Can you learn from grandparents and their values?

with my grandparentsFather’s day came around the list of yearly calendar events recently,  which made me think and reflect about the unconditional love for my grandfather and my grandparents. Coincidently this reflection came at the same time of one of my recent blog posts, creating value from values.

My grandfather  was an incredibly special man. He was from a large family with nine brothers. My grandfather always reminded me that in the early 1900’s life was never easy. He experienced much adversity in life. His family struggled which gave him tenacity and determination to work hard and to achieve a base where his family would not have the same worries, the stress, and from where he could build a solid foundation for the future.

Grandfather George started his working life in industry with Huntley and Palmers. He came to be liked by Lord Palmer and his family in running the UK operations before being sent to Paris to set-up and manage the firm’s first French factory, located near Paris. Grandfather always amused me as a child informing me around the challenges of managing and running a biscuit operation in France that was to educate the French in English biscuits. He always amused me with his stories and wisdom.

My grandfather was the true business man in our family and my grandmother was always about the love of her family. I learned so much from them, their knowledge, love for life and nature and values, which attributes to who I am today. This I am indebted to such beautiful people.

These days, our grandparents seem to be in our lives mostly for special occasions, dinners, fun activities and/or for a great hug. But have you ever really made the effort to know your grandparents? Or ask them about their lives? You may find they have a lot of valuable information to offer… about values and habits that may get your life off to a faster, more focused, more amazing start.

Sure they are disconnected from ‘our’ fast moving technological culture, but do values change like cultures do over time? Ask your grandparents what their opinion is about family, friends, hobbies, fun, work ethic, financial saving, purpose, learning, laughter and all of those other values that ours and their cultures share. You may find that they are not disconnected from you at all. And you may also learn from their successes and their experiences. What a resource to have,  and what a great relationship you may develop from such knowledgeable people who are right in front of you.

with my grandfatherGrandparents and their grandchildren, who share a bonding that is so unique and unmatched, is potentially the most valuable life experience a child can have. I talk from experience. The significance that they have is irreplaceable and the love that they give is incomparable. Moreover, apart from being a source of unconditional affection, grandparents pass on to us lessons for life, that they have gained from their long life journey. Those are the things that can be given by none, as their advice and lessons are as exclusive as they are.

Pope Francis recently addressed the participants, reminding them of the preeminence of love. “The life of a family is filled with beautiful moments: rest, meals together, walks in the park or the countryside, visits to grandparents or to a sick person… But if love is missing, joy is missing, nothing is fun. Jesus gives always gives us that love: he is its endless source.” He also exhorted people to learn from the wisdom of grandparents: “[A person or] people that does not listen to grandparents is one that dies! Listen to your grandparents.”

10 important tips from our grandparents that are invaluable to life’s success

  1. Unconditional love
  2. How to be independent
  3. The art of living
  4. Grandparents amazing cooking recipes
  5. Adversity and tenacity
  6. Values, morals and ethics
  7. Insights and effective listening
  8. Traditional mastery in games
  9. Mental stability
  10. Skills and knowledge

The wonder of grandparents is that it is never too late to start listening to people who love you. Grandparents Day this year is celebrated on September 13. Celebrate this day with your grandparents, and see and learn from the above important tips. It could be life changing for you!

Can Love Last forever?

canlovelastforecerHaving grown with my grandmother and grandfather, watching their beautiful relationship of 50 years and unconditional love.  Still, the question remains in the new era of a fast paced technological world and life, can love last forever?

Elements of my grandparents beautiful marriage can, and should, be a real living example of a lasting, loving relationship. There’s no reason that “love forever ” cannot exist, and in fact, relationships with so much love and sustainability should exist with the partner you call your love or spouse. True love is a decision of the will. It’s a choice based on many factors, including that “in love” feeling you have for your love or spouse. Such a feeling can be built upon with tenderness, romantic gestures, and caring choices all along the way.

Music is a great channel for communicating your true feelings to the person of your dreams, Kenny Thomas once wrote a record called Tender Love

The lyrics are very powerful. He writes:

Here I lay all alone
Tossin turnin
Longing for some of your
Tender love
I’m waitin 4 the right
Moment to come
So I can thank you for
All the tender love you’ve given to me

Tender love (tender love)
Love so tender (aaaaaaah)
Holdin me close to you
Baby I surrender

Candles fade like the dark
Now I see how
Loving a feeling’s for
All the tender lov you’ve given to me
I want you more and more
Can’t resist you
More than I feel your touch
Tender love
Lovin me straight from the heart
Holy mirror
Please let me be a part
Of all the tender love you’ve given to me

love 2Can love last forever? Yes, indeed it can. Real love is made up of more than just that wonderful feeling that makes your heart go and butterflies in the stomach when you first meet. We might call that stage of love infatuation.

True love doesn’t begin until two people really get to know each other and from there build a stronger connection, loving rapport, and a lasting commitment. Such a relationship takes work, understanding, compromises, flexibility, forgiveness, good communication and much more. Chemistry is a part of it as well, but even beyond chemistry and the physical attraction, a love that will last forever is based on a strong decision and will to stay together.

Staying together is a lifetime commitment, but just staying together is not good enough. For true love to last forever, it requires two people to remain open, honest, and to change and grow not just individually, but also as a couple. As changes take place, a successful couple manages to flow with the changes, and love each other through them all. So, can love last forever? Truly, there’s no reason for love to ever end!

Scientists have discovered true love. Brain scans have proved that a small number of couples can respond with as much passion after 20 years as most people exhibit only in the first flush of love.

The findings overturn the conventional view that love and sexual desire peak at the start of a relationship and then decline as the years pass.

A team from Stony Brook University in New York scanned the brains of couples who had been together for 20 years and compared them with those of new lovers. They found that about one in 10 of the mature couples exhibited the same chemical reactions when shown photographs of their loved ones as people commonly do in the early stages of a relationship.

Previous research suggested that the first stages of romantic love, a rollercoaster ride of mood swings and obsessions that psychologists call limerence, start to fade within 15 months. After 10 years the chemical tide has ebbed away.

The scans of some of the long-term couples, however, revealed that elements of limerence mature, enabling them to enjoy what a new report calls “intensive companionship and sexual liveliness.”

The reactions of these long-term couples to pictures of their beloved were identified on MRI brain scans as a burst of pleasure-producing dopamine more commonly seen in couples who are gripped in the first flush of lust.

“The findings go against the traditional view of romance – that it drops off sharply in the first decade – but we are sure it’s real,” said Arthur Aron, a psychologist at Stony Brook.

So can couples and relationships stay together for a lifetime of love, happiness and togetherness? Absolutely, the question is how much do you want to have a lifetime partner.

Can Love Conquer All or is Love a Myth?

Love heart I recently had a relaxed Sunday and decided to watch two movies, both of them well-made, entertaining, and totally romantic, but representing very different viewpoints on the power of love: one realistic and one idealistic. I tend toward the realistic. I found the first movie’s message of “with love, nothing is impossible” incredibly inspiring, while the second movie’s message that “love can’t solve everything” was quite idealistic, but ultimately heartbreaking.

Is there a middle ground?

Can hopeless romantics  soar on the wings of love while still keeping our feet on the ground?

Someone once told me that love conquers all.

Now how true is that statement?

Can love in your life make any difference in your relationships with others?

Let’s look at the definition of love first.

Love is the tenderness that we feel for somebody; the genuine concern about their welfare; and the desire for them to succeed and be happy. Love puts self out of sight, and hopes and desires of the loved subject even at the expense of the lover.

Most misunderstandings which may occur between two people in any relationship are due to selfishness and lack of consideration. The desire to get what one wants notwithstanding the other person’s wishes is often what drives a wedge between friends, acquaintances and colleagues.

The truth is that if you love someone, you are all out to pleasing them, and their happiness is what you are most concerned about. You are more than willing to give up personal preferences to humor them.

There are many situations where love has conquered and can conquer, people have sung about it, people have written about it. This song, Love is the Answer, is a good example of written lyrics:

Broken hearts everywhere

From stepping on love we don’t care

Somebody tell me what we gonna do

Even though it’s plenty to share

People hungry in the streets life just ain’t fair

But you never think about it until it’s you


Now I’m gonna say how I feel

And what I wanna say is love is the only thing that’s real

Now I’m gonna tell you what to do

Just believe that love is the only thing we have that’s true


Love is the answer

Love is the answer

Can we function without love?

text: love never failsIn Dr. Robert Holden’s latest book, Loveability, he details the root of basically all human problems—the fear of not being loveable. This fear shows up as not being enough (e.g., good enough, educated enough, attractive enough, smart enough, etc.), needing to be perfect, self-sacrificing, outstanding or remarkable, always happy, always melancholic (to get attention), independent, rebellious, a genius, or a peace-maker.

Regardless of how anyone’s fear of being unloveable manifests itself, it’s not our Truth but instead comes from ego. And it’s ego’s job to provide protection and cover for that fear. Sometimes, that protection translates into preemptive strikes that turn into unkindness and even violence toward others.

Let’s consider some scenarios and attempt to step into the shoes of the perpetrator of unkindness. What fear do you think they could be harboring, even if unknowingly?

  • An intimidating colleague/client who seems to have you in the defensive right from the start—Is it at all possible that, if they didn’t strike preemptively to keep you in the defensive, they themselves might be vulnerable to being attacked? It’s irrelevant whether you’d actually attack them; it’s their fear that you might.
  • A non-responsive or inconsistent friend who’s unnervingly hot and cold—Is it at all possible that they worried, if they let you get too close to them, you’d see how flawed and unloveable they are? But they don’t want you to abandon them altogether, so they pour on the charm or become super-helpful when they sense you pulling away.
  • A critical boss/parent who’s impossible to please and who seems incapable of offering words of affirmation or praise—Is it possible that they were never praised, and feared at their core that they’re worthless? Not only was the behavior of encouragement and praise never modeled for them, if they could keep the bar always beyond your reach, you’d never get “there” to see how scared they are that you’ll see how worthless they feel.

Love conquers all things. If the world showed only a little love, just a little more love, we could solve nearly all our problems. No one would have more than the other, because we would all share. No one would despise each other because we would all love each other. No one would insist on his or her own way, because we would all put the other first. No one would war against the other, because we would not want to hurt anyone.

I believe love conquers all things, and no one would really understand it unless they had the opportunity to fall in love and live in love.

So is love the answer, can love conquer all?


How do you sustain long term change in a business?

Time For ChangeInteresting enough, only a quarter of employers achieve long-term gains from change management initiatives, according to a Towers Watson study. The study blames a lack of long-term success on companies’ inability to prepare and train managers to be effective change leaders. It found more than half (55%) said their change management initiatives met initial objectives, but only 25% are able to sustain gains over the long-term.

These initiatives can range from programme or policy changes to business transformation and mergers and acquisitions. “Most companies are having a difficult time keeping the momentum of their change management initiatives going,” said Nicola Cull, a senior change management consultant at Towers Watson.

But for mainstream companies, sustainability remains a disappointment: worthwhile thinking on products and services has not translated into increased sales. Change is so much easier for businesses if it comes from the marketplace and is represented by fundamental shifts in consumer values and needs.

Positioning for these changes requires companies to act today to address areas that are likely to become consumer concerns, to build brands that are more resilient to the changes ahead. For those companies wishing to be in the vanguard there is a clear need to promote behavior change and establish new rules in the marketplace. Brands need to play a bigger role: they are the most powerful tools companies have.

The big questions are how and when, to do it in such a way that you gain the rewards of leadership.

Linking the broader corporate intent with the plans and direction of its brands is one of the biggest challenges for many companies. Short-term commercial focus continues to dominate category and brand decisions. But good brand practice today is about building for the future as well as the present. To endure, brands need agility. Those that are building equities on more sustainable principles now may just be the ones that thrive and dominate in the future.

First, you should constantly explore your company’s capabilities. Which of those capacities will serve it well in the years ahead and which won’t? A careful analysis can help you to identify which of them to retain, which to jettison, and what new capabilities might strengthen your company’s position in the marketplace.

Second, you will want to look for trends that will shape the services, programs, and products you offer to your target market. You can identify key trends by listening carefully to the evolving needs and goals of your customers. When they express a new need or goal, you can then develop new offerings proactively that will fulfil them. You can also identify trends by following the latest news and developments in your target markets.

Third, it is likely that, in the process of creating a sustainable business, your company establishes itself as a leader in a particular market that generates a considerable amount of your customer base and revenues. At the same time, it can be risky to focus too much on one market. What happens if that market collapses for some reason? Just as with financial investing, as you build your business, you will want to diversify your markets, so that if one market slows down, you can pick up the slack with customers from another.