Friday, 6 January 2012


At this time of year, people are talking about New Year resolutions. Coming from a coaching background, I think it is a great idea to focus on our goals for the rest of the year right at the start. But how many of us believe we will achieve them?

Since I have come to Melbourne, I have realised how proud everyone is of this city. Melburnians and those who have adopted it as their second home fall over themselves to extol its virtues. It is a fantastic city for coffee, cricket, tennis and live music. There is a great arts scene, fabulous schools, parks, and even a beach only two miles from the city centre. Public Transport is efficient and jumping on and off trams is enjoyable. You can eat and drink in top class restaurants and bars to your heart's content.

I tend to subscribe to all of the above but I have a question: is it all as wonderful as it appears or is it because people believe it is wonderful. Starting with the coffee, for example, is it really amazing coffee or is it because everyone believes it is amazing coffee because they have been told so often? Is it the best place in Australia to watch live sport or is it because everyone believes that it is because they have heard it so many times before? Are the bars and restaurants any better than those in other attractive cities of the world or is it because Melburnians are the slickest self-marketeers known in the history of the universe?

The point is, it doesn't really matter because everyone believes Melbourne is fab. And this belief has been interwoven into the Melburnian psyche for many years as natives and immigrants have constructed a city that reflects their beliefs. Or have their beliefs shaped the city in which they now live?

Has the collective consciousness of the last two hundred years shaped the way Melbourne is today or has the great city that is Melbourne shaped the collective consciousness of its inhabitants? Is the success of this city due in part to its cultural beliefs and if so, what can we learn from this model?

If I compare Scotland to Australia for a brief moment, then it seems that in Scotland, we often find ourselves trapped in a culture of failure. What a shame we didn't succeed, but not to worry, we didn't expect to win anyway. Do we fail because we believe we were going to fail? I'm going to challenge myself, as I set my goals for 2012, to really believe that I can achieve them. 

Here's Mark Twain, to get me started:

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."                                         


P.S. (There is actually proof that Melbourne is the best city in the world. If you don't believe me, read this!).

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