Think About It

Personal Impact

Take a moment to think about the person who has had the greatest positive impact on your life. I’m sure someone is coming to your mind right now – maybe it is a teacher, a coach, a team member, someone from your family, or a friend. Now ask yourself why you chose them. What was it about them? I’ve done this exercise with hundreds of people and the results are always the same. It’s very rarely talent, achievement or knowledge that impacts us the most. It is always the character of the person – qualities such as their care, their... Read more →


There is a lot of talk today about leadership and management. Both are important but what is the difference? There is a story I heard many years ago that really helped me: There are this group of people cutting through a jungle. The managers are there co-ordinating everything – the rosters, machete sharpening, the drinks breaks, mosquito spray, sun lotion, first aid. It’s all happening. The leader is the person who climbs a tree, looks around and shouts, “Oops, wrong jungle!” But the managers say, “But, we’re making such great progress!” You know, you might be moving along really fast... Read more →


Have you ever seen someone who is really good at what they do? We’re talking about excellence. It can be quite inspiring, even breath-taking. Of course, when we see someone who excels at what they do, we don’t see the process or the journey over time that they took to get there. Former NBA basketball coach Pat Riley once said, “Excellence is the gradual result of always trying to be better.” I like that. I remember when I first played the piano for our church youth group. I had music in front of me and God help the meeting if... Read more →


Some of life’s BIG questions include: “Who am I?” “What is the meaning of life?” “Where am I going?” and “What am I here for?” That last question is an important one. It taps into our purpose, our calling, our life contribution, our vocation. After all, everyone wants to be useful. No one wants to be useless. And I’m not talking about just having a job so you can pay the bills and have some money to spend on the weekend. Deep inside very human being is a longing to make a difference in the world. To do something …... Read more →


One of the most powerful things you can give another person is the gift of empathy. I remember hearing a story about a man sitting on a train, reading his newspaper when another man came on to the train and sat right next to him. He slouched and closed his eyes, as if to shut out the world. He had two young children with him who proceeded to run around the train, disturbing everyone in sight. The man couldn’t believe it. Why didn’t this man control his children? Eventually, when his annoyance reached a certain level, he said, “Excuse me... Read more →


I’ll never forget having lunch with a friend a few years back. As we sat down, I asked him how he was going. “Awesome” was his answer and he went on to tell me about a bunch of good things happening in his life at that time. Then he asked me how I was doing. I thought for moment – “Will I go with ‘Awesome’ or will I be honest?” I decided to be honest and so I said, “Yeah, not the best. I’ve had a few challenges lately.” And I began sharing some of things I was facing at... Read more →


Each year a new word is added to the English dictionary. A few years back, in 2013, it was the word ‘selfie’. Yes, there is nothing like a good ‘selfie’ taken with your mobile phone and maybe even with a selfie extension. On a recent overseas trip, my wife and I had a 24-hour layover in Beijing, China. We decided to tour the city. Our final stop, on what turned out to be a really hot day, was the Great Wall of China. We took the chair lift to the top, then climbed 100s of steps to one of the... Read more →


Have you ever fallen flat on your face? Have you ever disappointed yourself, others or God? Maybe it was a sin, a mistake or a personal failure. For some reason, you didn't live up to your own expectations or promises. We have all experienced this, at one time or another. Sometimes, over-confidence, arrogance and pride are the catalysts. At other times, they are not. When personal failure occurs, we experience guilt, embarrassment and at times shame. Guilt is the result of a convicted conscience. It is usually specific and aimed at a response which usually includes feeling bad (genuine sorrow)... Read more →


Have you ever thought about your conscience? I once heard a story of an American Indian who gave a great definition of what a conscience is. He said our conscience is like a small wooden triangle on the inside of us. When we do something wrong, it turns and scrapes the sides and we feel some pain. If we ignore it, however, over time, the edges of that wooden triangle eventually wear off and when we do something wrong, it spins, but we don’t feel anything anymore. How profound. You know guilt can be our friend. It is trying to... Read more →


I think we all understand the importance of our attitude. After all, life isn’t so much what happens to us as much as how we respond to it. Our attitude determines so much of who we become and what we are able to achieve in our lives. Of course, everyone has times when they feel bad or down. A good attitude doesn’t prevent this from happening but it can stop us from getting stuck during those times. The key thing is to realise that we are responsible for our attitudes. I remember one Saturday morning, one of our kids, who... Read more →


Have you noticed the increase in demand for fields such as counselling, coaching and mentoring over the last few decades? There is something highly beneficial about talking with someone else about what is going on in your life, especially what is happening on the inside of you. It is sometimes referred to as “externalisation.” The story is told of Einstein going for a walk with a friend. At the time, he was struggling with a problem he couldn’t solve. In the process of telling his friend about it, he ended up getting an idea about how to fix his situation... Read more →

Self Care

Have you been on an aeroplane lately? Before the plane takes off there is always a safety spiel – which we all pay close attention to. Right? Right. The instructions always include something like this: “In case of an emergency, an oxygen mask will fall down from above you. Put it on yourself before assisting others.” Have you ever thought about that? It sounds a bit selfish doesn’t it. If it was a Christian flight, you’d think it would say, “Put it on your neighbour first!” But no, ‘self-care’ is primary. Why? Because if you aren’t breathing, you are of... Read more →


Think for a moment about ‘atmosphere’. Every room has an atmosphere – it could be bright or dark, hot or cold, pleasant or smelly. So does every family, every team, every school, and every workplace. That atmosphere is usually the composite result of the people in that group or of its strongest influencers. Two particular instruments deal with atmospheres. First there is a thermometer, which measures the temperature of a particular room. If the room is hot, the thermometer goes up. If the room is cold, it goes down. It is a reactive instrument. Then there is a thermostat. In... Read more →


Generally speaking, there are two types of people in the world – pessimists and optimists. Pessimists: believe that bad events will last a long time, imagine the worst, tend to see themselves and situations as ‘helpless’ give up more easily, tend to ‘awfulise’ and ‘catastrophize’, turning mere setbacks in disasters, and are more stressed than the average person, Optimists: see bad events as temporary and surmountable, are happier, and more content then other people, have greater coping skills, achieve better than pessimistic people, their health is unusually good, and they age well and live longer. Of course, unrealistic optimism can... Read more →

Your Story

Every one of us has a story to tell. Your life is your story. Your story is your life. Like a story, your life has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. There is a theme, characters, subplots (work, family, health, happiness, friendship), trajectory, and tone. What kind of story is your life? A comedy? A drama? A thriller (horror) movie? A romance or a love story? An action movie? A fairy tale? In reality, each of our life stories is an EPIC. It’s a long journey with many scenes, experiences, twists and turns, characters, and smaller individual story lines.... Read more →

Conflict Resolution

Have you had a conflict lately? When we are hurt by other people we all respond differently. David W. Johnson, author of Human Relations and Your Career, has identified five styles of conflict resolution: 1. Some people are like teddy bears. They keep the peace at all costs, even if it means giving up what they think or want. 2. Other people are like turtles. They withdraw when conflict comes and they avoid it at all costs. 3. Other people are like sharks. They respond to conflict by going on the attack, seeking to win at all costs. They often... Read more →


Have you ever been on a long drive interstate that took a few days? One of the things I hate to do is stop for petrol. Do you know why? It’s because all of those semi-trailers, caravans, and slow pokes that I have meticulously passed are all going to pass me while I am filling up! Now, that’s annoying. I wish someone would invent a way to fill up without having to stop. But the truth is that unless you stop and refuel you’re not going to make it. You are going to stall and be stuck by the side... Read more →

The Audience of One

Every one of us experiences something we could call “the grandstand affect.” From a very young age, we have people watching us and responding to our choices and actions. If we do something that people like, they cheer us on. If we do something that people dislike, they frown at us or they may even boo us. Over time, we can easily learn to play to the grandstand. We thrive on the applause so we seek to please people. We hate disapproval, so we try not to disappoint anybody. The danger with this is that we can become addicted to... Read more →

Move On

Have you ever been to a really bad movie? I’m sure you have. Did you go see it again? Of course not! Did you buy the DVD? Come on ... Why would you watch through something you didn’t like all over again! That would be silly. But in reality that’s something we all do from time to time. Have you ever done something you regretted? Have you ever had someone really hurt you? Did you find yourself replaying it over and over again in your mind? Some people even replay it in high definition ... in surround sound ... and... Read more →


Around 3,000 years ago, one of the wisest men to ever lived made this observation: Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no revelation (vision or insight), people cast off restraint (they perish, run wild or live carelessly); but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. NIV A vision can be defined as "a picture of a preferred future that creates passion on the inside of us." Without vision, life is a bit of a drudgery. The days drag along without much direction or purpose. In contrast, with a vision we live motivated lives. A vision causes us to set goals... Read more →