Tuesday, 30 March 2010

That's what friends are for

It's odd how our lives evolve. One minute you're a gangly teen running headless around a rugby pitch, freezing your extremities off in shorts big enough to fit your dad (and in the knowledge that you're meant to grow into them), and the next minute your sitting in a warm rugby stadium with two of your old team mates decades later many pounds, miles and realities away from those halycon days in south London. And so it was that three great school friends living on three different continents met up at the world famous sporting event, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament. The event (a seven-man version of the sport) is the biggest of its kind in the world - a festival of noise, colour, partying, the coming together of cultures and, of course, top-class rugby over a weekend. I would heartily recommend the occasion, though clearly it suits a certain disposition.

I'd been to the event a number of times before and it's a great occasion for making new friends, some fleeting, some a bit more lasting. But this time around it was about friendships that had stood the test of time and distance. We have all moved on a fair bit in our lives and loves. And wherever any of us is the world, there's at least the knowledge that there's a certain connection still going strong out there. So here's to friendship! And it was great to see that I was wearing better than they were, which is always nice....

Thursday, 18 March 2010

I dream a dream

I went to dinner a couple of nights ago with a friend of mine, doing our periodic catching up session. We always have a decent chat about life and she’s always an interested and interesting individual – very bright, quite driven and always seems to know where’s she’s at. For all my moments of insight, I can be a bit flaky or lacking in confidence to push on, so it’s always nice to hear her version of the world. The interesting situation this time, however, was that my friend had recently had a few realisations. She left a job she really liked a few years back as she felt that she should be going further and faster up the ladder. So she took time out to do an MBA. Following this she managed to find her perfect job working for a development agency. On top of that she met and fell in love with a guy that ticked all the right boxes.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always march in a straight line. She told me that her perfect job had sadly not lived up to expectations. Or to put it another way, she absolutely hated it - the hours were awful, the bureaucracy was excessive, the business focus was all out of kilter, the people were a complete waste of time. At the same time as this disillusionment with work, her boyfriend of four years decided that he didn’t feel it was working for him – he was a bit younger than her, he was still finding his feet and they were in different places. You know the story.

She's had time to adjust to the new reality – dreams can come true but they don’t always turn out the way you expect. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to dream. It just means we have to adapt sometimes. Time for Plan B.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Somewhere over the rainbow

I've been doing this blog thing for a while now and it only just came to me that I haven't got into the habit of putting on photos with my comments. Admittedly, some of it was down to pure techno-ignorance. Something so simple was something so beyond me. Anyway, it was time for a bit of trial and error. So I thought today, "Why not give it a go?". So here we are. And there's something I love about rainbows and that feeling of pureness in the air and regeneration. After the storm comes the rainbow to say that everything's okay again. I like that.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Trouble sleeping

So a week on from my "21 days to become absolutely fabulous" and I've kind of hit a few bumps in the road. I had a friend's surprise birthday party on Saturday night, which was pretty good only it went a bit too into Sunday morning for it to have been adding much value. I rolled into bed at goodness knows what hour knowing that my Sunday night sleep would also be a write off. Sure enough, after a full day of the living dead I couldn't get to sleep that evening. At one point I thought about one of those "take the edge off" night caps to help me doze - or to extend my weekend, I wasn't entirely sure. But I thought better of it, what with it giving the impression of a more deep-rooted alcohol dependency issue...

Anyway, having had a few crazy dreams and random bouts of night angst ("damn, I didn't send that email on Friday", type of nonsense), I woke ready to crawl back into bed for another eight hours. Suffice to say today wasn't the greatest work day for me, and had it not been for a presentation I had to prepare for tomorrow, my duvet would have got its wish. So what did the whole thing teach me? Stuff happens basically. Yes, I could show more discipline along the way but at the same time I know that there are some days I'm off the charts with transformational momentum. So I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I trust myself enough to know that I'll have some incredible moments over the next few weeks. Anyway, I've another couple of parties this Saturday....

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

All I wanna do

Just like the next man or woman, I have down days. I’ve read books on positive thinking, been on the seminars and would have bought the T-shirt if I thought it would have done some good. But human nature still does tend to kick in and the last few days have been a bit rocky. It hasn’t been anything major, simply a crisis of confidence - lack of confidence in my ability to do my work to the proper level, lack of confidence in my goal setting ability and motivations, and just one of those overall general funks, really.

Since November I’ve been doing a part-time Life Coaching/Executive Coaching diploma – twice a week and 120 hours in total, plus four assignments. Sitting through yesterday’s class I found a bit of inspiration in a theory, and it is only a theory, that lasting change can be implemented over 21 days of continuous application of a new habit. I don’t know the science of it all and it was only a passing comment that wasn’t dwelled on, to be fair, but I decided that today I would put in place a 21-day process to elevate myself above where I was yesterday. Stirring stuff and a little big in many ways. Anyway, I started brainstorming today as to what to be thinking and doing, and basically how to “be”. A lot of the usual concepts came to mind and I gave them a nodding acknowledgement. But what really energised me, and actually surprised me, was my spin on the “Just Do It” principle. I simply noted down “F*** It” - pretty crude in a prosaic kind of way. But for me it connected with my “no more pussyfooting around” mindset – grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and a spin on the great universal question: “so what?” (i.e. stop worrying, as everything is just small stuff). And I’m very much of the opinion whatever works, works. Hopefully, it’ll kick start and kick arse these 21 days – I’ll let you know….