Himalayan Corporate Retreats – Beyond the Four Substitutes for Self-Leadership


I offer to help clients prepare for the mountain walks and if they live in Sydney, that often involves sharing the training time on the beach at Bondi.

Now, I want to paint the picture. People book to come to Nepal because it is a beautiful way to balance their life, lose some weight, get healthy and re inspire themselves. So, it’s meant to be categorised as fun, right?

Well old habits die hard. It takes months and months of training to teach some clients how to enjoy preparation. There is a model of life which reads something like, No pain no gain. And what a messed up model of life that breeds.

For me: “Pain no Train” is more like it. Don’t delay gratification…..

Preparation, like the event itself, needs to be fun and enjoyable and even when it hurts it can be fun, but all too often people take themselves so seriously that they get old before they’re old, they get serious and then, everything becomes a grind.

You hear the expression, “when this phase is over I’ll get some balance” but one phase always leads to another phase. It’s a self leadership process that’s sacrificial. In other words they sacrifice happiness thinking it will create something different in the future but if life is not already perfect how will it ever be? The Now keeps moving, it’s like reaching for the carrot on a stick.

It’s hard to imagine how people can still want to get up in the morning and go to work

when, over and over again they say, “when this is over, I’ll get a life” – however, this is where the four substitutes kick in.

Fun and happiness preparing for something are as important as doing the thing. To the mind and senses, there is no tomorrow.

Walking up and down Bondi beach with a pack on our back, missing out on the sunrise because we’re looking at stop watches, and counting our steps is so much like the way people address their self leadership at work, and to live this way, nature provides a rescue remedy, remedy, four in fact.

Circumstances do not dictate the quality of our life: we do.

We choose a smile as we walk in the office, or we choose, a frown. We choose to complain about the weather, or dress for it. Even on a walk some people are determined to turn it into another grind as ambition so easily sucks the joy out of a day, making everything turn dry and dusty.

People so easily forget that life is an inspiration. They begin to delay, to sacrifice, to put off a smile until tonight, to keep their heart closed to an ex, or to avoid the beauty in a baby’s eyes. They are just too busy right now to stop and enjoy themselves because there’s some idea that enjoyment and relaxation are not productive.
Being inspired means, that no matter what circumstances we face, we don’t delay happiness. If we stop smiling, stop seeing the funny side of situations we know we’ve dropped into lower emotion and in that zone, we’re going to attract troubles.

All the speaker needs to say is that this is possible and that is possible to help people escape from their current self imposed reality and there’s a stampede. It’s called motivation and marketing. Such marketing works because it provides an escape route. This marketing offers one of four results and these are called the four substitutes:

Why substitutes? Because they promise to defy the laws of nature. They promise uppers without downers, success without challenge, fun without sadness, good without bad and stress free lifestyles without discomfort. The four substitutes are like trying to make the earth spin backward.Life is the only drug we need. The four substitutes are:

• Food and Substances

• Greed and Possession

• Sex and Sexuality

• Spirituality


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