52 Personal Truths From 2016

52-surprising-lessons

I’ve learned a lot about myself, business and the world. Here are 52 things that I discovered in 2016. One for every week of the year. Be inspired in 2017.

  1. Be comfortable with not being perfect
  2. Hard work will pay off
  3. You’ve always been good enough
  4. Life has a memory and it usually remembers in your favour
  5. Your true friends see you for who you really are, and stay
  6. You can do anything if you are passionate, focused and stubborn as hell
  7. Your children watch how you react in stressful times, ensure they learn to cope with lives troughs
  8. Your children watch how you celebrate successes, let them see it’s OK to pat yourself on the back and have a good time
  9. There is a wealth of support out there but sometimes, you are “in there” and can’t see what’s out there – come out
  10. Avoid speaking ill of others because you never know their circumstance, who’s listening and you probably seem just as outrageous to them anyway
  11. If someone speaks about someone else, they probably speak to someone else about you
  12. When you get one good idea, watch out! You’ve opened the flood gates, for you will never be short of ideas again!
  13. Listening is a skill that very few people have. You think you listen but you really don’t
  14. The closer you get to someone, the more you see their flaws instead of what makes them beautiful. Be the person who loves unconditionally
  15. People don’t always say what they really think. In fact, being straight-talking is a character trait as rare as unicorns
  16. Don’t underestimate how easy it is to be manipulated – take care of your mind
  17. You don’t have to be friends with everybody but you can still care about everybody so that our world is a caring place
  18. When you hear gossip, let it stop with you – don’t pass it on!
  19. Starting a business is one of the hardest things a person can do
  20. Being a perfectionist is bad for business
  21. Find a challenge you have, and you may have found a new business idea
  22. Sometimes we try really hard and it still doesn’t work – and that’s OK
  23. Love fully and completely – remember life’s memory…
  24. Some friends are not always there but when they are, they light up your day
  25. Be willing to be wrong about the big things and the little things
  26. In reality, you know very little about the world. You’re probably in for a surprise at the end of it all
  27. If you never take a risk, nothing will ever change
  28. You can’t help everybody but you can pray for everybody
  29. Persistence is cumulative. One day, that wall will come tumbling down – keep going!
  30. It’s OK to feel frustrated and exhausted. Just don’t remain frustrated and exhausted
  31. Have at least one person in your life who is straight-talking. It’s like having a unicorn in your garden 🙂
  32. Be passionate in whatever to do. You never know who you’re inspiring
  33. Aspire to be the best You possible. Forget being someone else
  34. You can’t please everyone, and you should never try
  35. There are few things as rejuvenating as an hour of pure thinking time
  36. Hanging out with certain people could be all the inspiration you need
  37. Hanging out with certain people could be all the frustration you need
  38. Most people want to connect with you on a deeper level. If they can’t, they won’t stick around no matter how brilliant, attractive or rich you are
  39. It’s not clear what the future holds but try everyday, to show up that future. It could be amazing!
  40. People who treat you with contempt don’t know your future, just one of their many blind spots
  41. Don’t believe everything you hear. Find things out for yourself
  42. You have instincts for a reason, don’t ignore them
  43. Record the good things that happen to you because it comes in handy when you’re having a bad day
  44. It’s possible to trust someone you’ve never met
  45. It’s possible to mistrust someone you often meet
  46. Take care of your body. It’s the one place you’ll need to live in till you’re gone
  47. The human race is not about who gets there first. It’s about becoming a better person as a result of the journey
  48. You never know your own strength until a situation puts you to the test
  49. Don’t underestimate the power of good habits, they build good character
  50. Be the person that people can confide in. People will respect you for your discretion
  51. Show passion, smile, be the good vibe that people want to be around
  52. Negative people will be negative about every and any thing. Ignore them and get on with being happy
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Translating Things People Say At Work

Read between the lines, people! Read. Between. The. Lines.

You make a comment in a meeting and somebody says, “I don’t disagree.” The person really means, “I completely disagree! Next time, do us a favour and keep your mouth shut.”

You ask if you can set up a meeting about a certain topic (you think it’s important). The person says, “That’d be a great discussion to have…This week is really busy but next week is looking good.” They really mean, “I have more important things to do this week. And next week, I’m on vacation thank goodness.”

You ask a pretty straightforward question. The response is, “It’s yes…and no…” What they’d like to say is, “I wish you never asked me that. You are forcing me to have an opinion. How dare you?”

You peep through the door of a senior manager’s office and say, “Got a minute?” They look up and say, “Absolutely – could you come back in 5 minutes? I just need to finish this email.” Unless you are quite friendly with the manager, what they probably mean is, “Put a meeting in my calendar like everybody else! Some people…”

And my personal favourite:

You show your new idea to a colleague or your boss. They say, “I like your thinking!” The look on their face leads you to believe that they actually mean, “Are you living in a parallel universe?? Or are you on drugs? This will NEVER work here so put it away before you get fired!”

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 office phrases you need to understand

 

There are many ways to express disappointment, criticism and approval in my work life. Here are the top 5  phrases I’ve heard over the years:

5. “We need to move the needle!”

My first reaction to this was, ‘what needle’??? I totally didn’t get it but I know now that it means we need to improve profitability, performance or whatever the speaker fancies.

4. “It’s revenue gone begging!”

I still don’t really get this one to be honest. I think it means that we are losing money that should otherwise be in our pockets??? If someone out there knows how revenue might actually be begging, please get back to me – thanks.

3. “We are just navel-gazing.”

This literally means we are staring at each other’s belly-buttons. So our shirts are either off or too short…. On closer examination, I think it means we are giving each other credit for work that perhaps needs external validation? Again, any geniuses out there can correct me.

2. “We need to get into bed with the customer…”

Eh, there’s no sexual misconduct happening here – promise. This means we need to get closer to the customer, show them some love, TLC. It’s an obvious one I think. I remember wishing this wasn’t thrown around in meetings so much – it made me uncomfortable.

1. “We can’t keep drinking our own bath water!”

I agree because that is a pretty disgusting thing to do. This phrase has the same naming as the navel-gazing comment but it’s obviouslymore…poignant.

Later x

What happened to the Task Mistress?

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I hardly recognise myself.

A few years ago, I was rather naive about ambition and went about it foolishly – to the point of hurting myself. For instance, I once went on a business trip even though I was ill. I ended up having an operation in a foreign country and really resenting myself for not drawing the line. Then I did it again…

Don’t get me wrong. I want to be the best I can be so I keep pushing my limits on all fronts. Can I get more exposure to this? Can I be better at doing that? How can I be prepared to take on more responsibility in X number of years? I am still ambitious but I’m getting wiser about the way I fight my battles – and believe me, I do fight. I think one thing that’s changed is I know now that I can do whatever I set my mind to. But I don’t need to do “whatever”…

Occasionally, it’s not the perfect time to take a vacation but I take it anyway because I miss spending time with my kids and I want a day off to chill out with them. Sometimes, I need to stop the work I’m doing on my laptop and play a card game with my son. And that’s ok. A few years ago, I would have been irritated by the distractions. I admit that I often think, “I’m blowing that opportunity to shine with the bosses” or “I really wanted to beat that deadline so they can see what a high achiever I am.”

I do shine and beat deadlines often but it’s not the be all and end all. I’ve learnt the hard way that my family don’t care what I do. It doesn’t matter whether I work in a grocery store or clean windows or just stay home. They love me.

In my darkest “career moments”, they were there for me even when others said I was “crap” or “average”.

I will always want to do a great job but I also want to make better, fearless decisions about my life. Like I said, I don’t recognise myself. It’s almost like I grow up overnight.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

I was away from home this week. Spending three nights in Florence, Italy for work meetings wasn’t bad at all.

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Hotel Brunnelleschi made me feel at home with a gorgeous bed that looked like it was meant for a Roman princess.

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This Chicken Caesar salad was just incredibly tasty… Indeed, it was a home away from home.

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