Learning From The Kiwis (SSHH! Don’t tell the husband…)

Last weekend the All Blacks rugby teams (yes, teams) pulled off quite a feat.  On Saturday, their rugby league team played a fabulous game against a strong English team, who looked sure to beat them.  In fact, with two minutes to go, England were in the lead and had possession of the ball.  They had won!  Well, until New Zealand took advantage of a silly mistake, scoring a try to bring themselves level, with the try-scorer kicking the conversion to win the match.  WHAT??!!  HOW??!!  The disbelief around the stadium was staggering.  And then on Sunday, well, didn’t their rugby union team go and do almost exactly the same thing against the Irish?!  Again, WHAT??!!  HOW??!!  NOOOO!! Now some of you will know that the husband is an Aussie.  And if you follow rugby league, you’ll also know that the wonderful wallabies are playing those chancing Kiwis in the rugby league world cup final this weekend.  So I’ll probably get shot for saying this: I am in awe of those Kiwis! How do you get two minutes from the end of a match, where you’ve given it your all, when you’re physically and mentally done-in, and pick up the most difficult points to win?!  Is it your self-belief?  Or your opponents lack of it?  And can you really ever rely on your opponent to have so little belief in themselves that they won’t believe it of you?  Or is it just the decision to play until the end?  To use up every single second that you have available to you.  Or is it both?  Whatever it is I want...

No Man Is An Island

John Donne said that “No man is an island, Entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a piece of the main” He believed that it's in our nature to be “… involved in mankind”. And for some of us, that involvement needs to be a bit more 'hands-on', so to speak! For myself, after three valiant attempts, I can finally conclude that I don't do my best work while squirreled away in my home office, day in day out. I love working on my own but I hate being alone for long periods of time. Now I've tried working in shared office spaces, and the last one I was part of was great. I loved the people and it was a lovely, creative space. But I found that I didn't always want to work there: I wanted more variety in my environment. And it stopped making sense to pay to be there. So shared offices aren't for me either. So what is my solution? I think it's about allowing myself to be flexible. Sometimes I think my brain is still wired to corporate-land, and thinks I should be welded to a particular place of work. So I need to help it break free of that way of thinking. When I need peace, I'll continue to work at home, sometimes with some classical or jazz music, or Coffitivity in the background. (Coffitivity is a website and app that plays the sounds of a coffee shop. I actually have a friend who plays Coffitivity in his headphones, while working out of a coffee shop, but that's a...

Blog On The Run

When I started blogging I would sit down at my desk and mind map lots of blog topic ideas; then I would choose one and write a blog post on it. Now while I still think this is a good idea, I also think it's important to be open to changing your blog topics when your mood takes you somewhere else, or when inspiration strikes. I find that inspiration often strikes when I'm out and about or talking to other people or just out with friends. In the past I would have filed the idea for another time and stayed on track with the idea I'd already had for that week. But then I'd find that the idea waned once the immediacy and inspiration that summoned it had dissipated. So now I've decided that if inspiration strikes, I'll listen to it, and go with it. As immediately as I can. Because of course, these days, we're not tied to our desks when it comes to blogging. My friend, Diane, sends her blog 'Postcards' from her phone. And when we were at the Rugby league World Cup a few weeks ago, almost every reporter was filing from a tablet. Which is what I'm doing right now. I'm in a car, driving in the beautiful Scottish countryside, writing this on my iPad Mini, through an app called Blogsy! If I can get the husband to slow down a bit (obviously I'm not driving, that would be taking the concept of immediacy too far!), I'll take a picture to show you: it's very pretty!   Posted with...

But I Sent You A Helicopter!

I was reminded today of the joke about the religious man who’s stranded on the roof of his house during a flood. On the first day a rescue boat goes by and the rescuers tell him to jump in. He refuses, saying that God will save him. The second day, the same thing happens and again he sends them away. On the third day a helicopter passes overhead and drops a rope for him to climb up. Yet again he declares that God will save him. On the fourth day he drowns and finds himself at the pearly gates. ‘Why didn’t you save me?!’ he cries. ‘What more did you want from me?’ despaired God, ‘I sent you two boats and a helicopter!’ The reason for thinking about that joke started with lunch by the beach. I was with a successful businessman friend and happened to ask him what had led him to choose what he does for a living. He told me his story, which on the face of it, sounded like a series of coincidences, and which he described as simply falling into one opportunity after another. The thing is, I know this guy is very goal driven. He’s been setting himself goals since he was at school. And his goals always seem to be specific about what he wants to achieve. So how could his success be down to falling into opportunities? And then I remembered the joke. I realised that his goals have always been about WHAT he wants and WHY he wants it. And once he’s clear on those goals, he becomes attuned to...