Choosing to be ignorant of how goodwill works in community is not an excuse.

Corporate and civil social responsibility is everyone’s business. You don’t palm this off to some make-believe GOODWILL department or PR department. It’s everyone’s role to create good-will.

Am I my brother’s keeper? is the very first story in Judo/Christian teachings of foul play in the home. When a brother is killed and buried out of jealousy. Cain is questioned by God of the whereabouts of his brother, Cain replied “Am I my brothers keeper?”

It’s not my fault – This is someone else’s issue

A separation from moral duty created the very spirit of antisocial behaviour and the introduction of overbearing laws, authorities and enforcement.

The further we get from our personal moral duty to do the right thing, the greater dependency we develop on third parties to create community and civil service for us.

The problem with third parties is that they rely on contract law to deliver good-will rather than moral conscience.

The quickest way to destroy any goodwill in a home, business or social group is to make arbitrary decisions and enforce them.

Goodwill is the thread of authentic human connectivity that cannot be tampered with. Once goodwill is destroyed, no amount money, laws, authorities and enforcement can bring it back.

Goodwill must be sown and nurtured again, taking time to rebuild.

Don’t underestimate the work involved in creating goodwill. People will always vote with their feet.

It’s time to take back what belongs to us, our ability to forgive, love, nurture, serve and encourage authenticity or the alternative is, strangers will enforce order at the cost of true community and human dignity.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

Boxer walks around a construction site with a sense of urgency and purpose, like name like character.

Boxer is one of those rare people that reminds me of the marble in a paint can, when the can is shaken the paint mixes well because of the marble.

Guys like Boxer bring order to urgency as he challenges men sixty years younger than him to work ethically and not cut corners.

I’ve heard the following story a million times and it still makes me laugh revealing Boxer’s training technic.

Boxer led a team of brick layers up in the north-west of Australia approx forty years ago. It was difficult to find tradies with the ethics to deliver quality workmanship but that didn’t deter Boxer.

Boxer’s instructions were clear, “When you brick up the wall make sure you clear the cavity” short and simple. Boxer would then go and do his work and come back at the end of the day and check the work. God help you if you cut corners with Boxer as your foreman.

When Boxer checked the brick work and could see that the lazy, selfish arrogant brick layers didn’t follow the scope they were given, Boxer simply pushed down the wall and made them do it again.

~ We all start laughing as Boxer gets all feisty going back in time.

Forty years later when he repeats that story you can see a glint in his eye how he loves delivering quality when his name is stamped on the work.

If you were ever fortunate enough to be trained by Boxer and you caught his spirit, I guarantee you would never be out of work.

Boxer walks the walk and talks the talk – Attitude is everything.

Pic taken on a Hanssen construction site with Boxer and Chris who is equally passionate about training the next generation.

Mr Hanssen, MD of Hanssen Construction has been fortunate to have men like Boxer work with him in the building industry for forty over years.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

They show potential and the blood thirst of the economy must be fed so small business is encouraged at all costs.

Modern-Day Gladiators, practicing their skills when no one is watching, waiting for the day they get a shot in the arena.

The arena (THE MARKET PLACE) is packed to the brim, represented by every corner of the world. Watching from above are mum and dad, corporates, scouts, speculators and the governors.

Most Modern-Day Gladiators unfortunately don’t make it past the first round as they run onto the field hoping at least to make a strike. The market place isn’t designed to help the Modern-Day Gladiator to survive and allowing the path to freedom. The market place by enlarge is a place to entertain those that have already cornered and controlled the arena.

Traditionally it was an excepted number that up to 50% of small businesses fail in the first twelve months.

In the modern-day of start-ups and entrepreneurship the number reaches up to 90% fail, Why?

Simple, its more entertainment, more blood shed and the prize of true freedom becomes an alluring myth as everyone stays locked in the game.

But every now and then, a true Modern-Day Gladiator comes onto the world market and the path to freedom seems eminent, the world watches closely. Mum and  dad, corporates, scouts, speculators and the governors.

This incredible Modern-day Gladiator destroys its competitor becoming a new monopoly in a field, they also beat the aggressive takeover lions staying independent. The crowd cheers, hoping this gladiator inspires a new era of victory, defying the odds and obtaining freedom. It’s at this point the governor intervenes and regulates the fight with a new set of rules. 

The aim of the game is to keep you in and never to allow you freedom. It’s the myth of freedom that keeps the game going. If true freedom is actually achieved, more champion Modern-Day Gladiators would rise, ultimately destroying the market as it now stands. This would change the complete dynamics of the MARKET PLACE. The masses would no longer fill the arenas and wait for a true mythical hero to liberate them.

I believe a new era of Modern-Day Gladiators are on the rise. Women and men that have great ideas and even greater intentions of making the world a better place. They are fighting to keep their dreams alive. These Modern-Day Gladiators are preparing to fight outside the arena. They will challenge the crowd one by one to defy the self-serving, to challenge the governors rules that benefit the few and burden the rest.

These Modern-Day Gladiators aren’t driven by grandeur, they are led by conscience. They recognise freedom isn’t some future time or place, true freedom is found within. This type of freedom is dangerous in a market that driven by control.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

Updated June 2020 and the positive narrative continues.

Seven years on and it’s still happening, wholesome leaders empowering people to build amazing structures in Perth’s high-rise horizon.
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pic taken at Langley Park nurturing good mental health and suicide awareness, a Hanssen campaign ‘run for a friend ;’

September 2018, I concluded a five year personal challenge to make a difference in the building industry within my sphere of influence. I was invited to make a difference in one of Perth’s largest construction companies by the owner, Mr Gerry Hanssen. Mr Hanssen can come across as eccentric, although I found him to be quite normal, perhaps that’s saying something about me?

Mr Hanssen has quite a reputation that extends beyond the construction industry. To some, Mr Hanssen rules with an iron fist as a ruthless business man, to others he can come across as a saint, by enlarge he is not a fool, boring or out of touch.

I said to Mr Hanssen when starting five years earlier “I’m not that interested in the building side of your company, I’m interested in the people dynamics”. Mr Hanssen in his colourful language and master of dramatics said “Good, that way you don’t f*ck up my system”. It is very evident when looking at the system that Hanssen has built over the years, it is world-class when it comes to bringing a project together on time and on budget, truly, Hanssen is second to none. Mr Hanssen invited me into his company because he could see a huge gap in the ethics and accountability of his work force. Traditionally, accountability is driven by two paths, overwhelming processes or using the stick and fear tactics. Wether I could make a difference or not was completely up to me, Mr Hanssen just unleashed me with no parameters.

Why could I possibly think that I could make a difference in an industry I knew nothing about? 

I’ve spent my whole life dealing with all sorts of people who had shady characteristics but found very few to be truly notorious at the core, if I just kept looking. One of my business friends made a passing comment some years ago ‘Tom, its like you keep peeling off the rotten outer layers like an onion until you find something good about a person’. I like the analogy and to be honest with some, I just kept peeling and peeling and moved on to the next person, perhaps others might find the good, but I still believed there was good to be found.

My first six months at Hanssen were terrible, I didn’t expect it to be a walk in the park.

The only people who made me feel welcome on the sites were Mr Hanssen and the new recruits who felt like outsiders themselves. The management at the time which I now call the old guard kept a tight circle. The old guard seemed to morph into characters likened to the Sapranos, taking themselves way to seriously. Some time had passed and I wasn’t to bothered that the old guard dismissed me, there were too many people on the sites to work with and I focused on those that were open.

My whole program is displayed in following four quadrants: It is so shallow that a baby could swim in it and so complex that a lawyer would drown in it, pending the character of a person. The program brings out the worst and the best in us, hopefully shedding the worst.

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People are people anywhere in the world and that’s why I know my program would work no matter what industry. 

While I continued to create a subculture within Hanssen at the grassroots and with some older workers that were tired of the Sapranos style leadership, I got my first break with one of the Saprano leaders. The young man was stressed and out of desperation sought help and asked me, “Do you have some sort of leadership course I could do to cope with all the stress and people?”. Unfortunately this young man was trained wrong but had great potential and capacity for leadership. I said to him “Let’s go and have some subway” and I shared my course with him in about twenty minutes as I’ve done to others, often drawing it on the back of a paper towel.

The young leader was ready to make huge changes which meant separating himself from the inner circle and becoming his own person, getting back to the fundamentals. This young man didn’t understand the basics of motivation and developing a sustainable workforce as most managers don’t.

Managers manage processes, leaders inspire hope and lead people, two unique sets of skills that must be developed together. Most managers get this understanding the wrong way around and destroy the potential in people out of their desire to control and not lead.

Over the next few months I worked closely with this young leader while still developing the grassroots subculture on the sites, then another leader cracked and opened up. We to went to subway and I went through my program looking for a paper towel. One by one the leaders cracked and opened up and Subway became my new office for a while. Within months I started to have monthly leadership breakfasts and worked very closely with anyone that was open to seeing their own potential.

Mr Hanssen was asked about a year after I started by a manager within his company “What does Tom actually do?” Mr Hanssen responded “I don’t know, but I see the effect”. Five years down the track, Mr Hanssen would describe it a little clearer. “Tom, you help people get their confidence back, you help them find their own soul”. That’s good enough for me. 

It’s been an amazing journey with Hanssen, a company that has had thousands working on their sites throughout the years. At last count Hanssen was represented by sixty nationalities and over the last 25 years has had over a thousand apprentices come through with training as one of its highest priorities.

Moving forward, I’m stepping into another unknown and seeing where I could make a difference. I’m climbing an even greater mountain and the only reason I know I can make a difference is, people are people.

I’m confident that Mr Hanssen will continue to succeed. As long as he takes chances with unknowns like me to see if they have something in them to add value to his company. Mr Hanssen is always on the lookout for ethical and hard-working people, willing to give them a go.

I’m also confident that the Hanssen subculture that I’ve assisted to develop over the last few years is strong and is now becoming the new culture where people care about their fellow workers. A culture where workers work with an ethic and train the next generation to do the same. I’m confident this new culture driven by conscience will weed out Sapranos style leaders that is still very much alive in the Construction Industry. This Ethical style of leading, building the people who build the buildings will make an impact beyond the building industry in a wholesome way.

Before you make a judgement, take time to visit Hanssen and meet this new breed of leader on the latest sites and make your own call.

August 2018 – My last weekly site meeting with some of the leading hands and Mr Gerry Hanssen, he is surrounded by some amazing people who will continue the Hanssen tag line ‘Making a difference’

I give a special thanks to Mr Gerry Hanssen for opening the door, welcoming me into his company and the great team that has become part of my extended family. I’d also like to thank Daniel Gwyther Jones who was the first young leader to crack and seperate himself from the sheep opening the way for others to do the same, it took great courage.

I couldn’t be prouder and feel a richness from the experience, helping young people to self govern.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

Willing to risk and jump into the unknown, we were called migrants

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In 1968, coming towards the port of Fremantle, my mother looked at the flatness of the land, with no buildings and said to my dad, “Where are we going to find work here?”

Like most migrants to Australia, they arrived from countries with ancient cities, established cultures and a rich heritage.

Migrants, like my parents didn’t waste any time once they landed on foreign soil. They knocked on doors and took on any job or two or even three they could find.

Migrants, like entrepreneurs have always come across as outsiders and struggle to fit into new societies. Out of a necessity to survive and the notion of being ostracised after they have sacrificed so much becomes the seedbed for a new way of thinking and living.

Migrants and entrepreneurs both have a relatively high sense of self

They do what they have to do to survive and will work endlessly to fulfil their dreams. Most struggle for years before they see breakthrough yet they continue on in their passions to succeed or die trying.

They always know where to find money to get what they want. Mum and dad moved into their first house within a year of landing on the port of Fremantle. The house was a one bedroom fibro home and it housed a family of five. Within a couple of years we moved into our second home that was brick and tile with three bedrooms and a huge backyard.

Migrants and entrepreneurs both know how to multiply their investments

Mum’s dream was to have her own land and a roof over her head. Mum turned that small plot of land into a botanic garden and a vegie patch that could feed a small village.

In the fifties and sixties it was the Greeks, Macedonians, Italians and other parts of Europe that migrated to Perth. They multiplied their investments through very simple principles. They saw opportunity where others saw wasted land and bush. They took the skills and knowledge from their old country and invested them in foreign soil. Everything was a opportunity and the idea of owning your own business and property seemed like a dream come true in this harsh environment.

In the seventies and eighties we saw an influx of Vietnamese migrants and other parts of Asia. They to followed in the exact footsteps of the European migrant/entrepreneurs.

To the up and coming entrepreneurs – Be warned, you will face the same obstacles migrants have faced for generations.

  1. You will always be considered an outsider until you have made it, and then they’ll still struggle to accept you but respect you, they may. 
  2. Most wont understand your language because entrepreneurs like most migrants have an accent unique to them. (my mum died at 93 years of age and after fifty years in Australia still couldn’t speak English)  
  3. They will see you as a threat to their way of life. How is it my mum turned a suburban back yard into paradise and needed very little to survive.  
  4. They wont appreciate your disruptive ideas. You make things look too easy. 
  5. It’s a long game but your children or the next generation will reap the benefits of your ways if you stay they course. 

If you have a dream, today is the day to chase it.

Australia celebrated it’s population of over 25 million people. We welcome more people from around the world that are willing to invest their time and skill to add to the beauty of our great land.

Entrepreneur – In my day we called them migrants

Perhaps you’ve buried your entrepreneurial skills and feel the urge to resurface them?

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

 

The moment we start writing our CV, we begin to define ourselves. I assure you that you are better than your CV, no matter how exaggerated it is. 

Often a CV will try to identify qualifications, experience and character by its author, unfortunately the reader will read it completely different.

Slaves employ slaves

The CV tells the world we have a need, we are on the market and we are willing to exchange our talent for labour. Those seeking to fill a prescribed position in a company will try to match qualifications, experience and character with the role, instantly placing the CV holder in a pigeon-hole. 

We need to remember that a person that lives in a pigeon-hole themselves (the HR manager or our immediate supervisor) isn’t going to allow us to live in freedom if their life is conformed.

  1. If the CV is very honest and the qualifications are there, it may come across as over-confident. The likelihood of being overlooked is possible, because inferior slaves don’t want to employ those with a strong sense of self.
  2. If the CV is understated out of desperation for a job, the likelihood is you may land the job that will drive you insane in no time.

What’s the alternative?

Look for industry leaders that can create a role for you – These leaders see beauty and potential where others may see you as just a human resource

Never put your livelihood into the hands of a person that can’t see past your CV. There are so many unique individuals (leaders) in the world that don’t know that it’s you they are looking for. These leaders see beyond your current credentials. These leaders can’t help but make their decisions based on intuition and gut.

  1. If we can step outside the box a little, we will find these leaders, decision makers that live outside the box too.
  2. These leaders have a desire to grow and they need others to grow with them.

You attract what you truly believe about yourself and if you’re just looking for a job, I’m sure there’s one waiting. If however you are looking for an adventure and be rewarded for it, there is a world of opportunity waiting for you.

At 57 years of age as of 2020, I’ve been fortunate enough to stumble into amazing opportunities without a CV. This blog thought is written to challenge the way you think about yourself.

Just remember, you are better than your CV no matter how exaggerated it is.

If this blog resonates and you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com . We can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

My childhood rubbish tip turned into a bird sanctuary with parks and gardens.

I can’t help but believe there’s far greater ways to create urban cities that capture the holistic advantages of nature.

A concrete jungle geared purely towards commerce costs far more than being nature minded as we inhabit.

Suburbs have distanced many from nature’s healing powers, isolating many by the paper thin fences that guard our land. The suburbs struggle to embrace nature from backyard to backyard. The suburbs become modern ghettos of the mind. Most desire sanctity but feel trapped by the treadmill of work and rarely escaping to breathe in life as creation intended.

Smart cities reclaim rivers, beaches, trees, parks and the sky is the limit. Reclaiming our city centres where we work, we also play. Reclaiming time and limiting the commute. Turning back the clock and appreciating the connectivity of a timeless village.

Through technology, smart urban design and holistic leadership there is room for commerce and nature.

Reinvigorate what we already have, populate and nurture. Why can’t we have our cake and eat it.

Pictures taken along Perth’s Swan River on the morning of the Avon Descent.

If we can turn my childhood rubbish tip into paradise for my grandchildren, we can revolutionise our cities through smart economic reforms that gives cities back their soul.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

Give yourself permission to get up close and personal and deal with the bully with a smile.

As a mentor, I find it incredibly rewarding watching the underdog stand their ground to a bully. Two outcomes may happen

1. Individuals learn the art of self governing as they stand their ground in the workplace

2. The bully comes down a notch and lives with the rest of us on the ground

Yes, a serial bully can change if we help them see the error of their way. They must have a change of heart, not just a change in outward behaviour.

My heart races when this subject arises but it must be addressed all the time.

Reading through a FairWork jurisdiction guide on anti bullying in the workplace instantly caused my heart to palpitate. It took me back to countless occasions I’ve seen, experienced or behaved in a bullying behaviour. Be it in school, the workplace, in not for profit service to mention just some.

Just read the following in italics from the FareWork guide and see if your heart races

Bullying behaviour may involve, for example, any of the following types of behaviour:

• aggressive or intimidating conduct

• belittling or humiliating comments

• spreading malicious rumours

• teasing, practical jokes or ‘initiation ceremonies’

• exclusion from work-related events

• unreasonable work expectations, including too much or too little work, or work below or beyond a worker’s skill level

• displaying offensive material

• pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner.

However, in order for it to be bullying the behaviour must be repeated and unreasonable and must create a risk to health and safety.

How to identify a serial bully

1. They work in darkness, isolation, behind unseen walls.

2. They recruit cronies (mindless followers) that act like dog packs, establishing a reinforced hierarchy culture of acceptable bullying behaviour as the norm.

3. They enjoy demoralising those weaker than themselves.

4. They show little to no remorse for their behaviour.

5. They justify all their actions and even use the law to reinforce their actions.

6. They use their power to control rather than empower others.

I could go on and on but my heart keeps racing writing about it…

How to help others deal with a serial bully?

1. Stay in the light, be a connected person, develop interpersonal relationships.

2. Never seek the approval of the bully, let them like you and dislike you at the same time, their approval is meaningless.

3. Never let them demoralise you under any circumstances, never. A person has to have the right to critique you which only comes by permission you give.

4. Pity the bully because they are unwell, like a dog with rabies, they spread poison so stay clear of them as best you can. Only approach strategically to administer compassion through tough love.

5. Don’t believe their rhetoric of how great they are especially if they are condescending in their greatness.

6. Understand- They aren’t as strong as they project and you’re not as weak as they make you feel.

If they have the bully disease, they can also be healed from it through tough love.

There is nothing more liberating than overcoming the grip of a bully culture and helping others to be free as well.

Some of the greatest anti bullying activists are those that lived through or were bullies themselves, like me.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

“It takes Time, so have the long view – Develop patients with people – Have respect for nature, it’s a great teacher” ~ John Steffaneli

The three gems I gleaned at the end of our conversation from John’s vast business and life experience.

From a wood-mill, tree plantations, cattle, fishing charters, tyres, news paper, developments, shopping centre or commercial properties of which John knew very little about when migrating to Australia, he was able to achieve profitable outcomes. In all our conversations over the years, it’s clear that John looks for key people and empowers them. Johns type of leadership is a dyeing art and if we don’t capture its spirit and impart it into our next generation, we will lose what makes this country great.

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Picture of John in his office at ninety-three years of age and still sharing with whoever is open

I met John many years ago while I was in commercial real estate. He called me to enquire about a restaurant I had up FOR LEASE, the signs with my name on it were plastered all around a property which I was trying to lease on behalf of my Auntie. John asks the question “How are you related to Chris Smilovitis?” My response “Chris was my uncle and the family has asked if I could assist with their properties”. This particular property John knew very well, It was once a well-known restaurant called Chris’s Country Diner and business men like John would frequent it with their bank managers as well as build their business connections.

While still on the phone, I asked “And who are you and what do you do?’. John would’ve been in his late seventies at the time and he seemed a little mused by my tone and he began to tell me who he and his family were. John tells me that he was close friends with my uncle and knew him through the restaurant. My ears pricked when he also told me that the family owned a local shopping centre and I asked straight away….

“I want to manage your shopping centre, when can we meet?”

John still mused by my tone and initially called me to see if my family were interested in selling the restaurant. It was a great connection as both of us looked to see if we could do a deal over the phone and we hadn’t even met each other yet. Within three months I was managing that shopping centre and leased out the restaurant which allowed John to continue his tradition of taking his business connections to lunch.

John now in his nineties can still be reached at his office from week to week and still has that spark in him that enabled him such great business success. (I just visited John at his home in February 2021, John in his mid nineties no longer going to his office but still as philosophical as ever)

“Tom, we are in the people business”

With an endearing manner, John reveals some of the keys to his long-standing vocation in life, “Tom, we are in the people business”. From his early twenties when he migrated to Australia, John knocked on doors and took on any jobs that were offered. John clearly has an ability to rally trust and confidence that he will deliver an outcome. From an employee to an employer, John’s philosophy is the same, rally trust and confidence and allow others to deliver with you.

……….it’s clear that John looks for key people and empowers them.

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John never got stuck on the details, that’s for everyone else to work out.

He continues “Tom, there is only twenty-four hours in a day and unless you develop people, you will never be able to expand.” John goes on to tell me about his involvement in the community. From Swan Chamber president decades ago to building an Italian Community centre among other social enterprises.

As far as John is concerned, nothing has changed, there is always opportunity if you’re looking for it by knocking on doors relentlessly. You can’t help but admire unique people like John who connected with me in his late seventies by cold calling me off a FOR LEASE sign and seeing if the family were interested in selling.

Who will replace JOHN STEFANELLI?

I can’t think of a better time in history than building on the foundation stones of entrepreneurs like John and others in the SWAN REGION and the Eastern Corridor of Perth, filled with migrants that allowed hard times to make them innovative.

I take away with me three simple nuggets from my latest conversation with John

  1. It takes time to build big so take the long view but stay focused and do deals
  2. Be patient, don’t get stressed and work with people to gain a greater outcome
  3. Respect nature, because it teaches us so much about the cycles of life              P6240316.JPG

Picture taken of Perth’s beautiful icon SWAN RIVER in Guilford

Calling all Pioneers to create new opportunities 

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

Two years later, prisoners are on new paths because something happened that day.

The room is empty and the prison guards prepare to bring in about fifty young men, average age, low twenties. These young men are in the prime of life and stuck behind walls paying back to society their time in exchange for their wrongs.

What am I going to do and say that will challenge them to get out of their rut and choose a better way of thinking and living?

The prison director along with prison officers join the small gathering and get ready for the talk. I brought along with me an indigenous leader who is keen to see more young indigenous men lead lives free of prison walls. I also invited three leading foremen from the construction industry in the hope of inspiring them to engage these young prisoners and look for ways to integrate them back into society.

What goes on in my mind at this point just before I speak?

  1. I hope I don’t freeze during the talk
  2. I hope what I have to say totally disrupts even the most hardened heart, this includes everyone in the room not just the prisoners
  3. I hope a fire sparks and ignites a new breed of leader somewhere in the room
  4. What’s my strategy to unlock them from the checkmate they think they’re in?

They start bringing in the boys and I greet every single one of them with a smile, shaking their hands and look at each one in the eyes acknowledging them one by one. They in return acknowledge me with all sorts of looks as they try to keep up the composure that they create as part of their culture and reputation. My heart went out each one of them no matter what wrong they’ve done.

Finally everyone is seated and the prison guard who opened the doorway for me to speak in the prison introduces me as a motivational speaker and lets me be.

With my heart racing and my thoughts still not sure which story I should start my talk with, second by second I gaze into the group. You’d think I’d be more prepared, but I was not interested in entertaining these young men with a well rehearsed script nor was I wanting to patronise them like I had all the answers. To me, this was an opportunity to really free some of their minds.  

I look around the room and I start, I go on for about thirty minutes and I know within the first five minutes that I had them. Some of them folded their arms, good, some of them looked down, good, some looked like they just wanted to mock me, good… best of all, by the end, not one of them were disrespectful. When you’ve done public speaking for as long as I have, you begin to see indicators that you are connecting and the room is being divided, their thoughts and hearts are racing .

Questions and comments at the end of my talk

The comments and questions were more about my passion rather than my topic. What they wanted to know had to do with my motive. I didn’t have a program, I didn’t have a background in prison life and yet here I was believing I could make a difference in their lives. Even prison officers were asking the same types of questions, why was I there and why am I bothered?

When the meeting finished, I approached each of the young men again shaking their hand and looking them in the eyes, thanking them for being open to new ideas. Many of them expressed an appreciation for the talk and they hoped I’d be able to come back and do more talks. Some appreciated that I wasn’t offering another get well scheme. Some said that they related so much to me even though our worlds were different.

I heard some time later that the young men talked about the event among themselves and with the prison officers still trying to work out what it was all about.

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As more me, I knew exactly what was going on that day. I knew that I was meant to be there and my gift for speaking into the hearts of those young men worked. Life breeds life and for some of them that day, life was injected into them, they caught it. My confidence is that the work that started that day is still continuing to ripple in the hearts of those that attended.

If you want to make a difference, you must go outside of your comfort zone. Your heart will race, your thoughts will become more creative. You’ll know that you are as alive as I felt that incredible day when I spoke to a few young men that were exchanging their time for the wrongs that they did to society.

Two years later, prisoners are walking on new paths because something happened that day. Hanssen Construction and a few good mentors within the company are willing to work with any person that comes out of the prison system looking to create a new life for themselves.

It all starts with an idea that germinates into action through tough love.

There is always a better way to reform, renew and reintegrate the prodigal.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

God does not shout to make himself heard, be still and hear God speak.

Silence can be the loudest experience for some of us when our soul is not rested. We tend to busy ourselves with more chatter, more noise until a breakdown happens rather than a breakthrough.
Taking photos while doing a charity drive with my son in the north of Western Australia, enjoying the silence of the Australian outback.

The secular world has mastered the art of avoiding the voice of God or the silent voice of conscience by bending to the idolatry of busyness. The busier we get, the less we hear our conscience, the part of us that protects us from self destruction.

We often try and justify ourselves by achievements rather than being at peace with our conscience.

I often ask individuals that have that burnt out look on their face or hear it in the tone of their voice, “When’s your next holiday?”. Then watch the excuses pour out why they are too busy to take time out or have a lunch break, or leave early or just switch the phone off for a few hours.

I remember the days I lifted myself on such a high Pedestal, thinking that the world would collapse if I wasn’t always at the helm steering every decision. I patted myself on the back more times than I can remember thinking of how much I achieved only to feel the loneliness set in and the chatter increase in my head.

Fact: I became a brilliant manager worshiping achievement, I also became a terrible leader of self governing devaluing the human experience. I treated myself harshly and I treated those around me with contempt because I was addicted to achievement but I was longing for peace and meaning. The more I achieved the louder the chatter became in my head.

Some years ago I made a radical decision to rid myself of the chatter or at least minimise it in my head. We all know the unnecessary dramas that constantly try to creep into our souls. Chatter that is like unwanted weeds in the most beautiful patch of grass.

How did the world ever survive without phones and in recent years the double edged smart phone? I suspect people have become lazier, less creative and far more dependent on instant answers rather than being patient and planning things through.

My great confession

For over fifteen years as a pastor and a further ten years as a shopping centre manager, my phone was on 24/7. In these twenty five years of answering my phone at all hours, rarely if any of these phone calls needed to be answered with the urgency they were made. Being the people pleaser that I was, I became the fool as the worlds most gullible punching bag for other people’s dramas, inconsistencies and melt downs.

These days I try to be present with those in front of me. I want to give my full attention to the task I’m working on, including my sleep or rest time. The only way to achieve this is by controlling the amount of disruptions that look to infiltrate my life, disruptions that eat away the peace that I value so much.

Our soul can make its greatest choices in the silence, the quieter it is the greater the creative juices flow.

Choose this course rather than be at the beck and call of everyone else’s whim.

Constant chatter grinds at the core of our being.

Constant chatter keeps us unnecessary busy, confused and fearful.

Our choice to be silent helps us from overreacting, allows perspective to take place for clear decision making.

Silence stirs up the possibilities, it guards us against the chattering bandits that seek to steal our centre.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

Mentoring in Construction is a tough gig, Gerry was my doorway.

The following is my story and intro into the high rise construction industry in Perth Western Australia through construction Boss, Gerry Hanssen. Gerry has become a friend and mutual agitator to make a difference in the lives of people and the building industry.

‘The job is the boss’ – A term that defines Gerry Hanssen. 

At a distance Gerry can appear disconnected with his outlandish statements and a larger than life attitude.

He can be his worst own enemy fighting his own conscience or as he often likes to put it “The peanut upstairs or God, whatever you like to call him; wakes me up in the middle of the night and won’t leave me alone until I act and do the right thing”

One minute Gerry will talk about a detail relating to construction, the next he would be philosophical, addressing any number of subjects leading back to the fundamentals of the human existence, what makes us tick?

I met Gerry Hanssen in 2012 at a business breakfast hosted by the Swan Chamber of Commerce. There were over hundred local business people and a handful of politicians sitting around big tables and networking as they like to call it.

At this breakfast some individuals were asked to stand up and share their perspective on the economy. I along with Gerry were chosen to speak. I was a centre manager of a number of Perth shopping centres for over ten years. Previous to that I pastored churches and I travelled around the world teaching ethics and purposeful living for over fifteen years. I stood up and reluctantly shared my views on the retail sector of the economy which was unimpressive. Gerry had his moment to speak and he just got in his zone as he often does, something I’ve recognised over the years and I was impressed.

Silk tie days in the commercial world of property management

I was Impressed not because of the content of his address which at times seemed disconnected from his point. I was impressed because Gerry didn’t mind confronting stalemate situations by making statements that would polarise the audience. Gerry likes to call these moments, “You’ve got to throw a grenade in a room to shake things up sometimes”. I remember so clearly, Gerry stood up and gave the audience a one minute lesson on how he builds so efficiently and how he makes his money. I noted some in the audience chuckled like disrespectful children that chuckle behind their parents back when mocking them for repeating the same old stories.

I had never met or heard of Gerry Hanssen to that point and liked his shameless attitude. He definitely spiced up this business breakfast. I have attended so many of these types of events in my career and few were this memorable. A typical network business gathering often consists of the following, you eat, you mix in a cordial conversation and leave with very little gained.

Gerry continued his talk while standing, keeping in mind the theme was on the state of the economy. Gerry goes on after complimenting himself in his one minute address and then turns his attention to the local mayor who was sitting at his table. Without even a blink, Gerry started to berate the mayor for his incompetence. My ears pricked and my eyes focused to see what would happen next. Gerry picked a fight with the local mayor in front of over a 100 professionals and supposed leaders of the community. I waited to see what the mayor would do and to my surprise, he did nothing. I looked around the room, mostly silence except for some childish laughing by a minority but they also did nothing.

I must admit at this point, coming from an ethnic background where tempers, emotions and opinions were always expressed. I pondered what I would do in that setting. Had Gerry berated me in that manner,  I can assure you, silence wouldn’t have been my reaction.

Some may have seen this as an act of bullying on Gerry’s part yet to me it was the contrary. This was a room full of industry leaders yet they all remained silent, especially the mayor. They were happy to let this go as just another personality quirk of Gerry Hanssen rather than an act of leadership. Gerry challenged the mayor to stand up and give an account for himself.

It has been my experience that there comes a time in every persons life where we must stand up for what we believe in or we will fall for anything. Gerry definitely has always had a sense of urgency and acts accordingly regardless of the fallout. As Gerry often says, “You can say sorry later if you’re wrong”. 

After the business breakfast I set out to meet Gerry Hanssen and see if he would be free for a coffee. When I passed him my business card he seemed unimpressed by my stature and professional manner and I felt he was a bit put off by my suit and silk tie but he was open to catch up.

The next morning I visited his head office, again wearing my blue pinstriped suit and another beautiful silk tie. I was keen to talk about leadership after researching him the night before on google. I got myself up to speed with Hanssen Construction as a company and Gerry’s career which appeared to be very colourful.

Gerry greets me in the yard of his head office and takes me into the tea room where all the workers have their tea break. He pulls out a plastic cup and makes himself an instant coffee and asked if I’d like one. It was almost as though Gerry liked me sitting in a dirty construction tea room in my polished shoes and pinstripe suit.

We talked for quite a while about everything from business, politics to religion and the one thing we instantly resonated on was people, we both have a passion to train and inspire the next generation.

I met with Gerry a number of times over the next twelve months and our conversations grew with more focus as we got to know one another.

I was ready to make a huge change in my life and had resigned from a solid career in property to venture out into the unknown wanting to help people. Gerry’s timing was uncanny when he called me with an idea to become the company Chaplain. He allowed me to discover what I could offer his company while I figured out where life was taking me.

Many people have a lot of things to say about Gerry, some good some not so good. As for me, I’m appreciative for his openness and confidence to invest his time, resources and trust in an unknown like me. Gerry would at times even defend me within his company from those that didn’t understand his objective to take on a company Chaplain.

The following are the four things reflective of Gerry’s strengths and what he has to offer as a leader within the construction industry as well as his philanthropic ambitions.

1. He attracts great people because of his willingness to risk and invest in many that society forgets. It’s not a surprise that Hanssen Construction personnel has been represented by over 60 nationalities and counting. He looks for diamonds in the rough in those with academic credentials but no experience, refugees, prisoners, mothers that need flexibility to raise their children just to name a few. Gerry can’t say no to anyone willing to work hard with a great attitude.

2. Gerry is motivated by the objective, he gets the job done which is why he repeatedly says “I’m not the boss, the job is the boss”

3. He thrives on a challenge and solving problems that most would crumble under. He often would come up with ideas that he says come from God or his subconscious that speaks to him in the middle of the night. While many mock him behind his back for his cockiness, they also rely on him to come through when they are stuck.

4. Gerry isn’t motivated by the trappings of materialism, he is motivated when others succeed, when the underdog wins. He has this addiction to see people achieve when society says they can’t. He would often say “I help others because I’m selfish, it makes me feel good” 

Gerry has picked a vocation in life that has to be one of the most fulfilling vocations one could ever pick. He builds people that build buildings and he is happiest when he’s in the thick of it with his people.

A mutual friend of Gerry’s once said to me, “Gerry has his annoying attributes and as annoying as they are, Gerry is the one person I’d have with me in the trenches, because with him you know you’ll have a good chance to win the fight”

All the above doesn’t mean I fully endorse everything Gerry Hanssen says or how he acts, Gerry can answer for himself as we should all aspire to do in life.

Photo taken in December 2016 promoting Good Mental Health, Suicide Awareness and supporting our friends in dark times. Taken in Langley Park, Perth Western Australia with some of the Hanssen Crew in front of their projects.

Perhaps you are interested in growing your mentoring or leadership skills?

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

The razor edge of authority

Authority is likened to the razor edge of a surgeons scalpel and the two razor edges of a warriors sword.

The scalpel- Knowing when to use the scalpel by mentoring others and surgically removing the cancers that eat away at a persons life.

The two edged sword – Knowing when to strategically attack when the threat of an enemy approaches.

The inexperienced leader will often use a scalpel in the battle field and the two edged sword trying to remove a cancer on the operating bed.

We are forever at the beck & call of mastering the sharpness of leadership swapping between scalpel & sword accordingly.

The outcome of such authority is evident – Heal & protect those we lead.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

run for a friend ;

Run for a friend ; is an idea that was fostered out of a tragedy when my youngest daughter shared that a close friend of hers took her own life. My daughter and I discussed how we can make Beth’s short-lived life count and decided to launch ‘run for a friend ;’. The semicolon has become symbolic of suicide survivors, meaning individuals put a pause in their life instead of a full stop in their darkest moments. We want to encourage individuals to do the same, take a pause while we back them for a season.

Saving one life matters.

For Beth, may your short life help others that struggle with Mental Health

‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that really matter’ Martin Luther 1483 – 1546

My son and I undertook a 3500km Charity drive over three days to Port Hedland and back to Perth on the 9th of December 2016 to create awareness of Mental Health issues in Construction, Mining, Government, Small Business and Not for profits… We went inland through Newman to Port Hedland and on the coastal road back to Perth.

Mental Illness and the looming threat of suicide is no respecter of person and to believe we are immune from its debilitating effects is both deceptive and entrapping.

DESERT MAN

DESERT MAN

Day 1 – A trip in unfamiliar territory & small compromises along the way that become the foothold

We used my car for the trip, a 2003 FPV GT, a dream car I’ve had for years and one that has been treated with absolute care since the day I was fortunate enough to buy it. The GT has never been pushed to its limits but this Charity Drive was going to reveal what was under the hood. The first day we drove inland through country towns, communities for 11 hours till we reached Newman, Sunrise to Sunset. We made our first compromise a few hours into the drive, we couldn’t buy 98 octane petrol, we had to settle for 95 unleaded fuel. It was very evident High Performance Vehicles don’t make this road trip often. The further North you get and into the desert you could only purchase Diesel & God forbid, 91 unleaded petrol.

‘When that opportunity presents itself and we set out to achieve great things, we often underestimate that we are not quite prepared for the compromises that we make along the journey as we hope to finish strong.’

Even the most disciplined of people who have had years of uninterrupted good health, be it Mental or Physical health, it’s these very individuals that get tempted to make small compromises along the way. The further we get up the success ladder ; the compromises become justified and endorsed in the delusional mind that sees this to be part of the journey. The first taste of drugs that we believe helps us to continue our life journey, or the self-medicating of alcohol beyond just relaxing or social interactions now numbs the pain we are beginning to feel about life.

This is also true of Business or any other noble enterprise, the temptation to drift off course from fundamental ethics & values to the unchartered fuels that pollute the integrity of the enterprise are ever-present. As a Chaplain that is always vested in social capital I believe leaders ought to take stock and recognise that their decisions have a ripple effect way beyond the board room. I am the guiltiest of them all.

Day 2 – When we accept that we have compromised in one area of life and we still function quite well we begin to challenge other areas of life.

On the second day 10th December we drove only 7 hours, from Newman to Port Hedland, the GT performed quite well even with the lower grade fuel. The roads are open, wide and built for Road-Trains towing up to four trailers at a time, Road Beasts that could be heard a mile away. These roads were perfect for the GT (Grand Toure) pulling 380HP at the rear wheel. It was the perfect setting, open road, a Road Train to pass and a taco that has no redline which apparently means you can’t blow this motor up. I looked at my son, smiled and tramped it as they used to call it back in the 70s. The GT didn’t disappoint kicking back into third gear opening up 8 stainless steel headers echoing a roaring lion sound in the desert. Yes indeed the motor didn’t blow up and we even impressed a bored Road Train driver or two along the way.

‘That moment we feel unstoppable is the beginnings of delusion we concoct in the mind’.

Human beings have a tendency to push themselves taking presumptuous risks to see what they are capable of; not always comprehending the real danger they pose to themselves and others along the way for the sake of achievement. We fight for the wrong things; we exhaust ourselves with shallow endeavours at the cost of meaning and purpose.

‘With one compromise after another and one achievement after another we tend to devalue life to achievements and materialism.’

We find ourselves repeating behaviours that assist in the appearance of success while we supress deep concerns of hidden addictions, compromises and other destructive behaviour. The temptation to overstep boundaries for expediency become normal practice as the world of delusion broadens, we become the victims of our own success. The fallout is inevitable, the marriage is on a slippery slope, the children become estranged, close friends can’t be trusted and yet we can’t connect the simple dots that got us to this point. We simply purchase a new toy or continue with our substance abuse and blame circumstances, other people for the bad luck in our lives, after all we have reached the heights of the gods, and we are unstoppable.

Day 3 – When we experience our capabilities what’s left?, Endurance, How long can we keep going without stopping?

I woke up Sunday morning at 12:30am after four hours sleep and I knocked on my sons motel room door waking him up and suggested we leave at 1am and drive straight home. My son looked at me half asleep saying “It’s the middle of the night?, ok let’s do it!”

I’ve been advised that we shouldn’t drive at night or at dawn because all the animals come out to feed and that’s when most of the roadkill happens. I’ve also been advised that we shouldn’t drive 18 hours straight in the desert. The advice was noted, did I listen? No.

I did however stick to the speed limit and was very diligent looking out for the kangaroos during the darkest hours of the night with one real near miss, my son and both kangaroo and I were scared as hell as the GT breaks were slammed without skidding. After that near miss I started seeing kangaroos and other beasts in my imagination wanting to jump out at us and be the next roadkill for the desert birds breakfast. The fear didn’t stop us from carrying on our 18 hour drive. We just stopped for fuel, food and toilet all the way, as you can imagine the boredom sets in. After about 12 hours of driving I started getting weary and challenged to keep going or simply ask my son to take the wheel for a couple of hours. Part of me felt disappointed that I didn’t drive all the way like a did years earlier on my own driving back from the Nullarbor. This was different; I wasn’t going to endanger my son’s life. It was great to see him take the wheels of the GT and enjoy the same thrills I experienced when overtaking Road Trains, the headers didn’t disappoint as the sound of the Boss motor continued to raw hour after hour. After feeling refreshed within a couple of hours I took the wheel again to finish our long journey. The GT had been going nonstop from 1am, at about 5pm I was overtaking truck after truck in typical fashion kicking it back to third gear and without notice the gearbox went limp, the GT was stuck on third gear.

What have I done to this beautiful car?

I kept driving for a while and the thought came to my mind, “That’s the price of pushing things to their limits”. If I stopped the car completely it may not go into gear, if I kept driving it as it I may blow the motor with 3 hours of driving to go. After my son did a google search he suggested that the gearbox went into limp mode to protect itself. We stopped the car in the middle of a wildflower patch on the side of the road hoping the gearbox would reset itself. I restarted the car, fingers crossed and a silent prayer and the car went back to normal. It was right there I regained a new respect for this beautiful car that I had for years,

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‘The intervention mechanism in the gearbox was designed for people like me that don’t know when enough is enough’.

We arrived home safely after 18 hours on the road and the GT was washed and detailed a couple of days later with no expense spared to bring it back to showroom condition and filled with the 98 Octane fuel it was designed for. I assure you it will be treated from here on with the respect it deserves. I now know what the GT is capable of, I always knew, I just had to see for myself.

All too often we don’t know how to stop unless an intervention takes place, an intervention can be the very thing that can reset a person’s life again in the right direction. A rightly timed intervention can be the opportunity to get off the merry-go-round of addictions, failed relationships, self-abuse and great loss. As a Chaplain I get to hear stories of great-hearted people from all walks of life finding themselves lost, ashamed and broken. They all have great capabilities, they all have a desire to love and be loved and few survive the third day of life which is the endurance and finishing strong. I’d be one of these people if it wasn’t for my best friend, my wife. She is that one person with character to live by the courage of her conviction and a heart filled with love to break into my life with a desire to stop me from self-destruction. In many ways that’s what my vocation in life is like as a Chaplain, to intervene on behalf of someone else that can’t see the wood from the trees in their own life. Most interventions don’t have a lasting effect because it’s not done in love but rather out of exposure without redemption in mind.

‘This drive was to create an awareness that much of Mental Health issues are preventative and hope is within our reach if we speak up. To be completely honest the greatest problem is that those that need the greatest help often are the least to speak out. Again I am the guiltiest of them all.’

I find it hard to express the things that I saw and felt in the mining towns, the look of desperation in the eyes of the people, the drug deal that took place right before our eyes, those acting out on drugs at 4 am at a Karratha service station. Knowing that billions of dollars are being extracted from the ground in places like Port Hedland, you’d think you were visiting a third world by looking at the conditions of services and the state of the housing. I’m a proud Australian but this 3 day drive made me question much of my pride when so many people are being mentally left behind.

Run for a friend ; is a very simple idea. It is about caring for one person at a time, it’s about having someone’s back when they are at their lowest point. It’s about intervening for someone we claim to love.

‘Moving forward I encourage each one of us to be committed to the idea that charity starts in the home and loving our spouse, children, family and close friends by being present is the greatest gift we can give to anyone’.

I want to pay a special note of appreciation to Gerry Hanssen, Managing Director of Hanssen Construction and some of his leading staff for their Mental Health initiatives and support hoping to make a difference in one person’s life. They paid for 200 High Vis vests to be printed with Run for a friend ; and we took the attached photo on Langley Park, Perth opposite some of the Hanssen Buildings built on Terrace road. Gerry Hanssen has also given me great freedom within his company over the last three years as a Chaplain to be available and intervene wherever the need arose without any restrictions. I’m also grateful for the many private sponsors that support Run for a friend ; and they know who they are. The second picture attached was the highlight of my journey, to be part of nature that was here before me and will be here well after I leave this beautiful world’

Gerry Hanssen has a great saying “When you know what you don’t want, the rest is easy” unfortunately too many of us go to great lengths to find out what we really don’t want, but that’s life.

BROJ0171 (1)

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com  and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

I pray you go through life with minimal regrets. 

I’ve thought of ten standout life regrets that have helped define my new found passion and renewal of life. They are forever forging convictions and attitudes in me like solid foundations to build an even greater life. I walk through life on purpose, a man on a mission that will not be deterred.

I’ve been very fortunate to achieve everything I’ve imagined (few could claim such ambition) and I’m confident I’ll continue to achieve my ongoing crazy dreams. Paradoxically, my life achievements have not been the greatest source of life satisfaction. I believe it’s the overcoming unhealthy aspects of ego and learning from my regrets.

Have I arrived? God no!, it seems life truly does begin when we have exhausted our selves, figuring out what we don’t want out of life.

As I’m learning to be kinder to myself, I look for diamonds in the rough, starting with my family, extending it also to whosoever. I practice one of the oldest truths that brings long lasting meaning. ‘Loving my neighbour

My 10 life regrets 

1. Not giving my wife the wedding she deserved (I can’t begin to explain, but I got everything I wanted, to my shame)

2. Not respecting my wife enough in at least the first decade, perhaps longer of our marriage (I’m getting there, 35 years later)

3. Not being there for my son’s birth (What was I thinking being 3000km away)

4. Not leaving what became a toxic religious cult that I was in for twenty one years. I should have left it at least five years before I did. (Addicted to false success until good conscience gave way)

5. Not letting my kids know how much I struggled with the black dog (Despair) for many years, on the inside. By default I gave them a false impression of what strength and success looked like (I thought I was meant to look strong at all times, impossible)

6. Not harnessing in my early years of ambition to succeed at all cost (the end doesn’t always justify the means)

7. Not obeying my conscience as much as I should have (I’m getting better at obeying the older I get, God gives me no options)

8. Not appreciating enough how fortunate I am despite my dumb decisions (I’m definitely waking up to this big time daily)

9. Not recognising the value of honouring my mother and father earlier (I made up for it with my mother, thank God)

10. Not investing in google (Humour and sarcasm, I’ve always kept sharp)

I pray you go through life with minimal regrets and with the regrets you do have, that they transform you into a wholesome loving person.

If this message resonates with you, know there is hope of absolute renewal and your best days are ahead of you.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

Looking for significance rather than job security.

I’ve known Chris for over two decades and our paths have passed in recent years through the amazing world of social media.

For years I had the privilege of using vehicles like Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram, sending out daily messages in the hope of challenging the audience to fight the temptation of mediocrity. I endeavoured to the best of my ability to live a life completely congruent to that which was reflected through the social media lens, warts and all.

I got Chris’s attention – I’m of the belief they are always watching, some secretly hope of your demise and some secretly in hope of your success. 

Chris messaged me through Facebook and asked the question “What do you do?” Having seen many of my posts and life through social media.

We arranged to meet and I shared with him my philosophy on life, my ups, downs and my passion to inspire young leaders in the making. Chris left that first meeting as most people that meet me for the first time, a little confused and stirred at the same time.

Chris messaged me some time later and said “I didn’t understand a lot of what you said but, I’m in” Chris caught something that day, he had a taste of significance. 

Chris was a career policeman for fifteen years and ended up a senior detective. He was ready to give up a future laced with security to venture into a life filled with unknowns in the hope of experiencing lifelong significance.

It was not long after our first meeting that I introduced Chris to Gerry Hanssen, a construction boss in the Perth high rise industry (another person that lives a life of significance). Chris shared with Gerry how he joined the police force to set people free, not lock them up. Chris making himself quite vulnerable, shared with Gerry how he prayed at a beach in tears asking God for more meaning and direction.

Gerry always the opportunist and eager to bring people of good character into his company offered Chris a role within the Hanssen ranks whenever Chris was ready. 

It takes time to make that leap into significance, courage must be mustered

Months later Chris messaged me while he and his wife were on a boat cruise somewhere in Asia and asked if Gerry was still interested in having him come on board. I suggested that he message Gerry direct. Chris ready to take a leap of faith from security to significance didn’t expect the powerful sign that he was doing the right thing. Within hours of messaging me, Chris was walking through a passage on the cruiser in the middle of Asia and he bumps into Gerry Hanssen who happened to be on the same cruise. You could only imagine how Chris felt at that exact moment. Gerry and Chris connected that day and the rest is history.

Chris has been with Hanssen for some time now introducing daily drug testing and refreshing mentoring methods within the company. Over an eighteen month period some of his methods revolutionised the drug culture that is so prevalent throughout the construction industry.

Chris shares a simple philosophy about his role within Hanssen “I want to create an environment that my children would feel safe to work in” 

A life of influencing young men and women all around him just because he chose significance over his own security.

Drug Statistical changes despite some resistance since Chris started with Hanssen has paid off.

At the time of this story three out of every four apprentices were taking some sort of drug substance. Currently all apprentices are showing clean, over sixty young apprentices within the Hanssen crew.

Seven out of ten workers were showing some sort of drug substance. Last extensive tests of one hundred workers, only one showed some sort drug substance.

Chris still feels he’s not doing enough.

I watch Chris push a broom and his face lights up when we connect as he shares yet another amazing story after story of change among the workers. Chris is living the dream simply because he has gone back to the grass roots of what really matters.

Chris had a hidden passion to keep young men out of jail and I think God heard Chris’s prayer and opened the most unusual door of significance.

The difference one life can make. 

Chris has no idea I’ve sent this testimonial out and as much as I don’t like to embarrass him; I think his story should be shared to encourage others to search their hearts to live a life of significance over self preservation.

I’m sure Chris will forgive me, he has no option.

If you are interested in a chat, message me on WhatsApp with the button to the right hand bottom corner of this page or email me direct on contact@tomsmilovitis.com and we can arrange to meet if you’re in Perth, Western Australia or zoom chat anywhere in the world.

Who knows what light could come from a chat?

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