Posts Tagged ‘Personal Change’

What is a Spell?

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I came across this quotation yesterday in the book Wicked “A spell is no more than a recipe for change” and that got me wondering; just what is the recipe for Change? I know whole books have been written on this subject and it might be a good topic for an MBA, but it might be interesting to explore this.

I guess the ingredients are:-

  • Timing: No one and nothing changes till it is ready to; flowers bud in the spring etc. Though what moves a person from not-ready to ready is a huge topic in itself!
  • Readiness: You need to have all the required components for your change, the raw ingredients if you will. This includes not only the raw materials, whatever they maybe, but also enough knowledge to at least know where to begin
  • Desire: There has to be a desire to flow with the energy of Change and to loosen hold on resistance. Think of a little boy learning to swim, one day he lets go of the bar because his desire to learn to swim is greater than his fear of failure.

Other helpful items include:-

  • Support: From friends, family, teachers or professionals; having people to encourage and guide can help us moving forward.

I guess a little bit of magic never hurts, and in real life, this can take the form of these ingredients coming together with such ease as to make the process painless. After all, when a baby birds leaps from its nest for the first time it trusts that it can fly rather than knows it. So today, I wish you a little magic in your life…

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.” “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Open Minded?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I attended an Open Space1 day today with a networking group I belong to. The idea behind this approach is it enables large groups to discuss complex issues in a self-organising way and handle complex issues without having passions take over. I thought that it had some interesting lessons for life.

This approach allows people to talk about what is on their mind. In order to do so, they announce the topic they wish to discuss and if others finding this interesting they come and join in. At the point they lose interest, or find they are not making the progress they hoped, or simply something else seems more compelling they are free to go and join another parallel group discussing another aspect of the issue.

In other words, you can only discuss areas that are sufficiently interesting to all parties to secure their attention. So often in life there are these one-sided conversations, and people will mentally dial out long before the other has stopped talking.

The other interesting aspect of this is whilst person A might have proposed the topic to be discussed; the dynamics of the group will often take the conversation into different areas. Traditionally person A would have to try to drag everyone back to the topic under discussion. Using this method, whatever emerges is okay, so no one has to get defensive, and therefore no one needs to get aggressive either.

I wonder if we had more conversations which were a genuine exploration and where the power was equal, how might this affect our lives?

“An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it”


  1. Principles of Open Space:
    1. Whoever comes are the right people
    2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.
    3. When it starts is the right time
    4. When it’s over it’s over
      Plus the Law of Two Feet…. “If you find yourself in a situation where you are not contributing or learning, move somewhere where you can.”

Feeling Stuck? ACTION!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

We are in the early stages of one of those periodic major renovation phases house owners are painfully familiar with. Our garden, which had always been a little ‘au naturel’, had become more of a jungle, the house is showing the signs of 3 healthy, active children growing up in it not to mention 3 cats! It is a daunting challenge knowing where to start and how to invest our hard-earned pennies. For quite a long time we were slightly frozen in this state of ‘not knowingness’.

Eventually my wife got a little more decisive and got in a garden contractor. I was thinking ‘tidying up’, she was thinking ‘war on weeds’! After we had had a small army of men and earth movers here for over a week it has been utterly transformed. I suspect the pharaohs used people like these to build the pyramids!

Why am I sharing this with you? Well the interesting thing is how, once you begin a project, things that you couldn’t know before you start suddenly come clear. I often help businesses with their strategy and I employ a similar approach. Get moving, and adapt as you learn more. If you spend too long planning you tend to get more and more stuck, and as Helmuth von Moltke famously observed “No plan survives contact with the enemy“, so what is the point having a perfect plan? Get moving, learn from what you do and adapt as you move forwards.

Those organisations that are able to learn and adapt fastest have a competitive advantage and the market to themselves for a while. This strategy will work just as well for you if you are feeling a bit stuck. Today, if you feel like this, DO SOMETHING, it really doesn’t matter what, just get moving and you will notice that you see things differently and feel differently. So Good Luck… and …ACTION!

“Just Do It.” Nike

Whether it’s the weather…

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Maybe it is the weather, I mean snow at Easter! This morning I find myself assailed by awash of different emotions sweeping over me like waves on a weed-covered rock. Nothing has happened, no one has said anything and yet they keep coming, wave after wave, and none of them particularly pleasant. Luckily I am able to be relatively quiet and can just watch the ‘waves’ breaking over me and I don’t have to engage with others yet. It would be so easy to react poorly or negatively from this space. The odd thing is that I (by which I mean the inner me) don’t feel particularly ‘bad’.

So where is this ‘stuff’ coming from? It feels like being out on the moors in bad weather, just storm-tossed. Maybe it is some astrological confluence of planets, maybe it is due ionisation of the upper atmosphere or perhaps it is just hormonal…. Who knows! Sh*t happens! Get over it!! We are made up of such subtle forces all so delicately balanced, it is impossible for any number of experts to know how we work.

The interesting element of this is that I seem to be able to differentiate the ‘inner me’ from the rest of me. It sounds daft, and I guess you either can either resonate with this statement or think I am daft. After all,. Philosophers have been struggling to answer the questions “Who am I?” satisfactorily for thousands of years. For me it feels like the outer part of me is the seaweed, swaying and tossed by the waves, and the inner core is the rock, which remains unmoved.

Perhaps if this feeling is wider spread today, then you will take a little comfort from knowing it is just ‘psychic weather’, and not just you; perhaps realising that we are made up of different and deeper parts will help you make contact with the ‘inner you’ and enable you to take comfort from it’s deep wisdom and sense of knowing and connection. Good Luck and Happy Easter!

“The more a person analyzes his inner self, the more insignificant he seems to himself. This is the first lesson of wisdom. Let us be humble, and we will become wise. Let us know our weakness, and it will give us power.” William Ellery Channing

The Perfect Life … scene 2

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

In yesterday’s blog I suggested there was some value in considering our lives as if they were movies that we were starring in. Today I’d like to develop that idea and ask you to consider who your co-stars are and what they bring to your party? The key people in our lives (even, and perhaps especially, the annoying ones!) bring us something special. What are they here to teach us? How is their behaviour challenging us? Making us feel? Mirroring us and our fears? Often those people who drive us most crazy are mirroring an aspect of ourselves we don’t much care for. We get mad at them rather than change ourselves.

Have a look around…. What do you notice?

Have a good Easter!

“Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are”

“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” Ernest Holmes

The Perfect Life…

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Imagine, for a moment, that you are an actor, and you have been given the lead role in a very important movie. You have the perfect script, written by the world’s best script writer, and you have had the opportunity to add your own little touches. You have the perfect place to shoot, chosen with just you and this story in mind. The cast has been hand-picked to showcase your story and you know with absolute certainty that this is the project that you want to commit to and which will make you.

You leave the studio and arrive on location, but there has been a small hiccough. On the journey here you had a little mishap and appear to have amnesia. “Never mind“, says your director, “Just be yourself; that is all this role calls for.” “ACTION!”

Scene 1: You are born….

You arrived in this world in almost this way and most of us arrive having forgotten why we chose to take up this particular life. I often hear people say that they are unlucky or are never in the right place. And yet here we all are, in the perfect place for us to learn exactly what it is that we need to learn to move forward in our lives. If you were watching this movie of your life you would probably be able to see the patterns and guess what our hero was meant to do next. It is just that in the hurly burly of our lives we often lose perspective.

On this holiday weekend, let your mind drift to this movie script and ask yourself “What should happen next? What is the sub-plot? What does our hero need to find or do to win through?” and… take 2…”ACTION!”

“Life is good, without it we’d all be dead.” Hannah

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein