#WILY – What I Learnt Yesterday – week 4

Another eclectic week of non related thought provocation…

(After nearly a month at this, I am realising that the book could be hard to pull together.  Easiest as a diary of dailies – but feel I may have to coalesce the themes.  Looking like politics, Orgnisational life, Sport as metaphor, Daily Grind, The NHS in the UK – and public / private healthcare and how we afford it worldwide (long chapter!), and quotes to make you think)

So, back to Week 4:

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Quotes – one I re-tweeted: Nelson Mandela. above. Doesn’t that sum up how to get people on side??  And then another lesson in the effect Twitter (and other social media) has on making 6 degrees of separation (as was) much less.  Some commentators reckon it is now 4 or less.  You are only 4 contacts away from being able to contact The Queen or President Obama.  Sounds impossible, until news this morning that someone had managed to speak to our Prime Minister and head of GCHQ just by asking to be put through via the switchboard!  I fellow Nigella Lawson on twitter, and she does have some lovely recipes and ideas.  But someone asked her about what to do if it all goes belly up in the kitchen.  She offered two quotes which had wider significance than just the heat of the kitchen:

“Don’t be scared to learn to fail really well”  (A Buddhist saying that Ms Lawson had said she had just learnt after 47 years (assume that is her age?)

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”  (Samuel Beckett).

So food and life can give you quotes for working and the daily grind?  Thank you, Nigella!

My own quote this week was from a client, paraphrasing me: “”You can’t change the past, only shape the future” good reminder not to wallow, but to plan positively. Learn from what you have done in the past, use it to plan, and act on it.  Be more Tigger than Eeyore?

We are having some work done at home, and had seen some magnificent and clever black out blinds from Luxaflex – via an old family firm, Gilroys in Gerrards Cross.  The owner and person who came and measured asked us why we wanted such expensive kit.  We told him we may be moving in the year, so he specified some much cheaper options, which we listened to, then decided on an in-between solution.  An honest salesman always gets repeat business, was my learning from that encounter.

Personally?  Loved the magic of the FA Cupsets again. Just great to see the ‘minnows’ – lower league sides – holding or beating their effete Premier league counterparts.  SO exciting – especially on radio.  No idea why – it just sounds so full on when flitting between matches in the last 10 minutes of the games on radio 5 Live – BBC at it’s best.

We are having work done as i said – always a good time to have a cull of  all teh crap you tend to accumulate (or is it just me?)  Three trips to the dump – half of the stuff to the clever re-use centre, whose rofit goes to a local hospice. And trips to three charity shops – more on that next week.  And did another 5 km run – no ill effects apart from stiff this morning – up hill running is just such a killer…

Aiming to run in Marlow 5 miler in May…missed last year injured. I am excited! (Must get out more).

marlow 5 mhance Eric 60 003

When did we lose our sense of fun?

Or joy.  Or at least smiling!  We don’t have a phrase like joie de vivre.  We had to steal it from the French!  But is it just that our stiff upper lip stops us enjoying ourselves.  And how can I be talking about “enjoying ourselves” – don’t I know that times are hard?  There could be a triple dip!  America is catching a cold – we will catch flu!  All those shops shutting – where will it end?  Let’s end the day with a smile, not a frown.  You can’t change the past, only aim to do better and make the most of the future.

Happy people make happy organisations make happy customers make happy accountants   (Sorry – it is proven).  I look at the sheer joy of our great nephew (and he is great in many ways).  He turned 3 just before Christmas.  He is not deliriously happy all of the time – but he smiles loads more than most adults.  It is infectious and just lovely.  I guess he is not alone in this 3 year old style outlook?  But I think he is probably unusually good fun (and this is a biased Great Uncle Phil talking, I know).

1323An image from my friends at Glasstap – Trainers Library www.glasstap.com

When did we get so serious?  I know we do have fun and banter at work – and places that have more of it are the places I like to visit (and keep as my clients).  I did a presentation once were I said that work should be fun.  This was to a group of small to medium sized business owners. (The business size, not fat cats…)  One (who had arrived late) collared me at the end to berate me.  “I disagree – work shouldn’t be fun.  I pay them as their reward.  They’ve got a job haven’t they?”  His disagree meant of course, that not only did he think he was right, but that I was stupid to think differently.  So I disagreed back, and hoped he had a fine life, and enjoyed himself outside of his work, because that means at least half his life would be fun!

The macho, hard nosed, hard driving, kill at all costs ‘lunch is for wimps’ 1980’s attitude may still prevail in some sectors (Investment bankers anyone?).  It isn’t the only way.  It isn’t the best way to make things happen – for everyone in the organisation.

Smile.  Be happy.  People may wonder why you are smiling.  At least you will have something to talk about!

When did we lose our sense of fun?

Or joy.  Or at least smiling!  We don’t have a phrase like joie de vivre.  We had to steal it from the French!  But is it just that our stiff upper lip stops us enjoying ourselves.  And how can I be talking about “enjoying ourselves” – don’t I know that times are hard?  There could be a triple dip!  America is catching a cold – we will catch flu!  All those shops shutting – where will it end?  Let’s end the day with a smile, not a frown.  You can’t change the past, only aim to do better and make the most of the future.

Happy people make happy organisations make happy customers make happy accountants   (Sorry – it is proven).  I look at the sheer joy of our great nephew (and he is great in many ways).  He turned 3 just before Christmas.  He is not deliriously happy all of the time – but he smiles loads more than most adults.  It is infectious and just lovely.  I guess he is not alone in this 3 year old style outlook?  But I think he is probably unusually good fun (and this is a biased Great Uncle Phil talking, I know).

1323An image from my friends at Glasstap – Trainers Library www.glasstap.com

When did we get so serious?  I know we do have fun and banter at work – and places that have more of it are the places I like to visit (and keep as my clients).  I did a presentation once were I said that work should be fun.  This was to a group of small to medium sized business owners. (The business size, not fat cats…)  One (who had arrived late) collared me at the end to berate me.  “I disagree – work shouldn’t be fun.  I pay them as their reward.  They’ve got a job haven’t they?”  His disagree meant of course, that not only did he think he was right, but that I was stupid to think differently.  So I disagreed back, and hoped he had a fine life, and enjoyed himself outside of his work, because that means at least half his life would be fun!

The macho, hard nosed, hard driving, kill at all costs ‘lunch is for wimps’ 1980’s attitude may still prevail in some sectors (Investment bankers anyone?).  It isn’t the only way.  It isn’t the best way to make things happen – for everyone in the organisation.

Smile.  Be happy.  People may wonder why you are smiling.  At least you will have something to talk about!