What London and life is teaching me

It’s official I’ve finally made the leap out of the country and into the city; from Glasgow to London to be precise. I’ve been horrendously bad at blogging over the past… cough… Two months; but with good reason. All that shuffling and waffling aside, it’s safe to say I have now arrived in London and as a new member of this big, bold and beautiful city I would like to document some of the harsh but priceless life lessons this new chapter has already served up.

1. Life is precious and must be treasured

In the three short weeks that I’ve been here I’ve witnessed a man being knocked down by a bus, (literally two feet from my side) and as my feet were forced to jump and skip over the debris, my heart raced with fear and distress of what I had just witnessed. Today, it happened again as I witnessed a man collapse at a bus stop in Shepherds Bush. When you’re forced to face moments like these you get a wake up like no alarm or sugarcoated motivational speech can provide. Life is precious and instead of beating around the bush, playing at relationships, living in a place of unhappiness, or working a job that you don’t enjoy we must learn to value and appreciate the time we have and the people in our world that really matter.

2. Time is the currency of life

Through personal experience I have come to the conclusion that if someone doesn’t value my time, then they don’t really value me: irrespective of how much I may like or appreciate them. Who we spend our time with, and what we spend our time doing is either adding or subtracting from our life. There’s a song in Avenue Q, which I saw last week at the Edinburgh Fringe festival that says, ‘there’s a fine line between love and a waste of time.’ To put this in context this was about relationships, but I believe that it can also apply to other areas of life.

3. History repeats itself unless we change the record

To write for me is to breathe, and often I spend the majority of my time writing about my own observations in the hope that someone else may benefit. In doing so I often find that there are threads of familiarity that run through each post I write, which bugs me ever so slightly – It’s also part of the reason I haven’t written a post in while, out of a desire to bring something fresh. If we never step out and try something new, or face up to the opportunity failure has to offer, then how can we expect our lives to be anything more than what it is right now. Even if everything is great right now, life is full of peaks and troughs and it would be foolish to ignore the reality that surrounds us.

 

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Flying high?

Love this song. Have you noticed that life is a playground of lessons? I wonder how often we stop to open our eyes to the possibility of learning from strangest of places?

How many stop to listen to the messages carried in, for example, song…

…or read a book that’s outside their norm.

…or attend a seminar, church service, or consider the possibility of a blog post such as this; or this.

Opportunities come to those who are ready, so I guess the question I am posing to both you, and myself today is: Where are you flying too? Everyone’s flying somewhere.

Our decisions are taking us on a path. They determine the steps that we take every day, and so it is with good heart today that I wish you well and hope for you that you are flying in the right direction.

Taking time to avoid burning out.

I don’t know about you, or where you sit in life, but the world I see seems to have gone on this speedy travelator that people find hard to stop. Caught in a trap of never being satisfied, always comparing themselves to others, and disconcertingly transforming ourselves into digital avatars; and at the same time loosing touch with immediate world around us, (the people living next door).

Do I believe in social media? Of course I do. It’s a great tool? Yes, but it should never be a substitute for the real deal, building true relationships with real people, traveling to real places. Gosh, we don’t even need to move from our comfort chairs anymore. The world has uploaded itself onto a digital platform, called the internet.

Is the internet bad? No. I love the doors it has opened, however; I do believe there are elements of this digitally drive world that do more damage than good. For example; it’s pretty easy to spend hours on social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter, and there are many people that do; but what are we really sowing into by doing that?

I hope there’s purpose in it, because time is valuable. Better yet, it’s a gift, and there are too many distractions out there that can easily taper our vision, and lead us away from our purpose ever so slightly. You can miss the mark by a millimeter, and you have still missed the mark. Please note, missing the mark is in reference to loosing focus, and in no way shape or form reflects the value of a person. I believe that everyone reading this is unique, beautiful and has a purpose that they are either living out, or on the journey of discovery.

So what’s your purpose? Have you thought about it? It’s OK if you don’t have it all figured out, I’m just sharing my heart tonight, which is just as challenging for me as it is for any reader.

What has lead you to where you are today? Are you in the right career, or relationship for the right reasons?  Where are you spending time most? The idea is not to get us to doubt what is good, but to press home that taking time to stop, appreciate and reflect is    vital to avoid a burn out.

I believe that where your heart is, (i.e. where you spend your time, money, thoughts), is your treasure is. So, lets make sure we’re sowing the right seeds into the right ground, so that tomorrow’s harvest will be a great one.

A crazy little thing called love…

Perhaps it’s the most welcomed phrase in the whole world, and one more brands/businesses should be tempted to use when communicating with their consumers. If not in words, then at least in action. I certainly believe the shift in culture is forcing more and more businesses to rekindle their love for the consumer. After all it’s the consumer who keeps us all in business.

Just like our natural instinct to determine the difference between a true relationship, and a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of relationship. The same analogy, I believe, can be applied to world of business, branding and marketing both now, and in the years to come.

We appreciate businesses who take the time to thank us, or acknowledge our custom in even the smallest way. Do I think some consumers take this too far, and abuse businesses. Certainly; but I’m batting for the consumer and business who plays fair.

Happy Valentines everyone!

Changing gears…

Just like a car is forced to change gears in order to build momentum when climbing a hill. Life can be a little like that sometimes too. Every season has its shifts, and changes. Moments where you feel like business, or life has slowed down a gear, just to speed up into the next; and speed up it does.

Gears change depending on the external circumstances. Sometimes when life presents itself as a challenge. When you step out in faith that you can provide a particular service to a client, or you take on a few extra projects/employees this year. In those moments, we need to get good at listening for the gear change, and adjust accordingly.

Whether that means stepping it up a notch or two, pushing in to get the job done and persevere, or maybe you’re in a season that’s changing, and causes you to slow down to prepare for what’s up ahead. Either way. It’s a passing thought that sometimes life requires us to change gears. Have you noticed?

Pushing through the pain

We all have pain spots in life. Those are the irritable touch points of life, like having a partner with an annoying bad habit, or getting up before dawn to go run on a treadmill at the gym, when you really want to be fast asleep in bed… but those aren’t the kind of pain spots I’m talking about really.

I’m talking about pushing through the pain of finishing something. Sometimes when we have a dream, or an idea we just want to be there now. Sometimes when we’ve said yes to doing something, we regret our commitment half way through.

Whether that’s taking on a new client, or renewing an old client; even when we knew they were sticky from our last encounter. It’s good to finish what we start; and sometimes in life and in business we are required to push through those pain spots until breaking point is reached.

And I’m not talking about breaking point as in, losing the plot. The breaking point I’m referring to would be better likened to those specially made windows of glass used in the fire alarm devices we see strapped to the walls, in public places. You know the ones… The ones with the dot in the centre to illustrate the weakest point of the glass…

Whatever that breaking point means for you, let’s remember what pain spots really are: Spots. The dictionary definition of a spot explains that spots are a particular place, or point; or a small amount of something. This suggests to me that pain spots are seasonal, not permanent, and won’t last.

So don’t quite half way through! Even when things are out with your responsibility. That difficult client situation could in the end teach you something more valuable if you let it; even if it’s as simple as how to deal with a similar client in the future, or what not to agree to perhaps.

 

 

 

Now this is what I’m talking about…

Creativity isn’t limited to the job we do, this guy illustrates yesterday’s post so well. Here is someone who loves what they do;

It really doesn’t matter where we are in our career, whether we’re living our dream yet, or not. How innovative can you be with where your at, on the road to where your going?

Check out some of these inspiring quotes, from inspiring people. (Got a little carried away with some research today).

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
Nido Qubein

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“You change your life by changing your heart.”
Max Lucado