Personal Development

Is Our View of Retirement Still Working?

"Retirement" - what does that word mean for you? Maybe you are young and retirement seems a distant, mysterious world for you. Or maybe you are working your butt off right now and can't wait to finish? Or maybe you are already there. In the insightful book Playing Life's Second Half, author David J. Powell notes that a century ago most people grew up, went to work, retired, then died. In fact, most people died within three to five years after they stopped working. Otto Von Bismark, at age 74, first set the retirement age at 70 in Germany in... Read more →


Could You Live to 100 Years of Age? (Part 4)

Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, once noted that we are the first generation to have two lives - a first half and a second half. Over a hundred years ago, many people lived to only 45-50 years of age. Now, as we have seen in this series of posts, many people are living well into their 70s and 80s ... and some well beyond this (100+ and 110+). As a result of this, even at the age of 50, you could have at least another 30 years of contribution. This thought became the seed idea for the concept... Read more →


Could You Live to 100 Years of Age? (Part 3)

In part 4 and 5 of this series of posts on the possibility of living to 100, we will look at what longevity could mean for our lives. What does a life of significance, rather than mere success, look like? How do we break free from the conventional view of the three-stage life: education, vocation, and then retirement? Before we get to that, let's dive a little deeper into the area of physical health and well-being. After all, just because people are living longer statistically, doesn't mean that you or I will do so also. It also doesn't guarantee that,... Read more →


Could You Live to 100 years of Age? (Part 2)

Today we continue our series of posts on the possibility of living to 100 years of age. Areas on the planet where people regularly live to over 100 years of age today are often referred to as “blue zones”. Dan Buettner (Twitter @bluezones) has been a National Geographic researcher and explorer for over 20 years. He has written an article for National Geographic magazine called "Secrets of Living Longer” and also two books - The Blue Zone Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People and Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World’s Happiest People. Dan estimates that... Read more →


Could You Live to 100 Years of Age? (Part 1)

One of the best gifts you can give those you love is to live a long life, Yes, why not plan to be around for a while. Of course, none of us control the number of our days nor do we know how long we will live. But there are things we can do that are within our power that can add to the possibility of a longer ... and a healthier life. In many ways, life is like a room with two doors. We enter this room through the door of birth. We all know that date - it’s... Read more →


Beware: Impulse Buying!

I remember early on in our marriage shopping for a new BBQ. The store had a sale on so I bought not only a whiz bang BBQ but also a heap of extras to go with it. In the end, I had overspent and busted our budget plans. It took a few months to recover from that impulse buying spree. Nowadays, when Nicole and I are discussing a possible purchase we will often say to each other, “Let’s not do another BBQs galore!” 'Impulse buying' refers to unplanned expenditures that we make based on emotion. This is the number one... Read more →


The Mystery of our Emotions (Part 1)

Emotions. Feelings. Difficult things to understand … at least for me. I wouldn’t describe myself as an emotional person while growing up, although I would easily tear up while watching a movie that had anything to do with family. I am an Achiever type. Head down, suck it up, tough it out, get on with it, do what needs to be done … regardless of how you feel. There are many things we do in spite of our feelings not because we necessarily feel like doing them. As I have grown older, I have learnt to get more in touch... Read more →


Navigating the Stages of Faith

A few years ago, I wrote about stages of the life of faith. I have been thinking about this again recently and I strongly believe that this is an insightful way to view our faith in and relationship to God. I have edited the number of stages and their names, as well as some of the descriptions as I prepare to speak about this at a church leaders' conference next week. Personal and spiritual growth occurs over a period of time and always involves a process that is very much like a journey. Many people find it helpful to have... Read more →


NEW Book Release: "Money Talks: Practical Principles for Becoming Financially Free"

I am excited to announce the release of a new book I have written called Money Talks: Practical Wisdom for Becoming Financially Free. Those of us who live in the Western world live in some of the richest countries on the planet yet, despite this fact, many people are under financial pressure. In this book, I share practical principles for becoming financially free and living wisely with the resources we have. Learn fresh insights about earning, saving, investing, debt reduction and spending wisely. The book also includes extra material on alleviating poverty, church finances, fundraising and the purpose of business.... Read more →


Bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap

I love learning new things. In fact, I can become obsessive with new ideas, leading to me becoming the 'expert' in my family about everything and anything. Yes, I'm a maven for new information. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved books. In fact, when my parents visited friend’s house, after dinner I’d love to sit by their bookshelf and browse through the encyclopedias, reading on a wide range of topics and subjects. [Hint: looking back into your childhood can tell you a lot about your gifts and passions!] As I’ve grown older I’ve come to realise that knowledge... Read more →


My Experience with Burnout

My first encounter with burnout was back in 2002. I experienced what I would call an ‘emotional valley’ that lasted for about 6 months. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me but it took everything within me just to make it through the next meeting, the next appointment or the next project. My mood was higher when something was done, rather than when I was leading up to it or during the event or experience. I felt overwhelmed a lot of the time and didn’t have the energy to think much beyond what was right in front of me.... Read more →


Do Your Best

Quite coincidently, I heard a similar statement from two different people in two different places over the last week. It went something like this: “Don’t try to be the best, simply do your best.” That’s quite thought-provoking, isn’t it. We live in a competitive, dog-eat-dog world today. Everyone is trying to out-do the next person. We all want to be number one. Get to the front of the line. The top of the class. It's a call to excellence. After all, winning isn’t everything, it's the only thing. Or so they tell us. But this can leave us all incredibly... Read more →


Flight Mode

I was travelling overseas recently and as the airplane took off the pilot reminded us to turn our phones off or put them in 'flight mode'. Flight mode suspends radio-frequency signal transmission on the device, thereby disabling Bluetooth, telephony, and Wi-Fi. As a result, during this time you can't receive any incoming phone calls, messages or email or surf the Internet. In some ways, this is nice. Could 'offline' could be the new nirvana!? Finally, no more inflow of things interrupting us and needing our attention ... at least for a while. [Of course, some airplanes are now offering wi-fi... Read more →


Can You Teach Someone to be Teachable?

I was in Perth recently speaking at a church there and I had a great question from a young leader at the break between two of my sessions with the church staff team: "Can you teach someone to be teachable?" I had to stop and think about that one. What an insightful question. If someone is not teachable, can you teach them? Probably not ... but I started to think about ways that you can help people recognise their need to learn from others. During our conversation, I shared the following example which I heard many years ago ... Imagine... Read more →


Life Change

Life change and character development take place best in the context of relationships. For example, when our three children were growing up, I noticed that when they are 'alone', such as on a date with me, each of them had the ability to be extremely angelic. However, when they were ‘together’, especially in the backseat of our car, something demonic seemed to emerge! “He hit me, … she hit me first… he’s looking out my window … no, I’m not … she’s ignoring me, dad … he ignored me first … etc, etc.” You get the picture! Yet it was... Read more →


How's Your Passion?

In the world we live in, passion is often a key to success and impact. In a research study of over 500 top performers from all areas of work, the arts and sports, this statement was made, “No two were alike, but the one quality they had in common was passion. It was their drive, their enthusiasm, their desire that distinguished them.” Another study of great people was done looking for essential qualities of their success. It wasn't intelligence (75% of U.S. presidents were in the lower half of their class, 50% of Fortune 500 CEO's averaged C- in school... Read more →


Becoming Childlike ... Again

When you were a kid, what excited you? What were you interested in? What gave you a buzz? What made you feel at home? The apostle Paul talked about putting away 'childish things' when he grew up and became a man (1 Corinthians 13:11). But there is a big difference between being 'childish' and 'childlike'. He definitely wasn't taking about not having fun, losing a sense of adventure or of becoming boringly serious! In fact, Jesus said that unless we become like a child we will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-3). Yes, we are to grow in... Read more →


Go With Your Strengths!

Have you ever heard some enthusiastic, optimist person spout statements such as, “You can be anything you want to be” or “What you believe, you can achieve!” As nice as these kind of grandiose motivators may sound, they are not true. You can’t be anything you want to be nor can you do anything you want to do. Yes, we all have strengths and great potential but we also have limitations and weaknesses - things we are not very good at. Accepting this reality and working within it is a part of finding joy and fulfilment in life. Some of... Read more →


10 Tips for Being More Productive

I love achievement - getting things done. There is a certain joy and sense of satisfaction in ticking off a job on my task list. Because of this, I am always looking for ways to get more done in a day and to be more productive. I do this by talking to other high achieving people and reading books or articles on productivity. Here are my Top 10 Recent Learnings about Productivity: 1. Know the outcomes or results you desire for the year ahead. If you aim at nothing, you will be sure to hit it. Activity is not accomplishment.... Read more →


What's for Dinner?

So, what's for dinner? It's a question that comes up most days in most families. Personally, I love good food and I have always eaten plenty of it. As a kid growing up, my mother didn't let my sister or me leave the family dinner table until our plate was cleared. It's a habit I still have to this day. In fact, I have been known to help other people finish their plate too! Over the years, I have developed a taste for all kinds of food and, after marrying Nicole over 30 years ago, my appreciation for different types... Read more →