Moments of Happiness They Can’t Take Away from You

A very good friend of mine once told me that life is all about treasuring, cultivating, nurturing and enjoying the various moments of happiness we get exposed to over the course of our lifetimes. You know how it goes, they are very brief moments, rather fulfilling, sharp, intense, transient and hardly noticeable, unless you pay rather close, good attention to them by always staying alert!, since, before you realise about it, they are just gone. For good! Pretty much like when they came your way.

They keep saying that it is those moments of true happiness that make everything worth while, even going through the most painful of experiences; those ones we are supposedly learning the most from time and time again. The ones that shape us into becoming who we are eventually, the ones that help us provoke those moments of happiness themselves over the course of time, making us realise why they are so much worth while anticipating and waiting for all along and why that wait is always worth it. Even if it takes 92 years. Well, I think I may have just experienced one of those true moments of happiness for which it’s going to become rather tough to wake up from. Not that I would ever want to do that, but I know, at some point, I will have to. We will all have to.

As most folks out there would know by now, this blog post doesn’t have much to do with the usual topics I get to cover over here, but yesterday evening the Spanish national football (= soccer) team did it again! Once again, and it’s something that we are becoming too much used to, and perhaps we shouldn’t!, they won the title from a major competition, that one of the Euro Cup 2012 and entered the books of history, managing to win three major titles over the last 4 years (Euro Cup in 2008, World Cup in 2010 and Euro Cup in 2012, once more!), that no other national team has ever matched anywhere! How can’t you not enjoy such a moment of true happiness and pure bliss, right?!?! It’s exhilarating altogether on its own to no end! A once in a lifetime experience! Literally!!

Yes, I know and I do fully realise that Spain, my home country, is not going through one of its best moments as a nation, with the well known mantra “Made in Spain”, and part of the European Union, due, perhaps, in part, to the rampant unemployment rate, a rather weakened economy by ruthless, unpunished financial speculators (Amongst others), plenty of natural catastrophes that have happened lately and to be governed, politically and economically, throughout the last few years, by corruption, fraud, greed and power struggles. Yes, the usual thing that a bunch of other European, and worldwide, countries are going through at the moment as well, but perhaps with a much more dramatic flavour added to it altogether. 

The thing is though that we are still standing. 4 years have gone by and we are still standing. Perhaps that’s one of the last few things that will always be with us, that we can fall down, break a bone or two in the process, but stand up again. And again, and again. It’s what shapes nations over the course of centuries. It’s what makes them, and their people, tougher. You know how it goes, what doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. And that cannot be more real in today’s financial turmoil and econoclypse. But then again, just like Spain has done with its national football team, there has got to be a time when that has got to stop, when power, greed and money no longer rule, where we can ponder about what things were wrong, how we could address them and try to fix each and everyone of them. More than anything else, because the alternative continues to be just too ugly to face and, also, because deep inside our hearts, we know where the main issues are and how we could tackle them eventually. 

I mean, taking further on the analogy from football, I remember the days, the decades, actually, when the national Spanish football team was rather mediocre, not having the right mentality, the right team spirit, the ability and eagerness to improve things, the sacrifice of one self for the others helping them become better at what they normally do, the innate talent willing to be shared across without asking much in return to achieve a common purpose, that little bit of luck you always need to achieve your goals, etc. etc., and eventually, with a touch of bad luck to add further up, we kept getting kicked out of major tournament after major tournament making it all almost far too embarrassing to notice.

Too painful to watch and experience. Even too frustrating to bear. But then again, we stood up. You could probably say that Spaniards, in general, are rather stubborn and resilient on their ways. But back in the day, by the late 80s, there was this brilliant, committed, modest, truly gifted generation of young players who gathered together thanks to the efforts from a superb initiative on working things out right from the base, starting when they were all young, and grow that over the course of time through lots of hard work, effort, energy, sacrifice, talent, education, team spirit, modesty, and a strong sense of achievement never seen before, along with a very well defined style, i.e. the tiqui taka, which has proved to be unbeatable over the last few years, and which confirms, once again, the power of groups & networks in helping achieve a common goal. The goal.

And there you have it, after a couple of decades gone by already, collecting the harvest of all of that hard work, good education and training, and true team spirit has paid off, once again. And it all started with small steps, right when that bunch of very talented players were really young. That’s perhaps the secret of the success for a national soccer team, but may be also for an entire country to start looking for ways of abandoning that catastrophic state of making ends meet barely through the econoclypse just because we have been looking at the wrong end of the equation from day one. It’s through that education, hard work, motivation and inspiration that young modest players have kept turning an entire country upside down over the last 4 years providing us all with that huge rush of delightful happy moments of pride of what one can achieve if it is given the right values on what really matters. The small things. As usual. 

Yes, I do realise that this new achievement from our Spanish national football team is going to last probably too little, specially, looking back into today’s financial turmoil and appalling government policies (From past and present), but if there is anything that should help us all remember, and treasure, quite a bit!, is the fact that those moments of happiness we enjoyed last night, and probably today, are now ours. Forever. For good. They just can’t take them away from us. It’s part of our common psyche, as a nation, and if we have been able to raise over and over again over the course of decades from bad results after bad results, yesterday evening’s victory should remind us all, as we treasure and seize the moment, where the key of success really is: go out and seek desperately, work your b*tt off like you have never seen nor done before, provoke that moment of happiness and don’t let anyone take it away from you. Enjoy it!

They have continued to make us feel proud for what they keep achieving time and time again. They have shown us the way of what’s possible, of the potential we all have when we want to strike for those happy moments, so whenever someone reminds you of where you are today, as a nation, kindly educate them on what we know, and have been educated, best over the course of decades: stand up and fight for your happiness, because no-one else will. Now, it’s up to you, me, and everyone else, to up the game and show how well we are all playing this football match called “life”.

So far, those young, talented boys, have shown us the way. They have shown us how the impossible does no longer exist. How if you would want to achieve it, because that’s what you would want to do, there is a great chance that you will, so you better be prepared to act accordingly. That’s what moments of happiness are all about and, again, remember, that no-one can take those away from you. They are all your own to be nurtured and treasured right from the beginning! For as long as you would want to!

My dear national Spanish football team, thanks ever so much for allowing us to experience one of the most unforgettable evenings *ever* that will surely occupy a dear place in each and everyone of our hearts for many years to come. Thank you sincerely for showing an entire nation, and probably the rest of the world, how, with a good dose of talent, hard work, effort, motivation, team spirit, and unselfish collaborative effort, the impossible is our new reality . What we live and strive for. Our motivation to move forward. Our way to show everyone that power and greed are never the way. They never have. That sustainable growth, as a group with a core mission, will probably pay off much better eventually. At least, the teams will be happy, content, with what they have delivered. I bet that’s how you are feeling right now, watching us from the short distance, and that’s exactly how we are sensing it from the other side. Admiration does not even come close to describe how we feel. So thanks much for that! 

We will never forget!

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Are You Using BlogLines? You May Need to Read This Post…

Now that my blog is up and running again, after the recent debacle I have described in this other blog post, and that regular blogging, once again, has resumed, I thought it would be a good chance as well to remind folks about an important change that will be happening very soon and which may affect some of you as well: BlogLines will shut down its doors on October 1st. Are you ready for the move? You probably should! Specially, if you are one of the 200+ folks who are subscribed to this blog’s feed. After that date you won’t be able to get updates from it anymore. Time to prepare…

That’s right! According to the statistics coming from Feedburner, it looks like there are a couple of hundred folks out there who are subscribed to through BlogLines and it may be a good time to prepare the transition into other RSS Feed Readers, if you would want to continue syndicating the content from this blog. My good friend, Jack Vinson, has put together a rather helpful and insightful blog post, where he has shared some of the alternatives that folks may want to consider, whether you would be interested in online or offline feed reading. It’s a good read and I highly recommend it.

You may be wondering what my RSS feed reader recommendation may well be, right? Well, I actually use a combination of several RSS aggregators, since I decided, a long while ago, to load balance the amount of feeds I’m subscribed to, so that it wouldn’t be that overwhelming time and time again. So under Windows (I still have a T400) I am using RSS Owl, which is nicely integrated into my flow with Lotus Notes (You see? *So* much more than just email! hehe).

On my Mac, where I spent most of my days nowadays anyway, I use a variety of them: Opera, Cyndicate and Vienna for my offline feed reading and specially for those RSS feeds behind the firewall. I use Opera and Cyndicate for the immediate daily internal reads and Vienna for the good-to-read-at-some-point, but-not-really-in-a-rush-at-the-moment. Also use Vienna for researching articles published by others that I know I may need to reference at some point in time.

For my external RSS feed reading habits I am currently using NetNewsWire (Offline) and Google Reader (For which I use a couple of user interfaces through iPad apps I have described already on several blog posts). I use the latter as well with two accounts: one with the essential newsfeeds I go through every day, and another one with the general feeds I have been following over the course of the years. Both accounts serve the purpose as well of having an online backup of the feeds, which allows me then to bring them with me wherever I may well go, which is when the iPad becomes indispensable as a powerful content aggregator. Not to mention as well how often I search for relevant content within either account, which I then include as part of my blog posts over here.

So, as you can see, perhaps a little bit too complex, but it works for me. It’s the feed reading habit that I have learned to grow and treasure over the last 8 years, when I subscribed to my first blog and the rest is history. It’s a system that works for me, and don’t expect anyone else to take it up for themselves. However, one thing I have learned throughout the years is to let go with that obsession of wanting to read each and everyone of them all and reach “inbox zero” on my feed readers day in day out. Well, that’s no longer happening. Somehow, by immersing rather heavily inside my social networks I have learned to trust them over time quite a bit and a good chunk of my feed reading habits is already pre-filtered by them. They keep finding the really good stuff I am interested in, and, most importantly, they keep sharing it across! Probably just as much as I do with them (I would hope). So instead of focusing on striking another “inbox zero”, I just focus on the content that matters to me and the rest I just let it go. Yes, once again, that river of news and the continuous flow of the Social Web…

Ok, hope you may find all of that information useful and helpful, but enough with that diversion, don’t you think? hehe … Like I was saying at the beginning, BlogLines is about to shut down in the next few days and you may need to start looking for another strategy to get your RSS feeds elsewhere, if you are still using it. The one for this blog is over here, so if you would want to move it across to your new RSS feed reader that would be the URL address you would need to use…

Hope to see you on the other side, after BlogLines is there no more!, to keep up with the conversations… Oh, and a good bunch of folks out there are also subscribed to the blog via email with the wonderful service of FeedBlitz. That is, indeed, another option; remember email going back to its roots? A messaging and notification system of sorts? Exactly! So here you have got the URL address you can use to subscribe to the blog through email.

Thanks again for sticking around and hope the transition on October 1st, or sooner!, goes smooth for those of you who are still using BlogLines. Good luck!


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Treasuring the Moment That Changed Our Lives for Good

Today has been one of those days where my social periscope has been down for most of the day. Meetings galore at work, on the one hand, and an intense heat wave hitting the Canary Islands at the moment, on the other hand, haven’t made things too easy for me so far in the external social networking spaces, so I decided that, for today’s blog post, I’m actually going to do a little bit of light blogging and reflect about something that doesn’t have much to do with the usual topics that I get to talk about over here and, instead, I am just going to spend a few minutes remembering and rejoicing around one of those magical moments in someone’s lifetime that one gets to enjoy from something, an unforgettable event, that took place a month and a day ago, exactly, and which still lingers around in our collective memory. At least, that one from a whole bunch of us. Witnessing the historical moment of Spain winning the World Cup Final for the first time!

Yes, that’s right! Today is exactly one month and one day since Spain beat The Netherlands in the World Cup Final 1-0 and, when one comes to think about it, it sounds like it all happened a few years back already! And yet, it’s just 4 weeks ago since it happened! So, still we have got another 4 years to enjoy, and savour, these moments of a unique experience that I am sure is going to be quite difficult to repeat. But, still, what an experience, don’t you think?

I am not much of a football fan myself (Have always been a basketball guy! hehe), but one cannot deny the tremendous sense of pride, and happiness, that one gets just remembering that evening on July 11th 2010 when my home country decided to surprise the world and become the world champion far far away from their homeland, doing what they do best: play football! I still get the shivers whenever I bump into an online video that shows and describes the tragedy and drama of scoring the winning goal in the last few minutes of the overtime (Thanks again, Iniesta!) when you knew that we were just this close from going into penalties to decide who was going to be the next champion. That surely would have been unbearable and rather difficult to watch!

As if we didn’t have enough suspense already, right? I mean, I have been waiting for nearly 40 years for something like this to happen. And when you just experience it, you just basically can’t believe that it is happening altogether! Do you know what I mean? It all still looks like it was all just a wonderful dream! One that you get to play on the playstation or something! And yet, it’s true. It happened. Spain eventually became the world champions of something that we have been pursuing for decades already! Well, not anymore. That’s it! We are now done! We finally got that wonderfully delightful little star on our camiseta roja (red shirt) showing all of that furia we have been accumulating over the course of the years. Now it’s our turn to remember and treasure the moment and enjoy that sense of pride every so often. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Which is why I would like to ask you folks to bear with me on this blog post I’m putting together today, since I realise that it doesn’t have anything to do with the usual topics I have been blogging about all along. But I guess you would have to excuse for this one time to just go, select one of the many many video clips on this topic, watch it, get immersed on that sense of pride, content and happiness once more and share it across with you folks, so that you can have a taster of the kind of emotions that we went through on that evening and which lasted for a few days more! For some of us, it’s still there; rather intense and profound, specially experiencing how such tremendous outcome can definitely influence and change the way a country comes together as a single voice celebrating what promises to be something that we would be sharing with happy smiley faces with our great-great-grandchildren as one of those littles moments in life where we sit back and ponder: Yes, I saw it. I was there. In spirit. But I was there. From across the globe, realising that such wonderful victory will always remain deep in our hearts with that warm and fuzzy feeling one cannot neglect, but embrace and enjoy!

Yes, we are still world champions! It’s hard to believe, for sure. But yes, we are still remembering as it was just yesterday. And that will be like that for many many moons to come. Whether that team manages to win more matches and the odd championship here and there or lose some altogether, there is nothing that will take away what they have already given us a month and a day ago: Yes, The Spaniards Finally Did It!

La Selección Española, Campeona del Mundo Sudáfrica 2010 (Resumen) from J. R. Ferrero on Vimeo.


Thanks for that! You shall not be forgotten … Ever.


(Don’t worry, folks; I am not going anywhere; regular blogging will resume tomorrow, once again!  I just needed this nice and lovely break on a rather intense day :-D)

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