Tag Archives: Mentoring

Better being relaxed

So this feels really obvious, but it’s only very recently I’ve actually managed to make this work. Lots of people say this, and they are correct, but it’s also hard to actually do.

Be relaxed, in your life, be actually relaxed. Laugh, have fun. Be open to stuff happening in the world and enjoy what happens to you throughout the day.

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There is no better thing, because once you realise you can be relaxed, then life is more fun. More interesting, more enjoyable.

Even in important work meetings, be relaxed.

Just ’cause everyone else isn’t being relaxed, can’t let themselves see the irony etc, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.

 

There are moments when things are actually not fun, actually not cool etc. And enjoying those moments is super-hard.

Nonetheless, I recommend genuinely letting your shoulder’s drop.

For one thing, having a clear mind, having clarity, let’s you think more clearly and make the better choices.

No link sponsorship (yet!), but I deeply recommend you read: https://www.jamiesmart.com/clarity-the-book/

The book used to be called: “Think less, achieve more” and now comes in a snazzy dark blue cover, but hey. The content when I read it 2 or 3 years ago has stuck, and is completely, completely precise in how useful and brilliant it is.

Techniques I recommend and use all the time

I will try (and fail) to keep this post updated with links to other useful posts about techniques. Rest assured I use each of these ‘on the regular’. See detail in each post – I won’t write about each one here for now.

Hope this is useful, cheers, Hugh.

 

Excellent routes to changing how you behave:

4 Affirmations that changed my world

Speak to Yourself To Create The Hypnosis Motivate To Success Formula (This one is not a post by me, but is useful)

Hot thoughts diary

Dragon Glass introduction

 

For mindfulness all day, the following techniques I find helpful:

The itchy jumper: Mindful all day technique

How to introduce mindfulness during your day

All day mindfulness

How to introduce mindfulness during your day

This is a tricky one, but makes all the difference. If you can be mindful as you go about your day, many less difficulties come your way. And, overriding the benefit of avoiding negative stuff, is the unrealistically wonderful feeling enjoyment in almost everything. Now, that, that is worth it all. That much I have experienced myself.

Like in Bob Marley’s Redemption Song that is so well loved by me and so many others: “emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds

So, the key step is how to be mindful all day long – how to free your mind, put you and your everything on a much better track.

Techniques then, are key. Try these alongside your daily formal mindful / meditation practice:

Post-it note on your laptop screen BLOGGED - Mindful days techniques 1 - 20190923

On the side of your laptop screen add a a bright colourful reminder. (other sticky paper available, and non-branded recommended – see kid’s birthday party invite sticker in picture…). The idea being that every time you look at your screen, or log in to you laptop, you will be reminded.

Flat stone in your shoe

Now, this is something that people often avoid – for good reason, it can be really sore or uncomfortable.

So pick a flat stone that won’t dig into your feet, and make sure to only keep in there for a little bit and swap it from place to place and foot to foot. If you are brave / radical enough to do this you’ve got a fine strong reminder.

 

NOTE: This is precisely the kind of thing that Jon Kabat-Zinn and Andy from Headspace talk about. Well worn and well honed types of techniques from thousands of years ago. Of course, now in a modern context. Stones less so, laptops and post-it notes certainly. Ha.

Enjoy folks, utterly worth it I can attest.

 

Uber-multi-pain, why do we do it, guys?

So guys, why do we tie ourselves in such knots?

For example, minor but illustrative:

My sister and I were cooking Sunday lunch recently (“the other day”) and I was looking for something useful in a drawer – and couldn’t find it. Of course, it was there. ‘Man looking’ was the comment. Fair enough, I didn’t really look, I just stuck my eyes in there for a nanosecond and then said I couldn’t see the (insert cooking item here) whisk.

My sister had a point. I looked again, slower, and there it was. Simple enough. But illustrative of a wider issue. And be sure, I’m not the first to think about this, or mention it.

Does make you wonder though: why do so many men pressure themselves so completely without need. Unnecessarily. Ha! I even worry about the fact that spelling unnecessarily is difficult, and that I should know that, and why is it hard and why aren’t I better etc… Yawn.

BLOGGED These 5 ways will help you stop overthinking - Mills Bauer - Medium
Mills Bauer – Medium

The monster list of things to worry about, not to say, not to do – classic examples being crying or showing emotion. Boy (pun intended) that makes me sad and furious all at the same time.

How dare that be the current status quo, how dare fathers and patriarchs everywhere instill and reinforce such heinous and pathetic rules. Get over yourselves guys. In being so “strong”, you make clear your weakness. It’s just perverse.

Crying is a basic human outlet for emotion, feeling and acceptance of reality.

Showing emotion is at the forefront of being human.

Without an effective ability to show your emotion your ability to be human is severely limited. How dare they pretend that is the right way.

Masculinity is a thin shiny shell that needs to be firmly snapped, shattered and all those sharp edges created in the shattering experienced and felt, sobbed over and accepted. Come on guys, get a grip of being human, being frail, wrong, lost, unsure, fearful and above all, just stop pretending.

With love to everyone.

And especially with love and hugs to all those many blokes so tied up with their standards and requirements of themselves that this post is hard to accept, hard to like, hard to see the value of. Because I’ve been there enough to know what a hard place you’ve pasted yourself into (or been pasted into, although it is always your choice really).

Please, amongst righteous and widespread climate change protests today and a severe lack of both long-term thinking and care-driven behaviour, let’s all be good to ourselves and let it all hang out.

Over.

 

Hot thoughts diary

One thing regularly recommended is to keep a ‘hot thoughts’ diary.

I tried this ineffectually a few times, and then finally years later realised how a good way to work it might be. There are many others, I’m sure.

My version worked this way:

1. Try and write regularly, with a specific aim. Be honest, otherwise it is a bit pointless.

2. Be thoroughly encouraged by writing stuff down. Know that later this effort will be worthwhile and helpful.

3. Look back over, and think about how better you could write in the coming days, so you can adjust how brave and honest you are prepared to be. Use a (green) highlighter if you want.

4. Write something to summarise, and take stock.

5. Keep writing, even when the immediate ‘issue’ has calmed down.

6. Build mindfulness formal practice and this hot thoughts into a regular routine.

How I came to Mentoring

I wanted to note a little about how I came to mentoring. It felt relevant.

How I came to Mentoring

I’ve had a tricky path. Not compared with lots of people I am sure, as I am remarkably lucky. But the fact remains I’ve not enjoyed myself, or felt calm or relaxed, that much in my life. And yes, it’s considerably less tricky for me now.

One key element for me, was that from at least the age of 7, I had a stutter. Still do, though I’ve learnt well to manage it and most people don’t notice it these days. I’ll post more on this as we go through, but it’s been influential.

I also was never guided by anyone, that I can remember, about how to think. How to manage how I was feeling. Only later in life have I started to get the picture. I’m now 38, after all, and a Dad, and still working on it.

Mindfulness has been a big part of my ‘getting a better grip of myself’, if I can put it that way. My mother was influential in this, when, after a friend’s stag do, I was very hungover and suffering slightly from what I call poison-paranoia. She noticed, and pointed out to me how I was breathing. And her input rekindled an interest in meditation. Mum then put me onto the Headspace app.

Somehow, I’ve retained an ability to enjoy the childish side of myself, and to relate to youngsters. Such a joy to be childish, say silly things, have fun being as ridiculous as possible.

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I didn’t feel that listened to, as a child, and spent lots of time paying attention to the minutiae of social life due to my stutter and social awkwardness. I felt that life was “really unfair”. Maybe as a result I find I listen well, and notice how others are feeling.

All these things, alongside a conscientiousness that I’d bet was instilled in me by my parents, have all led me to be the person I am.

And, as a result, over the years, it became clear that other people thought I’d be a good mentor.

Recently these have included a friend’s aunt, after we helped put together a fantastic wedding in the south of France. She took me aside and asked me specifically. Actually she recommended teaching, but this was based on how I encouraged and worked with everyone.

Then, when I was rethinking my career after our son arrived, my wonderful wife pushed me firmly and with great encouragement towards something of this sort.