Sometimes, life is just life

Hello! Well, Friday comes around again, and so far this morning my Twitter stream has been full of chatter about an array of things. And that’s one of the things I truly enjoy about Twitter. Life just carries on. We all live in a bubble. And we choose to poke out and see what’s happening. Sometimes we interact, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we reveal things, and sometimes we’re just being apathetic.

So, today I offer you a chance to remind  yourself of what’s happening. Not what’s important, but just what’s happening. Take this moment to be mindful. Don’t be cynical, don’t be positive, just observe.

There’s a lot to be said for being mindful. What’s my body doing right now? Where are my thoughts taking me? Who am I talking with? What is that person doing there? Is this commute really so bad? What’s happening at home? Did I read today’s news yet?

Do with this what you will. But remember, sometimes, life is just life.

Life is too damn interesting

A short post from me today. If you look at my Twitter timeline, you might notice a lot of what I talk about has little to do with L&D. Probably 60% is to do with every day occurences, 10% are probably RT’s of some kind, 10% is shameless blog promotion and the rest is a mix of sports or news tweets. Equally, my blog content is hardly 100% focused on L&D. I’ve talked about family, personal thoughts, my religion, my culture, recruitment, HR, and L&D. As someone who’s allegedly proclaiming to champion L&D, how do I qualify that?

Well, it’s simple really. Any L&Der worth their salt will verify that what we do is facilitate life skills. I’m no more an expert on this topic than you are. There’s no golden rules. There’s no holy grail. We use whatever tools are at our disposal to communicate a message. If it works, all is right with the world. If it doesn’t, then we are in a very fortunate position that very little serious consequence will arise from it.

Even in training events, I don’t care about the deck I’m using. Well, of course I care about it, the message has to be right, but I don’t care if I use it or not. I’m the one who’s facilitating the message not the deck. Nor do I care if I’m continuinally singing about L&D. Life is just too damned interesting.

And at the end of the day that’s all I’m trying to do. I’m trying to facilitate a sesison to help you be in a better situation so that you can focus on what interests you in life. That’s why I enjoy L&D. Because I get to have conversations with you that enter so many interesting directions, it’s what drives me and motivates me.

>What’s your third world?

I remember several years ago listening to a talk about successful leaders. He talked about how people in these positions have 3 worlds they live in which provide them with balance.

The first is your family world. This obviously looks very different for everyone, but the key things to bear in mind is the security a family environment provides for an individual. And this is true no matter how you define family. Be it married with kids, civil partnership, foster family, adopted, extended family, or however else you choose to categorise family. A secure family environment means that when you come to work you are able to focus in the main on the work at hand because you know that the family is being cared for and are secure. Difficulties at home mean less focus at work as your energy is already zapped by trying to resolve those.

The second is your world of work. This is obviously where you choose to create an income. There are many pundits who will argue that if you aren’t working in a career you are passionate about you are in the wrong job and you need to move. Now I agree with this to some extent. It’s important to reflect on the practicalities of doing something like this. My guesstimate would argue 20% of the working population are in a position where they can choose to leave a job and move on to better prospects. 50% of the population are working because they have to in order to live. The other 30% are in positions where they’re doing a good job and ambling along well enough, but don’t either have the desire or know how to move on.

As we’re talking about successful people we’ll stay on track with this. Essentially your world of work should be conducive to what you want to achieve. It’s not just about the work you do though. The company’s culture, values, size, structure, your place within it, all play a part in how successful you can be. This means you have to support and be an advocate for your work as well as being recognised for the work you do by the company.

So far so common sense, right? Right. Then, it’s the third place which is of particular interest. Your third place should be where you can be yourself. Cynicism aside of what this may mean for the undesirables of society, this is a truly fascinating thing to explore.

Your third world is where you are able to be yourself without the distraction, interruption and/or restrictions of both family and work. In your third world, you are able to express yourself and enjoy being you. For some this may be stamp collecting, for others being a fan of graphic comics and for others playing golf. The important thing is it doesn’t matter what this third world is, as long as you can be yourself. I’d describe this as geeking out. We all have something that sparks an interest which is ours. That is, you enjoy it, you cherish it, and you enjoy devoting your time to it.

For me this is a mix of multimedia technology and films. This covers a broad range of things from my mobile phone, my home cinema set up, the films I watch, the films I collect, and being immersed in all of these. I enjoy devoting my time to this and it’s something I have in common with my friends that we can get all geeky about. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, and it’s mine.

The important thing to bear in mind is this does not undermine the other two worlds. Your third world should be a place where you know you can ‘live’ when your family world and world of work are catered for in a balanced effective way. I think the wonderful thing about thinking about success in this way is that it raises a lot of important questions that need to be answered individually, but it provides a great place from which you can aspire to.

Finding that balance is a tough set of decisions you have to balance. And there may well be a need to re-evaluate these as life happens and intervenes in the many ways it can. Through it all though, a perspective such as this allows us to focus on particular aspects of our lives and look at what that means for the other worlds.

>Funny observations

>Over the weekend the wife and I were in the car and talking about how the kids are learning so many things right now and how it’s all quite funny. What I started to particularly laugh at though was how we describe the things the kids do and what we attribute those things to.

So the kids are nearly three years old. In case you’ve missed the many times I’ve mentioned this they’re twin boys. A is 7 minutes older than K which I’m sure will have great significance in later life. Particularly seeing in Indian culture, you are meant to pay undue respect to your elders. When A learns of this I’m sure he’ll have great fun with it.

They’re currently learning how to use the bathroom. Mrs P described how they are both really doing well cos they can go “wee-wee” all by themselves. I stopped to think – how often do I describe that activity in that way? I DON’T! I then went on to say, “it’s only a matter of time before they know how to do poo-poo too”!! I’m killing myself with the sheer madness and joy of both those sentences!! If my friends or anyone over the age of 13 said anything like that I would have a field day making a mockery of them and here we are, two grown adults discussing activities of our children using words that we would never ordinarily use in everyday parlance! The irony of this against my last post has not escaped me.

Then other things sprang to mind. K has learned to drop his voice to a bare whisper when he wants you to know he’s really upset about something. I have no idea how he learned that. I’m constantly shouting at them and Mrs P never talks softly to them. A has learned to not look at me if he’s being told off and will do this eye blinking thing which is hilarious. And they both know that if they’re bored with what they’re watching – even if they’ve asked to watch it, off goes power.

And even conversations become common-place. How much did they have for dinner? Is it time for them to have yoghurt? Have they watched mickey mouse clubhouse today? Did they do any painting today? On being told by one of them that he got “beats” by his brother – “A, did you give your brother beats?” “Yem” LOL! It’s crazy. Absolutely crazy.

Then we attribute these things to the TV. My argument is that’s only part of it. Most of what they learn comes from us directly no matter how much we may think or believe otherwise. History has taught us that the way children develop is hugely dependent on the environment they are in and how that influences us. Do a google search on ‘bobo doll experiment’ or ‘Bandura’ for more about this.

And they’re so observant. If I’ve taken something away from them, think I’ve hidden it, they’ll find it and hide it themselves. I have since lost a number of DVDs and have had no luck in finding these. I naturally attribute that to my finely honed observation skills. Trained in the fine art of not a lot, I’m a master at doing that too. Not these two though, they’ve been trained by the guru of doing an awful lot and have followed in that mould. I am thankful I have instilled in them my trait of being transfixed by the TV when your show is on. Balance is maintained in the house.

And we’ve got sprogg #3 due literally in days. And we’ll go through all this again. And these will be normal conversations. And we’ll be none the wiser that we’re talking complete rubbish!!