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January 2016




Welcome to 2016!

Where has January gone?! I have just been enjoying a long weekend courtesy of the Australia Day public holiday and suddenly realised that I have yet to start of the first e-zine for the year. Somehow, January has gotten away from me.

Not that we didn't have an interesting start to it. As with last year, our web sites were hacked in January and offline for a week as our support people sorted out the mess. Not sure what it is about January but I am sure we will be more careful next year and make sure all software is up to date!

This year promises to be an interesting one for Jacqui and I and we hope for you as well.

Both of us see this year as one of collaboration. Jacqui is exploring partnerships in the domains of mind health, mental toughness and resilience.

I have decided that this year I will to reach out and see if there is anyone who would like to collaborate with me to use my ideas to produce some practical applications. I hope to develop some more thoughts about this in the coming months and share those with you. If you are interested in exploring what might be possible, then please drop me a line.

My long promised essay on culture is reaching the point of publication and is currently with a few people for review. This has turned from an essay into a short book! Hopefully it will be released within the next month, so if you have not expressed interest in receiving it and would like to do so then please let me know.

Warm Regards... Chris

Living with Bias

"Some folk are wise, and some are otherwise.”

… Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) Scottish poet

I don't know about you, but I am fascinated by the presidential race in the U.S.A., or more specifically by the Republican side of the race. This may seem strange as I certainly do not share their value set and find their view of the world somewhat simplistic and myopic.

However, what I find fascinating is the fervour with which their views are held and how those involved in electing a candidate for president do not seem to challenge the factual nature of the various claims and just go along for the ride. Certainly the United States is not alone in this as politics in most first world democracies seems to be becoming more and more strident. After all, why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Ultimately, the approach being put forward by politicians about how to deal with the challenges facing the world today seems to be to create a sense of crisis and then spout simplistic solutions to those crises. In doing so, they play to the bias of their audience. This may work from a political perspective but it does little to resolve the complex issues we face in the world today.

You may have heard of the term 'cognitive bias'. To quote Wikipedia:

"A cognitive bias refers to a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion."

A cognitive bias represents an ungrounded assessment, which is an opinion not well supported by facts. This is part of the challenge of living in the social media noise of the modern world. There are so many people loudly expressing their opinions as though they were facts, that we can be swamped and lose sight of what is true and what is simply opinion.

This inability to distinguish between facts and opinions creates a sort of blindness that undermines our ability to make good choices in life. Our opinions (assessments) point us into the future and if they are founded on shaky ground then they are not serving us well. Our assessments are best created when they are rooted in fact.

This is not to say that what is true is obvious. It is not. However, if we wish to make better choices in life, it would serve us well to be aware of our bias and to explore the facts in a more robust manner. Do not do what so many people do and just look for the facts that support an existing opinion. That may make us feel justified in holding our opinion but that does not make our opinions any more useful.

We live a better life when we make better choices. I invite you to reflect on your biases and see whether you may be better served by grounding your opinions more effectively.


Mind Health Matters

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

“Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.”

... Anthony J. D'Angelo

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a couple of years or more may recall my laptop computer suffered a coronary infarction in early 2013. Although I took several lessons from the experience at the time, there was one emotion that was present above all others: irritability. Unfortunately, that irritability didn’t just show up about my PC crashing… back then a lot of little things irritated me.

Well, no points for guessing what happened this week. My PC, in conjunction with my external back up hard drive, decided to throw in the towel. It is a major inconvenience and takes a stack of time to restore a computer if it has a major crash… at least the back-up hard drive was there to restore my data. But this time, no. All I can say is thank goodness for my continued and purposeful efforts to build my resilience. This week’s events might’ve been akin to falling into the gaping hole on the top of Mount Doom in Mordor (think Hobbits) but I chose a different path. I took a wait and see approach. I spent very little time worrying about what might be lost. Every now and again some of the things that could be permanently lost would pop into my head… my art work catalogue, all my photos, my copies of my art work, all my marketing material, my book manuscripts. Breathe in, breathe out.

A very clever man I know talks about the importance of choice points in life. (You'll be able to guess who that is if you have read the beginning of this e-zine!) That with planning, resilience and purposefulness when situations occur that might’ve previously knocked us off our perch we can see it as a choice point and choose a different way of responding. As I am known for saying, “it’s simple, yet not necessarily easy”.

What are the behaviours you would like to change? My invitation to you is to pick one that you would like to say good bye to first. Then think about all the times that behaviour is likely to show up. Next identify the behaviour you would like to exhibit. And finally when you find yourself in one of those hot button situations push your pause button and use that moment to make a different choice! At first, It won’t work all the time. Remember, practice makes progress! If at first you don’t succeed, shake it off and give it another go!

Why? …because your mind health matters


Disclosure Now Available Globally


Check out Disclosure: Casting Out The Shadows plus Strategies for Mind Health Resilience.

For European readers you can purchase the book by clicking here.

For the Americas you can purchase the book by clicking here.

And here in Australia the book is listed but as yet unavailable in online book stores. So, for a limited time I am keeping distribution going for those in Australia. Email me your postal address and I will email you a PayPal invoice for the Australian RRP of $39.99 (plus $5.50 P&H).

This option also provides the opportunity for you to request the book to be signed.

I’ll be travelling around like a Leyland Brother talking about the lived experience of mood disorders and how to build resilience! Hook up any way you prefer to keep yourself informed of the latest news... follow the news at my website or sign up to Talking About's monthly, complimentary e-zine (that’s what you’re reading now).

'But I Feel Good' Radio Show

Radio ShowRemember to tune in to ‘But I Feel Good’ ...talking pink elephants and black dogs at its new home broadcasting in Melbourne's inner east on 94.1fm 3WBC, on your fav smart phone app or streaming live at www.3wbc.org.au every Monday 12-1pmAET or listen on demand to over 100 episodes at www.jacquichaplin.com/bifgondemand

‘But I Feel Good’ will still be heard via syndication in central Victoria on 94.9 MAINfm Mondays 1-2pmAET.

I’d love to hear your ideas for mind health topics you’d like to hear about and any mind health resources you’ve found helpful. Email me at butifeelgood@jacquichaplin.com

If you’d like me to speak about mind health matters and resilience at your conference or to your organisation please contact me at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com or +61 (0)412 741 531

We invite you to read Jacqui's blog here

More on Mind Health Matters next month!

“I've never responded well to entrenched negative thinking.”

... David Bowie

The Monthly Diversion

Let's start off the year with some golf humour!.

At dawn the telephone rings,

"Hello, Señor Bob ? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house."

"Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?"

"Um, I am just calling to advise you, Señor Bob , that your parrot, he is dead".

"My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?"

"Si, Señor, that's the one."

"Damn! That's a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from?"

"From eating the rotten meat, Señor Bob."

"Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?"

"Nobody, Señor. He ate the meat of the dead horse."

"Dead horse? What dead horse?"

"The thoroughbred, Señor Bob ."

"My prize thoroughbred is dead?"

"Yes, Señor Bob , he died from all that work pulling the water cart."

"Are you insane? What water cart?"

"The one we used to put out the fire, Señor."

"Good Lord! What fire are you talking about, man?"

"The one at your house, Señor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire."

"What the hell? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a candle?!"

"Yes, Señor Bob ."

"But there's electricity at the house! What was the candle for?"

"For the funeral, Señor Bob."


"Your wife's, Señor Bob . She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I hit her with your new Ping G15 204g titanium head golf club with the TFC 149D graphite shaft."

SILENCE ........... LONG SILENCE ........ VERY LONG SILENCE ............

"Ernesto, if you broke that driver, you're in deep shit!"


"I've read somewhere that when you're writing, you should stop while you're doing well so you always want to go back to work."

... Glenn Frey

Join Us Online

LinkedInDo you want to explore some of these ideas in more depth? Then, we invite you to join our LinkedIn Group and share any insights you may have. As others have done, we also invite to offer your own thoughts and conversations if they relate to the ontological approach. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting Group dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.


Chris has also written some in-depth essays on a number of topics related to the ontological work. If you would like to explore any of these essays then please click on the relevant image below.


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