Leadership

5 things you can control in an increasingly uncontrollable world

Life is complex and unpredictable. So much happens that is outside of our control. Just in this past week I have had to contend with major organisational changes at work, a gas leak at home with freezing temperatures outside and cataract surgery. On the grand scale of things these are all relatively minor, but each has the capability to unsettle or cause major disquiet,especially if you are something of a control addict like me! There is also so much that happens we don’t expect or takes us by surprise. It
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5 lessons I’ve learnt from burnout

Looking back I have burnt out at least three times in my life. The first two times were at the end of my first and third year at university, studying medicine. The challenges of moving away from home, being out of my depth academically, feeling isolated and alone all gradually took their toll. The third time was around 2009. I was juggling being on the leadership team of a church with all its demands while having a growing family and working as a psychiatrist. It  all became too much for me
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Where do I find the time?

In 2017 where do I find the time to do the things that I tell myself are important to me? All of us know what it feels like to be overwhelmed and rushed. We also all know what it feels like to have time seem to be moving quickly ahead and not getting to that important project or task we know we should be doing. As someone humorously once said, ‘Life is like a toilet roll. The nearer you get to the end the faster it goes, and the more
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Podcast #025: Is there a difficult person in your life?

To be human is to have conflict with other people. You cannot avoid it. Conflict can cause stress, as well as a host of other consequences, such as loss of sleep and even physical illness. But if you’ve had a difficult relationship, you come to realise that just ignoring it is often not the best way to handle it. So how can conflict be a means to growth and getting closer to others rather than being driven further apart? Is that even a possiblity for the difficult relationship in your
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Podcast #024: Making sense of time

Time. Such an important part of our lives and yet so hard to get a grasp of! We all have the same amount – 168 hours or 10,080 minutes a week or 86, 400 seconds a day. But we all struggle and wrestle with it. On top of that time is such a strange concept to grasp. What do we exactly mean by time and why does it seem to go at such a varying pace during different periods of our life? As someone once said: If you want to
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Daring Greatly

At first glance these seem pretty heavy subjects – vulnerability and shame. Actually they don’t just seem heavy they really are! But please don’t stop reading!  According to Brene Brown in the TED talk below vulnerability and shame also hold the key to living a whole-hearted life – that is a life of courage and authenticity. If you are a regular reader of this blog my hunch is that you too hunger for this. [ted id=1042 lang=en] If courage and authenticity is something you aspire to then please don’t allow
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A different kind of freedom fighter

To my mind Brené Brown is a revolutionary and freedom fighter. Maybe not in the conventional sense of the word, but still very much a freedom fighter. She is a fighter in the cause of understanding and harnessing the power or weakness and vulnerability to live a full life. Our world desperately needs more of this kind of revolutionary and freedom fighter. Who is Brené Brown? She is an American scholar, author, and public speaker. She is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social
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Could well meaning friends be holding you back?

Its a fascinating experiment described by business professors Gary Hamel and C.K.Prahalad. In a research project four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the centre with a large bunch of bananas at the top.   As you would expect one of the monkeys spotted the bananas and started to climb the pole to get them. No sooner did he (let’s assume they were all male) start to climb the pole did he find himself soaked by a torrent of cold water. Every time he
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Are you in the right season?

I’ve come to the conclusion that work-life balance is fundamentally flawed. As a concept to govern your life it should be discarded. For my thinking behind this do see 3 Reasons Why We Get Work-Life Balance Wrong and Is It Work-Life Balance Or Integration? I think another more helpful analogy is that of seasons. A season is  a relatively brief period of time, around 12-13 weeks. Take the example of a farmer. His priorities depend on which season he is in. Spring is for planting. Summer is for ensuring his crops
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Is it work-life balance or integration?

I’ve come to the conclusion that work-life balance is fundamentally a flawed concept.  The problem with balance is that it implies giving an equal amount of time and attention to every area of my life – and that is simply just not possible. It’s not possible to give in equal measure each week the same same amount of time to, say work; the same amount to family; the same amount to exercise or to friends or to other meaningful activities.(I’ve explained more on this in a previous post).   Perhaps
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We’re all materialists now!

We live in a culture which is dominated by one particular worldview…. Stop, Andy! What do you mean by ‘worldview’? Everyone has a worldview. It’s all about the assumptions we make about people, the world, the universe and all that is. Because they are assumptions, they usually operate at a subconscious level. They are like specs that we wear all the time, colouring our view of everything. They are so pervasive that we don’t even notice we’re wearing them! No one can live without a worldview. Worldview questions sound a
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Podcast #022: The stories we tell ourselves

Everyone loves a good story. Stories are part of what make us human. But I am not talking about the novels and classics many of us love to read. There is already a story going on in each of our minds. It is those stories that we tell ourselves about what happens to us that can have huge implications for our lives. How do those stories come from the way we see the world? Do come and join my co-host Andrew Horton and I as we discuss: The see-do-get model
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When it feels as if you will never get there

Its that proverbial chant of little children on a long journey from the back seat of the car, “Are we there yet?” They are getting bored and fidgety about reaching the destination they are travelling with their parents to. Every 5 minutes that same question comes. And yet in many ways we never grow out of it. We all have dreams and aspirations. We all live with a sense of wanting to find deep and lasting fulfilment. Some of us are better at articulating that than others. One of my
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How to develop a deeply resilient life

I first picked up the book, ‘A Resilient Life’ by Gordon MacDonald when I was just turning 40. That was a very long time ago! Even so I still remember the profound impact it had on me then (and still continues to have). At the time I was entering into mid-life with all the associated questioning and self-doubt as to what had I achieved or, perhaps more accurately, not achieved in my life. It seemed to me so many others had done so much more, were further along the road
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Work-life balance. Is it possible?

The idea of work-life balance is popular. For many years I strived to achieve it. I now think, as it is commonly understood, it is grossly over-rated and even potentially harmful. I know that is a radical thing to say. Here’s why. Balance is dynamic and not static. Another way of saying that is life-work balance is a tension to be managed rather than a problem to be solved. When we think of balance we instinctively think of a scale. There are two priorities of equal value and we are
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    This information is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. Please ask your physician about any health guidelines seen in this blog, as everyone is different in his or her medical needs.