The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of the most important and most helpful pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection… and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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Make Your Own Tools

Saturday 26 April, 2014

I gave a talk at Amsterdam University’s Business School yesterday. Near the beginning I spoke of the importance of writing things down and the necessity of seeking feedback from others on our behaviour and blind spots. It was at this point that one of the participants asked if there are any tools I could give him to help him with his personal development. I was privileged to have my mentor, Karaj, with me who easily became involved in the two-hour interaction with the students and alumni. He talked of people’s obsession with having tools and that the shelves of bookshops are full of books which offer tools. What is actually needed is the experience of the journey and knowing that patience, discipline, awareness, feedback, observation and (written) reflection are the elements you will have to come back to time and time again.

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Make Yourself (Happy)

Tuesday 3 July, 2012

There is nothing unexpected about feeling negative when reflecting on who we are. It’s normal. It’s understandable. None of us are perfect, yet we live in a world which so easily offers the ideal of perfection; even going as far as to suggest we should strive for it because, ‘Look, others have it.’

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Words of Encouragement

Tuesday 20 December, 2011

In any project there comes a time when the motivation ebbs and belief in the work we are doing can go missing; it may even disappear altogether. This is the case whether we are working on ourselves, renovating the kitchen, writing a book, fixing a car, a relationship or a washing machine. This post is a reminder of that, offering words of encouragement to keep going.

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Continue With The Quietness

Saturday 13 July, 2002

Targets/Agenda Items

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So Easily Sucked In

Wednesday 10 July, 2002

Shona phoned me to say that she would not be planting flowers today as we had agreed to do together. She was very apologetic and this took me back. It was as if she was letting me down, which was not the case. In the end, when she said, ‘I will do it’, I found myself saying, ‘Make sure you do’. I had become the unwitting persecutor of someone who had so obviously placed themselves in the victim position. When I told Karaj this he explained that this is what Shona does.

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How I Manipulated Everyone

Sunday 7 July, 2002

I tried to print out my vision statement from 9th May this morning but the printer just kept throwing out pages of nothing. I had read it and discounted it, believing it to be insufficient and sub-standard. This would pave the way for behaviour which Karaj described as brilliant because I managed to suck my entire team into believing that I had no vision. It was a convincing performance because I was convinced that I had no vision. I felt the vision I had was not good enough. There, again, is my trait of putting myself down. Cut this out.

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A Privileged Friendship

Saturday 22 June, 2002

Last night, Paula raised outstanding issues with me – how she had behaved when drunk the other night – and for the rest of the night we chatted about how well we are all doing and that we just need to keep on going. Nobody said it would be easy. Just by verbalising her issues Paula set us all off on a conversational summary of what we have achieved. Great stuff.

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Completion & Prediction

Thursday 9 May, 2002

One lesson from this week has been how I have finished jobs. I have always had a tendency to move on to other things when I begin to reach the end of a job. On Tuesday, with the appraisal work, I was tempted to move onto something else having done 85% of it. I told myself to continue and finish the job. That’s what I did, and not only did I feel the satisfaction of completion, I was also not left with the usual loose end, which eventually weighs me down; especially when it is joined by all the other loose ends from other work which I leave incomplete.

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Written Evidence of Learning

Tuesday 12 March, 2002

07.05 E&M 60 mins. I began a letter to Francis. I wrote down everything I learnt last week and was taken aback by the comprehensive list I drew up:

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Behaving Like a Child

Sunday 3 March, 2002

Newsletter 10. Having been unable to complete the newsletter during the week we worked hard all day to meet a very tight deadline – one which caused my script to rear up to something approaching its full height, such that I was unable to put any of the procedures into practice which help me deal with my script.

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Live In The Question

Friday 22 February, 2002

I verbalised my feeling in the first break about the nasty taste in my mouth left by Robert’s comment to me that he is ‘very well’, which did not feel genuine. It’s the sort of thing I used to say to avoid verbalising the fact that I was not okay. That may be why I felt uneasy, because Robert’s behaviour was showing me myself. Because I am verbalising things more now, I am ready to see just how I have been in my life. I used to say things I thought people wanted to hear, or I kept things to myself, or I was manipulative and teased people into asking me more about how I am rather than simply coming out with it.

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My Most Powerful Challenge

Sunday 27 January, 2002

09.30 E&M 70 mins. During the meditation I felt my positivity. The birds were singing outside and the light coming through the window was bright enough to remind me of a summer’s day and, as it is prone to do these days, that feeling took me back to a time when I must have been five or six years old and was blissfully happy.

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Live By Your Principles

Sunday 20 January, 2002

11.30 E&M 60 mins. Robert phoned at 12.30 to say that he was running late and would pick me up at 13.10. As I waited I became more and more frustrated with him. It was happening again. First Earl made me late after lunch during last week’s men’s group and now Robert was doing the same. I had allowed myself to be fucked with once again. I phoned the house and found Sunil there – and Robert! I asked Sunil what the hell was going on. He told me Dev was on his way to pick me up. I calmed down, told Sunil it wasn’t his fault, asked him how he was and then waited for Dev. He arrived at 13.20, by which time I was livid. Talking to Dev I discovered that, contrary to my assumption, they had not got up late at all. This made it even more inexcusable that Robert had failed to honour his word.

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