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An invitation….

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Early 1991 was a good time, the Collingwood Magpies had recently won the first Australian Football League premiership, and I was the Logistics Manager for Tecbelt Pacific.   Tecbelt was a partnership between Goodyear Belting and Pacific Dunlop and manufactured huge conveyor belts for the mining industry.     It was a new partnership, a new plant, and for most of us there, a new job.   We travelled to  Rosehill, New South Wales  to decommission the very old Goodyear factory.   A  new plant was established in Bayswater, Victoria not far from where I lived in Ferntree Gully.

The CEO of Tecbelt was Con Michaels, an enthusiastic man with a big laugh and big goals.   As an aside, Con became one of the few men I knew who put his family ahead of his work, but that’s another story.

As the plant became established and the systems were put in place, Con was constantly looking for ways to improve. “Rod”, he boomed, “this is what I want this organisation to be like. Read this book”.   And there in front of me, he placed a worn copy of


The Goal” by  Israeli physicist Dr Eli Goldratt.   That book had an immediate impact on me.   Dr Goldratt revolutionised the approach to manufacturing and accounting.   In 1992  the book was amended as Dr Goldratt added further detail.   Twenty years later, he was planning to subtly update it again after he’d discovered further improvements.

I’d read all Dr Goldratt’s books subsequent to The Goal. I was enthralled by the way he’d take accepted business methodology and systems of thinking and then alter them. Dramatically.

I was eagerly looking forward to his revisions, but they never came. Why?  

Dr Eli Goldratt died in 2011, at the young age of 64. He hadn’t even reached retirement age. He died from an aggressive lung cancer.

I was shocked and surprised when I heard Dr Goldratt had died. And nearly as heart-broken as when John Lennon was murdered in 1980.   Dr Goldratt had plans to revise his work and issue new publications. To me, it was just like Lennon who was working on new music when he died.

Of course, I did what many people would do, I Googled for more information. But a couple of phrases I read on the internet angered me.  One I saw said, Dr Goldratt, “passed away on June 11th after fighting a valiant battle with cancer.”   Another read, “Eli passed away on June 11th 2011 in Israel, when he went down fighting lung cancer”.   Why did these phrases anger me?

Eli Goldratt did not fight cancer. That was a lie.   He invited cancer. He cultivated the conditions for cancer. He was a heavy smoker.   His death was a tragedy. A tragedy he created.   In the end, Eli Goldratt’s death was not much different to that of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the prolific actor who died from a drug overdose.

There are millions of people across the world inviting cancer, cutting short their lives and goals.   And there are millions of people across the world inviting and encouraging their depression, simply by letting it fester, cultivating the conditions for it, drifting along without taking up the fight, without constantly questioning what really causes depression.   These people may not die, but they are wasted and wasting. Just like John Lennon in 1980 when he spoke of his depression by saying, “My defences were so great.  The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy. Simple.”

What are you inviting into your life?

Rodney Lovell

Another star admits drugs, and gets it wrong

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Eddie McGuire reports that former star Collingwood 1990 premiership player Gavin Crosisca has blown it all on drink and drugs.   He lost his house, business, coaching career and, for a while, his family.

Imagine the cost of losing your house, business and career. That’s big bucks. Then divide the pittance that’s left with your wife. She gets more because of the kids. You’re left with a hessian bag for a blanket, and compared to what they’re used to, you’ve condemned your family to live on nine-tenths of stuff all.   And that is simply the financial side.    How about the emotional toll on the children?   A lot of guys say, “They’ll be right”.    That’s a cop out.    This situation is not a great place for anybody, so the secret is to stop this scenario from happening.

Somebody MUST have the balls to break the cycle and make things happen. In the case of Gavin Crosisca, it seems he didn’t have the balls, his wife did. She was the one who got things moving, getting Gav into rehab. Nicole Crosisca writes how to save her family, she had to trick Gavin to get him to rehab.   Gavin knew he had a problem but simply didn’t deal with it.   Well, actually, he did deal with it – by hiding it.   Of course, his wife and family wore the outcome of his problem.  She kicked him out because of his poor behaviour.

Gavin is just another whose first repsonse was to blame others.  How many time’s have I seen that?   He knew he had a problem and still blamed others. No matter what the other person’s role, you MUST take responsibility for you, and it’s up to YOU to break the cycle.   It’s a defining moment in life. Who can make the big calls? Who can make the crucial decision under pressure? Can you?   Some guys think they can make the big calls through multi-million dollar deals, running large organisations, and hiring and firing. That’s nothing compared to potentially destroying your own family, and your own career.   So, no matter how ‘successful’ you may be in the corporate world, the challenge is to make the big calls where they really count – for YOUR family.

Gavin admits to covering his feelings and emotions. This is another symptom that is common amongst blokes. When guys deny they have feelings and emotions, they are saying they are independant of nature. Nature has given us feelings whether you like it or not. You CANNOT suppress feelings. Often, these guys get angry too. What is anger? It’s an emotion and a feeling!   They angrily deny what they are demonstrating!   Gavin even had the nickname of “Bagger” due to his confrontational attitude.   Gavin now admits that covering his feelings, in practical terms, was simpy telling lies and being manipulative and dishonest.

Things were so bad for Gavin Crosisca he spent 4 months in rehab. Remember, he didn’t have the balls to break the cycle, yet spent 4 months recovering. I hear of blokes who don’t want to spend two or three days with me to nip their problem in the bud.   “I haven’t got the time”, they say. So, often, their family will simply leave them, and leave them alone, except for the huge financial burden. Then they have time-off forced upon them.  Gavin Crosica says his problem started at 15. He thought he could grow out of it. ad he tackled his problem when he was 18, 25, or 36 he would have had a far different life to how it turned out. Fortunately, it’s never to late to discover peace of mind, as long as you start dealing with your problems NOW.

I commend Gavin Crosisca for recovering. He’s changed his life, his career, his attitude. So why do I think Gavin Crosisca gets it wrong. He said,  “That first drink, that was when I knew my addiction started”.   I can guarantee Gavin Crosisca that his addiction started before his first drink. The drink is just a symptom.   As if to explain his addiction, Gavin goes on to explain how his father and grandfather were alcoholics.    What is the underlying message there?    So what does that say to Gavin’s son?

I also think Nicole Crosisca gets it wrong. In her article she says, “Addicts are not responsible for their disease”.   I can only guess that Nicole has been told that by someone in the medical profession.    Firstly, addicts are ABSOLUTLEY RESPONSIBLE for their own lives. You may not be responsible for what happens to you as a child, but once you are an adult, YOU and only YOU are responsible for recovering from whatever has been thrown at you.   This applies regardless of whether you are addicted to alcohol, drugs, the gym, smoking, work, status symbols, anger, chocolate, green tea, tv, or any other addiction.   Is being addicted to green tea a disease? How about excessive tv watching?   Alcohol and drug taking is a symptom, not a disease. Depression is a symptom, not a disease. There are many in the medical profession who agree.   Saying these things are a disease is helpful to remove the stigma, but not helpful to someone who often blames external factors.  Blaming a ‘disease’ or ‘addiction’ or ‘addcitive personality’ is nearly like blaming someone else. ‘Oh, poor me, I have an disease that makes me drink too much alcohol.’   What’s the implicit suggestion in that type of belief?

Gavin Crosica has been through the wringer. A lifetime of problems, fractured marriage, and now he is happier than ever. He’s off the drink, drugs, and (hopefully) the excuses. He seems to have discovered peace of mind.   Yet Nicole goes on to say, “Recovery is day by day and for the rest of our lives”.   But if depression and addiction can be ‘triggered’, can recovery can be ‘triggered’?

Discover Peace of Mind in one weekend.   All you need is an open mind.

Contact me for your personal, one on one Discover Peace of Mind workshop.

Rodney Lovell

PS.   If Doctors’ prescribe exercise to overcome feelings of despondancy and depression and Gavin Crosisca was an elite footballer…..



Michael Jackson – HIStragedy

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Michael Jackson died today. A moment in history for the world – a tragic day for his children and his family.michael_jackson

Many of us forget that Michael is a person, not just a performer. A fragile heart covered by electric dance moves. In an interview with Barbara Walters, he specifically mentioned that the ‘Wacko Jacko’ lines hurt. He had a heart like anyone else. He felt the pain. He asked for it to stop. He wasn’t Wacko Jacko. He was “Jackson”. His only defence was his music and dance, even feeling the need to name his greatest hits compilation HIStory as a reminder that there are two sides to any story.

In Martin Bashir’s “Living with Michael Jackson” documentary, Jackson complained that he couldn’t go anywhere, including shopping, without a crowd gathering. Yet, I suspect his shopping trips where so many fans awaited were an orchestrated means of him gaining doses of love and affection. He may have been famous, with many people around him, yet he did lead a ‘lonely’ life. Jackson shuddered when remembering his lonely childhood. His father, Joe Jackson, used to beat him (and his brothers) for mistakes during rehearsals. His father, the one person Michael wanted to treat him like a young man, instead called Michael ‘Big Nose’.

Michael entered his teen years with a most unusual famous-but-lonely childhood behind him. At aged 14, the early part of what psychologist Dr Morris Massey terms the ‘socialisation period’, Michael had bad acne. Michael vividly remembered one woman approaching him for an autograph. When she got close to him her words were, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t realise your acne was that bad’. Michael was shattered.

One of the things that drives all of us is the need for love and acceptance. Vivid memories often reflect the very best and worst of our past experiences. For Michael, memories that insulted his looks and challenged ‘acceptance’ took their toll. Coupled with a broken nose and burns suffered during performances, we have seen how his appearance began changing during his twenties. Yet the change to his appearance was his means of looking for love and acceptance. It was as if to say, ‘If my looks are bad, I’ll change them. Will you love and accept me then?’ Paradoxically it led, in part, to the ‘Wacko’ stories and drove ‘acceptance’ away.

After I saw the “Living with Michael Jackson” documentary, I wrote to Michael Jackson. I’d seen his pain. Here was another guy suffering depression who didn’t even realise it. I invited him to my home for a barbecue and to walk to the local shops. I assured him, that contrary to his typical crowd gathering trips, a walk to the shops could be done….and, it is possible to Discover Peace Of Mind. I did not receive a reply.

Michael Jackson was a father, son, brother. Michael Jackson lived a life of feelings, just like you and I. Michael Jackson was a depressed man. A man who in his own way searched to Discover Peace Of Mind, but didn’t. And that is HIStory’s greatest tragedy.

Rodney Lovell