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Showing posts from August, 2009

Are you addicted?

Are we a society of addicts? Addicted to Shopping, Alcohol, Shoes, Drugs, Food, Sex, Sport, Gambling, Work, Twitter?
The bigger question is; are these addictions of choice that add fun and excitement, color and texture to our lives? Or perhaps they are subconscious default habitual addictions that imperceptibly eat away at our ability to adapt to our social environment. Whilst there are physiological addictions that require medication to stabilize behavior, ever more research is providing compelling evidence that a huge percentage of destructive habit patterns are controllable. This research is suggesting that many addictions are adaptations to stress. Often these behavioral adaptations are inherently self destructive.

Stressful events affect the immune system. Anxiety, fear, tension, anger and sadness are emotions and physiological stressors.

It needs to be understood that these descriptive words are actually describing chemical reactions in the body. These chemical reactions define our…

What would you do if you knew you had 5 years to live?

If you knew you had exactly five years to live, would you do anything differently?

This is a question that cuts to the quick regarding what really matters and what we truly value. Step back for a moment from the hustle and bustle of making a living and observe your efforts in creating a life. What defines you? Is it the car you drive? The acres of tiling or marble that envelopes your house? The manicured lawns? The awe and esteem of your subordinates? The fear of your enemies? Does your sense of well being relate to your sense of status within your peer group?

Perhaps the bigger question is whether this sense of life purpose and relative self importance is merely an exercise in futile self delusion. A recurring question this scribbler posits is thus. In the absence of context can anything have meaning. Hence the question; would you live your life any differently if you knew its exact expiry date? Would you smell the roses more frequently. Would your perspective alter with regard to what…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Perhaps the better question is; "Why do you want to grow up?"!

Remember a time in the dim mists of time when life's riddles seemed simpler? Grown ups would delight in endlessly interrogating any young child in sight as to what they wanted to be when they grow up. Answers such as doctor, nurse, pilot, builder, policeman were positively and knowingly approved. Ask the same question today and you might feel less enlightened by the answer.
Traditional jobs are 'all so yesterday'. Much in the manner that a previous generation may have responded to the career choice perhaps of a cobbler, chimney sweep or basket weaver. It's all in the realm of black and white movies of a bygone era when politeness and formality ruled over spontaneity and individualism.

Predictability in our warp drive journey through the vast digital world of untapped knowledge is all but dead. 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' Is a question that presumes some future Nostradamus-like …

why is it that everyone wants to go to heaven, yet no one wants to die?

Facetious statement, I know. There is a hint of truth there, however.

How is it that some seemingly fortunate folks seem to sail smoothly through life, with few turbulences, crises or adversity worth talking about, whilst an all together larger percentage of the population seem to experience the opposite? Catastrophe, bad luck, and various examples of strife seem to shadow their every venture.
If the personal success guru's are to be believed. Then it's all pretty simple really. It's to do with the law of attraction. We attract the people and circumstances consistent with our dominant thoughts in to our lives. Taken to it's logical conclusion therefore, this law would seem to suggest that peer group is the biggest influencer of success and failure in life, all other things being equal.

Having worked with Juvenile Justice recidivist offenders, Olympic Champions, Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneurs, and more than a few of life's hard luck stories, I've often pondered wh…

Fatalism and Simpl-exity Conundrum

Friar William of Ockham seemed like an interesting fellow. 600 years after his less than earth shattering comments, along the lines that, simplicity is invariably the answer to all manner of puzzle, quandary and bafflement, philosophers still debate vigorously the merits of this belief system.
The more grounded and less sophisticated ponderers of life's big questions might wonder what all the fuss is about, over someone who stated the 'bleedin' obvious' yet whose tenet 'Ockham's Razor' has slipped so comfortably into the modern lexicon.

This scribbler however does question this assertion that the simple answer is invariably the best. The inspiration for this brief ramble was a chance conversation recently with a chap who informed me with no hint of winking kiddology that he expected to depart his mortal coil at aged 62. He wasn't specific though regarding the exact time and date. His fatalism was borne out of nothing more than the observation that many of…

What's the story with Life Coaching?

Sounds like the introduction to 'Seinfeld" skit!.

Life Coaching: When did it become fashionable to acquire a life coach? There seems to have been a dramatic shift from the psycho-therapist's couch to the On-Line Life-Coach/Personal Planner in recent times.
Are we becoming less sane? Or are we becoming more self aware and sophisticated in our personal development?

In a mere few generations, society has moved from agrarian to urban. Family and village values that tied communities together became diluted as the pace of change increased and peer groups became less cohesive.

Back in the day, the Sunday pulpit served as a voice of reason and consolidation of values and meaning. The erosion of simple life philosophies through education bred cynicism, and questioning of ones place in the natural order. The problem with self awareness is that increasing introspection can leave a void. A sense of fuzziness as to our life's purpose.

This 'helter skelter' rushing around chasin…

The Lotto Fantasy

I recently spotted an advert for an e-book, entitled ‘Proven Lotto Winning Strategies Revealed' If the title is to be believed then it should become one of the best selling books of all-time.
I’m not sure however what the motivation to write this book is however. Shouldn’t the author keep this epiphany of knowledge to himself, else all his believers dilute the winnings!Recently Oz Lotto had a first prize of $90 million. This was shared between two winners. A cool $45 million each. Some expressed amazement that one of the ticket holders had won, with the first ticket they had ever bought.

What I find infinitely more amazing is the irrationality of spending $20 on something with odds so small that there is more chance of getting into a fatal accident on the way to buy the ticket, than actually winning.

I understand the emotional daytime fantasizing that such a purchase derives. The building of hope and dream building, yet ponder this thought. If we could have an alternate perspective t…

Is Adversity a blessing or a Curse?

There's an old adage, that suggests; that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I'm not entirely convinced that all trouble and strife is heaven sent to strengthen our resolve and turn us into unconquerable uber-warriors. There is a corollary to this view however. The absence of challenge or difficulty often breeds weakness. Observe the the life outcomes of second and third generation offspring born into wealth and privilege. Often a recipe for mal-content and dysfunction
Adversity and Opportunity, are they two sides of the same coin? Adversity has two subtly different definitions. One is; misfortune, affliction, difficulty, trouble, hardship, distress and so forth. This definition refers to a negative reference point or actual manifestation of strife the sufferer of the adversity endures. It suggests a pervasive and passive state of existence. There is a hint of victimization apparent with this state of being.

The other definition of is; contrary, against, opposed. As in…

How's your work-Life balance?

Why is it that so many people love Fridays yet don’t like Mondays? This is not a trick question, as the answer perhaps seems obvious.
Many millions of commuters identify the daily grind of competing with the masses as a necessary evil in the pursuit of the wherewithal to pay for life’s bare necessities.

The weekend however provides the opportunity to indulge in social activities. Catching up with friends for drinks, coffee, meals and good banter. Perhaps to pursue hobbies and crafts. Paint landscapes, re-build old cars, write the grand novel go for long treks with loved ones whilst contemplating the marvel of life.

The reality of course is somewhat different. Monday comes around all too quick. The weekend is spent cleaning, gardening, taking kids to sport, paying the bills, catching up on the news and worrying about work.

Is your work complementing your life or getting in the way of family time and meaningful endeavors. Are you energized, enthused, motivated and empowered or stressed, fru…

Michael Jackson: a troubling epitaph

As the dust settles after the frenzy that surrounded yet another celebrity melt down, it is interesting to reflect on the legacy Michael Jackson leaves behind. Those who worship at the alter of cultural icons rarely find an excess that can’t be reframed sympathetically, thus maintaining the almost divine aura of their hero.
Is there something in our cultural psyche that blinds us to the insanity of such obviously self-destructive behavior and hypnotically draws us to tears and mourning akin to that felt with the passing of a close friend or relative?

How do we remember Elvis Presley, now that 32 years have passed? It’s hard to differentiate between the musical legacy and the craziness of his last few years, which saw a relatively young man with more to live for than most of us could hope to aspire to in a thousand years. He had millions of adoring fans, was at the pinnacle of career success, with a family and royalty income that would keep an oil sheik happy for a lifetime.

How will Mike…