Archive for June, 2010

Today is the day

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I hear birds singing. There are blue skies outside. I’m enjoying the world cup. I’m healthy and happy, as is my missus and kids. Life is good. I’m growing, changing, learning. A mountain I decided to climb seemed daunting but, surprisingly, is proving simpler than I thought. Doors open. People are helpful. Things fall into place.

I saw a fox in our front garden yesterday evening, just after the Brazil v Chile game. Small, brown, cheeky, bushy-tailed.

Face your fears. Feel the fear and do it anyway, as Susan Jeffers’ famous book advises. Take a chance. Live from your gut. Do what you were born to do. Like Maradona. Celebrate this day. I can’t believe that the 1990 World Cup is 20 years ago! If feels like yesterday! Time is galloping. Time. Tempus fugit.

Looking back on my life, whenever I made a really good decision, I was often triggered into action by the realisation that time waits for no man. That time is flying. That the time to do what you want to do is today. Tomorrow is the adverb of the defeated. Do today, do now, what you want to do. Seize the day! Enjoy this day. Carpe diem!

Father’s Day

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Being a Dad: the Top 10 Problems and Solutions

By Joe Armstrong

Problem No. 1: Time If you leave home before the kids are up in the morning and crawl home knackered when they’re in bed, it doesn’t take a genius to twig that time is your big problem. Tell me what you spend your time on and I’ll tell you what you love. Spend no time with your kids and you love ‘em? Go figure.

Solution: If you can’t find time for your children, you’re too busy or in the wrong job. The greatest gift you can give them is your time and attention. Make time! They’ll have grown and left the nest before you know it. Now is the time to laugh, relax and do stuff together.

Problem No. 2: Listening Listening is a learned skill. It is different to hearing. With hearing you react to the words. With listening you’re attentive to the person and feelings behind the words. Asking questions isn’t listening! Giving out isn’t listening. Watching telly isn’t listening to your kids!

Solution: Learn to listen. Say ‘You seem upset’, not ‘Why are you upset?’ Watch and feed back to them. If your kid says ‘I’m bored’ reflect it back: ‘You’re bored’ (a statement, not a question or criticism). When you feed back their words, it shows you’re listening and they may feel encouraged to open up more. Show them how they feel is important to you. Learn this skill and use it regularly.

Problem No. 3: Criticizing Criticizing your kids is not how to win friends and influence people! Sure, some of what they do mightn’t be kosher. Licking the plate. Blaring their music. Texting manically. Wearing that. Showering forever. Or not showering. There’s lots you could moan about. But nagging and complaining isn’t the recipe for happy families.

Solution Put a sock in it! Give up criticizing today. Watch how relationships improve when your kids stop expecting you to nark about something they did or failed to do. Self-criticize if you must, but hey! why now give yourself a break too?

The whole article, including the other seven problems and solutions, are published in the current issue (June 21, 2010) of Woman’s Way magazine.

Perfectionism wastes so much time

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

I’m staggered by how much time I have lost on a project due to perfectionism! It’s great to be challenged by that book I’ve posted about recently which topples my lifelong assumption that the longer you spend at something the better it will be. Often, the opposite is the case. And all that extra time spent can literally be wasted.

Do it less than perfectly

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

As per my last post, it’s a liberation for me to think of the phrase ‘Do it less than perfectly’. When you want to do something perfectly, you put it off because it’ll take so much time.

Another great insight offered in the book Overcoming Perfectionism by Roz Shafran, Sarah Egan and Tracey Wade is the belief of perfectionists that one must spend a lot of time on tasks. They invite perfectionists to do an experiment, spending less time on tasks and they confidently predict that one learns that the outcome is pretty much the same without having to spend forever on a task. And, if we reduce the amount of time we spend doing stuff trying to get it perfect, we’ll have time to live a more balanced lifestyle, taking time for leisure, family, physical exercise, work, sleep etc.

Finally, I love their insight that ‘thorough’ is often the enemy of the good when it comes to perfectionists because we who have this fault waste so much time and energy and end up unable to see the wood for the trees.


Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I’m reading a really good book on perfectionism called Overcoming Perfectionism: a self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques. It is excellent. It shows how perfectionism is so inefficient. It shows how perfectionists procrastinate. It shows how they tend to ‘blow the whole thing’ because of their ‘all or nothing thinking’. It’s by Roz Shafran, Sarah Egan and Tracey Wade. It’s packed with helpful exercises and challenging facts aimed at convincing perfectionists of the deficits of perfectionist thinking and behaviours. I wish I’d found this book earlier!