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Life is a journey, Enjoy the trip

The London Bubble

Talking with some people at the CBC London studios for their first day on the air last week the topic of how outsiders view London as opposed to people that have lived here for quite a while came up.

There was a mix of people in the group. One person who has been here about 6 years can’t get over how much Londoners beat up their own town. He has found many amazing things that London has going for it.

Is this a case of the grass is always greener on the other side? Several of the staff at CBC London are new to the city and it will be interesting to see what their views are at various times over the next year as they discover what the city has to offer.

London has its challenges but we also have a lot going for it. We need to break out of the bubbles we seem to get ourselves into. We have to open our minds to ideas from all sides. Take the time to listen to them.

 

An Hour To Read

“An hour spent reading is one stolen from paradise.”
― Thomas Wharton

Beyond the obvious statement, the above quote provides, there is also a second line that should be added. “An hour spent reading makes the day more productive”

As part of reducing stress (much of it self-induced), I’ve been reading up on how productivity and mindfulness can work together to help the individual get to a better place.

One of the things I’ve started to do is to block out time to read. This means unplugging from the world for ideally an hour. Being able to read without interruption not only makes for greater understanding of the material being read, but I have also found makes more productive when I jump back into the rest of the day.

And things I read are not limited to fiction or nonfiction. I will include things like agendas and background materials for board meetings to longer articles I have found online I want to read in-depth. In short, anything that would benefit from having greater focus from not being distracted.

Much like getting in the zone to write requires an environment with as few distractions as possible, “deep” reading requires the same. I can read or write with certain background music, but my favorite background sounds are found outside with the wind rustling among the trees. Everyone will be different on what background sounds work for them.

The most important thing is to remove other sources of distraction, be it email, social media or any other thing that prevents you from getting into “your space” to read or write.

The next challenging will be carving out an hour to read undisturbed. The weekends and holidays I find it very easy to get up, have breakfast and then spend an hour reading before getting on with the day. Weekdays with work requirements have proven to be more of a challenge. At present, I sometimes spend between 30-45 min after dinner reading when I can.

Many productivity experts talk about waking up an hour earlier and doing some of these habits at the start of the day. It’s something I’d like to try in future but at the present time I know my limitations (and how much I like a good nights sleep)

Like any productivity or lifestyle tip, your mileage may very. You may find a different time spent may be more beneficial for you. In the end, it is worth a try to see if can produce a positive result.

50 Years

50 Years

Where does the time go?

This is my first thought upon realizing my 50th birthday was approaching. In many ways it seemed just yesterday I was celebrating my 40th birthday. Many things have changed since then, some good, some not so good.

To say the previous decade has been a challenge would be an understatement. There have been far too many stressful days (weeks months…) at the same time there have been some good things as well.

One thing that has always happened through the good times and the bad are the support of friends and family. This support has taken many forms from actually helping us through things live moving houses to simply saying “I understand” It has all been helpfully and gratefully received.

The last decade has seen a big change in my professional career. The beginning of the decade saw me in a role I had been in for quite a while and which I was content with. Then with my employer at the time being purchased resulted in going back into the very challenging job market. 6 different positions later I find myself back in the corporate world with the much-needed health care benefits for my family situation.

The previous roles all taught me or confirmed beliefs I had and I am thankful for those opportunities. I hope that I contributed as well to make each organization better as well.

As I look back upon the previous 10 years, I have to look beyond myself but to my community and the world as a whole. Again, a mix of good and not so good but looking back through history we have seen that similar events occur over and over again. The one tragic thing is that we don’t seem to learn from those lessons of history.

Despite that I see good things happening. In the last decade, social media has come into it own for connecting people with ideas (for better or worse). Like any new thing, there are good and bad points. My personal experience has mostly shown good things. I’ve met a bunch of amazing people and had to the opportunity to work for and with some amazing organizations.

One think that has been re-enforced is my belief that people are basically good. In the end, the majority of people want what is good for them, their family and the community as a whole. We should never let those who don’t subscribe to that thinking derail our own beliefs. That does not mean we should ignore them. Looking at all sides of an issue is always a good idea. I still believe there is no such thing as just 2 sides of an issue.

As for the future, I’m looking forward to some projects ahead. You will be hearing/seeing from me more on the broadcast front as well as continuing my work with the London Public Library board. Let’s see what the next 10 years bring.

Thank you and be well.

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