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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Podcast #020: Being a voice to the voiceless

Baroness Caroline Cox founded Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) in 2004. In the video and podcast below we find out about the inspiration behind the charity and its work in making a difference. HART seeks to reach those who are off the radar screen of the mainstream media and cannot be supported by major aid agencies. Do join us on the podcast as we discuss with Baroness Caroline Cox how HART was founded to fill a need to support and encourage those in desperate need and without a voice. On
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What if you could read other people’s minds?

I know for myself how easy it is to assume things about other people with little or no evidence. They don’t say anything or they say something we don’t like and we make assumptions about who they are and what their faults and failings are. Psychologists call this the fundamental attribution error, which basically means we judge ourselves by our motives, but others by their actions. So, for example, I see a father getting angry with his child and make a judgement that he must be a bad parent. However, when I
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What should you actually be doing next?

While I’m afraid I can’t give you a specific answer to that question, you don’t need me to tell you that life can get incredibly busy. There has been an exponential increase in technology and so there are an almost infinite number of priorities pressing for our attention every moment of the day.  It can be practically anything from emails to instant messaging and social media to the person who comes to you saying “Do you have a spare minute?” And you know its going to be a lot more than
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Finding momentum in your life

A train when it is going fast enough and has sufficient momentum can knock down a concrete wall. That same train if it is stationary and has a one inch block in front of the driving wheel on the track will not be able to even start. In life with no momentum a one inch size problem can stop you. But with momentum you can make incredible progress and hardly notice that there was a problem there in the first place. Such is the power of momentum. John Maxwell’s 16th
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Podcast #019: Baroness Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox is a remarkable lady. 6 July 2016 is her 79th Birthday. She is mother to 2 sons and a daughter as well as grandmother to 10 children. But she is no ordinary grandmother who likes to sit at home knitting, baking cakes and watching television. She has been accused by some of being a secret agent because of her ability to enter countries whose oppressive governments are intent on keeping her out. Her work in protecting the rights of Muslim women from oppression through Sharia courts in the UK has bizarrely
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7 simple ways you can develop grit

Do you want to do something meaningful and make a significant difference with your life? If the answer is no then you can stop reading now. If yes then whatever you want to do, you are going to need grit. You don’t need me to tell you that life can be incredibly tough and challenging at times. (For more on that see here). The difference between those who find a way to not just survive, but actually go on to thrive and flourish has to do with grit. We have previously
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The difference grit can make to you

Why do some people have the ability to persevere and reach their goals, while others flounder and just give up at the first hurdle? Or why is it that success in school so often correlates poorly with success and achievement in the world of work? Popular opinion tends to say that such people who go on to achieve are just amazingly talented or even just ‘lucky’. We tend to assume that people succeed in life because of their natural giftedness or talent, their social intelligence or qualifications. But it is
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How assertive should you be?

I am not a naturally assertive person. In fact I can at times really struggle with getting my point across. Should I speak up and risk a confrontation? Or should I remain silent? Is this an issue I should let pass or should I be making an issue here? Such thoughts can often go through my mind But I am sure I am not the only person with this issue. The dilemma of what is appropriately assertive is vividly described in Solomon’s proverbs collected by Hezekiah (715-686 BC).  In the
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Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

One of the exciting things about watching sport is it can give such a powerful illustration of overcoming adversity. No matter which game or sport it is there is something truly inspiring and exhilarating about watching a player or team turn a situation around that seemed hopeless or beyond rescue. Recently in the world of T20 cricket in April 2016, West Indies were able to pull off a stunning victory over England in the final when Carlos Brathwaite in the last over was able to hit four successive 6s. What had
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Can you find a way to win?

What makes a successful leader stand out from someone who suffers defeat? According to John Maxwell’s 15th Irrefutable Law of Leadership it is simply the unwillingness to accept defeat. To put it more positively, leaders find a way for the team to win. Why? Because the alternative to winning is completely unacceptable to them, they push on through to work out what must be done to achieve victory. When they fall down, they simply get back up again and look for another way to move forward. The life of Winston
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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.