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Month December 2014

The moral of the story

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I heard a baby boomer having a go at a young entrepreneur the other day. Money for nothing he called it. And he would see it that way. Because his beliefs blind him to the work that goes into developing your own business. The investment of time, energy, money, ideas. The cost and challenge of franchising.  The responsibility for everything. Not to mention the risk that it won’t work. But as a typical Aussie he is blinded by his work ethic and dislike for tall poppies. In his belief system, much easier, much safer, more morally right to sell time for money as he did. Talk about being imprisoned by your own thinking.

But this business has triumphed and is working very successfully making its young owner a great deal of money for all her hard work and efforts. And in the reward of these great profits, this young entrepreneur is perfectly placed to give something back to the community. Because she now enjoys a greater freedom of time and money for which she has worked hard. Which means she is free to share this with others.

The good news is this is happening on a global scale. Take the Pathway from Poverty programme in the States.  The giant IBM teaming up with a New York high school to help kids in poverty learn real life skills to take them into the workforce with starting salaries of $40K and a mentor to boot. An apprenticeship programme within the school curriculum. Smart huh! I heard they’re in the process of launching something similar in Australia. But it takes money and time to pull this off and that is something successful entrepreneurs have where government coffers may not.

And what about actor Paul Newman? He built an awesome business that continues to give millions to charities all around the world even after his death. Something like $USD 400 million to date. How many lives has that changed for the better?

When you think about the fact that in Australia alone stats show 60,000 low income working families in Australia go without meals and one million children go to school without breakfast or to bed without dinner every day I think we all have a moral obligation to be as successful as we can be so we can make a difference. Don’t you?

Where can you help out others through your success?

Where can you give back?

Living with meaning

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During our recent coaching tele class  we touched on the importance of meaning and purpose. Of finding our reason for being. And it’s so important to have something in our lives that’s significant, isn’t it. Something significant that’s outside of us. Something greater than ourselves.

I think Viktor Frankl probably puts it best ‘Ever more people today have the means to live but no meaning to live for’.  That makes it a pretty empty life, doesn’t it.

So how do you find your meaning.

How do you find your reason for being?

After surviving years in a concentration camp, Frankl came to the conclusion that meaning can be found in a number of ways. And probably the most obvious is in giving something back to the world. In other words contributing your energies to something significant outside yourself for the benefit of others. The men in the camp for instance who comforted others rather than giving in to the horror of their own situation. All great people do this, don’t they.  The return on investment in heartfelt giving is beyond measure.

But meaning can also be found by interacting authentically with others. Being true to ourselves. Being real. I guess you might call this meaningful interaction. And we’ve probably all had the experience of connecting deeply and meaningfully with another person. It’s precious beyond words.

And then there’s the meaning we can allow ourselves to experience when we change our attitude toward a situation we cannot control. If we can’t change something we can change the way we look at it. And the insights can be mind-blowing.

Brass tacks… to live with meaning is to ensure your own health and wellbeing.

Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

So how do you get there?

For those of you haven’t discovered it yet the answer’s really simple. Just keep doing stuff. After all, stagnation leads nowhere.

So just keep doing the things you love and it might just be the meaning you seek will find you more quickly than you realise.

What’s your reason for being?

Two to tango

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How do you change the way other people behave?

Short answer, you can’t.

But have you ever noticed that when they behave a particular way you behave in an equally predictable way?

The thing is we all get stuck in a particular way of behaving. And by the time we’re in our 30s our repertoire has become pretty narrow. Not quite hardwired, but pretty close. We get so good at what we practise.

Take for instance the people in your life that are always losing things. And you keep finding them. Or replacing them. Or take the person who keeps making mistakes and you keep fixing them. Or the partner who’s just too lazy to help around the house so you do it all. Well they’re going to just keep losing things, the mistakes will continue and you’ll keep doing all the work. Because there’s no real consequence for the other person that will force them to change. No reason for them to do something different.

When we behave in a predictable way we actually keep the problem going. Because it allows the other person to keep getting away with their less than ideal behaviour. It’s like a dance.

But what happens if we change things?

We stop fixing things, finding things, doing things?

Well my guess is the other person is going to have to do something different, aren’t they. Mightn’t like it. Might chuck the biggest tantrum because you’ve upset the status quo. You’re no longer doing what’s expected. But hey, what have you got to lose? You’re not happy with it anyway. My bet is you’ve got everything to gain.

As Ghandi said, be the change you want to see.

Want something different?

Why not make a change?


“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”