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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: 1/23/11 - 1/30/11

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Life Coaching, Corporate, Business & Executive Training Courses | The Coaching Academy

I didn't mention them before because I wanted to evaluate. So far, first day has exceeded my expectations. Really down to earth folk with what appears a genuine desire to help and encourage.
No full blog from me in the mean time whilst I lap up the new learning. I pretty sure I'll have lots to write about soon.

Life Coaching, Corporate, Business & Executive Training Courses | The Coaching Academy: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

"King eh, how'd ya get that then?" Had summut to do with the Norman conquests I believe! 
"Farcial aquatic ceremony" One of my favourite Python quotes!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Following An Alchemist

I'm off away to some training this weekend in London.
I'm really looking forward to it, feeling ready to lap up as much learning as possible and to gain some more knowledge to help me to grow and share more.
I've realised that the more reading I do, the more creative I become.
Following the weekend training I am going to engage in some different material that Steven Aitchison is sharing online throughout February.

It's worth some investigation.

» Following An Alchemist: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

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BBC News - Is 'happiness' a skill you can learn?

This has been a fascinating broadcast each morning this week and well worth a look.

BBC News - Is 'happiness' a skill you can learn?: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How observant are you?


[uhb-zur-vuhnt] Show IPA
quick to notice or perceive; alert.
looking at, watching, or regarding attentively; watchful.
careful in the observing of a law, custom, religious ritual, or the like."
Do you spend your day focusing 100% upon your task in hand with regard to everything that immediately concerns you?
Having focus is certainly not a bad thing and in some cases, this is a very useful way to be. To work without distraction. I'd suggest that it works well for particular jobs or certain tasks at certain times. 
Is it useful to adopt this attitude all the time?
There is so much we can miss by being overly focused in an unbalanced fashion. This is particularly the case when working with other people and even more so if working with people and supporting other vulnerable people. The caring professions. 
Here comes another one of my analogies.
If you drive a car, the vehicle will work effectively if all components are in good working order and well maintained. You could say that ideally, there is a cohesiveness in the process. Sometimes, there may be something that does not work so well. 
The car may not start so well in the morning, perhaps on cold mornings. 
The fan belt might squeal. 
The engine may misfire. 
There may be a warning light showing on the dashboard. 
It's all too easy to ignore these seemingly minor intrusions. They may even feel like an irritation, particularly if we have more pressing matters to deal with or do not have the time to deal with them right at that particular moment. 
The car, of course is simply a machine that can be replaced. In many cases it can be abused!
We can think of a team of people as the components of a car. Each have a separate function but all are needed to enable a cohesive and effective operation. 
Some operate independently. 
Some work silently and unseen. 
Some are much more visual and are there to be heard. 
ALL are connected in some way and need each other. 
This works for various teams of people. 
Sports teams.
Places of work.
Bands, choirs  and orchestras.
Places of worship.
A family unit.
A group of people living together. 
A community of people.
These are just a few typical examples.
  • By being observant, we can take care of those around us and become aware of our own function in the team.
  • We can appreciate our own value and the value of others.
  • We can recognise our own function and the function of others.
  • We can help others and seek help from them when we need it. 
  • We can achieve appropriate balance to the whole operation.
There are times or course when our personalities can clash. 
When this happens, it is worth taking a step back and asking ourselves and others the question, "What is that really all about?"
Take time in your day where appropriate to be observant of others around you. It may be that someone is crying out for help but does not know how, or who to ask. 


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Are you Prejudiced?

Asking this question begs another question.
What is prejudice? definition: -
an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.
such attitudes considered collectively: The war against prejudice is never-ending.
damage or injury; detriment: a law that operated to the prejudice of the majority.
–verb (used with object)
to affect with a prejudice, either favorable or unfavorable: His honesty and sincerity prejudiced us in his favor.

without prejudice, Law . without dismissing, damaging, or otherwise affecting a legal interest or demand.

Recent press regarding the unfortunate remarks by Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray come to mind. For the most part, it seems the remarks were not said with the intention of being broadcast but I guess that is the downfall of being in the public eye. 

To explain my take on this, I'll make a food analogy. We all have preferences for the food we like. Some foods look appetising and to an individual do not taste so nice. I can remember being fooled as a school boy by swede (something I disliked) and took a large bite thinking that it was roast potato! 
Some foods adversely affect people because the individual may have a allergic reaction to it. Nuts for instance. Food does have (for the most part) warnings regarding nuts due to how some people react badly to it. There is benefit in placing that warning, however, we still have the ability to choose. If I dislike a certain food, I could express my opinion upon it, but it is only my opinion. That opinion will likely have little or no value to somebody else unless there is a general food warning such as nut allergies. 

So, to dislike something or somebody does not necessarily mean it will affect somebody else in the same way. It is simply our own personal experience. To second guess that the other person will witness the same experience as ourselves is to pre judge i.e. prejudice. Perhaps prejudice can be described as projecting our personal experience on to somebody else. This may be done for good or bad intent, however its motivation is to take away the ability for someone to come to their own conclusion. 

I can remember a time when I was about to start a college course and was told that the tutor was not very good by several people. Rather than be influenced by them, I chose to decide for myself how good the tutor was. As it happened, after much discernment. I realised that my own opinion reflected that of many others. I at least experienced that for myself. There were of course, some that found the college tutor helpful. 

I'm suggesting that it is wise to discern whether sharing an opinion on something or somebody serves a useful purpose.

  • Be prepared to allow others to make up their own minds.
  • If you are going to share an opinion, ensure that you express it as a personal opinion based on personal experience. 
  • Be cautious when expressing an opinion on a controversial subject, especially if it is likely to be broadcast to many. If you do, be prepared for the consequences!
  • Will your opinion serve a purpose? 
  • Sometimes, we are invited to express an opinion. This does have a purpose but there may still be consequences if the subject is controversial.
My final thoughts on the subject of Richard Keys and Andy Gray are that I suspect they were simply frustrated at what they saw as off side decision incorrectly made and in their frustration in trying to express their opinion, they latched onto a false sense of blame. That is something all too easy to do.

How often to we project unrelated blame on to an event that we are frustrated by and cannot understand? It is an attempt to understand that has false conclusions and unfortunate consequences. 
This is, of course, just my personal opinion! :-O

My older blogs relating to prejudice.

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Feeling the fear

Just a short few words and a recommendation.
I've do try to spend some time to read other peoples blogs in order to continue to learn, grow and gain wisdom. 
Here's one I recommend this morning

Feeling fear causes those strange physical feelings of fight or flight. Just thinking of that, I thought I'd post a little memory I have of my childhood. Something I wrote a few years ago and worth re posting. 

The weather is gradually improving. Time to start morning runs again. 


It was the day of the race. School cross country for the whole school... the highlight of the year. I was enthusiastic. I wanted to do well. I knew I was not good enough to win. Sport was not something I was good at, but running distance? Well I could make a passable attempt at this without being laughed at by the others. The breeze was cool and the air damp. I had butterflies in my tummy.
I made attempts at stretching, not really understanding what this meant, but hey! ya had to look the part and make like the others. The shout came "GO!" My peers sprinted on ahead and I took measured strides. It was not long before those sprinters got out of breath lagged to walking pace, hands in hips. I kept running at a steady pace determined not to stop and walk.
What a great day is was. I didn't win of course. I didn't even come close but the joy of encouragement from the sports master next day in class in front of everyone. "Well done lad. You exceeded my expectations. You gave your all and I'm impressed". A smile of triumph spread across my face. Praise from the sports master. Now that was rare.... for me at least.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Honour the memory those who touched our lives, no longer with us


Bereavement causes such a powerful emotion of sadness. It is very much something that needs to be worked through.

How can we move forward in our lives without the sadness contaminating the rest of what we have?

The process is well written about but for me, the most important part is to treasure the precious memories of fun and happiness.

I lost a few people in my life last year, one in very tragic circumstances. To that end, I wrote with the assistance of the guys from the band Beggars' Belief a song in tribute to this dear friend, remembering the fun, laughter and good times we had. 
The song starts with a single bar of solo trombone melancholy, followed by a foot tapping, upbeat and uplifting tune. 

I miss my pal, but choose to remember the good times we had that invariably involved real belly laughing that brought tears to our eyes. 
Now THAT is a powerful healer folks! 
Check out our song "Hey Man" below and see if the words relate to anyone you have known and lost. 
Take care folks.

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