Lead a vivid life that does good

Category: Healthy Habits (Page 1 of 3)

3 Steps to get Motivated

Motivation is something you doI didn’t want to run. Not a single bone in my body felt like venturing out into the dark cold winters morning to exercise.

Luckily, I have some well-rehearsed steps to get me motivated:

  • Get what I need | I get dressed and lace up my running shoes.
  • Step Out | I step out the door.
  • Take Steps | I take steps in the right direction and repeat.
  • Finish | And eventually and after a few thousand steps I finish! And the soak, not in sweat, but in the sweet high of endorphins that comes from finishing.

Clearly, this is not really a post about running.

It’s about motivation.

It’s about that task or project you have been putting off.

Often the times we least feel like it, are the very times that we need create motivation.

Get what you need.

Step out.

And take the first small slow step.

Motivation is not something you have, or feel.

Motivation is something you create.

Motivation is something you do.

Waiting for change

waiting for people to change can be frustrating - SQWaiting for somebody to change can be frustrating.

As a leader, friend or parent, you’ve probably shared greats ideas.

Encouraged them.


Yet they’re still not changing, or if they are it’s far too slowly.

In our mind we wonder ‘why can’t they just do it!

When it comes to seeing change in others, we are often incredibly impatient.

But when it comes to us, and our long road of changing life long habits.

That’s different.

We want people to be patient with us.

Thanks to all those people who are patient with me as I slowly tweak my life for the better.

And sorry to those of you whom I expect to change immediately. I’ll try and be more patient, and I love that you aren’t giving up.

It’s not a priority if there are more than ONE

It’s not a priority if there are more than 1It was only in the 1900’s that it became possible to use the word ‘priorities’.

For the preceding 500 years it was simply ‘priority’.

It was singular.

It meant the very first thing.

Something that must happen immediately prior.

Do you ever have those days where you have so much to do, and you end up working on so many things that you never really get any of them done?

Try setting a #1 priority for each day.

Make it one thing you can hit out of the park. Something that will move your dream forward. Something that will give you a moment of pride when you complete it.

Then do that FIRST.



[NB it takes effort to think about your priority every day, and more discipline to do it, but the pay back is incredible. Do give it a try]

How to rewire your brain

How to rewire your brainMy neighbour’s bach (holiday home) sits on the sand dunes a short distance from the beach. The walking track from the bach to the beach sort of dog-legs through the sand dunes. It doubles back, and makes the walk longer than it could be. But while the path is longer, it is considerably easier and faster than trying to force a new path where one doesn’t exist.

Which is how our brains function.

Over the years we form habits, good and bad, that create neuro-pathways in our minds. These paths make it faster and easier to do things and they eventually become habitual. They become automatic. And the more you use the path, the faster and easier it becomes.

Which is why it is so hard to break old habits. Because the path already exists and has become the default pathway. New habits, like trying to make a new track to the beach, means creating a new path which takes an incredible amount of hard work.

But, you can create new paths. You just need to walk the new track over and over again.

That’s great news!

Our brains are plastic.

Our behaviours are changeable.




Recently I was making my morning cup of tea and without thinking I added sugar. I haven’t had sugar in my tea for years, but while my mind was somewhere else, my brain chose the old neuro-pathway.

My brain spotted the mistake before I added water, and it reminded me how established the old paths are.

When we are trying to break old, lifelong behaviours, often they will pop up when we least expect it.

That’s OK.

It takes a long time for the old path to become overgrown.

Just keep walking the new path.

Enjoying the moment

 Only NOW can we live FULLY in this moment.I’ve sat in this cafe at least a dozen times over the last year or so and never noticed how diverse the lights. They are different sizes, shapes and strength.

If I’m honest, the only reason I haven’t noticed the lights before, is because I have never been fully present in this cafe. I’ve never taken the time to sit and just absorb my surroundings and let the sights and sounds connect me in the moment.

As a futurist most of my thoughts are in the future. I know others who spend most of their thought life in the past.

And of course there are a few lucky people who are incredibly good at being present. At noticing. Engaging. Connecting. Absorbing. And ultimately enjoying the moment.

The past is behind us, the future is coming. Only now can we live fully in this moment.

One of my weaknesses is being present.

I’m certainly not saying we shouldn’t review the past, or think of the future. But if our thoughts and conversations are always somewhere other than here, in this moment, then in a way we are missing out on living.

Are you trying to spread what you don’t have?

To spread happiness, you’ve got to have some happiness to spread.You take your favourite jar of goodness out of the fridge. You open it. And it’s all but empty. Mildly frustrated you scrape and scrape the bottom of the container. And in the end, barely cover your toast.

To spread something, you’ve got to have it to spread.

To spread happiness, you’ve got to have happiness.

To spread excellence,






Or even love.

You first need to have some to spread.

And the more you have, the more you can give.

We can’t spread these things if we are fully empty.

If you find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel, maybe it’s time you take a break, refresh, or just get near people who have it.

Replenish, so that you can provide all that goodness, that people around you are longing for.

How to create space to think

Unique physical spaces, can trigger amazing changes in how we think.As I open the door and step across the threshold, I’m struck by the sweet aroma of fresh coffee. The warmth inside contrasts the crisp air outside, as does the bustle and noise of a busy café. I glance around the café and take comfort from the fact I see no-one I know.

I slide into a booth and my mind is ready. I’ve reached my liminal space.

A space for thought and focus and creativity.

It’s not a space for a catch-up (I only ever go there alone). It’s not a space for surfing the web or being connected. It’s not even a space where I engage with anyone. It is a space for thinking through one big thing at a time. It is a space where I break down a problem and mapping out a solutions.

This space is a place for threshold thinking. Taking old thinking and crossing the threshold into something new (the word liminal means threshold, in psychology it’s where the word subliminal derives.)

The reason I call this café my liminal space, is because I use the space to both trick and trigger my brain. By only ever doing creative thought at this café, I’ve made it really easy to think there.

When I slide into the booth, unpack my notebook or surface, I’m no longer drawn to read my email, and have little desire for social media, not because of my fantastic discipline, but because I have an internal narrative for this space. I have solved big problems in this space. I have built resolve for personal disciplines in this space.

Unique physical spaces, can trigger amazing changes in how we think.

Over the years I’ve underestimated how incredibly important spaces are. Spaces, places, environments are important for setting the scene for physical, relational or mental outcomes.

Here’s some more ways we use spaces…

  • Dinner at the table: Causes our family to interact and engage more than we do on the couch watching TV.
  • Lunch at a café: Allows me to engage at a deeper personal level than I would in my office.
  • Walking meetings: Walking with people and chewing through big ideas provides for more open and reflective conversation.

And of course you can have negative spaces as well. Places where you are drawn away from who you want to be.

If you want to make some changes, sometimes you need to change your spaces.

What are your spaces? What outcomes do they drive in your life?

Getting past the first time

No one ever gets better at something they never tried!The first time you …

… ride a bike,

… parallel park,

… write a blog,

… own a project,

… shape clay,

… read a non-fiction book,

… run 2km,

Is almost always the hardest.

That’s because learning to become a better version of you is risky and takes courage. You might fail.

Not a single person in the world, got better at something they never tried!

Is there something you have always wanted to try? More importantly is there something you know you need to try?

Don’t let a moment of fear stop you, from embarking on a journey that could change your life.


The worlds most powerful question

If you're saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?As arrogant as it sounds, if you ask me for help, I’ll most likely say No. I often don’t even give a reason it’s just, No.

But it’s a great cause… No.

You’re the only one who can help… (the only one, really?) … No.

Last time you helped … I did.  Sorry, No.

Over the years here is a question I constantly forget to ask, which is possibly the world’s most powerful personal, professional and strategic question.

If I say Yes to this, what am I saying no to?

From strategy and goals at one extreme, to temptation and love at the other, it’s a question that helps you pause and consider the consequence of a Yes or No.

No to this … so I can stay true to what’s important.

Yes to this … knowing full well I won’t have time for that other thing.

I love action. I love being involved. I love personal growth. I love leading. I love the organisations we’re building. I love the people I work with. I love my family.

I need to say ‘Yes’ to these things, which means ‘No’ to a lot of cool and exciting things that stop me being the leader I’m created to be.

So my question for you is …

If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?


[Footnote] In case this post stops you asking me. I also say ‘Yes’ often.

Why disconnected people are more valuable to a business

IAnnual Leave‘m just back from 3 weeks uninterrupted leave, and I often joke before going on leave that I only want to be contacted if the building is burning down (that way I can get my photo of the day).

Even as CEO when I am on Annual Leave, I am on leave. It’s my time, or family time, and as much as I love my work, it’s not Agoge’s time or that of our clients. In fact there are only two things I want to know about, major safety incidents or significant illnesses, and of course the building burning down.

I believe that disconnected, uninterrupted leave is one of the most important things we can do to increase our value to our organisations. Without the disconnect of leave, passion wains, creativity dries up and resentment can kick in.

Whereas the break always helps you reconnect with the people you love. It gives you time to chill. To unwind. To clear your head. For those in physical work where the demands are different to my job. It gives your body a chance to relax, recoup and recharge.

More than anything else you become aware that work is not meant to be all-consuming.

None of this is new or a surprise. So my challenge is this…

When you take leave – do you fully disconnect?


When others are away – do you relentlessly protect their leave?

I hope the answer to both is YES.

Taking uninterrupted leave takes a lot more discipline than most people afford it.

For me personally I need to discipline myself to DND my phone. To disconnect my email on my phone and laptop. And to not take an interest in work stuff.

Similarly my team needs to know, it’s unacceptable to call. And they need to be empowered to make decisions.

In the end, the discipline for everyone is worth it.

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