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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A Recipe for Strong Personal Growth

Letting people know about good recipes seems to be all the go on TV, at least in Australia. As Australia's People Gardener, I have created an excellent recipe for ensuring strong personal growth and development.


For strong personal growth, take all or any of your natural born talents and fertilize them with your passionate interests. Then mix often with positive like-minded people.  


The more often you follow this recipe, the better your future life is going to be.  Try it and see how good it tastes.  Share the recipe with your family, friends and work colleagues.




In praise of doing things your way

Probably the key reason you subscribe to my ezine or follow me on Twitter (@enjoybeingyou) is because you value above all else your pride in doing things your way. You enjoy being you! It has become the key to everything that makes life worthwhile for you.


I have just watched a You Tube presentation of one of one of the  most inspiring pieces of music I have heard in praise of that trait.  A wonderful presentation by Andre Rieu of "My Way".


Stop wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Use headphones, ear pieces, or a good set of speakers.  Click on the link below and absorb this most empowering rendition.  Be sure you listen right through to its conclusion.


I kid you not - I believe it is worth sending out this special message to you and anyone you know who loves dealing with life in their own unique way.




Keep on doing it your way in 2013.

Where are you?

Wherever your passions in life are found - at work, home and at play - there you will fiind the real you, your true self, your reason for living. No matter what else you must do in your life, allow yourself the joy of living your passion and loving the invisible you, the person you really are.

Escape to Breathe

Happy New Year!


The pressures of daily life have in many ways imprisoned us into leading a life based on meeting the demands and expectations of others. We yearn to escape, at least temporarily.

I've just returned from a holiday aboard the Dawn Princess, traveling around New Zealand. Yes its a tough life but somebody has to do it. The cruise slogan  - "Escape Completely" - was very apt. It was a great way to escape from the daily pressures and responsibilities of life.


It got me thinking. People in need of escaping don't want so much to escape from but escape to.  Escape to an experience in which they can breathe naturally and do what comes naturally, enabling their natural potential to blossom.


Click here to read more on this..


Linking Work, Stress, Alcohol and Road Trauma

I have just been listening to the story of a guy who was severely injured in a road accident. He had been drinking to excess because he was very stressed in his life at the time. Reminds us that there can be serious life-threatening (ending?) consequences of prolonged excessive stress. Need I say more?  

Click here to learn about finding other more responsible, enjoyable and positive ways of managing your stress. 

Word Association

Ever play word association?

What's the first word or phrase that comes into your mind when you hear each of the following words describing yourself when you are NOT at work?


Your natural :

  1. talents
  2. skills
  3. passions
  4. potential
  5. untapped
  6. dream
  7. develop
  8. growth
  9. contentment
  10. blossom 

They help you to describe who you are, rather than what work you do. If you want to make a social chat more interesting, try asking "what gets your juices flowing when you are not at work" - and have your own answers ready.


I'd love to read some of your answers in the comments box below, or you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Urban Sprawl and Productivity

There’s another interesting angle to the issues of the increasing disconnection between where people live and work, and travelling between the two (“Urban Sprawl Hits Productivity”  The Australian, 4 December).

  1. The London underground bombing – years ago now - raised the issue of why so many people were on the train, given the fact that so much work is done by computer that could have been done at home or nearby.
  2. The mind is now the workplace.  Urban dwellers particularly are now being employed more for their minds than their hands.  The mind can often be better employed in settings outside the time and place of a 9-5 physical work location. 

The basic issue is the lack of trust.  Employers want staff under their noses so they can see what they are doing.   We can’t break away from the importance of looking busy.


The report and article indicate the impossibility of practically resolving the physical problems of  housing (location and cost) and transport.  


It’s time we started looking at the problem differently and accepting the realities of the direction the business world is taking today.

It's time to put the human back into humanity

In every area of life in my business I am finding a huge constant. People are crying out to be treated as human beings. Especially, but not only, in the workplace. And you know what? I see it as much in the lives of leaders and employers as I do in followers and employees.


Systems rather than people seem to be running the world. Emotions are foreign to systems. Emotions only exist, if you are fortunate, in the hearts and minds of people using - and too often abusing - those systems.


It's time to put the human back into humanity.


We are born to be who we are, expressing our unique talents, passions, potential, emotions and desires. Human-ness includes basic respect, mutual understanding and enough reasonable opportunities to see and express what people can do and give and be.


Perhaps I am a small voice fighting an unfeeling system? I see enough to know that is not the case. But it's a battle we have to have.

The Role of Control in Managing Stress

The Marmot studies into stress and health levels within the UK Civil Service came up with some unexpected findings. They thought senior executives would be the most stressed because of their high pressure work and major decision responsibilities. In fact lower level staff were found to be the more stressed, largely because they have much less control and discretion in their job. 


There seems little doubt there's a strong link between the increasing levels of stress and the many changes over which we have so little control. It also strengthens the link between mental health and enjoying your favourite leisure/recreation interest - a life-enriching experience over which you have total control.

Do you have an outrageously big dream?

I'd start by saying "I have a dream..." but Martin Luther King beat me to it. Still, I do have a dream - so outrageously crazy that I wasn't game to share it.  But the way life is going these days, I feel it's time to start shouting it from the rooftops. Hopefully it might even go viral. (They once said King's dream was crazy too).


The dream can be stated in a few words:


I believe every person has the right to blossom to their full unique potential - at work, home and play.  My dream is for the natural-born potential of the world’s people to be collectively in full bloom.


What does it mean? Why is it important? What can it achieve? What needs to be overcome?  What can be done? 


For the quick read click here. To get the full picture click here


It's a dream that inspires much of what I do. Hopefully you'll find something in it to inspire you too.


You can help spread the dream using a 'like, 'tweet', or 'share' option.

What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

You, as a deep thinker about life, may be asking yourself "what do I want to do with (not for) the rest of my life?"


It's a question we all start asking ourselves after we turn, say 40, and increasingly as we pass the 50, 55 and 60 mark. You wonder if your life glass is half full or half empty. You don't plan to ever feel old, life expectancy is increasing and you want to be sure that you always have a passionate reason for getting out of bed each day. When you eventually leave this world you plan to go out with a bang not a whimper.


I plan to run some public seminars/webinars on this topic.


Would such a seminar/webinar interest you?  Just add a "like" below.



Solving problems that keep you awake nights

People want to listen when you speak about solutions to problems that can keep you awake at night. They sure listened to my keynote presentation to over 300 delegates to the Parks and Leisure Australia National Conference in Newcastle NSW, from which I have recently returned. I had so many people come up to me throughout the rest of the conference - and even at the airport as I was leaving - congratulating and thanking me. Some shared with me passionate personal stories about themselves and their lifestyles. 


The topic was the changing perception of leisure in these frenetic times. My core message was that 'leisure is back in the business of solving global problems so serious that they keep people awake at night'. The audience reactions confirmed that leisure truly is back in the business of solving what is in fact a global energy crisis - people are burning more emotional energy than they are creating. The symptoms of burnout are everywhere.


But I won't reproduce the presentation here. You can click here to see my notes and slides.


I found the whole experience to be humbling, yet empowering. I would love to be able to recreate the experience at your next conference, seminar, staff development event or other business or community event. It doesn't have to be 300+ people. Any size group is fine with me.


We can learn so much from the Paralympians

"I came last, I don't care,I'm here, I'm alive". This is how one of the Australian Paralympians expressed her feelings after reaching the final of her race. Clearly she had put her heart and soul into the effort. Her life had been saved by a doctor a year before.  What an awesome recovery to even reach the Paralympian Games let alone get to the final.


And what an awesome message for us all to reflect on in our own lives.


I have felt immensely humble and privileged to witness the herculean efforts of so many people who have to daily prove their ability to cope with what for many of us are the mundane things in life. Thank you to every Paralympian for what you have taught me and congratulations on everything you continue to achieve against the odds.


RUOK? A simple, potentially powerful question

RUOK? Are you ok mate? It's a simple but potentially hugely powerful question we can all ask a colleague, relative or friend. And September 13th is once again being recognized as National RUOK? day. Find out more on their site at www.ruokday.com.au


And don't just ask it on September 13th. Ask RUOK? at any time on any day of the year you notice somebody you know acting out of character. We are all reluctant to tell others when we are down but we all know the lift it can give when someone takes the time to stop, to show some concern and ask "are you ok?"


It won't hurt to ask...and you might even be triggering a positive turnaround in someone's life.


It's the simplest, most powerful form of stress management I could ever suggest.

Where does the employer's responsibility for stress end now?

Flexible working conditions, working from home, working any time of the day or night, the 24/7 link with work through mobile phones, emails, social media....where does the employer's responsibility for stress management under its OHS obligations end?


It's now a serious question because all of these factors are raising the stress levels of employees 24/7. No longer is it simply a case of only working at the employer's premises.


I think the employer has to be seen to be doing something to manage this obligation. Click here for more on this

Fearing retirement? Here's reasons to take heart

Fear has been described as an acronym – F.E.A.R. False Expectations Appearing Real. Many working people feel fear when it comes to considering life beyond the age of 60-65.


Been there, done that. Let me assure you I am enjoying life beyond age 65. You can find it every bit as fulfilling as any earlier stage of life. You have so many options – paid or unpaid. It’s much like any other major lifestyle re-think you’ve done before, like when you got married, started a family, quit top sport, or reached any of the big ’0’s.


There’s one big difference. You become entitled to choose living life on your own terms. If that includes paid work, choose your own working terms. Whatever you decide, you owe it to yourself, and to those you love, to enjoy allowing your natural talents, passions and unique potential to continue blossoming. It has the potential to become the best time of your life.


One final tip. You wouldn't leave your financial planning until you needed the money. Start thinking now what 'planning life on your terms' means for you.


Still got fears?

1) Click here to read more on retirement, and

2) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how I might help you clear the fog.


Freedom - perhaps the greatest, most positive and potentially the most morale-boosting word in the world today.  To those without it, freedom is a dream they cherish and long for. To those who have it, the greatest danger is to take it for granted.


Perhaps your most basic freedom is the freedom to choose what you enjoy. When it comes to choosing your work, there are many factors to be taken over and above simple enjoyment.


When it comes to leisure pursuits, you are in total control of the choice, the actions, the reasons, the extent to which you want to develop your abilities, who to do it with or to do it alone,  whether it be physical or mental, active or passive,  the place, the time, and more.


Reflect for a moment on the interest you passionately enjoy for its own sake. How does it make you feel? What does it do for your self-esteem and self-confidence? How much does it de-stress you and sustain your resilience to cope with everything else in your life?  


It's a freedom we too easily take for granted, even leaving until after 'all the more important things are done'.  And don't forget that others in your life, including your staff, also have the freedom to choose and enjoy their own leisure interests.


Is money losing its power in job offers?

I was interested to read some stats in the Weekend Australian of July21/22 that showed people weren’t seeing money as the primary attraction of a job offer. Briefly, the stats showed:

  • only 31% of job candidates see the salary package as the most important aspect of a job offer,
  • 31% put the cultural fit first ("the way we do things here"),
  • 26% see career progression as most important,
  • 9% the company brand or reputation and
  • 3% how the recruitment process was managed.

Given we live in an age dominated by economic rationalism, materialism and an ongoing global economic crisis, these stats ought at first hand to seem surprising. But they pale into insignificance when you consider the 24/7 pressures of life today:

  • Change has never been so dramatic, all-consuming, rapid and overwhelming,
  • the blinding and exponentially-accelerating pace of life,
  • the huge sense of expectations we all feel loaded upon us at work, home and even at play, and
  • the weight of prolonged excessive stress levels constantly bearing down on us.

Whew, I’m tired just talking about it.


We have to constantly decide between the goals we want to set in our personal lives and the goals the world wants us to set – and not just through our work. So when it comes to choosing jobs, yes the money’s important. But you want work that is going to, as much as possible, give you a harmonious mix of being able to achieve what you want and what the company wants.


You want work that recognizes, uses, tests and develops your natural talents, skills and potential. You want to be known not just as a ‘human resource’ but as a real live, emotional being with something unique to contribute. You want the employer to recognize you chose them just as much as they chose you.


Rather like governments that lose office rather than oppositions win, people often move because the employer lost them, more than the new employer won them.

Why do you work? (apart from the money)


The Weekend Australian of July 21/22 reports these findings from a survey undertaken by specialist recruitment firm Robert Walters:

  • 31% of job candidates see the salary package as the most important aspect of a job offer,
  • 31% put the cultural fit first ("the way we do things here"),
  • 26% see career progression as most important,
  • 9% the company brand or reputation and
  • 3% how the recruitment process was managed.

In the course of doing lifestyle review sessions for clients, I have been struck by the number and diversity of emotional reasons why people work, factors far deeper than simply the money and what it can buy. The fascinating part is that such emotional factors don't just drive their work choices, they drive their lifestyle choices - irrespective of whether or not they are in the workforce

Some of the reasons expressed by clients include:
  • A sense of belonging
  • Acknowledgement by others of myabilities
  • Being part of something bigger than me
  • Challenges
  • Commitment to a purpose
  • Decision making / Autonomy
  • Dignity
  • Impact on others
  • Learning and professional development
  • Maintaining connection / interaction with like-minded other people
  • Making a contribution to others
  • Opportunity to be creative
  • Personal space
  • Professional and social friendships
  • Social recognition / status in business and in society
  • Structures my life
  • Thrill of the chase
  • Valuing  my personal abilities and skills
  • Meeting a valued need
  • it keeps me and my mind busy and focused
  • it gets me out of bed with a sense of purpose for the day
  • Self esteem, self belief, self confidence
  • Performance feedback
  • Being supportive beyond my own needs
  • Never want to feel useless

Which of the above factors relate to you? No doubt you can add others of your own. Just remember they have major importance not only in choosing a job but in every decision that energizes your enjoyment of life.



Why "Australia's People Gardener"?

Cultivating the brand of “Australia’s People Gardener” gets some diverse reactions. Some people love it. Others suggest it doesn’t present a good business image, the implication being that business is about playing hard-headed mind games in the battle for the dollar. No place for emotional sentiment.


I find that’s a perception people have of other people, not themselves. Success, not just in business but in life, is about passion, inspiration, determination, anguish, guts and every other emotion you can name. The head plays a role but the heart makes the big decisions. The people who really succeed in business do it first and foremost because they are passionate. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail but their heart is at the centre of everything they do.


Gardeners use their heads when cultivating vigorous plant growth but it’s their heart and passion for gardening that’s driving their efforts. Calling myself a people gardener is just a further evolution of me getting to know and express my true self better. What better example can I give of the nature of my business – my passion for helping people blossom through better knowing and expressing their true selves.


How do I do that? Click here to find out.