Evoenix:Edits

Mistakes and Regrets, I expect we all have more than a few…

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

Some might even be in progress.

And I suppose it will depend on your definition of a mistake and a regret. I was once quoted as saying, “I don’t think I’ve ever really failed, just got a little better each time“.

And when something does go amiss, all too often we blame or attribute it to the very last thing that happened. The straw that broke the camels back. And it’s easy to forget the several steps that led up to that undesired or unexpected outcome.

If it’s the outcomes we are focused on, of course. And whether we are measuring the outcomes as a success or failure. Or might it be better to look at the decisions made in service of that outcome?

Because if we don’t analyse the whole event, where’s the learning and the opportunity to adjust our decision-making process if it was flawed?

It would be pointless to think after having a bad day – yeah, I really shouldn’t have even gotten out of bed this morning.

How was your sleep that night? What were you doing the day before? What have you been doing all week? Who has been supporting you recently? And who has been grinding your gears? Did you keep saying “yes” to things and forgetting to say “no”?

And is it even a mistake, if it wasn’t truly your fault?

So, what if there was a litmus test for mistakes? And feel free to devise your own criteria.

Condition 1: Were you acting recklessly?

Condition 2: Was it illegal or unethical?

Condition 3: Was it your ultimate choice or decision?

Because then, everything else is you taking responsibility for learning to do your best.

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Stopping Short

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

“Succesful people are successful because they know their weaknesses”

“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply”

A friend said:
What struck me is that we often focus on listening. But stop. And often that is hard enough.  But am I seeking to understand? And even that is not enough… Am I seeking to understand sufficiently to actually capture and be able to accurately repeat (and even defend) the merits of the other person’s idea? And give voice. And meaning. And discovery.

I had a similar epiphany to the quote about successful people knowing their weaknesses.
My question was, so what?
Great you know your weaknesses, but what do successful people do about them?
Is it enough just to KNOW your weaknesses?

Is it enough to just understand?

What more can we do to help others, and ourselves, be successful in life?

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

New season. New Goals.

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

It’s time to change things up.

And as the season changes, so do our priorities and intentions.

It’s that start of a new academic year following the summer break that seems ingrained in us to begin new things or reinvigorate a lagging project.

The kids are back to school, and so are you in some ways. And it’s not too late, but time won’t wait either.

So, how might we be more intentional about our intentions?

Well, it’s pencil and paper time.

Write down everything you want to get done.

And NEWSFLASH!!!! It’s unrealistic to think all of it is achievable.

Time to prioritise and pick the top 5 most important things.

Everything else becomes: THINGS TO AVOID!!!

And I mean avoid!!!
These are the things you say “no” to and if you want it on the important list, you will need to swap it out. Or wait until one has been completed and there is space for a new activity. 

The most important question to ask yourself when prioritising each of these goals is:

How is this important for me?

I want to achieve __________ , so that __________ . And then I can __________ .

You might even find some of the things on that avoid list never become a priority or become irrelevant.

Begin to collect the dots, then work to connect them.

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Some things are hard for some people

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

They are not you and you are not them.

They don’t know what you know.

You don’t see what they see.

We all have a unique filter calibrated to just us, and us alone.

It interprets and guides our thoughts, values, opinions and behaviours.

And it’s not necessary, or even possible, to re-calibrate to be completely in sync with others.

All we need to know is – it’s there.

And do the hard emotional labour of seeking to understand, see and hear others.

Not to change each other. Simply to collaborate and be open to possibilities.

And simple is rarely easy. That’s what makes it worthwhile.

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Consider the Bigger Picture

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

The recent Brian Cox Planets series has been a fascinating watch and really does help to put things into perspective. Living on this tiny speck of dust we call home.


Even more so, other solar systems follow a consistent pattern – they are doing things their way.


Then there’s ours – and we are doing things our way.

Because our solar system was subjected to several unique events giving rise to some unique characteristics, yet to be seen in other systems.

It’s not wrong, just different. So even in the geological world, it thrives on diversity and is affected by lived experience.

But it begs a pondering and I don’t know which is scarier…


There’s a high probability, given the vast number of solar systems, that we are not alone.

Or…


The likelihood that because we are so unique, in fact, we might well be.

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

To blog or not to blog…

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

I started blogging through Medium (Instagram for writers) in May 2019, migrating to a website that August and I have never looked back. Maintaining a 2-year streak of weekly blogs.

It became a way for me to unpack ideas and challenge my thinking.

Which then helps others to rethink ideas and how they might unpack them.

It’s my way of expressing my thoughts and values. And if people reading it agree, then we have a connection.

And for those with differing ideas, we can connect in spirited debate.

I also know all too well those questions that will be whizzing through your mind:

What if I don’t have anything to say?

How will I have the time?

What if people don’t like what I have to say?

Who’s even gonna read this shit?

Well, the only way to find out the answers to the questions is to start writing a blog.

And the hardest part is the sitting down to write.

But, I promise, that when you do the words will come.

And so long as you are interacting with the World, you will always have things to write about.

Blogging often gets confused with advertising and it’s used to funnel potential customers towards a product. It can be used in this way but will only work if you’ve already built a trusting community of followers.

For me, blogging has very little to do with sales and revenue. Blogging is my way of honouring the people who have given me permission to hear my voice and I can share other ideas with them.

One of my hero bloggers is Seth Godin. I not only admire his content but also follow his lead when it comes to WHAT a blog is for.

Maybe a podcast might be more your style?

https://seths.blog/2018/10/podcasting-is-the-new-blogging-2/

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Becoming Smart, Always.

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

“It’s not what you know that makes you smart, it’s the connections between what you know that makes you smart.” – Michael Bungay Stanier

We’ve all done it. Read a book. Studied an article. Written an essay or posted on social media.

And we took the shortcut.

We hacked our way through. Reading to just get to the end. Writing to meet the assessment criteria. Hurrying to hit send.

And that makes us feel smart. We absorb or disseminate information to clock up our mileage.

But, what are we actually doing with all this information once we’ve digested it?

Because we may produce a blinding essay that meets all the criteria and is submitted on time. And we may even get a fancy piece of paper that tells us: “Congratulations, you have been awarded [insert grade]“.

So what?

Another A4 clear plastic, hole punched pocket was inserted into the professional development record.

What if….

We took what we had learned.

Stitched it together with other pieces of knowledge.

Applied it in some way.

Then studied the results.

Took the good, and thought about doing better.

Looked at the bad, and adjusted our approach.

Then, took what we had learned…

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Is Trust really a thing?

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

Or merely a set of secretly coded agreements that align, and sometimes not?

And boundaries that are maintained, or may get crossed?

So then, might it be down to us to keep communicating, tweaking, nurturing and course-correcting that relationship?

So that, we can all get along in life – without having to second guess our every move and interaction.

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Time. It’s all invented.

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

“I appear to have several hours a day spare. I know, I’ll get a puppy!”

Says no one. 

The same can be said when starting a family. 

The desire comes first. 
Then, we slowly begin to craft our lives around this small, helpless creature. 
Making time, sacrifices and decisions based on outcomes we couldn’t possibly foresee. 

And yet, often we pass on opportunities to commit to our health, development and growth. 

Claiming, “I don’t have the time”. 

The reality is, there’s never enough time. 
And it’s not even the real problem. 

Because when we decide to get a puppy or start a family, we know deep down why we’re doing it.
Even if we can’t fully explain it in words and pictures. 

It’s just because we really want to.

And we will invent the time and energy to make it a success.

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Failing To Innovate

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

There’s no innovation, without failure.

I’ve smashed through this Netflix series called “Movies That Made Us” – fascinating stuff. 

Namely because these classic greats were all doomed for failure. 

Of course, there are thousands of films made and discarded every year… but some make it through and go on to become the movies of our lives.  And yes, each one was fraught with doubt and uncertainty at many points along the way. 

But there were some stark themes that kept recurring.

They all were flying by the seat of their pants and making shit up as they go. Literally! Sometimes the scriptwriters were only days ahead of the filming.  And each time for various reasons the same phrase was uttered – “This was the first time that…”

Whether that was innovation in graphics, contracting the right lead actor or the company turned its hand to feature films when it’s expertise was in ads. 

And another observation that was common among these greats – each and every project had 2-3 initial believers before the rest of the world got on board.

Remember the rule of 3 to start a movement as per Derek Sivers?

(not Phil Silvers, as I keep getting those two mixed up)

Yep, works in the movie biz too!

These may be large scale, overt and well-known unicorns.  But, that doesn’t mean small miracles don’t happen in everyday life too.

When you’re about to quit – ask yourself – what am I quitting for?  And is it a good enough reason?


In need of a binge watch? Here’s the series that prompted this thought: https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80990849

And that Siver TED: https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.