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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There is nothing so private as our inner selves. We only let others see and know as much as we choose to divulge. And rightly so. We are each entitled to live the life we personally choose to enjoy living. For many, we only get that choice in our personal time. Work often demands we present a public self, one that keeps the boss happy and keeps the money coming in.

Here’s a tip if Covid is causing you to rethink your life, including your job. Think back to those wonderful ideas you had in your adolescent years about how you were going to make your mark in this world. 
·       What did you reckon you were good at then?
·       What talents/gifts did you want to develop then? 
·       Are you using those talents today in any way? 
·       How might you tweak those skills to reset your life?

Those gifts are still there – either in use or dormant. They are gifts unique to you, designed to let you choose your own way in life. 

You owe it to yourself to honour your natural gifts.

The unquenchable yearning to follow our heart is there in each of us. Some of us know it and live it to the full. For many it’s more often in our personal life. It can be buried at work by the desire to earn enough money to more than pay the bills.

So it was for me for my first 12 working years. Enjoying my personal life was enough to satisfy me. At 30 I wondered, “thirty-five more years of this? And then what?”. The yearning had stirred. No answers. Simply a realization from deep within that I was born with a natural unquenchable yearning to follow my heart.

Four frustrating, searching years followed, with still no answer. “I wonder if I would be any good at….?” was my ever-present question. Suddenly my heart, mind and life came together in the form of a one-day seminar on Leisure as a Social Issue. I went on to gain my Graduate Diploma in Recreation Planning (with Distinction). From then to today has been a wondrous journey of transition and revelations.

Have you resolved your unquenchable yearning to follow your heart? It’s there and it’s never too late. Perhaps start searching for it by asking “I wonder if I would be any good at….?”  

Every enjoyable experience is a positive step in building your natural life journey. A journey made doubly exciting by the uncertainty of where you are going , but with an assurance you are traveling in a direction you were born to take.      Click here for information on my "How to Enjoy Being You" Program (online or in person (Adelaide only)

Enjoyment is 3

 

Being who you really are is a risk worth takingI can personally vouch for the truth in the words of The Voice (australia) contestant when he said :”Being who you really are is a risk worth taking”. I was 30, in a safe and responsible position in the Australian Treasury in Canberra. I looked out my window one day thinking ’35 more years of this and then a gold watch? And that’s it??” I decided I hated working for no purpose beyond just paying the bills.
 
It took another four years of searching to find the answer. Then my life changed in one day, attending a seminar on leisure as a social issue. I was hooked. I passed a Graduate Diploma in Recreation Planning with distinction, got a job in the then new SA Department of Recreation and Sport, quit my job at The Treasury and moved with my wife and young children to Adelaide.
 
Reactions from Treasury colleagues ranged from “you are mad, Peter” to “I wish I had your courage”. To them the risks were great. To me, my heart had found it’s rightful home. To deny it was pointless. The secret was in the realization at 30 and the four years of subsequent searching.
 
I have since forever enjoyed being the real me – as a recreation planner for the rest of my working career which gave rise to my first book “Enjoy Being You” in 2001. That book subsequently brought me work in the business world, leading to me becoming a Life Enjoyment Mentor.
Your heart knows what it wants…it just needs you to put it into search mode. It might be during your working career, or after you leave work…or both!

Enjoyment drives our lives 1In a work ethic world enjoyment was seen as separate to work – some fun or pleasure that gives you a rest from the realities of an economic rationalist world. Bosses often saw it as a competitor to work – slacking off in a world where “time’s money!”.  

Enjoyment is in fact the desire to live the life we want and love – work and personal life. It’s about why we are here. We can have fun for a day. Enjoyment however activates our life of purpose, fulfilment and service to others. Enjoyment drives our self-esteem, self-confidence, taking control of our lives, developing talents, unleashing  passionate interests, growing the person we were born to be as distinct from playing roles we think others expect of us.

If you are feeling that the life you lead is out of sync with what you would love to be doing, you would enjoy my structured self-review of what you have enjoyed over your life to date, especially those experiences that triggered new growth in you. They are the ones giving you the foundation you want for a new life adventure of enjoying being your authentic self. 

Click here for more details.

What is Importan

2020 brought us probably the most significant life shift we will ever make in our lifetime. Totally unexpected. Life - indeed time itself - stopped...globally. Yet we did have time – time to stop and think like we have never done before.


We think about what’s most important to us when we get married, pass a 'Big 0' stage of life, or have a midlife crisis, . Usually it’s a measured process of planning the change while life rolls on around us.

In the eerie silence when Covid first hit, we wanted to get back to the way things were. Eventually we began to realize we never want to go backwards. We want to keep going forward. But how?

More than ever we need to focus on the basics of what makes us tick as individuals. It’s time to realize our identity isn’t found in the work we do but in who we are, what we love doing and our natural-born gifts that no-one else on earth can duplicate.

It's become vital to enjoy being and backing our authentic selves.

 

 Go here for information on my  "It's Vital to Enjoy Being You" Program. Three 90 minute sessions - in person (Adelaide only) or via Zoom. 

 

No matter what age you are, Covid-19 has caused you to wonder what impact the world today and in the years  to come will have on your life.

It's time to get back to the basics of what it means to enjoy being your true self. The real you who wants to:
Enjoy a fulfilling life of purpose,
• Stay mentally fit for a long healthy life
• Never let age get in the way of continuing to grow as a person
• Be always valued for who you are and what you do
• Confidently say what you really believe
• Know how to sustain the energy to cope with problems, and
• Know when to say yes to opportunities put to you.

What you will learn in my Zoominar 2 is based on my 50 years of professional experience helping people improve the quality of what they enjoy in life. Thirty years in recreation planning and development and 20 years as a Life Mentor. You will enjoy a refreshingly different and positive perspective on your continuing potential.

You naturally control what you enjoy. The 7  Key Features of Enjoying Being Your True Self will give you clarity of everything you need to know to unpack your strengths and repack those you want to take forward to your future.

Full details appear in the image below.  Register your place now at
https://lnkd.in/gPGT4an

I look forward to meeting you on the call.

Zoominar November 10 2020 3

 

Finding – or renewing – your purpose in life doesn’t happen by chance. It requires constant questioning of your ‘why?’. A journey of searching for, enjoying, backing and trusting the real you.

I had decided in 1975 to leave a secure well-paying job in Canberra to take up a less-than secure and lower-paid Recreation Planner job in Adelaide. Not a long-term considered decision. One of those things that happens overnight – in my case attending a day seminar on leisure becoming an emerging social issue. 

An upheaval affecting not just me but my wife and two small children. For me it just had to happen…not quite so for my wife who was a born-and-bred Canberran. Reflecting on it now reminds me how grateful I have always been that she agreed to the move, albeit with a few agreed conditions.

The expression “sliding doors” became famous in the 1990’s with the film by that name. In essence today it means “what if I had made a different decision?” What if I had simply said at the end of that fateful seminar “well that was interesting, but it puts too much at stake for me and my lovely family”? I had plenty going for me in Canberra – in my work, in my community and especially in sport where I held various senior positions at Club and Territory levels.

There were those who said I was mad to make “such a reckless decision”. Others admitted they wished they had the guts to do what I was doing. 

It took me another 45 years to fully understand why I made that decision. In a recent workshop I was posed with a double-question aimed at clarifying why I am doing what I do: “what was it you hated doing …. and what did you decide you would love to do instead?” I found my thoughts going back not to 1975 but to an event five years earlier in 1970.

It was a day on which I remember looking out my office window, thinking “35 more years of this??”. What did I hate doing? Working for no purpose beyond the money. What would I love to do? Earn my money doing something of purpose and value to others. 

I have come to realize that the day seminar I thought was an overnight epiphany was in fact just one small step in a long process of finding my true destiny in life. A process that continued in my 60’s when I became a Life Mentor. I wanted to help others who were looking for or reviewing purpose in their work and their lives. I will continue to do so for as long as my health allows.

Finding – or renewing – your purpose in life doesn’t happen by chance. It requires constant questioning of your ‘why?’. A journey of searching for, enjoying, backing and trusting the real you. It can take you down unknown paths, but with an assurance you are traveling in a direction you were meant to take.

There is no more important trust in life than trusting in yourself and your natural-born gifts and talents.

 

Never more than now have you wanted to feel truly connected with people you value ...and who value you.

Pe
Connecting with othersople who open doors to experiences you were meant to have, to interests you were born to explore, for successes you needed to share to achieve. It's not the number of connections but their depth and meaning. Mind to mind, heart to heart, soul to soul, passion to passion.

You enter and leave this world alone. Connection with like-minded others is the magic that gives your life purpose, develops your growth and sparks the love that fires you.

Connection is the mirror that synchronizes body language, develops trains of thought, triggers the aha moments that change your world... and mine.

Only when you meaningfully and mutually connect with like-minded others do you truly discover and enjoy being your true self.

7 features Enjoyment FactorEnjoyable experiences are much more than simply having a good time. They actually energize and expand your growth.
The enjoyment factor is at the centre of the seven features because when you are enjoying life, the other six fall into place.
Experiences you truly enjoy express the real you. Only you can decide what you enjoy.
Enjoyable experiences lift your self-esteem, self-belief and self-confidence. Enjoy them often to sustain your resilience to cope better with the stresses of life.
The enjoyment factor has to be present in any physical exercise intended to meaningfully improve and sustain mental fitness.
Any workplace culture that doesn't include the enjoyment factor is facing problems, especially in these dramatically changing times.
The enjoyment factor generates the energy that drives your life forward.

7 Features

 

The Enjoyment Factor – Energizing experiences that expand your growth

Gifts/Talents – the natural strengths that make you different

Emotional Energy – the source of your desire to grow

Passion – the unquenchable desire to use your talents to enrich your life

Connecting with others – the sense of sharing sparks the magic of living

Positive Outlook – looking beyond problems in search of solutions

Continuous development - all the above interacting for the rest of your life.

Why It's Time to End Ageism

The world is dramatically changing. The global population over 60 continues to grow faster than those under 60. Society needs to see this as an opportunity, not a problem. 
Why? The gap today between work and death is dramatically ballooning out to anything from 30 to 50 years or more because a) we are living longer, and b) ageism is shortening our working life to as low as 45.

Add to this:
• Retirement is an increasingly unpopular term
• We feel younger and want to enjoy purposeful lives well into our 80’s and beyond. 
• People in the workforce are giving professional development a higher priority over salary.

We need a total paradigm shift based on the fact of continuous development from birth to death, be it through payment or passion. Instead of the traditional ’mature then decline’ lifecycle, personal development continues for as long as health permits.

Continuous development brings with it more than accumulated experience and knowledge. Age deepens our understanding of life, of people and, most importantly, of ourselves.

This is not just to benefit people currently over 50. This is to ensure people of all ages can look forward to being a person of value and worth for life. The only change we need is in how we think.

It’s time.

Beware the "Retired Husband Syndrome"

The days of the one-income family are fading. But the following story still resonates with many of us. Hubby earned the money and his wife stayed home and raised the children. Then hubby retired with no plans for his future. Meantime his wife has over the years built life-long personal interests.

The husband, feeling lost, looks for options such as:

“Where are you going dear? Can I come too?”

“We can do the shopping together now”

“Why do you do it that way dear? I know a better way”.

Personal space has disappeared. The relationship is being tested and each is individually facing problems about their future.

In fact the problem is the same for a dual-income relationship. Research shows retirement-related stress is felt more by the wife, not just at retirement but, if the problems are not addressed, more so as time goes by. Men to note!

Enjoying life after work revolves around the freedom to express your authentic unchanging inner self. Start by each of you separately listing every type of interest you love, especially those you enjoyed before you met. Discuss how you might each help the other expand their interests.

It’s another reason for planning well in advance of quitting work. I can help you. Let's have a virtual coffee chat about your findings.

Being able to see past the public persona of people is a bit like being able to break a concrete block with your bare fist – you have to look beyond the block. My ability to see beyond the public persona of people without judging their vulnerabilities is a major factor in why I am (and love being) a Life Mentor.

We all wear our public mask (usually a blank look) when out in public. It protects our vulnerabilities – especially in the workplace. However it’s the person behind the mask – the private self - who makes all of the decisions about what you do with your life.

For most of us, the private self gets battered around during our 50’s. It sure was an emotional roller-coaster decade for me. The prospect of nearing the end of my career wasn’t in my thinking but I say now that events during those years dramatically changed my thinking about the sort of longer term future I wanted to have.

This post is by way of encouraging you not to let your public persona influence your heart's wishes. Your 50's is the time to back your true self. Your experience and natural abilities have been deepened by your accumulated wisdom. That's the self who wants to take you forward into your future.

If you are within ten years of retiring (voluntarily or enforced) you will want to ensure you continue living a long and fulfilling life after you leave work.

The problem is, if you wait until you retire to work out what you want to do next, you will have left it too late. For a seamless transition to life after work you need to start today. How?

You are no doubt regularly investing, say, 10% of your money for your superannuation – perhaps more if you salary sacrifice. Why not also invest 10 % of your week to build on and develop those natural talents and lifelong passions you have always enjoyed (or wanted to enjoy)?  And right away it helps you manage your stress levels too.

A simple first action is to download my brand-new free ebook “A Tree Doesn’t Stop Growing At 65 Nor Do You”, to gain some 21st century thinking on how you can start the process right now towards enjoying a new life adventure after leaving work.  Click here to go to the download page

I made a successful transition and am still passionately enjoying life. You can too. But make it a long steady transition from today rather than a shock stop 'n start.

I love the analogy of a full life being like a big dipper water slide. A wild journey packed with bumps and thumps, ending finally with a huge splash as you yell “WOW!! what a ride!”. The question for you is….will the final splash come for you at the end of your working career or at the end of your life?   

 The 20th century (19th century?) idea of “retirement” as a time of effectively shutting the door on your life and value is totally out of place in a 21st century world of rapid social changes  and a healthy expectation to continue growing and blossoming as a person for many years beyond 65.

 Yes I thought I had retired in the tradional way when my career came to an end.  But 21st century events soon told me my career skills were still highly valued and needed by people very different to the ones I served in my career. In reinventing myself as a Life Mentor I built my own new water slide, one I could enjoy riding as much as I wanted. Designed to provide bumps and thumps that accord with my skills and experiences, taking me in the direction of people who value me and need my skills. I plan to keep riding that slide until my health tells me “Last ride Peter…enjoy it”.

The traditional work ethic is rapidly changing into a growth ethic. It’s a bit like the tree that doesn’t stop growing at 65, knows no distinction between work and leisure and instead of getting old it becomes increasingly significant.  

21st century living needs 21st century thinking. You are at the cusp of a global ageing revolution that has already begun. A revolution firmly based on valuing your continued accumulation and expression of your experience, knowledge, perspective, depth and wisdom.

Long service leave may seem like a taste of life after you leave work. In fact the two experiences are very different.

Leaving full-time work is a bit like the astronaut who leaves the space ship and breaks the ship’s umbilical cord. It leaves him/her to float in space, out of reach, never to return to the home ship. You have left the security of a structured working life. In the context of finding your daily purpose and meaning, you are on your own.

However you do have your own personal energy pack, containing an accumulation of all the energizing experiences you have enjoyed storing over the years, ready to tap at just such a time as this. Thoughtfully and carefully unpacked, it can empower and propel your life in any direction you want to go.

Talk to me about my program on how to purposefully unpack all of your stored potential.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All the publicity on life after work is about how much money you will need. Very little attention is given to the emotional and mental impact such a transition can have on you. Many people have died from retirement within months of leaving work purely because of the impact it had on their very reason for living.

Our rapidly ageing society is a global issue and we need to take a much more modern 21st century approach to ageing. We all want to make the most of our statistical expectancy of living a longer and healthier later life.

Your new life adventure after you leave work needs to embrace all of the following emotional factors – expressing your authentic self, creative enjoyment, unique abilities, emotional energy (interests that energize you), passions, a positive outlook, connecting with like-minded others, and a desire to keep growing.

I myself remember, a few months after I left work, sitting at home thinking “if I sat here all day no one would give a damn”. There was no-one specializing in helping me work out what I would actually do with the rest of my life. It was up to me to figure it out for myself.  You however now can access my subsequent personal and professional experience in helping others make the emotional leap into a new life adventure.

Importantly, the fact that you are different to everyone else continues for the rest of your life. Only you can know the real you and your emotional needs. Talk to me about my program that respects that fact. It gives you a structure that enables you to come up with your own custom-designed plan.

One of the biggest problems I face in helping people who are considering making the transition from full-time work to a new life adventure is their perception of life beyond the age of 65. It’s essentially true that you cannot know what it’s going to be like until you get there yourself, but a lot of negative perceptions don't help. Having been through it myself and in helping clients do so, I would suggest you can put to rest many of your perceived fears and doubts about your life beyond 65.

I base this on the fact that the authentic you, the person who looks out at the world through your eyes, never changes. In my presentations I often use a slide of me at the age of 14 and me now. I look totally different and much has changed in my life in those intervening years. But in both pictures it is the same me – the authentic me who has never changed since birth. 

Try this yourself with a picture of you in your youth and now. No matter what life has thrown at you in the intervening years, the inner you has never changed. Nor will you do so after you turn 65.

Forget the perceptions you have created about people who have aged for many more years than you. Forget the perceptions of those who think that only people under 40 can cope with the pace and change of modern business life. Forget the perceptions of 'old', a word that I will only use here for the sake of the article’s purpose. 'Old' too is a perception – usually yours of others or others of you. If you think you are old or you think you are not old, you are right! That we age from birth to death is a fact. 'Old' however is an optional choice.

So how will life look like to the authentic you when you go beyond 65 years? You will continue to review and modify your thinking and priorities as you do now. Importantly you will also continue to deepen your understanding of people and life, your insight, your perspective and your wisdom. And you will enjoy continuing to do so for as long as your health permits. A tree doesn’t stop growing at 65 nor do you.

If you know someone considering finding a new adventure in life after leaving full-time work, I would be pleased to chat with them over a coffee. Absolutely no obligation.  0417 817 027.

Peter Nicholls Amelia McLeod Photography 29 3 19 Web 19Why are we sucked in by this word "old"? Who decided anyone was old or at what stage of life one becomes old?  It’s a fact that we age from birth to death but old has always been a matter of perception.  And usually perceptions of other people, not of self..."whether you think you are old or think you are young, you're right!". Nor do I know of any health or social issue that is solely age-related.

Perhaps it didn't matter in the past when life was short. Now we are being told that, despite our increasing longevity and medical advancement, employers are shrinking the working lifespan to as low as age 40! Why? "Because you are 'too old'!" Oddly, many of the people influencing the existence of age discrimination are themselves over 60...interesting!

It's time to stop perceiving society as divided into "us young people" and "those old people".

It's not just a matter of current age discrimination issues.  Globally the numbers of people over 65 are growing faster than those under 65. Sooner or later we shall reach the tipping point beyond which age discrimination of any sort will become totally unworkable.

The good news?  In a world where the "them and us" age division no longer exists 'we young people' will never be old unless we want to.

Now in my 70's, I can and do enjoy my life-long ageing process without being old.

The idea of making a leap of faith during your working life can be exciting but, for most of us, you are likely not to do so because of the "what if it doesn't work out?" question. Yet, unless you are self-employed, its almost inevitable that one day you are going to be faced with having to make the leap of faith into a life that doesn't include a full-time job.

When it comes to helping people work out what they will do when they leave full time work, it's rather strange selling people a future they cannot know nor can I predict. In a sense I am trying to sell a product that the potential buyer knows nothing about. Financial planners can at least work with what’s in your pocket /bank but I have to work with what’s in your mind - a mind which is likely to be negative about a future without fulltime work.  No matter how many positive concepts I can put to you, its’ hard to shake the many outdated images of “retirement” – old, invisible, valueless, loss of identity …you can add a few of your own I am sure.

It’s now 16 years since fulltime work and I parted company so let me say very clearly about the old concepts of retirement – they are now all bs! Life after work today is about a very important step forward and no different to any other major change in life you have faced – when you started work, got married, had children, when the kids left home, whatever. What you did then was totally up to you (with the support of your life partner). Nothing’s different about leaving work. I had to make my own decisions and here I am thoroughly enjoying being a life mentor.

The beauty of life after work is that I was released from obligations and external pressures of bosses, corporate policies, clients, shareholders, workplace cultures and the like. I became free to be me, to do what I love, to mix with the people I choose to be with and to help people in my way, using not just my skills but my depth of understanding life. It is a most exciting and releasing feeling!

What you do continues to be your choice. You have been ageing since the day you were born …’old’ is an optional choice and I chose not to be old.

Only you can decide your future. My job is to help you remember all of the strengths your life to date has been built on, creating your own foundation on which to choose and build your exciting future. Not when you retire…now! I can help you.

Now read my next blog, "What Life is Like Beyond Age 65"

An important first step is to get your copy of my latest book "The Hunger to Grow".  It contains so much of what you need to know in mentally preparing yourself to enjoy a full and satisfying life after you leave full-time work.  Click here for further information.

Book me to speak on this or related topics - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone me on 0417 817 027.

Can you imagine how you would feel if one day you woke up and found your identity had been stolen by an online thief? No money, no bank account, no credit rating, a ghost walking around in society? May it never happen to you or to me.

Yet it’s that sort of thinking that can keep you awake at night when you think of the prospect of retiring from fulltime work - after the obligatory trip overseas. Perceived loss of identity, self-esteem, becoming invisible, unwanted….the perceptions go on. The more professional and purposeful your current career may be, the greater your likely fear.

Let me end those fears right here…no-one but no-one can steal your authentic self, the person who is unique in human history, with your natural talents and your developed skills, experience, knowledge, perspective and depth of understanding. The self you have created to date , loved by your family and tribe and respected for who you are, not for what you do.

The 21st century world is crying out for people with your talents and (especially!) your depth of understanding humanity. Some thoughtful re-creation of your authentic self and you are on the way to finding a new sense of place, value, purpose, self-esteem and deep enjoyment. Just stay as the positive opportunist you have always been.  It may not be an easy life but you will definitely be at ease with the fact that you have done it all for the sheer joy of valuing yourself and being valued by perhaps a whole new tribe of like-minded people.

Not sure what that might be? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

One of the great fears of people (especially men) when they consider leaving fulltime work is the prospect of “losing their identity”. The traditional work ethic has had a powerful influence on the way we think…and not just at work. It implies (wrongly I believe) that your work should be at the centre of who you are.

Your job may well express something of who you are…and the more you love it the greater that self-expression may be. If, however, your work is your only way of expressing your authentic self, you have a burnout problem building.

My core business statement has long been” when you lose yourself in an interest you love you find yourself”. It’s when the real you comes to life, you are at ease with your self, your mind alert, your self-esteem high and, put simply, you are enjoying being you. It’s a feeling you should often experience, including throughout your  working life to keep your resilience levels high.

It’s the feeling you should be having every day after you leave the inhibitions of your working life and not just for fun. You are free to build the life you want around doing what you love, what you are good at and helping people who need your abilities.

So what might you say when asked ”And what do you do?” after you've quit fulltime work? An intriguing discussion-starter would be: “I was (e.g.) an accountant – now I am enjoying being (rediscovering?) the real me ”.

Your further reading should include my books "Enjoy Being You"  and "The Hunger to Grow - How to Enjoy the Dessert Years of Your Life"

Think of the person who left your organisation after many years of faithful service. You lost so much more than the skills in their job specification. They might have been the person who could solve computer problems, or who organised the social functions, counselling skills when tragedies struck, had good artistic skills for designing flyers and brochures, the problem solver, provide music for a business event, the “mr/ms fix it” when something goes wrong with the equipment… the list goes on.

You know what it does for your self-esteem to become known as the “go to “ person in your workplace to meet certain needs that are not part of your job but which you are renowned for providing. Of course your “go to” talents aren’t reserved for the work place. You developed them in your own time because you enjoy being good at them.

Having meaning and purpose in life tends to generate lofty-minded thoughts of being able to change the world in some way unique to you…and if that’s your passion, go for it! Yet it’s the “go to” skills that we all develop over our lives that make the world go round each day. Your “go to” skills can be made more widely available come the day you are no longer chained to the limits of your working day. And the thanks and admiration you get will never lose their value, giving you a true sense of purpose in your life.

Be proud of what you are good at doing.  Your value as a "go to" person will always be needed.

I am shortly to announce details of my forthcoming “Alternatives to Retirement” half-day workshop in Adelaide. I am also available for one-one consultations. Call me on 0417 817 027 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Internationally-renowned Gifts of Inspiration website has just published my article (below) as their feature article for February 2019 and distributed it world-wide in their February 2019 issue of InspirEmails:

I was waiting at a coffee shop to meet a client for the first time. She was late and after about fifteen minutes I sent her a text message asking if there was any problem. Almost immediately she responded 'oh my gosh I have just realized I am at the wrong coffee shop' (about a block away). She apologized profusely and said she would come straight down. No problem I thought and sure enough she soon appeared coming towards me very hurriedly. Her first words on arrival however were most unexpected.

'Peter I was so flustered about my silly mistake and hurried to where you are. But the moment I saw you I felt at ease. You were more than calm and untroubled by my mistake. You had an aura that put me immediately at ease'. I could have decided this was just one of those alternative thoughts we so often hear . . . except for one thing. She was not the first person to say so. Only weeks before my personal branding adviser simply said 'Peter I can sum up your branding in one word - ease'.

I am telling you this not to puff my ego but to convey what I believe is a powerful way we can all look at life. I don't particularly like the word happiness or the suggestion that we all want to be 'happy'. I had preferred the word 'content'. Content with where I am in life, what I am learning and my way of contributing to human progress. Then along came this word 'ease'.

Professor Michelle Simmons, Australian of the Year 2018, recently said . . . 'Learn about yourself, what you are good at, what you enjoy and then push the boundaries of that to find out where you can excel'. To me that encapsulates living life with ease. It's very different to living 'the easy life' - something that is in fact very unsatisfying and unstimulating. It also accepts that we all have our ups and downs. Ease is more the way we can describe a satisfaction that we are at our right place, at our right time, doing our right thing.

Wherever you are along your life journey, Professor Simmons' words give you and me a sound and positive basis on how to live today and in planning the next phase of life. You don't have to be the best at what you do, or even be wealthy. It's enough to be you, to learn about yourself, what you enjoy, what you are good at and to keep pushing your boundaries to excel in your way within your resources. That, to me, is living life with a sense of ease.  

I have just seen the film “The First Man” (the Neil Armstrong story). For me, perhaps the most emotional moments were two views of the earth - one when circling the earth and the other from the moon.

Distance gives everything a perspective like no other. Circling the earth high enough to be able to be truly in awe of this beautiful world we call our home. It’s human inhabitants – even In our collective billions – become invisible from that distance. Mere mortals who come and go in the blink of a celestial eye.

Awesome then must it be to stand in the utter silence of the moon, the earth becoming just another white orb in the endless blackness of the universe.   Subject totally to the unfathomable whims of first the sun and then…who knows what?

Beings from another planet would naturally wonder, “is there life on earth?”. They would readily come to appreciate the nature and role of the millions of flora and fauna that keep our earthly environment healthy. But the humans? Are they a life-giving part of the earth’s natural growth, or a pandemic that exists to destroy? We wonder. 

We are part of nature, not above it.  Nature demonstrates so much to us about how we humans can truly grow, flourish, mature and blossom, each to our own unique natural potential.

Human nature is not an oxymoron.

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