Embrace the Shift: Crafting a Remarkable 2024 Together
In a world where the strains of war, human savagery, poverty, limited opportunities, prejudice, and ill health linger, it’s both a privilege and a challenge to find moments of hope. Amidst the complexities of our reality, there’s a unique joy in savouring the sweet melodyof possibility and embracing the optimistic air that life can offer.
Enter the timeless wisdom of Henry Ford: “If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t.” Join me in this light-hearted exploration, where we celebrate the transformative power of attitude.
In this newsletter, we go on a journey to explore how each of us can contribute to making 2024 different and better. We’ll navigate three key realms that shape our lives.
1. Happier and More Productive at Work:
Amidst the hustle of our professional lives, the quest for happiness and productivity is a journey worth undertaking. This segment is a deep dive into strategies that can transform your workdays into sources of joy and accomplishment. From cultivating a positive work culture to embracing productivity hacks, let’s explore ways to make your professional journey not just successful, but genuinely fulfilling.
Cultivating Joy in the Workplace: Infuse joy into your work environment by fostering a positive and collaborative culture. Recognize the importance of celebrating achievements, supporting colleagues, and creating a workspace that inspires creativity and enthusiasm.
Productivity Hacks for Success: Unlock the secrets to a more productive workday by embracing effective strategies. From time management techniques to harnessing the power of focus, discover hacks that can amplify your efficiency and create a more rewarding professional experience.
Balancing Joy and Productivity: In the pursuit of a happier and more productive work life, find the balance that works for you. Strive for a workspace that not only fuels your professional success but also contributes to your overall sense of contentment and accomplishment
Navigating the Team Terrain: Lessons from My Global Business Journey!
Having led businesses worldwide, one intriguing pattern emerged when inheriting a new team—three thirds of extraordinary employees:
- 1/3 Actively Disengaged
- 1/3 Underperforming and Achieving
- 1/3 Having Fun and Being Productive
This breakdown, backed by research from McKinsey and HBR, sheds light on the diverse dynamics within teams. Now, let’s talk about finding joy in your job, a vital need for the human soul. Check out this insightful HBR podcast link for a deeper dive. Here are my key takeaways:
- Speak Up About Your Preferences: Expressing what you enjoy or don’t enjoy to your managers is crucial. A simple “I really enjoy this!” or “Can we explore opportunities to do less of this?” helps your firm understand your strengths and career aspirations.
- Explore Opportunities Within Your Firm: Before considering leaving your job, have you asked your boss about potential opportunities aligned with your interests? Your dream role might be within reach, and you’re not even aware of it.
- Embrace Intention and Vividness: Marcos Buckingham’s advice on bringing more intention and vividness to work resonates. Instead of investing just 20% of your energy, consider giving 50% or even 100%. Take initiative, and turn your natural love into a meaningful contribution.
- Flip the Script on Unpleasant Tasks: Contrary to the advice of tackling disliked tasks first, consider starting with things that make you happy, suggested by Mark. This approach energises you, providing the motivation to confront less enjoyable tasks.
Remember, your happiness at work matters, and taking proactive steps can transform your experience.
URGENT & IMPORTANT – PRIORITISATION AT ITS BEST FOR 2024!
I am a huge believer in thinking of priorities, not in terms of what activities we do, but when we do them, and am forever scheduling actions into my calendar for today, next month and the following year! There are many ways to be organised and manage oneself, be it through a calendar, list, Kanban board, etc. Whether it’s a month-long holiday or a quick trip to the supermarket, planning what you need is the most efficient and effective way to gain the desired outcome whilst getting much done in any given time period. Time bounding for me is essential to track the minutes I’m spending on work, calls, hobbies and myself! I think it’s just as critical to plan your personal time as it is your profession so that scope creep doesn’t stop you from doing what keeps us physically and mentally strong! In the below quote, I love how Stephen Covey highlights that actions assume the importance of their immediacy.
Navigating the Professional Waters: A Guide to Not Taking Work Personally
In the dynamic world of work, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves emotionally invested in our professional endeavours. However, mastering the art of not taking work personally is essential for maintaining a healthy balance between our personal and professional lives. Here’s a roadmap to help you detach and thrive:
- Separate Identity from Role:
- Remember, your job is what you do, not who you are. Cultivate a clear distinction between your professional role and your personal identity. Your worth is not solely defined by your work.
- Constructive Feedback Mindset:
- Embrace feedback as a tool for growth, not a personal attack. Feedback is an opportunity to enhance your skills, not a reflection of your character. Approach it with a mindset of improvement rather than criticism.
- Establish Boundaries:
- Define clear boundaries between work and personal life. When the workday ends, allow yourself to disengage mentally. Create sacred spaces and times for personal activities to foster a sense of balance.
- Focus on Solutions, Not Blame:
- When challenges arise, shift your focus from assigning blame to finding solutions. A proactive approach not only resolves issues more efficiently but also minimises the emotional toll of taking things personally.
- Cultivate Resilience:
- Develop resilience by acknowledging that setbacks and challenges are inherent in any profession. View them as opportunities to learn and adapt, rather than personal shortcomings.
- Seek Perspective:
- Consult colleagues or mentors for an objective perspective. Sometimes, an external viewpoint can provide valuable insights and help you see situations more impartially.
- Mindfulness Practices:
- Engage in mindfulness activities to stay present and centred. Practices such as meditation or deep breathing can help you manage stress and prevent the infiltration of personal feelings into your work.
- Engage in mindfulness activities to stay present and centred. Practices such as meditation or deep breathing can help you manage stress and prevent the infiltration of personal feelings into your work.
As we wrap up our exploration into cultivating happiness and productivity at work, remember that the key lies in finding joy in the journey, fostering positive collaborations, and embracing a mindset of continual growth. May your professional path be illuminated with fulfilment and success, creating a workplace that inspires and invigorates.
2. Personal Well Being, Relationships, Family & Friends:
In the canvas of our lives, personal wellbeing and relationships form the vibrant hues that bring joy and fulfilment. Let’s explore the art of cultivating happiness within ourselves and nurturing meaningful connections with family and friends. From self-care practices to fostering stronger bonds, this segment is a celebration of the factors that colour our lives with richness and warmth.
Cultivating Personal Wellbeing: Begin the journey by embracing practices that enhance your personal wellbeing. Whether it’s mindfulness, physical activity, or moments of quiet reflection, weave these threads into your daily life. A happy and balanced self is the foundation for a more fulfilling journey.
Strengthening Relationships: As we navigate the delicate dance of relationships, let’s reflect on the significance of connection. From quality time with family to fostering deep friendships, these relationships contribute to the fabric of our lives. Explore ways to strengthen these bonds, creating a support system that adds depth and resilience to your journey.
A Harmonious Blend: In the pursuit of personal happiness and thriving relationships, seek a harmonious blend that enriches both aspects of your life. Balancing personal wellbeing with meaningful connections creates a tapestry that is not only beautiful but also resilient in the face of life’s challenges.
My Blended Family Learnings
I want to share a little piece of my heart about navigating the beautiful chaos of a blended family—a journey that started in a remote corner of the world and has been evolving for the past 20 years with the Clarksons.
Being a reluctant parent, a willing grandmother, a troubled daughter, an elder sister, and a thoughtful aunt has taught me a few valuable lessons:
Perspective is Key:
- Trying often to see things from another family member’s perspective has been a game-changer. It’s not all about your perception, and understanding where others are coming from fosters a stronger bond.
The Power of Truth:
- There are no consequences for telling the truth in our family, and we’ve adopted a ‘never shoot the messenger’ policy. Open communication is the lifeline that keeps us connected.
Ask Anything, Everything, Often:
- In our family, there’s no such thing as a silly question. We encourage each other to ask anything, everything, and often. It’s a safe space for curiosity to thrive.
- No one knows everything, and the beauty lies in our ability to learn from each other. If we don’t have the answers, we embark on the journey of discovery together, strengthening our bonds in the process.
- We all make mistakes, but here’s the kicker—they shouldn’t define us. Instead, they become stepping stones for learning and growth. It’s a journey, not a destination.
Interested and Interesting:
- Regardless of our mindset, being interested and interesting for family as we would be for friends feels not just respectful but incredibly healthy. It’s about cherishing each other’s stories and creating a space for shared experiences.
So, that’s a glimpse into the lessons my blended family has taught me. Remember, we’re all a work in progress, and the beauty lies in growing together. Cheers to the ever-evolving adventure of family life!
THE PARADOX OF LISTENING TO OUR BODIES!
I listen in equal measure to my gut, my heart and my brain which I think has stood me in good decision making stead over the years! Scientists call our ability to feel what’s happening inside our bodies interoception. Interoception is an inner sense having to do with our bodily processes and can be divided into 3 categories. The third category refers to how our bodies and minds, together, sense and respond to the flow of events. When we talk about “listening to our bodies” or “going with our guts.”
@Jessica Wapner the writer of this great @New Yorker piece shared “On a recent Zoom call, Tim Dalgleish, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, told me that the body is constantly delivering a set of signals—changes in our heart rates, breathing, digestion, and so on—that fluctuate along with the events we are encountering. It’s tempting to see the flow of information as one-way, from the mind to the body; we might understand an escalating heart rate, say, as a “reaction” to a feeling of nervousness. (An exam is placed on our desks, we grow nervous, and our hearts start racing in response.) But Dalgleish told me that it made more sense to think of the body and mind working synchronously as part of a single “prediction system.” “I don’t think we are ‘reacting’ to anything,” he said. Instead, we are constantly forecasting what is about to happen, with our bodies and minds contributing to that forecast. “There’s a mental component and a bodily component,” Dalgleish said. “They both happen at the same time.”
I love that when we talk about “listening to our bodies” or “going with our guts,” we are often talking about this type of interoception. Close your eyes at any given moment, and you can gauge your overall mood—good, bad, excited, tired, a bit down, or generally pleased. This mood combines what’s going on in your mind with how your organs, muscles, and nerves are embodying the moment. “Interoception is your ability to notice that signal,” Dalgleish said.
Love this article! Do you listen to your body? What do you interpret?
FINDING “FLOW” FOR A HAPPIER LIFE!
In my September Newsletter (https://lnkd.in/eZxx8k4v) I shared that as a little girl, I was very hyper and always looking for adventure. Sometimes when I couldn’t find the stimulation I craved, I would say “I’m bored”. My dad would reply, “Those who say they’re bored and can’t occupy themselves with interesting pastimes are themselves quite boring!” This mantra has stayed with me throughout my life and I think of my father’s words often to ensure I am interested and interesting in all the activities I engage in!
In more recent years, I have been very privileged to be playing tennis regularly and loving it. In my new home I have a great tennis coach James Buddell and play Mondays and Fridays. I am learning that the more you play, the more you find a rhythm and dare I say it, flow?
There are some physical changes that happen when one is in flow that improve concentration, cognitive awareness and the lifting of one’s mood which I am finding very easy to apply with a good coach.
I love these motivational flow quotes:
- “When I experience flow I feel really, really focused and everything seems to work for me,” Anonymous.
- “You just feel confident in everything you do; there’s no negative thoughts coming in, so you just feel like you can perform at your best each time,” Anonymous
Have you found flow in any areas of your sporting life that makes you feel happier? Love to hear your comments!
Let’s carry forward the commitment to nurturing our own happiness and fostering meaningful connections. May your journey be marked by moments of joy, strengthened bonds, and a harmonious balance between personal and relational fulfilment.
3. Purpose and Giving Back:
Life gains profound meaning when driven by purpose. In this section, let’s unravel the transformative power of purpose-driven living. Explore avenues to give back to the community and align your actions with a sense of purpose, contributing not only to your personal fulfilment but also to the greater good. Join me on this journey of purposeful impact.
Embarking on a Journey of Purpose: Discovering your purpose is a voyage of self-discovery and reflection. It’s the guiding light that directs your actions, aligning them with your core values and aspirations. Whether you find purpose in everyday gestures or dedicate yourself to a cause, the journey towards purposeful living is transformative.
The Echoing Impact of Giving Back: Giving back is like casting a stone into a pond; the ripples extend far beyond the initial act. It’s a gesture that resonates with others, creating a collective wave of positive change. Whether through small daily kindness or dedicated philanthropy, every contribution, no matter how modest, adds to the greater good.
Crafting a Legacy of Impact: In giving back, we craft a legacy that goes beyond our individual journey. It’s about leaving a mark on the lives of others, contributing to our communities, and shaping a world defined by positive influence. Embrace the chance to be a catalyst for change and to weave a future marked by purposeful impact.
As we navigate the beauty of giving back and purpose, let’s carry this essence forward in our actions, creating a shared story of meaningful contribution. Here’s to purposeful living and the transformative magic of giving back. 🌍✨
My Purpose Focus for the year?
My Purpose Focus this year is on our local communities in Norfolk UK and Panwa Cape Thailand doing what I can to help wherever our friends and neighbours need us
I look to start new Academies for Youth with Potential in SE Asia as our first school at Sri Panwa is thriving, amazing students from all cultures and religions learning English and Socialisation skills and two young girls passing the entrance exams and going to University. Khun Sarah and Alysea are patient creative and superb teachers who I am lucky to know and together we go from strength to strength helping young people with potential embrace personal learning strategies
In Gressenhall Norfolk surrounded by amazing folks who create a high bar of friendship support and giving, we are helping to fund raise for the villages Children’s Play Park and active in local community energy and cycling programs
The spirit and practice of Tikkun Olam is strong and richly fulfilling
I also have made a strong commitment to myself this year that I will continue to be involved in meetings, calls, sessions where strong mutual respect is demonstrated, appreciation and recognition given and shared values embraced. Where folks are interested and interesting, such sessions are a joy!
Purpose & Impact – At The Heart of Giving
As I think about the year ahead I am struck by the context of my 63rd year.
Broadly speaking from years 5 to 25 I was so so focused on learning and passing the numerous tests necessary to prove to the world I was employable and acceptable!
Then from 25 to 30, I chose wisely who I worked for – finding great mentors, friends, and supporting my family.
Whilst leading and driving huge change from 30 to 45 it was critical I remain teachable, open to new approaches/people and up until the age of 50 using my influence and building an extraordinary foundation of relationships across the world so that now together we give back with purpose and impact
It’s now time – my 60th year – that purpose and impact will be my focus. It fills my heart with joy and my head is full of interventions that can and will make a difference.
With so much turmoil and uncertainty at the start of this year how does your heart feel and what will you focus on?
I would love to get your insights and advice.
How a little more silence in our lives helps us grow
I am thinking about hearing and the sound of silence in our remote Norfolk home in a very different way as in the last couple of months I’ve experienced hearing degradation of more than 40% across both ears. This has been a difficult time for me as I’m living with hearing in very different ways: learning to cope with noise, valuing silent moments and understanding how to adapt using tech assisted approaches to listening and tuning in!
Observing baby True as he boisterously explores the world, I’m noticing how silence and quiet time is so so important for him and his parents too. The value of silent moments in our lives as adults and children is shared in this wonderful NRP article I recently came across (https://lnkd.in/erPdTxfM). The article states that silence is difficult to find and create for adults and kids alike, but when the world is quieter our brains pay more attention!
A few points that stand out for me and I’d love to share with you:
🗣️ When you repeat things to yourself, you remember them: As we teach baby True to speak, singing nursery rhymes and telling him about the sounds around him like birds chirping and bees buzzing, are all ways he is learning about noise and how to interact with it.
🎸 Making meaningful sounds like playing a musical instrument or singing is said to build and strengthen neural connections! So, singing songs while riding on our tandem brings joy and fun, as well as brain power!
🍃 Tuning in a little more to our natural sound environments by listening to the running water of a stream and leaves rustling can be totally calming and connect us to our planet too!
The stigma around hearing difficulties is astounding to me – the majority of people who have an eye test and require glasses will get them, whereas more than half of those who have hearing degradation say no thank you to help and turn away!
What are the silent moments in your life you cherish? Please share in the comments! So appreciate your support as I lean into this theme of listening and sound over the coming months.
As we bid farewell to this newsletter, let’s revel in the glow of inspiration and the assurance of positive transformation. Each section has been a window into the kaleidoscope of opportunities awaiting us in 2024. Whether brightening our workdays, fostering connections, or finding purpose in giving back, we’ve ventured into a journey of self-discovery and growth.
I hope this little newsletter helps to envision your 2024 as a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of joy, purpose, and success. May each day be a delightful journey marked by growth, meaningful connections, and boundless possibilities.
Here’s to a year that exceeds expectations, revealing itself like a storybook of wonderful surprises. Until our paths cross again in our next exploration, keep the flame of inspiration burning, stay positive, and ensure every moment resonates with significance.
In the spirit of unity, let’s reflect on the profound truth that “we are all leaves of one tree, and we are all waves of one sea.” Here’s to fostering more togetherness and unity in our lives throughout 2024.
Wishing you a year brimming with shared experiences and collective growth.