3 Steps Toward Personal #Success

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One day I want to be as wise as James Earl Jones (he provides the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga).

Or maybe as creative as Clint Eastwood (a film director and musician).

I might even settle for a touch of William Shatner’s curiosity (well known space explorer).

Although these gents are now in their nineties their wisdom, creativity and curiosity were always present.

Having said that, our own unique talents can sometimes lie below the surface of our everyday armour. We can be scared to show others just how talented we are whether we are fifteen, or fifty. We have to decide we can be vulnerable, then get and hold other people’s attention.

So we need to get out of our own way and actively chase after personal success. If we are doing this, our life goals should include:

  • Working to increase the amount of happiness we get from our day
  • Promoting others’ well being
  • Building an intriguing set of memories for others to remember us by

How does that sound to you?

Public Health: What Problems Are #Preventable ?

Cover – Preventable How a Pandemic Changed the World & How to Stop the Next One by Devi Sridhar

Mental health charity Mind says spending time in nature is good for our mental health.

And they are right.

Being outdoors means: slowing down; breathing deep and feeling the sun on your face.

How many office-based headaches, neighbourhood tensions, or bereavement blues could be lessened by some outdoors therapy?

Of course it is privilege to simply take a long walk outdoors, after months of lockdown. But it is a privilege that 174,000 British people can never again enjoy (they are the ones who have died of Coronavirus since March 2020).

There is a story behind each of those deaths, whether they happened at home; in a hospital ward; or in a care setting.

Many deaths will have been preventable, had there been more inspired public health leadership in place, before the pandemic arrived.

No one can say for sure how many lives might have been saved if hospital patients had been tested before returning to their care homes, (or if there had been effective protective rings around those homes).

In her new book (cover shown above) Professor Devi Sridhar does ask some searching public health questions about how society can be reimagined to help reduce the impact on society of future pandemics. Taking action now might reduce the number of parents, friends and neighbours we lose in the next pandemic, whenever it occurs.

Take a look at her book, it is worth your time.

An Award Winner Talks About Anger Management

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Sir Sidney Poitier was a thoughtful, charismatic actor and Academy Award winner.

He was also an activist. He marched on Washington in 1963, as part of the call for equality spearheaded by Dr Martin Luther King.

He could see that channelling his righteous anger could influence millions of people around the world.

His life was celebrated during this year’s Oscars ceremony, alongside others in the entertainment industry who passed away in last twelve months.

The ‘slap that was heard around the World’ might have eclipsed that segment.

I think the only slap which people will remember Mr Poitier giving was the one his character, Virgil Tibbs, gave the racist character Endicott ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ (1967).

That was a bold, justified, and revolutionary act. It is a long way from what happened on film in the sixties to last weekend at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.

Apologies have been offered since then.

Learning is underway too.

Meanwhile, to close here’s a quote from Mr Poitier which puts all that into context:

I have learned that I must find positive outlets for anger, or it will destroy me.

Sidney Poitier: The Measure Of A Man A Spiritual Autobiography

It’s #Timetotalk

Men talking – Picture credit Pexels.com

The hardest part about living with a mental health challenge?

Others can’t see it.

Broken limb?

We wear a plaster cast.

Feeling broken down?

We need to start talking.

Being vulnerable.

Opening up about the hurt.

Inviting someone to support us.

In person, or online.

In confidence.

In our own interests (and for the sake of our loved ones).

It is always a good time to talk.

Merry #Christmas And A Happier New Year

At the end of 2020 I got my wires crossed when answering a friend’s text. She had asked how I was feeling, and she felt my answer didn’t say enough (I wondered if, maybe she was going through something herself).

Anyway, I let her know I was doing okay and would catch up with her after Christmas. I reckoned there would be a break in the lockdown in 2021 and we could meet for a drink or something.  

That didn’t happen.

I don’t know whether my friend was feeling unwell in December 2020 when she texted, but she died with Covid mid-January 2021.

I felt numb when I got the news. Then I cried, because her death was so unfair, given her age.

This Christmas I’m thinking about her family and everyone else who has lost someone in 2021 (due to Covid or not).

I hope they are doing okay this Christmas.

I hope they will find the right words to celebrate their loved one’s life, even though they are absent from the table.

I hope they / we all have a happier new year.

( Photo by Any Lane from Pexels )

#Workplacenightmares (And Some Wellbeing Strategies)

Workplaces Should Be Nightmare Free – (Image by Pixabay at Pexels.Com)

We can’t always be liked or respected by colleagues. Bad atmospheres can give us sleepless nights. Do you have a workplace nightmare story, that one that still makes you cringe years later?  

Here’s mine.

The 1990s Were Different

Back to the 1990s there was no anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace covering people perceived to be LGBTQ+ (whether we actually belonged to one of those communities, or maybe were an equality ally).

From what I remember, being seen as not one-of-the-lads (or necessarily straight) had consequences:

  • Being subject to discriminatory rumours

(Strategy. If there’s a whispering campaign against you, find out who started it and ask them to stop, because no one wants to be harassed).

  • Facing unwelcome questions – “Hey, mind if I ask you…”?

(Strategy. You have no obligation to share your truth, if you don’t want to. Maybe there is a staff representative group or union you can be supported by).

  • Being excluded from some parts of office-based social life

(Strategy. Realistically it is time to find new friends, since no one wants to socialise with a judgemental set of people).

Some People Are Privileged

It is a privilege to be in the majority. The status of majority-member is a powerful one. You get to chose how well you treat others.

Back in the 1990s privilege meant excluding anyone who couldn’t say they were a zero on the Kinsey scale (a lot of us can’t).

The lads leading that strategy in the 1990s will be in men in their fifties now. These days law and good management practice limit the space for the kind of open discrimination. I hope they have learnt the right lessons over those twenty years.

I also hope the strategies above help improve the atmosphere where you work (you can always reply to this post to suggest your recipe to wake up from your workplace nightmare).

Helping Ourselves On #WorldMentalHealthDay

Solving Problems Is Easier When We Act Together. (Picture credit Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels )

Today, of all days, it is worth saying that life without good mental health is hard.

From my experience, in the developed world, it can still feel dark, stressful, and overwhelming to struggle on alone.

In developed and developing nations stigma about mental health conditions can affect outcomes. In some countries and cultures mental health taboos can leave those issues to silently fester in the dark. People affected can hide their illness. It can feel their secret shame to bear alone.

Left untreated their illness can become more significant than it needed to be. That is bad news for their loved ones, their colleagues and everyone else affected.

So, to change those outcomes, wherever we live, tackling mental health issues needs to involve:

  • Recognising something is making our life more complicated than it needs be
  • Reaching out to professionals who are able to help
  • Staying in touch with good listeners amongst our family network and friendship circle
  • Being kind to ourselves

What has worked for you, or people you know?

Always worth remembering, wherever in the World we find ourselves, and whatever else is important in our lives, struggling alone is not a solution.

We are stronger together.

Making Change Happen – Personal #Goals In 2021

What Needs To Change? (Picture credit SHVETS Productions via Pexels.com)

So, what has September felt like to you? 

Post-pandemic is it business as usual, once again?  

Or, is it more like something from a science fiction film, complete with rapid testing and face coverings? 

Happiness involves choice.

Making change happen starts with moving towards a goal.

Everyone choosing to follow a different path after lockdown has had to plan their way forward. Maybe that is something you want to do? If so there’s plenty of information in the posts here to get you started.

Check out the download section too, if you want some ideas on where to focus your attention.

The first step is to ask yourself, what do I want to change by the end of next month?

Then figure out what your next step looks like. 

Then take it.

Leave a reply and let everyone know how you get on!

#Business As #Usual ?

Now We Can Work Together Much More Should We? – Photo From Fauxels From Pexels

Step 4 in the Covid-19 recovery process means fewer restrictions. 

Step 4 doesn’t mean everything is back to business as usual, workwise.

In fact, it could take a while for ‘usual’ to emerge.

Blended Working: Pros and Cons

How does a blended approach of 50:50 working from home and an office sound?

The Pros are obvious:

  • Less hours commuting
  • More creative contact with diverse colleagues

The Cons are less obvious:

  • Quiet pressure to work just a bit more (early morning / in the evening / on the weekend)
  • More exposure to any toxicity in the workplace and the potential to get into disruptive relationships

What We Choose Affects Our Happiness

Our choices will affect our happiness.

A well-thought through choice will help build job satisfaction.

A casual one could cause damage.

So, it is worth taking time to figure out what we want from the work we do.

That reflection will help us form new work goals which help us deliver better results.

Why not have your say. What will you do differently, when you go back to work?

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