Personal Development

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16) On a number of occasions, I have heard the following words from employees as they explain the ‘pain’ of their respective work contexts to me: “Jonathan, I do what is required of me. I have done my duty to the…

“In vain you have acquired knowledge if you have not imparted to others” (Deuteronomy Rabbah) My friend and former colleague, Gerrit Cloete (owner of Productivity Pitstop), spent a week at the family’s seaside vacation home to catch up with family and friends. Upon his return, he related one of his experiences with me:  “I went…

“Wheel-spinning” literally refers to a situation where a vehicle has lost traction, e.g. on ice, in snow or mud. Here the wheels may spin without the vehicle going anywhere – continued pressure on the accelerator may result in the vehicle digging itself in deeper, thus exacerbating the problem. A new strategy needs to be found…

I was lied to as a kid – my parents, teachers, sports coaches, etc. – not intentionally, of course, as I guess they were only trying to encourage my development, but they lied. They told me, even exhorted me that practice makes perfect: “The sky is the limit. You can achieve anything that you want…

“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way” (Dr Seuss) Dreaming about a thing in order to do it properly constitutes wisdom; dreaming about a thing when you should be doing it is ineffective. Contemplating your vision and meditating on it, letting it become engrained in your mind, is helpful,…

“Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions” (Mark Twain) One of the restaurants that I typically frequent usually serves great food. On a particular evening, my wife and I felt like eating seafood and ordered a fish and calamari combination discounted special – a decision that we later regretted. The calamari…

“Left to ourselves, we can no more find out the purpose of life than a man can pull himself up by his own shoe laces. What we need is for the meaning to be revealed to us from the outside” (Melvin Tinker, What Do You Expect?) Bernard Levin, infamous journalist who poked fun at British…

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance” (Bruce Barton) Lewis Pugh has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other person in history.  He swam across the icy waters of the North Pole to highlight the melting of the Arctic…

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” (Oscar Wilde) Being “yourself” is not as easy as it sounds – the pressure, constantly, is on all of us to look better, be better, achieve more, succeed always, etc. The list is seemingly endless. Other’s expectations are real and the stakes are high. The world doesn’t make…