The Valley of Aosta inspires me. A stunning view of the Alps which tower majestically all round it.
Narrow buildings in pretty colours, each with a wrought-iron balcony. Swiss-style cleanliness is the order of the day. The cracks in the pavement are spotless, not a single leaf, no dog poo or cigarette butts lying around.
Shops worthy of a major city and locally owned businesses share the pedestrianised street. Everything I love all within a few square metres.
So here I am, I sit in a café with a good coffee, look around, breathe in the atmosphere and take out my notebook to start writing.
What about you? What inspires you? A view of the mountains, of the sea or of a hilltop village? What do you do when you something inspires you?
-Personally, I write something for you.
While on a country walk, I followed this advice from a therapist: “Pick up a stone and tell it that it represents a sorrow you are carrying, an injustice or other misunderstanding. Tell it all your woes and how you feel as you go on your walk. When you can’t think of anything else, give it back to nature.”
When I picked up the stone, I had no idea what I would end up telling it. But it became obvious as I walked along. And I took the time to share everything with it before flinging it over a precipice.
The relief when I let go of it was palpable.
What about you? Do you need to recycle back into the natural world something you are carrying?
Why are you learning Italian? That’s a good question, because nobody speaks it except in Italy. And I am almost certain never to be good enough at it to use it in my work.
So why then? Because I think it’s a beautiful language! Just hearing it, or producing a well-formulated sentence, fills me with excitement. It boosts me. It makes me smile.
There’s no point? Oh, yes, there is, I feel passionate about it! It’s a passion I can’t explain. You just feel it. It makes you feel alive. Basta!
What about you? Which passions have you abandoned because they didn’t really have a point?
This September I invite you to sign up for an art class, put on your tap-dancing shoes, plan a trip and learn this language … the point being that they all put a smile on your face and make you feel alive. It’s a good enough reason.
Do you remember the music in the film ‘Titanic’? It added a lot to the atmosphere of the film.
If you replaced it with ‘The Birdie Song’ the feelings evoked would certainly be very different.
So why don’t you give some thought to your tune for the summer?
You might be going on holiday, seeing your children, travelling, or just having a rest.
What will your tune be this summer? A cheerful, zen, upbeat or catchy one?
The film of your summer will take place whatever happens and whatever you do, but you it’s up to you to choose your soundtrack.
Enjoy your holiday and I look forward to seeing you in September.
Working from home has led to all sorts of things. The manager no longer meets their team and manages everyone from a distance, without ever being able to have a coffee together and see what is really going on.
We no longer pass each other in corridors and we can no longer observe each other in strategy meetings.
Now, the role of management is limited to facts. The factual manager has appeared. “I’ll give you your objectives and I expect the results on Monday.” He can’t see his colleague struggling, juggling his children and his phone calls. He is not inclined to empathy because the emotional dimension has disappeared behind a screen.
How are you coping with this new style of leadership? What about the human aspect of business relationships?
What about you? Do you have a desire to complement the facts by the whole panoply of emotions, illustrating your most insightful intuitions?