Right at the start of our personal resilience alphabet we explored the value of acceptance and adaptability. We are back on a similar theme today. At the start of this period there was a sudden and significant change of gear for everyone. For some that included managing more than one job at work, managing school at home, and adjustments that had to be made to accommodate a new way of living our lives in a whole host of ways.
In order to manage this need for extra capacity and extra workload, we have had to simply let go of some aspects of life in order to avoid overload and rebalance the priorities, and how these priorities have changed over the last few weeks!
I wonder if you have readily let go of the things that are not important at the moment, or if you are still trying to run to a routine that is no longer sustainable? Perhaps today would be a good day to take stock and ask yourself: “What do I need to let go of at this time?”, or more radically, “What do we need to let go of?” Whether that is a routine we normally adopt; or a thought pattern that is not useful right now, taking a moment to take stock and simply let some things go may help ease the pressure.
Take 10 minutes just for you today, to think about what you are trying to juggle just now, new activities and old, and see what you can let go of for the next few weeks. Also be aware of what new habits you are developing which may detract from your personal resilience and take firm steps to let go of these too. For example, one obvious one may be the amount of time you are spending absorbing news. So review your activity load and make wise choices about where you simply need to let it go.
The thing about behaviour is that by its nature it is largely visible – it is the part of us that others see. Behaviour can be observed at many levels. Last night we saw country-wide behaviour. Thousands of people standing at their windows or doors clapping their hands to applaud the people who are working tirelessly for us all on the front line. If someone had landed from another planet at 8pm last night I wonder what they would have made of this community and its behaviour!
Today I want to think more about a smaller dimension of behaviour – Yours. If I had been videoing you all week what would be the behaviours I would have observed with regard to your interactions with others, and what would I had made of them? Perhaps I would have noticed behaviours driven by compassion, helplessness, joy, fear, frustration, humour, anger, love. Are there others you would add? If you think about it most of our outward behaviours are driven by our feelings or our values.
In these times of high demand for your behaviours to be focussed and impactful, it is also important to think about the focus and impact of your behaviour with regard to your own well-being. It is hard right now to get the balance right between what we need to deliver for others; and what we need to preserve in, and for, ourselves in order to serve others well at this time. So I encourage you to do at least one thing today – even if it is for a very short time – which will ensure you remain resilient for all you plan to do throughout the rest of the day, or which will re-energise depleted reserves so you can continue to make impact tomorrow. Perhaps you can encourage others by sharing what that one things will be.
All over Aberdeen at the moment are dolphin sculptures, brightening up various parts of the city. These colourful artworks are everywhere, and a talking point for residents and visitors alike. This photograph was taken in Hazlehead Park last week when I was working with a group of Managers, and having fun along the way!
Although there is a serious side to dolphins, they are also playful and intelligent. I read a Mark Twain quote this week which I’ve been pondering: “Work and Play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions”. I’ve been wondering how well I integrate both of these concepts into my daily routine. I consider myself to be really fortunate to run my own businesses and therefore be my own boss! However, even for me there is a need to check in sometimes and check out: To what extent am I having fun today – and if not what am I doing to change it!!?
So have fun at work and work hard at having fun! And if you haven’t got the balance right – change it!