The Scorpion and the Frog

Have you heard the story of the scorpion and the frog ?

“A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog then agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature.”
–Fable of the Scorpion and the Frog

The frog’s charity and kindness is repaid with cruelty by the scorpion…

Some people cannot resist hurting others even when it is not in their own interests. 

The lesson is very clear and often overlooked: people rarely change their basic nature. Yet too often, we make the mistake of ignoring this truth.

We enter into friendships with people who, by their nature, are not suited to be good friends, to support us in achieving our life goals.

We enter into romantic relationships thinking we just need to change a few things about the other person to make our partner perfect. 

We enter into business transactions with people knowing about potential problems but thinking we’ll work around them, or that they’ll act in the best interest of all parties because they’re gaining something from the relationship.

We need to learn a lesson from the frog. People rarely change their basic nature. It doesn’t matter what the rewards might be for acting differently.

People find it extremely difficult to act contrary to their true selves.
I’m not suggesting that you give up on a person because of a mistake in the past. We all make mistakes. But be wary and temper your expectations of that person; don’t expect radically different behaviour, and monitor the situation to protect yourself.

It’s best to seek out friends, relationship partners and employees whose core identity aligns with yours. If you’re an employee, make sure the values of the company match your beliefs.

Life is filled with challenges. Don’t take on more by expecting someone to act differently from their nature.
The sting of realizing this truth can be quite painful.

Scorpions are a part of life. They exist amongst us and you’re bound to face one eventually. You might feel disappointed when you encounter one, but it’s part of life and the human condition. People have flaws.  

Recognise the scorpion within yourself.

We are all able to make choices, but those choices are influenced by our nature. There are things we can do to make our choices overrule our nature, we just need to recognise and acknowledge our own weaknesses. 

What Next? Take Time To Reflect


The end of the year is a great time to take stock of the year, to look ahead and to reflect on your life wheel because it encourages mindfulness and accountability.

Take a couple of moments before the New Year to think about new experiences that influenced you personally. Reflect on all the great things you have accomplished in the year 2015 and pull out the greatest lessons you have learned to bring into 2016.

What went well?  Who needs to be acknowledged?  What’s not working?  What do you need to let go of going forward?  What do you need to spend time on to see better results?  How can you be much kinder to yourself in the coming year?  Who will you connect with more in the year ahead?  What kind of leader, peer, friend, partner (and other roles) do you want to be?  What do you want?  What is your word/phrase/question for 2016?

No matter what your lessons and reflections, I wish you a beautiful end to year 2015 and a gratitude-filled start to 2016.

To Your Success!


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The Pain of Discipline or The Pain of Regret…The Choice is Yours!

Are you doing everything you can with all those amazing talents and gifts of yours? Do you even know how extraordinary you are? I hope so!

I know we can have many great attributes and dreams and life philosophies but if we never put them into action…where do we end up? Absolutely no where in this life.

Every single day, you can make a new choice. Repetition can be your saviour or your sword. Over time, neglect will lead to more neglect and discipline will lead to more discipline.

Taking away the blame and stepping into the responsibility of your own life’s direction IS the way to achieve your dreams. The weight of self-discipline is very much lighter than the load of regret.

The choices we make will either build our self-worth or tear it down. The choice is yours, and yours alone to make!
Make it a great day!

Remembering Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

“You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

Remembering Maya Angelou, who inspired us to be better.

24 Inspirational Quotes from Maya Angelou

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.”

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

“Courage: the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

“If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“Everyone needs to say to our children, ‘Children, this is your world. Come out. Stand out. Earn it.’

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a life.”

“We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror?”

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

Rest in peace Maya Angelou. You inspired me! Thank you for your words.


Fences in Your Mind

Excerpt from Living a Five Star Life by Betty Mahalik

This book is beautifully written. It is a treasury of wisdom, common sense and inspiration.

I’ve watched the movie Chicken Run at least a half-dozen times. Just beneath the surface of its simplistic look and story line lie a number of wonderful messages told through the eyes of a bunch of Claymation chickens trying to break out of their chicken-wire world to escape their fate at the chopping block. Their freedom leader, a feisty little hen named Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: “the fences are all in your mind.” She reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that a bigger obstacle than the physical fences they’re surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them captive.

It’s been a good reminder for me on those occasions when I’ve been dealing with my own mental fences…those created by self-doubt, uncertainty, fear. Can you relate? Where have you fenced yourself in mentally in recent days or weeks? Perhaps your mental fence is procrastination, a deadening habit that keeps you stuck. Maybe yours, like mine, is related to self-doubt, and the on-going internal noise it produces that keeps you immobilized. Perhaps yours is the belief that you don’t deserve success, so you sabotage yourself to avoid having to find out how successful you could be. There are a million variations of the theme, but the result is still the same: we stay stuck like the chickens in the movie.

Here are the questions I invite you to ask yourself as you continue on your own personal development journey.

1. What are your mental fences?

2. What is the cost of maintaining these fences (physically and mentally)?

3. Are you willing to let go of your perceived realities (fences) and attempt to conquer them?

If you answered “yes” to question number three, I have a simple equation that will assist you in this process.


Your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as you’re simply looking “at” them. As soon as you begin to establish a vision and take actions consistent with your vision, I can promise you that your fences will disappear.

If it’s self-doubt, sit down and write out everything you value and why it’s important. Then challenge yourself to eliminate anything that doesn’t absolutely reflect your values, or add something that is a profound statement of who you are.

And remember, the fences are all in your mind!