Helping you make wise decisions in your life

When did you last regret a decision you made? Can you envision where you would be today if you had made that decision differently? Imagine what you could achieve in your life, in your business and even in the world if you could always think, decide and act with true wisdom. The good news is, you can. With the right tools and techniques you can learn how to make decisions that have the most positive impact on all concerned.

Friday, 29 June 2012

When "Sorry" Isn't Enough!

To say "I'm sorry" has different meanings depending on context and culture. A core issue is how culpability is assessed. An apology might be seen as an admission of wrongdoing, or it could be seen as an expression of eagerness to repair a damaged relationship without implying culpability. What do you mean when you say "I'm sorry"?

You might mean, "I'm the one responsible, and I accept blame". Or you could mean, "it's unfortunate that this has happened". In a survey of US and Japanese undergraduates, the Japanese students recalled issuing an average of 11.05 apologies the previous week, whereas the US students recalled just 4.51.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Addicted to Drama!

"Don't you know who I am?!" Such an over-blown expression of entitlement seems obvious. But we can all be addicted to drama in more subtle ways. For example, do you find your partner is "hard work"? You probably perpetuate the situation by holding a belief that "I'm entitled to be treated better than this". Do you get caught up with your finances, never having enough money? You may have learned at an early age that "money doesn't come easily". If it does, you probably don't trust it. And what about life in general? If you remember drama in your family, you may have developed the same patterns of behaviour to get your own needs met. And you probably still do (if there's no drama in your life how can you be sure that anyone will pay attention to you?)!

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Core values give rise to the activities we enjoy that give meaning to our lives. One of my highest values is aesthetics - "a need for self-expression, a dedication to quality, an interest in how things look, feel, and sound, and close attention to the appearance of work products". It's a strong value for me, and sometimes I over-emphasise it. I get caught up in "style" and overlook "substance". I get distracted by "bright shiny things". Which of your values do you overemphasise at times?

Sunday, 6 May 2012


I completed my own MAP (Mood Assessment Program) from the Black Dog Institute recently so I could understand what my clients might go through when I get them to do it. I was surprised to discover that I have perfectionism at a 'risk' level in my personality - what does it mean?

Perfectionism is characterised by a striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, being overly self-critical, and concerned about others' evaluations. Mmm, well it's not all bad! Perfectionism can also be a strong motivator to reach goals, provided you don't try to achieve an unattainable ideal. By that definition, most of my colleagues and clients are perfectionists! "Trying to get it right" is no bad thing, provided you know your own limits.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Buddhist Psychology!

Recently completed a one-week silent Shamatha retreat with B. Alan Wallace and 60 of our closest friends! (this picture shows Alan teaching us under the Bhodi tree in Bodhgaya). There's so much conversation going on in your head when you stop talking! One of the key lessons to "hit me" was that everything we know about our current reality consists of "appearances to the mind". In other words, my reality is what "appears" to me. It is whatever I put my attention on and expect to find!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Vulture's Peak!

For me the high point of our Buddhist Pilgrimage last month was up on Gridhakuta (Vulture's Peak) outside Rajgir, physically and metaphorically! This was where the Buddha formulated and gave his most significant discourses. And those rocks and caves have remained virtually unchanged for over 2,500 years. I felt overcome by the reality of the presence of the Buddha in that place. And our friend Jay was seated a few metres away from me chanting beautifully what I later found out was the Heart Sutra! There are some experiences which pass all understanding. I wonder what yours are?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A Psychology of Enlightenment!

We were also privileged to receive a private teaching from Dr. Ravindra Panth, Director of Nava Nalanda Mahavira (Nalanda University) at Rajgir.

"Could there be a psychology of enlightenment?" I asked. "Yes", he answered. "Provided we find a common vocabulary to bridge the gap between Western Psychology and Buddhist Psychology". But Dr Panth emphasised that direct personal experience counts as much as knowledge. "There are three types of wisdom", he said:
  1. Listening - acquiring knowledge,
  2. Contemplating - on what you have heard, and
  3. Experience - "your" experience.
"Your experience is due to your awareness. Unless you experience yourself, your faith won't work. Buddhism does not advocate blind faith".

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Developing Leadership Consciousness!

During our Buddhist pilgrimage in India we were honoured to receive a teaching from The Ven. Prof. Geshe Ngawang Samten, Director and Vice Chancellor of the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi. His answer to the question "how should we best prepare ourselves for pilgrimage?" was a perfect template for how to develop leadership consciousness!

"The best way is to transform ourselves", he said. "And then try to transform others". He went on to say, "cultivate and make manifest those positive qualities in yourself. There is no better way to bring about peace in the world than to transform ourselves!"

Monday, 27 February 2012


Just back from a 2-week Buddhist pilgrimage through North-East India and still trying to integrate the experience! However, sunrise over the Ganges at Varanasi was like the dawning of the world - an event celebrated every morning for thousands of years.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Life is a Choice!

Palliative care nurses work with dying people, typically for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. When patients were questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again:
1. "I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
2. "I wish I didn’t work so hard."
3. "I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings."
4. "I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends."
5. "I wish that I had let myself be happier."

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Rational Lies!

Making a complex decision is never easy. Your unconscious mind makes a snap judgement based on feelings, while you conscious mind attempts to come up with reasons for what you're feeling. It's hard to know if you're really making a rational choice for the "right" reasons, or if you're telling yourself "rational lies"!

Find out more at the Decision Apps for a Wiser World workshop in Sydney January 18, or in Melbourne February 24. You can get information and registration here.