Potterings Blog

Pottering around life's issues, a little digging here, some fertilizer there, pruning to stimulate new growth and generally cultivating people's potential to blossom. Your comments are always welcomed.  
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How Do You See Your Life?

 

I recently attended a seminar on ageism. Most of the speakers and audience were working people, generally in their 40's and 50's.  So much of the discussion centred on whether old dogs can still learn new tricks, can cope with change, especially changes in technology, and keep up with the young pups. 

Finally it became all too much for me and, as fortune would have it, I got the final word for the seminar.

 

My 'speech' was along these lines:

  • I am 73 years of age, still running my own business, managing a comprehensive website, using social media for my business, loving being on the edge of change and enjoying being creative
  • most in the audience would have no idea what life is like in one's 60's, let alone 70's because they aren't there yet
  • all of them would have been told by their children that they are 'old'
  • all of them would agree they have a fuller perspective on life now than they did 20 years ago, have learned more, are more experienced and generally better able to cope with life, and have greater mental capacity and dexterity
  • it's all a matter of perspective.

My message drew strong applause, some verbal backslapping and requests for my business card.

 

I could best summarize their reaction as being one of relief - a sense of 'I want to be having what he's having when I reach his age'. I had verbalised their hopes that longevity isn't just living longer but about enjoying a sense of purpose and identity for many more years to come.

Read more: How Do You See Your Life?

Leisure is back in business

Passionate leisure experiences provide a natural, free and unlimited resource to meet perhaps the greatest global energy crisis – the human energy needed to survive, thrive and drive the world’s economy.

 

Change is affecting everything – including the role and potential of leisure in today's high pressure society. Leisure is back in business, providing solutions to urgent global problems.

 

Leisure’s had a bad press for too long. It was killed off by the emergence of the 19th century traditional work ethic which preached that work was ‘the way to heaven and leisure was the work of the devil’.  It wasn’t so much that the work ethic dignified the role of work but that it demeaned the role of leisure. While the religious fervour died out, it has taken until now to reassert its rightful role in the development of personal growth and productivity.   

 

Stress is killing health by stealth.  There is a global human energy crisis – we are burning human energy faster than we create it, with the inevitable result that burnout symptoms are everywhere – at work and in community life.  The fact that stress has, per se, an important role to play in personal and business development masks the damage that prolonged excessive stress is having on mental health.  The damage caused through workaholism - like alcoholism - doesn’t become apparent until too late.  Depression, stress-related illnesses, broken homes and even suicide are signs of the damage that unrelenting stress is causing in today’s world.

 

I’ll have what she’s having!!  Don’t you envy those people who not only cope well with stress but positively appear to thrive?  It’s not so much that they have something the rest of us don’t have. Rather they have found a way of generating renewed mental strength, resilience and a sense of being calm in crises. They have a steady resource of natural energy that sustains their resilience, a resource they regularly tap at will.  

 

Read more: Leisure is back in business

Leisure is back in business (2)

Passionate leisure experiences provide a natural, free and unlimited resource to meet perhaps the greatest global energy crisis – the human energy needed to survive, thrive and drive the world’s economy.

 

Change is affecting everything – including the role and potential of leisure in today's high pressure society. Leisure is back in business, providing solutions to urgent global problems.

 

Leisure’s had a bad press for too long. It was killed off by the emergence of the 19th century traditional work ethic which preached that work was ‘the way to heaven and leisure was the work of the devil’.  It wasn’t so much that the work ethic dignified the role of work but that it demeaned the role of leisure. While the religious fervour died out, it has taken until now to reassert its rightful role in the development of personal growth and productivity.   

 

Stress is killing health by stealth.  There is a global human energy crisis – we are burning human energy faster than we create it, with the inevitable result that burnout symptoms are everywhere – at work and in community life.  The fact that stress has, per se, an important role to play in personal and business development masks the damage that prolonged excessive stress is having on mental health.  The damage caused through workaholism - like alcoholism - doesn’t become apparent until too late.  Depression, stress-related illnesses, broken homes and even suicide are signs of the damage that unrelenting stress is causing in today’s world.

 

I’ll have what she’s having!!  Don’t you envy those people who not only cope well with stress but positively appear to thrive?  It’s not so much that they have something the rest of us don’t have. Rather they have found a way of generating renewed mental strength, resilience and a sense of being calm in crises. They have a steady resource of natural energy that sustains their resilience, a resource they regularly tap at will.  

 

Read more: Leisure is back in business (2)

Be Proud of Who You Are

When you lose yourself in an interest that you love, you find yourself. Your talents come to the fore, your imagination creates a riot of colour, your self esteem soars and your heart, soul and mind sing in harmony. Believe in your true self and forever be proud of who you are.

 

A Matter of Life and Death

 

We spend our lives trying to avoid our most certain future event - our eventual death. At some stage in our lives we each experience a "mortality jolt" - a sudden recognition that we aren't going to get out of this world alive.  When you get that jolt, you can choose to drop your bundle, or decide you still have much to do to achieve your natural reasons for living.  These include:

  • you are a part of (not above) nature, created to grow, mature and blossom 
  • you were born with natural talents and passions - assets that enable you to achieve something uniquely magnificent
  • no other person in human history has had, or will have, your mix of talents, passions and potential. It implies a`responsibility to use those abilities to do something new and different towards the world's progress
  • you form part of a natural ecosystem of like-minded people in which you play an integral and essential role if that ecosystem is going to flourish. 

Life is an absorbing journey of magnificent uncertainty, exploration, highs, lows and self-discovery. A mortality jolt simply reminds you who you are, where you are on the journey and where you want to be, while you can.

 

 

Is Optimism Naive?

 

Taking the optimistic view on an issue is often regarded as naive or not being in possession of all the facts. Such a belief suggests the opposite of optimism is realism.

 

The fact is that it's impossible to base true progress on negative, pessimistic thinking. Genuine sustained progress can only thrive on an outlook of optimism, positive thinking, resilience and determination.

 

The fact that we are riding on a massive wave of negative, pessimistic thinking is therefore gradually strangling real social and economic progress - worldwide. It's essential to start developing a belief that optimism in fact means realism, that it is something far deeper than the shallow, keep smiling, "she'll be right mate" (Aussie slang - everything will be ok) casual form of optimism.

 

Optimism Australia, under the guidance of Adelaide Business Interventionist Ken Woodis building a program of positive action. It doesn't have a fanciful aim of changing the world. More realistically. it focuses on specific areas of business and community development that exemplify where the community can start to 'turn the ship of negative thinking around'.

 

If you are in or near Adelaide on 2 October, you are encouraged to attend the next

Optimism Australia seminar, "Building a Resilient Community", Wednesday 2nd October, 5.30 - 7.30 pm,  in the Star Room, Adelaide Entertainment Centre.  

 

I am delighted that Ken has invited me to be one of three speakers at the seminar.

Here's the link for full details of the seminar, including bookings.

 

 

Take Heart! Choirs are good for you

Swedish research indicates choir singing is good for the heart, slows the pulse and eases mental stress.  I knew that all along but its good to have it formally recognized. An interesting aspect is that it seems to synchronize the heart beats of the singers  so everyone gets the same benefits. Some interesting key phrases in their report, including

  • shared emotions,  intuitive co-operation,  joint action,  collective consciousness,  sensitive ability to co-operate,  help people connect and open up to each other.


What more do you want out of an interest than all of that?! And think what it does to improve the rest of your day - at work, home and play.

 

It's the play bit that I want to focus on. I suggest all of the above applies in full or part not only to choir singing but to almost any other form of group passionate interest you care to name - playing a team sport (for fun), playing music, art classes, indeed any activity that the members of a group freely undertake for the sheer joy of it.  

 

Work provides that for you? I hope it does but there is a key element that work rarely offers - total control over one's participation, absolute free choice about taking part, for no other reason than sheer enjoyment, to whatever skill level that satisfies you and numerous other "state of flow" emotional benefits.

 

Did you guess I sing in a choir? Two actually. And as much as I love my work, I abslolutely prize my involvement in both choirs.  Whatever your group leisure/recreation passion, its nice to have it confirmed its doing your heart good.

Ten Years from now...and later

 

Ten years from now…and later

  • what will give you your continuing joy of living life to the full?
  • what passionate interests will be getting you out of bed each day?
  • what energy-draining parts of your life will you have stopped or eased back?
  • what will be the core features of 'living life on your terms'?
  • what will your Emotional Energy Plan look like?

Fascinating questions. Is ten years too far ahead? Not if you are over 50. These questions become very important, perhaps even ones you fear because they could affect your work. But they must be addressed and the sooner you do so, the more satisfying and healthy your life will be ten years from now...and later.

Where are you currently putting your energies - energy in and energy out? What would you like to stop, ease, or develop? Such changes won't happen overnight. Recognition and decision is a good starting point.

If you are in or near Adelaide, you can enjoy working through these issues and more with me at my upcoming half-day Quality of Living workshop, Tuesday 27 August, Education Development Centre Hindmarsh. Click here for full details and email me today to reserve your seat at the table.

 

 

Work is killing our weekends

 

“Work is killing off the great Australian weekend and starving kids of family time”, (Adelaide Advertiser August 3).The article quotes research done by The Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW:

  • Weekend work has nearly trebled over the past 20 years
  • Half of all business owners, 42% of contractors and 30 per cent of employees now spend their weekend in the workplace, to the detriment of family life.
  • One in four workers are on call or on standby, “as technology contaminates leisure with messages and emails from the boss.”
Read more: Work is killing our weekends

Stop Calling Leisure "Time"

Interesting how people still have a negative image of leisure, as a period of time in which people "slack off and waste good working time".  This image was created in the Industrial Revolution when they painted leisure as evil (“idle hands are the work of the devil").  The IR took us from home productivity to factory productivity.  The factory became the centre of life’s value and importance.

 

Leisure today isn’t a period of time. It’s an experience of the mind, the opportunity to creatively express your talents, passions and potential, for the enjoyment of doing so. 

Read more: Stop Calling Leisure "Time"

Me Time My Time My Choice

It's amazing the difficulty I have in getting people to give time to themselves and their own needs - especially their own emotional needs. Our society has become so hung up on the belief that life is about meeting the expectations of others. We have been carefully taught for generations by the work ethic that it is wrong to give time to self, that giving of self to others is the honourable way to go.

Read more: Me Time My Time My Choice

The Busy-ness of Staying Healthy

Are you too busy to take care of your health? Most of us are guilty of that as we hurry from one urgent responsibility to the next. For many it's a badge of honour to tell people you are so busy. But I haven't heard anyone express praise that so-and-so died because of their love of being busy.

 

Busy-ness is in fact at the crux of virtually all lifestyle issues today - stress, work life harmony, health, unexpected major  life changes and especially when it comes to life after fulltime work - even if you opt to keep working.  

Read more: The Busy-ness of Staying Healthy

The Unsung Qualities of "The Voice"

I love watching The Voice on (Australian) TV.  Seal, Joel, Delta and Ricky share a wonderful camaraderie and we all get a thrill when a contestant is chosen for one of the teams.

 

However, it’s the unsung qualities of The Voice that I especially love.  It engenders recognition and encouragement of the talents, passions and unlimited potential  of every contestant - chosen or not. Seal himself said it – “we are changing peoples’ lives”.

 

I am reminded of King George VI’s life-changing realization, in the film The King’s Speech. In a climactic scene he is finally baited into exploding those powerful words, “I have a voice!!”, acknowledged so knowingly by his speech coach, “Yes you do”.

 

We all live for opportunities to voice our unique natural talents through passionate interests, be it at work, home or play.  For only some will it be singing or speaking.  Whatever yours may be, you and the world will benefit when you can voice it publicly.  

 

The ultimate however is to be, like The Voice, encouraging and enabling others to give voice to their talents. You can encourage your staff, spouse, children, friends, or people in your community.   The microphone in The Voice logo symbolizes broadcasting that talent widely.

 

Talent, passion, potential.  Expressed often enough and widely enough they provide all the nutrients that enable human nature to flourish and blossom. 

 

Yes, you too have a voice.

 

If you enjoyed this message, you will love my manifesto: My Dream for the World 

Bringing Out the Best in People

High self esteem, strong self belief, talent development, creativity, energy, enthusiasm and engagement. All key words in business jargon to get the best out of people. All vital in the battle to attract and keep the best people, sustain high productivity, keep staff costs down and manage stress. 

 

These are also key words in describing the benefits of passionate leisure experiences. Even more importantly, the benefits ripple through everything in life - at work and in personal life.

 

So why do we still regard work and leisure as separate, unrelated, even competing elements of life (see "The Kick in the Guts We Needed" Blog) ?  Why not join forces?

 

Tell your people (nicely!) to "get a life"  outside of work. Encourage them to enjoy at least one passionate leisure interest, because you want the benefits to ripple through to the job.

 

The very message itself will impress your staff.   

 

They will be even more impressed if you offer them the opportunity to re-discover which interests give them those benefits, by experiencing my Lifestyle Review process. Go here for more details, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or phone 0417 817 027.

 Some further reading:

   "Get a Life. You work better and live longer"

   "Promoting Positive Human Behaviour"

The kick in the guts we needed

Two centuries ago the work ethic relegated fun and leisure to a status of meaningless, idle frivolity. Fun got into bad company, spending its time hanging around slackers, time-wasters, malingerers and other undesirables.  Managers felt fun wasn’t just unemployable,  they saw it as a direct competitor to work.

 

Sound familiar? You may well know some managers and workaholics who still see fun and leisure that way. Until recent times, when discussing projects with a potential client, I tended not to mention the ‘l’ word until well into the discussion. 

 

The massive changes, pressures and stresses of 21st century living have put paid to all that. Leisure is now back in business. It’s providing natural solutions to some of the biggest problems facing business today – stress management, sustaining high staff productivity, self-esteem and resilience, and stimulating creativity and innovation, to name just a few.

 

All this is nothing new in the course of history. Leisure has always had a core role to play in the natural order of personal growth, talent development and the realization of personal potential.  The mad way we live today has provided the kick in the guts we needed to remind us that fun and leisure offer much more than simply having a good time.

A Recipe for Strong Personal Growth

Letting people know about good recipes seems to be all the go on TV, at least in Australia. As Australia's People Gardener, I have created an excellent recipe for ensuring strong personal growth and development.

 

For strong personal growth, take all or any of your natural born talents and fertilize them with your passionate interests. Then mix often with positive like-minded people.  

 

The more often you follow this recipe, the better your future life is going to be.  Try it and see how good it tastes.  Share the recipe with your family, friends and work colleagues.

 

 

 

In praise of doing things your way

Probably the key reason you subscribe to my ezine or follow me on Twitter (@enjoybeingyou) is because you value above all else your pride in doing things your way. You enjoy being you! It has become the key to everything that makes life worthwhile for you.

 

I have just watched a You Tube presentation of one of one of the  most inspiring pieces of music I have heard in praise of that trait.  A wonderful presentation by Andre Rieu of "My Way".

 

Stop wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Use headphones, ear pieces, or a good set of speakers.  Click on the link below and absorb this most empowering rendition.  Be sure you listen right through to its conclusion.

 

I kid you not - I believe it is worth sending out this special message to you and anyone you know who loves dealing with life in their own unique way.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/embed/e-y581HdWfY?rel=0

 

Keep on doing it your way in 2013.

Where are you?

Wherever your passions in life are found - at work, home and at play - there you will fiind the real you, your true self, your reason for living. No matter what else you must do in your life, allow yourself the joy of living your passion and loving the invisible you, the person you really are.

Escape to Breathe

Happy New Year!

 

The pressures of daily life have in many ways imprisoned us into leading a life based on meeting the demands and expectations of others. We yearn to escape, at least temporarily.

I've just returned from a holiday aboard the Dawn Princess, traveling around New Zealand. Yes its a tough life but somebody has to do it. The cruise slogan  - "Escape Completely" - was very apt. It was a great way to escape from the daily pressures and responsibilities of life.

 

It got me thinking. People in need of escaping don't want so much to escape from but escape to.  Escape to an experience in which they can breathe naturally and do what comes naturally, enabling their natural potential to blossom.

 

Click here to read more on this..

 

It's time to put the human back into humanity

In every area of life in my business I am finding a huge constant. People are crying out to be treated as human beings. Especially, but not only, in the workplace. And you know what? I see it as much in the lives of leaders and employers as I do in followers and employees.

 

Systems rather than people seem to be running the world. Emotions are foreign to systems. Emotions only exist, if you are fortunate, in the hearts and minds of people using - and too often abusing - those systems.

 

It's time to put the human back into humanity.

 

We are born to be who we are, expressing our unique talents, passions, potential, emotions and desires. Human-ness includes basic respect, mutual understanding and enough reasonable opportunities to see and express what people can do and give and be.

 

Perhaps I am a small voice fighting an unfeeling system? I see enough to know that is not the case. But it's a battle we have to have.