The secret of success, from top CEOs

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What do top CEOs credit their success to? An excellent education, that inspiring mentor, maybe the years of hard work? All those things are important, but no – turns out that they’re especially grateful for their upbringing.

In a recent BBC article, Katie Hope looks at how some of the world’s leading CEOs feel that a lot of their success started at how they were brought up. After all, that’s where you learn the qualities that set you apart – the kinds of values that aren't usually taught in educational institutions. 

Joe Plumeri, Former CEO of the Willis Group, says that his father taught him to change his attitude and look for the best in each situation. John Donahoe of eBay says that he didn’t know his dad to have the word “I” in his vocabulary, and that he always put an emphasis on staying true to who you are. And Guo Guangchang,… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 26 MAY 2014

The fine line between self-esteem and narcissism

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It’s not much of a surprise, but it turns out that we love ourselves more than in previous generations. And not in a good way – this is not so much self-esteem, as it is narcissism.

As reported by the ABC, recent research (published in a book titled The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Professor Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell) has found that narcissism scores in the 2000s were significantly higher than they were in the 1980s and 1990s. Narcissism, derived from the Greek myth about handsome Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection, encompasses everything from thinking unrealistically well of oneself to utter vanity and self-absorption. It’s the ugly extreme of good self-esteem, and unfortunately we are living in a culture that feeds it.

You might argue that it’s better to be narcissistic than not, but Twenge and Campbell point out that there are… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 23 MAY 2014

Obamacare’s hidden marriage penalty

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The News Story - The hidden marriage penalty in Obamacare
While intending to provide universal healthcare coverage to all Americans, Obamacare may have unexpected penalties, making it harder for some to obtain health insurance.  In particular, married couples at the middle and lower end of the income scale might have to pay more than their unmarried counterparts, when it comes to purchasing health insurance.

According to an article in The Atlantic, “[a]ny married couple that earns more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level—that is $62,040—for a family of two earns too much for subsidies under Obamacare,” yet, if the “same couple lived together unmarried, they could earn up to $45,960 each—$91,920 total—and still be eligible for subsidies.”  Given that the cost of health insurance might be higher for the unmarried than the married, it would not be surprising to expect a decrease in marriage… click here to read whole article and make comments



A happy marriage is simple

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Is marriage on the horizon for you? Stop buying every self-help book you can find and there’s no need to look into a pre-nuptial agreement – because it’s simpler than you think.

According to Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher, who were married for an amazing 87 years, it’s not all that hard to make marriage last a lifetime. Here are my favourites from their tips on ensuring a successful marriage:

Divorce was never an option

I love this. It’s not mentioned often, but I’m sure that more people get divorced these days simply because it’s an option in the first place. If you think divorce is a possibility, it’s much more likely that when the going gets tough, you’ll opt for this “easier” route, rather than work harder at repairing your relationship.

Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. You’re on the same team to win.

It’s so easy, in… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 19 MAY 2014

Spain’s family culture collapses

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spanish extended family
An extended family gathering in Spain, 2007. Photo: Wikimedia / ojedamd


Fewer marriages, broken marriages and the difficulty of reconciling work and family life are leading reasons why the family in Spain is in deep trouble, according to a new report from the Institute for Family Policies (IPFE). The Spanish pro-family organisation says the family in Spain is increasingly one without children and often of lone adults. (The full study can be downloaded at:ña/)

This bleak picture has been compounded by the economic crisis, says the report. While economic hardship presents an opportunity to rediscover the family, which has the potential for cushioning the individual against unemployment, illness, lack of housing, drug addiction and marginalisation, the government has failed to play its part in protecting families, the report suggests.

Adverse trends in all aspects of family life are… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2014

Australian budget’s snub to single-income families

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mum3Family Voice Australia has posted the following comment on the Australian federal budget, delivered Wednesday:

Joe Hockey’s budget punishes mums who do this nation a service by providing optimal childcare at home.  This is incredibly short-sighted. 

  • Double income families get $36,000 tax free before they start paying tax.
  • Single income, two parent families where mum stays home to care for children get only $18,000 tax free, then pay tax on the rest of their income. 

Family Tax Benefit B, designed to partly bridge the huge tax-free gap, will now disappear when the youngest child turns six.  Double income families get up to $7,500 in childcare assistance, and mums in these families will qualify for up to $50,000 in paid parental leave.

Single income families with home-based mums get no paid parental leave. They receive only $2000 (first baby) or $1000 (later babies) as a maternity payment after the baby bonus was abolished last year.

A mother’s choice to remain… click here to read whole article and make comments



All the complexities of the Chinese family tree

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I would be inclined to think that modern families are much more complex than they were in the old days – when there weren’t so many step-parents, children by divorce and test tube babies to take into account.

I have been proven wrong though, thanks to this somewhat quirky video that explains the Chinese family tree. To be fair, it’s not so much about the family structure itself and more about language, and how you’d call your relatives based on their side of the family, gender and age.

Enjoy a bit of cultural education!

click here to read whole article and make comments


TUESDAY, 13 MAY 2014

Do we even need marriage anymore?

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The News Story - Divorce law overhaul: is there really any point to marriage anymore?

Recent suggested changes in Britain’s divorce legislation have one Telegraph writer pondering why we would ever bother getting married in the first place.
Recognizing the dramatic shift in family formation that has taken place in the last century, Sir James Munby, president of Britain’s High Court Family Division, suggested among other measures more legal protection for cohabitors.  Radhika Sanghani at the Telegraph praises such moves, and writes, “The idea of spending thousands on what’s meant to be ‘the best day of your life’ – including a dress you’ll never, ever wear again – combined with the not insignificant fact that the wedding certificate only requires your father’s name and not your mother’s, puts me off the whole [marriage] thing.”  Nonetheless, writes Ms. Sanghani, if she wants any kind of legal protection for herself and her future… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 9 MAY 2014

Millennial dating tips

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I am often awed by how differently I see dating to how my parents view it. In just one generation, so much has changed! Millennials are dating in a time of disrupted family structures (no wonder they too often think that divorce is inevitable), ever-changing social media (a Facebook message shouldn’t replace a phone call), and relationships that are much more vaguely defined (are we like, just watching a movie, or is this a date?).

But according to Ty Tashiro, who interviewed many a young person for his new book The Science of Happily Ever After, millennials are finding some decent ways of navigating the waters (as he points out in his recent Time article). I’m sharing his five main points below - I think they make great dating tips but I don’t necessarily love his take on them, so I’ve made them my own:

Be clear about your goal. It’s has… click here to read whole article and make comments



This is what forgiveness looks like

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The good of being able to forgive tends to fly under the radar, and unsurprisingly so in a time where shows like Revenge are accepted as the norm. But these photos of reconciliation in Rwanda are enough to remind one of just how important forgiveness is, from a personal to national level.

Two decades ago, nearly a million Rwandans were killed in during the nation’s genocide, and a few months ago, photographer Pieter Hugo visited Southern Rwanda to capture a series of portraits – each featuring a victim with a perpetrator who had been forgiven.

These Rwandans are part of a national effort that is fostering reconciliation, where groups of Hutus and Tutsis are counselled over months in a lead-up to the perpetrator asking for forgiveness. This is such a beautiful and important project – and will prove more beneficial for the country long-term than any compensation payments could ever do.

click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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