Paul's Blog

Cultivating Adventure, Building Teamwork & Managing Change With Paul Templer


With no money, no job and no arm, Paul Templer faced a few obstacles in his transition from Zimbabwe to Beverly Hills, Michigan.

Why it took seventeen years to publish this book…

I don’t want to come across as being trite, but when my run in with that angry hippo was first reported back in 1996, it usually ended with something along the lines of “man who was attacked by hippo is maimed for life.” If I was going to take the time and invest the energy in writing a book then I wanted the story to have a different ending. A happy ending. I had a lot to do to make that happen. It’s taken me seventeen years to get to a place where I can honestly say… insofar as the hippo guy is concerned; the hippo story now has a happy ending.

During the last seventeen years, I’ve had a lot of life going on: navigating a life tainted by PTSD and learning to live with being an amputee, getting married to an American lass, leaving Africa and starting a new life and raising a family in the USA. Continue reading “Why it took seventeen years to publish this book…”

When is a Fool Not a Fool?

Today as I walked through the airport there was this bloke (chap) in the security line who was obviously more important than us little people and was acting out like a petulant child. I thought to myself “What a fool!”

Then I remembered the lady at the grocery store a few Saturday’s ago; she’d made it really clear to me that she thought I was a fool – both socially inept and parentally negligent insofar as my children’s safety and well-being was concerned. You see I was bumbling around with my three kids, letting them be a little more rambunctious and letting them have a little more fun than I probably should have been. So I can kinda see why she felt that she had the right, nay the duty, to point out the error of my ways and reprimand me; reminding me that it was unsafe for a grown child (Erin is 8-years-old) to ride around in a grocery cart and that children playing and laughing in the grocery store was (in her opinion) both unsafe and hardly appropriate. Continue reading “When is a Fool Not a Fool?”

Birth Order in the House

My beloved daughter Kate is nine years old. Her brother Jack (6) and Erin (8) annoy the bejesus out of her sometimes… well, a lot of the time.

Being the eldest child, from time to time I have unrealistic expectations regarding what she should do and how she should be. I guess sometimes I forget that she’s just a little kid. Recently, she was a little short with her siblings and I admonished her… “Katelyn Rose, you need to be kind.”

Exasperated, “Dad, I’m doing my best to look after these little buggers.” (Buggers (n) Brit slang… used as a term of affection or respect, typically grudgingly) Continue reading “Birth Order in the House”

Angry Bird Fist Bump

“Please will you and your family bring the offering to the priest during mass” the usher invited me as I sat with my family and Kai (the plastic red ninja figurine from ninjago) in our usual pews at our usual 10:00am church service.

My smile, nod and mumbled “sure” belied the “Please don’t ask me to do that!” thought that was swiftly followed with “This is all Carrie’s fault… here we go again… todays unmitigated Templer family disaster will unfold before 600 people who, given that nothing else will be going on in the church at that particular moment, will be giving us the undivided attention.” I looked forlornly across at Carrie and our admittedly really cute and well-attired children and reminded myself of one of our family mantras… not the “be kind, be kind and be kind” one, rather “suck it up princess”. Continue reading “Angry Bird Fist Bump”

Being Offended is Optional

So I’m at my fancy athletic club this morning, where people like me pursue our quest for health, peace and in my case, the ability to button up my trousers without sucking in my breath. Alas, today I caught myself becoming enraged at the piles of other people’s stuff all over the place. So much for experiencing inner peace.

Brief sidebar: My 6-year old son Jack takes taekwondo lessons and at the beginning of each lesson, the students and instructors explicitly show each other respect by bowing to each other… then before the class begins they recite their pledge: Continue reading “Being Offended is Optional”

Commitment, Gratitude and Thread Counts

“Daddy, are you coming home tonight?” My six-year-old son Jack barked at me through the Skype screen on our home computer last night.

“No buddy. The day after tomorrow… two more sleeps.”

“Aw man…” he responded bravely as he fought to hold back his tears. “I miss you soooooooo much!”

Later, struggling to fall asleep in my luxurious hotel room in central London, I battled with “Why wasn’t I home in the US with my family? Why did I ever choose to be a motivational speaker and coach? What price was I prepared to extract from the people I love in order to pursue my dreams? What was the thread count on these exceptionally comfortable sheets?” Continue reading “Commitment, Gratitude and Thread Counts”