Hugh Culver

January 31, 2012 by Speakers' Spotlight

The Two Greatest Lies

Guest blog from Hugh Culver

Hugh Culver is an athlete, adventurer, businessman and visionary who understands the power of being passionate and inspired about your work. Hugh’s vision is to “change the way work serves people”, by creating adventures in learning. For the past thirteen years Hugh has been leading extraordinary training programs and corporate retreats that focus on team development, leadership skills, and personal mastery. Combining a rare blend of business savvy, humour, and real-world advice, Hugh speaks of the passion that fosters human development in the context of work.

Maybe there are others, but it strikes me that there are two lies that we get suckered into that trump all others.

See if you agree.

The first lie is that some thing will make you happy. This is the lie of the marketing agencies, the travel bureaus, self-help authors, and most folks with “sales” in their job title. You know how it works: get more money, have this car, look this way, travel to here, use this phone and you will be happier than you are now.

The evidence is pretty consistent: even lottery winners, given a bit of time, are no happier than someone who has, for example, become a paraplegic. We don’t get happy from things, cars, money, people, or even more money.

The holy grail of happiness has always been found inside; it’s a conscious choice or it doesn’t happen.

The second lie is that yesterday predicts tomorrow. Our genes, bad habits, childhood, attitude, parents, income, education, you-name-it programs us for what happens next in our life. Couldn’t lose weight in the past means you can never lose weight. Can’t seem to save money, then you’ll never have wealth. Procrastinate about stuff means you are a procrastinator. Ridiculous.

The reality is the past is just the past. The world if full of people that have rags to riches stories (like Oprah and Ingvar Kamprad), that created fabulous charities out of nothing (like Craig Kielburger), who overcame physical set backs to go on and do amazing things (like Rick Hansen).

And the world is full of people who everyday make decisions to do something better than yesterday and who do.

Our psyche hates it when we think about changing; all change equals risk and that’s dangerous. The weird thing is that once the change occurs and we get a better result then that becomes the norm and our psyche will want to protect that state.

When I signed up for my first Ironman competition I was freaked out just thinking about what I’d gotten myself into. But once I’d crossed the finish line and took in how great it felt to have trained and succeeded it was a normal part of me.

When I first accepted an offer to facilitate a CEO’s retreat I thought I was insane, but once I had one under my belt it was just one more skill I could offer.

Everyday we have a choice: buy into the two greatest lies, or simply make a better decision and then step towards it with action.

So, what lie did you buy into today?

And what’s going to be your new story?