Category Archives: Life purpose

Getting your life off pause

The song is on the playlist but there’s no sound. It’s all quiet and serene when it should be happening and upbeat!

The equipment is in order so what can it be?

We’ve hit the pause button! We didn’t hit pause consciously so what happened?

Many of us experience this in a much more significant fashion – our life seems to be on pause. It hasn’t finished, we know that, yet nothing’s happening.

How can we get our lives off pause? It’d be great if it was as simple as pushing the play button… it can be, kind of 🙂

Getting your life off pause starts with alignment. We need to align our actions with our aspirations, those goals that demand us to stretch. We can gaze upon where we’d like to be or consider the person we believe we could be and see only the gap between here and there. This leaves us parked in the gap, on pause.

Stepping out of the known, taking a risk, can be both challenging and confronting. This action, though, will help build a personal culture of growth and opportunity. It will close the gap between here and there.

Aligning our actions with our aspirations starts with everyday decisions. We can have amazingly productive days or weeks, crossing multiple items off our ‘to do’ list, but if finalising them do not move us towards our goals, then we need to re-prioritise. Consider the macro goals and make decisions that reduce the gap between here and there by one step. Start. Daily.

Find your play button and let’s close the gap between here and there!


I’ll have what she’s having!

In Meg Ryan’s famous (infamous maybe?) orgasm scene from the classic 80’s film ‘When Harry Met Sally’ we have a fellow diner responding with ‘I’ll have what she’s having!’. Obviously this is a bit of fun but the reality for many of us is that we do often want others have!

The sting in the tale of comparison is that what is best for us, is rarely what others have. Ouch!

An ironic thing that I’ve learned over the years is people for whom we may feel sorry when we view what they physically or financially ‘lack’ may actually feel sorry for us when they see what we ‘have’! This ‘lack’ and ‘have’ is really about what we value.

It’s simpler to assess our impact or influence by what we have – our job, where our kids go to school, where we live, the car we drive, how we spend our holidays. This is an easy-to-measure yardstick against which we can hold ourselves and others.

Much harder to measure is who we are. There is no obvious metric. This includes our genuine happiness, our level of contentedness even in the midst of physical lack, our mindset. These are the things which can seem ethereal but are the core from which our expectations, attitudes and behaviours are driven.

It’s also much more difficult to compare… and that’s partially the point. Focusing more upon our own emotional and spiritual health enables us to more effectively empower and support others. Impact and influence starts with ourselves.

Do you really want what she’s having?

Let Hope Rise.

Resumé or Eulogy?

Four Weddings and a Funeral makes for a great movie title. Five funerals in three years – not so much.

This is my reality with my folks and several of my uncles / aunts passing away in recent years. Hearing family members and lifelong friends share anecdotes at these final farewells opens a doorway to understanding these people. Not just what they did or what they achieved, but more about who they were.

In his book, The Road to Character, David Brooks talks about ‘resumé virtues’ and ‘eulogy virtues’. The challenge being are we focused on building our life around what looks good externally or what adds substance to our character? The things we do and the things we achieve, whilst important, are more about how others size us up – do we measure up to their expectations, are we suited for a role. Who we are identifies what is important to us – what drives us, what defines us.

This is character. These are the traits that surpass our ‘resumé virtues’. This is also our opportunity for greatest influence and lasting legacy. The aspects of who we are for which we will be remembered, and often by those who we did not even realise we were influencing.

Our role, our job, our achievements are important but have a shelf-life.

Our values, our beliefs are our core that flavours everyone around us.

What are you building today – your resumé self or your eulogy self?

Let Hope Rise.

What I’ve learned from a grape…

A year in the life of a vine is all about seasons. As each new season unfolds, the vines progress through various growth stages towards the much-anticipated harvest.

As the temperatures start to rise, the vines awaken from their winter dormancy. Buds begin to burst and new shoots appear – this is Spring. When the warmth of the Summer arrives, growth accelerates. Autumn is harvest time, the culmination of a whole year. During Winter the vines are dormant, but this is the time for long and exacting work to position the vines for maximum growth in spring.

Each season lends itself towards the purpose of the next season. You cannot harvest without the buds arising from dormancy. And you cannot expect high yield if the winter pruning is not done.

In what season are you in life? If things appear dormant, this is the time for culling and pruning – the tedious yet critical work that positions us to flourish. It could a season of tremendous growth – what fruit will we yield?

Regardless of what is happening (or not happening) in our world, we need to recognise it is simply a season through which we will cycle. We need to understand what season we are in and take the necessary steps to ensure we are readying ourselves for our next season.

For what season are you preparing?

Is it time to release the handbrake?

Have you ever sought to head off at the intersection only to find that your car remains stopped or very reluctantly moves on? I have, and it’s been because the handbrake is still on!

There are plenty of potential handbrakes in our own lives. Things which, if not disengaged, will slow us down or bring us to a complete stop. These are normally issues that have not been adequately managed or dealt with, so they keep impacting our desire to progress.

The handbrakes could be significant matters such as addiction or unforgiveness. They could also be seemingly less significant – maybe a negative mindset or a lazy attitude towards finance. Regardless of how they look, the result is the same. Movement slows; momentum halts.

So what do we do? …the handbrake must be released.

We must first identify what the handbrake is and recognise its negative impact. We must accept it is up to US to change it, or our response to whatever it is. Even things which have happened to us – we are responsible for how we respond and whether we allow the actions of others to continually disrupt our future.

It’s not easy. But it remains our decision. Do we allow our past to control our future? Or do we tackle it head-on?

Release the handbrake into your future!


Image credit: grafikeray / 123RF Stock Photo

Yours or mine?

Natural disasters inevitably bring about tales of despair and disaster. They are also the source of miracles and amazing stories of heroism.

Returning to work in early 2013 after Queensland’s big wet where much of the state was inundated, any thoughts of personal discomfort were quickly discarded when hearing of other people’s situations. Seventy-two hours without electricity, loss of water supply, properties flooded…

We can tend to think that our own concerns are the worst possible, the most challenging circumstance imaginable. They are obviously the most significant for ourselves, since we are the people immediately and directly affected. However, gaining perspective can sometimes give us, well, perspective.

Knowing others are in a more precarious situation or are facing more challenging times does not reduce the importance of what we’re facing. It does, though, enable us to understand why others may not be able to support us at this time due to their own circumstances. It may also allow us to identify that we could be in a position to temporarily put aside our issues to support those who are worse-off than ourselves.

We should not ignore our problems and, similarly, we should not ignore problems of others. We may even be able to prioritize someone else’s needs above our own.

Perhaps we should first ask this of ourselves – are our problems, at this time, the most deserving of our energy?


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