In our local shopping centre is a middle-aged Chinese man who washes the windows.

Every time I see him working, he has a big smile on his face and is either singing or whistling to himself.

It’s not a fun, glamorous job and he  doesn’t work in great conditions, but he is always singing.

When he’s working outside on a stinking hot day in the middle of summer, he’s singing.

When he’s working outside on a freezing cold, windy day in the middle of winter, he’s singing.

Whether customers smile at him, scowl or just ignore him, he’s singing.

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“Who’s fault is this?”

“Why do I have to do this?”

“Why can’t my life be more like …?”

“When is the economy going to get better?”

“When is my luck going to change?”

Wrong question.

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I suspect that this is one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself today.

Do you seek comfort or courage?

Are you aspiring for an easy life, or for a life that matters?

Are you looking to stay safe, or to take risks?

Do you want to stop work and retire early, or do you want to maximise your skills for as long as you can?

Do you want to hide in the herd, or do you want to be remarkable?

Do you hope for predictability, or a life of adventure?

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Imagine an extraordinary future.

One where you are doing your best work at a world-class level.

Where your influence is greater than you could imagine.

Where you are able to make a decent living doing work that you love.

Where you are healthy and energetic.

Where you are making a positive difference in the world that will last well after you’re gone.

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There are no guarantees that your idea will work.

There are no guarantees that anyone will like it.

There are no guarantees that you can sustain the work over a long period of time.

There are no guarantees that you will even like it if you try.

There are no guarantees that your dreams can become a reality.

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One of my favourite writers, Paulo Coelho, tells the story of a novice who went to Abbot Macarius seeking advice about the best way to please the Lord.

“Go to the cemetery and insult the dead.” said Macarius.

The brother did as he was told. The following day, he returned to Macarius.

“Did they respond?” asked the abbot.

The novice said, “No, they didn’t.”

“Then go to them and praise them.”

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There will be times when you notice someone who hasn’t delivered at an expected level.

Or perhaps they have made a dramatic mistake or have been unmotivated for quite some time.

In each of these coaching opportunities, you have a choice.

You could: Read the rest of this entry »

robin williamsThe passing of comedian Robin Williams in the past couple of days is an undoubted tragedy.

That he did it by his own hand makes it even sadder.

He was a truly remarkable man who made us all laugh.

Sometimes, he made us laugh and think at the same time, a brilliant combination.

We’ve seen the movies and heard the quotes, but it’s the story of his friendship with Christopher Reeve says a lot about this brilliant and kind-hearted man.

They had been friends since they roomed together at the prestigious Julliard’s school of drama.

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I’m not much of a gardener, but here’s my gardening tip for the day.

If you have a problem with blackbirds or other birds scratching about in your garden and making a mess of your paths, there’s a simple solution.

By placing a fake falcon in your garden, the blackbirds will stay away, keeping your gardens in pristine condition.

Even though the predators aren’t real, the fear is and on the basis of a perception the birds are held back.

Are we that different?

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I was born on this day 43 years ago (feel free to sing).

And the day will come when I’m no longer here (hopefully after a few more birthdays).

One day there will be a tombstone with my name on it and two dates.  The day I was born and the day I died, with a small dash in between.

The day I was born is nice to celebrate, the day I die I could do without, but it’s really the dash that matters.

In that dash, I hope that I am able to: Read the rest of this entry »

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