Being realistic could kill you

Just been listening to a health care worker and a cancer survivor being interviewed. The survivor was big on mental attitude, having learned that there are three legs to the cancer survivors stool; Mind Body and Spirit The hospital takes care of the body but mind and spirit are up to the patient. The health professional kept going on about “being realistic”. The survivor had a much more interesting message, as he had beat odds of 410,000,000 to 1. There is a lot I could say on this subject but I am going to restrict it to “being realistic”. There are a number of flaws in the health professionals approach. Firstly there is an assumption that they have all the facts correct. There is an assumption that all things, including the cancer patient, are the same. The truth is that everything is subjective. Nothing so complex is measurable or predictable. What I see as being real and what you see as being real are not the same. So the health professional was taking a stance that her perception, her view of the world was more accurate than anyone else’s. But this is how we all feel. We all believe our own paradigm is the true paradigm. The cancer survivor had a very different paradigm and all the health care worker could do was relegate his paradigm to hers. She called this “being realistic”. If the cancer patient had listened to the people advising him to be realistic, he would have been dead, as the odds were against him. Expecting to survive was unrealistic for him. Thankfully he didn’t and...

Against the odds

If I had put in a request for a day in February, on the west coast of Scotland, with blue sky’s, no wind and a balmy 14C, I think it would have been refused. If I had asked for these conditions, so as I could enjoy a weekend break with my wife, I think pretty much everyone would have said I had “a snowballs chance in hell”. But that’s what I got today. My face is feeling like it has been exposed to the sun all day. And I don’t mind telling you that staring at a big blue sky all day is like a colonic for the soul. The above photograph is of a tree I took in Oban. I wanted to show you how blue the sky was but I also had to share my marvel at this determined tree. Its located right on the waters edge, it is fully exposed to the wilds of Oban, which are pretty wild on any other day of the year. Should it be there? No. Is it a good spot for a tree? Absolutely not. And yet there it stands alone but majestic, against the odds. Against the very forces of nature. Ask a lot from life. Ask a lot from each day. Take impossible stances. Be unreasonable. Do what can’t be done. Exist where you...

Designed by happy accident

A few years ago, back when I worked in a factory I coined the term “geographical independence”. My friend dave and I used to dream of a time when we would no longer be tied to the factory and could make our living from anywhere. Back then it was just wishful thinking; a dream if you like. A few years on I added another fanciful notion, to add to “geographical independence”, I decided that I want to hang out, drinking coffee, with interesting people, most probably writers, who have cool things to say. And I suspect when I was a boy, like every other boy, I dreamed of having a Ferrari. Yesterday I was visiting my friend and author, Ali Campbell. (He makes the best coffee ever). He told me about his latest book, which is a cracker. We didn’t get out for a hurl in his new Ferrari because it was a bit icy, so we will save that for a sunny day. I haven’t been tied to an office for over ten years and have been fully geographically independent for at least seven. I have worked from France, Spain, Czech republic , canada and Ukraine, over the last few years and nobody noticed. I have witnessed fanciful notions and boyhood dreams materialise for me and some of the people I know. At the time I asked for these things I had no idea how to achieve them. I’m not sure I initially believed it was possible. But as the dream persisted I had more ideas as to how to bring it to reality. Ali has never mentioned...

It’s great to work with a company that really gets it

Just spent a great afternoon with a client that really gets it. They understand that people are human, not machines. They are genuinely looking to make it work for their employees, their clients and their management. It’s a tall order. Few companies ever manage to meet the needs of all three. Usually one party at least suffers. So how do to delight all three? Simple, remember they are all human. They all have human needs. They will behave as humans and as such this behaviour is predictable; good or bad. Appropriate or not. But the biggest thing is to appreciate people and remember that different personality types need to be appreciated in different ways. To go out of your way to find a way of expressing appreciation, is a very smart and decent thing to do. It promises huge...