Make a Difference – Doh!

I’ve just had one of those ‘well, it’s all over now’ conversations – referring to the Christmas / New Year celebrations of course. That’s the way some people feel about the Christmas holidays – a bright spot during the winter gloom... fortunately in this particular conversation we had some bright winter sun to brighten the mood.

Gloom does appear to be a somewhat common response to January and I can’t pretend that I’m looking forward to the short days; although even there the shortest day passed on the 21st December – the sun is staying out just a little longer each day (I can see the raised eyebrows now Smile)

I have to say I am looking forward to the year ahead – and that’s as much about being determined to look on the brighter side as anything... just like avoiding the downbeat British soaps it takes some effort, but it’s worth it.

What do you have planned or what are you trying to achieve in the coming months? In my experience New Year resolutions tend to be of the ‘join the gym’ or ‘lose weight’ type rather than the ‘change the world’ type – nothing wrong with the former of course (though ‘working-out at the gym’ is probably a better than just joining), they probably reflect our natural tendency to go with what’s front-of-mind.

Personally I like to make Christmas a long holiday, which post Christmas day leaves plenty of time for contemplation. It’s time to refresh my thoughts on health, family, finance, business and relationships. In reality, being a somewhat slow-burn type (much to my own annoyance) most of the changes are things I’ve been thinking about during the general run of things for some time. The extra space during the holiday is useful to make something of them.

My own process works something like:

  1. imageOpen my mind
    being away from the usual day-day process helps with this as does reading great books like The Creative Habit
  2. Create a list of all the things I would like or like to do
  3. Test the list against a ‘how much do I really want it’ criteria
  4. This helps me prioritise
  5. So I can list some key actions to get going on the one or two things at the top of the list
  6. Take the first action quickly

A fuller version of which I cover at my Succeed in 2011 workshop.

This year ‘make a difference’ figured near the top... and my goodness the action list is long. I should have stopped at ‘lose weight’.

Happy New Year!


What can you learn from someone two weeks old?


Today, my son Joel is six months old... just about the same amount of time since I last posted on this blog. Despite the personal importance to me of the words being espoused, sometimes things do take precedence.

In the first few weeks of Joel’s life, I found myself writing the things that I was learning (not the ‘how to change nappies’ stuff, more the ‘what does this situation bring to mind’).  Joel is our second child, so one would imagine there wasn’t too much to learn… what I didn’t realise is that I didn’t learn it first time around, things go so quickly, they’re experienced and gone.  Of the 26 things I wrote down 7 were related to sleep!

  1. How much you normally control your emotions
  2. Nature has a great way of installing a king of ‘beer goggles’ towards your wrinkly, vernixy residue loaded offspring
  3. The logic of humans, is not the same logic we learned in mathematics/computer science
  4. Human logic varies enormously, even in the same human
  5. Eenore is a great name for a mouse!
  6. Size is not a good indication of volume
  7. Size is a good indicator of your ability to have people running around after you – and small wins
  8. Focus generates a lot of housework
  9. You need quiet time to focus on long term goals
  10. Living in the ‘important & urgent’ quadrant of the important urgent / non-urgent, unimportant urgent / non-urgent 2x2 matrix is really hard
  11. There are more great names for girls than for boys (actually, we learned this before he was born)
  12. The response you get when telling others the name of your new child is vital to the balance of your day
  13. It’s really important to be unequivocally positive about the gorgeousness and great name of other peoples children – particularly when the children are new and the parents have only had two hours sleep
  14. The smaller the person, the higher & faster we jump
  15. Size matters & small is King
  16. It doesn’t take experience to be loud
  17. Lung capacity bears little resemblance to volume
  18. We know that change is inevitable & that there is nothing so constant as change – and these small beings only re-enforce these axioms, they are the most effective agents of change
  19. Some consider themselves ‘agents of change’ – these small beings don’t bother with the agent, they go direct!

Filtering out the sleep related ones…

  1. How important a good nights sleep really is, no really… only apparent after several days
  2. What a gift, sleep is
  3. At first - How could Maslow miss off ‘sleep’ in the hierarchy of needs?  Then, after checking, I realised that he didn’t, it simply wasn’t important enough for me to remember when I first studied it
  4. That falling asleep over your breakfast, isn’t the best start to the day
  5. What a beneficial impact really cold fresh air can have on your alertness!
  6. The route to a negative response, even with quite ordinary stimulus, is directly proportional to the number of hours you’ve slept
  7. Lack of sleep has similar effects to imbibing a large quantity of alcohol, but without any positive social boost


Becoming a great blogger...

OK, that's a better headline.  One that at least hints at the significance of my interview with Steve.  I've no idea what I was thinking with 'Steve Clayton and online success'.

Actually, I do know.  I was kind-of excited to be publishing the interview.

I could have used:

  • Start a tribe the Clayton way...
  • Leading blogger spills the beans
  • Become a great blogger and lead a tribe
  • 2 blogs a day and you'll be away

Almost anything would have been better.  I'll try not to commit headline annihilation again :-)