Archive for the ‘Life skills’ Category

Here we are in the middle of one of the major shopping periods – the January sales – in many parts of the world. So maybe it might be useful to count all our belongings.

What really belongs to us?  How much of our “stuff” is really ours. (more…)


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Ever wondered what to tell yourself and especially every younger person you know about how to live a great life? Then watch this video of Steve Jobs (creator of Apple) addressing graduating students at Standford University in which he tells three stories about life, love and death. Quick quotes (but watch the 15 minute video if you have time): (more…)

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The other day a friend amazed me by his casual statement that he was “killing time”. I know what he meant but I was appalled.  As someone who would happily have an extra 12 hours in every day, I find it hard to understand how time can become such a burden. (Though sometimes when meditating, the minutes can stretch into tortuous hours!)

Far be it from me to say how anyone should “spend” their time. Each one of us is different and only we can know what’s truly important in our own lives.  Yet we each receive 1440 minutes every day, 365 days in a year, and more than 18,000 days in the first half century of our lives.  So wouldn’t it be a pity to waste such opportunities by deliberately killing them?  If life is a gift, maybe it’s a good idea to ask ourselves from time to time how well we’re receiving it? (more…)

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Dennison’s Christmas To-Do List

1) Give or do something unexpected for a total stranger.

2) Just for the holidays, don’t speak a negative word  about anyone or anything.

3) Be truly grateful for what you have – however little, millions of others have even less.

4) Laugh.

5) If you’re going to kill a turkey, relish eating it – don’t let the animal’s death be in vain.

6) Give yourself a gift. It could be the most precious gift of all – TIME.

7) Get a head start on 2010 – adopt one New Year’s Resolution on Christmas Eve.

8) Throw out two items for every new one that comes into your life during the holidays.

9) It’s okay not to gave someone a gift on Christmas morning if they know you love them 365 days a year.

10) Turn off the TV and the computer – for one whole day.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Dennison Berwick

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“A View from the Ridge” by Morris West

If you don’t immediately recall the name Morris West from reading some of his 20 novels, it’s almost certain that you’ve seen the films made from “The Shoes of the Fisherman” or “The Devil’s Advocate”.
Morris West sold many millions of books.  His stories always had a spiritual dimension and were easy to read, engrossing and often thought provoking. (more…)

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Shackleton’s Way, Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer, Margot Morrell & Stephanie Capparell.

How can we become better leaders – even if our team consists only of one? This fascinating book and highly readable book explores the leadership and management style of famed Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who brought 27 men home after two years marooned on the ice.

The book tells extraordinary Shackleton’s story and draws the lessons we can learn about hiring and creating camaraderie, leading in a crisis, forming teams for tough assignments, overcoming obstacles and leaving a legacy. “Shackleton was an average person; he taught himself to be an exceptional one,” write the authors. He led by example. He prepared for the worst and never let the impossibility of a situation defeat him. “Optimism is true moral courage,” said Shackleton.

Shackleton failed in all his major goals – his ship sank even before he reached Antarctica, yet his legacy is a supreme example of imagination, courage, humanity and hard work.  If you want to lead yourself to greatness (in business, family life or on expeditions) this books deserves serious study on how to do it.

Published by Penguin.  $15

Buy now: Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer

© Dennison Berwick 2007

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Working for a living beside the Mekong river in Phnom Penh

Shame on me that I cannot tell you the name of the man in this photo.  We met in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia in South-East Asia.  I was walking along the boulevard beside the Mekong River when I saw him and approached.  I do not give money to beggars – thousands of children work the streets in Phnom Penh and keep little of the money they are given by tourists.  Yet, this man was not begging.  I noticed immediately that he was in business. (more…)

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