It took just a change of words

Words are powerful and can have a dramatic effect on our feelings, energy and attitude. To illustrate this, have a look at the introduction to Charles Dickens’ classic book ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ : “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it
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When is wife-beating just a cultural issue?

No you haven’t misread the title of this blog post!  We have talked about how culture is much more than the food we eat and the clothes we wear. It profoundly affects the way we look at life and in turn the way we live. Everyone likes to think their cultural way of doing things is the best or even the only way. That brings us to the example of wife-beating. Should it be a crime for a husband to beat his wife? Or is wife beating just a cultural issue? That’s not
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When life just doesn’t make sense

Joseph is one of my favourite Bible characters. The story has been well known over the centuries, and more recently was the subject of a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Who was Joseph? He was the favourite son of Jacob. Jacob in turn was the grandson of Abraham, greatly revered in the three great monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Joseph was given the famous multi-coloured coat and also had the ability to interpret dreams. However, he went through a series of unfortunate and undeserved betrayals and tragedies. Joseph
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5 things you can control in an increasingly uncontrollable world

Life is complex and unpredictable. So much happens that is outside of our control. Just in this past week I have had to contend with major organisational changes at work, a gas leak at home with freezing temperatures outside and cataract surgery. On the grand scale of things these are all relatively minor, but each has the capability to unsettle or cause major disquiet,especially if you are something of a control addict like me! There is also so much that happens we don’t expect or takes us by surprise. It
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What is your culture?

When we think about culture we tend to think about the foods different people eat, how they eat that food as well as the clothes they wear. (For a fun quiz on food habits around the world see here). While that has a place, it is only the start. Talking about culture is a bit like asking a fish, ‘What is water?’ Because the water is such a fundamental part of its existence, the fish hardly notices it is there – unless the water is taken away or changes for
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Where do I find the time?

In 2017 where do I find the time to do the things that I tell myself are important to me? All of us know what it feels like to be overwhelmed and rushed. We also all know what it feels like to have time seem to be moving quickly ahead and not getting to that important project or task we know we should be doing. As someone humorously once said, ‘Life is like a toilet roll. The nearer you get to the end the faster it goes, and the more
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Podcast #025: Is there a difficult person in your life?

To be human is to have conflict with other people. You cannot avoid it. Conflict can cause stress, as well as a host of other consequences, such as loss of sleep and even physical illness. But if you’ve had a difficult relationship, you come to realise that just ignoring it is often not the best way to handle it. So how can conflict be a means to growth and getting closer to others rather than being driven further apart? Is that even a possiblity for the difficult relationship in your
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Looking Back With Gratitude on 2016

What a year 2016 has been! Internationally there has been the surprise and for many the shock of the Brexit vote in the UK; the chaos and hardship of the demonetisation of the 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee note and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Less publicised, but just as significant and probably the most clearly positive event, was the end of the 50 year war in Colombia that has claimed as many as 220,000 lives. So often in our media saturated world there is much that
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The Courage of Christmas

Courage is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to thinking about Christmas. It is such a feel good time of year, along with a sense of unreality compared to the rest of life. We look forward to the holidays and putting aside the usual worries and concerns. Everyone seems so relaxed and everything for a few days appears to slow down. All over the world, children enact nativity scenes and Father Christmas comes to jolly everyone with presents and good cheer. So what does
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The importance of a good night’s sleep

“If you want to be a billionaire, sleep as little as possible.” Donald Trump. “Sleep is a criminal waste of time. A heritage from our cave days.” Thomas Edison. “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.” Bill Clinton Sleep. So easy to take for granted, but so essential – especially if you are not getting enough. And yet there is so much bravado and neglect when we think about sleep. Whatever you may think of Donald Trump and Thomas Edison, their opinions
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Podcast #024: Making sense of time

Time. Such an important part of our lives and yet so hard to get a grasp of! We all have the same amount – 168 hours or 10,080 minutes a week or 86, 400 seconds a day. But we all struggle and wrestle with it. On top of that time is such a strange concept to grasp. What do we exactly mean by time and why does it seem to go at such a varying pace during different periods of our life? As someone once said: If you want to
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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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    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.