How do you act around others?

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As I walk the dog I have noticed something very funny… Some mornings he looks like he is exhausted with his tongue hanging out of his head. He will have his head down and slow down as we walk around the block. However…. When there is another dog around things change. He braces up, head held high and his pace quickens. I see this often and think how funny he is in the way he responses to other dogs.

I got thinking and discovered we humans are the same. We act, dress and talk differently in different crowds. We dress up for a job interview, which is very different to the way we dress on the weekend. We behave differently with people around than when we are alone, or differently when with friends, than when with our boss. Why is this? Does this make us fake?

I think that it depends. If we are acting in ways that at opposites to each other and contradicted each other then I believe this would be fake. However mostly our actions are complementary and are within a framework of the general group. For example if we take drugs on the weekend and then work for a law enforcement agency during the week this would be fake. However If we wear jeans and t-shirt on the weekend at a family BBQ and then a suit to work during the week, this is not contradictory and in fact is showing respect to your role and work.

 

  • What are the ways you change around people?
  • Is it contractory the way you change or just adjusting to the situation?

 

 

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Breaking a Habit

Do you have habits that you would like to change? Maybe it is a change in diet, maybe a change in sleeping habits, maybe it is change in routine or maybe it is around exercise. Whatever the habit, have you noticed how hard it can be? One definition of a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” So what can you do to change a habit? There is two suggestions that I would like to make today.

The first is to replace the habit with another habit. Instead of trying to stop one habit, which is hard to do, work on replacing it with another…. For myself I like to snack all day, sometimes not having lunch. Instead of stopping the snacking, I have worked on replacing the chocolate and processed food, like muesli bars with fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. In this way I have been able to eat healthier with less effort than just trying to stop snacking.

The second suggestion is to reward yourself for breaking a habit. If you do not have a habit that you can replace your current habit with, try rewarding yourself for stopping the habit. For example, I have started getting out of bed early to exercise before work…. I do like my sleep, so I reward myself with some time to read most mornings as well. I do like reading books….

 

  • What habits do you want to change?
  • What habit can you replace the current habit with?
  • What way can you reward yourself for breaking the habit?

 

 

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New Phone

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In the last month I have replaced my old iPhone 3 with a Sony Xperia Z3…. It was time to replace my old phone as it was 4 years old, not holding charge very well, cracked and was not turning off. I guess it was a casualty of my lifestyle of travel, adventure and pushing on. But what phone to choose. Do I go for the Apple iOS platform or do I go for a Windows based phone or one on the Android Platform?

Though I like the easy of use for the Apple iPhone, I was not impressed by the restricted iOS platform. Also in the end the new iPhone did not have the camera that I was looking for. The Windows platform would sync better with the Surface Pro that I use for my computer platform, however the Windows Platform did not have the applications and usability that I have come used too.

So Android it is… But which phone should I choose? For me it was about the camera. I take a fair few pictures and people get annoyed that the photos are not that clear. In the end it came down between the Sony and the Samsung. Though the Samsung seems to be more popular, I choose the Sony. The reason for this was based on feedback from friends and also the Sony seemed a little more robust.

I must admit I am very happy with my choice. The Sony Xperia Z3 is a very good phone, it seems to be robust, take great photos and videos. There are a few limitations in terms of applications on the Android platform that I had to adjust too, however I am now adjusted and enjoying my new phone.

 

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Are you going thru a Storm in your life?

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Here in Canberra we have had a number of storms over the last few weeks. Just prior to a storm the sky is full of beautiful colours, including reds, oranges, blues and greys. The storm itself makes it unpleasant to go outside. It makes the roads slippery and dangerous. Then in the afterwards of a storm the air is fresh and the garden comes to life.

 

  • Are there storm clouds brewing in your life?
  • Are you going thru a storm?
  • Are you coming out of a storm?

 

If storm clouds are brewing in your life then I would suggest that you find a way to either avoid the storm or find a place to shelter from the storm. Do not get caught outside without shelter because you were admiring the beautiful colours in the sky.

If you are in the middle of a storm, this from my experience, is the hardest time of any storm. It is unpleasant, uncomfortable and can even be dangerous. When in a storm I generally find shelter and plan a way to sit out the storm. Though hard at the time, I also remind myself that storms do not last forever.

When a storm is over the air is fresher and there is opportunity for growth. After experiencing a storm in my life, I find that the storm has often cleared some of the tension that existed prior to the storm. With the clearing of tension, I like to look at the opportunities that would be available into the future.

 

  • How can you shelter from a storm in your life?
  • How do you remind yourself that storms do not last forever?
  • How have you seized the opportunities after a storm?

 

 

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Adventure is New Experiences

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The other day someone asked me about my passions in life. One of my answers was adventure. I was then asked about what I meant by adventure…. I thought this was a good question as adventure can be different for different people. Adventure is a personal thing. For some people adventure is travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures, for others it is doing activities like rock climbing or parachuting. Then for others an adventure would be to go back to studies and do a degree.

It got me thinking about what is adventure…. One definition of adventure is “an unusual and exciting or daring experience.” Hence this would be different for different people… Adventure is a personal experience. To me it seems that adventure is about getting outside one’s comfort zone and experiencing something new. For me this truly sums up adventure. Participating in activities that I have not done before. It adds to my life experience and my knowledge base, while at the same time helping me to overcome fears.

 

  • What is adventure for you?
  • Do you enjoy adventure?
  • What is your next adventure?

 

 

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Is God testing me?

 

  • Have you ever had a lot of pressure on you?
  • Does it seem like everything is against you?
  • Do you wonder why this is the case?

 

At this very moment I have a lot having in the work part of my life. This includes multiple roles and projects with deadlines all around the same time. This type of pressure can give you sleepless nights and at the same time exhaust you. In the end the thought of the outstanding tasks becomes larger than the tasks themselves….. Everywhere I look it can seem like that God is testing me.

I find that while I am in a tizzy and thinking about all the things that I need to do, I end up not doing anything. So I have developed a process to deal with my workload which is:

  • Firstly I breath…. I take a moment to actually put all the tasks to the side and realise that the world will not stop if I do not get everything done.
  • Secondly I focus on one thing at a time…. By doing tasks one at a time I find that I actually make progress and realise that the tasks are not as big as I thought.
  • Thirdly I let go…. I truly believe that God will only give me what I can handle. Yes he will stretch me, but I will only have on my plate what I can deal with. This means that what I cannot do I have to let go of.

Through following these three steps, I find that I can take myself from stressed and overwhelmed to focused and purposeful. My mindset goes from panicked to one of mission focused. In the end I find myself productive…..

 

  • What do you do when you feel stressed and overwhelmed?
  • What are your coping methods?
  • How do you get back on a productive track?

 

 

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Children Do Listen

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As a part of my daily routine I listen to a lot of podcasts. I find the podcasts give me a positive lift for the day and I learn from them. To this end I have them playing in the car while the children are also in the car. I have had mixed reactions from the children, however I have come to realise the positive impacts of the podcasts in their lives.

For example the other week I was dropping my son off at Tae Kwon Do and we had a conversation about university. He had a concern about being able to do university without debt, as I listen to the Dave Ramsey Show. It was good to be able to discuss with him about how I have two degrees and no debt and he can too.

Then there was the other weekend when we went for a family camp down the coast and one of my daughters started to talk about her favourite interview question on the “Entrepreneur on Fire” podcast. It is the last question about what would you do if you woke up in another world like earth with…… The interviewees give great answers to this question.

I personally think that it is great that it is not just myself, but my children, that are getting the positive influence from these and other podcasts. It is not just the impact that these podcasts can have on their lives, but also the interesting discussions we have about the topics of the podcasts. After all, would it be great if we all had children that completed their studies without debt to have to pay back…….

 

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Preoccupied with everything else in his life

The other day in the office there was a disconnect with a gentleman that works there. I observed a conversation where the two people were on completely different wave lengths. As we observed this interaction one of the other ladies in the office commented “preoccupied with everything else in his life”. The reality is that this is most likely the truth.

We are all preoccupied with everything else in our lives…. How many times have you had a conversation or discussion with someone and the two of you have been on different wavelengths? If you are like me, it is more often than you can imagine. I know recently that I had to talk with a staff member that was not performing at the level that they are capable of. In asking questions I discovered that there is a lot going on in their personal life.

So next time you are talking, discussing and tasking someone, think about are we on the same wavelength or are either of us preoccupied with life? I find that asking questions of the other person helps me to understand the preoccupations of the other person.

 

  • How do you understand the preoccupations of the people around you?
  • How do you work through the preoccupations of others?
  • How do you manage your preoccupations?

 

 

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Asking the Right Questions

The asking of questions is a good way to gain knowledge and understanding. The asking of questions can help to clarify a point. Of course this is the case if the asker of the questions is doing so from a position of curiosity. It is important that questions are not used as a tool to pressure or push an opinion on someone. Being curious is the key to gaining knowledge and understanding.

However being curious is not enough…. We need to ensure we ask the right questions. This includes challenging assumptions. How many times have you been asked a question that has an assumption in it? When asked a question that has an assumption in it, it is hard to answer the question. When asking questions ensure that you do not have an assumption in it… Also ask questions to challenge the assumptions. Challenge assumptions to ensure they are grounded in fact. Challenge assumptions to ensure that they are correct.

Another point that I would like to add is to ensure that your questions open up conversations. I know when I ask a question that has a Yes or No answer it often leads to a dead end conversation. Instead of asking “Is this the case?” I am working on asking the question “What is the case?” The second question is more likely to increase my knowledge and understanding. It is more likely that I will discover something that I did not know.

Today I challenge you to review the questions that you ask…. I challenge you to ask open questions from a position of curiosity. I also challenge you to ask questions that test assumptions. With this curiosity and the right questions I am sure that we will develop our knowledge and understanding.

 

  • What type of questions to you ask?
  • Do you approach questions from a position of curiosity?
  • How do you challenge assumptions?

 

 

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Returning Home

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The other week when we were returning home from from our week long army exercise there was a great sense of emotion that came over me… I felt these emotions in three ways:

  • Joy,
  • Satisfaction, and
  • Lost.

There was the joy of going home to see loved ones. When away on exercise you are away from the ones you love. They wait patiently at home while you are caught up with activities of the exercise.

There is satisfaction of getting in and doing the job well. Working together as a team on exercise you work crazy hours and do a bunch of tasks that is different to what I do in civilian life. Getting these tasks done, brings a sense of satisfaction in the outcomes and training.

There is lost. The lost is of the mateship you develop when serving together in the service. Out in the field no one person can perform their role without the support of others. There is a special mateship that develops when out in the field for a period.

It has been good to be home again, while at the same time we have the next exercise on the horizon. So I guess it is all about enjoying the moment and planning for the future….

 

  • How do you enjoy the moment, while planning for the future?

 

 

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