Stress and the Goldilocks Effect

We are in an age where stress and stress management are frequently discussed and often without context. Stress is a complex topic, and I’d like to cover some of it in this blog post. The key question for this post is how do we know when our stress levels are “just right”?

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The Nature of Reality

I spoke with a colleague recently over dinner, and we started talking about physics, which is his passionate interest. I’m not a physicist, nor can I play one even in my mind, never mind on the Internet. He, on the other hand, studied physics in college. He continues to read widely on things I consider borderline arcane, including quantum physics and mechanics. The conversation briefly moved onto the nature of reality before diverging and heading into more mundane conversational waters. But it triggered something because I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that the nature of reality is about individual experience.

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The journey of life is to find Purpose

What a massive topic this is. I’m a recent addition to the Congregation unconference, but it has been so thought-provoking for me, and this year’s theme is no exception. It is a bit daunting to take on such a broad subject. Do I write about corporate purposes? The broader meaning of life? About porpoise, through a Monty-Pythonesque misunderstanding? (That would probably constitute a cross-purpose.)

To narrow the scope, I’ve been thinking about the articulated purpose of my life. And how long it has taken me to arrive at what I want to achieve with my time.

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Honesty – is it always the best policy?

I’m a terrible liar. Not in the sense that I tell a lot of lies – quite the opposite. I’m really bad at dissembling. My ability to tell convincing canards was never one I practised or wanted to develop, and as a consequence, my six-year-old sees through my fibs. My younger brother is a terrible liar. And where I’m from, that emphasis means he’s great at it. He tells dizzyingly constructed shaggy dog stories, and people end up believing them. He lies for entertainment, his own and others. For fun, not for profit. So lying may not always be damaging – it may just be a kind of misdirection. This thought brings me to the core of this question – when it comes to working with people, are there acceptable mistruths?

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When giving feedback, bring your SCARF

Where I work, and, I suspect, in many other workplaces, it’s that time of the year again – mid-year performance feedback is underway. For some of us, it’s a time of dread. For others, it can be something to look forward to. And often, it’s a non-event, and not for a good reason. One of the things we can do as managers and leaders is making feedback an event to look forward to by bringing our SCARF to bear.

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On Inspiration

I’ve been thinking about sources of inspiration a lot lately. I’ve recently written about the decline in my writing, an ironic thing to write 🙂 I’ve also had a few encounters with people where I have inspired if not them, then at least their short term thinking. Those events, and some recent challenges, led me to think of the sources of inspiration.

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