What drives you?

  • Navy Helicopter above Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra ACT Australia for Australia Day 2016Are you excited about what is possible?
  • Are you worried about failure?
  • Which one is driving you forward?

What drives us forward can depend on our upbring, our develop and our belief system. For some of us we look to the future and strive to achieve what is possible, while for others we worry about failure. We are going to fail many times in our life. It is not the end of the world. However if we do not strive to be what we are meant to be we fail.

We fail to contribute what we could to the world. We fail to live our passions. We fail to fulfil our dreams. For some people that may be okay, however I believe that we can not be truly happy unless we are striving for our dreams and passions. May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

  • What is driving you forward, possibility or failure?

Keeping up with the Smiths

Attila Ovari and Mick having a Cuppa in Tuggeranong ACT AustraliaLast week I caught up with my mate Mick. I used to work with Mick a couple of years ago and ever since we catch up every month or so. Mick has much more life experience than me and it is always great to hear his stories and words of wisdom. Well last week he shared his wisdom about keeping up with the Smiths.

I know, you are going to say that the saying is keeping up with the Jones’. Well Mick said it best when he says that today people are trying so hard to keep up with the Jones’ that they take out big loans for big houses, loans for experience cars and loans for their lifestyle. In the end their income is all going to pay back loans.

Mick suggested that we focus on keeping up with the Smiths. The Smiths in this case have smaller houses, debt free cars and no debt on lifestyle. Less stress and more money each week to pay cash for things and to save for the future. Basicly Mick was trying to tell me not to try and keep up with anyone and to live within my means. That is good advice.

So when looking at your life and what you are trying to achieve are you keeping up with the Jones, ie Just getting by? or are you keeping up with the Smiths, living Stress free and within your means? May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

One way to lose respect

DSC_1995Today I am going to share a personal experience about one of my weak spots. My weak spot is impatience. Impatience with incompetence, impatience with lack of focus, impatience with time wasting and impatience with negative thinking among other things. My impatience is something that I need to watch. It is something that I need to manage.

My impatience not managed turns to frustration. My frustration can then turn to micromanagement and heightened excitement. Now my frustration is because I know that things can be better, however micromanagement and heightened excitement are not positive actions. Both of these lead to a loss of respect.

For example in the middle of last year I was on an army exercise and as we completed the exercise we had redeployed back to a rear echelon area for refurbish our equipment and to refit to fight. Being Engineers we have a lot of equipment and it is a lengthy process. That combined with a lack of sleep was testing many people.

I am afraid to admit that in a moment of frustration late one evening I also failed the test. I was in conference with my key staff listening to the progress of the refurbishment and refitting to fight. In my opinion and also the opinion of senior officers the process was going very well. However one of my staff made a report to the contra, saying that we were behind schedule.

At that point I let my frustration get to me. In heightened excitement I banged the table and told him it was bull shit. We are on track and just need to keep moving forward. In that moment I lost the respect of not just that person, but everyone in the conference. It was not a wise thing to do. It is not a way to build influence.

I can make all the excuses under the sun. I can say that I was tired, it was a very long day, I was in the right, I was the boss, I made a mistake, etc etc etc…. However none of that would even be close to excusing me and my actions. Yes, I apologised and yes have since rebuild some of the relationship that I had negatively affected.

I am happy to say that I am much better these days than in my younger years when it comes to managing my frustrations. I can say that with confidence as I was really tested over the last twelve months with all the work I had to do. It will be an ongoing area of my life to manage as demonstrated by the story above, however one that is manageable.

In summary if you are like me and tend to get frustrated, develop strategies to manage your frustrations. For me, I have learnt that things like meditation, exercise, walking outside, breathing exercises and stretching out my hands all help to lower my frustrations. May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

A sense of humour

  • Attila Ovari having breakfast @ the coffee club TuggeranongDo you have a sense of humour?
  • How often do you smile?
  • Can you laugh at yourself?

Having a sense of humour is a fun and lightful way to live life. Being able to have a laugh makes one feel better. It can also have a positive impact on those around you. Have you ever been in a workplace where people are smiling, friendly and have a laugh? What about a workplace where people are overly serious and there is no laugher? What environment gets the best productivity?

Being serious is important. We all have things that have to be achieved. We need to be considered when it comes to what we are doing. We need to ensure that our work is done and we achieve the required outcomes. Having a sense of humour is does not prevent you being productive or purposeful.

Having a sense of humour is a way of doing things. If you trip up a little, sort it out, learn from it and have a laugh about it. If a situation is causing stress for yourself or your team, deal with it, learn from it and in most cases you will be able to look back and have a laugh. Life is too short to be overly serious all the time. Have a sense of humour, it lifts the mood and puts a simile on others around you.

May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

What are you told?

Follow your Dreams MugLast year I had multiple roles with multiple supervisors during that time. I was working with and for several organisations. Throughout the year I was given advice by several of my supervisors. When I look at the advice I was given it was not all consistent. Different people gave me different, often conflicting advice.

  • What are you being told?
  • Is the advice you are receiving conflicting?
  • What advice do you take on?

For me I look at the person giving me the advice. When someone is in a senior role to me or been in the industry longer than me I look at what they have achieved and more importantly what they have become. Who are they really? Is that someone that I would like to be like? If I can answer yes to these questions then I am more likely to take on the advice from that person.

I have been told all sorts of things throughout my life. The advice I have been given has shaped who I have become. However, there is always people willing to give advice, but is it the right advice for me? I think through the advice I have been given and filter it. Filtering the advice to ensure that it is right for me.

The filtering of advice for me is through two filters. The first is around what is it that I want to achieve and be. Is this advice aligned with who I want to be and what I want to be? I then also filter the advice by who is giving me the advice. They are giving me advice through their perceptions and is that aligned with who I want to be and what I want to achieve?

May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

There is no failure in trying

Anna Ovari on Mission Inflatable at Thredbo Pool Leisure CentreIn the last few days I have read, seen and experienced that there is no failure in trying. I have been reading about failure, I have seen people make mistakes and I have experience some failures myself. What I find interesting about failure is that in all the cases I have read, seen and experienced, there was truly no failure.

To the outside world it may seem like failure. The failure may even be embarrassing to oneself. However the truth is that if you have done your best, tried something new, given it a go and learnt lessons from it then it is not really a failure. Failure is not trying, giving up and doing nothing. Trying and learning lessons are all part of success.

I remember last year driving along a road here in Canberra where some roadworks had recently been completed. I was navigating and due to the road changes I guided the vehicle down a dead end street…. Oops! Talk about embarrassing…. I was the senior officer in the group and here I am leading the vehicle down the wrong road.

In the end though it was a good learning lesson. I guided the vehicle back on track in the new road system and had discovered how the new roads work. I took my lesson learnt. In less than a fortnight the new knowledge of the road system paid off as I had a function at a winery in that same area. I was able to get to the winery via the most direct route.

So next time you are faced with failure remember it is only failure if you do not learn from the experience. It is only failure if you do not use the experience for improving yourself or the situation. You are in control of what is success or failure in your life. May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

  • What is something that you failed at?
  • What lessons did you learn from that experience?
  • How did the experience guide you to success?

What is your impact?

Lake GeorgeYesterday I attended the funeral of a friend that was taken too early from this earth. There were plenty of people there, which is a true reflection on the type of person that Jamie was. He was always friendly, helpful and great to work with. At the funeral many people talked about the positive impact that Jamie had on their lives.

I think that is key….. It is not about circumstances that impact you, but instead what impact you have on others that is important. As I took the drive home, that thought keep going over in my head. It is about impact… but the impact that we have on others. It is about our legacy. May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

  • What is your impact on others?
  • What is your legacy?
  • How are you leaving the world a better place?

Remember your wins

  • 1cdf27c8f43ec300fbe181bf86937860Do you recall you last win?
  • Or is your last failure that you have in your mind?
  • Are you thinking about your success or your is it your last embarrassment?

Too many times I think about my failures, my mistakes, my embarrassments and my poor decisions. Yes, I have had many failures. However, it is funny how my failures and uncertainties are recalled far more than my successes. Especially if I leave my mind to it. That said I have also had many many successes. Some very small and some really big.

For myself, I have to remember my wins. I need to remember that I have done good and I have plenty of potential to do better. We all have had wins in our life. We all have had something go right or someone support us. We need to remember these times…. We need to remember the people that have supported us.

I am not saying that we do not deal with past failures and issues to prevent them happening again. However we also need to remember that we have had successes and wins in the past. Through remembering our past successes and wins we can ensure that we keep our failures in their proper perspective. May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

Are you an achiever?

Champage in glasses at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra AustraliaThere are the people that come into an organisation, achieve, contribute, question and improve. Quite often these people will not stay in any role for many years. They are focused on making the organisation a better place and then when they have completed what they can do, they move to another role and start the process again.

These people are respected for their abilities, their achievements and their qualities. They tend to focus more on the outcomes and less on the internal politics of an organisation. They question things that they do not understand and are open to discussing the risks in the strategies, tactics and business practices in order to improve them.

When they are working in a confident and competent team they thrive. They value add and everyone is better for it. People will look to them for guidance, leadership and advice. They are seen as someone that can get the job done. They are achievers.

So are you an achiever?

Values Collide

  • Attila Ovari Playing Chess at the Pancake Parlour in Canberra City on Australia Day 2016Have you ever felt uncomfortable with work practices in your workplace?
  • Have you felt that you did the right thing and yet other people are being rewarded?
  • Do you feel that your work and outcomes are not valued?

I am sure we have all felt like this at some point in our lives. I know there are many times that I felt that I worked hard, got the required results for the organisation and yet I was not valued for doing so. This may be due to a difference in values between yourself and your organisation. I was listening to a podcast this week on the topic.

Mostly this is not about right and wrong in the workplace, but instead what is valued in the workplace. We all have a different set of values and this can lead to conflict or discomfort in the workplace. Depending on the strength of your conviction about some of the values, it can also lead to higher levels of personal stress.

I know in the past I was working on a project where an organisation had a very aggressive approach to marketing. The organisation was following the letter of the law and not violating any laws in its practices. However my personal beliefs and values did not align and I did not believe the organisation was following good business practice.

In the end though, I had a decision to make. Would I follow my values and leave the project or do I suppress my values and do what the organisation wanted? We all have these decisions to make in the workplace. Each time we suppress our values we chip away a little of ourselves. It is not easy when faced with these differences in values, but certainly something we need to learn to work through.

May your passions drive you and your dreams lead you to fulfilling your life’s destiny.

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