(Or at least: how we react to change)

This often happens: when we are confronted by sudden and unexpected change, instead of launching straight into action, we staImagert off by going into DENIAL – “This can’t be happening to me – it’s not happening to me!” You react by denying that the situation is happening. In coaching, we call this: “Possum frozen in the headlights”

The next stage, RESISTANCE, is where you experience emotion – sometimes fiery, sometimes feelings of heaviness and great +sadness – this is the stage where you experience intenseImage emotion about your situation. The phrase: “Better out than in” is appropriate in this stage, because until you experience your emotions fully, you stay stuck in resistance.

After you work your way through your emotional rollercoaster in resistance, then you will eventually reach an experImageience of Acceptance of the situation as it is …and then, and only then, you are able to explore options and start to develop a plan. That’s because you can’t think clearly through the processes of Denial and Resistance.  Only when you come to accept what’s so, can you begin to think clearly and resourcefully.  Welcome to your realm of personal brilliance.

The next stage, you are Committed and in action, working the plan.  Getting to this place sometimes takes some time, the morImagee you understand the different stages, the more able you are to push yourself through this cycle.  Your trick is to keep your awareness

 Sometimes our bodies take us through the cycle of change so we can adapt to changes that are too big, too traumatic to handle.

What are your thoughts about you and your circumstances? Let us know themotivationclinic@gmail.com






Your Communication Audit

Misunderstandings happen all the time with humans.

The main reason is that we assume that if  we think something and we open our mouth and say what we think, that the person we are talking to will understand us.

Do you want to dramatically reduce the misunderstandings you experience in your life and work with other humans?

Do you want to communicate more effectively with up to 75% more humans?

Here’s a great resource to help you do this – do the communication audit!

AddsValueBiz Communication Audit!


Let me know how you go with this.  email me

Wake Up!!! Denial spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R-!

Denial is such a subtle process.

You ask business people how they are going and they usually say to your face things like:


Never better!

Always good!

…but get them alone in a corner and they confide about how the tough economic environment is affecting them.

A friend of mine recently answered to the question “how are things going in your business?” with a cheery “Well, I’ve lost a million!”

And he really has.

….but his frank admission is said with clear eyes and yes, he is engaged in putting strategies into action.

It’s not a good time for gloss and floss – that may work in good times, but in tough times it just doesn’t wash!

What are you doing different to deal with these times?

How are you adapting to a different marketplace with different needs?

Do you know about the cycle of adapting to change?

Generally, when a change happens to us, we react by going through four different emotional stages.

The first stage in the cycle of adapting to change is Denial.

We pretend that everything is okay, we pretend that we feel great about things, we put on a brave face and forget that it’s all a sham and pretence. Remember how the Ostrich acts when they see a lion? You know what the lion thinks when he sees an Ostrich with it’s head in the sand?…….Fast Food!

This is the same for business owners as it is for employees – Denial spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R-!

Last week the papers had a notable number of articles about retirement. One such article was about a group of people who were angrily protesting that there should be money given for retirement. They were adamant and passionate, notwithstanding that there is a global financial uncertainty on at the moment.

Resistance is the next stage after Denial in the cycle of adapting to change.

People get angry. People vent their emotions. Fist shaking and harsh words are often impotent expressions that fall on deaf ears and usually have no positive effect at all.

If you get stuck in Resistance, you will not move forward and you will lose friends along the way.

These days, Resistance is spelt the same for business owners as individual employees – I-M-P-O-T-E-N-T F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N-!

The next stage in the cycle of adapting to change is Considering Options – this is where you have gone through denial, broken through your resistance and are now in a place where you can entertain a range of options to deal.

Time to think outside the box, talk to people who challenge you and offer suggestions, time to list every option, even the wild cards. Time to clarify what your objective is and consider which option or combination of options will work best for you….

Creating Options is spelt T-H-I-N-K-I-N-G D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T-L-Y-!

The next stage of adapting to change is Action.

You choose the combination of options that make up your plan for your work – and then you work your plan.

Action is spelt F-O-C-U-S-E-D H-A-R-D W-O-R-K-!

…That’s how you survive and thrive in tough marketplaces!

Are you looking to find your motivation?  Let me know.  themotivationclinic@gmail.com

A chat about Culture in a Multi-Cultural City

I love exploring other people’s culture – it fascinates me.

It’s because I grew up in a neighbourhood where there were Italians, Greeks and one family of Chinese. I grew up sharing their points of view, their food and their family structures.

But maybe it’s because my mother and father came from different cultures. That was hard for me to realise when I was young – they were both white, they both spoke English, they both identified as being Australian. But I also grew up hearing my own mum’s family and some of my friends when they met my Dad, that he was a “Bloody Pom”.

My mum’s side were fifth generation Australians who’d forgotten their Geordie heritage. My dad had been adopted as a baby and grew up identifying as a Londoner and a “Cockney”

I could never hear my dad’s accent – he didn’t have one as far as I was concerned. Besides, he was a proud soldier who went off to fight in the Second World War for his country – of course he was Australian. How could he not be Australian?

He used to tell the story about how he arrived in post First World Australia. The Australians were bitter and angry about Gallipoli and hadn’t forgiven the English.

Dad, at sixteen had scored himself a job in a factory. On his first day at work, a man came up and tried to start a fight with him. My dad, a bruiser who’d had a hard life in London – said; “Let’s sort it outside after work” The man agreed and at the end of the day, Dad was waiting for him outside of work.

What happened next was a surprise.

All the men and women came out and stopped, looking at my father. Then they picked up stones and started stoning him. “What did you do then Dad?” each time I’d  ask and he’d always say with a grin: “I picked up stones and threw them right back at them!”

I never forgave the Australians for this. And yet I was an Australian.  My family was Australian. It was my first experience of paradox.

Years later in my twenties, I was staying in a boarding house in India with a bunch of English guys the same age as me. It was remarkable to me how well I got on with these guys. It was like coming home. My father had transferred his culture to me.  It explained to me why I’d always felt different at school.

So culture was a conversation with me from an early age. It absolutely fascinated me.

After my wife and I married, we lived in New Zealand for 14 years.  Every time I opened my mouth, people knew I was an Australian.  If they were polite, they would say “We won’t hold that against you!” or if they wanted to have a go at me they’d say “You’re a bloody Aussie are you?”  I’d always think of my dad picking up the stones and throwing them right back.

Now I’m back in Sydney again, I’m seeing  that everything has changed.

But still nothing has changed.  People are still judging each other by their ethnicity.

We are told we should be tolerant, but are discouraged about being too interested in people’s culture.

I mean, our media thrives on beating up and promoting conflict in our community, instead of publicizing the things that are working in our communities. Radio shock jocks spit bile and mainstream media slips the old racist message under the radar.

Let’s rise above this low level of relating to each other.

Let’s learn from each other and build a community that we can all be proud of.

Let me know what you think.

You ready to forgive?

Forgive is a verb, not a noun.

Michelle Knight is an amazing and inspiring example of this.

After enduring 11 years of abuse and suffering, she claims that she has forgiven her captor, Ohio kidnapper – Ariel Castro.

Shows you what you can do if you set your mind to it.

That is simply amazing.

Are you ready to forgive someone?

Here’s a link to our very effective forgiveness letter:

Completion with anyone Letter

…just add your commitment to completion.

If we want to be free, we have to forgive.

Let us know how you go themotivationclinic@gmail.com


An act of generosity can change lives.

My brother was 11 years older than me. He used to take care of me and play with me as a baby boy. When he started noticing girls, he realised they gave him attention when he had his baby brother around, so I got to spend quite a bit of time with him, helping him score points with the girls.
I grew up idolising him. He was my hero. There was no-one I would rather be with. The home was a brighter place when he was there. I loved my brother with passion.
He would tell exciting stories about his adventures at school, of his amazing friends and the fun they had together. I would go to sleep thinking about the interesting and exciting lives of my brother and his friends.
When he finished school, there was a big change. He started an apprenticeship in the city. He was 17 and was playing a bigger game. The stories he told were of a new environment, with new challenges and fascinating new things to learn.
He no longer finished school at the same time as us. We had to wait an extra two hours before he came home. So I used to slip away from home and walk down to meet him at the train station. We would walk home and talk about anything that came into our heads.
I used to love hearing about what his work was like, what he was working with and who he was working with. He used to have lots of great stories about what he and the other apprentices would get up to in the day.
One day I showed up at the station and it was his first pay day. At six year old, I didn’t even have a concept of what that was. We stopped on the way home at the bicycle shop. We often did that, looking at the shining new bikes and the impressive array of spare parts and upgrades.
He asked me that day what I really wanted next for my bike. He wanted to know what would be a massive improvement of my bike.
I pointed out a pair of rubber coated handlebars I’d been fantasizing about for months – they were called “Skid bars” and to me they were the ultimate cool. One day, I told myself, someday, I would get myself a pair of those bars.
He said “Okay” and then walked in in and bought it for me.
I was speechless. I was holding the object of my desire in my hands…and they were mine.
My brother asked me what I wanted…and then he gave it to me. I’d never had something like this ever happen before. Life just wasn’t like this.
That day my bother turned my life upside down. It was an act of generosity and care that opened up my life to new possibilities.
I will never, ever forget that.
A couple of Christmases ago, my good friend Kevin threw a work party where he said a condition of coming was that we give someone $20 and come and tell everyone what happened.
I walked around with that $20 in my pocket for a couple of days. Then I saw a guy sitting on a blanket on the street begging. I chose to give it to him.

As I walked toward him, I slipped into the moment, with everything slowing down and becoming crystal clear, hyper reality. He didn’t know what was going to happen. He looked up at me and asked for some spare coins not expecting much at all, probably expecting another no from someone who didn’t care.
I gave him the $20. He looked at it with disbelief. He leaped up and shook my hand and said “Thank you mate!”, picked up his blanket and walked purposefully to God knows where. At that moment, I’d become part of his life.

(And when I just wrote “shook my hand” in this story; my computer’s predictive text suggestion was “Handlebars”. Go figure. Life is absolutely amazing.)

An act of generosity is it’s own reward. For an instant, your life isn’t about your own needs, it’s something way more than that.

I now know that moment in the bike shop had changed my brother’s life as well.

Want to find your motivation?  let me know themotivationclinic@gmail.com


Don’t miss out on what’s going on right now…

Sooner or later, let yourself be…

When you have tears, let them flow gratefully,

When you are hurting, bleed fully and thankfully,

When you are angry, let it rip, fully and unswervingly,

When you are blue, embrace your blueness wholeheartedly,

Even when you are beating yourself up, do so with mindfulness,

…‘cause this is all you got,

This really is it.

And if you don’t let it be, who do you really get to be?

Let yourself ooze outside of the box,

Be free of the dogma that says how you “should” be,

Let yourself be.

Just who and what you are.

Just love yourself, for who you are, this is your story, don’t let anyone steal it from you.

…do that, and your journey of discovery begins.


Hey – being yourself leads you to your motivation.

You are in the right place here – you are starting a the start – let us know what you think on themotivationclinic@gmail.com




Your Comfort Zone

Everyone has a little room behind their eyeballs.

Most of us have made it really cozy. We sit in a big Lazy Boy chair, sitting opposite a warm fire, with our chair with it’s back facing the window to outside.
We’re not interested in what’s going on outside of our eyes. Your attention is usually glued to a TV above the fireplace that plays the same old, same old re-runs of your life, over and over again.
This little room is what we lovingly call: “Our Comfort Zone”.
Life here is totally predictable, it feels absolutely safe and sound.

Your TV shows are all from your early years – re-runs of events where you made decisions about what life is and what works to ensure your survival.

You never question these shows, you just watch them over and over, believing them to be real and relevant for your life today.

Some of us however, want more. We get up from the chair and take our attention from the TV screen to the lens of our eyes. We look out of our lens and try to see life as it really is. Life outside starts to mean more to us than the re-runs on the comfy TV.
In fact, those of us who choose to live outside of their comfort zones, start to get passionate about what’s happening outside.  We press our faces against the lens of the eyeball straining to see more, feel more and just be more aware and involved in what’s going on!
One of us craves comfort.  The other seeks reality.
Which one of us will handle change in the world better and faster?
Which one of us will achieve a life that we love?
Which one of us will have relationships with others that are responsive, intimate and lots of fun?
I believe that your life begins on the edge of your comfort zone, with you gazing out into the world, looking for what is so, checking the validity of what you have been trained to think.
Your comfort zone looks like to me to be a cushy jail sentence, a solitary confinement that sentences you to a mindless following of your childhood decisions, repeating your life over and over and over….
“Peace is not sitting out on a beach, but being at peace amidst the hassle and madness!”
Pink Floyd’s “Comfortabl;y Numb” is well worth a look if you want encouragement to live on the edge of your comfort zone!
Want to find your motivation?  Let me know if you do: themotivationclinic@gmail.com

A crucial process you need to know about if you are married and stuck in a cycle…

It’s a concept that I first heard from an American pastor, Emerton Eggerich who has based his church upon the principles of Love and Respect.

It’s rooted in the biblical stories from Paul, where it states that a man craves respect from a woman and a woman craves love from a man.

I’ve asked rooms full of people the question:  “What does a man want from a woman – what does he really, really want?”

Most women say that men only want one thing…but respect is the last thing they think a man wants.

When I ask the men what women want, a similar misunderstanding is obvious.

The answer is usually physical comforts, such as a home, security, clothes, jewellery, shoes…most men miss out that women really want to feel loved by their man.

So, if you can accept that this is true, lets observe a process that all married men and woman go through that Emerton Eggerich calls the “Crazy Cycle”:

ImageYou have a couple.  This cycle can start anywhere.  Let’s start it with the man, who starts feeling, probably for no reason at all, that his wife doesn’t respect and appreciate him for who he is and what he does for her and the family.  When this happens, a man usually starts building a wall around himself to protect him from his wife’s disrespect.

When a woman notices that her husband is building a wall around himself, she starts to feel a lack of love from him and strangely enough, when a woman is feeling a lack of love from her husband, she reacts by being disrespectful.  (Now it’s amazing that this concept is coming from a religion, because one has to assume that God has designed this cycle so perfectly!)

As soon as the man realises that his wife is behaving disrespectfully to him, he starts building the wall higher and  hides even more diligently behind his wall.  When his wife sees this behavior, she feels even less love coming from her husband so she amps up her disrespect.

It’s volatile, it feeds upon itself and it’s usually totally irrational and caused by an innocent misunderstanding.

How do  you get off the Crazy Cycle?

One of you needs to get off it.  One of you has to start loving in the face of disrespect.  One of you has to start respecting in the face of feeling a lack of love.


It takes understanding.  Faith.  Guts.  Conviction.

Check out Emerton Eggerich‘s website.  Google the crazy cycle.  There’s lots of material about it.

But most of all, notice when you are in it.  That will help you set yourself free from it.

If you want to know more about releasing your human handbrake, email me on themotivationclinic@gmail.com.


Have You Noticed how Helpful Businesses are Being?

For years I’ve met people who are totally demotivated by marketing because they see it as a shallow manipulation.

If you feel like that, then there’s good news in a conference I went to last night; an Business Innovation Forum event sponsored by the Australian bank Westpac that was all about what Seth Godin calls Permission Marketing.ImageImage

Three inspiring and rambunctious speakers who are walking their talk, a team of passionate (yes I did say passionate!) bankers, (a term usually referred to as an oxymoron), LinkedIn and Google had stands and there was a wide range of business guests, all exploring the brave new world of permission marketing in the social media sphere.

These events are always good for SME business owners to step aside from the cut and thrust…but this event had so much good news for us in business.

For instance:
The three speakers: the delightfully on fire and creative Nahji Chu, AKA Mama Chu, branding maven and who was awarded the “Potty Mouth” award of the night by the following speaker: the inspirational and unbelievably persistent Brad Smith a 25 year old Tazzie boy who founded his own motorcycle brand; ’braap’ and the raucously fabulous Tim Reid of the very helpful Small Business, Big Marketing Show.

LinkedIn were taking free professional photo shots, Google were answering questions and the bank were showcasing their culture of helpfulness in an informal Westpac lounge as well as a couple of stands showing the bank’s commitment to being an accessable and trusted advisor in your business and personal banking affairs. Impressive!

Here’s a short clip about their Davidson Institute (sorry, sound quality is not good.) – for God’s sake, they are opening up their vault of financial wizardry secrets to you…for free!! This must be having the financial consultants scrambling to catch up with this change that they have previously charged you good money for.

Hey – I’m motivated!