In Self-Leadership 101 – we turn the mirror around to look at ourselves.

In Self-Leadership 101 – we turn the mirror around to look at ourselves, facing the reality that;

We can’t give what we haven’t got.

With this insight we recognise that if we want to lead others, we need to have our own tanks filled, otherwise we are giving leadership with one hand and sucking energy from people with the other. That isn’t sustainable.

In this mirror of Self-Leadership 101 – we also recognise a rather startling fact:

Nobody does to us more or less than we do to ourselves

That means – in business language: nobody can value your work, appreciate your contribution, diminish your worth or pay you less than you do to yourself. This sweeping statement takes the power back from blaming the company, colleagues or the company culture and puts responsibility for human potential at work squarely on the shoulders of the individual.


Three things compete with each other in Self-Leadership: the desire to be happy in work and outside it (life in general), the desire to do better (get more of what we love to have), and, finally, to get more done in less time.


To be totally happy in life is very, very easy:

Simply want what you’ve got.

This is a great key to happiness. Wanting what you’ve got can be framed in so many ways, reframed, and then reframed again, (aka – gratitude, trust, engaged, inspired, fulfilled, content, satisfied) but at the end of the day, it’s simply wanting what you’ve got. A person who wants what they’ve got, cannot be depressed, sad, blue, miserable, angry, upset. So, it’s a pretty good simplification of step one, in Self-Leadership 101. Want what you’ve got. (no matter what it is).

The art of wanting what you’ve got can be a learnt experience. Especially when, what you’ve got isn’t what you hoped for, wished for or feel good about. So, there are skills to learn to take the power back from any situation or circumstance or even a reaction to another person in order to say “I want what I’ve got.” – My relationship motto for clients is “love em before you leave em” or in work language “love the job before you leave the job.” Simply it’s saying take the power back and learn to be happy, no matter what.


To be totally successful in life is very, very, very easy:

Want What You Haven’t Got

Huh? Yup, the key to success in any field is to want what you haven’t got. To have a big why. To be motivated, stimulated, enthralled, enthusiastic about going out there and making stuff happen that isn’t already happening. This is the human heart, it always wants what it hasn’t got, it wants more: More love, more power, more wealth, more excitement, more places to visit, more electrical equipment, more sex, more fun. The human heart, or the human spirit as it’s called, wants what it hasn’t got, and through this, we, the human specie, evolves.

So, you may observe a conflict. One part of us wants to be happy. Another part of us wants more. Wanting to be happy is achieved by not wanting more, by actually wanting what we’ve got. Wanting to be successful is achieved by wanting more, by actually not being happy with what we’ve got.

There are a series of mistakes people make to resolve this conflict between happiness and success.

  1. Work life balance. Some people go to work and want what they haven’t got, but spend the day unhappy, and then come home and hope to morph into a happy person who wants what they’ve got. This transitional morphing from one set of behaviours and mindset to another, is the art of the Meryl Streep’s of the world, rather than the average punter business leader. Kids make it easier, but with digital home invasion, there’s plenty of complexity in the morphing process.
  2. Working less. The idea that 3 days a week is better for happiness is a myth. Sure, there’s more time to get the washing done, or go surfing and chill out, but the three days of work still require wanting what you haven’t got and if this stresses you out because you have to let go of the “being a happy hippie” mindset, then, even one hour of work is going to be traumatic. I don’t think, less time solves the dilemma and in some cases, where mental health is an issue, the extra time off, makes things worse.
  3. The big switch. There are those who’ve gone to yoga and go to work in bliss in the morning hoping that, at work, they can stay peaceful and successful. That’s like sitting in a sauna hoping not to sweat. This meditation for happiness (the whole mission of meditation is to detach, and therefore want what we’ve got) so the big switch is very common. People meditate or go to yoga to achieve something (want what they haven’t got) and then go to work hoping for happiness and peace (wanting what they’ve got) and that’s the big switch. It’s like making love to a water melon.
  4. The big chill. Lunch time meditation classes, a beer at the pub, a big lunch with a glass of red, sitting in the park, playing soccer at lunch time, and the list is infinite. The big chill is how those who spend the morning wanting what they haven’t got, and frustrated at the challenges of getting it faster, blow off steam and get back to feeling happy. But it’s really the equivalent of burning a cake and then trying to make it look ok by icing it – it’ll taste like shit, no matter what you do. So, the frustrations the morning might feel released by lunch time stuff, but the damage is done, and the burnout of the body and mind is progressing at a far too accelerated pace. This sort of big chill – makes people die young and families suffer.


The more you have the more you have to do. The bigger your job, the more you have to do. The bigger your family the more you have to do. The bigger your business the more you have to do. The bigger your ambitions, the more you have to do. The more happiness you want, the more you have to do. Nothing gets less. Nobody wakes up wanting less, unless it’s stress. So could it be interpreted, that the more you want, and the more successful you are about getting it, the more you’ll have to do, the less time you’ll have and therefore, the less happy you’ll be?

If you look at people’s ambitions for holidays, weekends, retirement and days off, you could draw the conclusion that the more successful you are at achieving your dreams the more unhappy you’ll be and the more you’ll wish for time out, away from the grind.

But it isn’t necessarily so. You’ll witness some of the world’s top athletes, business execs, performers, artists and leaders, smiling happily as they go about their day. They aren’t always at some fancy resort escaping the “grind.” So, there must be a way of being more successful, having heaps more responsibility, having a mountain more to do, and yet, not becoming buried under the rubble. And the simply answer to what is “EVOLVE.”

Evolve simply means to get more done in less time. This never means working harder. Never ever working harder. What it means is getting more done in less time by working smarter. If it takes me an hour to write this article for Linkedin, the question will be “how can I do it in half the time, with twice the impact, and double the engagement?” that’s evolving my LinkedIn work.

Getting more done in less time has some simple rules I’d love to share:

  1. Map your day. Create a to do list, then use the DO, DUMP, DELEGATE process to separate the gold from the glass. Do means do it now. Dump means put it off or release it all together. Delegate… that’s another story.
  2. Know your goals. Goals are horrible things but they do allow us to prioritise. If we don’t prioritise the day, everything comes as a log jam and our brain, designed to think one thought at a time, becomes like a radio station that’s not tuned in perfectly and there’s fog and overlap and scratching sounds that create exhaustion. Having goals simply means you know how to prioritise the many challenging activities of your day.
  3. Blame the System. 99% of human problems of stress and mental health are caused by structural systems failing. For example: if you start work at 8am and are not finished by 4pm and you work to 10pm it’s a structural problem. You don’t know how to get stuff done in time. If you work to 10pm to get it done you’ll be tired, maybe even think there’s something wrong with you, but there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s your systems that have failed, and you’re using time to solve a structural problem. If you can’t get things done at home, it’s a structural problem not a personal one. Go to structure, blame the system, because you can easily fix that, but if you blame a person or yourself, you’re going to get into self-help and there’s no greater corruption on earth than the self-help industry, believe me, I’m part of it.
  4. Don’t make wild jumps. Nature never destroys things she simply builds a new one on top of the old one, greater in consciousness (faster) less in number (structure). So, if there’s a chance to improve your process it comes from asking “how can I do this smarter and what part of it isn’t necessary?” I’ve been in human development for 40 plus years, I’ve seen people go on $100,000’s of retreats, over 30 years of self exploration, and not change a single thing about themselves. We can cut this crap simply by asking “how do I get more done in less time” and being open to the shift.
  5. A great example of this is the habit of being angry. It usually achieves nothing, creates nothing and costs engagement from others. So, why not just be angry, if you need to be, for a shorter period of time, not act on it and then get back to what you’re doing. Instead of 30 minutes being angry (or a whole day in some people’s cases) – give it 10 minutes and by not acting on it, you save the repair job you’ll have to do which is probably 3 hours lost. Getting more done in less time is about doing stuff faster, so, those athletes, business execs, leaders, artists who seem to be cruising through the top end of life with a smile have exactly the same burdens as everyone else. The only difference is that they have learnt how to deal with things faster.

Footnote: Delegation

Delegation is most often the process of dumping unwanted overload onto others. Instead, it can become part of the EVOLVE process – simply by breaking DELEGATE into three steps

  • Organise – before you delegate, organise the chunk of work that’s being delegated into a system, process or pattern
  • Supervise – work with the person(s) who are going to be delegated to to practice the system, process or pattern and modify the process if they don’t get it right. This is your feedback loop.
  • Deputise – once the first two steps are done… hand it over.


Our five or six senses receive information from our surroundings. If we allow garbage in then we get garbage out. These senses are looking, feeling, smelling, tasting, hearing and sensing and those receptors can just be allowed to collect what they want or you can filter the reception. Mobile meditation means filtering sensory inputs so that the world and the people in it are exactly how you’d expect, the world is as you want and through this, you are “WANTING WHAT YOU’VE GOT.” This process of sensory adjustment is very easy:

  1. See Balance (look for the balance in all people and things)
  2. Be Centred (bring your sensory perceptions to neutral)
  3. Feel Calm (see balance but focus on the positive – gratitude)

With these three, there’s an internal awareness of the beauty around you and you automatically want what you’ve got.

Then, we focus on Better. 

There are seven different levels of desire. They lead from panic (desperation) to certainty (inspiration) – Desperation is repulsive. And over inspiration is repulsive, so we want to be actively engaged in getting what we want, fully committed to it, without going to the extreme of a tiger looking for the baby deer to kill. It’s a pace we choose, somewhere between head and feet, somewhere between thinking and acting, it’s a big why without the desperation or self satisfaction that can sabotage it.

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