Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

No Fear

I just finished a really great book – it’s called “Who Moved My Cheese?” It’s about change management. It’s a short read, and a great read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who cares to listen.

One of the things the book talks about is fear. It asks “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Granted, fear is not always a bad thing. It often keeps us from doing silly things (i.e. jumping off ofbuildings, leaping out of perfectly good airplanes, or running with the bulls – no offence to all the adrenaline junkies out there).

But a lot of times, fear stops us from reaching for the unknown. Fear paralyzes us when we are faced with a new challenge. Sometimes it’s the fear of the unknown; often times it’s the fear of failure. But if you look back over your life or your career (or both), ask yourself: What would YOU do if you weren’t afraid?

I believe that fear (like chocolate chips) is good in moderation. I believe there are times when risks must be taken and fears faced in order for us to move to the next level or obtain the next success. Don’t be fooled: You won’t always win and you won’t always succeed. But chances are you will fail 100% of the time that you don’t even try.

Here are a few easy examples for me:

  • Starting Grade 1. I know what you’re thinking; but ask my Mum – I was terrified! I didn’t know how to write!! How could I go?! I was unprepared!! Well, 30 years, one degree, one certificate, and countless other learning experiences behind me…’nuff said.
  • A job change. It’s scary! Absolutely! What if my new co-workers don’t like me? What if I’m terrible at my new job? For me, looking back, I have no regrets of any of the changes I’ve ever made professionally. And that makes me feel satisfied and proud.
  • Getting married. That was a scary one. Not because I wasn’t sure of who I was marrying or what I was doing, but because I was afraid of what others thought. I was young. We came from different lives. Etc. But if I hadn’t said YES, if I hadn’t faced my fear – I would have missed out on the best thing that’s happened to me in my life to date.

Don’t get me wrong, and do not suddenly decide that you can leap tall buildings in a single bound or become a sword-swallower. But ask yourself what’s holding you back.

If it’s the fear of the unknown – look it in the eyes and honestly ask what’s the worst that could happen.

If it’s the fear of failure – remember that 100% of the times you don’t try something you WILL fail, so in all odds (including mathematical ones), your odds are better if you just give it a shot.

No fear.

Read Full Post »

Just Like Jazz

This morning was a perfect morning. I sat with a hot cup of coffee, my cat purring on my lap, listening to John Coltrane’s Compassion. It’s a brilliant piece off his Meditations album. And it reminds me why I want to try to be more like the fluid, sometimes random, but always unique and beautifully changing musical genre that is jazz.

What I like the most about jazz is its sometimes seemingly random tune and direction. Jazz just goes with it. In order to listen to and love jazz, I have to remember to appreciate the ability to go with the flow; to let go of control, relax, and know that the music has both a purpose and a direction, and if I just go with the song it will play out as intended.

I’d like to learn how to be more like jazz in my life. I believe that life has an intended purpose and direction. If I can learn to let it be and let it go, I believe that I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be and I believe that I will have taken the path I was supposed to have taken to get there.

This is, in most instances, easier said than done. I like to plan for and be in control of my life and most of the things in it. But I believe if I could learn to let go and appreciate the direction I’m taking (no matter how random it may appear), I could work towards that other true-ism that I hear so often: Life is a journey, not a destination.

As I sit and listen to jazz, I find myself tapping my toes until the rhythm or melody changes… And interestingly enough, I find that my toes always correct their tapping without too much intervention from my head. I think life should be more like that; it goes along, and when things change, I need to know that I’ll find a way to change with it.

Here’s to modeling my life after my toes; going with it and adapting as required. Life, no matter how much it changes, is still beautiful.

Just like the melody. And just like jazz.

Read Full Post »

I haven’t written in a while and I had the nagging urge to do so. This post is meant to poke a bit of fun, with a little thought somewhere in between…

Have you ever noticed that things don’t quite go according to plan? About a month ago, I was flyin’! I was in the midst of training for my first 1/2 marathon and I was just a few short weeks away from completing school.

My picture today is a bit different. I haven’t had a run in a few weeks (my 1/2 marathon will have to be next year sometime) and my final course was extended, so that the finish line is quite a ways further back than it was before and is in the way of more fun events such as my wedding anniversary and the start of the 2011-12 Calgary Flames season.

As I was out for a walk today, in the pouring rain, it occurred to me that these ‘blips’ are like rain drops: one or two of them are quite manageable and nothing to be bothered by. But when you add several of them up, over a long period of time, you have a monsoon that would make even the most avid adventurer want to stay indoors.

The challenge is to take it in stride and find a way through it all. Like a rain storm, there is very little I can do about it. Also like a rain storm, the sun is bound to come out sooner or later, and I just have to hang in there until it does. So perhaps the way to deal with it is to do as a duck does: Let the ‘water’ roll of my back.

Have you ever really watched a duck, during a rainstorm? I did just that today. They don’t care.  After all, what are they going to do about it? Put up their umbrella? Go into a coffee shop and check their email until it stops? Hop on the nearest train and head home for the day? Sit around, bemoaning the fact that they, and other ducks like them, are hard done by to be stuck outdoors in such unsavory conditions?

Nope.

They are going to get about their business, that’s what. They know that the sun will come out eventually, and they’ll be dry again in no time. They waste no time on something they can’t change.

I think that I’ll try to take a page from their book.  I’m going to make an effort to treat the bad times and challenges that life throws at me like droplets of water. I’ll put on my duck suit and get about my business. After all, the rain has to stop eventually and the sun will come back out again.

Until then, it’s just like water off a duck’s back.

Read Full Post »