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Life is Messy

Success Isn’t Just About The Destination

So far, this has been a cracker year for me. 

Personally, last month I announced my engagement to my wonderful partner Brendan. We’re due to get married next January, and I couldn’t be more excited. To commit to spending the rest of my life with this beautiful human couldn’t feel more “right”. 

We started the year having an action-packed yet restful holiday with friends in Hobart, and we’ve planned a vacation together in Thailand for June/July. We’re also saving to buy a house together in 2025. To do all of these things, we’ve created a budget and have set up a saving plan to achieve our financial goals.


I’m loving my new gym, and the new 6.30am fitness routine is helping me feel stronger and fitter - one of my key personal goals for 2024 

Professionally, we’ve introduced exciting new events at TDC, and we’ve exceeded expectations with ticket sales, smashing our targets for the year. This stands in stark contrast to last year, which was one of our most challenging years ever.


At MR. MITCHELL, I’ve had the privilege of collaborating on a stunning new build in East Melbourne, working with the talented architects at Herbert and Howes. Our clients appreciate quality, and are trusting us to incorporate some interesting materials that will elevate the scheme to a new level.  


Up until now, it’s felt like I’m smashing goals in all areas of my life.


You know those periods when it feels like the stars are aligned and everything is working in your favour? It's like all your hard work and positive intentions are paying off, and life is feeling great.


And then the universe throws a curve ball, as it seems to love to do.


On the morning of Easter Saturday, my father suffered a massive stroke. He’s been in hospital since then, and is facing a reasonably long road to recovery in rehabilitation. 


My wonderful family have rallied together, taking it in turns to visit Dad, be present for specialist appointments and to comfort and support our Mum. I don’t know what I would do without my amazing siblings and my loving partner. It’s been incredibly stressful physically, mentally and emotionally.


I thought seriously about sharing this information with you today, as it’s intensely private, and I'm still coming to terms with this new reality. But this is the truth about my life. Behind the facade of what might appear as outward success, I’m dealing with the messiness of life. 


In this and previous newsletters, I don’t share details of my private life to seek your sympathy or to shock you. I also don’t think that my life story is any more challenging or important than anyone else’s. Quite the contrary, I share these stories because I know that you’re probably able to relate.


Getting to know many of you through my 1-on-1 coaching, programs and retreats, I’ve learnt that there’s “stuff” going on for everyone. Behind the shiny Instagram posts, award ceremonies and magazine covers, I know that business owners are dealing with the challenges of life.


Sometimes these things are small (like juggling a busy social calendar), and sometimes they’re seemingly insurmountable, crippling matters (like sickness of loved ones). Through it all, we’re expected to put on a happy face, and keep showing up as our best selves at work.


No matter how well we plan for it, no matter how effective we are at setting and achieving goals, “stuff” will always happen that’s completely out of our control. 


Life is messy. 

The events of the past couple of weeks have got me thinking about how best to keep moving forward with my personal and professional goals in the face of the challenges that life can present to us.


At the time that this newsletter is sent to our members, I’ll be hosting the first session of our sell-out Premium Group Coaching Program. In today’s session we’ll be getting to know one another, reviewing the structure of the program, discussing the details of our guest speaker workshops, and (my favourite part) introducing our Goal Setting Framework.


No matter how you feel personally about goal setting, it’s irrefutable that applying equal quantities of intention (setting goals) and attention (applying ourselves to them on a regular basis) towards the things we want in life will bring better results. Goal setting frameworks are used by the world’s top performing business leaders, athletes and individuals striving for personal growth and success in various domains of life. 


I probably don't need to say it, but (in case you haven't noticed) I'm a massive fan of setting goals. M-A-S-S-I-V-E.


However, there’s a couple of difficult things about goals (I call them KICKERS) that many of us fail to consider.


Given my current experience with Dad's ill health, I'm reminded of how important it is to be aware of these kickers, and the benefits of being prepared with some tactics to overcome them.


I’ve highlighted them here for you, and have also included a couple of tips to help you achieve your goals, especially when life gets a bit messy.





Making a list of things we hope to accomplish can take a matter of just moments.


In reality, regularly committing to the actions and behaviours that will help us achieve them, even when life gets messy, can take weeks, months or even years.


Getting from here (where we currently are) to there (where we want to be) isn’t a linear process, and we'll often be faced with setbacks along the way.


The old saying of “two steps forward and one step back” holds true for many of the goals that push us outside our comfort zone and help us learn and grow.




Sometimes we need to recalibrate and re-evaluate our goals whilst we’re enroute to achieving them. Sometimes our circumstances require us to change direction in-line with what’s being asked of us.


At this point in time, my priorities are changing. Work has had to take a bit of a back seat, and family has become more of a focus. Any of our members who know me personally understand how important my family is to me.


I’ve also needed to make my health a priority. The past couple of weeks have been pretty stressful and I know that I’m no good to my family if I’m not fully functioning. Fortunately, my wonderful siblings have been very supportive of each other, ensuring that we all get time to rest and recuperate between visits to Mum and Dad.


The change in Dad's health will have an effect on all areas of my life, and will most likely require some recalibration of my goals, and the setting of some new ones. It might mean pushing out the timeframes for some of my personal and professional goals, and will most likely require me to continue to review my priorities over the coming months.




As we navigate life’s ups and downs, setting goals can start to feel like more a burden than a benefit.


I’ve found that connecting with the real emotion behind my goals helps me stay on track when things get a bit hairy. 


As part of our Premium Group Coaching Program, we get our members to develop a set of identity traits that they are hoping to embody, as a means to connect to the emotional drivers behind their goals.


A significant part of my identity is how I show up for my family. I’ve always been committed to ensuring that I do my bit to foster the relationships within my family, including being present and involved in everyone’s life. It’s become even more important recently, knowing that there’s an opportunity to offer support to my parents as they navigate this final chapter of their lives.




When it comes to setting goals (depending on the game you’re playing), there’s not really a finishing line. It’s kind of like being on a never ending hike through a massive mountain range: when we get to the top of a mountain that we’ve had our sights set on for a long time, we’re usually already looking towards the next mountain in the distance. 



We can see this hike as a burden, or we can see it as an exciting adventure.


I don’t know about you, but I need to keep reminding myself that success isn’t just about the destination.


It’s also about the hike to get there: how we show up every day, and how well we deal with the messy bits that come up along the way. 

To continue on with the hiking analogy, I’d like to share from my high school days when I was part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Depending on the level with the program (bronze, silver or gold) we were required to plan and complete hikes that ranged from 3 days to 7, and were located in some of Victoria’s vast national parks.


During my week-long trek through the Bogong High Plains (as part of my Gold Level Assessment), our well-planned trip certainly didn’t play out the way we had expected (these expeditions never did).


We had to deal with all sorts of minor challenges, from blisters, scratches and leeches that all made the hike more of a grind, through to more serious problems, like blocked tracks that required major rescheduling of our route, and even the unfortunate injury of one of our hiking party that required them to be helicoptered out.


Whilst there was great joy to arrive at the final destination, the sense of achievement was in knowing the difficulties we had overcome to get there, and the shared experiences the group had together along the way.


Fast forwarding to today, where personal priorities are demanding more of my attention than the obvious (and oftentimes easier) work priorities, I really do rely on being guided by the north star of my ideal identity to help me make the decisions that I will be proud of in the future.


After all, why do we work so hard, if it’s not ultimately about providing a better life for us and the people we love? Dad's stroke has been a reminder about the importance of prioritising what really matters in my life.


It's also provided yet another lesson for me in the art of navigating the unpredictable highs and lows associated with being human. How the best laid plans can be upturned in an instant, and how we need to keep adapting and reinventing our goals to ensure they're inline with who we want to be, and how we want to live our life.


I hope that today's newsletter helps you to feel that you're not alone in dealing with the real stuff happening behind the shiny image that we all feel we need to portray to the world. Sometimes it helps to know that other people's lives are messy too!


Wherever you are on your own "hike", I hope you're taking time to look after yourself, and are comfortable asking for help when you need to.


Please write to let me know what messages are connecting with you, and share what's happening in your life. I love getting to know our members more through your wonderful messages.


Until next week, stay well and always be kind.




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