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. 

How can some view weakness as a strength?

This is all about perception, bottom line and resilience, top line.

Perception first:

Using the famous SWOT analysis as an analogy for one’s life, how we handle decisions, changes and circumstances more or less dictates how we navigate through our years. By using the SWOT model you can start to see that a strength is relative to the opportunity and threat that coexist with it. Strength therefore, doesn’t live in isolation of the other elements of the model. Weakness is exactly the same. Weakness is relative to opportunity and threat too. Now here’s the cool part;

By understanding your strengths you can isolate your weaknesses and in doing so, put a plan in place to develop one and negate the overall effects of the other. If you ignore your weaknesses, they can only be linked to your threats, but if you acknowledge them and work on them, they become part of your life’s toolkit and not just something others can attack you with.

Now to Resilience:

Dealing with and managing weaknesses is by no means an easy win. This is where you have to show insight, foresight and hindsight. Insight, because you understand who you are, foresight because you are aware of how you need to be to progress and hindsight, because you’ve seen the effect of this issue in the past.

Ironically….

Insight+foresight +hindsight = Resilience

Weakness therefore is something you manage as opposed to something you are exposed by or help captive by. You control it, it doesn’t control you. 

What words or advice can make a better life for someone?

whiteboard sketching design planning
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

To be honest, my fundamental belief on this issue is that only the individual can ultimately make his/her life better for themselves. Words are hollow if not truly meant or backed up by sincere devotion to learning, change or action, regardless of who says them.

A good coach makes you want to be better because you have accepted your own need to want to be better. The coach cannot take your decisions for you or tell you what the right decisions were.

It’s not words that change your life, its perspective change, perception change and often a change in your understanding of purpose.

Facing the ‘self’ and removing the trait of denial is a sure fire way to eventually find a path or route to making your life better.

The advice of another is exactly that, advice. The actions of the individual will always outweigh external advice.

Actions change people and the best actions are those that have been taken as a result of knowing what, why and how the action was needed and having awareness of the outcome you want from the action.

A better life comes with a better approach to it.

#change #development #life

Do I Develop My Strengths and Improve My Weaknesses?

 

gray concrete post tunnel
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

For me this is not the way I approach the issue, but I do understand the question premise.

I deal with it this way….

I value my strengths and apply them to my life in the best way possible, knowing that sometimes it may not work out. In doing so, the amount of value I have for my strengths starts to turn into a desire to know them better as each day comes and goes.

For me therefore, knowing my strengths helps me value them, which indirectly provides a base for them to develop alongside my own personal development.

In terms of weaknesses, I see them as reminders of what happens when I don’t know/understand my strengths properly. For me, they are reminders o my fallibility, humanity and self. If I am cognisant of my strengths, it means I am aware of my weaknesses. Together, they stay in a symbiotic relationship and therefore do not need to duel with each other as ‘good and bad’, but as siblings trying to be raised the best way.

#personaldevelopment #self #change

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
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

 

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.