Potterings Blog

Pottering around life's issues, a little digging here, some fertilizer there, pruning to stimulate new growth and generally cultivating people's potential to blossom. Your comments are always welcomed.  
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Enjoy Asserting Your Difference

There has never been - nor will there be - another person exactly like you. Your uniqueness is your strength and the core of your life choices. It's the essence of everything that drives your deepest sense of life enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose.

A key principle in my years as a Recreation Planner was never to impose my values on a client's recreation preferences. Your right to choose what you enjoy is fundamental to what makes you different. This led me to the principle in my lifestyle mentoring services that everything you enjoy in life (not just recreational) reflects the real you.

This challeging world desperately needs your unique first-in-human-history differences, strengths, abilities, drive and perspective.  These express what you truly enjoy in life.

Enjoy asserting your difference.

Are you, or someone you know, planning for retirement or experiencing a yearning for a lifestyle change?This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. how I can help you. Or click here to read more.

Life Re-invents You

It happened a few months after I found my Recreation Planning career had come to an end. I was  sitting in my home thinking "if I sat here all day, no one would give a damn". The only person who could do anything about it was me.  But what?

I had recorded some of my leisure philosophies in my book "Enjoy Being You".  A team leader for a large private company said she loved the book, that she was having real stress problems with her team and could I run a workshop based on my book?  'Why not?' I thought. I said 'yes' and hastily put some material together.  The workshop was an outstanding success in every way. I had not re-invented my life, life had begun to re-invent me.

From your mid-life on, any life change is going to be significant, one you will consider with great care. You will be considering not so much  what you have done but what you have the potential still to achieve. You will want to be aware of all your talents (known and latent), abilities and passions that creatively express and drive the real you. Only then will you be ready when a new road opens along which you might travel -   and perhaps, as I did, 'a road less travelled'. 

Click here to read more about my services and about my free no-obligation 30-minute “A Glimpse into the Future You” consultation.

The Value of Vacations

Burnout is a product of an imbalance of energy in and energy out. We all need a harmonious mix of what we have to do (energy-burning) and what we love to do (energy-generating). An energising leisure interest in today’s world is one that creatively expresses your natural talents for the sheer intrinsic enjoyment of the experience. Such an interest can generate sufficient energy to cope with long periods of stressful responsibilities (which is why I don’t use the word ‘balance’ that suggests equal time).

We talk about a fifth of the population having mental health issues. My focus is on keeping the other four-fifths mentally fit - the sort of mental fitness that sustains strong personal growth and positive behaviour. People who say they love their job so much that they don’t need leisure interests need to have a good look at the literature on the effects of workaholism. Work contains an energy-burning stress factor that needs to be regularly countered by a mentally-energizing complementary leisure interest.

A harmonious mix of energy-in and energy-out interests is the way to go. It's not how long a vacation should be but what it does for sustaining your mental fitness.

Don't Retire - Re-invent Your Life

One of the factors causing working people to fear the prospect of no longer being engaged in a full-time job is the perception of spending all your time doing things you used to call leisure. This fear is even greater if, during your working life, you had little time for or interest in leisure activities. Thirty years or more of nothing but the ‘leisure interests’ you have pursued to take your mind away from your work can be a pretty depressing thought.

It’s a perception of leisure that has existed since the 19th century Industrial Revolution. Interestingly it is historically a wrong perception. The Latin derivation of the word ‘recreation’ is recreare – to create anew...to re-create yourself.

I have long advocated that leisure in the 21st century is not ‘free time’ but rather an experience of the mind and recreation as the creative expression of your natural talents and passionate interests, for its intrinsic enjoyment.  Add to this the potential to use those talents to contribute meaningfully to something bigger than you (with or without payment) that you freely choose to do. Now you have the basics of a much more acceptable vision of the potential those many years left can offer if and when you decide to quit full-time work.

From today I am pouring all of my professional knowledge, experiences and insights of the past 40 years into the theme of “Don’t just retire….re-invent your life…re-create your true self”. I am preparing a range of services around that theme.  It is my way of giving back.

Try my free, no obligation, 30 minute consultation in person, by phone or via Skype. You will learn something interesting about your true self.  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Asserting Your Authentic Self

My People Gardener philosophy has always been based around developing your authentic self - the person who looks out at the world through your eyes. Your strength is in your personal mix of natural talents, passions and potential to contribute something new and different to the world. 

The trouble is, life gets in the way, diverting us in directions we think an economic rationalist world demands us to take if we are to survive.

Through all of this however, your unchanging authentic self is your natural energising resource that drives your personal growth, resilience and enjoyment of life.

The natural way to be in charge of your life's direction is to assert your authentic self. More than just strengthening your ability to cope with whatever comes your way, it's the way to positively create the next chapter in your life.

Simple Isn't Complicated, We Just Make It Complicated

There is little doubt that we humans like to make things complicated. We think of all the pluses and minuses on issues, the potentials and the drawbacks and, based on our best knowledge, we come to a decision.

Ask a child and you will get a direct answer – and so often it's the best answer.   We men dismiss women’s use of intuition but again so often it produces the right answer.

For example, who is your clientele? You do surveys, talk to lots of people, sort the answers and still you’re not sure you have come up with the right target market. Who’s bought your product/service lately? Isn’t that your target market?

Ok I am simplifying complex issues – which is exactly my point.

In much the same way as the positive point of view is often seen as unrealistic so doing and saying things as simply as possible is dismissed as being “too simplistic”.

Watch any other part of nature (yes we are a part of nature, not above it) and it will simply do what it does do well.  It just follows the law of nature and flourishes – unless of course we complicate things because we think we know better (have you checked lately what we are doing to nature??).

Television advertising promotes its products to the 8-year-old mentality. Those that don’t leave us wondering “what was that all about?”

Next time you need to make a decision, compare the simple “go with your gut feeling” (the male version of intuition?) option with your researched complex analysis option.  I suggest over time your gut decisions serve you better than the complex analysis decisions.  Would you agree?

A Breath of Fresh Air

I have just noticed the following review (the 3rd one) on amazon.com regarding my book "The Hunger to Grow":

"Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars This book was the first to point me in the right direction to find happiness in the second half of my life, January 9, 2017
By Amazon Customer
This review is from: The Hunger to Grow: How to Enjoy the Dessert Years of Your Life (Paperback)

A breath of fresh air. This book was the first to point me in the right direction to find happiness in the second half of my life. Thank you so much Peter for sharing your thoughts, knowledge and ideas. I'm now eager to read all your books."


Have you got your copy yet? It's available in hard copy, audio (my voice) and ebook at amazon.com (the US site)  And please put a review on the site after you have read it (I can show you how if you have trouble inserting your review). I am totally confident your review will be positive because every bit of feedback I have had so far from many readers has been totally positive.

Always enjoy allowing the real you to shine through.

An Expanding Life

Ageing, old, over the hill, or suggesting my life-glass is steadily emptying are all energy-draining words. I relate better to the big bang theory of the universe continuously expanding. Energy drives that process. Energy also drives the growth of nature and certainly energy drives my growth as a person.

It doesn't just happen of course. Personal energy is released each time I express my natural-born talents and follow my passions. The experience triggers an energising chain-reaction, linking with all of the other energising moments I have experienced over my lifetime to date.   Oddly perhaps, it builds a pattern, bringing together everything that will help me realize my unique life potential.

The bonus is that this process also gives me the inner strength and resilience to work through the tough times.

It's working for me. How about you? Your comments (below) are welcome.

May 2017 be a truly energising, life-expanding year for you and yours.

People of Integrity

The world is crying out for people of integrity. People you trust, whose word is their bond. People who enjoy the life they were born to live, developing their natural talents and following their passions in the cause of a better world.

Ever since I re-invented myself as a lifestyle mentor in 2003 my core theme has been to enjoy being your true self. It’s the cornerstone of everything I do, say and write. An unchangeable principle in an otherwise ever-changing world.

The fact that I have had so many subscribers to my newsletters throughout my 15 years inthis business says a great deal in these days of email information overload. A friend recently told me, “Peter you are a person of integrity who sells integrity in your messages”.   A compliment that I humbly accept, knowing enjoying being your true self is a rock on which all meaningful advances in life are founded.

Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy being your true self no matter what life throws at you. It’s your right to enjoy being true to your real self. It‘s what makes you a person of integrity. 

If you would like to join my list of subscribers, click on the subscription option to the right of this page.  Especially so if you are looking to take a new direction that will enable you to live your life on your terms.

Never Turn Back

Last night I was privileged to see the wonderful Australian documentary film When We Sing. The hauntingly beautiful song Never Turning Back (by Pat Humphries) behind the credits rounded off the film’s powerful message that music inspires us to enjoy the fullness of life in all its glory.


There have been times in my life (as I’m sure in yours) where I have thought about going back to a situation or a person that I left behind for whatever reasons. Sometimes it was a situation outside of my control, the passing of which left me sad and wishing it didn’t have to end.


The song reminded me that the past is past and cannot be changed. I only have now, from this moment on to value and use beneficially. The value of the past is in what it has taught me about how to deal with the now and the future. It’s a past that I gratefully acknowledge has presented me with unique rich knowledge, experience and wisdom.


The real positives lie in the magnificent uncertainty of what my future still holds, what teachers are still to appear when I, the student, am ready and what doors are waiting for me to open if only I will but knock. I to continue to enjoy playing out my unique role in life with this aim, quoting from my book, The Hunger to Grow:

“You will want to feel that at the end of “Your Life” the rest of the cast and your audience will give you a standing ovation, acknowledging you have given a performance they will never forget”.

Life's Energy Resources

To learn how to sustain your energy for living life to the full, look no further than a significant tree in your neighbourhood.


The strength and energy of that tree is founded in an elaborate root system that:

  • typically, spreads one and a half times the height and width of what you can see above the ground
  • provides the strength and stability that enables the tree to withstand the storms and rains over its life, much like those that we have experienced in Adelaide over recent weeks
  • constantly searches its surrounding ecosystem for nutrients that generate and sustain the energy the tree needs to grow, flourish and blossom.

Nor does the tree

  • divide its life into work and leisure, or
  • stop growing at some pre-determined age. It will continue to grow as long as it and its supporting community remains healthy.

Your strength and energy are sourced from within the real you – the person who looks out at the world through your eyes. Your unique talents and passions provide the conduit – the root system, if you will - through which you draw your energy to grow, flourish and blossom into the person you were born to be.


It doesn’t just happen though. It is through the use and development of your talents and passions that you draw your energy to grow, flourish and blossom into the magnificent being you were born to become. You will keep on growing for as long as your health continues, including the health of the community within which you choose to mix.


If your growth is stunted and in need of some pruning for stronger personal growth and development, I have the people gardening resources to help ensure your life flourishes and blossoms to its intended full glory.  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maximising Your Talents Mix

There are 7 billion unique life stories in the world today and yours is one of them (sound familiar?). Your story is the product of your natural talents, passions and life experiences. The secret  to a purposeful life is less about what your talents and passions are and more about how you mix and use those talents/passions.


You've created a mix that enables you to achieve financial security, your enjoyment of family and your personal, social and recreational interests.


At any time in your life you can choose to adjust the mix to ensure you are constantly satisfying your lifestyle portfolio of interests. People over 50 have generally come to regard work as just one part of the portfolio. This opens up your mind to creating a 'dessert mix' of interests, talents and passions that satisfy your talent taste-buds and offer new freedom to enjoy being the real you, living life on your terms.


For example, using your work talents to help people in need, volunteering for a cause in need of your special abilities, or mentoring/coaching younger people. If offered the chance to try something slightly out of your comfort zone, give it a go. Whole new worlds are opened that way.


It’s so much more satisfying too when you add another powerful ingredient to the mix - mixing often with positive like-minded people.


This is just the tip of the iceberg. My latest book The Hunger to Grow is packed with real-life information to

  • re-explore the real you from a variety of perspectives, and
  • find new ways of enjoying creatively expressing your natural talents and passions.

A key principle of the book is that only you can decide what you enjoy.


Linking lifestyle and business affects all your people no matter what their workplace discipline may be. 

Ask to book me to speak at your next business event.


Lifestyle Issues Affecting Business

A busy time for me lately. Here’s a brief summary:

  • Invited to participate in a KPMG Adelaide Workshop on Ageing Well as a precursor to the State Government’s State Forum on Ageing Well.
  • My input to the workshop resulted in KPMG inviting me to lead one of the Chat Rooms at the State Forum – my topic was “Re-Inventing Self / Encore Careers”.
  • More to come as a result of the Forum. The intensity of discussions clarified the fact that age is irrelevant when it comes to contributing productively to the knowledge and wellbeing of society
  • Gave a keynote at the 2016 Disabilities and Ageing Expo in the Goyder Pavilion at the Adelaide Showgrounds over the loudspeaker system. Interesting experience talking to nobody in particular and everyone in general. Was delighted to get enthusiastic applause from a wide area of the Expo including one stand holder coming up to congratulate me on a wonderful presentation.
  • Held an “Enjoyment Experience” at The Nest Bistro in suburban Walkerville, with the key event being a Conversation between Nicola Lipscombe of “Powerful Listening” and me. It was a highly successful event in collaboration with The Nest, the Walkerville News Shop and Powerful Listening. While my book “The Hunger to Grow”was the central theme, the event was of benefit in many ways to all the businesses involved. A feature was the production by the Nest of a dessert which was an excellent representation of the book’s cover.
    The Hunger to Grow
  • Now in discussion with the Catalyst Foundation, Adelaide to conduct a series of 2-hour workshops on a variety of topics linking Lifestyle and Business.

Lifestyle issues are increasingly affecting business engagement, productivity and mental wellbeing (to mention just a few issues). My approaches are simple, realistic, purposeful and cost effective. Of special value to SME’s. Give me a call on 0417 817 027.

There's more to this Enjoyment Evening than you think

The Enjoyment Factor is essential in satisfying your hunger to grow.  Come and enjoy an evening of dining, listening and discussing my recipe for enjoying living your life on your terms.

Monday 26 September, 6 for 6.30 pm at Nest Bistro Walkerville Shopping Centre, Adelaide. Places are steadily filling.

Nicola Lipscombe (the new guru of Powerful Listening) will interview me, exploring my 7 key ingredients to help you continue satisfying your hunger to grow.Nest jpeg

Nest Bistro is a great venue, fabulous food, smiling attentive service  a la carte menu  plusa delicious dessert prepared specially for the occasion (can you guess?).

*You can purchase “The Hunger to Grow” from Walkerville News Shop or on the night.

Limited places. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text 0417 817 027 by 23 September.

 The Hunger to Grow 800

             I look forward to sharing a high-five with you!     Peter


The Healing Potential of Words

My barber died last Saturday – sudden, unexpected. I had been going to him for some 25 years. The shock and disbelief cut through me. Visiting your regular barber is one of those odd friendships. You see each other only occasionally, your time together often silent, punctuated only with the occasional conversation. The sense of mutual respect peculiar to the relationship between a man and his barber.


My sadness was of course nothing compared to the wave of grief that flooded over his extended Italian family and friends. I turned to what I do best - write. Like a lone wolf baying to the moon, I unloaded my feelings on Facebook. ("More than my Barber").


What happened then was beyond my wildest belief. My post was shared and shared and shared…over 50 times. It reached over 500 people – Paul’s immediate family and their vast enfolding Italian community. “I don’t know you Peter but thank you for your healing words”… “had to share this touching status, thank you Peter”… and the ultimate compliment: “suggested the family print, laminate and display your amazingly appropriate verse…your words are heartfelt and healing”.


Healing. Words that did more than express my feelings. They offered healing to a family and community in their darkest hours of grief and loss … at a time when healing would seem distant.


There are times for each of us when we know why we are on this earth. For me this has been one of the most powerful of them.


Never ever underestimate the healing potential of heartfelt words.

The World Needs Your Unique Talents

You are the only person in human history with your particular mix of talents and passions. So you have the potential to achieve outcomes that no other person – past, present, or future – can replicate.


An awesome thought. Makes you pretty special - at least in theory. First though…what natural talents do you know you have and use? What passions do you enjoy pursuing? What turns you on in terms of what you do in your life (not just in your work), for what purpose, for whose benefit?


Return on investment (ROI) normally relates to financial investments with the aim of increasing the value and benefits of the investment.  What if you applied the term ROI to the use of your natural-born talents and passions?


The 1930 Australian penny is worth a fortune because there are so few.  Since your talents and passions are unique in human history, imagine the potential of their value to you and to the world – but only if developed and used wisely.


You will finally be valued not for your money or financial success but for the extent to which you have developed, maximized and contributed to others your unique talents, passions and potential. 


It’s never too late to start making a difference. Is the world getting full value from your unique talents and passions? If not, the world is losing something very special that only you could provide.


Enjoy being you 

(NB my email address is now This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


My book The Hunger to Grow will help you make a difference. 

Go to amazon.com to download the audio or ebook version or to order the printed book. Details on my website.

Granny's Elixir

The Enjoyment Factor reminds me of the scene in The Beverley Hillbillies. Granny had created her famous elixir. When asked what it cured, she replied "Watcha got??"


Enjoyment - the moment to moment type of enjoyment and the deeper emotional enjoyment of life - are like Granny's elixir. It's nature's antidote for stress, at work and in personal life. More than that it generates all the energy you need to make the most of your life and talents.


Enjoyment isn't just nice to experience. Any experience you create for enjoyment provides powerful and life-changing improvements to the quality of your mental fitness, your workplace mental health and safety, your workplace culture and your work life harmony (more realistic and cost-effective than work life balance). Importantly, it's what will feed your continuing hunger to grow in your dessert years.


Create your own regular doses of enjoyment every day...a little enjoyment goes a long way and guards you against stress-related illnesses.  It doesn't cost a cent and you can get it anytime from your internal emotional care shop.


And if you/your workplace are having difficulty finding that shop, many previous clients have found my particular "GPS system" very effective! 

Blurring Sharp Edges

For too long there has been a sharp edge dividing work and leisure. While work life balance has become a popular buzzword, most of us feel one is fighting the other for the lion’s share of our time, energy, development and, frankly, our enjoyment of life.


Nature makes no distinction between work and leisure. You naturally always want to enjoy satisfying your insatiable hunger to keep on growing and allowing your potential to blossom. It doesn’t start and stop with your working career.  Typically your fastest spurt of personal growth was in your first five years when all you did was play.


Any interest in which you intrinsically enjoy creatively expressing your talents and passions energises your drive to keep growing. Blurring the sharp edges between work and leisure helps to keep the whole of you growing, not just the working you.


I hope you will enjoy 2016.


"The Enjoyment Factor" will be my 2016 theme. I invite you to journey with me in ensuring 2016 is a year of enjoyment for you, your family, your friends and your work colleauges. I will be offering a range of options if you would like to strengthen The Enjoyment Factor in your life or in your workplace.

Music - the Voice of Emotion

How often have you witnessed a great event? An event that has touched your emotions so strongly that the feeling absorbs your mind almost more than the event itself. I felt that way just now when experiencing (not simply watching) that great scene from The King’s Speech (the movie is on YouTube) where the King’s confidence is steadily growing as he delivers his wartime speech without stuttering. Significant for me was the music that flowed gently in the background of the scene, building...building...building as the voice became transformed from “Bertie” the family man to His Royal Highness King George. The music became the voice of the emotion.


Music inspires emotions and emotions can inspire music. Be it the emotions of sadness, triumph, beauty, achievement or joy. In the case of the King's speech, the music conveyed the emotion of overcoming a great struggle and the opening of doors through which he would walk as a great leader.


Next time you experience a significant success or momentous occasion at work, at home, at play or in community life, what music would you love to hear that would give voice to the emotions you are feeling? And any time you feel down, choose some music that would lift you back to being the real you.

The Power of Music

I received an email with the link to an old man singing in a city street. He was singing one of the inspirational songs of our times  - “You raise me up”.  I was greatly moved by the song and his glorious mature voice.


But what moved me more – to tears in fact – was the spellbound expressions on the faces of some of the shoppers. I saw people entranced by what they were hearing, seeing and feeling. For those few minutes time for them had stopped.  The strains and stresses of their day swept away, their minds transported  to all that was good in their lives, their feelings and their hearts .


When an experience touches your heart, everything in your world stands still. Save for the feeling that you are in a state of being rather than doing, enjoying the person you love to be, feeling the way you want to feel, knowing that all you want is for this moment to go on and on.  


Of course it cannot go on.  The experience will end and your life will move on.  But the memory will last, a ripple of peace that will flow on through to everything else in your day and your week. 


These are the moments for which you were born and from which you truly grow, flourish and  blossom into the person of worth you know yourself to be.  


Let time stop for you momentarily right now while you click this link and absorb the experience so beautifully created by this wonderful man.