When legendary explorer Douglas Mawson was hanging on for dear life in a crevasse in Antarctica, he recalled a line from a poem titled, “The Quitter” written by Robert W. Service in the early 1900’s, which gave him the courage and perspective required to hold on and keep going when all seemed lost.

Here is the poem in full: Read the rest of this entry »

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I don’t know what the odds are of a tree or shrub flourishing from a single seed in its natural habitat.

100/1

1,000/1

I guess the odds are better in the perfect conditions that a garden can provide, although with my gardening skills, that’s questionable.

When you put a seed in the ground, not matter how well you water it and care for it, there are no guarantees.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger once said:

“I always tell people that you can call me anything that you want, but don’t ever, ever call me a self-made man. It gives the wrong impression, that we can do it alone. None of us can. The whole concept of the self-made man or woman is a myth. I would have never made it in my life without the help.

I want you to understand this because as soon as you know you are here because of a lot of help, then you also understand that now it’s time to help others. That’s what this is all about.”

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It would be nice if success was guaranteed.

If you just followed a simple, risk-free formula and all of your dreams suddenly come true.

There are those who would tell us that it’s that easy.

It’s not.

There are no guarantees.

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I had a great idea for a short little story the other day.

I think it had a bird in it.  Perhaps it was an eagle, but I can’t remember.

And a lion or something similar also made an appearance, but I have no idea what it was supposed to be doing in the story.

And at the end there was a great point that I’m sure would have been helpful for someone.

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In most fields there are those at the very top who make what they do look easy.

Despite the complexity and challenge of the tasks they are performing, they float along smoothly.

Roger Federer, Tom Cruise, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey, the list goes on.

It’s easy to become jealous of them and wish that you had that kind of skill, but remember that those who make it look easy have worked relentlessly on their skills to reach that point.

They have taken years to master the fundamentals of their craft.

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Sometimes I feel as though I am the luckiest person in the world.

I have been happily married to my best friend for 21 years and we have three terrific kids who are growing up quickly.

I love my work and enjoy meeting fascinating people and making a positive difference through my business.

I have a strong faith and attend a wonderful church that constantly challenges and equips me.

My beloved Richmond Tigers even won the AFL premiership last year after a 37 year drought (I never get tired of writing that).

Life is good.

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After a few days away, our bamboo was looking a bit dry and with a 42C day coming up tomorrow (that’s 107F for my American friends), I grabbed a hose and gave them a good watering.

As I drenched the garden, hoping that the plants absorbed as much of the water as possible, I wondered about what we are absorbing.

Is it positive or negative?

Helpful or hindering?

Some of what we absorb will be environmental.  It will come from our surroundings.

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“Why do we do it this way?”

“It’s just the way we’ve always done it,” is generally the response.

I’m sure that there was a legitimate reason at the time, but that reason has been lost in the mists of time and probably doesn’t work anymore.

If you can’t explain the status quo.

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People are afraid.

They don’t know what the future holds.

They are suspicious of the motives of others.

They are fast losing hope.

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