Homework for Life is a strategy that I originally began using to generate more story topics for the stage, but as I began to use the strategy daily, it changed my life. It made everything about my life so much more vivid and slowed my life down remarkably. It's a strategy I teach to my storytelling classes often, and I've had people tell me that it has replaced therapy and meditation for them. It truly changes lives. Powerful.
In the 1930s scientists began examining the cognitive effects of labeling. According to a hypothesis by the linguist Benjamin Whorf, the words we use to describe what we see aren't just random. They actually determine what we experience to a startling degree. And that can be dangerous.
Failure hurts. When you fail, make mistakes, relationships become strained or you disappointingly lose, it can shatter your equilibrium. Inevitably it always involves having to pick yourself up and dust ourselves off. It can take plenty of resolve and resilience to start again.
You think your innermost feelings are hidden. Maybe you're not even often sure what they are. But the language you use provides all sorts of clues about the way you're feeling, your attitudes, fears and more. In fact, our language can highlight distortions in our thinking, and it does it surprisingly clearly.
Every one of us is faced with great difficulty right now during Covid19 lock-down, and plenty of us are facing tragedy. Many of us are feeling wobbly. We're riding so many emotions in one day, the unfolding situation is unprecedented and it's hard to manage.
Everyone experiences transition at work. It can be as dramatic as a seismic shift in the outlook of the business or as basic as someone familiar leaving the firm, the loss of a loyal supporter. The key is to recognise a transition point when you reach one, and to handle it well.
We are living in such uncertain and volatile times. Everyone is searching for some ‘handle’ on the future? We are seeking to see what emerges and how to shape different futures - find a way forward through all the uncertainties and complexities.
Human beings have always told stories. In the beginning, we huddled around campfires. These days we huddle around the TV, mobile or computer, in pubs and restaurants, at home and at work, to create and consume the stories of our lives, other people's lives, businesses and the media.
You’re stressed. You feel worn out, drained and flat. The future looks uncertain. You can’t keep hold of your emotions and your sleep is suffering. Your muscles are tense. You’ve become hyper-vigilant. Your body’s stress hormones are surging. And it is utterly exhausting.
Narcissism is a trait that can be very difficult to live with as well as very tricky to work with. If you're struggling to cope with a narcissist in a business context, it is challenging and it isn't all bad. Here are the up-sides and downsides of working with a narcissist, and how to survive the experience.
You will probably be familiar with the following famous quote, shared at the beginning on the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just one oar.”
I described the experience as a ‘collective trauma’, no matter which boat you journeyed in. Here, I explore what it means to describe the COVID-19 pandemic in these terms, exploring the lesser talked about side of trauma: Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG).
In the 1970s parents told children they'd get 'square eyes' from watching too much telly. There's still some snobbery around the idea of hunkering down in front of the TV, which is seen as somehow less worthy than the theatre, opera, film, books, even radio.
Picture this. You're busy. Very busy. Time is running away with you! You're rushing around getting stuff done. But wait a moment – are you really getting things done? Or have you let 'being busy' divert you from your strategic priorities and goals?
On the outside, you look the part. You seem competent and at home professionally. But inside, part of you often feels you don't quite fit in. You'll never really be a 'good corporate fit', and you have always felt that way.
In Japanese ‘Kintsugi’ means to 'join with gold', an elegant and graceful way to mend broken pottery, leaving the mend fully visible and highlighting it with the precious metal. The pot shards are fused back together with gold, and the gilded cracks become part of the object's beauty.
The alarm clock goes off. At first there's that lovely blank feeling, the feeling you get just before you fully wake and realise what your day will involve. Then you remember it's a weekday and your mood sinks.
Margaret Heffernan recommends we move past the pecking order at work. As the successful former CEO of five businesses, Margaret has discovered that one of the most common ways businesses are run invariably leads to troubled waters.
Are you happy at work? For most of us, our professional experience is a mix of frustration and fulfilment, plus many hours of grind which can be bland and monotonous. It can also be the opposite, highly pressured and seemingly relentless.
Writing a blog is a great way to grow your business and add value for your clients, creating a space to let you and your brand’s unique identity shine. Blogs can be a fantastic way to communicate directly with your customers and attract new ones, but with so many company blogs out there sitting unloved and unread in a dusty corner of Google’s search rankings how can you ensure that your blog avoids a similar fate?
Well-formed outcomes help people get clear about what it is that they want to achieve. Shaping up future outcomes that are highly defined from the start, is a creative and disciplined way of thinking. One that can have real potency.
Placement years at Universities are becoming more and more popular, with plenty of reasons why! Placement and Sandwich years are offered to students like myself, whilst studying at University, however not all courses offer them. I’m currently doing an Event Management degree and have just completed my Placement year.
Start-ups are exciting. When you kick off a brand new business, whatever the sector or subject, you’re often on a rollercoaster ride. You need to move quickly and confidently but you also need to remain sure-footed and grounded, blending fresh ideas with tried and trusted business wisdom to create a sturdy, workable whole.
Everyone's busy. Plenty of us are really, really busy, all of the time. Some say busy-ness has reached epidemic proportions in the wealthy western economy. But is being so busy you can't easily turn around and can't always think well, really a wise approach to work?
In the USA internships kicked off in the late 1960s. Since then they've become commonplace over the Atlantic. Roll back time to the 1990s in the UK and internships were more or less unheard of. Now they're a fast-growing trend in Britain too. So what are the advantages of an internship? How do they help businesses, and how about the interns themselves?
Are you in the habit of being a 'glass half empty' person, a bit of a pessimist? If so you can learn to become more optimistic, learn how to fill that glass even if you're easily discouraged. You can steadily learn how to change your habitual reactions. Here's why it matters, and how Martin Seligman’s approach and techniques can help you.
At various times in your career you'll probably find yourself handling a variety of challenging situations. In fact anyone on an upward career path will encounter tricky circumstances at one time or another, involving unhappy, disappointed and frustrated people. So how do you manage yourself, and them, effectively?
Plenty of people are freelancers. If you're thinking about going freelance yourself, you'll hopefully already have a few clients or customers under your belt, ideally a handful so you're not only reliant on one income stream.
According to Consultancy.uk, there are already around two million freelance workers in Britain, a number that's widely predicted to keep on rising. A dramatic increase in freelancers came about from 2009 onwards, as the global banking crisis and resulting recession began to bite.
Our blind spots often develop when we’re young. They help us survive, and they often start off being pretty useful. But as time goes by and your past successes become your only way to succeed in the present and future, things can get tricky. If our only approach to solving problems doesn’t work in certain environment, we’re lost.
Are you holding onto pain when doing so doesn’t fix a thing? Are you replaying the past over and over, even though you know it won't change? Do you find yourself wishing things were different? At home or at work?
If you've ever eaten too much chocolate three weeks after a New Year resolution to not do so, or given up on the gym in favour of lounging around, you'll already know it. It can be hard to change a habit.
Some habits are good, some are dreadful, others deserve close critical examination, and some particularly strong ones even hold us back from being the best we can be, both in our personal lives and our careers.
Do you cope with criticism at work? Or do you feel every less-than-positive word is like a personal injury? When your skin is too thin for comfort you’re emotionally vulnerable, on edge and much more likely to feel overwhelmed or low. And that can make working life very uncomfortable indeed.
How are you at job interviews? Some people cope just fine, managing to stay calm and focused. Others feel terribly nervous, forget what they want to say, lose the plot, fall apart. Do you struggle to give concise answers at interviews?
We have a lot in common with chimpanzees, our close genetic relatives. Like us they use tools, recognise themselves in mirrors, experience emotions. But if you've ever seen footage of chimps at war, chimps carrying out a brutal murder, chimps losing the plot completely, it's easy to see they're far from human. We tend to have more control over our emotions... most of the time!
In the self-help world there are numerous books that claim to you give the four essential things you need to do, the five secrets of success, or the six principles to follow. This is compounded by the fact that people love a list, whether it’s the top ten celebrity shots or the hundred best reads for summer. The formula for success often ends up as a list, something quick and easy to digest.
As an individual or a business owner involved in a not-for-profit initiative or community endeavour, you might be interested in exploring your legacy. And it needn’t be a financial legacy. There are so many ways to give back.
In business it’s our USP, our Unique Selling Point, how we distinguish ourselves from everyone else, that makes us different, that makes us special. That’s why people want to buy from us. Our brand is what makes us distinctive. Our USP is the very thing that makes us what we are, our ‘thisness’.
Search online and you might find a few articles about it, none of which are particularly comprehensive. 'Rustout' isn't anywhere near as well covered, explored and discussed as the better known 'burnout'.
Focusing on your deeply-held values can be extremely beneficial at every stage in your career. Understanding your core professional values and how they directly influence you in a working context will help you to be yourself with far more skill. Values ground and anchor you. When life and work engage your values strongly, and you can express them congruently, you’ll be more fulfilled. But when there’s tension and conflict around them, the opposite happens.
Ageing is inevitable. But as an executive does getting older really have to mean that you necessarily begin to forget things, noticeably slow down, become less sharp? Apparently not. Here's the good news about getting older.
Are you looking for career coaching? Are you considering changing tack and kicking off a new direction? Whatever sector you’re in, whatever your role, it’s all about making choices. And, surprising as it may seem, having choices doesn’t always make life easy!
Work demands things of us. The job itself, colleagues, bosses, clients and suppliers all create pressure. But demands that are difficult or impossible to meet create too much pressure, which in turn drives stress.
Information overload and constant visual distraction make it increasingly tough to hold a reader’s attention. By applying seven simple rules, you can create a CV that’ll be noticed, remembered and get you shortlisted...
Being stuck in your career is no fun. Getting yourself out of a role or an organisation that’s just not you can feel impossible. If you start to follow the ‘six laws of holes’ there’s hope and a bright ...
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