Keith Lightfoot Blogosphere

Keith Lightfoot No8Whyre News & Views

Don’t wait until the funeral to say “I love you”

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It is easy to become caught up in sarcasm and witty banter. We live in a world where everybody is trying to be funny, often at other people’s expense.

Sometimes the people we love most find themselves on the receiving end of our attempts to “connect” and often our seemingly innocent remarks can cut to the very core of their self-esteem.

Yet every funeral is filled with complimentary, loving speeches and post-funeral conversations smothered in sandwiches and beautiful words about the dearly departed.

Rather than wait until the coffin is being hoisted onto strong shoulders, make a decision to speak words of encouragement, edification and love to the people around you. They want to hear it, just like you do.

There will always be time for witty banter and gentle teasing, but it does not have to be “all the time”.

Every day is precious … take a moment to think about the people you love … make a conscious effort to be someone who uplifts and encourages … start to share “your heart” before “their heart” stops!

PS. Someone took the time to set up a “compliment booth” … maybe we need to set one up in every city/town (or even just in our own kitchen 🙂Image

Written by publicsp

December 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

Mother’s last words changed my life

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Stop for a moment and think about what you are saying to your children … Your words and your actions will literally shape their destiny!

Mothers are extremely influential people. Their words and their actions establish an initial foundation of belief, self esteem, direction, dreams and enthusiasm in a child.

Happiness and success can be sought and found at any age, it just might take a little more effort compared to people who received early words of encouragement from their mother (and father).

A child’s viewpoint of the world (i.e. the programming of their brain/hard-drive) is heavily influenced by the words and actions of their primary care giver, often the mother.

There are numerous examples including:
-Abraham Lincoln said “All I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
-Napoleon Hill, creator of “Think and grow rich” and numerous other self empowerment books, was edified and encouraged by his step mother to become a writer.
-Ben Carson, one of the world’s greatest bran surgeons, remembers his mother’s words; “‘Give your best, Ben Carson. Settle for nothing less than doing your best for yourself and others.”
-Albert Einstein’s mother removed him from school when they suggested he was difficult to teach and provided home schooling to develop his unique gifts.
-S B Fuller, born into poverty, was told by his mother “The only reason we are not wealthy is because your father has not developed the desire to be wealthy.”

Although we remember and celebrate the success of key individuals like Abraham Lincoln, we also need to honour the people who have achieved success in areas of life that we do not typically hear about; i.e. in their family, their community, their church, their personal life or in their business.

Do not underestimate the power of a mother’s words!

My mother’s last sentence change the course of my life and the journey to fulfil her last request continues to this day.

The influence of the “primary care giver” (in this case the Nanny) can be experienced first hand in the recent release of “The King’s Speech”, starring Colin Firth as firstly as the Duke of York, then as King George VI.

It is beautifully crafted film that touches the hearts and fears of us all as we watch the Duke of York struggling to overcome a lifetime of speech impediment, primarily caused by events that occurred in his early childhood.

With the advent of radio, public speaking became a key role in the life of a King and his fear of public speaking, caused by his stammer, almost cost him his crown and the respect of the empire.


Written by publicsp

February 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Overcome your Fear of Speaking in Public (Part 1)

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Scientists tell us that we are born with only two fears*
1. The fear of loud noises (Ligyrophobia)
2. The fear of falling (Basophobia)

Take a moment to think about the things you are afraid of:

Spiders, Public Speaking, Divorce, Fire, Losing Your Job, Being Lonely, Poor Health, The Dark, Intimacy, Failure, Rejection, Taxes, Closed Spaces, Open Spaces, Dogs, Thunder, Mice, Snakes, Doctors …

It seems we now have a “phobia” to cover almost every situation. We have Aeronausiphobia (Air Sickness), Myrmecophobia (Ants), Motorphobia (Automobiles), Ballistophobia (Missiles), Cancerphobia (Cancer), Emetophibia (Vomiting), Xerophobia (Dryness) and Chionophobia (Snow) to name but a few.

The Author and Family

Everybody Starts at the Beginning

Once you realise and accept that every fear or phobia you and I have (aside from the two “born fears”) is a result of “learned behaviour”, you can also deduce that it must be possible to “unlearn” a particular phobia.

Just because someone looks comfortable on stage, does not mean they were born with a gift of speaking or singing, or that they have always been at ease in front of people. You may be terrified at the thought of speaking in public (currently ranked as the number one fear in the world, second is “death by fire”) and so was I.

We do not like to think of ourselves as judgemental, yet everybody forms an opinion of someone when we are first introduced, on stage or face-to-face. Our first impression is hard to change once formed (and it is formed in the first few seconds) and is typically based on how a person looks (clothes, smile, clean, tidy appearance), on how they project themselves (body language, attitude, confidence), on what they say (word structure, vocabulary, topic) and how they say it (voice inflection, passion, enthusiasm).

There is an old saying “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” and it is equally true today as it was when first spoken. To succeed in business and personal relationships you need to examine “how people see you” (confidence, personality profile, level of enthusiasm) and take steps to give yourself the best possible chance of making a good first impression.

For those of you interesting in improving your public speaking ability, here are a few basic tips to get you started.

One of the most important steps is to decide “who you are”.

The more I train people, listen to speakers, attend social functions and observe audience reactions, the more I realise the huge importance of “being yourself”.

If you are the kind of person that people consider to be quick witted and generally funny; then you should include some humour in your talk, otherwise be very careful!

The internet, speech writing books and well meaning friends will often advise you to tell jokes to win the audience over. On many occasions I have cringed in my seat as joke after joke falls flat on a very embarrassed group of people.

Let’s face it, some people are really good at impromptu humour and joke telling, and some are not!

Just be genuine, be yourself. Let people see “you”; it is great to “step it up a little” and press the boundaries of your comfort level, but at least try to stay within your spirit.

Additional Information:
Video assistance re public speaking: 

If you are unable to view this video, please visit

Part 2 of this discussion re “Overcome your fear of speaking in public” will be continued in the next blog update and will include a “basic speech writing framework” to help you get started.

Text is original and is extracted from chapters in “Thank God it’s Friday”.


*All normal, healthy babies exhibit reflexes, i.e. an automatic response to an outside stimulus. These reflexes are important and are needed for survival.

If you touch or stroke the palm of a babies hand he/she will clench a fist in an attempt to grasp you and this is recognised as an inbuilt protection against falling. This action has been named the Darwinian or Grasping reflex.

Most parents will quickly notice the Moro (or Startle) reflex in their new baby. A sharp loud noise, or sudden loss of support for the child will cause the baby to fling his/her arms out and then quickly draw them back towards the chest, then they will cry.

The question as to whether these involuntary reactions should be labelled as fear’s is still in discussion amongst psychologists. There does seem to be a consensus that even though these reflex actions may be unconscious to begin with, they do connect to conscious fears as the infant matures.

Experience Life in 3D

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Nature puts on a perfect 3D performance every day … whether we see it or not.

This stunning image of me conducting a symphony of seagulls looks like “the impossible photo” and I am sure many people will think it was tampered with after the initial capture.

©2010 AndreaEL

Nature's 3D Technology

Technology is attempting to replicate this three dimensional view of the world with new 3D technology, glasses, televisions, computer games and interactive sports equipment. Sony is telling us that their new product “combines the realism of HD with the magic of 3D for an immersive sensory feast” and Sharp have decided to add another colour pixel (Yellow) to add to the traditional RGB spectrum.

It is worth remembering that “marketing terminology” is exactly that … marketing terminology. Recently we bought a new DVD and before the movie began, we were subjected to a short and very powerful multi media advertisement, clearly showing us the enhanced clarity of Blue Ray technology.

Stop and think about that for a moment! I am watching a commercial on my existing DVD player that is demonstrating how much improvement in image quality and sound is available from a Blue Ray player. Hello?

We all have a choice how to choose to experience and interpret the world around us.

It’s easy to float through the river of life, carried along by the swirling current of economic affairs, weather predictions and career commitments. Every day begins to blend into the next day, weekends come and go, birthdays arrive without our invitation and weekends become 3D television retreats designed to rejuvenate and repair.

Decide to do something different, begin the process of swimming upstream towards your dreams and your destination, step out of your home and “experience life in 3D”.

Written by publicsp

December 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Cliff Richard said “We don’t talk any more”

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Has anyone noticed that people don’t talk on phones any more?

Young people have developed a whole new abbreviated text language (coupled with RSI speed thumbs) and prefer to send strings of often misunderstood half duplex messages describing tiny happenings in their day/night.

I have to confess that if I receive a text message from a less-than-my-age person (which now includes most of New Zealand), by the time I’ve read the message and begun the typing process, I’ve often received another text message from the same person saying “Hello?”

Technology continues to accelerate and change our lives, sometimes subtly, sometimes very blatantly. Most people have forgotten that the LCD they sit 40cm from is larger than the initial family sized televisions in this country. When the iPad was released I visited a dealer, picked up the iPad and said to myself “wow, this is quite heavy!” then laughed as I realised… “compared to what; an IBM 370 Mainframe?”

There was a time when we used to actually visit our local bank (provided we could make it before it closed mid-afternoon); we used to go and see the second hand cars for sale instead of firing up Trademe on our Android phone; we used to take photos and develop them a year later (only when we had used the whole film, of course) and then discover that many of the images were blurred or out of focus (but we kept them anyway because we’d paid for them).

As technology advances, so does our concept of time. If the microwave is taking two minutes to heat our meal, we strum our fingers on the counter and sigh (conveniently forgetting that this cooking process used to take our parents a couple of hours); if we can’t find what we’re looking for on the internet immediately (or if the internet is running “slow”), we shake our heads in frustration and wonder why we even came to work that day.

Imagine saying to your great grandparents that one day you’ll able to “carry” a single very-small device, that plays movies, talks to a satellite and tells you where you are; sends and receives written messages, photos and videos through the air; has your diary inside; enables you to read and buy books without going to a library or a book store; takes high quality photos and videos; enables you to write a book anywhere any time; allows you to video chat to your family thousands of miles away; pays for goods without money; carries your ID for boarding an aircraft; allows you to draw and paint without ink, canvas or pencils; can recognise your voice; can read a book to you; stores thousands of songs and hundreds of movies; enables you to watch TV anytime anywhere and acts as a remote for electronic devices in your home or office. Wow!

Oh, I almost forgot, it also allows you to “talk to people”… if you really want to.

Collage shows author crawling on the grass using Android mobile phone as camera, typical meeting room with technology strewn across the table, beautiful 1947 Morris Eight, a “proper” telephone, advertisement for an ICT 1301 mainframe computer and a photo captured with the mobile phone (quality of capture is better than most dedicated digital cameras a couple of years ago).

Written by publicsp

November 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm

How to stop texting while driving

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What would you do if you had a solution to the problem?

Who would you contact to get some media and political attention?
How would you get them to pay attention?

Anyone who knows me also knows that I receive/think of hundreds of ideas a year.

Some have been successfully implemented, some have been deleted and some are still in the slow cooker gathering flavour and substance.

In many instances, if I leave the idea long enough (i.e. it looks too big for me to sensibly consider), another person or organisation will “pop up” with the same answer and release a product or service that we can all enjoy.

Cell Phone Texting While Driving, Source WikipediaI am still not sure how this transference of ideas takes place and it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that real-world solutions continue to be conceived and developed to help us all with our health, productivity, peace of mind, finance and relationships.

The initial concept arrived in my brain late last year, has been peculating ever since, has been refined, discussed with close friends, tweaked, documented and carefully considered.

Knowing this is a “big idea”, I decided to wait for someone else to think of a similar solution and start making some serious noise. However, nobody else seems to be “receiving this particular idea” and in the meantime sending text messages while driving is causing injuries and deaths every day.

Before you leap into me for not taking action, please take a look at what I have done so far:
ACTION: Written to Oprah Winfrey on three separate occasions

REASON: Oprah is actively promoting her “don’t text and drive ” pledge. Oprah is also talking on various television networks about the “no phone zone”
OUTCOME: No response

ACTION: Written to TheMotherhood
REASON: They are concerned mums and are actively discussing this problem
OUTCOME: No response

ACTION: Written to kypost
REASON: They have been featuring stories on texting while driving
OUTCOME: No response

ACTION: Written to Peggy Conlon, CEO, Ad Council
REASON: The Ad Council is actively campaigning against reckless driving
OUTCOME: No response

ACTION: Written to Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith on CBS Early Show
REASON: They have been discussing the “no phone zone: with Oprah Winfrey
OUTCOME: No response

What is the purpose of this blog?

Maybe someone who reads it, knows someone, who knows someone (six degrees of separation), who knows someone who can genuinely help.

Throughout history we have thrown away or ignored simple/wonderful ideas that could have saved thousands of lives while we argued about their validity. The search for Longitude (solved by John Harrison with a simple clock) and the cure for Scurvy (solved by James Lind with Lemon Juice) are prime examples.

Maybe I just needed to “get it off my chest” and see what happens.

I will keep you all posted re progress.

1. Why don’t you just release the answer publicly to the world?

Everybody has an opinion, some valid, some just to be negative (naysayers), some completely uninformed, and I want to present the idea to an informed party for qualified analysis and consideration before we all start to argue on website forums whether or not it will work.

Plus, we all have inner fears re “maybe this is a great idea, or maybe it is not”, despite how much we believe in ourselves and our wonderful ideas and I wish to avoid answering hundreds of emails re “how does it actually work?” and “have you thought about this method?” until I know it actually stands a chance.

When I recently released my new book “Thank God It’s Friday“, I wondered what the world would think about my ramblings, and I have been humbled and blessed by the positive feedback and reader testimonials.

2. What makes you think that your solution will work?

It is simple, effective, powerful, universal and fool proof.

The people I have discussed this with (close friends) are intelligent people (business owners, IT gurus, senior executives) and they also believe the idea will work.

3. Why don’t you just implement the idea yourself?

Temporary lack of funds and time for the development, marketing and distribution.

4. Why are you writing to Oprah Winfrey and the international media?

For a solution of this magnitude (it could eventually affect every driver on earth) to be considered, fought for (against those who believe they have the right to text and drive), discussed, developed and released, it will need some serious muscle to begin the process and to maintain momentum.

5. How will you benefit from the idea?

Obviously it would be great to make some money from the solution. Exactly how that could occur is not obvious at the moment.

The torturous and expensive path of international patent rights does not seem very attractive and the notion of forming a separate business enterprise and to develop the solution is also not currently viable.

I am more interested in “saving lives”, in putting a stop to the pain and suffering of families who have lost children to the technology and in furthering my quest and my purpose to reach out and serve others.

Written by publicsp

October 1, 2010 at 10:11 am

The magic of the Catlins: and a scary encounter with a Sea Lion

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“How long since you visited the Tower of London?” I asked my workmates during my youthful and tumultuous UK overseas-experience.

It turned out that only “one” of my UK born and London based colleagues had actually been to the Tower, it was just too convenient and too familiar to bother, and there was always more important things to do in the weekend (garden, DIY, kids, work).

As Southlanders it is easy to ignore one of the world’s most beautiful resources, located only a few kilometres away. Yet thousands of tourists travel halfway around the world to experience and photograph our rugged coastline, our extraordinary sunsets, our native birds and other unique wildlife.

Keith Lightfoot enjoying SouthlandEven the often-maligned seagull looks majestic in its natural environment, compared to being covered in city smog and hovering over our barbecue, scrapping for any leftovers we throw their way.

The highlight of our *Catlins adventure came when we discovered two huge Sea Lions involved in a playful mating ritual. Fortunately we remembered and adhered to the warning notice “always stay at least twenty metres from Sea Lions” and stood in awe as the only witnesses to such a unique event. They tolerated our presence for quite a while, but when mummy-lion decided it was time for us to leave, and headed in our direction, we ran away like frightened children.

After a day at the Catlins, the drive home seemed quicker, the world seemed a little more peaceful and the car was definitely in need of a serious sand-vacuum. We smiled and chatted about our day, and we laughed at how quickly we scampered away. The DIY chores were still there when we arrived home, but perhaps those particular Sea Lions will never visit the Catlins again.

There will always be “things you should do around your house/business” and “programs you really want to watch on television”. The Catlins provides you with no shopping malls, no cell phone coverage and a rare opportunity for you to switch-off for one day, to slow the pace down a little and to explore one of the world’s most beautiful locations, just a few minutes from your home.

*The Catlins (sometimes referred to as The Catlins Coast) comprises an area in the south eastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The area lies between Balclutha and Invercargill, straddling the boundary between the Otago and Southland regions. It includes the South Island’s southernmost point, Slope Point.

The Catlins, a rugged, sparsely populated area, features a scenic coastal landscape and dense temperate rainforest, both of which harbour many endangered species of birds. Its exposed location leads to its frequently wild weather and heavy ocean swells, which are an attraction to big-wave surfers.  Source Wikipedia

Written by publicsp

August 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

The best things in life are free

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People often stand with the fridge or pantry door open (think “teenagers”) vacantly staring at the multi coloured array of products, with no real clue what they want to eat, and no real appreciation for the choice laid out before them.

Yet despite this bounty of food and beverages just a few steps from our comfortable designer dining room suite, and despite all the expensive toys and trinkets we surround ourselves with, we somehow allow ourselves to focus on what we don’t have and complain, rather than be grateful for what we do have and rejoice.

Millions of people would shake their head in disbelief if they saw our homes, cars, motorbikes, boats, clothes, home theatre, dishwasher, cameras, washing machine, portable music players, video technology, laptops and holiday destinations.

They would also be overwhelmed by our democratic rights, our fortuitous circumstances to live, love and laugh in a culture so rich in opportunities and personal freedom.

How did we become so ungrateful?

The media has a lot to answer for in creating this feeling of personal dissatisfaction and although the message to the masses is working at present, I sense a long term danger in the current mental programming methodology.

One of the classic lines used by someone who has been successfully programmed by the media, upon discovering that you are reading autobiographies, studying success oriented books, listening to motivational audio and attending personal development conferences is “You are being brain washed with all that positive stuff and you have lost your grip on reality”.

Love has no boundariesTheir argument is based on the observation that:

-you no longer watch the news on a daily basis

-you no longer read the newspaper every day

-you no longer listen to the radio all day

-you no longer wish to discuss the important things in life, such as how many people died in the overseas earthquake last week, or that the world economy is threatening to collapse any moment, or that the new flu virus may travel to this country and wipe out an entire population, or that the likelihood of an aircraft disaster has just increased by five percent since the latest series of horrific disasters.

Nobody is suggesting that these things are not important, but they do not have to be your only source of input, focus and discussion.

The same people who constantly moan about how bad life is, especially for all those people in the news, are the same people who find themselves bored, unhappy and ungrateful (think “There is nothing to do!”). One of the media prescribed cures is to engage in retail-therapy to make you feel a little better for a few hours.

Take that extra money that you don’t actually have and instead of replacing a perfectly good item in your home, use it to pay off an existing debt, invest in your family’s future, donate it to a worthwhile charity, find a way to help some of the people you moan about, or find a way to help yourself grow and become all that you were purposed to become.

Written by publicsp

July 23, 2010 at 6:59 am

Attitude is Everything

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It was Saturday, a little rain, a little sunshine, lots of plans for the day, feeling good!

I intended to drive into town, pick up a few things, then get back onto writing my book. Yet by the time the day ended, the book had not moved forward, my inspirational thoughts were still trapped in my head and I was feeling frustrated with myself.

Keith Lightfoot EmbryoHow had I let another day slip by without spending time on the book? What happened to time management, setting priorities and focus?

More importantly, how is it possible that I let myself feel frustrated? The very thing that I preach against from stage had crept into my spirit. I was having an “attitude attack”.

Andrea listened to my grumbling (think “mumbling, gnashing of teeth, silently beating yourself up and looking for sympathy”) and she smiled, raised her eyebrows and carried on preparing supper. Some homemade dessert, a fresh cup of coffee and an empathetic partner are wonderful assets during these fleeting moments of stupidity. We laughed about it, retired for the evening and allowed the next day to unfold.

This morning (Sunday) I asked myself, “How is it possible that a person who has, attended/given motivational seminars, read/written motivational books, listened to motivational audio, watched motivational movies and hung around motivational people, could actually have an attitude attack?”

There are good reasons for this:

-You are not perfect and neither am I

-Sometimes our emotions, past hurts, culture and personality “pop up” when we least expect it

During this event, I remembered an important lesson: “You will never feel frustrated unless you are trying to go somewhere”.

e.g. Imagine standing by the bank of a recently flooded river. Depending on your reason for being there, you will experience different emotions. If you were intending to cross the river you may feel frustration, if you came to witness the flood waters and take some photos, you will be delighted with the water level.

Tomorrow the river may have receded sufficiently for you to cross safely and for the newly arrived photographer to wish they had come earlier. Or instead of sulking on the river bank, you could walk upstream, discover a beautiful swing bridge and experience a whole new perspective that you would have missed had the river not been impassable.

So here I am, happily writing my book again, one day later than originally planned, but still making progress. Many people quit on their dreams when they encounter a setback and they allow their temporary bad attitude to become a permanent part of their personality and their outlook on life.

The longer I live, the more I realise the importance of attitude. We cannot change our past, or what people may think or say, but we can choose our attitude and in doing so, change our future.

Written by publicsp

June 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm

New Zealand Marriage Celebrant

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“Excuse me” said the young bird,
“You are older than I, so can you tell me where to find the sky?”
“The sky”, said the older bird “Is the thing you are in now”.
“But this is just air?” exclaimed the young bird,
“What I am seeking is the sky!” and he flew away to search elsewhere for it.

Our house is old (think “well loved”) and needs some DIY when time and funds permit, but we love it, we feel it has a special kind of inner peace, we have made it our home and people that visit comment how “tranquil” it feels when they are here.

Sometimes late at night we stand on the decking and look into the silent sky. The stars are so much brighter without street lights, passing traffic or the city glow. I know it sounds romantic and foolish to speak like this, but we feel truly blessed in our little piece of tranquillity.

IT Geek Marriage Celebrant based in Gore, New ZealandThe last time I lived in Southland I was far too busy-being-busy to be looking at stars, or family, or thinking about finding a quiet spot to live (think “IT geek who looked like a young Bill Gates, working equally as hard, but without the money or lifestyle”).

Sadly I was like many young men, full of my own importance, overflowing with testosterone, pursuing a career like “a dog chasing an invisible rabbit” and instead of stopping and looking up into the night sky, I kept my head down and charged headlong into the darkness.

Becoming a celebrant has been a dream for many years. There are already many wonderful marriage celebrants in Gore and many Southland weddings are testimony to the care and professionalism of these dedicated people.

Our goal is to work alongside the established Gore marriage celebrants. It is time for me to give back to the community that cared for me during my wild youth.

A special thanks to those people who have believed in me and supported me.

GOD Bless
Keith Lightfoot

Written by publicsp

May 29, 2010 at 8:56 am