What Matters Most is Found in Moorea

In the bestseller, The Book of Secrets, author Deepak Chopra states that, “The greatest hunger in life is not for food, money, success, status, security, sex or even love from the opposite sex…it is for transformation: turning fear, aggression, doubt, insecurity and emptiness into their opposites.” Indeed, this transformation is what I came to Moorea for and what I believe I found, at least a little, in this South Pacific outpost.
 
Moorea is the baby brother of Tahiti, an idyllic island in French Polynesia where everyone knows everyone else and life remains deliciously slow. Like many of its neighbors, Moorea is essentially a set of huge, volcano-formed mountains surrounded by shallow turquoise waters. It is covered with flowers of virtually every possible variety, including twelve-foot tall wild hibiscus that share the unending sunshine with papaya, mango and avocado trees. With a single road encircling the island’s 37 mile perimeter and few conventional trappings of civilization, the overall effect is a lush tropical paradise where birds, fish and humans live in harmony.
 

The island’s great natural beauty is, I believe, a critical part of its inhabitants’ happiness. A growing body of clinical research has established a firm connection between nature and mental health. More frequent exposure to nature via activities such as walking or hiking has been linked to increased brain activity as well as improved moods; in fact, brain scans have actually revealed a difference in the areas of the brain that are active in people who have regular exposure to nature compared with those who don’t.
 
This may help account for Mooreans’ happy-go-lucky nature. Pass a stranger on the street, and he greets you with a smiling “Bonjour!” or “Iaorana!” Drive around the island at just about any time of day, and you’ll see groups of Mooreans gathered to swim, picnic or just chat outside, relaxed and happy to be together.
 

In that way, the island reminds me of Langkawi. Although the Malaysian Geopark is larger and more cosmopolitan, its rolling hills and ancient rainforests similarly seep into the souls of its inhabitants, so that those who are lucky enough to reside there are as transformed by the island’s great natural beauty as the Mooreans.
 
It doesn’t take long to feel these effects. All the considerations of my normal routine – ongoing emails, deadlines and dinner plans – quickly pale in comparison to the majesty of these dramatic green mountains and the endless ocean that surrounds them. The awe and wonder I feel at the greatness of this place is overwhelming and constant; I have to keep from gasping, “that’s so beautiful!” each time I turn and look in another direction.
 

But I am a visitor here for just a week, searching for meaning to take home with me. I visit the gift shops for a few trinkets, but what I am really interested in are the pearls of wisdom that will transform me – those things I can learn here that will change me, even in a very small way, to bring me closer to the person I wish to become.
 
So here is what I have concluded. It is something I have known all my life, but Moorea reminds me that it is true and it is important. Beauty is vital. We must have it if we are to be happy. We can live without it, but that life will not be nearly as rich or satisfying as if we do have it. Beauty may be different things for different people, but we all know when we are in the presence of it. It is not necessarily expensive, because there are many places, like Moorea, where it is available to everyone, free of charge. It’s just a matter of opening our eyes and seeing it.
 
By Alison Kritzer
 

How Good Do You Want To Be?

 

Did you know that nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming or good-looking? That they become rich and powerful only by wanting themselves to be rich and powerful?

 

Vision of where we want to be in life is the greatest asset we have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score!

 

Quite interesting stuff from

 

“Its Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be”

 

the world’s best-selling book by Paul Arden… more less a guide of just over 100 pages of trying to make the most of ourselves in life. To make the unthinkable and the impossible possible.

 

Paul Arden was for decades at the top of one of the world’s most competitive industries and offers insights into diverse subjects….

 

For example, the value of being fired! Or why it is often better to be wrong than right?

 

Lots of original and logical answers to every-day’s questions. Much of these appear obvious when you read them but…. aren’t all questions easy when you know the answers already?

 

 

Looking to these birds resting on a gray chimney in the picture (one of many interesting images in Paul’s book); how do you feel? You feel your life is part of what you see looking at these birds? Or you feel free and creative?

 

Whether a school-leaver, self-employed, a housekeeper or a managing director, this book seems invaluable for everyone who aspires to succeed.

 

This is great stuff!
ISBN 978-0-71484337-7 www.phaidon.com