On holiday recently, I had time to reflect a bit, as we do; take stock and look at what I was doing and where I was going. What was influencing me in certain ways with my professional and personal life and just what was, my own contribution to ‘getting to where I wanted to be’? Who I want to be and who I am?
Was I still
in 100% control,
With my headphones on by the pool and covered in a high factor lotion to protect my hairless head and pale skin, I put the playlist on shuffle mode and lay back for some excellent people watching; a brilliantly free pastime of course!
Everyone else around the pool seemed to be, on face value at least, content with where they were, what they were doing and perhaps, they knew their destinations in life. Or possibly not? Only they know their own answer.
Music sounds better with you
As track after track came and went, some I stayed with and some I quickly skipped past (as we do on shuffle) because the music seemed inappropriate for the setting and my mood; I found myself with an opportunity to challenge my own current position.
We pick up some degree of ‘mission creep’ along the way in our daily lives and this is true in almost everybody. Things, habits and influences that we collect on our journey.
I am not the same, slightly uncomfortable person I was back in my old previous career. I know I had developed a new found confidence and self belief to ‘be different’ in the resilience world. Not to be ‘vanilla’ but to be strawberry as one of my greatest influencers of recent times once told me to be! I am the Resilient Maverick after all!
But I actually believed my own hype for a while! That I was fully in control of what I wanted to achieve and how I could carry it out. To me, I could clearly see what was wrong and missing in my profession. It was and is plain and simple. Now I could sit back and do nothing or I could stand up, risk the wrath of the establishment and fellow professionals, and do something amazing to improve the situation. Something fresh.
Something fundamentally different
I know, it is an extremely dangerous thing to do, to believe in your own hype, but I’m brave enough and honest enough to say it; because it’s true. It is what I had allowed to happen. I got as little bit ‘unfocused’. To some in the profession, I’m confident my confession would make them happy and smile. Maverick bollocks!
But I said that I believed in my own hype. I didn’t say I was finished or the finished article, which, I am not of course.
I did not say I was dead
Believing your own hype and being confident in your own ability share a fine line. There is nothing wrong in being confident that you can go and do something you are passionate about and making it happen. Achieving your goal.
But there is a danger sometimes that we overlook the obvious signs of when you start making excuses or saying yes to those who you really don’t want to be surrounded by. You take yourself away from what you are good at doing. What you want to do. Stay in the present and concentrate on the now. Stop making excuses.
Five hours, Business Continuity and doing what you love
We went to one of those Ideal Home Exhibitions the other month and at the event, there was a famous architect/designer listed in the program, with his amazing ‘Rotating Room’. The program listed the time this spectacular event would take place and at precisely 13:59 hours, a large crowd of expectant and excited visitors had amassed outside the aforementioned ‘Rotating Room’.
Excitement abound at not only seeing the famous designer in the flesh, but also at this marvelously creative masterpiece at the centre stage.
My recollections of the build up may be a bit vague as it is some weeks after the event now, but I distinctly remember being ‘drawn in’ and ‘sucked up’ by the hype of the build up! The music soundtrack that began as the clock counted down, was Five Hours by Deorro (a brilliantly chosen track with a superb slow to fast build up intro). Fair play to the organizers for musicality!
Now at this point I must confess that the famous architect/designer is not actually one of my ‘idols’. I like his stuff but I don’t watch his programs. But I was being drawn in by this opportunity to see him and the showpiece. Anyway, back to the experience of a lifetime…
As the haunting sounds of Five Hours (see video at end) burst into full and loud swing on the speakers system and the countdown clock reached zero…the waiting was over. The excitement was bordering on electric! The ‘Rotating Room’ and the famous designer in person was about to give us their all! The crowd anticipation was immense.
Suddenly… a guy appeared on stage who, and with no disrespect to him, just wasn’t Mr famous designer at all! He said to the crowd…” Hello, as you can see I’m not (name of designer) because… he isn’t here!.. Oh and secondly, the ‘Rotating Room’…is broke!”
As the crowd realized what the poor messenger had relayed, there was a tiny moment of pause then reality dawned before disappointment kicked in and almost all of the crowd dispersed within a matter of seconds! Such an immense theatrical build up and hype; with a brilliantly chosen music track to go with it, ended in a BCM failure. No designer and no working ‘Rotating Room’. No bullshit… but definitely no designer or rotating room today! No excuses.
However, I am 100% certain that the episode wont stop the brilliantly creative designer from doing what he loves. Being creative and passionate about his work. Making a difference. Believing in what he wants to go and do and can do. No excuses.
Don’t talk just kiss
Actions speak louder than words as the old saying goes. I needed the vacation. I needed the time to take stock, evaluate and be honest with myself. Was I really doing what I loved? Or was I taking the easy option of making an excuse that ‘I had lost my mojo’ to do what I loved? Being creative and innovative in resilience.
Was I now just going with the flow? Taking a back step and blaming the rest for not truly moving forward when I know WE can. I wrote at the end of 2016/beginning of this year How 2017 can be an amazing year for resilience and I stand by that claim! I am that claim.
I see evidence of some professionals really trying to push the boundaries for a better approach and at the same time, others remain skeptical about moving forward yet without truly offering a defining alternative new way forward.
Opinions, are just that in the end
I see progress in our profession as incredibly slow as I know others do to and lets be honest, there are no valid excuses for it to be slow in 2017. It is in our hands or the hands of those that want to slow it down. It becomes too easy; it is too easy. Nothing exceptionally inspiring. Lots of hype of course and build up but the same old scene.
Be in resilience or ‘Be’ resilience?
As for me, well, crisis.. what crisis? lol! I was honest enough to kick my own ass good and proper. I needed it! I knew what I wanted and how I was going to make it happen. I just got sidelined by myself. No one else’s fault. My own. No excuses.
I needed my own self control back and with the help of those I admire immensely and respect likewise, I can still influence what my intuition tells me is right. Do what you love. Make a difference and be resilient at it.
And you too, remember it is easy to make the excuses in anything sometimes. But if you are true to yourself (and others), you can just do what you love and be happy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – A truly down to earth, grounded individual who is a resilience professional. Helping people and organizations to build and maintain their capabilities to respond to and recover from, crisis, emergencies or disasters. Paul is the ‘resilience maverick’ because he is not like the average resilience professional. He uses his great people skills to break down a complicated and often scary subject to make it easier to understand, want and need. Paul wants to help everyone be a bit more resilient because they can. firstname.lastname@example.org.