Keeping a journal has been something I have always done in an on-and-off fashoin my whole life. I have for some reason never been able to sustain my effort.
It is usually at times of deep reflection that I re-kindle my desire to write things down and so start carrying my black moleskin notebook around with me wherever I go.
Tim Ferriss of The Four Hour Work Week fame has a great blog and wrote a really good entry on what his journal looks like and the benefits he gets from this daily ritual.
It does not have to be pretty and is a very personal thing, and the word is out that you WILL benefit from keeping a journal.
Now, that’s a New Year’s resolution you may want to seriously consider. I’m back into it, are you?
Give it a go!
Young and free
What can I be?
But something is always wrong
Pawns in a power play on a world stage
When will it end?
When will we learn?
open hands cradle
a world going by
laughter gone, miserable and dreary
a soul lost and family forgotten
cold to life
time your tormentor
I have always enjoyed writing poetry, and am starting to feel inspired again to put pen to paper. Here’s one:
I run free under an open sky
my breath is even
my footsteps methodical
As I raise my eyes to the horizon
the sun warms my senses
slowly creeping in
It feels good to be alive
What is it about self-esteem that makes it such an issue for us? It is certainly something I have wrestled with for most of my adult life.
Now, as a parent I constantly enjoy the experience of participating in the life of my children as they blossom into young, super confident adults. Being witness to this great confidence has made me acutely aware that low self-esteem is not something we are born with but that rather it is something which ‘gets to you’ and changes you – if you let it – as you make your way in life. This is because to fit in and be accepted we find that having confidence does not always work for us, because no one likes a ‘smart arse’ or a ‘know it all’ and we have an inherent need to be liked!
When I was finishing high school we used to have vocation classes in which we could discuss what we were thinking of doing when our school days were over. I remember our headmaster taking this class and how damaging his behaviour was to me personally. I have struggled to overcome the limiting expectations he thrust upon me which so negatively affected my self-esteem. For a long time I believed in them. It has been a life long struggle for me to overcome them. As I matured I am grateful that I was able to rise above this over powering and self centred individual and prove to myself that I “can” realise my dreams no matter what he thought of me.
That taught me an essential lesson and one I am trying to make my children aware of, and that is to never, ever give up on yourself! To believe in yourself no matter what! To know that you are a unique and wonderful person who has so much to offer. That you always have the ability to overcome things you may not be good at.
I think to overcome low self-esteem means staying true to what you know deep down and not worrying about what other people think as you make your way in the world. As you empower yourself you will positively influence others and lead a meaningful and positive life.
One of the great aspects of my job is to develop a professional engineering development programme for young graduates coming into our business. I love it and the interaction with young, aspiring minds certainly keeps me on my toes!
I was enjoying some time out with three of these young guns this week and we got chatting about some standout individuals in our business and who have had brilliant careers, when one of the graduates asked me ‘what does one do to get to these high echelons in the business”? The lull in the conversation was very noticeable as I sensed everyone was waiting for me to offer a response.
Well, how would you have answered this question? I offered a reply by saying that leaders have an intangible quality about them which is observed from a very early age. Something which makes them special and distinguishes them from the rest, and that this should be what they should strive to nurture and cultivate.
It reminded me of a line from the movie Dead Poets Society where Robin Williams is offering advice to his students on the poems they have created where he says (and I can’t remember the exact words) that whatever you do in life that you should do it with passion and that you should always strive to be extraordinary and not ordinary.
It is a great lesson, and one I also reinforce with my own children who are truly extraordinary human beings. Having the privilege of watching them originate in this fascinating world is an absolute joy!