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The Best Christmas Gift Anyone Can Ever Receive – From Me, To You

I received a powerful and welcomed Christmas gift this week. It’s so meaningful that I am going to give it to you. And then ask you to pass it on – to as many people you can. This gift is summed up in a four letter word. Here it is.

I hope (from the bottom of my heart) you will read this post to the end. Then take action. Go on- do it. Please. Probably 90 seconds and it will be done. After all, it’s my last post for the year (Possums will be back mid-January). In fact, as an extra bonus, there are two stories in this one post: linked, meaningful, reflective. Perfect for this time of year.

You see, I was given a great gift this week, and also the opportunity to give others a similar gift. And this gift is summed up in one, very simple word. It is something we all need in our lives.

Never Make This Fatal Mistake – Do It Once And Lose Forever

I was quite literally shattered last week when someone did something that shocked me very deeply. I was dismayed. Stunned. It hurt me personally, but hurt them much, much more. This person made one of the biggest mistakes we can make in life. Avoid it at all costs. Please. Here it is.

I wrote a post about Australian business icon David Gonski, who once said to me: “Staying pissed off is a luxury in business.” I have had to remind myself of this these past few days. Happily, I am now reconciled. Because I realize the person who pissed me off actually hurt himself far more than anyone else.

Quite simply, this person broke the most fundamental rule to building a business career and –many would say- a life to be proud of. Fail this rule, and you will not be remembered well. To succeed, this must be the basis of everything you do. Here it is:

How To Change Your Life’s Path – For The Better

My headlines are cheesy, and often ‘false advertising’- promising huge insight and then the post disappoints with bus ticket clichéd platitudes. Or so I am told. They do come from the heart though. And this story literally makes my heart pump. It is happening now and is seriously changing my life. It can do yours too. Here’s how.

I wrote recently of a tumor being removed from my vocal chords. I feared the worst until I got the ‘all clear’ a few days later. The following few weeks were extremely difficult. I was in shock. Not relieved, but deeply depressed. Preparing for my demise kind of took the joy out of knowing I was to live on.

I needed to make a start in getting my act together: to driving change in my health, energy, overall path. I needed to lose weight, eat better, stop my beloved cigars, reduce the alcohol. No wonder I was depressed. How to make a start? Then I remembered one of my platitudes from a few months prior. I re-read the Possums post. It inspired me. I grabbed hold of its message. It works. And this is what it said.

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:

The Secret To A Happier and More Successful Life- And It Is Very Simple

I don’t have many regrets. Not having travelled as a young man. Not going to a co-educational school. I regret not visiting my old Uncle Ernie in Sussex when I instead flew home to chase a Burlesque dancer. But most of all, I regret not having heard this advice 20 years ago. Here it is.

In my early adult days, success to me was all about girls, making money, sports cars, getting ‘power’, accumulating stuff. I struggled to ever be happy, always wanting more- the next big thing- striving for something just beyond my reach. In recent years, my friend Richard Sauerman’s writings about success have moved me. I have started to view success in a very different way.

And I was fortunate to receive a powerful new guiding message when listening to the keynote speaker at a conference I was speaking at a few months ago. Here is what that major business icon said:

The Recruiter, The Briefcase and A Powerful Message for Success

“I have the perfect candidate for this role,” recruiter Peter said. And with that he carefully placed his briefcase on my desk, unlocked the latches, and gently opened it. It was then I saw something that has stayed with me ever since. It seduced me then, and does so 20 years later. This is what he had in that briefcase.

Actually, he had nothing in it. Nothing.

Except one CV- of that ‘perfect candidate.’ And that was the magic of the moment. It made me feel that that one CV was absolutely gold… it stood alone, and was a prized asset.

I could not wait to get my hands on it. But Peter made me wait. He’d half pick it up. Then gently place it down in the briefcase again, and tell me more about why the candidate was perfect. Then begin to pick it up…here it comes! And then place it down. Torture. Eventually, it came, we hired, and the rest is history as they say. But here’s the point. The magic of that moment was simply this.