Sunday, 27 July 2008

It's going to go wrong

I always assume machines know nothing and people know everything

One of the assumptions I make is that my computer is going to go wrong and all my work is going to get lost.

I have lost things on occasion, but by and large I know this assumption isn't true. Firstly because I have one of those little MacBooks and I've been told they rarely break down. Secondly because (when I remember) I back everything up 'in space' so it can't get lost and, what I don't back up google, my e-mail account, does. And thirdly - I think I need a thirdly here - because it hasn't gone wrong since I had it - and those odd times when I thought it had - it was always me that had done something wrong.

So, logically I can reassure my assumption that all is well. The facts stack up nicely against it and so I have to stay calm and trust that everything is OK.

My other assumption - that people know everything - is equally difficult to feel comfortable with. It takes me a long time when I meet someone to realise that we have different pools of knowledge. I always assume they know everything I know - even if I know that I don't know everything they know.

The last five days I've spent training Life Clubs hosts and increasingly I find training others a little uncanny. I can't imagine that they don't know what I know, so I cut corners in what I tell them and skip over things that are probably quite important - anything rather than risk telling them something they already know. And yet if I thought about the facts, it would be apparent that they don't know anything I'm going to teach them or else why would they be there.

If only I could assume that people know nothing and machines know everything, I'd be all right.

See you soon,
Founder Life Clubs

Sunday, 20 July 2008

We're all cagey about something

I was accused this week of being cagey and yes, of course, we're probably all cagey up to a point (and, he was right, I was being cagier than usual). Most cagey are Heinz and Coca Cola and other large brands who wouldn't have their ketchup or fizzy drink exclusivity without being cagey about their recipes, but it's not particularly a word I would have chosen to describe myself.

But it told me an awful lot about the person who used that word of me. Because his behaviour had been feeling a little suspicious, as if he was wanting to hide something from me and his use of that word just confirmed it for me.

The words we use about others are the words that best describe ourselves and sometimes it feels hard to take that on board. Every time you're admiring someone's persistence or intelligence or charm, you're noticing attributes that you too possess and, similarly, if you notice their sarcasm or temper or jealousy it's because they are an inherent part of you too.

So just start observing what you're thinking about others and see if they're not words you could use to describe yourself. And, similarly, start observing the words others use to describe you and see if they don't describe themselves with those words too.

And, don't be too cagey about what you're thinking about this theory - just enjoy it.

I hope you have a wonderful week,
Founder Life Clubs

Sunday, 13 July 2008

I said 'No' to being a mum

Today I decided I had to get in practise for a Life Clubs 'Saying 'No'' week. I said 'No' to being a mum and 'Yes' to being a daughter, left our son to go rowing with his father, and did one of my favourite things which is to walk across five parks from my home to my mother's and spend some time with her.

The walk in itself was wonderful. A lovely sunny day, I said 'No' to listening to bird calls and 'Yes' to listening to my daughter's i-pod which made me walk faster and introduced me to lots of new songs. I then said 'No' to an ice cream and 'Yes' to a slice of delicious beef bought from a delicatessen I walked past and finally I said 'No' to rushing home and 'Yes' to staying a little longer with my 93 year-old mother.

I also practised saying 'No' to all those mischievous voices going round in my head telling me that I was a bad mum, a bad wife and a selfish human being in general. Just having had a day of doing what I wanted to, made me such a happy bunny I even said 'No' to being a nagging mum and 'Yes' to my daughter when she asked if she could stay with friends tonight. And you can ask her how often that happens.

See you at Life Clubs this week,
Founder Life Clubs

Monday, 7 July 2008

Sometimes you have to be brave

For years I walked around like Vicky Pollard without the attitude. Just had kids, potentially off to the gym at any moment, felt fitter looking as if I was just off to the gym and frankly, not really bothered about what I looked like. I suppose I was in natural mum mode and, let's be honest, not particularly happy with myself - and no time for myself either.

It was my dustman that first gave me the feedback I needed to kick me into gear. He took me aside one morning and told me I really couldn't go around looking like I did. I needed to smarten my act up - now.

This feedback from a (more or less) stranger was just what I needed. This guy believed that I could look great if I put a bit of effort into it and he moved me into the next stage of my life.

Just for the record I'm still not into Chanel suits, but these days I actually visit the occasional clothes shop.

Vicky wouldn't recognise me any more.

See you soon,
Founder Life Clubs