Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wise Words

Among others (I'm one of those people who has several books going at once), I'm currently reading a book by a very clever and inspiring fellow, Sir Ken Robinson. He knows a lot about lots of stuff, particularly creativity and education. He's done a few TED (and other) talks, including this one that I've seen about 15 times now, but never fail to find something interesting in it. We play it a bit in the training that we run, and my boss played it for lots of principals and school executives over the last couple of days at the conference, which is good, because despite the couple of provocative issues it raises, it's good for getting people thinking.

The book is called 'The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything". It's about the people who have found success doing what they love, because they're doing what they love. I haven't finished it yet, but it has certainly made me think. It's very good advice.

As you know, since Sam died I've been on a bit of a voyage of self-discovery/self-improvement. In some ways I'm succeeding at this (finding a new job, achieving a better work/life balance, finding some comfort in writing, going back to uni), and in some ways I'm not (I'm still way too overweight!)
A big part of this journey has been finding myself. I'm not there yet, but reading this book has reinforced for me that it's so important to find something you love, something you're good at, and do that.

I'll report more on what this means when I've finished the book, but in the meantime, I thought perhaps we could think about advice.

I've got some good advice in my life. From friends, family, bosses...advice that always comes back to me when I need it. Advice that helps. Sometimes quite simple, but always helpful. Here are some memorable tidbits:
  • Always keep your mouth closed when you're cleaning the toilet.
  • When you're swimming backstroke, watch the line on the ceiling (and keep your arm close to your ear. Thanks Sam).
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • When you're editing, lose 10%.
  • One year of seeds, seven years of weeds (I so wish I could keep up with the weeds!).
  • There's always someone with a bigger problem.
  • Line the curb up with your left windscreen wiper to stay in the middle of the lane.
  • Dull women have immaculate houses.
  • Roll, don't fold.
  • Always check the mirror before you leave the house.
  • If you can't sleep, get up.
  • Hope is not a strategy (some of my teaching friends will get this one).
What are some good bits of advice that have stuck with you?


  1. Ken Robinson is amazing! His insight has been incredibly helpful during our family's education journey.

    Not sure if I can think of any good advice off the top of my head though... I believe everyone's journey is different, so I don't really give advice unless asked specifically for it.

    Actually, I just made one up: Always be honest with yourself. You'd think it'd come naturally, but no.

  2. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Sue E.


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