Robin Hills (Director, Ei4Change) has been asked to contribute a series of bite-sized, inspirational soundbites for Bolton FM.
Featured every day for a week as The Thought that Counts, these were broadcast on the Breakfast Show around 7.20 am and on the Lunchtime Show usually around 12.20 pm.
This podcast covers
This podcast is another series of bite sized, inspirational sound bites that were recorded for Bolton FM. Featured every day for a week as The Thought That Counts, these are broadcasts on the Breakfast Show at around 7.30 in the morning, and on the lunchtime show, usually around 12.30. My reflections cover; The Illusion of Being Busy, Being Selfish, Celebrating Birthdays, Tips around Mindfulness, and Tips around Assertiveness. The Thought That Counts. Are you busy? Of course you are, isn't everyone? With numerous demands and priorities, it can be hard to keep up. Technology that was meant to increase the speed of communication and save time, has instead made our lives busier than ever. Being busy has become a bit of a status symbol. Showing off about a hectic life shows a level of importance because you have an important job and you're in high demand. One of the central issues to this constant busy-ness is about organisation. People can be busy merely because they're poor at planning. They lack organisation skills, and they have low empathy around the fact that other people are busy too. This leads them to cause problems, not only for other people, but for themselves in the long run. Eventually, it leads to more work due to unanswered messages, missed deadlines, extra meetings, making excuses explaining why they haven't done what they promised and a whole host of other things that compound their busy-ness. They're so busy that they haven't learnt that sometimes it's important to slow down in order to speed up. If you're always rushing to the next moment, what happens to the one that you're in? Being busy can also be an excuse to avoid doing something, either because the person can't do it - they're incapable - or they don't want to do it and have difficulty saying "No". Over the years, I found a simple test to see how busy someone is. If you want to get something done, give it to a truly busy person, they will always find the time to do it, or explain why they can't. If you are someone who thinks they're very busy, or who believes they're very important, it won't get done. The Thought That Counts. We've been conditioned to think of selfish as something that's bad. It's not! It's important for ourselves and for the people around us. It's important not to be selfish in ways that show a lack of consideration for others, but to be self-ish. Whilst it's important to be aware of the needs of others, it's also important to be aware of our own. Unmet needs lead to a life that feels flat or disconnected. Even small changes will make a difference. Putting yourself first sometimes instead of staying somewhere near the bottom of your own list will strengthen you mentally, physically and emotionally. Everything we do has an effect on our brain and our physiology. It might be in tiny, undetectable ways, but many tiny, undetectable things over time, eventually become something much bigger. In flight-safety instructions tell you that, in the event of cabin decompression, you should put your own oxygen mask on first before you help other people. In the same way, you need to ensure that you look after yourself so that you can look after others. You can't operate at your best if you're stressed or under the weather, or tired or hungry or thirsty. You owe it to yourself and to the people around you to be the strongest, richest, most complete version of yourself. Sometimes that will mean asking the rest of the world to wait. Looking after your own needs isn't always easy, but when the return is a strong foundation on which to build everything that's important to you, it will always be worthwhile. The Thought That Counts. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures in many different ways. A few weeks ago, I celebrated a significant birthday. I may be a few decades away from getting a telegram from the queen, but I'm now waiting to hear from Egerton Health Centre - my GP surgery, who I'm sure will be calling in the next few weeks to arrange my well-man checkup. More importantly, this occasion was marked with messages, cards and gifts from family and friends. The celebrations continued over a couple of weeks, culminating in a family weekend get together in the Cotswolds. We stayed in a hotel, went on a tour, visited places we hadn't been to before, and had a fantastic meal in a very expensive restaurant that I certainly wouldn't have chosen to eat it. I was told, "Dad, you don't have to worry about paying for this!" We had a wonderful time, sharing good times, laughter and memories. Over the coming weeks, we'll be looking forward to celebrating Christmas, which is our annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Today is November the 21st, and the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, and it's certainly not recognised in the same way. In some ways it will be marked and celebrated. However, let us all acknowledge his birthday and use this as an opportunity, like every birthday to mark the passing of time to honour and embrace the love of the person and the impact that they've had on people's lives. Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated. The Thought That Counts. When some people hear the word "mindfulness", meditation might be the first thing that comes to mind. Whilst it's true that meditation can have a profoundly positive impact on your performance, the reality is that if you're not inclined to give it a try, you can still integrate mindfulness into your workday in a number of other ways and get some great benefits. It all comes back to knowing that you always have a choice, and empowering yourself to make the conscious decision to focus on things in a way that will enhance your experience, instead of in a way that will detract from it. If you're interested in giving mindfulness a try, but aren't quite ready to start a meditation practice. Here are a couple of things that you can try out. Turn off your email and phone, unless you work in a job where answering an email or taking a phone call is a matter of life and death, and most of us don't! Learn to switch off communication devices for at least an hour every day to concentrate and focus on a single important task. Be grateful. Focus your attention on the things that you are doing well, and find a way to be grateful. The act of gratitude helps you to see that no matter how much dark you have around you, there is also light. This isn't a time consuming process. Just stop, look around and find things that enhance your experience. Ferris Bueller once famously said, "Life moves pretty fast. Sometimes, if you don't stop and look around you once in a while you'll miss it." The Thought That Counts. Assertiveness is a very important skill for everyone to develop. However, it's important to remember that assertiveness is not the same as being aggressive or constantly shouting. It's about your ability to clearly express your thoughts and feelings and to express what your needs are, and effectively defend your position on the subject whenever necessary. Assertiveness is your ability to act in harmony with your self esteem without hurting others. If you're unassertive, you'll be seen as passive - a bit of a pushover, weak and unwilling to contribute. You may also experience problems with time management as you're unable to delegate or say "No" to any request, and so end up accumulating an unmanageable pile of work. This is easily avoided if you can assertively say, "I'm sorry, I don't have time for that right now", every so often. Assertiveness doesn't mean being rude, it's just a question of being open and forthright with your thoughts and opinions. Consider the times when you weren't assertive enough and regretted it later. What could you have done differently to steer the situation towards a more favourable outcome? To develop your assertiveness, know what it is that you want when you meet someone, engage with them, and what you want from the interaction. Every time you communicate with someone, have a desired outcome even if it's just to establish or maintain contact. That way you can know when you've achieved what you wanted. Being passive is to let others decide for you. Being aggressive is to decide for others. Being assertive is to decide for yourself. Assertiveness is not what you do, it's who you are. I'm Robin Hills fromEI4Change, Empowering your Emotional Management. The Thought That Counts. Transcribed by https://otter.ai