Effective change

To be effective, change must be constant.

Margie Lagerwall

The picture is my computer screensaver and some mornings I wonder “Why? What is this change stuff all about?  I’ve changed, why is …. (fill in the blanks of that particular moment that is annoying/affecting me) this happening?”

This morning I got it.  Change must be constant, every single moment of every day.  It made me think of a car.

Travelling along a straight road – even with no ups or downs – if you take your foot off the accelerator the car will eventually stop.   Forget about going up a hill, but downhill, hey, that’s easy but best you be buckled up.

Most people are travelling along the road of life, nicely within the speed limit.  Using all the roads that are mainly level, the odd bit of a hill here and there and occasionally encountering a downhill.

The whiners of the world, those high maintenance people that suck the very life out of you are the ones that ride in third gear and the windgat ones push the speed limit and love bragging about it.

But the ones that get the most of out of this road called life are those that keep their cars well maintained, they don’t strain the gearbox and they don’t take unnecessary risks.  They glance in the rear-view mirror, they don’t stare at it and they keep their eyes on the road.  They pay attention to things that are good for their cars, and they hang out with other car enthusiasts, not people who don’t like cars or can’t drive – or get carsick!

There have been some challenging times for me, when that screensaver comes on and I think what else am I supposed to do to change.  As I said – change must be constant to be effective.  Every day, the way you react to events, to people, gives you an opportunity to change.  You get to choose whether that change is going to be a trip down the hill or up.

Until next time, have a good one.


Feeling sad

I am feeling very sad this morning. Not depressed, just sad. You know the feeling, when your heart literally is hurting and the tears are swimming in your eyes.

This morning I will be meeting a client who has become a friend for him to sign his will. He has been diagnosed with cancer and of course, things need to be put in order.

I’m not sad for him, he has made his peace and he is happy to go. I am sad because in the greater scheme of things, our lives are too short if we are happy and making something of them and ironically, probably too long for those who have nothing and no-one.

Most of our days are filled with busyness that don’t allow us to stop and “smell the roses”. Most days feel like we are on a treadmill, rushing from one thing to the next, without taking a breath – and then we do exactly the same thing the next day! Most days, we push ourselves to do things that are more for other people than ourselves and then those other people don’t even appreciate it! And then we waste the weekend “recovering” from our busy week. Talk about a vicious circle.

I can’t say I regret doing anything I have done. I learnt lessons from all the things that went wrong. I do wish that I had learnt the lesson sooner, if fact, sometimes when I think how long and painful it has been to recover from some of my lessons, I wish I had listened to Viv’s sage “Don’t do it” but the only lesson I would have learnt then would have been resentment. We learn lessons better from doing than listening.

Which brings me back to why I feel sad. I am not doing what I want to be doing, during “working time”, I mean. I am good at what I do, at times I enjoy it very much, but after 31 years of doing it, enough already… I have felt this way for quite a long time and every time I get close to being able to move more away from it, something happens. Yesterday one of my staff resigned. I have figured out by now, that it takes eight months for a new staff member to become fully accustomed to how we operate. The thought of having to postpone what I want to do for another eight months feels absolutely soul destroying.

There is a solution to this, of course. There has to be, there always is, the trick is just to find it.

What I want to ask you is: Are you doing what you want to? Are you getting the most out of your life for you, not your partner, parents, family, clients – YOU?

One day runs into the next – make changes while you still can.

Until next time – be good to yourself first.