Two Greatest Teachers On Earth! Part 1

Why didn’t they tell us about these two great teachers at school?

The most successful people on earth use these two great teachers. They live by them, follow them and listen to them. Who are they? What are they?

The first great teacher is self-awareness.

Self Awareness

Learning should be an internal adventure. The problem with most school education is that we are only ever taught things that are external to us. Therefore we never develop self-awareness. And when we do not have self-awareness, it is very difficult for us to discover our talents and passions.

To have self-awareness is to know all aspects of ourselves. Especially, our thoughts and feelings. Only when we know ourselves can we know our talents. To learn about ourselves, we must learn not only what they teach us at school. We must learn about our health, love, family, friendship, work, wealth and charity. We should be learning about all these areas throughout our life. Only then can we discover the beauty inside our heart and mind. Only then can we know what hidden gems lie within.

When we consciously and consistently learn about these areas of life, we start to develop a sense of who we really are and what we really want. We start to discover our talents through that self-awareness. When we start to learn as a part of self-discovery and not obligation – we learn with intuition. We learn through creativity. When we are given the freedom to learn what we want, we start to act with responsibility and purpose. Learning becomes a part of who we are for life, and not just an obligation during our younger years. We become inquisitive and curious. Our inner genius will then present itself in a magical way.

We all have a talent that has potential for genius. Every human is born with a talent that is different to everyone else because no two humans are born the same. We are all different. We don’t look the same and we certainly do not think or feel the same. So we all must have a talent that can be applied in a unique way. How and where we apply that talent is what leads to genius. When we build self-awareness in each of the aforementioned areas of life, we give ourself the opportunity to discover that genius.

If I was in charge of all education on this Earth, I would make sure that every school curriculum taught children self-awareness from a young age. What do you think?

NEXT: Who/What is the next greatest teacher?

Sadness vs Regret

It is okay to feel sad sometimes. Sadness is as much a part of life as happiness. It is often an expression of our compassion and shows that we can have empathy for people, which is a good thing.

Regret is what you must be weary of. Regret feels like sadness but is so much more painful, because it is something that we bring on ourselves when we focus on it. Regret is also more painful because its cause sits in the past. We cannot change the past, whereas sadness can be turned into happiness by what we do now and in the future.

Mothers Day and The Greatest Gift Ever

It’s a Sydney dawn on this beautiful Sunday morning. The red autumn leaves are rustling on the trees outside as I sit thinking of what I can teach my youngest daughter about Mother’s Day. Is it all about buying flowers and enjoying lunch together? Or is it about acknowledging the greatest gift of our lives.

From the moment we are born and cradled in our mothers’ arms we experience the milk of human kindness. This is the first lesson we all learn as infants. It’s also the greatest gift we ever receive from our mothers. It’s the gift of unconditional love.

Unconditional Love

My mother often said to me seven words that would make me feel loved. It also made me feel safe and secure. These words were the cradle of support for my heart. She would say them to me whenever things were not going my way. Typically, it was when I came home from school with hurt feelings. It could have been from doing poorly in a school exam or failing to make the soccer team. Whatever the disappointment, I remember that my mother only ever had to say these seven words to lift my spirits and make me feel special and valuable. As I grew into an adult, these seven words also made me fearless in business!

She would say, ‘I love you always, no matter what.’

This was Mum’s way of saying that no matter what I did and no matter what happened, she would always love me and have a special place in her heart for me. It made me feel like I could accept any problem or handle any challenge. It gave me the courage to take on challenges without fearing failure. Most of all it taught me to love myself.

So what is the greatest gift we can give our mothers in return? The same gift of course. We should love our mothers unconditionally and remember that mothers are not perfect. They did their best in what was ‘a mans world’. It was not easy being a woman in the 20th Century, let alone a mother. Being a mother was, and in some places continues to be, a thankless and payless job. So remember this if and when you consciously or subconsciously judge her. Push past the imperfections and remember the greatest gift you ever received from her. Acknowledge that whatever love you have for yourself came from her.

Unconditional Love

I know I am posting this journal entry at the wrong time for most social media activity. So it will probably be lost in cyber space. But for those of you who get to read it, remember to forgive your mother for any pain that you might be holding onto. Love your mother unconditionally, like she did you when you first born.

I am lucky enough to have a daughter. She teaches me a lot about women. I look at her and see my mother. I realise that women never truly grow ‘older’. They all like to dance and play dress-up. So today I am taking my mother dancing! (With my wife and daughter. It should be fun 🙂

Have a great day and may you always live from the heart.

Sam.

Flip Fear, Forever!

If you are a person that is a constant worrier and always fears the worst… take heart. You see I believe you have an amazing ability.  It takes imagination to conjure up what could go wrong in life (and business). Some of the best leaders I come across have this ability but they use it to imagine the best instead of the worst.

In my one-on-one mentoring, I come across some brilliant imaginations.  This ability usually manifests itself when we get to that part of the program, which requires action. This is when these same brilliant people start thinking of everything that could go wrong. Left to their own designs such people would think of every conceivable reason not to take action in life.

‘I could get sick’

‘I might get laughed at’

‘I might lose money’

Most coaches call that fear of failure. But when you look at it closely, it’s really nothing more than misguided imagination or, imagination gone astray. My approach is that if you harness that imagination, you can flip fear forever.

Creative imagination is a very powerful asset. And some people are born with an amazing one. But it’s a double edge sword. Your imagination can hurt you as much as it can lift you higher in life.

In my mentoring sessions I get my clients to imagine the best NOT the worst. I get them to close their eyes and imagine themselves on the field or in the boardroom or giving a presentation. I guide them to visualise all the wonderful consequences that could happen when they ‘go for it’. Kicking that goal. Making the sale. Motivating their team. Running that mile.

I finish by asking them: “How did that dream make you feel?” The response is usually, “Really awesome!”

“That’s your imagination!” I add. “Use it by visualising your best dreams not your worst nightmare.”

Dreaming about your best life is different to goal setting. Goals reside in the mind whereas dreams live in the heart. When we dream up our best life we awaken passion in our hearts. Passion then brings courage to the surface to push past fear. It’s amazing to witness some people go from the back foot to the front foot simply by flipping fear. They walk out of my office feeling stronger, taller and fearless! Seeing this transformation inspires me to do likewise.

The marketing genius – George Lois once said:

“Only with absolute fearlessness can we slay the dragons of mediocrity that invade our gardens”

Meditation is Detox for the Mind

This morning I tweeted, “meditation is detox for the mind.” I subsequently had a few people asking me what I do for meditation. My answer came as a surprise to some and was dismissed by others. ‘It can’t be that simple, surely!’ came the reply by many Type A personalities. ‘Why not, it works for me’, I responded (also a Type A).

If I had to write a book on meditation it would contain only one sentence. (Why the need to over analyse and complicate something so innate and natural?)

You see, the objective of meditation is relaxation.

Relaxation is the third branch in our Tree of Health. The other two being food and exercise of course. I have learned (the hard way) that relaxing is just as important as eating well and exercising. If you do not make time to relax, you will eventually run out of puff. Even the most successful people (in sport and business), who are passionate about their game, make time to relax.

But what I have noticed is that everyone relaxes differently. For some it may be winding down at the end of the day by reading a book. For others, a hot bath.

What is the Best Meditation?

Many, however, find that the best way to relax is through meditation.

There are many practices of meditation. You can sit and focus on how your breath moves your stomach in and out. You can repeat a soothing word softly to yourself, which acts as a calming affirmation. You can listen to soft music or you can sit underneath the shade of a tree, listening to the sounds of nature.

For me, the best meditation is sleep. Yes, Sleep! Going to bed early and waking early keeps me calmly active and actively calm all day. Also, napping in the afternoon calms my mind and de-clutters my thinking. It’s part of my daily detox of the mind. It’s that simple!

And, I do some of my best strategic thinking after my naps.

What type of meditation works for you?