Category: Blog

Control Freak!

Control Freak!

I had a bit of an epiphany this morning, I just realised what it is that’s been bothering me and why it seemed to hit so quickly and come from nowhere!


I am a control freak at the most subtle levels. I like to be able to control my life. Even being able to adjust my behaviour to other people is a way of controlling the results or expectations. I have no problems relinquishing control over a certain project/thing/whatever, I’ll do that at the drop of the hat because it means that I can control the things that are important to me: the relationship or the well-being of the person. For example, if I’m working on a project with someone and they want to say design the website, normally I would rather do it so that I can ensure the quality of the result, but if it is important to them I’ll let them do it so that it doesn’t damage the relationship. This is a great example because it can also illustrate my problem. Say that person does a horrible job of the website: they get bad feedback, I encourage them, then it happens again and they are angry at me. In that situation, it all breaks down. Why, because I had no control over the final outcome: them being upset with me.

Those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenarios are the ones that trouble me. Because I cannot control anything else but my integrity. But then when things go wrong, the knowledge that I made the decision with integrity doesn’t hold up against the fact that I “failed” – that is what sends me insane.

There have been a whole bunch of these things lately. I’m way out of my depth. For example financially: I’m used to being independent and work enough to get the means I need. I’ve never had trouble “getting” work. Recently I haven’t been able to just “rock up to work and bill for my time.”

I’m not going to go into detail, but I’ve finally it the nail on the head. I’ve been feeling inadequate because I’m used to being able to work hard enough to make things work out in a way that I don’t mind.

Now, I’ve just got to learn to accept that some things will just suck and I can’t see them as my failure, my inability to MAKE things work. They are just part of life.


Life's not simple, I should get used to it!

Life's not simple, I should get used to it!

While I feel like I have blogged a lot recently, I look back at my posts and realise that most of it has been writing a private post (sorry guys, you miss out on a lot!) and then deleting it a few hours later realising that I’ve overreacted to something in my life. I don’t know why I delete them when I’ve already made them private. Some people like to keep a record of their thoughts regardless, but I don’t like holding onto things that aren’t grounded in reason.

I don’t know why but I’ve been a bit on edge lately. I normally don’t let things get to me, but some things I’m more susceptible to than others.

I am a really fortunate person. I really wish some things didn’t bother me this much.

Coupling the things I want to achieve in my life next to being out of my depth financially and academically, and right alongside to my obvious character flaws: I kind of get weary and need a bit more of a safety net than I have at the moment. While I have awesome people around me, my core group has changed and haven’t found my release in the same way.

I miss playing music. It used to be my escape. I miss being so sure about things in life, it was a lot easier.

I’m being challenged with problems I never thought I’d be challenged with. The result is that I feel like a psychopath! Ha. Me? Yeah! When the most basic of values, expectations and assumptions are changed it can be unsettling… and I’m not used to that feeling.

While I’m used to feeling challenged, knocked down hard and out of my depth, I’ve never really had feelings of inadequacy until lately. In fact, I devoted a whole entire private entry into the intricacies of it the other day.

While someone having too much to drink is not a completely legitimate excuse (because it just brings the deeper problems to the surface), I have to learn to be more understanding of it and not to respond to those deeper problems until the time is more appropriate (or until it the problem itself passes with time).

I never realised how such seemingly small things mean the world to me… and how such basic things can mean so little to others.

…don’t even get me started onto why I thing the world is going to be impossible to change in the ways it should.

Mmm. This is post is taking the trend of a lot of my private ones so far… NO RESOLUTIONS!

SO! I will finish this with a resolution and a light at the end of the tunnel.

People ARE good. No matter what we may feel sometimes. Communication MAY suck. But we need to find it within ourselves to pull ourselves out of the mess, cop it on the chin and learn from it. “Ugh…” you say? IT IS WORTH IT!

In conclusion. (1) Life has been very good to me: I’ve been blessed with so many wonderful things, yet I have also got to learn things the hard way. (2) I can be a better person if I see everything as a learning experience. (3) GET BACK ON THE HORSE!! The race isn’t over Luke, you may be speaking to yourself but you’re not THAT crazy :p

…now, time to get back on the horse! I may just need a few whips.

The Apocalypse: 6.8 Billion Resume's

The Apocalypse: 6.8 Billion Resume's

As a society, we are increasingly obsessed with defining ourselves. Think about most introductions that people make: “Hi, I’m John, and I’m a Student,” or “Dr. Smith at your service, surgical doctor, that is.”

While we do change our introductions based on who we are talking to, we have a reasonable small circulation of them. The revolve primarily around what we do. Sometimes they extend to what we think: “I’m liberal.” In conversation it is often our history or our personality: “I’m from Vancouver” or “I’m optimistic.”

When we define ourselves by belief systems and assumptions, we are being close minded and start to be walk a dangerous path: “We should all just buy more and the economy will pull itself back out of this mess.”

We even define ourselves by our flaws or struggles. While it is humbling to see our flaws, what does it achieve by boxing ourselves?

These fundamentally little things seem to be so important to us.

If you look throughout history at all the atrocities, you can blame religious institutions, political movements, ideologues, zealots and nincompoops. But what is the real problem? People try so hard to define themselves that they walk a dangerous path.We struggle to be challenged at our very core.

“But we are a tolerant society now?” Really? Well, even if we are, there is a huge difference between tolerating others and recognising that you would benefit from changing yourself.

It is emotionally unsettling to be undefined. We seek out people that define themselves similarly so that we can all pat each other on the back and applaud how right we are. It prevents us being challenged.

Furthermore, encouraging someone to make a change is insulting. When did this become the case? Okay, do we just strive to tolerate everyone? No. That would be the end of us. We need to learn from others.

The information society is taking us one step closer every day to having a quantifiable definition of ourselves. When that happens, how are we any different to 6.8 billion machines? Quantified definitions are not very different to machine specifications.

Why can we not define ourselves by what we can be? Each of us have the potential to be much greater than we currently are. But even the act of defining oneself by what they could be would be limiting. Would defining oneself as the potential world leader simultaneously limit them being bohemian designer?

We need to encourage others to be all that they can be. We need to love and accept who we are but also love and strive for who we can be.

Continuous improvement

Continuous improvement

I have a lot of things I need to work on for the sake of those around me who I care about and for myself.

The funny thing is that I’m saying this in the full knowledge that I have bad habit of adjusting myself to suit others which I need to stop doing. That being said, I think we should all strive to be the best we can be, and in this case it aligns with working on things within myself and my interactions with others.

I change all-too-easily for others and I have to stop doing that. However, I need to change in ways that matter. I need more tact, wisdom, care, independence, discipline and a greater sense of peace.

I do love and accept myself the way that I am, I have a sense of peace that I’m where I’m meant to be right now – but I also see who I can be and that is something worth striving for, it’s an exciting prospect! There’s nothing wrong with having both those attitudes simultaneously, even if it makes me sound like a crazy person.

If I am to be a catalyst for progressive change, I need to be more capable with making progressive changes in my own life.

We spend all our lives trying to find out who we are and once we’ve settled  in to a groove it can be very tempting to stick with it.

Over our lifetime we’re going to be stuck in the middle of more significant changes than any generation before us – so how will we respond? Will we be like the generations before us and be either stuck in our ways or confused and lost? Or will we learn to find a fluid stability that is comfortable and challenging?



Got a job! Helping Richard Smith (SFU Professor). FINALLY!!

Had a night in with the missus last night… just what I needed!

Looking at grad school.

Essential guide to effective human interaction

Essential guide to effective human interaction

Get ready for the quickest tip that I could give anyone to improve the quality of their relationships (of any kind ranging form corporate to intimate).

People like to feel desirable and appreciated.

If you make people feel like they are worth your time and not like your relationship is out of pity, necessity or duty then they will respond much better.

If you make sure that people are recognised for their efforts and their qualities, then they will excel!

Once you break it down, you realise that most interpersonal problems root from these two human needs.

The methods for achieving them, however, are much more difficult! That’s what takes years of practice! And “practice” is a deliberate thing.

Help needed!

Help needed!

I’m going to cut to the chase!

As you may or may not be aware I will be back in Sydney this coming October and this means a few things for me (a) before I go home and (b) once I’m back. Furthermore, (c) I am open for building more websites over the next few months and will be doing it cheaply, (d) I am starting to build something that could be quite revolutionary and am looking for partners.

  • (a) My dear Canadian contacts: I’m looking for work in Vancouver to support myself over the next few months. This is particularly important due to scholarships, bursaries and loans falling through. If you know of any work available soon, please contact me!
    SFU PEOPLE!! Do you know of any research assistant positions? Or anything else on campus?
  • (b) Upon our return, both Joni and I will both be looking for work in Sydney.
    : I have a B Media and will have a PBD Communication (Honours). Most of my work has been in marketing, web and design, however I am looking toward moving more toward the PR and networking side of things – and I’m hoping for preferably less on the side of big nasty corporations. See my resume.
    Joni: She will have a B Arts (Major: Communication, Ext Minor: English). Joni also very talented with graphic design and has worked in marketing and web design (alongside Cafe’s and an Info centre). And another plus: she’s GREAT with people and very hard working.
  • (c) If anyone wants some websites designed I am offering some great prices at the moment. Please contact me at if you, or someone you know is interested.
  • (d) I am trying to get a full-featured social networking, management and collaboration tool off the ground to help solve the problem of too many organisations and groups constantly reinventing the wheel and having too many online tools doing the jobs poorly.
    Have a look at to see my quick overview.

Thank you all so much for your support and attention in reading this email so far! I really appreciate all that you have all done for me!

Deliberative Practice

Deliberative Practice

Golf champion Sam Snead “It is only human nature to want to practice what you can already do well, since it’s a hell of a lot less work and a hell of a lot more fun.”

Good article in the Harvard Business Review July–August 2007 [pdf].

The Worldwide Social Network

The real “social” network…because change is possible

I’m looking for partners to help build

It is going to be a full-featured collaborative open source social networking and management tool that will also provide a back-end platform for organisations, individuals, causes or events to incorporate into their own sites and customise for their own profiles.


  • Thousands of NGOs focus on issues ranging from sustainability and humanitarianism through to political reform and education
  • Difficulty motivating cross pollination
  • Not enough time, funding or people
  • Organisations constantly reinvent the wheel
  • Lack of enabling tools
    Old methods of communication cannot handle this and new ones are proprietary, incompatible and too numerous.


  • Rise of social media and online tools: Facebook, Twitter, Meeting Wizard, Wikipedia, MySpace, Google tools etc..
  • Economic recession provides need for innovation and incentives for collaboration


  • Governments and grant-giving bodies looking to put money to its most effective use
  • Corporations willing to make progressive changes, but need partnerships to take the plunge
  • Thousand of organisations and causes that need resources, membership/event management, collaboration tools and networking opportunities
  • Millions of individuals looking to volunteer, donate, make changes and have an active role in shaping their world


  • Management tools: membership, events, petitions, meeting wizards, grants, volunteer, employment,
  • notifications and management for both physical and digital resources.
  • Information integration: articles, blogs, studies, collaborative encyclopaedia, press releases, videos, tweets and status updates.
  • Relevance algorithms
  • Networking tools
  • Profiles: interests, events attended, education, affiliations, resume etc…
  • Geographical integration.
  • Online meeting, conference and collaboration tools

Scenario 1: Physical Resources

Get Out The Vote wants to run a campaign in the interior of Canada but their offices are in the major cities.
They have a few supporters out in the country.
Those supporters search for organisations in their local area that would allow them to use printing equipment.

Scenario 2: Digital Resources

Joe Smith from Vancouver wants to run a program for troubled teenage boys in high school.
He searches WorldSocial and finds the “No Limits” course which was run in Sydney.
He downloads it, adapts it and tries it.
Later on he uploads it to share on WorldSocial, along with photos and videos too!

Scenario 3: Individual Support

Mary Stephens from Newcastle wants to donate some time and money to help her community.
She fills out a survey on WorldSocial about her interests and values.
Later on, she is notified about the details of several events in her neighbourhood.
Also, her $20 donation was split between the 7 organisations that she approved upon the survey’s suggestion.

Scenario 4: Group Websites

Macquarie University Sustainability Society wants to create a website for their members.
They log in to WorldSocial, start a group and then customise a website that works in realtime with the Worldsocial database.
This time they decide to go for customised template with their own URL.
Now they can organise events and meetings, collect membership fees and donations, share their work, apply for grants and syndicate information about local sustainability groups!

Scenario 5: Online Grants

The New York City Council are looking to support social enterprise businesses in the Manhattan area.
They create a grant listing on WorldSocial and wait for applicants to create profiles and apply.
Later on they view all their applicants profiles and user recommendations on WorldSocial!

Group Networks

Groups are much more networked than we think – here’s just a quick overview of the simple relationships.

What is already there?

Facebook, Craigslist, Digg, MySpace, Google Maps, Skype, LinkedIn, Google Docs, Taking IT Global, Meeting Wizard, Livejournal, Flickr, Wikipedia, WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Blogger, GetUp…

What are they lacking?

  • Integration
  • Centralised database
  • Synchronisation
  • Full features
  • Open source
  • Co-operation
  • Customisable front-end
  • Expandability
  • Collaboration
  • Full syndication


  • Getting financial support for an unknown entity in times of economic recession
  • Reluctancy to support something that wasn’t started in-house
  • Creating something this big will be very hard, but there is no point in doing it unless we aim big.
  • Current tools do parts of this and the need for a full-featured collaborative and open tool may not be obvious.

A full-featured collaborative open source social networking and management tool that will also provide a back-end platform for organisations, individuals, causes or events to incorporate into their own sites and customise for their own profiles.

Communication and collaboration are the most effective means for change!