show won the series 4-1 and The Answer Japanese Steakhouse became Kobe once again. Unfortunately, the restaurant has since closed. Sorry Kobe fans, no pilgrimage for you.

*Enjoy this Kobe steak and don’t share it with anyone. Wash it down with a Black Mamba punch – in fact, turn the drink into a round of shots, and you take all the shots. This means you’ll have to ignore the SOUL section today.

Black Mamba

Austin bartender Stephanie Teslar loves mulled wine; she also believes that wine is an underused cocktail ingredient. So, in her punch-like Black Mamba, she combines rich house-mulled wine with gin and applejack. It all gets a lift from lemon, Fernet Branca and mint, giving the unexpected combination a pleasantly odd cooling quality. The result is a dark purple drink with an edge. Or a bite, you might say.

SNUB – Shelley Long

Review –

  • Believe in yourself
  • Take a spin class
  • Think of going vegan
  • Develop a strong ideology for your philanthropy
  • Listen to Rick Springfield
  • Make a Kobe steak and a round of Black Mamba shots

August 22

Look to the * for today’s advice.



Ray Bradbury 1920

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Society Dies if We Do Not Think

The idea that dependence on technology is a direct route to a dehumanised society is prevalent across Ray Bradbury’s body of work. From the colonisers of The Martian Chronicles blindly refusing to learn from past mistakes, to the husbands of “Marionettes, Inc” (in The Illustrated Man) being driven from their own homes by the companion robots they bought for their wives, the loss of humanity due to an unquestioning dependence on technology is the downfall for many Bradbury characters. In no book is the importance of “a life of the mind” so central to the story as in his best-known work, Fahrenheit 451.

*Society is dying. I teach teenagers and they are addicted to their phones and cannot verbally communicate with other human beings. Read Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – he warned us.


Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje 1967

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We lived in the gym! Really, it was like a regimen. We had four weeks’ training before principal photography, which consisted of two hours of fight training with swordsmanship and weaponry, and fight choreography, which is quite grueling, and then an hour of weight training and then an hour of cardio. So we did about four hours a day of working out for about four weeks.

*Work out for 4 hours today. Combine weight training, cardio, and boxing. Watch the movie Pompeii for motivation


Bill McCartney 1940

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The mission of Promise Keepers is to issue a catalytic clarion call to the Body of Christ, to hear and obey the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.

He is also the founder of The Road to Jerusalem ministry. The organization’s mission is to encourage Gentile believers in Jesus Christ to embrace the Messianic Jewish community.

*Hear and obey the word of God today, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Take today to embrace another religion.


Ty Burrell 1967

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I think I’m not really willing to travel very much anymore, or miss too many dinners away from my kids,” says Burrell, who shares daughters Frances, 7, and Greta, 5, with wife Holly. “[So] there’s a possibility that I may step away from performing altogether when the show is over.

*Get yourself to a point where you can walk away from your job to spend more time with your family. Watch some Modern Family to get a good look at Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy aka Best Dad Ever!


Kristin Wiig 1973 – watch Bridesmaids

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No one wants to be around the person who spends all their time feeling sorry for themselves.

Melissa McCarthy put it best: You have to fight for your shitty life. Almost everyone has gone through something (or is going through it right now), and we’re great at making excuses for ourselves. Sometimes it’s just easier to sit on your couch, eat yourself to death and watch Cast Away than to get up and do something about it. We feel powerless, scared and alone. But you’re only as powerless as you let yourself feel. Only you have the ability to change your life, which entails that you stop moping, get up and do something about it.

*Fight for your shitty life and watch Bridesmaids today.


Giada De Laurentiis 1970 – peach and bacon frittata

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Aside from being bullied for her command of the English language, she was also saddled with an awful nickname as a child. De Laurentiis told The Chew hosts that she was called Jabba the Hutt — not because of her looks, but because Star Wars had just come out, and “Jabba” and “Giada” sound too similar for kids to resist. Who’s laughing now, kids?

National Eat a Peach Day

August 22 is the National Eat a Peach Day in the United States. This date was chosen because peaches are harvested between June and August.

*Enjoy Jabba aka Giada’s peach and bacon frittata on National Eat a Peach Day.

SNUB – James Corden

Review –

  • Start reading Fahrenheit 451
  • 2 hours of fight training, 1 hour of weights, 1 hour of cardio
  • Embrace another religion
  • Be prepared to walk away from your job
  • Watch Bridesmaids
  • Make peach and bacon frittata

August 21

Look for the * for today’s advice.



Sergey Brin 1973

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Before 1979, Sergey Brin was just another Russian child, living with his parents in a tiny apartment in Moscow and feeling the sting of being Jewish in an anti-Semitic society. But within only a few years, that little boy grew up to be an incredible American success story. His parents — wealthy in terms of education but poor in every other way — fought to bring their young son to America, where the boy first conquered academic life and then the technological world

Brin remembers speaking with his adviser, who told him, “Look, if this Google thing pans out, then great. If not, you can return to graduate school and finish your thesis.” He chuckles, then adds: “I said, ‘Yeah, OK, why not? I’ll just give it a try.'”

*No matter what your past or present is like, keep driving toward your future. Why not? Just give it a try.


Usain Bolt 1986

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“There are no secrets,” he says. “You just have to develop strength, power, acceleration and technique.”

*Try this Usain Bolt speed workout today to develop strength, power, acceleration, and technique.


Thomas Monson 1927

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“We are sons and daughters of a living God, in whose image we have been created. Think of that: created in the image of God. We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power.

*Have a profound new sense of strength and power knowing that you are created in the image of God.


Kenny Rogers 1938

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Yeah but you can spend major money too! It’s one of the downfalls of the business. I had nothing as a child. I kind of blew it out as an adult. When I was a kid growing up in the projects I walked to school through a very wealthy neighborhood and everybody had automatic sprinklers and I thought, ‘That is so cool. Someday I want to have automatic sprinklers.’ So when I got a lot of money the first thing I did was get automatic sprinklers on a 1,200 acre property. I would drive around on my golf cart watching the sprinklers go off. I loved that!

*Don’t be a coward – make a list of the things you want when you strike it rich. Just don’t gamble your money away – you’ve got to know when to hold them – know when to fold them.


Kim Cattrall 1956 – watch Sex and the City

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During an interview with Piers Morgan, Cattrall says she will not do another Sex and the City movie and that she was never really friends with her Sex and the City co-stars.

*Watch Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones in Sex and the City – the TV show and/or movies. If you want a look at some of her classic work, watch Porky’s.


Wilt Chamberlain 1936 – 7-Up and an entire chicken

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When Wilt first went to the Lakers, he asked for 7-Up to be supplied in the locker room.

According to long-time Laker announcer Chick Hearn, Wilt did used to eat an entire chicken at halftime

If Wilt started at the age of 15, from then up to the age of 55 (when the book was published) he would have had 40 years to sleep with 20,000 women, or 500 different women a year—easy math.

That works out to roughly 1.4 women a day.

*Have a date over for some 7-up, chicken, and chill.

SNUB – Hayden Panettiere

Review –

  • Keep driving toward your future
  • Usain Bolt workout
  • You are created in the image of God
  • Don’t gamble your money away
  • Watch Sex and the City
  • 7-Up and a whole chicken

August 20

Look for the * for today’s advice.



Benjamin Harrison 1833

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When Harrison lost his bid for reelection in 1892 to Grover Cleveland, he had himself partly to blame. He had frozen out many of those who should have been most active in his support, and his own party was lukewarm toward him.

In 1896, Benjamin Harrison married his deceased wife’s niece, Mary Lord Dimmick, a widow nearly thirty years his junior.

*If you have frozen someone out lately, take today to think about reaching out to them – you never know when you may need their support. Just stay away from your wife’s niece.


Demi Lovato 1992

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I’ve learned to appreciate my body for what it is. It helps to remind myself how far I’ve come. I recently saw pictures from my first tour, and I spent that whole summer performing in the heat in a red leather jacket because I was ashamed to show my arms. And that was when I was 105 pounds! This tour, I’ve had the confidence to show my arms at every single concert. It may seem like a small thing, but for me, that’s huge.

*Appreciate your body. Buy some clothes to show it off today. Listen to Demi for motivation.


Isaac Hayes 1942

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Born dirt poor on Aug. 20, 1942, in Covington, Tenn., Hayes would move approximately 40 miles north to Memphis as a youngster, and teach himself music.

*Listen to some Isaac Hayes to soothe your soul.


Don King 1931

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King later said of Tyson, “He’s poor, and he’s telling lies. Give me $400 million and say you robbed me. I loved Tyson. We made a lot of money together. He threw his away. I kept mine.”

Tell Yourself You Deserve More

Ever told yourself “I deserve it” when agonizing over the price of takeout after a long day, or trying to justify a new outfit after crushing a presentation at work? We’ve all been there—treating ourselves at the expense of our financial health.

But that’s the old you. Instead of deserving every gadget, weekend getaway, and expensive spa treatment that crosses your path, the new you knows that you deserve more. You deserve to be safe if you lose your job, free of bad debt, and saving for something big that will truly make you happy. The next time you’re tempted to spend, ask yourself: Do you deserve this $40 candle, $25 dinner, $150 pair of sneakers, or do you deserve more? Once you start asking, you’ll be surprised how often you choose to invest in your future instead.

*Are you throwing your money away or keeping it? It’s not every day that you’ll be told to be like Don King, but today is the day to keep your money – you deserve it.


Robert Plant 1948 – listen to Led Zeppelin

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“And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter.”
(“Stairway to Heaven”, Led Zeppelin IV)

Life Lesson: Hang in there baby, it’ll come around. Time and patience can win the day. Be hopeful and stand strong.

*Hang in there baby and listen to both Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant as a solo artist today.


Al Roker 1954 – cheddar crusted shepherd’s pie

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He had gastric bypass surgery and lost 190 pounds, however, the pounds started to creep back on due to the sickness of his father.

At 50 pounds rebound, he made his dying father a promise that he would lose weight and get healthy.

*Listen to a nice mix of Demi Lovato and Led Zeppelin while making Al Roker’s shepherd’s pie. If you’ve lost weight so far this year, don’t start a 50 pound rebound.

SNUB – Amy Adams

Review –

  • Reach out to someone you have frozen out
  • Appreciate your body
  • Keep your money
  • Listen to Led Zeppelin
  • Make cheddar crusted shepherd’s pie

August 19

Look for the * for today’s advice.



Bill Clinton 1946

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Treat People with Respect: People notice when leaders treat the least powerful people with great respect. That establishes connection.

*Connect with people today by treating them with respect. But please leave the young interns alone.


John Stamos 1963

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The good news, other than the fact that you get to stare at the star in his robe, is that the mask is available online — so you too can age (or not age) as gracefully as Uncle Jesse himself. He’s wearing the Bioxidea Miracle 24 Face Mask for Men, which he has also experimented with in the past. And as if things couldn’t get even better, it comes in a women’s version as well.

A simple way to cleanse your face is to:

  1. Rinse the face with warm water to loosen dirt and declog the pores.
  2. Massage your face with the cleanser in small circular motion and leave it on for a few seconds to give it time for the pollutants to be dissolved.
  3. Wipe your face with a face towel or tissue before splashing your face with cold water.

*Order this Bioxidea mask and use it to take care of your face – your money maker!


C.I. Scofield 1843

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“Will you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savour?” “I’m going to think about it,” was the answer. “No, you’re not,” answered M’Pheeters, “you’ve been thinking about it all your life. Will you settle it now? Will you believe on Christ now, and be saved?

Scofield stood silent for a moment in deep thought. Then turning, he looked his friend full in the face and said, “I will,” Then the two men dropped down on their knees side by side in the presence of God.

*Will you believe on Christ now, and be saved? Maybe you’ve been thinking about it your whole life, so do it today – if you truly believe.


Coco Chanel 1883

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It is easy to criticize Chanel for giving up so much of the equity in her firm, but at the same time:

  • She maintained exclusive creative control, which was what mattered to her.
  • Without the Wertheimer money and network, it is likely she would have died in obscurity, the name Chanel never coming into the lexicon as the embodiment of haute couture.
  • She also ended up wealthy herself, and got to do what she loved.

*If you are looking for investors, make sure you still have control of what is most important to you.


Matthew Perry 1969 – watch The Ron Clark Story

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The Ron Clark Academy has assembled a faculty of master educators who have different teaching styles but a shared objective: to demonstrate how to improve student engagement, increase academic rigor, and create a school climate and culture that leads to success for all learners. In other words, we strive to create an environment that exemplifies everything we believe that a school should be, and then we open our doors to share our methods with others in hopes that they, too, will do the same. Our entire staff is committed to fostering a dynamic, passionate learning environment where every child is valued, challenged, loved, and nurtured.

*The public school system is broken and it will only be fixed by people who are actually in the classroom. Politicians, and even school administrators have no idea what students are like today. Watch The Ron Clark Story for evidence. Think of donating to the Ron Clark Academy.


Orville Wright 1871 – hot biscuits and coffee

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What did the brothers eat the morning of the first flight? Hot biscuits and coffee. (p. 55)

“Orville’s Biscuits without milk
1 quart of flour
A pinch of salt
2 heaping teaspoonful of baking powder
Water enough to make a stiff batter. Bake in a quick oven.”

Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871. He dropped out of high school in 1889 to start a printing business, having designed and built a printing press with Wilbur’s help. Although both brothers took turns at flying their planes, it was Orville who was at the helm of the Wright Flyer that took flight in December 1903.

*Before you take flight today, enjoy these Wright Brothers biscuits and coffee

Slick Willy

1 oz. Light Rum (Liquor (White))
0.5 oz. Lemon Juice (Juice)
1 oz. Triple Sec (Liqueur)
1 oz. Brandy (Liquor (White))
Drink Recipe Instruction:

Fill a shaker half full with ice cubes. Pour all ingredients into shaker and shake well. Strain drink into a Cocktail glass and serve.

*Have a Slick Willy and a cigar as a nightcap.

SNUB – Fat Joe

Review –

  • Connect with people
  • Take care of your face
  • Believe on Christ
  • Control what is most important to you
  • Watch The Ron Clark Story
  • Make Wright Brothers hot biscuits and coffee

August 18

Look to the * for today’s advice.



Robert Redford 1936

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Redford was guided as much by frustration as compassion. “I was never a good student,” he says. “I had to be dragged into kindergarten. It was hard to sit and listen to somebody talk. I wanted to be out, educated by experience and adventure, and I didn’t know how to express that.”

*Educate yourself by experience and adventure today. Think of watching Ordinary People – the Oscar winning movie, directed by Redford – especially if you’re dealing with loss.


Bob Harper 1965

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During sudden cardiac arrest — which is caused when the heart’s electrical system suddenly malfunctions — the heart stops beating and blood is no longer pumping through the body or the brain. Death can occur within minutes. Harper probably survived the event because of his excellent physical fitness and the immediate medical attention.

However, the fact that he was in such terrific shape also made having a heart attack at 51 that much more stunning.

He takes time each day to focus on inner calmness.

A three-time New York Times bestselling author, Harper regularly practices transcendental meditation (TM), which involves silently repeating a mantra in order to place your body in a state of profound rest and allow your mind to achieve a sense of peace, as defined by the Mayo Clinic. “TM, yoga, and my dogs really help me with managing my stress,” he emphasizes. “I tell people you have to find whatever it is in your life that you can do to turn off the white noise, just for a few minutes. If it means sitting with your phone off for five or ten minutes and not having to focus on anyone or anything— those things are so good for you. It helps your brain, it helps your body.”

*If you haven’t yet, get a heart checkup today. Would you survive cardiac arrest? Help your brain and body by shutting off the white noise for a few minutes today. Try TM and spending time with your dogs – and shut off that phone for 5 minutes today.


Roberto Clemente 1934

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On the evening of Dec. 31, Clemente boarded a plane filled with relief supplies, but the overloaded plane would never reach its final destination. It plunged into the ocean off the shores of Puerto Rico.

Although millions were grief-stricken upon hearing the heartbreaking news, Clemente’s family and intimate friends – even total strangers who Clemente befriended in his lifetime – weren’t shocked by his actions. On the contrary, it’s a side they already knew existed.

The Roberto Clemente Foundation values your partnership in continuing our mission of Building Nations of Good. Your Donation will be used to help impoverished people around the world and further the mission of the Roberto Clemente Foundation. Thank you for your support.

*Lead by your actions. Think of donating to the Roberto Clemente Foundation.

SIDE NOTE: My older brother was named Ted William after Ted Williams, my dad’s favorite baseball player. His second favorite player was Roberto Clemente. As his second son, I was almost named Roberto! Sometimes, when I drink too much, I take on the alter ego of “Roberto” – my wife does not like these times.


Steve Chen 1978

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“I realized if I didn’t venture out on my own now, I wouldn’t have this opportunity later on in life,” he said. He developed a two-year plan: if his new company didn’t take off in two years, or he ran out of money first, he would try to go back to Paypal and get a job.

*You are well over half way through this year. Consider it a great start to your 2 –year plan to create your own business. You may not have this opportunity later in life.


Patrick Swayze 1952 – watch Ghost

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The downside of the success of Dirty Dancing was that Swayze had found himself typecast. That changed after Ghost, but director Jerry Zucker told PEOPLE that his roles in films such as Roadhouse made him reluctant to even consider Swayze as the male lead. However, Swayze’s reading of the film’s farewell scene changed Zucker’s mind. “We all had tears in our eyes, right there in the office – and we knew how it ends,” Zucker said. “I saw a side of Patrick that I never knew existed.”

*Watch Ghost and maybe make a clay pot with that special someone.


Edward Norton 1969 – Fight Club Cream of Mushroom Soup

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Russell Crowe was considered to play Tyler Durden and had met with a producer to discuss the part, but it was Brad Pitt who ended up with the role, adding $17.5 million to his bank account in the process. Edward Norton was cast by Fincher because of his performance in The People Vs. Larry Flynt, and took the studio’s offer of $2.5 million.

*Invite some friends over to watch Fight Club and serve them this delicious soup. Tell them that you are full and won’t be having any. They all may want to fight you after.

SNUB – Frances Bean Cobain

Review –

  • Educate yourself by experience and adventure
  • Focus on inner calmness
  • Lead by your actions
  • You may not have an opportunity later in life
  • Watch Ghost
  • Make Fight Club Cream of Mushroom Soup