Thursday, July 05, 2012

belief versus action: beyond thought and deed

As human beings we often define ourselves by what we believe - spiritual beliefs (I'm a Christian, I'm an atheist), or values (I'm honest, I'm hardworking) - or we use adjectives based on how we see that we fit in the world (I'm a mother, I'm a salesman, I'm a greenie).

My thoughts today are following on from my post on integrity (read it here).

This week I delivered a workshop on strategic planning, and finding some correlation between what a business owner needs to define for the long term goals of their business AND how that fits with their own personal goals.  I used the example of how I decided that in 2011 I wanted to learn how to spin wool.  I visualised myself sitting in my living room, spinning wool whilst my handmade bread dough was rising,  looking out on my flourishing vege garden, and generally being an earth mother.  What I hadn't considered was that the reality of bags of wool everywhere, and the time required to make the dough - and the effort the garden was going to take...none of which I had the inclination to enjoy.

So whilst I wanted to BELIEVE that I was an earth mother at heart, the reality is that I don't really have the follow through.  Now this is a simplistic example I know, but I do think it can be translated into lots of different areas of life.

You might believe that you are a great business leader.  Or you might want to be come one.  So what are you doing to make that happen? Is it a realistic goal when lined up with the rest of your life?

You might want to be really fit and healthy.  That's a great goal and attitude.  But do you really want to put in the time and commitment to be that fit and healthy person?  And if not, is hanging on to the idea helping or hindering you to achieve other goals?

Do you have a vision of the person you want to be, or are already?  Does what you believe match what you do?  Why or why not?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

when men were men and sheep were scared

I've been following a humourous Facebook thread today about ''what makes a man manly''.  There was a bit of a list put up by the person who started the thread, which included stuff like beer and fishing and rock music.  I added in mowing lawns and bathing regularly.

There have been one or two who have been offended by the comments - declaring them gender neutral or sexist.

I think in our heart of hearts most people have a fairly defined view of what a mans role and a womans role is in life, and where we fit.  Personally I think this is probably a good thing - after all the world has survived rather well for the past 5000 years based on these general kind of values and suppositions.

But MANLY? What does this mean to you?  Conversely, what is WOMANLY.  Most people, I think would say that a manly man is the guy who does things that are masculine (as mentioned above), and the womanly woman is soft and curvy and feminine - not too much room for cross over there.  Others would say that the manly man is the one who is comfortable carrying out tasks traditionally done by women (am I brave enough to say....hanging out the washing, changing nappies, child rearing), and yes I think it unlikely that one would describe a huntin'fishin' whisky drinking woman is ''womanly''.

Drilling down further we describe 'boyish'' as the guy who is young at heart, or in looks.  And girlish tends to be overly feminine, giggly or childlike.

To me, womanly means being proud of my gender. Being glad to be feminine but also having some backbone.  Not being too proud to ask for help with things I can't do myself.  Allowing men to be men.

And, 'Manly'' means the guy who is comfortable in his own skin - whether thats gutting a fish or changing a nappie is irrelevant.

your thoughts?