Empathy doesn’t involve feeling sorry for someone. It is our honest answer to the question, “why did they do what they did?”
The useful answer is rarely, “because they’re stupid.” Or even, “because they’re evil.” In fact, most of the time, people with similar information, similar beliefs and similar apparent choices will choose similar actions. So if you want to know why someone does what they do, start with what they know, what they believe and where they came from.
Dismissing actions we don’t admire merely because we don’t care enough to have empathy is rarely going to help us make the change we seek. It doesn’t help us understand, and it creates a gulf that drives us apart.
So, Diana and I arrived here a couple of days ago to a wet and soggy Auckland late in the afternoon at:
and quickly checked in to our hotel:
The Sofitel. The reception staff and concierge were exceptionally good and we found ourselves in a lovely room overlooking the marina and
The Sky Tower. You can just make out The Orbital Restaurant through the clouds! It had been a long couple of days to get here and our body clocks dictated it was time for bed. So, we were glad to be in a very comfortable bed and swiftly into the arms of Orpheus.
Sunday morning was a new day but still very soggy with occassional driving rain due to the remnants of a tropical storm which will be hanging around for sometime. After a hearty breakfast, coffee, bircher muesli, fruit, greek yoghourt, spanish omlette, crispy bacon and sausage our driver John took us off for a two hour drive around Auckland. Unfortunately, the weather was still against us but we enjoyed John’s comentary. We particularly enjoyed Devonport mainly because it had stopped raining and we could see the local scenery.
So, here we have John our driver together with Diana, Paul and David admiring the view of Auckland from Mount Victoria Reserve. Mount Victoria is situated above the charming and very pretty suburb of Devonport and Mount Victoria is one of fifty-three exstinct volcanoes that surround this city. We then returned to our hotel having encountered some flood water in a couple of places.
That afternoon Diana, David and Paul decided to take sanctary in the spa while I decided to set forth and brave the elements to visit The New Zealand National Maritime Museum and I’m glad I did. The museum was packed full of exhibits from ancient, large, sea-going canoes that had travelled thousands of mile to the modern day. However, it was just three exhibits that really caught my eye.
The first was this ancient outrigger canoe of an unusal design. All the timbers were lashed together so it would continually leak and when at sea, the crew would be constantly bailing out water from the hull. The other unusual feature was that when the boat was tacking against the wind the rudder would be transferred from one end of the boat to the other and the sails would be pivoted which would allow the outrigger to always be on the windward side to provide stability. It must have been a tough boat to handle.
The second exhibit that fascinated me was The Rewa.
This boat was built one-hundred and thirty-six years ago by the family that owned her. This was common practise in those days and the family would use “Rewa” to transort produce fron their farm, wool, meat, vegetables etc to the city and would bring home tools, provisions etc.
The final one had of course to be Sir Peter Blake’s yacht NZL 32 “Black Magic” that won the Americas Cup convincingly (five to nil) in 1985 and was the first team to have beaten America in the one-hundred and thirty-five years of the race. New Zealand has continued to be a winner of this ancient sporting event and Sir Peter was a national hero until his murder by pirates off the Amazon delta.
This, of course, was what all the sailing fuss has been about and still is:
The Americas Cup, originally called the One-Hundred Guineas Cup (that was the original cost) until the yacht America won the race. Some call it “The Auld Mug” as its the oldest sporting trophy and some would say pretty ugly!
Later that night we dined at The Soul Restaurant close to the museum and had a superb dinner.
My dear beloved reader you have put up with my ramblings over the years with great fortitude. Coping with an ever eclectic amount of subject matter from travel, to business, to stuff! So, I’ve reached a decision and have decided that this blog, going forward, will be fun stuff aimed at whatever I fancy writing about be it travel, photography and stuff that amuses me. From now on all my business writings will be on The Team Works News (www.theteamworksnews.com). There is already a stack of content on that site and a lot more will follow so please pop along to http://www.theteamworksnews.com and click on the subscribe button to stay bang uptodate with our content and articles by guest contributors such as Jordan Adler, Richard Bliss Brook, Brian Carruthers, Curtis Broome, Lisa Faeder Grossman, Eric and Marina Worre to name just a few!
This site http://www.cliveleach.me over the next few weeks will have a little facelift so, I hope you will stay my loyal and beloved reader.
Curtis Broome is the man responsible for introducing Diana and I to live broadcasting using this platform. He is Global Business Development Professional, Consultant, Mentor, Instructor. This guy knows his stuff on “both sides of the industry” having been CEO of a very successful network marketing business which he sold. Later he joined a Network Marketing Business as a distributor and two years later he was their number one distributor (and know he didn’t pillage his previous network). Curtis is a great friend to Diana and myself and he is one of our “Go To” people when we need a sounding board. His knowledge can only be described as encyclopaedic and he is a very wise man!
To pre register for this exclusive free interactive broadcast that will take place this Sunday at 1900 British Time just click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser: https://plus.google.com/events/cd22qgqh0v29i4t18uo3jnhoqc4
Your Telecom Plus income will always respond to consistent activity but there are some months when it really is worthwhile to “slam down the pedal to the metal”. September is one of those months and it’s almost upon us. The holidays are over and it’s back to the 9 to 5 daily grind and for a lot of people in the land of the salaried it’s a time of frustration. The Summer holiday credit card bills are just around the corner and Christmas is on its way! Of course, some people will just bury their heads in the sand and ignore what’s happening around them. Some people will turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the economy and everybody knows it’s a long way off being fixed. However, you’ve been smart enough to recognise that now is the time to take control of your own future, your own future prosperity, to build a wall of financial security around you and your loved ones and as I have already alluded September is one of those months when you need to hit the ground running! Here’s my advice for you to get the best from September.
Create a September calendar on a sheet of paper. Put it on your cork board so you and your family can see what’s going on.
List the key elements on your calendar which would be the following:
Now list all the family and social stuff on your calendar for the month.
Get your television guide and a highlight pen and mark off the programs you really have to watch, there won’t be many!
You can now see at a glance all the time you can put into growing your business plus all the nooks and crannies of the day.
Now review your prospect list and you should probably divide your prospects into three categories:
Those that you are totally comfortable in calling, making an appointment and presenting to.
Those that you’re comfortable to call and ask them to view the two-minute video and follow up with the intent of either making an appointment to present or to invite them to a Career Opportunity Presentation.
Your chicken list. Everyone has one of these. People you would like to talk to but you feel either uncomfortable in approaching them or you feel that you need to have attained a level of success before you’re able to approach them. This is where you need to enlist the help of your upline leader for assistance.
Now here’s an extract from my up coming September calendar including all the COP’s that I’m presenting and note that they will all start at 8pm sharp so I strongly suggest that you, your guests and team members arrive early:
Thursday September 5 Manchester South COP (Holiday Inn Manchester Airport, Altrincham Rd, Wilmslow, Manchester, SK9 4LR) I’m looking forward to presenting the opportunity on my “home” ground! This is always a great crowd with a tremendous happy atmosphere and a really high conversion ratio!
Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 Massive Action Day (MAD) in Bradford (Abundant Life Conference Centre, Wapping Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD3 0EQ) and Cheltenham (Centaur Conference Centre, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire,GL50 4SH) respectively. This year I will be attending both venues and I’m sure you have already got your ticket. If not this is a massive error. This is one of the premier events of the year and will really put you ahead of the rest of the pack as the day will be jam-packed full with serious advanced information. Come and find me in the breaks and say hello! If you haven’t already, get your ticket on the Extranet.
Thursday September 19 Croydon COP (Hallmark Hotel, Purley Way, Croydon, CR9 4LT). Last time I presented at this venue we had record numbers attending and record numbers of new people joining! So, If you’re in the area come along to this fun presentation and bring your prospects. If you’re not in the area then look through your list and see who you know who could attend and just send them along.
Monday September 23 Stevenage COP (Novotel Hotel, Knebworth Park, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AX). This is an excellent venue just situated off the A1M with great car parking etc. Last time I presented there we had record numbers but to be absolutely honest considering the catchment area there’s an awful lot of business to be done in the area. It would be great if we can have an extra push and get this area rocking and rolling so who do you know in Hertfordshire? I look forward to meeting you if you can get there and of course your guests!
Thursday 26 Newport Pagnell COP (Holiday Inn – Milton Keynes East, M1 J14 London Road, Newport Pagnell, MK16 0JA). This is another easy to get to venue and again draws on a massive catchment area. So, who do you know in Bedfordshire? We could really get this area going if we can focus on who we know in the area and invite them along to this presentation. You never know, it could develop into a key area for you!
Monday 30 September Bracknell COP (Coppid Beech Hotel, John Nike Way, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8TF). This is the last presentation that I will be doing in September and it will be a humdinger in this excellent conference venue. This venue is in the centre of a massive conurbation so we should be able to lift the roof off this hotel!
So, that’s an extract from my September calendar. What’s in your calendar? If you feel like it why not share your calendar on Facebook and let your contacts see what you’re up to!
This morning I had a lazy lie in followed by a run and now at 9:45 I have left Slidell and on my way to New Orleans and the temperature is already 83F (28.33C).I enter New Orleans by crossing a very long bridge over Lake Portrain and stopped at The Basin Street Visitor Information Centre and as my time is limited I had a chat with a very nice lady who gave me the essential list to see and I managed to do most of it!
I have taken quite a lot of photographs today so below is just a sample and the rest can be viewed by clicking on “More Photos” in the Flickr panel on the right hand side.
My first stop is to walk across the street to the St. Louis Cemetery which was certainly unusual and I was particularly struck by a pyramid shaped tomb which was greatly admired! I returned to my car and drove through part of the French Quarter and parked down by the river.
It’s now really very hot as I start my walk through the French Quarter which has an interesting architecture and is full of bars, restaurants, tourist shops etc. However, this generally very attractive place is marred by an all pervading offensive odor of rotting waste which made me feel very queasy. The people who were eating and drinking there must have a stronger stomach than me! I made it back to the river in time to take a two hour cruise on the steam boat Natches that had a live Jazz band where I had an adequate lunch. The cruise took us down through the port of New Orleans which, according to the narrator was the largest in the world in terms of tonnage, Amsterdam in Holland being number 2 and New York number 3. It was certainly an industrial area but I’m not convinced that his figures may be entirely accurate. In any event it was a pleasant respite being able to sit in the shade with a glass of iced tea as the industrial scene slipped by. It was an interesting experience and not at all what I had expected.
Having left the ferry it was the end of my day in New Orleans and I decided to return to my hotel in Slidell rather than spend the evening in New Orleans in order to be away from the smell of the French Quarter.
For the techies out there mileage today was 67.9 miles at an average speed of 31.6 mph and achieved 21.3 mpg.
Up with the larks this morning, well not exactly but I was out and did a 3.26 mile run on a cinder track which I’ve never done before. While doing my thing the sun was rising in the blue, cloudless sky I observed a group of about half a dozen ladies of indeterminate age but not of indeterminate size lying prostrate on some rubber mats. Had I stumbled upon some peculiar Texian cult? Then the leader of the group started barking orders in a shrill high pitched voice cajoling her disciples to rise and exercise vigorously. As I crunched around the cinder track the air was permeated by ever increasing commands from the sergeant major like trainer. What a way to start the day! Having completed my run I was off to the hotel for a shower and a Western Omelette, not at the same time I hasten to add.
Breakfast completed I was off to the Johnson Space Centre on NASA Parkway. This is a working NASA facility and employs over 10,000 people just on this site alone. The exhibit was a worthwhile experience and very different to the NASA visitor centre at Space Kennedy Centre in Florida which in my humble opinion is better organized. However, it was still worth doing and I particularly enjoyed the Astronaut Training area and the very impressive Saturn Five Exhibit. You can see titled photographs of these exhibits and more on my Flickr site, just click on the link on the right hand side of this blog.
Lunch was a desultory affair of a very well chilled Turkey sandwich. It was so cold I swear it must have been made on the dark side of the moon by an alien life force which summed up most of the counter staff.
I decided to have a wander through downtown Houston and journeyed to The Galleria Shopping Centre. The shopping centre was an upscale affair with all the designer names one would expect, Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Bergammo, Prada etc and the largest Chanel store I have ever seen! It was quite incongruous that one could shop for something exquisite while watching hordes of young people hurtling at speed on an ice rink directly below you. I decided that I had enough of the city, which is very functional but in my opinion is a soulless sprawl of a conglomerate of buildings thrown together by someone who was learning to play SIM City and I decided to drive down to the seaside at Galveston.
Galveston is quaint. It reminded me very much of Victorian Blackpool in Lancashire with a similar range of shops, an unprepossessing beach but populated by a Spanish speaking people with exactly the same type of manners as their Lancastrian cousins. Hell bent on not giving you any service.
Now don’t get me wrong I have had an enjoyable day and have been fascinated by the people that I have interacted with. However, should, for any strange reason, the Houston city fathers read this I would like to offer them some advice. Import some nice people from Alabama or Mississippi or Louisiana or Florida. Alternatively, you could blow the whole damn place up, appoint a sensible architect and re-populate the area!
Tomorrow I am visiting a city who’s reputation is a little more cultured!
For the techie people out there I have covered today 138.4 miles at an average speed of 38.4 mph with an average consumption of 21.8 mpg.
Day 2 of the road trip starts having stayed in North Tallahassee, Florida last night at La Quinta In which was clean and comfortable but does need refurbishing but it was as cheap as chips! Got going at 07.20 this morning in an overcast , drizzly morning. Thirty three minutes later I had a unique experience. I crossed from one time zone to another by car, so now I was traveling at about 40 minutes earlier than when I left! Very weird!
By now I was hungry and having gone past several breakfast places, thinking I’ll just go one more and then of course nothing for miles. So, I was grateful to get a large coffee and a sausage and egg McMuffin for the princely sum of $4.61 at the golden arches on the Marianna ramp on the I 10.
The landscape at this point became much more agricultural with undulating fields of haystacks with occasional herds of beef cattle. A little later on my attention was drawn to what appeared to be a fighter jet stuck onto a very large drain pipe. I pulled into the rest area at Santa Rosa County on mile marker 30 on the I 10 to investigate. Have a look at the picture below and on my Flickr photo stream (just hit the link in the right hand panel). Turned out to be a McDonnel Douglas A4 Skyhawk fighter jet that used to be in service in the seventies and used by The Blue Angel acrobatic team. Those that flew the aircraft referred to it as “Henemans Hot Rod” or “The Scooter” I thought it was a pretty impressive piece of sculpture to put in a car park miles from anywhere!
Two hundred miles later on the weather had dramatically improved for the better. Blue skies with white fleecy clouds. Gorgeous! Three miles on and I crossed the state line into Alabama (see photo below). There is an interesting stone laid beneath the flagstaff on the state line which is inscribed with “Alabama We Dare Defend Our Rights”.
Four miles later and I’m on the approach to Mobile, Alabama and crossing over a large expanse of water I get the first glimpse of the city’s skyline. I found Mobile to be a very interesting city with a delightful mix of modern architecture and a very pretty historic quarter which is composed of antebellum fine houses. You can see more pictures of this on my Flickr pages just click on the link at the right.
Having checked in at the Battleship Inn (excellent and good value) it was time to view the battleship USS Alabama which was absolutely fantastic. This ship is huge. Under battle conditions she weighed in at an impressive 45,000 tons, carried 2,500 men and had a maximum speed of 28 knots which is a little over 32 miles per hour. I have taken quite a lot of pictures of the interior and exterior of the ship and some other exhibits and you will find them on my Flickr photo stream (click the link in the right hand panel) and I have titled most of them so you will know what you’re looking at. Honestly, it is worth you taking five minutes to have a look at the sheer size and complexity of such a vast war machine.
Tonight having had Oysters Rockefeller (one of my favourites) followed by grilled flounder stuffed with shrimps and crab meat at The Captains Table (next door to my hotel) I took my trusty tripod and camera for one last picture of this illustrious retired battleship. Next time I do this I will wear trousers and socks. Those damned mosquitos got me!
Don’t forget to look at my photographs and feel free to comment on this blog or on the photographs on Flickr (by now you should know where the link is).
For the technically minded the mileage covered today was 253.6 at an average speed of 62.7 mph and achieved 20.4 mpg.