shower or bath today?


How do we choose?

Mostly, we are one or the other. Bath or shower. At some past point we chose. Selected a preference. Now we are loyal, typically. We are in the bath camp or the shower camp. A few of us may be ambidextrous, fickle, users or abusers. Employing both for different needs. Both is itself a choice.

But why?

Is our choice down to practicalities or pampering? Speed or relaxation? Morning or evening? Felt sensations or logical economies? Time to be, or time to do? Purpose or pleasure? Logistics or preference? Conscious or unconscious? Habit or variety? Selfish or selfless?

Can we learn about our other choices from something so basic, so routine?

Maybe it’s time to clean up our choice making?


rain gain


The best thing one can do when it’s raining, is to let it rain

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sometimes in life we can try too hard.
Too hard to influence and control the things we simply cannot.
Sometimes this blinds us to what we can do.

Don’t seek to stop the rain.
Instead, seek to master the umbrella.
Instead, seek to enjoy the sounds and feelings associated with a great storm.
Instead, marvel at nature’s power.

Focus on what you can do.

image from a YouTube clip by Acerting Art

how do you introduce yourself?


If you’re asked to introduce yourself, how do you begin?

Maybe with your name?  “Hello I’m Steve.”

Our name is the most natural representation of our identity. Since our earliest years it has defined us. Differentiated us from siblings, classmates, friends.

But how do you proceed then? After your name?

Maybe with your job role, or where you come from, or some details about your partner or family? What follows your name is probably context sensitive, but in many situations, when encouraged to say a little more, we might provide all of these details.

But does this describe who you are?

We seem more comfortable to offer up what we do, our employment, career, profession, job title, hobbies. We offer up where we come from, who else is in our lives, maybe our age… in other words our context.

Why do we find it more difficult to describe who we are as a human being?

I wonder if it is in part because that is more personal, more exposing, riskier? Maybe we are embarrassed to reveal our innermost selves? Possibly. But I wonder if it is more because many of us have been given little opportunity to explore and understand who we are?

What drives and motivates you? What do you value highly? What words, actions, behaviours give you a good feeling, and which have the opposite effect? What gifts do you possess? What do you believe to be true about the world, about your place in it – those unwritten rules that determine how you are judged, valued, belong? What excites you in life? What will your legacy to the world be?

Maybe it’s time to start understanding yourself?
Then you can introduce yourself.
Then people can truly meet you.
And you them.

map your meaning

When did you last experience working well with others, maybe with a sense of unity, even if you were quite different? Think of a time.

In that moment, what did you do that helped others? How were you of service to them?

What did you do that uniquely served you? That allowed you to do your best and express your potential?

How was your balance of doing for self and for others?  In balance? Or skewed, maybe as you would want it skewed, or maybe not?

And in that moment, at that time during that experience, what did you realise about yourself that felt important? What part of that experience developed your inner self, such that you might be more you?

How was your balance here between developing and being more you, with that sense of connection and unity from being with others? In other words, how was your balance of being? Were you being more in service of them or of yourself?

Your orientation to being or to doing, balanced with your orientation towards self or to others is interesting.

Does meaning come in one of those quadrants more easily – being (developing inner) self, being (unity) with others, doing (service) to others and doing for self (expressing your potential)?

If so, are there other quadrants which feel less developed? What would you like to pay more attention to?

Mapping where we find meaning can be illuminating.

if you could choose your ideal job…

life purpose as a job
Let’s abandon traditional job titles. Job titles that attempt to describe what you do. If instead your job title described your life purpose, what would it be?

I don’t mean a weird job title that tries to cleverly describe your role, what you do. Such as…

sheep shifter
domestic engineer
arboreal yoda
chief chatter champion

I mean a weird job title that describes your reason for being. Something like…

people grower
chief purpose finder
problem breaker
human cuddler
difference designer
balance wizard
planet protector
lightbulb moment illuminator
humanity harvester
purveyor of good
life lover
future planter
human story animator
dream alchemist
trickiness disheveller
peace percolator
imagination sparker…

What would yours be?

what you do, is not who you are

be do identity
What you do, is not who you are.

A friend of mine recently made a decision; a decision that has had significant ramifications for people in their life. It was a hard decision, not easily reached. They have been much criticised by those around them. Judged. Labelled.

Sometimes people view our actions, what we do, as a proxy for who we are. Maybe the smaller actions or behaviours go unnoticed, unacknowledged, but often the larger decisions or actions get assigned to our identity, through judgement. “He is a liar…” or “She is untrustworthy …”

In fact we are so much more than one choice, one decision, one action. There is so much more complexity, subtlety, richness in our humanity, in ‘the self’.

We can do this to ourselves too. Maybe you have done something and then reflected that wasn’t me, that was a bit out of character? Maybe you have done something and then judged yourself with a label too … “I’m stupid…” or “I’m a bad person…”

Making a mistake doesn’t make you stupid. Hurting someone doesn’t make you a bad person.

These judgements ignore context, they narrow our identity to one action, they lessen our humanity and they limit our potential. None of us is perfect, yet we are all perfectly human.

What we do, isn’t who we are. We are always so much more than one behaviour, action or choice. Sometimes we confuse these two. Separate them. Notice what you do and be curious about your motivations and rewards. But also notice who you are; the breadth, depth, richness and magic of you.