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Information to Inspire You

Discover how the experts in positive psychology can make a difference to your life.


What are you waiting for? Values Personal Plan

Many of us play the waiting game when it comes to having a job that will make us happy.

  • “When I finish my course I”ll look for a new job.”
  • “I”ll wait until I come back from holidays and ask if I can start working 4 days a week.”
  • “I”ll just ignore the way by boss yells at me until Christmas and find something better in the New Year.”
  • “I know they keep giving me more responsibilities and not paying me for it, but they said they”d review the situation in three months.”
  • “I tell my manager I”m not challenged in my job, she keeps saying, “Wait and see, there will be changes in the near future.”
  • “I might get a bonus in July. The company is just running the proposed incentive scheme past the Board. They said I”ll have to wait for the outcome.”

Right Here, Right Now It”s time to ditch the waiting game and start doing what matters from this moment on. You have a choice; you can be happy or unhappy in your job? What are you waiting for? Click here to determine your values and start valuing your life. • Back to List of Contents


Articles to transform your life

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Take Control of Your Career and Your Life

Hate your job? Are you ready for a career intervention? Author and speaker Marcus Buckingham has a long history of inspiring people to find their strengths in order to live a life full of personal success. Take this eight part course to reignite your passions both at work and at home. Click here to begin. • Back to List of Contents


Discover Your Strengths

Dr Martin Seligman is the founder of Positive Psychology, a new branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character and healthy institutions. His research has demonstrated that it is possible to be happier — to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one”s circumstances. Click here to develop insights into yourself and the world around you through scientifically tested questionnaires, surveys and scales. Our favourite is the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire. • Back to List of Contents


Your Personal Mission Statement

“The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.” Stephen R. Covey. Click here to build your personal mission statement with Franklin Covey • Back to List of Contents


The 4 Hour Work Week

Tim Ferriss is the bestselling author of the “The 4-Hour Workweek”. Whether you’re an overworked employee or an entrepreneur trapped in your own business, “The 4-Hour Workweek” is the compass for a new and revolutionary world. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan—there is no need to wait and every reason not to. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, high-end world travel, monthly five-figure income with zero management or just living more and working less. You can have it all—really. Click here to read Tim’s BLOG and discover a new work / life paradigm. • Back to List of Contents


What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith is one of Madisen’s favourite experts. He provides the answer to one of her pet peeves in business – executives behaving badly. Click here for free resources. • Back to List of Contents


What is Meditation?

An introduction to this life changing practice.


Inspirational Stories

Extraordinary experiences happen to ordinary people, read their stories.

Those inspired by The Common Touch often ask for guidance on how to achieve the same connection with Jesus and Source that Alan and others like him have attained. As you know our intent is not to prescribe a way to live as our focus is more on the story itself—the ups, downs, joys, and sorrows of one common man’s journey. Our desire is that you take the essence of Alan’s story and apply it to your own life. We want you to trust your “inner guru”—for it will show you what your perfect journey is for your unique existence. What we will tell you is that one of the keys to creating a fulfilling life is to be silent, whether you find that silence through meditation, mindfulness, being in the present moment, or just taking quiet time. If The Common Touch has a primary message, that’s it. Many people tell us that they do not know how to meditate or meditation is something they start and stop but always enjoy when they find time. In order to help you connect or reconnect with meditation we’ve collected meditation videos to assist you on your spiritual journey. If you have suggestions you’d like featured on the site feel free to submit them below.

Purchase your copy of The Common Touch, one of the most touching spiritual books of our time. An inspirational book and personal companion on your spiritual journey.

Click here to purchase

Extraordinary Events Happen to Ordinary People

The Common Touch is a tale of inner struggle, spiritual awakening and boldly creating a spiritual life. Take it with you as a reassuring companion on your spiritual journey and personal development path. Don’t forget to visit our Resources section aimed to support you in your spiritual life and spiritual awakening.

Share Your Story

International bestselling co-author, Madisen Harper’s latest book, The Common Touch, is the true story of an ordinary man who had an extraordinary spiritual experience. The book follows him on a journey filled with Divine intervention and the challenges of living in two worlds. The contrast between the two worlds; the ‘old Alan’ who had been a construction worker for more than 30 years and the ‘new Alan’ who was experiencing magical moments day-by-day, caused constant inner turmoil. The Common Touch was born to share a poignant tale of inner struggle, personal awareness, and spiritual connection—and offers readers a reassuring companion on their journey. During her own personal development journey Madisen met many ordinary people who have had extraordinary experiences. Talking to them she realized they were often excited by what they were discovering but often felt confused, alone and frustrated in their pursuit of spiritual growth. The Common Touch is an encouraging tale to let spiritual seekers know they are not alone. Our aim is to share similar stories so that people realize their experiences aren’t the minority but an emerging majority – and that’s where you come in. You’re invited to share your spiritual journey with others.

Suggested Story Guidelines

The following are suggestions on how to structure your story. However, they are only suggestions; if the story flows, go with it!

  • Provide a headline
  • Let us know a little bit about you and your background.
  • Briefly explain your spiritual journey.
  • Let the readers know of any challenges along the way.
  • How did you overcome these challenges?
  • What keeps you going on your spiritual life and what are the benefits?
  • You may also like to include the following, let us know what you’d like us to potentially publish in the content of your story:
    • Your name, it’s up to you if you’d like to provide just your first name, full name or stay anonymous.
    • Your website URL if it’s aligned with The Common Touch’s personal development message and you’d like to promote it.
    • The state and country you live in.
    • An email address if you’d like other The Common Touch website visitors to connect with you.

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Read Inspirational Stories

In Our Quest for Human Development…it’s time to become limitLESS®
limitLESS® is an initiative of individuals coming together as one to create a limitLESS® legacy for themselves, those around them and the planet. The limitLESS® project was created out of inspiration. Driving home on a sunny Spring afternoon the Project’s founder, Madisen Harper, was inspired to visit the Bahai Temple. She had driven past it […]

Doom and Gloom Statistics

Here are the references from our Home Page:

Australia

  • 60% of workers hate their jobs and bosses.
  • 70% do not believe their management is open and honest. They ignore suggestions and criticism and do not provide regular feedback.
  • Seek (2005), “Survey of Employee Satisfaction and Motivation”.
  • 21% are eager to change careers.
  • Only 20% feel very passionate about their jobs.
  • 33% believe they have reached a dead end in their career.
  • Younger workers are most distressed and feel the least amount of loyalty to their employers.
  • Harris Interactive (2004), “New Employer/Employee Equation Survey”
  • Bullying has been estimated to cost Australian industry in excess of A$3 billion per year and, for its victims, can have significant psychological and emotional costs.
  • Catanzariti, Joe (2006), “Australia: Record Award for Damages Regarding Workplace Bullying”, Clayton Utz.
  • 90% suffer from a management culture wracked by “blame, mindless conformity and indecision”.
  • More than 70% of Australian workers will be subject to bullying in their work lives.
  • Workers Health Centre (2005), “Bullying at Work”.
  • Long working hours mean colleagues are replacing personal friends. But according to Dr Jan Yager, “Work friendships can ruin careers.”
  • “Work no place for friends”, The Sunday Telegraph, June 22, 2008, p5.
  • 70% believe their work hours are too long.
  • Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (2004), “How do Australians feel about their work?”
  • Australians have some of the lowest levels of job satisfaction in the world, only Japan, Taiwan and some East European nations were lower.
  • Blanchflower, David and Oswald, Andrew (2005), “Happiness and the Human Index Development”The Paradox of Australia”, National Bureau of Economic Research
  • 63% do not want to get involved in organizational politics but saw it necessary in order to understand what was going on.
  • 1/3 say playing politics helped achieve objectives and enhance reputation.
  • 3% saw politics as “challenging and fun”and an important motivator.
  • Buchanan, David, March 2008; “You Stab My Back, I”ll Stab Yours”, British Journal of Management
  • Employees say they often leave their managers, rather than the company.
  • Wilson Learning (from Management Today – May 2008)
  • 70% of Generation X employees in Australia are unhappy with work conditions.
  • 62% of employees experience unfulfilling relationship with co-workers.
  • 69% feel detached from the culture of their organization.
  • Human Synergistics, Transforming Leadership and Culture: The State of the Nations
  • The average person with a full-time desk job will spend 60,000 hours at their desk.
  • Drummond, Linda and Conville, Nicola: (2008), April 20, “Fit for Work”, Body + Soul, The Sunday Telegraph, p 7.
  • 94% of Australians believe their skills are not sufficiently valued at work. This plays a major role in job satisfaction.
  • 64% of employees are dissatisfied with their present employment.
  • Australia fails to recognise skills: poll, CareerOne Pty ltd, November 2006 http://www.careerone.com.au/jobs/job-search/job-market-insider/Australia-fails-to-recognise-skills-poll
  • Dissatisfaction at work is the primary reason for illegitimate sick days.
  • Bad bosses and inflexible offices make up the other top reasons employees phone in false sick leave.
  • 40% of employees believed they were justified in doing so.
  • Job Dissatisfaction, Bad Bosses Blamed for False ‘Sick Days’, October 2006 http://www.medindia.net/news/Job-Dissatisfaction-Bad-Bosses-Blamed-for-False-Sick-Days-27756-1.htm
  • 22% of Australians work more than 50 hours per week, second only to Japan among high-income countries.
  • 30% regularly work on the weekends.
  • Working such long hours is associated with strained family relationships and parenting marked by anger, inconsistency and ineffectiveness.
  • Steketee, Mike, “Workloads taking big family toll”, (Online), News Limited, The Austrialian, March 2007 http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21332864-421,00.html
  • 93% of employees are regularly looking for a new job.
  • 69% are actively looking. They go through job vacancies at least once per week.
  • Only 5% say they are not looking for a new job.
  • 22% of employees hate the stress level of their job.
  • 21% think their managers are of poor quality.
  • 45% of employees are unhappy in their jobs.
  • 1 in 5 thinks they don”t receive enough feedback and appreciation.
  • 51% would happily change jobs if offered a better salary and career development.
  • 8% would change their jobs “at the drop of a hat”.
  • Only 5% are very happy with their employer.
  • Only 31% believed they would remain with their current employer for more than 1 year.
  • 42% plan to leave in less than 6 months.
  • “2007 Survey of Employee satisfaction & motivation in Australia”, (Online) SEEK Limited, 2007, http://www.seek.com.au/investor/docs/esm_aus07.pdf
  • According to Dr Peter Carey from the Australian Association of Career Counsellors, the shortage of skilled labour, strong economic growth and high levels of staff turnover makes employee retention the number one issue facing Australian businesses.
  • Management Today, June 2008, p 5.
  • The Australian workforce does not believe workplace bullying and discrimination against pregnancy to be a serious problem.
  • Management Today, June 2008, p5
  • The 40 hour work week is officially dead, with 67.9% of Australians saying they work more than 40 hours a week on a regular basis.
  • Nearly 40% of Australians say they are putting in more hours than 2 years ago.
  • Management Today, June 2008, p5
  • More than 75% of Australians polled said life was becoming more stressful and they wanted to live at a slower pace.
  • 63% said they could not afford to work few hours.
  • Almost 80% were not willing to work less if it meant they would earn less.
  • 75% would not take a lower-paying job to reduce the stress in their lives.
  • Shoebridge, Neil: January 2008, “Eight Trends for “08”, Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine, pp 28 – 32.
  • 45% of Australians say their jobs pay too little and aren”t challenged enough by their work.
  • 2008 Careerone.com.au

New Zealand

  • 23% of New Zealand employees are unhappy in their jobs.“Work Orientations”, (Online), New Zealand, ISSP, 2007, http://www.za.uni-koeln.de/data/en/issp/questionnaires/q2007/ZA4350_q_nz.pdf
  • Job stress related illness costs New Zealand businesses approximately NZ$3 billion a year in sick pay, missed deadlines and poor performance. Press Release: New Zealand Government, September 2000
  • 14% of women and 10% of men suffer from depression directly related to work stress. They had not had these conditions before.
  • Employees with high levels of psychological demands at work are 75% to 80% more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.
  • Johnston, Martin, “Now the proof: Work stress does make people mentally ill”(Online), APN Holdings NZ Limited, The New Zealand Herald, August 2007 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=10455318
  • The New Zealand employee works an average of 45 to 55 hours per week.
  • Many work long hours due to pressure exerted by employers.
  • Many felt that their jobs are on the line if they refuse the length or distribution of the hours asked of them.
  • Holding multiple jobs is fast becoming the norm for the New Zealand employee.
  • “Interim Report of the Thirty Families Project: The Impact of Work Hours on New Zealand Families”, (Online), New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, July 2002, http://union.org.nz/policy/thirty-families-work-hours

United Kingdom

  • 31% of British workers are unhappy at work.
  • More than a third waste an average 25 minutes each day doing things other than work.
  • 22% of people chat to friends, 15% day dreaming, 14% surf the net.
  • One in ten spends hours every day looking for another job.
  • This cost employers more than £40 million a day.
  • 13% of people are stuck in a job they don”t like because they can”t afford to change career paths.
  • One third of all UK employees consider their jobs a “dead end”.
  • 1 out of 5 employees suffer from insomnia due to job stress.
  • Job Stress makes 41% people irritable.
  • 6% says it affects their sex life.
  • 36% dread Monday mornings.
  • “They can”t get no satisfaction”, (Online) learndirect Careers Advice, September 2007 http://www.learndirect-advice.co.uk/features/news/satisfaction/
  • More than a third of the UK workforce is either actively looking for a new job or planning to do so.
  • Younger workers are the most likely to be searching for new jobs and careers.
  • Twice as many women (29.5%) than men (14.3%) are considering moving.
  • “Job Satisfaction in the UK”, (Online), The Centre for future studies, May 2007, http://www.futurestudies.co.uk/pdfs/Job%20satisfation.pdf
  • 14% think their jobs were meaningless.
  • 51% consider their jobs as ‘a means to an end’.
  • People with lower pay and lower skills tended to be less satisfied with their jobs.
  • Workers in the 16-34 age group are the most dissatisfied in the UK.
  • Those 55 and over are more likely to be satisfied with their job.
  • “Job satisfaction in the UK”, (Online), HRM Guide – UK Human Resources, July 2006 http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/general/job-satisfaction.htm
  • Younger workers” job satisfaction is highly dependent on opportunities for advancement and salary.
  • On the job recognition becomes more important as workers age.
  • “What workers want: A Worldwide study of attitudes to work and work-life balance”, (Online) FDS International, July 2007 http://www.theage.com.au/ed_docs/WhatWorkersWant(Final).pdf
  • 47% of employees reported witnessing bullying.
  • 1 in 10 said they had been bullied.
  • Wilson, Bill, “Workplace bullying: A growing problem”(Online), BBC News Online, February 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3442331.stm
  • More than 5 million employees in the UK feel “very”or “extremely”stressed about their job.
  • 2.2 million workers experience work-related stress at a level they believe to be making them ill.
  • Work-related stress and mental health costs the UK economy approximately £5 billion every year.
  • This is equal to the total annual losses to theft.
  • “The cost of work-related stress”(Online), The UK National Work-Stress Network, 2006, http://www.workstress.net/costs.htm
  • 2,037 people died of mesothelioma in the UK. It is estimated that thousands more die yearly from other occupational cancers and lung diseases.
  • “Health & Safety Statistics 2006/2007”, (Online), National Statistics Publication, HSC http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh0607.pdf

United States

  • Four out of five people quizzed in a CareerBuilder.com survey are unhappy at work.Oprah “Take Control of Your Career and Your Life with Marcus Buckingham”(Online), June 2008http://www.oprah.com/money/career/marcus/participants/slide/20080418/marcus_slide_350_101.jhtml
  • 13% of Americans hate their jobs.
  • Workers with low skills in manual and service occupations were the most dissatisfied. Only 1 in 5 were satisfied with their job.
  • Job satisfaction is higher among those with more education, more prestigious occupations and better paying positions.
  • Smith, Tom W. “Job Satisfaction in the United States“(Online), April 2007 http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/pdf/070417.jobs.pdf , http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/pdf/070827.jobs.pdf
  • 32% hated their job because of the hours, pay and stress. Jones, Jeffrey M. “Personal Fulfillment Frequently Cited as a Top Job “Like”” (Online), Gallup, Inc, August 7. 2006, http://www.gallup.com/poll/24010/Personal-Fulfillment-Frequently-Cited-Top-Job-Like.aspx
  • U.S. Job Satisfaction Keeps Falling” (Online), The Conference Board, February 2005, http://www.conference-board.org/utilities/pressDetail.cfm?press_ID=2582
  • Younger persons are the most dissatisfied with their jobs.
  • Baby Boomers and Pre-retirees are the most satisfied.
  • Smith, Tom W. “Job Satisfaction in the United States”(Online), April 2007 http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/pdf/070417.jobs.pdf
  • 43% of workers in the US dislike their boss.
  • 7 out of 10 workers are on the lookout for a new job.
  • Musbach, Tom “What Employees want for 2008: A New Boss”(Online), Yahoo!Hotjobs, 2008 http://hotjobs.promotions.yahoo.com/careercheckin/survey_article.html
  • 33% feel they”ve reached a dead-end in their career.
  • Job Satisfaction Statistics (Online), Career Vision/Ball Foundation, 2005 http://www.careervision.org/About/PDFs/MR_JobSatisfaction.pdf
  • Two out of every three workers do not identify with, or feel motivated to, drive their employer’s business goals and objectives.
  • 40% of workers feel disconnected from their employers.
  • U.S. Job Satisfaction Keeps Falling”(Online), The Conference Board ,February 2005, http://www.conference-board.org/utilities/pressDetail.cfm?press_ID=2582
  • Over the past 18 months, 1 out of 4 workers changed their job.
  • Only 45% are now happy in their current positions.
  • “The Metlife Study of Employee Benefits Trends; Findings from the 2005/2006 National survey of employers and employees” (Online) http://www.metlife.com/WPSAssets/33495295001161801070V1FMetLifeStudyofEmployeeBenefitsTrendsexp0307.pdf
  • Job dissatisfaction and stress costs employers more than US$300 billion each year in absenteeism, tardiness, burnout, lower productivity, high turnover, worker’s compensation and medical insurance costs.
  • The American Institute of Stress, 2002 Newsletter, http://www.stress.org/job.htm
  • Occupational pressures and fears are the leading source of stress for American adults.
  • “Job Stress” (Online), The American Institute for Stress, 2008 http://www.stress.org/job.htm
  • 48% of US employees have yelled, screamed or cried on the job due to stress. “Attitudes in the American Workplace Poll”, Press Release, The Marlin Company, October 2007 http://www.themarlincompany.com/MediaRoom/Releases/HarrisPolls/2007/ViolenceRelease.pdf
  • 12% of workers ranked their job as the biggest stress in their life.
  • 27% ranked it as the number 2 biggest cause of stress.
  • “Attitudes in the American Workplace Poll”, Press Release, The Marlin Company, 2005 http://www.themarlincompany.com/MediaRoom/Releases/CostCuttingIsDegrading.pdf
  • Job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than family or financial problems “Is Stress Responsible for Nation’s Ills? Simple Techniques May Provide Solution”, (Online), Yahoo News!, Creating Powerfully Life Coaching, April 2008 http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080421/clm005.html?.v=101
  • 37% of American workers, an estimated 54 million people, have been bullied at work.
  • 1 in 2 have experienced or witnessed workplace bullying.
  • 72% of bullies are bosses.
  • Only 3% of those bullied file lawsuits. 40% never complain.
  • “U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey”, The Workplace Bullying Institute, September 2007, http://www.bullyinginstitute.org/zogby2007/wbi-zogby2007.html
  • Workplace violence, including assaults and suicides, accounted for 13% of all work-related fatal occupational injuries in 2006.
  • Homicides have consistently been among the top 4 causes of workplace fatalities for all workers.
  • “Injury, Illness and fatalities”, US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006 http://www.bls.gov/iif/peoplebox.htm
  • 14% of employees have felt like striking a co-worker in the past year, but didn’t.
  • 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent. Patton, Sandy “Building a Healthier Workforce: Health & Productivity”Issue No. 24, IHC Health Plans, November 2005, Page 1. http://intermountainhealthcare.org/xp/public/documents/hp/healthproductivitynov05.pdf
  • The median number of hours that people work per week has actually risen from 41 in the early 1970s to 50 in 2007.
  • Lorenz, Mary “More Money means longer hours”(Online), CNN.com. August 2007, . http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/10/24/cb.money.hours/index.html
  • 41% of parents” working conditions negatively affect their children”s health.
  • Palmer, Lindsey: (2008) “Are we a family-friendly nation?”, Redbook Magazine, pp 214-227.
  • Survey found that most children wished their parents would be less stressed from work.
  • “Job stress can affect your children Working parents often bring a bad day home to their kids”, (Online), Rueters, MSNBC, January 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16671368/

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