I am not just lucky but I may be seriously out of touch – but so what

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2018 sees me doing something I thought I would never do and that is read more non-fiction than fiction

At the top of the list is sitting the Self Help Genre.

To date Legacy – What the All Blacks can teach us about the Business of Life by James Kerr has been by the far the most thought provoking read I have had in a long time.

But I am a bit concerned about my lack of diversity of general knowledge. Does it make me a heathen that I have never heard of Richie McCaw before I read this book. Truth be told the only All Black I could name is Jonah Lomu. I did however know that Nick Far-Jones was a Wallaby when this story Wallaby legend Nick Farr-Jones could have faced one of his most elusive opponents in the early hours of Monday morning.popped onto my radar.

Today’s read was Not Just Lucky by Jamila Rizvi 

When I read this comment “Parents, who have spent significant time and sometimes money in their child’s education, want to be assured of a return on investment. They want to be told that their baby done good. To feel secure in the knowledge that a suburban brick house, the latest model Lexus and a Thermomix lie in their kid’s future.”

‘Thermomix’ oh my god what is that???  Is that why I didn’t win the Mother of the Year Award.  All good mothers apparently know that a Thermomix is a kitchen gadget –  that is not only a food-processor but one that also, weighs, cooks, chops, crushes, emulsifies, whips, mixes, steams, blends, kneads, grinds simmers, grates and mills.  Just how have a lived without one let alone had a lifetime payment plan to ensure the child had one ?

But worse still I hadn’t heard of the UpTalk and  Vocal Fry Epidemic  OMG to the Power of 10. How had I not heard of this? Am I guilty? Do I talk like this ?  Note rising inflection

On the positive side Professor Google is a power of knowledge and the diversity of my knowledge is certainly growing. I cant see myself ever having any desire to be able to recite every name in All Blacks line-up but I wont be forgetting the name of  most capped test rugby player of all time. See footnote

Jamila Rizvi hasn’t inadvertently destroyed my confidence as a conversationalist. In fact I am sitting in the front carriage of the train with her cheering when she says

Our generation is better placed to achieve gender equality than any other in the history of humanity. This is our opportunity to grasp, our campaign to join and it is our fight to be won. So get out there. Show the world your best, be confident and claim your achievements as your own. I’ll be right here, cheering you on from the sidelines. Because you’re not just lucky, you’re brilliant.

Footnote

For those of you Rugby Tragics who think I must be from Mars if I haven;t heard of Richie McCaw I now have no shortage of people on my team who can keep me informed. Special shoutout to Mandy McKeesick – who married the enemy . Another testimonial to the wisdom of surrounding yourself with the expertise you don’t have

Taking the country experience to the gym

The 6 am fit-ball class at the gym scored the full country smell experience this morning.

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My gym shoes this morning – not a pretty sight let alone the odour they gave off 

Aaah the joys of sharing the road with 300 cows ambling ( as they should) in front or your car  and then having to get out and open the gate.

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The joys of sharing your ingress and egress with the dairy cows

What a shame the people at the gym don’t get to see the many, many benefits of the country experience as often as I do

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What a magnificent sight 

#lifeoflynne #lovewhereIlive

Is the Mean Mob Mentality out of control

Following on from my blog post yesterday lauding the #stopbullying and #doitforDolly campaigns my attention has been drawn to the beyond bizarre social media bullying of  daughter of the hero of this perfectly harmless and highly amusing good news story from The Land senior journalist Alex Druce.  Check it out and decide for yourself. ‘Give me the bloody chicken’: ‘Hero’ dad thwarts chook thief outside Coles .

My source tells me the bullying got so bad the young lady shut down her Facebook page

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Quoting nineteenth-century chemist Ellen Swallow Richards

‘The environment that people live in, is the environment they learn to live in, respect and perpetuate.’ 

I pose the questions.

  1. Has the Mean Mob Mentality got out of control and if the answer is yes how do we all learn to be nice to each other?
  2. Has the support system failed our fellow man/woman doing it tough that their only option is to steal food?
  3. Do we need to rethink the environment we are cultivating with our PhD’s in Judgment and Expertise in everything and anything?

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#stopbullying – The Mean Mob Mentality and how do we deal with it.

#stopbullying and #doitforDolly are currently trending and could there be a better cause.

Hashtags can be extraordinarily powerful in addressing the social media Mean Mob Mentality. All Australians saw the power of #illridewithyou after the Lindt Seige 

Humans are unique in that we are the only animals that can conceptualize and think about ourselves abstractly. We are blessed with the ability to imagine ourselves in hypothetical situations and contemplate the impact our actions have on others.

‘We are all going to die- what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by life’s trivialities: we are eaten up by nothing”  Charles Bubowski

Take care of one another

I was never bullied as a child and didn’t experience it until I joined Twitter. But I am not blaming Twitter.  In the end I handled it by avoiding Twitter.  Social media also does a lot of good. Yes Social Media provides a vehicle for the bullies, and the mean mob mentality, to do damage far and wide. YES Facebook, Twitter el al should take their role seriously and come up with some genuine solutions.

So how do we as individuals and as a collaborative collective do our bit to limit the damage it does and gain emotional resilience for ourselves and those around us.

My experience showed me

  1. Bullies will never go away. They don’t think they are doing anything wrong. They think it is their right to express their opinion no matter how hurtful it may be to others
  2. Bullies attract followers. I don’t understand the Mean Mob followers. Perhaps in my case they were people who didn’t like me or what I stand for and saw it as a way of telling me very publicly.
  3. Your social media supporters can be a lot smarter than you. They don’t engage the bullies. They start their own hashtag. In my case it was #strongwomen

How do I cope?

Some strategies I have include:

  1. I cultivate healthy, genuine friendships. People who care about me. People who don’t judge me. People who support me
  2. I have some great mentors. Professionals whose career journey gives them the expertise to support and advise me
  3. I read great books that help put it all into perspective and embrace it.

 ‘Happiness requires struggle. It grows from problems. Joy doesn’t just sprout out of the ground like daisies and rainbows. Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning must be earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles. Whether you suffer from anxiety or loneliness or obsessive-compulsive disorder or a dickhead boss who ruins half of your waking hours every day, the solution lies in the acceptance and active engagement of that negative experience—not the avoidance of it, not the salvation from it.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counter-intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

I don’t have all the answers but I know as adults its our role to be part of the solution. We can all lead by example

“The best leaders remain true to their deepest values. They lead their own life and others follow. 

It is reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller:

‘What is my job on the planet? What is it that needs doing, that I know something about, that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?’

Bad faith occurs when peer pressure and social forces combine to have us disown our own values. It is an accommodation we make with society to fit in, a psychological ‘selling out’ in which we forsake our own freedom and self- expression for the conformity of the crowd. Worse, it stands between our self and ourselves. It stops us knowing our true nature, which cauterizes our mana.”

Legacy – The Story of the All Blacks by James Kerr

How do we help young people embrace the mantra “The more I peer into the darkness, the brighter life gets, the quieter the world becomes, and the less unconscious resistance I feel to, well anything”  and stay emotionally resilient? This is the challenge that the #stopbullying and #doitforDolly campaigns are tackling They are sending a strong message around the world that many, many people are putting their hands up to be part of the solution. Well done , what a great legacy you are leaving – I am barracking for you

Some wise words I have drawn inspiration from

  1. Legacy – The Story of the All Blacks by James Kerr
  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  3. Composure by Zoë Routh
  4. Moments by Zoë Routh

and remember

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If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide get help immediately. Choose life not suicide. Call Lifeline 13 11 14 or 000 if life is in danger.

 

New Years Day 2018 and the year of Courage

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From me to everyone. Happy always and in the spirit of new beginnings

“We will open the journal. The pages are blank. We are going to put the words on them ourselves.”  My journal is called Courage and its first chapter is New Years Day

 

According to this article in Huffington Post and every leadership coach I know journaling is the latest scientifically proven therapy for Happiness. 

There’s a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness. Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment.  It calls a wandering mind to attention, from passivity to actively engaging with your thoughts.

Journaling often includes your dreams and ambitions, yet the idea that scribbled words can help achieve goals is understandably fanciful. But consider building a house without a blueprint. That makes more sense.

and its good Brain Food 

Writing goals signals to your brain “this is important.” Your reticular activating system (RAS) then flags relevant opportunities and tools to achieve that goal. More detailed goals provide a psychological blueprint, and increases the likelihood of achieving them.

There’s a unique relationship between the hand and brain, sparked by the composition of thoughts and ideas. Words are representations of ideas; the formation of letters and causes the mind to compose or re-compose ideas while journaling. This strengthens previously covered information and forces you to engage in cognitive recall.

and its good for your Heart 

Being able to get on the same page with someone is a mark of emotional intelligence, and allows for a much deeper connection. Journaling is an outlet for processing emotions and increases self-awareness. This internal familiarity becomes a bridge of empathy, you’ll better intuit and understand what others are experiencing.

 and inspires you to clean your House

Setting time aside to write, whether morning or evening, is an act of discipline. And discipline begets discipline. Like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And habits formed in one area of life have a tendency to spread; as keeping your office clean leads to keeping the bedroom tidy, your daily practice of writing will domino onto other healthy habits.

 

and its good for your Soul 

Expressive writing is a route to healing — emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Dr. James Pennebaker, author of  Writing to Heal has seen improved immune function in participants of writing exercises. Stress often comes from emotional blockages, and overthinking hypotheticals. He explains, “When we translate an experience into language we essentially make the experience graspable.” And in doing so, you free yourself from mentally being tangled in traumas. Studies have also shown that the emotional release from journaling lowers anxiety, stress, and induces better sleep.

and sparks your Creativity

Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” has become the panacea for unlocking creativity amongst anyone and everyone. Our struggle isn’t whether we’re creative, it’s how to let it flow. Her powerful tool is simply to write without thinking — “stream of consciousness” writing. Beyond overcoming writer’s block, stream of consciousness writing brings out thoughts and ideas you never knew you had in you, and loosens up your expressive muscles. She recommends three pages, done first thing in the morning. Including even one page as part of your journaling will get your creative juices flowing.

and builds your Self-Confidence

Journaling about a positive experience allows your brain to relive it. And reaffirms your abilities when the ugly head of self-doubt appears. The release of endorphins and dopamine will boost your self-esteem and mood. These reflections can become a catalog of personal achievements that you continue to go back to.

As you work to incorporate journaling into your life, remember the elephant is best eaten one bite at a time. Patience and consistency are crucial in forming new habits. Begin writing perhaps three days a week, first thing in the morning or before sleeping.

Look forward to you sharing with me what your 2018 journal is called.

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HT to Edith Lovejoy Pierce for giving me the opportunity to paraphrase her words

Champions do extra

My early morning Christmas 2017 read is “Legacy”  – What the All Blacks Can Teach us About Business and Life. ‘Legacy’ is also a tribute to the Maori culture of “unite and inspire” The author is Kerr James and the book is very powerful.

Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to what the next ten years of my life looks like. I have made a commitment to myself to focus on what I love.

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I am making a list of my top ten priorities, getting clarity on what makes me happy and what truly lights my fire. I am tapping into the wisdom and support of my special friends. That list has grown this year and I look forward to it expanding in 2018.  I know they will help me to “stand fearless”

Find a group of people

I love this quote from the book

‘ Champions do extra- There are no crowds lining the extra mile.’ On the extra mile, we are on our own: just us and the road, just us and the blank sheet of paper, just us and the challenge we’ve set ourself. It’s the work we do behind closed doors that makes the difference out on the field of play, in whichever field we compete, whether we’re in a team, leading a business or just leading our life.

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Ht to Doug Vivian for recommending this book and a special shoutout to my A Team

 

Crying out for leadership – Time for merit based decisions.

I don’t personally know any of Malcolm Turnbull’s new cabinet but highly confident there are more more women in Canberra than this cabinet acknowledges that are qualified and committed to being the leaders we all wish our politicians were
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‘Turnbull has elevated just two women this time and one of them, Bridget McKenzie, purely because she is the new Nationals deputy leader. Her portfolio of sport, rural health and regional communications is barely cabinet level.
Once again, competent women such as Julia Banks, Nicolle Flint, and Sarah Henderson must wait, having been overlooked in a Coalition that says quotas on gender are anathema, but defends trashing the merit principle on just about any other grounds.
Turnbull called his line-up diverse. Perverse would be more accurate.’
It will be very interesting to see what cabinet looks like when Bridget McKenize heads up the National Party – some real diversity we all hope