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90 Year Old Persistence

90 Year Old Persistence

One of the best gardens in Mentone belongs to a Meals on Wheels client of mine. The lawn is always freshly mowed with neatly trimmed edges. Flowers bloom all year round. Vegetables grow in the backyard. It’s a feat to be proud of especially when you consider my client is nearing 90 years old.

At his age, how does he manage this when others struggle to leave their armchair? The answer is simple – persistence.

He has a frail frame, walks with a hobble and is often recovering from a small hospital procedure. What makes him special is his determination and persistence. He mows his medium sized suburban lawn in 4 or 5 batches across the day, sometimes taking a snooze during one of the breaks. During summer, he starts earlier to avoid the afternoon heat. He is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished against the odds with commitment and persistence.

I will always remember the beautiful orchard he cut fresh from his garden and gave to me in appreciation. Priceless.

Brene Brown – The power of vulnerability

Brene Brown – The power of vulnerability

Brene studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. She is a phenomenal ‘research story teller’ (quantitative researcher). An intellectual humanitarian.

I relate to her story with my struggle to fully embrace Twitter, revealing my true self in a public forum. Letting people see my grammar is not perfect and that I often omit words or rehash a sentence without rechecking the final result for readability.

Below are notes I took from her Ted talk:

Stories are data with a soul.

Connection is why we are here – it is what gives us purpose in life. Neurobiologically, it’s how we’re wired.

Shame unravels connection. Shame – the fear of disconnection. Is there something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection.

Shame is universal, we all have it, the only people who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or human connection. No one wants to talk about it and the less you talk about it, the more you have it.

In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.

Some people have a strong sense of love and belonging. Other people struggle for it.

Only one variable that separated the two: those who have it, believe they are worthy of it. Whole hearted people living from this deep sense of worthiness.

What whole hearted people had in common was a sense of courage, compassion and connection.

  • Courage to be imperfect.
  • Compassion to be kind to themselves first then to others.
  • Connection – as a result of authenticity, you have to be yourself for connection. Willing to let go of who they thought they should be to be who they really are.

They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. Willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. Vulnerability is necessary. Fundamental.

The way the whole hearted live:

Vulnerability – core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness. However it’s also the birth place of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.

We live in a vulnerable world.

We numb vulnerability – we are the most in debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in US history.

Problem is, you cannot selectively numb emotion – vulnerability, shame, grief, fear, disappointment without numbering other affects or emotions, joy gratitude, happiness. Then we are miserable.

Think about why and how we numb:

  • We make the uncertain certain eg religion
  • Blame – a way to discharge pain and discomfort.
  • We perfect – but it doesn’t work.

We should say to our kids, “You’re imperfect, your wired for struggle but you are worthy of love and belonging”.

We pretend that what we do doesn’t affect people.

Be authentic and real.
To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerability seen.
To love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee.
To practise gratitude and joy.
To feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.

To believe ‘I am enough’ .We stop screaming and start listening. We’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and to ourselves.

Embracing Our Traits

Embracing Our Traits

A trait of the suburb Docklands is that it is frequently windy. What could be done if Docklands embrace this trait rather than have it take visitors by surprise, leaving them without a windproof jacket and shivering with the cold. Why not have their mantra as the kite flying capital, host a kite display and kite flying competitions?

I spend a lot of time reading about all things web. I’m reluctant to converse with the majority of my friends about the lastest book I’m reading in case they stop inviting me over. I keep it quiet that instead of buying fashionable new shoes or handbags with my credit card reward points, I bought domain names. If I embrace this trait, I could find some other IT mums who are also keen to get their children to start their first website and create their own blog entries. We could run workshops, share knowledge and have some geek fun.

Blue Puffle Customer

Blue Puffle Customer

Our unfed virtual pet Blue Puffle ran away. Have you fed your customers lately?

My sons use They earn credits by playing games then spend these credits on virtual pets and items to furnish / decorate their virtual igloo.

Jaiden hadn’t played for a while and forgot to buy credits to feed his pets so his Blue Puffle ran away, never to be seen again. It made me think about customers, whether you’ve ‘fed’ them, whether they’ve run away and if so, can you get them back.

I guess I liked this analogy because it used some of Chip and Dan Heath’s SUCCESsful idea checklist: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credentialed, Emotional, Story. Simple by using an analogy of customers running off, Emotional because a child’s virtual pet ran off and Story because it occurs in the virtual land of ClubPenguin.

What are your favourite strategies used within games?

What strategies do you use to touch base with your customers from time-to-time. I think we under utilise adhoc emails and newsletters to keep our customers nurtured. I’m off to send out a couple of emails to my favourite customers.

Volunteer – do good, feel good

Volunteer – do good, feel good

I give small amounts of time to my community and in return, I feel great.

Volunteering is a key ingredient for caring communities. I applaud everyone that has at some point in time taken on a volunteering role. I encourage others to consider giving some time to their community.

My volunteering roles have included:

Meals on Wheels – it makes me happy knowing our vulnerable elderly will have a nutritious meal.

My sons’ school – P&F and reading helper.

Rushall Park Retirement Village – teaching residents how to surf the Net. Once we mastered the challenging timing of the ‘Double Click’, we opened up a new world to explore.

Rushall Park Retirement Village – where I organised a trivia afternoon tea for all residents. With the onset of dementia, we may not recall what we had for lunch yet we may have vivid recollection of our past. It was a successful afternoon and one I’ll always remember.

Coaching a girls basketball team at Victorian School for the Deaf. I was only there for a season and took pleasure from teaching them a few games to use as training drills.