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The Power of Pumpkin Pie

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What will be your Pumpkin Pie Moment?

Eighteen hours flying, and another two hours to get through immigration and to our motel.  Then, a quick decision had to be made – to sleep, or, to eat?   Blearily, my wife and I agreed, and soon we were outside in the afternoon sunshine, looking for somewhere to eat on the streets of suburban San Francisco.

The little coffee shop we discovered looked perfect. Not only did we want something to eat, we chose to have something ‘different’.   Pointing at a selection of food on display, we found we had ordered pumpkin pie.   We’d never discovered Pumpkin Pie before.  During my life, nobody talked about pumpkin other than mashed or boiled , and do you want sprouts with that.  Hesitantly, we took a bite, and discovered a new sensation.   We looked at each other – “Why hadn’t we had this back home (in Australia)?”

Well, why hadn’t we?

(1. Insert your answer here, but, don’t answer aloud if you’re on a train or bus – people will look at you strange…)


We’d both just had a belief change – a “Pumpkin Pie moment”. Previously, Pumpkin Pie was one of those things that ‘somebody else’ had.   Pumpkin like that? Impossible.    After tasting it, how did Pumpkin Pie sound to us now?

For the remainder of our trip, Pumpkin Pie, was regularly ordered. Yet, when we returned to our normal environment back home, what do you think happened?   Yep, no Pumpkin Pie.


(2. Insert your answer here….)

One year passed, then suddenly I heard those words again. “Pumpkin Pie”.   And soon we were outside in the afternoon sunshine, looking for somewhere to eat on the streets of suburban Brisbane.  We found “Carolina Kitchen“, a little taste of the USA right here near home.

But why rely on someone else to provide me with Pumpkin Pie. What would be better still?

(3. )

That’s right, and all I had to do was find a suitable recipe. Then I can have Pumpkin Pie whenever I want to, with or without pecans on top.


Now, reread the above, but substitute the words “pumpkin” or “Pumpkin Pie” with “Peace of Mind“.

It may sound a bit strange in places, but if you get the gist, you will understand that obtaining Peace of Mind, especially if you are overcoming depression, may sound impossible, but it’s not.

So try new things, because if you think you’re stuck with depression, think again. The greatest satisfaction will be where you least expect it to be. Possibly in a ‘half empty glass’. And that will be your Pumpkin Pie moment.


Discover peace of mind….it’s the adventure of a lifetime.

Rodney Lovell


ps – the best pumpkin pie recipe is at


Spot the problem and save a life.

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If you work in manufacturing, you will know that one of the most time saving and money saving things you can do is to look for problems.   First, build a quality system. Second, look for bottlenecks and mistakes.   For example, a faulty use-by date stamp may ruin a complete batch of otherwise perfectly good product.   A disgruntled employee may become a saboteur.  Looking at the glass half empty can save a lot of headaches. It has for me.

It was a fine but cloudy day during the late afternoon, back in October 2004. Ferntree Gully Road was smooth. On one side of the 6 lanes, a footpath fed the neat houses. On the other side, a gravel shoulder fronted an industrial area.
Thousands of cars busily travelled in both directions on this Sunday afternoon. In one of those cars, the radio blared. My daughter and I sang along.   Suddenly, the singing stopped. “That’s not right”, I yelled.   My daughter, like the thousands of other motorists, had not seen the obvious problem. I explained….

“Old people don’t push walking frames along the gravel in front of an industrial area. She is on the wrong side of the road!”

We stopped the car.  An exhausted elderly woman was pleased to see us.   We gave her a drink. She was heading home. However, for her, home was one hours DRIVE away!   “Can’t be possible”, I thought. A second problem now presented itself. She can’t be here, and live so far away.

We drove to the Knox police station. The police investigated the elderly lady’s background. My daughter and I kept the elderly lady company.

After nearly 8 hours, close to midnight, it was discovered that this elderly lady was missing from a local elderly person’s home. They hadn’t realised, until then, that she was missing!


For the elderly lady, her mind had stopped 5 years earlier. She had altzheimer’s. In her mind, she still lived an hour’s drive away. Her husband was still alive.

That day, I noticed a problem that thousands had missed.   Who’s glass was full and who’s was half empty?


Rodney Lovell

The Glass Is Half Something….

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Recently I had an interessting discussion with a gentleman who queried my observation that sometimes the glass IS half empty.  He lives his life, so he says, as a ‘glass half full person’.    So, let me quickly explain why that could be a problem…

Nature is cyclical, and sometimes half empty.

The trees are emptying and the mountains are full of color

The word, “negative”, has been given bad press.   As leaves fall from a tree each autumn, that is the ‘negative’ part of the life-cycle. Yet absolutely integral to the process of regrowth.   As the leaves progressively fall from the tree, they are emptying, not filling.   Yet, for anyone who has seen the miraculous fall festival across the New England region in the United States, the vista is ‘filled’ with color.   The trees are emptying, yet the mountains are full of colour.   It’s all in the context…
In ourselves, some people want to keep all their friends, belongings, values, attitudes and beliefs without ever shedding any that are outdated. This inhibits new growth.   It’s been said that nature abhors a vacuum. Continully, taking, gathering and hoarding is linear, not cyclical. Nature is cyclical. Even our lives, while choronilogically linear, are filled with cycles of growth, learning and development.   It’s all in the context…

What is the best way to learn?   Perfectionists may look for the one part of their work that is wrong, but focusing on the imperfection would make them imperfectionists, wouldn’t it?  Is that a positive or a negative?   Well, that depends on why they’re looking for the negative aspect of their work.   Often, the best way to learn is to make mistakes!   For many, surely, a mistake is a negative.   If so, embracing the negative reveals the pearl of wisdom that awaits, that is, the lesson from the mistake.  Becoming frustrated with a mistake is to ignore the pearl.

Having a perfect upbringing may sound wonderful, but what happens when you grow up and encounter a toxic boss, or a friendship turns sour, or you encounter severe conflict. MANY people fall apart, because they have minimal experience with conflict, therefore have low resilience skills and expectations of life that are shattered.   I’m certainly not promoting conflict, just demonstrating that everything has two sides.   One side is a postive and the other a negative.   And nature has decreed that lessons can be learned from both.

If you are simply a ‘glass half full’ person all the time, you are missing half of life’s opportunities.

Those in the world who are whingers, complainers, passive-aggressive or put themselves down are not ‘glass half empty’ people, they’re just people who whinge, complain, act passively aggressive, or put themselves down.   The world is full of them. Our job is to learn to live amongst them! The downside of being self-aware is to see all those that are not self-aware.

I was speaking with a young lady. She had been told by her mother that she was “too emotional”. There are many in the world who attempt to suppress their emotion.   Yet that young lady uses the full range of emotions as a strength. For her work in Advertising, she is able to empathise with her client, feel their needs, put herself in the shoes of the consumer to check that the advertising message will be well received.   Embracing her negative –  “Too emotional” – she found a pearl.   Even better, she took her discovery and promoted it. Addressing an audience of disillusioned youth and said, “What is it that people keep putting you down for? Is their something that is a hidden strength in it?   Examine this so-called negative and you may well find a pearl”.    Even with somestreet kids, their resilience and skills at what they do are exceptional. They are climbing the ladder to success in their chosen field. The benefit to them appears not when they realise they are climbing a ladder, but when they realise they have it leaning on the wrong wall.   Transplant those skills into, say, outdoor education, relationship management, or marine biology, and you may just find an exceptionally talented worker.   It’s all in the context…

The young lady I mentioned likes to go to the movies.   She explains, “When I see a sad movie I like to be sad. When I see a horror movie I like to be scared. When I see a motivating movie, I like to feel motivated.   It’s all in the context.”   Having a full range of emotions, and using them, is a rare talent.   Likewise, it can be hard to find people who realise that sometimes the glass is half full and othertimes it’s half empty. It’s all in the context…

The gentleman I spoke with said he was a ‘glass half full’ sort of guy. Yet he had depression. If you truly want to Discover Peace of Mind, some outdated beliefs have to change.   What will they be for you……?

Rodney Lovell


The Glass Is Half Empty, and that’s ok

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This week I decided to change the name of my blog.   I love the old name – “Thoughts are Things” – borrowed from Napoleon Hill’s classic text,Think and Grow Rich.   The idea that thoughts ARE things is something that is so profound. Sometimes a profound truth is found in a simple sentence.   Napoleon Hill espoused a postive mental attitude (PMA), which he meant to overcome fears and unhelpful thoughts and look for the helpful, positive side to situations. Great advice.

It seems to me, however, that the word “Negative” has been somewhat misconstrued over the years. For those that have attended my workshops you will know that I love to embrace the negative, for within its crusty shell lies a pearl waiting to be discovered.

Embrace the negative for within its crusty shell lies a pearl waiting to be discovered

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said way back in 1841 in his essay titled Compensation, nature has polarity in everything. You can’t have one end without the other.   Nature has seasons, cycles, north/south. Remember, a battery requires both positive and negative to harness energy.   Having both positive and negative, as appropriate, is part of a positive mental attitude.

Recently, I had a visitor to my house. In our yard is a large pot that my wife has made into a fish pond.   Sometimes the pond’s little fountain directs a trickle of water over the edge, slowly and discreetly draining the pond. Our visitior saw the pond and said, “What a lovely idea, half filling a pot and making it into a fish pond”. I looked at it and said, “The pond is half empty”.   It’s all a matter of perspective, and, if I didn’t stop the water draining, the pond would have been totally empty!   I often see problems, things that are wrong, out of place. Does that mean I’m negative? “Hey Rod, you always seem to spot what’s wrong. Why can’t you see what’s right?” I do see what’s right, it’s the part that’s not wrong!   And usually, what’s right doesn’t need fixing!

Fortunately, I was able to see what was wrong with being ‘treated’ for depression.   Depression is not an illness, it’s a symptom. Once I saw what was wrong, I was able to work on fixing it. And here I am now helping others. What a positive.

Over the years I’ve grown sick and tired of hearing people say, “Are you a glass half full person or a glass half empty person” in a lame attempt to coerce others to their way of thinking.   Usually, these people don’t even come close to meeting their own lofty standards.   Happy to demand others live a particular way whilst not having their own life in order. When I encounter them, my bullshit meter goes off the scale!   Trying to “be positive” all the time defies nature’s polarity!

The phrase, “The Glass is Half Empty” has been stolen and misrepresented. I’m stealing it back. There is nothing wrong with identifying when the glass is half empty.   And I’ve found that there is much to be learnt in embracing the negative.  Of course, sometimes the glass is half full.   You just have to know which is which.

What in your life has been stolen that you’d like back? A great holiday spot, stolen by a bad experience?   A nice tasting meal, that was once made by an ex-spouse?   A song? Whatever it is, steal it back and Discover Peace of Mind.

Now, I’ve got to work out how & when to change the heading of my blog. My diary is half full, or is it half empty?

Rodney Lovell