“Be an encourager. The world has enough critics already” Dave Willis
It is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day that some we can forget to see the good right in front of us. Perhaps that’s what Dave Willis means when he refers to the critics. We moan and gripe to the extent that when someone presents us with something, we can respond with the one thing that might have been an insignificant flaw, far outweighed by all the positives. In doing that it breaks down relationships and challenges resilience in those around you. Even if there is a flaw a response delivered in an encouraging manner can open up opportunities for learning and a strengthening of a respectful relationship.
This does not have to apply to one area of life, it can be far reaching. Encouraging those we interact with does need to be honest though. Speak the truth and understand that ultimately the person you are interacting with will make their own choice, but you have provided them with a view that they can work on.
On a project our resilience can sometimes start to flag, so offer encouragement offer a stock-take with the person on their journey. Summarise where they have been, where they are now and ultimately a timely reminder of the goal or vision they are aiming for. This can really make a difference to someone, as change doesn't happen overnight and, like an athlete there can be a “wall” moment that just needs that extra push to see it through. With any journey, you take people with you on the way, if you are one of those people, then some feedback that the vision is still shining bright can really support that feeling of being in it together.
So why not try changing your inner critic, to an outward encourager and see the difference - enjoy.
Simply put - we need to get wiser, younger. If we don’t, then an issue that could have been avoided, could end up being in our lives, challenging us and straining our resilience. Whilst it is important to live in the now it is also a positive to think about the effects of today on tomorrow. No time is too late to make a difference and we do have so much available to us, through getting physical, creative, meeting new people, volunteering - whatever keeps you healthy.
So where’s the motivation - being healthy in ageing, that’s where it is. Of course, some pre-disposition and factors that are beyond our control can occur, but the evidence is so strong around keeping active, engaged, connected to control what we all deem inevitable. Well inevitability is not our excuse anymore, telling ourselves that we may as well do whatever because it is going to happen anyway has been disproved, even for conditions such as Dementia.
There is something about perception too - let’s look at what people can do instead of what they can’t, regardless of age or circumstance. Some things make it difficult, of course, but rarely impossible. Prof Martin Vernon prompts us to ask the question “what matters to you” because this is so personal and if that one, or set of things, can be facilitated - that is independence and joy.
So healthy ageing doesn’t start at retirement age, it is much sooner than that. Think about what you would like to do with your future, what are your dreams, activities that would mean a lot to you to continue if life became more challenging at any time along the journey but you could make the most of now. It might be that these reflections would bring about change earlier, that may never have been thought about or aired otherwise, but had really been bringing you down or getting you stuck.
We are all ageing from birth, so as a society we need to rethink our habit of waiting for tomorrow to change. Perhaps you have an interest that you may not have thought about for a while, or keep putting off going for a walk or meeting up with that friend you haven’t seen in ages. Make a change today by doing something now, break the routine and find yourself again.
What’s it going to be?...
What is your learning style? Maybe you know exactly how you learn best, or haven’t thought about it much. It is helpful to have an idea as we are learning all the time whether at work or at home; there is always something new to take on board. So observe how you interact with new information - is the written word more accessible or do you need to hear it out loud. Is transferring information into picture form the best way to get the penny to drop. There is often a blend of these that we adopt instinctively to speed up learning something new. It can be helpful to explore this about ourselves so when information is given to us we know how it is best “translated” to pick it up more quickly. Learning by doing is often a positive way if you make sure you are learning from the not so good as well as the good. When it’s not so good his is an acceleration of learning with good reflection to gain insight and new skills going forward. It is important to remember that there is not one single environment for learning either, i.e. class/training room setting, it’s going on all the time and there is a way that will feel more conducive than others; try and be alert to it.
So, know your learning style and adapt the way you receive information as much as possible to enjoy a life-long journey of discovery.
Often there is this pressure to stay on extra, be seen to be doing, always being the one to say “yes”. How helpful is this to our health & wellbeing? It is quite the opposite, but when it is culture in your workplace, it can be hard to shake off. But Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say, and change starts with one person. Could this be you?...