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In his classic book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman shares the story of a belligerent samurai who challenged a zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell.

The monk replied with scorn, “You’re nothing but a lout, why would I waste my time with the likes of you?”

Feeling insulted, the samurai flew into a rage and pulled out his sword from its scabbard, yelling, “I could kill you for your impertinence.”

“That,” replied the monk, “is hell.”

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Legendary folk singer, Pete Seeger, passed away this week, aged 94.

One of his most famous songs, “The Hammer Song” contains these simple lyrics:

If I had a hammer

I’d hammer in the morning

I’d hammer in the evening

All over this land

I’d hammer out danger

I’d hammer out a warning

I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters

All over this land.

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Dolphins

Dolphins

Dolphins are beautiful, graceful creatures who swim through the oceans in search of food.

In their small pods, they hunt their prey, working together to achieve their goals.

Jellyfish float in the ocean with their tentacles dangling, waiting for an unlucky fish to swim into their reach.

They don’t swim, they don’t hunt, they just go where the ocean currents take them.

Some people are dolphins and some are jellyfish.

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Do you have great expectations from life?

Do you expect that your business or career will flourish?

Do you expect to learn something useful today?

Do you expect that you will make a positive impact on the world?

Do you expect to maximise your potential?

Do you expect that there will be fantastic opportunities for you to utilise your unique skills?

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Most people say:

  • It’s too risky,
  • It can’t be done,
  • We’ve always done it like that here,
  • It’s too hard,
  • I can’t be bothered,
  • It’s not the right time,
  • What’s the point in trying?

But you’re not most people.

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Australian Coat of Arms

Australian Coat of Arms

January 26 is Australia Day, so there will be a lot of flag waving, cricket playing and barbecues around the country this weekend.

Featuring prominently on the Australian Coat of Arms are two of Australia’s most iconic animals, the kangaroo and emu, leading to a common trivia question, why them and not the koala, wombat or echidna?

It’s commonly believed that the reason they are on the Coat of Arms is because they are two animals that are unable to walk backwards, signifying our aspiration and intent as a nation to always move forwards.

I love this concept and believe that it’s one that we can all aspire to.

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I know that it sounds simplistic, but the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little bit “extra.”

A bit of extra time.

A bit of extra preparation.

A bit of extra reading and research.

A bit of extra creativity and flair.

A bit of extra love.

A bit of extra work.

A bit of extra prayer.

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In 5, 10 or 20 years time, what will your future self say?

Will you be full of regrets or will you say thanks?

When you assess your career, will you regret not working harder or taking more risks, or will you say thanks for creating such a satisfying role that pays so well?

When you assess your relationships, will you regret not spending more time with your loved ones, or will you say thanks for investing in your marriage, friendships and relationships with your kids?

When you assess your intellect, will you regret not learning or reading more, or will you say thanks for maintaining your mind?

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I believe that every person on this planet is unique.

God doesn’t do copies, he creates originals and every single person has something different about them.

And I’m not just talking about our fingerprints or DNA.

I’m talking about our:

  • backgrounds,
  • perspectives,
  • natural talents,
  • physical capabilities,
  • intellect,
  • personalities.
  • delightful idiosyncrasies.

Every person is different.

But if this is true, why do so many of us do exactly what the person next to us is doing?

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Denis Istomin

Denis Istomin

I was watching the Australian Open during the week and caught some of 3-time champion Novak Djokovic’s third round match.

However, as the match went on, I became more fascinated by the back story of his opponent, little known Uzbek, 27 year-old Denis Istomin.

When he was 14, Istomin was in a horrific car accident on the way to a junior tournament, resulting in a severely broken leg.  After 80 stitches and three and a half months in hospital, doctors said that he would never hold a tennis racquet again.

Normally, that would result in the end of someone’s professional tennis aspirations, but not for Denis.

This is where his mother, Klaudiya, enters the story.

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