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Three Fundamentals


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Interviewers have numerous techniques for getting the guests to talk, and it begins with how they ask questions. One trick they learn is to refrain from asking questions that only require a yes/no response; they end up where they started with no conversation and the risk of “dead air”.

“Dead Air” is a silence where no one is talking, and there is no conversation, and the listener, if it’s radio, wonders if they have lost signal. Everything stops. When the listener, in a real sense, their customer, shuts off and moves to another station, podcast, broadcaster, they could lose them forever. Doubly painful if it is a new listener. Hence a prepared interviewer will avoid this at all costs. One of their most common techniques is to ask the “list” type question. What music would you take to a desert island? Top three books you read this year? And on it goes…

On a recent podcast, I heard the interviewer ask the question of their guest, “if there only three truths or ideas that you could pass on from your life experience, what would they be?”. It got me thinking… if I was asked the same question, what would I reply?

I waited for the guest, Bethany Hamilton, to reply – not easy as it is a tricky question, and she is forced to think on the spot and come up with something close to what she may respond if she is given time to contemplate.

Bethany Hamilton is an American Pro -surfer who survived a shark attack as a 13-year-old and bounced back and within months and was surfing again.

Her responses were –

  1. Faithfulness to her people and her God
  2. That we can be unstoppable.
  3. Enjoy the moment and get some adventure in you.

Somethings to ponder.

Now even with some time to think, I do not have just three to pass on, but I have a list of sorts, which gets adjusted from time to time; here are three from that list.

We Can’t Have It All.

My sister is a practice manager for a Gynaecologist and Obstetrician who works in the private health care system. They work in the nice part of town.

When she first started working there, in our conversations, there would often be this lament. “these girls that come in and just want it all.” By this, she would mean that some of the women they took care of would come in saying, “I do not want to put weight on; I want to come out of this looking spectacular and back to my pre-birth weight in a couple of months. Have the baby on a Tuesday be home by Friday, home for a couple of weeks and back to the career with the newborn in childcare”.

She would often wonder why they have a child at all and wonder? Down the road, the parent will query why they do not have a good relationship with their son or daughter?

We find these attitudes everywhere; there is always a trade-off.

We want a better career but will not spend the time studying late into the night to achieve it. One cannot come without the other. Therefore, downtime is essential; Downtime without distractions. In the downtime, we can settle into our souls and discover what we want to pursue, enjoy, love, and look back without regrets.


To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves


A garden will teach you about life, yourself and your place in the world. It will calm and feed the soul. It does not matter how big – a view pots on the balcony, part of a community garden, or your own plot, no matter how big it will make a difference in your life.

Growing anything teaches us patience. We play the strengths and weakness of each plant—the consequences of actions and their impact on the life around us.

Trust is a Foundation of Life

“Loving someone is giving them the power to break your heart but trusting them not to.”

Julianne Moore

My first full-time job was in sales. I didn’t set out to follow that path, but I learn some skills that have served me well over my life. I had worked part-time in a factory during my high school years, and when I needed a job for the fill-in year between high school and university, I called the manager of the business to see if they had anything going. He rang me back within a day and said – “yes, start on Monday and put on a tie”. I had no idea what he had planned – I thought he had found a job in the office shuffling paper.

On Monday morning, I found out I was to help the sales team by replacing them when they went on their annual holidays. I was scared – it was unknown and felt right out of my depth, but I gave it a go and found I could be good at it. I was out and about visiting clients, helping them with their businesses.

Over the years, I have come back to it if a job was required.

One job asked me to visit people in their homes to quote for new equipment they had requested. I found myself in a home not far from our office. The client was exceedingly difficult – he was giving me the third degree about everything. It was apparent that he had little trust, not just in me but in life in general. Someone had broken his faith early, or he had been taught this from the get-go. He believed that everyone was out to get him, Yet he had contacted us first – so what to do?

I said to our client – “let us step back from this a bit.”

“Let’s have a look at what’s going on here.”

“You’re giving me a hard time because you’re trying to work out whether you can trust me. Now, you have no reason to trust me – you don’t know me; you haven’t dealt with us at all. We could be the biggest shysters on the block. Right now, you have no real reason to trust us, apart from what the website says about us, which in reality could be a whole bunch of lies – you know nothing about us. That is a perfectly understandable position. I get it.”

He looked back at me and nodded – he’d softened a little.

“Now”, I said, “there is another “trust thing” going on here as well.” He looked at me a little strange.

“I’m trying to work out whether I can trust – you”.

He looked a little astonished.

I went on to point out. We had not dealt with him before either. If the sale went through, we would ask for only a 10% deposit, the balance when the job was completed. I had to make some conclusions whether he had the money, whether he was trustworthy, and depended on him to pay the money on the completion, without a lot of trouble.

The trust in the relationship, as it is in all relationships, was a two-way thing.

When trust is broken, it can take a long time to heal and, in some cases, may never completely recover. It is precious and best guarded at all costs.

Trust has to do with the foundations of our existence, our sense of safety; it is the basis for all relationships. If someone is challenging to deal with, there is a good chance that broken trust is at their core.

Trust is not only trusting in another but trust in ourselves. If we no longer have the confidence in our abilities to carry us forward; we then set small goals, if we set them at all. We are then left exposed to be taken with the winds of life—a recipe for disaster.

Fear leads to more fear, and trust leads to more trust.

Dean Ornish.

Till next time

Resources & Further Reading.

Love and Survival : The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy – Dean Ornish


Written By Owen Thomas


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