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An invitation….

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Early 1991 was a good time, the Collingwood Magpies had recently won the first Australian Football League premiership, and I was the Logistics Manager for Tecbelt Pacific.   Tecbelt was a partnership between Goodyear Belting and Pacific Dunlop and manufactured huge conveyor belts for the mining industry.     It was a new partnership, a new plant, and for most of us there, a new job.   We travelled to  Rosehill, New South Wales  to decommission the very old Goodyear factory.   A  new plant was established in Bayswater, Victoria not far from where I lived in Ferntree Gully.

The CEO of Tecbelt was Con Michaels, an enthusiastic man with a big laugh and big goals.   As an aside, Con became one of the few men I knew who put his family ahead of his work, but that’s another story.

As the plant became established and the systems were put in place, Con was constantly looking for ways to improve. “Rod”, he boomed, “this is what I want this organisation to be like. Read this book”.   And there in front of me, he placed a worn copy of


The Goal” by  Israeli physicist Dr Eli Goldratt.   That book had an immediate impact on me.   Dr Goldratt revolutionised the approach to manufacturing and accounting.   In 1992  the book was amended as Dr Goldratt added further detail.   Twenty years later, he was planning to subtly update it again after he’d discovered further improvements.

I’d read all Dr Goldratt’s books subsequent to The Goal. I was enthralled by the way he’d take accepted business methodology and systems of thinking and then alter them. Dramatically.

I was eagerly looking forward to his revisions, but they never came. Why?  

Dr Eli Goldratt died in 2011, at the young age of 64. He hadn’t even reached retirement age. He died from an aggressive lung cancer.

I was shocked and surprised when I heard Dr Goldratt had died. And nearly as heart-broken as when John Lennon was murdered in 1980.   Dr Goldratt had plans to revise his work and issue new publications. To me, it was just like Lennon who was working on new music when he died.

Of course, I did what many people would do, I Googled for more information. But a couple of phrases I read on the internet angered me.  One I saw said, Dr Goldratt, “passed away on June 11th after fighting a valiant battle with cancer.”   Another read, “Eli passed away on June 11th 2011 in Israel, when he went down fighting lung cancer”.   Why did these phrases anger me?

Eli Goldratt did not fight cancer. That was a lie.   He invited cancer. He cultivated the conditions for cancer. He was a heavy smoker.   His death was a tragedy. A tragedy he created.   In the end, Eli Goldratt’s death was not much different to that of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the prolific actor who died from a drug overdose.

There are millions of people across the world inviting cancer, cutting short their lives and goals.   And there are millions of people across the world inviting and encouraging their depression, simply by letting it fester, cultivating the conditions for it, drifting along without taking up the fight, without constantly questioning what really causes depression.   These people may not die, but they are wasted and wasting. Just like John Lennon in 1980 when he spoke of his depression by saying, “My defences were so great.  The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy. Simple.”

What are you inviting into your life?

Rodney Lovell

I Was Wrong

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Hands up if you know someone who is perfect!    Look around. Does anyone have their hand up? And nobody has their hand up around me either.   The bad news is, that means we’re not perfect.   Mistakes happen, errors are made….and my blog title is not as I’d like it to be.

Originally, my blog title was “Thoughts are Things”.   I liked it.   Although it was based on a quote from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” I thought it was a bit bland for a blog title. I preferred something with a bit of bite.   So I went for “The Glass is Half Empty”. Because, in a nutshell, the answer to overcoming depression is hidden in the ‘negative’ areas of life, not the ‘positive’!

But, I still wasn’t happy with that title, something didn’t seem right.   The statement, “The glass is half empty” is too definitive, because, like a battery, we need positive AND negative.   A better statement, I feel, is, “The glass can be half empty”.

So, I was wrong, and now I’ve changed my blog title.

Rodney Lovell

Another star admits drugs, and gets it wrong

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Eddie McGuire reports that former star Collingwood 1990 premiership player Gavin Crosisca has blown it all on drink and drugs.   He lost his house, business, coaching career and, for a while, his family.

Imagine the cost of losing your house, business and career. That’s big bucks. Then divide the pittance that’s left with your wife. She gets more because of the kids. You’re left with a hessian bag for a blanket, and compared to what they’re used to, you’ve condemned your family to live on nine-tenths of stuff all.   And that is simply the financial side.    How about the emotional toll on the children?   A lot of guys say, “They’ll be right”.    That’s a cop out.    This situation is not a great place for anybody, so the secret is to stop this scenario from happening.

Somebody MUST have the balls to break the cycle and make things happen. In the case of Gavin Crosisca, it seems he didn’t have the balls, his wife did. She was the one who got things moving, getting Gav into rehab. Nicole Crosisca writes how to save her family, she had to trick Gavin to get him to rehab.   Gavin knew he had a problem but simply didn’t deal with it.   Well, actually, he did deal with it – by hiding it.   Of course, his wife and family wore the outcome of his problem.  She kicked him out because of his poor behaviour.

Gavin is just another whose first repsonse was to blame others.  How many time’s have I seen that?   He knew he had a problem and still blamed others. No matter what the other person’s role, you MUST take responsibility for you, and it’s up to YOU to break the cycle.   It’s a defining moment in life. Who can make the big calls? Who can make the crucial decision under pressure? Can you?   Some guys think they can make the big calls through multi-million dollar deals, running large organisations, and hiring and firing. That’s nothing compared to potentially destroying your own family, and your own career.   So, no matter how ‘successful’ you may be in the corporate world, the challenge is to make the big calls where they really count – for YOUR family.

Gavin admits to covering his feelings and emotions. This is another symptom that is common amongst blokes. When guys deny they have feelings and emotions, they are saying they are independant of nature. Nature has given us feelings whether you like it or not. You CANNOT suppress feelings. Often, these guys get angry too. What is anger? It’s an emotion and a feeling!   They angrily deny what they are demonstrating!   Gavin even had the nickname of “Bagger” due to his confrontational attitude.   Gavin now admits that covering his feelings, in practical terms, was simpy telling lies and being manipulative and dishonest.

Things were so bad for Gavin Crosisca he spent 4 months in rehab. Remember, he didn’t have the balls to break the cycle, yet spent 4 months recovering. I hear of blokes who don’t want to spend two or three days with me to nip their problem in the bud.   “I haven’t got the time”, they say. So, often, their family will simply leave them, and leave them alone, except for the huge financial burden. Then they have time-off forced upon them.  Gavin Crosica says his problem started at 15. He thought he could grow out of it. ad he tackled his problem when he was 18, 25, or 36 he would have had a far different life to how it turned out. Fortunately, it’s never to late to discover peace of mind, as long as you start dealing with your problems NOW.

I commend Gavin Crosisca for recovering. He’s changed his life, his career, his attitude. So why do I think Gavin Crosisca gets it wrong. He said,  “That first drink, that was when I knew my addiction started”.   I can guarantee Gavin Crosisca that his addiction started before his first drink. The drink is just a symptom.   As if to explain his addiction, Gavin goes on to explain how his father and grandfather were alcoholics.    What is the underlying message there?    So what does that say to Gavin’s son?

I also think Nicole Crosisca gets it wrong. In her article she says, “Addicts are not responsible for their disease”.   I can only guess that Nicole has been told that by someone in the medical profession.    Firstly, addicts are ABSOLUTLEY RESPONSIBLE for their own lives. You may not be responsible for what happens to you as a child, but once you are an adult, YOU and only YOU are responsible for recovering from whatever has been thrown at you.   This applies regardless of whether you are addicted to alcohol, drugs, the gym, smoking, work, status symbols, anger, chocolate, green tea, tv, or any other addiction.   Is being addicted to green tea a disease? How about excessive tv watching?   Alcohol and drug taking is a symptom, not a disease. Depression is a symptom, not a disease. There are many in the medical profession who agree.   Saying these things are a disease is helpful to remove the stigma, but not helpful to someone who often blames external factors.  Blaming a ‘disease’ or ‘addiction’ or ‘addcitive personality’ is nearly like blaming someone else. ‘Oh, poor me, I have an disease that makes me drink too much alcohol.’   What’s the implicit suggestion in that type of belief?

Gavin Crosica has been through the wringer. A lifetime of problems, fractured marriage, and now he is happier than ever. He’s off the drink, drugs, and (hopefully) the excuses. He seems to have discovered peace of mind.   Yet Nicole goes on to say, “Recovery is day by day and for the rest of our lives”.   But if depression and addiction can be ‘triggered’, can recovery can be ‘triggered’?

Discover Peace of Mind in one weekend.   All you need is an open mind.

Contact me for your personal, one on one Discover Peace of Mind workshop.

Rodney Lovell

PS.   If Doctors’ prescribe exercise to overcome feelings of despondancy and depression and Gavin Crosisca was an elite footballer…..



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


Here is how easy it is to lose trust…

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Lack of trust is not just the domain of ‘used car sellers’, it is obvious in areas such as politics, workplaces, many Ebay sellers, local clubs, and even amongst family and neighbours. The stock market can show us a very simple example of how to lose trust – Make a statement, then don’t back it up.

Of the many companies that have lost my trust, such as Clean Seas Tuna, Matrix Composites, Neptune Marine, and Nufarm, Rodinia Oil, an exploration company, provides the latest example. On 4 May 2011, they proudly announced that their join venture partner, EnSearch, was no longer under Administration. WooHoo! Rodinia went on to say how they had “liaised extensively with them in order to protect and secure its financial and operational positions”. Well done Rodinia! Rodinia is managed by very experienced people overseen by a very expereinced board. Obviously they know what they are doing. They had plans to drill 4 wells with an option to drill some more.

However, by November 2011, just 6 months after Rodinia assured us of ‘securing its financial and operational positions’, they have served “default notices on its Officer Basin joint venture partner for failure to pay its share of costs”. This joint venture partner has responded by serving dispute notices on Rodinia! “The parties are about to commence a dispute resolution process”. “Rodinia’s ability to finance its future operations is dependent upon its ability to obtain new sources of financing and the existence of economically recoverable hydrocarbons.”

The management and Board of Rodinia, experienced in their field, have made a statement about “securing” their positions ,and, planned to drill 4 wells. Instead they have drilled and abandoned 2 wells, and placed themselves in a disputed position.

Of course, “Rodinia will be conducting a comprehensive review of operations for 2012” and “opportunities are currently being evaluated, with interest being expressed by several oil and gas companies.”

Here we are in April. No resolution to anything. No update at all to investors. It’s not just Rodinia have done or said, or what they have omitted to say or do. There is also implied meanings. Fine print is obsolescent.

How to get people to trust you

Trust has evaporated.

If you’re a rosy, glass half full type of person, how would you look at this situation? To me, the glass is half empty, warning bells are ringing and the drop from $2.10 to 10 cents is indicative that no matter what expertise the board and management have, it hasn’t meant much at all.

What does this mean for you and I? In simple terms, if we want to be trusted, be trustworthy. Look inward and evaluate what you do and say to others. Are you trustworthy? Look inward to do better outwardly.

I often make a statement that I can help people overcome depression in 3 days, sometimes less, provided they have an open mind. A recent client said he learnt more in one weekend with me than 9 years with a psychologist! 9 years!
The psychologist no longer asked questions, checked progress, or requested the client’s opinion, just wrote another medication prescription. Would you continue to trust?

Trust will often be broken or misplaced, however, life is to be managed not mastered. Only then can you truly Discover Peace of Mind.

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



Live outside the Matrix

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Have you seen the movie, The Matrix?  If you haven’t,  I urge you to do so. I’m not a big sci-fi fan, but I loved this movie.  

Billions of people roaming through life as best they know it. For Mr Anderson, aka Neo, life is missing something. Without  fulfilment, acceptance, control and energy,  Neo delves into his one passion,  which links him to new acquaintances.   For so much of the story, Neo is looking for answers.

During his journey Neo begins to recognise his inherent talent. He has hope, which quickly fades as his questions are unanswered. His belief begins to waver.  At the point where Neo is most in need of his amazing talent, he is ambushed and is suddenly shot. This analogy is so similar to the spirit of people who suffer from depression. Glimpses of hope. Recognition of talent and passion. Looking for answers. Often their spirit is ambushed….and in its weakened state spirit is easy to kill off.   A man with no spirit is quickly fading, not vitally thriving. All that survives is a faint glimmer of hope.

At his moment of ultimate darkness, Neo returns to life. The most infinitesimal illumination is brightest in a dark room. Having hit rock bottom, he can drop no further. His resurrection is wonderfully sudden. As quickly as he was shot down, he is able to rise….but with the benefit of his journey, he now sees the answer.  He could not have arrived at this point without his failures to learn from.  Nature is an amazing thing. Mistakes and challenges lead to advancement, fulfillment, control, acceptance and safety. Experience leads to growth….sudden growth.

A question can be answered in a few seconds. If that answer resonates with you, your change can be that sudden…a few seconds.    Just look how quickly your mood can change when somebody dangerously cuts you off on the freeway, or, when you get promoted.   It’s the same to escape  depression.    The moment of change can be sudden.    Your career may take some years, but the promotion is simply a moment in time. Your drive may be just a few kilometres, but being cut off takes just a moment.    Your life has taken many years to reach its current point and along the way, there has been many ‘moments’.  You will be reading this for a reason, so you will be looking for your moment, your answer.

For me, I escaped depression in under one hour. Firstly, one simple phrase was the answer I was looking for. Secondly, a trip to the library to research my new understanding was enough to lift weights from my shoulders that I’d been carrying for years. I saw the world in a whole new way, recognising systems, signs, and symptoms.

But knowing the answer is not enough for lasting fulfillment. Neo, and I, had to apply these new insights. Knowing the answer can help you escape from depression.  It is the application of knowledge that is the ultimate transformation.    

 I see people time and time again who say to me, ‘Yes, I know that’. They know it intellectually, but they certainly do not apply what they know.   The word “but” is used a lot. ‘ I know it, but…’   The answer must be lived, not filed.   You can be a beacon of inspiration by doing no more than your daily routine, and yes, it must be a different routine than what you have now.

Neo coupled his new knowledge with application and conquered The Matrix.   His results were astonishing….like yours will be.  

If you think you’re stuck with depression, think again. Discover Peace of Mind.

Happy new year,

Rodney Lovell

Frustration – Or How to Permanently Relabel USB Drives!

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All sorts of things get us frustrated. Often it is because we want to do something and don’t know how to do it.

Take learning for example. There are degrees of confusion, frustration, and clarity as you step along the path to learning whatever you set out to learn.

Computers are one of the great sources of modern frustration. I’m in the middle of reloading a computer for the fourth time in eight months. It’s not just loading program that’s frustrating; it’s the sequencing of loading programs.    When my computer was returned from repair this time, all my programs had been wiped and I needed to reload them all…again….arrrgghhh!   The Vista Home Premium operating system remained. (By the way, I like Vista.)

I decided to update to Windows 7 to keep up to date with technology….well at least a little bit.   However, I couldn’t update until I’d loaded the Home Premium Service Packs, both 1 & 2.   I couldn’t check my email until I’d reset my network and wireless connection to get on line. I couldn’t open my files until I’d reloaded my Microsoft Office.   The sequencing is so important but it can be so frustrating. This time though, I’ve written myself a help sheet, so if I need to reload another computer I will have the quickest and easiest sequencing steps at hand.   

I have a lot of information on portable hard drives yet one thing that has frustrated me has been that whenever I plug in the portable hard drives, my computer always allocates different drive letters.   It simply depends on what I plug in and in what sequence I plug in. What was the letter “J” last time, may be the letter “G” this time. It mucks up all sorts of connections and links. I simply want to permanently relabel USB drives.

I sought help from people who were supposed to be cutting edge computer gurus. Yet, all I found was temporary solutions, incorrect information and partial information. It reminded me of looking for help to overcome depression….temporary solutions, incorrect and incomplete information.   Sometimes the information was out of sequence.   “How can I do ‘abc’, before ‘def’…it’s just not possible. Arrrgghhh!”

However, I persisted and slowly learnt a little more about this aspect of computers. That is, how to permanently relabel the identifying letter for an external hard drive.  I actually entered a world I didn’t know existed.   “Wow, I didn’t know this screen was here.”   Bit by bit, I obtained little pieces of information, and, by tossing out bits that were obsolete, and re-sorting some information, I was able to eliminate frustration, discover peace of mind and achieve my objective…..relabelling external hard drive letters.

All systems need to be in sequence…computers or they get bugs, and ours, or we are at risk of depression.

And for those who want to know how to relabel the letters on external hard drives. Here is the solution for Windows 7. I’m not sure if there is an easier way, but easiest is not always best.

Push the Windows key with the letter R (or go to Start, then Run)

Type mmc then click OK (continue through whatever message may appear)

In the new Microsoft Management Console window, click File, then New

Click File, then Add/Remove Snap-in

Click Disk Management, then Add

Click OK, then select This Computer, then click Finish and click OK

Click on Disk Management in the menu on the left hand side

Wait for a few seconds and your various drives will appear on the right hand side

Right click the USB drive you want change the identifying letter, and then click “Change Drive Letter and Paths

Click on Change, then select a letter from the drop down list. It’s best not to use letters A to E.

Click OK, acknowledge any warnings, then select File, then Save. The computer will save these new settings in a default directory.

Check to see if it worked for you. Change ports, turn drives and computers off and on. Whatever you like….and see how the new information in your computer system makes things change just how you’d want them to be.   Now, where did that frustration go?

Sounds like a good time to pop on over to and grab a fantastic world-famous gift to celebrate!   

Rodney Lovell

Fixing Computer Bugs

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Computer problems! Arrrgghhh!    Recently, I’ve encountered two persistent problems that have stopped me in my tracks….but wow, what a feeling when I finally managed to solve them.   To me, it felt like the feeling I had when I knew I had overcome depression to discover peace of mind.   It’s great to confront a challenge and prevail.

Computer bugs really bug me, yet computer bugs became a fantastic analogy for me to use when talking about depression.  I have worked with a number of computer systems in the business world. It quickly became apparent to me that one bug caused many others. One bug was the root cause while others were the symptoms.   What surprised me was how many colleagues didn’t recognise the pattern. People would often complain about the symptoms and not hone in on the root problem.

It’s the same with life.   I recently saw a current affairs article where a student had been expelled from school four weeks out from final exams, all because she wore the wrong colored stockings.   Her mother and others complained bitterly. They can argue all they like about the validity or reasoning of the rule. However, to finish the year, all the student had to do was wear the correct stockings.   The expulsion was the symptom.    The cause was the student deciding to constantly wear the wrong stockings. Bloody hell! Wear the right stockings – finish your exams. Easy!

With depression, many people treat the symptoms.   The lethargy is treated with a need for exercise. The chemical imbalance with drugs.   The disinterest in life is countered by doing something you love.   And though those options may treat the symptom well, they do not remove or remedy the underlying root cause. I know. I tried them all.

When I had depression, I often searched the internet, as it evolved, for new information about depression cures.  There is a lot of symptom treatment but nothing focussing on a root cause. Adding to the mix was that there is differing opinions amongst researchers as to what causes depression.   I had a similar  experience when I began to research the first of my computer problems this week. Microsoft Outlook would not fully open. As the ‘waiting’ icon went around and around for hours on end, a small word appeared in the bottom left hand corner: “Databinding”.

Obviously, the word ‘Databinding’ combined with Outlook not responding simply were a symptom of a computer bug.   I researched the internet and found that the common suggestion was that Outlook had corrupted ‘pst files’ and that I needed to run a program called scanpst.exe.   The instructions that people offered caused me no end of confusion and I could not find one person who verified that the recommended and common solution actually worked.   Where was a practical step by step solution?

The solution was unlikely and came from an unlikely source. I stumbled upon a forum post by a man named Andrew Wallace. Andrew is a “Junior Member” of  the forum with only a few posts to his name. Andrew had stumbled across the solution himself whilst applying a fix for a different problem.

In contrast to the complexity of other solutions, the simple solution that this junior member was able to post was stunning and simple. It also highlighted, once again, about life being a paradox. The solution is often found where you least expect it.

The solution to the ‘Databinding’ and ‘not responding’ error in Microsoft Outlook is: Open Internet Explorer (an apparently unrelated program), go to Tools / Internet Options / General Tab / Browsing History and delete all history for all options.   That’s it.   Outlook then worked perfectly. There were no corrupt pst files. I didn’t need to run complex programs like the consensus was saying.

Now where else have I heard this type of thing? That’s right…depression cures. Depression is not an illness, it’s a symptom. Commonly misunderstood but entrenched by consensus.   But I digress.

The second computer problem I had was with my Skype connection. I have a Skype number and can dial landline phones from my computer. It is very handy when I’m travelling. However the sound became garbled and conversations were impossible. Skype had no answer to this problem.

Again, searching the net offered more ‘expert opinion’ rather than usable solutions.   There was talk about changing programs, buying compatible equipment, and running support programs, however, one post had a passing reference to a file named index.bat becoming ‘bloated’ with use.   This file can be deleted but reappears. However it reappears without being  bloated.   Now I don’t need to know how a common file named index.bat links with Skype, all I need to know is how to delete it.   For that, a nice simple little program named Crap Cleaner did the job. I’ve used this program for quite a while now and found it to be practical.   That’s what I like.   I simply selected every ‘delete’ option and it quickly cleared index.bat, as well as a stack of unnecessary other, um, crap!   Skype was now connecting me loud and clear.

Two computer symptoms cleared by totally ‘unrelated’ bugs.   Imagine how quickly you could clear depression if you knew where the root cause lay.   Look at depression as a symptom, not as a disease.

If you think you’re stuck with depression, think again. 2010 is the year to Discover Peace of Mind.

Rodney Lovell