Your Great Unfinished Works, Waiting In The Wings

We all them.

Projects, ideas, activities and documents that remain buried in the depths of digital files and the recesses of our brains.

Wrapped in time and the story that you’ll get to it one day…

Ultimately, it’s the fleshy thing on the end of the mouse that prevents these things from coming into fruition.

One day can be today.

Then you will start.

And keep going.

Navigating the challenges along the way.

Until finally – it will be done.

And that’s an accomplishment worth the time and effort.

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Failing Fast Is The Bravest Way To Progress Forward

Are you failing fast enough?

One particularly good failure I learned early on after leaving the military was Craig’s List.

I kept hearing about it from friends State-side.

So I posted an ad about my Coaching Services. Nice pic and got to road-test my copywriting.

Well, I was so pleased and shocked it was so easy.

I got 3 responses very quickly. Over the moon and shaking with excitement I opened the emails.

However, it was for “jobs” that didn’t involve much coaching 🙈

The things I learned…

Craig’s List is full of pervs!!

And more importantly, I knew very quickly that tactic was a dead end.

I deleted the ad and moved on.

Otherwise, I would have wasted time and energy thinking about doing that ad for months.

To then find it was a bust.

Thankfully, I got my answer early. 

Failing fast is the best way to progress forward.

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Do You Love Creating SMART Goals?

I am so jealous because I don’t like them. And you may be a rare human.

Many folks are done with SMART goals.

And it’s time to think about goals and planning for them differently.

You are more likely to take that action if you have put in the time and effort to think about your goals and why they are important to you.

Now is the time to step back to get a good look at the bigger picture and get that first new perspective in focus. 

Then control the chaos with a structure to help you get your thoughts and ideas out on paper and connect the dots. 

It all starts with planning and beginning with the end in mind. 

To have all your values, efforts, activities and goals connected and working with each other. 

Building good habits, accountability and learning the questions to ask ourselves when we get stuck. 

So that you can remain consistent and persistent in the pursuit of your personal leadership skills and self-governance on your own. 

Obstacles will arise, it’s how you navigate them that counts.

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A resilient life is like…

A Texas rodeo…

You’ll get thrown off and bloodied…

And yet, you keep getting back on that beast, time and time again…

I found this blog deep in the depths of the Draft folder.

And I can’t even remember if I came up with it or whether I was inspired by its original author.

Anyhoo, it had a good feeling to it.

And not wanting it to continue gathering digital dust any longer, it made me think…

Do we ever get to tame the beast?

Or would that take all the fun and fulfilment out of the ride?

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Life Is Not Linear – Choose The Scenic Route

Unlike Time, life is not linear.

It has twists and turns.

You make plans and the unexpected forces you to re-calculate.

Knowing this, some of us might be content with the scenic route.

Might we even plan for it on purpose?

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Challenges Allow us The Time to Adapt to Our New Worlds

The work we get to do is challenging. And that’s good because it shows we care and were willing to go the distance. And along the way, we learn to manage our failures. how we address them and feel about them.

If everything was easy everyone would be doing it and it might not feel that fulfilling. 

Often something will happen and that forces us to adapt.

There’s a change agent. 

And that agent may be in or outside of our control and may or may not be initiated by us. 

It might be a young couple at the doctor’s surgery and the wife is receiving the results of a cancer test. Now lots of decisions need to be made. 

Or to an older person, realising that after 40 years in the same job, getting out of bed just isn’t fulfilling anymore. And now they want to go in search of their passions and find purpose. 

Whether we’ve chosen to make the change or the change is making us re-evaluate our options, any decision-making will often lead to obstacles in new and unchartered territory. 

Things we hadn’t banked on or the outcomes were not as we expected.

Maybe there was something we hadn’t factored in and now we’re challenged to find a solution. 

Challenges allow us the time and space to transform and adapt to our new worlds. 

It gives us a new decision point. 

To do this… or that, to overcome the obstacle. 

And, choosing to not make a decision, is also making a decision. 

It is a choice to ignore it and keep ploughing on. 

The fulfilment truly lies in the resolution. Whether it be a good or a bad outcome, the consequences of our actions validate our decision-making. 

And because there is that risk of failure, often we remain in the land of stuck.

We hide from decision-making because there are too many unknowns and possible results. 

And we can often be paralysed by choice or fear the good outcomes too. 

What if it did work this time and I was successful? 

Maybe I’d be better off maintaining this status quo and dealing with my unhappiness quietly on my own. 

There’s a philosophical fable about a donkey that was equally thirsty and hungry and placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. 

Because neither option was closer, the donkey couldn’t make a rational decision between the two. 

So he died of thirst and hunger. 

When really all he needed to do was pick one and then the other.

Doing nothing is still a choice. 

It’s not the end. 

Now, there is work to be done.

Failures to be created.

And learning to be had.

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Knowing The Sacrifice Will Help You To See The Consequences

What if you get sidetracked or suffer from shiny object syndrome? 

What if you miss out on a great opportunity because you’ve set a different goal? 

I know that fear, you set out with all these great intentions and then other stuff keeps getting in your way and distracting you. 

Well, the answer to those questions is for you to discover, but what I can say is – remain flexible. 

If your dream job comes across your desk – Great! Go for it if you feel it’s the right thing to do. 

And then you can quickly reassess your goals and priorities. Look for common threads and tweak as needed. 

But then there’s the other side of the coin with the things you feel you must do and it’s hard to say “no”, even when you know you have a mountain already on your plate and you’re on the brink of overwhelm. 

Plus, if you say “yes” to one thing, there will be something you’ll need to say “no” to and that might be something really important to you. 

Identifying and acknowledging this trade-off will aid in decision-making.

Knowing the sacrifice on the cards will help you to see the consequences.

And maybe that “no, I can’t do that right now” will feel more justified.

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What Do You Want From Life After The Military?

So you’ve made the decision and now you’re out on your own.  

And normally you crack on but for some reason, your activities just ain’t happening.

Now you have to think about yourself and what you want.

There’s no military agenda to consider. No promotion board, dream assignment or Book of Reference to guide you.

Before you could follow a path that had been walked by many.  You knew the score and what to do.

Now, you are on a road that seems foggy and you can barely see 3 ft in front of you.  

It’s uncertain.  

And seemingly, the only option is to hide and do nothing. 

How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don’t want?

So here’s the fact.  

If you do nothing, spoiler alert – nothing changes.

The braver option, and one that pays in the long run, is to step into that fog and see where it leads, encountering the obstacles as you go.  

And with good planning, when we have a clear sense of where we’re going, we can be flexible in how we get there.

Because now more than ever, leadership is vital and it’s not an activity exclusively reserved for appointed leaders or managers. 

Leadership starts with everyone. 

It starts with you.  

I self-published two books.  One is a fiction novel and the other came first. It was a practice book.  

I was stuck worrying about how I was going to format and get a book onto Kindle and what all that entailed.  

It was distracting me from editing the novel which was more important.  

So I gathered together a collection of reflections from while I was writing the novel, churned it through the formatting software and learned how to set things up on Kindle.  

It was a brilliant learning exercise that freed up my brain bandwidth and momentum to continue with the novel edits.

This should indicate two things.

First – I write about the writing.  Sounds odd but it really works.  

Going back over these reflections I was able to see when I was fatigued and the patterns of activity I went through as I was writing.  

It was really interesting and gave me an insight into my process, that otherwise would have gone undocumented and unnoticed.

And second – I experiment and learn by doing.  

Very comfortable in my discomfort with trying new things, testing things out, seeking the adjustments needed and noticing the change, and the impact.  

Re-thinking how and why we do things is the path to progress.

Transitioning from the military and creating new goals and plans requires a shift in thinking, decision-making, and, most of all, in choosing to do things for you.

Without support, feedback and accountability, this process can fail to even begin. The blinkers go on, we hide and we procrastinate.

Discover your own potential.

Try setting a timer for 60 seconds to brainstorm.  No judgement.  No opinions.
Bullet point all the stuff you’ve done that you can think of.
One idea might lead to another.
Then you can cherry-pick your favourites and dig into them in more detail.

This is a handy workaround if you find yourself being your own worst obstacle.

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Go-Go-Test And Make Your Goals Happen

Think about that place where you fear to look.

What’s the next smallest step you can take to go there?


Right now.

Step away from this page and start to do a new daily habit or an action you have been promising yourself you would do.

Send an email.

Start a new document.

Post on social media.

Tell someone about your plans.

Do one thing right now. 

Commit to it.

And keep going… 

Then think about how it worked out for you.

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