change choices eddie jaku happiness mindset Oct 18, 2021
Eddie Jaku - the happiest man on earth

Welcome to Week #38

What whisper did you hear from #37?

Do you recognise the “I’m busy” badge of honour?

Did you consider how you are busy? Thin or thick things?

Are you fully living your life? By design or chance?

Have you committed to creating more space?

Sadly, this week saw the passing of Eddie Jaku at the age of 101. Eddie was an Australian Holocaust survivor, well known for his inspirational book, The Happiest Man on Earth. It’s an incredible story of survival, resilience friendship and ultimately the turnaround as Eddie declared himself to be, despite his circumstance, ‘the happiest man on earth’.

Having narrowly survived Auschwitz, he moved to Australia during the 1950s, where he dedicated his life to teaching others about the dangers of intolerance and the importance of hope, no matter your personal history.

Until his passing Eddie still worked as a volunteer at the Sydney Jewish Museum. It’s left “a huge void in the hearts of everyone associated" and Eddie’s impact will “be felt for generations to come”.

He was real, honest, and sometimes angry about the actions of his captors but found a way to forgive without forgetting.

He chose not to hate as he felt that hate was a disease that ‘will kill your enemy but will destroy you in the process’. Instead, he chose happiness. He commented that “happiness is the only thing in the world that doubles every time you share it”. “You know happiness doesn’t fall from the sky. It’s in your hands. You want to be happy? You can be happy."

 He epitomised the mindset of “we’re more than the worst thing that’s ever happened to us” and made his life an example of the contribution we can make in the lives of others – without possibly even knowing.

Your efforts today will affect people you will never know. It is your choice whether that effect is positive or negative. You can choose every day, every minute, to act in a way that may uplift a stranger, a colleague, a friend or else drag them down. The choice is easy. And it is yours to make.

I experienced Eddie from afar at his Tedx Sydney 2019 address. It was the first time my wife and daughter had attended a Tedx forum and despite the many inspiring artists, presenters, ideas, and stories Eddie blew them away. Not simply because of his story of survival, tolerance, and inspiration but his warmth, energy, and love that poured out of every word and facial expression. 



Not only was he the happiest man alive but his happiness was contagious to everyone in his vicinity. There’s so much to learn from Eddie and as importantly so much never to forget.

Life is what you want it to be, life is in your hands” he said.

My favourite comment from Eddie was this… ”Please do not walk in front of me for I may not be able to follow. Please don’t walk behind me as I may not be able to lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Here’s to walking alongside you, whispering through your ear so your heart can hear 😊

Freedom Fridays Podcast

My weekly conversation with ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We explore some of the big changes people have gone through and what’s helped the journey. The intention is to share as openly as possible some of the ingredients – the good, the bad, the ugly – that shape our shift from ‘I have to’ into ‘I choose to’. The lessons are hiding in open sight within the conversation – it’s up to you how you apply them.

This week is the second part of my chat with Howard Tinker who shares his story of coming from significant poverty in the UK to being a self-made entrepreneur teaching other entrepreneurs and living a life beyond his childhood dreams and aspirations.

Check out Part 2 Episode #36.

If you're a listener of the podcast on Apple we'd love a review from you. To do so, open the Apple Podcasts app on your iPhone, iPad, or computer and locate the Freedom Fridays Podcast Page (not the individual episode page). Scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll see the subheading "Ratings and Reviews" and click "Write a review". To say thank you for your time and energy we'll provide 1 day of digital training skills to Aboriginal communities.

That’s all for this week and I hope you enjoyed Weekly Whisper #38.

Feedback is my fuel so if you have any comments please send me an email at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts.





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