Values Check List

I have made a random list of values. I suggest you take a moment to check those values that are personally most important to you and then ask yourself why you chose those values and if you really do live these values in your every day life.

Your Values Check List:
• Authenticity
• Balance
• Genuineness
• Commitment
• Compassion
• Concern for others
• Courage
• Creativity
• Empathy
• Excellence
• Fairness
• Faith
• Family
• Freedom
• Friendship
• Generosity
• Happiness
• Harmony
• Health
• Honesty
• Humour
• Integrity
• Kindness
• Knowledge
• Loyalty
• Openness
• Perseverance
• Respect for others
• Security
• Serenity
• Service to others


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Be Grateful

If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ’Thank You’, that will suffice.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Appreciation is like an insurance policy. It has to be renewed every now and then.

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel free to delight in whatever remains to them?

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as a bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

To be upset over what you do not have is to waste what you do have.

Health is… a blessing money cannot buy.

Think of the ills from which you are exempt.

“Count your blessings, not your crosses, count your gains, not your losses, count your joys instead of your woes, count your friends instead of your foes, count your health and not your wealth.”
– Old Irish Poem

Take a moment to ponder and reflect…

Always be grateful; contentment is the key to peace and happiness.

Your friend,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Make a Choice

Two men look out through the same bars; one sees the mud and one the stars.

The greatest part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.

Ultimately… it’s not the stories that determine our choices but the stories that we continue to choose.

I keep the telephone in my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance.

Then, whenever doubts, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal – and soon they’ll forget my number.

Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it solely depends on what you make of it.”
– Frederick Langbridge

Take a moment to ponder and reflect…

Choose to see the beauty in everything and everyone. Then happiness will be chasing after you.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Think Wisely

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

The most powerful thing you can do to change the world is to change your beliefs about the nature of life, people and reality, to something more positive.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
– Patrick Overton

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right both ways.

If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.

We cannot choose the things that will happen to us. But we can choose the attitude we will take toward anything that happens.

Success or failure depends on your attitude.

Take a moment to ponder and reflect… everything begins in your thoughts, so be careful what you think… choose to think wisely.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Do It Now!

To change one’s life, one should start immediately. Do it flamboyantly without exception.

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is actually doing it.

There are two kinds of people; those who don’t do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven’t done…
…then there are those who haven’t the time to write about it because they’re out doing it.

If you have something to do that is worthwhile doing, don’t talk about it… just do it.

Action is the antidote to despair.

Activity and sadness are incompatible. Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.

So my dear friends, take action now before it’s too late. Remember that the saddest word in the English language is the word ‘IF’.

Please take a moment to ponder and reflect, thereafter take action. We are all on very short borrowed time in this world, so let’s not waste a single second.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Practice and Apply What you Read

Let me share with you some timeless Gems of Wisdom left for us by one of the great leaders of the past, Sir Winston Churchill.

They are always full of meaning and thought-provoking and are always inspiring to read and reflect upon.

They are our guide to living in this perilous world.

Please take a moment each day to ponder and make our ‘Gems’ a part of you. True Wisdom can only be realised when applied and practised daily.

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

“Eating words has never given me indigestion.”

“Nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile, than vengeance.”

“Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning.”

“Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.”

Wishing you well.

Your friend,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Are You Managing Perception?

I believe perception management is very much misunderstood in our company and is used negatively so much that it has lost its meaning.

I would like to shed some light on perception management in today’s Gems of Wisdom, as I have understood it by attending one of the TRUTH APPLICATION PROGRAMME SESSIONS (TAPs) conducted by Dato’ Vijay Eswaran, who has taught me to manage perception from the very outset of our partnership.

Firstly let me give you a definition of leadership as follows:
“Leadership development is the expansion of a person’s capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes. Leadership roles and processes are those that enable groups of people to work together in productive and meaningful ways.”

We are all leaders to one degree or another. What sets great leaders apart is their ability to ‘manage perception’. What people observe or assess as your ability to be a leader and your effectiveness becomes their perception, which in turn becomes reality.

Perceptions that are not managed become rumours, then gossips and backbiting, which leads to destruction. Unmanaged perceptions become a reality that was not intended. Perception management requires asking questions and getting feedback from others.

Most leaders typically do not receive feedback very often and, in many cases, when given it is usually not in the most constructive manner. However, effective feedback provides information that lets you know how you are doing. It involves giving and receiving, reinforces the changes you are making, and encourages you to continue. It is balanced and positive as well as constructive and corrective. It assumes that everyone is not out to get you. It recognises that each person is doing his or her best and that although each one of us is unique, we all have a great deal in common.

Most of us know that we need feedback but are unsure how to get it or use it.

In one of the TAPs leadership trainings that I have attended, a format was presented using a process which I will call Assessment, Challenge and Support (ACS).

In the assessment phase you seek feedback from others. You look for people who are able to observe your behaviour and have an interest in your effectiveness; people who are able to speak to you directly, honestly and specifically.

Once you have received feedback, it is important to take time to reflect on your experiences and evaluate the content of what was shared.

During the challenge stage, we are reminded that challenging experiences stretch us and foster the development of new abilities. They force us to move out of our comfort zone and help us acquire skills and abilities that may have seemed beyond our current reality.

Mechanisms that provide a supportive environment include encouragement, advice, growth and acceptance. These help to create an atmosphere in which learning and growing are valued. They open people up to new learning possibilities and enable them to handle the challenges of development. It is critical to maintain positive viewpoints and the motivation to develop.

These three areas combined – Assessment, Challenge and Support – add up to growth and development.

The goal of the TAPS process is to allow people to focus their attention and efforts on learning. The benefit of receiving feedback is an increased understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses and we are able to confer this benefit on others by giving feedback.

I can personally attest to the benefits of perception management. This is what we do best during our TAPs that I still conduct for our IRs and leaders in the field.

Your friend,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

On Raising the Bar…

Given the number of benefits that we derive even from moderate exercise, it seems extraordinary that the majority of people in the world do almost none.

The explanation for this is simple. Building strength and endurance requires pushing past our comfort zones and experiencing discomfort. It takes time before the obvious benefits kick in and most of us quit before that even occurs.

Both strength and cardiovascular training have a powerful impact on health, on energy levels, and on performance.

The typical recommended exercise is 20-30 minutes of continuous exercise, three to five days a week, at 60 to 85 percent maximum heart rate.

So dear friends, push the bar and start the day with exercise and you will feel the difference in your performance. Do it for yourself. Organise and schedule this with a group and it will become much easier.

Please take a moment to ponder… Exercise and push the bar!

“Health is Real Wealth!”

Yours Sincerely,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Bear in Mind…

One of our most fundamental needs as a human being is to spend and recover energy. This is called oscillation.

The opposite of oscillation is linearity.

This is when we spend too much energy without recovery, or too much recovery without sufficient energy expenditure.

Other than eating and breathing, sleeping is the most important source of recovery for the human body. It is also the most powerful of the circadian rhythms that include body temperature, hormone levels, and heart rates. Even small amounts of sleep debt and insufficient recovery have a significant impact on strength, cardiovascular capacity and mood, as well as on overall energy levels.

During my years as a health instructor, I read many health studies and reports that state mental performance, reaction time, concentration, memory, and logical and analytical reasoning all decline steadily as sleep debt increases.

In one especially dramatic study, psychologist Dan Kripke and his colleagues studied the sleep pattern of one million people over six years.

Mortality rates from nearly all causes of death were lowest among people who slept between seven and eight hours a night. For those sleeping less than four hours, mortality rates were one and a half times higher. In short, too little recovery and too much recovery appear to significantly increase the risk of mortality.

The longer, more continuously, and later at night you work, the less efficient and more mistake-prone you become.

In my opinion, it is not about working overtime that makes you effective, it is the management of your energy.

Please take a moment each day to ponder and think…

Ask yourself these simple questions: “Who am I?” and “What am I doing?” and “Where will I go when everything ends?”


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd