Tag Archives | Leonard Cohen

Possums Special Edition: Comment On The Big News From America

This Trumps Every Other Motivational Idea

Were you as shattered this week as I was with the worst news we could possibly have received from the USA? Fear not! Here’s a message of hope that trumps everything else.

What terrible news! So sad. Inevitable, yet it has left me with shoulders slumped, optimism a little squashed, and a touch of fear and extra loneliness in my heart. No. Nothing to do with Donald Trump. Everything to do with the passing at age 82 of my mentor and guide, Canadian musician and poet Leonard Cohen.

Cohen made me feel it was okay to feel the way I feel. Does that make sense to you? It does to me. You see, Leonard Cohen was one of those rare people in my life. They deliver powerful juice that fuels optimism and hope. Here it is.

How To Keep Strong When The Pressure Is On

I gave a presentation yesterday to a room of colleagues. I got to a slide I’d presented a thousand times, and yet its message struck me hard- as if I was hearing it for the first time. It was a message of hope, and of resilience. Here it is.

Our lives and roles can’t always be a bowl of cherries- sometimes the pressure builds, tensions rise, relationships get tested, issues complicate. Constant pressure depletes energy – it pulls you down, clouds judgement. You can feel trapped in the relentlessness of it all. The fun goes. It becomes a grind. We can become, quite simply, unhappy- right there deep inside. Know what I mean?

And it was on slide 17 of my presentation on how to be more effective and efficient every day that I was reminded of this great piece of advice. Here it is, and how I have used it to lift my spirits. Maybe it can help you do the same when you are feeling the pinch. Here’s that message from slide 17:

How To Get Lashings Of Inspiration- Whenever You Want It

Something powerful happened to me strolling through the streets of Rome in June. Crumbling grandeur, faded pastels, blue skies, Vespas aplenty. I sucked it all in and then, kapow, it happened. Here it is. It’s the secret to getting inspired.

I felt energised. My creative juices flowed. My heart beat a little faster. I kind of felt anything was possible. That I was invincible and that my journey had only just begun. It was a rare and special feeling. And I wanted more. And that’s the point. The environment lifted my spirits, but all I did was keep walking those streets, sucking in more of that feeling.

It’s not hugely helpful. You see- I don’t live in Rome. My life is elsewhere. I need to find my inspiration elsewhere. But how? Where? The answer on how to get inspiration whenever you want it is right here. It’s like flicking on a switch. And hey presto, here it is. This is how you do it. But beware. You might not like it much.

Read This If You Want To Keep Your Job This Christmas

This is a short, sharp Possums post. And please- share it with as many colleagues and teams as you can, and with anyone you care about. Because this is a powerful message which- if you screw it up- will have huge ramifications. Here it is.

I was reminded about this threat when visiting the Hunter Valley wine district this weekend to see the amazing Leonard Cohen in concert. As I relaxed over coffee the following morning, I looked up to see a message on the café wall. It kind of shocked me, because it reminded me of one of the most dangerous threats that December holds. I have seen many careers implode because of it, many great client relationships disappear. And we must make damned sure no-one makes this mistake on our team. Easier said than done, but it can be done. Here it is:

The Power In Doing This, Alone- And It’s No Fantasy

A movie on a flight from New Zealand last week reminded me of something I am simply not doing enough of in my life. I need it. I want it. It is all around me.
When I do it, it energies me. What about you? Do you need more of this too?

It was a second rate movie in many ways. “Night Train To Lisbon.” Based on an excellent book by Pascal Mercier, it tells of an aging, divorced and bored Swiss Classics teacher who saves a young woman about to suicide off a bridge. She is grateful, then runs away, leaving her jacket with him. In the pocket, a memoir of a Portuguese doctor from the 1970s, and a ticket for the night train to Lisbon, departing in 15 minutes. He rushes to the train station in a vain attempt to find the girl. Instead, as the train departs for Lisbon, he impulsively climbs on board.

And that is what I am not getting enough of in my life. It is there for all of us. In the words of the author Mercier (coincidentally, taken from later in the movie):

Usher, tattoos, taxis – three top tips to keep clients wanting more

By being in the mosh pit at rock concerts, I am a better, more ‘in demand’ and vibrant client adviser. Sounds weird? Maybe- but it’s true. Here’s why.

Pink’s was bouncy, young, optimistic, inspiring. Kings of Leon grungy, alcohol-city and smelling of vomit. I saw stuff at Usher I am still trying to process. Leonard Cohen? Well- the crowd was so old we were all seated! Point is- I learnt an enormous amount at every one of these events.

Here’s the rub. We have to work hard every day to ‘feed our minds’, and keep connected to the real world around us- the audiences and sub-cultures our clients or organisations are selling products to. Here are my three top tips to do just that…