are you collecting?

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You probably have a loyalty card, or six. Maybe you collect points from buying petrol, from visiting your supermarket, from buying coffee, from a number of high street stores? These days we aren’t loyal to one retailer, but the retailers still strive to buy our loyalty. Actually they are spending to protect themselves from our disloyalty. It’s a game. They offer points for us to save for gifts or for money off future purchases, and we dutifully collect the points. Theirs, and often their competitors too.

It seems we like to think we are getting something for nothing. It seems we like to save and to reward our saving endeavours.

So… what if you were rewarded for being loyal to who you are?

What if you had your own loyalty points system? Gaining rewards, gifts and bonuses from living your life in a manner congruent with your sense of self?

Every time you act in a way aligned with your values and beliefs, you gain satisfaction points. Every time you behave or act in line with the things that give you meaning, your account is topped up with a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Every time you do something that makes you happy, you get a bonus injection of joy. Every moment of enhanced self awareness gets you a small gift of learning.

Be loyal to yourself.

No card required.
No account needed.
No password to remember.
Meaningful, priceless, lasting gifts.

karaoke you

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Singing someone else’s song is fun… but it’s not your song.

In life, when you stand up to the microphone…

Sing your own song.
Find your own words.
Hum your own tune.
Strum your own beat.
Make your own rhythm.
Voice your own story.
Connect with the hearts, minds and emotions of others through your own lyrics.

Don’t sing a karaoke version of someone else’s life.

Sing yours.

is the SatNav of life working?

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Driving a car is purposeful. It would seem strange not to have a destination.

Maybe it is home, work, friends, relatives or a visit to somewhere new? Wherever we are going, we normally know the end point before we set out. Indeed we may plan a route. Maps, Sat Nav or simply a route in our heads, recalled from previous journeys perhaps? Or maybe we simply know the key roads and towns and follow the strategically positioned, helpful road signs?

Along the journey, we speed up, slow down, to match the traffic and conditions around us. We indicate turns so that others on different and similar journeys know our intention. We illuminate the way ahead at dusk when we need to see the road to our destination. We may pause en route to resource and replenish ourselves before setting out again to our destination.

Life isn’t like this.

In one, somewhat morbid, sense we know our destination. But in another we don’t. At birth we don’t know our purpose. We don’t know where we’re going. We have no idea of the route our life will take, or of the turns or stops along the way. We can even be half way, or three quarters of the way through our life journey and still not know where we are headed. Sadly some complete the trip and still never knew.

The drive of our lives doesn’t come with maps in the glove box or a Sat Nav on the dashboard. Sometimes we will swerve without indicating, avoiding collisions or steering away from, or towards something. Sometimes we will slow down, or stop, without brake lights for those around us. Life temporarily on hold, or simply crawling in traffic. Sometimes we will make up the route along the way. Sometimes we will turn back. Sometimes we will find a detour. And what if we pause, but don’t like the place we have stopped? What if our way becomes dimly lit, how will we shine a light on the way ahead? What if our vehicle breaks down and we cannot travel to where we wish to be, in the manner or time frame we would want? What if we don’t have the resources, the capabilities, the fuel to reach our destination? Fill up?

We take journeys and driving for granted. Route, provisions, stopovers, movement, fellow travellers, destination.

We have one life journey, yet many of us meander through it.

No aim. No plan. No route. Accepting places we don’t like. Being and doing something, because we don’t know any different, other than to accept it’s just where we are at the moment, on this somewhat aimless journey. Reacting. Swerving. Braking. Turning. Accelerating.

You wouldn’t drive aimlessly. Don’t drive your life that way.

Pay attention to who you are, where you are going, why you are going there and why that matters. Be authentically you. Be purposeful. Be sure when you get to the end, you haven’t gone the wrong way. Relish the journey. Appreciate the views. Value the experience. Enjoy those you meet along the way.

Time to program your SatNav?

 

what is your psychological contract of self?

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Psychological contracts are often referred to in the context of the employer and the employee – what is the expectation, commitment of both?

It sometimes explores qualities of trust, honesty, respect, fairness, compassion. It will often cover the visible expectations and agreements, such as pay, hours, work, training, but more usefully might look under the waterline, beneath the visible iceberg, so to speak. Here might be give and take, inputs and outputs, responsibilities and rewards which are less clearly in play. Concepts such as control, power, innovation, recognition, commitment, respect, loyalty, tolerance and much much more.

At a meeting the other day we were discussing psychological contracts. We were to be a team, so the question posed was, ‘How did we want to be with each other?’

We were to discuss what we were looking for from other members of the team, what we were seeking from the team leader and what we would bring to the team. What our commitments would be in terms of contribution and what we were seeking in return.

As I reflected, I wondered how I could even begin to answer this, as my thoughts and feelings were initially directed inwards, at me. I wondered what my psychological contract with myself was?

Did I respect myself? Did I have compassion for myself? Did I have faith in myself? Was I in control of myself? Did I fully trust myself? Did I appreciate my own being? Did I own my own power?

What are my perceptions of myself, what do I believe about myself?

How am I getting in my own way, either unaware of, or maybe breaking, my own psychological contract even before I entered the room. Surely this is where I should start before considering any team working agreements?

What is my psychological contract of self?