Why Is Planning So Challenging?

Plan ahead; be prepared. Apart from that magical time around New year’s, planning is often forgotten.

The problems surrounding planning are:

  • Presence – how can you remain ‘in the moment’ when your thoughts are occupied by the future?
  • Foresight – hindsight is twenty-twenty but there are no certainties in the future so how can you prepare for what it has in store?
  • Keep track – you’ve planned ahead but how do you stay on the right path?

You need to strike a balance. Most of your time should be occupied by the present, though failing to plan is like a ship with no destination; aimlessly floating about the seven seas.

Also, reassess often and adjust as things change. Regular reminders, like mobile apps, can help with accountability.

Like a captain uses a map and a compass to find land, planning helps to guide you toward your goals.

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What Does It Mean To Excel?

Who comes to mind when you think of success?

Whether in technology or sport, people who sit atop their ladders are viewed in high esteem. Often, the more successful you are, the more you’ve contributed to your field; but this is not the only way to excel.

The corporate structure is the template we follow to be considered successful. You start as a simple pawn and, with application, time and luck, you progress. Though this approach limits you to one area; business for example.

In the past, you weren’t so limited. Men and women of yesteryear contributed to different arenas and they too excelled. Leonard da Vinci was not just an artist but a technological innovator.

How do you gauge success?

Does it boil down to objective data, like wealth? But success is subjective in many ways; Michael Jordan is more successful than Mark Zuckerberg for the sports fan.

Success is determined by your definition of the word. If that means having a lot of money, then so be it.

Excel based on factors you deem important. Your family, friends and society all have different markers for success. Attempting to meet their determinants is an exercise in futility.

Become a success in your own eyes.

Lessons Imagined Vol. 2

The two continued to walk and the smiles gradually washed from their faces. A gentle sea breeze eased it’s way across, accompanied by the gush of nearby bushes. Several minutes past when the older man said, ‘I was just being stubborn you know’.

He spoke with more than a hint of regret in his voice. It was clear the thought was something he had recognised long ago though had never vocalised, let alone acted upon. The younger of the two remained quiet, managing to keep several quick witted remarks to himself.

‘Change is possible at any age. There’s truth in the fact that it’s a greater challenge to change old habits but it’s doable.’

The old man was looking at the path ahead. His face grappling with the notion.

‘I know I’m stubborn. Hell, I’m proud of it; it’s one of the reasons I’ve thrived as a businessman. Though it does have its negatives.’

‘Change is always possible, son,’ he repeated as he lifted his gaze.

‘Pride has stopped me from changing in the past and has led to more harm than good. It’s stunted my ability to grow and become a better man,’ he spoke sadly and softly.

The older man turned his head towards the younger man and said, ‘Learn from my mistakes, son. Learn to compromise’.

The younger of two nodded, promising to keep this advice close to heart.

Lessons Imagined Vol. 1

The water lapped the bank gently. It was late in the day though the dry heat lingered, as was typical for this time of year. Dusk had brought many out of their homes. Children played games of their own invention while dogs took the opportunity to stretch their legs and converse with their counterparts.

The two walked side by side, one taller than the other; they kept a good pace, enough to force a light sweat. The walk had been silent. Not an uncomfortable silence but a silence that allowed the two to enjoy each others presence.

The older man walked with a brisk gait. His hair was more salt than pepper. His face showed he was not afraid to work in the sun. The various lines and contours illustrated a man who wore his heart on his sleeve. Even if he wanted to, he would have difficulty suppressing the emotions he felt. Despite the signs of father time, he moved and behaved with a youthful exuberance.

The younger man walked with his hands clasped gently behind himself in a sage-like manner. Each of his footsteps angled out slightly as he strode along. He moved with a quiet confidence though there was a knowingness that he still had much to do with his life.

‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ the older man spoke while casting an eye over the dogs in the field. He was talking to himself though said it in a manner that suggested something had dawned upon him; something he had stubbornly ignored in the past.

‘I remember you saying those very words when Mum tried to get you to change in some way’, the younger man said softly, his voice appearing to come from times gone by.

One corner of the older man’s mouth tilted into a subtle grin which would be imperceptible if you weren’t looking for it. He let out a light chuckle acknowledging that he too recalled these instances in the past.

‘Boy, was I stubborn,’ the older man said, his grin turning into a wistful smile.

The younger man snorted, his face breaking out into a close-lipped smile as he managed to stop himself from a quick-witted reply.

‘Boy, I’m stubborn. Better?’ said the older man while giving the younger man a knowing glance.

‘Much better,’ the younger man replied as the two basked in their memories.

Why Do You Eat?

There is a growing obsession with food in our culture.

Food and eating have always formed a strong part of society and plays different roles in different cultures, but we place a greater emphasis on food than ever before.

The plethora of food-related TV shows and YouTube channels contribute to our focus on food. Another factor is the ease of food accessibility and availability, in developed countries.

Though mindset is the main driver.

We live in an era of instant gratification; social media provides us with an avenue to gain acceptance and popularity without leaving the house. Pornography offers the same immediate satisfaction.

Food’s omnipresence and the growing problem with food-related disorders, like obesity and bulimia, is no coincidence. Instead of food being sustenance and a way to connect with others it’s used fill a void.

Why work hard in the gym and gain long-term rewards like improved health and performance when we can feel good immediately by eating a chocolate bar?

Why work hard to further our career when we can forget our dissatisfaction by eating a calorie-laden snack?

We need to step back and look at why we eat. While it’s OK to look forward to eating, if your day consists of thinking about breakfast, lunch and dinner, you need to add more substance, not sustenance, to your life.

Reassess your relationship between food.