“Watch your thoughts,
for they become your words.
Watch your words,
for they become your actions.
Watch your actions,
for they become your habits.
Watch your habits,
for they become your character.
Watch your character,
for they become your destiny.”
Author unknown – taken from an article in Communication Arts.
I know this pain. Why do you lock yourself up in these chains?
No one can change your life except for you. Don’t ever let anyone step all over you.
Just open your heart and your mind. Is it really fair to feel this way inside?
Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye.
Until then, are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry?
Don’t you know? Don’t you know, things can change.
Things will go your way. If you hold on for one more day.
Can you hold on for one more day? Things’ll go your way.
Hold on for one more day.
Couldnt resist blogging this. Yes, it’s THAT song by Wilson Phillips – remember them? I thought I’d revive that again in the 21st century. As corny as this sounds, this song’s lyrics gave me inspiration.
Sometimes we all need to look back in order to go forward. Never forget where you once were, and never lose sight of where you going. Who you are, and what you stand for. It sounds petty and small for some, but in this world, its what either makes or breaks you.
These are called values. A word too often loosely used in businesses who dont value, value enough.
I hope this brings you one more day to hold on to whatever it is you are hoping for in your life. Giving up on something or even someone is so easy. Holding on and persevering is hard work. It looks easy on the outside, but it can kill all hope on the inside if things don’t go your way – or gets worse – over a long period of time. I felt that recently. But somehow, someone and something comes along and inspires you. In this case, my ‘something’ is this song so … hold on for one more day…
You gotta smirk or giggle a little when you watch this video again… 🙂
‘Jou ma’ is a phrase in the Afrikaans language usually used as ‘jou ma se’. It’s a swear phrase in Afrikaans slang. Which leads me to my story …
I took a few days off from work to spend with my 5-year-old during the school holidays. This was what I heard all day sung in a song-like manner, “jou ma, jou ma, jou ma”. Those were the only words sung. And she sang this with pride. Little did she know what it meant. So I’d be in the kitchen, and she’ll be walking pass singing that song. She’d be in the bathroom, and as I passed by, I’d hear that song again! Can I even call it a song?! While drawing. While playing. That song wasnt far away. Just those two words. Where she picked it up from, I’ll never know. What I do know is that by day 5, I was starting to say in my head “jou ma se”! 🙂
That was one of the things that made me smile (and sometimes cry) during my time at home with her. But I realised one more thing. And I love to think about stuff. Too much for my own good sometimes.
I realised that in those 5 wonderful days, I had a lot more patience and took time to listen to her more. I think she felt the same way too. We had time to have fun. We had time to spend with things that matter like baking a chocolate cake together.
The business of our lives is what shortens my patience. Not work or school. It’s the rushing around from home to school to work. Then rushing back to school to fetch child – on time, and the rush back home to make supper, do homework, spend a little time with the kid, and off to bed – on time – because we don’t want her falling asleep in class! Then its my time, and that usually goes into early hours next morning.
The time we get on a week night or over a weekend, is only enough to refuel, but not reconnect.
For now, there’s nothing much I can do about this. Except this:
The little time we make to spend with the important things of this life is, precious time. Thats why its precious, because it’s in limitation.
So, I’m grateful for precious time. I never wish it away. What I do wish away is that ‘song’ in my head… ‘jou ma, jou ma’!
This is a book I am currently reading. Its recommended by David Ogilvy to read. Twice! These are some of the learnings I liked.
1. Make the subject heading clear and compelling
- Its worth studying newspapers, particularly The Wall Street Journal, to understand what kinds of headlines convert scanners to readers.
- Oh, and caution against marking emails URGENT.
2. Get to the point
- Chip away at anything that isn’t your point. Anything over one screen risks not being read. If longer then send as an attachment.
3. The right tone
- Sometimes its wise to respond, “Let me think about it overnight. I’ll get back to you in the morning”.
- Compose yourself, then compose your message.
- Nothing is private on a work email. ALWAYS remember that.
- Never put anything personally negative in an email. EVER. Hard to resist I know, but let’s try this together.
4. Email etiquette
- Dont broadcast supposedly interesting email material unless you know their interests. It’s the e-mail equivalent of junk mail.
- If you want action, list only one name in the TO: field. With more than one name, it is not clear who has the responsibility to act and becomes likely that no one will take it on.
- Reply All may be the most dangerous button on the screen. Count to ten before you unleash this plague on your victims.
5. Email tag – Avoid it.
- Dont forget the context of your mail to avoid email tag. Be clear about the purpose of your mail. Ask yourself: What do you want the reader to do?
I loved this section in the book on email. Its hard though. All I want to do is explain myself on email, and then I remember to stop. With practice, it becomes second nature. Can’t wait to absorb the rest of this book.
… yes, I accept that.
I recently got asked this by one of the teacher’s at my child’s school. I had an emblem on the back of my jacket that made her think I was part of a biker club. Hmm… a biker?… intriguing. If its anything like the series, Sons of Anarchy, then I accept that! And I will ride that story like a Harley Davidson … that is, if I were a biker 🙂
I had an opportunity to feel – even just for a moment – like a biker. Instead what did I say? I said, “No, I’m not. Where’s my child that I came to fetch?”
Driving home afterward I thought, what if I had said yes? Where would that conversation have gone? What would that teacher be thinking of me now? Would her idea of me or my child change?
I hope not.
Often I take myself too seriously. I miss opportunities like this. Not to lie, just to play along for a while. Long enough to find out why that person asked that question. Its interesting to see yourself through the eyes of others.
So next time someone asks you “Are you a model? Or “Are you an actor?” Or “Are you a biker?” Just think about it for a second, and decide where you’d like that conversation to go. Then listen closely. You’ll be fascinated why people see you the way they do. It might even change how you see yourself.
FYI… always make a point of telling the truth. You don’t have to lie to be biker, an actor or a model. You just have to be you. How interesting that person is, well… that’s up to you.
Enjoy the ride! For me, the closest I’ll ever get to a biker is through watching Sons of Anarchy …and, I accept that 🙂
“The most influencial person who will talk to you all day, is you. So, you should be very careful what you say to you.”
Quote by master motivator, Zig Ziglar.
Ever unsure of the direction your career should take?
Most of us have, or will at some point in our lives. This is my take on it.
Knowing who you are and where you are going is safe. Its knowing your limits; knowing your job; knowing your colleagues; and knowing whats expected of you.
Knowing is being ‘safe’, and ‘safe is security. Right?
Young or old, how ‘safe’ is safe in your job? The older generation say, “you should appreciate your job”. “Dont ever question your boss!” Or “You cant quit your job without having another secured!”. Security in my parent’s generation means being ‘safe’ in your job.
But, thats lifeless.
Respect? Respect me, and I’ll respect you!
Appreciation? Have appreciation for people and it’ll take you further than any political agenda could ever take you.
Dont question?! Only fools dont question the status quo.
Dont quit your job?! Really?
I see more and more people going into the freelance world. And most quit their jobs nowadays without another job secured. They quit because they want to spend more time with their children. They quit because they want to follow their dream. They quit because they tired of office politics. They quit because they dont want to be told what to do anymore.
All the reasons behind this bottles down to what people are feeling. Its not the industrial revolution anymore. People want to feel connected. Inspired. Motivated! And more organisations are not doing this for their employees, so employees are doing this for themselves. Its a “swim or sink” kinda feeling, and even if some cant swim, they are prepared to teach themselves.
Some organisations need to change their policies and their belief that you can bullshit people into what you want them to do. Most employees are not stupid (the others that are needs another blog post!). To all employers out there, dont adapt your employees to fit your company structure – adapt the system to fit the people. People need to feel happy in their jobs – its the only way you will get more productive, innovative and quality-driven products.
So whats changing? How important is being ‘safe’ still to you?
Let me say this: Safe doesnt secure your job, Safe doesnt liberate, Safe doesnt innovate.
We need to take more risks – in business and in life.We need younger executives around the boardroom table because younger people take more risks – they not scared of failure. Failure is learning as long as you always remember the lesson learnt!
So what do you do when you have no idea where you going, or what to do when you get there? How do you know you there if you dont know what ‘there’ is?
I guess thats the difference between knowing where you going and not knowing. I like not knowing because it keeps the journey interesting.
Knowing equals answers. Not knowing equals questions.
Although…sometimes, I wish I could swop the two!
I love this line. Its from the supernatural horror movie called Gothika. A scene where Penelope Cruz tells Halle Berry these exact words.
Often I underestimate what my 5 year old daughter can or cannot handle when it comes to movies of this nature. Most 5 year olds are not allowed to watch these kind of movies. I believe my husband and I need to give our daughter a ‘healthy’ dose of the movie world.
This story is not about my 5 year old, nor is it about horror movies.
I guess its about how much we underestimate the feeling of fear.
Fear is probably one of the most important lessons life can teach you. I’m sure there’s hundreds of articles and books about fear, so I’m not going to make another article of this.
The only thing I want to say about fear is the feeling of fear. Its magnificently different for each person. I dont know why I use the word magnificent in relation to fear – nothing magnificent about it – or is there?
For me, fear is the feeling of all rational thinking gone, all logic goes out the window, and all that’s left is the feeling of how to get out of it.
Adapt or die (another favourite line of mine), and in this world we either adapt to fear, or we die from it.
Which one will you choose?