A blog about possibilities.
Mostly about motorbikes.
But that's OK, because motorbikes represent possibility for me at present. I came, I saw, I rode. Yeah, I did it. I'm DOING it.
And that's what life is. Imagine something, work backwards to where you are now, and start.
Don did it. So did I.
So can you.
Imagine, backtrack, start.
There you go. Success in three simple steps.
Leave the money on the fridge...
Australian academics study beer prices at the cricket while the residents of Aleppo cower in fear, their city reduced to dust and ashes around them. Sometimes - a lot of the time - the world looks a very sad place. But it's always been that way. And always will be. Our job is to do what we can to show kindness to those right next to us. That is our sphere of influence and we need to use it.
You're not afraid to pull up mid-lesson, turn the bike off and say to the instructor:
"Sorry mate, you're going too fast. I just need to ride around the carpark for a while and get used to sitting on this damn thing before I start worrying about indicator on, glance in mirror, look over shoulder, feather the clutch..."
Fortunately my instructor is a top bloke and didn't mind at all.
"Good on you," he said, "the student must always set the pace. You just looked very comfortable so I presumed you were ready to move on."
"Nah," I said, "that comfortable look is a complete sham, perfected over many years of being a manager where it's important to look like you know what you're doing even though you haven't got a clue."
Australia is set to become the food bowl of Asia.
We're going to take advantage of the good soils and reliable water supplies in our north and turn it into an agricultural powerhouse.
It will essentially be private enterprise that makes it happen but the government will support it with cheap loans from a pool of $15 billion set aside for the purpose.
All this will be administered by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, set up in July this year in Cairns.
But let's not depend on it like we did with mining. Even though this is going to essentially double our agricultural output, it still needs to be just one card in our pack if we're to have a truly resilient economy.
Sometimes I read something that just blows me away and makes me realise how much I (we) self-censor when we create.
We continually limit ourselves to what we think people will (a) accept and (b) understand*.
I had my first motorbike lesson yesterday.
Lots of stuff covered, but the big one?
LOOK OUT, NOT DOWN.
So then I came home and played my drums and did the same thing. I looked out at the wall instead of at my hands (or the drums). Immediate difference. I was looser, better.
It's all about TRUST. Trust that we have the wherewithal already in us. Our bodies are amazing creations of incredible complexity. They're designed to operate beautifully on autopilot much of the time. When we override this and try to do things manually, we get average results at best. We are much better than we think! We just have to trust ourselves.
Kids do this naturally of course. You'll know what I mean if you've ever gone to the ski slopes with a six year old and been completely humiliated(!)
Learning to ride a motorcycle is going to be good for me. I'm going to learn trust and humility and a bunch of other things. And I'm also going to learn that "fun" is a perfectly good r…
After my encounter with Harley Lady I went out and got my L plates and booked some lessons.
I soon realised however that Harley Lady's bike is not for beginners, so I've set my sights on one of these Suzukis. They're affordable (half the price of a Harley), approved for beginners (the system is tightly controlled now which is a good thing) yet they still look and feel like a "real" bike. Now to convince the bank managerwife...
PS…this photo came from Zombie Drive Moto. If you're interested in this sort of thing, check it out. Fabulous resource.
PPS… I went and checked out this bike at Rick Gill Motorcyles. After a bit of a chat, Rick said "Let me warn you, you will get addicted to this". Sounds good to me :)
This amazing lady is 71 years old, didn't get on a motorbike until she was 63 and has ridden this magnificent Harley Davidson around the USA twice and across the Nullabor six times.
I've harboured a secret ambition to own one of these things despite never having ridden a bike in my life.
"Do it" she said as she rode off.
Then this afternoon I was in Bayview Tce, Claremont when a young woman rocked up on her Harley and parked right where I was standing.
I got chatting to her too (I hope my wife doesn't read this blog) and her story was totally different but equally fascinating.
I'm no economist but something seem pretty obvious to me: Countries that look after the welfare of their workers - ie pay them decent wages and attend to their OSH needs - can't produce goods and services for the same cost as countries that don't.
And that means manufacturing and services move offshore. The American car industry is an example* and the Detroit ghost-city phenomenon is the result. Bad for the American economy, bad for the American people.
So along comes the Don and says "we'll put a 45% tariff on everything from China" thinking that this will encourage local production again.
But will it?
Or will it just make the American people even poorer as they now have to pay a lot more for pretty much everything** (there's not much they consume that isn't made in China!)
What if we took this thinking to it's logical conclusion and stopped all international trade entirely? That is, countries have to make-do with what they can produce themselves…
As technology continues to remove the need for humans to do things, we're going to have a LOT of unemployable people.
This is about to get really serious once the next wave of technology - artificial intelligence - arrives.
And that's not far off.
Solution: guaranteed basic income for all.
Earlier this year the Swiss became the first nation to vote on it and rejected it.
It will have to happen.
The alternative is for governments to let their people starve.
Besides, it won't be as expensive as we think as it would replace the majority of other welfare payments governments currently make.
We've been brought up to be constantly industrious. This is the way to effectiveness. Get stuff done.
And yes, a fair dose of that is necessary.
But it's not enough.
It's not enough when doing becomes your default because you don't know what to do.
At those times, non-doing is your best friend. It allows a quiet wisdom to surface, a wisdom that's in you but rarely gets an outing because you're too busy.
The thing is it takes some trust to access this wisdom. Because non-doing feels like laziness and we're strongly conditioned against it. But you have to trust. Trust that this quiet wisdom can only be accessed by quietness.
Objection to development in Perth is often on the basis of the increased number of people it will bring.
But "people" is good. There's safety in numbers (think Manhattan at night) plusit's just more interesting when you have lots of people around.
Dormitory suburbs with crickets and tumble weeds is 1950's thinking.
"People" = fun!
Sure, you get the oddballs as well, but instead of seeing them as a "stain" on the social fabric, you could choose to see them as "colour" and "texture" :)
I'm talking about those of you who have subscribed to "Don" already!
It means a lot to crazy people like me who like to have to write every day. I'll do it regardless but it definitely makes it more enjoyable if you think someone might actually be getting something from it :)
If you want to join them, put your email address in the box on the right. Posts will automatically turn up in your Inbox. Is that a good thing? One reader emailed me to say he looks forward to finding them each morning because they're so different to the other emails he gets which, let's face it, always want you to DO something. Hopefully "Don" is the opposite - ie it GIVES you something.
Besides, it has pretty pictures. I know there aren't too many yet, but trust me, they're coming! Photography is my other compulsion and my shutter finger is starting to twitch uncontrollably.
Have a great day folks. We're lucky to live in this beautiful, bountiful place called Per…
because I happen to believe it's the way to all the other growths.
How do I become a better leader? Become a better person.
How do I become a better artist? Become a better person.
How do I make my marriage better? Become a better person.
How can we make the world a better place? Become better people.
Too simplistic? I don't think so. In every endeavour I've undertaken I've found this to be true. The problem is of course it's the HARD way. Much easier to buy a book on leadership or attend an art course or go to marriage counselling. All the above can help, but without the big one - becoming a better person - they're ultimately not going to deliver what you're after.
This is a quote from Lawrence Weschler. It's genius.
So often we look at things with label attached. In doing so we fail to really see the thing. It's not a "native" or "non-native", it's a tree. They're not "indigenous" or "non-indigenous", they're a person. It's not "hip hop", "jazz" or "country", it's music*. To get up every day and see the world as if we've never seen it before is our challenge!
_______________________________________________________ *Questionable in the case of hip hop, I know (joking, OK?)
If Qantas get their new Dreamliners doing non-stop London to Perth we're going to have to do better than this.
I'm referring to the fact that Whiteman Park has been officially rated the top tourist attraction in WA.
No offence to them - I'm sure they do a terrific job with what they've got - but come on, we can do better than that.
What's the obvious thing we have that Europeans don't?
The problem is that visiting our beaches is often not pleasant - too hard to get out of the sun and wind. Fix that, add world-class eateries and they can be real meccas. The insane popularity of the new development at City Beach shows that.
If you have other ideas, click on "No comments" below and leave one :)
I remember someone saying that if an Australian saw a Rolls parked in the street he'd likely run a key down the side of it whereas an American would say "I'm going to have one of those one day."
I know the ol' USA is not in a great place right now but, that aside, what an incredible story they've been. From a bunch of mum and dads on the Mayflower to the world's most powerful nation in the relative blink of an eye*.
That hasn't come about because they run keys down the side of Rolls Royces. It's come about because they've kept asking "what if?". Australia might be the lucky country but the United States is the driven country, always willing to chance their arm.
Yes, you'll find plenty of ills Stateside but, wow, you have to admire their chutzpah. They really have been the epitome of "can do".
_________________________________________________________ *I saw a stat the other day that shocked me. China's GDP was miles …
How the heck will he cope with the rigours of governing?
I mean, the guy is an entrepreneur. His whole life he's basically done what he wants. Come and gone as he pleases. If he wants to go to the beach, he goes. Now he's going to have to cope with schedules. And long work hours. And endless meetings. And paperwork. And….well, you get the drift. Point is: IT 'AINT GONNA WORK! Mike Pence better get ready. I reckon he's going to be the boss sooner than he thinks.