Be Your Own Hero

“You owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at.” W.H.Auden

I came across this quote yesterday via Jane Talbot of Humans Resourced on Facebook.  It remdinded me to stop dithering, or splashing round the edges of things I could do – and stop standing in the shadows.  We all have gifts, and so many of us long to do something other than what we do now, but don’t take the action we need to take.  The statements below would be good ones to work through with your journal; what do they mean to you?  Find your answers within; too often, we look to others to guide, direct, lead – when all the time we could do it ourselves/  We could be our own heroes.    The world – YOUR world – is just waiting for you to be yourself….. –

 

  1. I shall not obsess over others’ success: not copying, idolizing, or mindlessly emulating.
  2. I shall know my purpose and know why I’m doing something.
  3. I shall ally myself to a tribe with a common purpose, though the tribe’s members may work in vastly different fields and forms.
  4. I will make ideas stronger by uniting with others to do great work, not by holding my ideas all to myself but releasing them into the wild.
  5. I recognize the truth in the credo that the future is not created, the future is co-created and will do my part as a part of the whole.

Nilofer Merchant

Always keep developing yourself

CPD

As an HR professional now specialising in employment law, I need to have a record of my CPD/my continuous personal development.  I also have a personal philosophy of CPD and for that reason I happily read self-help books.  If I can’t help myself, I’m in a poor state, after all. And since I know I’m not perfect, and need all the help I can get at times, such books offer me many great ideas I can implement myself or I can pass on to others. 

CPD & Change

Continuous personal development means change, and since change is a constant in our lives, we may as well learn how to get comfortable with it.  Sometimes that will be about reacting to external changes we have no control over.  Other times, we will (or can) choose to change with an aim to improve and grow.  As a recovering perfectionist, of course that isn’t enough, as “improving” implies something isn’t perfect already – but it’s this that make my journey interesting, because to risk change and growth is to risk failure.  Gulp!

Getting Comfortable With Change

Yet over time, I’m getting more comfortable with change and taking risks because I now know there is no failure, only feedback,(thanks Jane Talbot), I now know that there are gifts of imperfection (thanks Brene Brown) – and I’m gathering evidence that I survive – and thrive. 

Thriving or Surviving

I read this story today and thought how glad I am that I keep taking the risks because that way, I know I’m living while I’m alive.   I know people like the guy in the story; people who hate their current jobs but won’t move because in 10, 20, or in one case 25 years time, they will get a good pension/pay off.  People who stay in neighbourhoods, houses, relationships and friendships they have long since outgrown but won’t leave because their very familiarity brings comfort where change would at least initially feel quite different. 

A Marking of Time

For some, life then becomes an existence, a marking of time – and a terrible waste of a life.  We only get one life, and our life is what we make it.  It’s too short to stay unhappy.  So take risks.  Accept you may fail.  Know that there is no failure, only feedback. Learn to fly without a safety net. Live while you’re alive.

The only way that individuals change is to do something new, which by definition means you’ll do it poorly, and for the high-need-for-achievement personality the challenge is they don’t want to look bad.  They don’t want to look foolish.  They often don’t trust the organization to support them if they take a risk and try something different.

I remember as if it were yesterday a 43 year-old headmaster of a school.  Now a headmaster or principal of the school, this was a gentleman who had 1,600 customers, or students, between the ages of 14 ½ and 17 years of age, and after I had given a speech this gentleman came back, and I appreciate his candor, but what he said to me, he says, “Professor Delong,” he says, “I need to confess something to you.” 

He said, “You told me that I need to try and do something different and that I needed to go through this path of agenda-setting and getting help from someone else.  But,” he said, “I just need to confess to you, but I hate what I do.  Thank goodness I only have 12 years to retirement.” 

Twelve years.  And so in some ways this great man has given up, and you can thank yourself, if you’re listening to this, that none of you have children that are going to that school because those 1,600 kids need a file leader, need an inspiration, and this young man at 43 has given up. 

He is basically halfway through life and he has stopped growing and he has stopped developing, and I’m naïve enough to believe that individuals can change at 40 and at 50 and at 60, and it is the most exhilarating feeling in the world, and it’s frightening, and you can’t do it alone, but you can fly without a net.  I promise you, you can.  It will, I promise you, put you back on the road to what I would call, in a very basic form, put you back on the road to life Twelve years.  And so in some ways this great man has given up, and you can thank yourself, if you’re listening to this, that none of you have children that are going to that school because those 1,600 kids need a file leader, need an inspiration, and this young man at 43 has given up. 

He is basically halfway through life and he has stopped growing and he has stopped developing, and I’m naïve enough to believe that individuals can change at 40 and at 50 and at 60, and it is the most exhilarating feeling in the world, and it’s frightening, and you can’t do it alone, but you can fly without a net.  I promise you, you can.  It will, I promise you, put you back on the road to what I would call, in a very basic form, put you back on the road to life.  Thomas Delong, Harvard Businss School Professor

What to do when you’re feeling stuck…

Some people say that being stuck or feeling blocked or confused is a terrible thing to experience.  But what if you weren’t really ever stuck, blocked or confused?  What if your current place is right where you are meant to be, and it’s just that you can’t see what is going on underneath the “stuckness?”

I’m naturally very curious.  There are so many things I could be interested in, it’s been hard to focus on the ones that might really matter to me and that sit with my overall goal to “use my words to empower, heal and encourage happiness.”  Yet without this focus, there isn’t power and there’s not much impact. 

Sometimes life just seems to take over; it rarely does happen like that, as more often than not, what is happening now is due to choices we made yesterday, last week or a lifetime ago. But when it seems to be like that, and you face overwhelm and just don’t know what to do, it’s an awful place – and I was there in the first weeks of May when I needed to make a lot of choices about next steps given I only have so much time and energy.

At times like these, I am fortunate to have a group of women around me that I can turn to for advice.  Some of them are Wild Women – and Jane Talbot is one.  I met Jane in 2006 when she trained me as an NLP Practitioner. I was in awe of her intellect – this woman has more degrees than I can remember, has a photographic memory and is even more curious about life than me.  Since then she’s become a dear friend,and I marvel at her resilience and generosity of heart.  She’s moved to Northern Ireland in another adventure – and surprisingly, she’s taken up gardening; and like so many things in life, it proved to be a very useful metaphor for me.  Today’s guest post is from Jane, sent to me at the time when I was particularly “stuck,” knowing I had a lot of things I could do, but how on earth did I make the choice.  I couldn’t see what to DO next, and it was a reminder just “to BE.”

I am busy in the greenhouse just now…planting seeds…The brilliant thing about a seed is that it knows how to grow. ou need to prepare the ground… use the best soil… feed the seed in the right way to start with.. and then just let it grow.  It will do it all by itself…usually when you are not looking!
 
Maybe it’s worth not looking for a while.  Over-cultivation can be as damaging as under-cultication. When a plant has “grown hard,”it uses up all the nutrients in the soil – and no matter what you plant.. not much will grow.  There’s nothing to feed it or let it take root. So then, what you have to do – before you grow anything else – is fertilise the soil,grow something like clover to fix nitrogen in the soil,so that the next crop can grow fully..
 
If you are considering growing a new crop.. or even the same crop.. or a mix of crops… it’s always best to grow clover first if the soil has been heavily cultivated in the recent past.  Pretty much anything can grow when you’ve let the soil recover and fed it with something that is easy and gives back to the soil rather than takes.

And..here’s the briliant thing.. sometimes if you leave the soil, you’ll notice that the wind has blown new seeds into the soil… and all sorts of unexpected things pop up while the clover is doing its work…

And as I relaxed and let the clover do it’s work, what I couldn’t see was that underneath the “stuckness” were lots of goodies just waiting to grow.  I’m not even sure what some of them might grow into yet, but so far, it’s all looking healthy! 

You’ll find more information about Jane here, at:

http://www.millburntherapy.org/what-we-offer/hypnotherapy.html(her Coleraine practice)

http://causewaycabas.wordpress.com (her new blog)

or here

http://www.facebook.com/CausewayCabas