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There’s a story of a young man who went to see a mentor.

The mentor said to him, “To be an effective leader, you need to learn how to make better decisions.”

“How do I learn how to make better decisions?” the young man asked.

“You need to get more experience.”

“How do I get more experience?”

“You need to make more bad decisions.”

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Glass marbles

Glass marbles (Photo credit: asirap)

There was once a middle-aged man who felt that he was wasting his life and career.

Days and weeks seemed to merge into each other and time was fast slipping away.  The dreams and aspirations of the man seemed a distant memory and he was determined to do something about it.

He went to the local store and bought a large glass bowl and a few bags of marbles.  He sat down and worked out how many Saturdays there were from that day to when he was due to retire and put that number of marbles into the bowl.

From then on, every Saturday the man would enter his study where the bowl was and remove a single marble.

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I’m a coach.

I love coaching, it’s a large part of who I am and I am rarely so alive as when I’m coaching someone.

But there’s a time for it.

I’ve seen a lot of people (and I’m sure I’ve done it myself) who have decided to go into coaching mode when it was unsolicited and unwanted.

Times when people are looking for a friend, not for advice.

Times when people are looking for someone to listen, not give advice.

Times when people just want to talk about life, not start setting goals.

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From one of my oldest son’s favourite movies, Kung Fu Panda, comes this quote, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

The origins of the quote come from American cartoonist Bil Keane and it’s a great reminder.

It’s a reminder that today is a gift given to you by God to do amazing work, have fun, spend time with those you love and further grow and develop.

It’s a gift that you have the opportunity to tear the wrapping off with gusto.

It’s a gift that you are invited to take out and play with.

It’s a gift that’s new every morning.

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Hobby cyclists or joggers will often measure their progress against someone who’s in front of them, known as a pacemaker.

They may aim to catch up to them or just maintain the same distance between them, but either way, having someone in front can be extremely motivating.

Similarly, musicians speak of their childhood heroes, those who through their talent and song-writing inspired them to pick up an instrument and continue practicing.  They constantly listen to those who influence their style and are challenged to keep improving their own craft.

Great athletes, chefs, comedians, actors, scientists and writers all have their pacemakers.

They are also used by people wanting to lose weight, become better public speakers or better leaders.

There’s something powerful and highly motivating about having people in your life who are doing what you are doing, only better.

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Boxing ring

Boxing ring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When a boxer climbs into the ring, he takes a significant risk.

He risks getting pummelled.

He risks catching a lucky punch on the chin that knocks him out.

He risks the jeering of the crowd.

He risks facing an opponent who’s much bigger, tougher and more skilled than him.

But he gets in the ring anyway.

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16 years ago today, I married a beautiful 29-year-old young lady named Karen.

Now, I’m married to a beautiful mother of three children.

In between, I’ve been married to a pastor, an administrator and an HR professional.

I’ve been married to a woman who was terrified of becoming a mother and now I’m married to a natural, loving mum who can’t imagine being anything else.

I’ve been married to my partner in love and my partner in business.

I’ve also been married to: Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes, we keep our goals and dreams on a tight leash.

We hold onto them, restraining ourselves from fully living the life we are called to.

We come up with a range of excuses as to why we are living someone else’s life.

We hesitate, pontificate and procrastinate.

We are presented with opportunities to go for it, but sadly choose not to.

Why is that?

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Two job candidates with the same experience and qualifications are applying for the same role.

One believes that she can interview well and do the job well, but the other one doesn’t.

Which one gets the job?

Two students have studied equally hard for a big exam.

One believes that he can get a high mark, but the other one doubts his own intelligence.

Which one performs better?

Two professional tennis players with similar rankings oppose each other.

One believes that his best tennis is good enough to win, but the other one isn’t so sure.

Which one wins?

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What if I fail?

What if my business doesn’t work?

What if I’m not as capable as I think I am?

What if my ideas are wrong?

What if I’m not destined to succeed?

What if all of the risks that I take don’t work?

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