What is happiness?

Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. … Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.

In the 21st century, I would say it is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like.

By definition, happiness sounds simple and achievable, why then is happiness so elusive and a quest that consumes us? Is there a happily ever after?

“The three grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.”

Continue reading “IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”


Wake up and smell the coffee…

There is an often overlooked rule in history; far more is lost and forgotten than is preserved and remembered. The rule relates to progress. As a species we are on the information highway and know more, but are we wiser?

When I think of wisdom, I am always reminded of this quote from Brian O Driscoll “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.”

 Our attitude, spirit and tenacity can affect the outcome of any challenge that comes our way. To be proactive, you must also be self-aware to understand who you are and your purpose. Long term thinking and planning allows us to reap the rewards in the future.

Continue reading “LESSONS I WISH I LEARNED IN MY 20’S”


Wildflowers in Porirua


A friend of mine Rachel, sent this to me just over ten years ago. I saved it because it is an inspiring message delivered well and makes good sense.

George Bernard Shaw said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”

Well, it’s pretty apparent, isn’t it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.

Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn’t know where he’s going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety and worry – his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing …. he becomes nothing.

How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I’ll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.

Suppose a farmer has some land, and it’s good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn’t care. It’s up to the farmer to make the decision.

We are comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn’t care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn’t care what you plant.

Now, let’s say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand – one is seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds – one corn, and the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land – and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted.

As it’s written in the Bible, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

Remember the land doesn’t care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants – one corn, one poison.

The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn’t care what we plant ….success….or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal… or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.

You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.


Years ago when my kids were still in primary school (so possibly 15 years ago) I printed these commandments and we used to read it aloud together. I was rummaging through stuff in my study and came across the printed version. They are still so relevant.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it.

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn’t oversleep.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.

One thing you can give and still keep … is your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won’t work unless ‘you’ do.

Your mind is like a parachute … it functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! It is never too late to become what you might have been.


I believe Dr Seuss was a literary genius and while his prose about Green Eggs and Ham may have fired our childhood imaginations, there is great wisdom and life lessons to be learned.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

You are you – so special and unique. Why bother trying to be someone else when you can be the best version of yourself. Celebrate your uniqueness and stand proud. Here are the lessons I learned along my journey and I hope they help you become confident and the best versions of yourself.


This does not necessarily mean getting a degree or diploma – it means a quest for learning and improving/ developing yourself every day for the rest of your lives. It is a thirst for knowledge and whatever kind of learner you are, make sure you learn something new every day.


I still believe in the relevance of SMART goals as it gives you direction and purpose not only at work but also in your personal life. Think about what you want to achieve in life and work on specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound goals (SMART). They could be for the next six months, or in the next five years.


Self-care can never be underestimated. Look after your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Eat well and regularly to nourish your body. Exercise regularly. Take time out to smell the roses. This is not selfish and I am often reminded of the flight attendant instructions of putting your oxygen mask on first, before helping others. … Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask!!


Learn to prioritize and say “No”. Once you try pleasing people there is no end in sight. This is very good advice given by my mum when I got married. Initially it might be hard but at least you are clear on your boundaries and people will not take liberties (aka you won’t get hurt or upset)


Keep doing what you love. Stay curious and interested blocking out all the social media noise. This is your life and no one else is better at living it than you. A famous Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,” Be the fairy tale little engine that could. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati is a line from the Ancient Vedas which means your inner thoughts make your outer appearance. You are what you believe and you become what you believe


There are no shortcuts in life. Be very wary and guarded if something seems too good to be true or does not seem reasonable. All that glitters is not gold after all.


This is an attitude that allows you to see more, do more and be more. Make a conscious effort to recognize the unlimited possibilities surrounding you. You are restricted by the limitations/ restrictions set by your own mind. So start breaking free.


It is okay to have delayed gratification. Things bought on credit card end up being more expensive if you can’t pay the credit card within the month. Saving money is good for you and puts you in financial control. Saving gives you a sense of achievement plus everyone needs to save for a rainy day. You are your own unique self and you do not have to keep up with the Joneses.


It is human to make mistakes. Own your mistakes, take responsibility and try your best to make it right. Every encounter is an experience we need to move us forward. Setbacks and failures hep make your resolve stronger and you do become more resilient.


Humility is considered a state of being, highlighted by your behaviour and approach to things. Humility is not about hiding away or about becoming a ‘wallflower’, but it is about the realization your abilities and actions are not better or less. Humility doesn’t require the ranking of things, but it calls for the understanding of the true value or worth of things. Staying humble will keep you grounded.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis


Time and tide wait for no one and time is a great healer. We are all transient in this world and luckily the hard or difficult time you are going through is temporary and will pass soon. A new dawn brings with it the promise of a new day, new experiences and opportunities. Believe in yourself and you shall overcome.


Do you have a sibling or parents or a partner or close friends who love you unconditionally? They are loyal and care for your wellbeing and you know you will not be judged. These people in a way are your care mentors and as we navigate through life we need to nurture our inner circle.


For as long as I can remember I have always dreamed big – wild fantasies and visions of achieving big great things in life. I know I am not the only dreamer. Dreaming involves holding tight to a vision of a better life, one of success and abundance. While getting there might be difficult, having to deal with setbacks and failures along the way, it’s surely well worth it. Anyone who’s achieved a big goal knows just how true that statement is. It all starts with a dream which is a thought, which becomes your vision and then your reality.


The dictionary defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. John F Kennedy so aptly said “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”


In the spirit of making the world a better place, you have to share to show you care. Share within your community, share with a neighbour, family, friends. Be it knowledge, experience, time or money – emulate the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett but do share at your level. Give what you can afford – share with the Universe in an unselfish and not wanting anything in return way and the Universe gives you more.

End of another week

I wanted to share this quote from Anne Lamott with everyone as it is so apt for anyone who finds excuses for inaction:

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written, or you didn’t go swimming in those warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

Don’t be a bystander – be bold and confident and do your thing .. whatever it maybe.