Lead a vivid life that does good

Month: April 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

209|365 Leaving my mark

Signatures Leaving a markMy signatures are funny things. For instance I have four scribbles I call a signature. I have my initials scribble, my ‘Andrew’ scribble, my general letter scribble and my bank scribble. The picture scribble is none of the above, but they are all different, all unreadable, but all my mark.
The use of signatures date back thousands of years. They are my mark, a thing that identifies me. In the flick of a pen I acknowledge my agreement, my commitment, my obligation.
Today, I was thinking as I signed a new large contract we won recently, how most people sign very few things. Signing letters has been replaced with email, or txt, or verbal. Signing cheques replaced with pin numbers and credit cards.
Personally, when I sign a document, I make sure I am comfortable with my obligations and commitment, because it is ‘in writing’.
Yet my verbal commitment should always be just as strong as my signed commitment. My word should carry the same weight as my mark.

205 | 365 Good Communication

Day205.jpgIt was 11:30am, and with my entourage in tow, we stepped into a meeting with one of our largest clients only to be told we were expected at 10:00am. I explained that we were on time and I had checked his email the day before. But he was adamant we were late.
So a choice, prove I was right or apologise?
I apologised for being late.
Why? Because the relationship is far more important than being right.
On the way home I saw this cell-tower and I thought about communication. Communication is more than listening and talking. Good communication requires give and take, empathy and forgiveness, honesty and discretion.
When we communicate well, we realise the relationships are our highest priority.

203|365 Intellectually Inquisitive

Day203.jpg One of the problems with being intellectually inquisitive, is one can tend to over think or even over discuss things that have absolutely no impact on ones life.

Take as an example Countdown, the new brand for Woolworths, Foodtown, the old Countdown and Price Chooper. The first time I saw the new brand with the new logo was in Greenlane in Auckland, where the colours were green and orange. Next was Rototuna (pictured here), where the colours are black, white and green.
So I started trying to work out what they were doing with their brand. Getting rid of multiple brand names seemed to be a great idea, but to two different colour sets? Strange. I discussed it with a number of people and came up a whole myriad of explanations. We wondered if they were trying to make some stores appear more budget, and others more classy, while bringing value back to the core brand. We wondered if they would have different pricing points.
We over wondered and over talked given that it is not our brand (although it was mainly travel time).
A lot of thought about something that has no effect on me.
But then that is the point of inquisitive. By thinking and discussing and even waxing lyrical, one refines thinking for real life situations in the future.

[203 | 365 Took this photo while getting milk. Originally titled it 'Intellectual Curiosity' but then changed curiosity to 'inquisitive' because that is a family value and my girls occasionally read my blog.]

202 | 365 Bachelor

Day202.jpgOur house became progressively emptier over the last week. One of the kids headed to the grandparents last Wednesday, then the other two on Friday. On Monday Karina headed over to Tauranga for the night.
As the house emptied, the life of the house left. It was as though I had become a bachelor again. The life of the house is family. A family like most others, with conversation and laughter and arguments and squabbles and noise and homeliness.
As it emptied the home just became a house. A shelter. A place to rest.
Late last night, everyone arrived home. Noise, buzz, stories, laughter and love.
Its home again!
[202 | 365 – ‘Bachelor’ – Being the bachelor that I now was, last night I cooked up a storm]

200 | 365 Doing Good

Day200.jpgOn Sunday we heard first hand about incredible work of Rahab ministries in Thailand, and got to support them through the pink pigs. In Thailand young women, really young women are sold by their families to prostitution, often under false circumstances and with the lure of a better life, but sold nonetheless.
I can’t imagine ever getting so desperate, that I would even remotely consider selling my daughter. It would never happen!
Imagine the outcry, the laws I would break and the news coverage.
It would shock our nation.
I’m reminded that my world is not the world. Every day young women are sold. There is no outcry, no laws broken, no news coverage.
My world, is not the world.

197 | 365 BMZ X1 Launch

Day197.jpgWe had a BMW X1 launch in the vacant lot across from us, and they set up a huge tent and Pumice catered it.
The next morning I wandered over and looked at the new car. It reminded me about needs and wants. I neither need nor want a BMW X1. Some people will even think they NEED an X1.
It’s interesting how our needs change the more money we have. A person living without clean water, probably sits in the 92% of the world that don’t have a car at all, let alone need one. Their needs are a lot more basic.
A solo mum in NZ, needs a cheap but reliable car. A businessman like me who travels a lot needs a safe comfortable car. A richer person with cash to spare needs a BMW X1 to enable their status.
What I NEED is more what I want, and is not a need at all.
Need is a word we use often.
A word we over use.
‘I need this’ usually means ‘I want this’. Not the other way round.

194 | 365 Changing Conditions

Day194.jpgOn Sunday, conditions at the beach were gentle. It was low tide, with a light swell and small waves. There was plenty of room to make sand castles and bury kids in holes.
The next day it was high tide with a sizeable swell and the waves were crashing hard and sliding all the way up the beach to the sand dunes. There was no room to play or anywhere to relax.
I pondered how life can be like this. One day its gentle, plenty of room to play and relax, then suddenly, overnight it can change and things feel like that are crashing down around us, with no room for movement.
What surprises me the most, is when I have calm periods I forget that they don’t last forever, or when I have heavy crashing periods I forget calmer times will come.
Yesterdays conditions, like the surf , may be a completely different from today.
[194 | 365 – Changing Conditions – The family wade in the water as surfies watch the impact of the large swell and high tide]

192 | 365 Waikino Kilns

Day192.jpgTwo mammoth reminders from our visit to the mining battery ruins of at Waikino with the kids.
#1 ‘At school I don’t like history and feel like falling asleep’. Our kids really got a kick out of the personalised guided tour by a couple of retired volunteers. They enjoyed seeing and touching and experiencing. The learning that comes from seeing can be immeasurable compared to reading a book or watching a DVD.
#2 100 years ago, at the height of the mining, they were felling 1 hectare of native forest a day all so they could refine more gold. Mankind is destructive and we were and are bad stewards of the world we live in.
[192 | 365 – ‘Waikino Kilns’ – The kids emerge from exploring the Waikino Kilns. Awesome knowledgeable volunteers gave us a great tour of the museum, kilns and tramaway ride.]

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