Sunday 2 October 2011

Just a reminder...

Do move to my new blog and become a google friend or RSS subscriber again.

Another little piece over there waiting for you... and I'm missing your company!

Otherwise, I hope you're having a lovely weekend - I am.
Best wishes,
PS Waving to you to come and join me

Sunday 25 September 2011

Thank you SO much

With help from glittergraphics I want to thank you for being such wonderful followers of my blog.

As hinted at last week, we are now moving to the Life Clubs website - a far more appropriate home - and I look forward to welcoming you there.

As I won't be posting on this website any more, I do hope you'll sign up to be one of our followers again, either through an RSS feed or becoming a Google friend. Just click here.

It's been great knowing you all and I hope we'll stay together.

Best wishes and thanks again. Here's to new beginnings!

Friday 16 September 2011

I do like writing on Joomla...

Yes, it's exciting. I'm about to stop writing on blogspot and, taking the advice of many who know better than I, have bought my blog into our website.

But it's also scary. Joomla is a massive engine that holds our website together. I find it quite complicated and, sometimes, unmanageable. Am I going to cope?

This week's workshop, Training Your Mind, is about the way we talk to ourselves.

I could sit here writing my first ever post, saying 'I can't do it. I loved my old blog - we'd been together for four years. I'm not going to feel creatively inspired. I'm not going to be able to understand how to use this new system.'

Or, I could sit here going 'Gosh, this is an adventure. I love the new layout. It's going to attract way more people to our website. I can learn things easily. I'm a closet geek. Bring on the challenge.'

What do you think I'm going to be saying to myself?

Let's train your mind.

Repeat after me: 'I'm going to Life Clubs this week. I'm going to Life Clubs this week...'

Only joking.
See you there,
Founder of Life Clubs and tester of all things new

I am moving to my website blog, but, as yet you can subscribe to it. I'll let you know when we're all set up and ready to go. Thanks.

Sunday 11 September 2011

We only use such a tiny part of our brains

This week I happened to pass by an exhibition by Stephen Wiltshire, a severely autistic artist. If you've never seen Stephen's work, do click on this link. The complexity and detail in his work that comes from his memory, rather than from copying a photograph, is amazing.

Similarly, though in a different vein, those who win pub quizzes and Mastermind have brains they've trained to hold enormous amounts of information. And, again, concert pianists have worked their brains to memorise vast and complex pieces of music and, at the same time, to play them.

Our brains can do so much more than most of us use them for. We're often just scratching the surface in terms of what we've asked our brains to do - a bit like only using Word on a computer - and so it makes sense that we should train them a little more.

Visualisation, the subject of this week's workshop, Holding Your Dreams, is all about how to use a little bit more of your brain more effectively.

Drawing is a simple way to think about visualisation - as is cooking. We start a drawing or cooking a meal (as Ruby probably did when she wanted to demonstrate all the new colours in her kindergarten, see image, or as Nigella probably does before she starts cooking) by imagining what we want to cook or draw before we begin. Then we fill in the spaces from here to end product.

Visualisation has been shown to help people cure illnesses, to help lose weight and to help with our careers and life in general. It can be used as a superior form of planning - I visualise what I'm going to say and do each week before my club so I can be certain I know what I want to say and how I want to say it and, most essentially, what I want to bring along to the workshop.

So start visualising now about how you're coming along to Life Clubs this week and going to learn something that will change your life... just how exciting is that?

I'm visualising seeing you!
Best wishes,

Saturday 3 September 2011

There's never enough time...

To me there's never enough time on holiday. I want holidays to go on and on.

At the start of each holiday it seems as if I've got infinite time ahead (that's a great feeling!), but by the time I've relaxed into holiday mode, the days go quicker and quicker and suddenly it's the end and there hasn't been enough holiday.

But during my working life there's always enough time... for what I want to do.

I'm constantly aware of my Balance Chart (see picture) and know which bits of my life I want to work on at any time. We use a Balance Chart every week at Life Clubs for that reason - so it becomes a part of your life too.

We've customised a Balance Chart that we use at Life Clubs Base Camp, so that we can prioritise each area of work and focus on what we want (or need) to do every day. We delegate to each other, know each other's strengths and weaknesses, tell each other when we need help and then together focus on our next tasks. By working as a team and knowing what's important we're increasing speed and cutting out inessentials.

Why do people say they haven't got enough time? Is it an excuse for not wanting to do something?

If you're finding yourself saying 'I haven't got enough time', just stop and think. What would be the harm in saying 'No'?

Learn how to prioritise, avoid procrastination and say 'No' this week at the nearest Life Clubs to you.

It's a great workshop, we call it Streamlining - we like to think of increasing speed to gain time.

See you there,

Sunday 28 August 2011

Why give feedback?

There's a lot written about giving feedback and how to give it and this week's workshop, Telling It Like It Is, will help you enormously understand the ins and outs of feedback, but to me what's really important and often not thought about enough, is why you're giving feedback in the first place.

It might feel easier to think about why you're giving Positive feedback - because everyone likes a compliment - but I'm not sure it is.

The other day I was on the set of the really fun film my son is appearing in (Papadopoulos & Sons) and the lead actor, Stephen Dillane, came over to have a chat. I'd just heard him acting a man losing his temper and had been really scared by that 'fake' outburst of anger and wanted to tell him, but, at the same time a little voice was going through my head asking me why I wanted to tell him...

Was it because I wanted to share my sensation of being scared by 'his' temper with him and how impressed I was that he could put that on so easily?
Was it because I could never act and wanted to have a conversation with him about what it's like acting?
Was it because I wanted to boost his ego for the rest of the day - or at least a second?
Was it because I felt awkward in front of someone so good at what he does and felt a compliment was the best way in?
Was it because I wanted him to like me?

Gosh, it's complicated isn't it?

Or maybe it isn't complicated.

Maybe with positive feedback, it's OK to have mixed reasons for wanting to give it, because hopefully the compliment given to the other person does make them feel better, especially if it was honest and true, but with negative feedback it's crucial you know why you're giving it.

Sometimes when my children are wearing clothes I don't think suit them, for example, why would I give them negative feedback and tell them I don't like their shirt, especially if they're just about to go out? What outcome do I want?

Because it gets it off my chest (wrong reason)
Because it might make them go and get changed into something 'nicer' (wrong reason)
Because it's important to me what they look like ('get over it, Nina')
Because I'm a controlling mum (definitely wrong reason)
Because I think others will like/respect them more if they're wearing something 'better' (wrong reason - how do I know what their friends will like)
Because I want to change them (impossible and definitely wrong reason)

Of course, I mean it well, but...

Negative feedback is a tool that has to be used carefully. It's key to find out what outcome you want before you launch into it. If it's a situation you want to change then it's essential to use it, but if you just want to change someone else... forget it.

You can't change me through feedback, but any constructive feedback you want to throw my way, I'd be delighted.

See you there,
PS This week's workshop always has wonderful feedback from those who come along. What more can I tell you?

Saturday 20 August 2011

Finding Your Strengths

As you can imagine, this photo has very little to do with this week's Life Clubs workshop, Presenting Me, except that the model clearly knows one of his strengths and is able to use it to his best advantage.

September is a time when many of us are going to be looking for new jobs and often we don't go into the career that actually suits us best and plays to our strengths, possibly because we're not aware of them.

A great friend of mine, for example, redefines charisma. He sparkles when you meet him. He makes you feel alive and interesting. He's a delight to be with. Everyone he knew suggested that he became the next Michael Parkinson, but no. He decided to become a philosopher instead - a career which didn't really play to as many of his strengths.

We tend to do that. Things that come easy to us seem boring and obvious. Instead we go for careers that challenge us and in which we feel we can learn more.

But that isn't what's going to make us happy in the long run. We can challenge ourselves in any subject, whether it's something we're good or bad at. There's always more to learn.

The guy in this photo has found his strengths and this week at Life Clubs we're going to be finding your strengths - in time for the September job market. Come along and flex your muscles.

See you there. Looking forward,