Great teachers inspire for life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I must admit there are times when I despair for Public education: - the recent announcement of huge funding cuts, witnessing a "lock down" in a local High school and standing in a stunning facility in a private school still under construction by the BER (while Public Schools got often inferior work and facilities) - were highlights - or lowlights of the past few months.

Fortunately, these negatives have been balanced by the brilliant teachers I've come in contact with over the same period. They are young and old, in Private and Public Schools, as well as working in health and fitness; - talented, passionate, hard working role models in places as far afield as Sydney, Bourke and the Central Coast, from Wilcannia to Warren, Baradine to Brewarrina and many other places beyond and in between.

I know we can all think of teachers that we didn't (or don't) like, but when we stop and think about it for a moment, it soon becomes clear just how much impact they have on our lives.

This week's iKiEnergiser Challenge has two parts. First, think of a teacher you didn't like. Not so hard, but here's the catch ;- what lesson do we remember them for? I can think of one particular teacher I thought very little of at the time, but whose wise words in just one class keep coming back to a good way.

Next, think of the teacher that you remember the best for being the best. What did he/she give you? Enthusiasm, love of a subject or sport, the realisation that you can do things or be someone you didn't think you could. So this week give a little thought to your teachers, and consider how important a good education system is.

Have a great week,

All the Best,



Relating to others: a key to a happy life

Friday, June 08, 2012

For those of you who have just tuned in, as well as those who weren't paying full attention, this series of weekly blogs are inspired by the lyrics of the song Every Single Day. Click here to lease have a listen, and if you like it grab your free download.

Todays' blog is about the power of relating to others. I've always been interested in social equity and in that regard we're living in "interesting times" with the "have nots" in many parts of the world revolting against the controlling elites. Think Syria, Egypt, Libya and many others. It's another reminder of how very lucky we are to live in Australia, but at the same time we need to be aware that there is a growing social divide.

Learning to relate to others can be one of the most life affirming things we can do, for lots of reasons.

The Dali Lama has a list of three things we can do to live more productive, satisfying and thus happy lives.

The central one is to: 

exchange a self-centred attitude for one of thinking more about others. It is much easier to handle our problems when we realise everyone else has their own. A problem shared is a problem halved. 

Additionally, it’s so much easier to get along with people when we focus on the common ground. And when we try it's easy, as we share more than 99.9 % of DNA with every other human on the planet. Our likes and dreams are very similar and even our differences are usually a lot less that we think when we actually look.

But only does relating to others add to our day to day happiness, it can also impact powerfully in our health and safety. 

A lot of interesting research has beeng done on the impacty of social inequality on the quality of life for all members of a community. All of the evidence (and practical experience--see Egypt, Syria etc above) suggests the the greater the inequality the more dangerous a society is. Help your neighbour and she will help you back. Rob you neighbour and guess what? Be an understanding friend when you are needed because most of us have times when we need a shoulder as well.

It costs nothing to listen and relate and the rewards are great.   

Peace of Mind. Every Single Day.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Firstly, my apologies for the two week break since the last blog,  and secondly thanks to those people who responded to the suggestion we find a way to encourage more people to talk publicly about how they manage and overcome depression. I've posted several of these and will discuss it further soon.

Today's blog addresses the issue obliquely;

It seems to be a part of human nature to continually strive to improve ourselves one way or another. Unfortunately for our peace of mind we are designed to rarely be satisfied for very long. I'm sure most of us have experienced the old pattern; the new couch soon needs a new coffee table, which needs a newly decorated room...soon we're talking a whole new house...

So much so, that the whole focus of sections of our communities and government is to foster continuous growth. Without it we face recession or depression with the resultant job loss and pain.... 

Fortunately, as we know, there are other ways to satisfy our yearning for improvement that don't require continuous "consumption" of services and products ---art, sport, education,music, hobbies and all sorts of personal growth strategies.

Just to throw something a little different into the mix, I'm launching a little project right here, right now. It's totally free and goes like this. Each week I'll send a Power Word, a short explanation of how to use it and encourage you to do something about it that day. It really works for me, (when I do it) and can be fun for all the family. Seriously. And it costs nothing but a little thought.

This weeks' word is "Communicate". I've always believed that half of the worlds' problems would just go away if we made more effort to talk calmly, clearly and thoughtfully. Today, communicate clearly to someone. Tell them something that's been on your mind or that will help them in some way. Before you do, be sure to think clearly  about the outcome. If the result will be good, do it.

Did I mention it starts with a song? This song has lots of Power Words and it's free. It's called Every Single Day

How Can We Start a More Open Conversation About Depression?

Friday, May 04, 2012

I attended an excellent presentation on depression given by Lisa Champion at the Filex Fitness Convention recently. The focus was on how helpful exercise can be in the management/healing process. A theme also touched on was the benefit many sufferers report from hearing other people talk about their experiences in dealing with the condition. There is no doubt that this can help them feel less alone and to see that there actually is hope.

However, we all know that depression is still commonly a taboo topic that many people are reluctant to admit to, or discuss, particularly in public.

Even though 20% of the population are afflicted at some time in their lives and that it is spread among all levels of society, the term “mental illness” is shameful.

While there is no doubt progress is being made – (those over 65 barely can talk about it at all) I would like to suggest we can learn something for the example of gays “coming out.”  Although there is still debate over elements of gay rights there is no debate that the example of prominent and respected people ‘coming out of the closet’ has helped alleviate the fear, isolation and shame experienced by many gay people.

Is it time we invented a tag, a euphemism, for “coming out” about having personally experienced depression? We know that many suffering in isolation will benefit and I think the person “walking the dog’ will benefit as well.

Maybe that term can work? Walking the black dog in public can have many benefits. Both sufferer and dog get some healthy exercise, the dog is exposed as being not as mean and ugly as thought and others will be encouraged to walk their dog as well, with better health all around.



How do we help the helpers?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I was deeply saddened yesterday to hear of Bec Schofield ending her life last Wednesday evening. I have had the great pleasure of working with Bec a number of times over the past 4 or 5 years and was looking forward to working with her again next term. She was such an energetic, 'can do', positive person to work with, who had a powerful impact on the lives of a lot of young people.

I acknowledge that I don't know all of  the things that were going on in Bec's life, but can't help wondering if there isn't something more we can do to help people suffering unbearable stress in their lives. The special programs industry that Bec was a part of is a huge one these days and I don't doubt that many people working in the field find it very wearing. Though rewards come form helping people, it can be a frustrating and draining experience, particularly given the many beaurocratic