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?

 

Can you create a meaningful life out of something you love?

passion-live-with-itIf you want to be successful at your job and move up the company ladder you need to be passionate about your work. You need to be motivated and driven to be the best you can be regardless of your job or your work.

Passion, drive, motivation, the self-driven attitude about your job and your work that can help lead you down the path to success.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said: ‘If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’

I believe our success comes not so much from what we do, but how well we do. It also illustrates that regardless of your job or your position on the company ladder, you can be successful if you have passion for your work, we can all be successful – this is very much down to how much we apply ourselves to life.

Passion is the energy that pushes marathon runners over the finish line, that keeps the artist chiseling, or painting, or typing, day after day and night after night. Passion without a plan, without action, and without hard work and without passion you’ll run out of energy long before your actions yield the desired result.

How much energy would you have tomorrow morning if you knew that the work you were going to do when you got out of bed was going to impact the world in a way that would fuel your inner fire?

Before you can jump into a life full of living out your passions, you need to discover what you’re truly passionate about. It may be even be something that is sitting right in front of you, but you have never been motivated enough to take the risk. To find out, ask yourself some simple questions: What do you enjoy at your current job? What do you hate? How do you find yourself spending your free time?​

Here are some tips for starting your passion journey:

1. Assess Your Current Scenario

2. Visualise Your Goals

3. Make Passion A Priority

4. Hone Your Craft

5. Make Sacrifices

6. Uncover What Makes You Unique

7. Share Your Passion With Anyone And Everyone

8. Find People Who Are Just As Passionate

Passion is an emotion that comes from within you. It is your enthusiasm, your zeal, your drive and your motivation. You don’t want to just feel passionate about your job, you want to put passion into it. You want to apply all of your skills and all of your energy into your work.

Passion does not go unnoticed. People will see how well you do your job and your attitude towards it. They will see even if a task is hard you don’t give in, you apply yourself even more to overcome it. They will notice your drive and your motivation and consider how you would do in another position.

Is Cyberbullying really necessary?

CyberBullyingCyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumours sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.

Kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to:

i.          Use alcohol and drugs

ii.          Skip school

iii.          Experience in-person bullying

iv.          Be unwilling to attend school

v.          Receive poor grades

vi.          Have lower self-esteem

vii.          Have more health problems

A new film called ‘Unfriended’ which details a group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.

Everything happens from the perspective of a teenage girl looking at her laptop and jumping from Skype to YouTube to Facebook and so on. It’s a gimmick that works better than it has any right to, and would feel fresher if “Modern Family” hadn’t wrung a lot of comedy out of it earlier this year.

Information regarding the dead girl’s traumatic past is subtly revealed in a chat window, as someone waffles about what she wants to say, typing and retyping the words until she finds a suitably cryptic explanation. The film trailor can be found here.

The protagonists of the film, who are participating in a group video chat on Skype, are haunted around the Web by a presumed-dead girl named Laura Barnes. Laura committed suicide under mysterious circumstances exactly one year before the day “Unfriended” is set, after she was mercilessly cyberbullied over an embarrassing video posted online.

In the UK, a reported 22% of children and young people claim to have been the target of cyberbullying making this one of the most important new areas of behaviour to understand and to equip schools, care-givers, and young people with the ability to respond.

There are organisations like ‘The Cybersmile Foundation’ which is a multi award-winning anti cyberbullying non-profit organisation. Committed to tackling all forms of digital abuse and bullying online, they work to promote diversity and inclusion by building a safer, more positive digital community.

Their mission is a simple one; we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy being part of the new connected online world. Regular and productive use of the Internet has become essential to a healthy social and personal development.

Through education and the promotion of positive digital citizenship organisations like The Cybersmile Foundation can reduce incidents of cyberbullying and through other professional help support victims and their families to regain control of their lives.

Unfortunately, cyberbullying and digital abuse is increasing, holding many back from enjoying the benefits that this connected community can provide. Our current online environment lacks the balance and social rules of engagement that have been cultivated over generations, governing the behavior and relationships in the communities where we live, play and work – the physical world.

Policing, monitoring and internet restrictions can only go so far, although useful additions to any internet safety policy, they are not adequate substitutes for a thorough understanding of cyberbullying and its related issues such as netiquette and emotional intelligence.

But what if that force were just other young, stupid people? Or what if it were a smart but ordinary human hacker, exploiting security holes in always-connected software those people depend on?

Its abundantly clear that disrupting with people and their lives online can have serious psychological consequences… not just in the now but for a very long time!

A Christmas and New Year Message

Happy Christmas cardMay peace fill all the empty spaces around you, your family and your friends and your colleagues at this special time of year, and in you, may contentment answer all your wishes.

Raise a toast to yesterday’s achievements and tomorrow’s brighter future.

May comfort be yours, warm and soft like a sigh.

And may the coming year show you that every day is really a first day and a new year.

Let abundance be your constant companion, so that you have much to share.

May mirth be near you always, like a lamp shining brightly on the many paths you travel.

Work with the best of your abilities in 2015 and show to the world you power to create wonderful and superior things.

New Year 2015 may turn out to be a year when you are put on the road to everlasting success and prosperity.

Be the change that you wish to see at your workplace and take initiatives to make things better.

Wish your tomorrow is more prosperous, happy and successful than yesterday and today.

Looking forward to another year with hunger and passion to exceed at work and you are sure to meet with success.

Let new beginnings signify new chapter filled with pages of success and happiness, written by the ink of hard work and intelligence.

May the New Year bring us more wonderful opportunities for success.

Here’s wishing you the gift of peace and prosperity throughout 2015.

Interview with Geoff Hudson-Searle

Author Geoff Hudson-Searle
Author Geoff Hudson-Searle

I love to read and crawl into people’s minds. Why did the author write the book in this style? Why that example? I am also curious about the writing process authors go through from the moment that their idea for a book to the published book.

Reflecting back after your début book comes out is very insightful to find what you did right and where you needed help.

I sat down with Geoff Hudson-Searle, the author of Freedom after the Sharks, to ask him about his experiences as a writer. His book was released in September by Troubador Books.

Below are my questions and Geoff’s answers. Your thoughts on these issues are very welcome so leave them in the comment box below this post.

Enjoy!

1: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Interesting enough, my writer’s block came to me in chapter 16 of the original manuscript, which is now epilogue. I was in full flow and then suddenly my heart could not write any further. Potentially this was the hardest challenge that I had ever experienced in writing to date.

I took a step back from the book, from what I was writing at the time and examined my emotions. Where was I in life and I asked myself certain questions. Whilst this had been a very hard set of questions for me to answer, the truth was examined. It was the very reason the story got hard for me to write.

I examined the particular chapter and after a while felt it was not worth writing. After contemplation I was ready to move forward again. I reaffirmed my purpose and the epilogue was born again which made a perfect completion to the book.

2: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Always, in every place across the world, people have written. Writing has not changed since the Roman days. Writing affords me a chance each and every day to just sit with my thoughts and be still. I live in a very busy city with people everywhere on mobile devices, and I love that. But I also think it’s important to sit and be quiet, to reflect and to use creativity with yourself and your thoughts. Writing for me is very meditative and calming, and helps to keep me peaceful in a very frantic world.

Every writer is influenced by everything they’ve ever read or seen. All the books and news articles that have passed through your hands have also somehow made their way into your thoughts, whether you are aware of it or not. I love that idea. I love to think that when I write, I am in some ways sitting down with all the books I have ever read, and in some ways, sitting down with the writers who wrote those books. I like to think that I’m connected to a long line of people just like me, people who also loved to write with the ability to leave a legacy of my work that someday will be read and hopefully inspired upon by others.

3: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Trust yourself and never, never give up. Be determined right to the end. You should always write about what you know and love. This is not just a matter of principle but solid writing advice. Editors and readers have a good understanding whether a book has a purpose, it is their intuitive know-how. You have a story to tell that cannot be told by anyone else, in any other way, and if you’re talented and lucky and work hard, you will find the right way to tell it. In other words, be truthful to yourself and you can communicate the truth to others through writing. This is not to say that you cannot be creative, but rather that your voice, your true voice, is what will draw people in to your manuscript.

On another note it is quite possible that one publisher will reject your book for a number of reasons while another loves it for those very same reasons. The trick is to secure a great editor and find a publisher whose interests align with yours.

4: What are you working on now?

As my good friends and colleagues constantly remind me on a daily basis, I must write version 2.0 Life after the Sharks. This is in my thoughts and it will come. I need to be in a creative space with my netbook and some great coffee. It will happen soon, I promise guys! Outside of 2.0, I am enjoying my weekly blog writing, spending time with fellow authors, sharing experiences, PR, interviews, and of course my day job which is always challenging and interesting to life.

5: How do you get inspired to write?

Inspiration was never a concern for my time with Freedom After The Sharks. The obvious inspiration was the honour, respect, and love for my Grandmother and Grandfather. This was the main driver for my book. Secondly, I was in a very special destination in the US called Sedona, Arizona. The Red Rock formations surrounded me and my work daily and it was a channel for the words that came from within me. I felt that my heart and soul truly were providing the words that delivered the manuscript.

I had moments where maybe this was not going to be a book. Then I realised that these moments in my life were coming with their own memory of the realisation. They have the incentive to create a grand moment about themselves, to share with others the lessons of adversity. If you are more deeply connected with yourself in these moments it is very easy to write in the flow of your words even for someone like me.

It was a sheer miracle to sit down and sprint through my life as it happened, visual-by-visual, word-by-word, I did have notes. The emotions have overwhelmed at times and this has simmered in my mind for a while. As much as we might hope that we can sit down and write that easily, it’s not always possible. Fortunately with Freedom After The Sharks the words flowed freely and through me to the manuscript.

6: Where did you get the idea for your book?

The idea for the name Freedom after the Sharks came to me because to some extent or other all of us carry a reflection of the experiences of our lives. However, whether and how we succeed is determined at least in part by how we cope with those experiences and what we learn from them. The only exception is that nobody has ever written transparency about the journey that takes us from hardship to happiness and love.

Freedom after the Sharks is a non-fiction and I have not held back on the truth, the events or adversities that took place in my life or across my successes. Once I committed to writing the first chapter the words just flowed through my body, an amazing experience, and a life changing experience – one that I will never forget, a complete stimulus.

The Power of Communication

Maia Kincaid, photograph by Pam Taylor
Maia Kincaid, photograph by Pam Taylor

I had the most amazing fortune of being introduced to Maia Kincaid, PH.D whilst I was in Sedona, Arizona, on a recent trip.

Maia works as an animal and nature communicator and is the author of several books. Our venue was a superb organic restaurant on the West Side of Sedona called The Field. As I walked into the restaurant to meet Maia there was an excellent quote on the wall “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about” – Rumi.” This inspired me deeply. I was received by a smiling Maia and a delightful lunch menu.

Maia asked me about Freedom After The Sharks, my recently published book. Then the conversation turned to her work across animal and nature communication. She wanted to know if I ever wondered what my pet was thinking or what my pet would say if he could talk. Did I know that animals do speak as humans do? 

Two years ago, I read a book called Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. Animal Speak teaches that our relationship with animals on this earth is not merely a physical one. It involves our mystical side too. The lessons learned will benefit the animals in our life by increasing our communication with and respect for them. In general, animals teach us valuable lessons. They offer guidance and support if our heart is open to shamanic teachings.

I explained to Maia that I have seen butterflies dancing around my head at 4500 ft of a hike, eagles circling my head at 7000 ft, and squawking red breasted Colorado hawks at 6000 ft. I had tarantula climbing on my foot during the daytime on a hike, watched mountain lions, elks, hummingbirds, ravens and many other species. These animals all carried a message at a certain time in my life and wanted to communicate with me. What if I could actually communicate with these animals and form a two-way communication and bond? Imagine the power of human nature, wisdom, and how this could change my life! I was amazed just with the possibilities.

From Maia’s website: “Talking with an animal directly is a powerful way to provide exactly what they desire, what they need, and what is in their highest good. And, besides that, animals have the most amazing and enlightening things to share with us about their way of viewing and living life, and they have great wisdom to share with us on living our own unique lives.

We communicate telepathically with all species of animals large and small including; wild animals, whales, dolphins, insects, plants and the Earth. It brings us great joy to inspire and guide others in awakening their own innate animal and nature listening abilities through our Telepathic Animal and Nature Communication Classes and a Certification Program in Telepathic Animal, Nature and Veterinary Communication. We work with veterinarians and other animal specialists training them in animal communication as a powerful tool to add to the already profound difference they make for people and their pets. And, we have the ongoing joy of training animal and Nature lovers and upcoming Telepathic Animal Communication Specialists in animal and Nature communication and coaching them on the development of their fulfilling lives and new careers.

I was fascinated and had a revelation. I had met Maia who teaches humans to speak with animals. Humans often have difficulties communicating with each other in our  business and personal lives. Why is this so?

Have you asked yourself why technology is so important? Just look around and you see why. Literally, at every instant of time, you are surrounded by technology. Whether you are working, resting or playing, you are always using technology. It is used everywhere and all the time.

Technology is about speed to reaction, performance, and 24/7 delivery. There are very few things that your smart phone will not allow you to complete: work, book a holiday, arrange a tennis match, entertainment. It is all possible. You can even find a new wife or husband online without speaking to them. It is all virtual but how is this effecting society? What are the long terms effects of virtual communication vs. an interactive discussion or meeting?

The internet, and especially social media, is having an impact on American couples as technology becomes more deeply integrated into people’s lives. A new study published by Pew Research Internet Project reveals that couples are feeling both the positive and negative effects of digital communication tools in their relationships.

The researchers found that 27% of American adults online who are in business, married, or in committed relationships report that the internet has had an impact on their relationships. A majority report that the impact has been positive. However, in some relationships, technology has been seen as a negative source of distraction. For example, 25% of cell phone users in serious relationships report that the phone distracts their spouse or partner when they are alone together.

Technology has changed the face of many relationships, affecting the way couples communicate, grow closer, plan, fight, and make up. The findings look at the role of technology in the lives of married or partnered adults, exploring both the positive and negative effects.

Maia has achieved an amazing revelation in her journey for communication with animals and nature. It certainly proves that simple communication whether verbalized or through telepathy is incredibly important to the relationship. It enhances our ability to build relationships and not deconstruct and build longevity and lasting relationships which is the traditional and social model that has survived.

I think that in the last 15 years, technological developments have given humans permission to evolve from purely direct communication to an advanced form of connection. We still need to meet face-to-face, speak on the telephone, and handwrite letters and cards primarily. But, now this interaction is enhanced and embellished by what we people define as connected technology.

Maia finished our discussion by saying that we all need smiles, feelings of fulfillment, feelings of empowerment, feelings of love, appreciation and gratitude. It inspires one’s unique creative expression and it enriches the human heart, mind and soul. These are things that unite humans. We need to be more thankful for the simple joy of being human.

The thrill lies in the challenge

Sedona, AZI was recently asked to go fishing with some friends in Sedona, Arizona, on Grasshopper Creek. Apart from many interesting challenges, this is a beautiful creek in the Red Rock and one on the most beautiful destinations in the world.
So why exactly do people fish? Ask most anglers why they enjoy spending time in the outdoors and you’re likely to hear the word “freedom.” Spending a day afield casting for trout on a cool mountain stream or bobber fishing for bluegills on a pond helps to release us from our highly stressful, everyday environment. Nothing brings on the sense of being alive and helps to rebuild our personal reserves like a day spent interacting with nature.
Fishing has a way of fulfilling an age-old need of pursuing and catching. The thrill lies in the challenge, such as stalking an elusive wild trout or matching the hatch. But there are many who will be quick to profess that it’s not the catching of fish that’s important, but the immeasurable life lessons that you will experience along the way.

Fishing provides that connection with the living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.

– Ted Hughes

My partners were Rob, a successful budding entrepreneur in the Internet world, Shafeeq, a successful director of medicine in Neurology and Electrodiagnostic disorders, and Jon, a senior partner in law for investments and securities.

fishing 1 750

They were my company on a two-day fishing experience. We discussed many subjects including innovation and strategy of new inventions and creativity. In summary we came up with what strategies you should be consider from an embryonic blank page to insight, which were:

1. Creativity
2. Mindset
3. Engage
4. Customer connected
5. Observe insights
6. Ask the right questions
7. Always challenge
8. Create a think tank

fishing 3 750

Rob mentioned one really cool business that was launched in 2010: Pulse, an elegant news reader. The app has been downloaded by more than 20 million people and stands as one of the original fifty apps in Apple’s App Store Hall of Fame. Interestingly enough, the founders got many things right:

  • They started with a ‘driven’ mindset and were not content to merely comply with the standard requirements of their graduate program.
  • They minimized planning and maximised action, interacting with customers immediately.
  • They prototyped quickly and cheaply, fueling thousands of variations that ultimately resulted in their wildly popular final product.
  • They thrived in spite of time constraints, investment and spurred on by necessity to constantly develop creative ideas at an accelerated pace.

What companies do you follow or admire based on culture, values and performance and why?

Meeting Adara Blake

Adara Blake
Adara Blake

I recently had the pleasure to be in Sedona, Arizona, contemplating my next book.
Sedona is a city that straddles the county line between Coconino and Yavapai counties in the northern Verde Valley region of the U.S. state of Arizona.
Sedona’s main attraction is its array of ed sandstone formations. The formations seem to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun.
The red rocks form a popular backdrop for many activities, ranging from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails.​
Sedona is also the city in the US where I wrote Freedom After The Sharks.
I decided one evening to have dinner at my one of my favorite restaurants in uptown overlooking the red rock, when I had the fortuitous of meeting Adara Blake. Adara’s revolution as a musician was greatly influenced as she began to record & produce her own music. She started a small recording studio out of her home & began to produce & record other local musicians as well. Delving into the world of recording, really affected the way she thought about, wrote, created & heard music.

Adara began learning piano about six years ago. Becoming a pianist, opened up Adara’s scope as a songwriter & singer.

We began talking about the meaning of words, the depth of the message in music and compared notes as artist’s in writing from poetry, music, performing arts to writing books, the power of words as a message that reaches audiences with love, compassion and prospective, how words can affect people’s moods, their light and even some of their darker moments.

The popularity of music and books show us that this is a part of our culture, but researchers continue to find that music and reading can also be an part of our health.

Scientists at the University of Missouri have found that people can boost their mood simply by listening to upbeat music or reading a book. Although pursuing personal happiness may be thought of as a self-centered venture, research suggests that happiness relates to a higher chance of socially beneficial behavior, better physical health, higher income, and greater relationship satisfaction.

People can successfully focus more on enjoying their experience of the journey towards happiness and not get hung up on the destination.

Once I provided the synopsis of Freedom After The Sharks, Adara spoke greatly about the love and passion for one of her songs Free Fall, which she decided to perform, which I must say was an excellent solo piece that caused an ovation of applause.

FREE FALL

Have you ever wandered
Lost in the dark
Nothing to hold you
No glimpse of a spark
No one to save you
As you’re falling apart
No one to love you
When you forgot who you are

Let it all come tumbling down
Laid deep, so deep into the ground
Let go, let go of all you know

Be fearless in the free fall
Be fearless in the free fall

Have you ever wanted
A place for your heart
Where it’s held softly
Safe from the dark
Have you ever needed
A break from the knots
That tie up your joy
With the pain that you got
Let it all come tumbling down
Laid soft, so soft inside the sounds
Let go, let go of who you thought

Should catch you, catch you when you fall
Should catch you, catch you when you fall

Have you ever pleaded
With your soul to be strong
When you feel half naked
& everything’s wrong
When you’re left to remember
All that you’ve lost
& you can’t find shelter
From the storms in your heart

Let it all come tumbling down
So deep, so deep into the ground
Take hold, the hand that’s placed beneath

It’s there for you if you just breathe
It’s there for you if you just breathe

Let go of your control
The fear that you’re all alone
We are so simply intertwined
More that you can ever know
So slow your spinning down
Feel the drifting of the flow
It is there to catch you
If you let go of what you hold

Let go of all you hold
Let it all come tumbling down
Laid soft, so soft inside the sounds
Let go, surrender, to it all

Be fearless in the free fall
Be fearless in the free fall
Be fearless in the free fall

Adara loves to write, “no matter how I am feeling at a certain moment in time or time of day, I know my words are the truth that will never change even when my feelings do, so I will write, I will write when I want to, giving myself love, grace and balance and having gratitude for the devotion and abilities to; write, create and perform to others which is the greatest gift of all

Adara’s new album New Crossing is available shortly, do visit her website!

Books that made an impact

Geoff SearleGreat leaders learn every day in business that storytelling is key to their role. Reading great books is one of the best ways to learn for some. A company that inspires leaders and business owners to meet results using the power of stories, personal branding, and thought leadership is a necessity in today’s business world.

I have been fortunate enough to read some excellent books over the last 25 years – books that have inspired me to change the way I see the world, my career, business, and the opportunities in front of me. Below is a list of those books that changed my life:

1. Mark H. McCormack – ‘What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School’

Mark McCormack, dubbed ‘the most powerful man in sports’, founded IMG (International Management Group) on a handshake. It was the first and is the most successful sports management company in the world, becoming a multi-million dollar, worldwide corporation whose activities in the business and marketing spheres are so diverse as to defy classification.

In this book, Mark McCormack reveals the secret of his success to key business issues like analysing yourself and others, sales, negotiation, time management, decision-making and communication. What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School fills the gaps between a business school education and the street knowledge that comes from the day-to-day experience of running a business and managing people. It shares the business skills, techniques, and wisdom gleaned from twenty-five years of experience.

2. J.W. Marriott, JR., Kathy Ann Brown and Jim Collins – ‘The Spirit To Serve’

Since taking over the business from his father in 1964, J.W. Marriott has moved from triumph to triumph, building an international chain that includes more than 1,000 hotels making Marriott one of the most recognized names in the hospitality industry. In this book, Marriott explains for the first time the unique management philosophy that brought him this enormous success. Written in an informal first-person narrative that is both engaging and easy to read, The Spirit to Serve distills his years of hard-earned wisdom and experience into a practical blueprint that anyone wishing to emulate his achievements can follow. It includes tips on how to motivate employees, nurture in-house talent, cultivate customer loyalty, as well as invaluable advice on handling growing pains, understanding the big picture, and knowing when to take risks. Packed with many real-life examples that illustrate his principles, The Spirit to Serve is vital reading for all CEOs, middle managers, and department supervisors.

3. Phil McGraw “Self Matters”

The well-known “life strategist” and TV personality Dr. Phil begins this upbeat self-help book by recalling one of the most unpleasant phone calls he ever had to make. In 1989, ten years into a flourishing career, McGraw called his father to say that, despite the outward trappings of success, he was miserable. His new plan was to move away and start a new career and a new life. According to McGraw, many people are now in a similar situation. They are trapped in unsatisfying lives or jobs that they loathe.

Too many people, says McGraw, are “so busy being busy, that they have let the colors fade from their lives. They’re worried about superficial matters rather than what’s important: “I’ll bet 90-plus percent of them spent months, or even years, planning their wedding and almost no time planning their marriage!

To change their lives, McGraw’s readers must first complete two questionnaires that he designed to assess their “authentic self” and their “congruence” (how someone’s current life compares with a vision of an ideal life). With the scores from these tests, readers can then embark upon a specific plan for changing their lives and for determining which external and internal forces they will, or won’t, allow to control their futures.

Readers familiar with McGraw’s aggressive TV personality may be surprised by this book’s thoughtful and serious tone. McGraw’s notion of making change is not a simple one. It requires readers to look at every aspect of their daily lives and it’s likely that some readers may not be able to make all the changes he advocates. However, his book offers a thorough, realistic resource for those who are committed to turning their lives around to get what they really want and need.

4. Tom Peters – The Circle of Innovation

Business guru Tom Peters has been recognized for his originality and perception since co-authoring one of the most influential management books of all time: 1982’s ‘In Search of Excellence‘. Now, in his seventh work, ‘The Circle of Innovation: You Can’t Shrink Your Way to Greatness’, he presents a provocative new vision for prospering in the “permanent state of flux” that is ruling today’s business world. By juxtaposing short text passages and bold graphic images, Peters simply but passionately offers his prescription (perpetual innovation) in a nontraditional way intended to foster individual interpretation.

5. Paul R. Lawrence & Nitin Nohria – Driven

Harvard Business School professors Lawrence and Nohria present a socio-biological theory of motivation, claiming that humans have four basic drives

  • to acquire,
  • to bond,
  • to learn, and
  • to defend

What makes their theory novel is the way they apply it to the workplace. The authors use historical case studies to show that successful organizations are those that give their employees opportunities to fulfill these drives, while those that fulfill only the drive to acquire are ultimately less stable. Examples of both types of organizations are provided.

The authors are well versed in sociobiology and their four-drive theory makes intuitive sense. There are, however, a number of competing drive theories, from Freud’s sexual drive and death urge to Steven Reiss’s 16-drive theory. The authors acknowledge that the numbers and exact nature of our drives need further exploration and offer suggestions for research projects that would verify their hypotheses.

6. John Simpson – A Mad World My Masters

Some people just aren’t cut out for the suburbs. As one of the BBC’s top foreign correspondents, John Simpson has been at the epicentre of many of the world’s flashpoints for more than 30 years. Afghanistan, Belgrade, Hong Kong, Baghdad; you name it, he’s been there. And what’s more, he hasn’t just met the great and the good, such as Clinton and Blair, he’s met the top bogey men, too. He’s had Osama Bin Laden pleading with some Afghani guerrillas to kill him and his crew, he’s interviewed Emperor Bokassa, Colonel Gadhafi and Arkan and had close up dealings with Saddam Hussein. And it goes without saying he was one of the first people in the entire world to see in the new millennium on the specially named Millennium Island, which the Kiribati government claimed just squeezed inside the international date line.​

What books can you recommend to me?