Posts

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?

Punctured?

Have you ever felt a little flat?.. Yes, me too.

This personal story may help you to see things differently.

Just married and living in the Netherlands in 1994, I recall cycling home from my workplace at a Kaaspakhuis in Woerden when I got a puncture in the back tyre. Frustrated, I eventually made it home and began to repair the damage, in exactly the same manner that my dad had taught me so well growing up in Scotland. Removing the back wheel is always a bit of a pain. A few moments later, as I was busy with the repair, my brother in law arrived. Looking quizzically at me and laughing at the same time, he asked “What are you doing?” Cheekily, I replied “Isn’t it obvious!”

I was then given a life changing lesson on how to repair a puncture 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙩 having to remove the wheel from the bicycle. An approach I had never considered before, dad always removed the wheel! A simple procedure that every dutch child learns to do at a very young age. Wow!! 😆

In a like manner, dealing with frustrations and challenges can sometimes puncture our enthusiasm and vitality for life, leaving us feeling flat at times.

I learned a great lesson that day, oftentimes, there is a simple way, a more obvious way to lift the trials from our life.

How about you?

Why don’t you slow down a little, perhaps there is an easier, more obvious answer to the problem at hand that you’ve never considered before!?

Change – Speed & Agility

In our topsy-turvy, commotion-filled world, the pace of constant change is accelerating faster than superhuman Usain Bolt can sprint 100 metres.  Change can be dizzying and exhilarating!  Yet for many frightening too!

Mindset is key

It is our mindset and how we view things that is critical. Your mindset is effectively the way you think.  When faced with a change we must consider how we process those thoughts in our mind.  We need to fight against our natural instinct to resist change and our negative thought patterns that usually come at breathtaking speeds – unconsciously even.  Instead, we should embrace a more agile mindset, grasping hold of and looking ahead to the opportunities that are presented before us.  How we think about and perceive change is key.  For example, paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Our world is filled with disruption, indeed all things are in commotion and everything that can be shaken – is being shaken!  For daily evidence of that fact – simply watch the news!  My thoughts turned to Dylan Thomas “Do not go gentle into that good night (as I considered President Trump’s latest remarks) …. Rage, rage against the dying of the light” – will be his repeated hyperbole until he leaves the world stage.  As the acceleration and hastening influences in our world through technology and globalisation continue at warp speeds, clinging to and living our values each and every day will be the key to dealing with the changes set to come.

Do you know what your core values are?  Have you established what matters most to you?

Pause for a moment in amongst the turmoil and vicissitudes of the day.

Determine to embrace change.  Choose to change your thoughts, to change your world.

What will you do to reconsider how you view that change today?

 

 

How change agile are you?

How change agile are you? Do you anticipate, adapt and plan for changes?

As a frequent traveller, I’m always on the lookout for a travel bargain, on flights, trains and hotels. For an upcoming engagement in a few weeks’ time, I’ll be in central London 5 nights straight. Planning ahead (3 months ago) I secured a good rate for those evenings in a central London hotel. Checking my booking a couple of days ago, I discovered that I could get a much better rate only a few weeks before I’m actually due in the city, at an upmarket sister hotel. How’s that? It doesn’t make sense to me? I’m very organised and always like to book well in advance!

Agility, is the ability and your willingness to change quickly to new developments. Speed, nimbleness, dexterity and being fleet of foot all come to mind, in order to adapt to change quickly – it is key to your future. So, pick yourself up and get your running shoes on.  You’re absolutely going to need them simply to keep up with the pace of change in the world today.

The algorithms behind these advanced rates on booking sites are complex, but the key to it all is agility! Change is now the expectation – NOT – the exception.

What am I learning?

Agile leaders and agile organisations must be entrepreneurial in their mindset and approach to change – always! Best to check that hotel, train or flight booking again today…. It could be far cheaper now!

Polishing

Its time to polish the car again!

I don’t know about you, but cleaning, hoovering and polishing the car is important to me. There’s nothing worse than a dirty car.

In fact this Saturday morning, will be like many before, I’ll be out polishing soon!

It is not hard to notice when a car needs some tlc. This week I have put a few miles on the clock, however after a little bit of effort and polishing, the car will be shining again, just like new.

In a like manner, it got me thinking about how we are all in need of some tlc. However, I realised too that we are all being polished and refined through our experiences in life.

For example, this week through various coaching sessions, workshops I have facilitated, books I am reading and conversations I’ve had, I am acutely aware of the polishing I have received. I am feeling as if some personal rough edges have been polished, smoothed and perhaps, even in some respects (I hope) starting to shine. Like all of us, I’m a work in progress – and the polishing is very helpful! ”

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials” – Chinese Proverb

How are you being polished?

change