You can’t miss this! Excerpts from Mark O. Haroldsen’s book that you can listen to. He just added the Forward, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 today. It’s great to hear everything in his own voice. Just click play and you’ll be able to listen right from your computer.
Don’t give up or lose sight of your dreams! Listen to Mark’s amazing advice about living your life passionately.
Humbled by blog post about me (Mark O. Haroldsen): http://tinyurl.com/nxd7ct Lists my 20 success principles.
“Thinking about the past and future is the cause of all unhappiness.”
- Leo Babauta
In this interview, Leo Babauta discusses what happiness is. Babauta is writer of the famous blog Zen Habits. There are many who tout happiness itself as an end. I’ve talked about how thinking about the past and future too much can cause unhappiness, however, what causes happiness?
I life I don’t focus on the cause of happiness, but instead I have written about the critical keys you need to bring satisfaction and contentment to your life. I don’t claim that these keys can bring you happiness though — like many others do. I believe that pursing happiness as a goal is folly.
Happiness is what you get from achieving your goals. Satisfaction and contentment are far superior and longer-lasting than feelings of so-called happiness.
“The happiest people I know always focus on the positive things in their lives — they always appreciate what they have, see the silver lining on everything, and find the good in everyone.”
- Leo Babauta.
Babauta focuses on passion and doing that which makes you feel contentment and satisfaction – and happiness often results. However, the Happiness Project focuses on happiness itself as a goal to pursuit. I think as you read my book, you’ll learn more about creating passion in life and the many facets of how we think, eat and do in life. This is what happiness results from.
If you have anything to share from reading my book How to Ignite your Passion for Living, I hope you’ll share in the comments.
President Obama recently visited Ankara Turkey where I spent some time when I was in my 20s. Obama is trying to restore our one time great relationship with the Turks and all Muslims. It’s been 50 years since I lived there. What a great relationship I and the US had with the Turkish Muslims. I will never forget as a 15-year-old seeing President Eisenhower as his motorcade drove up Attaturk Blvd.
It was recently my 65th birthday. On that day two American friends that I went to high school with there in Ankara visited me. It brings back so many memories. Oh what great memories of that country with the beautiful singing sounds of the Mulluahs high in the minarets of the Mosques calling the people to prayer 5 times a day.
It seems so crazy to me how so many Christians think so poorly of Muslims and also think that the terrorists are representative of most Muslims. That’s like saying the KKK is representative of most Christians. It was shock to me when I visited Ankara 2 years ago to suddenly feel a spiritual and emotion feeling come over me (and I am not Muslim) when I heard the “call to prayer” from the mosques. Wow, what was that all about. I think I know.
So much of what we believe is more tied up in where we grow up, what we’re taught and who we hang with. The problem is we think that those special spiritual and emotional feelings prove that our own band of religion or belief is the “one true path.” If more Christians and Muslims could see and understand that we are all pretty much the same, then I think the world would be a much much better place.
At least that is what one “local boy” thinks from living and experiencing a Muslim country and culture so many years ago.
“Race and religion could’ve divided us but we created a bond in one year that has transcended 40 years.”
Richard is another friend of Mark O. Haroldsen who played on the championship basketball team in high school. Ed came to Mark’s 65th birthday party. Mark asked me (Janet, the editor of this blog) to interview Richard.
Richard and Mark got separated and Richard always looked for Mark. Then he saw him on TV in a Mercedes. Mark had come up with the idea of buying a home with no money down. He had written a book. Richard looked him up and called him. When Mark discovered who it was, his response was “I’ve been looking for you for 20 years!”
Richard and Mark met in the 60s and there was prejudice. Even though Mark and Ed were inseparable – and saw one another every day – Richard was never allowed inside Mark’s house. Mark’s dad was Mormon.
Years later, Mark and Richard were reunited again at Mark’s wedding reception. It this was a difficult time for Richard. His youngest son Kyle had cancer and he was in the hospital every day with him. He almost didn’t go to the reception. Then he decided to go. When he got to the reception, he could see Mark’s dad from a distance. He started walking towards Richard and he worried that Mark’s dad was coming over to ask him to leave. Instead he thanked Richard for coming.
Mark’s dad then told Richard that he’s going to put his son’s name in the Mormon temple where Mormons all over the world will pray for him. A whole group of people praying for his son.
Later when Richard was back at the hospital with his son and there was a huge commotion in the playroom. Someone was there passing out teddy bears to the kids. This man who was there locked eyes with Richard’s son Kyle, then walked up to him and hugged him and just held him. Richard learned that the man’s name was Donnie Osmond.
“Within 3 days of learning that Mormons were praying for his son the most famous Mormon embraces my son,” Richard recounts. This was a confirmation that Kyle would beat cancer, and he did. A year later Donnie came back and his picture was in the newspaper. He called Kyle to check on him. Richard doesn’t even know how he got their number. Richard told him the story about the temple and how the Mormons were helping him and his son. Donnie was very moved.
Mark jokingly calls Richard his twin brother, despite that they have different colors of skin. They have a lot in common. Both had ended up with successful careers in real estate. Each came from large religious families (7 kids), and both eventually left the religions they were raised in. They became friends in another country and after reuniting, they remain good friends today.
Ed came from Fort Worth Texas to celebrate my birthday and our friendship. You’ll see a picture of Ed as a youth on page 15 of How to Ignite your Passion for Living. We were both in Ankara, Turkey. As teammates on their high school basketball game, won the 1961 High School Mediterranean Championship game in Rome, Italy.
Ed told me about his memories of those times – including that I never told him about the inspiration behind wanting to win a championship game. That inspiration of course was when my brother died instantly on the basketball court, leaving me as the oldest child at age 15.
The championship game was my way to honor my brother and the way his death forever changed my sense of life. I realized then the value that life holds and the limited time we each have to live it. I talk about this in my book.
“Mark is a man of character – a really nice guy with a big heart. He would never intentionally mess anyone over and he’s helped a lot of people out.”
But for 50 years Ed said he’s had a recurring dream of a moment on the court that has haunted him ever since. They were practicing and they didn’t have a track so they ran around the gym. “Mark told me and Richard not to cut the corners. But I caught Mark cutting the corner one time – and that traumatized me ever since (he said, laughing).”
In the championship game they were down by one point with just seconds left in the game. They stole the ball and Richard ran down the court. He passed it to Richard, he trips and while he is falling he throws the ball to the basket. The ball went in. They won the game!
We eventually went their separate ways and lost contact with each other. How did Ed find me after all of this time? It was about 20 years ago – and all of us had lost contact with each other. Then one day Ed opened a magazine in a doctor’s office and he saw me in an advertisement.
There I was sitting in a nice car and the ad talked about one of my seminars. Ed decided to go to one of the seminars. I looked up Richard and the three of us met at a restaurant in Fort Worth. This reignited a friendship that continues today.
- Mark O. Haroldsen
This is a story of the triumph of the human spirit, overcoming adversity, prejudice, and racial difference. It’s about a friendship that started in the 60s – at the heart of the civil rights era.
These powerful words come from my “twin brother” and long-time friend Richard. In my book I talk about Richard and Ed. We all played basketball together and went to the championships when we lived in Turkey – I’m sure you may have read about it in my book. Richard is black and in those days, that mattered a lot to many people. But to me he was a friend.
I saw Richard recently when he came to Utah for my 65th birthday party. I’ll post more about that soon – but first I wanted to share this with you. Richard sent this to me when he got home (I asked if I could share it):
Mark-O, without thought or contemplation, we collectively created a world that Martin Luther King dreamed of and spoke of in 1963 in his famous “I have a dream speech” delivered August 28, 1963. While he was dedicating his life to such a dream, we had and were living that very dream nearly 50 years ago.
No one told us to approach our lives in that way, it was a natural collection of positive energy founded on the primes that King spoke of – we, you, I and Ed judged each other based on the chracter of our being and not on the color of our skin, religious belief, or US Southern orientation. More amazing is the fact that 48 years later, we still hold the same love, admiration and respect for each other. Can you imagine knowing someone for 48 years and never ever having a cross word between the three souls?
When folk speak of twins, they are basing it on how the people physically look. In our case, I am your twin brother because we have twin spirits. The relationship that we have personifies the term “Soul Brother…”.
Our souls have found common energy and the flow is directed from within and not from what we may see from the outside. When we won the Med Championship, we had collective energy, a common goal and a commitment to be the Champions in Basketball. This same mental application has brought about a life time spiritual Championship.
Happy 65, my twin brother.
Martin Luther King spoke of it in 1963, our president Barak Obama who just stood on our turf 48 years later promotes the same world that we lived in 48 years ago. Brothers of the spirit and not of the physical. A much higher plain. Love you man!!!
Thanks and love to you Richard and Ed — still my brothers after all this time!