About Andrew Tyndale
Andrew has spent more than 35 years of investment banking and funds management, initially in the commercial space and, for the last decade, in the social sector.
In his ongoing work, Andrew originates Impact Investing opportunities for wholesale capital, in sectors like affordable and disability housing, to generate a healthy risk-weighted financial return as well as a social or environmental benefit.
He also advises major foundations and governments on using investment capital to address the world’s wicked problems. In 2014, Andrew was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and has held numerous commercial and not-for-profit board roles.
Together with his wife, Philippa, Andrew has been extensively involved in international development work, including microfinance with Opportunity International Australia (www.opportunity.org.au), maternal health & education with Pader Girls Academy (www.ccfpader.org) and digital literacy and numeracy through Library For All (www.libraryforall.org) now part of Save The Children.
- You can’t go somewhere where you haven’t imagined 02:53.
- Play the long game 08:25.
- The wise man builds his house on a rock, not sand 12:19.
- Find your tribe 18:14.
- You have the power of life and death on your tongue 25.03.
- You grant the most authority to your own words – your self-talk becomes your reality 33:22.
- Fill your heart with gratitude 37:35.
- Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies 40:38.
- Undirected passion won’t lead to purpose 44:40.
- This too shall pass 50:26.
Andrew Tyndale- 10Lessons50Years
Jeffery Wang: [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, not mere facts, not just platitudes to an international audience of rising leaders. In other words, in this podcast, you’ll hear valuable insights that you cannot learn from a textbook – because it took us 50 years to learn this stuff!
My name is Jeffery Wang, the founder of the Professional Development Forum and your host.
This podcast is sponsored by the Professional Development Forum, which helps diverse young professionals of any age find fulfillment in the modern workplace.
And our special guest today is Andrew Tyndale. Andrew spent 26 years in the commercial investment and banking sector with Babcock and Brown, Macquarie bank and the predecessor to UBS.
In the 2008 GFC, Babcock and Brown became Australia’s largest corporate collapse leaving Andrew unemployed and having to write off the majority of his life savings that had been accumulated in Babcock and Brown shares.
Through this difficult period Andrew learned a lot about himself, resilience and how meaning and purpose add value to life. Post that traumatic experience Andrew continued to work as an investment banker, but mainly for good causes, focusing on attracting institutional capital to the affordable housing and aged care sector. Andrew also advises foundations and governments on using investment capital to address the world’s biggest problems.
In 2014, Andrew was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in social impact investing. And in 2021, he will be co-founding a new impact investing investment house.
Together with his wife, Philippa, Andrew has been extensively involved in international development work, including micro finance with Opportunity International Australia. Maternal health and education with Uganda’s Te-Kworo Foundation and digital literacy and numeracy through Library for All, now part of Save the Children.
Well, that is a lot of meaningful work, Andrew, very honoured to have you join us today.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:02:11] It’s my pleasure to be here, thanks for having me.
Jeffery Wang: [00:02:13] That was quite a hell of a story that you shared with us the other time, where you went through that toughest period of your life. I just knew that from that story, I had to invite you to this podcast. The wisdom that you must’ve accumulated over these years and through those extraordinary experiences would be incredibly valuable for the people.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:02:35] Thanks Jeffery. I feel like if wisdom equates to scars, then maybe yes, I’ve got lots of wisdom for you, what I’m hoping is that for some of your younger listeners, maybe I can pay your stupid tax. Right? Maybe I can tell you about some of the mistakes that I made that you needn’t repeat.
Jeffery Wang: [00:02:53] Exactly the spirit of this particular podcast. If through listening to this podcast, we don’t have to pay the stupid tax, then mission accomplished.
Let’s just jump right into it then. What is the very first business lesson that you’ve learnt?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:03:06] I think the first one I’d love to share with you is that you can’t go anywhere that you haven’t imagined, that you haven’t envisaged.
When you see something that enables you to go there. And if you can’t see something or if you can’t bring yourself to see something, it’ll be very, very difficult for you ever to be able to put yourself into that position in reality.
Almost all of us, aim too low. We don’t aim high enough. So we’re not thinking out a year or two years or five years. We’re not really reaching out into the future to see, to envisage where the kind of person that we could become, the kind of career that we could have, the partnership that we can be in. But unfortunately, most of us live day by day, week by week, maybe pay check to pay check.
And certainly, we don’t think about being intentional about the jobs that we take, about the investment that we make into our careers and into our individuals.
I remember very well painfully well, teaching my kids to drive. I’m sure that some of your listeners will remember this with pain as well, sitting in the car with your parents for 120 hours being told what to do.
One of the big mistakes always, that my sons in particular were made was to look at the road right in front of the car, to lean forward over the nose of the hood and look at the lane markings, look at the car in front. If you do that, all the information is coming at you so fast. You can’t go quickly at all. So consequently, they would go quite slowly. As they learn to raise their eyes, as they learn to look further out to look higher, they would be looking at the car in front of the car in front of them. They’d be looking at, is the road turning left, or right? Do I need to prepare? Is there a traffic light coming up? Or what are the obstacles I might have to get around. As by raising your sights and aiming higher, aiming further out, things come at you at less of a pace, you have much more time to prepare as they come shooting at you.
It’s about intentionality. It’s about stopping and saying, okay, if I want to plan my career, what do I need to be thinking about? Well, I need to be seeing myself in five years or 10 years or 15 years. And then what does that mean that I have to do now? In order to prepare for that. You can’t end up where you haven’t imagined yourself to be, where you haven’t envisaged yourself.
Jeffery Wang: [00:05:35] Absolutely. So, if I could replay that back to you, and see if I’ve understood this correctly. So, you have to look forward and you have to look at the big picture.
You look 10 steps ahead in order to be able to go fast, you have to imagine your destination in order to plan your steps forward from here on in.
There’s a lot of people who’s afraid to think big or afraid to dream big. Is there an element of the lesson that you can’t create something, or you can’t be something that you can’t imagine?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:06:10] I think there are probably two reasons why we don’t look forward, the first and probably the most common one is people just don’t think about it. We’re so used to existing and to reacting to what comes our way, rather than being intentional and planning.
The second reason though, is maybe more dangerous. And that is where people are afraid of what they might see or afraid of the failure. They’re scared to dream because somebody knocked their dreams back before and dreaming and imagination are what it’s all about. That is your inner life coming to life.
There’s a great saying that if you aim at nothing, you’re bound to hit it. You need to be thinking forward, in order to do the right thing just by yourself, the right thing by your family, by the people who are depending on you going forward, your employees, your spouse, all those people rely on you to be thinking a little bit on their behalf.
Jeffery Wang: [00:07:07] Right. is there any practical advice on how you can overcome that fear of that failure? if they don’t dare to dream, is there any way you can overcome that?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:07:17] Look, I think so. I think you can probably get a bit of help and talk with people about it, but it’s, as soon as you name a fear, it kind of loses its power over you. So even the fact of acknowledging that you’re scared of something, once you’ve named it and once it’s out loud, it seems to lose its power.
Like all of these things, every single one of the lessons I’m going to tell you today is like a muscle. And muscles grow when you practice it. And you don’t start on the heaviest weight on the weight machine, you start on the lightest and you work your way up.
Overcoming fear is about small steps. It’s about setting small goals. Practice and start small and you’ll gain the confidence. You’ll overcome that fear because of the exposure to it. But also, because you’ll find that, by planning, you get a whole series of small wins and those small wins will build the confidence, take away the fear to dream a bit bigger.
Jeffery Wang: [00:08:13] So start with a small dream and just let your dream grow?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:08:16] Yeah. Start with a small dream, accomplish that, and then dream another one, and then accomplish that dream, another one and accomplish that and get bigger each time.
Jeffery Wang: [00:08:25] That makes sense. So, lesson number two is “play the long game.” what do you mean by that?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:08:30] Let me tell you my story about how this came up. When I was 50, I was working and leading a division of Babcock and Brown, which is a major Australian and international investment bank.
And the GFC came, and the company went into significant problems and ultimately it collapsed. And about $74 billion worth of investments were on sold and sold out and taken away by bankers and things like that. It was a very difficult year and halfway through my 50th birthday came up and my wife and I had planned a trip.
She was asking me whether we should go on it or not. I said, “Yes, let’s go on it because it would be a good chance to sort of step back out of the situation.” And we were in India at one point, and she bought this book, it’s called “never too late to be great”, terrible title, but it was catchy. She started reading it and she started leaning over and said, “you should really read it.”
And it actually changed my life because It had an exercise in it, which he called the Campbell exercise. So, my generation, I’m going to live to 100 or 110. Your generation is going to live to 100, 110, 120, maybe because of the medical breakthroughs are going to come through.
Nobody ever is going to be able to retire for more than 20 years before they expect to pass on. And so, you’re going to be working in reality until you’re 90. I’m going to be working till I’m 80.
Cause I can’t afford to retire for more than 20 years. I started being productive when I was 20, when I got my first jobs and things like that, and I stopped being productive and contributing when I’m say 80. That’s a 60-year career,
I was 50 and the guy said, close your eyes, work out where you are. You’re where you are between the beginning and the end of that 60 years. And it turns out that at 50 hours exactly halfway. So instead of feeling washed up, hopeless, there is no future. I was suddenly thinking, wow, I’ve got 30 years, to rebuild my career, to invest in myself. And that’s what I mean by playing the long game.
I mean putting things in perspective, you know, when you’re in your twenties, everybody’s in a hurry to achieve things. You don’t need to do that.
Particularly if you don’t achieve the things, you set out to achieve in your twenties, don’t worry. You’re going to have another 60 or 70 years to get there.
In fact, when you’re 60, you’ll be able to go back to college. Practice for a law degree and be able to practice for another 25 years. You’re going to have all the time yeah. in the world to figure this out. Take it slow, take it easy. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t jump into things to try and sort of short circuit things. But take your time, be intentional, plan, build, invest in yourself, invest in the things that you think are going to be important for your future success. Don’t panic, that’s the big thing. Don’t panic. This isn’t the end of the world. This is a small blip in a long, long game. I do a lot of running and the chances are you are 10 Ks into a 42-and-a-half-kilometre marathon.
Relax. It’s okay.
Jeffery Wang: [00:11:45] That’s actually a really good way to look at is. So, life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Don’t worry if you don’t start off with a blistering pace, because there’s a long way to go. The exciting thing about all this is that with the amount of time that we have ahead of us, there is plenty of opportunities for us to pursue these things.
And so just because we don’t get there in our twenties or thirties, it doesn’t mean that’s all game over. Now, I used to think that 50 was old. But now I’m about a decade away from being 50. And I still realize that I don’t know very much.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:12:17] That’s right. I’ll come back to this later on, but I want to promise you that there’s life after 50.
Jeffery Wang: [00:12:23] That’s definitely a good thing to know. All right. Well, lesson number three. I love this one. This sounds like a bit of a proverb; the wise man builds his house on the rock and not sand.”
Andrew Tyndale: [00:12:36] As you become more intentional in your imaginations, and in your planning and in your playing a long game. This is about investing in yourself. It’s about investing in your character and the true foundations of your life, not investing in your profile or your CV or your number of followers or the level of influence that you have. It’s not about that. All those things are transitory.
The only thing that’s permanent for you is that character that you build in yourself. So, I encourage you to invest in character, not in personality, not in profile.
So, when I say character, I mean building the value set that you know is going to be important to seeing you through. And that can be everything from integrity to resilience, to honesty, to innovation, all the values that you believe are important for you, treating people well, those kinds of things.
That inner investment and the disciplines that you build around that are what is going to set you up for future success. In 10 years, nobody’s even going to remember what LinkedIn is, much less, how many followers you had. That is not what you invest in. And it’s not about the fashion that you wear, or the products that you use.
This is about who you are becoming as a person. if you’re building a house, for example, build the foundation. Don’t build a nice paint work. Don’t invest in painting over cracks, strip it away, strip it right down to the foundation and make sure the foundation is built on rock, before you start building up everything else.
I guarantee that you’re going to go through good times, and I guarantee that you’re going to go through hard times, and probably multiple times.
In that last exercise, the Campbell exercise, you’re likely to have a working life of 60 to 80 years. Well, that’s six or eight careers of 10 years each. So what you want to do is you want to build the foundations of your skills and of your character, and when the bad things happen, which they will, what will stand the test of time is your character, what won’t stand the test of time is all the superfluous stuff, all the temporary things, the fluffy things that you thought were important, like the fancy car you drove or the clothes that you wore, or your holidays you took, that’s garbage. That will be washed away in a storm. If you build your house on the rock, it’ll survive, whatever comes your way.
I think I understand what you’re getting at, I can relate that to one of the lessons from Jordan Peterson – “Pursue what is meaningful over what’s expedient”, but how do we know that whatever we’re pursuing is meaningful and not just expedient?
How do we tell the difference between the two?
Because character’s hard, because character requires discipline. The character is the sum of the thousands of micro decisions that you make, every day. just today, I was looking at a post from a friend of mine on LinkedIn. She was talking about the idea of atomic decision-making, where you break down all decisions to these tiny little particles, where you choose to do the right thing or the wrong thing. All the time in little, tiny decisions that are themselves meaningless.
Do I walk in front of that person? Do I hold the door for that person? Do I cut in front of that person in traffic? Or do I let them go? They give me too much change in a shop, do I reimburse it, or do I walk out? If I have an opportunity to help somebody, do I do that or do I not do that?
None of those decisions in themselves are going to change your life. But the accumulation of each one of those little micro decisions, time after time, after time, every day, how you choose your words and how you speak to people who are serving you, the bus driver or the waitress or the shop assistant. Are you polite? Do you give them dignity? do you take a moment to listen to people? Do you help people?
All those micro decisions lead to the building of character. Nothing else leads through the building of character. You can’t suddenly have a character shift late in life and go back. you can’t be a jerk all your life and suddenly become the nice person or the good person. It doesn’t work that way. It’s the accumulation of millions of micro decisions, day by day, hour by hour.
I came across a quote that was referenced today. I came across this quote and it’s one that I heard before, but it actually fits beautifully.
And it’s from Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher. And it says, “watch your thoughts for they become your words, watch your words for they become your actions, watch your actions for they become your habits, watch your habits for they become your character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.”
So even your thoughts, even every moment, is building towards your character. And if you are disciplined all the time on little things, the big things just fall into place naturally.
Jeffery Wang: [00:18:02] That makes sense. but it’s interesting what you said. It’s hard.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:18:07] Yeah. I mean, I think it’s important to have a framework that you give yourself. Those frameworks can come from philosophies or religions, or faith based. But that framework can also come from being aware of the values that are important to you.
Is generosity important to you? Well, if it is, how is that being reflected in the decisions that you’re making every day? Do I grab the big piece or the small piece when the cakes cut? Am I the first in line of the last in line? Do I grab the first seat or the last seat? All those things, layer after layer, after layer gets built up by practice. or not? Maybe it’s not. But think about the value set that you have, the framework that you have, where you can measure against these things. And it’s all about becoming intentional.
Jeffery Wang: [00:18:57] Very wise words and I like the next lesson. Which is “ What do you mean by that?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:19:08] So I am strongly of the belief that human beings are herd animals. We’re really not that much different to cows or wildebeests or zebras. We were designed to be shouldered to shoulder with our colleagues and friends and family facing danger together and facing the horns out, knowing that other people have your back covered and watching the predators come around.
If you’re a loner, you’ll get picked off just like the animal world. You watch the African animal kingdoms. Loners get picked off, but flocks of birds warn each other and burst into the air when danger comes. Buffalo, if one of their young is attacked, they’ll come back and assist and drag it away from the jaws of the predator.
Even lions. If they’re on their own, if they’re driven away from a pride will starve to death because they don’t have the speed to sprint and catch their food every night. What they do is they startle prey into running into one of their mates who then drops it for them. So, we are no different from any other animals.
We’re we are built to be in community. We’re built to be in tribe, and it’s important to do each part of your life in community. And it’s okay to be part of different communities. So, your family is a community, the ones you grew up with and the ones you choose. And the ones you make. And they look to you every bit, as much as you look to them for support, for resilience, for them to believe in you, for you to provide for them. All the different roles that we have.
Your spouse will be probably the most important decision you ever make. And you choose that person for the complementarity that they bring to you, where they make up for your weaknesses and your strengths make up for their weaknesses.
A word of wisdom, from being married now for 37 years, uh, next week as it happens. I particularly like that my wife’s body is different from mine, but I find my friends, saying to each other, it drives me crazy that she thinks differently from me.
I’m going. Why? Her body is different from you and you love that. Why is it that you can’t accept that her brain is different from you, her personality and the way she thinks is different from you and value it rather than have it drive you crazy.
So, we should value difference. We should value contrast. We should value complementarity, not just in that most intimate of relationships and herds, but also in our communities at work, in a team that you’re building at work. You should value people who are going to say things that annoy you, and then you should value people who have a different opinion from you, because you’re going to end up at a much better decision than if you ended up breathing your own exhaust.
The commitment to each other to see this through is what will see you through almost everything. It’ll see you through the financial tough times or jobless times. It’ll see you through sickness. It’ll see you through success events where you’re planning together and working together for some magnificent outcome. And it’s a lot more fun to do it in person.
It’s an absolute need and an absolute requirement. I believe we’re built to be in community. but the interesting thing is it then becomes enjoyable, and it then becomes meaningful as well.
So, we are not built to be loners and people who are loners will ultimately come unstuck, just like a lion out alone, eventually they’re going to die of starvation because they just can’t continue to hunt by themselves. So, people who pride themselves on being alone or doing the majestic leadership thing all alone, they’re going to come unstuck every time.
Jeffery Wang: [00:23:16] That’s right. So, from what I’m hearing, there’s two aspects of this. We’re herd animals, which means that we are supposed to do life together. There’s a utility to that, that we live better lives. We help each other and we help fend for each other. We help protect each other. We help care for each other. So, there’s a very important element of mutual benefit to do life with your tribe. But I’m also hearing there’s another aspect of that and is that your tribe becomes your extended family and your relationship to your tribe ultimately gives you that purpose, that meaning. That is so important in order to make our lives purposeful. Right. so, there is two elements to this, so your tribe not only helps you live a better life physically, but it also makes you live a much more happier fulfilling life in the same process.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:24:05] I absolutely agree with that. I would say that you gain meaning and purpose from accomplishing things together that you couldn’t apart. You often hear people saying in the army, I’m not fighting for my country when I’m in the ditch, I’m fighting for my unit, the four guys or the 10 guys who rely on me to stay alive tonight. That’s my purpose, and that becomes a reward in itself, not just the fact that you stayed alive, but the fact that they are with you and the comradery that’s built up, that teamwork becomes a reward in itself.
Jeffery Wang: [00:24:38] Absolutely. That’s very profound. And I think that’s an extension to that phrase we often hear “no man’s an Island” and that’s absolutely true because we are relational creatures. Our existence requires us to have that deep connection with those around us in order for us to exist.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:24:56] Yeah. I agree. I think you’d go crazy being by yourself. This was brought home to me in a foot race. This is back in 1999, so a while ago now. But it was a hundred-kilometre race called the Trail walker. And it was the first time that it had been run in Australia. We ran in teams of four, and you could only win if all four of your people got across the line at the end. And so, what was amazing to me was that all the way through, there were likely two or three people that were strong on each leg and there was likely one or two of the four of you who was weak on one particular leg.
Nobody was strong all the way through. Everybody flagged and was hurting or got dismayed. And it was the encouragement and the support and the other people, and the determination that rubbed off on people to see each other through. And the team would never have made it if the four of us had tried to run individually, none of us would have made it. But because the four of us ran together in a team, we not only made it, in fact, we ended up placing third that race, but it was the first mixed team as well. But it was a very salient lesson to me that you work with people who brings strength when you’re weak and when they’re weak, you bring strength.
Jeffery Wang: [00:26:14] Absolutely. There’s a great saying that “if you want to go fast, you go on your own. But if you want to go far, you go together.” And I think that was an example of how far you went, a hundred kilometres to be exact, and that’s very impressive!
So, the next lesson you have the power of life and death on your tongue.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:26:34] Yeah.
Jeffery Wang: [00:26:35] Sounds like words are important.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:26:37] Words are important. Yes. In fact, you can bring people to life or you can kill them with your words.
And that’s again, most evident when you’re a parent, your little kids look to you for leadership and guidance and protection and the whole idea of motherhood and fatherhood is that these child is totally dependent on you.
If your words are harsh or careless, you can see them wilt. They wilt visibly in front of you. They’re taken aback, they’re hurt. They’re confused. They don’t know what’s going on because that secure relationship suddenly has hurt them. If you continue down that line of criticism or anger or whatever it is, you will kill something inside them. And it will be years of therapy for them to work it out. So, our tongues have the power of life and death.
The principle is that the more authority somebody gives you, the more power your words have, for good or for bad. And so, if you are a leader in a team, your words will make the difference between that team being a delight to work in where they will walk over hot coals for you or agony to work in, where they complain about the work as soon as they get home and they can’t wait to leave you.
Your words will make the difference for them. Whether they’re work brings life to them, or whether it brings death to them.
I was on a board of a company, where the founder, who everybody had this huge awe and respect. The founder had this kind of titular role, but the founder thought that his role was to throw hand grenades in and throw in ideas or challenges.
And I was chairing this company and I had to take him aside one time. I had to say to him, look, if you were just a normal person, then your ability to stir up thoughts would be constructive, but because people worship what you say and pay so much authority to what you say that you can’t use careless words. You can’t throw ideas out there, which are going to bring everything else unstuck, because you may think it’s just a conversation point. But for other people listening to you, they have to stop everything and reassess what they’re doing.
And so, after that he was very positive and used his words to speak life into people. And it was very encouraging and uplifting and supportive. The difference it made was extraordinary. So, we have the power of life and death on our tongues, and we need to be intentional about the words we choose.
Your tongue is a muscle that you practice with. And sometimes praise is not something that comes naturally, but if you ever want to become a leader, you’re going to have to practice the praise muscle so that it becomes second nature. It becomes so that you can praise all day.
So that, “Jeffery you’ve done a lot of work for this podcast. And I just want to tell you how much I appreciate it. I think it’s fantastic. I think you bring a clarity and a way of articulating things, which will make sense to your audience.” So that’s one way of saying something, right.
The other way of saying is “yeah. Good on you, man.” It was like, “you work too hard, but that’s okay.” Like the offhand Australian humour, the kind of cut you down criticism, that does not bring life. Speaking life into Jeffery because he’s done such an amazing job. That’s bringing life. We need to speak encouragement.
Jeffery Wang: [00:30:20] Well right there and then, I can feel the power in those words. So, I absolutely agree with you there that these words are powerful. Now, there are two elements of it that I want to just examine a little bit, when we’re young, we were taught that “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
As a passionate believer in free speech, there seems to be this movement where speech you don’t like, or speech we disagree with is now considered out of bounds because somehow hurts the people’s existence. But surely there must be a space for discourse for us to be able to think for us to be able to grapple with ideas, without necessarily feeling hurt or being personally slighted. Is there some sort of in compatibility with that?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:31:08] I don’t think it’s incompatible, but I think your point maybe even illustrates the point.
One of the reasons why the U S for example, but the whole of the Western society is becoming polarized in their views, is because social media is playing back to us the opinions that we’re comfortable with, the opinions that we grant authority to and the opinions that we want to hear.
So, it becomes an echo chamber and bit by bit, we spin away from each other to the point where that in order to continue to get your attention. The people out on the periphery have to become more and more radical. At some point they have to demonize the enemy on the other side, otherwise they’re not sticking out from the crowd. They’re not being noticed. So, they have to get more and more radical about the things that they’re saying about the other side.
I think the point for each of us is that we need to be intentional and very aware of who it is that we give authority to, to speak into our lives.
And do I want to give authority to the BBC, or do I want to give authority to Fox news? And I’m not saying there’s a value choice. I’m just saying that if you’re not careful, you grant the authority without actually thinking about which do I want to do?
So, in a business world, in our career world, or even in all of our worlds, we need to choose people who are mentors.
So, a mentor, it means lots of different things to different people. But what I mean is if I see somebody that has a beautiful marriage, Then I want to let them speak authority to me about how to do my marriage. If I see a person who’s brilliant at parenting, and I want to become a good parent, I make them my mentor by giving them the authority.
So, when they say something about parenting, I treat it as having huge authority and it impacts me and it stayed there with me and I absorb it. If I see someone who’s brilliant as a leader in a business, and I want to become a leader, I let them become my authority in leadership, but I don’t let the leader become an authority for me in marriage. Chances are they’re different people, right?
Where we get our news or where we get our opinion on the economy or where we get our opinion on the pandemic or where we get our opinion on how best to pursue a career or how to choose real estate or whatever it is, we need to choose a mentor in each of those important areas that we intentionally grant authority to, so that their words carry power in our lives.
And by doing that, immediately, we begin to block out the other voices that, by intentionally focusing on something that is positive and helpful and useful, we immediately begin to block out the stuff that’s negative that causes division, that moves us apart, that polarizes people, that we move away from some kind of level of reasonable public discourse. It tones down the anger in people, it tones down the frustration or the fear or the demonization. So rather than demonizing the enemy, I say, find people that you respect for a particular area and go grant them the authority to be a mentor in your life.
Jeffery Wang: [00:34:49] So it sounds to me that on both sides of the equation, both as a receiver of words and the giver of words, you have to be very intentional as to what authority you grant. And on the giving end, being aware of the authority that you carry. The higher up in terms of authority your words carry, the more intentional you have to be about how you use those words.
So, the more powerful you become the more disciplined you have to be with your words in order to create the right outcomes that you intended.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:35:21] I totally agree with you. I think we’ve seen recently the impact of tremendously powerful people using careless words. I think that’s a perfect segue into next lesson. Because the person that every single person gives the most authority to is themselves.
So that self-talk, whether we’re intentional about it, or whether we’re aware of it or not. Each of us speaks to ourselves roughly seven times the speed of the way that you and I are having this conversation, or the way that people listening to this podcast are digesting what we’re saying.
So, they might be saying at the same time, as they’re digesting at what we’ve just been talking about mentors. They might also be saying, Oh, what a terrible pair of glasses. And I don’t like the shirt he’s in. I wonder where those books are, that are behind them. This kind of self-talk buzzes, our minds just are alive all the time. That self-talk is the most authoritative word that we have. Each one of us grants that self-talk the most authority to continue. So, when we’re talking with a mentor, our self-talk is going. “Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love that love that” and when we’re talking to a person that we really don’t like, we don’t say it out loud, but our self-talk is going, “Oh, what a jerk! that guy’s a real, you know”, or whatever it is.
But that self-talk then becomes the most powerful tool that you have for changing how you want to be. Like that Lao Tzu quote – your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your character, character becomes your destiny.” Those thoughts, that voice is the most powerful voice. So, you have the discipline it.
Henry Ford has this great quote that says, “whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” You think about that for a moment that was probably a hundred years ago he said that.
Your voice, your inner thought, your inner voice will limit you. If it’s saying, “I couldn’t do that”, or “I could never do that”, or “I can’t see myself doing that” or “Oh, no, no, no, not me”. Those voices will limit you.
The same voice where you speak to yourself affirmations and positive affirmations. I can.
I come across people who say, “Oh, I could never do that”. Or “I’m terrible at that”. And I say to them, practice one thing for me, instead of saying, “I’m terrible at that” use these words. “I used to be bad, but I’m getting better at that.” And you can’t even say that out loud without changing the way you think about things, it’s just not possible.
Your words are the most powerful tool that you have for shaping who you want to become, how you want to be, and where you want to end up. It’s really easy to limit yourself. And that’s what many bad teachers and many bad parents and many bad bosses have taught us.
But if you can get a hold of the positive side of that tool, where you begin to say, “I can see myself doing that”, “I am the person I want to become”, “I am strong”, ” I am all of those things that you want to become”, you will move into that place.
Jeffery Wang: [00:38:36] For the benefit of our listeners, lesson number six is “you grant the most authority to your own words, your self-taught becomes your reality”.
Your words are so powerful that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, whatever you say to yourself, it is so powerful and that over time, it just becomes the reality for you, whatever that is.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:38:58] The more you repeat something that’s not true, the more you end up believing it. The more, you remember something in a particular way, the way you speak it, the more it actually becomes your memory.
Because your ears don’t differentiate true or false when you’re saying it, it’s only true.
Jeffery Wang: [00:39:14] So is that as easy as just start speaking positively to yourself? How do to change your self-talk?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:39:21] Again, it’s a muscle like any other muscle. The first thing is becoming intentional about understanding what it is you’re saying, like, why is it that I don’t like public speaking?
Uh, “I can’t”, uh, “I’m I no good at it”. Or “I always get emotional” or “I get choked up” or “I’m scared of it”. Take those thoughts as soon as you recognize what they are, change them to say, “Hey, it used to be that I never liked public speaking, but over time I’m getting much less scared about it and much more confident in it.”
Just practice, turning it and opening the possibility and your whole mind changes. It can’t help, but change, because your brain believes what your tongue says.
Jeffery Wang: [00:40:05] Absolutely. I agree with that. Lesson number seven fill your heart with gratitude.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:40:12] Yeah, I love this one. I love this one because we’ve all been through a year, last year where we had a number of choices about how we could feel.
And lots of people were depressed and isolated. Lots of people were scared. They were anxious about their income or their jobs or their business, and lots of bad things happened. But there were lots of great things that happened. On a business basis, Last year was pretty bad, but on a family basis, it was unbelievable.
All my adult children came home from overseas with their babies. So, I got to see my grandchildren every day. And I got to see my children every day or every week, rather than having to wait another six months or 12 months to do a trip overseas. So, I choose to fill my heart with gratitude rather than fill it with anxiety or anger or bitterness.
So, there are negative thoughts where you’re trying hard not to be anxious. So, I’ve heard people say this, “so how’s, COVID doing for you?” “Well, I’m trying not to be anxious about my business.” It’s almost impossible to try not to feel something. Like if I tell you “don’t think about a pink elephant”, as soon as I say the words there’s a pink elephant. Our minds abhor a vacuum, they just can’t deal with a vacuum. They don’t deal very well with “try not to fear”, “try not to be anxious”.
Because, we spend all the time trying not to do something, we spend our whole time focusing on it. The way to try not to be anxious is to fill your heart with something positive, to fill your minds and thoughts with something positive. And the best thing is gratitude. If you choose the things, you’re grateful for.
Grateful for the country we live in, the weather we have, the safety we have, the government, we have, whatever it is we choose to be grateful for. As soon as we’re being grateful for something and talking about it and thinking about it, we can’t be anxious, because your mind can’t be filled with anxiety and filled with gratitude at the same time, it doesn’t work.
So, gratitude displaces, anxiety, it displaces fear and hatred, it displaces prejudices, it displaces anger, it displaces the negative things that are going to eat you alive from inside. But gratitude is great because it expands your heart, expand your mind. It doesn’t shut it down. And so, I think that one of the great secrets is, under every single circumstance, you can find something to be grateful for.
Focus on that. Fill your mind with that. Fill your heart with gratitude. And you’ll find the other stuff, the negative stuff that you might even be prone to, gets displaced, gets pushed out, because the two are not compatible.
Jeffery Wang: [00:43:14] Well, I’ve heard people say the one single thing that could give you the most happiness in your life is “gratitude” and I have to agree with that.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:43:22] I think you’re right. It’s very hard to be thankful for something and not be happy.
Jeffery Wang: [00:43:26] Absolutely. Oh God, I love this one. Lesson number eight. “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies”.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:43:39] Yeah. I like this one too. That’s actually a quote from Joyce Meyer. I still run into people from my Babcock and Brown days, which are now 13 years ago, and they are still bitter and twisted. They’re still – “aww… those guys ripped us off!” “I lost all that money” and “if they hadn’t done that” and “if only, imagine where we could be if we had…”, I go, “dude. Forgive and move on, get over it”. Bad things are going to happen all the time. They’re still stuck. 13 years ago, this entire 13 years has been a waste for them.
Forgiveness is the key to moving on. It’s the key to cauterizing the hurt that’s been there and it might be your ex-boss, or it might be a parent or a relative or an ex-spouse. You will never be able to move into a new relationship, a new marriage with joy until you get over the bitterness and unforgiveness of the last one.
You have to heal that way before you’re able to move forward. And the best way to heal is forgiveness.
My wife does a lot of work with a foundation in Northern Uganda. And there was a woman who worked with children all the way through their civil war, and you may know the name Joseph Kony. So, he was a rebel and he used to steal children sort of eight- to 12-year-old children. And the boys were turned into child soldiers through incredible brutality. And the girls were turned into sex slaves for the soldiers.
One young woman we met at say 18, had four children in the bush. Two of them had died in childbirth. She had a chance to escape, but she could only pick up one and run. So, she had to leave the other one there, and knowing it was going to die. She walked 800 kilometres through jungle and predators and thorns and no water, no food, everything else to get back home.
She’s 18 years old. She got taken when she was 11 or 12, these people lead just such a difficult life. And there’s a great story of this young woman who escaped. She was a natural born leader, but when she was so angry, and our friend had walked her through this forgiveness exercise.
So, she was finally able to forgive what people had done to her while she was away. She ran into on the streets, the young man who, as a boy had kidnapped her and led her into captivity and into this terrible life. And he saw her and recognized her straight away and was so scared. He started to run away, and she called him back and she said, “no, it’s okay. I forgive you”.
And that forgiveness released him from the fear of always potentially being caught or beat up or ostracized. And it released her. And she’s now gone on to do a university degree and she’s studying a master’s in law. She wants to become a civil rights lawyer, human rights lawyer, and she was head girl of her college as she came through.
The power of forgiveness. These young women are taught to forgive the people who raped them, who gave them the children, so that they can love their children. Forgiveness is always the first step in healing, towards being able to do what people never thought you could do.
Can I really love this child? Which is the product of rape. Can I really learn to live again when I’ve been through so much? Well, the answer is yes, but it starts with forgiveness. Forgiveness heals, cauterizes the bad stuff and allows people to walk into new life.
Jeffery Wang: [00:47:30] And quite often the people themselves don’t realize that forgiveness helps them much more than the people that they’d forgiven.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:47:38] The flip side is the same, unforgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person. Unforgiveness hurts you. That’s why it’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. This doesn’t work.
Jeffery Wang: [00:47:49] All right. Lesson number nine – “undirected passion won’t lead to purpose”. This sounds very, very profound and I’m not quite sure I understand this. So, I’m going to need you to just walk me through this.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:48:00] Yeah. People often say they need purpose and meaning in their lives, whether it’s in their work or otherwise. There’s a phrase that “God put eternity in the hearts of man”. And I think we desire to have some meaning. So, we desire to have etched our names somewhere for something good.
That’s probably how graffiti happens or probably how people with donations, put their name on a university or a hospital building or something like that, because people desire to be recognized for meaning, for purpose.
But the way you find purpose. it’s at the intersection of opportunity and passion, but not just any passion, not just selfish passion, not just romantic passion. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about passion where you start with your values.
So, the three steps are you establish what your values are, that leads you to understand what you’re truly passionate about. So, the values drive your passion and then your passion, where it intersects, where it overlaps with an opportunity that comes your way. That’s where you find meaning. That’s where you can plough your energy. That’s where it doesn’t feel like it’s hard work. It feels like you’re in the flow. And all these phrases’ people have are in that sweet spot where your passion meets the opportunity that you have, and that sweet spot that meaning that purpose is almost the ultimate reward.
It’s almost what people live for, whether they recognize it or not.
Jeffery Wang: [00:49:39] How do you distinguish the difference between something that you like the idea of, something that you think you’re passionate about versus something that you’re truly passionate about? And I know you mentioned something about values.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:49:50] It’s about being honest with yourself. Are my passion fast cars? Yeah. Maybe, but it’s hard to see how you could turn that into purpose. Is my passion about helping people? Is my passionate about working a team? Is my passionate about seeing helpless animals have a voice? Is my passionate about art and the beauty of creation?
And that comes from not so much experience and wisdom, but just practice. Like where do I get butterflies? When I see something or hear something or come across somebody who’s got this job. I go, “Oh man, I want that job. How do I get that job?” Right? that’s when the butterflies happen. And that’s the trigger for this passion that it’s not just a passing lust or it’s not “I want to be famous” passion. This is a passion that this meets something deep inside me. That I wasn’t aware of, but it lights it up. It does something about electrifying it. So, it’s just practicing, recognizing the butterflies that you get and then trying to articulate what that means. Your values and strengths are all about self-awareness, and that those values drive your passion.
So, my value might be the dignity of all life. That drives the desire to help hopeless helpless animals or to stop the slaughter of animals, or become a vegetarian, or whatever that is, that passion leads from the core value that you have. And then the passion when you have the opportunity to do something with it, that becomes purpose and meaning.
Jeffery Wang: [00:51:28] It takes me a long time to actually understand what my deep embedded passion actually is. When I was young, I tend to fall in love with certain ideas. I love the idea of being important, influential, powerful. I love the idea of being rich, wealthy, love the idea of being famous. I thought I was passionate about all these things, but over time, as you grow, you realize idea certain things which are much more intrinsic to your core and all these things that I thought I was passionate about, I just liked the idea of it. It wasn’t something that was intrinsic or core.
Is it something that is revealed to you over time as you accumulate the grey hairs?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:52:15] It’s okay to find passion and meaning in different stages of your life that look different.
Student protesters need to be passionate about injustice. And you may become a human rights lawyer, or you may go, do something totally different down the track, but that’s okay. That moment your passion is valid, and it’s based off a core value and then have an opportunity to do something about it. Do it.
I think all your values and your passions get refined over time, and that’s not to undermine the importance of early day passions. As you become more aware of your character, more aware of your values, it just becomes refined. So, for example, my passion is about using capital to save the world, to employ money in a way that would delight God, you know, I love that, but I can see how each of the skills and experiences had led to the point where it’s not going to be until next year or this year when I’m 63, that I’m going to start a company that specifically do that. I’ve been around the edges of it, but as I grow, the passion becomes more in focus and the opportunity becomes, yeah, the opportunities are often time bound. Like this opportunity wasn’t around 10 years ago, 15 years ago. It’s now the perfect opportunity for me to do it. And that allowed me to step into the next chapter of meaning and purpose for me.
Jeffery Wang: [00:53:46] So from what I’m hearing, whatever stage of life it is and whatever values that you have at that particular stage of life.
So long as you’re pursuing what is congruent with your values at the time, you will find that purpose. You will find that fulfillment.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:54:02] I think that’s a great way of saying it.
Jeffery Wang: [00:54:04] Beautiful. And the last lesson there, this sounds like something out of a novel or something that Gandalf would say…
Andrew Tyndale: [00:54:11] This comes from an ancient fable of a wealthy King who commissions all of the wisest people in the land about “give me a phrase that will be true in every circumstance”.
And they went away, and they took a couple of years of debate, and they came back, and they were unified in their response. And the one phrase that will always be true in every circumstance is “this too shall pass”. And as I get older, it’s absolutely the truth.
I wanted to bring this up because people have experienced really bad things and maybe they’re going into a time when the government support for their business or their jobs is peeling off. It’s not the end of the world. This too shall pass. You know, if you’re sick, this too shall pass. If you’re unhappy, hurt this too, shall pass.
Similarly, you should be aware if you’re riding high. You’re on top of the world, Cock-a-hoop for everything, this too shall pass. The only constant ever is change. And I think in our world, the frequency and the amplitude of change is increasing, not decreasing.
I just think that the technologies and instant communication and access to information sees more frequent and more radical change coming. And that’s changed for the great and change for the bad along the way. Don’t be upset. This is not the end of the world.
Don’t panic. It’s okay. It’ll pass. If you think that you’ve hit the end of your tether and life is not worth living. It’s not true. This is going to pass. I promise you this will pass. Similarly, if you’re absolutely on top of the world, you need to make plans. And don’t assume this is going to continue in ad infinitum. Cause it won’t, you need to put a little something aside you need to save rather than doubling down on new bets on Bitcoin or whatever it is that’s made you a lot of money, instead of doubling down all the time, take some off the table because this is not going to last.
You need to have this kind of perspective, so if you’re a God outside the universe, looking in on my life, I might think these ups and downs are so dramatic and so important. They’re a minor blip, from a different perspective. And we just need to remember that this too shall pass.
Jeffery Wang: [00:56:43] So it’s all about perspective. It’s all about realizing, I suppose, how small our existence actually is in the greater scheme of things.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:56:52] I think so. Even in a scan of our life, this is a month or two months or even a year. This is a year in our lives. But it’s only one year in a life that you can expect to be a hundred years. Like this too is going to pass.
Jeffery Wang: [00:57:07] Beautiful. And those are definitely wise words. Now, in closing, I’m going to throw you one of those curve balls that we throw our guests. What is the one lesson, instead of learning something, what is the one lesson that you’ve unlearned?
When you started this whole journey absolutely you believed to be ironclad truth that you’ve realized later on in life that is just not the case?
Andrew Tyndale: [00:57:28] I think the one that jumps out to me in mind was a lie that I was taught at business school, which is if you haven’t achieved what you’re going to achieve by the age of 40, forget it, it’s not going to happen. People get told different variants on that. If you’re not where you’re supposed to be by 30, like that’s crazy.
I’m here to tell you there’s a lot of life after 40. There’s a lot of life, 50. There’s a lot of life after 60. It is what you want to make it. if you can incorporate some of the lessons that I’ve learned that I hope to pay some of your stupid tax and you grab a hold of some of these things, then that lesson will be proven a lie for you as well, because play the long game is the opposite of that, right?
This says, do whatever you got to do to get there by 40. Play the long game says plan your life so that it reaches a crescendo at the right time. Not some arbitrary number that people pulled out of the ear.
Jeffery Wang: [00:58:27] But how you get there matters. Right. Because it’s all about the character it’s about doing what’s right, even though it’s hard. Choosing to do what’s right over the long-term, over the thousands of millions of little decisions that you make in life.
I can understand now why I have so much respect and admiration for you, Andrew, because you are someone who I can truly hand on heart say has the right character.
it’s no wonder that you can survive the ups and downs and come out stronger the other end of everything that you’ve been through, having to go through all that roller coaster ride of Badcock and Brown, and now you’re starting on a whole new journey and continue to save the world.
And so really, thank you so much for everything that you’ve done for us and all the wisdom that you shared with us. I hope to talk to you again, potentially we might have 10 more or lessons from you as you continue down this journey.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:59:21] I better keep learning then.
Jeffery Wang: [00:59:24] And like you said, there’s a whole lot of life left.
Andrew Tyndale: [00:59:26] That’s it! Thank you so much for having me.
been a pleasure.
Jeffery Wang: [00:59:29] Absolutely, same here.
You’ve been listening to the international podcast of “10 Lessons it Took Me 50 Years to Learn” produced by Robert Hossary and sponsored by the Professional Development Forum.
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