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When you read the stories of Jesus in the bible, you come across the most amazing deeds.

Extraordinary miracles.

Great kindness.

Brilliant teaching.

Authority over the elements.

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The cynic in the corner has a wise crack about everything.

He puts down and undermines those who are trying.

He is happy to point out all of the reasons why things won’t work.

He shrugs his shoulders when asked for a solution.

He doesn’t really try and doesn’t really want to.

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If I win, does that mean that you lose?

And if you win, does that mean that I lose?

If I lose, does that mean that you win?

And if you lose, does that mean that I win?

Or is it just that when someone else wins, we feel as though we lose by comparison.  They’re doing better, so it makes us feel worse about our current situation.

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I don’t like cooking.

It’s not the final outcome that worries me (although that can be dodgy), but the mess that I’ve made in the mean-time.

After I’ve tried my best to prepare a culinary delight for the family, the kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it and it takes longer to clean up than it did to make the meal.

And don’t get me started on handyman tasks around the house.

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Like many other sports fans, I watched the gripping US Masters sudden death playoff this morning (Australian time), between Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose.

To see the relief and exhilaration when Garcia made the winning putt was terrific.

Here was a guy in his 74th golf major, finally getting the rewards of almost 2 decades of toil.  They only play four each year, so that’s a long time to wait between losses.

Here was a guy who had lost in a playoff in the 2007 British Open and had other close calls and disappointments, showing the benefits of never giving up.

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I’ve worked in roles where I didn’t quite fit in.

The culture wasn’t quite right for me and I wasn’t spending my energy on activities that matched my skills.

It was a great place, with great people, but it wasn’t right for me, certainly not in the long-term.

I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

Is that you?

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This week, the Boston Celtics took first spot in the Eastern Conference from reigning champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers (and then promptly lost it again).

When asked about this accomplishment, coach Brad Stevens had this to say,

“It doesn’t mean a whole lot right now.  

The whole idea is to make progress and get better every day and try and stay in the moment.  You do that whether you are in last place or trying to build up or whether you are in position for fighting for seeding.   Read the rest of this entry »

I want to encourage you today to expect the best from yourself.

To not be satisfied with good enough.

To find meaningful work that matches your capabilities and challenges you to grow.

To surround yourself with people who set the bar high.

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Michael Jordan was left out of his high school basketball team, but despite his rejection he became arguably the greatest basketball player ever.

Oprah Winfrey was fired as a TV anchor at age 23 and was told that she was not a good fit for television, but despite her rejection, she went on to become one of the most watched personalities in the history of television.

Steve Jobs was fired from the company he created, but despite his rejection, he returned to Apple years later to transform it into one of the iconic brands in the world.

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So, you want to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to imagine that to stand out from the crowd will take an extraordinary achievement that makes people sit back and say, “Wow!”

But I’m not sure that it’s quite that dramatic.  In fact, in a culture of short attention spans, unreliability and a lack of resilience there are a few simple things you can do that will help you stand head and shoulders above the rest. Read the rest of this entry »

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