You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.

After delivering their kids’ letters to Santa in the weeks preceding Christmas, a group of adults decided to make their own requests and write their own letters.

Between them, they had a long list of wishes.

Some wished for better jobs and more satisfying careers.

Some wished for better marriages and better relationships with their children.

Some wished for slimmer physiques.

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What are you good at?

I mean really good.

I’m talking elite level, walk into a room of 100 people and you’re better at this than anyone else in the room.  Or perhaps a room of 500 people, or even 1000.

Be assured that there is something that you’re good at.

If you don’t know what it is yet, you really need to find out.

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English: Gift ideas for men - wrapping paper e...

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I love Christmas.

It’s one of my favourite times of the year, but I know that many people find it stressful.  One of the reasons it can be so stressful is that it can be a very expensive period for a lot of people.

As such, here are a few free gifts that you can give to those around you this Christmas.

They may not cost you a cent, but they can add significant value to those around you:

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Just imagine two travellers.

They both have the capacity to comfortably walk for 10 miles.

They are both given a travelling companion for their journey.

The travelling companion for the first person is such a great encourager, such a positive person and such an energiser, that this traveller is able to walk for 15 miles before finally wilting.

The travelling companion for the second person is such a whiner, such a negative person and such an energy drainer, that this traveller is only able to walk for 7 miles before giving up.

Now be honest.  Which person are you?

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Lion - Louisville Zoo

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One blog that consistently gets me thinking is written by Jonathan Fields.

In the past couple of days he wrote about a new ebook by Julien Smith called, The Flinch.  It’s available for free through the Kindle (another reason to love my Kindle), so I jumped straight onto Amazon and grabbed a copy.  You don’t actually need a kindle to read it, you just need the kindle app and you can read it almost anywhere.

I haven’t read the whole book yet, but I’m enjoying it so far.  Here’s a small excerpt that I want to share with you:

Somewhere in the world, a lion wakes up every morning not knowing what it’s going to eat. Every day, it finds food. The lion isn’t worried—it just does what it needs to do.

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Lots of acorns this year, lots of squirrels.

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There was once a family of squirrels who lived in a large oak tree.

They had lived in this tree for many generations and it gave them all that they needed to survive, acorns to eat and protection from predators, so they never left its branches.

Then the tree started to die and it stopped producing new acorns, so the family of squirrels had a meeting to decide what they should do next.

The oldest son, Nifty, said, “We need to move trees, we won’t survive if we stay here.”

Uncle Nutty responded, “We can’t do that, we’ll be killed for sure.  The hawks, foxes and bears are just waiting for us to leave this tree, we can’t possibly leave.”

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One of our family’s favourite activities is to visit a local pond and feed the ducks.

We have a few areas near us where we can do this and our kids have enjoyed these outings since they were very young.

As I’ve observed these beautiful creatures, there are a few key leadership principles that I think we can learn from them.

So here are three important leadership lessons that I’ve observed from ducks:

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It’s now summer here in Melbourne and whilst it’s been a mild one so far, it’s sure to heat up in the coming months with temperatures regularly reaching the high 30’s (or over 100 fahrenheit for my American friends).

When the first heat wave comes, air conditioners are suddenly sold in massive numbers as people realise that they need comfort from the heat.  They end up paying more, or having to wait for the next shipment as the store has sold out.

But why wait, don’t they know it’s coming?

If you’ve lived in Australia for more than a couple of years, you know that it’s going to get hot during summer and you’ll need an air conditioner.

But often we wait until it’s almost too late before taking action.

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There are two piano players playing the same piece of music.

They play exactly the same notes, but only one feels the music and plays with passion.  The other one just plays the notes.

Only one connects with her audience… the artist.

There are two presenters delivering the same message.

They use exactly the same words, but only one makes eye contact and speaks with enthusiasm and joy.  The other one just reads his presentation.

Only one connects with his audience… the artist.

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Most people want to make a difference.

Most people want to help to make things better.

Most people would like to find a way to change the world.

But we don’t always know where to start.

Here’s my proposal for today.

Choose someone you think you can make a difference to.  It could be a colleague from work, a friend from church, a neighbour, someone who works for you, a troubled teenager or anyone else that you can think of.

For the purposes of this exercise, your own kids don’t count as I’m going to assume that you do this already.

And then for the next year: Read the rest of this entry »

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