Many stockmen have lost their cool trying to move stock through a gate or load them on to a truck because they lacked the necessary knowledge, skill and patience to work with the four basic instincts of animals that explain what animals want and why they behave the way they do.

 In the heat and the dust, tempers can fray, frustration can set in and many an animal and worker have been abused as one failed attempt followed another.

Recently, a friend of mine was unfairly ‘blasted’ by a senior executive of the firm she had recently joined. The firm had been experiencing cash-flow problems that had nothing to do with her direct area of responsibility.

This senior executive was obviously lacking the required knowledge to source the cash flow issue. He, therefore panicked and showered verbal violence on my friend, the firm’s newest recruit.

She was not impressed, particularly as this ‘gentleman’ had no authority over her area. Being the experienced and self-confident woman that she is, she calmly asked the executive if his behaviour was due to panic, ignorance or just plain bad manners – you can imagine how well that was received.

Another friend of mine often loses her cool and verbally ‘hits out’ at her partner because she is just so frustrated over the way he indulges his children. She’s simply run out of ways (knowledge) to get him to see the folly of his indulgences. He subsequently ‘goes into his cave’ and the status quo remains.

No doubt you’ve all witnessed a mother or father physically lash out at a misbehaving child, when they lack the knowledge, skill and patience to handle the situation appropriately. The child’s submission is temporary and the bad behaviour will escalate.

Many a board meeting has turned into a slanging match when previously composed, articulate executives are at their wits’ end as to how to move forward with a particular challenge. Eye-rolling, verbal attacks and fist banging permeate the charged atmosphere as educated, intelligent adults just don’t know which way to turn or what new strategy to adopt or how to appease their myriad of stakeholders. Meetings end in stalemates.

When knowledge runs out, panic and violence sets in – and the outcome is NEVER a positive or constructive one.

‘Violence’ in any form is never the answer. Indeed, emotional and verbal abuse including anything that makes you feel worthless, such as shouting, name calling, swearing and constant criticism is cited as a form of ‘domestic or family violence’.

I wonder how many businesses should be reported? Mind you, I consider silence and stonewalling as an equally cruel form of ‘violence’; more on that in another newsletter to come.

If you are struggling with a relationship or situation and find yourself consistently reacting to it, seek out knowledge and help either through research, reading or engaging a coach – preferably one who has had to deal with their own anger issues and behaviours (me) when their own knowledge has run out – so they can relate to you.


Regardless of bank balance, job security, assets or possessions, the majority of people stress about money. Indeed, some of the wealthiest people I know seem to stress the most.

 I initiated the following habit last year and it has proved to be so worthwhile, easy to maintain and rewarding.


Quite simply, I put a set amount of cash into my wallet every Saturday, which I withdraw from a hole in the wall.

Those dollars I use to pay for all my food, occasional alcohol, toiletries, vitamins, make-up, outings, haircuts and manicures. If towards the end of the week, the contents of the wallet are looking a bit lean, it simply means I really only buy the barest of essentials.

If I HAVE to use a credit card because I have totally run out because my hair cut coincided with an unavoidable expense, I simply take that amount off the money I withdraw on the following Saturday.

This has been the most liberating habit I have ever undertaken. It feels good. I don’t have to worry about what I am spending because it fits in with my overall budget for the year.

I don’t feel guilty about any money I spend and I don’t feel deprived, even though I am meticulous around buying certain items, like my coffee, when it is on sale.

Best of all, it stops any temptation to buy miscellaneous items I simply do not need. In the past, I couldn’t shop at Aldi without buying something from those central aisles.

This may, or may not, work for you. It works for me. The rewards far outweigh any discipline I required to start the process. Now, it’s simply a habit.

I will push you onward or drag you down to failure

I am at your command

Half the tasks that you do, you might as well turn over to me

I will do them quickly and correctly

​I am easily managed

You must simply be firm with me

Show me exactly how you want something done and,

after a few lessons, I will do it automatically

I am the sermon of all great people and a lash of all failures as well

Those who are great, I have made great

and those who are failures, I have made failures

I am not a machine, but I work with all the precision of a machine

plus the intelligence of a person

You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me

Take me, train me and be firm with me and I’ll lay your work at your feet

But be easy with me and I’ll destroy you

Who am I?

HABIT is my name











For years I have been ‘banging on’ about how you cannot control what happens to you. You only control your response to it.

 I’ve said things like, “No one can make you angry without your permission”.  “Choose peace and kindness”.  “Leave it with the other person”. 

I’ve told stories about Victor Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist interned in a concentration camp who claimed that the last of human dignities remaining is the ability to choose one’s thoughts at any given point in time.

 How come, then, I asked myself was I so angry last year? Why wasn’t I heeding my own lessons?

 Reading and listening to Eckhart Tolle only made me angrier. He was telling me that there was something in me that wanted the drama, wanted the conflict; that I wanted to be right than at peace.

 Yet, amidst my anger, there was an inner voice telling me that I had a right to be angry even if I didn’t like the angry me.


Since then, I have discovered a great book,  The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner. As soon as I read the first paragraph, I knew I was ‘on to something’.

Ms Lerner writes, “Anger is a signal and one worth listening to. Our anger may be a message that we are being hurt, that our rights are being violated, that our needs or wants are not being adequately met, or simply that something is not right. Our anger tells us that we are not addressing an important emotional issue in our lives, or that too much of our self – our beliefs, values, desires or ambitions – is being compromised.’

“Anger is something we feel”, she continues. “It exists for a reason and always deserves our respect and attention. We all have a right to everything we feel – and certainly our anger is no exception”.

What a relief!

That is not to say that I wasn’t responsible for my anger. I was. I was the one choosing to compromise.

That is also not saying that venting anger is OK. It is not. If you are angry, you cannot present your case rationally and objectively.

The lesson is to calmly state your needs and, if they are not being met, walk away, particularly if your values are being violated.  To stay and compromise always leads to anger at self, resentment towards the other party and brings dis-ease into the body.

As Ms Lerner so logically claims, “Feelings of depression, low self-esteem, self-betrayal and even self-hatred are inevitable when we fight yet continue to submit to unfair circumstances, when we complain yet live in a way that betrays our hopes, values and potentials”.

Read that last sentence again.  If you aren’t feeling good about yourself, if you are constantly angry, look at yourself and explore where you are compromising.”

It may be in the workplace, in a relationship, with your children or with a friend; wherever it is, and with whomever it is, acknowledge that you are responsible for giving in; not defining your boundaries; not speaking up for your needs.

The more you suppress your needs and compromise for the sake of the relationship, the more angry you will become.  When you ultimately ‘blow your fuse’, you could be labeled ‘egocentric, selfish, volatile, destructive or, even, neurotic’, to quote Ms Lerner.

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.




By taking 90 seconds to read this, you may save yourself years of heartache. . .


Towards the end of last year, the CEO of a Registered Training Organisation operating nationally approached me about working under his ‘umbrella’ to run workshops for staff in four and five star hotels, using Government funding that he had access to.  Given that my background is in five star hotel chains and given that I have conducted training in every department in a hotel, it seemed a fair fit.


Moreover, this fellow appeared sharp, smart and demonstrated a social conscience by proclaiming he had developed a voluntary mentoring program for unemployed youth. I liked him. We ‘clicked’. I gifted him a box of my first book, Habits Aren’t Just For Nuns, to selectively give out to young folk who demonstrated a willingness to better themselves.


He said he’d call me on a certain date and then I didn’t hear from him. Mmmmmmmmm. When I finally caught up with him over the phone, he apologised and told me how he’d been away working in rural WA with Aboriginal kids and that I’d be thrilled to know that he’d passed on two of my books. OK, I thought, though I was uneasy.


That pattern kept repeating itself. We’d set a time to chat, he wouldn’t call and then there would be a wonderful excuse; always an excuse and the lure of a great opportunity. Finally, we did flesh out the idea and business arrangement and set a date for me to be familiarised with his organisation AND, you guessed it, he disappeared.


My gut told me from the beginning that if this man kept breaking small contracts, like a phone call, how could I ever contemplate going into business with him. To the very end, he had a reason, an excuse and kept dangling the ‘carrot’ to keep me hooked. On the surface, it would have been a lucrative contract.


“Tantalisers are the most subtle of blackmailers. They encourage us and promise love, money, security, career advancement – the proverbial carrot at the end of the stick. The reward sounds great yet it turns to dust anytime we get near it,” according to Susan Forward, author of Emotional Blackmail.


She says our desire for what is being promised can be so strong that we endure numerous encounters with never-materialising rewards before we realise we are being emotionally blackmailed.


You are encouraged to pay attention to your professional and personal relationships and to become acutely aware of small contracts being broken. Maybe it’s a boss who keeps talking about a promotion or a lover who promises one thing and does another, or nothing at all.


Blackmailers are so clever and so manipulative that you end up doubting yourself. They know how much you value your relationship with them and how to tap into your fear and vulnerabilities if you don’t accept their status quo. No matter how much they care about you, they use this intimate knowledge to win the pay-off they want: your compliance.


You have to learn how to recognise a blackmailer and how to extricate yourself from the swirling emotions that keep you trapped in their web and cloud your judgement.


If you would like help in breaking the blackmail cycle with your partner, your parents, your son, your sister, your employer or your best friend, consider one or two coaching sessions with me to learn the specific steps you can take and the communication tips you can use that will break the blackmail cycle for good.


Email me on robyn@robyn.com.au  to take charge of your life and stop the destructive and confusing pattern of relating with those important to you.


A tantaliser is a tormentor who offers something desirable but keeps it just out of reach
Robyn Pulman



Calves who are taken away from their mums are called weaners. In other words, they are weaned off their mother’s milk at the appropriate age and placed in a separate paddock, often many kilometres away.

 Recently, I heard about two cows walking across three paddocks and literally through three fences to find their weaned calves. No one ‘taught’ them which direction to head in or how to get there. They just ‘knew’.


We are born with an inner knowing; call it intuition, wisdom, instinct, sixth sense, hunch.

When my children were small, I engaged baby-sitters as required through reputable sources. One evening, when a baby-sitter turned up, both my children, aged four and five at the time, said to me quietly that they ‘didn’t like her’.  Confident that the sitter had been well referenced-checked, I left them with her for a few hours with a sheet of information about the children, numbers to call etc

On returning, I asked the sitter how the children had been and she replied with, “Oh, the girl was OK but I didn’t like the boy”. She didn’t even know their names!!!! My little people had exercised their wisdom, their intuition, without even knowing how they did it.

Given that we are all born with that inner-knowing, why is it that so many ignore it and end up in relationships, jobs and situations that they ‘know’ are wrong yet rationalise them and the behaviour of others?

Over the years, I have coached so many people who know, in their gut, that their partner, their manager or their so-called best friend is not doing the right thing by them yet they ignore the warning bells.  They ‘hang in’ hoping things will get better or begin to think that they are the problem and if they just ‘leave it with the other person’ that all will be well.

A powerful question I ask clients is, “The first time so and so treated you that way, how did you feel and what did you do?”

The consistent response is “I was devastated. I felt sick. I walked out of the house’.

“So, then, why are you putting up with that now?” I probe.

The reality is that we get trapped in addictive emotional patterns and as a client said to me the other day, “My gut gets confused by my thoughts”.

If you’ve lost touch with your inner knowing, you may consider engaging a coach (me!) to help you regain the wisdom you were born with.


 I feel there are two people inside me – me and my intuition.
If I go against her, she will screw me every time and
if I follow  her, we get along quite nicely.

– Kim Basinger






th-54Monty Roberts, famous for his way with horses and author of ‘The Man Who Listens to Horses’, can transform a scared, flight animal into a trusted ally who will allow itself to be saddled and ridden.

 Monty works on the principle that all relationships can be based on a spirit of co-operation and empathy and that all that is required is to take the time and have the patience to learn the other’s language, instead of brashly imposing one’s own.  

Left to its own devices, the wild colt would simply stay wild.


Humans, on the other hand, too often avoid the family member, colleague or acquaintance they are not comfortable around. Instead of ‘spending time in the yard with them’, they avoid them at all costs with the naïve hope that things will get better all by themselves.

Indeed, we humans, when confronted with many of life’s problems, turn a blind eye rather than face the discipline required to analyse the problem and develop considered and workable solutions.

Again, the hope is that problems will go away of their own accord.  However, unresolved problems do not go away; they remain a barrier to personal growth – not taking responsibility for our part in the problem is the cause of the problem.

In my coaching sessions with clients, who believe they are facing significant challenges, I support them through analyzing what they can actually do about it as opposed to feeling like powerless victims. Helping them understand that they do have choices and can exercise those choices is the first step in moving forward.

Recently I read Suzy Welch’s book, The Rule of 10 – 10 – 10, which invites us to make non-emotional, informed and intelligent decisions based on considering, ‘How will making this decision impact my life in the next ten minutes, ten months or ten years?”

Too often we avoid making the decision because the ‘ten minute’ pain seems too much to bear.  It is only when we challenge ourselves to look out to ten months and then ten years, are we able to see and think more clearly.

Ask yourself if you are simply ignoring any problems or people at the moment. If you are finding it difficult to discipline yourself to deal with the issues, then I know a great coach who can help you.  Just send me an email to robyn@robyn.com.au and I’ll give you a call.



Fence-runs are part and parcel of the repair and maintenance routine on rural and remote properties.

 Owners or workers regularly hop on a bike or in a ute and ride or drive around the fence lines to ensure that stock can’t cross from one paddock to another or, more importantly, escape a boundary fence into an adjoining property.

 Lack of attention to this task can have disastrous results. A bull can ‘jump fence’ and impregnate a whole herd of resting cows.  Cattle can escape and walk onto a road, endangering themselves and any traffic on the road.

 Boundary fences get priority over internal fences.


Those of you living in the human zoo also need to build and attend to your personal boundaries.

You cannot possibly respect yourself if you are not clear about what you want and, indeed, about what you don’t want and then making it known.  As cited in my messages so many times, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”.

Indeed, knowing what you want and saying so is attractive; people feel secure around you.

Scott Peck, author and psychiatrist, in his book, The Road Less Travelled, describes lack of clarity around your boundaries as ‘drawbridge problems’: having no idea that you can control your personal drawbridge, defining who can enter your personal space and how they can treat you.

Your very psychological security is dependent on how clear and assertive you are around what you will and won’t allow.  You have the right to say to someone, “I do not find it acceptable that you….
– talk over the top of me
– yell at me
– tell me that I have no reason to be hurt
– ignore me
– criticize me” etc

Only this week, as I was coaching an executive, who was rather upset about  how people are treating him,  I quietly and assertively said “I can appreciate this is really concerning you and I am going to request that you stop using  swear words when discussing this situation with me”.

I then went on to use the nature and manner of delivery of my request as a tool that he could use with his colleagues: simply state what you find acceptable and unacceptable. When offended, he’s just been getting upset and acting irrationally.

A much-respected client of mine sent me a quote earlier this year that said, “Be selective in your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right”.

There is much truth in that statement as long as you are not losing sight of your own needs in order to keep the peace.  Constant compromising leads to anger (at yourself), resentment towards the other person and, ultimately, brings dis-ease into your life. It also undermines your essential feelings of self-respect and choice.

As Stephanie Dowrick explains in her wonderful book, Choosing Happiness, “Peaceful does not mean passive; it involves highly conscious choices that help you grow in self-confidence and maturity.”

Ms Dowrick goes on to say that ‘You can’t always control the way others behave towards or around you. You can, however, limit the time you spend with people who don’t treat you well. If anyone is treating you badly, you should not spend any time with them at all’.

As you define your boundaries moving forward, take heed of Bill Cosby’s famous words, “I’m not sure what success is. However, I sure know that failure is trying to please all of the people all of the time’.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves,
even when we risk disappointing others.
Brene Brown








Ken Druck’s book, The Real Rules of Life, is as poignant as its purpose – to support readers in overcoming  loss, adversity,  hardship, broken relationships and any other pain you experience. Whilst Ken is a positive, proactive and powerful man, he suffered extreme grief after the death of his beautiful, talented daughter Jenna and is anti people encouraging others to sweep their true feelings under the rug and to get on with life with positive thinking, which he calls a ‘spiritual bypass’. As my own offering on how to overcome pain and suffering deepens, I found myself profoundly resonating with Ken’s message. Sometimes, surrender and humility are the most helpful things we can experience when life brings up to our knees. Reading this book will make your own pain more manageable and will guide you in how to support those suffering around you. I’m devouring it.

Australia Day

Daily, I count my blessings that I live in this country and that this country allows me the freedom to choose the way I live, without fear of persecution or prosecution of my lifestyle, beliefs and values.

That freedom, I believe, also carries with a responsibility to support my country through staying healthy, paying taxes and not being a drain on the health or welfare system.

On the subject of staying healthy, I spoke last week about a  wonder juice for my aching shoulders – well, it is still working and helping me mobilise, exercise and sleep.  Cumerone 1200 truly is a ‘life saver’. Ultra sounds and X rays reveal severe calcification and degeneration in my shoulder joint which  is the cause for pain and restricted movement.  I’ve always pushed through that pain…. and, I might add, caused more pain/inflammation.

A little knowledge and help from a physio and pain rehab specialist will help me restore strength to this ever-weakening upper body of mine.  The expression ‘ignorance is bliss’ certainly does NOT apply in this instance.   My lack of understanding of what was going on in my body meant that I have exercised inappropriately; beyond reasonable limits and produced counter-productive pain. Inflamed muscle cannot repair itself.

Listen to your body; do not ignore it.  Gather knowledge, then act.

Yours truly has just returned from the gym.


Hi there. I’ve not ‘blogged’ before and, in a world of information overload, wish to only post information of value.

What is really interesting to me at the beginning of 2010 is how so many people, including myself, say that 2009 was an annus horribilis and how they are looking forward to a more positive and rewarding 2010.

That’s great… for mindset is important.

However, how many times have I heard folk say “Oh, no, I’m not going to make any new year resolutions. I never keep them”.

So, seriously, how can you expect life to change ( for the better ) if you are not prepared to change yourself? Quite simply, if you are not teachable, life won’t get better. If you are not both willing to learn and willing to change, your life won’t change.

So what I am doing differently?

Well, I have taken the first couple of weeks of this year to gain as much medical information that I can regarding a chronic shoulder condition that I have suffered with for years… and I have booked in with a physio and a pain rehab specialist to take me through a consistent training program. I knew I couldn’t / wouldn’t do it on my own.

How often do you overlook a niggle, pain, indigestion, emotional issue and just ‘hope’ it will get better?

I refused steroid injections and have sourced an AMAZING product based on Turmeric (Cumerone 1200) which has magically blocked /stopped the pain.  Herbal, natural and it works. If you are in pain, contact me and I’ll tell you where to get it. It is natural.

Welcome to Creating Winning Habits – please check back soon …

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