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Archive for February, 2010

Many people abhor change. It can be messy and uncomfortable. There are lots of good books out there to help people deal with change, such as Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese” where he highlights the fact that we are living in a continually changing world, and your best bet is to learn how to deal with the change. A wise ex-boss of mine summarized the book into a single chart i still have on my wall:

Who Moved My Cheese?

All good stuff, and the book is a great read. William Bridges has some god stuff on change management as well (“Transitions”).And of course there is the whole “Shift Happens” video series if you don’t think things are going to continue changing. 🙂

But this wasn’t really the intent of my post. It’s more about whether you (yes you) need change in your life as part of your own personal development.

Usually I find there are telltale signs that I need a change. I don’t always recognize them right away, and they kind of build a little bit at a time. Here’s my list of things I have noticed when it is time for change for me:

  1. I complain about certain monotonous tasks that didn’t used to bother me as much, but they now bore me to death.
  2. I don’t look forward to work. And I count the days until the weekend.
  3. Focus is lacking. I mean, I already have the attention span of a chicken, but it actually gets worse. (Is that a fire truck?)
  4. I procrastinate on things that I find boring (see 1)
  5. I am grumpier than usual. I tend to be cheery and upbeat but when others start noticing I am not generally like that, it is a sign.
  6. An overwhelming sense of dreams unfulfilled, and that there is a yearning that is not being met. When I am happy and stimulated, I don’t have these thoughts.
  7. Actively looking for something to fill that yearning, but not sure what it is.
  8. I become somewhat envious (in a quiet, Canadian kind of way) of those that are “doing their own art”.

How do you spot that you need a change?

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Seth GodinSeth Godin’s post today is spot-on whether you are making a product or delivering a service. What story do you tell? Is it aligned with what the company is really about? And is that story something that will resonate with the customers you are trying to attract?

On top of that, I really like the product he mentioned because of what it does for the people of Africa. Reminded me of this dripit article I wrote some time back:

http://www.dripit.org/the-bittersweet-taste-of-chocolate/

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Anne McCrossan introduced me to the term ‘Visceral Business’. In fact, it is the name of her blog and her business. It’s that feeling in your gut that just connects, whether it is a product you are using, drooling over, or a feeling of authenticity when dealing with a RHB (real human being). It’s not that superficial “this is kind of neat” feeling but a much, much deeper connection. I’ve been trying to be more cognizant of that visceral feeling when it happens and I never realized how often it was actually happening until I consciously looked for it. (Sidebar: When Anne and I met in January we talked about a bunch of things, but on one subject in particular, she said “your eyes light up when you talk about food”. That’s because I have a strong, visceral connection to food. Having someone point it out for you is sometimes helpful!)

Sir Ken Robinson’s TED video (and his book ‘The Element‘)  really connected with me viscerally. It makes me want to raise my arms in the air and shout “Hell, yes!”. I think it is because I have been lamenting the educational system since university and have felt there has to be a better way.

Does it do the same for you?

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Po Bronson wrote this book back in 2003. It was the year I left Nortel and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. The teasers on the flaps said this book would help, so I rushed out and bought it. The writing was good, and when the writing is good and the subject is of interest, I can devour a book. Devour, I did. But I got to the end, and I was left with a feeling that it hadn’t provided the insight I was looking for. Sure there were great insights, successes and failures. But there wasn’t the direction I was looking for.

Because there is no map.

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In January, I attended the launch of Seth Godin’s Linchpin in NYC. It was a pivotal event for me as I came back determined that I would start blogging and that 2010 would be a year of change for me.

One of the memorable moments for me is the line “There is no map”. We’re all searching for direction, but no one is going to paint a map for you. You have to find it yourself. This blog is my journal of finding “it” myself.

Because there is no map.

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