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English: A Peafowl flaring his feathers. Franç...

Image via Wikipedia

Peacocks were born to display their beauty to the world.

So they do.

Giraffes were born to reach the tallest leaves.

So they do.

Eagles were born to soar high above the earth.

So they do. Read the rest of this entry »

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There was a poet and a journalist.

They both had a particular skill with words, but there was a distinct difference in how they used them.

The poet wrote according to what was in his heart, the journalist wrote according to a deadline.

The poet’s words were written with freedom, the journalist’s words went through an editor.

The poet wrote about his own experiences, emotions and pain, the journalist wrote facts about others.

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Pain is inevitable in life.

No matter how much you try, you can’t avoid it.

What you do get to choose is the sort of pain you experience.

You can either choose the pain of hard work, of taking risks that don’t always work, practicing hard and living a disciplined life that forgoes comfort now for comfort later, or you can choose the pain of regret, of terminal dissatisfaction and of knowing that you could have done more, but didn’t.

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To be truly outstanding, you need to be the exception, not the norm.

But to be exceptional requires certain behaviours to be normal.

The days when you’re feeling optimistic about your current circumstances and the future need to be the norm, not the exception.

The days when you do your best work need to be the norm, not the exception.

The days when you commit yourself to continued learning and personal growth need to be the norm, not the exception.

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Money - Black and White Money

Money (Photo credit @Doug88888)

We’ve been very busy lately.

In the midst of my usual job, organising our son’s 7th birthday party and writing this blog, we’ve had a lot of clients coming in to have their resume done through our home business.

As we schedule more clients and try to find a way to get the work done, I’ve found myself saying to my wife, “Just think about the money.”

It’s a nice platitude to use when we have so much on our plate and we’re certainly blessed to have so many people coming to see us, but I have to ask myself, is money the right thing to be thinking about?

If I am too busy and am running myself into the ground, should I really be thinking about the money?

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It is said that Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the famous 19th century poet and artist, was once approached by an elderly man.

The old fellow had some sketches and drawings that he wanted Rossetti to look at and tell him if they were any good, or if they at least showed potential talent.

Rossetti looked them over carefully. After the first few, he knew that they were worthless, showing not the least sign of artistic talent. But Rossetti was a kind man, and he told the elderly man as gently as possible that the pictures were of limited, if any value. He was sorry, but he could not lie to the man. The visitor was disappointed, but seemed to expect Rossetti’s judgment.

He then apologised for taking up the great artist’s time, but would he just look at a few more drawings that had been done by a much younger art student.

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I like to think of myself as a reasonably effective communicator.

I feel comfortable articulating messages to large groups or to individuals and believe that I am clear, concise and personable in my delivery.

However, too often as a leader I have fallen into the trap of thinking that if I have said something once, then that should be enough.

Of course, to my horror, I would soon realise that the message hasn’t been fully understood or perhaps even fully forgotten.

There was a time when I blamed the listener for this gap in understanding.  I would explain to myself that I’m an effective communicator, they’re just lousy listeners.

How naive!

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Sometimes you think that no-one notices… be your best anyway.

Sometimes everyone around you just goes through the motions… be your best anyway.

Sometimes your job seems pointless and menial… be your best anyway.

Sometimes you can get away with less… be your best anyway.

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If you apply for seven jobs and miss out on them all, apply for number eight.

If you try and fail seven times to give up smoking, try an eighth time.

If you try to run around the block seven times and almost pass out each time, give it a go an eighth time.

If you have seven book proposals rejected, start working on an eighth.

If you say sorry seven times and there’s still tension in the relationship, say it eight times.

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English: street map using OS Streetview open m...

Image via Wikipedia

Last week, I visited someone who lives on the outskirts of the city.

I found their place without any problems, but on the way home, I ended up zigging when I should have zagged and found myself driving along a country road that took me to a small town called Nar Nar Goon (yes, that really is the name of the town).

I got myself back on track, found the freeway and ended up getting home 30 minutes later than I had hoped.

As I laughed at my own silly predicament, I realised that we often end up taking detours from our goals in life that are neither intended nor helpful.

So here are four considerations that I believe can help us all to stay on track and not get lost.

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