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Month February 2015

A bit about ankle biters

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How much fun did you have as a kid that you don’t have now?

I was a teacher once. And looking back I reckon kids have so much to teach us as adults rather than just the other way round. It’s just so tragic that we can grow up and lose so much of our natural born curiosity and energy for life. Doesn’t happen to all of us, but it does happen far too often.

So what do kids know about how to do life better than most adults?

First of all they are SPONTANEOUS

As Nike says Just Do It! And kids sure do. Okay so they don’t always stop to consider the consequences but at least they have a go. As adults, how many of us take so long to work out if something is the right thing for us that we miss the whole damn opportunity? Kids are spontaneous. They know how to shake things up. And that keeps life exciting.

Being spontaneous, they know how to LIVE IN THE MOMENT

How good would it be to be so in the moment that nothing else matters? And sure it drives us crazy but what a fantastic way to be. So absorbed in what you’re doing that you lose track of time and place. Now that’s really living, not just existing.

And then they’re PERSISTENT

How great are kids at nagging you for something they want. Wearing you down like dripping water. And they won’t give up until you give in. They’re pretty smart. Even when you say no they find a way to persist.

That’s because they’re SINGLE- MINDED

When they want something they just go after it with both barrels. And nothing will distract them.

Not to mention they QUESTION EVERYTHING

Until they get their own way. Sure it another thing that drive’s you crazy. But I reckon one of the greatest attributes of leaders is to challenge the status quo and bring about change for the better. So questioning is something we should encourage don’t you think.

And I guess kids are just NATURALLY INQUISITIVE

Get into everything don’t they. We’re all born with a zest for life. The naturally inquisitive gene is there, it just gets hidden over the years as the day to day grind wears us down. But just stop and watch any kid pull something apart to find out how it works. Do you remember ever doing the same thing?

Last and probably most importantly kids know how to PLAY

And if we do more of that too, it will keep us young and vibrant and healthy.

Learning to let go of the seriousness of life even for just a little while is so good for us.

So what can you do today to let your inner child in you come out to play?

Being Perfect

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While the debate continues over the rights and wrongs of the death penalty for Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, something quite profound was said earlier this week that’s really relevant to our personal development journey. That these two men are so much more than just their crimes. The integrity they’ve demonstrated in their last ten years behind prison walls seems to confirm this too. Young men with heart that in their youth made a terrible and stupid mistake.

That’s true for all of us isn’t it.  Because we’re all guilty of stupid mistakes. Doing things that are not in line with our real selves. Maybe not to the same degree. Or then again maybe we have. Caught up in a moment of temporary insanity making rash decisions that we later regret. Doing our best to balance the competing emotions that drive us but not thinking things through in the heat of the moment.

But we are all so much more than our actions aren’t we.

One of the most important aspects of healing is to learn forgiveness not only for others but for ourselves. What is done is done. Nothing can undo it. But owning our mistakes and then letting them go allows us to move forward and live a better life.

Understanding that we are ‘perfect’ human beings regardless of the things we have done or failed to do is so important.

What do you need to forgive yourself for in your past?

Simple lessons

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I had my windscreen washed again the other day. And as I stopped at the lights and admired the agility of this humble man dancing between the cars on Northbourne Avenue, I thought of the lessons he is teaching all of us, if only we are open enough to stop and realise.

Each day at the lights washing windscreens for example you might not consider him a business man. But that’s exactly what he is. Talk about committed, he’s out there in almost every type of weather. The freezing cold right through to the stinking hot days that are this city. And he’s probably earning more per hour than most, with very few overheads. Now that’s smart. And simple. Sometimes it pays to keep things simple.

But even more than the simplicity of his business I am struck by the way he mirrors back to us our own version of humanity. Some people are uncomfortable with a man washing windows on one of the busiest corners in the city centre. Even to the extent of hurling abuse and condemnation. And then there are others who see a fellow human being, acknowledging him with a smile as they agree to the wash or not. I know who I’d rather be around.

Isn’t it interesting how the same situation, the same person can cause such different responses? I’ve come to the conclusion that it really all boils down to our beliefs about what’s right and the judgements we attach. It’s simple really. The more tolerant and accepting we are, the happier we are. Because when we live like this, there’s very little to get worked up about really.

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others is to learn acceptance. Of other people, of other beliefs, of other situations. So the next time you find yourself in a situation that rattles your cage, just take a moment to find out what the lesson in it is for you.

Are you locked into the habit of easy judgement? After all, does it really matter?

How much better could life be if you responded differently?

 

Happy New Year!

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There was a collective sigh in Canberra yesterday. The relief of parents with their kids finally back to school. Even if it meant getting up extra early to deal with the morning chaos. The happy dance as you give them a kiss and drop them at the front gate and head back into the traffic that reflects the return to school. The peace that descends as you can finally take a moment for yourself and release that sigh.

I remember those days. A chance to be able to gather yourself again and pick up where you left off last year before all the fun of Christmas and kids at home for the long haul that is the great Australian summer school holidays. And it dawned on me that for all these parents TODAY is really the first day of their new year. A fresh start to rediscover who they are and the little voice of wisdom inside that we have to go quiet to really hear clearly. So Happy New Year! I wonder if you’ve realised that this is your opportunity to take stock, get clear and refocus without the distractions that necessarily come with the pitter patter of tiny feet. As welcome as they are most of the time.

So if you think the new year has started and you’ve already blown the chance to set some goals, think again. After all, every day is a new beginning. And the beginning of this school term may well be the very best time you will ever have to refocus and dream about where you want to be this time next year.

So where will you be this time next year?

What will you look back and see that you have achieved?