Be yourself and be grateful for what you have

I have read two amazing pieces written by two people who I count myself lucky to know and while the original connecting was through business networking, it has developed into friendship, which is how it should be.

People from the old school world, that I am passionate about changing, are always rabbiting on about being professional. That word always genuinely makes me laugh-out-loud. Essentially you are always told not to mix personal and business.

Thankfully, the world is changing, more and more people are realising that work/business/life is all the same thing and there is no need to have these different personas for each.

My mate Brad sums it up perfectly, he rightly says ‘be 100% yourself, 100% of the time’ and that is absolutely spot on.

In my business, I want customers, partners, suppliers etc. to be people who like me for who I am and want to do business with me, because they like my values and how I am.

Equally I want friends, who are my friends because they accept the real me, not some image or face I put on for friends, then a different one for work and then another one for home.

What a palaver, just be who are really are and who you really want to be. That brings me back to the posts.

So the first one is by Dee, who I have got to know through networking and now I count her as a friend, in fact someone who I completely trust and know that she wouldn’t let me down and would help if she could. That’s if she is not admitted herself into some NHS establishment, that sounds like she’s mad, but that is really not the case.

So the link below is a link to her blog ‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing’

Dee Atkins

This is one of the bravest posts that I read and it shows that Dee is prepared to show her vulnerability. It also shows us some really valuable insights and lessons that we can all learn from.

Vulnerability is something that we are all taught from a very early age, by parents, school and more laterly by society in general, that we shouldn’t show it. I am not talking about the very manipulative and cynical celeberity vulnerability, where they breakdown and share inner secrets with a select 100 million viewers.

It is good to be vulnerable, as it shows that you are prepared to step into the ‘ring’ and take on the fight, not sit in the sidelines criticising and moaning.

The haters in the world never step into the ring, they never take on their demons, opponents, they never dare to be great. It is not the critic that counts as Theodore Roosevelt said:

β€œIt is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

There is an absolutely brilliant book written by Brene Brown called ‘Daring Greatly’ that really covers this much more eloquently and in greater detail, written by a person who has spent years on this.

Society in general is all about fear, scarcity and shaming people. This is why we are all fearful of letting the shield down ,frightened to dare to be our real selves. Dee has demonstrated that she is prepared to step into that ring and dare to be great.

The second piece, written by Richard, the Appman and the Power of Cat Flap no sorry Flat Cap (in joke sorry), another friend who was originally a business connection via social media and then networking.

This piece is equally as powerful as Dee’s and equally as inspirational. Richard’s piece is inspired by a sudden personal tragedy and one which many have to face.

However, Richard has faced this in a very positive way and has again dared to be great and approach it differntly to how many of us might.

So here is a link to Richard’s post ‘Your whole life can change in an instant’

The thing for me that stands out from Richard’s post is that he has really put into perspective what is really important in life and that it is the people, something that i write about a lot and has become a real passion of mine.

None of us know what is around the corner in our life, not just with our own lives, but with the ones that we love. After reading Richard’s post today, I phoned my Mum, I told my wife & kids that I loved them and counted myself as blessed for what I have.

We need to live a life of being grateful, appreciative of what we have and I don’t mean the shallow things like possessions or money. I mean grateful for the people who matter in our lives, as we never know when that is going to change.

So the message I get from Dee is don’t be afraid to be or become the real you and from Richard, to appreciate what really matters in life.

Those two things, if you conquer them and live by them, are all that matters. Then you can reflect that you have been a success.

Who said we can’t have fun?

Listening to Slim Shady while writing this today. I love writing with my headphones on, it allows me to shut the rest of the world out and really get into the zone of writing.

I was sat on the sofa this morning with YouTube on the TV and my daughter was going through various music videos with Mrs D asking her for various requests. Anyway the subject of twerking came up, not sure why to be honest, so Mrs D decided she’d have a crack.

So we searched for the appropriate song and off she went. Well probably good for her that my phone was upstairs so there is no video evidence. Mrs D is actually a very good dancer and has a great rhythm (steady, this post might end up in the public domain).

However, she hadn’t got the concept of twerking and we were all in fits of laughter. It was one of those moments where you obviously had to be there to appreciate.


The thing is that life can end up being too serious and it is important to have as many of those moments as you possibly can. Maybe some of them are best for the confines of your home and family.

I observe at work or travelling or at events or in what you read, that people are too serious in life. They sit on trains and their faces are misery, not surprising if they are reading the Metro….’ebola’…’terror’…’artic freeze’….and worse of all ‘Farage’.

Sorry have to break off here, what the f… is Farage on?? This isn’t a political thing, as if you know me, you will know that I am not aligned to any of that old school party politics nonsense. In fact the recent stuff in the news that I’ve looked at on Facebook, has just confirmed my thoughts about the whole crap political system that runs most of the world.

Anyway, back on track. Seriousness, which is often associated with the word ‘professional’ is all too often present in everyone’s working life.

Now I am not suggesting that people go to work off their faces on laughing gas, so that they are just falling about the place with laughter, unable to do anything.

However, this obsession with this other old school notion of ‘professional’, which is so subjective anyway, makes work a misery for most. Why do we have to be serious all the time? Who came up with that idea? Where is the rule book that say’s life can’t be fun, that includes work?

The fact is, there is only the ‘rules’ that we as humans have written or created in our heads, that when we are working, we have to be serious.

Naturally, if you are in court and discussing a serious crime, then again it may not be appropriate to sit there and have a good laugh about it.

However, apart from the obvious, there are lot’s of situations where taking a more light hearted and good humoured view would be better for all.

After all, we all enjoy life a good deal more when we laugh and have some fun. In a working environment, a great amount of stress and anxiety could be reduced or removed, by laughter.

There is now laughter meditation, Google it, and that along with mediation is often ridiculed and ironically laughed at by the ‘serious’ and ‘professional’ people.

Maybe some will see this as all to radical and unprofessional, but really I do think there should be a lot more time in the working environment to bring in not just meditation, but laughter meditation and much more time for light heartedness.

After all who says you can’t make fun. In fact, I would bet my shirt, that if we all were allowed or allowed ourselves to have more fun in the workplace, that productivity would massively increase, absenteeism would fall and stress/illness would reduce rapidly.

So when you get back to work on Monday, try being a little less serious, try having more of laugh, see how you can make your tasks and that of others more fun. I am sure our customers would be happier if they dealt with fun people and if you service in general was more fun.

I am already laughing about some of the most serious business situations that could be turned on their heads by introducing a bit of fun.