A Millstone or a Milestone – your choice! - Proteus Leadership
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A Millstone or a Milestone – your choice!

Another year almost gone! Sure, but rather than comment on how time goes so fast these days, let’s focus on what we learned over the past year so that we can appreciate what all of the hard work was about.

Over the past month I have been faced with many challenges. Firstly I hit the big 60! No longer can I say that I am nearly 60, I am! I wasn’t quite sure what the big number would mean, but due to other events that occurred in my life, it was a time of satisfaction and appreciation for the opportunities that I have had and excitement for what is about to come.

Last week my brother in law, and my friend, Wayne, died of brain cancer. He was only 63. I had the privilege of being with him for the weeks leading up to his death and helping my sister nurse him in his final days. Seven months prior to this he was a fit man who looked like he would live forever. How life can change so quickly.

I know it shouldn’t be circumstances like this that make us appreciate who we are and what we have, but none the less, they do.

I have been deeply touched and moved by this event and realise that the things I get upset about on a daily basis and the people who stand against the work that I am doing, fade into insignificance when measured against the fragility of life.

I certainly don’t mean to be morbid, but none of us know what our journey will be, nor how long we will be on it, but I do know that we are in control of how much we enjoy it and how much we achieve on the journey.

Every person that you meet and every situation you find yourself in every day, can either be seen as a millstone that is hard to drag or a milestone in your life where you see the opportunity to grow yourself and to have a positive impact on the life of someone else.

So, my commitment as The Optimistic Disturber is to enjoy my life more, to appreciate what I have been given and to ramp up my efforts in challenging others to build a better and more meaningful life for themselves.

We are all so lucky and so blessed – maybe it is time we realised it!

From a very appreciative Optimistic Disturber


Des Penny


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”

6 responses to “A Millstone or a Milestone – your choice!”

  1. Michelle says:

    So sorry for your loss Des. Your message is a timely reminder to not sweat the small stuff and don’t put off for tomorrow what you want to do today..

  2. Michelle Holland says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss Des. I hope you took time to celebrate your birthday and his life with a gusto! All the best.

  3. Kaz Braid says:

    Morning Des

    My condolences for the loss of your brother so suddenly; it is never an easy situation to bare, but you are doing so with great dignity. I am sure he is standing by your side in spirit, proud of what you have achieved.

    Congratulations on hitting the big 6-0 too! It doesnt matter what others think, you and those who believe in your message are all that are important. Us Optimistic Disturbers have much to be proud of as the world shifts into a different gear. People are waking up to the fact that dinosaur ways are no longer sustainable or viable and the army of optimistic disturbers grows ever larger be it conservation, government, business or personally which is a great thing.

    I hit the big 50 next year and am looking forward to it. The older I get the less I concern myself with what others think…after all to be old is to be wiser lol. If people are negatively concerned by what I am doing, then I am happy to have touched their conscience in some small way lol.

    I am grateful that you taught me the benefits of optimistic disturbance, so keep on disturbing Des…its the funnest and most important gift we can give.


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