Welcome to a new blog post topic that I intend to complete each month –  Book Recommendations.  These books will relate to coaching in some form, self development, change, challenge and/or inspiration.

This month, and quite timely given Queens Birthday week and the Big Freeze at the MCG, I would like to recommend Neale Daniher’s book, “When All is Said and Done”. 

I purchased this book when in South Hedland earlier in 2021 and thought it would be a great read from a sporting perspective.  I was very pleasantly surprised as this book shares his sporting achievements (and as an Essendon supporter they are great) but go somewhat beyond that with some excellent pearls of wisdom.  He mentions that this book was written in part to be his message to his grandchildren, given his limited lifespan suffering from Motor Neurone Disease for over 7 years.

In the forward Patrick Cunningham shares that the genius of Neale is not so much what he has done, which is remarkable, but how he has done it.  That separates him from everyone else, and how he does things is what makes Neale who he is.

The Chapter headings are great and reflect that message in its content.  Some examples that resonate for me were:

  • Life doesn’t promise to be fair,
  • Know where you come from,
  • Watch and learn
  • Grow through what you go through
  • Balance isn’t something you find, but rather is something you create
  • Sometimes being smart is admitting you don’t know something
  • Stuff it and do it anyway
  • Passion might ignite the flame, but purpose keeps it burning
  • Trust is the oil that greases the engine to get things done
  • Success is never final, failure is never fatal
  • Play on

Within each part of the book there are a number of sayings erupt from the pages as fantastic points of reflection.  Some that resonated for me include:

  • A wise man said, “Life can only be understood backwards but can only be lived forwards”
  • We can use others people’s knowledge, but we can’t use their wisdom
  • Life throws up complex problems which is why you need to be in the driver’s seat
  • Waiting for certainty consigns you to a holding pattern, whereas mustering up the courage to make a decision and work through the consequences is what living is all about
  • Courage is the commitment without any guarantee of success

I was impressed by the way that book is written, which goes into his life is detail but has a never-ending message of positivity and hope.  Given his challenges, it is very inspiring and though provoking.  It makes a great letter to his grandchildren, that’s for sure.

A highly recommended read.