Be gentle with yourself
Sometimes we fall short of the standards that we set ourselves. Learn to be gentle with yourself… unless it’s a moral failing or a criminal act!
Acknowledge the setback; examine the reasons for it; adjust your plan or your process; start again.
Beating yourself up might be your instinctive reaction. But how does it help?
Your greatest hits
Recently, I heard the photographer Joe McNally talking on the Chase Jarvis podcast. Joe was describing an annual event that he attended regularly. He and the other participants were asked to bring 5 photos to introduce themselves. Joe decided that he would bring his 5 best shots from the previous year – rather than a lifetime portfolio.
(I intend to adapt (or steal) this is idea for my own photoblog. Essentially, I plan to do an end of year ‘highlights reel’.)
This concept bubbled to the top of my mind during a conversation this week. I was having a chat with a colleague who was feeling a bit flat. They were (in my words) in the doldrums. They were struggling to find any positives in their work. Everything seemed mundane or sub-standard. As I teased out a couple of the examples highlighted, it became clear that:
- they were being unduly hard on themself;
- there were elements of good work in the midst of their gloominess;
- they were able to recall other, recent examples of great work.
As I reflected on our conversation later, I asked myself, “What are my ‘greatest hits’?” “When did I last do some great work?”
Then I realised that too often we focus our thoughts on what goes wrong, rather than what goes well. Yes, we learn from errors and experimentation, but we need to stay motivated and maintain a degree of confidence.
So, the next time you’re feeling a bit down, or when you’re talking to someone in that mindset, ask about your greatest hits and see where the conversation leads.
I realise that it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here. I could conveniently excuse this by saying that I’ve been concentrating my energy on my photoblog – but the reality is that I haven’t felt like writing anything. I simply lost the motivation.
Now, I feel that I want to write again. However, I want to do it in a consistent, sustainable way. The new approach was inspired by Krista Stryker (aka 12minuteathlete) who recently posted a quotation from Jeff Olsen:
Showing up is essential.
Showing up consistently is powerful.
Showing up consistently with a positive outlook is even more powerful.
In many ways, this is true in all walks of life.
I’m going to adopt this philosophy for this blog and see where that leads. The plan is to write one entry each week. These will be posted on Mondays. IF I can achieve consistency in this, then I’ll consider increasing my activity.
(By the way, my photoblog will continue on a daily basis – for those who are even remotely interested.)
I’m a bit reluctant to disagree with Seth Godin, but I’m going to.
Yesterday he wrote that the opposite of more is not less. In his view, the opposite of more is better.
I have a different view (courtesy of Greg McKeown). I don’t think that the opposite of more is either less or better. I think it’s both… less and better. More accurately, I think it’s less BUT better. (In German. ‘Weniger aber besser’.) In other words, instead of trying to do more and more stuff/work, choose to do less, but do it better. It’s more satisfying and rewarding.
I also doodled about this in a previous post.
The way we walk
So this popped into one of my feeds today:
It resonated with me because it reminded me of something that I saw on my drive home last night.
I stopped at a set of traffic lights. While I was sitting, I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see a three girls (probably about 10 yeas old) walking towards the junction. Well, two of them were walking. One of them was dancing her way along the street. And when she reached the traffic lights, she continued to bounce on her toes as she waited to cross. When it was time to cross, she resumed her wee dance and carried on.
I don’t know if the way she ‘walked’ affected her mood, but it cheered me up!
For No One
I recently came across this version of Diana Krall singing The Beatles song ‘For No One’. I think it’s lovely. I like James Taylor’s guitar accompaniment and the bass playing is superb.