Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Are You Still Relevant?

May 29, 2014

Time-to-Adapt-350x173For many of us this is a very tough question to answer.  I mean at some point we are all very relevant but to answer this question we might have to admit we no longer are.

How many companies do you know are still trying to thrive on yesterday’s success only to find out their customers have long moved on?  How many relationships die because the wants and needs of their partners have changed?

A favourite quote of mine is “A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn!” – Helen Keller.

And how often have we all failed to see that life is changing around us?  How often do we hang on to yesterday’s successes even though they no longer mean a thing?  Now my rant here is not to humble or humiliate anyone it’s to offer a wake-up call to the world.


So respect it and leverage it while you can and then it’s time to move on.  It’s time to re-invent your relevance, it’s time to create that next new brilliant moment and re-invent that shine you buried deep inside.  Your relevance is a muscle that needs to be exercised on a regular basis and the only one who can do it is you.

But let me share another paradox to being relevant and that is the number of people I meet who don’t even realize how relevant they are.  They are blind to the gifts they bring to others.  They spend much of their life wishing they were better, smarter, faster and more successful yet those of us around them wish they could see what we see.  To me, being relevant isn’t a fad or cool moment it’s the value that we offer to others in the world we share.  It’s the inspiration, motivation, intellect that inspires others to want to follow you and say, “Hey you make my world a better place!”  If people are telling you, you are relevant then listen to them.  Relevance isn’t something you decide it’s what others decide about you!

So do me a favour and take some time today to ask yourself (and maybe others) these few powerful questions.

1)   Am I still relevant in my work, my home and my relationships?
2)  What do I need to change in order to ensure I always am?
3)  Am I blind to the relevance I offer others?

I read a quote a few months back that really struck a chord.  “A dog is often a big part of your life but to the dog you are their life!”  How is that for being relevant?  Never take for granted who you are today and what you may mean to others!

Here’s to your relevance however you define it!  Thanks Rachael for kicking my butt you see I really was listening!


Do you have a song in your heart?

September 7, 2012

This week as I prepare to take my son Jonathan to see KISS in concert I thought what a great time to talk about the power of music and the impact it can have on your life.

I have to tell you I could write a rock opera with the songs that play in my mind all the time!  Don’t laugh music is great therapy no matter what’s going on in your life.  Music can energize, sooth, motivate, stimulate, calm, strengthen, you name the emotion, music can take you there instantly!  For me, if you live with a song in your heart you always have a safe place to call home.   If you have pressure or need to prepare for an important meeting try using music to change your mood.

On days when I am speaking I am often humming “Start Me Up.”  In fact, it would be very rare for me to not wake with that song on my mind.  Music has that wonderful way of pulling you out of the moment and giving you the confidence to launch forward into a better and more powerful place. Personally, I sing all the time, not well, but I sing nonetheless.  I truly love being at the beach looking out at the water and singing at the top of my lungs.  This summer I rode my bike in the early hours listening and singing to my list of the ultimate tunes.  Everyone one has their own special relationship with music and I am here to remind you to take the time to connect with the songs in your world.   

So this month instead trying to write philosophical dribble drabble I thought I would share my philosophy in the spirit of song and share  just a few that have shaped who I am.  You can check them out on YouTube.

For me, dreaming is where it all begins because if you can’t imagine your future you will never get there to enjoy it the way you want.  This song has been on my 8-track, cassette tape, record player, Walkman and I-pod since I was 15.

I often speak of the power of reflection, just taking time to be one with your thoughts and to give yourself permission to process them and let go of those things holding you back.

I had the honour and great fortune to be in Australia when this song was released for the first time and became a mega hit (and Australian anthem). If you listen to the words and take them in then nothing can or will stand in your way because you truly are the voice!

Call me philosophical but making today a great day really is your choice.  I have a brother who died at the age of 41 who would trade with you any day if you ever lose sight with that idea.

On one of my last days at Microsoft I said goodnight to one of the co-op students.  I never did see her again as she was killed instantly on her drive home that night.  What a bitter reminder to never take for granted the things that make you sing out loud, so kiss your kids, hug your spouse, tell a stranger something to make them smile and always remember that the things you love dearly can disappear quickly with no opportunity for a proper goodbye.

Just imagine marrying the girl of your dreams, aging 22 years by her side, testing every limit you can possibly imagine and still being able to lay beside her each and every night extremely happy with the decision you made.  I still sing this song with as much passion and enthusiasm as I did on the day we married.

This is your life go sing it proud!

Are You Letting Anger Get The Best Of You?

June 27, 2012

I woke up this morning wondering how one starts an article on anger.  I knew the why but I was stuck on the how at least until I got thinking about our late dog Cursha.  Cursha was a great black lab, friendly, loving and very faithful.  She and I used to play Frisbee all the time and she was an amazing catcher and then my job was to wrestle the Frisbee out of her mouth.  Since both of us were ultra competitive it was always a battle but in the end I often won.  One day, quite by accident, Cursha bit me when trying to re-grip on the Frisbee.  Without thought I took the Frisbee and smacked her hard across the head.  I am not proud but I was angry and I acted on my raw instinct.  I knew I hurt Cursha but I quickly reasoned it was OK, this wasn’t personal, she bit me and it really hurt!  Within seconds I realized my mistake and I tried hugging and kissing her to tell my best friend how sorry I was but it was too late.  Cursha never played Frisbee with me again.    I have always regretted that I let anger get the best of me that day and live with regret that I never did play Frisbee with Cursha again.

Interestingly enough when people get angry they take it out on those who care the most about them and whom they themselves care the most about.  You know that lucky inner circle called family, lovers and friends who get to see the real deal behind your walls.  I think of all the kids who grow up with no self esteem or belief in themselves because their Mom or Dad lived angry lives.  The parents weren’t angry at their kids yet anger showed in how they communicated their love.  The reality is, no matter what you say anger is always personal whether you intend it to be or not.  It’s like giving freely of your love but telling everyone not to accept it because it’s not really for them.

I am very lucky that I seldom get angry but when I do I become irrational, hurtful and vengeful because anger is a powerful emotion and it can and will blind us all.

Job loss can trigger anger because of the stress it creates in our world.  One can stress about the unfairness, finances, self worth, loss of purpose, or the almost instant dysfunction one can feel in their personal relationships.   Through meeting with hundreds of executives in career transition I can tell you anger can quickly seep into the fabric of our being and once there it is a bugger to get rid of and can do “unintentional” lasting damage.

While I don’t pretend to be the expert on anger I do have an opinion I believe worthy of sharing.  First off, consider anger a passion emotion gone totally awry.  Much like love is the ultimate pleasure emotion; anger is the ultimate and most destructive one.  Both are brought out by a passionate feeling deep inside.  I believe managing anger is a personal responsibility, so never ever ask others to be accepting of yours.  Part of the solution in my mind is making a simple decision to never let anger get the best of you.  Admit anger is wrong and can never be tolerated again in your world.  Making that unwavering commitment is like a building a muscle and it will grow over time as you continue to find positive ways to manage your feelings.  Much like the alcoholic there is no middle of the road alternative because once you give it a reason to be, it will take control.  Consider walking, running, or any high activity pleasure because this will release endorphins that break anger down.  Take time every day to find peace and love because these things will always sooth your soul.  One thing I have noticed is angry people have little time to relax and find joy.

If you experience anger more than a few times a month (and I am being generous here) then let me be really clear, you have a serious anger problem that needs to be fixed.  Take responsibility for your emotions; seek help (including professional) before you damage your own human spirit and those who have come love you.    I do believe that even taking a simple breath or shifting thoughts is one of the best remedies to ever be found.

Anger can strike much like lightening whereby pent up energy builds and it needs to be released.  Anger often manifests because of a personal conflict in dealing with reality.  I would love to say life is easy and without bumps but it never is and never will be.  What can and always will help us is the way we manage what we do in angry times.  I am a big believer in always asking about the positive intent in every one of life’s little setbacks.  So what if you started to believe that every thing happens for a positive reason?  If people are driving you crazy, ask what is the positive intent that they are trying to accomplish.  If you truly can’t find one, then you know what you should be doing with those people in your life.  What is the positive reason you haven’t found work?  Is life telling you it’s time to shift or you need to do more?

Remember anger is also an ugly deceiver and it wants you to see all the ugly there is.  Since your view of the world is filtered through your emotions anger can and will give you a false and de-habilitating feedback of who you are and what others mean to you.  Anger will often tell you that there is only one thing you are mad at, yet when you solve that, anger instantly pops up in another place and time.  So anger is seldom about something in the here and now.  What anger is doing is telling you that there is significant inner turmoil that needs to be resolved.  Anger will also try to convince you that it’s a part of your DNA and you are simply wired to get angry.  However, in all my research I have found nothing in our genes, our drinking water or the food we eat that says we need to be angry people, so simply make a die hard commitment to saying an angry existence is wrong and it has never solved anything.

There is hope though because with practice and commitment all of us can train ourselves with strategies to ride through our most angry times and learn to shine.  We need to surround ourselves with positive energy, we need to ask ourselves if this emotion is really worth feeling or is it better to simply let it go.  It may sound cliché but don’t get sucked in to sweating the small stuff!

Sometimes it would seem people get angry just for the sake of being angry.  One friend I knew was angry because they were never left alone, then one day they were alone and they immediately got angry because no one was there. I still shake my head and wonder why.

A great friend often reminds me that the key is you must always speak your future.  If you think and talk in anger, then ugliness and darkness will prevail.  Conversely if you throw out positive vibes to the universe they are echoed and magnified on their return.

This month I want you to take a serious check on your anger and ask what it’s doing to your spirit, and to those who mean the most to you.  Then I want you to rise to the occasion, get the help that you need, and take back what is yours, a peaceful, comfortable and happy existence.  You deserve it; those who love you deserve it and its time to make inner happiness a part of your reality!

P.S.  I am a believer you should never live with regret and anger makes us regret what we have done.  


May 19, 2011

I wrote this for a special friend.  I hope they listen!

It takes but a moment, yet it gives you a lifetime.
It refreshes, cleanses and restores your perspective.
It clears your head when thoughts grow foggy.
It calms your nerves when all else caves in.
If you took but one piece of advice, it would be always to breathe.

It’s like walking on a fresh spring morning, where flowers blossom and beauty abounds.
It’s the secret in life that’s so often forgotten.
Trust me on this one and enjoy every breath you take.

Breathing is the celebration of ones mortal existence.
It’s like filling your body with a fresh new beginning.
Breathing gives you the right to take a step back and soak it all in.
It affords you the time to set your mind right.

So do me a favour and please do it for me.
Take a moment right now to enjoy all that God gave you
Just stop what you are doing and just take time to breathe.

Written by: Curt Skene (image provided by

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