Leadership, philosophy, clear thinking, and living a good life with simplicity

Philosophy professor Marietta McCarty, and New York Times bestselling author questions one of her college students about “what is a good life”.
“Good living means having the time to actually think…”, said the student as reported by Marietta McCarty in her book “how philosophy can change your life, 10 ideas that matter most”.
Good living is about investing time to produce ideas which are the building blocks of our lives.  Thinking produces ideas which help us to find our way and know what really matters.
marietta1Clear thinking is a lasting benefit of quiet introspection, solitude, and good conversation which cultivate our sense of wonder.
The first idea developed in this book turns around the concept of “Simplicity.”
McCarty gives us food for thoughts about simplicity. She develops this topic based on ideas of ancient philosopher Epicurus, and modern thinker Charlotte Joko Beck.
Epicurus, 341 BCE, a citizen of Athens, decided to lead a private life for his tranquility. He decided that public life and politics in particular made tranquility impossible.
Charlotte Joko Beck is an American pianist who delved into the study of Zen Buddhism after assuming the responsibilities of a single mother of 4 children.
With the conceptual framework. and the ideas of these thinkers, McCarty invites us to reflect and hold conversations on simplicity, prudence, needs, wants, independence, and freedom from our own ego and self-concern.
Charlotte Joko Beck calls life “a very simple matter”. What is simplicity? What is a simple way of living? It is as simple as having the basics that we must have for good living.
We need to leave behind complicated lives to “savor a life spent enjoying the simple pleasures which feed our essential selves.
Our first priority is to be a mental and spiritual well-being. We do not need much to satisfy our material needs. We overlook “ordinary” joys when we overextend our reach into the world of things. We are moving fast to acquire things and lifestyle. Debt conquers our peace of mind. We become “multitasker”. We are not in the center of our lives. Our energy is scattered and depleted. Epicurus
We are racing to nowhere. This prevents us to think and produce ideas. Clear thinking is impossible if material concerns remain our priority and our goals.
This endless race of materialism and acquiring stuff is a dead end of anxiety and sadness.
Simplicity is a prerequisite for thinking clearly. It clears the mind as a dust cloth, and as the mind brightens, clear thinking is possible, and the fountain of ideas and simple pleasures is open.
Charlotte Joko Beck agrees with Epicurus on living a life’s simple pleasures.
“Go slow to go fast”, said Best-selling author Chris Brady in his acclaimed book “One month in Italy and Rediscover the art of Vacation.”
Epicurus in his “Letter to Menoecus” said “Pleasure is the end…. Freedom from pain in the body and trouble in the mind.”
His philosophy evolved from his life experience: pleasure is the main ingredient of a good life and simplicity is the key to obtaining pleasure and minimizing pain.
Extravagance has consequences, he said inviting us to discover the freedom that comes from needing little.
Prudence vs Desire
Epicurus is known for his accent on pleasure as the aim of life. But, in my studies of his philosophy as mentioned by McCarty, his central virtue is prudence. This requires a rigorous examination of the circumstances of our lives.
While pleasure is the goal of life, we must be very smart in how we go about achieving it. Desire is a powerful fuel. Prudence can keep desire in check with its sensible detection of the true needs in our lives.
Epicurus made a critical distinction between needs and wants. Some desires are natural, other desires are vain, he said.
We have the power of discernment and we can figure out what is essential for a pleasurable life and what is not.
Just as Epicurus departed from public life in Athens, Professor McCarty invites us to shift- not necessarily physically, but surely mentally and spiritually- away from the roar of mainstream culture’s advertising and media glitz.”charlotte

Bestselling author Orrin Woodward invites us to “escape the financial matrix” which is a web of debt which brings control and profit for the elite, stress, debt,  and anxiety for the masses.
Epicurus is optimistic. His idea is we have the ability to deal with mental disturbance using our reasoning power to adjust our lives accordingly. He elevates mental pleasures over physical pleasures. Mental pleasures are more numerous; more easily controlled, and rarely have painful consequences.
We can temper our desire by disciplining ourselves to need less.

Beck said desire causes suffering. We have to let go our ego by avoiding to manipulate life to suit our expectations. We need to be our own measure of success, and grow confident that an unadorned life is also full of pleasure and lasting satisfaction.

philosophyPhilosophy is the act of asking question. I invite you to reap the rewards of hearts and minds by reflecting, and sharing your personal experiences on the following questions.

-What are some of your life’s simple pleasures? Why do you forget them?

– Do you confuse what you need and what you want?

– Describe what you need for a satisfying life? Are you surprised  at the things that you do not include?

-Are you “too busy”?

– When was the last time you just sit and do nothing?

If you have a good appetite for food for thought, I invite you to read Marietta MacCatty’s book “How Philosophy can save your life, 10 ideas that matter most”.

Roosevelt Jean-Francois

Tennis Player Victoria Duval is back on the court and shared a life leadership lesson about her dreams, struggle, victory

vicduv4I just read that story penned by tennis player Victoria Duval announcing her return to the court after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I was happy to hear she is now cancer free after she underwent chemotherapy and treatment. I feel inspired by her story. I know her parents. I went to the same school with his father. Her mother and father are both medical doctors who went through deep challenges to raise their 2 sons and their 19 year old daughter Victoria Duval.

Victoria is a great story of Dreams, Struggle, Victory. She was 7, when she dreamed of  playing tennis and conquerred the world one set and tie break at a time.

Her struggle started when she was robbed at gunpoint and held hostage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she grew up. Her father had his legs broken, his left arm crushed, his ribs fractured ribs, after he stayed 11 hours under the earthquake destroyed his in January 2010 in Haiti. vicduval7

She was 17 when she made her first professional appearance at the US Open in 2013. Then in 2014, she was in Wimbledon before she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Today, she is claiming her victory to life. She is cancer free, she is writing her memoir, and she just wrote this story for the online magazine The players Tribune,

I hope you find the same joy, passion, and inspiration I had when I read this story that I share with you below.vicduv3

My prayers are with the Duval’s family for their dreams, struggle, victory.

God bless,


June of 2014, at the age of 18, I was competing in a tournament in Mexico when I felt a large lump in my neck. I was traveling with a coach at the time. I didn’t think anything of it but informed my mother immediately.

Just to be safe I did some scans when I got home and they told me that everything seemed to be okay. My mother and I traveled to Europe a few days later. I was extremely excited to go to Wimbledon — I’d only played the junior event, never the women’s. My ranking wasn’t high enough to get into the main draw, but I had made it to the qualifying rounds. Three wins, and I was in.

A few weeks into the trip, the lump kept getting bigger and bigger. My mom, relying on her medical background, had a hunch that something was very wrong based on its location. The tournament doctor, agreeing with my mother’s intuition, quickly arranged for an emergency biopsy.

The day before my first round of qualifying, I was told that the results came in. That was probably one of the most stressful moments of my life. My legs were shaking as I made my way over to the doctor’s office. I didn’t really know what to think, to be honest, but nothing could have prepared me for the news I was about to hear.

She said I had cancer.

As soon as she said that, I immediately blacked out and cried hysterically. I didn’t know much about cancer — I just automatically associated it with death. This may sound dramatic, but I even started thinking about how I wanted to spend my last moments on Earth.

The physical therapist who had accompanied me to the office told me that if I wanted to go home I could. But going home was the last thing I wanted to do. I came to England with one goal— to get through qualifying and play in the main draw at Wimbledon. And I made a decision that I wasn’t going to let this diagnosis stop me.


The physical therapist advised me to keep the news as private as possible, and to stay focused on the tournament. For better or worse, my state of denial made focusing quite simple. I went on to win all three of my qualifying matches — and, in the first round of the main draw, even beat a girl ranked Top 30 in the world.

I didn’t know much about cancer— I just automatically associated it with death.

Once my illness was more thoroughly explained to me, I realized that I had a great chance of winning the battle with cancer. My fears started to slowly dissipate. And in the same way that I relied on my faith to get me through qualifying, I knew that God had a plan for me in this new battle.

When I flew home, I went to the hospital to do some more tests and build a plan of treatment. Hearing the effects and process of chemotherapy terrified me. Nonetheless, I was optimistic.

That optimism was short lived. A few days later, after finishing my first round of chemo, I lost hope. I didn’t see how I was going to be able to deal with feeling so horrible for three months. But I somehow found the strength to persist.

Every two weeks, my parents drove me to Jacksonville for treatment. Words can’t really express what it feels like to go through chemotherapy. The constant urge to throw up, headaches, stomach pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, metal taste in your mouth, and the list continues. The good news for me was that I was in stellar shape before starting treatment, so my body responded well. I was even able to play some tennis.

fter completing my last round of treatment in September, I cried enough tears to fill a lake. Tears of joy, of course. Three months felt like an eternity, but I did it! I won my battle with cancer!

My oncologist informed me that the fight wasn’t over, however. He said the road to recovery would be a long and arduous one. I thought, well, how bad could this be? The tough stuff is over now! Not so fast…

I started playing tennis again in late November. I was ecstatic to be back on court. Even though my body didn’t last long at practice, it surely felt like a privilege. In December, I started doing a lot of pool workouts with my physical therapist to start building some strength. The first month was very difficult. My muscles had practically atrophied. At the time, it seemed impossible to get back in shape. But I kept pushing. After a few months, I became strong enough to graduate from physical therapy to tougher fitness training with a conditioning coach. In March, my trainer and I felt that it was time to really focus on the gym. From a tennis perspective, my timing was there. But physically, I couldn’t keep up on the court.

I started to feel much better around April — though still not even at 50 percent of where I was before treatment. For the past two months, it has been steady progress: 30 minutes in the gym, turning to an hour, then turning to an hour and a half. At this rate, I’m going to be back to doing what I love in no time!

My goal is to be playing tournaments in a few weeks. I am also writing my memoir, coming out Fall 2016, in which I will elaborate in much more detail about my journey.

This journey has been a tough but educational one. The most important lesson I learned is appreciation. I learned that good health is a privilege — and that, once you have something taken away from you, you begin to realize how much you took it for granted.

Finally, I learned that everything happens for a reason. God has opened my eyes to a new meaning of life, and showered me with many blessings. Little did I know how much of a blessing this illness would end up being.

I wouldn’t change what I went through for the world.

Setting People Free at the Life Leadership Summer Leadership Convention this week-end in Green Bay, Wisconsin

I spent this week-end at the Life Leadership Summer Convention with my three kids, a lot of friends, and thousands and thousands of members of the Life Leadership Compensated Community in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We had fun, we learned, and we got inspired,uplifted, and renewed with passionate vigor and lasting motivational speeches and, meaningful conversations with top leaders and achievers in the Life Leadership Compensated Community.

IMG_3673I flew from Fort-Lauderdale to O’hare, Chicago, and drove to Green Bay, WI. As a Green Bay fan, I was anxious to discover the Lambeau Stadium, home of the Green bay Packers and the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi for whom “winning is everything”.

Bestselling author, and CEO of Life Leadership, Chris Brady kicked off the even with these simple words: “We set people free”.

IMG_3620LIFE Leadership is dedicated to providing solid world-class training to any individual ready to commit to a lifestyle full of challenges and success”, he told a very enthusiastic audience.

Life Leadership has delivered what it said we can expect from a leadership convention. This is a place to learn the newest, most stimulating and insightful information, and to bond with our community on a much deeper level

Always a blast, the Leadership Conventions offer an unforgettable weekend full of training, inspiration, cheering, and fun. Top LIFE industry leaders share personal insights and life-changing information that will help us catapult our leadership development and self education business and life to new heights.

There was never a dull moment at this Leadership Convention. I jumped on my feet with excitement and shouting with enthusiasm.

IMG_3690The speakers were outstanding covering every aspect of building and developing the LIFE business while teaching principles of leadership and personal development.

Haitians find Hope through Life Leadership.

I was so delighted to see how many Haitians who came from Haiti to participate in this event. They were  proud to carry the blue and red flag to cross the Convention stage as they were being recognized for their achievements for the last quarter.

Haitian Leader Thierry Laplanche, who won the top gun power player contest, the higher quarterly most disputed contest in the Life Leadership Community, shared his dream that ‘one day, the Haitian flag will be on the podium by the US, and Canadian flags”.

“This will be a symbol of Haiti being on its way to prosperity, wealth, and peace, and a symbol that Life Leadership can change the world”, said Laplanche, a medical doctor, turned to be a leadership expert and the one of the top community builders in Haiti at the moment.IMG_3681

Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned professional, Leadership Conventions will inspire, motivate, and compel you to keep moving forward.



Leadership du Coeur!

C’est le philosophe Blaise Pascal qui nous apprenait que le “coeur a ses raisons que la raison ignore”. L’expert en leadership Orrin Woodward, qui va publier son dernier livre LeaderShift à la mi-avril, précise, pour sa part, que votre “coeur est l’essence même de votre direction et de votre leadership” qui est votre capacité d’influencer les autres.

Votre leadership est determiné beaucoup plus par qui vous êtes que par ce que vous faites. Voulez-vous servir les autres ou tout simplemen être servi?

Le premier travail du leader, selon Woodward, c’est de cultiver l’amour des autres dans son coeur et développer son caractère qui est un travail intérieur.  Il faut arriver à avoir un thermostat pour réguler son attitude par rapport aux situations qui arrivent et qui souvent ne dependent pas de nous. Toutefois, notre réponse et notre réaction dépendent de notre conditionnement intérieur. Et c’est ce conditionnement intérieur qui influence les autres à long terme.  

Quand quelque chose de mauvais arrive, le leader se concentre immédiatement sur la réduction de ses effets négatifs et apprend de la situation. Pas de rechignard. Le leader est celui qui a de la résilience. Il passe rapidement de l’identification d’un problème à sa solution tout en faisant l’apprentissage de la douleur générée par cette situation.

Peut-on s’attendre à des résultats positifs en adoptant une attitude négative et en étant déprimé pendant des semaines, des mois, parfois même des années?

Les pensées négatives drainent notre énergie mentale. Elles rentrent timidement dans notre esprit et prennent siège dans le coeur. Elles sont comme des mauvaises herbes dans notre jardin.Elles détruisent le sentiment d’amour

La clé est d’éviter aux mauvaises herbes (pensées négatives) d’entrer à l’esprit, pour ne pas se déplacer vers le cœur (sentiments) et la bouche (paroles). Les mauvaises herbes sont beaucoup plus faciles à tirer quand au niveau de l’esprit, mais beaucoup plus difficiles quand on les laisse s’enraciner dans le cœur et bouche. Il faut éviter que votre esprit soit un sol fertile pour cultiver les mauvaises herbes.  

Les leaders sont les jardiniers de leur propre esprit. Ils identifient  et arrachent  les mauvaises herbes rapidement. Les vrais leaders  savent qu’ arracher les mauvaises herbes est un travail intérieur. En cas de difficultés, ils ont la discipline de chercher de l’aide auprès d’un mentor refusant de contaminer les autres avec leurs graines de mauvaises herbes.

L’une des premières missions du leader est de se débarasser des mauvaises herbes, préserver son esprit et protéger son coeur, car c’est de l’abondance du cœur que la bouche parle.

Le leadership se produit quand les gens ont confiance dans le leader. Si l’attitude de quelqu’un est imprévisible, il se disqualifie pour le leadership, jusqu’à ce qu’il apprenne à tirer ses propres mauvaises herbes.




Team Leader Orrin Woodward: Top Leadership Award 2011 from the International Association of Business

I’m proud to be part of Orrin Woodward’s leadership team. I mentioned his ideas several times on my book http://www.leadershipsurlevif.com.

.The leadership results are in. 2012 is starting off with a bang for Orrin Woodward and his community. Mr. Woodward was just awarded one of the top leadership awards in the world for 2011. The Top 10 finalist competing for the award is a veritable “Who’s Who” list in the field of leadership. The IAB, using numerous criteria to separate the contenders, awarded Orrin as its Top Leader for 2011! Here are the background details on this coveted award:

Who is the International Association of Business (IAB)?

The IAB is a million plus member nonprofit organization, helping American small businesses start, grow and effectively create jobs in the US. President Shane Madigan shares the vision of the IAB:

“This is the dawn of a new generation in America. It is a time of tremendous growth, innovation and communication of American entrepreneurs and the Association. For nearly three decades, IAB has created and navigated innovative solutions that provide basic protections for small business owners, the self employed and their families. The innovation, vision and leadership of our founder, Mr. James C. Wood, is unprecedented. Mr. Wood has redefined innovation in the Association industry. IAB remains a center of education and access to membership benefits that helps independent business owners and the self employed prosper with abundance in this new age of entrepreneurship.”

What is the IAB Leadership Award?

As part of this innovation, the IAB presents its Small Business Awards, recognizing and awarding businesses who achieve both qualitative and quantitative results in their organization. There are ten separate awards presented each year with the Leadership Award being the highest reconition given among the 10 categories.

What is the criteria for receiving the Leadership Award?

According to the IAB site, the Leadership Award, “. . . applies to ones own leadership principles and how they help develop and influence successful leaders throughout American businesses. The criteria for the IAB Awards winners includes:

– Originality of ideas

– Practicality of ideas

– Presentation style

– Testimonials

– Impact of ideas

– Quality of web content, publications and writings

– Ranking of website in America”

Who were the contenders for the 2011 Leadership Award?

http://www.jimcollins.com : Jim Collins

http://www.giantimpact.com : John Maxwell

http://www.stephencovey.com : Stephen Covey

http://www.kenblanchard.com : Ken Blanchard

http://www.robinsharma.com : Robin Sharma

http://www.marshallgoldsmith.com : Marshall Goldsmith

http://www.tompeters.com : Tom Peters

http://www.tonyrobbins.com : Anthony Robbins

http://www.straightfromthegut.com : Jack Welch

http://www.orrinwoodward.com : Orrin Woodward

Who is the 2011 Top Leadership Award Winner?

Although everyone of the Top 10 finalists is a winner, only one can receive the prize. The 2011 Top Leadership Award was presented to Orrin Woodward – Founder of two multi-million dollar leadership companies – LIFE and TEAM.

Orrin is a New York Times Best-Selling Co-Author of Launching a Leadership Revolution, Top Leadership Blogger, and recognized Leadership Guru. His first solo book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE was released in 2011 and is achieving international acclaim for its character-centered leadership resolutons.

Congratulations to Orrin Woodward and his entire leadership team for raising the bar in the field of leadership!