Interviewee Name: Rodger Harding
Company Name: Harding International and Associates Inc.
Rodger Harding – Your Invisible Mentor
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Rodger Harding: I am a Toronto based Business Leadership consultant (Harding International & Associates Inc), painter & author; My life’s work is to evolve to my fullest potential, to lead as useful a life possible – It has often been said that I am an iconoclast, whose impact results from an unusual way of approaching people and situations.
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Rodger Harding: I have never separated the two – Yet I am able to distinguish the two when interaction with others demands prioritization, but believe who I am personally impacts professionally…the opposite is also true!
Avil Beckford: What’s a major regret that you’ve had in life?
Rodger Harding: I was not a carefree person in my youth;
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
- Actively acknowledge, with gratitude, all that is right in my life on all levels
- Attempt to resist comparing myself with others
- Get off centre-stage – My insignificance sets me free, while at the same time I am accountable to my talents, innate and learned
- I am accountable to my personal/professional impact with its mix of perfection/imperfection – I am in total awe of the magnificence of the individual mind and its potential
- Happily pay the price for choices made – Surrender to what I do not/cannot understand is vital moving forward
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
- Daydreaming – Lost in random thought, most of my Eureka moments have come unbidden…..!
- If I am at all organized or efficient, it is because I love getting tasks done so I can indulge in this pastime. I used to think it was doing nothing, until I realized that I am actually sub-consciously mulling over the next article, painting, consulting session, seminar, keynote…This perhaps accounts for my ability to get going at the drop of a hat; I am often called to deliver last minute key-notes or to write opinions on diverse subjects without time to research or prepare…
For me, daydreams are actually creative spadework!
- I have recently started painting and have done surprisingly well. My canvases, all painted without a sale in mind, fetch decent prices;
- I love reading…especially novels
- Gardening & cooking are both creative passions
- Importantly …just chatting with friends about everything and nothing
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Rodger Harding: As above…I let go completely to take the pressure off myself; I tell myself no-one in particular is waiting for my great idea – and that the world will be just fine without it. This allows me to let new ideas in without concern for outcomes…
Avil Beckford: What’s your favorite quotation and why?
Rodger Harding: “Ring the bell that still can ring… Forget your perfect offering… It is the crack that lets in the light” – Leonard Cohen (Anthem); For me, perfection and certainty, while attractive concepts, are unattainable; True wisdom/excellence is always the result of the path traveled – The ongoing coexistence of opposites!
Avil Beckford: How do you define success?
Rodger Harding: Being able to live with myself; If find myself ready to pass on at any particular moment, then at that moment I consider myself a success;
Avil Beckford: In your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Rodger Harding: Being who I am rather than who I am expected to be!
- Fully utilizing innate & learned ability
- Achieving a high degree of pleasure/happiness
- Accommodation (acceptance) in a like-minded environment
- Adequate means of survival
- The ongoing opportunity to evolve to my fullest potential….
Avil Beckford: What does it take to succeed in your field?
Rodger Harding: To bring the message above to as many people as possible.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out?
Rodger Harding: Know what you want and why you want it – Align your competencies and experience with the pursuit of you innermost desire – this will translate into a passionate and rewarding career path.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people who you have always wanted to meet (dead or alive) who would you want to meet and what would you say to them?
- Vincent van Gogh – “I congratulate you on following your hearts dictates despite lack of validation in your lifetime. You have inspired me to be who I am… and pay the price!”
- Nelson Mandela – “Thank you for teaching me that forgiveness and love of mankind requires greater strength than the pursuit of victory or revenge”
- Terry Fox – ‘You showed so many what could be accomplished by an ordinary guy who rose above his own hardship/circumstances to both embrace and relieve the suffering of others”
- Margaret Thatcher – “I did not particularly agree with your politics, but you showed women what could be achieved by strength and determination… as a woman!”
- Leonard Cohen – “I am in awe of your ability to turn depression and sadness into creative beauty that has touched so many!”
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life?
Rodger Harding: David Copperfield, (Charles Dickens) – I first heard this book serialized on the radio aged 9. I read the book aged 10 and still find it an inspiration. The exploration of family life, friendship, love, hardship, death, human greatness/imperfection, as well as personal evolution encompasses just about every human emotion …
Avil Beckford: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five books that you would like to have with you and why? Give a brief summary of each book.
- David Copperfield – Charles Dickens (Human emotion)
- Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence (Embracing paradox brings enlightenment)
- Any Ian McEwan novel (A single action can alter the course of events) (Ian Mcewan 4 Books Collection Pack Set)
- Any John Irving novel (Imperfection in itself can be perfection)
- Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis (The path of individual evolution)
- Quatrefoil, James Barr (The importance of persistence and integrity in relationships)
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Rodger Harding: I surrender to the unknown… I never know what tomorrow will bring!
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Rodger Harding: Creativity (painting/writing) is for me a total escape – - Yet I have something concrete to show when I return to reality!
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for? Or, if I gave you a magic wand, what would you use it for?
Rodger Harding: To ask for happiness and fulfillment!
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
- I am fully engaged in activity that uses all of me/I am a useful member of society
- Using who I am brings pleasure to myself and others
- I have secured a like-minded circle of interaction
- I am able to support myself
- I am able to continue the process of evolution
How can you use this information? What do you have to add to the conversation? Let’s keep the conversation flowing, please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
All book links are affiliate links.
David Copperfield Charles Dickens