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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Playing it safe

It is a far greater risk to do nothing in life, than it is to do something.

We can say we have big dreams, we can proclaim that we want to help and do something for the greater good, and to an extent begin that process; and still not really believe in the possibility. If we did, we would never give up.

We don’t even have to give up physically, we can give up in our minds and in our attitude. In the context of business, some believe we fail our way to success.

I’m not saying that there won’t be business ideas that flop because they have not been planned properly, or they weren’t viable businesses to start with, and that we should never give up on them.

I’m simply saying that we have a dream to do something, like start a business or whatever; and our first attempt fails, then shake it off. Come up with another idea, test and try, and get back up.

The true definition of failure isn’t found in the number of times we fall down, but in our failure to get back up.

I love this quote by Thomas Edison, an inventor and businessman linked to the invention of the lightbulb and the motion picture camera; “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The importance of margin

I love the definition of margin, in its noun form, which says; “the space around the printed or written matter on a page.”

Other common words used in this context are: boundary, limits, perimeter, scope, room to maneuver, or space. However; for today I would like to use the word margin. I wonder what you consider the definition of margin to be, and if at all you do, apply this to your life?

Whether you’re putting together a mission statement for your business, or figuring out how to juggle life; and getting the balance of business and pleasure right. Leaving space for margin is vital.

Here’s a few thoughts on margin, and what I believe it can do for you:

1. In theory – Margin helps creativity

There is a reason why a place like Apple, Google, or Facebook are popular places to work. They leave room for their employees to create. Everything from the design of your office, to the position of each table, to the posture of staff contributes to the success of their company. An environment that creates room for growth not just for themselves, but for the people they employee, in my opinion, increases their potential to rise to the top.

2. Practically – Margin keeps you healthy

It’s true in almost anything that if you don’t create a balance between work, and family then one or both will suffer. Creating space for yourself, your family, and your work can be trying at times, but we must not ignore the importance of sleep, eating healthy, and having fun.

If you are reading this blog. I would like to thank you for your comments and participation, and for filling out your email address to subscribe to The Social Exchange. I hope your finding this useful, and would love to encourage you again to leave your comments, or suggest any topics you’d be interested in covering more, or less??

Also, if this has helped encourage and inspire you, and you think it could do so for your friends, then please feel free to share this blog across your networks too. My motivation is simply to encourage, and inspire others in their journey.