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Are you going nowhere?

Are you going nowhere?

1 year ago, on February 1st 2020, I took delivery of my new car and was excited about the journeys ahead. Yesterday, it was back in the garage for it’s first annual service. In my 20’s and 30’s I’d be regularly driving 40,000 miles plus per year. In my 40’s & 50’s that reduced to circa 15,000 miles per year. This year, I’ve barely driven 5,000 miles and most of those were done in the first 8 weeks of ownership, pre-Covid19. Occasionally, I’ll go for a short spin, but never very far. The car passed it’s annual 40 point health check with flying colours, with tyres too that are hardly worn.

Most of the year, the car has been parked up outside, going nowhere.

Yet, just under the bonnet of the car, there is a powerful finely tuned engine, in prime condition ready to roar into action.

Similarly, there may have been days over these last few months when you’ve felt like you’re going nowhere. If you were to take your 40 point annual service health check, would you pass with flying colours, or are you feeling a little worn out?

If we want to roar into action, then we need to look after ourselves.
– Go out for a little walk (spin)
– Connect with others, listen and support
– Give of yourself
– Set a goal
– Eat well
Then you will be going somewhere!

What holds your team together?

Evidence in the garden suggested the storm had been a rough one.

There was damage in the garden, including one of the ceramic pots which had been blown over and was broken into several pieces. My wife and I discussed our options. We determined to visit our local garden centre to purchase a replacement. However, we couldn’t settle on a new pot and instead a little later we decided to repair the broken pot and bought some glue instead. A few days later, the pot, showing its age a little, plus with some wear and tear, was repaired and functional once more, adding to the surroundings of the garden.

In a like manner, it struck me how powerful cohesion is and the importance of glue in many aspects of life, especially through this year. I considered my family, teams I’ve worked in through my career, then subsequently groups and organisations I have worked with in 2020. What is the glue, the cohesion, the bond that unites us, that keeps us sticking together and from falling apart? In life, we can choose – out with the old, in with the new or repair.

Unity, love, purpose, meaning, joy, happiness, a sense of belonging are all indicators of cohesive teams.

In your family, community, teams and organisations what is the glue that holds you together?

Life

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.

What are your anchors?

Our greatest struggle is within ourselves.
Consider this definition of an anchor “a person or thing that provides stability or confidence in an otherwise uncertain situation.”
In our topsy turvy commotion filled world, all that can be shaken is being shaken. Life has a way of testing our anchors causing us to drift from the safety and protection they provide.

Pathways to Purpose

Why am I here?

What is the purpose of life?

Where did I come from?

Philosophers have struggled with these questions for millennia.  As I continue to walk on the path of my own journey, I love this old fable, perhaps even more appropriate to share in the Christmas season. I hope it will give you some clues to your own purpose.

“Once a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to hold a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their challenge was to see who could travel the highway best.

On the day of the contest, the people came. Some of them had fine chariots, some had fine clothing, fine hairdos or great food. Some young men came in their sports togas and ran along the highway. People travelled the highway all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end,complained to the king that there was a large pile of rocks and debris on the road at one spot, and this had hindered their travel.

At the end of the day, a lone traveller crossed the finish line and wearily walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty – but he addressed the king with great respect, and handed him a bag of gold. He explained, “I stopped along the way to clear away a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This bag of gold was under it, and I would like you to help me return it to its rightful owner.” The King replied, “You are the rightful owner.” The traveller replied, “Oh no, this is not mine. I’ve never known so much money.” “Oh yes,” said the king, “you’ve earned this gold, for you have won my contest. He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those who will follow”. Author Unknown.

It is my sincere hope that as we serve and help others along their paths in life at home, in families, in government and business organisations we will be ever mindful of the greatest servant of all, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas Season.

It has been wonderful working with so many new clients and organisations in 2019, may I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

Purpose, Meaning and Life Long Learning

I was inspired by Neal A. Maxwell when he observed “Each generation is consumed with building sand castles which the tides of time soon wash away, clearing the beach just in time for the next “tourists” to start the process anew”.

What consumes your time and thinking?

When all is said and done – what really matters most?

What will you focus on today that will really make a difference?