Friday, 26 February 2010

Not waving but drowning

Sometimes we feel as if we're drowning. We may have too much work to do or we may feel overwhelmed in other ways - somehow there are too many decisions to make and too many options. We can feel unfocused macro and unfocused micro.

Micro unfocused: Too many files open on our computer or too many e-mails to reply to, each one demanding our attention.
Macro unfocused: too many interconnected decisions going on in our lives and no idea what to do.

Even looking at two life belts is confusing. Which one do you choose?

The truth is that it usually doesn't matter which life belt you hang onto or which e-mail you answer first. What's important is that you don't get paralysed into not doing anything. That you just grab one of the life belts and focus on pulling yourself to safety.

What life belt are you going to choose today?

Let me know what works for you.

I'm focusing on getting my bulletin written.
See you next week,
Hope you have a great weekend.
Check me out on the HSBC blog.
With homage to Stevie Smith.

Friday, 19 February 2010

These boots are made for swaggering...

When I lived in Los Angeles in my early twenties one of the first things I bought myself was a pair of stunning cowboy boots. Actually, they were more like cowgirl boots. They were wonderfully loud – bright red and white and I wore them with pride. They’re now lying scuffed in a cupboard somewhere – too small for me to fit into and occasionally used by the children for dressing up. A shadow of their former selves.

I’m in Dorset this week for half-term and took myself to the Bournemouth Life Club as a treat. We spent the evening working on perspectives. Most peculiar things kept popping into my head. When asked to think of an animal, I thought of a tadpole (!?) and when asked to think of a character from a film I thought of John Wayne.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been a fan of cowboy films (apart from Butch Cassidy – and I’m not sure you’d count that) and I certainly have never been a fan of John Wayne, but there he was, larger than life in my mind.

So, what did my life look like from John Wayne’s perspective? It looked simple. Suddenly I had the power and the arrogance to make decisions, to be confident, to be ruthless, to determine my future.

I left the Life Club not walking, but swaggering. I’m going to buy myself another pair of cowboy boots – maybe black this time.

What item of clothing makes you feel confident? Or even swagger?

See you at Life Clubs.
All best wishes,
PS We’re looking for Hosts to run clubs in the UK and Canada right now. Check out our website for more.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Why wait?

This week's workshop was about procrastination.

I procrastinate on everything (well, almost everything) from sorting out the damp in our basement to putting meditation into my daily schedule).

We had a couple of new clubbers this week and they, of course, had procrastinated about coming to Life Clubs and, of course, once they got there, were amazed at what a great time they had and how many interesting people they met.

One of the things my modesty keeps me procrastinating on is talking too much about Life Clubs. But I feel I have to take note, as one of my clubbers has written to me about how I could sell Life Clubs a little better. He suggested that I show you the Puzzle of Life, which I now have done, and talk you through it.

I feel as if I have been pushed into action. This is what he suggested I say...

Each week we build upon a core component of the Life Clubs Puzzle. This week's procrastination workshop fitted into the Organisation piece of the Puzzle. Next week we'll focus on a Creativity topic. You get the most from Life Clubs when you can follow trends of yourself, seeing how you evolve and change over time.

Each week you track your development as you move round the circle - the boxes around the edge standing for the 50 workshops in Life Clubs - and each week you get a clearer way of thinking.

I feel so much better now. I got through that one and it was painless. What's next on the list?

Exercising... oh oh.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all,
Founder Life Clubs
Author of The Life Book

Thursday, 4 February 2010

I'm definitely not deep enough

This week's Life Club was all about the kind of questions we ask. I wish I could say that we debated whether god exists and the meaning of religion in 21st century society, but we didn't.

Instead we thought about the difference between open and closed questions.

The first questions we came up with were those 'How are you?' and 'What's up?' questions that we ask all the time without often meaning anything and usually expecting a grunt for an answer. Then a clubber came up with the question: 'What could you do to get better?'.

Now, 'What could you do to get better?' is a pretty good example of an open question. It immediately has me thinking of wonderfully self-improving things, like 'I could go to sleep earlier'... 'I could floss more often'... 'I could go for an hour walk every morning...' and on and on. It feels forward moving and exciting and challenging.

But, as another clubber pointed out, it feels negative. It implies criticism. It implies that you need to get better.

Isn't it interesting how we all look at questions differently?

So, after all that, let's get a bit more intellectual with our questions.

Does god exist? And, if he does, as my son once asked me, why did he create stinging nettles?

Keep me posted with your thoughts.
See you next week at Life Clubs.
All best wishes,
Founder Life Clubs and author The Life Book (Prentice Hall Life)