Safe problem. Quality problem.
Have you heard about Fear-Setting?
You know that problem that’s been kicking around inside your head for the past 3+ months? C’mon… you know the one. It’s the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing in your head at night. Yea, that’s the one… that’s a Safe Problem.
Safe problems are lingering issues that are within our control such as: procrastination, hesitation, overeating, blaming others for your troubles, avoiding commitment to a relationship or avoiding making a decision.
On the other hand, a quality problem is much different - you’ve had plenty of those before as well.
Quality problems involve a risky forward-thinking decision such as: changing jobs, starting a business, committing to a relationship or leaving a relationship etc.,
How to destroy a working relationship: Ego
When it comes to making big decisions that will have big consequences, we all get nervous. What happens if it doesn’t work? What happens if I fail? What happens if I can’t go back? These are all valid concerns and should be dealt with rather than avoided and left to ruminate in our heads.
There’s a great exercise by a bloggers named Tim Ferriss called Fear-Setting which he outlines in his Ted Talk below. Basically, it’s about breaking each fear into three steps:
DEFINE - state exactly what the fear is
PREVENT - outline how you could possibly prevent it from happening
REPAIR - describe how you could deal with it even if it did come to pass
I recently read Ryan Holiday's book 'Ego is the Enemy', which I found very thought-provoking. If you're like me, you'd expect to understand the content of the book just by hearing the title, however, according to Ryan, that would be your ego talking.
Listing to all the stories of clients over the past few years, and thinking back over my own personal career challenges, disagreements with colleagues and growth struggles, I was struck by how much of it can relate back to ego being a central component.
Working Late: the grand excuse
"What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Well, while that’s not quite true, we all get the idea. That’s also the premise of Nassim Taleb’s book ‘Antifragiel’ which talks about how various stress on different systems (from the human body to the financial markets) actually benefit from temporary stress because it allows them to develop great resilience and long-term strength. For example, going to the gym to put your body under temporary stress will ‘weaken’ your muscles for the day but strengthen them overall. Dealing with challenging new situations in work is often stressful, but prepares us for doing that in the future.
9 Top tips for speed learning
Yea, I know... sometimes you have to work late because there is so much on. That's fine - I get it. But the problem comes when we are working late for the wrong reasons. Here they are...
Not able to delegate properly
Wait for the pushback
Our world is changing so quickly, I believe it's imperative that we develop the ability to learn quickly in order to keep up. Our employers or our clients often require us to consume and understand large amounts of information in a short space of time. This is very challenging without practice.
Making the right choice
Before I explain an interesting exercise, I have to say that it only makes sense if you actually do it as you're reading this. Otherwise, you know the outcome but not your outcome. Anyway, I'll leave it up to you...
Here's the exercise: Put your hands together in front of your body in a prayer position as seen below. Then start to push with your right hand for 3 seconds. What happens?
Favourite quotes about money
What's the best thing to do? What's the ideal way to go?
'The more choice the better' - that's what we have been led to believe. If you are careful and choose which you prefer the most, you'll be happier - even if it's just a small improvement.
But that's not true. The reality is that we can suffer 'paralysis by analysis'.
Disconnect to Reconnect
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers
Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master. – Alexander Dumas
Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty. – Leo Rosten
It's nonsense to say money doesn't buy happiness, but people exaggerate the extent to which more money can buy more happiness. - Daniel Kahneman
Visualise one fine day in 10 years time
Delete the social media apps - turn off the notifications.
Forget the continuous news - it's not a true reflection anyway.
Put the phone out of the bedroom - buy an alarm clock.
Look up and listen - it's 'LIVE' right now.
Enjoy the moment - it'll be gone soon.
The High Achiever's Achilles Heel
Golfers, footballers and tennis players, amongst other professional sports stars have often talked about the benefits of visualisation. We’ve all heard the success stories, but how can visualisation really make a difference? Shouldn’t we just focus on learning, practising and working hard? These were some of the questions I had been pondering for years, until recently...
Coping strategies for dealing with stress
You love goal-setting and are exhilarated by goal-achievement. You’ve probably read all the articles, blogs and books on how to work better, live better, feel better and think better. You’re not always sure what you want, except for two things: more growth and more success. Do you also feel little pleasure in winning but great pain in losing? Congratulations, you are a high achiever...
Failing continually is crucial
Stress is part of everyone’s life at some stage or another. I think of dealing with it in three different ways: avoiding it if feasible; reducing it where possible; and finding better, more elegant ways of coping with it.
If you don’t know your favourite and most effective ways of dealing with stress before it happens, you’ll find it difficult to come up with them at short notice; that’s why it’s important to have them prepared in advance. Different situations will call for different responses, so we need to have flexible solutions. Here are some strategies that I find useful:
Passing thoughts on criticism
Firstly, let’s distinguish between failed and failure. If a project doesn’t achieve the desired result - we could say that it failed, whereas if we believe that it hasn’t gone well and nothing could be improved, then it’s a failure. ‘Failure’ doesn’t leave much room for hope; it sounds so terminal. So let’s consider the alternative - never failing.
To be brave, you have to show vulnerability; to be a leader, you have to go first
Criticism can be valuable occasionally, so it's good to derive any potentially useful information from it. If there’s nothing of worth in it, just let it pass. Remember that the more criticism you get, the more you’ll get used to it, which will help you to desensitise and deal with it in the future.
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” - Aristotle
Quit defending and experience freedom
“Men don’t talk” - that’s what I’ve been told. The statement is not just harsh and unfair; it’s untrue. I’ve met lots of men who talk, about their feelings too. Many of them love it. I’ve also met female clients who would prefer not to talk about anything. Generalisations are always wrong and there’s always an exception to the rule...
The passion problem
Defending yourself is tough - so tough. But there is something so beautiful, so liberating, so empowering when you quit defending. It’s a moment when everything changes. Suddenly, you don’t have to pretend that everything is alright; that you’re perfect; that you did a good job; that you never made mistakes or that you never will again. And when that happens, you open up a whole new world of possibilities, and a lot less pain.
The fear is 'people will say …’
Forget resolutions - Focus on habits
You might be surprised to learn that many people attending the workshops I give genuinely don’t know where their passions lie. In other words; they don’t know what they like. Isn’t that strange?
No - totally normal in my opinion.
Learning new skills is a challenge for many of us. The very first hurdle is our belief system: fixed mindset or growth mindset. If we have a fixed mindset, it suggests that we cannot learn new skills and have to make do with what we have naturally. On the other hand, there is a lot more room for hope if we have a growth mindset - this suggests that we believe skills can be learnt and we can learn them.
The second challenge is creating habits that make learning a consistent practice.