Monday, February 2, 2015

January roundup

31 January 2015

At the end of the first month of the good ship, leaving normal, progress has been made.  At the start of this blog, I listed the things I will make happen this year.  Item 7 was that WF should get a job and this has happened and item 8 was that I should know I am on the right road.   The great thing about writing is that it stops time slipping away and then you wonder what on earth you have done.  Time is made up of so many small events and it is so important to do something each day which feeds you as an individual.

This has been shown jokingly in this example:

By A Professor • October 23, 2012  Sunny Skyz website thank you

This is a very important life lesson that a philosophy teacher taught his students.
The teacher cleared off his desk and placed on top of it a few items. One of the items was an empty mason jar. He proceeded to fill up the jar with golf balls until he could fit no more. He looked at the classroom and asked his students if they agree that the jar is full. Every student agreed that the jar was indeed full.
The teacher then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar with the golf balls. The pebbles filled all of the openings in between the golf balls. He asked the students if the jar was full. Once again, they agreed.
Now the teacher picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the mason jar. The sand filled in all of the empty space left between the golf balls and pebbles. He asked the class again if the jar was full. The students agreed it was technically full.
Finally, the teacher pulled out a bottle of milk chocolate from under his desk and poured it into the jar filling the empty space between the sand. Now the students began to laugh wondering how far this was going.
The teacher waited until the laughter stopped. "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life," he started. "The golf balls represent the important things. Your family, children, health, friends, and passions. If everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles represent the other things in life that matter, such as your job, house and car. The sand---that is everything else. The small stuff. If you put the sand in first, there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls.
The same goes for life. If you spend all of your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are most important. Pay attention to the important things in your life.
Enjoy time with family. Go to dinner with your spouse. Play games with your kids. There will ALWAYS be time to clean the house or take yourself shopping.
Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. The rest is just sand. You are dismissed."
Before the students left, one shouted out. "You never mentioned what the chocolate milk represents!"
The professor smiled and said, "Well I'm glad you asked. There is always room in your life for chocolate!."

or before by Steven Covey when he talks about the four different sectors of activity in which we pass our days.  He categorises activities according to their importance and their urgency.  Almost all of us will do the urgent and important stuff first.  We will pass our spare time doing the not urgent and not important stuff - playing on Facebook or reading blogs for example.  However, the category of not urgent and important is one which we often neglect.  Activities which make us grow as people, involve work.  We put these activities on the bucket list.  We dream about them and they lurk in the back of our minds, waving their arms and tapping on our consciences.  They are the most important things of all.  For me, writing is the thing that is important but not urgent and so here we are, reading my thoughts and assessing where we are at the end of month one.

Back to Steven's own words, taken from his best selling book, the 7 habits of highly effective people;

So, what do you want to be when you grow up? That question may appear a little trite, but think about it for a moment. Are you--right now--who you want to be, what you dreamed you'd be, doing what you always wanted to do? Be honest. Sometimes people find themselves achieving victories that are empty--successes that have come at the expense of things that were far more valuable to them. If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster. 

Habit 2 is based on imagination--the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint. If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default. It's about connecting again with your own uniqueness and then defining the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen. 

One of the best ways to incorporate Habit 2 into your life is to develop a Personal Mission Statement. It focuses on what you want to be and do. It is your plan for success. It reaffirms who you are, puts your goals in focus, and moves your ideas into the real world. Your mission statement makes you the leader of your own life. You create your own destiny and secure the future you envision.

so, my Mission Statement.  This is really tough

To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to make a difference to people's lives."
I have always had trouble visualising exactly where I want to be and what I want to be but it came to me as I was walking at sunset the other evening.
1.  Sell my European properties
2.  Buy the house of my dreams, convert the barn into studios and run craft courses with the best and most inspirational teachers.  Become a well known marque and travel the world, speaking and meeting new and inspirational people.  Take in local youngsters on apprenticeships and nurture their talents.
3.  Set up a craft foundation and give work to people in economically depressed areas.  Make a difference to people's lives.
4.  Play with my grandchildren on the lawns and fish with them in the river.
5.  Have all of my family close by.
6.  See my dear friends regularly.