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What do you really want out of life? Now what's stopping you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Single Thought

Prolific author Anthony Horowitz has a book series called The Power of Five (good reading for teenagers by the way. According to the blurb it began as a single thought…would it be possible to write a novel like Lord of the Rings, but set it here and now in the modern world. In a similar fashion, Starbucks began as the result of a single thought (according to The Starbucks Experience-see previous post)-what would happen if good quality coffee was combined with the European coffee house tradition and placed on the American market.

The power of a single thought.

The power of vision.

The problem is that often the single thought becomes mingles with a second thought that contradicts it (e.g. it’s not possible). Then you have di-vision; two separate visions.

If there where no limitations, what would be your personal ‘I wonder’.

‘I wonder if it is possible to have a best selling principle based book that impacts the lives of teens around the world?’
“I wonder if it is possible to make a world class physiotherapy experience affordable for everyone?”
“I wonder if it is possible to change the way business is done in the restaurant industry in Zimbabwe?”
“I wonder if I could learn to play the piano?”
“I wonder…”

Let your mind run wild.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Starbucks Experience

Just finished reading “The Starbucks Experience” by Joseph Michelli. An informative read about the factors behind the Starbucks success story, punctuated by the experiences of clients and partners (they are not employees at Starbucks). Probably the part I appreciated most is the section at the end that helps you to apply the ideas of the book to your own business, rather than just being a book of knowledge it makes the process simple and practical.

There is a quote by George Bernard Shaw that he uses and I thought it extremely thought provoking, and not just because it is so descriptive.

“This the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making us happy.”

Starbucks has become more than a business, but a force of global change that makes a difference in the lives of employees, providers, clients and their family, as well as the environment. They have moved beyond success to significance. Got me thinking about my own goals for significance, those things that are more than success.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Some insensitive prat dropped a cigarette butt down the loo at the practice today. Smoking in a public, health facility does little to endear anyone to me, but leaving your evidence bobbing along merrily in the bowl just triggers that part of me that desires to grab the miscreant by the scruff of the neck and force him to remove the offending item with his teeth. I’ll get over it-eventually.

Enough of that. Question of the week time! What is the best compliment that you have ever been paid? Have to think about it, or does the answer immediately spring to mind? Maybe you just haven’t had a compliment paid to you in a while. Did the compliment relate to talent or to character? What is your response to compliments in general-did you brush it off or accept it graciously? Why is this crazy guy asking all these questions?

Self examination brings insight. The answers to each of the above questions tell you a bit about yourself. My best compliment was from a waiter who told me that ‘I drive people differently’. He was referring to my unique management/leadership style. I appreciated it because I was questioning the effectiveness of my style at the time and looking for ways to improve it. I didn’t brush it off either. Humility has little to do with not accepting credit where credit is due. If you deserve praise or thanks then be grateful when it comes, you’ve earned it. Enjoy the moment and move on, not lauding it over people either.

Finally if you haven’t had a compliment for a while, try sowing some. Tell someone what you appreciate about them, better still, tell someone else about them in their presence. Build someone else up and then wait your turn.

Live Out Loud

Check out these guys and their music. If you love fresh concepts and great music you'll love this! Live Out Loud

Monday, June 04, 2007


There was an article published inTime magazine recently focusing on the success of the "Shreck" franchise related to the more traditional stereotypical 'hero prince and princess' type of older fairy tales. While it could be argued that the sucess lies in the extention of the 'rank-outsider' theme found in other literature (e.g. village girl or poor orphan gets a break and becomes the hero), it is also possible that the blurring of previous boundaries has something to do with it. The hero no longer has to be hansom, or the girl incapable of self defense. I have no problem with people breaking out of the stereotypes placed on them ,and in many cases actively encourage people to step out of their comfort zones.

That said, can one place any acceptable limits on behaviour and role. If behaviour is to be harmful is an example-I don't care how much of a mould you are attempting to break, but jumping off a cliff without a paracute or some other aviation device is plain dumb. What do we do about other boundaries though? How long will it be before we have mainstream homosexual cartoons being released-is that an exceptable boundary to break? For some it may be, for others not. What about increasing levels of television violence and it's potential efect on kids?How do you handle this as a parent? There was enough outrage at the Harry Potter series over the concept of wizardry and witchcraft to know that such an idea will produce some reaction.

Part of the solution has to do with parenting style. Raising children with their own set of values, where, ultimatly, they understand their own reasons for what they choose to watch and read, and are aware of any potential negative consequences. Rather than just saying "you can't watch that!!!" explain to them why, get them to talk about it. If you can't justify your stand on an issue, maybe you need to examine your own values?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Like an ever rolling stream

One of my patients pointed out a new way of looking at the time that we have. Assuming a lifespan of say 80 years, that means that you get 80 summers, 80 winters, 80 springs and 80 autumns (although I feel cheated about the autumns as we don’t really get those here in Zim). Now I’ve already had 30 summers-which means that I have 50 left! (We’ll ignore the fact that I want to live to 120 in this calculation). That makes time seem a whole bunch more valuable to me. I want to be able to look back at the end of each season and say that it was well spent. I’m setting goals for this winter and for the rest of the coming year-planning trips away and other activities that I know will bring a wealth of memories. Each day should be an adventure. That’s why my advice to young people trying to decide what to do at school is find something you enjoy doing and do it-that way you get paid to have fun for the rest of your life.