General

Daring Greatly

At first glance these seem pretty heavy subjects – vulnerability and shame. Actually they don’t just seem heavy they really are! But please don’t stop reading!  According to Brene Brown in the TED talk below vulnerability and shame also hold the key to living a whole-hearted life – that is a life of courage and authenticity. If you are a regular reader of this blog my hunch is that you too hunger for this.   If courage and authenticity is something you aspire to then please don’t allow your initial
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A different kind of freedom fighter

To my mind Brené Brown is a revolutionary and freedom fighter. Maybe not in the conventional sense of the word, but still very much a freedom fighter. She is a fighter in the cause of understanding and harnessing the power or weakness and vulnerability to live a full life. Our world desperately needs more of this kind of revolutionary and freedom fighter. Who is Brené Brown? She is an American scholar, author, and public speaker. She is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social
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Could well meaning friends be holding you back?

Its a fascinating experiment described by business professors Gary Hamel and C.K.Prahalad. In a research project four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the centre with a large bunch of bananas at the top.   As you would expect one of the monkeys spotted the bananas and started to climb the pole to get them. No sooner did he (let’s assume they were all male) start to climb the pole did he find himself soaked by a torrent of cold water. Every time he
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Are you in the right season?

I’ve come to the conclusion that work-life balance is fundamentally flawed. As a concept to govern your life it should be discarded. For my thinking behind this do see 3 Reasons Why We Get Work-Life Balance Wrong and Is It Work-Life Balance Or Integration? I think another more helpful analogy is that of seasons. A season is  a relatively brief period of time, around 12-13 weeks. Take the example of a farmer. His priorities depend on which season he is in. Spring is for planting. Summer is for ensuring his crops
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Podcast #023: What makes for a good education?

According to the futurist and philosopher Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” The subject of education evokes strong views from all sorts of people. It is multi-billion dollar industry. In this podcast with my co-host Andrew Horton we give our personal reflections on education and learning. Do join us as we discuss: What do we actually mean by education? How doing well at school so often has little correlation with being
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Is it work-life balance or integration?

I’ve come to the conclusion that work-life balance is fundamentally a flawed concept.  The problem with balance is that it implies giving an equal amount of time and attention to every area of my life – and that is simply just not possible. It’s not possible to give in equal measure each week the same same amount of time to, say work; the same amount to family; the same amount to exercise or to friends or to other meaningful activities.(I’ve explained more on this in a previous post).   Perhaps
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We’re all materialists now!

We live in a culture which is dominated by one particular worldview…. Stop, Andy! What do you mean by ‘worldview’? Everyone has a worldview. It’s all about the assumptions we make about people, the world, the universe and all that is. Because they are assumptions, they usually operate at a subconscious level. They are like specs that we wear all the time, colouring our view of everything. They are so pervasive that we don’t even notice we’re wearing them! No one can live without a worldview. Worldview questions sound a
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Podcast #022: The stories we tell ourselves

Everyone loves a good story. Stories are part of what make us human. But I am not talking about the novels and classics many of us love to read. There is already a story going on in each of our minds. It is those stories that we tell ourselves about what happens to us that can have huge implications for our lives. How do those stories come from the way we see the world? Do come and join my co-host Andrew Horton and I as we discuss: The see-do-get model
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When it feels as if you will never get there

Its that proverbial chant of little children on a long journey from the back seat of the car, “Are we there yet?” They are getting bored and fidgety about reaching the destination they are travelling with their parents to. Every 5 minutes that same question comes. And yet in many ways we never grow out of it. We all have dreams and aspirations. We all live with a sense of wanting to find deep and lasting fulfilment. Some of us are better at articulating that than others. One of my
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How to develop a deeply resilient life

I first picked up the book, ‘A Resilient Life’ by Gordon MacDonald when I was just turning 40. That was a very long time ago! Even so I still remember the profound impact it had on me then (and still continues to have). At the time I was entering into mid-life with all the associated questioning and self-doubt as to what had I achieved or, perhaps more accurately, not achieved in my life. It seemed to me so many others had done so much more, were further along the road
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Work-life balance. Is it possible?

The idea of work-life balance is popular. For many years I strived to achieve it. I now think, as it is commonly understood, it is grossly over-rated and even potentially harmful. I know that is a radical thing to say. Here’s why. Balance is dynamic and not static. Another way of saying that is life-work balance is a tension to be managed rather than a problem to be solved. When we think of balance we instinctively think of a scale. There are two priorities of equal value and we are
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Podcast #021: Grit

In  a world that is becoming increasingly volatile, unpredictable, challenging and complex, the development of grit has arguably never been more necessary. On the one hand, especially in the more prosperous parts of the world, we have never had more access to technology and labour saving devices. At the same time it is incredibly easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted by the never ending demands on our time and the things that need to be done at what seems to be greater and greater speed. Do come and join my
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What does it actually take to be a more caring person?

Developing care and compassion for others is not necessarily something that comes naturally. It cannot be easily taught in a classroom or from lectures. However, being a caring person is an essential life skill for our own character development and to grow into maturity. This 5 minute video from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, United States powerfully shows what it actually takes to develop a truly caring and compassionate mindset. As you watch it you will see an unexpected and surprising twist in the lives of the subjects portrayed: The
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What can the Olympics teach you about your life?

It’s great fun to watch the Olympics. Seeing the athletes and sports men and women perform to such a high standard is often incredibly inspiring and exciting. Their dedication and commitment to excellence and achieving that elusive gold medal is quite remarkable. The vast majority do not reach that level of acclaim and greatness. Their lives can seem so far removed from ours. Yet there are principles on life we can glean from such champions. Anson Dorrance, who started the University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer Program in 1979 and
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Midlife – Crisis or Chrysalis?

“Is this all I am ever going to do?” Have you ever had this thought? If so, you might be approaching midlife, or maybe you already got there. Where is that exactly? Well it keeps moving because people live longer and healthier, but for most of us it starts anywhere from your forties through to sixty-something. Of course the idea that there might be something new to do isn’t limited to middle-age but it is often a feature of middle-age. Some people call this time of re-thinking and longing a
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    This information is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. Please ask your physician about any health guidelines seen in this blog, as everyone is different in his or her medical needs.