Keep the Focus on Yourself

Happy Friday, Comrades!

It feels like a war sometimes as I travel the roads of my life!  Always having to look over my shoulders is something I don’t have to do here in Puerto Viejo.  So, let me lend a TGIF for us ALL today!  T.G.I.F.!  BOOM!

Now, I know I touch on many different topics here.  Yet, refresh yourself, if you will, that the mission of Educational Excellence is to illustrate how to take charge of your own education.  Now, I am not suggesting eliminating all of the components in our current Western concept of education.  The youth and current generation are being groomed to “fit in to” our current social organization(s), polity (-ies), and economic goals of amassing wealth at any cost while maintaining military power.  Besides, we can pass and implement laws but it takes more to change a person’s moral judgment lacking wisdom and clarity.  I learned critical thinking, logic, discipline, concept development/abstract thinking, theoretical and organizational skills as well as communication skills in most of my classes in public, private, and university schooling.  I still use many of them but they were each an integral part of a network of “learned survival skills”.  These skills are not taught in any webinar, seminar, or course.  It’s essentially that “self-education” concept that I emphasize through Educational Excellence.  Find out who you are.  Then, discover what you need to learn to make YOURSELF and the world we live in better.  THEN, learn those things “by any means necessary”, a la Malcolm X!  Easier said than done.  Stay focused!!

I want to paint this picture real quick about what I’ve learned about MYSELF since being able to slow down in my retirement over the past four years.  First of all, my spiritual life needed a jump start.  I had tried to develop it before but it’s hard to do while on the financial “monkey-go-round”.  I took yoga classes, meditated, and prayed.  I joined meditation groups and attended some spiritual activities in South Florida. But my breakthrough came when I retired here … on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.  I was able to make my own schedule and get things done in my own time like completing my third book.  Soon after the federal student loan finished subtracting money from my pension checks each month, things got even better.  I was able to get my horrid teeth fixed because I could afford to do so “out of pocket” here in Puerto Viejo.  Most recently, after walking with a “baston” (cane) from Valencia, Spain for three to four years, I no longer need it.  It’s not pretty but I motivate myself.  When I got the electric bike, riding it was a bit cumbersome with the cane not to mention dangerous.  As well, when I got the wheels, I was given an opportunity to use a friend’s Jiu-Jitsu gym across town from where I reside.  I work on my quads, my calves, and the hamstrings not to mention toning up the upper body.  My legs and back are slowly getting stronger as I dedicate 3 mornings a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) to my hour-long routine … and I stick to it.  Can you say, “No hip replacements!”

There are things going on for me now that are “works in progress” regarding my short-term goals.  Some are financial (nothing serious, just a final arrangement plan), a few trips, and maybe … just maybe another manuscript!  Don’t hold me to that last one because I’m experiencing too much growth and enjoyment focusing on myself!!  Besides, the blog is attracting more than 50 people to receive notices when I post each Friday. Shucks, I even put back on a few pounds!  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!  

In closing, in my last piece, I had some grammatical fun with the words “deprived” vs “depraved”.  The interpretations can be hair-thin.  Spell check gave me a recommendation which I used.  A good friend made another suggestion.  I went back and moved things around.  Feel free to give me yours … anytime!  And don’t forget to keep the focus on yourself!!  At least, you can make yourself a better person.  Enjoy the journey!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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