dark side benefits

Using the power of the dark side

March 17, 2015

We have all had times in our lives when something distressing or worrying or frightening or depressing has happened to us. We have been part of something really awful, done something of which we are ashamed, failed to live up to our own or others’ expectations of us, met someone who in some way we…

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Undoing prejudice

March 3, 2015

Have you ever fallen in love? This is the person for you. So many things in common, so easy to get along with, conversation flows comfortably, you share interests, you laugh together, and you love grandly. After the first few months, however, a couple of minor hiccups occur. Your new partner loves cricket and you…

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The Pyramids and the power of purpose

February 17, 2015

The pyramids of Egypt are amongst the largest constructions ever built. They represent one of the most potent and enduring symbols of Ancient Egyptian civilisation. Imagine a pharaoh, waking up one morning in his tent and calling for his key ministers to attend him. Together they are seated on a massive Persian rug. He clicks…

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Understanding and managing fear

February 3, 2015

Fear and how we react to it is, as with many of our emotional responses, a composite of neural pathways largely laid down in our childhood. However, as adults, our entrenched fears can interfere with our ability to live full and healthy lives. Misplaced fear can stop us thinking rationally, make us compliant, silence us…

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Values and intolerance of difference

January 20, 2015

If we insist that everyone subscribes to the same fundamental beliefs and so values the same things that we do, then we not only take the colour and depth out of life, but we make it close to impossible to work with people who may differ, at least in part, from ourselves. Our own values…

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Purpose tool: The five why’s

January 13, 2015

Articulate the apparent purpose in your life, or the purpose for a team you’re part of. 1. Ask ‘Why am I/are we doing this?’ List the answers Identify a theme 2. Ask ‘Why am I/are we doing this?’ four more times, repeating the process. 3. Explore where you end up. This is likely to be…

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Understanding and evolving self

December 15, 2014

A sense of self is about two dimensions: Knowing yourself (preferences, values, assumptions) and; Knowing the impact you have on others (your ability to recognise, use, understand and manage emotions in yourself and others). It is about fundamentally accepting that if you want to make a difference in the world, large or small, then you…

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The spirit of the river in collaboration

December 9, 2014

So much of our mental model about what works in our world, is built around the notion of personal achievement. We celebrate the individual by giving them money, recognition, profile or position. This is not a bad thing in and of itself. It’s just not enough, and at some level, we know that, despite its…

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making a difference

A reminder not to stop

December 2, 2014

I often talk to people who are overwhelmed by what they believe they have to do to be successful in life. They look at people who’ve done more and compare themselves. They can’t imagine what it will take to achieve their ambitions. Some people are so inhibited by what they think is the effort required,…

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purpose of money

The purpose of money

November 25, 2014

Making money for yourself, for a family, for a community, for a business or for a nation is, in this day and age, in the absence of an alternative agreed bargaining process, the lubricant of our daily lives. It is not, however, the purpose for life, though it has sadly morphed into that for many…

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consequence of fear

The consequences of fear

November 18, 2014

We have allowed ourselves to become too scared to try something new, too afraid of the consequences of losing, too anxious about what others might think of us or too concerned about what might be at risk. Do you know the feeling? In essence, there is nothing wrong with fear. Fear is a great motivator;…

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The beauty of difference

November 4, 2014

Over time, I have come to love greatly the diversity expressed in values, and to nurture it. A very dear friend of mine, his wife and my husband, have had a couple of fantastic motorbike holidays together. For Joe, my friend, order and planning were what made the holiday. By the same token, his wife,…

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Suspending negative judgement

October 28, 2014

We are confronted on a daily basis with pictures of our world that are confusing. On the one hand, we are aware of the power of human ingenuity. Together with the evolution of technology and economic development, humans would appear to have the capacity to resolve (albeit over varying lengths of time) complex problems. We…

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Tank up before burning out

October 21, 2014

If inaction, for fear of the magnitude of the problem, is the chosen course of some people (e.g. ‘How could my not using recycled toilet paper ever make a difference?’), the alternative is thinking you are alone in solving the problems of the planet. As a consequence of the latter, we are burning out, overworking,…

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Shared Purpose

October 14, 2014

Shared purpose, being in the groove with others, is the stuff of magic. When we are on fire with the same intent – to win a match, to deliver a project, to provide real help, to effect a change, to transform a garden or do something as simple as cook a meal together – nothing…

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Stop and think tool

October 7, 2014

‘Stop and Think’ is designed to help you be more aware of what it takes to make a difference in the world and make conscious choices in your life to support this intention. ‘Stop and Think’ helps us understand that if we want to do things differently together, we often have to retrain ourselves (our…

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How much work can we really do alone?

September 30, 2014

It is easy in a noisy world to want time alone. It’s easy when your diary is full, your commitments significant, your time short to want to be left alone, to have the autonomy and freedom to just get stuff done or to tell others to just ‘do it’ themselves. I have talked to hundreds…

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purpose values

Purpose and values together

September 23, 2014

The clarity with which we understand our values and the depth of feeling we have about them is reflected in the energy we will have to follow through with things we want to achieve in life. The more focussed we are on what is important to us – what we value – the higher the…

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September 16, 2014

Power is about influence. Very simplistically, power is about being able to realise your intentions, your purpose; the outcomes that you have set for yourself, or that a group of people have set. In the context of this manifesto, there are two types of power that are particularly important – collective and hierarchical power. Collective…

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Purpose as a guide

September 9, 2014

Imagine going out onto the bay in a sailing boat without a rudder. What would happen? What would happen if you had a rudder, but didn’t know where you wanted to go? Imagine starting to build a house without a plan to share between the builder, electrician, plumber or landscape gardener. Imagine sitting down in…

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Not yet on purpose? Don’t stress

September 2, 2014

Not yet on purpose? Don’t stress (verbatim from p. 29, One World AtLast) If you are not clear about your purpose in life, relax. Then, create a steady platform for yourself (i.e. a job that’s relatively easy) and use this to provide security while you experiment with life. You give yourself time to try other…

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August 25, 2014

Politics is about understanding how decisions are made, how resources are allocated and who is in a position to help. For many of us, political behaviour feels like the covert way some people seek to manipulate outcomes – it is not to be trusted. What follows is a way of looking at politics that can…

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passion and courage

Passion and courage as keys to change

August 18, 2014

(French) COEUR (heart) + RAGE (rage) = Rage of the heart. Courage as rage of the heart, and passion as an intense enthusiasm for something, are the rocket-fuel for change. We live in a time when complacency is common practice, when fear has diminished our responsibility to one another. If you want to take a…

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Overcoming past patterns/bad habits

August 11, 2014

I come from a family that thinks exercising is what you do when you pick up your glass of good red wine and pause in heated conversation to take a sip. My mother used to think that getting red and sweaty couldn’t possibly be good for you. Some 14 years ago, I decided I was…

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August 4, 2014

We all have times when we don’t always listen well when others are speaking. Our thoughts may wander onto another topic, such as an urgent appointment, pressing personal issues, or where to go for lunch. If you really want to make a difference in the world, then learning to listen well is one of the…

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July 28, 2014

A lot of people don’t achieve what they want to achieve in life, not because they can’t, but because they self-sabotage. We can each do this in a number of ways. We can have such a strong internal belief about our strengths and weaknesses (e.g. I have always been good with figures and I’ve never…

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fuel for your soul

Fuel for your soul

July 21, 2014

Curiously, while we are told good news doesn’t sell papers, it makes our lives infinitely more possible. Good news functions to our spirit the way oxygen functions in blood. Vital for coping, essential for helping us overcome adversity. Good personal stories are like deposits in a bank. In their absence, the bad news can put…

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Five points about purpose

July 14, 2014

1. You are not born knowing what it is you are meant to do. It is a journey of discovery. 2. Having a purpose that gives meaning to your life simply makes the choices in the present much easier. 3. You are not born knowing what to do. But, if you explore, as all children…

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Emotions as world-changers

June 25, 2014

Emotions as world-changers (taken from One World AtLast pp. 162-3) Emotions, in all their glory, are common to all human beings, irrespective of culture, geography, age, gender, etc. Some common emotions are anger, sadness, surprise, joy and fear. So, it isn’t whether or not we have emotions that is the challenge, but rather whether we…

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emotional management

Emotional management: Early cues

June 18, 2014

Emotional management: Early cues (excerpt from One World AtLast p. 173) Being in control of emotions is largely about practice. Have an intention not to ‘vomit’ your emotions on others. Here is a simple way to practice ‘getting in control’. The trick to this is to pay attention to the earliest possible cues (not what…

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