Posts

Outgrown something?

What are the tell tale signs, when you know you have outgrown something?

Bored, unhappy, in the doldrums, not learning anything, its not fun anymore, it just doesn’t feel right, you’re coasting, you’re faultfinding, frustrations are rising, constantly checking for alternatives, there is no stretch anymore, you feel way too comfortable, there is little satisfaction, time just seems to drag, you’re not engaged…Inside you just know its time to move on and change.

All of the above? Some of the above?

Sounds or feels familiar? The signs are clear?

As a coach, I have listened to this tale on numerous occasions. In fact, I have lost count how many times.

So – what now?

Firstly, give it some real thought, ponder, reflect and revisit your goals – what do you want from life?

Secondly, speak to someone you trust. A partner, your boss, a colleague, a friend, perhaps even a coach. Share your thoughts, keep an open mind and explore opportunities together.

Outgrowing things happen. Listen to your intuition – you’ll know!

Determination

And then it changed.

In our virtual session, all of the participants were viewing images representing different experiences or emotions connected with 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞. Each participant was to select an image that really resonated with them personally.

I asked the session producer to select one of the many images and asked participants to identify themselves if they had selected that specific image. The producer randomly chose one of those participants… and then it began.

The image chosen – 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.

I asked the participant why this image resonated with her. She then shared a portion of her life story that had been filled with adversity, physical challenge and major setbacks. Yet there was a determination not to let those setbacks get in the way of her own ambitions. In that moment, we all listened intently, in wonder and awe – each of us touched by her emotional testimony. I’ve tried hard to imagine what her life may have been like.

No matter whatever life had thrown at her, she chose to carry on enjoying the challenge of life with optimism, a positive outlook and a gritty determination.

Resilience is a choice, we can all develop much more.

What is your reaction in the face of adversity?

Small things

“Let’s see how far you can reach” said the optician. As it turned out, not very far! “Okay, let’s see if I can help” he continued.

I knew my eyesight had deteriorated and it had been well over 2 years since my last test. Lockdown had delayed my test even further, plus I was now spending so much more time behind a laptop screen every day, I was sure that wasn’t helping.

So the optician went to work by trying lots of different lenses, tweaking them a little here and there. It seemed complex to me, but it was obviously simple for him. Every now and again he’d asked me to read the chart again, and little by little, my sight improved, until finally he said “that’s you now with 20/20 vision.”

What a difference, as I was able to read down to the smallest of the letters on the chart.

My vision changed.

By small and simple things, great things happen.

The world has been turned upside down.

Just like the optician helped restore my 20/20 vision, what small and simple things can you do to help someone in need, at home, at work or in your community?

Disruptive Innovation

Dinosaurs are extinct. A seismic cataclysmic change brought their ultimate demise. Currently, many organisations face a similar fate.

The global economic crisis is tightening its grip, daily choking long established companies as well as new players on the world stage.  One by one countless organisations are failing. Every organisation large or small is being challenged by this unprecedented time of disruptive change.

Organisations must adapt or they will fail.  Governments are grappling daily with the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.  Whilst frantically, organisations are coming to terms with their new reality.

The Greek root of the word crisis, literally means “turning point” or “decisive moment.”

This is it. 

This downturn is changing the way we live and work.

No organisation can stand still. Many are already faltering or in reverse. They must change gear, tailor an agile response and move forward, or like the dinosaurs they too will become artefacts, cast into a museum for us to recall how the once mighty have fallen.

In order to survive organisations, need a breakthrough, a complete paradigm shift from business as usual in order to adapt to the acceleration of external change.  In turn they must progress to new ways of working and new norms. A gargantuan effort to find new innovative ways to survive is crucial.

Whatever advanced operating practices, products and services are on offer – they must remain relevant to the new world order.

  • Why is change inevitable?
  • How are you adapting?
  • How agile are you?
  • What does your new beginning look like?
  • What new leadership behaviours are emerging?

 

Disruption!

“You’re kidding dad aren’t you?” was one reply, when I said the shower wasn’t working.
A visit from a local plumber revealed that the filter in the mixer valve was worn out and needed replacing. “We’ll have to order up a new one, it’ll be a few days before it arrives – the office will call you” he said and off he went.
Forlornly we accepted the conclusion, and resigned ourselves to find alternative daily showering solutions for family members. Immediately we considered showering at our elderly neighbour’s, or going to my mother’s or asking other friends.
This was becoming a major disruptive event in our home and consequences followed.
After a few days, we still long for the part to arrive. Yet, out of necessity, we were somehow agile enough and quickly adapted. We changed our routines and helped each other by using buckets, bowls and sinks filled with water to meet our daily needs. For the time being, this is our new normal. It will change again.
In a like manner, our lives have been disrupted by COVID-19. All of us have had to adapt and change at pace, to meet the new demands placed on us by this virus.
What have you had to adapt in your life, at home or at work?
How is being agile helping you move towards a new normal?

Choices

Earlier this morning, I discovered this poem circulating on social media – appropriately written for our time. Before hastily returning to your pre-lockdown life, please consider these words. I hope we will all choose a better way. Enjoy!

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

𝑨𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒆: The poem is attributed to various authors from 1869, 1919 and even now in 2020 variations of the name Kathleen O’Mara, Catherine M. O’Meara and Kitty O’Meara. My own research indicates it was written only a few weeks ago for our day by Kitty O’Meara.

What are you choosing to change?

Normal

We’re quite protective over the notion of normal.

Before we rush back to “normal” can we just pause and think about what parts of “normal” we really want to rush back to.

For starters – what exactly is normal?

In our present day, normal is perhaps most often used to mean “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern,” or “ordinary or usual; the same as would be expected.” But types, standards, and regular patterns (or what is considered “regular”) unquestionably shift, as we have seen in the last few weeks during lockdown. Yet each of these definitions can lead to different (and contradictory) interpretations of what normal could really mean.

What is normal for one person may be abnormal for another.

As I have started to ponder what normal actually means, over time I have attached my own meaning to the words normal and abnormal. Ultimately I’ve realised that normal has a very different meaning for everyone!

Whatever your new normal is, ask yourself what have I discovered about myself? Then, going forward together, lets choose to build a more humane, compassionate and sustainable world – please!

So, what new normal are you creating for yourself?

Think!

Lately, I have reflected on many of the wonderful experiences I’ve had in my life. My journals too have really helped me to recall some great memories.

My invitation today is a simple one.

It is a really valuable exercise every once in a while to close your eyes and think! Whilst doing so, you can reflect upon lots of questions – try this one for starters…

“What is the most wonderful moment I have lived through during the last year?”

It could be a special large event, or a very simple moment or a lovely conversation with a good friend. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Simply slow down, close your eyes, take a moment, remember that special occasion and let the warm feelings that will come lift your spirits and fill your soul. I know that memories have great power!

Remember – change starts in your thoughts!

Becoming

Changes in life have been many recently: good and bad, sudden and progressive, minor and major. Many have dealt with being furloughed, losing a loved one, or being isolated at home. Dealing with change is an inseparable part of life’s journey.
I recall some years ago learning a story about little acorns. Just like a giant oak tree produces little acorns, so an acorn may 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 an oak tree. But, not all acorns become oak trees, only those who break through their hardened shells and reach for the sky.
Similarly – in these difficult times are you reaching upwards, moving forward, seizing opportunities for new experiences and growth. Or are you wallowing in the mire of self pity, and like some little acorns, forgetting what you can become?
This time of enforced solitude is a tremendous opportunity for self reflection, learning and growth.
Little acorns have all the qualities of giant oaks, they just need time to grow. Opposition, challenge and difficulty are part of growth. It takes time, effort, perseverance, set-backs will be inevitable and adaptation certain. This is the process of life.
Don’t forget “The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping stones. Laugh at them, tread on them and let them lead you to something better.” Enid Blyton
In these challenging times, remember who you are and what you can become.

A little push

“All it took was a little push” said the taxi driver.  Let me turn the clock back to one week ago.

My taxi didn’t arrive at the hotel.  Reception ordered me another one – it didn’t show either.  So, I walked to the taxi rank a few minutes away and took a taxi to my business client where I was delivering a workshop that day.  I always pay by card, but it turned out that he didn’t have a card reader, and I didn’t have any cash.  On the way, we stopped at a cash machine.  Then we talked.

Our conversation went like this…”So why don’t you have a card reader” I asked. “Well, I have been meaning to do that for a while now” he replied.  Probing further “How long is a while?”..”Oh, a few years I think.” We  then discussed the benefits of card readers, for his cash flow, for his customers, new business opportunities and his resistance to change.  I committed him to get the reader.

Back with the same client this week, I followed up with my taxi driver.  He is now the owner of a new card reader.  He is also benefiting in lots of ways and loves the new opportunities at hand.  For starters he’s had 6 fares from me to help him on his way! “Thank you again for the little push” he said.

Who can you help with a little push to get them on their way?