The question we all face today and for the rest of our lives is this : to risk or not to risk?
I believe everything we do is built on a foundation of confidence. Whether you’re a student or a master in your field comes down to your confidence in your abilities and experience and … risk to your professional reputation.
I believe that there is an inordinate level of security-mindedness in our modern-day societies. Perhaps We shouldn’t be surprised that in our post 9/11 world, the topic of of risk is a sensitive one.
Prior to the recent covid , in recent history, Scientists have regularly made headlines with warnings about such new risks as (as examples) : bird-flu pandemics and flesh-eating bacteria and old risks like category 5 hurricanes and earthquake-triggered tsunamis.
I believe we live in a world where risk -benefit analysis has become a recognised science… where “risk management “(an area I worked as a senior consultant to multinationals for almost 10 years) … is a popular college major .
It prepares more and more young professionals to work in all manner of industries
But …. here’s the thing …
No matter what safety steps we take or what security precautions we adopt, our risk of death 💀, say, is not approximately – but EXACTLY – 100 percent.
There is no margin of error in that statistic.
I spent my early childhood in a culture that encouraged risk-taking and … a sense of wonder and mystery… one that did not put more of our trust in technology. One that did not think about increasing regulations whenever something goes wrong.
No … there was a communicated emphasis on community & togetherness. There was purposeful shift towards more trust, more care and more compassion.
Three things I think the world needs more of.
My question is: in our modern-day societies, what impact does people’s abnormally elevated security-mindedness has on people’s willingness to take risks now ? That we are being taught one way (in our educational institutions) …. This is the way I remember doing when I was in year 7. There is nothing extraordinary about it … I’ve been doing that since I was in early secondary school and then we learn it again university and further education . … and in our professional careers.
Life itself is a Risky Business.
I think RISK & FEAR has become an increasingly significant word in American lexicon. If you google these 4-letter words … you’ll receive more than a billion references in less than a second.
I believe people are more sensitive to risk today than at any other time in history. So many are kit merely preoccupied with risk & fear … but I think are often downright schizophrenic about the topics.
This anxiety about risk permeates in American society and impacts it in endless ways. Good. Bad. Ugly. And sometimes ridiculous. American society dictate the world’s societies because well, America is the Super Power.
This fear mongering is everywhere and in everything… embedded deep in the psyche of modern-day citizens, many of which are unaware.
For example, It’s why we have surgeons general warnings on every pack of cigarettes. There are just so many examples of this “fear” everywhere … down to even a phrase : “fear setting”.
How did society become so intrigued by fear /risk – and so worried about it at the same time? People forget that Life itself is a risky business. We have heard many parables and/or stories … and most of us know the messages behind these stories.
It’s like the adventurer who was asked why he climbed the mountains and answered, “because it’s there!”
He took the risk. That’s the message… he just DID IT! No FEAR babee!!
So-called EXPERTS DO NOT always have the last words …
I truly believe the US and many modern societies (Europe and Australia) have cultures that has developed this intense love-hate relationship with risk/fear, in part because it’s always there.
I believe we are seeing a timely and unprecedented convergence of trends and historical & current developments that supports the contention that we (Americans and western societies) are more focused on, and aware of, the risks/fears we face today than any other society In history.
Well… simply because we can.
People can easily equip themselves (technology) to recognise, understand, catalogue, measure, compare and know more about fears/risks they face than any other society in history.
One truth I’ve learned in my experience in Risk Mamagement is that so-called “experts” (in all fields) DO NOT always have the last word on risk/fears. Sometimes they only add to people’s doubts and confusions about the uncertainties and fears/risks people face in life.
The ratings-driven nature of the media today only further distorts people’s perspectives on the risks/fears they face. As a result of people’s misperceptions, I believe people overrate and worry more than they should. Despite the mind-boggling amount of information available today…. there’s clearly a huge gap between people’s perception of some fears/risks and thee actual magnitude.
What risks /fears do people really need to worry about?
So another question is: what risks/fears do people really need to worry about?
How in the world does the average person make reasonable and wise decisions about their fears and risks they face when their perspectives on the subject is so often distorted? How does the average person decides what risks are acceptable?
Rather than worrying /reacting to every fear/risk…. what’s more important is the skill at discerning which ones you can do something about.
In other words, the wisdom to know what to worry about and the courage to find solutions to the issues and act on them.
I also believe not all fears/risks are bad.
Very important point: WISDOM is different from, and often more critical than, KNOWLEDGE.
In fact, I believe that too often, all information we’ve been given, all the risks/fears we’ve encountered and contemplate.. & all the warnings people receive from so many sources actually combine to skew people’s perceptions.
So, what hope s is that EFFECTIVE Risk Analysis and decision-making becomes MORE difficult rather than less.
So… back to my previous entry – instead of losing ourselves in all the knowledge before us and sliding into more worry, people should exercise more wisdom.
I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who once declared-
“Far better is it to dare mighty things than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much.”
I’m convinced most of the success I’ve experienced in my life so far and the majority of my personal and professional accomplishments over the years is from a practical formula I developed and used from my early childhood.
I have helped thousands overcome their fears using this formula … and
It hasn’t failed me yet.
It has never failed.
Want to know the “fail-proof” method I use? Get in touch with me.
Until next time,
Keep punching…. Don’t stop believing… most importantly , in –
Over the years I have listened to many individuals. Listened to their stories.
Over the years I think I have had in excess of twenty thousand conversations with people of all ages. From teens to ninety-year olds.
Over the years I have had many coaching conversations. In these coaching conversations, I have helped increase individuals awareness of how their perception of events in their lives either propel them forward or hold them back.
I have listened to others and the way in which the stories they tell ourselves have the power to hold us back or propel us forward.
As an example …
The bottom line is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if my hearing hadn’t been terrible when I was young. Neither would you.
This is why taking the time to properly frame our narratives and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves can be so critical.
The first turns your past into an anchor, while the second turns it into the wind that fills your sails and keeps you moving forward.
Is there some piece of your story, personal or professional, that you’ve been able to reframe in a way that moves you forward, instead of holding you back?
Wonderful question for all to ponder. I’m one of the most self-aware person you will ever meet, but that is nothing new to me as I have been this way since I was a kid (from the adults who knew me in my youth).
Cowboy 🤠 House.
Here’s one I’d like to share – I was raised by my grandparents as my biological Dad died when I was 4 years old, trying to save a person from downing … and was overpowered by the victim and drowning with that person). My biological mother was only 16 and had a choice to have an abortion but I thank her and God that she didn’t.
Her decision to give me life has allowed me to not only live but to do what I do – predominantly, helped people, help themselves building their bridges from where they are to where they desire to be over the last 3 decades.
Anyways, I grew up in a large extended family – grandparents, grand uncles and aunties, uncles, aunties, cousins and siblings and … visitors and extended family visiting.
My home was always full and was always noisy. Our neighbours used to call our home – the “Cowboy House”.
We didn’t have much of anything – food (there were no less than 10 people to feed every single day … and I do not know how my grandparents managed to do this), didn’t have much material possessions (my grandmother used to sew my school uniforms) … but the home certainly had a lot of love.
There was a lot of storytelling and sitting around talking almost every night. It was just part of the home … part of the culture.
Because there was so much noise, most kids would not be able to concentrate/focus. But, I told myself way back in early Primary School that I will teach myself to study/do school work/read in … noise.
My teachers couldn’t understand how a kid (me) could get Top Academic Results every year.
Most kids/people need peace and quiet to FOCUS, so we are told. “How does Paul do it?” I would over hear some teachers say. In my adult life, I have continued to learn/read/focus in any environment, no matter how noisy or ridiculous is.
Focus on what you can control
I remember my grandfather telling me many things (he was a very wise man) … saying something to the effect –
“Paul, focus on what you can control … and do the best with what you’ve got … don’t be part of the problem, always be part of the solution”.
I’ve always applied that in my life, not focusing on insufficient resources and constraints .,. But on HOW I can do better with what I have. That philosophy along with many others, has helped me create the life I’ve always imagined and realise short-term and long-term goals.
Growing up in an family environment that had very limited resources (except for love … the home was always infused with LOVE), has allowed me to almost always have an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm.
I completely understand the psychosomatic relationship – psyche and soma – mind and body … better than most (hence sculpting a Physique worthy of representing Australia at 2 x World Natural Physique Championships and placing in the Top 5 in consecutive years).
I am fully aware of how the body is the physical manifestation of the mind or in other words, the body expresses what the mind is concerned with. I’m a strong believer that life is many things … and one of which is that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy…. That you usually get what you expect.
My ‘tough’ upbringing has allowed me to develop a healthy self-expectancy and eliminated all forms of excuse from my vocabulary as … I expect to win, almost all the time. I have no doubt the so-called ‘luck’ is the intersection of preparation and awareness.
Life … a very real game but not a gamble.
I look at life as a very real game .. but not a gamble.
Part of what I have done over the last 3 decades is help people, help themselves build their bridges. I have learned and taught many things. It seems that every individual tends to receive what he or she expects in the long run.
From my experience and deducing from other people’s experiences in my life so far … it would appear that you may or may not get what is coming to you, or you may or may not get what you deserve – BUT YOU WILL nearly always get what you expect.
As someone who has mastered the art of body re-engineering (building muscle and reducing body fat to < 4%), believe me when I say, there is an intricately close connection between your mind and body … a negative thought can cause your ‘look’ (that you get judged on) to go from excellent (Top 5 and finalist) to awful.
I’ve learned and mastered much of the ‘mind-body-heart-soul’ interface connections and one important one is this – mental obsessions have physical manifestations. Basically, you BECOME WHAT YOU FEAR – you get what you expect – you are that which you expect to be!
Here’s the thing – since all individuals are responsible for their own actions and cause their own effects, optimism then, is a choice.
Choose well, my adult friends.
Optimism, Enthusiasm, Faith & Hope.
What is needed is : continual fueling of – OPTIMISM, ENTHUSIASM, FAITH & HOPE.
Each is a synonym for – having a HEALTHY SELF-EXPECTANCY.
So, my question to you (if you’ve made it this far) is –
1. Do you have a healthy self-expectancy about things in your life?
2. Do you expect the best for you – in life and as a way of life?
3. Do you look at problems/constraints as opportunities?
With regards to question 3 above, try this little exercise and let me know your answers –
Make a list of your KEY problems/constraints –
> the ones that block your professional and personal fulfillment.
> Next, write a one-or-two sentence definition of each problem/constraint.
Now, rewrite the definition, only this time view it as an opportunity or exercise to challenge your creativity and ingenuity (some refer to it as ‘re-framing’).
Here’s a tip: view the solution as you would if you were advising one of your best friends.
So, where does your thoughts stand in relation to your Self-Expectancy now?
G’day & Bula & good morning/evening to YOU wherever YOU are in this beautiful planet 🌏!
I was thinking 🤔 about life, as I usually do & the concept of “truth” in particular and lies as well as they seem to be two sides of the same coin.
Lying 🤥, we all do it and have done it over the course of our lives so far.
We lie to others & we lie to ourselves. I guess we could split lies up in to two main types:
1. White lies
2. Black lies.
White Lies & Black Lies.
A black Lie, as I see it, could be defined as a statement we make we know is false. A white lie is a statement that we make that is not in itself false but that leaves out a significant part of the truth.
I think white lies can often be more destructive than black-lying. Think 💭 about it, we all do it almost every single day of our lives , as we consider white-lying more socially acceptable in many of our relationships because we “don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.”
Yet, people complain that their social relationships are generally superficial. Is this the right thing to teach our kids – that, as parents, part of being loving is feeding them heaps of white lies?
Is it right and truly beneficial for the children to not be told the cold truths about matters of life? Should parents continue (& I see this happening every day and have witnessed in many families over the last 3 decades of keen interest) “white-lying?”
So, parents tell each other everything but feed their children white lies. For example, that they fought with each other the night before about their relationship, or that their dad resents their grandparents for their manipulativeness & lack of caring over the years or that mum has a medical problem.
Rational behind white lies is – a loving desire to protect & shield their children from unnecessary worries.
I used to tell people that if I made that person I see in the mirror better than, last week, than last month, than last year … in ten years I will be on the World Stage, standing and competing against the best in the world.”
Within ten years, I stood on stage against the best natural bodybuilders at that time, representing Australia. A Big Dream, come true. I repeated the feat the following year for good measure. As a great mentor once said –
“If you think you can, you’re right … you CAN.”
Don’t ever laugh at another person’s dream, no matter how far-fetched it is.
2.5 Disagree with people, if you must but don’t hate them.
It’s ok agree to disagree and still like someone.
In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling and personal judgements. Leave judgemental comments to God or people who have a profession as a Judge.
I tell my children to NEVER be afraid to ask questions BUT more important than that is to learn HOW to Ask the RIGHT QUESTION…. &…
To … Question EVERYTHING.
Everything that is passed down from earlier generation (even everything me or my wife tell them) … EVERYTHING they SEE … HEAR… READ….
Ask the RIGHT questions.
I know you know this.
And they do, & they’re getting really good at it … it’s tiring BUT it’s a lot of FUN.
Are you a “stirrer?”
Are you a “stirrer?”
Ive always been what you call a stirrer. I also encourage my kids to be so, too.
Question “why?”, three levels deep… “go deeper!”, i say, they say “why dad?” …. I say “why not?”
I encourage civil disobedience in kids against anything or anyone that suppreses imagination in kids. I also support a healthy disrespect for authority (question everything) & to find FUN in everything & anything Around you.
I tell them to “Find the craziness in the common or the Marvellous in the mundane “
YOU just have to pay more attention. Become more intentional with your attention. Become a better listener. In addition to listening to what people say, work on listening to what they don’t say. Most importantly, listen to what your inner voice/soul says.
You will learn much.
Learning to be Trouble-Makers.
So, my kids been taught to be and still learning to be trouble makers (within reason). They’re learning to be kids that “rock-the -boat”, young people that question the “status quo”; outsiders; & rabble-rousers… basically a little “weird.”
I believe The world 🌍 is crying out (& has been crying out for a while now) … crying out for heretics. Yep, those same people who were burned at the stake not too long ago.
I believe that the world needs YOU right now…YOU, in ALL your weirdness.
Regardless of your age however, I believe IMAGINATION & finding the marvellous in the mundane is a good habit to develop.
For YOU & your journey towards happiness.
Be weird (good weird) & share the BEST YOU with those you love.
Why has society demonised anger? Why is it that we (especially Men) cannot and not encouraged to “get angry?” This is hammered into men right from when we are toddlers. Why? Why have we only focused on the destructive results of anger?
It is just as much a valid emotion as being happy, sad, excited, joyful etc.
Yes, that’s right, he has been a great friend. Not a lovey-dovey friend, not a particularly nice friend, far from being a gentle friend. No, anger … is a very, veery very LOYAL friend.
Anger has always been there with and FOR “me”. Anger loyalty reminds me with ease when i have betrayed myself enough. It is there to stop anyone or anything from taking advantage of me, beyond what is reasonable.
“Reasonable “ here would refer to my imaginary boundaries/tolerance limits of certain suffering.
To me, Anger is fuel. This is a KEY aspect of the power of a loyal friend.
This friend loves me.
This friend LOVES ME.
And, I have come to love this friend, all the way back to consciously recognising him when I was about 9 years old.
Yes, it is a form of power… a powerful energy. When we feel it, we almost always want yo do something about it – hit someone, throw something, break or smash something, punch a wall or spew out profanities to the person.
Why do we do everything to it … except LISTEN to it. I mean, we are taught to … deny it, bury it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, ignore it or simply muffle it.
Why don’t we just allow ourselves to feel and express it just like we do with other feelings?
Anger not only summons courage, but it points the finger and shows the way… an alternative way. To me, anger is a sign of health … good 💝itality.
Unlike what most of modern societies espouse, I believe anger is a good thing. It means you’re alive. Anger is part of our inner voice … it is meant to be listened to.
As fuel, we can embrace the energy of anger to turbo-boost our actions to where our anger points us. Here’s the catch that many struggle with – anger is meant to be ACTED UPON, not ACTED OUT.
It awakens me.
Re-read that last sentence again. Let it sink in.
Every time I get angry, it reminds me that I am being courageous and expressing something that is pushing me towards my perceived boundaries. Should I tolerate it, extend the boundaries or … resist.
It AWAKENS me.
It is a a tsunami o that annihilates and with that destruction, signals that death 💀 of our old life. Anger is the springboard that springs you into your new life.
To me, anger is envigorating. It helps INFUSE me with the “essence of life” – 💝itality!
It is a tool, and like all tools, when used in the appropriate manner, allows you to CREATE something with it. It is not something to MASTER. Anger, instead should be something used as a resource .. to be tapped in to and drawn upon.
For example, I have used my loyal gym training partner & friend – “Anger” to accomplish record-breaking lifts & intensity in my workouts . He has always been there. He helps me “climb mountains” and achieve small goals in the gym. As a tool, I TRANSMUTE my loyal friend, Anger into the various mediums of Art that I express my love through.
Anger, my loyal friend, has also been the wind under my wings when I need to summon courage to fly.
I cannot live with my loyal friend.
I need him.
Every single day.
Anger, I pray 🙏 that you visit me again. Soon. I need you to fill up my senses. As John Denver sings in his song “Annie” –
You fill up my senses,
Like a night in a forest;
Like mountains in springtime,
Like a walk in the rain;
You fill up my sensors,
Come fill me again;
Come let me love you,
Let me give my love to you;
Let me drown in your laughter,
Let me die in your arms;
Let me lay down beside you,
Let me always be with you;”
And you should, too.
Embrace your Anger. Make him your friend.
Dance with him. Get to know him again, if you have to.
He died when I was 19. Six years after his wife, my grandmother died.
I spent a big part of early childhood with my grandfather. He didn’t say much but he had many little “coaching conversations” when appropriate (I later realised what he was doing after he died in my late teens).
At University (almost 30 years ago now whilst doing my second degree in Accounting/Business Management ), I read a book by the author Ken Blanchard called “the one minute manager”. I realised then, that the management style my grandfather was using in relation to raising me and the family household, was the same as what the author was espousing in the book.
A Man’s Man.
The best manager I have ever worked for was the CEO/Managing Partner of a Top 20 Accounting & Business Advisory. I was there for about 3 years and was some of the BEST years working as an “employee “.
This man, was a Man’s Man … a Clint Eastwood demeanour with a Tom Hanks (heart .. when appropriate). His physical presence was intimidating. He was a former Australian ranked boxer and his reputation for results preceded him.
Everyone was scared shitless of him. They trembled in their seats when they heard him coming down the passages and everyone avoided him.
I found him fascinating and I loved him and his management style. I thought about why (after I left) and it was because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I didn’t buy into the fear and the water-cooler stories about him that became part of the Firm’s Legendary stories. So, I decided to “get to know him”.
No need for Sir, call me Bob …
As he walked by the cubicles in the morning, I would yell out – “Good morning Mr E…!” The other staff couldn’t believe it… I actually spoke out snd greeted him.
The first time … I would hear his footsteps pause and … then continue. The following morning, I did the same. He did the same.
On the third day .. he stopped and then said –
“Who is that?”
I stood up from my cubicle and replied –
“Paul ❤️alentine, sir!”
He laughed and said –
“No need for Sir, call me Bob... snd a good morning to you, too.”
From then on, each time he walked passed by Cubicle, he would call out my name and we would end up having chats. Matter of fact, he preferred me to handle many of his clients and over time, we would become very good friends.
It got to stage where, he would only allow me to interrupt him in any meeting he was in. No one else in the Firm could do that. There was a level of TRUST that he had in me that no one else got.
When he had to “Sign off” on Reports and Files … he would go through others’ files with a fine-tuned comb, asking many questions. With mine, he just wanted me to give him the “gist” or executive summary (usually one page of the Risks and my personal assessment)
He would always ask me one question –
“Are you happy with me signing Paul?”
I would say yes or no.
He would act accordingly.
The One-Minute Manager.
The “one-minute managed” approach is to be very FIRM in your values & principles snd DO NOT compromise on INTEGRITY. EVER.
This is communicated EFFECTIVELY. There is no ambiguity. … ALWAYS communicated CONSISTENTLY, CLEARLY and CONCISELY.
Integrity is what most Good Leaders have. But, RE-INFORCED integrity is what GREAT Leaders have. They NEVER sacrifice their MORALS & ETHICS in ALL that they do & say and say they do.
That is the One-Minute Manager…. On Enthusiasm Turbo-Boost. That is what the world needs right now … more GREAT LEADERS in all KEY areas of life.
“What is your message ?” I ask.
What is the message you leave to the world, when you … leave this world?
The one-minute manager approach primarily relates to the FEEDBACK being TIMELY and SPECIFIC. For example, when I fuck up with something on a client, I would hear his footsteps come towards my seat. I would feel his presence snd his hand rest on my shoulder (as I looked at my computer screen). I could sense his frustration snd he would say –
“Paul, you fucked up. Learn from it. Don’t do that again”
And then he was off. He was the first to reprimand me and “pull me in line” as soon as the incident occurred.
The reverse is also true. When I did a great job and exceeded clients expectations, I would hear those same footsteps again …
His hand on my shoulder, looking in my eyes and saying –
“Great job Paul, well done. Keep it up, son! Take the afternoon off!”
My salary increases in 6-monthly reviews were in the top and I had one of the best corner cubicles in the Firm. Many other staff were jealous but … I learned that TRUST is one of the foundation stones of any relationship.
I’ve almost always adopted this Management style in almost all my dealings with people, as an employee, managing groups/teams .. and as an Employer, managing egos.
Do you trust – YOU?
Out of interest, what are your top 3 to these :
1. What 3 words describe your Vision for your business?
2. Do you believe in YOU? 3 strengths you have as a Leader?
3. Do you TRUST “you?”
4. Do have a need to be “liked” by everyone? Do you have a need to be “agreeable “ with everyone?
What is YOUR MESSAGE?
This is one of the KEYS to almost ALL successful communication to any audience: know your message.