Given I recently had the fantastic opportunity of participating in Outward Bound and not long ago received my 6 month letter wrote myself while I was there, I have chosen to share with you some of my reflections.
Recognising Rotary has been involved in helping many participants attend OB courses, I hope this better shares with you who I am and some of it strikes a cord with you
Most of these are taken directly from my journal while I was on my solo – 2 days and nights in the bush by yourself with none of the usual distractions; just yourself and your journal.
So, what did I learn about myself:
- Challenge myself regularly
- You can teach an old dog new tricks.
- We can be taught to challenge our beliefs.
- If after 40 years I can not only start running, but enjoy it – maybe there’s other things I’ve decided I can’t do, but actually can, and should! Challenge your beliefs.
- Say yes more.
- Face Your Fears
- Whilst like most people – I love routine, I also enjoy being outside my comfort zone more than being in it.
- I get bored easily and need challenge.
- Conquering my fears has provided me with some of my best experiences – like Diving. We grow through doing new things, things that stretch us
- Perfection is limiting
- My desire for ‘zero defects’ (perfection) in certain parts of my life limit me. I don’t like making mistakes.
- Sometimes risk is required to grow and failure provides that opportunity and develop relationships with people who can help you through it.
- Sometimes when we seek perfection, we don’t take risks because we avoid failure, but failure is the foundation on which success is built.
- If it’s easy, help someone who doesn’t think so
- I am hyper competitive (ties in to my issue of perfection). This can work against me.
- Often when something is easy and there’s no challenge in doing it – I don’t bother doing it. I should just do it and enjoy the experience or help someone who can’t and seek pleasure in this.
- Sometimes the challenge can be viewed through someone else’s eyes.
- Who you’re around matters
- What you’re doing is far less important than who you’re doing it with. My watch mates made my course. Made it tolerable. Made it fun.
- Surround yourself with people who matter. People who grow you, not diminish you
- Be Positive
- Live positively – Power words are important – especially for your inner voice. If someone asked me how I was going, I used to say ‘Not Bad’ – so this basically says I measure my life on a scale of badness. Now I say ‘Amazing’, ‘Awesome’ or ‘Great’. I’m slowly changing my view to positivity.
- Often, it is easier to give & receive negative feedback, but the best feedback to give is unconditional positive feedback – that which you give with no expectations attached.
- Reinforce who you want someone to be, who you know they can be, with feedback – show them the positive vision, don’t reinforce negative perceptions.
- Exercise your creativity
- I am more creative than I thought I ever was, we all are. This is something which I am endeavouring to hold on to through my writing. I now try to exercise this side of myself daily.
- Love yourself
- You MUST spend time with yourself, for yourself, on yourself and do it regularly.
- If you can’t enjoy your own company, no matter how many friends you’ve got, life is lonely.
And, my biggest learn….
My True North
My Family and our health are the single most important things to me.
Yes, at times I have compromised these in lieu of work or other demands, but Outward Bound confirmed for me that which is ultimately important to me – my family and friends and our health.
The Goals I set myself from Outward Bound are
- I am a loving father and partner
- I live a healthy lifestyle
- I am a present and accountable team member
- I act professionally
I didn’t miss my work at OB – but I missed my family immensely.
I couldn’t wait to get home – not that I didn’t love every minute I was there.
I was first off the boat in Wellington and I was greeted by my daughter and my partner. I’ll remember that forever because I was looking at it from a new perspective.
We all should work hard, but it should never be done at the expense of our families, friends or health.