Archive | Wrestling Possums RSS feed for this section

You Have To Have This To Succeed- Why We All Need A Justus In Our Lives

Justus died the day before I was to have lunch with him- about three weeks ago. His death really struck me. Not only because I’ll miss him. But because I realized how lucky I had been to have him in my life, for one year, 15 years ago. Here’s why, and there’s a powerful lesson for us all in this story.

When Justus came into my life, I did not want him in it. He was appointed my Chairman, with a brief to keep me under control. He was a tough, opinionated, seasoned former big time CEO. A Dutchman. He asked questions I did not want to answer. I deeply resented his forced intrusion into my world.

But then I began to look forward to being with him: I began to long for it. Because Justus listened to my answers. And then made suggestions- not directly, but by sharing his experiences in similar circumstances.

When I decided to resign from that role and phase of my career, it was Justus I told first. He understood. He embraced me. And we kept in touch ever since. Justus had been for me, for that one tough year, the most valuable asset we can have. He was my:

A Very Weird Story on How To Be Your Own Very Best Coach

I am worried. This post might be just too weird, and I will see “Unsubscribe’ emails dotting my screen. I’ll take the risk, and share this one simple idea that has been at the core to my resilience in my career, and my life. I use it every day. But be warned- it’s a bit weird. Here it is.

One of my greatest fears is reaching the end of my career, at a timing not of my choosing, and knowing I could have achieved more – that I had not encouraged and backed myself to realize my full potential. Actually, I fear this about my life – will I push myself to be the best I can be: as a father, son, husband, brother, uncle, in law, cousin, friend, boss, colleague, neighbor…. The list is long.

I fear it because I know I am weak and flawed, and live on the edge of a darkness that I can easily slip into… not an evil darkness, just a place of slovenliness and lost opportunity. I saw ‘The Lorax’ movie yesterday: “A tree falls the way it leans. Watch out which way you lean.” I keep leaning the right way in my life, just, and growing and contributing positively, through following three critical steps, every day. But one is really weird. Here they are.

Do this Every Day and Die Happy

Do You Have The Courage To Take One Simple, Life-Changing Action Every Day?

I am weak. I promised myself three years ago I would do this, every day. It’s so simple and powerful. So incredibly valuable to living a fulfilling, evolving and exciting life. But I have failed (so far). I have not had the guts to do it. Can you do any better? Here it is.

Peter Cullinane, founder and CEO of STW New Zealand-based business, Assignment, and one of our industry’s genuine leaders, suggested I read “Fun While It Lasted” by Barnaby Conrad- an incredible, true story of how an American in the 1940s trained and became a matador in Spain. One of Barnaby’s hobbies was collecting great ‘last words’… notable death bed last utterings of the famous and the ordinary. He ends his book with such a line, from a woman whose last words were: “Well, it’s all been very interesting.”

On reading this, I realized I was cruising. That a part of my life was an opportunity missed. To be able to say last words of: “Well, it’s all been very interesting”, I simply had to do one thing every day. And this is it.

What The Therapist Told Me That Changed My Life

I went to therapy for five years in the mid 1990s. The issues were complex- deep insecurities, lack of self love, low self-esteem. It was a terrible burden that was ruining my life. Then, one day, my therapist gave me the clue to shedding the darkness. It’s a great insight for business too. Here is what she said.

I recently read a blog post on ‘The Top Five Regrets’ people on their death beds have expressed, as reported by a nurse who helped care for thousands of people as they approached their final moments.

It was when reading the Number One Regret that I was reminded of the insight my therapist had given me almost 20 years ago- an insight that helped me regain my life and my future. Here’s what the therapist told me, here’s also that death bed Number One Regret, and here’s what the lesson is for business and for life

The Three Vital Ingredients To Happiness- At Work, and In Life

Woody Allen once said something like “80% of the secret to success is just turning up.” I ‘turned up’ once to a talk by someone billed as ‘the world wide expert on happiness.’ I left an hour later a changed man. And have had a much happier life ever since. Here are the three key tips I learnt that day.

His name is Dr Martin Seligman. He’s the Director of The Positive Psychology Center at The University of Pennsylvania. In essence he’s spent much of his career researching and helping people suffering from depression. Through this work he gained deep insight into ‘happiness’ and resilience, and has shaped theories around this which I wanted to hear more about.

So one cold winter night I went with my brother-in-law to his lecture in downtown Sydney. It was life changing. This is what he told us.

Christmas Special: The Top Three ‘Possums’ Posts For 2011

I have been overwhelmed by the positive response and support from around the world since launching this blog 7 months ago. Thank you.

More than 3,000 subscribers per week now receive ‘Wrestling Possums, either through subscription to the weekly post, via twitter (@chrisjohnsavage) or via the Possums Facebook page.

Here are three posts that stirred the most response this year. All three are really about us as people- how we can cope with, manage and handle better the pressures we’re under. Perhaps you read them and remember them. If so, read them again for a Christmas reminder.

Have a safe Christmas break and make 2012 one of your best years ever!