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The Burberry trench coat, an All Black and four powerful words you must not miss

I can’t get this out of my mind. Could this be one way to living a more fulfilling life, to realizing our potential, to catching ourselves before we take the wrong step?  Four simple words capturing such an incredibly powerful message. Here they are.

It was not surprising he was wearing a beautiful Burberry trench coat, given he’s the chief of Burberry in Australia. I caught up with John Mutton on Friday night. It had been a while. He was overflowing with optimism, enthusiasm and energy.

We talked for three hours. Then he suddenly grabbed my arm, telling me excitedly he was reading Richie McCaw’s autobiography. Richie is a champion captain of the world’s best rugby team, the All Blacks. (If you don’t know the sport, think Pele and Brazil circa 1970, think Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls circa early 90s.) I was surprised. McCaw’s book held little interest to me.

Then John told me of advice McCaw’s father had given him as an adolescent. A chill went down my spine. So simple, yet powerful.  I can’t get it out of my mind. This is what McCaw’s father told a young Richie:

Don’t Let Yourself Down

Yip. That’s it. “Don’t let yourself down.”

For me, a powerful message to keep front of mind, to share with others, to think upon, to act upon.

Don’t let yourself down.

Questions For You

Are you letting yourself down in your career? Could you be pushing harder to learn new skills, challenge yourself, resist complacency, sharpen the value you bring, take on more responsibility, refuse to be held back, take a risk, ask for a new opportunity, put your hand up?

Are you letting yourself down with your family? Do you give them the time and energy they deserve, are you present, are you a giver rather than a taker, do they get the priority they deserve?

What about your health? Are you listening to your body, do you give it focus? I read last week in a Vision gym brochure something like: “If the car you owned would be your only car for the rest of your life, how would you take care of it? Treat your body that way.” Bloody hell- no wonder I am suddenly running around Balmoral Oval five nights a week. Time for a total retune.

And your life generally. Remember the words of that business icon I wrote about last week: “The most important things in life can’t be measured and can’t be bought.” How are you doing in this regard? Got your act together, or letting yourself down?

Final Point

Well, there isn’t one really. All I know is that I am thinking hard about what Richie’s Dad told him. I have ordered the book. I want to learn more. I just somehow feel that maybe it is the best advice a young person could get, and certainly advice that a 52 year old is not going to let slip by. “Don’t let yourself down.” Think about it.

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5 Responses to The Burberry trench coat, an All Black and four powerful words you must not miss

  1. Adrianne November 7, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Timely words for the parent of a teenager just starting year 12 … on the road to next year’s HSC. Thanks Chris. I’ll be sharing that with him tonight.

  2. Donald November 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Thanks Chris, I have a strong feeling that my dad, like Ritchies dad, came out of the farming communities around Christchurch and they all had a strong moral fibre developed from the depression, world war two and tough economic conditions and held together by Rugby and a strong sense of being true to your family and yourself.

    • Chris Savage November 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

      Thanks Donald. And not a bad thing too. A bit more of that attitude needed nowadays say I! Chris

  3. Greg Savage November 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Good article.Well done. Very thought-provoking. Lots of truth in there. Except that bit about you running around Balmoral Oval 5 times a week. What a porkie!

    • Chris Savage November 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      Just put it in there to ensure you were reading the articles…..

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