Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Wheel of Fortune

This week's workshop is all about change - ironically the only thing we can consistently rely on - and, in particular about the Medieval Wheel of Fortune, the subject of this week's workshop.

Earlier in the week I wrote a post about the Wheel of Fortune for Brit Mums (one of the Top Ten blogs in the UK), who kindly asked me to be their guest blogger, and, although I also wanted to write a fun post for you here, promptly forgot about it and got on with all the million and one other things I had to do.

My daughter is doing King Lear for her exams, so yesterday we started our play reading, snuggled up by the fire watching the rain outside. Before long, there was our first quote about Fortune: Fortune, good-night: smile once more; turn thy wheel! 'Yes' my daughter casually told me, unaware of how excited I was that my post had just written itself. 'The whole of Lear is about Fortune's wheel'.

Let me just put things straight. Life Clubs is not a tragedy. We are not all going to end up at the bottom of the wheel, suffering. Life is not King Lear. But, as a study in change, the Medieval Wheel of Fortune is worth thinking about.

Why not come along and find it's relevance in your life.
Looking forward to seeing you there,

Sunday, 22 May 2011

How your values can help you find a job - and everything else

(Not at all a typical Life Clubs image, but it seemed to sum up what a career that doesn't match your values might seem like)

At yesterday's WORK & YOU workshop there were a few people who were worried about their future and what exactly they wanted to do as a career.

It's the kind of decision that affects a lot of us. You're either lucky enough to know from childhood that you want to be an artist or a doctor etc or you're not. But I strongly feel that the less you worry about it and the more you just get on with whatever you're doing at that time, the better. Your dream future will happen - or you'll realise, like one participant - that searching for nirvana is a distraction, so just get on with the job you've got as it's good enough.

This week's workshop is about values. It's called Being You
because your values can help you find this life that is 'you'. Knowing your values may not be able to pinpoint your future, but they can help you sort through your options.

They can also help you work out if a career path is yours or one you inherited from your parents. How important is 'status' and 'money' to you really? How important is 'security' and 'stability'? What's yours? And what's theirs?

If one of your values is 'freedom', for example, it might point to you not liking working for other people. It might make you think that you liked to work outdoors or doing whatever freedom meant to you - flying or scuba diving? It could just mean that you feel restricted by timetables and other people's decisions and need to be the boss. Only you can know.

If another of you values is 'learning', for example, and you're in a sales job, that could still work. It's not as obvious as teaching or facilitating, but by teaching people about the benefits of whatever you are selling you are still honouring that value. However if a value you have is honesty, you'd have to feel that you really rated whatever product you were selling or you'd feel uncomfortable selling it.

Come to Life Clubs this week and find out what your values are and why bits of your life may not be working.

One of my values is 'inclusivity', so I'd love you to be there.

Best wishes,

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Do you know why you're here?

As this week's workshop is about success and on 21st May we're holding Work & YOU, our one-day workshop all about work and how to make your work life as successful (fulfilling, enjoyable, lucrative etc) as you want it to be, I wanted to let you read the story of someone who came on this workshop the last time we ran it. It's heart-warming and I hope will inspire you to come along to the workshop too.

"In 2001, by the age of 22 I had got my MBA in India and was working as a management consultant in the Health Sector. I’d also been writing poems and short stories and won some prizes so I enrolled myself on a one-year ‘Writing for Performance and Publication’ course in Leeds - I wanted to see the world. It was wonderful. I met my partner, Robin, in March 2009 and decided to stay in the UK with him.

I didn’t have a job to go to and found it was tough to get work. I ended up going back to India for a short consultancy job which used my skills. When I arrived back in the UK in April 2010, again I found it very difficult to get work. I tried temporary work, but even in shops no-one wanted to give me a job. I think employers were hesitant to give work to an unknown, plus I was over-qualified in some ways and under qualified in others - I knew nothing about retail.

In April I went to a Life Club Work workshop. I was nervous about going, but Robin was keen I should attend. I clearly remember an exercise in which I was asked to think about how a tiger would find a job. Lynne (one of the Hosts) asked me what a tiger does. I replied ‘It hunts’. She then asked me ‘What does it do before it hunts?’ and I replied ‘It goes to the waterhole and finds its prey’. By the end of the day I was thinking about how the tiger conserves energy, collects information and then goes for the kill and knew that’s what I had to do if I wanted to find a job.

The workshop gave me lots of ideas and left me full of enthusiasm. Eight months later I’ve got some consultancy work and am also working in retail. I feel much more confident and the effect of the workshop has lasted a long time – it’s stayed with me.

I’ve even been looking at jobs in PR agencies so I can use my writing skills. I’m not giving up. The tiger is watching out, waiting to pounce."

I feel inspired just reading it. Come and be successful too!
Best wishes,

Friday, 6 May 2011

Asking for feedback

This was our wonderful stand with my adorable son at the Action for Happiness launch a few weeks ago. Everyone was happy there and last weekend with the Royal Wedding and this week we're running our Rules of Happiness workshop to keep the mood going.

But you can't always be happy and I don't even know that it's something to strive for. I like the balance of things being happy and sad and calm and excitable.

Today I've been having a bit of a sad day and I thought I'd be efficient and ask for feedback to collate and use at a later date. I asked everyone who's been to my Life Club which workshop they liked the best.

I didn't anticipate how much that would cheer me up. I've had lots of lovely comments: "eye opening... powerful... interesting... thought provoking... useful" and on and on.

I'm going to add to my 'rules' of happiness... ask for feedback. You know at least some of it will cheer you up!

Hope you have a lovely weekend.
And do book in to our Work & You workshop on 21st May. Quite a few venues have already sold out.

Best wishes,
Founder Life Clubs
Author of The Big Book of Me, The Life Book & How To Get What You Want