India Goes to the Moon – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 22, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“Determination…I push my limits and I achieve great things.” (click to hear it now)

Space represents such an opportunity for humanity. It is chance for us to work together on something important to all of us.

As The United States has largely rejected its space heritage in recent decades, other nations have stepped up in its place.

Today India took a major step forward in its space program by launching its first unmanned mission to the Moon. It joins its Asian counterparts Japan and China who already have craft orbiting our nearest celestial neighbor.

India’s craft dubbed Chandrayaan-1 – “Mooncraft” in ancient Sanskrit – lifted off today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. The launch site is located on India’s southeast coastline near India’s largest city Chennai.

For longtime readers of this blog, you know I love space. It is my belief that space exploration poses challenges and offers economic opportunities that could fundamentally alter how humans interact on Earth.

It is my firm belief that the global war economy – sadly still far and away Earth’s largest industry – could easily be replaced by a global space economy. In fact, I would argue that economic reasons are the primary driver of wars on our planet. Our planet could be fundamentally improved by the substitution of space exploration for war.

Chandrayaan-1’s two-year mission is to provide the most detailed maps ever of Earth’s nearest neighbor and set the stage for landing an unmanned craft on the Moon’s surface by 2012.

Last October Japan successfully placed it’s Kaguya moon vehicle in orbit around the moon (view Earthrise and Earthset videos from Kaguya). The Japanese have set a goal of 2025 for placing a manned mission on the surface of the moon.

China’s Chang’e vehicle has also been orbiting the Moon for nearly a year now. Russia has announced plans to land on the Moon around 2025 and even NASA has announced plans to return by 2020.

This transition to a spacefaring race is a positive step. Just as human beings the world over took pride in the accomplishment of landing humans on the Moon July 20, 1969; everyone can take pride as other nations continue to push the envelope of exploration in our Solar System.

So it is in a spirit of common cause, common hopes, and common dreams that I congratulate India on its accomplishment today. May Chandrayaan-1 expand human knowledge about the Moon and bring closer the day when humans work together to travel the stars.

That’s one giant step for India and one giant leap for humans in space.

Stay inspired!

Ray

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Omaha – The Affirmation Spot for Monday Octbober 6, 2008

Beautiful Monday to everyone!

April and I took a little road trip this weekend. We drove about 200 miles north to Omaha, Nebraska. From a distance, it’s easy to wonder why people live somewhere. It never ceases to amaze me how you can find the charms of nearly any city with a little looking. Omaha is no different.

We had visited the Henry Doorly Zoo before and knew we were in for a treat. We love zoos and Omaha has one of the nation’s and world’s top-ranked zoos – they say third ranked globally.

The zoo is highlighted by the world’s largest glazed geodesic dome. Called the Desert Dome, the dome houses animals from three of the world’s largest deserts the Namib Desert in Africa, The Red Center in Australia, and the Sonoran in the United States and Mexico.

Beneath the Desert Dome, lies The Kingdoms of the Night. This exhibit includes cave and swamp exhibits featuring eight species of bats, screech owls, and other night time animals such as American alligators.

Henry Doorly Zoo also boasts the world’s largest indoor rainforest – The Lied Jungle. The zoo is a must see, if you ever get to Omaha. If you are into zoos, it’s worth the trip. The zoo is topped off by one of the country’s best aquariums. The highlight is one of the nation’s few tunnel tanks that allows you to walk under the sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and fish.

Saturday we visited a lesser known attraction. Omaha has a stellar botanical garden –Lauritzen Gardens. We lucked into the weekend when Lauritzen had its annual Autumn Ambiance festival. In addition to lovely grounds that feature plants from around the world, Lauritzen was celebrating Omaha’s sister city Shizuoka, Japan.

Lauritzen has completed one of three phases of a Japanese garden project. Activities included traditional Japanese activities such as Japanese tea ceremony, Taiko drumming, traditional dancing, and sake tasting.

My favorite by far was the Taiko drumming performed by Kokyo Taiko drumming based in Lincoln, NE.

Taiko drumming demonstrates that you can tell a story and touch the heart with a single instrument – even a drum. This traditional form of Japanese drumming is at the same time powerful and meditative. It was my first exposure to this art form. I hope it will not be my last.

There was a large contingent from the surrounding Japanese-American community. It was a wonderful and memorable experience to be granted this insight into a culture full of spirit and beauty. Thank you to everyone who participated for giving us a rare opportunity to glimpse Japanese culture.

Saturday evening we had dinner in Omaha’s Old Market. Omaha is following the trend towards a revitalized downtown. The Old Market is comprised of several blocks of old brick buildings that now house some of the cities best dining and specialty shops.

The area features horse-drawn carriages and brick streets. We saw several wedding parties holding receptions in the area. The atmosphere was quaint and very appealing. Definitely worth experiencing while in Omaha.

We are enjoying our time in Omaha. Don’t overlook it, if you ever find yourself in the Midwest! You never know where you might find inspiration.

That’s why it’s easy, if you choose, to stay inspired!

Ray

Thinking Inside the Box


Today’s Affirmation:
Million dollar ideas are as common as grass. My million dollar idea is coming to me today.


How inventive are you? Do you see a roadblock or an opportunity when you encounter a challenge? When your million dollar idea comes along will you recognize it or dismiss it as crazy?

Innovation is not always miraculous. Sometimes it’s simplicity. It’s born of necessity and an otherwise ordinary idea meeting in the right time and place.

We’re all constantly told to “think outside the box” when we need to be creative. Sometimes, though, innovation requires us to think inside the box.

My friend Gerry passed along an e-mail she received about a recent Japanese innovation – square watermelons!

Japanese grocers had a problem. Their stores are much smaller than American stores and so space is limited. Watermelons take up a lot of room and they don’t stack neatly in a tight space.

A natural response would be to say that watermelons are round and that’s just the way it is. However, Japanese farmers decided that if the grocers needed square watermelons they would come up with a way to do it. As it turns out, watermelons will grow in the shape of a square when they are planted in a square box.

Japanese consumers, who also have smaller refrigerators, loved the new watermelons. Farmers were able to sell the melons at premium prices. Everyone won.

At the bottom of the e-mail, its originator offered some outstanding analysis that benefits all of us when confronting a challenging issue.

  • Don’t Assume: The major problem was that most people had always seen round watermelons so they automatically assumed that square watermelons were impossible before even thinking about the question. Things that you have been doing a certain way your entire life have taken on the aura of the round watermelon and you likely don’t even take the time to consider if there is another way to do it. Breaking yourself from assuming this way can greatly improve your overall life as you are constantly looking for new and better ways to do things. This was one of the most difficult things for me to do because most of the assumptions I make, I don’t even realize that I’m making them. They seem perfectly logical on the surface, so I have to constantly make an effort to question them.
  • Question habits: The best way to tackle these assumptions is to question your habits. If you can make an effort to question the way you do things on a consistent basis, you will find that you can continually improve the way that you live your life. Forming habits when they have been well thought out is usually a positive thing, but most of us have adopted our habits from various people and places without even thinking about them. I have changed a large number of habits that I have had after taking the time to question them and continue to do so. Some of them I have know idea where they came from while others I can trace to certain people or instances in my life. It’s a never ending process, but by doing this, you can consistently strive toward making all aspects of your life more enjoyable instead of defaulting to what you have now.
  • Be creative: When faced with a problem, be creative in looking for a solution. This often requires thinking outside the box. Most people who viewed this question likely thought they were being asked how they could genetically alter water melons to grow square which would be a much more difficult process to accomplish. By looking at the question from an alternative perspective, however, the solution was quite simple. Being creative and looking at things in different ways in all portions of your life will help you find solutions to many problems where others can’t see them. I am not a creative person, but I’ve found that the more that you look at things from different perspectives, the more creative I have become. It’s a learned art and builds upon itself.
  • Look for a better way: The square watermelon question was simply seeking a better and more convenient way to do something. The stores had flagged a problem they were having and asked if a solution was possible. It’s impossible to find a better way if you are never asking the question in the first place. I try to ask if there is a better way of doing the things that I do and I constantly write down the things I wish I could do (but currently can’t) since these are usually hints about steps I need to change. Get into the habit of asking yourself, “Is there a better way I could be doing this?” and you will find there often is.
  • Impossibilities often aren’t: If you begin with the notion that something is impossible, then it obviously will be for you. If, on the other hand, you decide to see if something is possible or not, you will find out through trial and error.   Take away the lessons from the square watermelons and apply them to all areas in your life (work, finances, relationships, etc) and you will find that by consistently applying them, you will constantly be improving all aspects of your life.

The famed starfleet captain Jean-Luc Picard once said, “Something is only impossible until it’s not.” Square watermelons are not impossible and neither, more than likely, is your challenge. You just need to look with a fresh pair of eyes. And whether in or out of the box, let your spirit of invention lead you to success.

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.

He is the author of the Anunnaki Awakening series (2015). Book 1 – Revelation – is now available in paperback and on Kindle. This trilogy takes Ancient Aliens out of the past and into the present. An interstellar, interdimensional journey ensues with humanity’s future hanging in the balance.

A Japanese Proverb and a British Challenge – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday October 27, 2007

A wonderful Saturday to everyone!

Today I’d intended to share a Japanese affirmation about not giving up. While looking for the exact quote, I came across a Japanese proverb that ties in nicely with a YouTube challenge from a young man in England.

They complement each other so well that I decided to combine them and make today’s blog truly global. 

I found the Japanese proverb at Quotationspage.com.

It reads:

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”

This proverb is a testament to the fact that small things can make a big positive  difference in the world.

We sometimes get caught up in how much work is involved in changing the world and can become paralyzed by the size of the task. This proverb reminds us that we don’t have to change the whole world to make it better.

A simple word can brighten a day or even a whole winter. We only need look as far as our own experience to confirm this wisdom. We’ve all had someone do something very small for us, at one time or another, that really made our day.

We don’t always have to move the whole mountain. Simply removing the pebble from someone’s shoe is enough.

That brings me to our young friend in England. His YouTube handle is JohnnyDurham19. In March of 2007, he posted a fantastic challenge to people on YouTube, but you don’t have to be a YouTuber to follow his suggestion.

Watch the video.  Think about the Japanese proverb. Together we can all remove a few pebbles from the shoes of our fellow human beings today and make the world a brighter place for everyone.

Have a peaceful Saturday!

Ray The Affirmation Spot.com

New affirmations are available in the Sales, Personal Empowerment, Football, and Arts sections of the website.

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