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Saturday Musings - Business Training...

Training for a hike is just like business.

The other day I was out training with my wife and a couple of friends as we hiked through the Silvan forest in the Dandenong ranges. It's all a part of the training for a 5-day hike of the Milford Track on the South Island of New Zealand at the end of February.

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Our friends had selected this day’s hike, and all was going well. Sure, we had some gentle ups and downs but even with a 5Kg pack on my back I thought it was more like a walk in the park. After about an hour of tramping through the wilderness we came to the base of a hill where the track effectively went straight up…..gulp!

When I say straight up, I mean at about a 50% angle. After about 100 meters I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t seem to get enough oxygen into my lungs and I would have been quite happy to sit down and “look at the view” for about ten minutes or so.

Up until this point I’d been going to the gym on a regular basis and Roselyn and I had been doing regular walks on relatively level ground. Being tested with the hill was quite a shock to the system as I realised that there was a new level of fitness that I needed to achieve. It was at this point that it started drizzling.

There was only one thing to it…..put up with the drizzle and just press on. But like they say, what goes up must come down. The other side of the hill was the equivalent downward stretch that tested my knees and proved to me that the tear in the meniscus in my left knee was either healed or about to rip again. I decided it was better to find out on this walk then on the one in New Zealand.

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Saturday Musings - Putting the Christ Back into Christmas

Christmas - love, compassion and sacrifice.

I do apologise if I offend anyone in this post….it is not my intention. Over the years I’ve noticed that Christmas has become more about commercialism and political correctness than it is about the true spirit of Christmas and the reason for it’s being.

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Christmas is a derivation of two words, “Christ’s mass”. According to etymology, Christmas is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038 followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131.

Christmas is all about Christ and the spirit of love, compassion and the ultimate sacrificial gift that he brought to the world. When I say, “Merry Christmas” to someone I’m wishing all of these Christ-like blessings upon them.

Whether you are a Christian, of some other faith or of no faith at all, you would have to acknowledge the fact that there was an extremely influential man about 2,000 years ago that walked the earth. Our whole dating system has been based upon him. BC is Before Christ and AD anno-domini or “in the year of our Lord”. In fact, many historians now acknowledge there is more historical evidence for Christ than there is for Julius Caesar.

If someone wishes you “Merry Christmas” they aren’t trying to force their faith upon you but rather wish you rich blessings. Likewise, if a person of Islamic faith says, “The peace of the prophet be upon you,” then I wouldn’t get upset either. They are wishing blessings upon you from their perspective and we should respect the giver and the gift appropriately.

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Saturday Musings – Achieving a Breakthrough

Achieve your breakthrough - attend Namescon!

I had a really good night last night. At 3am in the morning I was doing some development (yes….I am one of those founders that still does programming) and I’d finally wrangled a report to display exactly what I wanted it to show. Sounds pretty boring but trust me when I say that it was nothing short of euphoric!

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Programming is one of those strange disciplines where often a huge amount of work goes into something with nothing to show for the effort. Suddenly, at the end of it all a real breakthrough is achieved as the myriad of bits and pieces suddenly come together to make something beautiful.

It’s like an artist that starts painting a masterpiece from the edges and slowly works towards the centre. No one knows what he has in his mind until the finished result is hung on the wall but once it’s up everyone smiles and sees the brilliance of it.....so I thought!

So the next day I proudly showed my wife and daughters my programming Picasso. “Hey look at this report and what these buttons can do,” I proudly announced.

I don’t even think the ongoing conversation missed a beat as they glanced at my phone, smiled politely and continued on. That’s the thing about brilliance…..not many people see it as amazing, let alone as a monumental breakthrough.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to transport the current generation back in time to using DOS and a pager. None of this “user interface” stuff that takes forever to develop….let them feel the power that comes from remembering that “format c:” is probably a bad idea.

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Saturday Musings - Dealing With Bad Behaviour

Cutting through the emotional FOG is difficult.

Do you ever put up with people that just treat you badly? Maybe their work colleagues, friends or even family members. They seem to believe that they can treat you in whatever manner they like, while you have to obey a series of rules that they impose upon you.

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I had a situation like this and it was really perplexing how to first of all identify the bad behaviour and then take action to prevent it from happening in the future. Remember, you can never change the other person, but you can change your own behaviour in how you will relate to them into the future.

As a part of my research into how to deal with my own personal situation I read a great article that really helped me in identifying bad behaviour. In essence the article pointed out that when you feel confused in a personal situation that it’s often due to FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt).

Fear – the other person tries to level a degree of fear on your life. This could be fear of losing a client, job, a loved one or anything that will make you apprehensive.

Obligation – they will then explain in detail how you owe them or others and that you should alter your behaviour accordingly.

Guilt – making you feel guilty for not doing something they want you to do is a great weapon in their arsenal. They will often say things like, “How do you think this will impact your children?” See this for what it is, guilt.

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Rawgi
Having dealt with a bully in the workplace, it can be frustrating, but the best advice is to remove yourself from the situation.... Read More
21 March 2019
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Saturday Musings – When Your Body Says, “My Turn!”

Being sick is not fun!

This past week was pretty tough for me. My wife Roselyn was sick with the flu and kindly shared it with our daughters. Afterall, sharing is caring right? So there I was quarantining myself in my study thinking that I’d dodged a viral bullet when I sneezed.

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There’s something about that first sneeze that caused me to instantly reflect upon whether I’d forgotten to sanitise my hands after dealing with one of the other three germ buckets in the household. Heedless of my reflection my body went into overdrive to try and combat the microbial attack.

For several days I felt like a billion tiny invaders were trying to pull me down but like a trooper my brain said “No” and I kept on working. It’s times like this that some of us need to get a revelation about the fact that our brain is merely a passenger in our body and sometimes the body steps in to say it’s in charge……so day three comes around.

Under the unending onslaught my body told my brain that it’d had enough and so I spent half the day sleeping. I woke up to a throbbing headache, a nose that dripped like a tap and eyes that felt like they were exploding in my skull.

Not to mention the itchy ears. What is it with itchy ears anyway? How on earth can you scratch your ear? Trust me, I tried and failed at that task. I watched on from the couch while the rest of the family got better, and I sarcastically thanked them for sharing their misery with me.

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