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Not-the-victory-but-theAt Memorial Stadium, the home of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, the following quote is inscribed on the southwest corner of the stadium:

Not the victory but the action;

Not the goal but the game;

In the deed the glory.

It’s a terrific reminder not to get too fixated on the outcome at the expense of the actions that drive success.

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What-would-need-toYou may have wild dreams for your life.

You may have massive aspirations regarding your finances, your business or your level of influence.

You may have ambitious ideas about how far you can take your art.

It would be pretty cool to achieve such outcomes, but every now and then I hear of people who have results in life that exceed their wildest dreams.

What happened?

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There-will-be-no-oneAuthor and neurologist, Oliver Sacks passed away over the weekend at the age of 82.  A remarkable thinker and a beautiful soul, he wrote the following after finding out that he was terminally ill with cancer:

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death. Read the rest of this entry »

My-challenge-for-you-andRegular readers will recall that earlier this year, Dusty the golden retriever joined our family.

She’s a great dog, but the dog hair drives me crazy sometimes.  It’s on my clothes, it’s on the furniture, it gathers in little piles in the corner of every room, it’s everywhere!

We now have one of those little sticky, rolly gadgets (I have no idea what they’re called), that we use to get the hair off before we leave the house, which is especially important for the kids as they insist on giving Dusty a big cuddle in their school uniforms every morning.

And don’t get me started on the kids.

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We-dont-need-you-to-beWithout a trombone, an orchestra isn’t quite the same.

Without a bassoon, it seems to be missing something.

If there’s no piccolo, certain pieces of music are blander.

And if the timpani are missing, there’s less drama and intensity.

Of course, orchestras are huge and if one violin player isn’t there, everyone just moves one seat to the right to pick up the slack.

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When-you-stand-out-fromWhen a small fish stands out from the rest of the shoal, it gets eaten by a shark.

When a zebra stands out from the rest of the herd, it gets eaten by a lion.

When a pigeon stands out from the rest of the flock, it gets eaten by a hawk.

As social creatures, we often see ourselves in a similar light.

Don’t do anything too outrageous, you’ll be criticised.

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Learning-is-great-ButPersonal development isn’t going to hyped up rah-rah seminars.

It isn’t reading the latest books or listening to awesome podcasts.

It isn’t signing up for a night school course or university lecture.

It isn’t having coffee and a chat with a trusted, wise mentor.

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Have-you-realised-thatMartyn Lloyd-Jones once said,

“Have you realised that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

What an extraordinary insight.

It’s easy to fall prey to the voices in our head.

The voices that tell us that we’re not good enough.

The voices that continually remind us of our failures.

The voices that fill us with fear and anxiety about our present and future predicaments.

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But-the-hair-on-his-headOne of the most tragic characters from the Old Testament is Samson.

He’s the long-haired, muscled Adonis who was destined for greatness but fell for the wrong girl.

As a consequence, his long hair (which was the source of his strength) shaved off, the power of God left him and he was led away in disgrace by his enemies.

His eyes were torn out and poor old Samson became an object of scorn, taken out and paraded at special events so that his tormentors could make fun of him.

Thankfully the story doesn’t end there.

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The-road-to-hell-isMost people have good intentions.

They want to be good parents and intend to spend time with their kids, encourage them in their education and interests, give them boundaries and discipline, and help them to feel valued and loved.

They want to have good careers, with the aim to work hard, add value to clients and maximise their skills in a way that makes the world a better place.

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