Posted by on February 24, 2015 | 0 comments

Your Story Is Powerful

When I started writing my memoir three years ago I didn’t realise the far-reaching impact it would have. Not only has the process helped me to understand and ultimately make peace with a very challenging chapter of my life, the book has also brought the shortcomings of the healthcare system under public scrutiny. To think I simply set out to write my story! Our stories are valuable. They are treasure troves of insights, and they help to shed light on the many mysteries of our lives. They may even shed light on the challenges faced by other people and our society as a whole. So how do we uncover this treasure? It starts with the understanding of our lives as a narrative. Steve Jobs once said: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach...

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Posted by on February 18, 2015 | 0 comments

What Will You Die For?

At the Rivonia Trial in 1964 Nelson Mandela said the following from the dock: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” An ideal for which he was prepared to die. That’s a big deal, isn’t it? Doesn’t it make you wonder what you would die for? I have to be honest and say that the only thing I would be prepared to die for is my children. It sounds terribly self-serving, I know. But it’s the truth. I can’t imagine any ideal that would be so important that I would be prepared to put my life on the...

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Posted by on February 11, 2015 | 0 comments

How to Make Progress by Doing Nothing

Have you ever listened to a child trying to play the violin? They are so focused on playing the instrument that they rush in and scrape the bow enthusiastically on the strings, with the result that only a continuous stream of noise comes out. They don’t yet appreciate that, in addition to playing the notes, it is also important to observe the silence between them. I’ve had to learn the value of silence. I’ve led a pretty noisy existence for most of my life. Noisy in the sense of constant activity, with always something to pursue and achieve. It’s only in recent years that I’ve realised how important it is to take a break from all that frenetic activity. My approach to work has gone from GO-GO-GO in my twenties and thirties – which left me exhausted and ultimately burned out – to a more sensible GO-PAUSE-GO nowadays. And I’m much more productive as a result. The intervals in which I allow myself to do nothing have made a...

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Posted by on February 3, 2015 | 1 comment

How To Bounce Back From Rejection

In September 2010 I decided I wanted to write. I had never written narrative before or even had an interest in doing so. But out of the blue one morning I decided I wanted to write a novel and I enrolled on an ambitious challenge – to write a book in 100 days. I went for it with gusto and I completed the challenge within the allotted time. With the project completed I set my sights on getting the novel published. I was so proud of what I had written and I was convinced that publishers would be thrilled to receive my manuscript. I submitted the work and I waited to receive the offer to publish. They took their time getting back to me. In my excitement I assumed that they were ironing out the details of the publishing contract and the marketing campaign, and I was happy to wait for the good news to be made official. So imagine my shock when their email to me was one...

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