Thursday, November 20, 2014

Will you have a Great Life - or a mediocre one?

Can you answer that one? Do you even know what a Great Life means to you? Is it fame and fortune? Love and a big family? The ability to impact and influence people on any scale? Or a combination of all of these things?

You might remember the post I did a little while back about Larry Smith's TED Talk (Chances are you will not have a great career, unless...) where he talks about most people being afraid to discover their passion, and few people who discover it being willing to pursue it. Well this question is not about career, it is about your life in general - and it is not necessarily about an arbitrary and external concept of "greatness", but what a great means in the context of your life. In other words, what would an excellent or above average life be for you?

What's this all about?
I ask this question because I have been pondering it quite a bit in the last year. It aligns with the work I've been doing on choices and decision making - which came from the shocking realisation that I had been a passive decision maker in my own life for way too long. Which all makes sense, with no idea what a Great Life would look like for me, why would I take the risks in making decisions when I didn't know where I wanted to go? Surely this is familiar for some of you.

Last night I gave a talk to a small group of mumpreneurs here in Hobart. It was the first time that I had talked about what I've been putting together, and so I thought I'd share a little of it with you today. Mainly what I thought I would share is the page I put together yesterday, my notes for the talk if you like. I decided that the bullet point list wouldn't do this time, I needed to capture it in a different way.

Start with the elements of great and work around clockwise; this is where my brain is currently going with this topic. I found it powerful to understand these things, and knowing it has definitely allowed a shift in my confidence to make the big decisions, as well as my courage to take action once that decision has been made.

Starting to come together
This is all coming together in an interesting way for me, and my hope is that you can get something out of all of this as well. If you've been around for a little while you will know that there is a free resource about helping you become a more active decision maker in your own life (called Positive Decisions) - you get access to it when you sign up to the dinkylune courage newsletter. You also get the dinkylune manifesto, which adds to this discussion as well. You can sign up through the Positive Decisions page, or in the top right of this page.

What do you think about the story in the image? Is there an aspect of it you would like me to expand on? Do you think I'm off the mark? Or can you see how it relates to your life as well?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A reminder about owning my story - a TED Talk you should watch

I was writing up the activity for vulnerability for the 90 Days of TED participants yesterday, and thought I would listen to Eve Ensler's TED Talk on happiness body and soul again. I had used Eve's talk as part of 30 days of Vulnerability, and re-watching the talks has been one of the joyful processes in writing up the material for the course.

Just thinking about what I am going to write here tears me up; Eve's talk is so profound and inspiring. It is what she says at the end of the talk that made me want to include it in my activity in the first place. Of course, if I was doing a TED based activity on vulnerability then Brené Brown's talks would be the basis for them - but the final part of Eve's talk contributed something so profound for me.

What Eve introduces is that ability to heal the broken part inside yourself, and I think most of us would dearly love to be able to do that. This is a summary of the words that have the capacity to bring me to tears, even while writing this blog post:
"...when we give in the world what we want the most, we heal the broken part inside each of us. ...that happiness exists in action; it exists in telling the truth and saying what your truth is; and it exists in giving away what you want the most."
During my reflection on 30 days of Vulnerability this was what I had to say on the topic:
I have realised that the thing I have always wanted in the world is encouragement and support. I have this in my adult life, I have found people who give this to me readily, but I feel that I have missed out on so much because I didn't have this for so many years - for the most important years. 
So, what does that look like?
I have kept hold of this feeling, it is part of my purpose and the underlying intention in what I have been trying to create and do since completing My Year of TED - but it has become a part of me now, and so I am often not consciously aware of it. Listening to Eve's talk yesterday brought that awareness back in a flood of tears, along with the feeling that I am not doing enough in that area.

As much as I am realising my dreams, and reaching some of my goals; others remain static. Some of them I cease to think about because I've become lost in how I'm going to be able to achieve them. I remain hopeful that I will, but I know that in this moment I don't have the skill or capacity to hit the mark with it - and maybe that's okay. No, that is definitely okay!

It may be two years since I completed My Year of TED, and that might sound like a long period of time to get everything done, but it isn't. I own my story now, and I'm willing to share that story - I still have to work out exactly what that will give the world. At least I know that I'm on the right path now, and heading in the right direction.

All of this is to say, watch Eve's talk; listen to her story and what she has given the world and then open yourself up to the questions of whether you own your story? And whether you are giving away what you want most? For me, this is a timely reminder of how happy I am that I learned to be self-compassionate - I don't think I'd be surviving this journey without it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mid-way through 90 Days of TED - Interview with Ryk Goddard

You might have read the earlier post with my 90 Days of TED interview with Ryk Goddard. Well he invited me back to 936 ABC Hobart the other week for an update on how things were going at the halfway point of the course.

We had a good chat about fashion, slowing down and how the focus is pushing people out of their comfort zones. And yes, I will be going back for another chat at the end, hopefully with a couple of participants.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Revisiting the Lessons - Activities 3 and 4

Better listening - what I forgot
I don't know why I forgot how much I enjoyed the three minutes of silence from Better Listening, or even listening to mundane sounds - but I did. The participants of the course quickly reminded me of how soothing this activity can be, as they all enjoyed trying to improve their listening.

I hadn't forgotten Julian Treasure's work completely, after all I shared details about one of his more recent talks a few months ago. But I had forgotten that daily process of resetting my listening and improving the quality of sound in my environment.

So, as the participants went through the process, I started to focus on mundane sounds and silence again - and I'm trying to keep it in my day.

The three A's - regaining joy
It is far too easy to get caught up in the first world problems of our lives, forgetting just how incredible our world can be. We all do this, it's safe here you can admit it :-)

Engaging with your world like you are experiencing everything for the first time is a great reminder about how amazing things truly are. I found it refreshing to take this focus on again when the participants were Living the Three A's - it does increase your capacity for joy.

Other distractions
The participants are well over halfway through their 90 days now. I had intended to write these posts revisiting the activities for myself on a more regular basis, but there has been a very interesting shift for me this month.

I've been writing up content for the course, and I've been doing my day job - but I have not been inclined to write anything else. It hasn't been writer's block, it's just that I've been busy creating products for markets in the lead up to Christmas.

For those of you who don't know, part of my business is making. You might have seen the page on the Do-Pad - a notepad for doodlers; I also make jewellery, and a number of other products now as well. I've been geeking out and having a wonderful time creating and making some really fun products. While I feel a little guilty for not writing blog posts (or even sending out a newsletter this month), the time spent making has been fun and rejuvenating, so I make no apologies for it.

I do aim to get back into writing more consistently in November, so expect to see more from me. I'll even share some of the nerdy stuff I've been producing (well I think it's pretty nerdy).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A different way of viewing your Inner Critic (and the external ones)

You know that horrid little voice in your head that confirms all of your doubts about yourself and your abilities - it is your inner critic, and we all have one. I don't know about you, but mine was particularly scathing and nasty. She was my loudest internal voice, and she did not miss a beat when she had a chance to remind me how badly I had messed something up.

I've spent a lot of time, since finally learning the skill of self-compassion during My Year of TED, trying to get to know her better and find a way that we can work together. I think I might have mentioned that I did some shadow work with her a little earlier this year, which was a fantastic process.

The thing is that our inner critic has our best interests at heart! As hard as it is to believe, this voice thinks it is doing something positive for us - it just has a weird way of doing it; or does it?

Randy Pausch's lecture
I was making jewellery today, so I took some time out to listen to some TED Talks, and to re-listen to Randy Pausch's Really achieving your childhood dreams lecture. It's been a number of years since I first listened to this talk, and it still makes me cry - I dare anyone to listen to this talk and not tear up a little bit.

Before I go any further, if you have not watched this talk then please consider putting it on your "things I must watch" list. It is an hour and sixteen minutes long, but you will not regret it. He gives you the back story at the beginning; I won't go into any more details.

Anyway, I've watched this talk two and a half times previously, but for some reason this bit leapt out at me today:
When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.
It leapt out at me today because I thought about the inner critic - the role mine thought she was playing, which is likely to be the same role that yours is playing. She thought that being critical was the best way to keep me on track, and to make sure that I didn't become too confident (read arrogant).

Sure you have critics in your life that are not being helpful, their commentary comes from a place of envy and fear - but what if you were to shift to consider your critics as people who care enough to speak up?

When you think of it this way, does it alter the way you view your inner critic, and the external critics in your life? When you realise that criticism is how they are showing that they care about you, and that they still think you're worth helping, does it change that relationship at all? Just intrigued to see if this quote speaks to anyone else too.