Category: Motivation

The illusion of mission

There’s nothing wrong with having a direction, holding strong opinions, or whatever else we’re taking ‘mission’ to mean, these days. But a personal mission statement, in itself, is not the shortcut to success it’s made out to be. Missions are really useful in business design, maybe that’s how they started creeping into self-development repertoire. And […]

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Motivation: why it’s time to slow down

For almost a decade, I’ve been doing a popular talk and workshop called Making Things Fast. As the title suggests, it’s about making quick dirty stuff, getting out of a rut and winning some motivation back in the process. I’ve delivered it to festivals, conferences, book publishers, arts centres, broadcasters and lots more–all kinds of […]

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Play your way to a better attitude

We hang on to a defeatist attitude because we’re used to it. We worry what will happen if we let it go. We worry who we might be if we let it go. We let it become our bedrock. When stressful situations come up, we default to a baseline of worry and negativity, because we don’t have the […]

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How (not) to measure personal growth

The personal development industry is a lot like its cousin, the weight loss industry. It does well because it never quite solves the problem. The real work is left to you, and as soon as you think you’re getting somewhere, the goalposts move. Sure, you’re thin, but are you toned? Maybe you’re thin and toned, but are […]

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Handling rejection: is the tiger real?

Rejection is the universal price of doing valuable work. Everyone attempting meaningful change has confronted it in the course of their efforts. From rallying support behind a new creative endeavour to seeking a better job, we’ve all skimmed emails and letters, looking for the slammed door of an ‘unfortunately…’ It almost always hurts, but it hits hardest […]

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Learning is hard, worthwhile, and the only goal

Learning worthwhile things is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. You may never love it, but you’ll love what it brings into your life. If you’re learning something substantially new — a language, an emotional response, a new way of being in certain situations, a home truth about your character, whatever––you are going to resist it. Everyone […]

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Do what you always did

I’ve been putting my ideas ‘out there’ for a long time, and let me tell you, I’ve heard it all from members of the communities I work in. Apparently I’m flighty, shouty, ranty, too nice, too strange and not strange enough. I’ve been told my ideas are both too slight and too difficult. They can’t all be […]

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Motivation and systems

It feels particularly hard to get going on things at the moment. We live in extremely unstable times, and there is more competition for our attention than ever. We must push on… but how? Even at the best of times, motivating yourself to do something can be an emotionally messy process – an opportunity for you to beat […]

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Budget for emotional contingencies

We live in an era of positive thinking, and it’s getting me down. I mentioned Nathan Geering in the post about fear. He’s a choreographer who works with accessibility, and I was lucky enough to interview him on my podcast this summer. Nathan has accomplished many wonderful things: he has travelled the world as a dancer, choreographer and innovator bringing […]

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Making friends with fear

A number of the people I’ve had on the Hack Circus podcast this summer have talked about fear. For accessibility innovator Nathan Geering, fear is the Universe’s way of directing us to a place we can grow. Fear is just a sense, like any other — not something to be particularly trusted or particularly avoided. But, for Nathan, […]

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