Recently I was involved in a discussion with a daughter who spoke affectionately about her father and described him as someone who was ‘always in front of everything.’ This photo represents one of many daughter/father relationships that exist throughout the world.
In listening to what she had to say I wasn’t sure if she was complementing her Dad or registering a complaint! After further clarification she outlined that he had completed his ‘National Service’ with the British Army and such an experience, coupled with his character, accounted for a life that was very organized, punctual and ‘always in front of everything.’
In the closing years of his life the devoted daughter became his main carer yet his demands for things to be perfect, such as his dinner to be always on time, grew and only added to her cause for complaint!
I wonder if someone completed a 360 feedback /confidential assessment of you, as so often conducted in the workplace, would they portray you as someone who was ‘always in front’ or a person that so often ‘lagged behind’?
Whatever our life experiences and character, I strongly believe that we do have the capacity to change our mind set and actions. It has been suggested that it takes up to six weeks of sustained practise to change personal thinking and habits? During that time we will have to apply lots of self-discipline, concentration and particular strategies to implement change related to a given target or goal.
We all carry some form of ‘limiting beliefs,’ inherited or chosen by ourselves which impact upon our actions and reactions. We may practise ‘negativity and critical thinking’ as a norm, which will show itself in how we engage within society as a whole. Yes there is a time and place for critical thought and action but ultimately we have to place that alongside a ‘positive and proactive’ approach to life and real situations.
When reflecting on the comments of the daughter about her father and applying it to our own situations, many of us will be ‘constantly in front of everything.’ It is also the case that lots of us are more happy to ‘stop, take time to chill and go with the flow of life.’ I think we would all agree that there is plenty of room for both areas of thinking and acting.
At this point it might be helpful to consider what we carry in our ‘kit bags of life’ What empowers us to be in front and relaxed, whilst avoiding being behind and chasing everything. What strategies help us to maintain that healthy life balance?
Solutions Kit Bag!
Positive ‘Kit Bag’ Negative ‘Kit Bag’
Strong self-belief Poor self-belief
Lots of self-motivation Lack of self-motivation
Clear personal aims and goals No clarity and direction
Realistic action planning No action planning
A willingness to work hard Not prepared to work hard
Enjoy rewards Life is not fair
Having checked out what sort of ‘Solution Kit Bag’ we carry, it might be worth considering some other areas of our life:
- Personal finances: Have you recently seen an independent financial adviser so as to ensure your financial affairs are in good shape? Ask yourself are those areas of debt you may be in, manageable or out of control?
- Personal Pension Plan: The last thing we think about when we are young is a pension plan! However, regularly saving over a long period of time will reap a timely reward. It’s amazing how many people do not invest in a pension plan however large or small. So why not start that saving plan from today?
- Personal Will: It is equally shocking how many people do not make a will or ensure it is up to date. Your personal estate may be significant or very small but it is important to have a confidence that the legacy we leave is directed to those we want it to go to, rather than ending up in the governments pockets?
There are many more areas in life where it is wise to be well prepared and have things in ‘good order.’ Many of us do neglect issues that we know we should face up to and work in and through.
If we are able to share such important issues in confidence, it will help us clarify, reflect and review critical thinking and actions on a regular basis. This will enhance our ability to ‘always be upfront with everything,’ in the most possible ‘relaxed manner’ as exampled in the Father and Daughter relationship.
From Graham trying to be upfront and relaxed?