Over the years I have done extensive research, read endless authorised biographies, studied body language and carefully observed the communications skills of highly successful people. I learnt it wasn't about luck but about choosing the right attitude, taking action, changing behaviour, taking one step at a time, one goal, one priority at a time, a day at a time.
A friend of mine once said to me, "I don't know what God is, but when I look at a butterfly or a flower, I know that I can't do that." It is possible to view the world this way -- with the acceptance of uncertainty and appreciative curiosity for the mundane -- because of a set of networks in the nervous system that I refer to as the "growth function."
At the age of 26 my wife had walked out the door on our three year marriage. As I sat in our apartment surrounded by the life that we had built together my thoughts turned to a dark bleak future that I did not want to face. In a severe state of depression I turned to google and typed in the search term 'most painless and quickest way to die'.
The biggest tragedy of all is, if we're lucky enough to survive until we're old, grey and wrinkled, and our grandchildren ask us what we gave to the world we lived in, we are only able to say that we took more than we gave. For the man who dies without giving more than he has taken can take no triumph from his life.
The benefits debate is gathering real momentum in the UK. Should the unemployed do something in return for taxpayer's support? Surely the answer is yes. But if governments condition our unemployed to expect money for nothing, then the result is obvious. There is no incentive to find a job. Any smart person will take money for nothing.
In any industry, innovation is critical. It's how we make progress. It's how we transform and shape the world so that it best suits our needs. It's how we succeed. The travel industry is no exception: innovation is what has given us the ability for commercial flight; to visit different parts of the world frequently and affordably; and in recent years, it's changed the way we research, plan and book travel.