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Do you have a dream and want to move towards it?

Do you have a problem and want to fix it?

Do you have a conflict and want to resolve it?

Have you lost confidence and want to find it?

Do you have anxiety or stress and want to reduce it ?

Do you want to increase joy and fun in your daily life?

Do you want to be your best self consistently?

Padraig (Patrick) Purcell can help.

Strategic Intervention Life Coaching,

Communication & Motivation.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Ukraine – Twenty Years of Independence.

Around this time the Ukrainian people are celebrating independence. Independence means previous dependence and implies freedom from that dependence. Independence implies economic and social freedom and self-sufficiency in many ways. But has Independence brought success to Ukraine?

The World Bank country comparison report (2011) places Ukraine in 145th place in the world for ease of doing business. This means Ukraine is not competitive and is not an attractive destination for investors. The World Bank gives a reason for this rating. Ukraine has too many steps (laws and regulations) that make honest business slow, uncertain, unprofitable and occasionally impossible. 

I have to say I am puzzled. I know many, many great Ukrainian people. They are very well educated and very smart. They are as good as any person in our World and maybe better than many. Why does Transparency International rate Ukraine as 134th in the World? Why does the Fund for Peace rate Ukraine so badly on issues relating to the law and policing? These are important questions to study and the answers to these questions are guides to development of better life for the Ukrainian people and nation. 

But there is hope. Recently in Kyiv, Tomas Fiala, President of the European Business Association, told President Yanukovich (who chaired the meeting) that he believed Ukraine could be one of the top 20 countries in the world if some economic and behavioural reforms were implemented. He advised the President that "corruption and personal interests are paralyzing the implementation of your initiatives and preventing businesses from working, investing and creating jobs." He added that paying civil servants enough so they didn’t look for ‘presents’ would help. So, a regulated free market, harmonizing Ukrainian law with International economic regulations will increase trade and improve the economy. 

Beyond economic advancement we all have lives to live, souls to save and intellects to nourish. The societies we develop will be more successful and more harmonious if we provide for these. Now Ukraine has a new anti-corruption law but will it change the behaviour of officials who were educated in the old inefficient corrupt soviet ways? Patriarch Lubomyr Husar recently wrote that corruption cannot be eradicated by laws. He calls for insertion of ethical and spiritual values into the education system so the officials of the future will behave fairly and unselfishly. He shares his idea that human values and relationships are more important than money. 

Development of a country requires social responsibility. The state has obligations to give legal rights to citizen but each citizen has a responsibility to give and contribute to the building of the state and the development of the people. This balance of rights and responsibilities is taught in homes and schools in America and Europe. It is an organizational agreed discipline that leads to progress. 

It is important to consider that independence is more than a word. In most countries it came as a reaction to grave oppression. It came at great human and financial cost. Honour the memory of those who hoped for independence in the past, but died without seeing it, by using freedom to make life better for every person. Ukraine has suffered and Ukraine is now free. The foreign powers have been exiled. Now the people of Ukraine have to mature and work to develop an inclusive and fair system for all citizens. Independence gives Ukraine the right to determine her own destiny. It can be as good or as bad as you work for it to be. 

God bless those who suffered in the past and God inspire those who work in the present to make a better future for all!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Patrick Purcell speaks at the Closing Ceremony of the EYP Session in the Parliament Building in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine

Following the success of my speech at the 'Opening Ceremony' of the European Youth Parliament Session in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine, the organizers asked me to speak again at the 'Closing Ceremony' in the 'White House' Rada Parliament Building. I decided to use an informal speech this time and it connected with the delegates even better than my first speech. Here it is;

Well done on a great conference. Congratulations to the Chairman, the organizers, Maryana and Uliana and yourselves, the delegates. You did a great job. You worked hard and you deserve a reward. Give yourselves a round of applause [lots of applause].

It is important to remember that if we were in a room together 60 years ago, we would be fighting with or against each other. But we are not fighting, we are talking and this is great progress.

We are communicating using a common language, English. Not being able to speak a common language means not being able to understand each other. So speaking the common language of English is more progress.

You are also using an agreed peaceful system to communicate, to make debate and to adopt resolutions. This is the European system and it gives you a voice as well as a way to debate.

The theme of this conference is Social Responsibility and you have accepted social responsibility by being here. You have accepted social responsibility and you have given yourselves a voice in your own futures.

Communication means sharing ideas in ways that people can understand. Do not expect people to understand you if you do not try to understand them. Understanding other people means putting aside your views and trying to understand where other people come from. Go to them in a way they understand and bring them to your position by good communication.

There are 4 possible solutions in a negotiation situation. I lose-You lose, You Win-I Lose, I Win-You Lose and I Win-You Win. I believe the ‘I Win-You Lose’ is the most popular system in Ukraine [some laughs]. This may make the winner feel good but it means the loser will never do business with you again. The WIN-WIN or principled process of negotiation is favoured by the European Union and Internationally for negotiations. It may take more effort but in the long term it is more profitable and more stable. Always try to create win-win situations.

Now I will ask you to have hope. I take inspiration from my friend Archimandrite Serge Keleher. 40+ years ago he believed the ‘Wall’ would come down. He worked hard trying to convince the right people to support this idea. At that time they thought he was totally crazy. But he was right. The ‘Wall’ did come down. He persisted, like Maryana and Yuliana (the organizers of this conference). and eventually succeeded.

A few months ago I met a fellow Irishman in Ivano-Frankivsk Airport. He told me his company were making their biggest investment so far in Ukraine. They were investing 250 million euro. I said ‘Eamon, you are a brave man to invest in Ukraine’. ‘No’, he said ‘It’s the smartest thing we ever did’. I will repeat that in case you didn’t hear me. He said ‘It’s the smartest thing we ever did’. So have hope.

There are two ways of thinking. I can’t do something….because…I have no money…no time….a million reasons. These same reasons can be used to show you can do something if you say; I can do it if….I get the money…..make the time….etc. Mariana and Yuliana are great examples. They persisted and never gave up hope.

Did anyone ever go to a dancing class to learn how to dance? Raise your hand if you did. [all hands up]. Most of you did. Did you notice that in the beginning you couldn’t do the steps right, you weren’t co-ordinated with the music or your partner? But over time, if you persevered, your steps improved and you advanced in proficiency. The European Parliament is like this. Today is a new step for you. If you practice you will continue to take higher steps towards a better future.

Have a vision and take steps towards that vision. Don’t give up, especially in hard times. Persevere, re-evaluate and succeed. Push yourself, but enjoy the process. Build bridges not walls. Be the best you can be not just for yourselves but for your world.

For the sake of those who did not hear the first day,
May I ask you one more time to answer the same question?

Do you think a better future is possible for Ukraine? [big YES]
One more time? [big YES]

Will you work to make that better future come true? [big YES]
Thank you. You have made my day. [applause].

Patrick Purcell, 7 March 2011,
Closing Ceremony of the European Youth Parliament.
White House Parliament Building, Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine.
end of speech

European Youth Parliament Speech by Patrick Purcell in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine

I was asked by organizers of the European Youth Parliament to speak at their 'Opening Ceremony' of the Session in Ivano Frankivsk Ukraine on 5th March 2011. My words connected with the delegates from Ukraine and Europe and they responded with long applause. The formal title is 'Social Responsibility and Unifying Standards' but my preferred title is 'Young Ukrainians say YES to a Better Future'. The speech follows.

"Social responsibility in Europe: on the way to unifying standards"

After the First World War people asked the question WHY? Why were they asked to suffer, fight and die when leaders of Empires disagreed with each other?

This question, WHY, led to the end of the absolute powers of Emperors, Tsars, Kings, Princes and Lords….but these were soon replaced by brutal Dictators.

The Second World War led to more WHY questions as well as demands for workable answers. In the West, people were given more democratic freedoms but Eastern Europeans became prisoners behind a great ‘Wall’.

Visionary leaders accepted responsibility and took steps to end the slavery of communism, and to unite Europe in freedom. Two famous speeches made in front of the Berlin Wall were made by men whose grandparents came from my country, Ireland. In June 1963 John F. Kennedy spoke these words;

Let me ask you to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today,
to the hopes of tomorrow.
When one man is enslaved, all are not free.
We can look forward to that day
when this city will be joined as one
and [also] this country, and this great Continent of Europe,
in a peaceful and hopeful globe’.

In June 1987, also in Berlin, Ronald Reagan spoke these words;
"This wall will fall.   Beliefs become reality."
Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall.
For it cannot stand against faith;   it cannot stand against truth.
The wall cannot stand against freedom.’

The wall came down in 1990 because people believed it was possible and they acted to turn their thoughts into realities.

If you don’t have a vision of where you want to go,
 You will end up some place - you don’t want to be.

Not having a vision, means giving control of your life, and your future, to another person with another vision. Let me share with you my future vision for Ukraine. I am sure many of you think the same way. I see Ukraine as a respected, responsible, equal partner with her neighbouring nations, with Europe and with the World.

I believe this vision will happen, but not until some organizational, social and personal steps are taken towards it. To make these steps possible, leaders and people have to accept responsibility, and freely choose this way.

All need to work hard to change their behaviour, and to harmonize official and unofficial systems with European and International standards.

The World Bank Country Comparison Report for 2011 places Ukraine in 145th place in the World for doing business. This is not because of famine, war, bad education, disease or bad climate. It is because of continued use of slow uncompetitive, un-connected systems, and old Soviet operational mentalities. If European technical and customer service standards were accepted today, the Ukrainian economy would quickly begin to improve.

The benefits of an improved economy and connection to a free trade market in Europe would mean higher wages, better social services, better infrastructure, and more tax revenue. This is a WIN-WIN situation for Europe and for Ukraine.

It is possible for me to be here today because leaders of the past convinced people to believe and work towards a better future.

Now it is time to put the past to sleep….. It is time to look to the future.

Do not expect other people to change - if you do not first change yourself.

Do not forget the suffering of the past.
But bring life to the dreams of those who suffered
and died in the past, by imagining a better future for all,
not just for Ukraine and Europe, but for our World.

To finish, let me ask you a question.
Do you think a better future is possible for Ukraine? [loud YES from delegates]
Do you think a better future is possible for Ukraine? [loud YES from delegates]
Will you change yourselves and work to bring life to that future? [big YES]

My words are not important.
You have spoken…and you are the future. [long applause]

Patrick (Padraig) Purcell, 5 March 2011
Opening Ceremony of the European Youth Parliament, Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine.
End of Speech

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Ukraine - a Low Risk Business Environment?

Ukraine has contradictory, complex and frequently changing business laws making it very difficult for investors to develop reliable business plans. This creates uncertainty and creates an unwelcoming and high risk investment environment.

Official fees are not very high but unofficial cash payments are very large and cannot be explained in the accounts of legitimate investors and businesses. Linked to this uncertainty about business costs is the feeling that a business project can be stopped indefinitely by an excessively greedy official (using contradictory law) who refuses a service unless an extortionate payment is made.

The time it takes to complete business deals in Ukraine is significantly longer than other countries due to the steps that are required by law and an extremely disorganized, technologically unconnected and very slow bureaucratic system.

A reduction in steps is necessary and will reduce time and costs. It would be helpful if officials consider ways to centralize permit issuing offices in one regional building and using a connected computerized system. This will significantly reduce the process time and costs as there will be less opportunity to demand cash payments.

A reliable system allows businessmen to make more reliable business plans. This is an immediate encouragement to consider business opportunities in Ukraine. These changes can be paid for by higher official business charges.  

Ukraine is a great country, with highly educated people. The future can be as good as the Ukrainian people organize and work for it to be. Do what you can to help Ukraine develop a Low Risk Business Environment.A safer business environment means more business. This means more tax. This means, in time, better health care, better care for the poorer people in society, better roads and a better quality of life for ALL of the Ukrainian people. This is a future worth working towards.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Economic Challenge for Ukraine based on World Bank Report 2011

Each year the World Bank publishes a report which looks at how easy it is to do business in the main economies of the world. Their approach is to analyze ease of business in three categories, Steps, Time and Cost. The 2011 results show Ukraine in 145th place in the World.

Steps - The number of things you have to do to make your business work.

Time - The average time it takes to take the steps required by local law.

Cost - What does it cost to take these steps (including unofficial cash payments ordered by officials).

Analysis - When compared with other countries, Ukraine does very badly.

Ukraine has very complex and often contradictory business laws.
The Steps, Time and Cost of doing business are unattractive to foreign investors.
What takes a few months to do in America takes many years to do in Ukraine.
Officials looking for money can use their positions to stop your business at any time.

Patrick's suggestions to make business in Ukraine more attractive

- Less complicated and contradictory business laws will make the business process more clear.
- Less Steps will save time and give officials less chances to stop business until they get 'tips'.
- Centralize permit issuing offices to save time, speed up business and reduce corruption.
- The Official cost is not very high but officials do want very large private cash 'tips'. Reduce corruption opportunities.

Who can do this? Only Government can change these laws and Steps towards Increased investment and honest business.

Why should Government make it easier to do business in Ukraine? More business will help develop the Ukrainian Economy. This will mean more tax income for the Government. This also means more and better paid jobs for Ukrainian people. The extra tax money mean higher wages, better pensions, improves roads and a more secure life.

When should these changes be made? The faster these changes are made the faster the Ukrainian Economy will grow and the faster life will become better for the Ukrainian people.

What about people who don't want to change? Think about your children, your country and join with the heroes of the past to something good to help your country develop and take her place with the respected nations of the world.

Will it be easy? Change for the better needs people to believe and to work together to make Ukraine a better place for all. No important change is easy but every person who helps make that change is a hero to their country and their family.

The Future! Ukraine is a young country with great people and the possibility of a great future. With the help of God and your personal effort.....this WILL work. Do what you can to Make it happen! Take a step to a better future and a better life.

What can I do? Pray for Ukraine. Do what you can to make life better for your family, your region and your Country. Explain (peacefully) to any politician or official you know that a reduction in Steps, Time and Cost will help increase business and will help all the people of Ukraine. Pass this idea to people who can use it to help Ukraine.

Set a Target! I would like to see Ukraine be in the top 50 countries of the world within 10 years.

This is a link to the World Bank Report. 2011 will show Ukraine is in 145th place in the World for doing Business.

Ukraine can do much better than 145th in the World!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The ability to speak English is Essential for Business development in Ukraine

English has become the International language of business. 

The ability to speak English offers great potential for development and economic progress in Ukraine. 

I believe development of the English language in Ukraine is essential if Ukrainian businessmen are to expand into international markets. 

The ability to speak English is also an attraction 
for International businessmen 
to visit Ukraine for business and pleasure purposes.

Well respected British historian Paul Johnson wrote a very persuasive article in Forbes Magazine titled 'Must the Whole World Speak English?" He concludes with good advice to the business world, 'By 2050 India, with a population of 1.6 billion, will have overtaken China (1.4 billion). If India becomes a predominantly English-speaking country, as I expect will happen, China will have to follow suit or risk relegation. There are high stakes in the global language game. But there's not much we can do about it. Events will take their course. Everyone should calm down--and learn English.'

Do not forget your own language and culture.
Without communication success is not possible.
Learn English if you want to do business across borders.
Patrick Purcell 
Life English Motivation Education