How to get beyond ’competition’ to the creative sphere?

“First I overcame the pangs of isolation, born in an undesirable body in an unforgiving time. Next I addressed the fire of anger, as a result of rejection and mockery. From here I moved to the plane of denial, where the self met the hoard in a devious stew….

It was at this time I first faced the spectre of oblivion that had seemingly been ordained for one bearing my mark.

However, from this abyss, I manoeuvred into a new slipstream, meant for wanderers and thinkers alike.

Through this current I felt a freedom and a function, a form and fellowship, except this was a fellowship of one.

Within this singular race I ran a different sprint…one made from all the shortcomings that became shortcuts.

In the end, we arrive where we started. It is through rejection that I was forced to look inwards. It is inwards where I found a calling…this calling was telling me something I could already feel. Those who feel…are those who create.”

Do We Need to Compensate for Our Weaknesses?

I don’t attempt to compensate for my weakness because the term compensate implies an exchange based on needed something extra to make up for something else. 

I seek to understand, anticipate and address my weaknesses through effective risk management, decision making and critical reflection.

Weakness on its own is not a ‘deficiency’ or something to hide or be ashamed of. When combined with actions that are ill conceived, weakness manifests and has potentially negative outcomes.

When dealt with appropriately, weakness is part of a state of being that offers one a route map to avoid and one to follow. 

What is the Meaning of Training?

 

person carrying black barbell

There are some words thrown about nowadays that take on a life of their own, independent of the meanings, symbolism and accepted traditional understandings. Before we get into today’s topic, let’s provide some examples of these words;

  • News
  • Diversity 
  • Inclusion 
  • Mindfulness
  • Coaching
  • Training 

There are many more, but our focus today is the last one on this list, training. The aim of this piece is to explore the term ‘training’ and its;

  • Implied meaning
  • Classical / Traditional meaning
  • Linked meaning (contemporary context)
  • Changing Meaning

Implied Meaning

Use of the word training implies various and some diverse meanings. These end up creating a vacuum between the word and the symbolism attached to the implications. The vacuum is created because of the nature of the implied meanings. Let’s break some of these down;

  • Training implies some form of action
  • Training implies some form of routine
  • Training implies some form or organised behaviour 
  • Training implies some form of outcome

It can appear, as a result of these implied meanings, that training is therefore always associated with action and outcome by way of routine or organised behaviour. Is there not any challenge to these implied meanings or some other way of understanding the word?

Classical / Traditional Meaning 

The most obvious association between the word training and historical developments of its meaning are linked to;

  • Learning
  • Education
  • Skill Development
  • Craft and Trade

With the decline of manufacturing and industrial societies, the emphasis on learning has remained but it has also shifted slightly to the realm of ‘development’, especially as a result of the rise in the schools of psychology, sociology and social theory. The emergence of ‘self-enquiry’ and understanding human behaviour has led to more and more ‘shift’ in the meanings of the word training. It now houses both cognitive and behavioural elements of meaning to its overall understanding. The focus is now more on the role of training as a developmental and assessment tool and less on the classic model of training being something that is imparted. It is now something associated with intention, motivation, behaviour and context. It is more about understanding than it is about learning.

Linked Meaning

In contemporary society and the age of ‘digital reality’, the meaning behind the term training has shifted even further to include;

  • Any action that suggests (however slightly) that one is doing something new
  • This does not include explicitly the idea that the ‘doing’ is linked to ‘learning’
  • The muddy terrain in between projection and reality means the understanding of the word is now open to the context it is used in and not the meaning given to it form its origins (opening a social media account can be called ‘training’ and so can what a professional athlete does on daily basis)

Changing Meaning

It is clear therefore, that the word training has changed, evolved and even mutated. What is means has become a more individualised and intention heavy practice. Almost anything can be classified as ‘training’ if someone is able to provide an account from a point of inception to the point of outcome (start/ end).

Well…what do we do now?

I’d like to throw my ten pence into the ring.

‘Training is about any thought, intention or action that either improves, assists or provides a different way to approach an issue.’

To train is to embark and to learn is to know that we never really and truly disembark from the journey once we start it.

Training is therefore away to learn. It can be anything and somewhat surreally, nothing. 

#training #performance #lifecoaching #personaldevelopment

When it Goes Wrong…

achievement confident free freedom
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Read Munir Zamir‘s answer to Do you think that sometimes things go wrong, so we can appreciate them when they go right? on Quora

In a roundabout sort of way…yes. We are very binary creatures who ca get very afraid of the ‘grey’ areas of life. We tend to like the meta narratives of good and bad, but don’t like having to apply them to ourselves often.

So when things go wrong….we look for reasons…excuses and blame.

When things go right….we look for praise, reward and attention.

What we need to do is show more gratitude and awareness of situations and issues that affect us and others. We need resilience and respect, strength and compassion as mutual friends of each other, not exclusive entities that are laws ‘unto’ themselves.

10 Best Habits for Life?

  1. Don’t believe everything you read
  2. Go after what you want when you know why you want it
  3. Stop making lists because life is a journey, not a train timetable
  4. Love fiercely but have a sincere heart in all you do
  5. Stop complaining and start attaining
  6. Give to others and don’t think of why, how much and ROI’s
  7. Once in a while, drop off the grid and find yourself again
  8. Tell yourself it’s ok to not be ok sometimes
  9. Respect relationships that respect you
  10. Make your own mind up about what your own best habits are and value them
postit scrabble to do todo
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Working It Out?? No Way…I Can’t Do That

grayscale photography of man holding phone
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‘IT’ can be anything from the meaning of life to the pay rise you think you deserve but haven’t really merited. Be real with your mindset and expectations will never be too far ahead of your abilities. No one can coach you into a successful person per say, into a ‘go-getter’ etc. Coaches who are good at their job give you the necessary ‘space’ to work out your own issues and needs. They don’t diagnose them for you. You have to do that for yourself. You have want to ‘work it out’. If not….read on.

We don’t like the idea of having to work ‘it’ out because:

  • We prefer to have things handed to us rather than have to work for them
  • Anything that challenges our need to be right automatically makes us disinterested 
  • The idea of having to expend energy on pursuits that we can’t guarantee a selfish personal outcome for is beyond our imagination let alone our grasp 
  • We would prefer to continue in ignorance rather than face the task of hard work, effort and sacrifice that may change both our mindset and worldview 
  • We want to believe that things are the are the they way are even if they are causing us no great benefit as human beings 
  • We struggle with what we don’t immediately understand
  • We will follow the crowd under the assumption that others are doing what we would have done had we be in the position of decision maker
  • If there is no apparent need for effort, we see that as evidence for us to leave matters as they are
  • If others have worked it out, then we can copy them 
  • Working it out means we have to act and we generally don’t like being put on the spot to do so 

     

 

 

The Easy Way Out…

 

brown wooden house on edge of cliff
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What we are looking for is an ‘easy way out’ of life’s anomalies,  because life itself is pretty demanding, can be draining and overly dramatic. Why?..because:

  • We prefer to receive rather than have to give as a long term strategy 
  • We like to identify the path of least resistance for achievement of our goals
  • Our attitude towards hard work is resistant until we see the rewards of someone’ else’s hard work and then it becomes resentful 
  • We baulk at the idea of success being related to factors that are generally out of our direct control 
  • We like to feel important, but dislike the idea of responsibility 
  • We want to be liked, but don’t like having to like others for the same reason
  • We suspect others are up to no good, because every so often we are
  • We dislike the use of too much emotion, but use it to get what we want most of the time
  • We like things to be under control as long as the element of control belongs to us
  • We want instant gratification for being nice and decent, but want careful and profound reflection to be practiced when others behave the same way with us

These are by no means intended to be immutable relates or absolute truths, but what they are, is an attempt to say what is real in relation to the behaviour noticeable in the time we live in.