Archive for October, 2015

Inspiration beats Motivation hands down

Posted on: October 26th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

Sport is the arena of the modern day gladiator.

And just as Roman intellectuals, businessmen and political leaders delighted in observing and cheering the athletes of their era, so do their equivalents today.

Not just as an escape.

There are many life lessons and insights to be drawn from the playing fields.

One such insight is knowing the difference between motivation and inspiration.

Watching our Bokke – and our Proteas, this past weekend reminded me again that motivation is a word which simply does not appear in the dictionary of the great champions.

Motivation implies that one is short on motive, or doing something one does not want to do. Inspiration, on the other hand elevates human performance to levels of greatness.

It’s about being inspired to do.

For both our teams it was clearly obvious that they know their job – and it’s not merely to win, but rather

to give ‘pride and hope’ to our nation.

Rugby is a great game, but it’s still just a game. The Boks lost, but it’s the way in which one loses which makes all the difference.

The Boks gave it their all. While France rolled over and capitulated to the Number One ranked team in the world, the Boks took it to the wire – going down fighting to the very end. They never stopped believing.

And it’s the way in which the Boks play ‘the game’ which impresses .

Bok flanker Francois Louw, after being on the receiving end of a Richie McCaw elbow charge that resulted in 20 stitches to his face, had only the following to say:

 I’m not sure; I think it was at the bottom of a ruck.

Hard men playing the game hard.

Of course, Francois Louw was honoring the great camaraderie which exists between the All Blacks and Springboks – off the field of play.

Inspiration ultimately comes from knowing the difference between one’s goal – ‘which is to win ‘, and seeing the bigger picture

– ‘to lift the nation and give pride and hope to our people.

It’s higher purpose which unifies and drives the collective – and it’s the magical ingredient which we often call ‘Bok Gees’.

And on Saturday we saw how quickly it can close the world ranking gap. With purpose, everything becomes possible

Well done Bokke.

Great Gladiators.


Stepping up to the plate

Posted on: October 19th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

Rugby World Cup 2015 has been nothing short of a spectacular event.

And hats off to England for hosting one of the best ever tournaments. The atmosphere in the stadiums is simply electric – and the passion and pride of the players unbelievable.


So, who then will be taking home the Webb Ellis trophy this time around?

Who’s your money on?

Let’s take a closer look as the last four teams get ready to square up in this weekend’s semi- finals.

New Zealand remain over-whelming favorites.

They delivered a rugby lesson in routing France by 62 points to 13 in the quarterfinals.

It was a sheer master- class in

speed of hands, off laying of the rugby ball and running superb support lines.

But , there’s still more to winning a World Cup than that –  and it’s called managing energy levels

– and knowing how and when to ‘Step Up to the Plate’.

Coach Steve Hansen appears expert at knowing the difference between

a state of awareness and a state of concentration

Until Saturday, many pundits openly criticized the All Blacks for being off their game, but that was exactly where Hansen wanted to be. The RWC is a long tournament and Hansen has brilliantly managed the energy levels of his players, only shifting from ‘awareness to concentration’ for 90 minutes against France.

At 30 points up, most coaches would have pulled the plug, but the All Blacks did not. They wanted to avenge Cardiff 2007, and they used Saturday’s massive win to top up their energy tanks.

It’s going to take a miraculous effort for any team to challenge the All Black supremacy – as they are yet to peak.

Australia, on the other hand, appear to have peaked too early. After a superb performance in ‘The Rugby Championship’, they arrived at RWC playing scintillating rugby. But, as Naas Botha once famously said

The Currie Cup is never won in May

I doubt that Australia’s energy levels will allow them to go all the way.

Argentina remains the real dark horse of the tournament – in that they are already ‘the new look international side’.

On most occasions their players jet in from 15 different airports before any test match, so the World Cup certainly affords them that extra opportunity to ‘gel ‘ .

They are playing a fantastic brand of rugby, but it’s likely that their downfall will be discipline. The emotion shown by their players is clearly obvious, and it will always be difficult to deliver when one is reduced to 14 men on the field of play.

If they can maintain their team discipline – they have a chance to  make history.

And can the Bokke  ’ Step up to the Plate’ this time around ?

It’s Bok ‘GEES’ up against All Black ‘FLAIR’, and there can be no doubting that they will be up against all odds this Saturday.

The team left our shores after an energy sapping selection controversy , and then subsequently were forced into ‘ very high  levels of concentration’ –  when they lost to Japan.

Their finite energy levels will be put to the ultimate test this Saturday.

Hats off to players like Schalk Burger, who does not seem to have an ‘off button’ and has become especially fond of collecting Twickenham ‘Man of the Match’ awards – but it’s going to take a mammoth match day team effort to conquer the momentum building All Blacks  – who have clearly taken their game ‘up a notch or two’.

If they can find a way to lift their own energy levels to match the All Black’s optimally managed energy levels – it will go down as one of their greatest days ever.

Win or lose, it’s the WORLD IN UNION – the WORLD AS ONE

It’s going to be epic.

Go Bokke go.


BRAND YOU.The most valuable brand in the world today

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments




Great is not something one is given in life. Great is something one must take in life




This article is the first in the game-changing ’Growing South Africans Great’ series.


Can you name the most valuable brand in the world today?

If like most people, you answered Apple or Coke, you would be wrong. That’s because your IPhone and your Coca Cola are both easily replaceable.YOU’RE NOT.

And that makes BRAND YOU the most valuable brand in the world today.

Warren Buffet, one of the world’s wealthiest and who is famously followed and admired as one of the world’ s greatest investors has these words of wisdom :

My advice. Invest in yourself .


Very few people get anything like their potential horsepower translated into the actual horsepower of their output in life. Potential exceeds realization for many people. YOU are the No.1 asset .And you need to know that you can become to an enormous degree the person you want to be’

Every one of us is in marketing and selling, whether we know it or not. Beauty, Strength, Intelligence, Kindness, Wealth and Power are all ways we advertise our value as human beings. But, there exists a catch when it comes to playing ‘the game of life’ right – and wanting to turn one’s potential horsepower into actual horse power.


Personal Branding has a ‘Magical Multiplier Effect’, which is capable of unlocking and unleashing one’s true potential in life – both personally and professionally.

It’s therefore critical to ensure that one’s PERSONAL BRAND is ‘made of the right stuff ‘

Branding is Everything – Richard Branson

So, what’s Personal Branding all about, and how does one take full advantage of its magical power?

Firstly, personal branding has two distinct components, namely one’s outer game – which is one’s IMAGE.

And one’s inner game – which is one’s HAPPINESS.

While most people are inclined to believe that it’s the outer component of personal branding which sets one apart , it’s actually one’s ’ inner game’ which determines and drives human greatness . That’s because

Hard Work + Happiness = Human Greatness

It’s all pretty easy when it comes to one’s outer game, as style coaches are a dime a dozen, and social media will show you all the trends.

But, when it comes to one’s inner game – it’s a different story .

It’s a game which cannot be outsourced.

While we are all unique human beings and indeed tread our own paths on the journey through life, common and definite patterns of human greatness do exist – and there are tools which can help one to reach the next level of performance, growth and contribution.

Here’s a simple, but far from simplistic master class  in personal ‘inner’ branding – to help you unlock and unleash your full potential in your personal and professional life.


Personal Branding has three powerful P’s, namely Purpose, Priority and Performance.

These three steps make up your ‘inner’ game plan, which when aligned and balanced make up a high level game plan– one which is

Made of The Right Stuff


Step One : Purpose is when one’s passion meets the universe’s needs.

If one can articulate one’s purpose in as few words as possible – then one immediately sets oneself on the road from Good to Great to Greater.

Here are three great examples of how great organization’s set clear and simple purposes.

To make children smile

This first one belongs to Disney and it has certainly served them well.

Here’s Coca- Cola’s higher purpose:                                          

To create open happiness

And Starbuck’s

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighbourhood at a time

Purpose is the one thing that one becomes expert in. It’s how one impacts on the world and makes a meaningful contribution. It’s ‘the why’ in the organization’s life.

It’s the bigger picture in one’s life – it’s the difference between motivation and inspiration –  and it becomes the key ingredient of both priority and performance.


The two most important days in your life are the days you are born and the day you figure out why– Mark Twain


Step Two  : Priorities determine and dictate one’s destiny.

The most important thing I have learnt in life is to focus my energy on what is important in life – Bill Gates


There can be no doubting that setting clear priorities in one’s life , is key to achieving human greatness – defined as achieving sustained success and significance in life.

Failing to set clear priorities is tantamount to living life by default – not design.

You’re the sum total of your priorities

Priorities determine where you FOCUS your finite energy and how you fill up your day – they determine your ‘to do list ‘

Can you list your BIG FIVE PRIORITIES in hierarchical order?

Even though every one of us is unique, a common set of priorities do come into play when it comes to human greatness. Here’s how the majority of the great champions see their priorities – these insights coming from hundreds of case studies completed on human greatness – and its inverse, called human implosion.

Number One is your investment in Brand You, then comes your investment in Your Purpose – the one thing you’re expert at, then comes Your Family & Friends, then comes your Health & Wealth and then Your Lifestyle – the lifestyle you desire.

The Game of Life presents a great paradox in that the more one helps oneself – first and foremost – the more one is able to help others. It’s best captured in the following quote by Bob Bulford:

Great Champions recognize that self-interest is central to one’s human design, but count the greatest gain as the goodwill of fellow humankind



Step Three  :Performance happens when one’s goals are aligned and balanced

The next step is to align one’s top three current year goals with one’s purpose and priorities. If one’s goals are not aligned, then it’s likely that another ‘P’ will automatically come into play – it’s called Procrastination.

It’s common for this to be the case.

Here’s an example of non-alignment. A lady I was recently helping with her personal brand listed her number one goal as ‘to stop smoking’. I told her that the chances of her giving up were close to zero, as she had not listed ‘Herself’ and/or ‘Her Health’ anywhere in her ‘Big Five’ priorities in life.

Once she had refined and refocused her ‘Big Five ‘priorities, she was able to open up the road to achieve her set goal – ’to stop smoking ‘.


Purpose, Priority and Performance are the 3P’s which make up the back bone of a game plan which is ‘made of the right stuff’.

They act as one’s compass in good times – as well as one’s scaffolding in challenging times.

They put the power in your hands – making your life far easier, far more fun and far more fulfilling.

And they make next happen.


Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Key Note Speaker, Author and ‘Greatness Coach’ . If you would like to find out more about Rob’s Corporate and Individual 100% success rate GREATNESS PROGRAMMES,

Please visit

Like attracts Like

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by Rob Opie



Every thought of yours is a real thing – a force – Prentice Mulford



As human beings we have become fascinated by what science can do for us in real life.

Yet in reality, science does not mimic real life. It contradicts.

One of the most powerful laws in physics is that opposites attract, but in real life one of the most powerful universal laws of life & health is that:

Like attracts Like

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone summed it up as follows:

When life is easy, you get lucky and everything goes well. When things start going wrong, they start piling up and going more wrong.

It’s the universal law of magnetic attraction in action. We send out human vibrations and the universe sends back “like” vibrations. This means we create our own life experiences.

We act as our own life engineers, depending on how we feel, think and talk about life. We have the power to magnetically attract into our lives what we feel, think and talk about most of the time – negative or positive.

Our human-thought focus therefore directly affects the quality of our lives. We have the power to attract or repel any of life’s multitude of opposites, for instance good or bad, success or failure, pain or pleasure, joy or sadness, pride or shame, win or lose, ease or dis-ease and even life or death.

It’s our gift of choice and nobody can change the way we think. Only we can.

The quality of my thoughts is so important during these swims. If you start thinking; “Shit, I’m cold,” within a second it’ll be digging into you  – Lewis Pugh

The Universal Law of Attraction unfolds as simply as this:

Treat yourself as a first class citizen, and you will attract first-class results.

The great champions of life all choose wisely to travel ‘first- class’ in life. They know that if they choose to travel in the third-class cabin, they will receive a third-class meal. The universe returns a first-class meal to those who choose to travel first class.

It’s the magnetic law of attraction in action where success begets success.

It’s funny about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the very best, you will very often get it – W Somerset Maugham

Mohammed Ali is probably best renowned for using words to positively impress the subconscious mind and affirm success, but how powerful were these words – spoken to Retief Goosen by mind- guru Jos Vanstipout , before his first US Open victory.

The Black Mamba will strike. Nobody knows who Retief Goosen is. It will be sneak attack .Nobody will see it coming.

The Great Champions all set up to win. They know that we create our own life direction – our life design.

Our feelings, our thoughts and especially our chosen words have a powerful vibratory force.


Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak

Posted on: October 5th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments



Everest stands 29 029 feet tall. That’s 8848 meters, nearly nine kilometers above sea level – the highest point on earth.

It’s the same altitude that my neighbour and Mango pilot flys the Boeing 737-800 aircraft into Durban at.

He says the outside temperature registers minus 45 – and oxygen levels at that altitude are so low that they would render an un-acclimatized human unconscious within 2- 3 minutes.

For those who love adventure and the exploration of how far human beings can take themselves – Everest – the recently released 3D Imax movie is a must see . It portrays the May 1996 Mount Everest disaster, previously captured by journalist Jon Krakauer’s personal account of the expedition in his bestselling book: Into Thin Air.

The movie is crammed full of life lessons – as it’s always the mountain which has the last word.


New Zealand mountaineer and explorer Edmund Hillary is credited as the first climber to reach the summit of Everest in 1953, but many still believe George Mallory summited in 1924. This is based on the assumption that the photo of his wife, which he always carried, was not found on his mummified body when it was recovered 75 years later in 1999.

However, George Mallory can lay claim to something just as famous – his now legendary answer when asked the question: WHY?

He simply said:

Because it’s there. If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle of life itself is upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go’

In the 3D movie, Rob Hall the expedition leader asks the same question of his team before they commit to their final summit attempt in the Everest two week window period .The most compelling answer comes from Doug Hansen – a former mailman pursuing his dream –

to show the children back home that an ordinary person can achieve the extra –ordinary’.

His compelling answer was to ultimately lead to their ill-fated deaths , as Rob Hall agrees to continue to help Doug Hansen summit – way after the 2 pm critical turn around required to make it safely back to camp before nightfall .

His intuition emotionally swayed by Hansen’s powerful selling of ‘ the why, not the what’.

Many years before the 1996 Everest disaster, Viktor Frankl wrote in his book ‘Life’s Search for Meaning’, that if one has a big enough why, one will always find the how.

Put more simply it means human beings respond to human emotions – sometimes they do it to save their own and other’s lives – and sometimes they do it at their own peril.

Marketers, like mountaineers, use this to their full advantage – when they sell ‘the why, not the what’.

It’s more compelling.

They ‘sell the sizzle, not the steak’