Category Archives: Awareness

Life without Commas & Full Stops

No different to the sentence you’re reading right now, what we find at the end of every sentence is some form of grammatical function – usually a comma or full stop.

Can you imagine what our everyday communication (written or spoken) would be like in the absence of those little friends – it would be nothing other than incoherent noise.

Grammatical rules are the unspoken laws that bring meaning out of the potential chaos of our everyday speech. While tiny in comparison to the volume of words, they are irreplaceable.

Yet, in our hurry up, busy-busy world, this is so often how we live our day-to-day lives – charging from ‘doing’ this to ‘doing’ that without any commas and full stops. When we bring these unspoken laws back into our lives, pausing and reflecting between actions, we find a whole new level and potentiality.

Question: Practicing self-observation today, to what extent are you able to pause between one thing and another – and what is the effect thereof?

THE STRETCH ZONE – Fear can BECOME the Problem!!

When we step outside our comfort zone the fear that arises in the face of threatening situations is neither good nor bad, it is a natural response and nature’s way of charging us with an intense energy to meet adversity.

While the fear itself is NOT the problem (potential advantage) the intense energy can BECOME the problem pushing and pulling us in unhelpful directions if we do not bring the thinking that governs it under observation.

The encircling doubt that arises under pressure is the ‘thinking’ that hijacks fear as nature’s gift of energy, channeling it in the direction of the negative ‘thinking’ – and fear then pushes and pulls us all over the place.

Like a yacht’s sail harvests the wind’s energy, which is channeled constructively by way of the vessel’s rudder, when nature’s impulse of energy is channeled by doubt, intoxicated by negative thinking the fear becomes like a tempest pushing and pulling us indiscriminately, undermining our performance and potential in the process.

Question: When under the pressure of your stretch zone to what extent are you aware of the effect that unintentional doubt has on your emotional state – at the time?

Active Listening or Actual Listening

In the management sciences we hear of the importance of ‘active listening’, the practice of listening proactively, supplementing listening with body language and vocal signposts to convey our intent to listen.

Yet in its essence listening is nothing other than giving full and undivided attention. It is about attention and nothing else. To truly listen is the greatest compliment, a mark of genuine respect.

‘Active listening’ is about adding something extra to ‘actual listening’, it is about been seen to be listening rather than listening itself – dividing our attention between the listening and the tricks to boost ‘listening’.

When we truly listen with attention undivided everything falls into place quite naturally including our body language. With ‘actual listening’ listening is authentic and congruent – and we’re never in doubt that someone is actually listening – and rather than a pretence the compliment is a genuine mark of respect.

Question: Within day-to-day conversations to what extent is your attention singularly focused with undivided attention on the person in front of you? 

THE STRETCH ZONE – Living Anxiety in Advance!!

In his inspirational writings Seth Godin said: ‘anxiety is nothing – but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste’.

At the threshold of our COMFORT ZONE, under the pressure of those moments that really matter, we so often hold ourselves back unnecessarily imagining what might happen.

Hesitant at the threshold the mind is hijacked by fear and doubt about what happened last time or what might happen this time – repeatedly re-experiencing imagined failure in advance.

This reality is nothing but fiction – a fiction that so often dominates our reality. What holds back our potential is nothing other than conditioned doubt as we re-experience failure in advance. When we disconnect with doubt’s fiction and reconnect with the moment’s reality – opportunity happens with confidence!!

Question: When under the pressure of your STRETCH ZONE to what extent are you aware of your mind repeatedly re-experiencing imagined failure in advance – and what is the effect thereof?

THE STRETCH ZONE – Life’s Curved Ball

Of one thing we can be certain; life has a way of testing us in all sorts of different ways, in different contexts, with different people, often when we least expect it – taking us outside our COMFORT ZONE.

Life must have a sense of humour as just when we think we’ve got life sorted and we’ve got a bit too much swagger it seems to throw us a curved ball – not so funny when we’re on the receiving end.

Besides death (and taxes) the only certainty in life is uncertainty and the threshold of our STRETCH ZONE seems to be a not-too-distant reality just waiting to nudge us outside our COMFORT ZONE.

The nice thing about being on the receiving end of life’s curved ball is that it wakes us up, sometimes unceremoniously, but it wakes us up nonetheless. And when we wake up lethargy is displaced with vitality, complacency with purpose and stagnation with achievement – and we begin to discover our best!!

Question: In what way is life testing you and taking you outside your COMFORT ZONE at the moment?