Blue Sky Update – July 2023

After another busy month, but with plans to kick back in August, here is my round-up for July as a coach, writer, and human being.

The stories people tell.

 One of the many reasons I started working as a career coach is because I am fascinated by the stories people tell about their jobs, their careers and how they come to be sitting in front of me.

So, it was a real privilege to sit on the interview panel as a trustee of the Pearce Foundation alongside the founder @JaneRobbie and hear the stories behind the two charities applying for support and funding. To listen and learn about their journeys to charitable status from the three female founders. It was remarkable to hear what they had already achieved with limited resources, from seeing an initial need to making something happen.

Hearing these stories gives me hope; this is where I see authentic leadership – in those who decide to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.

It was awe-inspiring.

And to the people driven to make a difference – I celebrate you all, whatever your story.

Fear of starting again

 Those who know me will know I play the piano – something I have been doing for several years. Because I cannot process musical notation quickly, I do not sight read, so learning a piece of music can take several months.

Nonetheless, over the years, I have slowly built up my repertoire of songs/tunes that I can play reasonably well while continuing to learn a few new ones.

But the thing is, the more I learn – the more anxious and fearful I become about forgetting and losing what I have already learnt, almost to the point where it takes away the joy of playing.

And then, inexplicably, a few months ago, I forgot a whole section of a piece I’d been happily playing without problem for years, and that’s when I realised I needed a different approach.

If necessary, I’d have to accept starting again from the sheet music. I’d learnt it once – I could do so again, and it wouldn’t necessarily take months.

With this mindset, I can now relax and enjoy my piano again.

But I am curious to understand how else this fear of starting again might be holding us back.

It’s not you – it’s me.

I’m breaking up with my smartphone – well, not entirely, but reading @CarolStewart’s post on her three-day digital detox helped me realise how much I have grown attached to it. I have successfully reduced my screen time in the past, but it has crept up again.

It is time to set some new boundaries in addition to leaving it downstairs at night and not looking at it after 8:30 pm. But it is what happens throughout my day that is the problem.

During the day, I don’t always need my phone within arm’s reach. We don’t even have to be in the same room. If I must physically move to access it, this will make my accessing it more intentional – rather than reaching for it mindlessly.

Now I wonder how it affects my focus, energy, creativity, and time. I suspect far too much because my usage has gradually increased over the past few months.

So, thank you, Carol, for the reminder, and if anyone has any further suggestions – do let me know.

Artificial Intelligence, what might the future hold?

With all the recent talk about AI and what it might mean – I was reminded of a story I wrote in May 2016.

Because who knows what the future holds? Can we learn to work with it for the good of us all, or does a bleaker future beckon?

I am inclined to take a more optimistic view – if we can work in partnership with AI, it could unlock the potential to improve all our lives, but that will depend on how we harness it.

Here is my revised story if you have the time to read it – I hope you enjoy it. And I can’t help but smile as today I have a Positivity App on my phone, which works a treat for me ????.

Until next month