Andre Alphonso

André Alphonso – Collect Adventures Not Things

In this week's episode, Duff Watkins speaks with André Alphonso. André shares his 10 lessons with us "Don’t eat your lunch on the way to work", "Banish psychic vampires", "Collect adventures not things" and seven others. Listen as he shares his unique philosophies about life, business and fulfilment.

About André Alphonso

André Alphonso has more than thirty years of business and consulting experience gained predominantly in Australia and Asia. He has been with the Forum Corporation – a leading management consulting company – for over 19 years and in this time has performed many roles encompassing sales, consulting, design, executive coaching, and facilitation.

André’s clients have included the major professional services, financial services, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, energy, hospitality, information technology, telecommunication, and business process outsourcing organisations.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: Don’t eat your lunch on the way to work 07m57s.

Lesson 2: Hand craft your personal solar system 12m 48s.

Lesson 3: Banish psychic vampires 17m 14s.

Lesson 4: Engineer a halftime pause 20m 45s.

Lesson 5: Collect adventures not things 28m 30s.

Lesson 6: Dare to be curious…Dare to be present 33m56s.

Lesson 7: Let light entre through your wounds 39m 37s.

Lesson 8: From Cavemen to Neuroscientists 45m 27s.

Lesson 9: Use noise cancelling headphones to filter out the dirty noise 53m 12s.

Lesson 10: Burn your masks 57m 37s.

André Alphonso – 10Lessons50Years

Duff Watkins: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the podcast 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn where we dispense wisdom, not just information or mere fact to an international audience of rising leaders. My name is Duff Watkins and I’m your host. This podcast is sponsored by the professional development forum, which helps young professionals of any age accelerate their performance in the modern workplace. And today you’ll hear honest, practical advice that you can hear in a textbook because it took us half a century to learn this stuff that he’s guest is André Alphonso, André welcome to the show.

André Alphonso: [00:00:35] Hi Duff, really glad to be here.

Duff Watkins: [00:00:37] André is the director of Ariel Group Australia, and they help professionals and improve their communication skills.

But, but there’s more to it than that. It’s deeper than that. What they actually do is. Teach you you, how to inspire and influence other people in order to create a more human workplace. Does that sum it up André? Did I get that right?

André Alphonso: [00:01:03] Yep. A hole in one Duff. And I think the other thing which I, I really liked talking about because it’s so, so integral to what we do is the sorts of ways that we do it is by teaching businesspeople the same skills that actors learn in acting school and I think that kind of makes it really funky.

Duff Watkins: [00:01:25] André is also coauthor of this book, strategic connections. A lot of people I talk to are connected, but they think they’re networked. There is a difference between networking and connections. If you want to learn how to connect strategically in that networks work for you.

This was the book, strategic connections and André Alphonso is one of the co-authors more about this later. I just wanted to make sure I got that in André. Let’s begin. You’ve had, you’ve held a number of senior positions in large companies. Do you remember what your first business lesson was?

André Alphonso: [00:01:55] yeah, look, you know, this was, this was can I just tell you a quick story?

It’s mid-eighties, I’m on my first business trip and I’m in London and. I invite an ex-colleague of mine, not a client, an ex-colleague of mine who works in a competitive company out for dinner. And I said, I’m going to pay you choose. So, he was a really nice guy. And we went to this place in Covent Garden, which was a Michelin star restaurant.

And we had an amazing dinner and after dinner, which was quite expensive he had this. penchant for Almanac, which is at, and we see on the menu, there is a 1918 Almanac. So, this is like 70 years old, been bottled. Right? So, we, we sort of in the, in the, in the spirit of the moment, so we’ve got to try one.

So, we have a 1918 Almanac, and then he goes, I thought was really good. Let’s see if the T if we can do 10-year increments of what we think. And we went from 1918, 28, 38, 48. 50 68, by which time we were kind of pretty smashed. The bill comes, it is 650 pounds, right? 650 pounds, which in those days was equivalent to about 1600 bucks in today’s terms.

It’s about $3,000 right now. Now I. I had to figure out how I get this across on expenses. And I was sweating cause I didn’t have 1500 bucks laying around to spend. I was I was a manager, a middle manager in the company that stage.

Duff Watkins: [00:03:28] You’re about to be a former manager.

André Alphonso: [00:03:32] So, how do I and so I was feeling this amazing stress and I, and I spoke to a couple of colleagues of mine and they said, Oh, look, you know, cover it up, say you had, you know, four or five different meals at different places.

And I thought, you know what? I actually started writing out the expense report with all these four or five different. And I thought, no, I’m going to just go and eyeball my boss and tell him what I did. So, I owned it and told the truth, and I went and spoke to him and he looked at me and he says, okay.

Give me some time to think about what I’m going to do over here. And I walked out of the office, went back to my office and those days we had offices and he gives me a call and he goes, put the expense form in it’s through. And, and I said, wow. I said, thank you. And he goes, it’s about trust André. He said the fact that you told me what you did and didn’t try to cover it up. Is the thing that makes the difference here. And I think that relationship that we had ever since there was one to this day, actually of immense trust. So, I think the first business lesson I learned was own your mistakes. You know, don’t try and kind of cover it up and tell the damn truth as opposed to faking your expenses.

That was the first one. I think that was a pretty positive. And to this day, it’s, it’s still something I tell all of the people who work with me and for me.

Duff Watkins: [00:05:01] Just making a mental note here, next lunch with André, he buys,

André Alphonso: [00:05:06] I’m a bit more prudent about where we go to these days.

Duff Watkins: [00:05:10] and, and you’re, you’re a fortunate, he had a good boss, but you know what you’re saying?

Reminds me speaking the truth. It really isn’t that hard. I mean, initially when you think about it, but when you actually do it, it just isn’t that difficult. It makes me wonder why people put it off. So, it makes such a big deal about it. Okay. What about second question? What about, what have you unlearned lately?

And you know what I mean by that? You know, there’s a lot of things that you absolutely positively held to be true then, but now today you’re a bit wiser, but smarter and, and maybe even recently you learn. You unlearned something that you thought was gospel truth.

André Alphonso: [00:05:50] Yeah, it is. And you sort of come into this world with all of these beliefs that you hold pretty dear to your heart.

So, one of the, so I do a lot of exec coaching and I’ve always had this view for I’ve been doing it for pretty close to 20 years now that if we’re doing it, we’re going to meet in person. And we would structure it in a way that, you know, that was that. So, I basically didn’t do any coaching, which wasn’t face-to-face.

And then with COVID-19 everything stopped. And I had, I was forced to switch to doing it virtually you know, zoom or whatever the thing was and blow me down. I found that it was different. In some instances, better and as powerful come at the end of it. So, what happened is typically I would do, you know, we’d meet together once every two or three weeks, we’d have a two-hour session.

We’d go through all the stuff. Now with zoom, people can drop, ring me up and say, Hey, we’ve got an issue tomorrow. Can we get on a zoom call? 30 minutes and we’re done. So, we’ve moved from this very structured approach to this very organic, flexible approach. And I think it’s much more powerful. And it’s opened up the rest of the world to me because before I would only operate in my little patch over here.

Right. And now I believe that. With a little bit of skill and using the technology. I can do that. So, that’s something I’ve had to unlearn and smash that belief, which I’ve kind of held for a long, long, long, long time. Yeah.

Duff Watkins: [00:07:27] That resonates for me. I also do a bit of management performance coaching and the same thing.

I mean, what I find it actually liberates in some ways, I mean, I used to be like, you can obviously devastated face to face. Gotta be, face-to-face gotta be one-on-one. No, it doesn’t. As what we’ve learned. No. Okay. No, thank you for that. Let’s go to the 10 lessons. It took you 50 years to learn and Lesson, number one, don’t eat your lunch on the way to work.

I’m thinking, but what if I’m hungry?

André Alphonso: [00:07:54] Well have breakfast. It’s the answer to that, right. So, so what happens and, and, and, you know, if you have a lunch on the way to work, lunchtime comes, and it’s all gone. There’s nothing there. And I used that as a, as a line because the lesson really here is around health.

So, let me tell you a quick story, just about 60 seconds or so. 2015, and I’m in hospital upside down in emergency and people are getting the defibrillators ready and I’m in a state of panic. And I say to the nurse next to me, what’s happened. What’s going on? She said, André, you have just reached critical and we’re trying to save your life. Right.

 And every movie I’ve seen Duff movie I’ve seen when they do that, the patient never comes back. They always eventually die. I don’t know about you. So, it’s like defibrillators don’t have in my head, in my, in my experience that doesn’t have a great outcome, but I thought to myself, you know, here I am in my fifties, what the hell?

Is this it, am I going to die? And it’s interesting when you kind of make eye contact with death, everything shifts, everything shifts. So, I guess since, since then, I have been, because I was diagnosed with heart disease in my forties. All right. 42. I had my first heart attack, and I was messing around. You know, a bit of this, but at that, yeah. Look, I’ll watch my diet do a bit of a walk over here but didn’t really take anything seriously. And the last five years I’ve been seriously re trying to reverse my heart disease. And according to my cardiologist the, my last visit, he thinks I’m pretty much there.

But the point I’m trying to make in terms of don’t eat your lunch on the way to work is when you’re 20 something, even 30 something you’re Bulletproof, right. Kind of invincible. I can put it off to, to a later date. And now I knew when I was my twenties and thirties, both my parents had heart disease.

That it was something that was going to come knocking on my door. I’d wait until I was 50 before I had sort of started to take it seriously, you know, 42, boom. Hit me almost died. And even after that first instance, I kind of kept putting it off because one of the things is if you cash your chips into early in life later in life when you actually need it, it’s not there.

And hence eating your lunch on the way to work. You know, you’ve got to put some bit into the future, and this is really an investment in your health, and it’s not just your physical health, it’s your mental health as well. And I think as we are getting more and more aware of the sorts of stresses and pressures we have. Growing up, I was, I smoked. I ate really bad food, not much exercise stress, God stress was, you’ve all stress on your arm. Like a badge of honor. Yeah. Boom. You know, you’re lying upside down in a bed and you go. What, what the hell and yeah. So, I think to do any people who are out there listening to this who might be in their twenties, thirties, or forties it’s, it’s, it’s just to be cognizant of not cashing your chips in way too early.

Duff Watkins: [00:11:09] You know, it rings a bell. Cause I used to run psychotherapy groups and psychiatric hospitals, and I’m hanging out with the psychiatrist, the young trainees. And I love those guys, but some of them were changed smoking. They were overweight. They had clearly unhealthy lifestyles and it, I deduced that they thought health was the absence of illness.

When in fact health, as you say is an investment is the state that needs to be created and perpetuated, and I’d say protected and preserved. And I don’t know why that’s hard for, for some people to accept. There’s a responsibility that we have to keep ourselves healthy. I mean, if. Yeah. If it’s not for you, although that’s enough, you know, maybe for the ones that love you.

André Alphonso: [00:11:55] Yeah, no it’s pretty common. I think if, and what I’ve found in the last five years is because I’m really focused on my health. I have this amazing energy right now, amazing energy. You know, my wife and myself, we’re about to launch a new business. Right. And, and people are saying to me, well, what the hell?

You know, you should be taking it easy, André and I’m okay. I don’t want to so all of a sudden, it’s like, if I had this kind of vitality, you know, boom, yeah, 10, 15 years ago, what would have happened anyway? Yeah, and I look back.

Duff Watkins: [00:12:28] well, what I’m hearing, it’s never too late.

André Alphonso: [00:12:31] Yeah. It’s never too late.

Duff Watkins: [00:12:32] Lesson, number two, handcraft your personal solar system.

Now tell me more. I know what a solar system is, and I really like to be able to more godlike and create one. So, tell me how to do that.

André Alphonso: [00:12:45] Okay. So, if you think about a solar system it’s critical to our survival, right? It gives us heat. It gives us light. It gives us gravity without it. We probably wouldn’t exist as a species.

Well, if you take that metaphor and extend it in terms of the relationships we have in life, we actually have a solar system that kind of happened. It’s through happenstance that it forms it’s not. Strategically. And hence the book, strategic connections.  And what the point I’m trying to make over here is, is take time to kind of handcraft the people you want to come into your lives.

They say you have friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for life. And you know, as well as I do, you come across as, as we walked this planet, we come across people. That we want to hold on to, there’s something about the chemistry that happens and you go, you know what. That’s someone I want to be in touch with for the rest of my life.

So, crafting your personal solar system is to make sure that you’re strategic and intentional about the people that you want to be around and in your life. But there’s a couple of things I would say to you in terms of making that happen. The first one is there’s a tendency to surround yourself by cheerleaders and cheerleaders are great.

They make you feel good. Yeah, but it could also be like a bit like the Hans Christian Anderson fable of the emperor’s new clothes, the cheerleaders don’t actually tell you stuff that might upset you. So, I think as you go about crafting your personal solar system, you’ve got to have in it, people that are going to bring out the very best in you.

And one of those is, is what I call a personal critic. It’s a term I only came across recently and I love the idea of a personal critic. That means someone. Who is willing to tell you what they think and feel? Without any consequence. They do so because they come from a place of love. Right. And, and, and, and I, I, I do have a couple of those people in my life and I always seek them out to say, well, what do you think about this idea?

What do you think I should do over here? And I know that the advice I’m going to get back. It’s going to be based on their truth and it’s not going to be, you know, sugarcoated in any way. And, and, you know, you can always say, you know, that is often your spouse and that is true. I think if you have that sort of relationship I do with my wife, she tells me a lot of stuff.

I’d probably say, yeah, yes. However, when you’re involved in a romantic or an emotional relationship, but there are, there are dynamics over there, which, you know, people kind of. They have to live with every day. So, people sometimes hold back in terms of what they want to say, but having a personal critic, which is someone outside of that that’s willing to tell you, I think, is really important as well as those people that are going to take out of your comfort zone and inspire you to kind of do those sorts of things.

So. So, yeah, I think for me you know, being strategic in the connections from the book, if you like is, is part of it. But it is about your personal network as well as it’s your life network, as well as just your business and other things. But it is that solar system that’s going to make you bring out the very best in you as humans.

Duff Watkins: [00:16:11] and, and choosing it consciously crafting it.

André Alphonso: [00:16:15] Absolutely again, investing in it, making sure that people are getting something back from you from being connected with you. So, to speak really intentional, it’s about, it’s a, there’s a generosity of spirit that exists in these special relationships. Right. And, and it, it actually. It just gives you energy. It gives you inspiration and it gives you truth.

Duff Watkins: [00:16:37] Generosity of spirit now that’s it, man. You know, to me, I think you nailed it because it’s not a chore. You know, it’s not a, it’s not a drag to be around those people, even if you know, they’re going to give it to you straight it’s okay. That’s what separates them.

André Alphonso: [00:16:53] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Duff Watkins: [00:16:54] Similar to that point. Lesson number three banished psychic vampires. Now I’ve been anti vampires, my whole life, André. I say round them up, ship them back to Transylvania or in the U S build a wall, whatever it takes. But the psychic vampires. Tell me what you mean.

André Alphonso: [00:17:10] It’s actually the other side of the coin to what I was talking about before.

And the quick story is I used to work with the guy about 15 years ago and he used to, we used to run workshops. I used to run a training company and he often come back and go, ah, I said, how was the, how was the workshop Garrett? He goes, it was fantastic except for a couple of psychic vampires in the room.

And, and, and, you know, you know what I mean? It’s as if those of you who’ve been in a classroom would know exactly what that is. It’s those people that kind of suck the energy out. They’re negative. They’re, they’re not they’re mismatches. They don’t want to be there. They’re cynical. So, you know, those are the psychic vampires and I’ve realized as you know, as I’ve gone through life, that I’ve kind of led a lot of them into my life.

And I find that they used to suck the energy.

Duff Watkins: [00:17:57] In so many ways they suck.

André Alphonso: [00:18:01] And again, this is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, which is about making sure I limit or banish those relationships that, and it could be from clients. It could be from colleagues. It could be for people that work for you, it could be friends and it could even be family members at some stage.

I’m not immediate family, but usually extended family members, right. Where you just feel this energy, you know, they leave and you go, I just want to shoot myself. No, and, and life is too short. I don’t want that in my life. I don’t want people making me as, so, you know, your personal soul system at one hand brings out the very best in you.

Psychic vampires actually bring out the very worst in you. And I think banish them get rid of them, move them out. You know, there’s a guy I used to work with a long time ago, work for me. And he was just one of those. You know, he’d show up late for meetings. If he was sitting there, he’d be looking at the newspaper and, in our sales meetings, he’d be mismatching everything.

If you say blue, they would say gray. You know, everything was cynical. That’s not gonna work kind of approach. And it was just bringing everyone down and eventually he had to go. And I remember going to my boss at the time and saying, look, here’s the situation. This is the guy he’s bringing the whole team down.

And you know, we just not. Being able to hit our straps. And I remember what he said to me. He said, you said, André, no breath is better than bad breath. Yeah. And I think that’s kind of that phrase has stuck in my head for some reason, for a long time. And I think that’s it. Banish, psychic vampires. Get them out of your life.

Duff Watkins: [00:19:43] Yeah. Easier said than done sometimes, but, but then again is it now that I think about it, but the point is it’s important to get rid of those. Cause you say, are you, are you saying that they have a disproportionate influence on your life? I mean, their negativity sort of outweighs their presence in some way.

André Alphonso: [00:20:02] Yeah. So, one comment or one interaction can send you down a spiral for days, weeks and months. Right. Days, weeks, and months. And you know, it’s just not worth it. It’s not worth it.

Duff Watkins: [00:20:18] Mm. All right. Point number four, engineer A halftime pause.

André Alphonso: [00:20:24] Yeah, this is something I really. Practice and believe in it. And when I coach people really encourage them to do this as well.

Again, a story back in the mid-nineties, I was running a workshop for one of the big banks and we had the senior managers sitting in it and this workshop is about 30 people and we thought we’d be clever. And I was facilitating it. We would invite an executive to come and just a bit of a fireside chat for us.

So, this was the BRW. Executive of the year or something like that in the nineties. And he came and sat, and we were having this fireside chat. He talked about stuff. And I asked the question. I said, look, we’re a bunch of young leaders sitting around over here. If there’s one bit of advice you could give them, what would that be?

And he leaned back in his chair and he thought about it. And there was this silence that seemed to go for a little bit too long. But he was thinking. And he said, okay, here it is. It’s going to sound stupid. But here it is. He said every Wednesday, every Wednesday at two o’clock to three o’clock, my calendar has been locked.

Nobody can access it at all. The only thing that can. That can access that time I have is a family personal family crisis or a customer crisis. He says, because what I do in that one hour, he says, I shut the door, put my feet up or I go for a walk and I spend the time reflecting on what I’ve done that week. And what I need to do going, going forward in that week. And it struck me that, you know, Covey came up with, you know, use the Eisenhower matrix as we all familiar with, which is, you know, in terms of looking at the things we spend our time on are being urgent and important. So, we tend to.

Duff Watkins: [00:22:06] Let me just show people, this is an Eisenhower matrix. You can find it online there are many versions of it. The point is about finding what’s important and what’s not. And classifying them do it. You delegate this, did you delete this? Is it urgent? And does it not matter as many forms of that? Stephen Covey popularized it, but it’s attributed to general Eisenhower who led the world war II allied forces in as a former president of the United States. Sorry, go ahead.

André Alphonso: [00:22:33] Yeah. Yes. It’s, it’s a fantastic tool and one that keeps giving because I keep coming back to it. The whole idea of the Eisenhower matrix is that yes, the things that are urgent and important we do first, but then what we find is as we go through life, we then drop into what’s urgent, but not important.

Also known as someone else’s agenda, you know, someone else telling us to do that. And then, you know, we get this cycle of going into the not urgent, not important, where we spend time on, you know, Facebook or social media or surfing the net. And the thing that always. Always gets ignored or put on the back is what we call quadrant two, which is the urgent, sorry, the not urgent but important.

These are things like your health relationships you know, setting up some goals, the things that, you know, your own learning, these are things that are not urgent, but really, really important and tend to get thrown out. So, when I come back to the story of this executive, that was his way of doing a review of the Eisenhower matrix to sit down and take that pause or engineer that pause.

So, I can sit down and say, what has how’s my week gone? And I think we can extend that. And I do extend that to doing it on a daily basis. You know, the importance of what happens at lunchtime. Is, it gives you a chance to reflect. So, the idea has to reflect on how I spent the first month in the morning and what am I going to do in the afternoon?

And that can happen. At any period of time, you know, we look at a year and typically we do that exercise on New Year’s Eve while we all sitting around a barbecue or watching the fireworks and thinking about what we have to do in the next year, too late, we should be doing that on the 30th of June and saying, well, what’s the year been like so far?

What have I done? And what do I need to focus on? What are the important, not urgent things that I need to do? And I think Duff, if you look at life itself and I have a really strong and fundamental belief in this. That when you get to your early fifties, you’re only halfway through your adult life it’s halftime, right?

And in any game, what happens at halftime? You go into the dressing rooms and the coach sits down and talks to you and says, well, how do we play the first half? How are we going to play the second half? What do we need to do? The game has always, usually one in the second half. Right? So, so the whole idea of making sure in this busy, busy, busy world that we have is to engineer a pause point to reflect. I think. That really gives you just so much kind of vitality and perspective.

Duff Watkins: [00:25:23] I have arrived at this consciously or independently of what you’re saying. And what you’re saying resonates every morning. I do a review of yesterday with pluses and minuses and evaluation, and then. Talk about what I need to do, what disciplines do I need to emphasize today in order to progress what I want to do. And I find that it helps. And a lot of the minuses keep occurring.

Oddly enough, basically bad habits are stuff I just haven’t mastered yet. And that’s okay. That’s okay. You know, cause that’s the way life is. But the idea of reflecting every day, I find have been very helpful and it helps other people as well. And there is a strong psychological basis for it about. Journaling writing, being able to process things, because it literally helps a person. It helps you process information and helps you advance, whatever. However, you define that it helps you advance in your life. Basically. It’s just being conscious and being mindful of things.

André Alphonso: [00:26:22] Yeah, just, just quick. But for my dad, probably a few months before he died, we were out having a coffee. And I said, dad, you know, if you could get one of those throwaway lines, if you could kind of give me one bit of advice going forward.

What would that be? What have you learned in life? And he said, look, buy me a coffee next week. I’ll let you know. So, he went away and thought about it and took the assignment pretty seriously. And he came back and what he said to me, is he, as you said, just really simply spend more time reflecting where you are.

It’s the same thing. You know that power of reflection on life, because he said, you can just go down this path and then it’s too late. The more points you have along the way to reflect the better you will be. And I, and I’ve taken that on board, and I do it to this day and it kind of translates into this lesson as well.

Duff Watkins: [00:27:08] And your dad is an educated guy, but he was a, he was an Indian, an Indian, but he relocated the family to Australia and that’s a big deal, you know, that’s a big deal. And I remember, I, I think you said you were, you know, you were the only Brown boy and all the white boy schools. And this is when Australia is not quite as enlightened as it is now, whatever level that may be.

So, so there are some stories there, but that’s, that’s coming from a guy who made a big move for himself and his family.

André Alphonso: [00:27:34] Huge, huge moves, huge move you know, And I often think about that in terms of the gifts that he gave us and the sacrifice kind of he had to make. But yeah, but it was his wisdom that he parted along the way that I still kind of adored. Yeah.

Duff Watkins: [00:27:51] Lesson number five. This is probably one of the most psychologically validated points that I, that you will see in print over and over again. Lesson number five collected ventures, not things.

André Alphonso: [00:28:03] Yeah. Well, I think I’ve found in life that, you know, Things are great. They make us feel good and give us a spike adventures kind of the, the, the payoff of adventures lasts a lifetime, right? A new car is great for a few weeks and a few months. But you know, ultimately the, the, the, the learning and the experience we have from adventure is that my belief is that we should stop collecting things and start collecting adventures.

Now, the only caveat I’d put to that is, you know, there are people out there who make their lives. As being collectors and of course that’s different, right? Yeah. Well, that’s the passion and that’s okay. But often we just get so caught up in, in just getting the latest and greatest phone or the latest and greatest car or whatever, you know, whatever the, the, the summer or winter collection is going to be in terms of clothing that we actually lose sight of it.

And, and I learnt this because. I was a collector. And I think what happens is we go through our lives. You know, we spent the first half of our lives, collecting stuff, you know, cars, houses, mortgages, families all sorts of things. And then you get to 50 and you go that was all great. What next? Where’s the significance?

And I think the whole idea of an adventure and I got to that place, right? I got to that place at 50. I sort of thought I want to throw in this corporate life, and I’m going to go and start up my own business. And I took my wife, Kathy. Who’s. Australian born in Australia, our kids, our two girls were in primary school at the time I’ve got four daughters and a son.

Our two youngest girls were in primary school. We relocated them to India to start up a new business. And it was a huge adventure, probably the adventure of a lifetime for all of us in many different ways. And we went there with a very clear outcome focus, which is. Yeah, we’ve got to make so much money we’re going to do this. We’re going to do that. But on reflection, the real value that came out of it was none of that. It was the experiences that we had. It was the adventure that we had individually and collectively. And now when I sit down and think about goal setting, I talk about it as an adventure.

Right. And for example, I said, I mentioned earlier that my wife and myself, we’re going to start up a new business on, you know, wellness on mindfulness and yoga and. You know, yes, it’d be great if we can get a financial return on it, but our view is, Hey, let’s start another adventure together. And I think that changes your entire mindset as to success of failure.

Because if you look at it as an adventure, it’s never a failure that, right. There’s never a failure. Yes. You’ve got to strive. You’ve got to make the best of what you can do, but if you go into it with that mindset, you never fail as opposed kind of as opposed to kind of being outcome focused. Here’s the return here’s the goal is a milestone I’ve got to get, and then you wake up and go out and didn’t achieve any of those. I’m a failure. No, not at all. Every, I think every goal you should look at it should be changed into an adventure. And I, I believe that, and I do that now and I find it gives me a lot more passion and vigor in terms of pursuing different things.

Duff Watkins: [00:31:19] Well here, here’s an example. We’ve already talked about his health. I tell people, yeah. If anyone asks me about where we’re discussing diet or exercise protocols, somethings, and I say, it’s an adventure, you know, you walk that path yourself and you will discover for yourself and, and, Oh, don’t forget to have fun on the journey because it’s an adventure you’re supposed to enjoy it.

It’s not slogged through it in a me occupied territory. Yeah. At night by yourself. It didn’t like it’s not supposed to be like that. As Robert Louis Stevenson said better to travel expectantly than to arrive and enjoying the process. The psychological reference that I made earlier as every study of happiness that I’ve read, every book talks about that happiness actually occurs within an experience, not by the accumulation of stuff. It isn’t things which give you that, that joy, that happiness, that experience. You are talking about taking the family to India or, you know, it could be a diet, could be any bloody thing and that’s the point.

André Alphonso: [00:32:21] Absolutely. Right. Absolutely. And in fact, it doesn’t have to be these big things Duff, right? It could be little things. It could be, it could be going to the supermarket to pick up some stuff on an evening and say, you know, if you, if you look at it, well, Hey, what am I going to experience? What am I going to see? What might be some interesting things along the way. It actually changes your mindset. You smile a bit more; you talk a little bit longer to the shopkeeper and your experience becomes a whole lot better.

So, I think if you look at adventures, even at the micro levels on a daily basis, it shifts your thinking a little bit and makes you a little bit more open to the sorts of experiences rather than head down, straight in there. Pick up what you need to do, speak to know and get the hell out. So, I think adventures the whole idea for the adventure mindset. Maybe that’s what it is. This is just giving us a lot more in terms of in terms of how we show up in this world.

Duff Watkins: [00:33:18] All right. Lesson number, number six, dare to be curious. Dare to be present.

André Alphonso: [00:33:23] Yeah. So, that’s a recent one. And again, a story. It was my daughter, Molly she’s she was just 22 and we were having a conversation and she’s having a rough time at work a little while ago, a few months ago.

And you know, and she was telling me about this. She was quite emotional about it. And of course, like a father, a businessman. Coach, I was dishing out all this advice and wisdom and, you know, she looked at me halfway through the conversation and she said, and I’m paraphrasing. This is probably not exactly what she said, but it was a bit how I received it was “Dad I don’t enjoy talking to anymore because I don’t think you really try to understand”.

And it just knocked me senseless. I thought, you know, hang on. You know, I’m a communicator. It’s what I do for a living here. And my daughter’s saying I cannot communicate. And it struck me that I had just stopped being curious. You know, I stopped being curious and I stopped being present and it, it reminded me of this guy called Jadoo Krishnamurthy who’s, she’s got a quote, which I’ve always followed kind of most of my life.

And for, for some reason, I’d kind of dropped the ball on it. I’m just going to read it out. It’s very, very good. So, Krishna Murthy, for those of you don’t know is, you know, an Indian scholar theologian, stuff like that. It’s very, very. Thought provoking person very well renown too. Yes, yes.

And he says this, “if we try to listen, we find it extraordinary difficult, because we are always projecting our opinions and ideas, our prejudices, our backgrounds, our inclinations, our impulses. When they dominate, we hardly listen at all to what is being said. In that state, there is no value at all. One listens and therefore learns only in a state of attention. A state of silence in which this whole background is in abeyance is quiet. And then it seems to me, it is possible to communicate”. And you know, when Molly was talking to me of that, I just realized that what I was doing was projecting my opinions, my ideas, my prejudices, my background, my impulses, right on her.

And. It’s it. And it’s, I’ve consciously from it was like a wakeup call. Even in my coaching work I do right now, the whole focus is to be curious and, and the metaphor I use, it’s a bit like driving through a school zone, a 40-kilometer school zone. It seems unnaturally slow, but that’s kind of how it feels when you are curious, you put everything on hold and slow it right down and really say, well, what’s going on.

You know, what’s happening? Why is she, why might this be happening rather than thinking through, well, here’s a solution. This is what’s going to happen. And that’s the second thing, which is just kind of being present in the moment. So, when people are curious, you’ve also got to be present. So, you dare to be curious. Because you’re putting yourself out there just to be there and dare to be present. I think that is such a powerful way to be when you’re with other people who might be in some position of distress or challenge.

Duff Watkins: [00:36:44] Yes. And what you’re saying, I can prove what you’re saying. Because in psychotherapy, all forms of psychotherapy is just that André, you sit there and you bloody listened to the person and you listen actively, you’re engaged and you, you interact, but not as much as in a normal conversation because you’ve got a certain function there and let the person express, and you’ll ask questions, clarify, even if that’s all you do that will have a therapeutic effect and that’s been proven for a couple of centuries now, and that just points out how important is the need of Molly, you, me, every person you’ve ever met, every person you ever will meet is that need to feel understood. Feel, not just be, but to feel understood. Of course, you’re a dad, by the way, I’m thinking he already gave you cut yourself some Slack. If you go into dad though, that’s, that’s a bit different.

André Alphonso: [00:37:37] Yeah, and I think that’s part of the prejudices we bring into here is I’m the father I’m supposed to dish out advice. Well, now sometimes you just gotta listen, look there. You’re always going to get curiosity and judgment don’t make good bedfellows. They just don’t. And we are so quick to judge right now in this world of pace. You know, we’re constantly trying to judge something very, very fast. That’s the thing we’ve got to slow down. You’re always going to get to judgment. You’re always going to get the judgment but slow down the process of running towards it by being curious.

Duff Watkins: [00:38:11] The, thing that strikes me is a person who is not curious is leaning towards rigidity. And if there’s one thing that I know about from psychotherapy my days in working in psychiatry. Rigidity is the kiss of death. Once you become hardened, a hardening of the attitudes, as we say, you know, it’s you’re, the clock is ticking for you because you’re beginning to close down and that ain’t good.

André Alphonso: [00:38:36] As I go through life and living in the second half of my life right now is, is this is about learning and newness and being aware. And it’s, it’s such an amazing world really, and that we live and to be curious is a gift.

Duff Watkins: [00:38:53] Yeah, don’t shut it down too early is what I’m thinking tonight. Lesson number seven you’ll have to explain this one to me. Let light enter through your wounds.

André Alphonso: [00:39:03] Yes. So, this is around about the best insights and learning and growth. We have come through adversity. Yep. So, it’s actually based on a quote from Rumi, who is the Persian philosopher. Most people would have heard about it.

And I think he said the wound is where the light enters you. That’s this quite the wound is where the light enters you. And I’ve. I’ve always kind of been captured by that. And, and there was this lady called Edith Eger. Who’s just released a book. I’m not sure if you’ve heard about it. She’s, she’s actually causing quite a, quite a splash out there.

So, she was she’s 90 now. So, she was an Auschwitz. She was separated from her mother’s ex you know, a mother disappeared and she and assister kind of survived that whole. Holocaust experience. And then the death March, which is brutal, that happened after Auschwitz. And she survived that I had and the carried through her and stuff like that.

And, you know, so. So, you think about the adversity that she does now, she’s a psychotherapist and she’s written this book called the choice embrace the possible it’s it’s. If you want to check her out, Edith EGER, on Ted, she’s got a few Ted things and the book is brilliant, but this is what she says, our painful experiences aren’t a liability, they’re a gift. They give us perspective and meaning and opportunity to find our unique purpose and our strength. And Duff, you know, often think about that because for me, five years ago, almost dying totally changed my life in so many, many ways. And for me it was a gift. It was not why me, why did this happen to me? It was like, okay, well, what next. What do I learn from this? And it took me a while to get to it. I’m not that evolved as a human being. There was a little bit of, you know, why me, why, why is this happening to me? Kind of thing. But I think I moved on and I think that is something that I do carry with me today and working with people and working with my friends, family coaching clients, it’s about embraced the adversity that you’re in now and ask yourself, what are you learning? What are you learning from what you’re going through right now? And if you cannot find the learning, you’re not looking hard enough when you find the learning, the adversity is a gift rather than a death sentence or a sentence.

Right? And, and, and, and, and so let light enter through your wounds is really trying to reframe the adversity that you have. And I think young leaders who are growing up and they’ve got. All of us have still have lots of adversity in front of us in so many different parts of our lives. It’s not nice to be there and if you can avoid it absolutely. But when we are. In it extract as much as you can from it. And I guess that’s the whole idea of what this lesson is. I really believe it. And I say to, you know my kids, when they go through a rough time right now is to kind of in, into it. It’s okay. What are you learning from it? What is the teaching? If it doesn’t teach you anything, you’re not looking hard enough.

Duff Watkins: [00:42:23] The reframing is so important. Psychologically I you’re making what you’re saying resonates with me. I’ve worked with. I’ve done a lot of outplacement consultant with people who’ve been fired and sometimes they’re just blown away. I mean, they just, they just devastated.

And I tell them, I say, look, you know, it’s, it’s not so bad. The company’s paying you,  their funding your next your job search. And you get to work with a pro like me who knows more about this than anybody on the planet. So, you know, and you’re, and you’re, you still got to pay out, so it could be worse.

And then they kind of jacks them up, you know, and they think. Well, yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, you’re not on the street. Exactly pal. So, you know, life goes on, so let’s turn the page and we do, and they do. But the key, I think, is to reframe these periods of adversity, acknowledging that they heard that they, that you feel what you feel.

André Alphonso: [00:43:16] Absolutely. I think, yes, you do have to have that empathy that goes with it and people have to work through the stages of the personal challenge of Elizabeth Kubler ross talked about denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Yes. People do work through that but extract what you can from it.

It’s okay. It’s okay. In fact, there’s this, this this idea of a thing called this guy, he’s just come out. It’s got this concept called antifragile. Yeah Taleb. Nicholas Taleb. And the whole idea of anti-fragile is about it’s beyond resilience because everyone’s talking about resilience, right?

Resilience is this idea that, you know, you fall, and you bounce back. Well, antifragile is about, you bounce forward not back because what happens is in the drop, you learn all these things that actually take you forward. And then he uses the metaphor of, you know, we go and do weights at a gym and that causes tension and stress on your bones, but it also makes your bones stronger.

You know, it’s old quote, I guess, at all. Cliche of what doesn’t I know you said it, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think there’s a lot of truth in that actually.

Duff Watkins: [00:44:35] Niche Yeah. Yeah.  Yeah. All right. Lesson number eight from cavemen to neuroscientists.

André Alphonso: [00:44:43] Okay, so this is a little bit cryptic. And it’s about storytelling. And I think this is the skill of our times, and it’s a skill for us to, to master. And I talk about it from caveman to storytelling is because if you’ve read and most people would have heard of sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. And he talks about how homo sapiens dominated this earth and, and basically the Neanderthals, which were a physically stronger, more imposing faded away and the homo sapiens survived and thrived. And he says, the reason that happens is this ability of homo sapiens to organize in mass numbers. And the thing that makes them organize in mass numbers is storytelling. And if you think about that and you look through the history books, you know, if you look at religions, it’s around a story, you look at political politics, it’s around the story. You look at organizations it’s around the story. You know, you say Apple, it goes Steve jobs. You know, it Wosniak, you know, you said Microsoft, you’ve got Bill Gates at seeker Branson. You go Virgin. I mean, these are stories in terms of organizations and of course the political politics and religions. So, the ability to tell stories then becomes really, really, really important.

So, at the company that I run in Australia Ariel which is the one we were talking about at the start, which is about tardy, take the skills actors learned into business. We’ve been focusing, focusing on storytelling for a long time, Duff, you know, I know their stories and their stories, right? There are some stories that, you know, grandpa’s telling you at the end of, at the end of the evening meal you got, Oh, that’s fine. Just slows down. Well, you start people stop looking at their watches and get the kids time to go. Right. And then those stories where people just in the Palm of your hand. So, there’s stories in the stories, right? And the skill is to be able to have people in the Palm of your hand by telling stories, because if you’re a communicator, if you’re serious about being a communicator, get serious about being a great storyteller.

Duff Watkins: [00:46:56] Yeah. Okay. What do you think of this? What do you think of here’s the trouble that I have with storytelling? I mean, agreeing with you so far, the trouble with storytelling is that it’s such a great vehicle for bullshit, and we see it online. We see it in the press every day. These lies these deceits. These falsities are propagated. I see it in sports. Boards, particularly American sports. They’re always looking for the storyline about this player. There’s two, there is no story. It’s just, you know, they’re just guys playing. And so, the writer will create a story that has the makeup, some sort of human interest angle, and it’s a conceit, it’s a fantasy why clickbait?

They want to tension. And so, to me, it’s a. It’s a great work of modern fiction, perhaps, but it’s not a legitimate story. And that works the hell out of me. And I see businesses do it too. You know, they’ll spin their story, which is just. Manufactured nonsense or not actually bullshit’s the quick word. So, now the trick, why does that work? Because the brain is a sense-making machine and we always spawn positively to stories. And we always will because stories help us make sense of the world. But these stories get appropriated by the forces of marketing or commerce or capitalism or politics, whatever, and, and jeez, they get destroyed in the process.

André Alphonso: [00:48:20] Yes. And you’re absolutely right. There is this huge flow of, of attending, gathering around stories. Absolutely. Right. And, and our point of view, it’s about being authentic and being real with the story. For example, when we run our workshops, we often say to people, let’s put the M the marketing message aside let’s stop worrying about the product. Tell me about the biggest challenge you face growing up as a child and, you know, people say, well, you know, you know my, my mum left or, you know, I was sent away to a boarding school or I was bullied. And so, they tell a story about the challenge. And then you ask the question, well, how has that affected how you lead people or how you do business today?

And you know, what. There is always something over there and that’s where the inspiration comes from. So, it’s got to come from here, not here. You know, we talk about head and mind. There’s so much cognitive bullshit, as you say right now, clickbait that is pushing people down these rabbit holes that they really don’t want to go through, that we actually lose sight of the heart.

And in my view that the best stories come from here, not from here. Mm. Yeah. And, and, and, and Ariel, we don’t talk about how to structure a story that much we don’t actually talk about. This is the opening. This is the middle; this is the end. And we just say, tell your story, but say it with passion and authenticity, and it show you some techniques on how to, how to share it with, with amazing impact.

Keep it short, not like grandpa. Right. And, and, and have people there, but it’s got to come from here. If it’s not from here, you kinda lost me.

Duff Watkins: [00:50:02] You know, a good example of that is, and we see it everywhere. Movies, movies, good movies, communicate truth. They don’t communicate actual correct facts. Those are not important. And that’s one thing we need stories are about the truth. Not about. Facticity necessarily. So, a good story will communicate human truth. The Adam and Eve story communicates truth. Was there a serpent, was there a garden? Not really important to the story? It’s, it’s the truth that it conveys good movies do that as well.

And I guess that’s what you’re saying. A person needs to communicate there. Truth their essence.

André Alphonso: [00:50:36] Yeah.  In a marketing sense. Yes. It’s, it’s about that. But even in trying to capture an audience, I mean, I look back to Steve Jobs, his commencement speech at Stanford as being probably one of the most inspirational business talks speeches in my lifetime.

And it’s based on three stories. Story one. It’s not about amazing Apple and how we did this. But story one is I was, I dropped out of college story. Number two was I was fired by the company I helped create. And story number three is I’ve been diagnosed with a terrible disease. Right. It’s not about all of this marketing BS, although there was a bit of stuff around that, for sure.

But you know, that to me is about capturing the hearts and minds of people through storytelling, which is a personal it’s about him. It’s not about the company. And I think when we sit down and show up in this world, we’ve got to tell most stories about who we are. You know, as human beings, I think that’s it.

And that’s the whole idea of from caveman to neuroscience, because as you, as you’re right. Duff, and what you’re saying, just kind of blow up that tagline because neuroscientists are now proving that what caveman we knew at caveman days is the truth. As you say, stories, light up more parts of your brain than just facts and data do. So, how do we then in this world of capturing attention, how do we capture the heart? Well, just the mind, the heart.

Duff Watkins: [00:52:06] Well, Hollywood spends a lot of time trying to figure that out. And indeed, we all do because we’re all desperately hungry for a good story. And by that, I mean a true story. One that conveys true lesson number nine, you’re suggesting we use noise canceling headphones to filter out the dirty noise.

Yep. Just like these, this, this stays. Yeah. I love that as a metaphor because it’s what we were just talking about a candle. Rolls on from the conversation we’ve had is about in this world where everybody’s trying to capture your attention. Right now, we are in this battle of attention. You know, we have devices and technology, which pervades our lives to such an extent that every moment.

That you’re awake. Someone is trying to grab your attention. And consequently, we allow a lot of stuff into our heads. We allow a lot of noise in, and a lot of crap that comes with it and kind of sometimes lose the essence of what we’re doing over here. So, so part of putting on the noise canceling headphones is to try and filter out some of the crap that is actually coming in over here and get to the essence of what we’re doing.

That’s one part of it, but. The more important thing Duff in terms of noise, canceling headphones is your Self-talk yourself, narrative you’re in a, in a monologue or whatever you want to call it. It’s the conversation you’re having with yourself. And, and in the same way, as we allow a lot of crap to come in, a lot of the conversations we have with ourselves are pretty terrible.

And I often talk about this amazing story that I came across our years ago of native American grandfather and grandson going for a walk on the Prairie. And as they’re going for a walk, the grandson seems troubled and the grandfather says, you know, son, in your mind, there are two wolves. There is a black Wolf and a white Wolf.

And the grandson says, tell me about the black Wolf. And he says, the black Wolf brings negativity and anger and hatred and shame and, and all of those things that are negative. And he goes, okay. And he says, what about the white Wolf? And he says, the white, full brings hope and support and help and optimism, and all of the things that kind of push you towards life.

And, and grandson says grandfather or grandfather, which one wins the fight and the grandfather says, it’s the one you feed. Yeah, it’s the one you feed. And I think as I work with executives today, their self-talk and in a monologue is one of the things I’ve got to work with because, and the good thing about it is you can change it once it’s brought to your attention, that is happening with a few skills and, and, and really.

That’s kind of what we’re talking about. So, John Milton is another great quote. I love quotes. John Milton, the guy who wrote a thing called paradise lost, probably considered one of the best bits of literature ever written actually says the mind is its own place it can make heaven of how or hell of heaven.

Yeah. And I love that quote because That talks so much about that black Wolf and the white Wolf in the, in a monologue that’d be going through. So, noise canceling headphones are really a metaphor to get us to pay attention, to filter out the crap. Right. And let them know the essence through.

Mm mm. The psychological lesson in there is learning to dispute that inner voice, because it’s just a voice it’s not always correct, just because it happens to be occurring inside you, you can dispute it and debate it. And I always say argue with it. Don’t, don’t start a civil war within yourself. Don’t do that, but, but it’s fair enough to dispute just because you tell yourself something doesn’t necessarily make it true.

André Alphonso: [00:55:57] Not at all. Not at all.

Duff Watkins: [00:55:59] You

I mean, it’d be, you make a suggestion to me. I might dispute it. I would hear it. I would take it seriously woods. I might do some research about it. I wouldn’t automatically necessarily if I disagree, I ponder it, but I wouldn’t necessarily imbibe it and critically. And the same thing when I tell myself something stupid, which I do on a regular basis, you know, you can feel free to reject and Reject and accept your own advice.

André Alphonso: [00:56:22] Very much so, very much so I think that’s it, right? That’s the power because how you show up in this world is so much to do with your own narrative. That’s going on there.

Duff Watkins: [00:56:32] You can change the internal monologue. A lot of evidence to that. A lot of people are surprised by that, but you can change it. In fact, it’s probably bloody well ought to.

All right, our 10th final lesson, burn your masks. Wait a minute. André. Are you one of their friends of Corona virus? Do you think we should all burn our masks? You don’t think you don’t take it seriously? Is that what you’re talking about?

André Alphonso: [00:56:53] No. No. Good. Your Corona virus, mask at all time. Absolutely. You should know.

These are the mass that we put on to cover up insecurities. As we go through life, right? So, you mentioned earlier Def you know, my parents immigrated to Australia when I was 11 years old and I was put into a fantastic school, but I was the only Brown kid in a completely, you know, Anglo-Saxon school, so to speak.

So, you know, I find a tough going and, you know, the, the sort of the, the dog eat dog world of the school yard of a boy’s school of. You know, people are bad to get into teenage and testosterone coming on.

Duff Watkins: [00:57:33] You got picked on. Surely you got, you got bullied. Surely.

André Alphonso: [00:57:36] Hello. Look at this face. Look at this face. Right?

Absolutely. You know, what happens is, is there’s a couple of things that happened with that. One is your own sense of belief and worth worthiness in this world just goes down a lot. The second thing is that there’s a shame associated with that. There’s this, that I’m not, you know, that I feel shameful of who I am.

So, the way you deal with that is you put on masks. Right. So, I started putting on mask at a very young age and I realized that I had to do a couple of things. One is I had to lose my Indian accent really quick. And to this day, you know, you’re a psychotherapist. You can probably help me with this. I cannot do an Indian accent.

Duff Watkins: [00:58:21] You sound pretty Aussie to me, man.

André Alphonso: [00:58:23] No, I cannot. And you know, people laugh at me and say, come on, do an Indian accent. And then they laugh even more because I can’t do it because I kind of programmed it out of my head. And the other thing, which is to try and be cool rather than this dirty different Brown skin kid was to play guitar.

Right. So, I picked up an electric guitar. It wasn’t a, you know, and try to be a rock star, rock God, if you liked, because that was one way of putting on another mask. Yeah. To cover everything else up. So, you know, the, the, the accent went, the head wobble went the guitar came on and all these masks came on and I can’t award them most of my life.

I remember as when I first got my first job after school, I fell madly in love with this girl called Sandy. She was blonde and beautiful, and I, you know, still had all of those bruises from school. Never had the guts to ask her out. And eventually I did. I did in ask her out and, and, and she said, yes.

And I remember going to my friend at the time, a good mate of mine and said, Hey, guess what? I’ve got a date with Sandy on Saturday night. And he goes, André, you got gotta, you got to borrow dad’s Mercedes. Because if you show up in a nice-looking car, she’s going to marry you. Yeah. And then you have these images,

Duff Watkins: [00:59:35] That’s a deeper understanding of the feminine psyche.

André Alphonso: [00:59:38] Absolutely. And then of course I have these images of Sandy and myself living on this beautiful cake top, you know, so I kept that beautiful cliff face w you know, running along the beach with beautiful kids behind us, in a lovely house, all of these things happen, and I showed up. Then Gary’s dad’s because his father was out of town, red, Mercedes to pick up this girl called Sandy.

And I knocked on the door and the father who was there, she was living with the dad, opened the door. And the first thing he said is that your car? And I was like shocked because I kind of expected him to be a little bit more, you know, interested in my car rather than judgment at all. And I kind of didn’t know what to say, but it was a really, it’s a really good example of the mask that I put on to cover up the fact that you know, I wasn’t worthy enough. And if I had a good car, it would make me so much more worthy and alter my life. Duff I’ve put masks on. Right. So, I got a career. I fell in love with my career. It was an amazing career that I had in, in, you know, going up through the corporate ranks and organizations. And that was my career mask.

It made me feel good. But halfway through that, praise, my marriage failed. My first marriage failed miserably, and I realized that, you know, my. My marriage had become an inconvenient truth because I had allowed this mask of being this career corporate guy to take over my life and, and, you know, and, and so on and so forth.

It wasn’t until five years ago when I was having, you know, upside down in the bed. With the defibrillators ready to go, that I kind of realize, and that when perspective comes back and hits you it was that I’m not ready to go yet because I haven’t lived my truth. I’ve got to rip these bloody masks off and be who I am.

And my wife, Cathy today says to me, geez, André, you know, you’ve changed so much since that heart attack. And to some degree, that is the case because I think I’m, I’m walking this planet. Without those masks anymore and being true to myself and being true to others and the relationships not trying to be the people pleaser and the yes, man that says yes to everything, but actually speaks the truth.

So, I think the best thing I can tell any people who are coming up in this world is to be conscious of the masks you wear and ask yourself this question, who are you trying to please today? And that’s not that if you don’t want to please the customer that’s okay. But, you know, who’s, are you trying to please today and are they worthy of that honor?

Because sometimes we actually go out our way, trying to please people who are not worthy of that honor. I mean, living in the world of expectations of others. And I was for many times, you know, I can’t do the Indian accent, you know, I had to play guitar, you know, I’ve had to love, fall in love with the career because it gave me stuff that dealt with my insecurities from a child.

And I think it held me back. And now it’s gone, and I’ve burnt those masks. And look, there’s still some remnants of that still there. I can’t say I’m a clean skin completely. There’s still masks that I put on from time to time, but now I’m conscious of the ones that I wear. So, yeah, I think so for anyone growing up is, get in touch with your authenticity and the best way to do that, as you probably know, Duff is to just understand your values, you have to do these values, clarification, exercises and stuff, but you know, what are those values that you live by and live true to them? Because I think that’s where fulfillment kind of comes from.

Duff Watkins: [01:03:05] W what I’m hearing is when you burn those masks, that means you realize that woke, you have those masks because you fear that you’re not enough.

Just not enough. And then at a point you realize that you are enough, and you burnt those masks and the truth is you were always enough. You just didn’t know it, or you didn’t want to believe it. Or that’s, that’s,

André Alphonso: [01:03:29] that’s the psycho, that’s the psychotherapist in you, Duff. I’m feeling better. I’m feeling better already, man.

Duff Watkins: [01:03:35] And this that you, you always were enough. You didn’t, you know, you came complete, but it is a good lesson to learn. Maybe it’s hard for some, for some of us.

André Alphonso: [01:03:44] Yup. Yup. Very much so.

Duff Watkins: [01:03:45] Well, we will finish there on that note, André, I want to thank you for joining with us. And I want to remind the listeners that you’ve been listening to the international podcast, 10 lessons that took us 50 years to learn.

This episode is produced by Robert Hossary and is sponsored by professional development forum. PDF provides webinars, social media discussions, podcast, parties, anything, anything you want, everything you need, you can find out more about them. and it’s all free by the way.

And by the way, please contact us by email And if you’re interested in André’s book, which he co altered strategic connections, send me an email. I will find way to get it to you. Get a copy to you. And if you have any comments, we’d love to hear from that as well. So, thank you for listening.

Thanks for joining us. And we’ll see you the next episode of 10 lessons that took us 50 years.



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Diana White

Diana White – Be prepared to walk away.

08 Jun 2021

This week Siebe Van Der Zee speaks with Diana White. Diana has a wealth of experience and eagerly shares her...

Read More
John Collee

John Collee – Find Somebody Who’s Done it Before

01 Jun 2021

"Find someone who's done it before," says JOHN COLLEE, Oscar nominated writer, on this episode of 10 Lessons it Took...

Read More
10-50 Group. Hosts of 10 Lessons it Took Me 50 Years to Learn.

Ten Lessons – Recap Ep 13 – 16

25 May 2021

In this episode the four of us, Dr. Duff Watkins, Siebe Vanderzee, Jeffery Wang, and Robert Hossary review episodes that...

Read More

Jacob Butler – Don’t Wait for Change

18 May 2021

This week Siebe brings you 10 Lessons from Jacob Butler. Jacob shares lessons that his culture has taught him. Lessons...

Read More