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How To Predict The Future

“The best way to predict the future is to design it”
– Buckmister Fuller

This time last week I was in the middle of hosting annual retreat for leaders, which was all the more special because of the prolonged delay with the pandemic.

23 unsuspecting victims, I mean clients…,joined me for 3 days in the beautiful village of Carlingford. We hiked, talked, reflected, laughed, listened and learned.

While there is a structure to this retreat I’ve found that there is always an emergent property to the event – themes or ideas will emerge in the moment as the group deepens it’s connection. One of the recurring themes this year was around ‘including yourself in your success’ more.

Re-charging Your Battery

“Can’t talk. I am recharging”

– Anonymous Introvert

One morning last week I was taking a walk by the sea and when I returned to my car and was about to move away, there was a knock on my window.

A guy in a beanie hat was staring me straight in the face and when I opened the door, he asked politely if I had jump cables because his car wasn’t starting.

So I moved my car and we tried to inject new life into his engine, but it didn’t work. He thought the starter was the problem, so he had to go to plan C and call his family for help.

Electricity or charge always amazes me. Indeed it still mystifies some of the smartest minds on the planet.

Here are some things that struck me:

The Second Best Time To Start Something New

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

“I’m too far down the road to change now. It’s just the way I am”
So said the smart, ambitious leader to me.
They were referring to why they thought it was impossible for them to change some of their behaviour and habits – especially mental ones.
On one level, at least they were honest in saying what they were thinking.

Getting Better At What Over The Next 12 Months?

“The quality of your thinking

determines the quality of your life.”

– A.R. Bernard.

I was hosting a company retreat for a client at the end of last week and one of the questions I asked them was this:

What is the one thing you’d like to get better at over the next 12 months?

One of the senior managers said they wanted to ‘have more time to think.’

What they meant was more time to raise the quality of their thinking, to be more strategic, to help them ‘see around corners’, to be more creative.

Most people in my experience think too much, or are stuck in loops of the same patterns of thought. But there is a growing awareness that the above quote is a universal truth.

Distracted By Winning (And Not Winning)

“To get in the zone you have to stay in the present and you have to focus on your process goals.”

– Paul Flynn, winner of six All-Irelands with Dublin in Gaelic football and four consecutive All-Stars.

“I can’t be happy until I achieve this outcome.”

A version of this has been said to me many, many times or if it hasn’t, it’s usually lurking in the back of client’s minds – they just aren’t aware of it. I’m extra aware of this because I did it to myself for so long.

Are You Creating Compliance Or Co-operation?

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”

– Ken Blanchard

We’re only a few days away from the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US.

If you’re of a certain vintage, I’m sure like me you can remember exactly where you were the day it happened.

I’m not that keen to revisit those events but a new documentary had been recommended to me so I decided to dip into it – 9/11: Turning Point.

Your Goal In Life

Sometimes it seems as if avoiding blame, for many, is the goal of life.
It seems to naturally start in children, if the fights in our home are anything to go by….:) It certainly turns up everywhere in organisations.

How You See Things

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” – Rumi

I remember having moments where I was genuinely looking up at the sky thinking

“Why is everything against me?”

Of course, the truth is that the universe isn’t against anyone.

It just is.

The Last Mile And Winning Olympic Gold

“The last mile is never crowded and that’s the way it does feel sometimes.

The difference is to be able to hold on in there, to keep it going.”

– Kellie Harrington

Over the weekend, the Olympics came to a close but not before a certain Dubliner, Kellie Harrington won a gold medal in the lightweight division of women’s boxing.

Kellie has worked tirelessly for years, with the singular ambition of getting to the top of her sport – and with scant resources when compared with many of the other athletes at the games.

Indeed I must admit to being turned off some of the better known international athletes when their reactions to not winning gold indicated a sense of entitlement and poor sportsmanship.

A Month Of Experimentation

Over the last 2 weeks a few people who read this weekly post told me they hadn’t realised I have a podcast.

So this note is to let you know I have one… :)…. plus to give you a challenge.

It started as an experiment in February this year and has evolved into a weekly podcast that ranges in time from 8-15 minutes usually. (Details and link to the podcast are below)

So far it’s been an enjoyable learning curve and I really like the format.

The quote above is one I think is important as you get older. The greatest workshop of all is your life. Experimentation is key to ensuring vitality and aliveness, yet it’s so easy to fall into a non-experimentation way of living.