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20
Mar

What’s In A Word?

 

What’s That You’re Saying?

A lexical approach to discovering more about ourselves, our values, life, cultures and creating a better world through the words we choose to use.

Have you ever really, I mean really thought about the words you use? The ones you sow like weed seeds without thinking? Or. The power behind the words you use? Words that belittle, demean, remove dignity and if used “en masse” cause world fear – even war?

And, do you take the time to think about the words you choose to use? The ones you hand pick with care when you’re at your confident best and sure about what it is you want to communicate? The words that uplift, encourage, speak of love and peace.

You haven’t really had the time to pay it much attention have you?

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16
Mar

What’s On My Mind And Balancing The Stories We Tell To Sell!

Balancing the Stories We Tell To Sell!

What’s on my mind facebook asks?
 
This. What am I not quite getting about “tell your success story” stories?
 
With the start of the new year I decided to immerse myself into the world of online business. I realised – with the exasperated roll of my son’s eyes – that it was hight time to stop my self lies and to also open myself up to the business of passive online income, vlogs, blogs, opt-ins,etc etc. So off I go and do some searching, researching, observing – or as some fundis like to call it: lurking – reach out, touch base, take what I can without going into overwhelm, try it out, sift out and persevere. I have met some incredible people – young and older – out there in the social platform world. Thank you for your open arms, help, advice, challenges and good vibes. I am still an info hungry hunter-gatherer. And growing.
 
But.
 
There are also these extremely successful multiple zero earners selling their sob to smile story – and one I’m particularly thinking of is a guy offering free webinars, earning serious shekels (or shackles) by telling how he became an overachiever because his parents got divorced and he felt the pain of not being good enough and I’m thinking like…you’re not serious are you?
 
And now I feel as though there is this public challenge to see who’s story can be more miserable.
Who’s had the rougher deal?
So you think you’ve got a headache? Well I’ve got a migraine…and…and…and I, me Hester, get to think that if our measure of success is who’s got the best sob story – I’m not going to be a succes? Is this right?

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15
Mar

Persistance vs. Perseverance, Starting Out And Opting In For Life’s Bonuses!

Hester Bergh-Appoyer

speaker | communication craftsperson | cross-cultural connector | author

connect. communicate. co-create – vienna | cape town | goa | new york

Persistance vs. Persevering And Getting Better At Life!

You know how sometimes the universe sends you a message as if you are the only person on the planet and the words were written just for you? Well not too long ago these words written by Octavia E Butler landed on my planet…

You don’t start out writing good stuff, you start out writing crap and thinking it is good stuff and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits any writer can have is persistence!

BOOM!

That’s it. That’s the word. Persistence. I took great pride in my very own dog-with-a-bone tenacity in not letting some things go. I gave myself a hearty slap on the back for my knack in knowing how to go on and on like Tennyson’s “Brooke”.

But. Had I known just how often I would have to go hunting and gathering to feed its insatiable howling hunger – I might never have started a few projects, let alone write a book!

And then I paused to ponder on the difference between persistence and perseverance.

This. Is. What. I. Found.

Like many other things in life – we need masses of sheer stupid persistence to keep something going. And I mean stupid. Persistence is that thing you’ve convinced yourself is a virtue. Persistence is that thing that keeps you mindlessly pursuing a cause (which you may confuse with purpose) with the expectation that the next time, or just one more time – with no end goal in sight – will be the time you get it right. Persistence is what causes you to stay in a bad relationship or in a job you hate. Persistence is exhausting.

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13
Mar

How to walk your talk and get more likes!

7 THINGS YOU’RE DOING THAT GET YOU MORE REJECTION THAN AFFECTION

An excerpt from The Collaboration Kickstarter which offers straight talking tips on how to get real heartfelt collaboration – right from the start!

You’ve got it made.

Compliments like “you’ve done/achieved/come far…” aptly praise whatever it is that you define as being a success – at this point of your life – and up to now you’ve systematically ticked off the things that lure and promise eternal rewards and recognition. But. Not everyone is buying and in some areas of your life – be it work or play – you’re getting more rejection than affection.

Family, friends and some colleagues are always going to support you with things you want and like to hear. That’s why they’re still on your party invite list. Unsavoury and un-nice behaviour can be dismissed with a host of adjectives. And, to support you, you live in a world that promotes and perpetuates wonderful and awe-inspiring you. But. You know and I know that you are still turning people off. Relax. You’re human and you really are awesome but you might be doing too much of one of the following: blowing your royal trumpet, taking too much, talking ill of others, too right, righteous and opinionated, making too many excuses, demonstrating favouritism, bias or racism, and last but not least, whinging too much. Which one is it?

Turn Off #1 Big Talk

Cultural core values are a huge big thing when it comes to honesty and harmony. Just like cultures differ in what they value as nice or not, some cultural groups demand a more straight forward tell it like it is way of talking while others, appreciate a more…

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9
Mar

It’s Simon Sinek’s Fault! Here’s why!

It’s Simon Sinek’s Fault – Here’s why.

Ever wondered why some of us do what we do?

Simon Sinek in his book and Ted Talk “Start With Why” asks us to imagine what it would be like if we could all learn to think, act and communicate like those who inspire? Imagine that! Thinking, acting and communicating like leaders! For someone like me – in fact anyone working in the world of communication and getting people to say what they mean and mean what they say with heartfelt clarity – this idea is super important!

Why did Simon write his book? He mentions that he hopes to inspire others to do the things that inspire them so that together we may build the companies, the economy and a world in which trust and loyalty are the norm and not the exception.

Why am I writing my book? I’ll get back to that! First this. Long before discovering Simon and his brilliant “Start With Why”, I had stumbled over my own – but – had silenced it with enough internal noise on not being good enough, qualified enough, researched enough, name-it-whatever-you-want-enough. I put my idea, and the why I thought it urgent then to write a book, on the back burner. But then my why started burning my butt. Badly. In that time I read Simon’s “why”, got the inspiration and a no-but kick-butt call to action – just like he sets out to do. Mission accomplished.

But.

Still.

Why risk making a fool of myself?

Why risk exposing myself?

Why risk making myself more unpopular than popular by making others feel uncomfortable in their comfortable realities and truths?

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23
Feb

Of Heaven and Hell: A Zen Parable on Anger

“Monk!” “Teach me about heaven and hell!”

The monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with scorn,

“Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re ignorant. You’re arrogant. You’re a disgrace, and an embarrassment to other samurai. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand to see you.”

The samurai became furious. He shook, red in the face, spitting with rage. He pulled out his sword, and prepared to kill the monk.

Looking straight into the samurai’s eyes, the monk said softly,

“That’s hell.”

The samurai froze, realizing the grace and compassion of the monk who had risked his life to show him hell! He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.

The monk said softly,

“And that’s heaven.”

2
Feb

Life’s Intersections. Looking East. Looking West. Going North!

speaker | communication craftsperson | cross-cultural connector | author

connect. communicate. co-create – vienna | cape town | goa | new york

LOOKING EAST, LOOKING WEST – LESSONS FROM JANUS

This is a new year reflection on endings and (hopefully) significant beginnings containing 7 bits for 2017 like…

  1. Greek god-ly information and 2 reflective questions
  2. 4 lyrical life hacks
  3. how to F.O.R.C.E yourself in 5 easy steps
  4. 3 A’s that will win friends and influence people
  5. a link to the land of OZ – a business book and,
  6. a boring print-out-able freebie for goals
  7. and some interesting words for my non-native readers!

So! We’re 32 (or possibly 33) days into the new year and it looks like some new year plans aren’t going to last past January. I know that thing. But don’t let January be another Jan-u-worry any more. I have created a goal planner to keep your plans and yourself (or was the process of creating it more for me?) on track. For you. Free of course. A real print-out-able freebie! But more of that further down this read.

Please note, that if you’re 100% satisfied with your life just the way it is – there is absolutely no need to carry on reading. But, if you are entertaining even the smallest of thoughts about wanting to change even the littlest thing (or big) carry on reading. This is packed with good stuff. As is the norm. This is what I do. I deliver good stuff!

But, I digress. Let’s take a look at this auspicious month. The month of significant beginnings.

January, gets its name from the ancient Roman god Janus who had two faces, one looking forward, toward the East – yip, you got it – the sunny side, and his other face looking backward – toward the west – gazing into the distant sunset. Janus was the god of gates and doorways, lord over the first hour of every day, the first day of the month and of course, the first month of the year, January.

He was worshipped at the beginning of planting time, harvest time, marriages, births and other significant beginnings in a person’s life. Our Janus has a big responsibility every day.

But seriously. In a deeper sense, old to new transitions, whether they be in our calendars or at the intersections* of our lives – can be exciting, thrilling, powerful and often overwhelming.  They can leave you looking this way and that and back again and even though you know it is safe to proceed you might hang around a bit, stuck, not knowing which way is best. Right or left? East or West?

Challenge #1 * Pausing is necessary * but the juggling act of taking a healthy pause and not pausing for too long is something you have to keep juggling to get perfect at and, just like riding a bicycle, you’ve got to keep pedalling – or you’ll fall off.

You need to do an ecological emotional check – because transitions don’t just happen overnight and achieving your goals takes time. If you’re going to be beating yourself up because things aren’t happening quick enough you’re setting yourself up for failure. Ask yourself
1) Just how badly you want the things you think you want and,
2) just how eager you are to step into your significant beginnings?

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31
Jan

2017 Goal Worksheet

YOUR VERY OWN GOAL WORKSHEET

31 days into the new year and – like most years – it looks like your new year plans aren’t going to last past January?

I know that thing. I know what happens and I know why it happens. But don’t let January be another Jan-u-worry!

Do you feel as though you need more structure? Do you feel like you need to “template” your life and goals? Write them down?

All good, but before you get going it is good to do an ecological /emotional check – because new things (usually) don’t happen overnight and achieving your goals takes time. If you’re going to be beating yourself up because you’re not getting results quick enough you’re setting yourself up for failure. There are a few things that need to be in place before you go about creating new NYR’s or goals!

Never fear, Your personal Goal Worksheet 2017 is here – with the things you need to consider while setting your new goals! Your Goal Worksheet 2017 will help you keep your plans and yourself (or was the process of designing it more for me?) on track.

Help yourself to this simple step by step document that you can work with and go back to (periodically) in order to move forward!

And remember: Whatever you do, just do it.  Make the almighty decision. Want it bad. Do it. Repeat it. Get good at it and stick to it. Like super-glue!

Achieving your goals is less about you and more about what you do so honour the deed, be your own and a source of inspiration for someone else and celebrate your achievements!

 

10
Jan

Slow down, dig in! A life skills read on getting things done.

Slow down, dig in and do the thing!

Don’t run, slow down – he said pulling her hand back.
I can’t – the sand is too hot, it’s burning my feet – she moaned while hopping up and down, flicking the stinging sunburnt grains further up her legs.

Her constant clambering and tugging at his arm and hand in an attempt to lift herself off the ground was making his progress along the thick sand more difficult so he stooped down, put down his load and let her sit on his knee while he whispered a secret into her ear.

This little “dadeloog” so loves secrets. And walking barefoot.

Slow down, he instructed gently. Take your time. Every time you put your foot down start digging into the sand with your toes. Right under the hot, hot there is cool, cool. I promise you. When you find that place slowly shift yourself onto that foot and then do the same with the other foot. Dig your toes in, find the cool, stay a while, move over. And then the other foot. And then the other. And before you know it you’ll be perfect at it and we’ll be home.

She, in her childlike way still tried to get him to carry her, but he was already burdened with some of the basics they went to town for. If only he had taken the other truck – now he’s had to leave the feed behind, in the broken down truck. The baboons are going to have a feast. And, he should’ve insisted she take her sandals.

I can’t – she continued to resist.
How do you know you can’t – he asked. Have you tried it? Do you know you can’t? At least do it and if you really don’t get it right I’ll help you – he encouraged her with a smile on his face – hoping.

And so, as if knowing that he was going to prove her wrong, again, she unwillingly took that step.

If little else remains of the very tall old man whose face has faded in her memory like the time-bleached sepia shots of a family long gone, her grandfather’s words to slow down, dig in and to do the thing before convincing herself that she can’t, ring loud and clear. Just like the excited echo of the raucous baboon chatter in the rocky mountains running north and south alongside the farm.

Still today she finds herself digging in and slowly taking one step at a time when the going gets tough and things get hot!

One of my “Lewis” stories – the farm in the Kalahari. With love, Hester

5
Jan

3 A’s for A-1 collaboration and conversation (and less conflict)

Accountability, Apologizing & Attention

It’s the fifth day into the new year! You’ve been gifted with 5 new days, and a “how to” get your butt going in 5 easy steps (or 5 seconds – see my post on the 3rd day) with a little F.O.R.C.E.  I am adding to that: personal accountability, apologising and giving attention.

Hopefully, you’re now (re)energised and ready to rescue and light up the world – or – do whatever is in your ability to make this year a whole lot brighter than the last one!

You’ve made the almighty decision, you want it bad, you’re going to get good at it and stick to it like glue!

Go for it! You will make an absolute cracker-jack kick-start kick-butt contribution to collaboration through conversation and here’s some more tried and tested A-1 tips to support you –  3 x A’s.

A1: Accountability. Or answer-to-ability. Or own-up-ability. The ability to take account for and of your actions is a personal choice to rise above your circumstances i.o.w’s stop thinking and behaving like a victim. take ownership and achieve your goals. Embrace it! Don’t get stuck on the yellow brick road. And if you don’t believe me read The Oz Principle.

A2: Apologizing. We get taught to and then we either forget or choose not to. Why? Is it defensiveness? Pride? Because you don’t want to let the person you should be apologising to, “off the hook”? Are you an non-apologiser? Is your not apologising protecting your fragile sense of self? There’s no need to ask “what have I gotto do” anymore – it’s not always easy, but it is simple. Apologise.

A3: Attention. Remember that? Remember how you felt when you weren’t getting it from a parent, lover or your boss? Think of flowers that don’t get attention. They wane and wither. What would happen to your business if you didn’t give it to your attention? What should happen to your conversation if you don’t give it your all? It’s so easy to spread our attention (thin) across our devices that we’ve become mind-full and not mindful. We’re losing the all-important life skill of staying focussed. And contrary to the saying that you must “pay” attention, attention is absolutely free and comes with the bonus that it generates interest (financial and personal). Attention leads to meaningful conversation. Attention determines how well you do something. You earn  and learn with attention. Attention could (even) save your life.

If you cannot gift someone with your presence by being present, get out of the conversation!

Frankly? It’s madness and arrogance to think you can keep doing the same old stuff and expect different or better results. If you’re not getting what you want and you have a bunch of new exciting ideas for your new year then drop your old unserving habits and start doing things differently. And, if you have been taking accountability, apologising and giving your attention you are more than likely content with how things are turning out for you at work and privately so not breaking your head over things you think you have to achieve. That’s AWESOME!

Let’s do this. All year long. And for as long as you breathe.

Embrace the deeds of accountability, apologizing and attention. Honor them and celebrate your integrity!

 ,

your no-buts kick-butt sparkplug cross-cultural communication and collaboration keynote speaker and coach. If you’re interested in getting more contact me!