Learning takes practice.
- Growth and development take time.
- Learning takes practice.
“Remind me again, what did he wear on the old scooter?” I asked mum, as we laughed together.
So, it was last night as we reminisced about dad’s scooter. Growing up in Dunfermline in the late 1960’s I recall my dad in his train driver uniform leaving for work. By the end of the 60’s all of the steam trains were replaced with diesel engines. As the engines changed, dad also had to switch depots and ended up having to travel to Alloa for every shift, a round trip of 35 miles or so. Dad never passed his driving test until the early 80’s, so every journey was made on his little scooter.
In the wintertime, the ride was not only treacherous on the old country roads of the time, but it was also a very cold one. Before he set off for a night shift, on the chilliest of evenings, I recall dad padding and lining his jacket, sleeves, and trouser legs with old newspapers to lessen the biting winter cold and the piercing winds. A simple old-fashioned way to stay warm, and his preparation was key.
A few years later as a young boy scout, I remember learning the motto of “be prepared”, which has remained as a constant with me throughout my life in all that I do.
Our world of 2021 is filled with uncertainty and I am sure for all of us, many more chilly and difficult nights are still ahead as we journey through the challenges life will bring.
So, are you ready for the next challenge and what can you do right now to be better prepared?
Stressed, anxious, worried, tense, overwhelmed, working harder than ever – sound familiar?
One of my favourite stories is told by Stephen Covey in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. It’s based on a story by Arthur Gordon entitled “The Turn of the Tide”.
Arthur recalls a time when he was experiencing deep frustration at work and many challenges in life.
Finally, he went to see a Doctor who told him to spend the following day in the place where he’d been happiest as a child. Then, he gave Arthur four prescriptions in sealed envelopes, to be opened at 9, 12, 3 and 6 o’clock the next day.
As day dawned, off he went to his favourite beach.
At 9 – “𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐲” – he heard the birds and sound of the sea.
By 12 – “𝐓𝐫𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤” – happy memories came flooding back.
Then at 3 – “𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬” – he discovers he was focused too much on himself.
Finally at 6 – “𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐝” – he did, knowing that the waves would soon wash them away.
This prescription works for everyone..
Make those internal adjustments now.
Why not apply this remedy for yourself today?
𝐖𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐬.
How is your week going?
A little challenging perhaps?
Some problems to attend to?
Have you considered Rule Number 6?
The following story is from Benjamin and Rosamund Zander’s book “The Art of Possibility”
“Two prime ministers are sitting in a room, discussing affairs of state.
Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws.
The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology.
When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister.
“Rule Number 6 is ’Don’t take yourself so @%$~* seriously.’”
“Ah, says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?”
“𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻’𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝘆.””
How can you use Rule Number 6?
Perhaps it is time that we all shift the way we think and lighten up a little – start today – smile a little more along the way!
When times get tough – try using Rule Number 6!
I celebrated my birthday in lockdown yesterday. One of my daughters posted this picture of me on my Facebook page, which she’d obviously kept hidden from me for a while! 😊
It’s from a few months ago, atop one of my favourite visitor attractions, the Wallace Monument in Stirling, Scotland.
As I recall, it was a relatively clear day. There was however a gale force wind howling all around the top of the Monument, blowing visitors in every direction. As I looked at the photo, it occurred to me – the wind was so strong that just to stand still and in order to stand straight, I had to lean into the wind.
Figuratively speaking, there are some mighty strong winds, whirlwinds even, howling all around us at this very moment in time.
I sense too that many may feel that they are being tossed to and fro in this perilous storm of global turmoil.
My invitation today is a simple one, consider what you need to do to stand tall – lean into the wind and figure out what you need to do in the current storm.
Step by step, little by little, you can and will get through this.
Like all real storms, the winds will eventually pass.
In “A Tale of Two Cities” – Charles Dickens wrote these words to describe life in France and England in 1775, maybe they describe even better the conditions of our day.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.
It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.
It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.
It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
We had everything before us, we had nothing before us”
In our day, we are daily witnesses to a sweeping panorama into the depths of despair, then upwards to the glorious heights of beautiful acts of kindness that lift our spirits and souls once more.
For many of us, it is unlike any other time we have ever experienced before. Eventually however, I believe these challenges will pass.
Now is the time to consider – what is really vital? What really matters most? What do I really want? What is my purpose here on earth? What is the highest priority in my life?
Why not take some time today, to pause and reflect upon these simple questions. As you listen for that still small voice, reach out for the insights and inspiration. You may have to wait a while, but answers always come.