Four Things For Friday No.5
Each Friday, I share “Four Things For Friday” that are a collection of things I’ve seen, heard, or experienced during the week. Thoughtfully chosen, and intended to spark your curiosity, imagination, or inspiration. HAPPY EXPLORING!
This week I’ve been soaking up TED talks. There is an infinite source of wisdom, ideas, and perspectives to be found in the TED talks.
My two favorites for this week:
Susan David talking about the gift and power of emotional courage. It strikes me we could all do with a touch of courage from time to time, and when it comes to emotions, well there are plenty to be felt aren’t there!
Adam Grant talking about the surprising habits of original thinkers. Procrastinators, doubters, and fear filled people welcome!
What lessons have I been reminded of this week?
Consistency and Focus. I had the pleasure of using a Peloton treadmill for the past 10 days. I ran almost everyday and during my running stints I was reminded that it’s so important to instill consistency and focus into daily life.
Building and running a business you have to be consistent and choose to be focused, you have to commit to things that perhaps at times feel like an over-commitment, but it’s critical to the long term success.
For my own long-term wellbeing I choose to commit to the consistency and focus of showing up to eat well, exercise well, and take care of my mind, body, spirit, and emotional wellness. No-one has time to work out, eat healthily, or do all these self-care practices, it’s a choice we make and we find time to prioritize it when it’s something we know is going to make a difference. Do I have days when I don’t want to work out? ABSOLUTELY! Do I work out every day? Nope! but I forgive myself and let it go for the days I don’t. Yet I remind myself that consistency and focus brings about the successes and delight that I live for and it’s not long before I’m back running or working out.
The highlight of my week?
A Holiday. I had 10 days off to rest, reset, and reconnect. I’m European (or these days British!). I came from the land of taking 2 x 2 week (and some) holidays every year and I never thought anything of it. Imagine my surprise when I arrived in the U.S. over a decade ago and I was greeted with 15 days holiday a year. I have to say it was a bit of a shock and didn’t quite know how I would adjust! I have always used all of my holiday, ever year, without fail. Fortunately things have evolved in the past decade and gently there is a mindset shift that taking a holiday (or vacation) is a critical piece for us all to be healthy and thrive which means businesses then thrive too. Holidays don’t have to be fabulous worldwide excursions either, I’ve had wonderful holidays where I stayed home and did a “staycation” treating myself to participating in all the wonders of the place I live in, and sometimes just lying on my sofa doing absolutely nothing! (#jomo)
As a founder and owner of two businesses remembering to disconnect and take a break is really important - and it’s not easy to do - because I find myself doing things I love (most of the time) so I usually don’t want to stop doing those things. However, I get burned out, tired, exhausted, overwhelmed and stressed. I’ve learned to recognize the signs and a holiday or break is where I disconnect and reset.
Incredibly in the past 4 years, nearly each holiday I have been on an amazing client project comes in during that time. It’s as if the universe responds with a “you’ve been working your socks off and now you are being rewarded for resting so you can be your best when you return - here, have a fabulous client.” Long may this continue, because it’s always inspirational, and it always reminds me that it is not about pushing and hustling constantly, it’s about being aligned with who you are and what you do.
What movie did I watch?
Stranger than Fiction - Amazon came up with the goods for movies while on holiday and one evening I found myself watching this movie. Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal all feature and while I won’t give the entire plot away the story is about an I.R.S. auditor who suddenly finds himself as the subject of narration - that only he can hear - and it begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-life, to his death.
Whenever I watch or experience anything my mind triggers to reflect what can I learn from what I’ve just seen, heard, or experienced and without fail this is what happened watching this movie.
I was reminded that we are all the narrators of our own lives. We literally can decide how to write our own books. We are the stars of our own life, taking center stage, the main act. So how do you choose to write yours? As Arthur says to Iris in The Holiday “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.“
So, as you go into the weekend, how are you choosing to write your story? As the leading person of your life, or as the understudy, best friend, or second act?