To lead one’s life

Have had a guest blog post published.. very excited..

What a lovely way to start the week ūüôā

It is about leading your life.

You can find it here

It is the blog for a very  marvellous UK company called ContactPDA which always remembers people are individuals

You can find out more about them  here

Meanwhile in other news, work on a permanent website begins in earnest this week and I shall be delving into the details of CPanel and channelling a former me when I liked doing that stuff.

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Results from the Poll: Love and work are not incompatible!!

But there might be some separations ūüôā

I know that question wasn’t actually asked but it is a natural conclusion from the responses I had..

I used to 31.82%

Sometimes

22.73%

I am not sure you can love what you do for a living

13.64%

yes, every day I wake up raring to go

9.09%

Other:

22.73%

A lot of people read that post. Most of them didn’t respond but enough did ¬†to think about it some more.

I must confess I was very curious what the results would be. If you look at the results you will see ¬†that ¬† “Loving what you do” ¬†has been or is a real sensation for over 60% if not all of the time.

Initially I thought the OTHER results might account for people who do not love what they do, or hate it . In fact most of the reasons  cited situations which made the other responses not appropriate for them.  All bar one of these also allowed for the real possibility that you can love what you do for a living.

So a new way of life work and love being synonymous. My grandparents and parents generation might have said that you were lucky to love what you did, or expect you to be an artist or someone building a vocational life.

Early in my career it was suggested to me that most of the time you could divide the work up into 3

1/3 you love/enjoy

1/3 thats  ok.. it doesnt wear you out to do it and its not unpleasant to you

and  1/3 that you dislike and at times hate

Looking across my career I can see that I have been in all of the categories.

Years of working with people as they grasp opportunities and grapple with difficulties I have a slightly different opinion now.The 1/3 break down has some merit, particularly at the start of your career. Working out what you like and dislike, what you want more of, what surprisingly has interested you, is part of starting off. As you get more experience being clear what you will tolerate and expect from yourself and others has a bearing on this too, what makes you happy may not be WHAT you are doing always but the people you are doing it with.

When you do get those soaring moments, days, weeks where you are stretching out, loving it you almost need the downtime of the middling 1/3 to rest, before the next high flight.

You can tell I am not a statistician ( though once rather miraculously I did get an 96% result in a statistics exam at university) And my analysis may not be the best in the world. ¬†Perhaps all those people who didn’t answer found the whole subject area irrelevant for them and my results are skewed. Perhaps because it is THIS blog the readership skewed the result. I am pretty sure both of those are true. I may certainly rearrange the order of the ¬†responses in future and think about other ways of approaching.

However there is another story to tell I think.

What if I reorder the first 3 answers

Yes every dayI wake up raring to go  9.09%

Sometimes                                                     22.74%

I used to                                                          31.8%

Is there a story to tell with the 31.8  and perhaps including the Other 9.09%

Did they once leap out of bed in the morning raring to go and have they slipped through each section. Is it just possible most of us want to and can love what we do?

What might have happened to make the journey down hill?

and

What if we could find a set of ways to reverse the percentages for those answers.

What if ¬†“Yes everyday I wake up raring to go” ¬†had a response of 31.8%, what could we achieve?

By the way I’ve been in each of the sections I listed at different times. And going back to the 1/3 split I described earlier, from personal experience I can tell you that:

the 1/3 I loved was so brilliant it shone a light on the other 2/3

It became a bigger third…

I would love to hear you any thoughts on this. Please feel free to comment below.

Busy Bee needed Honey, read all about it!

Yesterday I was about to put something in a sink when I noticed a large Red Bottomed Bumble Bee at the bottom staggering about. It was clearly in distress and not able to climb up the stainless steel sides.

I offered it the hilt of a knife and the creature managed not to slip off as I placed the  Queen  Bee outside the kitchen window.

A few minutes later as I walked past I noticed the BumbleBee was STILL on the windowsill but right in front of my eyes she rolled onto her back and sagged back

Galvanised by her giving up I selected some Honey ( Lincolnshire Honey as that is where we were) from the cupboard and put some on a teaspoon near her.  She noticed it and found the strength to turn, roll back and flop on her side. Her protruding mouth reached out. After about 10 seconds it was as if she decided to really go for it.

Her stance changed she lent back and appeared to sit on her lovely fluffy round red bottom and planted her two back legs so like a tripod she was held up.

Her antenna pointed down at the Honey.  Her front legs were in the Honey and she stepped into the Honey so that her middle legs also became sticky.  Now she was upright, I eased the honey out of the spoon onto the sill, a sweet juicy feast for her to enjoy.

For the next 10 minutes she took what she needed. She had to spend time, cleaning her sticky legs and at one point this involved her holding down one leg with another leg whilst her tongue came out of her mouth ( I know not the proper names) and scooped up the Honey.  At the same time she waved about her left middle leg in the air to help dry it off

It was the most wonderful and fascinating experience to see a noble creature such as this move from famine to feast. She seized the opportunity to live.

Then refreshed and fortified…..

She took off in her BumbleBee way and flew up and up and up sure and strong over the roof away back to her life and her colony.

 

My phone camera photo does not do  justice to her magnificence but here you are anyway

 

Queen Reb Bottomed Bumble Bee

She drinks honey and revives

 

Do you need some refreshment, some time to refuel. Click here to find out more

https://loafandlearn.wordpress.com/tree-of-life-for-personal-leadership-may-17th-2012/

 

Why Rest days make THE difference to overall performance. Everyone needs refreshment

In 2001 Harvard Business Review published an article called The Making of the Corporate Athlete by Jim Loehr  and Tony Schwartz  ( he of The Energy Project)  which stands the test of time. I still regularly go back to reread it.

Even if you do not subscribe it is about £4 to download, long, detailed and well worth it.

They outlined in the article  a carefully argued comparison between sports professionals and people who work in business. To remain fit to grow, you need to be take care of your whole self, with a focus on your body and specifically with making the time for regular and deliberate rest.

A line that hits home every time is this one:

“By alternating periods of stress with renewal, they learn to align their work with the body‚Äôs need for breaks.”

They demonstrate with examples the interaction between the mind and the body to be able to fully engage, to adapt and develop, to grow stronger at what it is you are engaged in.

Fitness means so many different things to different people. Being the right fit for a job, being physically fit, emotionally fit, mentally fit. All of these aspects of Fitness apply to business people. Sure, it is super clear with an athlete and we watch them typically on competition days.

But what about days when they are not competing ( with others) what about when we are not watching, what is it that the top performers do that other performers do not do? And for ourselves, what days are we not competing at least against ourselves?

Rest, reflect, hydrate, take refreshment. ¬†That makes sense doesn’t it?

Think about yourself? You know you  can only keep going as long as there is a will to do so. As long as you have the mind for it. If you never pause for refreshment, take the time to break out, how can you make space for new ideas, remind yourself of what you know, what is important.

Refresh yourself?

In simpler terms an article this time directly from sport talks about rest. The quote that may mean all the difference to you  is this one.

“adaptation¬†takes place during the rest and recovery phase, not during the workout!¬†”

( you can find the article here )

Still wondering how valid the comparison with an Athlete is? It is used a lot but does it apply really to you?

Competition Рsound familiar? Competing for customers? Endurance and maintaining performance through difficult times, like a recession, or training up for a new role?  Coaching a good performance out of your team or those you work with? Collaborating with others, building a team? Being in a team?  Are convinced yet?

And finally Hydration.

When you are dehydrated even adrenalin will stop helping you after a while.

Working hard, focussing, competing, engaging, collaborating, studying, learning, supporting etc etc, it is all very energising for a while but without the time to rest they all take a natural toll on your mind, your body and your spirit.

Refuelling isn’t always enough you also need to refresh too.

Re Fresh – Get Fresh again.

The ability is there but no time out for refreshment will render you unable to deliver, will fundamentally limit your opportunities for adaptation,development, growth and change.

It will sap your joy, personally and professionally.

What are you doing to build in the regular rest and refreshment?

How are you pausing to maintain long term momentum?

Making Time out a strategy for the long term will pay dividends

Interested in ways to build in refreshment  ?

Click here

the deadline for applications is May 14th

What would be on your Tree?

Look out the window. If you are in the UK the chances are, even if you are in a city, you can see a tree. If not visible from a window, perhaps around a corner in a square or a park, perhaps an avenue you walk along to and from work

Look at the Trees, look how varied and wonderfully they are shaped. Look how they grow and respond to the environment they are in.

Trees root deeply and so much more is beautiful about them but invisible to us most of the time. The roots provide water, the trunk strong and sturdy as it ages supports the branches that reach out

At Christmas time, some of us decorate trees, with objects that Might have symbolism to do with a religious festival, or because they are symbolic and important to us about something in our family and personal lives. Each decorated tree looks different. Each one is built differently, sometimes just thrown up quickly sometimes lovingly dressed as part of a wider family/group ceremony

Imagine you had your own tree and you choose everything about it. It being symbolic of you and your dreams, desires, what you care about, what you must have, what you expect from others. How you want to be in the world, at home, at work, with the teams you work with. An authentic essence of you.

Well you do have a tree, perhaps more than one..

Would you like to find out more about it and how you can use it? Support change  in your life and remain yourself?.

 

 

As Zebedee said

I loved the Magic Roundabout, the original one, where Eric Thompson subverted the original French.

I remember laughing out loud at one episode where for some reason speed limit signs had been introduced into the garden. Dougal believed they were minimum speeds and attempted to move at them with Brian. I still smile thinking about that episode. I can’t find it on Youtube if anyone ever finds it I’d love to see it again.

I liked the whacky madness of Ermintrude, the Dopeyness of Dylan, Dougal’s love of sugar and his cynicism and temper. ¬†I can still hear the music.

 

At Apollo’s Temple at Delphi as you entered was a saying:

Know thyself

Many others have said it since. And this is about integrity, being your whole self.

As I completed My Tree of Life over the last month I wondered what would turn up at the end. I now can see what I had in my mind. I have a sense of it’s enormity, age, stability and strength. I haven’t produced a picture because I am not an artist. I have an artist in mind though, to produce it for me one day.

Doing this exercise was to return to my core self, understanding what I needed present in my life, how I wanted to be, how I wanted to treat others and be treated. It reminded me gently, without tears and angst. It has  given me an appreciation of where some of these important things came from. I had the information I just needed to listen to myself.

As the Last day of November is here I have reached many useful conclusions. And laughter such as the magic roundabout provided is more than medicine it is a feast.

So as Zebedee said

BOING

TIME FOR BED

 

Unlikely peaks

with  alpine flowers and freshness

Maybe unlikely in a Tree but in My Tree of Life is a Mountain range.

You must have mountains, breathe the air, sit on top, look across and down. Feel air thats spare.

They are pointy mountains a proper shape. And there are lush meadows between them.

Inside a tree? Yes  within  MY  tree.

Good to feel the tough hard unyielding rocks beneath you at times, to notice the jagged edges.

Contrast with the hard living gnarled bark of the Tree.