Thursday, February 3, 2011


This was emailed to me recently.
Thought I'd share it. Great little story/proverb

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots , each hung on the ends of a pole , which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water , at the end of the long walk from the stream to the house , the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily , with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course , the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection , and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure , it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself , because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled , "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path , but not on the other pot's side?" "That's because I have always known about your flaw , so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path , and every day while we walk back , you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are , there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The 3 A's of Awesome.

A great story teller, and eternal optimist, Neil shares his views on what makes life Awesome.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

7 things you can do bring joy

7 things you can do bring joy to yourself & others for little to no money.

1. Leave a post-it note with a nice message in public for the finder to read.
2. Post a letter from Santa to a kid. They’ll love the surprise of getting post addressed to them. (I saw this one on a LinkedIN contact post)
3. A random act of kindness. (eg. Pay for the next person’s coffee at the cafĂ©)
4. Find a not-for-profit org to volunteer in or donate unused household items to.
5. Visit a hospital (maybe a kids ward) and drop off some toys or flowers. Maybe ask the nurses “who’s in need of companionship” and visit that person, smile, read them a book or just listen to their story [it can sometimes make all the difference])
6. Take the time to write a nice letter to those you care about. (not a text message, not an ecard, but an actual letter)
7. Forgive yourself for anything you regret doing this year.

Commit to doing at least one of these things this week. You might find it’s easier than you think, and you may find your sanity & spirit lifted when you decide to do something like this once a week… for the rest of the year? For 2011 too? Maybe for the rest of your life? How crazy would it be if you &everyone you know did only 1 thing like that, weekly, for a year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

To be Inspired or Motivated.That is the question.

In a recent Seth Godin Blog post, he presents the doing more vs doing better dilemma.

The easiest form of management is to encourage or demand that people do more. The other translation of this phrase is to go faster.
The most important and difficult form of management (verging on leadership) is to encourage people to do better.
Better is trickier than more because people have trouble visualizing themselves doing better. It requires education and coaching and patience to create a team of people who are better.

I agree with this to some degree, and I also believe there are alternatives that can create “better teams” without companies investing so much into education & coaching.

My belief is that people will happily take it upon themselves to learn, upskill and generally better themselves, without interference or financial investment from the employer, if they are in an environment that fosters personal development values. In other words, if they are inspired.

I often make the point that motivating people doesn’t go a long way. If you want to create a lasting shift in your staff’s behavior, the word you want is “Inspiration” and not “Motivation”.

Seth’s Blog hints to this in the comment “most important and difficult form of management (verging on leadership) is to encourage people” because managers tell & demand, great managers encourage, and true leaders inspire.

If you think back over your life, you’ll find that the turning points in your life, the significant paradigm shifts came from those who inspired you. Whether they coached you or not, they, by being who they are, inspired you to take action. Some of you may even make the parallel to previous jobs. I would bet that the best bosses you have ever had were the hands-off type who went out of their way to “be” better people and in doing so inspired you to do the same.

By the way, I’m not saying this style will work on everybody. Some people are simply uninspired and they would struggle to find direction in an environment that is simply inspiring. They would lag behind if not TOLD what to do… which is perfect, because this will help you cull the dead weight holding your business down.

Bottom line… stop MANAGing, and start LEADing. And if you can afford it, provide coaching, mentoring, education & development opportunities for your staff.

Monday, October 25, 2010

comparing Apples & McDonalds

Doing things differently, thinking differently & leading the way are some of our core behaviours here at FreeMynd. So when everyone starts to walk in one direction, the first thing we want to do is look in another direction.

Usually we come up with incredible solutions that way.

Sometimes, we just do it out of habit, without an outcome in mind. Like recently, when I considered buying an iPad.

It seems to me, that every man, women & dog has an iSomething these days, phones, music players, entertainment gadgets, laptops, desktops and more recently tablets… which is nothing exciting really… if you ask your local apple store what the difference is between the iTouch and the iPad, screen size & resolution are about the only thing they can come up with. Which makes me laugh at all the people who stood in line for hours to get one, only to then go online and post threads on forums asking when a new model is planned with a smaller screen for easier portability. MORONS!!!

What the fuck is the big deal about a large iTouch?

Aside from the thousands of widgets (A widget is what an “app” has been knows as since long before apple put them on a phone), the new apple branded hand held devices offer nothing to the consumer other than use friendly interface & the illusion that owning one of these bad boys make you cool.

Widgets have existed for over a decade. The OVI store (Nokia’s widget development co) is the largest app developer in the world so there’s nothing that an iPhone can do, that a Nokia can’t (nothing worth doing that is). Come to think of it, there’s nothing that the original iPhone (released in 2007) can do, that an IMATE (a Microsoft phone) couldn’t do in 2004.

So not only is the technology old, but they couldn’t even come up with better naming… I-MATE becomes iPhone. How fucking ingenious is that?
Ok, so I’m not going to deny that the user interface is leaps & bounds ahead of any MS device, and I’m also not going to deny that the operating systems in anything apple are superior to androids and windows operating systems.

But seriously… all this hype for a better OS and a cool interface?

I don’t know about you… but for me, a better OS and a cool interface is not enough to overcome
1. The fact that everyone has an iSomething, making them common.
2. The fact that hardware is lagging behind, 5MP cameras facing forward & back, only came out on the iPhone4, where as they have been on other 3G phones for 2 years now (which is a lifetime in hardware advancement)
3. The fact that apple used to put computers in schools to win-over the kids (reminding me of another brand’s brain-washing strategy)
4. The fact that Apple and its esteemed leader have no philanthropic activity of any sort (aside from the above, which they no longer do, now that they are cool)
5. And lastly, the fact that Steve Jobs, apart from being a good speaker, seems to be a total wanker.

Bottom line… credit is given where credit is due. Great OS, user-friendly interface, brilliant advertising (which somehow takes the previous geeky advantages and makes them cool) and a CEO with great public speaking skills.

Otherwise, iPhones, iTouch, iPads are left wanting… (don’t even get me started on iPods)

These apples are rotten and about as healthy as McDonalds

Thursday, October 21, 2010

P.I. [Part 2 - A personal PI]

So we talked about business PI. What about personal PI?

I see clients daily with personal conflict, “I want to do this but I want to do that, and I can’t because I blabla”, or “part of me is… but another part of me is…” and other similar problems.

You’re not sure what you want to do moving forward so you stress about the decision, and even worse, you stay stuck where you are, because no action/decision is a safer choice than wrong action/decision… right?

Actually, it is total rubbish.

“More is lost through indecision than through bad decision.” And remaining stuck in your unhappy state is not the solution. So how do you make the decision easily?

A personal PI is the solution.

Everyone should have a PI. Perceived Identity is the sum of your personal mission, purpose, values and maybe even goals.

Have you written a personal mission statement? If I asked your friends about you, would they all say the same thing when they describe you? Or would they have different perceptions of you depending on where they know you from?

Not sure if this can have an impact? Do it and find out for yourself.

Write a mission statement, a purpose statement and your values list. Then see if you are living up to your identity.

Doing this will give you a clear PI, and having a clear PI will go a long way to eliminating uncertainty in your life.

On Religion & Abuse

I posted a status update on my Facebook page recently that stirred a shitstorm, thought I'd open it up to the public for anyone to have access to.

"Max Freemynd questions the role of religion in support abuse & rape. Christian women feel obliged to stay in abusive marriages, Muslim women can't say 'NO', and Jewish women fear shaming the community so they don't speak up"

What's your view?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

P.I. - [Part 1, Branding is Dead]

Branding is dead
Part 1

Ok, so before you start getting your panties in a bunch, let me clarify that “perceived identity” formerly known as “brand” is not dead, in fact it is more important than ever. What I’m killing here is the word ‘Brand’.

A brand is defined as "the identifying elements of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person's cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp."

The above is not what modern “branding” is about. “Branding” has evolved, and to avoid confusion and stupid mistakes by stupid marketers, let’s leave the name ‘Brand’ in the past along with its original definition and come up with a new name to describe the modern version which encompasses so much more than the physical elements that differentiate one company/product/service from another.

I call it P.I. or ‘perceived identity’. Because it is a more accurate representation than ‘brand’


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Myth of Abundance.

It’s the end of a decade and a time for new thinking.

The debate that marked the last decade has been what I call “the myth of abundance”. And I hope to build a bridge for everyone to ust get over the whole thing. "The Secret" is a delusion.

Thomas Troward, a great philosopher in my opinion, was a leader in his time, one of the founders of “The New Thought Movement” suggested that thought precedes physical form and that "the action of Mind plants that nucleus which, if allowed to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions necessary for its manifestation in outward visible form."

He was credited with inspiring the movie “The Secret” and the laws of attraction as we know them today. In fact if you watch the film again you will see that even the film makers credit him with the concept during the introduction.

Thomas Troward, died in 1916. An important fact when considering the myth of abundance, because it is important to understand that “The Secret” along with the laws of attraction became such big influencers in the last decade not because they were insightful or even true, but because of a successful marketing strategy.

To be clear, Thomas Troward's new thought movement has nothing to do with the pop-culture that is known as The Laws of Attraction, which I call the Myth of abundance.

The problem with the modern interpretation is that is wildly inaccurate. The thought of a Ferrari does not attract a real Ferrari, nor is possible for Ziyi Zhang, Megan Fox & Helen Mirren to all morph into my dream women and bare three children for me, no matter how much I meditate on that image.

Larry King was quoted for saying “If the Universe manifests abundance at a mere thought, why is there so much poverty, starvation, and killing?" He has valid point, but he too is inaccurate.

The point I want you get from this, is that Abundance does exist, but only in everything that matters.

Money, gold, property investments, Ferraris & Louis Vuitton fall under different laws. The laws of scarcity. Scarcity drives all material things. Often referred to as the principle law of economics “demand & supply” where scarcity makes the world go round.

The law of abundance however, applies to the little things we spend so little time chasing… you know… knowledge, love, passion, joy, nature. These are the pursuits that manifest abundance because the more you give, the more you have. And the opposite is true also. This is true abundance.

So now that I have ended the debate on whether “The Secret” is a reality or a hoax. Now that you understand that it is neither & both, depending on what you are investing your life in… lets move past it. Let’s use this knowledge constructively.

Put simply.
• Abundance can only exist if the opposite (Scarcity) also exists.
• Material pursuits should be governed by the laws of scarcity.
• Virtue & wisdom rule the world of abundance.
• To experience either, chose your pursuit carefully.

Thomas Troward also proposed another concept, much less discussed and far more relevant in today’s world. The law of Cause & Effect. Your thoughts & actions have consequences both directly and indirectly, so choose them with great care.

You now know this, and you have no excuse for pretending otherwise. So I will leave you with one more quote, a Freemynd once said “knowledge that is not shared & invested in action, is far worse than ignorance” and my question to you is, what will you do with knowledge?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Follow & Tweet

A Good Deed For A Tweet.

Update - Week 1
a week on and it's starting to look like it's settling down. between the blog, twitter, and linked, we have 11 new followers. that's 11 hours of pro-bono coaching. Posibility of needing to hire a coach for pro-bono work only = 0.

Update - Day 1.
it's been 24 hours since the original post, and we have 5 new followers. 4 new ones on the blog, and one on Twitter. None have shared the link on their profiles yet, as far as I can tell, but I still think it's a great start. Let's aim for a full week of free coaching to those in need by Sunday night.

thats 40 hours of pro-bono coaching. 35 new followers by Sunday. Can we do it? can you help spread the word?

Orinigal Post:

A Good Deed For A Tweet.

Would you take 4 minutes of your time, to do a good deed that could potentially save someone’s life, or at least drastically improve it.

Finish this article to the end, “follow” me on Blogger or Twitter & “tweet” about it. For every new follower I get, I will donate an hour of free coaching to a Support Organizations (victim support, child abuse, women’s refuge, refugees, etc…)

For the last couple of months, busy as I am, starting a business, I keep thinking that I’ve got to do something “pro bono publico” or “for the good of the public”. It is one of my personal passions, one of the core values of my company and part of my mission statement, so I am determined to make it work.

The problem is, time.

My time, when not with a client, is invested in sales calls, marketing activity, networking, and preparing training programs content. If I’m not earning much, and not generating interest in what I’m doing, I won’t have much to donate, and as such these activities have taken priority… until now.

This morning, feeling determined & creative, I decided on 2 things and I’m taking action.

1st, I contacted Vinnies “St Vincent de Paul Society Charities” offering my services, they sound a bit “red-tape-ee” but I’m pushing through.
2nd, this blog. I thought why not combine both, good will & marketing in one go, hence my request to you now.

Follow the blog or follow me on Twitter & tweet about this post to generate traffic & followers to help me promote this blog & my new business, and for everyone who does that, I will log one hour of pro bono coaching to a non-profit organisation. And just to make sure this is genuine, I am creating a public log showing all organizations who will receive the coaching, and the number of hours completed.

1- Tweet this post
2- follow me on Twitter (so I can keep track of tweets)

If you don't have a twitter account, post about this blog on your LinkedIn

Current number of blog followers = 3
Current number of twitter followers = 2
Current number of tweets about FreeMynd = 0

ps. If you happen to know of, or be involved in a non-profit support organization that can benefit from some life coaching or training, email me on so we can discuss in more detail.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mirror Mirror On The Wall.

Thank whomever you believe in! It’s Friday.

As you venture out this weekend, I’m sure you’ll be thinking about this blog, and noticing how you will see things just a little differently from now on.

Think about the people in your life. The one you like and the ones you can’t stand. What is it about them that makes them so?

Do this now. Take one person you like… why do you like them? And one you hope not to run into this weekend… what don’t you like about them?

You won’t like me saying this, but I propose the following. Whatever you like & dislike in others, exists in you! That right, you my friend are the sum of all the traits you observe in others.

The reason is that, as humans, we only have the capacity to notice in others what exists in us. They are, if you will, a mirror reflection of what we like & dislike about ourselves. The more you accept this idea, the more likely you are to learn something about yourself this weekend.

You will probably meet new people, witness events, small & large, in your days of rest. And as you do so, notice how you will automatically make judgments about other people’s happiness, personality, attitude and so on… then check yourself whenever you notice something negative. Why did you notice it?

We all do this, meet someone and think, “oh nice person, smart, genuine, creative” or “cool, relaxed and full of life” (or whatever) and instead of accepting that as your opinion of them, I want you to consider what it is about you that made you neglect a hundred other traits about that person and only notice certain things. More importantly, what negative traits are you noticing in others?

Finally, when you do meet someone you decide is not worthy of your time, take a extra moment and notice at least two things about them that you do like. Because your ability to see beyond the bad, means that you are capable of overcoming those negative traits within yourself.

I hope you all had a great week, and I wish you a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Same Difference

In an industry where people are supposed to be educating clients about how they can improve their business, most of us have no clue how to stand out from the crowd so we can improve our own. And, in a world where coaches are supposed to help their client make their dreams come true, most coaches are far from realising their own dreams. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Having come from a world of advertising, where everyone hampers on about “point of difference” while every big agency in the world follows the same model, it interesting to see the lessons no one wants to learn.

You see… as any new business startup, I am not short of finding advice about how to get more clients. The number of people out there, regurgitating the same pile of horse manure about how to stand out from the crowd, is endless. Ironically, every one of them says & does the same thing.

Which is all nice an dandy, except for the fact that none of them are standing out, they all base their pitch on triggering my insecurities (if you can believe I have any), and 9 out of 10 couldn’t come up with a creative idea if their life depended on it. The one who could, will probably be too scared to rock the boat and keep their ideas buried deep down, along with their dignity.

Their model is simple. People search for answers online, so we’ll have a catchy line that’ll attract the punters to our site. In return for your email address, the site offers a free ebook that’s supposed to help you lose a ton of weight and make a million bucks faster than you can blink, you download the ebook, which is always a rubbish article they picked for free from ezine. Then they email you every week, some more often, with a new offer that’s exclusive to only 10 people and threatening that your life will always be shit if you don’t sign up NOW… hoping that one of these times they’ll catch you at a moment of weakness … and praying that you were born yesterday!

They’re no better than online poker sites, or Nigerian diplomats needing your bank account details.

The big players do the same thing except that instead of inviting you to the website to download a free ebook, they offer an exclusive invitation to a seminar or workshop where they hope to sign you up on the spot. The same manure, but served on a nice platter with free coffee & muffins. And lets not even get started on the “tony bobbins” & “the secret” people.

It used to piss me off to no end. Now I have accepted that the more of these wannabe wealth masters there are, the better I am. So bring it on mofos, show me your cards… your ebooks, your adwords, your free exclusive workshops, your million dollar tips and your success posters with images from the 80s because I’m holding the Trump card, the royal flush-you-down-the-toilet card… Ok, enough with the puns.

Now that I’ve had my bitch for the week, and lost a dozen contacts from my facebook, I’ll get back to doing things differently.

Anyone interested in my new ebook?

Coming soon, the real secret hidden codes of “The secret”. Don’t miss out, go to my website now and register for an advance copy. Don't delay, do it NOW. Offer Valid only till September 2099 and exclusive to only 68,000 people.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We are LIVE!!

Launched my company website today.

It is not complete, but it is a start. some more illustration & content coming soon.

As you are reading this blog post now, I would like to ask you for a small favor.

Can you please have a look at the site, and let me know your thoughts.
I would also like to know if you can find any mistakes. As in any website, I'm sure there will be some, and I can only fix them if I can find them. your help would be appreciated.

New Blog design coming soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How can I?

A couple of months ago I joined a local Toast Masters Club to improve my public speaking skills.

Last night, I did my icebreaker speech (an intro to who I am), where I shared a little about the abuse I encountered as a child and why I see it as a blessing. Later, much later, in the early hours of this morning, with a Johnnie Walker in hand, a friend who was my guest at the club, asked me “how?” “how do you draw on your past in a positive way and get over it as you have?”

As simple a question as that might sound, and as important for me to know the answer, being a life coach… the truth is, I didn’t actually know “how?”.

So, here’s my answer to her.

Having a past that is tragic or challenging in some way isn’t what I draw on, in order to be positive. In fact, I don’t see why anyone would want to that. Many people draw on their challenging past everyday, and they are miserable in their lives.

Instead, I look for inspiration elsewhere. And I found mine in POP wisdom.

• Intelligence is defined by a person’s ability to learn. I may, or may not have been slow on the uptake, but I did learn eventually.
• Growth comes from experience. And I can honestly tell you that “I’ve been there”
• Insight comes from thinking outside our boundaries of comfort. I spent most of my life so far out of my comfort zone that I had no choice but to find insights.
• And since insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result, sanity must be defined by our ability to adapt and make new mistakes. Believe me when I say, I was really creative in the mistakes I made in my life. So I must be sane, I think!

I even developed the theory of the “PDI or Personal Development Index” to prove that life challenges are a good thing. But I’ll explain that some other time.

So not only was I absorbing all these lessons from POP wisdom, I was coming up with my own thesis on personal development which made feel really good about having had such a challenging upbringing.

I have grown up (in the loose sense of the word) to like who I am as a person. I enjoy my own company. I am proud of the person I turned out to be.

And since I couldn’t be the person I am today, having not lived the life I had, the answer to my friend’s question isn’t an answer at all… it’s a question.

She asked me “How can I draw on my past in a positive way? And get over it as I have?” the reply is “How can I not?”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I rise.

I read this the other day and it reminded me of all those that stand tall in my eyes. With you my friends, I share these beautiful words by Maya Angelou
Y'all know who you are.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

by Maya Angelou