They are my personal success cornerstones for how I lead my life. As a survivor of three separate Traumatic Brain Injury accidents I sometimes need a little help in remembering concepts, including those that are near and dear to my heart. So I create mnemonic word devices. They really make it a lot easier for me to operate in this world. I also have created and developed a concept I call layering. It is based on knowledge being layered on top of previous knowledge to get an exponential result. My cornerstones do that for me.

So here are my 5 F’s – My cornerstones for My Life 

They are in alphabetical order so they are easier to recall.

5 F's forLife1Faith, Fear, Focus, Force, Forgive.

I say them daily to navigate my way through this sometimes crazy and unpredictable planet of ours. I say them quietly out loud to myself so I hear their sounds as well. Sound for me is often more important than sight.


Faith – There are at least nine definitions of faith on, for short.

For me when I say Faith to myself it gives me a feeling of being watched over and the confidence and trust that my life is going according to its best direction. Now certainly faith can have other meanings for other people. I believe we all have the right to have the faith we choose and want. Mine is a very personal one.

I’ll leave it at that for now

Fear – defines it in 6 ways as a noun and 6 ways as a verb.

For me, FEAR is a very powerful word in my life.  With 6 traumatic accidents in my life, yes there were three more in addition to my three TBI’s, I have every reason, if I choose to be fearful, even of life itself. I believe, for me, fear is living in the past in almost every case. Of course there are always exceptions. For me fear is living today, expecting tomorrow to be based on yesterday.  I call it living our lives through yesterday’s eyes. Because we analyze and comprehend our present situation by comparing it to our past experiences.

That’s how our brain functions. We are just REacting to the present moment, not acting anew in the present moment. And when we, in a present moment, go to our stored data, in our mind, we often times recall and retrieve the negative experiences. And so we REspond to what is going on around us with FEAR.

That is probably based on the development of our brain over eons of time. It was designed that way to protect us.  When we saw an immediate threat to our lives, such as a dangerous animal, our brain would quickly RE act to the data stored and hence protect us by telling us we are in danger and to flee or fight.I totally get that.

It works this way for example as in getting out of the way of a car speeding toward us, being careful with a kitchen knife, or knowing to only take two pills for the pain we have. So I get its developed purpose.  But I have found,that all too often, people REact to life with fear that is simply not necessary because they are using old data they have stored away in their brain from their past..

Now I am not judging that behavior.  That is certainly their choice.

 Now with all those traumatic occurrences in my life I certainly could live in constant fear of another one occurring. But I don’t. I choose differently. I choose to be proactive and change my automatic response as often as I remember to do so. And saying the word fear to myself helps me remember to make that choice.

Focus – this is defined at in ten ways. For me it has two meanings.

My first definition of Focus means to see clearly what I am looking at, as in the expression… “I need to focus this camera to get a clearer view of the mountains.”  It is somewhat linked to the previous cornerstone, fear.  But it is quite different. It has to do with bringing the object I am observing, the action I am taking, the thought I am having to a point of clarity by looking at as many viewpoints as needed to get the result I want.  

And then the other definition for me, is paying attention in a laser-like manner. It is zeroing in on the key components and not being influenced or distracted by anything, or anyone that is peripheral.

It is just like the image most people get when they think of a laser. It is a beam that pierces through the air to create a burning directed light on the object, concept or feeling. I see it as creating both heat and light at the same time.

In other words it creates a burning passion and a clear viewpoint of its intended object, concept or feeling. So the word focus helps me to stay passionate, or what I like to call, enthusiated (my made up verb version of the noun, enthusiasm), enthusiated,  and laser beam directed toward my intended results.

Force is defined on with 36 definitions. Wow! I guess I would say I am a bit of a Star Wars Fan.  I always like the jargon and made up words used in the original movie. One of my two favorite quotes was from Yoda, the 900 year old green Jedi Master who stood .66m (2feet, two inches) tall. He was a character that towered over most. His quote, you’ll most likely remember is “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”  My second favorite quote is by Obi-Wan Kenobi. It is when Luke Skywalker hears in his head Obi-Wan’s famous words, “Remember, The Force Will Be With You, Always.”  

Well you might be a bit surprised but that is where I get my definition for Force. Wikipedia defines The Force as a binding, metaphysical, and ubiquitous power in the fictional universe of the Star Wars Movies. The word force, for me, is a constant reminder that there is more to my life than what I can see, touch, feel, hear and taste.  There is a metaphysical (transcending of the physical) side to life. I find it in those unique moments of co-incidence and my favorite word, serendipity. I find that the more I act as opposed to REact in my life, the more I become aware of the power of this force.

It seems to be for me, the power to create so much positive in the world I live in. I have the opportunity, when tuned into it, to have the unique inter-connectedness with others and their own life purpose. It helps me to be in the right place at the right time. It is my change choice to “Remember the Force, Always.”

Forgive- shows many definitions.  The two I use when I think and say the word forgive are to grant pardon to a person and to cease to feel resentment against.

I know that you, just like me, have done things to people and to yourself, which you are not proud of. I know this because we are human beings.  And that is one of the things we do, we get selfish and take it out on others as well as ourselves. It is with this in mind that I remind myself to forgive. 

I am a strong believer in we get what we focus on.  I believe that if we choose to focus on the pain, anger, disgust, or disappointment we have toward another human being, it will come right back to us in our own lives. So it is with this in mind that I continue to remind myself to forgive others. Yet that is only half the story, as far as I’m concerned.

Because I believe that if I get what I focus on, and I’m mad, disappointed, frustrated, or upset with myself then I will in turn get that back in my life. So it is with that concept in mind that I continue to forgive myself. Plus how can I truly know forgiveness it I can’t experience giving it to myself.

Well there you have it, my 5 Cornerstones of my life. FAITH, FEAR, FOCUS, FORCE, FORGIVE.


DW STARR reminding you to