Posts Tagged ‘stuck’

Stuck in the Middle

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

pause_button [To be read to the dulcet tones of Stealers Wheels singing “Stuck in the Middle with You”…]  Have you ever had a time when despite your very best efforts some big cosmic finger [visualise a Monty Python intro  style finger]  keeps punching your pause button?

There are times when you have a plan, and then it snows… or then the car gets smashed up… or then the gutters fall off… or then… or then..  It is the essence of Change that stuff happens to disrupt our plans, but how should we react?  Curse and scream?  Plough straight on somehow?  Listen to what the Universe is trying to tell us?  Find a way to make lemonade?

What do you do?  Wait patiently or take up knitting?

Is a Tar pit or just Winter?

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

la brea tar pits Frost on plants 1 When you are a feeling stuck, and the changes you are looking for just aren’t occurring there are two metaphors that spring to mind for me.  The first is the tar pit.  These were common in prehistoric times and creatures used to wander into these sticky black, death-traps and, once enmired, they were stuck for all time.  The other is that of winter, when the plants are not growing but that is appropriate and they are just awaiting the new season to begin growing again.

Sometimes the voice of intuition can tell us which it is for us.  Sometimes it takes an act of faith.

What do you do when you find yourself in this kind of place?

“What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can’t move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won’t be troubling you much longer.”    Douglas Adams

 

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Life is like a traffic jam

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

trafficjam There are times when despite your very best efforts you just don’t seem to get anywhere.  For reasons beyond your control, you are forced to mark time.  Perhaps customers are not paying you on time, maybe key appointments are cancelled, you can not get access to the resources you need, be that people, credit or technology.  One moment you are motoring down Life’s highway, next you have ground to a halt. 

Like all traffic jams, sometimes they move along quite well and don’t last too long, other times one just find yourself parked on the motorway literally going nowhere and not even knowing what is wrong.  I find that if you can find out what is happening and you know if there is anything you can do, or whether you just have to wait for someone else to do something helps.

Doing nothing goes against our nature, this suggestion that we should surrender, and there is in fact, nothing we can do, so the only area for us to change is our attitude.

At present, despite my very best efforts, I am not getting any sense of forward motion.  I’m not necessarily worried by this but it is a far from comfortable sensation.  The usual metrics for business success no longer apply here, it is a bit like being in the Arctic Circle and having a compass… When you are out walking and you are lost you basically have three options:-

  • Sit down and wait for something to happen that changes your situation
  • Go back and try and retrace your steps (and start again another time?)
  • Press on to the best of your abilities

In business you can cut-back, bring in outside ‘experts’, try something new, or just keeping ‘pluggin’ away.’  If you are a fisherman, once you have tried all your usual tricks, and gone to the best places you know, if you still haven’t caught anything, you have to decide whether to just keep at it, stay home for a few days and wait for the water/weather conditions to change, or go out hunting!

I’m interested to hear whether you have encountered similar situations and if so how you have dealt with them and what the results were…

“What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can’t move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won’t be troubling you much longer.”    Douglas Adams

“Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you’d look out your little window and think, “Boy, I’m glad I’m not out in that.””    Jack Handy

 

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Pussy stuck up a tree

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

I was at a breakfast meeting early this morning when I noticed my pocket buzzing. I discretely peeked at the screen and saw it was my wife. Now I knew that:-

  1. She knew I was in a meeting, and wouldn’t interrupt if it wasn’t a problem
  2. She was meant to be elsewhere so something had happened, and finally..
  3. If I knew what was good for me I’d respond!

I left the room and called her back to hear that she was clearly upset. It turned out that our elderly and much loved cat had ascended one of our trees and was now stuck about 20 feet up and couldn’t get down, and was now also very distressed.

As I headed homewards, my morning suddenly rescheduled, I learned that my ever-resourceful daughter had contacted a neighbour who had managed to shin up and rescue her, although, she was in such a fearful state that she didn’t really co-operate with her heroic rescuer.

The thing is that it isn’t only cats who get themselves into situations which are just too scary to go on and don’t know how to get out of. From time to time we would all like someone to climb up and rescue us, but like Prim, we don’t always make it easy for others to help us. So if today finds you stuck up a metaphorical tree:-

  • Firstly stop what you are doing… it isn’t helping
  • Secondly, do something different. Anything different to break your state. Get up.. move around, leave the building
  • If someone suggests something, don’t tell them why it won’t work, try it… apparently you aren’t the expert you thought you were
  • If you can, sleep on it. Time can miraculously change things without human agency
  • If tomorrow finds you still ‘treed’ then ask for help

Good luck! Primmy is now relaxing with a bowl of pussy treats, being made much of and wondering why she had to work so hard for us to see her greatness!!

“What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can’t move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won’t be troubling you much longer.”  Douglas Adams

 

The Hidden Path

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Another feature of yesterday’s walk was the number of times we struggled to find a footpath. Now I’m no Ray Mears, but I’m not bad at navigation; added to which I had a handy GPS and map. Often we would be standing within 20 yards or so of where the path was meant to be and we could see nothing but vegetation. As I explained yesterday, it was pretty over grown, but in addition to that, often shifting your view point by even a few feet made all the difference.

I wonder how often in life, if we just shifted our viewpoint a little bit suddenly we would see our paths? How often don’t we see the path for the trees?

“I dreamed a thousand new paths. . . I woke and walked my old one.” Chinese Proverbs

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

NO Energy?

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Then you are apparently in good company! I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard a cosmologist say that apparently all the positive energy in the entire Universe is counter-balanced by the negative gravitational energy1, leaving a sum total of nil! This fact explains the idea that the whole thing could be started with just a small of amount of energy. Now I certainly am not the person to teach anyone about this kind of stuff, so I won’t even try! However, it does get you thinking doesn’t it?

If you can start an entire Universe with a relatively small burst of energy, what can you do in one little life? We all get depressed, ill, de-energised and find ourselves, from time-to-time feeling stuck. The good news is that it only takes one very small positive event to get us going again. I’m not talking ‘happy-clappy’ stuff about ‘positive mental attitude’ though it is a nice trick if you can pull it off. Rather I am suggesting that when you find yourself in a stalled state, that you:-

  • Spend time with people who energise and inspire you, who build you up
  • Do things that you simply enjoy
  • Try something totally different

It really doesn’t matter much what you do, it is the simple action of breaking state that gets you moving again.

When we feel down, we can almost forget what up feels like. Perhaps if today finds you in this state this might help you recreate your ‘mini-verse’. Good luck!

“The modern artist…is working and expressing an inner world – in other words – expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces.” Jackson Pollock

“A man grows most tired while standing still.” Chinese Proverb

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