Thursday, 26 March 2015


Sharing my local community newspaper column – On the Upside - latest published article here on my BlogSpot ...  as a helpful reminder to my readers to check in on who you choose to surround yourself with. 

Wherever I go, live and work, the purpose of my life is to make a positive difference.

Conversation is a good thing … it means people are thinking about the ‘what if’s’ and starting to explore new possibilities with others.

Excitement was definitely in the warm night breezes last week, on an evening Wetlander cruise I attended with my partner and over 50 other business people. The boat was buzzing with positive energy; lots of ‘imagine this’ discussions and pro-active people who are keen to support a major festival event to showcase the produce, lifestyle, and beautiful river environment we are surrounded by. Let’s hope the visiting delegates caught the positive vibe ... nothing like a local group of enthusiastic, like-minded people who are willing to work together to make things happen.  Yes, it can happen.

Imagine this … everyone in the community is actively and enthusiastically on board with positive, creative ideas, projects and events.  There is real collaboration and clear focus on whole of community benefits; the council, the businesses, the farmers, the community groups, the newspaper, the politicians, the community influencers … everyone working together with a forward thinking approach; driven by the right purpose and intent – to build a vibrant, growing community.  

 A utopia you think? ‘Tell her she’s dreaming’ …I hear someone say. ‘People don’t like change around here’. So, how do we make that happen?

Well, for starters, it would mean:  stop looking back over the shoulder at yesterdays ‘issues’ – establishing a continual focus on today and tomorrow being new days, new opportunities, and new approaches; that means turning that page to start a new chapter.  

Drop the positional posturing on idea ownership, or who tried what yesterday, or who knows who in the local zoo, or who won’t work with whom. It is this kind of emotionally unintelligent BS behaviour that potentially sucks the energy out of great ideas, if you let it.

Ignore the naysayers that simply don’t want change; there will always be some who delight in coming up with a problem for every possible solution  sometimes for no logical reason than they don’t like change [although I bet they don’t drive the same car, wear the same clothes, or even cook their meals the same way they did 30 years ago].

A community’s spirit is made up of a collection of individuals who make their own choices each day – to be negative about stuff [glass half empty], to be open to ideas [glass half full], or to be right in there enthusiastically making it happen [glass full – 50% water, 50% air]. Optimisim is not a disease ... it is a mindful behaviour choice. 

One really great thing I have learned from a life of moving around and exploring different communities, is the value of connecting with the right people.  I read somewhere that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with, so it’s important to choose carefully. 

Here's some tips worth considering:

  • On a personal coaching note: keep people in your life that truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, inspire you, enhance you and make you happy. If you have people who do none of the above, let them go. 
  • On a broader note: surround yourself with only those who lift you higher; don’t waste your valuable time with people or groups that are not adding to your growth, or the growth and betterment of the type of vibrant, collaborative, connected community you want to live in.
Oh, one final note: While you’re working on that checklist of who to eliminate or perhaps spend significantly less time with … how about looking in the mirror  - checking your own reflection.  Do you do those supportive things for others who choose to spend time with you? 

Maybe it’s time for you to choose to ...

 live life on the upside … the world has enough downsiders.

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