Holiday Musings

I’m on holiday in Thailand as I write this. I’ve been out for an early morning walk on the beach with my husband. Each time we do this, we remark on how the tide has swept the sand around since yesterday. Each day the beach looks slightly different. 

There is also a stream running down to the beach. The place where it joins the sea is the area most affected by the tide. Water rolls the sand into deep gulleys until suddenly one breaks and blocks the flow. The water finds a new path and carries on.

In this way sea and sand reshape each other every day.

And it got me thinking. It’s actually through interaction with others that we reshape ourselves. Being part of a team, being in a relationship, working closely with others, that’s what generates our greatest personal growth. Sitting alone and contemplating our beliefs, values, behaviour, experiences and emotions is all very well, it provides us with insight and self-awareness. But it’s interacting with other people that moves us forward in our development. 

Think about it, when have you made a breakthrough in your own development that had nothing to do with anyone else? Often it’s our relationships with others that motivate us to learn something new, address a problem or try a different approach. Frequently, other people are involved in the learning process with us. And when we put our new skills into practice, it’s the feedback we get from others that lets us know how well we’re doing. People don’t always know they’re giving feedback, mostly they’re just responding to what you do.

So, enjoy your interaction with other people. They are helping you to learn and develop as a person. Even the tricky situations. No, especially the tricky situations involving other people are an invitation to raise your game and discover something new about yourself.

Just as sand and sea shape each other, we are all shaping each other every day.

Get it Done!

Do you have anything on your ‘to do’ list that you just can’t seem to get around to doing? Here is a method to get it done.

First of all, ask yourself, ‘what are the benefits to me of doing this?’
Next ask yourself, ‘what problems will it cause if I never do it?’

In many cases, the answers to those questions will motivate you do it. Great! Go for it!

If not, the next thing to check is, ‘do I know HOW to do it?’

Sometimes, a task that seems quite straightforward can be put off if you don’t have a strategy for getting it done. Often this problem arises with large tasks. If it needs two hours to do it, then you might keep putting it off because you only have half an hour at your desk between meetings. If it’s going to take 10 hours to do it, you’ll never have a big enough gap between meetings to get it done. The answer is to divide it up into manageable chunks and do a bit at a time.

Finally, check if there is some benefit of NOT doing it. For example, if there’s a lot at stake, you may be putting it off for fear of getting it wrong. If that’s the case, talk it over with someone else to build your confidence in your approach – or to amend it if necessary.

Above all, DO NOT assume that you must be lazy because something isn’t getting done. There is always a reason.