Who are you? Series

Summer Series: So what's next? It's onwards and upwards!

Summer Series: So what's next? It's onwards and upwards!

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom - Aristotle

We've come to the end of this journey together my friends. It's Week Six of the Summer Series 2015 and collectively we have discovered:

  • Our strengths
  • Our interests
  • Our values
  • Our achievements, and
  • Our goals. 

I've collated everything I've learnt like this....

Summer Series: Where are you heading?

Summer Series: Where are you heading?

We're getting to the pointy end now people. In weeks one through to four of our Summer Series of self exploration we've looked at our strengths, ourinterests, our values and ourachievements. Today we look to the future and ask, 'Where am I heading?'  

I've got an exercise for you straight up this week.  

Something a little different: 10 on 10 Photography Project

If you've been following along with the 'Summer Series: Who are you in 2015?' I've been posting of late you'll know that we've talked about your strengths, interests and values and how knowing these can make a big difference to your confidence, your self belief, your goals and your decisions.

I've been playing along and posting my own thoughts and notes, doing each of the activities as we go along and despite having done this kind of thing many times before, I have - as I always do- discovered and rediscovered little things about myself that seem very pertinent to life as it is at the moment. 

One of these is an interest in things aesthetic.  This has never been a driving force in terms of what I do work wise.  It's more of a hobby that manifests in fun with clothes, home interiors, my garden and taking photos.  But when life gets busy, as it does, I don't always get to these things as often as I'd like and I think that leaves a gap in my positive experience of life.

So, when some of my fellow graduates of the Clever Cookie School of Blog (a nicer group of people you never would meet) suggested getting together to create a photography challenge to incorporate into our blogs, I excitedly put my hand up to join in. It's gives me the goal I need to put aside some time for taking photos, testing my skills and learning a little more, and a lovely reason to sit and edit and have fun with the aesthetic side of this blog. 

So today I bring you my first 10 on 10 Photography Session.  This is a day of photos that I took last month when one of my dearest friends and her two small people joined my littlies and I on a jaunt to Phillip Island and my parents' farm.  At the end of the photos you'll see a  link to a fellow Clever Cookie graduate who is also participating in the 10 on 10 photo challenge.  There are some terribly talented photographers in this group, so if you love beautiful pictures, please click on. 

Off to The Nobbies, a spectular headland on the southern side of the island.

Off to The Nobbies, a spectular headland on the southern side of the island.

Flora and fauna.

Flora and fauna.

It was a little chilly and spectacular coastline is perhaps not that exciting when you're under seven.

It was a little chilly and spectacular coastline is perhaps not that exciting when you're under seven.

Now that's spectacular.  And a little dangerous.  Rock fishermen are lost regularly, sadly.

Now that's spectacular.  And a little dangerous.  Rock fishermen are lost regularly, sadly.

Farm time.  Hello boys.

Farm time.  Hello boys.

Off to pick mulberries from the very old and very prolific mulberry trees.  We estimate that these are over 100 years old and produce bucket loads (literally) of mulberries every summer.

Off to pick mulberries from the very old and very prolific mulberry trees.  We estimate that these are over 100 years old and produce bucket loads (literally) of mulberries every summer.

The mulberries are good, but the climbing is the best part.

The mulberries are good, but the climbing is the best part.

My littlest man having fun and looking a little more angelic than he is.

My littlest man having fun and looking a little more angelic than he is.

The produce.  Delicious but messy.

The produce.  Delicious but messy.

Big boys.  I love this photo.

Big boys.  I love this photo.

And we're done.

And we're done.

Next in the photography circle is the lovely Sally at Glimpses of Lately.  She's shot some beautiful photos of her kids enjoying country life!

And as today is Tuesday I'm also linking up with the lovely Jess @ Essentially Jess for #IBOT

 

 

 

 

Summer Series: How the past can create your future

past achievements for future success

Welcome to Week Four of our Summer Series. If you haven't seen the previous posts you can catch them here: 

Introduction

Week One: Know your strengths 

Week Two: Find your passion

Week Three: Does your work fit your values?

Looking forward, looking back

I'm a looking forward kind of girl. It's lovely to remember happy moments past but my default position is to think ahead about the exciting thing to come. I'm an optimist and I know that we can only act on the future. The past has passed and the premise of this Getting To Know You series is to gather your resources and make this coming year (and most of it is still to come) one of your best.

Today though I'm asking you to reflect on what you have achieved in the past. Now before you wail, 'I haven't achieved anything' (and I know it feels like that to all of us sometimes), this is a structured activity that will open your eyes to all of the great things you have achieved.  

So let's go... 

Take your notebook, pens and paper or whatever you're using to keep your notes. Now, cast your mind back over the past weeks, months, maybe years and list ten things you've done that you consider to be an achievement. Note that I said 'you'. It doesn't matter what anyone else might think, whether it might be considered an achievement by you peers, family, partner, colleagues, whomever. Is it an achievement to you? Is it something that you set out to do, worked hard at and achieved? Or maybe something you did spontaneously and surprised - and maybe impressed - yourself? Go on, write them down as quickly as you can.

Here's my list... 

Achievements photo.JPG

I've focused on the past six years or so but you could focus on the past six months, six weeks or even six days. Whatever is meaningful to you.

The purpose of this exercise is to: 

1. Boost your confidence and motivation as you'll hopefully realise you've done more than you thought and when we see what we've done in black and white it's a powerful motivator for doing more. 

2. To shift our thinking from negative to positive. It can be tempting when reflecting on the past, to think about what didn't go well; the 'failures' and the losses. This exercise trains us to think about what went well; our wins and successes. 

3. To move us from experience to understanding. Reflection is a really important part the learning process. Without thinking about what we've done in a conscious way it's difficult to build on our experience; to know what worked and what we should more of, or what didn't and should not be repeated.  

If you've been playing along for the whole of this Summer Series of 'getting to know you' posts you should now have a list of your strengths, your interests, your values and now your achievements.  Next week things are hotting up and we're going to look at your goals for the coming months and even years.  

In the meantime keep your notebook close and your mind open. Notice how you function in the world each day, what excites you, what frustrates you, and maybe let a thought or two about who you are and how you like to operate wash over you every once in a while.  Write it down.  Being mindful is the first step to being aware and being aware of how we're wired up and how we function as unique individuals makes a big difference to how successfully we can work towards our aims and desires and lead a more content life.

So...


  

Summer Series: Does your work fit your values?

values kids

If I asked you to name the three most important things to you - the things you most value - you might say your family, your health, maybe your financial security?  What if I asked you what you value when it comes to your work or how you spend your time day-to-day? Crystal clear? Or a little murky?

When it comes to working out who you are and what you want from life your values are like your budget when you go to buy a car.  It's kind of difficult to come up with anything meaningful unless you know what they are and how they might shape your decisions and actions.  

Once upon a time we thought of values as being pretty wishy washy emotionally-driven ideas but current thinking suggests that they combine both our cognition (our thoughts) and our emotions, tied up together in the workings of the brain.  On the thinking side we know that what we value drives our goals and goal-oriented behaviour and on the emotional side our values influence our attitudes, which in turn drive our behaviour.  We're complex creatures, we humans. 

So, what do you value?  Wanna answer some questions to find out?

Today we're looking specifically at values in relation to how we spend our day.  I'm calling them work values but they apply equally to non-paid work, parenting and any other day-to-day activity.  

Here's a questionnaire you can take to identify your work values.  It's courtesy of the University of Melbourne's Careers and Employment service.  It only takes a few minutes and I found it very helpful.  Best if you print it out and scribble like I did....

Work Values Questionnaire

Don't worry too much about listing your 'Always Important' values in order of importance, or even sticking to a top five (I had six).  As always, the important part is the doing of it.  There's no right, wrong or best way.

When it comes to writing up your 'Values Work Story' at the end, reflect on whether your values are met by your day to day activity and if not, how could you change our day - or your work - to use them more?  What have your learnt about yourself doing this exercise?

I was reminded that I really need to stay self employed and to do stuff that's flexible and keeps me learning.  Every once in a while (like yesterday) I'm tempted to return to the workforce, to get a 'proper' job and have routine and regular pay.  Then I do something like this activity and remember that when I've tried that I've become pretty bored and frustrated pretty quickly and I'm better off sticking to my usual knitting of project-based writing and consulting because I value flexibility and variety (among other things.)

Finally, make a note of your work values alongside the other things you've learnt about yourself so far (your strengths and how you use them and your interests) in your notebook or other profile keeping tool.  Here's mine so far....

work values and self profile

We're half way through our self-discovery journey. What have you learnt about yourself so far? Tell me, tell me.  I'd love to know!