Five months ago I married a Kiwi. Now that may seem like a random and arbitrary fact (except of course when – given that I’m South African –the All Blacks face the Springboks and an undiminishing rivalry of epic proportions rears its head) but I recently attended two different professional events where the guest speakers were from New Zealand so, of course, I was especially interested. I hasten to add their nationality had nothing to do with their subject matter, but I am clearly much more attuned to recognising all things New Zealand so was keen to hear what they had to say.
Teresa Metrovic, Director of Redefining Life, was a guest speaker at the Women Work conference (see my previous entry for more on the day’s inspiring events). She spoke about taking control of our work/life balance and it was really interesting hearing about the achievable actions we can take towards taking control of our time. She didn’t lose us in philosophical jargon and long-winded prescriptions for self-fulfilment, she simply explained the reasoning, the research, and even the stuff we might think a bit “woo woo”. And it made sense.
One thing she said that has stuck with me, is that we are sharpest in the mornings and that early on in the day is the best time to face something that requires focus. It’s the worst time, she said, to be wasting our sharpness checking emails. Anyone else guilty of this? In spite of the best intentions, I have struggled to break this habit but remain hopeful (and remind myself of this every morning, Blackberry in hand. Oops). I have since signed up to her online workshop where she sends out weekly material for four weeks to facilitate a process from creating a vision right through to being able to maximise use of your time, and I sincerely believe that making small changes might chip away at the current habits that consume so much of my time. Watch this space!
I then came across another Kiwi motivator, Struan Robinson, who was the speaker at the Women 1st networking event at the fabulous One Aldwych hotel. Struan, founder of Be-A-Ten, spoke about ‘having an adaptable mindset’. Struan challenged many of our accepted notions of diversity, inclusion, resilience and our responsibilities, as well as emphasising our individual right to control the context of our own lives. He spoke of beliefs, and the influence they have on our feelings. We are not born with beliefs, and yet they cause us to feel what we feel – it’s easy to forget that our beliefs can change and in this way, the way we respond to situations can change as well.
I left the event ready to challenge myself and more importantly, to challenge my own actions within, and reactions to, certain situations.
After hearing such inspiring words from Teresa and Struan, I can’t help but thinking that there is something in the Kiwi outlook that we can all take and learn from. It may be stereotypical but, since I live with one, I can attest to the easy-going nature, resourcefulness and can-do attitude of Kiwis. So I guess it makes sense to commit to listening to the advice of my Kiwi hubby now and then. Except when it comes to rugby, obviously.
Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/gzahnd/4166899047/”>Gino</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>