What am I working on?

I believe that wisdom can only be created through our own action and effort. We do that by exhausting our own resources working on problems, ideas, and asking ourselves tough questions. Here you will find (almost) daily posts of the things I'm trying to figure out for myself. Have a quick scroll through and see if you can find something that interests you :)

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Setting goals for 2021…

Personal goal setting tips:

  1. Start your goal setting in October
  2. Don’t share your goals with others
  3. Once set, focus on activities and behaviours not outcomes

Tips for success:

  1. Build the activities into your identity
  2. Don’t rely on internal motivation
  3. Don’t rely on external recognition
  4. Create a routine that makes it easy for you
  5. Don’t let a bad day ruin your week/year

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A day with the kids…

Awake at dawn
Baffies and goonie on
To stay bed-warm

Downstairs demanding
Tip toe on the landing
Creaky floorboards standing

Morning pee
Honey in your tea
CBeebies on the TV

Hot milk to wake up
Rice Krispies in a cup
Toast in squares cut up

Individual packed lunch
Cheese sandwiches to munch
Smarties to crunch

Skating in the park
It’s only a little mark
Home before dark

Hands above your head
Favourite film before bed
Popcorn and a slice of bread

Jimjams and sunnies
Warm up the cozies
Tucked in bed for stories

You’re over the limit…

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”

– But it’s nicer here…

So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and the spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

– But we have to sleep sometime…

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that – as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota.

You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status?

When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts .

Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 5.1

On becoming a mentor…

At our final team meeting of the year I asked: ‘Name one person, and what they did, that had a dramatic impact on you in the last year.’

It opened up a powerful conversation where we expressed recognition and gratitude for the people that have helped us.

There were three types of people that had an impact on all of us:

1. Mentors – Someone to learn from
2. Peers – Someone to challenge us
3. Mentees – Someone to teach

One person went as far to say that the person that had *the single greatest impact* on him this year was his understudy and mentee – isn’t that interesting?

He’s had many teachers throughout his professional career, but only one or two mentee’s.

It’s all too common to discuss the benefits of mentorship from the perspective of the mentee, and rare to consider the benefits of becoming the mentor and how that leads to a dramatic shift in personal growth.

There are three levels of learning that we all have to go through – we have to study, then practice and the final stage of learning is to teach.

As leaders, I wonder what would happen if we helped everyone at work to become great mentors? How dramatic would the impact be on professional growth, and the growth of the company as a whole?

What’s front of mind for you?

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Dear Ego…

  1. The spotlight isn’t on you.
  2. Stop taking things personally. It’s not all about you.
  3. It’s not important that you’re right.
  4. You don’t have to prove how smart you are.
  5. Let others have their turn.
  6. Stop looking for recognition.
  7. Just that you do the right thing. That’s all that matters.
  8. Stop talking. Get curious about other people.
  9. There’s plenty of room for everyone.
  10. Stop making assumptions and judging others.
  11. Anger doesn’t look good on you.
  12. Don’t let fear control you. Stop protecting yourself.
  13. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Own them.
  14. Stop needing to have all the answers. Help people figure it out for themselves.
  15. You’re not better than other people.
  16. Stop showing off and trying to get a reaction.
  17. Stop getting carried away by other people.
  18. What are you taking for granted right now?
  19. Be honest, especially when it’s difficult
  20. Stop pretending like your perfect.
  21. You don’t need to understand or know everything.
  22. Stop trying to control other people.

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Things that help me to set personal and professional goals for the following year…

Things that help me to set personal and professional goals for the following year:

  1. The wheel of life: Reviewing the last year, scoring myself, and then making a plan of development to move the needle in each category.
  2. My three words: Reviewing the last year and creating three words for 2021. This is the exercise that Chris Brogan hosts every year. Link in the comments.
  3. Values: Writing out my values and intentions for who I want to be in the year ahead.
  4. Reading list: What will I read in 2021 and what will my theme be?
  5. Stop doing list: A list of everything I want to do less of and stop doing altogether.
  6. Mentorship: Working with a few special people to help me see what isn’t obvious to me.

…and finally, making it easy to reference all this reflection and planning on a daily basis throughout the year.

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Who am I?

At work I am a digital sales and marketing coach.
Is this who I am?
Am I my job title?
Is this ALL I am? No.
My identity is not fixed to what I do.
Will my job change in a year? 10 years? Possibly.
Does my work make me who I am?
Or IS IT ME that makes my work what it is?
Does my job title need to be congruent with the ideas I share?
Do I need to have a qualification to have different and new ideas? No.
My identity is fluid.
My identity is dynamic.
Am I what other people think I am?
Am I other people’s opinions?
Am I what the critics think I am?
Am I my most recent post on LinkedIn? No.
Is there only one way?
Is there only right and wrong?
Is there only nothing or perfect? No.
I am whatever and whoever I want to be.
Who I NEED to be.
I am my ideas.
I am my thoughts.
I am my past. My future.
I am imperfect.
I am figuring out as I go.
Just like you.
Stop waiting for perfect.
Stop asking for permission.
Stop protecting yourself from failure.
Stop letting other people’s opinions hold you back.
Stop pretending you’ve figured it all out.
Stop getting in your own way.
Start sharing your thoughts.
Start sharing your ideas.
Start putting yourself out there.
Start shaping your own identity.
Start today.
Start NOW.

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How to have a great day at work…

I can’t control everything, but there are many things I can do to increase the likelihood of a great day at work:

  1. Don’t make it about me
  2. Have in mind what I’d like, and accept what I get
  3. Let go of perfectionism so I can move forward
  4. Respond with kindness, politeness, understanding and compassion
  5. Don’t get defensive
  6. Don’t take things personally
  7. Let go of the need to be right
  8. Let go of the need for recognition
  9. See beyond the surface level of what’s happening
  10. See people as complex individuals – I don’t know everything that’s going on
  11. I won’t be physically harmed
  12. I can only control my own thoughts actions to events that happen today
  13. Find the good in every situation

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What will you stop doing in 2021?

When we talk about dieting and healthy eating, the default narrative circles around *REMOVING* specific foods from our diet.

When we talk about setting goals for the future, the default narrative circles around *ADDING* more things to achieve.

In both cases I’ve found the opposite to be true.

When researching how to lower my cholesterol I found that it was more effective for me to *ADD* specific foods to my diet.

Similarly, after many years of goal setting, I found that it was more effective for me to focus on *REMOVING* things from my plate.

Perhaps you’re the same as me? As the year goes on I slowly take on more and more. It’s at this time of year I need to hit reset and remind myself of:

  1. what I want to be able say yes to
  2. how I feel when I say yes to the wrong things
  3. and make sure I’m clear what I want to be spending my time doing

So…what will you do less of in 2021? What would you like to stop doing altogether?

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Why we can’t communicate…

This is why we can’t communicate effectively with each other anymore:

  1. For me to be right, you have to be wrong
  2. How your words impact my feelings is more compelling than your good intentions
  3. It’s safer for me to speak my ‘unfiltered truth’ online with you rather than face-to-face
  4. My experience is more valid than yours
  5. I much prefer spending all my time with people that agree with me
  6. I secretly disclose our disagreements with my people instead of creating a dialogue with you privately and directly
  7. In order to be heard I must be louder and more aggressive than you
  8. I need you to hear and understand my perspective
  9. I’m here to change your mind, not for you to change mine
  10. We have to agree on everything if we want to get along with each other

As human beings we all want to be seen, heard and understood, and to make that happen we have to:

Help people to feel seen, by
listening deeply to what they are trying to say, by
being curious and compassionate enough to understand the world from their perspective.

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