Robert Waldiner shares three core findings in the longest study on happiness: good relationships keep us happier and healthier; the quality of the close relationships are critical (they buffer us from life’s lows, difficult times, etc); and good relationships protect not only our bodies, but also our brains. See:    for a fascinating talk and explanation of the findings.





With the plethora of webinars, seminars, training programmes and workshops readily available, it’s easy to be caught up in the latest hot topic ‘must do’. Yet before committing to new seminars, programmes and workshops, it pays to revisit all the ones they have already attended, and see what they actually did with the information given (typically, course notes are filed away and immediately forgotten). The key to integrating new learning is to consciously diary time over a two-three month time span to put into practice what has been learnt. Stop, look and revisit – you may be amazed at what you rediscover.

The Resilience Institute Team suggest tactical calm is the doorway to impulse control. They say ‘humans are wired, tired and fired to be stupid’ and the old-school advice of ‘take a deep breath’ when we are trying to calm ourselves in difficult situations, is the worst thing we can ever do. Why? Go to and read From Strategic to Tactical Calm.

Throughout the week, my local paper delivers not only news but advertising flyers from nation-wide organisations with local facilities. The flyers are informative and typically invite the reader ‘to find out more, call (a named person) on a local number (provided)’. One flyer I received had information I wanted more details on, and called the stated number many times over the following week but the phone wasn’t answered. Two weeks later I got through and once I had the email address of the person I needed to contact, sent off my email. Three plus weeks later,  I’m still waiting for a response. My takeaway? Money spent on marketing is wasted unless the organisation’s whole approach and its internal systems and actions match its rhetoric; the deafening silence to external enquiries tarnishes the business’s reputation. It can be avoided.

A great percentage of our population don’t prepare for the inevitable – their eventual death – and typically leave a mess behind for others to sort out. When someone dies relatives or friends are tasked with the unenviable task of preparing a funeral/memorial service, including speeches about the dearly departed. Oftentimes a deceased person’s professional life isn’t widely known by others, and speech-makers have a difficult time of finding relevant information, and filling gaps in a person’s work history. A person who wants their work life mentioned at their funeral (if they have one), could usefully add their CV to their folder of Clarifying My Intentions documentation, so relatives can easily find it, when needed.

A recent discovery, and one I recommend, is the ebook ‘There’s a Part of Me…’ by J. Schwartz and B. Brennan (© 2013 Trailheads Publications). The authors posit we are all made up of different parts, that together, form our basic nature and personality; and our ‘thinking’ is conversations between our different parts. When our different parts want different things for us, that can lead to inner confusion, conflict and so on. The authors offer an effective way to identify then listen to our parts, and act on our findings. If you ever hear yourself say “there’s a part of me that wants to do X, but another part of me wants to do Y”, and you can’t move forward with clarity and confidence, this book may help. See The Centre for Self Leadership, Illinois, USA.

Changing our personal behaviours isn’t an easy or fast process. In 1977 James Prochaska and Carlo Clemente developed a Transtheoretical Model of Change which shows the different stages we progress through: Pre-contemplation (we realise our behaviour may be problematic but we’re considering the impact of our actions; we’re not ready to do too much about it);  Preparation (we have the intention to do something about specific behaviours); Action (we deliberately take steps; we change old behaviours); Maintenance (we have our new behaviours embedded; we work to avoid slipping back to old behaviours); and Termination (we know we won’t revert back to old behaviours).

The researchers saw relapsing back into old behaviours wasn’t a stage in itself but more a return from action or maintenance mode to earlier stages. Source:

Personal change takes time. We may be in the different stages for different periods of time. We can’t be forced to change – it is entirely our choice to do so.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), coaching is now an approximately $2.356 billion USD industry worldwide with 53,300 professional practitioners. This is stated in new data released in the 2016 International Coach Federation (ICF) Global Coaching Study. The study revealed: 75.2% of professional coaches are female, compared to the global average of 67%; NZ coaches typically have more experience than their overseas counterparts (37.6% having coached for more than 10 years, versus 26.9% globally; and almost 70% of Kiwi coach practitioners identified business coaching as their main speciality area. To read more, see It’s well worth reading.




Carl Davidson (29/02/2016, The Press) suggests interruption science explains the difficulties in getting things done. It’s a great article and well worth reading.


It’s time to have the conversation you may have  put off for too long! Saturday 16 April 2016 is the national Conversations that Count Day – a time to think about advance care planning – for your future and your end of life care. It is the ideal time to think about yourself and your loved ones. Go for it.