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It’s better to know where the local bookstore is than not have a clue where it is.

It’s even better to go in and browse.

To improve on that you could buy a book.

Better still, you could take the book off your bookshelf when you get home.

Even better, you could read the first chapter.

Then you could finish reading the entire book.

To take it to the next level, you could take notes in the margins and highlight your favourite quotes.

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Futurist and author Alvin Toffler says, “The new illiterate will not be the person who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

I suspect that in an era of such constant and prolific change, he’s right.

I’ve come across a lot of people over the years who can read and write perfectly well and have other skills that 20 years ago were in demand, but because of their inability to adapt to new technologies or maintain an open mind about change and a negative and dour attitude about the future have virtually rendered themselves unemployable and irrelevant.

Here are a couple of points that I think could be helpful in ensuring that we don’t fall into that trap ourselves:

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Muhammad Ali knocking out Sonny Liston

Universally recognised as one of the most iconic athletes of all time, Muhammad Ali dominated the sport of boxing, both in the ring and in the headlines, throughout his illustrious career.

Ali was a magnificent boxer, but he is also renowned for some of the clever quotes that he used.

Lines like, “I am the greatest,” and “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” are among some of the better known statements of his, but he also had some more profound comments that I find both inspirational and thought-provoking.

Here are some of my favourites quotes from Muhammad Ali:

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Writers and bloggers feel good when you buy their book or click on their website.

They like it even more when you open up the book and read the first chapter or peruse a couple of posts.

They start to feel as though they have achieved something when you finish the book or read everything on their blog.

They get excited when you pass the book on to someone else, buy it as a gift, refer a friend to their work, subscribe to their blog or send their link around to your contacts.

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If something’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing well.

Of course, we don’t start out as experts at something.  It takes time and effort to become a virtuoso.

I’ve come up with 10 steps to improving at anything.  I think that they’re transferable to just about any activity, whether it’s playing golf, public speaking, leadership or anything else, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo by Lee Berger. View from rear of Leopard...

Image via Wikipedia

There were once two leopards who would meet to chew over a couple of old bones every Friday.

They lived in a valley that had an abundance of gazelles, so they were well fed.

“I think that I’m going to learn how to catch warthogs.”  Larry the leopard said one day.

“Why would you do that?” Lenny the leopard responded. “We have plenty of gazelles to eat and we know how to catch them.”

“Yes, I know, but you don’t know what the future holds, perhaps they’ll run out one day.” said Larry.

“What a waste of time,” said his mate Lenny.

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We are currently in the process of toilet training our twins.

It’s not fun!

Even as I type these words, I have a mop and bucket ready for the next accident.

Earlier today, Madison didn’t quite make it to the potty.  She was on her way, but the bladder won the race.

Her response?

“Oh well, good try.”

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

It’s one of the great paradoxes of the knowledge age we live in.

If you want to play it safe then you need to take risks and the biggest risk you can take is to play it safe.

You can try to maintain the status quo, but very soon one or all of the following will take place: Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a saying that hindsight is 20/20 vision.

You do something and then you look back and either cringe at your mistakes or feel good about the action that you’ve taken.

We’re all wiser in retrospect.

Should we do/say/buy that?  I’ll tell you after the event.

There are many people however who are unable to learn from their past.  Why?

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In this Knowledge Age that we live in, our ideas and intellect are worth much more than they were 10-20 years ago. 

As such, it is crucial that we try to maintain a sharp mind so that we can effectively solve complex problems, maintain optimism in the midst of challenging circumstances and communicate messages that are clear and insightful.

In considering this challenge, I have come up with 6 tips that I try to use to keep my mind focused and my thinking clear. 

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