How Music Paves the Way To Success

by Monica Zamora-Lawrence

Since I was a small child, I always had a desire for music. At a young age I began studying the piano. I became an advanced pianist for my age and felt a sense of peace when I played. In 2001, my family and I moved to Kansas to be closer to my mother’s side of the family. This is when my life started to change in ways I could never imagine.

I remember walking in to my new middle school, feeling an extreme amount of fear. Different state, different school, different people, and a completely different culture. I had no idea, once again, what I was doing. For a tween, that is a terrifying feeling! Especially if that tween was just as shy as I was.

The day I decided to join band, I found a special place of belonging. I found an amazing group of friends within that class. I found a different kind of confidence within myself as well. (Don’t get me wrong, I was still awkward, but it was a “band geek” awkward.) Transitioning in to a school was hard, but finding an instrument that could help me get through all the “new” a tween could handle, was something my soul was absolutely searching for.

Going in to high school, I still actively participated in band. I thought I had found a safe place for the last 4 years of my childhood, but I was wrong. There were people outside of band, and even in band, that became bullies towards me. I thought the nick-names that they had made up for me, were special for a moment, until I found out otherwise. “Big Red” is the one I remember the most, and it wasn’t until one of the bullies came up to me and explained the reason why they all called me that, that I realized I was actually being made fun of by a group that I thought I could call a second family. I was extremely hurt, embarrassed, and humiliated. I went home that evening and cried my eyes out. After I had let out all my sadness, I turned to my instrument. I went back to school the next day, and owned up to the nick-name “Big Red,” but this time, in a different way. Now I would no longer be known as the bigger girl with red hair…no. This time, I was going to focus on my music and show them the talented, unstoppable, I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me, “Big Red.” Eventually I became lead of my section, but soon found a different kind of calling.

Right next door to the band room, was a choir room. As I was walking past the choir room one day, I heard the most beautiful harmonies. Now, I knew I loved to sing, so I contemplated joining at first. Then I made my decision to be bold and just go after it! Well, I made it! And not only did I get an offer to join the choir, but several members of the high school show choir asked me to join them! And that’s when, I became a member of the most amazing group of people I have ever met. This group truly showed me the meaning of how a school group family really cares about each other. I found my voice, and I found out I could dance as well! Who knew?!

My junior year of high school, I began suffering from major depression and anxiety. I continued with schooling, and kept going without anyone ever knowing how much I was actually suffering. I kept turning to music. Always, turning to music. Every time I felt low, angry, bitter, etc., I turned to music. Any kind of music. There is always something out there that makes a person realize that others have either been there, or maybe have seen a loved one go through whatever is ailing them.

Over the summer, that year, I tried to take my own music away. I had ended on a path that I couldn’t see my way out of. I thought the music had died for me…I couldn’t sing the songs anymore. But when I woke up in the hospital, with all my friends and family around me, I felt foolish. How could I think the music ended? I had so many more symphonies to write in my life. So what did I do?! I got up, and shook it off. I declared that no matter how bad my depression and anxiety got to me, I would ALWAYS turn to music.

Ever since then, I have written many varieties of songs: hate, pain, loss, heartache, hope, friendship, break-ups….but above all, LOVE. This is the reason music is so important to us individually, and especially our youth. Music builds a person up, from beginning to end. Music is always in our souls. Even our hearts beat to their own drum. Music creates a path to a successful life, and a road to walk down to share every emotion with.

Now, I am a Certified Surgical Technologist with an Associates Degree in Applied Science, a part-time teacher in the Surgical Technology Lab, I work with mentally disabled consumers and mentor them through their ever day struggles, and I’m buying my own home! Every day I thank what music, and my teachers, have given me….

My own, personal, musical of a life!

So the next time you’re unsure of where to turn…turn on your favorite song and remember that you have plenty of time to create your own symphony for you life, and the building blocks of all the little ones’ lives. Let’s give them some hope for their precious future, and expand their minds to what wonderful things music can bring to their lives.



The Intriguing Story Of Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out 
On the feast of Stephen, 
When the snow lay round about 
Deep and crisp and even;

Brightly shone the moon that night 
Though the frost was cruel, 
When a poor man came in sight, 
Gath’ring winter fuel.

‘Hither, page, and stand by me, 
If thou know’st it, telling 
Yonder peasant, who is he? 
Where and what his dwelling?’

‘Sire, he lives a good league hence, 
Underneath the mountain, 
Right against the forest fence, 
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.’

‘Bring me flesh and bring me wine, 
Bring me pine logs hither, 
Thou and I will see him dine 
When we bear them thither.’

Page and monarch forth they went, 
Forth they went together, 
Through the rude wind’s wild lament 
And the bitter weather.

‘Sire, the night is darker now 
And the wind blows stronger; 
Fails my heart, I know not how, 
I can go no longer.’

‘Mark my footsteps, good my page, 
Tread thou in them boldly: 
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage 
Freeze thy blood less coldly.’

In his master’s steps he trod, 
Where the snow lay dinted; 
Heat was in the very sod 
Which the Saint had printed.

Therefore, Christian men, be sure 
Wealth or rank possessing, 
Ye who now will bless the poor 
Shall yourselves find blessing.

So, have you every wondered what the story was behind this interestingly named “King Wenceslas?”

Well, let’s shed some light on it for you by sharing the story of how it came about.

Wenceslas was a 10th-century Catholic Duke of Bohemia also known as Vaclav the Good, and was martyred after being assassinated by his wicked brother, Boleslaw the Bad. Wenceslas’s remains are interred in St Vitus’s cathedral in Prague, and he was recently made patron saint of the Czech Republic. His Saint’s Day is September 28.

This carol was written in Victorian Britain by John Mason Neale to a traditional folk tune. It was written in the town of East Grinstead, in the county of West Sussex, at Sackville College where he was staying at the time. The story in the carol is about the King (or Duke) of Bohemia (an area in Central Europe which is now part of the Czech Republic) from over 1000 years ago, seeing peasants, on Boxing Day, from his castle and taking food and wood to them. The story in the carol was probably completely made up! In fact the real story of King Wenceslas (907-935) is rather gory!

Wenceslas’ father was the Duke of Bohemia and a Christian but it’s thought that his mother might have been a pagan. His father died when he was 12 and, as he was not old enough to become Duke until he was 18, his mother took control of the land as regent. During this time his grandmother, Ludmilla, took care of Wenceslas and brought him up as a Christian (she smuggled priests into the house to help teach him). It’s thought that His mother had Ludmilla banished to a distant castle where she was murdered by the Queen’s guards!

Wenceslas was still a Christian after this and learned to read and write, something which was unusual for even a King/Duke in those days! He had local Bishops smuggled in at night to teach him the Bible. When he reached 18, Wenceslas took control of his dukedom. He then defended Bohemia from a couple of invasions by Dukes of neighboring regions and legend says that he banished his mother and her pagan followers from his castle.

Wenceslas put in a good education system and a successful law and order system, so the parts of the carol story about him being a kind King are certainly true!

After four years of happiness, when Wenceslas was 22, his brother Boleslav, became very jealous of Wenceslas and plotted (possibly with the pagan followers of their mother) to kill Wenceslas. Boleslav invited Wenceslas to celebrate a saint’s day with him, but on the way to the Church, Wenceslas was attacked and stabbed to death by three of Boleslav’s followers!

The (fictitious) story told in the song was written by a Czech poet Václav Alois Svoboda in 1847. He wrote many ‘manuscripts’ that tried to prove that Czech literature was much older and more developed than it really was. The poem was written in three languages, Czech, German, Latin, and was called ‘Sankt Wenceslaw und Podiwin’ (Saint Wenceslas and the Crocheteer). The Poem found it’s way into the UK in the 19th Century where JM Neale put the translated words to the tune of a 13th century spring carol ‘Tempus Adest Floridum’ (‘It is time for flowering’) that was came from a collection of old religious songs called ‘Piae Cantiones’ that was published in 1582 in Sweden/Finland!


Ref: [1] [2]

Vital Investments To Watch in 2017

Top investments change as trends in the market shift.

Don’t get overwhelmed. There are investments that are tried and true, earning investors consistent dividends every year.

These include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

-Stock Market: Index Funds

-Product: Real Estate

-Natural Resource: Oil

The shifts in investment sectors are due to the mentality of the investor environment and, what and where everyone is placing their money. When an investor places money with an investment, they are trusting that the presumed asset will increase in value in a way that will earn them a profit in some form. That could be equity, cash dividends, positioning, leverage, and collateralizable assets.

Some see this as gambling. And, In some ways it is.

What I’ve learned is that when someone says they know the market, they could be completely full of bull. Here’s why: The market shifts due to the the mentality of millions of investors in the United States.

Can you predict the actions and the mental/emotional states of million of Americans? Neither can I.

This is why predicting the market is so challenging and is, at it’s best, educated guessing based on some qualifying factors. These factors are:




-Internal Industry Conversation


-Corporate Alterations

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s get to how we will strategize for 2017.

Below, I have listed the top 10 investments to look to place money with in 2017 and, why they are important. They are in no specific order.

  1. Select equity sectors: For U.S. investors, U.S. financials and healthcare should benefit from less burdensome regulation; while U.S. tech should experience tailwinds from new areas of spending like cloud computing. For non-U.S. investors, Asia Pacific real estate investment trusts offer attractive yields relative to government bonds when compared with global averages.
  2. Amazon: The online merchant is currently testing out a sensor-based purchasing experience physical store with their employees. The value of the company is going to continue to climb as the store continue to hit home run innovations that are disrupting the historic shopping experience.
  3. Alternative Investments: In 2017, returns from listed equities and bonds will probably be moderate. Select investments within hedge funds and private markets, whose returns are less correlated to listed assets, are likely to help diversify portfolios.
  4. U.S. senior loans: The asset class currently yields 4 percentage points more than investment-grade corporate bonds, making it attractive even if default rates rise to long-run averages.
  5. Marijuana Industry: Yes, it’s turning into an industry. We are seeing spikes in manufacturing companies that produce hydroponic devices that are used to grow marijuana legal in states like Colorado and California. The suggestion is that investors take note of these companies and plant some of their investable capital in with these silent industry leaders.
  6. Foreign Emerging Markets: A recent Thomson Reuters Lipper fund flows report shows that emerging-market equity was the most popular option among European investors in September, with about $4.5 billion in inflows. That was followed by more than $2.6 billion in emerging-market bonds at No. 2.
  7. Emerging Market Equities: Low global interest rates and stabilizing GDP growth and commodity prices should provide a continuing boost next year.
  8. Technology: This would include the typical suspects like Apple, Google, and Samsung. Unless you’ve been living out in the woods, you can feel the momentum these tech companies are gaining. Every year new phones, computers and, connectivity is increasing at (almost alarmingly) fast rates. Before long, you will see all sorts of expansions into how we live with our technology. Technology investment is very solid. Especially if the tech company has a proven track record of knocking new innovations out of the park.
  9. U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities: TIPs should benefit from potential fiscal stimulus and higher wage growth, in addition to the stabilization of commodity prices.
  10. Many commodity investors have called the bottom on prices of oil, metals and other materials. That includes legendary commodity trader Jim Rogers, who is a believer in both the bottom we’ve seen in oil and in emerging markets like China and Russia. Other bottom-callers include ratings agency Moody’s, which acknowledges that many related stocks may still feel the burn, but that overall prices of the commodities themselves will chug higher. For emerging markets that remain dependent on commodities, this is undeniably a good thing.


“Finally, investors will need to consider trends and asset classes that are less affected by policy. Ongoing urbanization, technological innovation, population growth and aging are creating long-term opportunities in a number of areas, such as equity and impact investments in emerging market healthcare. If they wish to protect and grow their wealth effectively, investors should diversify broadly across regions, asset classes, and longer-term themes as well as embracing ideas that should serve them well in the year ahead.”Commentary by Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer at UBS Wealth Management, overseeing the investment strategy for $2 trillion in invested assets

Ref: [1] [2] [3]



[ANALYSIS] How To Make Money Investing With Latte’s (0.89%-374.25%)

I love my coffee. Espresso is even better.

Coffee is the by far the highest selling legal drug in the world with coffee exportation grossing $20 Billion in world-wide capitalization per year alone. [0.5] But, what if we could clean up our mentality and our wallets by shifting the same spending on lattes to investing? Maybe we could take some caffeinated stress off our adrenal glads and shift that energetic power to super-charge our future net-worth.

The story is a friend of mine made a comment in passing that he lives by the “latte investing strategy.” As simple(and slightly sophisticated)this sounded, I was incredibly curious for him to expand on how this strategy worked. It’s simple: Instead of purchasing lattes, you invest the same amount of money that you’d normally spend on a latte in the stock market.

I asked him if this was profitable or not. This was his answer: The power of compounding will astound you.

I took the initiative to dive into the numbers and just see how well this would work.

This will break down any excuses or preconceived notions that you may have had regarding the difficulties of investing.

Below, you are going to find a comprehensive analysis that breaks down how investing the price of a latte over 10, 20, 30, and 40 years can make you a substantial amount of money.

You have the power. Take a look:

Reference Key

Latte – Grande – $3.65 [1]

$3.65 x 4 days a week = $14.60 per week

$14.60 x 4 weeks in a month = $58.40 per month

Average 30-year interest rate on the stock market: 8.6% [2]

Compounded interested calculated via

10 Years Compounded

-Shoebox Savings: 0% = $7,008

-Traditional Savings: 0.06%[3] = $7,030.62 / +$22.62 (+0.32%)

-Stock Market: 6.8% [4] = $9,589.63 / Shoebox: +$2,581.63 (+36.84%) Trad. Savings: +$2,559.01 (+36.40%)


20 Years Compounded

-Shoebox Savings: 0% = $14,016

-Traditional Savings: 0.06%[3] = $14,099.87 / +$83.87 (+0.60%)

-Stock Market: 6.8% [4] = $28,123.55 / Shoebox: +$14,107.55 (+100.65%) Trad. Savings: +$14,023.68 (+99.46%)


30 Years Compounded

-Shoebox Savings: 0% = $21,024

-Traditional Savings: 0.06%[3] = $21,211.65 / +$197.65 (+0.89%)

-Stock Market: 6.8% [4] = $63,889.44 / Shoebox: +$42,865.44 (+203.89%) Trad. Savings: +$42,677.79 (+201.20%)


40 Years Compounded

-Shoebox Savings: 0% = $28,032

-Traditional Savings: 0.06%[3] = $28,366.22 / +$334.22 (+1.19%)

-Stock Market: 6.8% [4] = $132,942.28/ Shoebox: +$104,910.28 (+374.25%) Trad. Savings: +$104,576.06 (+368.66%)



  1. If you have money to spend on coffee, you have money to lose that you didn’t know you could make by investing it.
  2. The money is the same, just a different title; A. Latte $3.65 Investment $3.65.
  3. There is no excuse as to if you have enough money or enough time. You can make money by investing, regardless.
  4. Einstein was right: Compounding is the eighth wonder of the world.
  5. You hold the power every time you decide what to do with your money. You can do either; throw your money down the drain(literally via coffee)or you can wake up tomorrow with more money available to you.
  6. There is a visual and definite “critical mass” in the time of the investment duration when the capital appreciation spikes dramatically to offer up massive growth after a dedicated duration of consistent investing.
  7. If you value your money, you stand to gain more by not purchasing latte’s but instead, investing it.

She Went From Military Petty Officer To Magic Intimacy Coach

As many of you already know: I love learning. My favorite thing to learn about and from are people. Their stories illuminate truths that resonate within ourselves. On a deep level, we all share the human story. We all share commonalities that connect us in ways that aren’t always made clear until we recognize them in other people.

Today, I got talk with a very interesting person. She went from adhering to the strictness of the crispest branch of the United States military (the Navy), to now coaching individuals in how to find a better intimacy level with life. Julia Minden will open your eyes to new ways and opportunities for approaching your life in a way that is full of happiness and inherent pleasure.

Thomas McGregor: What is the beginning to the story that is yours?

Julia Minden: The military seemed like a great way to pay for college. Plus at the time I wanted to be an engineer and it looked like getting a security clearance would be a smart idea for my career.

TM: Why were you motivated to go into the Navy?

JM: The military was an opportunity to learn new technical skills hands-on.

TM: Were their skill you felt you needed?

JM: Well engineering classes, especially the math ones, can be a lot of theory. I felt like they weren’t being taught in a way that women understand. So having the opportunity to go work on equipment and just do it without 18 months of theiry classes really appealed.

TM: What did you find to be the contrasting factors between the different ways education was conducted in the military versus conventional education channels?

JM: Normal college is like a party. You can study on your dorm room with a pizza in your pajamas if you want. In the military, if you didn’t finish taking the notes you needed to take, they put you on mandatory night study so you have to sit in a silent room in your uniform and finish, and they decrease your liberty card status, so you basically can’t leave base on the weekend unless you have a million liberty buddies and go out in uniform. AKA you just don’t go anywhere.

TM: So which is better, in your opinion (and why) ?

JM: Normal college, for sure. You can choose your instructor (if you register early enough). You have way more resources, in terms of tutors, instructor suggestions. You’re only limited by your motivation to learn. (Mostly, anyways. I did fail Calc II 3 times, and didn’t go back for a 4th.) And you can wear almost whatever you want. But I still don’t think they currently teach STEM classes for the female mind.

TM: What do you mean the female mind? And, what could universities do to achieve this?

JM: I feel that women learn differently. We remember content more easily if it’s shown in relation to something else we understand. Most STEM classes are taught in a linear way that introduces a simple foreign concept at the beginning, and then gradually becomes more complicated all semester. So figuring out WHY you make a certain calculation, and when, is a giant frustration. It’s not in relation to anything, or with examples that make sense. We’re not at all less capable as women. But we approach from a different angle that’s unfamiliar in the male-prevalent STEM world.

TM: Did, therefore, your transition from the military into intimacy coach  stem from this mis-understanding between how men and women communicate, both; verbal and physically?

JM: The transition was more like a breakdown. I knew near the end of my time in the military, as I was totally burnt out and minimally going through the motions, that things had been more difficult for me in the military than it was for other people. And not because I was a woman, but that nearly every activity made me so exhausted. I knew that I wasn’t any less capable than anyone else, I made it through Bootcamp at the practically ancient age of 25. I’m basically Super Woman. But I wanted to sleep for a million years. And I felt squandered. The military doesn’t want anyone’s mind. They want you to work, they want some person to fix this and do that, and be a pair of eyes at a desk asking to see ID’s, and mop floors. They didn’t want ME. So I started doing research. Why was I so tired ALL the time. Why do I feel like The Princess And The Pea about every single element of my environment? Why did I always know when someone else was stressed out? Turns out I’m what’s known as a Highly Sensitive Person. A genetic trait that cranks up the volume on my whole nervous system. All of my physical senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch) have the volume turned up. And not just that, I’m also an empath. I feel other people’s emotions and their energy whether I want to or not. So I went on a quest to find what to do with those traits. I refused to see them as a weakness. I wouldn’t have them if they were a disability, they are supposed to be used for something. It took 3 months of sobbing on my couch in Alaska to start digging. Even longer to find answers. Turns out people like me are well suited to be therapists, life coaches, consultants, healers, and entrepreneurs. And after researching life coaching, I was like, “I think I’ve actually been coaching people without their permission since I was 9.” I coached a bunch of things before I started coaching sexuality. I coached other sensitives. Then I coached sales/client attraction. (That was a terrible fit.) Then dating for a little bit. But it kept coming back to sex. I had a really solid sex education as a kid from my parents & their book collection. So I had pretty healthy ideas and attitudes about sex from a young age. And as a teen, I took full ownership of my sexuality, put fake covers on sex books and read them during silent reading time in class, which resulted in a great arsenal of skills to use with my high school boyfriend. I’m rarely single. People tell me that’s uncommon. And I’m unashamedly amazing in bed.

TM: What do you look for first when talking with perspective clients?

JM: Several things. Do they know what outcome they want? Some people have issues in their sex life but they have no idea what they actually want instead. Are they motivated, and can I see what motivates them? No substitute for motivation. And are they someone *I* want to work with?

TM: How do you know what motivates them?

JM: I tend to read people pretty well. And if someone is hard to read, I ask. But usually as they’re describing what’s going on in their intimate life, they’re telling me what they miss, and that’s very illuminating.

TM: Do you find it more fulfilling to work with men, women, or couples?

JM: I tend to work mostly with individuals who are in relationships, but they want to work on their side of the street. But male or female doesn’t matter.

TM: What has been the top 3 things you’ve learned being an intimacy coach that came from the military?

JM: 1. Mindset runs deep, and it’s powerful. 2. Heal your lineage, be free to be yourself. I had a parent in, and a grandparent in, and more generations before that. Healing that part of myself, I have the freedom to be myself and really own my dharma in the world that I don’t think I would have been free to do before. 3. It’s not about what you have in life, but what you let yourself receive and enjoy. If you have an amazing meal but only 12 minutes to eat it in, is it really an amazing meal, or just something you ate to stop feeling hungry?

TM: Amazing! Thank you for speaking with me. I learn so much form you!

JM: Thanks for having me.

Learn more about Julia and her mission by clicking HERE.

How Students Can Thrive Under Pressure

Do you want your students to perform better?

I think we can all agree that we want to see the future take off into a prosperous direction, with the students of today to guide us in the future new technologies, disciplines, and discoveries.

We can accomplish this by simply applying the correct type of pressure to students. Good vs. Bad Pressure We need to realize and be honest that our world has become softer in regards to the standards we require of students. We no longer adhere to standards that push students but rather, we adhere to not hurting the feeling instead. This means that are initial motives are anchored in the wrong place. However, we can anchor ourselves in a way that allows for high standards to be met and at the same time, we don’t damage feelings. This would be known as Good Pressure.


As the creation of technology speeds up and, the spreading of ideas continues to increase – we are constantly facing the challenge of keeping up with standards that constantly challenge where we are at currently. So, the importance to continuing to hold students to high standards is ever more important as we enter the next decade of technological advancement. How do we accomplish this?


We neither neglect students’ emotions or their potential. We tend to focus on standards when we gauge the performance of students by what we believe their potential to be. This comes out of respect and a duty to be responsible for both; how students feel and, how much more they are capable of accomplishing. The key is this: Cultivating the relationship between welcomed emotions and constant growth. There is a direct relationship between staple emotions and growth in students.


  1. Keeping an open mind and not judging the current emotional state of the student. 

  2. Allowing for there to be a connection between emotion between stable emotions and growth.

  3. Making the students comfortable expressing growth through their current emotional state.


How Your Work Environment Affects Your Creativity

There is a lot of pressure for people to think in more creative ways a work. This catch 22 places the worker in a hard place because creativity operates best when everything is open and free-flowing, not pressure. Therefore, many employees are struggling these days to keep up with both; to create and to keep up in this fast-paced world that we live in.

The fact is this: Creativity is what drives innovation. Innovation will be what drives the future of technology and economic expansion. We need creativity if we are looking to continue to expand technology to even greater heights.

Adobe recently released a survey looking into creativity around the world. Its “State of Create” global benchmark study surveyed business people in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Japan.

Eighty percent of those surveyed felt that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth. Also, 75 percent said they are constantly under pressure to be more creative at work. Therein lies the challenge. If you’re feeling pressure to be more creative at work, more than likely you won’t be. Creativity doesn’t work like that.

As William Childs, director of Marketing and Communications at Trifecta Technologies in Allentown states:

“Any untested idea is going to require a leap of faith and involve some risk before it can be turned into a product or new service that can drive revenue.”

The Bottom Line: In order for innovation to take place, the working environment must support creativity. This means that the environment in the creative capacity must not function like no other environment in the company. The managers and additional superiors should allow creative innovators the space necessary to push innovation across the threshold.