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What do we want?

I read an article yesterday about ‘Wantologists’ in America who help people identify exactly what it is they want in their life (link below for anyone wanting to read it). Wantology originated as a process to help businesses make purchasing decisions and is now offered by consultants for individuals.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/opinion/sunday/the-outsourced-life.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

It is easy to scoff at the idea of course and at the ways we are increasingly relying on buying in help fr…

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Stillness or change?

I was teaching yoga to a group of beginners in Amsterdam and about four weeks into the course I introduced a 10 minute meditation session. For all of them, it was the first time they had ever done any meditation. At the end of the lesson we discussed what it had been like. A couple of people said that is was the first time they could remember not having constant mental chatter going on in their minds. This silence only lasted a minute or so of the ten minute session but it was a revelation that …

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Teaching children who is in charge

When I was at the school the other day, a little boy was crying outside his classroom. His teacher was with him but the boy could not talk he was so distraught. The teacher hugged him tightly, then looked him right in the eyes and said very firmly,

‘Who is in charge of your mind?’

The boy was startled out of his sobs. He didn’t know what to say at first. And then cautiously said,

‘I am?’

She nodded. ‘Yes you are.’

Her question had taken him away from what ever had upset him and brought him right into…

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Living in the present

Years ago, I had a phone call to say that one division of our business was in crisis and that in ten minutes the general manager of the market where it had taken place would brief us. It had serious implications for my boss. It looked likely that, as a result of this issue, a programme he had been working on for over a year would not see the light of day.  I went over to tell him. He listened carefully, took in everything I was telling him. As soon as I had finished telling him about the issue a…

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Creating freedom for others

I have a friend, let’s call her Ann, whose view of the world is that it is a very hard place to be, that life is difficult. Her conversations are full of phrases like, ‘life’s not meant to be easy’, ‘you just have to make do with what you have’ and ‘it’s a tough world’. Even when things are going really well, she is looking ahead to a time when it could all be taken away.

I have another friend, let’s call her Beattie, who’s view is the polar opposite. She believes that life is a miraculous advent…

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What is that meant to mean?

The person I admire most was born with an incurable disease. Her life expectancy was 18 years, her only hope of surviving was a heart and lung transplant. Throughout her childhood and teenage years she became increasingly ill, missing school, unable to go out with friends, gradually becoming confined to bed, fighting for breath with the help of an oxygen machine.

It was my enormous privilege to see at first hand how someone can simultaneously accept and fight and the amazing outcome that can have…

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To buy or not to buy

Several years ago I worked in the luxury brand industry, developing marketing campaigns for Johnnie Walker Blue and Gold Label. I went to a seminar on luxury marketing in London and got chatting to a Italian luxury shoe designer. We played a game to test his knowledge. He could tell the brand of shoe that every woman was wearing just from the quickest glance. He worked out that every single woman in that room was wearing a pair of shoes that would have cost over £300. Apart from me.

I started to …

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Choosing to be where we are

Choosing to be where we are

At one time, the Guinness brand was in trouble, sales in its biggest markets of Ireland and the UK were down, its owner, Diageo, was under increasing pressure from its shareholders to divest the brand. In the midst of this unrest, the director of the Guinness business, John Potter opened the annual conference with the question: “Why am I here?” and after a pause in which the audience was undoubtedly thinking to themselves, ‘yes – indeed. I wouldn’t want to be here if I…

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beware of the Trojan horses

For ten long years the Greeks had been trying to conquer the city of Troy but they could find no way through the high, thick walls. One day, the Greek General, Odysseus, had a clever idea. ‘Let’s pretend that we admit defeat and that we are sailing away. we will leave a gift to announce the end of the war. It will be a magnificent, fantastic horse. A work of art which the Trojans will accept into their city. But inside the horse we will hide 30 men’. The Greeks thought it was a brilliant idea. T…

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Actor or director?

When I worked in PR and marketing I used to see what I did in terms of ‘me’ and ‘them’ where ‘them’ could be the client or the public or the media. I was a character in the world interacting with other characters and depending on the effectiveness of my communications I either caused a reaction or not. I had no more influence than that.

But how about if I completely change the perspective from which I view my reality and my role. If I truly see myself as the creator of my reality then I change fr…

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