Reaching For Amazing


I’ve come to the end of sharing the series of articles that i wrote for Gulf News 6 years ago. The seventh and final piece was one in which I tied together issues which i believe are critical for the future welfare of students, especially in an Asian context;

a) The increasingly rapid commoditization of jobs that require relatively low skill levels and the increasing degree to which AI will compete with Asian workers for these roles, and
b) What some are calling the existential vacuum – the critical factor that young people need to find life meaningful and purposeful in order to gain satisfaction or even happiness from life.

My conclusion was that we only reconcile these two issues through setting out to do amazing work, stretching ourselves and aiming high.

gulfnews-article 7-06102013
(To open the article click on the link above. The pdf document will open either as a new tab or a new browser window)


Who We Really Are

Sharing a great short video (about 4 1/2 minutes). It’s all about how we engage with the world. Incidentally, I interpret that in the references the ‘God’ and divine processes, this doesn’t just tie to any one religion or any religion at all. Rather, it relates to being spiritual beings in the broadest sense.

We are in the world, and the world is within us.

Intrinsic Motivation

Autonomy, mastery and purpose – three keys to motivation.

It’s now seven years since Dan Pink’s powerful TED talk which took forward some of the principles discussed in his book “Drive”.

FedEx days, 20% time – these ideas have been around for a long time, including lots of interest in the practices at companies like Google.

So, what impact has all this had in education? Oh, ah, ummm. We’re still thinking about it. We’re still locked in to the mindset that says as much as we’d love engaged students pursuing what they’re passionate about, we’re not going to relinquish control over their time – all of it. because, ultimately, we don’t really trust them! We’ve created climates and environments in schools based on carrots and sticks, rewards and punishments (see Alfie Kohn’s book, “Punished By Rewards”) and ultimately – CONTROL. We must remain in control because in the climate of our schools too often if we let go of the control students who don’t find much purpose in what they’re doing will abuse that loss of control, waste their time and not produce what we insist they produce.

What will it take for us to challenge the paradigm of schools, control, time and create environments for real autonomy, mastery and purpose?


Happiness, success, a good life – these are best found through a life of meaning, a life with a purpose. With good reason, I once entitled a Graduation Speech – ‘What is My Why?’

So, today, I thought I’d share this very good, practical, step by step process for determining one’s purpose that I came across a while ago. There are many similar processes around. Which one you choose doesn’t really matter half as much as that you actually put in the effort to do the hard thinking, opening up to possibilities and stilling the voice of nagging doubt that can so easily blind many to their true purpose.

Then, what the article doesn’t say, but is really quite obvious – the objective of the exercise isn’t some beautiful ideas on paper. None of this is worth anything, unless we follow up with action – as much as it takes.

How To Find Your True Purpose In Three Days or Less

Here’s to a life lived ‘on purpose’ in 2016

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