Jul 26, 2010


Well, here I am - back again. It's been an amazing few months and 2010 is going to be the best year ever. This past week-end I had the opportunity to meet with nearly 180 world shakers, all of whom are community leaders, or business leaders, church leaders, et al; and all of them pioneers. Men and women who are igniters of good, and people who challenge the status quo. I had the chance to chat with a few of them and an interesting theme emerged in the engagements that I had. Much of the talk was about how self-identity influences personal action and how it impacts on one's destiny. I thought that I'd share a little with you.

How many of us remember the story of the Ugly Duckling? Herebelow are a few excerpts from this famous fable by Hans Christian Andersen:

"Did I count the eggs wrongly?" Mother Duck wondered. But before she had time to think about it, the last egg finally hatched. A strange looking duckling with gray feathers that should have been yellow gazed at a worried mother. The ducklings grew quickly, but Mother Duck had a secret worry.

"I can't understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!" she said to herself, shaking her head as she looked at her last born. Well, the gray duckling certainly wasn't pretty, and since he ate far more than his brothers, he was outgrowing them. As the days went by, the poor ugly duckling became more and more unhappy. His brothers didn't want to play with him, he was so
clumsy, and all the farmyard folks simply laughed at him. He felt sad and lonely, while Mother Duck did her best to console him.

"Poor little ugly duckling!" she would say. "Why are you so different from the others?" And the ugly duckling felt worse than ever. He secretly wept at night. He felt nobody wanted him.

"Nobody loves me, they all tease me! Why am I different from my brothers?"

However, by springtime, he had grown so big that the farmer decided: "I'll set him free by the pond!" That was when the duckling saw himself mirrored in the water.

"Goodness! How I've changed! I hardly recognize myself!" The flight of swans winged north again and glided on to the pond. When the duckling saw them, he realized he was one of their kind, and soon made friends.

"We're swans like you!" they said, warmly. "Where have you been hiding?"

"It's a long story," replied the young swan, still astounded. Now, he swam majestically with his fellow swans. One day, he heard children on the river bank exclaim: "Look at that young swan! He's the finest of them all!"

And he almost burst with happiness.

You could check out the youtube link ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lapDmCnZN3A) out to hear the story (if you've forgotten it).

Think about the following:
1. Do you feel different to those around you? How does that make you feel about yourself?
2. Do you know who you really are? (Not your name, or your title or your functionality, but who YOU are)
3. Are you conforming to somebody else's definition of who you are?
4. Is your environment shaping you away from who you really are?
5. Is what you are doing currently a reflection of who you really are or are you fulfilling somebody else's agenda?
6. What defines you right now?
7. Why do cows "moo" and dogs "bark"? (What kind of a question is that?)
8. What would you say about a cow that barks?
9. Are you purpose driven or need driven?
10. Do you work for money?

Where have you been?????????????????

This is not an intellectual exercise nor an attempt, from my part, to present any theoretical framework related to self-identity. My objective is simply to get you to think critically about who you really are and to allow you to check if what you are doing is a reflection of your true self. And have fun doing this!

Why would you want to do anything that does not add value to your real self and to your destiny? No it's not being selfish. Your greatest contributions to others and to mankind in general will emanate from you being true to who you really are.

Post your comments, thoughts, etc.

Jun 16, 2009


Well, it's been a while since I last wrote on this particular blog. The past few weeks (months) have been really exciting and I've embarked on various new personal and business projects. These have been quite time consuming but they have been most rewarding.

Recently, I purchased a book called "Rainforest Strategy" by Michael Q. Pink and I thought that in this post I'd summarise a few pages of the book for your benefit. There is also an enclosure link to his website (www.rainforeststrategy.com). As the name suggests, the book is about the rainforests with a bias toward tropical rainforests. In essence this book presents a business model based on the ecology of the world's rainforests. Tropical rainforests are the most productive and fruitful ecosystems in the world and they teach us how to "transform scarcity into abundance". If we reverse engineer the processes that they employ we will find a wealth of wisdom which allows us to move to greatness in business and, I believe, in our personal lives as well.

Tropical rainforests are different to so-called temperate rainforests. What makes them unique is their ability to produce abundance? Three things, viz. light, warmth and moisture. Let's look at each and what each translates to in terms of business and personal life.

1. Sunlight in Abundance
Tropical rainforests are positioned around the globe along the equator line. Exposure to sunlight is pretty consistent all year around and the times for sunrise and sunset hardly vary from day to day.
Light speaks of vision. What does vision do? It generates the energy that is required to break inertia and spur one (or a business) into action. Vision is what drives us into our future. It's critical to be clear on what your vision is - set time aside to review what your vision is. See it. Think it. Write it down. Talk about it. In a business context, make it an integral part of business discussion at all levels within an organisation. Of course vision changes over time and you / the business grows, so keep reviewing it and let it grow with you. Remember that there are many people / business organisations that have sight but little vision. Be strong on vision.

2. Warm Temperature
It follows that if sunlight is consistent, then there will be consistently higher temperatures and this will be so even on the shaded rainforest floor. It speaks of incubation and encouragement. Often in business, there is a macho, self-preserving culture which manifests itself in management being rather conservative and selective in the amount of "true" encouragement given to employees and to peers. (Maybe it's a fear that sub-ordinates could excel and take their jobs?). The rainforest teaches us to practice encouragement and to foster a culture of sharing of new ideas, innovations, suggestions, etc. It teaches us to nurture, protect (not in a mothering sense), offer praise, et al. Failure is treated as an opportunity for new / stimulated growth. William Arthur Ward is an inspirational writer who said the following: "Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticise me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you". At a personal level, my experience is that as I encourage others I receive the same back. It's a case of reaping what I sow. I have learnt that the word encourage literally means to fill with courage or strength of purpose. Remember the following words - affirm, listen, enquire, empathise, minimise and offset, observe, deny and correct. What does each mean to you?

3. Rain in Abundance
"Water is analogous to information/communication. Half of the rain a rainforest receives comes from outside sources like the ocean, and the other half comes from its own processes of transpiration where water evaporates from the leaves back into the air".
In a business context, this means gathering marketing intelligence, listening to internal and external stakeholders, et al. It means gathering, evaluating, and disseminating useful information. Information is quite unique in that it has the capacity to create value.
In application to our personal growth, it's about seeing the world through our eyes AND through the eyes of others. It's about learning, asking questions, reading more, listening to tapes and CD's that will help us in our vision. It's not about "navel-gazing".
Rainforests in the Amazon region have very deep roots and even in dry weather they still flourish. Why? They are able to access those deep reservoirs of water and in combination with abundant sunlight they prosper. Thus, in business/personal life, the power of vision combined with depth of knowledge = prosperity.

I encourage you to get the book and to learn from the rainforests. Nature has so much to teach us. Remember that know-how is essential to fulfilling your dream.

"Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs" - Maxwell Maltz

Feb 26, 2009


In recent times the media has been full of doom and gloom in its reporting of the global economic situation. From East to West and from North to South, across the globe, economies are strained. The average person has been hit in his pocket as financial markets, large corporate organisations, banking institutions, the real estate market, et al, struggle. Now the situation of threatening global recession is real; and for many people, their thinking has been impacted on negatively as they are forced to "tighten their belts" and "shore-up". Of course, it is no secret that we act out what we think and thus it follows that those with negative (I'm not going to define this at all) thoughts in these times act defensively, with fear, short of creative energy, etc.

Whether it is the economy, one's health, relationships, career or any other area of one's life, to think negatively (in the face of challenge) will lead to negative behaviour and this yields less than optimum results.

Another reality is that "we live in a thought world, which is part of a thought universe" (WD Wattles - The Science of Getting Rich"). Also, the way one does things is directly proportional to the way one thinks about things. For us to get the results that we want, in the face of what may seem to be insurmountable obstacles, requires us to act in a certain way and that in turn requires us to think in that certain way. Regardless of appearance of circumstances, one has to think the result that one desires and hold an unwavering image of that result. To think anything else other than what one desires will diminish the manifestation of the desired result. There is volumes to be said about this truth and maybe we will return to it sometime.

Vitually all limitation is self-imposed. We each are an expression of the Creator of all things and consequently we have no limitations other than those which we accept in our minds. Despite the condition of the world that we live in, opportunity abounds and the world is still a world of abundance. Classical economics has taught us the law of scarcity and thus we think scarcity (not just financially but in most areas of our lives) the minute we experience the slightest degree of constraint. Fear and ignorance work together to rob us of seeing opportunity. The mind is like a fertile field - it will yield a crop of anything that we plant in it. Our thoughts produce tangible results and they have a significant and long term effect on our lives. What we think upon grows. Harvard psychologist, William James, said; "You are what you think think about most of the time".

If the above is true (and it is true), then it is of great importance that we learn to control our thoughts. I've borrowed some ideas from Napolean Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" as to how we could possibly learn to control our thoughts.

1. Use or Lose - simply put, practice makes perfect. Thought control is a function of intelligent practice.
2. Law of Correspondence - first the internal then the external. Watch what you think and feel and consciously make efforts to change the way you view things.
3. Law of Substitution - the only way to rid oneself of a particular thought is to replace it with another thought.
4. Law of Belief - believe without doubting is the principle. Develop positive expectancy.
5. Law of Attraction - surround yourself with positive people and avoid anything that may breed negative in your life.
6. Law of Compensation - become a giver and you will receive. Give freely, give with joy and give without expecting a return.

Remember that our thoughts are "now things". Our future is in our now. Let me conclude with these quotations:

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want - and if they can't find them, they make them". - George Bernard Shaw

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" - Hebrews 11:1 (NIV Bible)

"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt" - William Shakespeare

Jan 14, 2009


Being my first post of 2009, I thought that I'd take some time to redirect our thoughts to what each one of us has inside of us - possibly as a "launch pad" to what is possible for each of us, this year. I am convinced that for many of us, if we took our personal potential seriously (and did something with it) we would improve our lives dramatically. My view is that every person has greatness inside of them and it is our individual challenge to recognise our greatness, to allow it to emerge and then to develop it to maturity. Sadly, it is my observation that most people ignore what they have and who they are and spend a lifetime trying to emulate others or to have what others have. I believe in Creation and I believe that we each have been created with our own uniqueness.

There is a fascinating story first told by Dr. Russell H. Conwell in the late 1800's just after the American Civil War. The story (a true story), is called "Acres of Diamonds" and it tells of the struggles of a farmer who settled in Africa. In summary, the story goes like this:

"The farmer worked really hard to produce a good crop out of ground that was rocky and very difficult to work. His frustration with his lot lead him to take to heart the stories that he'd heard of men who had searched for and found diamonds in the countryside. Of course, he too wanted to be rich and in an attempt to walk away from his hardships, he sold his land cheaply and spent the rest of his life searching the continent of Africa for these much spoken about precious stones and a personal fortune. Regretably he was never to make his big discovery and on a fateful day, in absolute despair, this broken man threw himself into a river and drowned.
One day the man who had bought the farm found a large and most unusual looking stone in a stream running through the farm property. On investigation, this stone was found to be a diamond of enormous value. Further exploration uncovered diamonds all over the farm land, and later this property was to become one of the world's richest diamond mines.
Yes, of course, the previous owner had no idea of his hidden riches. He unknowingly owned acres of diamonds. He'd probably seen some of them but had never taken the time to learn what a diamond in its rough state actually looked like. I guess had he just explored his land a bit he would have uncovered his wealth."


Let me issue you with a challenge to stop and to look carefully at your circumstances, environment, personality, character, et al. Are you looking elsewhere for what you want in life? Do you think that the grass is greener on the other side? Is it possible that others are looking at where you are and saying that your lot is better than theirs? Is there "wealth" where you are?

There are opportunities all around you. Search them out. March to your own drumbeat. You have power to accomplish your dream. You have unexplored greatness and untapped potential just waiting to be discovered.

Make 2009 your year of discovery. Look deep into who you are, what you have, where you are at, before going out to explore the world for diamonds. Those diamonds that you so desperately want may well be right under your feet. There is wealth inside of you.

Let me take the opportunity to wish you a year of personal discovery that results in 2009 yielding an abundant crop for you in all areas of your life.

"The individual must control his deepest perception of himself, lest he be overwhelmed by the forces of negativism and defeat in those around him" - Napolean Hill.

Dec 31, 2008


Goodness, here we are right at the end of 2008. Following my last post, I trust that many of you were able to finish 2008 strongly and that you are all set for a brilliant 2009.

For those in Australia and regions thereabouts, the New Year has been ushered in and 2009 has arrived. For those in Europe and Africa, in just a few hours 2009 will be a reality; and for those further West in the America's, 31.12.2008 is still fresh and 2009 may seem a little further away than for those in other parts of the world. Regardless of what time zone you are in, 2009 will arrive. A New Year (for most people) means new year resolutions, a fresh start, turning over a new leaf, etc. It's often at the beginning of a new year that folk re-evaluate where they are in their lives and reposition themselves in relation to the things that they want in life.

The problem with most new year resolutions, fresh goals, et al, is that there is often no corresponding plan to fulfill the resolutions, achieve the goals, etc. In a very cynical sense, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Now this may sound harsh, but it's true and I guess that the scrapheap of abandoned new year resolutions, broken dreams dreamt at the start of a new year, unachieved goals, is quite a scrapheap. We all have sincere intentions and GREAT thoughts of where we want to be in our lives.

Why do people fail? It's my view that it's not because they don't work hard enough, or don't have enough talent or are not educated enough. I propose that most people fail because they do not have a good enough detailed plan as to "how to get there". One cannot underestimate the power of a clearly defined, deliberate, and "followable" plan of action. Now, I'm not talking about a few simple sketchy action steps - I am talking about a plan of blueprint proportions, like the one a builder will have to build a house. An engineered plan drawn with careful attention to detail.

For 2009, here are a few steps that you could follow to get to where you want to go:
1. Define exactly what you want or where you want to be. Be exact, be precise. It's no good having a statement which says that "I want to lose weight". How much weight do I want to lose? What cannot be measured cannot be controlled.
2. List the incremental steps on the way to achieving what you want.
3. Order the sequence of the steps in (2) above. What comes first, second, etc.
4. Put timing to the accomplishment of the sequential steps from (3) above. Be realistic but not too liberal in setting timeframes.

It's a little like cooking, isn't it. I could have a kitchen, ingredients, utensils, etc. and still make a mess of a specified dish if I do not have a recipe.
For 2009, ensure that you follow a recipe for your success.
One last thing - say what you want and keep saying it. Don't allow circumstances or people to steal your dream. Don't let them sow the seeds of doubt in your mind. When things get tough, revisit your plan and keep speaking what it is that you want. The mouth is a powerful tool which governs a large part of what we achieve or don't achieve in life.

I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a 2009 which exceeds your best expectations.

"Success is neither magical or mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals." -- Jim Rohn

Dec 1, 2008


Well, today is the first day of the last calendar month of 2008 and ...... (to use an expression) it is the first day of the rest of your life. How 2008 has flown by. With the end of the year only a few weeks away, many people will be looking at 2008 and asking questions about what the year has yielded for them. It's evaluation and reflection time.

For some of us we will be pleased that the year has yielded a good harvest, for some it may be a moderate harvest and for others it may have been a year of less than optimal harvest. Regardless, though, there is a reality - and that is that there is nothing that we can do to change what has happened. To a large extent 2008 has been confined to history. But hey, there's still a month of 2008 left and there's still time for that final push that will edge us closer to the dreams that we had for 2008. Let's exercise that last spurt of energy that could help us to fulfil one or the other (as yet) unfilled goal. This is not the time of year to adopt a sense of abandonment in regard to our set goals for 2008 and it's not the time to resign ourselves to the thought that all is lost and that the year is gone. We still have time to recover and to FINISH STRONG in 2008.

And of course, a strong finish will set the tone for a good start to 2009. At this time of the year many folk will be "winding down" and easing into a year end vacation. But, to finish the year off strongly we ought to put a little plan together to work a little harder and smarter over the next few weeks. It's a good time to wrap up a few things. Now is a good time to put that last business proposal together, or to tie up an outstanding matter, or to make a few more calls, possibly do a few more presentations or conclude another deal. Success is not something that just happens, it requires some effort, smart work and a plan. What a great time to gather some momentum for 2009. Now is an ideal time to start thinking about what it is that we want for 2009. Pull out your calendar, calculator, personal notes, et al and get cracking. Remember that FINISHING STRONGLY in 2008 is up to each one of us and a STRONG FINISH will pave the way to a strong 2009. It's a case of, "if it's going to be then it's up to me". Oh yes - you can do it!!!!!

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." Goethe

Oct 22, 2008


There is an adage which says, "If it's going to be then it's up to me". This is so true. Too often we tend to abdicate personal responsibility for developing the "true us" and instead we commute responsibility, for this, to a good friend, a mentor or personal life coach, an employer, religious guidance, et al. Now of course people can speak into our lives, but really they cannot be responsible for developing "the best me that me can be". For each one of us we have got to picture in our mind a sense of personal destiny.

Nobody can hope to experience a truely fulfilling life and a life that can be labelled "GREAT", without pursuing personal destiny. Now if destiny is not fate and it can be designed then we have the opportunity, each one of us, to design a GREAT life.

For many people a GREAT life is about money, material possessions, personal accomplishment in business or some other field, power, etc. In as much as these things may be good and they may bring a sense of personal satisfaction, can they give an absolute assurance of a GREAT life? I venture NO as an answer. So, how does one define a GREAT LIFE?

1. PURPOSE - I have come to appreciate that to live without a compelling WHY is futility in manifestation. Life has got to have a grand purpose. It's about living "on purpose" for "a purpose". Nothing hit-and-miss, trial and error or stumbled upon. A GREAT life is a life that lives for something bigger than itself. What is your purpose for living? Why are you here?

2. CONTRIBUTION - Each one of us is gifted with a skills set, inherent talents, and in general personal tools that can change the lives of those who come into our sphere of influence. It should be a driving force that we add value wherever we go and to everybody that we meet. Nobody should encounter me and stay the same thereafter. Of course, we are talking about positive impact. A GREAT life makes a difference, it makes a statement, it is a catalyst for change and for action.

3. LEGACY - It is my personal mission to ensure that my children and their children go further than I have been in life. It is my desire to spur others on to bigger, better, more, further, etc. This requires taking leadership (first personal leadership) and getting people to follow me and to teach them to go beyond where I am and beyond the limitations of their thoughts. The next generation must be inspired by my life - motivated to dream of GREATER and challenged to action.

There is GREATNESS inside every human being. As you read this ...... STOP!!!! Take a moment to affirm yourself and look deep inside of yourself. YOU ARE GREAT - it's time to live that GREATNESS.

"Somewhere along the line we discover who we really are, and then make our real decisions for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else's life" - Eleanor Roosevelt.