I remember as a teenager crying to my Mum because these things just kept popping up all over my face, neck and back. I distinctly remember asking her how long this would go on for, and she told me that they would clear up naturally in a few years time. That was one piece of advice that my dear Mum didn’t get right, because at the age of 37 I still think I am going through puberty!
At numerous times, this week, I have allowed my emotions to take over. Trying to complete a workload befitting several people is challenging enough, but a woeful Internet connection just exacerbates things. I screamed aloud several times in sheer frustration, causing people to stop tapping their keyboards and conversations while they stared at me. The eyes were on me for no longer than a second, but it seemed like minutes. At the time I didn’t care, but now I am sat wondering why? The occasional outburst is bad enough, but what if you allow the experience to affect your entire fortnight? Is that really a good use of your time? What about those who share your life – how are they affected?
If you are regular readers of my monthly articles then you will know that I did not achieve my goal. However, one-year on from the time that I quit my goal I am achieving it. I am earning $45k through poker. Better late than never as someone famous once said.
Fitness. If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body – Cher
In a recent blog post The 5 Whys I outlined the process of identifying root cause as created by Sakichi Toyoda the founder of Toyota Industries. I mentioned in that post how I like to use business principles in my own personal life. I believe that personal continuous improvement is key to living a fulfilling life, and the 5 Why process will help you do that.
If you are going to have a wonderfully fulfilling life then you need to learn from your mistakes. Make sure that you improve your standards and make smarter decisions every day. During my divorce I decided to drop my anchor. I let all of my personal possessions go. These days I feel lighter and less pressurised. I have started to learn from the past to create a better future. I now realise the power of experience over material goods. When my time comes I hope that I will be in bed surrounding by the people I love. Just before I close my eyes I hope that I can look back and remember a life full of experiences, instead of remembering how nice and shiny my Bang & Olufson stereo looked.
When I was a lamb, learning existed in two forms. The first was how to become a better footballer and the second was how to be academically educated. On the football field we were taught by coaches who had a passion and drive for the beautiful game. You could see it etched in every pore, here it echo in every word and sparkle from every action. Not only did they love the game but also they derived great satisfaction from watching you grow. In the classroom I remember the complete opposite; teachers, who felt they were underpaid, abused by children they were incapable of controlling and teaching the same rubbish year-in-year-out.
A few months down the line and I was in school collecting my GCSE exam results when the Careers Officer spoke to me. We spoke about various career options and he advised me to apply for the British Railway’s Training Scheme. The weekly pay was £78 and that was all I needed to know. I applied for the job, got it and then left 19-years later after taking voluntary redundancy.
When I was in my late teens I would write love letters, poetry and song lyrics. I still have these scraps of paper in my draw, and in fact I forgot they even existed until I recently moved home. I also used to keep a diary in my youth. I remember burning them when I moved in with my ex-wife because most of the content centred on my sexual exploits. Why oh why did I burn those books?
I have breezed through life believing that people will naturally flock to me. I have always had a lot of friends, I was married and loved by a wonderful woman, was held in high esteem by a fantastic son, respected by most of the people I encountered in the business world and loved by my parents and sisters – well at least that is what I thought.
As with everything in life, it’s a question of balance, and when it came to my relationships I was sharing a seesaw with a bag of cement. These days I am a lot more critical of myself, and I take the time to look inwardly and reflect. I review my life just like a CEO reviews their business, and when I do I am brutally honest with myself.