Category Archives: N – Never Stop Designing Life

Life on Mars by 2023

WOW- this is pretty cool, to see in our lifetime!

 In 10 years from now, people are going to start a whole new world – on MARS. 

A Dutch startup that goes by the name Mars One says it will establish a colony on Mars by 2023, according to the Mars One website. And preparations are going on right now.

In 2022, a crew of four will embark on a seven-month flight to the
Red Planet–and stay there for the rest of their lives, according to the website. A new team will make the trip every two years, enabling the colony to grow.

Mars One will establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023. A
habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land.
The settlement will support them while they live and work on Mars the
rest of their lives. Every two years after 2023 an additional crew will
arrive, such that there is a real living, growing community on Mars.
Mars One has created a technical plan for this mission that is as simple
as possible. For every component of the mission we have identified at
least one potential supplier. Mars One invites you to join us in this
next giant leap for mankind!

“This is an extraordinary project by people with vision, imagination,” Nobel Prize-winning physicist Dr. Gerard ‘t Hooft, a “mission ambassador” for the privately funded venture, said in a video posted on the website.

Everything will be filmed and televised as this new world unfolds!

Watch their video  now  at  Mars One.


Life is too Short to Wake up with Regrets

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
Love the people who treat you right.

Forget about the ones who don’t.
Believe everything happens for a reason.

If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said life would be easy.
They just promised it would be worth it.

Gregg Hawkins

Dance like nobody’s watching;
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Sing like nobody’s listening
Live like it’s heaven on earth.

~Mark Twain~

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If you own a particular photo/s and would like it removed from this site, please contact me   raphaelsmp (at),   with your proof of ownership then I’ll remove it within 24-48 hours.


Music Can Wake up One Souls – Alive Inside

Life for an Elder in a nursing home can feel alienating. Dementia compounds the experience.

Alive Inside tells a story of hope and beauty in a place where they are hard to find. Produced and directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett, the film follows Dan Cohen as he discovers the power music has to “awaken” minds considered closed.
Featuring Dr. Oliver Sacks and Dr. Bill Thomas, and the amazing men and women in patient care. Commissioned by the The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

Henry is elderly man
who has been in a nursing home for about a decade after declining into
dementia, and though he doesn’t recognize his own daughter and remains
pretty much unresponsive to the world around him, he always perks up when the headphones go on. He also, incredibly, remembers his favorite musician: Cab Calloway.

This is the excerpt of the new  film Alive Inside
This is a documentary about the Music and Memory non-profit project, a film by Michael Rossato-Bennett.

Check out
for more information about how Music and Memory can help elderly
patients, or to volunteer or donate an iPod (new or used), visit


A Brave Boy Stands Up to his Christian Mom

Is he just cute as a button, or what?!

You have probably seen this already – but I wanted to give it air time – in case anyone missed it.

Single Dad Laughing did a post called “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay” back in November.  That post generated over 10,000 comments! More than 6 million people have read it!

This month Single Dad Laughing received a powerful letter  from a mother who is Christian. And her son was given the original article in school, and asked to write an essay about what it meant to them.

Well the mother went nuts!

But it’s a great story about how the boy responds. It’s 3 pages – but a great read. The new post has already gotten 2300+  comments. But the blogs server was so jammed, it took a while to read the pages.

But check it out!  What a cool brave  kid!

its time to stop letting people’s hate
          stop me from being happy!

It’s not about what other people do. It’s about whether or not we are loving them. Nothing else matters at all.


Call 911 – Before It’s Too Late – Don’t Be Embarrassed to Death!

The good news about heart attacks:

Advances in technology over the past decade or so have dramatically lowered the death rate from acute heart attacks (myocardial infarction, or MI).

The bad news:

Many people never get to the hospital in time to take advantage of these life-saving advances. In fact, about 40% of the 1.1 million heart attacks that occur annually in the U.S. are fatal. That’s about 460,000 deaths from heart attack. Many more patients who survive their heart attacks do so with chronically damaged hearts.

Why timing is everything

When an acute MI occurs, there is a limited amount of time before significant and long-lasting damage is done to the muscle of your heart. If a large area of the heart is injured during the heart attack, full recovery becomes much more difficult. To obtain the greatest benefits of emergency care, anyone who thinks they are having a heart attack should get to the hospital within one hour of the onset of symptoms. The sooner you get to the emergency room, the sooner the appropriate treatment can begin, meaning the lesser the chances of permanent damage.

Sadly, only one in five patients actually gets to the hospital within this time frame. Therefore, many people who survive the MI are unnecessarily left with large portions of the heart scarred by the heart attack. This decreases the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. Such patients may experience lifelong problems such as shortness of breath and angina (chest discomfort). Patients are also at an increased risk of developing heart failure, in which the heart weakens progressively over time.

Call 911 – not a friend

Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they reach you. And they are trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Also, you’re likelier to get treated faster at the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.

If you are having symptoms of a heart attack, do not drive yourself.

What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

  • Sudden chest pain or pressure (also called angina) that worsens. This may be felt as discomfort, heaviness, or pain. May also be felt in the back, jaw, throat, arm or below the breastbone.

  • Feeling as if a belt is being tightened around your chest

  • Pain that spreads from the center of the chest to your arms, shoulders, neck or jaw

  • Sweating

  • Feeling sick to your stomach, nausea, vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Shortness of breath

  • A fullness, indigestion or choking feeling (may feel like “heartburn”)

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

  • Extreme weakness, anxiety

Use of Aspirin with unstable chest pain: After you call 9-1-1, if you do not have a history of aspirin allergy or bleeding, emergency personnel may advise that you chew one full (325 mg) aspirin slowly. It’s especially effective if taken within 30 minutes of the onset of symptoms.

Why do people delay?

Many people don’t recognize the symptoms of a heart attack (see list). The image we get from TV and movies is that a heart attack is a dramatic, chest-clutching event, yet this is rarely the case. Arm pain may signal a heart attack. Or shortness of breath. Or even an awareness of sweating.

Some people mistake heart attack symptoms for heartburn, take an antacid and wait for it to work. Many people will call 911 for someone else, but not for themselves.

Many people feel they will be embarrassed if they call 911 and they are not in fact having a heart attack. But don’t be embarrassed to death – heart attacks are the leading cause of death in both men and women.

My father just went through this, and luckily family was nearby to get him to the hospital in time. And he was able to chew an asprin, while waiting for the ambulance.

One of our blogging buddies, Lyndon Evans, shares his recent brush a heart condition.


The SHIFT Is About To Hit The Fan! I AM

 Yesterday I commented, “we run and mange about 15 blog sites. Most of them make money…Official Life By Design, does not. But we try to keep it up to share with others, ways to grow in life. The stuff they DON’T teach you in school.”

We have a PASSION for this site and sharing knowledge that helps us grow as spiritual beings. That’s why I refuse to close this site. Money or not.

And after that post, I  happened to see Oprah  yesterday, who had on  Tom Shadyac, a famous, rich  movie director.  Who has a life-changing movie out this month, I AM.

He had millions of dollars, 3 houses, private jets, but knew he was not happy.  We have become a society of WANT WANT WANT and forgot why we are here –  and what REALLY makes us happy.

In his latest project, a documentary entitled I AM, Shadyac asks some of today’s most profound thinkers, two questions – What’s wrong with our world, and what can we do about it? This moving, inspiring film won the Audience Choice Award and the Student Choice Award at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride Colorado, where it premiered.

I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?   

   In I AM, Shadyac steps in front of the camera to recount what happened to him after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged with a new sense of purpose, determined to share his own awakening to his prior life of excess and greed, and to investigate how he as an individual, and we as a race, could improve the way we live and walk in the world.

Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a small crew to film his adventures, Shadyac set out on a twenty-first century quest for enlightenment.  Meeting with a variety of thinkers and doers–remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia, and faith–including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch –  Shadyac appears on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig.

3 big points –




It is really  as  MUST SEE movie for everyone.

You have heard about doomsday coming?  December 21, 2012?  Well, I don’t believe it’ll be like the movie 2012!  In fact, Shirley Maclaine was  on TV last week and she see’s it as a huge global shift of sorts –  not so much the explosion of the world as we know it. A New Age interpretation of this transition postulates that during this time, Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.

And it’s funny,  the tagline for I AM is  the SHIFT is About to Hit the Fan!

I think this recession has brought so many of us to our knees, for a reason. To re-examine our lives and what’s next? and what is really important. It so funny in my business, there is so much “competition”. Yet I approach “competitors” and see the synergy of working together; collaborating. But some small minded  people only see competition. We are here and connected – to COLLABORATE.  Get it?!

I AM – The Documentary

Go see it!

Michael Snell


Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation in Everyday Life


Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions,  and has been considered extensively by moral philosophers such as Adam Smith. The systematic study of gratitude within psychology only began around the year 2000, possibly because psychology has traditionally been focused more on understanding distress rather than understanding positive emotions.

However, with the advent of the positive psychology movement, gratitude has become a mainstream focus of psychological research. The study of gratitude within psychology has focused on the understanding of the short term experience of the emotion of gratitude (state gratitude), individual differences in how frequently people feel gratitude (trait gratitude), and the relationship between these two aspects.

In the past 5 years, I have tried to live by these ideas –  but I am one of these “glass half empty” guys –  and  I hate that about myself!  I want the glass to always be half full!

In the last 48 hours, so much has happened in my life, it has made me realize more than ever, the importance of these ideals and we must never lose site of their importance! Good things CAN COME TO YOU. Don’t give up! Be grateful everyday for what you have!

Go Gratitude  says  Gratitude as the Master Key that opens all doors of possibility.

Abundance and Happiness says,

Developing an attitude of sincere gratitude
for your current blessings unleashes the power
for receiving many more. Every Day Give Thanks.

and Zen Habits  says, Many days, I try to humble myself and hold a 2-minute gratitude session. I simply sit or kneel, with no distractions, close my eyes, and think about what I’m grateful for and who I’m grateful for.

You know, we run and mange about 15 blog sites. Most of them make money. Official Life By Design, does not. But we try to keep it up to share with others, ways to grow in life. The stuff they DON’T teach you in school.

Hopefully, you get something out of it. It’s all about the JOURNEY!


How Do You Measure SUCCESS? And Are Your Parents Proud of You?

– I  just turned 50.
– It’s the end of the year.
– My father had a heart attack yesterday.

– And I just watched
Everybody’s Fine!
NOT a good combination of things.

(If you have never seen the movie Everybody’s Fine, it’s about Frank (Robert De Niro) who just lost his wife, and without their mother by his side, Frank’s grown children aren’t compelled to visit for the holidays. So he hits the road to visit them — collecting various revelations and learning about himself along the way. Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell and Melissa Leo co-star in writer-director Kirk Jones’s family tale, an update of Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1990 Italian film.)

For the last few months, as I approached the big 50, I found myself reflecting on my life, where I have been, and what I have accomplished. I have been doing a lot of reading and soul-searching….

Many people think of fame and/or  fortune when they measure success. I have not achieved either, yet. I don”t need to be a millionaire (though that would be nice!) I just want to be happy, have my bills paid, make a comfortable living, have money for retirement to live on and not have to be stressed every month. Is that too much to ask for?  

I really thought by now, I would have a great income and be able to look ahead with some sense of security.
I’m always amazed when I see the retirement savings statistics. It’s a scary picture when you know how much money it actually takes to retire with security. I know how much it takes me to live RIGHT NOW. It’s going be MORE, not less, when I retire. My parents at least got their home paid off in their lifetime. Most of this  generation WILL NOT. Did you know that less than 5% of workers will achieve anything remotely close to financial security.

50 million Americans had 401(k) plans worth $2.5 trillion at the 2007 market top which subsequently lost over $1 trillion by October 2008 (even more since then!). Another $1 trillion in IRA assets vanished as well.

Over 60% of households are financially unprepared and lagging greatly on retirement savings.

Enough of THAT depressing topic!  At some point in life, most people come to realize that happiness, inner peace and soul-deep satisfaction come not from fame and fortune, but having lived a life based on integrity and noble character. I was taught to ALWAYS try my best….to do the RIGHT thing…to be a good person and to be responsible.

So I have been pondering….Personal Success… Who am I? Do I possess Character?   Am I a person of Integrity?

Do family and friends respect me?-   How is my relationship with my family? Do those who know me best respect me most?

Vocational Success…. Am I a successful businessperson? Am I fulfilling my vocational or entrepreneurial call by using my gifts, leading by example and empowering others to do the same?

A Successful Ministry….Am I serving others? Do I love others as I love myself?

It’s a very fine line.  On one hand, I have not yet achieved what I think I should be achieving financially and vocationally.  On the other hand, I have achieved a lot, in other areas.

In many cases, our parents were always there to support us morally, financially and emotionally. They taught us to be independent and to face the world with courage and determination to succeed. Every thing we had right now,  we owe it to our parents.They been supportive to us from the moment we were born in this world till we grown-up. And they also gave support on us in our studies.

How do you make them proud of you? As I get older, and so do my parents, I want to make them proud of me. I want to be SUCCESSFUL, whatever that word means.

Too often too many of us seem to focus on what is not. We take stock on what we thought we would be by now, what we thought we might have accomplished, where we thought we might have made a mark, and keep a score solely on the goals where we fell short. Too often we sit with that mental list looking at a new year feeling already behind because of what didn’t happen in this one.
Are you doing that now? It’s not the best way of reflecting on what we know. What we didn’t do last year is not the best way of deciding what this year might best be about.  

Consider this…

Someone told me recently, “Successful businesses and successful people don’t always meet every benchmark. They know that conditions change and opportunities appear that might rearrange strategies and priorities.They weigh and value their position and progress constantly to make sure that what they’re aiming toward is still where they want to go. They constantly revisit and review their benchmarks to be sure those benchmarks support forward growth.
It’s the forward growth that matters. The benchmarks aren’t the prize the growth is.”

As this year comes to a close and I look ahead, I am inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who  was a brilliant writer.  He said….

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.”

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

The true joy of life is the trip

Life on the Train

Happy New Year
Michael  Snell


Oprah’s OWN Tv Launches January 1st

Oprah Winfrey
has been on TV for
coming up on 25 years.

For an hour a day, she’s been bringing “live your best life” television right into your living room. It’s been great, hasn’t it? Well now it’s time for what’s next. Not just for Oprah but what’s next for you.

OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network will be a 24/7 cable network devoted to self-discovery, to connecting you to your best self and to the world.   24/7.   All day and all night. Whenever you want. TV designed to bring more better into your life.

How better than Oprah?!   OWN  is  a network of people who are all interested in reaching their greatest potential.   OWN will explore the issues that matter to you and the moments that move you. Health, your home and your relationships. Stories of strength and transformation.

IT’S GOING TO BE HUGE!  OWN The Oprah Winfrey Network !


Would You Want To Know How Long You Have To Live?

In a survey, 95% of the people said  they DO NOT want to know when they are going to die. But I always thought if you knew, you could prepare, and “get things in order”.  Finish things on your  bucket list. I guess that’s why they say don’t take a single day for granted. Live each day to its fullest.

I do believe we are here to grow and learn in our lifetime. Life is short. No one wants to lie on their death bed and think about their past mistakes and wish their life had taken a different turn. It is never too late to start fixing your life and to learn from your errors.

Always make sure those who are important to you, know how much you care for them.

Have gratitude. Be  appreciative.

View past mistakes as learning experiences.

Learn. Grow. Live life with passion.