I have come across quite a few business owners who have taken the time and trouble (and expense) to hire a business consultant…. but then who fail to follow through and get any real value from the process.
Does the blame lie with the consultant or the entrepreneur? Continue reading Importance of Resolution
It’s my piano less on today….and I’m terrified. I haven’t practiced as much as I intended to. This is the exact same feeling I had every week almost 30 years ago when I was about to face a disgruntled piano teacher. All my life I’ve been obsessed with being able to play the piano fluently….. I have had lessons intermittently for decades… but still I find myself unable to sit my butt in front of the piano and do the necessary. Why??
Continue reading Resistance and Values
Human beings seem to be wanting creatures…. wanting pleasure in some form, wanting stuff, wanting outcomes at work, wanting other people to behave in a certain way.
What we need to discover is that the struggle to fulfill my sense of wanting is endless. Continue reading Managing the Wanting
When a project or business we are working on is successful, we naturally feel a sense of pride. Fair enough. But pause for a moment and consider which part of the success did you actually control? Continue reading Inquiry into Pride
My children are professionals at breaking stuff. They broke our trampoline. And they broke the next one! They sometimes break plates, frying pans, even gardening tools, which you’d assume where pretty hardy. While I get frustrated with all this seeming waste, they are also inherently learning now to do stuff. By washing dishes, and chipping a plate, they are learning how not to break plates. By using the gardening tools they are learning to garden. By using the frying pan to make scrambled eggs they are learning how to cook.
Each of these actions represent a further learning: how to make a contribution to the family. They are growing confident in their abilities to add value – cleaning, cooking, gardening etc.
If we don’t let them help and make a contribution for fear that they will chip plates, break things and otherwise make our lives more of a hassle, we subtly communicate to our children that we don’t trust them.
If the person they care about most in world doesn’t trust them, they of course won’t trust themselves.
I play tennis three times a week.
I have a personal trainer twice a week.
I walk the dogs 4km three times a week.
I run around after my kids 6 hours, 7 days a week.
I work at a standing desk.
STILL I am unfit!
I recently decided to kick the fitness regime up a notch – smug in my presumption that I didn’t really need to as I was already very active. I headed off to the gym planning on an easy 20 minute run on the treadmill to start things off. Something seemed awry when I could barely keep up at the fairly low number 8 setting. Five minutes in I was panting and hopping onto the side rails for a rest. I barely managed the full 20 minutes, my confidence and hubris gone.
How could I still be so unfit when I move and am active every day?
Needless to say, I’ve been shocked into action. The new goal: 40 minutes on the treadmill @ 10km per hour. Not super-fast, but when I get there I will officially declare myself fit again.
It really is true that over the age of 40 we have to increase our exercise as it gets harder to simply maintain our physical bodies, let alone improve.
I recently fetched some friends from the airport, and I saw with dismay two healthy young girls, about 8 years old, sitting on their carry-on wheelie bags while their exhausted mom trudged along in front pulling them by each case’s rope.
A similar story unfolds at my children’s school – parents carrying their children’s bags into school for them. Often more than one bag. And walking along in front of the parent struts the child.
This is a physical expression indicative of a wider issue among parents – this tendency to take on stuff that is rightfully the child’s to own and manage.
I’m not only referring to their physical stuff – parents love to take on their children’s psychological and emotional stuff too. If children are bullies, or mean to other kids, parents jump in a try to solve the problem before their child ever feels the consequences that are rightfully theirs to experience. Conversely kindness and generosity will be experienced directly by the child too. Nagging them to do homework falls into this category – they should experience the consequence of not doing their homework, of not putting their clothes in the wash, of not taking care of their sports equipment, etc, etc.
Yes, we as parents are there to teach and guide them but there should be a line drawn in the metaphorical sand beyond which whatever life presents them with belongs entirely to the child.
The more we let them practice dealing with the things life throws at them, the more resilient they become, and the more confident in themselves they will be.
Teach your children to stand up for themselves and experience life’s consequences while you are there to buffer and guide (and help them pick up the pieces!)
Live your own life and give them the tools to help them live theirs far beyond when you’re around to mop up for them…