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About This Site.

This site is the website of motivational speaker Craig Harper. A constantly updated, one-stop information, inspiration, education and motivation station. Unlike many similar sites, it is a totally free resource for anyone who is serious about moving from mediocre to amazing in any area of their personal or professional life. With hundreds of articles covering a wide range of subject matter, great interviews with cool people and inspirational video posts, there's more than enough brain-food to keep you busy for hours. Okay, days!! Enjoy.

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Fattitude - Craig Harper
While many books focus on food, Craig teaches that creating life-long change is more about the dieter, than the actual diet. This book is perfect for people who have a history of 'almost' getting in shape.

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In this entertaining presentation, Craig discusses the notion of Renovating Your Body - once and for all. Many of us have a curious ability to be able to get in shape for events (weddings, parties, reunions and birthdays), if only we'd get in shape for life.

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Welcome to Craig's site.

Craig Harper is Australia's leading motivational speaker and educator (according to Google Australia). He is a highly sought-after corporate coach and is considered to be a leader and pioneer in the areas of personal and professional development.

Working with hundreds of teams, companies and a wide variety of organisations on numerous continents over the last twenty years has given Craig a unique insight into, and understanding of, human performance and all its variables. Craig has an ability to educate, inspire, challenge and make people laugh all at the same time!

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Renovate Your Life Blog

Thursday, November 30, 2006
Rewarding Our Children... with Obesity.
How did we get to the point in this crazy culture of ours where food has become something we use to manipulate, bribe, coerce, reward and medicate.

In the good old days...we ate because it sustained and nourished us.
Outdated and wacky notions I know, but effective nonetheless.

We gave kids food at designated meal times.

If my recent trip to the local shopping centre is any indication, we're in trouble.

Apparently junk food is now being used to 'train' children to behave a certain way... just like we do with bears in the circus and the dolphins at Seaworld.


I saw five different parents (or maybe carers) shove junk food into the mouths of crying or misbehaving children, to pacify them.
I actually watched a mother feed her baby (maybe ten months old) fries while she tucked into her bucket of fried chicken.

Two stupid, irresponsible decisions.

The poor little kid ate as many fries as he could, and then began to put the remainder in his mouth and systematically suck the fat and salt off them, one by one.

As an ex-fat kid, it broke my heart to see this child being handicapped before he even gets a chance to rationalise or decide for himself.
And by the time he can decide, he'll be obese and programmed to consume vast quantities of crap, because that's all he knows.

Mum's grooming him for a life of obesity and emotional and psychological pain.

It seems that the good old pat on the back, hug or words of encouragement, don't cut it anymore. Some parents are teaching their children that approval comes in the form of high fat, high sugar, high calorie rewards.

"You sat still for a whole five minutes...well done, here's another donut."

We reward ourselves too.

"I've been so good today; I deserve this".

What... you deserve to be fat?

You deserve to over-eat?

You deserve to stress your body with additional, non-functional, weight?

So many of us see food as a prize for doing (or not doing) certain things.
We even 'save up' for the weekend... so we can 'let our hair down'.

We 'plan' to over-eat.

We tell ourselves that if we don't let our hair down (over-eat) every now and then, we're... missing out.

I spoke to a bloke recently who 'rewards' himself every night after dinner with sweet biscuits and 'Cookies and Cream' ice cream. When I suggested that he should give the biscuits and ice-cream a miss, he said: "yeh, but I've gotta have a life."

Apparently, no late night binge; no life.

It's amazing what we can rationalise when we try.

I'm not saying that food can't be an enjoyable part of our life... and I'm not saying we should never eat our favourite 'happy' food, but I am suggesting that we shouldn't come home from work every night and throw down a block of Toblerone because we've had a stressful day... and we deserve some food therapy.

Medicating or manipulating with food ain't a great long term strategy for anything.

As long as we use food as a reward for certain behaviours (especially with our kids), we're in trouble.
We are a society which starts this pattern early and we need to stop it.

If your two-year-old is a Golden Retriever, then food rewards are a great idea.

Otherwise, give them a miss.

* Let me know your thoughts... or if you have had a similar experience..

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Destiny or Decisions?
Okay, so I may get a few noses out of joint with this article but I'd rather write what I believe to be true, than to try and appease the masses.

There's a shock.

Q. You know what I love about writing on my own site, rather than writing for a magazine?
A. No editors to dilute my message.

Creative freedom.

Journalistic bliss.

A while ago I met with a woman and her nineteen year-old daughter who (for many reasons) had a life which was, at worst, teetering on the brink of disaster, and at best, going nowhere fast.
The young woman had significant personal issues (as we all do from time to time) and so the mother made an appointment for the two of them to meet with me, to see if we could possibly come up with some type of strategy to turn things around.

No biggie.

"As long as she is genuinely ready to change and be honest and responsible, we'll have no problems", I told the mother on the phone before the meeting.

Don't turn up if she's not genuinely ready to do the things necessary to create forever change.

As I sat and spoke with the two of them, it became apparent that they were both of the opinion that she (the daughter) had ended up where she was by some stroke of bad luck, or some kind of cosmic retribution.

Apparently the universe was conspiring to make her life a misery.

Fate perhaps.

Crap... perhaps (I thought).

Poor baby.

Here's a snapshot of her situation:

Wealthy family.
Left school at sixteen to 'work' in the family business.
Hated work and rarely turned up.
Always too unwell to work.. but well enough to party.
Smoked dope every day.
Morbidly obese.
Parents who 'love' her, but facilitated her crap because there had never been any real consequences for her destructive, deceptive, selfish behaviour.

Mummy and Daddy always bailed her out.
(Parents who do this actually perpetuate the problem).

The mother informed me that her daughter had always had terrible luck with friends, relationships, school, teachers and with drugs!

How on earth does someone have terrible luck with drugs?

She then shared that she didn't "feel it was her daughter's destiny to live the life she was living."

I told mum that I didn't believe in the (mainstream) concept of destiny.

I told her that I believe it is the refuge of the indecisive, the lazy and the deluded.

I told her that destiny was a convenience for people who didn't want to take responsibility for what they make (or don't make) of their life.

She gave me the maternal death-stare.

I ploughed on relentlessly.
'She hates me anyway', I thought.

I turned to the daughter:

"I believe your life is a disaster largely because of the decisions you have and haven't made, and the things you have and haven't done."

It's about choices.

"If you decide to do different, think different, react different, eat different, live different and communicate different.... you'll be different."


"But creating your best life has nothing to do with destiny... and everythig to do with decisions."

People sprinkle conversations with terms like destiny, fate, chance and luck, so they don't actually have to take responsiblity for their reality.

Historically, now or in the future.

If destiny is some pre-ordained series of events, circumstances, situations and experiences which are to 'happen to us' over the course of our lifetime, then we don't actually have to do anything.... because whatever will be, will be.

It's all beyond our control anyway.


Sometimes we romanticise our existence here on the big green ball with fluffy, vague, feel-good, mumbo-jumbo philosophies.

And in doing so we:

Fail to deal with realities of the human experience.
Fail to scrape our knees and learn.
Fail to feel and experience all life has to offer.
Fail to be responsible for our own journey.
Fail to grow as we could and should.
Fail to live, laugh, love and learn.

Well the good news is.. after hating my guts for an hour or so, a little weeny light started to flicker somewhere way back in the darkest recesses of their respective heads...
And for maybe the first time, mother and daughter started to consider things from a new perspective and explore the 'what ifs'.

A year on (and a few chats later), junior is back studying, 30 kgs (66lbs) lighter, still hating me periodically (and occasionally loving me), drug-free and a completely different person.

Happy, even.

Because she decided to be.

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Monday, November 27, 2006
Multiple Intelligence Test
The irony of me having a blog site and communicating with people globally via the World Wide Web.... is that I am a complete techno-phobe.

I totally don't get how it works.

Stupidly, I tried to explain how the internet works to my mother.

"She won't know I'm clueless", I thought.

She knew.

When it comes to computery (shut-up.. it's a word) stuff, I know nothing.
I know less than nothing.
Nothing would be an improvement.

Arrogantly, I like to think of myself as reasonably intelligent but occasionally I get out of my comfortable little box, and my predictable, safe world and I start to discover...I'm an idiot.

I can talk in front of a thousand people but I can't assemble a table from IKEA.

Can I burn a CD?


Can I build stuff like a real man?

Sadly, no.

Excluding my pencil case from year nine.

Got a B.

I digress.

Have you ever wondered why some people can be so 'intelligent' with some things and so 'stupid' with others?

Like the guy who can build a nuclear missile from four coat hangers, an old bath and some gaffa tape, but can't string three words together when he's introduced to a girl.

Or the woman who can speak eight languages, split the atom and recite the Old Testament, but can't understand basic humour.

"Why would someone do that to a chicken anyway?"

I have a friend who is a genius with computers.
In fact, all technology.
No formal training, just knows how to fix stuff.

If he's never seen a phone like yours, he'll re-program it and show you how to cook a roast with it, in two minutes.

But give him a baby to hold for thirty seconds and he'll look like you've just handed him a live grenade.

Ever done an IQ test?

I have.

I came out okay but I don't actually believe they are an indication of anything, other than our ability to do IQ tests.

The question we need to ask is:
Is there a correlation between people who score highly on IQ tests and those who seem to do 'better' (whatever that is) in life?

Typically, the answer is no.

So for the above reasons and lots more, I have decided to create my own Intelligence Test.

One which actually is a genuine indicator of overall intelligence; not just a small component.

Here's how it works:

There are ten types of intelligence (my article, my rules).

Simply rate yourself between 1 and 10 for each type.

A score of one meaning you're complete crap in that area, five to six; you're okay but you could improve and nine or ten... you're a gun.

Here are the categories:

1. Academic Intelligence Traditional concept of intelligence (IQ - intelligence Quotient); school marks, memory, problem solving, mathematical ability. A person's IQ is derived from one of numerous standardised tests which (allegedly) tells us how smart we are.

2. Emotional Intelligence (also called EQ; Emotional Intelligence Quotient) The dictionary defines EQ as an ability, capacity or skill to perceive, assess or manage the emotions of one's self, of others and of groups.
Can you and do you, genuinely connect on an emotional level with loved ones? Do tears freak you out? Have you personally cried in the last five years? Have you hugged all of your parents and / or brothers and sisters in the last year? Can you, and do you, tell people how you really feel about them? Do you work on developing yourself on an emotional level? Do you acknowledge and discuss your fears?

3. Social Intelligence Can you, and do, you make people feel great? Can you fit into any social situation? Can you chat with the least interesting person in the room for more than three minutes? Can you read social situations or are you socially inept? Do you always know what's appropriate for the situation you're in?

4. Mechanical Intelligence Can you change a tyre? Can you build a spaceship from coke cans? Can you service your own car? Can you name the bits in the engine thingy? (clearly, I rate poorly in this area).

5. Creative Intelligence Can you solve problems? Are you creative? Do you think outside the box or are you boring and predictable? Can you write, draw, paint, sing, compose, sculpt, play an instrument? Can you create something from nothing? Do you have cool ideas... and act on them?

6. Practical Intelligence (also called common sense). Are you good at 'just getting things done'? When the crap hits the fan, does everybody look to you? Do you instinctively just know how to 'do stuff'? If you were on 'Survivor', could you build a five bedroom house out of coconuts and branches just to show off?

7. Business Intelligence Were you the kid who sold his paper round to another kid for a profit? Do you walk into a business and instinctively know how to improve it?

8. Spiritual Intelligence Do you have some kind of faith, spiritual awareness? Do you ever feel that maybe there's more to things (life) than just what you see? Do you do anything about it?

9. Technological Intelligence Do you struggle to play a DVD, or can you re-wire your computer in the dark?

10. Adaptive Intelligence While everyone else is falling apart, do you just cope? Do you like getting out of your box... perhaps you don't live in one. Do you love challenges and discomfort, or do you like routine and predictable? Can you be in almost any situation and be okay?

After you've rated yourself in all ten categories, add up your total (out of a possible 100) and rate yourself on the scale.

0-50 Like Craig

51-70 Not completely dysfunctional

71-90 Pretty darn clever

91-100 All-round genius

Let me know how you rate.....

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Saturday, November 25, 2006
It's Not About Medicine; it's About Communication
Yesterday I spent some time with a bloke who is educated, creative, articulate, confrontational, blunt, controversial, honest and friggin' funny.

According the world-famous Harper Success-O-Meter, he's very successful (ticks lots of boxes), is well known and respected, is down to earth, and while he can identify a problem, he's all about solutions.

Love that in a person.

He's Australia's highest profile medic, has his own TV show on Channel Nine, has written a bunch of books, is an internationally renowned educator and speaker, has travelled to, and researched in, 103 countries, and his name is Dr. John Tickell.

While I have interviewed the great man on my radio show, we'd never shared a cuppa and it was fantastic to get him down to the Harperdome, and to spend some quality time with someone whom I respect as a teacher and motivator.
He's also someone who absolutely walks the talk and doesn't pull any punches.

I'm sure we could run a joint workshop called:
'How to offend people and get them in shape at the same time.'

I always say to people "I can tell you what you want to hear, or I can tell you the truth."

The Doc is a bit the same; I don't think he's too worried about getting the odd nose out of joint, as long as he doesn't have to compromise what he knows to be the truth.

We spoke about a whole bunch of interesting stuff, learned a bit about each other, exchanged some books (I defininitely got the better deal) and then we parted company.

Last night I read his latest book, 'The Calorie Comparison Guide' and it is a fantastic resource. In the first few pages he lovingly and gently destroys most of the popular diets, explains his rationale clearly and effectively, and then proceeds to unpack his simple, yet enlightening message on nutrition.
In a world full of technical, fluffy, mumbo-jumbo crap, he beautifully articulates what most can't.

Good work Doc.

I'm always intrigued by successful, clever, creatives.. and after chatting with him and reading his book, I tried to figure out what makes him the best in his field.

I could have come up with:

1. He's highly intelligent and knowledgable (he is, but so are plenty of others).

2. He's well managed and promoted (maybe, but that's not it).

3. He's a great goal setter and visionary (maybe, but nuh).

4. He's funny and entertaining (close).

Here's what I did come up with:

1. He is where he is largely, because he's an incredible communicator.

2. It's not about his knowledge, his qualifications or some razzle-dazzle publicity machine; he simply takes the time and effort to connect with people.
Very effectively.

3. He reads people (individuals and crowds) beautifully.

4. He has a gift for making people laugh, smile and enjoy themselves, while simultaneously punching them in the head with some tough love.

5. He addresses complex (and simple) scientific principles in a language that anyone can understand.

6. He listens, asks relevant questions, maintains eye contact, remembers and uses people's names.

7. He is genuinely interested in people.

8. He's not a 'people-pleaser', not a politician and understands when to speak and when to listen.

Whether you're a high profile doctor, a brick-layer, a student or a manufacturer of widgets, if your goal is to create a 'better' reality, then work consciously at becoming a better communicator.

Here are my Top-Ten Communication Tips:

1. Genuinely listen to, and thoughtfully consider, what the other person is saying - as opposed to waiting for a gap in the conversation to impose your opinion.

2. Talk at people's level of understanding - don't try and intimidate or impress.

3. Watch. Communication is 93% non-verbal. Watching someone will often tell you more about them than listening will.

4. Ask open-ended questions; questions which can't be answered by 'yes' or 'no'.

5. Empathise. Do your best to put yourself in their shoes and see things through their eyes.

6. Make the conversation about them, not you. Leave your ego at the door.

7. Find something to (genuinely) compliment them about.

8. Read 'How to win friends and influence people', Dale Carnegie, 1936; a pioneer and a master communicator.

9. Remember and use names. I introduced the Doc to six people and as he left, he said goodbye to all of them and used their names. The net result? They all love him.

10. Don't over-talk. Great communicators don't necessarily talk the most. Sometimes the less we say (verbally), the greater the impact.

Listen to my recent interview with the great man here.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006
A Better Life in Seven Easy Steps...
So we've covered a fair bit of the motivational and head stuff recently.
Now I reckon it's time to stop talking and start doing.

We've discussed how and why we think, feel, react, process and behave the way we do.We've looked at creating change from an emotional, psychological and spiritual perspective, now we need to roll up our sleeves and move from the theoretical to the practical.

Here's my 7-Step Positive Change Model:

Step 1.
Identify what's held you back in the past and do something about it.
If you don't address the things which have limited you in the past, all the planning, dreaming and hoping will amount to nothing.
Be honest, be realistic and don't be precious.
Typically, things like laziness, procrastination, fear, dis-organisation, ignorance, pride, lack of planning and research, and poor preparation stop people from succeeding.

Remember:If nothing changes, nothing changes.
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

Step 2.
Make real decisions.
You know the ones.

Not the fluffy, which-socks-will-I-wear-today decisions... but those massive, I'm-gonna-change-my-life decisions.

Step 3.
Set specific goals around those decisions.
Might be behavioral goals: I will walk to work three days per week. Every week.
Health goals: I will lose 10kgs (22lbs) over the next ten weeks.
Career or financial goals: I will open my own business within 18 months.
Lifestyle goals: I will take a minimum of four weeks holiday annually.
Fitness/sporting goals: I will complete a half marathon within six months.
Personal development goals: I will read Craig's site every day for an hour!

Specific, measurable and time-based goals work best.
They keep us accountable and pro-active.

Vague goals suck.
I wan't to feel better - crap goal (vague, wishy-washy)
I want to lower my blood pressure to 120/75 and lose 10% body-fat - good goal (specific, measurable).

Step 4.
Create a plan
You know where you want to go, now you need to figure out how you'll get there.
You won't accidentally succeed.

Passion, commitment, determination and positive attitude are important, but if you don't have a map, you'll never arrive at your preferred destination.

Planning, preparation, research, time-management; all crucial and necessary success ingredients.

Many people fail simply because they are dis-organised and haven't planned appropriately.

Passion will only get you so far.
We need to attach that passion to an intelligent plan.

Step 5.
Take action and keep taking action
Doers succeed.

Do something (big or small) today which will get you closer to where you want to be.
Make a phone call.
Buy some runners.
Make an appointment.
Go for a jog.
Clean out your pantry.
Fix a broken relationship (you know the one).
Start reading food labels.
Enrol in a course.
Buy a diary.
Get uncomfortable.
Do it again tomorrow.

Step 6.
Improvise, adapt, overcome, deal with set-backs
Often the most successful person is simply the one who deals most effectively with hurdles, obstacles and challenges.

Two people go through the same experience:

One says:
"I gave it a shot and I failed."
The other says:
"Okay, so that didn't work, I think I'll try it this way."

One calls a particular experience 'failure', the other calls it 'a lesson'.

Can make or break us.

Easy to talk yourself into failure.

Step 7.
Finish what you start
The number one reason we don't achieve what we set out to is...
we don't finish what we start.

We are a nation of people who are constantly starting and stopping things.

Consistency is the key.

Why don't most people who join gyms achieve their goals?
They don't go.

They start but they don't finish.

Even when the motivation wears off (and it will) do it anyway.
Even when it ain't fun (and it won't be sometimes) do it anyway.
When most throw in the towel, stay committed.

If you want to be like everybody else, then do what they do.

If you want to be exceptional, then do exceptional things.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Stop Being a Big Baby and Make a Decision.
I have a friend who spends her life not making decisions.

Life kind of happens around her.
In spite of her.

She thinks a lot.
Talks a lot.
Waits a lot.

She's very intelligent and analytical.
And miserable.
And fearful.
And frustrated.
And unfulfilled.

"But, what if I do this and that happens...or this... or that?"

Always just about to change her life.

Any moment now.

If only she would make a friggin' decision.

Any decision.

I wanna hit her over the head with my indecision bat.
In a loving way.

Every day of our lives we have the opportunity to step out of mediocre and into amazing.
If only we have the guts to make decisions.
Real decisions.

All successful endeavours come about because someone, somewhere at some point in time, had the guts to decide.

Whether it was popular, convenient, practical, easy or comfortable, they did it.
They had an idea, they made a decision, they took action and they created something from nothing. And in doing so, they developed new skills, new strength and new perspective.

We all know what we need to do.
But it's uncomfortable, so we avoid it.

Building our best life is actually quite simple.

But we have a gift for making the simplest things complex.

We hate discomfort, so we do everything we can to avoid making those uncomfortable decisions.

Life's uncomfortable.
Relationships are uncomfortable.
Personal growth is uncomfortable.
Decision making is uncomfortable.

Get used to it.

You know what you need to do.
You've known for a while.

Stop being a big baby.

Do it.

I dare you.

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What are you looking at?
The other day I was on my way to do some radio stuff when I happened across two people (a couple) in their car, who were having the marital spat of the century.

Clearly, not happy.

You generally don't expect too much entertainment sitting in traffic, but it's fair to say that they were providing quite the distraction for everyone within a two hundred metre radius.

I was about five cars away and I could hear every word. None of which I would share with Grandma Harper. Next set of lights I pulled up beside them and glanced in their direction (couldn't help myself).
Big mistake.
At the same time, the woman (a little charmer) turned away from her bloke, realised I was looking (how dare I), and screamed at me:

What are the f... are you looking at?

I felt like saying "you two dickheads creating a scene", but realising she could probably kick the crap out of me, I opted for the girlie option and said nothing.

Embarrassing I know.

Have you ever watched an argument from a distance?
Two people screaming, nobody listening, tension, frustration, spit, tears, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, cardio vascular stress, production of potentially harmful hormones (adrenalin, cortisol), not to mention the social, emotional and psychological discomfort two angry, insensitive, stupid idiots can create for everyone (kids, friends, work colleagues, strangers) within ear-shot.

Some of us regularly live in a negative and destructive emotional state.

Not you or I, of course, but possibly someone we know.

We whinge, we complain, we blame, we judge, we criticise, we resent, we envy and generally we're unpleasant to be around (periodically at least).

We get ourselves into an unproductive, destructive, negative state and we 'create' new problems.

We need to ask ourselves a few things:

1. Do these negative emotions (jealousy, resentment, anger, bitterness, greed, envy, etc.) fix anything, or create any positive outcomes?

2. By me getting myself into a negative state, who is most likely to suffer?

3. Am I (really) honest with myself or am I happy to blame anything and anyone for my problems and circumstances?

4. Do I really want my life / situation / body / relationships to change for the better... or do I like to revel in my own misery? Do I really want to change things, or do I want someone else to fix it?

We rarely think it's us.
We always think we're right, they're wrong and they just don't get it.

Or get us.

We keep looking for the person who will 'get' us.

But at the same time, we spend our entire life not listening, not understanding, not empathising and not trying to 'get' others.

Sometimes the simple act of listening to someone, rather than talking at them will fix things.

Chat with someone who's having problems with a partner, friend or work colleague; you're never gonna hear: "you know what, I've been a real pain in the arse lately; I never listen, I'm inconsiderate and I only ever see things from my point of view. I really think I need to apologise and change."
"And by the way; she's fantastic and I really appreciate her."

Ain't gonna happen.
But it should.

The truth is; it's always us.
At least a bit.
No matter how right we think we are, understand this... it's always about us.
In some way, on some level.

Even if someone is difficult, we still contribute.

I often tell people (who are giving me their version of the truth) that I believe they are the problem; even if they are my friends. Just because I care about someone, doesn't mean they're always right.

Keep this in mind: you might be the greatest person, with the best motives and the nicest nature... and still offend, hurt and insult those around you (without ever intending to, or without even being aware).

I know, I've been offending people for years! ...don't mean to, but still do it.
Even with a post like this, someone will have a positive revelation and write to thank me for the insight; another person will get offended and hate what I've written.

Now before I get a hundred negative responses to this little piece, I want to acknowledge that there are times when it is very understandable that we get ourselves into a negative place. I also acknowledge that many people suffer from serious psychological and emotional issues which won't be fixed overnight.

That's not who I'm talking about here.
I'm talking about people who constantly make life and relationships harder than they need to be.
By choice.

I spend lots of time with lots of people... and I am always interested in how people choose to deal with situations and circumstances.

People who choose to be angry - I don't mean for three minutes, or every now and then, I mean people who are generally angry, grumpy and bitter; you know these people.

Choose to be resentful.
Choose to be bitter.
Choose to be jealous.
Choose to be greedy.
Choose to blame.

Therefore; choose to be unhappy and unfulfilled.
Choose mediocrity.
Choose to be alone.

Think about it; who wants to be around someone who is negative all the time.

If you want to be loved, needed, wanted, liked, respected ... then give people a reason.
Be the person that people want to hang around.

Choose to be positive, not negative.
Choose to be proactive, not reactive.
Choose to see the good, not the bad.
Choose to make others feel great, rather than yourself look good.
Choose to listen.
Choose to understand.
Choose to change yourself for the better.

Sometimes getting yourself in a better place mentally and emotionally, is about asking the right questions:

Wrong Question Why was I given these genetics?
Right Question With my genetics, what's best way for me to eat and exercise to optimise my potential?

Wrong Question How come I always get injured and can't train?
Right Question Now that I'm injured, what can I do to remain active and maintain momentum?

Wrong Question Why does he / she always react like that?
Right Question What am I doing to contribute to the problem?

Wrong Question Why doesn't he / she listen?
Right Question What's the most effective way for me to communicate with this person, to create the best outcome?

Wrong Question Why is he / she so difficult?
Right Question What can I do to improve things between us?
Right Question Why am I so difficult?

Wrong Question When will things finally go my way?
Right Question What can I do right now to change my reality?

Wrong Question Why does this always happen to me?
Right Question What do I do to make this happen?

Wrong Question Who will help me?
Right Question Who can I help?

Wrong Question Why have I had such a crappy past?
Right Question How can I have an amazing future?

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Monday, November 20, 2006
Dinner with Bono
So, last night I had dinner with Bono.
And the Edge.

Kind of.

Okay, I ate a chicken pie at the U2 concert.

But in my mind, I ate dinner, Bono was there.

Therefore; dinner with Bono.

Life on planet Craig; Great.
You should visit.

When I bought my two VIP tickets, for a lazy $440, I stupidly assumed that I might actually get to see the great man.

The greatest (if not the tallest) rock star in the world.

If only I had taken my telescope.

If only the venue didn't cover three suburbs.

If only I had that bionic eye operation.

If only he wasn't three feet tall.

The sound was phenomenal but for all I know, it could have been Cuba Gooding Jnr. up there lip-sincing.

For two hours I watched a singing ant in sun glasses.

And when I couldn't be bothered squinting at the ant, I watched the giant TV screen.... but for all I know, they could have been playing some footage from an old concert.

Come to think of it, he did look a few years younger.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006
Rate yourself on the Harper 'Success-O-Meter'
The thing with us Personal Development types is, we're always talking about creating our best life.


Whatever that is.

We know that success is represented by different things for different people, but society teaches us that success is typically about money, position, attractiveness, power and influence.

Some more evolved souls have philosophies like:

"We make a living by what we get,
We make a life by what we give" (Winston Churchill)

Over the last few months I have done some work with a bloke, who by most people's standards, is considered to be incredibly successful. I can't be too specific for obvious reasons, but I can tell you that, despite his significant commercial success, he is, in most areas of his life, a self-confessed failure. For the purpose of this little chat, we'll call him Subject A.

Over the last thirty-three years I have had a relationship with another bloke, who happens to be my best friend in the world and, I guess by society's standards, he's your typical Aussie lad. No high-flyer; just your meat and potatoes ripper bloke. We'll call him Subject B.

Let's take a snapshot of each bloke:

Subject A
Early 50's.
Stinking rich.
Miserable, unfulfilled.
Stressed, anxious.
On wife no.4, a bunch of kids, step kids and ex-step kids.
Five houses.
Triple by-pass in his forties.
Lots of medication.
Unfulfilled, lonely, insecure.
Kind of scared about his future (tough to admit but true).
Got everything and nothing.

Subject B
1 wife, 3 kids, 1 dog.
A nice house in the country on a few acres.
Works on an oil rig, 7 days on, 7 days off.
Like all of us, has tough days, but if he was a dog, he'd be a Golden Retriever;
just happy to see you, tail always wagging.

The world-famous Harper 'Success-O-Meter' works like this:

There are ten success categories, and in each category the subject is scored either a one (positive response), or a zero (negative).

Here's what the resultant scores indicate:

0 - 3: Really need to stop, re-assess, and make some significant life-decisions.

3 - 5: Has some periodic joy and fun, but overall life's kinda average and blah.

6 - 8: Going okay, at times great. Still need to work on a few things though (as we all do).

9 - 10: Got it sorted. Keep doing what you're doing... and teach others.

This is how I would rate the lads... er, subjects:

1. Physical Health
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

2. Financial Health
Subject A: 1
Subject B: 1

3. Laugh / Fun Factor (he/she laughs and has fun, often)
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

4. Psychological Health (typically positive outlook, optimist, great attitude, has the ability to 'switch off' from distractions like work etc., deals well with challenges)
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

5. Emotional Health (can receive love easily, typically content, calm, relaxed, fulfilled, can and does express feelings easily to all loved ones, is okay with crying, good self-esteem, not insecure, can and does make others feel good about themselves)
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

6. Social Health (has, and invests time in, meaningful friendships, goes on regular holidays, hangs out, enjoys socialising, allows themself to prioritise friends, has genuine 'down time', others enjoy being around this person)
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

7. Spiritual Health (has some kind of spiritual beliefs and invests time and energy developing on that level, performs self-less acts of kindness, gives without expecting or wanting anything in return, open to learning and growing on a spiritual level, has faith)
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

8. Family Life (spends significant time with family, is not typically selfish, is happy to invest practically, emotionally and psychologically into the family, loves being with and prioritises family)
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

9. Career / Vocation (looks forward to work, is stimulated and challenged by it, enjoys it, has fun at work, has made his/her passion their career, not a work-a-holic, has good work/life balance, does not try and meet emotional, psychological and/or social needs, through work)
Subject A: 0
Subject B: 1

10. Personal Growth (is genuinely interested in developing on all levels, wants to learn, grow and change for the better, is a student of life, can accept constructive feedback, is proactive not reactive, is not lazy, does not typically procrastinate or make excuses, is prepared to get uncomfortable)
Subject A: 1
Subject B: 1

Overall Scores:
Subject A: 2
Subject B: 10

So, it seems that the humble dad, husband and tradesman is actually one of the most successful people I know.

Of course, how someone will score in any 'evaluation' depends completely on the criteria by which that individual is judged. I have no doubts that some people will not agree with my judging criteria, that's okay; they don't have to.

That's why it's called the Harper Success-O-Meter!

The important thing is that we periodically take the time to step back from the mayhem that is, our reality, and see if we really are living a life which is consistent with our beliefs, values, standards, principles and goals.

By the way, I have nothing against people making truck loads of money. I have a problem when that money becomes a person's identity.

People often say "money is the root of all evil", which is a mis-quote of a scripture which actually says, "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy, 6:10).

So, money's not the problem, what it represents to (some) people, is the problem.

The take-home message?

"It doesn't matter what's happening on the outside (what the world sees),
if we're not genuinely working on the inside."

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Please take your finger out of your nose.
Faux Pas: a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct; an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion.

Last weekend I was at my beach house, away from the rat-race and blissfully, in the middle of nowhere (I love nowhere). Like many areas, it is an internet-unfriendly zone. In order for me to get on-line and be able to write, I needed to drive for fifteen minutes, find reception and do some work in my car, while I listened to the surf.
So that's what I did last Sunday at 8am.

I found a massive car park (maybe 400 spaces) overlooking the water, with not a soul to be seen.

Me, 399 empty spaces, four seagulls and some waves.

I'm lovin' it.

I hop in the passenger side so I can open my laptop without the encumbrance of the steering wheel and fire that bad boy up.

For a moment.

I had been parked for a few minutes when a fifty-something, with a cancer stick hanging out the side of his gob pulls into the parking space next to me. There's 399 spaces to choose from and he not only parks in the adjoining space, but he parks so close that I could reach out and touch (punch) him through his open window. Just as his cigarette smoke begins to violate my clean air, he opens his door.

Thank goodness.

He's going for a walk.

Nope, he's not getting out.

No, he 's actually leaning out of his car and spitting out a big, wad of white, phlegmy crap.
But not before he clears his throat for twenty seconds, to make sure he doesn't leave any in there.

So glad I haven't had my porridge.

He slags, wipes his mouth, shuts the door and takes another drag on the cancer stick.

"Am I invisible", I ask myself.

I sit in my car revolted, amused and curious as to why a person behaves this way, and obviously considers it okay to do so.

What goes on in someone's head for them to be so socially unaware and inappropriate?

What made him park his car one foot from mine?
What made him think it was okay to blow smoke in my window?
What made him do the whole spitting thing?

Anyway, he finished his little ritual, reclined his seat half way and then produced a newspaper from the passenger seat.
He's staying.

I decided that I would exercise some focus and concentration, do my work and ignore him.

This worked for a few minutes until he distracted me out of the corner of my eye fossicking for snot.

Now I know you probably think I have a propensity to take poetic license but I am not fibbing; his index finger had all-but disappeared up his nose.

I actually laughed out loud.

I finished my work and drove home wondering why some people are so socially inappropriate and so seemingly, unaware.

Why does the fat bloke with the baggy, home-boy jeans think the world actually wants to look at his horrible, hairy ass-crack?

Has no-one told him?
Did his parents not share that life-lesson?

So for the sake of my own amusement, hopefully yours, and possibly a little healthy debate, I have decided to list my top ten social no no's. Keeping in mind that what qualifies as a Faux Pas will vary from culture to culture (burping for example), I think the following might be universally cringe-worthy.

Number Ten
People who talk inappropriately loud for the situation or environment they are in. Typically found in restaurants, trains and hotel lobbys. Usually blokes. Usually forty(ish). Usually have two mobile phones and often have their car keys clipped to their hip.

Number Nine
Close talkers (as featured in Seinfield). Also known as the space invader (see previous post). Insist on standing on top of you to chat. Always have bad breath. Always boring. Often have big foreheads.

Number Eight
People who laugh hysterically at their own jokes. The only people who don't know they're not funny, is them. Often have white stuff in the corner of their mouth.

Number Seven
People who point out to tall people that they are tall.
"Thanks for the revelation, Sherlock."

Number Six
The monobrow.
We all have to contend with genetics, but their ain't no justifying a six-inch eye brow.
One word; wax.

Okay two; pain.

Number five
Talking about people (who are in the room) as though they're not there. Usually done by stupid, insensitive parents, in front of their insecure, shy, teenage kid.

"No, Jason's not very good at sports, but he has a real flair with fabrics and pastry."

Number Four
People who always bring every conversation and story back to themselves. They never actually listen to anyone else; they merely wait for an gap in the conversation. They don't talk with people, they talk at them. The very thing they want (to impress) is the opposite of what they achieve.

Number Three
People who are clearly not in need of a feed, jostling and elbowing for position at the buffet. Seemingly in a frenzy to see exactly how much food can be squeezed onto one plate, and how many re-appearances they can make at the trough, before the food runs out. Invariably they will say something like: "wow, I was so hungry... I never eat like this."


Number Two
Asking the pregnant lady (who isn't actually pregnant) how long she has to go.

Number One
Body Odour.
Why don't smelly people know they smell?

Is it all odours they can't detect, or just the one's they produce?
We've all worked, or gone to school with the really stinky guy who has absolutely no idea how pungent he is.

For most of us, the gigantic yellow armpit stains and the flies would be a give-away, but not him.

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Dumb Enough to Succeed.
Over the years plenty of well-intending people who are (apparently) much smarter, much more experienced and much wiser than me, have tried to help me steer the 'SS Harper' (AKA my life, my career).

Don't do this.
Don't do that.
There's no market for that.
That concept won't work in Australia.
You'll never get that published.
You need to spend...... on marketing.
You need business experience to make a business work.
You're too young.
You're too old.
You're too fat.
You need more experience.
Now's not the right time.
You need to learn more.
You need a degree.
You need another degree.
When the time's right, things will just fall into place.
You'll never make money in the fitness industry.

The truth is, most people don't really have a clue when it comes to the world of possibilities and potential.

They spend their life sabotaging their own dreams, and talking themselves and everyone in their world, into mediocrity.

Sometimes the combination of ignorance, inexperience and passion can be a winning formula.

Sometimes common sense is our biggest hurdle.
Sometimes 'common sense' is a synonym for fear.

Learning by doing beats learning by listening every time.

I'm so glad I was too dumb to listen to all my clever advisors.

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Monday, November 13, 2006
Succeeding in Business 101
Recently I was interviewed by Sensis, publishers of Australia's White and Yellow Pages directories, about creating and maintaining a successful business.

My company, Harpers Personal Training, which has been around for nearly twenty years (I started it when I was six) is one of the largest, appointment only, personal training centres in the world.

My team of trainers (nearly fifty of them) conduct over 1,500 personal training sessions weekly with everyone from the morbidly obese to elite athletes, kids to grandparents and the stressed business person to the teenager who wants to learn some self-defense.
We also do lots of others interesting, fun stuff with all types of organisations, teams and companies.....

To read the full interview you can click here.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006
"Ogg, does my bum look big in this bear-skin?"
As blokes, there are some questions that we really don't want to hear.


There are no winners with these questions.

The Bermuda Triangle of conversation.
Many, many men have been lost in there, never to return.

These questions are pointless and problematic, and have been asked by women since the dawn of time.

While most historians and archeologists claim that the dinosaur and sabre-toothed tiger killed off Cro-Magnon man, it was actually the question:

"Ogg, does my bum look big in this bear-skin?"

All Ogg had to do was hesitate.... and he was beaten to death with his own club.


Not to mention the humiliation in front of his buddies.

So, why do women do it to us poor defenseless blokes?
Ain't gonna be no joy for nobody, so why ask?

Relationship suicide.

If we give the answer the woman doesn't want to hear, we're stuffed.

If we give the answer she does want to hear, she doesn't believe us.

We're stuffed.

The un-answerable questions I call them.

As the Alpha-Male of the species, the obvious choice is to avoid them all together, but if an un-answerable question comes your way, you've gotta try something.... so here are your best options:

1. Counter her question with your own interrogation: "when were you going to tell me about those three hundred dollar shoes?" Attack is your best defence.

2. Start crying and tell her you're confused.

3. No matter what you really think, answer quickly, confidently and loudly with these words: "you look amazing." Maintain eye contact and don't blink. The blink will get you killed.

4. Shift her focus; grab your chest and tell her you've got pins and needles down your left arm.

5. Ignore the question and ask her if she's seen the remote. You're going down anyway... may as well go with a bang.

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I don't really want a Porsche; I just want you to love me.

Like any self-respecting motivator, I'm always talking to people about goals and I regularly facilitate goal setting sessions; both with groups and individuals.

It's no revelation to suggest that goal setting is a crucial part of the renovate-your-life process.

What really interests me, is not the goals that people set, but what they believe the achievement of those goals will bring them.

In other words; the goals behind the goals.

What they really want.

In the world of Personal Development, these (the goals behind the goals) are called the 'outcomes'.

The girl who has a goal to earn $200,000 a year; what does she really want?

She wants less stress.
More options.
More happiness and joy.
Some fun.
More respect.
She wants her stupid father to finally acknowledge that she is talented and smart.

And rightly or wrongly, she believes that $200,000 will deliver her all, or some of, those outcomes.

What about the fat bloke who wants to drop 25 kgs (55lbs), what does he really want?

He wants to lose his social invisibility.
To be attractive to someone.
More self-esteem.
More confidence.
He wants to make his ex-girlfriend regret what she's done.
He wants to impress his old school mates at the reunion.

Over the years I have seen many (many, many) people achieve amazing results, only to be devastated, disappointed and disillusioned when the achievement of those goals didn't deliver them the outcomes they (consciously or not) had hoped for.

People who believed that a physical change would 'fix' their emotional, psychological and relationship problems.

People who believed that more money would take away their emptiness and the unhappiness and give them the respect they deserve.

So next time you set a goal, ask yourself: what are the (likely) outcomes of that goal?

What do I really want and am I going about it the right way?

You might just learn a bit about yourself.

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Friday, November 10, 2006
World's Oldest Personal Trainer (almost)
Hey team.

Huge day at the Harperdome today so there won't be an excess of written inspiration coming from my busy little keyboard. But what I will share with you is a video interview I did today with one of my favourite people in the world. She's 66 years young, she's funny, she's irreverent, she's inspirational and she works with me. Her name is Jan Frazer and you can meet her here.

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Thursday, November 9, 2006
Politically Correct Crap.
Recently I was giving a talk and I used the expression, 'fat bloke'.

Following the presentation a woman approached me to let me know that I had offended her with my 'language'. When she told me that 'fat' was the offensive word, I nearly fell down.

I said: "1. he was a bloke and 2. he was fat....what's offensive?"

Then she really hated me.

She told me that my language was "politically incorrect and that my tone was inflammatory (whatever that means) and provocative."

And I thought provocative was a mini skirt.

Oh well.
Thanks for the life-lesson grumpy arse.

When I pointed out that I wasn't commenting on the bloke's nature, character or value to society, I was merely referring to the fact that his obese body (an observation, not an insult) put him at risk of heart disease, she didn't really get it.

I was still a pig.

I'm sick of people creating new labels for fat in order to make us all feel better (big, large, full-figured, heavy-boned, thick set) and I'm sick of people dancing around obesity and all it's related issues in an effort to be politically correct.

Whatever you do, don't damage anyone's self-esteem... ignore the big fat gut and those clogged arteries and hand them another donut.

I don't want to offend people... I want to be HONEST.

Let's call it what it is (fat) and deal with it.

Let's stop fluffing around, let's stop being precious and looking for reasons to get hurt,
and let's acknowledge what's really happening in Western Society:

We're eating ourselves to death.

I do care about people's self-esteem and emotional state... BUT I care more about their cardio-vascular health and whether or not they will be alive next year.

If someone gets a little offended but I help them live another thirty years (with a leaner, lighter, healthier body) then I'm prepared to be blunt (there's a shock).

It is predicted that the next generation will be the first to have a shorter life-span.

Because of obesity, they will die sooner.

"Poor John; he died of a heart attack at twenty eight."

"He weighed 400 pounds, but at least his self-esteem was in great shape."

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Stilettos or Everest?
Yesterday I did an interview for Women's Health and Fitness magazine with hard-core mountaineer, Cherie Horne....who happens to be a cute blonde, with a passion for adventure and an aversion to make-up. She's inspirational, she's driven, she's a little freaky and you can read the interview here.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006
If today was tomorrow, would I be in the present or the future?
Sometimes we're so busy creating our amazing future, that we never experience anything more than a mediocre now.

We're so busy becoming successful that we never actually get there...

And if we do get there... we don't feel successful because, by then, we've changed our definition of what success is.

We keep moving the goal posts so that we can't actually be happy.

"I'll be happy when I lose 20 pounds"

"Okay, 30."
"Alright 40."
"That's it; 50 pounds and I'm done."

Unless you can time travel, you'll always be in the present.

And even if you could, you'd never be in the future because wherever you are, will always be your 'now'.

Sometimes we don't know how great our life is, or how successful we are right now, until it's ripped out of our hands...... then all we want, is to have things back the way they were.

We desperately want it to be just how it was, but when we had it, all we did was complain.

Maybe success isn't about when we are, where we are or what we have.

Maybe if we did an objective stock-take of our life, we would realise that we're already successful but we just don't know it, appreciate it or enjoy it.

It's great to have goals and dreams for the future (a destination) but it's also great to enjoy the journey ('cause that's where we live). Some people are so busy surviving and existing, that they forget to live, laugh, love and learn.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Melbourne Cup....who cares?
Note: The following is written tongue-in-cheek. It's not journalism; it's entertainment.

Today is Melbourne Cup day.
Apparently, one of the biggest horse races in the world.


I live in Melbourne.

I spoke to a bloke this morning who informed me that I should be excited about
"the race that stops the nation."

I'm not.
At all.

He said that I'm being unpatriotic by having no interest in the Cup.

He told me that, as it's the 'biggest sporting event in Australia' and, as I work in sports-radio, I should be ashamed of myself for not embracing the day.

Gotta be honest; not feelin' much shame.

Gee, I'm glad we're not all the same.
How boring would life be if we were all into the same things or had the same opinions?

Real boring.

I know us Aussies are passionate about our sport (me too), and I know we love our social outings (me too), but I'd like to de-emotionalise (is that a word?) the whole thing, make a few observations and ask a few questions:

What really happens at the Melbourne cup?

1. People who know nothing about horses become equine experts overnight.

2. Stupid, drunk blokes lose heaps of money.

3. Stupid, drunk blokes hit on hot chicks who aren't remotely interested in them.

4. Despite constant knock-backs, the drunk blokes persist.

5. People drink themselves to oblivion, spend a fortune on hats, hobble around in stupid shoes, wear expensive clothes and throw-up on themselves.

6. People stand in queues for ever, to use a toilet which has been used by three million people in the last hour. Think about that.

7. For a few minutes at about three o'clock, a hundred thousand people look over the top of each other's heads, squint at some horses which are running at 40 kph a kilometre away, and pretend they know what's going on.

8. Bookmakers drive home sober and a little wealthier in their BM's, stupid, drunk blokes with no money wait two hours for a taxi, pretty girls get a lift with good-looking rich blokes and the horses, who apparently love to race, get shoved in a horse float to look at fibreglass for the three-hour trip home.

Sport of Kings?
The only athletes at the Melbourne Cup are the horses.

Does it require skill to be a jockey...yes.
Are they

Is horse racing a sport.. nup.

Any event where animals get whipped ain't a sport.
When someone interviews a horse who says he loves being belted with a stick, then I'll reconsider.

I know...

Why don't we invent a sport where people (who aren't running fast enough) are belted by horses with sticks.

Now that, I'd go and watch.

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Sunday, November 5, 2006
Where's Bride-Zilla?
So last night was my ex-girlfriends wedding and I completed my master of ceremonies responsibilities with no dramas.

I was so responsible and mature, I was mindlessly boring.
I didn't offend anyone.
I didn't make anyone laugh.

Boring Craig.
Safe Craig.

Despite my intention to create mayhem and pandemonium, I was a dud.

Someone selfishly pointed out that it wasn't all about me.

I was instructed to behave.

If I was a shoe, last night I would have been a desert boot; functional but ugly.
If I was lunch, I was a cheese sandwich; bland.

So while the happy couple (Lincoln and Tami) shone and the band was phenomenal, the MC was about as exciting as steamed rice.

Oh well.

However, being the student of life that I am, I always find time to learn a few things and here they are:

Being the only non-drinker in a room of 150 people makes for an interesting study in human behaviour. One old guy told me the same story three times and because it was a loud environment, he felt compelled to stand on top of me to deliver the story with maximum impact...which would have been okay, had it not been for his propensity to spit. By the final telling of the story, I was covered in slag and grog and was finishing his sentences for him. Each time I stepped back to avoid the shower, he grabbed my wrist and pulled me back into the spray zone.

What is it with me and spitters?
I'm a spitter magnet.

(If you're not sure what I'm talking about, read my archived posts "Space invaders with bad breath" and "Please don't sit in the next cubicle.")

Blokes shouldn't dance. Ever.

Old people shouldn't dance. Ever.

Chicks dig blokes who are in touch with their emotions.

Lincoln shed a few appropriate tears when talking of his love for his new bride and for his family and friends. After his speech there were another seventy women who would have married him in eight seconds. I learned that it takes more guts to cry and show people who you really are and how you really feel, than it does to be a macho, emotionless, boofhead.

Note to self: Stop being a macho, emotionless, boofhead.

If the Bride's happy, everyone's happy.
The wedding ceremony, which was meant to be an outdoor extravaganza, complete with all the trimmings which go into twelve months of planning, had to be relocated indoors with sixty minutes notice. While Rebecca, the super wedding planner, was juggling her nervous breakdown with her numerous responsibilities, the bride's (Tami's) attitude was:

"As long as my friends and family are there, I'm happy."

Where's the stress?
Where's the tantrum?

Aren't Brides meant to be highly-strung, fragile, melting pots of emotion?

Where's Bride-Zilla?

So on the biggest day of her life, the girl who had every 'right' to be grumpy and disappointed, spent most of it telling everyone "it would all be okay."

I learned that, what makes a wedding day great (or any day great, for that matter) has very little to do with weather, dresses, cars, invitations or stuff ...and everything to do with attitude and how people choose to deal with situations and circumstances.

Lincoln and Tami chose to make it a great day.

And it was.

Congratulations Linc and Tam xx

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Friday, November 3, 2006
Should I be funny or should I quote scripture?
So tomorrow is my ex-girlfriend's wedding.
In Queensland.

No big deal.

Unless of course the ex-boyfriend is in Queensland, he's going to the wedding and he's the Master of Ceremonies.

Asking me to MC any wedding is a high-risk strategy but putting me in charge of the day's proceedings for my ex-girlfriend's wedding is innovate, creative, brave and quite possibly....


What are they thinking?

Have they not seen my track record?

Do they not know how socially innapropriate I can be?

There ain't no 'how to' book on this.
I googled it.

It's nearly midnight and I'm sitting here wondering what the protocol is for such an occassion.

Should I prepare?

And if I should......prepare what?

I don't even know her bloke, Lincoln.
Everyone says he's fabulous.

Apparently much better than I ever was.

Not that I'm insecure.

Not that it's a competition.

He'll hate me for sure.

Who wants his girl's ex-boyfriend doing a running commentary at their wedding?

Should I mention that I'm the ex (for those in attendance who don't know) or is that completely innapropriate?
And if I do, exactly what do I mention?

Do I do it early... or wait till the grog kicks in?

Should I be funny and amusing or should I be philosophical, theological and deep?

Perhaps I should quote 1 Corinthians 13 (love is kind, love is not jealous etc.), as they do at every other wedding I've ever been to....or perhaps I should go the Adam Sandler option and belt out a few bars of White Wedding.

Should I follow the standard script... or should I freestyle and create mayhem?

I've asked around and everyone says "just be you".

Mayhem it is.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006
It's practical, it's sensible.... it's humiliating... it's for sale!
They say that perception is everything.

Riding my motorbike and my motor-scooter on alternate days this week has taught me a lesson in perception.

Just for the record:
Motorbike: 180 horsepower
Scooter: 19 horsepower
Motorbike: Awesome piece of mechanical engineering
Scooter: 0 - 60kph in seven minutes

Here's my week.

MONDAY: Me on a big, scary, loud, highly modified, more-power-than-necessary motorbike. The V Max; the longest and most stable relationship I've ever had.

I know.... a story in itself.

Drivers response when I'm on the V Max: somewhere between fear, respect and bewilderment. They generally avoid eye contact at all costs. When I weave through the stationary traffic, it's strictly eyes straight ahead and... "sorry if we're in the way Mr crazy motorcycle man in army shorts, we'll just move to the side of the road for you."
Kids in back seats point and look in awe while their parents frantically tell them not to stare.
I wave at the kids, they excitedly give me the thumbs up.

They love me.
The parents reluctantly give me a nervous smile/grimace as I connect with their children.

TUESDAY: Same journey; different steed.
Me on my highly embarrassing (but very sensible), blue, made-in-Taiwan scooter, weaving in and out of the traffic on the way to my radio show. Top speed: not much. Cool factor: minus nine. Transmission: embarrassingly, automatic.
Under-seat storage room: plenty.

Sometimes, I put my self-esteem in there.

I tell myself it's a practical commuter, it's economical and it's more environmentally friendly than my big-ass four wheel drive, or the petrol-guzzling V Max.
I'm doing a good thing.

The children who worshipped me the day before look at me with disdain.
I've become a loser.
They hate me.

They obviously don't appreciate the practical or environmental advantages of the scooter.
They spit on me as I ride by.
The thumbs up signal has been replaced with the middle finger.
The fathers who were petrified 24 hours earlier are abusing me for riding so close to their car.
They want to hurt me.

I think tomorrow I'll drive my big-ass four wheel drive.

...and sell the scooter.

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