Watch & Read - For Leaders Who Dare To Be Human&Real
...so the title of a podcast I was listening to recently from a 20-something young chap from New Zealand who put this claim out very self-confidently and noisily.
For some reason, the headline really rubbed me the wrong way, so I was getting curious to hear what he had to say. Particularly as so many people nowadays (and probably even before that) have been asking themselves EXACTLY that question:
Who am I, really?
So I listened in to understand what this young, very successful gentleman really meant.
He was talking about how we can be we’d like to be and that – just because we grew up with believing that we are shy, introvert or boisterous or crazy or whatever label we (or someone else) put on us does not mean that this is we HAVE to be.
Contrary to some people who argue that “I’ve always been like that” or “That’s just how I am”.
This is when I got it.
He was clearly talking about our PERCEPTION of ourselves. Which can be something...
It was about a year ago when my son had just finished an internship after his high school degree. At that stage, it was clear that his plan A – studying in Scotland – had not worked out. Well, and there was no plan B.
The latter did not seem to bother him too much. Life was good. Sleeping in, making music, getting food served (well, most of the time) and supposedly not having a worry in his life.
Except for his nagging mum – me.
- Organized regular “meetings” with him, talking about how he intends to move on, giving all sorts of options
- Trained him in regards of how to organize the next and necessary steps, after he decided that studying is still the future of choice
- Set up a Kanban board with him in his room so that he could see at any time what has to be done and to remind him of stuff (even at 20, the teenage typical forgetfulness seems to be pretty prevalent).
- Had long conversations with him to help him finding his WHY
Have you ever asked yourself how those successful people consistently walk from one success to the next, make things happen?
It does not matter whether we’re talking business successes, personal fitness, health – you name it.
Well, there are tons of books and articles around about those habits which ultimately lead to success. I wrote one myself not too long ago which dealt with clarity, courage, productivity, intuition, energy and a few more factors.
Knowing why is crucial, knowing where to go to, or having productivity/planning tools in place definitely. So why is then that many of us who know all that stuff still don’t really get where we’d love to be?
Some time ago, my grown up daughter came in my room just as I was getting dressed. No top on yet. She looked at me and exclaimed with surprise, “Mum, I can see your tummy muscles, that’s almost a six pack (which is vastly exaggerated)...
Have you ever wondered why some people just crush it and walk from one success to another, perform like crazy and seem to be even happier than the rest of us?
These people must have super powers, right? They were just lucky to be born like that.
Admittedly - we are all different - which is wonderful as it is. Have you ever felt a bit neglected or disadvantaged when it comes to the distribution of the good stuff? Or felt like this world is really unfair?
Let’s face it though, nobody is born with a bad or a good attitude or great skills or lousy ones. Or with being just positive or being negative.
Even if we are happy to state exactly that “Well, I’ve always been the half-glass-empty-person, can’t help it”. “I’m just not like that”, “I don’t have these powers other people have”. In fact you can, and you have - I’ll come back to that in a moment.
Some of us might even have gone through Myers Briggs...
Have you ever felt that you’re stuck in a situation in your life? That might be in this job, we’re not enjoying anymore, but we feel like we cannot leave. It may be in a romantic relationship which seems to not to go anywhere or our health and fitness which does not get to the level where we’d like it to be.
I was definitely there – particularly on the job level and yes, also in my previous relationships. I felt like I was moving in circles and could not see any progress at all. Situations where my job left me frustrated and bored, but I felt unable to move or change.
Or, as it happened very recently that I worked and worked on my Better Workplace Project and at the same time had to deal with some personal matters…and suddenly found that I had lost track and stopped dead in the latter. I was stuck.
With the result that all this energy which drove me before evaporated and my mood reached an all time low.
No energy – no action and definitely no...
Are you one of the people who have been striving to achieve the infamous work-life balance for years and somehow it did not quite work out?
Too much work, not enough life. And all getting mixed up?
Well, I was definitely there. I remember telling my children when they were home for holidays: “Sorry honey, I’ve got no time for playing now, I really need to get this done, can you wait until after 6 pm?”
Most of the time I work from home. I was a single mom for about 14 years and accompanied my kids into adulthood on my own.
Being on the phone to a client with a daughter or son bursting into the office, wanting to tell me about this “stupid” teacher or asking for sweets or demanding an immediate answer to a request was more the rule than an exception. Despite clear rules.
This was normally accompanied by outbreaks of stress sweats, trying to usher the kid out of my office, and using the most silly body language to make clear that this is the wrong moment...
Have you ever fantasized about making the next year the best you ever had? Like at New Year, or just because you started a new job or got married to the person you love most in this world.
In other words: when you either felt the pressure (things had been turning in circles for too long) or the enthusiasm for life was just swept you away, to make this wishful promise to yourself?
Well, you’re not alone - I just made this promise to myself. In many ways this is going to be my healthiest year ever. I am building up this business where my heart really is and I am determined to have the best relationships ever with the people I love and everybody else I am dealing with.
Now the big question is how can this dream become reality without it dying a slow and painful death over some weeks or months during which “the daily trials of life” catch up with us? What’s necessary to actually grow and come closer to the best version of ourselves...
I loathe administrative and boring work. Still, I spent a couple of hours with the administration of my business yesterday: paying bills, filling in those tedious reports for various insurances and authorities which are required at the beginning of the year.
Not particularly exciting work for me. But “must” be done.
Maybe your “must be done” topics are different. Replace it with other activities you don’t love: "I need to do the tax return. Or: I must get this weekly report for my boss done. I have to walk the dog. I need to get up earlier.
You get the gist: Whatever it is, it tends to be a burden, things we don’t enjoy doing (or the prospect of it) or even hate – this could be the admin as in my case or the tax return, the report, the diet, the visit of the in-laws...you name it.
Sometimes the “have tos” are hard, as we might not know how to deal with them or are afraid of doing them: "I have to get...
A couple of weeks ago when I spoke to my daughter, she was pretty desperate and full of negative feelings, as she’s on the job hunt after having finished her master’s in science. She complained: “Mum, I can’t even get a job in a b***dy pet shop, they won’t take me because I am over qualified, and the jobs I really want, ask for lots of experience – I will never find anything! Why the heck did I spend 4 years studying at all?”
Do you know the feeling of having the first negative thought, followed by the next one until your head (and heart) is full of dark clouds? It’s pretty much a steep downward spiral if you don’t stop yourself quickly.
But how can you stop yourself if the world does seem a dark, unjust and just horrible place?
I told my daughter just to stop for a moment to take a deep breath and listen. I then took some time to tell her all those great things about her: How focused she was working through her studies, how...
Success (whatever your definition of success is) - amongst a list of other success factors – requires persistence and brainpower, in short: A lot of energy! So maintaining a high level of energy throughout the day - to be able to move things forward or in the the right direction is critical.
Have you ever felt this energy hole which starts sucking you in in the middle of your day? Particularly if you are one of those people not eating anything for breakfast.
In the last 25 years of my career I had many days when I felt more and more tired the longer the day got. Quite normal? Yes, in a way. But in the evening I was so shattered and worn out that I had hardly any energy or basically none left, to do anything anymore. Which was a bit of a problem, as I was a single mom of 2…
Ask my kids and the rest of my family: I was quite well known for falling asleep in front of the TV in the evening! Even after I got rid of my TV and started reading books instead I fell asleep...