It’s funny what gets me thinking about personal resilience sometimes.
I couldn’t help myself, as soon as I saw the book title I had to buy it. Which book? I’m glad you asked. ‘Bizarre Books, A Compendium of Classic Oddities’ by Russell Ash and Brian Lake.
This book is full of genuine (I repeat genuine) book titles and I found myself very amused and even chuckling on a few occasions. Here are just a few examples:
‘Squid Jiggling from Small Boats’ by Nototosugu Hamabe (published 1989)
‘Practical Candle Burning’ by Raymond Buckland (published 1970)
‘Truncheons: Their Romance and Reality’ by Erland Fenn Clark (published 1935)
The book got me thinking about self help books in general.
They’ve been around for thousands of years and apparently the earliest recorded was an Ancient Egyptian genre called “Sebayt,” (meaning teachings or instructions) which was instructional literature on life.
Today bookshops are flooded with self help books. As for the internet there’s an almost unlimited amount of information, knowledge and wisdom available at our fingertips and on every topic imaginable, including… squid jiggling.
Why is all this information available? Because we all have problems, issues and challenges and we need answers. Sometimes we just like to be amused and entertained. We also, need inspiration and motivation from time to time.
I’ve realised often when we need a little inspiration and motivation we DON’T have to get it from a book, the internet or from looking at the achievements of others. There’s nothing wrong with doing that and it is a good thing to continue doing. I’m just saying from time to time there’s another source of inspiration that’s much closer to home, under our very noses in fact.
I’ve been very busy this last month or two speaking at events where my clients have wanted me to motivate and inspire their teams. When I was briefed I realised the teams didn’t need motivating and inspiring they just needed… REMINDING… reminding of the good work they were doing and their achievements.
They were just focussing on the issues and challenges they had to deal with. Once they dealt with those issues and challenges they didn’t count them as successes they just went on to the next issue and challenge. That’s fine except for one thing, if we don’t put our lives in to perspective our resilience and motivation can erode.
So I gave them some tools to stay focussed and self-motivated. But what resonated the most with them was when I reminded them of their achievements and put their working lives in to perspective. It was at that point they ended up inspiring and motivating themselves.
Sometimes when we’re so busy dealing with problems, issues and challenges we forget what we’ve achieved and how far we’ve come.
And that seems to be our biggest talent, the ability to forget just how talented we are and what we’ve achieved.
I’m not suggesting we should rest on our laurels and not continuously learn and evolve, there’s always room for improvement. Nor am I suggesting we show off or become arrogant. I’m just suggesting we put our lives in to perspective which will help raise morale and build resilience.
So every day for a few moments (possibly when you go to bed before you nod off to sleep) find a way of ignoring the problems issues and challenges and remind yourself of your achievements no matter how small and insignificant you think they might be.
Must dash now I’m dying to read ‘The Man With The Iron Eyebrows’ by Edouard Charles (Published 1902). It’s all about Mr Gregor Olivos who screws his eyebrows between two horizontal steel bars of some apparatus, enabling him to lift 244 lbs (110.7 Kg).
I think I may have found a new hobby :)