Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

This one's a bit personal, but I hope you'll find it useful.

I write this blog a few hours from the anniversary of the death of my first wife in 2005. I'm reminded once again of her courage as she set out to make the most of the time she had left.

She was inspired by the words of the Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl who was imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps and wrote of men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.

Frankl's point was that we can always choose our attitude, even if we can't change our circumstances. My wife agreed and put a list entitled 'Things to do' on a cupboard door in the kitchen. Each had a tickbox and I added the words 'To be continued...' (which turned out to be too optimistic).

She set out to achieve as many of those goals as possible. But it was more than what the movie calls a 'bucket list'. Having made that choice, she made the most of life in ways that weren't even on the list - investing even more in her relationships, being generous with her precious time, giving love and support to others while fighting a disease she knew would end her life soon.

We all have opportunities to show courage, every day - facing change, taking risks, facing adversity with a positive spirit. I often think of my wife's courage and of the men who walked through the huts comforting others in the concentration camps, as I face setbacks and challenges. They put choosing our attitude in perspective.

It's only courage if we do feel fear and face it. Practising courage, even when we can't change our circumstances, makes us resilient and stronger for the next challenge.

About Ralph Brown

ralph brown blog3

Ralph is our founder and managing director. He has a background in psychology, television journalism and business.

Ralph's passions are psychology and writing. He leads workshops on both and speaks to conferences on the psychology of thriving at work.

In 2011  Professional Speakers Australia awarded him its top speaking accreditation, the CSP.

He has written six books and more than a hundred articles on psychology and writing. International research journals have published his articles reviewing the research on resilience.

Ralph's enjoys trips to France. He lives in rural Canterbury.

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