Tag Archives | family

The World’s Most Powerful Aphrodisiac – And The Top Three Tips On Where To Get It

“Power is the great aphrodisiac,” Henry Kissinger famously said. But not for me. My constant search over 25 years for more responsibility, control and power never led to any success in that department, sadly. What the journey did give me was a brutal lesson about the price involved with ambition. It’s a price to pay with great caution. Here’s why.

I wrote about this last week in a major industry on-line magazine. About 50 people emailed me, agreeing, disagreeing. I share it with Possum readers now. Here’s the story. A young man came to see me a few weeks ago. “Please help,” he asked. “I am 24. I want to be a CEO in my industry by age 35. How do I do it?” My heart sank. I saw myself sitting there, 30 years earlier. Same ambition. Same desire. I knew so well why he wanted it. But also knew the price he would have to pay to get there.

I concluded the very best advice I could give him was this. It’s harsh, but true, and from my heart. Maybe there is a message in it for you?

This Advice From An Indian Slum Dweller Is A Big Reality Check – What Does It Say To You?

I am a loner: an introvert (well masked by an Oscar quality extrovert façade). I have few deep friendships (but those I have I value greatly), and don’t seek out the company of others. This has never bothered me, until today, when I read something about bamboo that shocked and frightened me. Will it scare you too? Read on.

I just read an unsettling book, “Behind The Beautiful Forevers”. It won the Pulitzer Prize. I did not realize until the Author’s Note at the end that it is a true story, deeply researched. Written by Katherine Boo, it tells of life for a few families in a Mumbai slum. It’s a confronting story, but what shocked me most was one quiet sentence.

It describes advice a mother gives her children to illustrate the power of aligned ‘communities’ sticking together and supporting each other. Here it is. Read it. Read it again. (Oh- and then, if you have the courage, answer the one question I leave you with, and let me know how easy or hard it was for you). Back to that advice from the slum dweller:

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:

What Happened This Week When They Found A Tumor In My Throat

“Yip- it looks like a cancer,” the specialist sighed, pointing to the video picture of the tumor growing out of my vocal chords.

“Treatable?” I asked, petrified. “Oh yes,” he replied. “But not necessarily curable.” This was last Monday. So began the worst week of my life. Here’s what happened next.

My voice had been getting increasingly hoarse for months. “Acid reflux caused by increasing size of your gut,” the GP had counseled. Then I struggled swallowing. And could only speak in a whisper. So to the specialist I went last Monday. He had the bedside manner of a cobra, found a tumor, speculated cancer, gave zero reassurance.

“I’ll remove it surgically if I can on Wednesday. Then pathology. If cancer, come to the hospital next Tuesday and we’ll advice treatment. If it’s early stage cancer, then likely more surgery and radiation. If spread, then chemotherapy too and a 50/50 survival chance. If spread a lot, then not much we can do.” And that was it. I walked out into the sunlight devastated. So began the five worst days of my life… days underpinned by one terrible thing: