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August 2008 ‘Using Our Strengths’

Submitted by on August 1, 2008 – 4:49 pm
Whanau Vrksasana'(Family Tree Pose), by tash Smith.  Needlework and Paint on Canvas

Whanau Vrksasana'(Family Tree Pose), by tash Smith. Needlework and Paint on Canvas









There’s this guy I want to tell you about.  His Alpha Maiavaname’s Richard and he was born dyslexic.  During his early school years, despite his best efforts, he just could not keep up in class.  All those numbers on the board wouldn’t make  sense. This was long before teachers knew about ‘dyslexia’ and he had been sent to one of those ‘stiff upper lip’ boarding schools, so he suffered daily trips to the headmaster for a caning.  Despite the regular punishments, he had a very determined personality and the flames of entrepreneurship appeared quite early on during one of his first businesses attempts – breeding budgies. Through this he found that when he thought about numbers in terms of how many budgies he could sell, maths was far easier.  Later on, during his teens he set up a student newspaper – in fact he became so passionate about it that he left school to focus all his energy on the paper.  Soon, he realised that ‘Student’ wasn’t making him any money, but he decided to branch into mail order records because he noticed that the one thing students would happily Richard Bransonpay good money for – was music.  The records sold well, but then there was a serious mail strike and his business faced an abrupt end.  Within twenty-four hours he’d taken a huge leap of faith and opened his first shop – Virgin Records. Soon, Richard saw that the real potential for making money lay in recording albums.  Virgin Music was born.  Working alongside many other talented individuals Richard went onto sign acts such as Mike Oldfield, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, The Sex Pistols, and the Rolling Stones.  He also successfully established Virgin Blue Airlines, Virgin Books, Virgin Cola, Virgin Insurance, Virgin jeans, Virgin Mobile and these days – Virgin Galactica – space travel.  Richard and his space planeWhy did he take on all these projects?  He took them on because he loved taking on the ‘big boys’ and doing a better job.  To this day he’s still proving that anything’s possible, given a little creativity. 
This month’s Happyzine is all about pitting our unique strengths against life’s challenges.  Poet – Tusiata Avia shares how she continues to perform plus being a dedicated new Mum.  Lisa and Sarah from Acumen Money tell us why it’s easiest to use our talents to achieve financial wealth.  We catch a glimpse into the life of Lynda Hallinan, Editor of New Zealand Gardener and her amazing pledge to live out of her garden plus only ten dollars per week on groceries.  This week we also feature the first of many stories about how positive thinking has transpired into delightful reality.  What ever your strengths are, here’s to celebrating them and most importantly: using them!


Charlotte Squire

Tusiata AviaInspiring Kiwi –Tusiata Avia 

There’s something about Tusiata Avia.  A quiet power that  hums from deep inside her.  This woman was born to perform.  Tusiata Avia is a poet, a performer and a writer.  Her first book ‘Wild Dogs Under My Skirt’ was short listed for the 2006 prize in modern letters.  Her next book is due out this year.  She travels the world performing her one-woman show and she’s hot in demand for her services. 

One year ago, Tusiata gave birth to her daughter, Sepela Avia.  I asked Tusiata how she manages to continue using her gifts whilst also upholding the very important task of being a Mum.


“It’s been surprising.  I think before I had a baby, I’d gotten past the beginning phase and things were pretty happening.  I think I thought that I would have a baby and just carry on exactly the same because I had no notion of what having a baby would be about.  It certainly has changed things.  My job used to mean a lot of travelling.  A lot of international travelling to places like Israel and Russia and I would travel every year, quite often multiple times.  Luckily I’ve still had invitations since she was born.  We’ve been to a number of different festivals in NZ and one in Bali so far and we’ve got another couple of things in Australia next month.  So far it’s worked out really well because the Bali festival provided a baby sitter and I’ve managed to sort things with the other festivals so that I’ve had child-care.  Next month I’m taking a friend with me to baby sit.  So, yeah, it’s surprising.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to work, but it’s just a case-by-case thing, sorting it out as we go along. Tusiata Avia


“It’s really important to me to continue working because it makes me feel as if I’m still a poet and it’s hard to find the time to write, so to be able to still perform still enables me to actually function as a poet.

How important has it been for Tusiata to continue her work as a poet? “It’s actually really crucial because as much as I love being a mother, I have to be more than that.  I can’t just be only a mother because that’s just ignoring a whole part of me.  Keeping that part of me alive is really important.  In actual fact it’s been really good.  I think I did my first performance when she was five weeks old and probably every month since then I’ve had a performance or a festival or something. 
Finally, I invited Tusiata to describe her strengths.  “I think I’m probably well suited to performance in that I have that whole side of my personality, you know that whole dramatic performer side of my personality that finds a really good outlet on stage.  So performance is actually an incredibly positive thing for me because it gives me that outlet in a creative positive way.  Whereas I’ve only been performing for eight years and previous to that, I still had a fair amount of drama and it all took place on ‘the stage of my life’ really.  It’s a much better use of that creative energy.” Believe me, once you’ve seen her perform, you’ll understand her urge to keep going.  To continue using that strength of hers, is the ultimate in service.
Charlotte Squire  


Puls’n Planet

Livin’ Lightly in The ‘Burbs

Alpha Maiava
Lynda Hallinan is one of those people who takes the term ‘walking the talk ‘ to a whole new level. 


The following is a blurb from the NZ Gardener website, plus a fun oppertunity …

“Eighteen months ago, New Zealand Gardener editor Lynda Hallinan set an ambitious New Year’s resolution: she vowed to be self-sufficient in the city by living out of her Auckland garden for a year. And that’s not all – she set a $10 a week maximum grocery budget. She did it – and now it’s your turn! In January 2008 New Zealand Gardener magazine launched a campaign to get New Zealand growing. We want to encourage every new and novice vege gardener out there to give it a go, and we’re offering all the free advice you need.
“Every Friday, Lynda sends out a FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER with all the hints, tips and weekend tasks you need – whether you’re a beginner gardener or an expert grower. The Get Growing newsletter includes special offers, recipes and planting ideas – plus we’ll answer your vege growing questions and queries.
If you would like to view the emails already sent, see the archive below.
“To join the Get Growing campaign and receive the free email newsletter, simply email:”



Wild Youth Profile:  Te Kaea Beri

This is a Happyzine reprint – due to Te Kaea’s Te Kaea Beriinspiring story:

Age: Nineteen
What do you love to do?
Acting! Doing what I’m passionate about.  It’s always been the only thing that I have wanted to do and I get such a thrill out of it.  I’ve just got my first acting gig since finishing school, so I’m really excited about having the opportunity to do something I love every day. 
How does that feel?
I’m so happy it’s starting to happen.  It’s really hard to get your foot in the door. some business ideas I’m looking into.   I do workshops, as many as I can and am still training anyway I can! Basically, I’m putting myself out there, cause opportunities can arise from any situation so you have to be open to that happening and allowing it to happen.
What’s one thing you’d like to say to other youth about how to enjoy being young?
I think it’s about enjoying, but not over indulging!  So do what you want but still think about tomorrow!  So if you wanna drink every night, that’s cool, but remember, you’ll have a hang over in the morning!  Everything has its consequences. 
What’s one thing you’d like to say to the world about being young?
Being young is fun!  Don’t shake your heads at us.  Let us enjoy our time being young!
Charlotte Squire



Written by Financial Expert Lisa Dudson and Money Expert Sarah van der Spuy from and 
Sarah van der Spuy
How we can use our personal strengths to accumulate financial wealth

Each and every single person can become wealthy and achieve financial freedom. The first significant step is simply making the decision that you want to be wealthy, and then it’s about taking action to begin your journey to creating wealth.
Wealth begins with knowing what you want and creating a plan to achieve success. Part of being clear on what you want, is knowing yourself and understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Take some time to really understand what they are. There are a number of different personality profiles that you can do.  One is called Wealth Profiles which cost $100USD.  Check out this link  We have found these to be a very effective tool to help you understand what your strengths and weaknesses are in relation to wealth creation. Utilising and leveraging your unique skills, strengths and passions will really help you to achieve what you want.  Not only that but it will make your journey much easier because you are doing things you are good at and trying to avoid doing things that require skills that you are weak in.
Lisa Dudson
Success is defined as the “progressive realisation of a worthy goal”.  Therefore, if you have not invested the time to create goals and plans to become wealthy, the chances are that you will go through life complaining about your financial position, never have enough and end up being a slave to money.
Once you have created a plan on how you are going to achieve financial freedom, it is important to stay focused and not lose your way. Each day there are hundreds of opportunities for you to make or lose money.  We have seen many people fall trap to the temptation of making a “quick buck” and lose everything! By being clear on what you want, you effectively develop a filtering system and can decipher between good or bad opportunities.
Express gratitude for your personal strengths and use them to your best ability. Be wise with your money and celebrate the journey to wealth each day. By doing this, you will ensure that your wealth is built on steady foundations and lasts a lifetime.
“Wealth is what you have left when you have lost all your money” – Roger Hamilton 
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