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Falling off the wave – Overcoming failure

Falling off the wave

Sometimes, in all our lives, we will all fall off the wave.

The wave is a metaphor and it will mean different things for people and at different stages of our lives. It could be a particular skill, a career, anything. You are a student of life, constantly developing and growing (whether you know it or not).

Being a student means to try things beyond your known ability, this will lead to you making mistakes or not succeeding at times. You need to develop strength and new skills. One day you will succeed,  you can become an expert and yes, even then you will make mistakes and fail at times.

Failure is not the end, don’t give up, don’t take it personally, learn from your experience.

The lesson from this surfer is you just try again. (here was his next wave)

Paul S Allen

Waverider

Photos ©Paul S Allen 2015

 

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To love the unlovely

How the unlovely, the broken and the disadvantaged are treated is the measure of society.

If you go behind all our masks, behind the tattoos, the makeup, the hair, the gender, the orientation, the religion or non-religion, you will meet a human. Someone who breathes the air, has blood in their veins, eats, rests, and generally lives from one routine to another.

We are all human.

My eyes were opened one day when a feared gang member stopped outside a food shop to buy his lunch. What I saw that day was a person, who probably ordered and paid for his favourite sandwich, and looked forward to eating it.

A man with a hunger, a need, a desire for something, normal, satisfying.

I got to know this man in a small way over a few years, I knew him as a person who looked out for his friends, he was a caring man, he tried to protect youth when needed. He shared with me his concerns about children playing in a derelict building site. He had a desire to improve his circumstances and of those around him.

He was also a gang member, he wore a patch, I am sure he had earned it in a way I did not want to know about. He was an outcast from “normal” society.

What I mainly saw was the man, a human.

A desire to change from someone with a less than “normal” past, whether that be criminal or other anti-social background  (mental health especially has a stigma that people need to overcome) requires us to change our attitude, it requires us to get out of our comfort zone to reach out to the one wanting to change.

It means taking a risk.

Unless we are prepared to take a risk to reach out to others who are different from us how can we ever expect to improve our community.

To ostracize the unlovely, the broken and the disadvantaged is an indictment on the society we live in.

We need to be a community where forgiveness is a norm, where there is acceptance of the different, and where those wishing to and needing to change can find a place to do so and people who can help.

To love the unlovely is to love your fellow human. Something we are all called to do.

Paul S Allen

(aka paulusthebrit – twitter)
Caution

The Rescue – a poem

The Rescue - a poem by Paul S Allen

The Rescue – a poem by Paul S Allen

Fear

Fear in itself is neither positive or negative. It is a result of the stimulus of a situation on an area of our psyche that produces a chemical reaction in our bodies. The fight or flight response.

The Long Dark Shadow

The Long Dark Shadow

Fear should not be eliminated altogether it serves an important purpose, that is to protect us from harm.

What is needed is, to be able to control and use it. We need to take note of it and understand it then make a decision how we are to act.

React or respond? For the most part the best result of the onset of fear is for us to respond, that is, to act in a considered way.

The main way fear becomes truly negative is when it cause us to become paralyzed and unable to make decisions. Fear can be tamed. When I went to Toastmasters I was taught that it was not about getting rid of the “butterflies in my stomach” it was about making them fly in formation.

Fear should highlight areas that need to be addressed and either fixed or avoided. What fear are you facing?

  • What are you being challenged by?
  • What are the things that you need to let go or move away from?
  • Why do you react the way you do to certain situations?

Fear should result in change, either to the situation or your response to it.

Fear comes in many guises, danger: things that could lead to physical harm or death; change: letting go of the past, moving out of comfort zones, moving from familiar to unfamiliar, risk of loss.

No forward progress can be made if you are tightly holding onto the past.

To get over fear you need to build strategy, develop the ability to control the adrenalin rush. Talk your situation over with trusted friends, mentors, coaches.

To have courage you need to be en-couraged. The great thing about this is when you have courage you can become the encourager.

The wisdom is in knowing which fear needs to be respected and which needs to be dealt with.

Paul S Allen

There are many irrational fears, phobias and anxieties, these need to be addressed with care and often with professional assistance. 

Juggling too many chainsaws

I can juggle 2 balls in one hand just fine, 3 balls in both hands OK, any more than that it just gets messy.

In life it is important to know your limits, especially for those who have a tendency to say yes too often or take on too much and over commit.

All to often I find that I start to juggle OK then add another ball then another and every now and then a chainsaw comes along. Out of necessity you (I) will catch it once or twice but it will be inevitably dropped and cause damage in the process

The trick with juggling is to not try something without building up the skills required before hand and to know your limitations. Do not be tempted to go from juggling balls to juggling working chainsaws in one step.

“What can’t you do?” is just as an important question to ask as “what can you do?”

If you have taken on too much and you are trying to juggle beyond your skill level or ability you have to make changes. Get help, coaching and training and/or put those items you are juggling down and work out which ones are the important ones for you to continue.

You need to do this before you damage yourself or others.

Yes, stretch yourself, work hard at increasing your abilities, but do not burn yourself out in the process. When you are handed chainsaws to juggle you need to have confidence in your own ability to juggle them, and that confidence needs to be based in reality. Do not try to juggle them because you think you can you have to know you can.

So be careful juggling chainsaws.

Paul S Allen

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