THE Single Most Precious Commodity

Imagine this…

When you leave school. you are given a brand new vehicle. You don’t get to choose the type of vehicle you receive. You have absolutely no influence on the colour, or any other detail of your car, van, truck or whatever. All you can do is accept the vehicle you are given – and that’s what you have to work with.

Now, you might wish to “upgrade” or improve your vehicle in any number of ways, but no matter what, you cannot swap it, sell it, give it away, or make any other “trade” with it. It’s yours until it’s ready for the scrap yard. This vehicle will be with you until the very end.

Now, the most interesting thing is that no one has any idea how much fuel is in their vehicle. There might be enough fuel in your vehicle to keep you going for 100 years, but, there is no way of telling.

In this scenario, the fuel that is in the vehicle when you receive it is all you will ever get. There are no fuel pumps to take your vehicle to for a top up. There are certain things you can do to conserve your alloted amount of fuel, but ultimately, what you’ve been given is all you will have to work with.

These days, vehicles come with a “computer” on board, some more advanced than others. However, in most cases, (if not all), when the computer becomes corrupted, the vehicle will begin to show defective “behaviours”. If you’re lucky, there might be a light on your dashboard warning of the danger/s ahead. It is always up to the driver whether s/he takes notice of the warning light.

Now, imagine you have no prior knowledge and you are given such a vehicle. Such as when you were born into the human.

Let’s take a look at that fuel tank…

TIME is the one commodity we all have. That is our fuel tank.

There are four commodities that we all have, that I consider to be the most important, one of which will only be alluded to in this post. In no particular order of importance, the first is our bank balance. Whether your bank balance is big or small will have no lasting impact on your day-to-day other than in one single aspect, which I will come back to. The second asset we humans are all endowed with is our emotional balance. The first commodity may or may not have some influence on this second commodity, but, it is best to keep them seperate.

The third commodity/balance, (our fuel tank), is TIME.
Here’s the important part…

At a glance, we can determine both our financial/bank balance and/or our emotional balance at any time, day or night, 365 days a year.
However, the fuel tank is invisible.
We can NEVER look to find out our balance where time is concerned. Quite obviously, as we go on the journey of life, we may find some indicators, but indicators are not solid information.

As we are all aware, our emotional “balance” can change at any time. There’s a lot to be said about our emotional state, and that is essentially what this entire blog/website is about. Our bank balance changes, we learn sooner or later, with each transaction. Money, is either coming in or going out.

We can become emotionally “spent” when we worry too much, come under pressure for extended periods of time, or find ourselves in survival mode because of some other emotionally draining situation/s.
When we spend all our money we can always find more. There is no lack of money in our human world. Money can be aquired in any number of ways and its aquisition is limited only by our imagination.
However, whether emotionally stable or financially wealthy, when we spend our time it’s gone forever.

Time is the one commodity that we sqander without a moments thought about the value gained, or how it might be better spent.

How we spend our time will have a massive impact on both the other two commodities, money and emotions. If we favour our emotional balance, we will spend our time doing things that make us feel good; happy, joy, love, etc. If we favour our financial balance we will spend our time working; trading, etc.

But, we are ALWAYS spending time, we can NEVER GET IT BACK – OR MAKE MORE, and we cannot SAVE TIME.

We can, however, change how we spend our time.

That’s why I have decided to spend more time on this blog/website and on Facebook where I run a couple of pages and a group, which are all about psychological and emotional wellbeing, primarily my own. And it’s all free.

Because I want to spend my time being of benefit to others.
By adding to my own emotional balance in this way, I hope to influence you in a positive way. Whether you engage with me in the process is up to you.
If you’re interested in your own wellbeing, you might want to join me in the conversation that I’m already having with others. It’s up to you.

I am currently putting together a couple of items that will be downloadable from this website for free. The first is my Little Book of Inspired Thoughts, which is a collection of my own, most popular, Facebook status updates.

The second is yet to be named, but will be something more substantial.

On Monday the 14th of September, on one of my Facebook pages, (linked above), I will launch “The Almost Daily Zander Thing“, my very own live video journal.

So, I have been spending more time getting things organised in order to spend more time improving my “emotional balance”.

What about you, do you spend your time improving your emotional balance, or your bank balance?

Which is more important to you?

Did I miss anything in this post?

Let me know in the comments – if you feel like it.

Be good to you.

Zander out…

For Best Results, Say It Out Loud

I’ve lost count of the many times that I restarted this blog. I have lost count of the many posts that I’ve deleted or lost over the years, from platform to platform. And, here I am again. Making another new start.

This time I will write from a different perspective. I won’t try to teach you or convince you of anything, I will just be myself. I will talk about my experience/s, present and past. Continue reading “For Best Results, Say It Out Loud”

BILD-A-Network is Now MHaER – and some other exciting news.

When I first conceived of the idea to open a group in Belfast, at the beginning of 2019, to help address the issues of bereavement, isolation, loneliness and depression, I really had no idea that I was entering the space of “mental health”. Just how that fact escaped me, in hindsight, is beyond me, to be totally honest.

I knew I’d need some training and I’ve taken up a few courses in order that I’d be better prepared to run such a group. However, a very good friend, in his own quiet and special way, highlighted the fact that, as far as bereavement was concerned, I might be more than just a tad, “out of my depth”. Continue reading “BILD-A-Network is Now MHaER – and some other exciting news.”

7.7 Billion Personal Realities

In my last two posts, I talked about how we become the person that we are today.

Whether you enjoyed the MSDOS analogy more, or you felt the artist analogy was more to your liking will come down to some of the influences I discussed in those posts.

The main point of those two previous posts is to point out, in a general way how you have become the person you are today. However, it might quite legitimately be asked of me, “What can I do with this information; of what use is it?” or “Why would I want to know this?”

Before going further, I would like to address both of these questions.

Of what use is the information that I have been “conditioned” to believe certain things and to behave in certain ways?

62d00fb96d1815489718029d_1920All that conditioning plays into your daily thoughts, emotions, actions and even into your mental and physical condition. A child who has been told that s/he can’t sing by an irate parent might grow up believing that they will never be any good at singing, at best, and, at worst, might feel insecure and anxious even at the thought of singing, or even speaking in front of even a small group of people. A person who is told at almost any age that s/he is useless or stupid might go on believing, for a very long time, that s/he has no valuable worth to anyone in any situation.

But, that’s not all. You are, in many ways, told by others what sports team/s you should like, what political parties are the “good” ones, what types of people you should stay away from and who your friends should be. You are also told what is good or bad, what is ugly or beautiful as well as how to conduct yourself in many situations.

The process is so complex and it affects how you view your world, today and in the future. Not only that but because we all have different experiences with any or all of the people and institutions who influence us as we grow we all view the world differently.

This means that no other person on the planet views the world exactly as you do. Today there are 7.7 billion people on the planet and that amounts to 7.7 billion (and counting) different “personal realities”. Even so-called “like-minded people” do not hold the exact same viewpoint as you do, concerning almost anything. As a very extreme example, even if you and your siblings were to be kept secluded from the world so that the only people you ever got to interact with were your family, you would all have varied views of “reality”.

And yet, we live as though everyone around us views the world in exactly the same way.

Don’t get me wrong, and I may have mentioned this before, all of this conditioning is done by a society which has been subject to the exact same “socialisation process” and they pass it all on to you quite innocently, for the most part.

The point, (and quite possibly the problem), with all of this, is that your sense of “identity” may not match up with who you feel you are, or who you “ought to be”.

When you become aware of how society operates to condition you into believing certain things and behaving in certain ways, you can begin the process of rethinking your outlook and re-evaluating your beliefs, not only about the world around you but, more importantly, about your “inner world”.

bed92a87c473282c1844629c_1920Why would I want to know about this programming?

No one is born unhappy. No one is born with low self-esteem. Not a single person is born with an emotional or mental disorder. There may be certain circumstances under which many people might be more prone to such “ailments”, but just watch any child at play and you will almost invariably see a happy child, regardless of who their parents are.

Young children are free-thinking, their imagination is on fire and they have many, many ways of expressing themselves. As we grow, most of that “freedom” is taken away from us and we forget who we truly are. It’s true that you can develop your own interests and pursue your own passion/s, but, for the most part, unless you have been fortunate enough to have had a loving and caring adult who was capable of nurturing and encouraging you in your personal interests and pursuits, you will almost invariably have lost a true sense of your own individuality, or identity.

This causes unhappiness and a loss of any sense of true independence because then you begin to look to others for validation and acceptance. You will begin to rely on others for your sense of worth and you will become insecure and miserable. If this continues you will begin to see doctors and therapists who have no real answers because they are trained to take you into your past to see if they can find the root cause of your depression or whatever other “diagnosis” has been bestowed upon you.

So, it is useful to know about how we are all conditioned by society before you begin to make any attempt at “personal development”. If you are unhappy, depressed or just dispirited it helps to begin asking questions about what may or may not be causing you to feel that way.


How to Change Your Life With a Single Brush-stroke.

Do you know that you are an artist?

Did you know that from a very young age you took up a paintbrush and started painting on the “canvas of your life” along with many other artists who were also there to fashion that painting?

Let me explain…

Imagine a blank canvas. The type that artists use for oil painting, normally rested on an easel.

Now imagine your existence as a canvas upon which your life will be painted. Continue reading “How to Change Your Life With a Single Brush-stroke.”

In The Beginning…

Do you remember MS-DOS?
As far as I remember, (and my memory isn’t brilliant), going back to around 1982, when you turned on your home PC, if you were lucky enough to have one, you were faced with an almost blank green or blue screen with a flashing “cursor” much like your text cursor in modern text fields.

The top left-hand corner was where the cursor, or “blip” as I like to call it, would flash awaiting the first command line to be typed. It was, essentially, the birth of a new era.
Here’s a screen capture video of the start screen of a Commodore 64, which was very similar to MS-DOS. Continue reading “In The Beginning…”

BILD-A-Network You Can Rely On.

It seems like a whole lot many more than just 5 months since I posted here in the blog and a lot has changed, in many more ways than I can recount. I’ve always found it tough to get back to my writing after such a long time away from it. However, I think we can just dive straight in on this occasion.

So, if you followed the blog before I put it into “lockdown” because I suddenly realised one day that someone had hijacked and SOLD at least one of my blog posts, then you might recall that my wife passed away and that left me in a pretty bad state, to say the least. So, I tried to bounce back and it worked for a while, until it didn’t, and then I stopped again. Well, now I’m back, and this time I’m not giving up.

Now, though, I will be writing for a different reason.
Continue reading “BILD-A-Network You Can Rely On.”

Today Is Foundations Day – Find Your Happy

“We lay today the foundation of the road we will travel upon tomorrow.” ~ Unknown

Nothing happens without reason. We’re not always aware why things happen and sometimes we are not the instigators of the events we encounter. However, we do have some control over how our future will unfold, and the fact is that our story doesn’t end until well after we are gone.

Everything we do will have some effect on others and we never truly know exactly who, how, or how many people we influence in some way whilst we are alive.

I have made it my life ambition to learn as much as I can about certain subjects pertaining to living the best life possible. I started around 25 years ago when I realised that I needed to change [something about] the way I was living.

I really didn’t know where to start. I was completely lost.

The first thing I did was to start reading self-help books. This later moved me to begin reading books on philosophy, and then books on psychology. After about six years of this, I went to college and university to study the social sciences – with a little theology thrown in because the alternatives were just “not my bag”.

I have tried to keep up with the relevant subjects and I’ve become even more interested in other, more varied subjects. I fully intend to go into some of these in future posts, but today I am laying down the foundations for the future. That’s the purpose of this post, which will become the future of this blog.

So, here’s a brief overview of what I intend to cover in this blog, with a little description of each, as I see it. It may read a little like a list of holistic therapy topics, but that is far from my intention here. I hope that will become clear, if not by the end of this post, certainly as the blog progresses.

Physical Health:
Your body is the substructure of everything that you do. You are limited in all your efforts in exact proportion to how un/healthy your body is. What you put into it today will determine how healthy, or unhealthy it will be in the days, weeks and months to come.

Psychological Health:
Most people in the Western world live in their head. You are the one person that you spend ALL of your time with. You wake up, perform your ablutions, eat, and sleep with yourself, among the many other things you get up to. You are the one person on this world that you cannot get away from. What you put into it and how you use it will determine, not only how you view the world and your relationships with others, but, the future that you create for yourself.

It doesn’t matter what you believe about spirituality, or whether you even do. Maybe you’re more inclined to believe along scientific lines. That’s okay. I thoroughly believe that it’s possible to have peace of mind without having spiritual beliefs.
I will not discuss religion in this blog. I intend only, where necessary, to speak of spirituality in a general way.
If you are not spiritually inclined it might help you to refer to the following subject.
If yo9u are spiritually inclined then you believe that there is an ineffable entity that is responsible for all that we perceive, and beyond. The same is true with spirituality as with physical and psychological health. Namely that, what you put into it will directly affect how you choose to live.

Emotional Health:
Someone once said that emotions are the one thing that we have the most of and know the least about. Scientists in many fields have been studying human emotions for many years now. In my view, and I’m not alone in my belief, emotions are a culmination of how we feel physically and, (even more so), how we use our mental faculty. In short, your emotions are a direct result of what you think of yourself, your current situation, (as the emotion is felt), and how you view those around you.
Your attitudes are determined by your emotions. The more you think and feel a certain way the more you will develop your general attitude. And, as a good friend of mine said recently during a conversation we were having on this subject, “A bad attitude gets bad results”. Emotions are not a symptom of imperfect physical or psychological health. Emotions are the direct result of your physical and psychological health.

In order to cover these subjects as fully as possible, I will also discuss various fields of study. I have never really stopped “studying” or reading on the topics listed above since I started, over 25 years ago. In a future post, I will discuss those subjects.

My intentions in writing this blog are threefold:
To begin documenting theories of what makes people happy.
To share my experience along the way.
To help others who feel unfulfilled in some way to “Find Your Happy”. 🙂

Re-smoothing The Road

After much deliberation, I have decided to make an extreme move. I was planning, towards the end of this year, (2019), to change everything to a single name/brand.

I have lost my way. I have no less than 3 pages on Facebook and several groups of varying description. I want to make a new start this year. The emphasis will be on becoming more transparent, more centralised and, most importantly, my true authentic self.

The new theme will be the “pursuit of happiness”. After taking a course in Life Coaching a few years ago I have been wandering around in the dark looking for a way to express my particular skill-set. I have written about my experience in a Note on Facebook. In short, after a bout of serious depression which lasted for many years, I decided that I had to make my own way out. I would become fully responsible for my own emotions, and ultimate happiness. It wasn’t easy, it was a long and arduous journey, but I made it. Even now, after only six months from my wife’s passing, I can honestly say that I have finally restored myself to emotional equilibrium. I found a light switch on the borders of my darkened mind. I am happy. Still grieving to some extent, but, ultimately happy.

This closing of groups, websites and blogs and Interwebby stuff is part of my continued efforts to maintain and improve “My Happy”. I need to be more organised and more centred in what I do. Reigning it all in and deleting what’s making me feel uncentred and confused is part of that process.

I have just bought a new domain name, and I will be making my new beginnings by the end of January 2019.

I will be fully customising my Youtube Channel to make it fit for purpose and I have recently changed up my Instagram profile, (which I’ve rarely used), to bring it into line. The group, Deserted Highway, on Facebook, is still open, at the time of writing. Whether I close this group until my new, single, one and only page on Facebook, is established remains to be decided. One account I am seriously considering closing is Twitter. I’ve never understood it and it is, essentially, a worse mess than the spaghetti junction in the feature image of this post. If the internet was ever a visual representation of “noise pollution” it culminates @ Twitter.

The domain name “” has been listed for sale on and the domain name of this blog, (, will be listed in the very near future.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether I will make any more posts on this blog.

Please allow me to thank you for your interest and support over the short time that I’ve been posting here.

Happy 2019
Be Good To You, Always.

New Name – New Direction

After writing my last post on this blog, in which I said I would work at reconciling the name of the blog with the Facebook group title, I simply changed the blog name and tagline. Although it is now somewhat ambiguous, I hope it is a little more intriguing to some.

What is Self-Empowerment Alliance, now?
What is The Big Questions ?roject and where did it come from?
How does it all fit together?

I will have to take my time, over several posts, in order to redefine “Self-Empowerment Alliance”.

The Big Questions Project started as a hobby in 2016. I had just bought a new camera and I wanted to attract people into a MasterMind group that I was running. From various sources, I came up with 144 questions, which I intended to be thought-provoking. I nervously went out with my camera and “interviewed” random strangers, asking them up to six of the 144 questions and I recorded their responses, (with consent). I opened a page on Facebook and a Youtube channel where I could share the videos I recorded. However, the MasterMind group folded after only a few months. Not to be discouraged, I have kept hold of the questions and fully intend to utilise them for future use.

Beginning early in 2019, I will post one of the 144 questions on a regular basis. The timetable is yet to be decided, but my hope is still to provoke thought and self-searching as well as initiating conversation. I’d like this to be the “fun element” in my plans for Deserted Highway. The Big Questions Project will, therefore, become an integral part of this blog and the group on Facebook. I will also consider getting back out with the camera during the summer months of 2019.

How these elements will all fit together will, I hope, become clear as I write more about Deserted Highway, what it’s all about and what I hope to achieve.

The next few posts will cover some of the following intended integral parts of the whole:

  • What is Deserted Highway?
  • Why “Happiness Demystified” and what does that mean?
  • The four essential components of “Personalised Holistic Evolution” (PHE).
  • Application of the four essential components of PHE.
  • Five specific areas of interest.
  • How does all this add up to “Self-Empowerment”?

Now that I have those points entered here, I will continually review the subject matter and try to complete each entry in a timely manner. However, I am also sure that some other topics will come up as time passes. For example, I fully intend to document my own progress as I make the necessary changes to enhance my own development from the present time.

It is my hope that others will join me in the Facebook Group, Deserted Highway, and that they too will benefit from what I am doing.