When creating a Martini, the taste differs depending on whether you shake or stir the ingredients. In a similar way, the results in life and business vary depending on how we treat the situation. A while ago, I noticed a young, growing tree placed perfectly in the middle of three, older and bigger, surrounding trees. It was growing straight, not leaning on the older trees, the mature ones didn’t carry any weight of the young one but, definitely, from their position they were protecting it in many ways from external forces. This reminded me of how we best support each other – and lead. Supporting by being available, by being there to reach out for, by being in the perimeter for us to spot potential issues to ask into, but also allowing space. Not carrying each other’s load. Not allowing others to lean too heavily on us for extended periods of time. Not removing obstacles in others’ way before they even become aware of them. Not being invisible. Not shaking the tree or stirring the pot by being in their face or by looking over their shoulder constantly. But still being visible. The best way of supporting is neither shaking … More Supported not stirred? »
“Where are we? I don’t know”. Those two sentences were given to us at our wedding as a quote, only making sense many years later. Sometimes the hardest thing is being honest as leaders and humans: I don’t know. For many industries, businesses, countries, families, and individuals – myself included – the last year has brought turbulence and change. In many ways very positive change redefining the way we do a lot of things. Yet, we may sense that there is more uncertainty than we were used to. Where are we? I don’t know. Clarity will come as we ask the right questions. I’m sure it’s coming. “Må min vej gå mig imøde” (may my path come towards me) as said by Johannes Møllehave, a wonderfully weird and visionary Danish writer and priest. Where are we? I don’t know. And that’s OK.
You may have heard me talk about high standards before. That high standards AND fun is a possible combination. Here’s an important distinction: high standards have NOTHING to do with perfectionism. You can’t be a perfectionist and have fun. Happiness and perfectionism don’t go hand in hand. If you’re proudly presenting yourself as a perfectionist, it may be best to stop reading right now. If it’s working for you, don’t change it, rock on! IF for some crazy reason you have realised it may be about time to let go of some of that perfectionism – keep reading. In business and life, high standards are amazing, they keep you, the team, the clients, the family and everybody else on their toes. But most often, there is no added value continuing the trajectory from high standards to perfectionism. Most often, it detracts value instead. If you’re right now wondering: what is she talking about? I let myself down constantly, there is just one broken promise after the other. Then your focus for the next month is simple: pick one daily standard to get you started and stick to it. The simple example is “I need to exercise more”. If you then … More The perfectionist puncture! »
Nothing. Is that allowed? Is it socially acceptable? Is it possible for a busy business owner? Don’t care. Don’t care. And yes, are my answers to these 3 questions. Today I’m doing nothing. It’s a rainy day in Sydney and the Northern Hemisphere has moved to wintertime, the end of daylight saving. In many ways a perfect day to do nothing. Yet, it comes with nearly shame and guilt for us humans, if we do nothing. We feel we have to be seen running, saying we’re busy, ticking off boxes, getting stuff done. Fair enough, that’s what we do a lot of our time, a lot of our days. But have you tried truly doing nothing? At home? Not having to take a holiday overseas and lay on a beach to allow yourself the little break. If not, today may be a perfect time. Here’s the beauty: the more efficient we become with our active time, the more fruitful we are, the more focused and decisive – the more we can relax as well. Being either fully on or fully off. Drop that in-between-mode of looking like you’re busy, but not really getting a lot done because the voices in … More What are you doing?? »
Do your feet feel stuck in the mud? Wanting to get traction but it’s not really happening? Or you’re actually good to go, but everyone around you seems stuck in the mud? If you’re happy as a pig in mud, all good. But if you’re ready for change, allow yourself to reach for a new thought. New inspiration. A new person to talk to. A new type of book to read. A new kind of music to listen to. Our brains are really simple – they can’t have two thoughts at one time. So, if you want to get out of the mud, reach for ANY new thought that takes you somewhere new. Mud baths are great and it’s healthy to allow ourselves to sit with our thoughts and accept we are as we are, and that things are as they are. If you get to a point where you want to get out of the mud, change your thought. Reach for the most positive thought available to you at that moment. That’s a great start. Then when you’re ready, hose down those muddy shoes – leave them to dry and try with some good, nourishing shoe polish. Your steps … More Mud on your shoes »
Spoken like a 3-year-old. Not wanting help. I can do this on my own. I WANT to do it on my own. I don’t need anybody to help me. Isn’t it fascinating how that’s still our behaviour decades later, as leaders, parents, friends and human beings? Some of us want to prove we can do it ourselves. Others feel embarrassed to ask for help. No matter what, here’s the thing: we CAN do it all ourselves. But letting go of that old pattern and allowing others to add their part might just be worth a try. Personally, I’ll give myself the challenge: to swap “jeg kan selv” with “let’s do it together”. Do you want to join?
Do you know this game? Where you create stone stacks of a minimum of 7 stones. I did a few on my bush jog last weekend and it reminded me of how we can become too daring, try stacking too much. Now link it to today being Mother’s Day. Where we give and expect to receive gifts and attention. How is this related, you ask? Well, as I turned to find stones for the third stack, the first one tumbled. Sometimes the stone stacks tumble because of wind. Sometimes because a bird lands on them. It’s very seldom because we push them over ourselves. And here is the thing: you were the one that stacked it. The one that chose the stones to be used. Went back a few steps if you weren’t sure you had made the right decision. And gave full throttle when you were on a roll and it was moving easily and effortlessly. What you’re experiencing right now, whether you’re the observing or receiving part, be it Mother’s Day or your business results: you are the one who stacked the stones to what it looks like right now. Enjoy and accept the choices you’ve made. Be … More Stacking stones »
This may be a good time to rest. To allow all disappointment, resentment, anger, sorry and emptiness. To allow it to surface. To let it be. To rest the mind and body. To take that extra nap. We’ve had so much change. We’re having so many restrictions. We may still have so many demands – and all the unmet expectations for ourselves. Let it all go. I’m resting. I think you should, too.
The good old question which the whole world is living right now. We just didn’t know to plan for it and – like in the real deserted island scenario – we’re therefore left with whatever we had on hand when the ship hit the ground. The harsh reality hits: you may not enjoy the company of the family members or the flatmates you are stuck with currently. You may not even like your own company for such an extended period of time!? You may be fed up with your dwelling or the surroundings of your home. You may not be satisfied with the activities at hand. Or you may be really grateful and content! With how your deserted island is looking right now. There is a lot of deep appreciation happening currently – with the partners you love and live with, with your kids and how they tackle the situation, with the kindness and generosity of your neighbours and community even from afar. Our situations right now – for better or for worse – is a snapshot in time. It’s the current, busy lives we were each living being frozen in time. Repeated. Like in a movie or in a … More What would you bring on a deserted island??!! »
Time, energy and love are amazing assets that we have plenty of. Yet, most of us treat them as if they are a scarce resource like money or oil that you shouldn’t spend too much of – afraid you may run out. Anyone with kids knows that when you have one child and get another, it’s not that you have spent all your love on the first and don’t have anything more to give! It’s nearly opposite: the more you give, the more is created within you. It’s like an automatic replenishment system! The scarce resources like money and oil are external, outside of us. The resources that truly matter come or are created from within. The more you practice love, the more it’s replenished. The more you learn to enjoy and appreciate and value your own time and energy, the better you get at giving lots of it and feeling you still have lots. You may know the saying: give something you want to be done to a busy woman? We all get good with practice. Here’s the catch: the love given can’t be the bitter kind of love. Or guilty love. The time given can’t be time given … More Run out of love? »