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%



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


yes, every day I wake up raring to go




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?


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


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

8 hours or 16 hours or more to live/love your life

Once upon a  time in the last century  in Britain a sort of agreement was reached between the bosses and the unions who were fighting for the employed.

Go to Work  for 8 hours

Go to Sleep for 8 hours

and then that leaves

8 hours for Yourself

This was the birth of the 40 hour week.

At the time it was a great bargain, fought hard for. Of course some of those eight hours were caught inside the middle of work, with tea breaks and lunch breaks. And even outside of work we still had to find time to eat, prepare clothes for more going to work etc.

Nevertheless the notion was accepted ( mostly) that everyday you had 8 hours for your own stuff.

8 hours for your family, your friends, your hobbies, your dreams?

So what did we do with those 8 hours? What did we get sucked into.. is it productive, is it relaxing, is it when you stop to think about it what you would do, IF you did


More specifically what do YOU do with those 8 hours and do they feel like enough?

Chances are you are working some of them.

Somewhere for many of us the split was never that direct anyway.  Either we went hunting for a job we loved, OR we fell in love with it somewhere along the way. It might have been the tasks we were engaged in, or the team we were part of. It might have been the opportunity to DO stuff, that had always been elusive at school and university and now it was real.. and it was exciting. It was not always easy but there was an enthusiasm.

Eight (ANY) hours at work is nothing when it doesnt feel like work and it is easy for the day to be an expansive time with lots of different pleasures in it. And healthy too

Was it Confucious who said ( or was quoted)

” Do what you love and you will never do another day’s work again”

It is easy to love stuff when you can be yourself, when you can have your own authentic reaction to events, when you can have some real say in what you do. When you are awake most of the time, not just sleep walking through activities that you now know off pat, or which you have lost the desire to fiddle with…

So I have a question for you…

I’d love to see your answers and please feel free to pass this post and the poll on to everyone you know..

3 what challenge?

A few days back I took the decision to unplug my television for 30 days. I thought it would be hard but so far it hasnt been. 

I didn’t do this because I wanted to go without something. I did it because I wanted space for other stuff.¬†

I haven’t gone completely cold turkey, I have the iplayer so I can watch a handful of programmes if I feel the need.

I’ve also replaced it with the radio, but chiefly programmes that play music and are not full of chatter. Oh lovely radio, my Mother’s friend that greeted me at breakfast and when I came in from school or back from university.¬†

The music has been a delight, random, (for me) as in someone else chooses what I hear and I just accept it. Sometimes the piece is an old friend, other times something new, sometimes it warms my heart, takes me to a sad place, a happy place. Sometimes it takes me back in time. Sometimes I don’t like the piece ( fortunately not too often) ¬†but I stick with it and see what arises.¬†

Sometimes I lose awareness of the radio as I get on with other activities and then suddenly the radio is very present all around me. I pick up on something as it chimes with a thought. 

Is this praise of radio or of music. Am I enjoying the enabler or the enabled? 

Anyway, turning off the telly is just one absence that has made way for something else.

I am issuing myself a challenge now for 30 days Рthough I think it will become a habit. At the end of each day I am going to ask myself 

3 Whats

What  new thing did I learn today

What new thing did I do today

What else made today unique


Just at the end of the day I will ask. I won’t – as far as is consciously possible – plan for each day in advance.

I will record my answers, without justification and move through the time without review until the end.



So much to do so little time?

Have been immersed in several things today, including having conversations simultaneously online with people 15 miles away and 5 thousand miles away.

All useful all provocative, but I’ve made a small unforced error, which ¬†needs correcting.

So now for some serious ( and lighthearted) focus..on something completely different

Sometimes its better to take a break and return afresh than to plough on.




Tree of Life for Personal Leadership May 17th

Just starting to finalise details for the Tree of Life workshop for May 17th at Dove Farm in Derbyshire, this is easily accessble from both the M1 and the M6

It is a packed one day event, to make  the most of your time. You will be given the time and space to explore your personal approach to leadership so that when you return to your day to day, you are in a position to decide what changes you make so that it positively affects you, those that work with you AND your business.

Ferris Bueller was not wrong when he said

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

What a shame that would be..