Here’s how I’m dealing with Covid-19

How about you?

Can I ask if this is a safe place to open up?

Since I can’t hear your response, I will imagine you nodding “yes.”

First, I’m a foreigner living in a Middle Eastern country. That’s curious enough and a surprise to me as well as it is to anyone who knows me. And second, I’m in a high-risk age group of the population. But, I LOVE Istanbul and I feel safe here and yet, afraid at the same time. If I allow myself to look at the negatives, I will drive myself crazy—and raise my BP. I don’t speak the language. Would that matter if I had C-19 symptoms and showed up at a hospital? But I also feel super secure in the fact that the health care system is one of the best in the world. And the Turkish people take care of their own. And as long as I’m living in their country, I’m certain they will take care of me.

So here’s what I’m doing.

First, I got my hair done yesterday. And then walked to my neighborhood Starbucks. It was business as usual but fewer people on the streets. Still, I nodded at the familiar smiling faces and thanked the staff at Starbucks by slipping an extra big tip in their jar when they weren’t looking. I know it will be lean times for all workers over the next few weeks. Some businesses are already closed down.

It was freezing out and windy but I’m grateful for the fact that I’m healthy and can walk and afford to go to the hairdressers, the pharmacy and Starbucks.

I glanced across the street and witnessed this. It the first time I’ve seen this in Istanbul.

“There, but for the grace of God…” It made my heart hurt. What will the poor people and the refugees do during this scary time?

Further on my walk I looked up and saw these event posters hanging everywhere.

I LOVE YOU. And that made my heart sing.

I came to a decision yesterday. In life we always have choices. I chose to be the LIGHT, I will do what I’ve always done. I will put my own fears aside and show strength and compassion.

So I opened up my computer and did a FB Live. I said hi to friends and readers of my novels and memoir that I’ve met from all over the world. I connected and made people smile. Then I shared something I learned from Elizabeth Gilbert—the author of Eat Pray Love—she called it a grounding technique to bring us back into the present.

And now I will share it with you.

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Name 5 things you can see right now. I. I see the sun streaming in through my loft window landing on my white cotton comforter on my bed 2. I see a colorful pocket notebook with Istanbul and a sketch of the Hagia Sophia on the cover 3. I see my iPad where I have a thousand books and several I have not yet read so I know what I will do with my time if I self-isolate 4. I see photos in a stack in front of me, the only things I kept from my past when I packed my suitcase and left my life in Mexico to travel in 2019 5. I see the fresh coffee I just made from the extra bags of beans I bought at Starbucks yesterday.

Name 4 things you can hear right now. 1. I hear the hum of the heater—it’s cold today. I’m so grateful to have electricity. 2. I hear the Call to Prayer at the Mosque. I know Muslims all over the world will stop and say their prayers in the privacy of their offices or homes because groups are forbidden by the Iman during this time of the virus. 3. I can hear a seagull calling. The Bosphorus Strait is at the end of my street 4. I can hear the keyboard click as I type each word and hope I’m inspiring you.

Name 3 things you feel right now. 1. I feel happy because my boyfriend came over last night and made me laugh and helped me get centered. 2. I feel loved and cherished to know that someone cares that I’m okay. 3. I feel purposeful because I made a decision in the midst of my anxiety that I would do what I do best and spread LIGHT and LOVE.

Name 2 things you can smell right now. 1. My steaming black coffee 2. My Chanel Chance perfume that I put on my neck just for me.

Name 1 thing you can taste right now. I can taste the bananas with honey sprinkled with Chia seeds that I’m eating while I write this piece for you.

And finally, since it’s the eve of my BIRTHDAY, this is my birthday wish:

I will send an intention out to the Universe that when this virus is finally under control, governments, countries, and people can somehow begin to truly embrace the fact that #weareallone.

As always, thanks for reading. And if you’re looking for something to read. ULTIMATUM Code Raven 3 is free right now!

The Founders Of The World’s Five Largest Companies All Follow The 5-Hour Rule

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Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Warren Buffett. Jeff Bezos. Larry Page. They are all polymaths too.

by Michael Simmons, Serial Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author, Contributor To Fortune, Forbes, HBR, Time, & Many More

(reblog from Thrive Global)

The founders of the five largest companies in the world — Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos — all share two uncommon traits. After studying self-made billionaires for many years now, I believe that these two traits are responsible for a lot of their wealth, success, impact, and fame. In fact, I put so much faith in these two traits that I’ve used them in my own life to start companies, be a better writer, be a better husband, and achieve financial security.

Here are the two traits:

  1. Each of them is a voracious learner.
  2. Each of them is a polymath.

Let’s unpack these two terms, and learn a few simple tips for using them in your own life.

First, the definitions. I define a voracious learner as someone who follows the 5-hour rule — dedicating at least five hours per week to deliberate learning. I define a polymath as someone who becomes competent in at least three diverse domains and integrates them into a skill set that puts them in the top 1% of their field. If you model these two traits and you take them seriously, I believe they can have a huge impact on your life and really accelerate your success toward your goals. When you become a voracious learner, you compound the value of everything you’ve learned in the past. When you become a polymath, you develop the ability to combine skills, and you develop a unique skill set, which helps you develop a competitive advantage.

By Bill Gates’ own estimate, he’s read one book a week for 52 years, many of them having nothing to do with software or business. He also has taken an annual two-week reading vacation for his entire career. In a fascinating 1994 Playboy interview, we see that he already thought of himself as a polymath:

PLAYBOY: Do you dislike being called a businessman?

GATES: Yeah. Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe ten percent to business thinking. Business isn’t that complicated. I wouldn’t want to put it on my business card.

PLAYBOY: What, then?

GATES: Scientist. Unless I’ve been fooling myself. When I read about great scientists like, say, Crick and Watson and how they discovered DNA, I get a lot of pleasure. Stories of business success don’t interest me in the same way.

The fact that Gates considers himself a scientist is fascinating given that he dropped out of college and had spent his whole life in the software industry at that point.

Interestingly, Elon Musk doesn’t consider himself a businessman either. In this recent CBS interview, Musk says he thinks of himself as more of a designer, engineer, technologist, and even wizard.

The list goes on. Larry Page has been known to spend time talking in depth with everyone from Google janitors to nuclear fusion scientists, always on the lookout for what he can learn from them.

Warren Buffett has pinpointed the key to his success this way: “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”

Jeff Bezos has built his whole company around learning on a massive scale via experimentation and has also been an avid reader his whole life.

Finally, Steve Jobs famously combined various disciplines and looked at it as Apple’s competitive advantage, going so far as to say:

“Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that makes our hearts sing.”

And, of course, the founders of these five companies aren’t the only massively successful individuals who share these two traits. As I’ve written about before, if we expanded the list to a sample of other self-made billionaires, we quickly see Oprah Winfrey, Ray Dalio, David Rubenstein, Phil Knight, Howard Marks, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Charles Koch, and many others share similar habits.

Why would some of the busiest people in the world invest their most precious resource — time — into learning about topics seemingly unconnected to their fields, like fusion power, font design, biographies of scientists, and doctors’ memoirs?

Each of them commands organizations of thousands of the smartest people in the world. They’ve delegated almost every task in their lives and businesses to the best and brightest. So why have they held on to this intense amount of learning?

After writing several articles attempting to answer these questions, this is what I’ve ultimately come to:

At the highest levels, learning isn’t something you do to prepare for your work. Learning is the most important work. It is the core competency to build. It’s the thing you never delegate. And it’s one of the ultimate drivers of long-term performance and success.

As I came to this realization, I wondered: Why isn’t it obvious that we should all become voracious learners and polymaths throughout our whole lives given that we live in an increasingly complex, rapidly changing, advanced-knowledge economy? Why does the average person think of deliberate learning as an optional thing to do on the side?

I think it’s because of three strong messages we’ve all been taught — in school, in college, and in general society — that may have been true in the past but are definitely no longer true. Here’s how these three lies break down:

  • Lie #1: Disciplines are the best way to categorize knowledge.
  • Lie #2: Most learning happens in school/college.
  • Lie #3: You must pick one field and specialize in it.

These beliefs are so insidious that they’ve destroyed our intuition about learning and knowledge, and they ultimately hold us back from creating the success we want. If we can become aware of them, we can rectify them, just as the most successful people in the world have done.

To continue with this insightful article please go to THRIVE GLOBAL (Arianna Huffington founder of  HuffPost) for more!

 

Wow!

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© Lynda Filler Photography 2017

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© Lynda Filler Photography 2017

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© Lynda Filler Photography 2017

Welcome to my world. Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Author Lynda Filler delivers yet another exceptional romance thriller with ‘VANISHED in the SUN’, an edgy nail biter novel set in the sultry, sexy coastal Mexico play land of Puerto Vallarta. Lovers Mia and Carlos have found peaceful and loving sanctuary in a remote and distant, undisclosed location through the witness protection program. With past troubles several years behind them, they had the best of all worlds…until the phone rang.

VANISHED in the SUN, second edition of this exhilarating romance thriller series by powerfully engaging novelist Lynda Filler is finally here! Reminiscent of TARGET in the SUN, first edition in the series, ‘VANISHED’ is an exciting and natural extension to the debut novel in which we saw lovers Mia and Carlos ultimately find a new lease on life through the serenity and safety of witness protection at an undisclosed location. Feeling secure after three years, Mia and Carlos would soon discover a mutual desire to return to their beloved Puerto Vallarta. Their ultimate safety is jeopardised for their decision.
Lucia, the infamous and decorated FBI agent who helped Mia and Carlos disappear, changes her identity and retires to the sultry beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She re-unites with the lovers in romantic Paris, France and finds herself in the middle of terrorist events beyond her control. The respite of her newfound freedom is disrupted when the telephone rings and she, Carlos and Mia, are summoned to the call of duty once more.
Central to the storyline is a large group of students who hijack three busses from a cartel stronghold in the Sierra Madres of Mexico that will transport them to an annual human rights demonstration in Mexico City. Upon arrival to the venue, the students are soon accosted and taken into custody by brutal and heavily armed cartel ‘soldiers’.
This high anxiety thriller takes us from the sultry beaches of the Mexican Riviera deep inside Guerrero State into densely wooded jungle where the dreamy landscape takes on dark and sinister undertones.
Lynda Filler captures the exquisite flavor of life in coastal Puerto Vallarta through yet another of her powerful romance thriller novels; crimson sunsets, golden beaches, the sexy allure of lovers meeting and taking chances, quaint local village cafes and fresh seafood dining. There is a dark and sinister underbelly to this Shangri-La; its surroundings teeming with the evils of drug lords and their ruthless cartels in a deadly war for control of a killer trade.
VANISHED in the SUN; this is Lynda Filler at her finest.

$3.99