The Next Phase of your Life

Yesterday I was at the celebration for the retirement from Communities@Work of a long serving member, George. Retirement is something that I guess will impact us all at some point, however what is retirement? I like the way it was explained yesterday, as moving into a new phase of one’s life. In this case it was about travel, bushwalking and grandchildren for George.

However in thinking about it, retirement or a new phase of one’s life can occur whenever we want. It is about finances and passion, not age. As long as you earn at least what you need to live, then you can to chase your passion. However ideally your work is also your passion. Many of us have a job, because we need the money to live. This is no way to live our lives. There is many ways to earn money from our passions and to live the life we want to live. It may take some organising to get to that point, but it will be worth it.

  • What is your passions?
  • Is your work leading you towards your passions?
  • What changes can you make to head towards your passions?

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Children Grow Up Fast

Yesterday I attended my son’s school before work for a meeting about his selection of subjects for the last two years of High School…. Then I had the opportunity to have lunch with him later in the day. After being away for two weeks it was good to catch up with him and see him in action.

I was impressed at the school in the meeting in the way he had done his research on available subjects and thought through his options. He led the meeting with the teacher adviser, while his mother and I mostly observed. He communicated clear reasons for his decisions around his subjects while considering some of the longer term effects of these decisions.

Then at lunch we further discussed his choices and the happenings of the last two weeks. I was impressed during the conversation at the way he took responsibility for things in his life and had thought through reasons for his decisions moving forward into the future.

I know that there will be challenges in the future and life is not smooth sailing. While at the same time I look and see how fast my son has grown up. I am proud of what he has achieved and the way he is moving forward.


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Be Kind to Myself


During my break from blogging a number of projects that I was working had problems and issues develop. And I am talking about issues that are not within my control, as issues in my control can be overcome. These issues included areas that I had asked for help from higher and issues were I even suggested solutions but was ignored. Overall this was not a happy place to be. I felt responsible for the issues, even though I had no control over the solution and had communicated the problem to the appropriate persons.

This combination of feeling responsible and having no control of the situation can be quite depressing. It caused me all sorts of concerns and in the end my state of mind did not help the situation or me. It was also very frustrating to feel like I was being held responsible for issues that I had seeked help on and was ignored. Even worse was when with some issues I was being held to account by people superior to me.

  • Have you ever felt responsible for issues that you did not have control over?
  • Have you been held to account for issues that you do not have control over?

It is not a good feeling… I spoke with a number of professionals about some of the issues that I was experiencing and was advised that “I have to be kind to myself”. What I was doing was stressing over things I do not control and that does not make for a healthier person or a good workplace. In the late Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” he talked about a circle of concern and a circle of influence. I was too focused on my circle of concern where I did not have influence and that actually has a negative spiralling effect.

So I have turned this around and started focusing on issues in my circle of influence and what is important to me. This is starting to have results. In what way? Firstly I am not concerning myself with issues that I do not control. I report the issue up with recommendations for solutions as appropriate and then go focus on something that I have influence over. And how do I feel? Much better… and I am sleeping better too….. Be kind to myself!

  • What do you concern yourself with that you have no control over?
  • How can you transfer this concern to the person that has influence over the issue?
  • What is an area that you have influence over and can make a difference?

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I’m Back

I has been a few months since my last blog as I had taken a break from blogging on purpose….. The main reason for the break was that I had too many projects on at the time and was struggling to fit them all in. The break from blogging was good for a number of reasons though. It was a chance to review my blogging and see if this was something that I wanted to continue to do longer term and it was also a chance to think about why I was blogging.

The last six months has been a very interesting time in my life. There has been some highs, but very more lows than normal. In some ways I have struggled to get through the last six months. I will share some of these stories on the blog in the days to come. I will also share how I am getting back on my feet as well.

I hope that you are well and I look forward to picking up our conversation and discussion from previously. Please feel free to contact me if you wish and I look forward to sharing about my life and adventures through this blog into the future.

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Taking a Break

You may have noticed that I have not written a blog post for a little bit. I have been caught up with some big projects and for the first half of this year will be taking a break from blogging. I do enjoy connecting with others and writing my blogs, however at the current time I am lacking the time to write the blogs and stay up with my current projects. I look forward to restarting the blogging in the second half of the year.

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New Year, New Opportunities

The fireworks are done and the New Year has arrived around the world…. Many people have made New Years Resolutions and many have already broken them. Whether you believe in New Years resolutions or not, it is a good time of the year to review the past 12 months and plan for the next 12 months. Here are some questions to ask yourself:


  • So what now?
  • Is it going to be business as usual or are you going to make changes in your life?
  • What was last year like?
  • What changes would you like to make?


Firstly I like to review the last 12 months. There are things in the last 12 months that I am proud of and need to celebrate. While there are also things that I would like to change or improve for the future. By honestly reviewing the last 12 months I can see what parts of my life I want to continue the same way and what areas I would like to change or improve.

For me I do set goals for the future, however my focus is on who I am and who I want to be…. I think about my life in terms of my health, my family, my friends and my career. What a world of possibilities and opportunities? Looking to the rest of 2015 I look forward to achieving some great things in 2015, while at the same time becoming a better me and seizing the opportunities that lay ahead.


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Merry Christmas


With Christmas this week, it is time to celebrate with family and friends. For Christians it is the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a time for families to come together and share a meal and share presents. If you celebrate Christmas it is likely that your family has traditions in the way that your family celebrates at this time of year.

For myself, I worked all the way up to and including Christmas Eve…. Though we were sent home at 2pm. And then we had a lovely day at home, having my parents in-law over for lunch. In Australia the day after Christmas Day is called Boxing Day. Once again we spent the day at home, watching movies and enjoying a relaxing day.

I wish you and your family and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a great Festive season…


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The benefit of no Debt

Around the world there is much talk and action about cutbacks by governments in order to bring budgets in line after a period of economic downturn. Canberra is the capital of Australia and the main employer is the federal government. This has meant that many of the cuts that Australia is experiencing, in order for the Federal government to get back to a surplus, is occurring here in Canberra. This has made it hard on some people.

My children go to a school that recently paid off their debt. This has enabled the school to not increase any of the school levies and fees for 2015. This is a great help to the families at the school and shows what can happen when you are not chained to debt. The school has been able to pass on the savings to the families during a belt tightening time in Canberra.


  • Imagine what you could do with no debt in your life?
  • Imagine the investments you could make?
  • Imagine the giving you could do?



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Dirty Dancing


My wife likes to go and see live shows, so for her birthday we travelled up to Sydney to see Dirty Dancing the show. The show is based off the movie, which I am yet to see, and my wife enjoyed the experience. I must admit it was a good show. I will have to see the movie to understand the full story line….

While watching the show it challenged me in a number of ways… One of the main leads, Baby, had a good heart and was always trying to do the right thing and help others, however she had inadvertently done the wrong thing. I can reflect on my life and can see in the past I was trying to do the right thing, but had caused damage due to not knowing what I did not know…. In the past I have had to apologise and move on…

Another challenge was about following one’s passion. I know that in the past I have traded my passion for the status quo. I have taken the easy road in the short term at the expense of my passion and long term success. I am challenged to ensure that I follow my passion and move towards my long term goals.

The final challenge I would like to share is that sometimes doing the right things comes at a cost. For example during the show Baby had to share something that personally hurt her family to save someone else. I think in today’s world we assume that doing the right thing means that everything will be good, feel good and be easy… I have found that having moral courage takes guts and once again in the short term can really be painful….


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How do you act around others?


As I walk the dog I have noticed something very funny… Some mornings he looks like he is exhausted with his tongue hanging out of his head. He will have his head down and slow down as we walk around the block. However…. When there is another dog around things change. He braces up, head held high and his pace quickens. I see this often and think how funny he is in the way he responses to other dogs.

I got thinking and discovered we humans are the same. We act, dress and talk differently in different crowds. We dress up for a job interview, which is very different to the way we dress on the weekend. We behave differently with people around than when we are alone, or differently when with friends, than when with our boss. Why is this? Does this make us fake?

I think that it depends. If we are acting in ways that at opposites to each other and contradicted each other then I believe this would be fake. However mostly our actions are complementary and are within a framework of the general group. For example if we take drugs on the weekend and then work for a law enforcement agency during the week this would be fake. However If we wear jeans and t-shirt on the weekend at a family BBQ and then a suit to work during the week, this is not contradictory and in fact is showing respect to your role and work.


  • What are the ways you change around people?
  • Is it contractory the way you change or just adjusting to the situation?



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