Tainted Freedom


There is not a single day that passes by that I am not missing my little man, or that there are not small reminders that hurt and bring to mind Samuel’s absence. I am continuing to learn many things about the “process” of grieving, and small signs that remind me that there are things bigger and more mysterious than this life to connect us to our loved ones.

Whilst on a break of a couple of days, I took the photo above of the clouds at sunset over the ocean, and while watching this scene I was thinking about the ocean and the clouds and their constant movement, their power to heal when they are a source of reflection or the power to harm when they rage together.

It was not until looking at the photo that I picked up what to me looks like hands joined together making the shape of heart, and giving my heart a twinge, and the words of this poem came to me……

Tainted Freedom

The restrictions wrought
by the confines of care,
were recognised as the reward
for the purity of our love.

The freedoms gained
are forever tainted
by the spectre of your absence.


How to stop being afraid !

Get over Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

If you have ever spent any time studying any form of management or self development then someone would have subjected you to Maslow’s heirarchy of needs. If you are like me, you would probably be happy to never hear that term again (as relevant as it is).

It doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for Maslow, in fact one of Maslow’s quotes provides a great opportunity for reflection.

The top end of the pyramid

Abraham Maslow is quoted as saying “We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments”

How many times have you been engaged in moments of thought when you can see with absolute clarity what you REALLY want to become / have etc? Remember that feeling of total absorption and the lift that you experienced being in that moment.

What are you afraid of?

Then what happened? “Reality” intervened and you started to think of all the obstacles on the way to achieving it and began to experience self doubt about your ability to achieve that vision.

Is it actually that you are afraid of that vision because you know it means that you will have to step outside your comfort zone to achieve it. Is it that you just can’t figure out what needs to be done and how long it will take to do it… what is it that you are really afraid of?

Just F*n Do It

You know what you want…. you have had the internal feeling of what it is like to be where you want to be and be who/what you want to be.   To get there in life you need to keep moving forward towards that vision and no matter what obstacles appear you need to press on. Every one of those obstacles represents a chance for you to re-affirm your vision and your desire and remember to make progress towards it every single day.

What hurdles do you have to overcome and what is going to make you go on JFDI!  Let me know in the comments.

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Image by Big Jobs @ Flickr

How much value are you REALLY giving?

No Cash Value

“The value of life does not depend upon the place we occupy. It depends upon the way we occupy that place”  St Therese de Lisieux 

 We occupy places in our families, in our work lives, in our communities in our clubs, in the lives of our friends and acquaintances. The quote from St Therese de Lisiuex questions our occupancy of these places from a stand point of value. 

Just because we are in these places  and occupying space does not necessarily mean that we are adding value. 

There are many ways to look at the places we occupy in life and a question of value is always an interesting question. Our value, as the quote says “depends on the way we occupy that place”. 

So if you think of all of the places that you occupy……. are you adding value, or just taking up space? …. and what does value mean to you when you think about it in this way? 

Let me know in the comments! 

 Creative Commons image in this post by vintagedept 

What are you going to focus on TODAY ?

Looking forward or backward?

Where are you looking?

“If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today” – Mikhail Gorbachev

Are you still focused on what you did yesterday, are you basking in the glory of what you achieved, or are you rueing yesterdays failure?

If you are basking in the glory or yesterdays achievement, what is it stopping you from doing bigger and better today with that time?

If you are rueing yesterdays failure, are you wallowing, or are you actively exploring it to learn something that you can apply today and beyond?

Do you think Mikhail Gorbachev achieved what he did by focusing on yesterday’s achievements or failures, or by focusing on today’s possibilities?  Based on the quote above you would have to say by focusing on today’s possibilities.

Like all of us not everything Mikhail Gorbachev did was ultimately successful and may have had some unintended consequences, but he has certainly had his share of success, and he did not get there by resting on his laurels or letting a failure stop him from moving forward.

From a man who has achieved a hell of a lot in life,  including such awards as the Nobel Peace Prize, 4 Honorary Doctorates, A Grammy Award and a host of other honours and awards, the opening quote has a very challenging concept.

But this post is not about Mikhail Gorbachev it is about YOU!

I want you to think about a truly successful person that you admire and respect…… (go on…. I’ll give you a minute…. queue thinking music in your head.. … … .la lala la la)

(Music stops….OK your minute is up)  What is it about that person that earns your respect and admiration?

Surely it is not because they are a person who is gloating about what they achieved in the past (as they say for all investments….. past results are no guarantee of future returns…and think about it, if you are giving someone respect and admiration you are investing your energy, time and focus in them to some extent… ), and anyone who is busy constantly reminding you only about their past achievements is a has been.

Surely it is not because they are a person who is always boasting about what they will achieve in the future without a track record of actually doing something… these people are  referred to as life’s gunners  (…. I’m gunna do this, I’m gunna do that…).

I would hope that if you are investing your energy, time and focus in someone it is because they have demonstrated that they have achieved things that are truly worthy of your admiration, that they are showing you (even if they failed yesterday) that they are still moving forward, growing and actively working towards something bigger and better than they have done  in the past and that their past achievements (or failures) are stepping-stones to a brighter future. I also believe that if they have your respect and admiration then they are a person who is not fixated on the past, not fixated on the future, but fixated on doing what needs doing, and are doing it NOW.

If you have followed a few of the posts here, it brings us to a relatively constantly theme……. being present in the here and now…… the past is what it is…. and the future will be what you make out of today. So this leaves only one question…….

what are you going to focus on today, and regardless of whether you succeed or fail will that still look big to you tomorrow, or the day after?

2010 – Better than normal!


photo by Look Into My Eyes

So 2009  is nearly gone and 2010 is almost upon us…. lots of people are getting around to doing their planning for the next year. Reflecting on the consequences of last years plan, setting goals, creating to do lists or coming up with their three words like Chris Brogan, or using a multitude of other planning tools.

Whats the Vision?

Most of what people are doing with their planning is trying to set out their vision for 2010 and/or beyond. So I thought taking a gook look at vision would be a great way of taking a peak at 2010.

20 20 or simply normal?

You probably know that when people talk about having perfect vision they talk about having 20/20 vision.  Or what is considered normal for human visual acuity.

But what does normal vision mean? When talking physical sight 20/20 means the ability to distinguish between two objects approximately 1/16th of inch apart from 20 feet away (or 1.5 mm apart from 6 metres).

What we are trying to do when we are setting a vision for our lives is to  distinguish  and choose what items/objects/values are going to be most important to us as we move through next year and try to see what the finish line will look like or us.

Know anecdotally we know that the only time most of have perfect vision in dealing with our lives is in hindsight, by why can’t we have better than perfect vision moving forward?

20 10 – or better than normal?

When we refer back to physical vision, 20 10 vision is twice the acuity of 2020…. or better than normal.

We have all used different planning tools in the past. So now is the time to ask yourself whether these tools really helped you to distinguish between the items/objects/values to turn your year into a success, or whether they really continued to produce more of the same.

We have many options available to us. The internet allows us to find many different planning tools and to adapt either to the tool as a whole, or to adopt one or more of a tools various components.

Ideally we should be looking for elements that will allow us to develop our 20/10 or better than normal vision, so whatever tool you adopt or adapt it really needs to be helping you to better distinguish between the items/objects/values etc that will contribute to your success.

I hope 2010 is a year of great success for you!

What tool have you adopted or what customised solution have you adapted to help you build your better than normal vision for next year?