Moments Like These

It’s Friday – how’s your week been? I feel like I’ve been on a particularly mountainous stage of the Tour de France, culminating in a flat, sprint finish towards the weekend.

The Work

I love my work. Ohhhh noooo – shut up with the happy clappy crappy willya! Truthfully – I love some of my work, and I’m just like you, in order to get the love, you have to put in the hours and the effort. I’ve forced myself through to do list hell this week. Proposals, admin, marketing – the beginning through to the middle of the week was full of productive, useful slog.

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Thursday produced a welcome change of pace and direction. I was a guest of Herman Miller at one of their excellent Scenarios 2018 workshops. I’m going to write a post about what I learned soon, for now suffice to say this was an excellent session full of insight, humour and good conversation. I walked from Victoria to Aldwych to get to the workshop, and returned to Victoria on foot again afterwards. It’s great to find time to get out, walk and think.

The Recognition

Keira showed Carole and me around her class and the new library at school yesterday. It’s great seeing Keira and her work in the school environment. After we got home – Keira gave us her school report – the last one she will get at Stanley Park Junior School, as she leaves next week to start at a new school in September.

Progress: Outstanding. Well done Keira. And here’s the thing that really does it for me. Effort: Outstanding. Talent is nothing without effort. Here’s what her head teacher had to say…

‘This is an outstanding report for an outstanding student. Keira displays a sense of pride in so many areas of learning: sport, drama, music and the academics. She is also a caring and supportive member of the community. Thank you for all you have given your school. Well done Keira! Celebrate your successes and believe in yourself to achieve your dreams.’

In the evening we saw the year six production of The Trial of Mr BB Wolf, a play written, produced and performed by the whole school year. It was great fun with lots of twists and turns, and as you can see, the bulldog prosecutor was a very stern character.

The Prosecutor

Proud Dad? Yes – definitely.

The Celebration

Twenty two years ago today Carole made what many of our friends would consider a grave error of judgement. I can’t lay my hands on our wedding photos just now so whilst you miss seeing Carole’s radiant beauty – you are at least saved my car crash of a haircut!

In truth, the whole of life is like the topography I described earlier. And I’m thankful that someone as smart, kind and patient as Carole has chosen to accompany me. We are celebrating our wedding anniversary today with a visit to see Jools Holland at Kew Gardens.

Have a great weekend!

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

I was talking with the wonderful Ed Percival last week and he observed something interesting. In conversation I kept saying ‘I should do this’, ‘I should do that’. And I spoke about adding these ‘should dos’ to a list. ‘And maybe I should schedule time to do these things into the diary? 09.30, write blog post. 10.30, write proposal, 1.30 phone calls, 2.30 go for a walk, etc etc.’

Ed suggested that this to do list (or should do list!) is not very helpful. As it grows it becomes more off-putting, more likely to remain uncompleted, and more likely to create a sense of failure. I think he’s right, and this may be partly why I don’t currently keep many lists. He also wondered how I might approach these scheduled tasks if I schedule them as completed.

I’m dropping should from my ‘making stuff happen’ vocabulary, and yesterday I got a bunch of stuff done, some of it had been hanging around longer than I’d originally intended. And later this week I’m going to schedule completed tasks in the diary and see how that works. 09.30 blog post written, 10.30, proposal written, 1.30 pm phone calls made, 2.30, just returned from 2 mile walk.

I’ll let you know how I get on. Meantime, what ideas do you have for getting stuff done?

Fail Small

Companies are always looking for the next big thing.

How do they balance that search with their inherent fear of failure?

Maybe they should be encouraging people to look for the next small thing.

What’s the least I can do today to make a positive impact?

Try it.

If it works great.

Keep going.

If it fails, well at least you tried.

Try again.

Keep going.

Progress matters.

Encourage others.

Fail small.

Kudos to Neil Morrison for an inspiring conversation which led to this post. Follow Neil on Twitter and read his blog, or else 🙂

photo credit