Posted by on November 27, 2014 | 0 comments

Stop Trying To Find The Right Job

Career guidance is a massive industry. From psychometric tests to skills assessments, Enneagrams to aptitude tests, there are countless ways to find your “right” work. Career counsellors abound and hundreds of books have been written on the subject. This clearly points to a need in so many of us to find and do meaningful work that makes the most of our skills and talents. What if we are going about this the wrong way? Could it be that, instead of trying to find the right work, we would be better served by letting our work find us? Let me give you an example from my own life. I never wanted to be writer; it was never on my top 10 list of dream careers. Like many people I figured I would write something “some day”, when I had retired from “real” work and had plenty of time on my hands. Instead writing came to find me. It’s calling card was in the form of a pamphlet for a writing...

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Posted by on November 18, 2014 | 2 comments

How To Get Good At Anything

Ever wondered why the self-help industry is booming? It’s because millions of people – myself included – want a quick fix. “If I read this book or try that method, my life will surely work out”. I’ve been trying for ages to establish a meditation routine. And I mean ages! Over the years I’ve tried various methods – from listening to guided meditations to following my breath to chanting a mantra. I’ve had fleeting moments of stillness, but more often than not my mind has been the playground of a troupe of chattering monkeys. Then the other day I figured it out – there’s no “magic formula”. One method is probably as effective as the next. What matters is practise – actually doing the work. The problem with practise, of course, is that it’s hard. It often feels like a chore, you’re never any good at it at the start, and it’s only by consistently engaging in the particular activity that you start to reap the benefits. I don’t...

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Posted by on November 11, 2014 | 0 comments

The Power of Sharing Our Stories

You never know what people are going through. I had a stark reminder of this when I went away on retreat two weeks ago. One evening at dinner a group of women arrived and on first glance they looked as if they were there for a good time. I found myself feeling very annoyed as they settled into a table next to mine, ordering a bottle of wine and chatting and laughing loudly. From the lofty heights of my high horse they were behaving in a manner that was unbecoming of the serene environment of a retreat! The following morning as I made my way to the gardens I walked through the library and there they were again, but this time the setting was very different. A number of the women were crying, and the rest were huddled around them in support. Gosh, I hadn’t expected that! There was clearly some deep emotional issue that they were grappling with. Whenever I saw the group after that I noticed that...

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Posted by on November 4, 2014 | 1 comment

Face Your Fear of Public Speaking

If you had asked me a year ago how I would feel about standing up and speaking in front of hundreds of people – without the crutch of notes or a flashy PowerPoint presentation – I would have said outright: No Ways! Public speaking has always been one of my least favourite activities in the world, ever since a particularly painful incident in high school when my mind went completely blank during the final stages of a speech contest. From then on I told myself that I couldn’t – and wouldn’t – speak in front of an audience. And yet on the 21st August 2014 I did it. I stood up and spoke in front of hundreds of people at TEDx Johannesburg. What’s more – I loved it! Was I nervous? Of course! Did I wonder how I would speak for 17 minutes without tripping over my lines? Absolutely! But here’s the thing, the big breakthrough for me in this whole experience – I didn’t allow fear to stop...

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