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Insights: A Different Mindset
November 09, 2010

A Different Mindset

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"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn."

- Gloria Steinem

This last weekend, my wife and I had the privilege and enjoyment of meeting up with some people, many of whom we haven't seen for 25 years - and yet people that we would count as good friends.

The reunion

The UCT MBA class of 1985 held a reunion on the occasion of its quarter century anniversary and around 30 - 40 of us, some with partners and family in tow, gathered for a weekend of eating, drinking, reminiscing and even a few lectures for old time's sake!

So why am I sharing this with you?

Hope for the future

Because I feel there was a very salient message to be gleaned from that gathering - a message that gave me real hope for the future.

As I moved around, striking up conversation with small pockets of ex students and catching up on the various happenings in their lives, it struck me how different things were from 1985.

In those days talk was mostly about how we were going to set the business world alight with our new found knowledge and smart qualifications. This time around, however, the talk was far more rooted in the art of living happy and meaningful lives!

The class of '85 had definitely mellowed from the slightly cocky and somewhat more self important group that graduated at the end of a year in which we worked hard - and perhaps played even harder!

A warm feeling

I felt a distinctly warm feeling inside as we traded stories - not about our various business and personal achievements - but about the things we had done that had brought true joy and happiness to our lives in the period under review.

For one it was taking time off to join his young son on a road trip from Nairobi to Durban. For another it was spending time on a meditative retreat in India. For a third it was devoting a period of her life to the care of a friend living with leukaemia... and so on and so on.

Following our hearts

As I reflected on the week-end I realized that a number of us had experienced defining moments over the years that had left us in no doubt about the benefits of learning to follow our hearts rather than our heads.

Personally I think this is a recent trend that is emerging from the disillusionment that so many people feel nowadays with the way in which we have traditionally been taught to live our lives - and the uncertainty that we are experiencing thanks to the rapidly growing pace of technological and other change, the topsy turvy economy and our increasingly unpredictable climate.

2012 - a tipping point?

For all that has been said about the end of 2012, perhaps it will turn out to be the 'tipping point' in the awakening of humanity to the understanding that there is a different and far more loving, joyful and purposeful way of life available to all.

All it takes is a different mindset!

Till next week...

Warm regards,


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