Monday, October 24, 2011

To have no shame for change

There was this interesting concept that had been shared with me during my little adventures which challenges our traditional way of thinking and general inclinations, and that's often to avoid embarassing situations and hold that little bit back.

Perhaps that's due to us protecting our ego, as it seems that we can often let our ego get in the way of  pushing an initiative, and it can be that sometimes that is one thing that will ultimately mean success or fail, or simply the distance things go.

So that was one piece of advice that had been given to me, that one must be willing to put themselves completely out there and do not let one's own ego get in the way.

Essentially putting ourselves out of our comfort zone and being 'shameless' for change - as what is the shame in standing up for what you believe in hey? :)

So think about what you believe in when you have a moment where you are feeling a bit shameful, but you know that doing something will help make things right, and be shameless! ;)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Lions farewell...

The Lions club has meant a lot for me over the years and I would like to thank them for always being welcoming and having me a part of their club :)

As I'm moving to Singapore quite soon, here's a nice little surprise farewell they had for me presented Aussie style - from my local Lions club!

Something no Aussie should leave home without (Vegemite)
Something to throw around with new friends (Football)

Something to wear when you are missing home (Aussie shirt)

Something to help you find your way back (Boomerang)

Their kind messages...

They always good at expressing their thoughts in words and surprise gifts. I'd actually picked up a jar of Vegemite myself, so they were spot on with that one :)

I'll be sure to come visit them when I visit home and stay in touch.  I've packed all their nice mementos and as things look like they're are moving closer, it'll be certainly an exciting yet anxious feeling moving away, but I know it'll be a journey of a lifetime - I can't wait! :D

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taking a break to problem solve

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail".
   - Abraham Maslow

Isn't it funny that we can often think that way. That there is only one possible solution to a problem, whereas in reality there may be more than the 'one' way of approaching problems or situations. Sometimes we find ourselves caught up in it but it's when we take a step back and look at it from a wider perspective or in a different manner that we actually discover there are other ways of approaching it.

Things are clearer with fresh eyes
Sometimes it's clear immediately, other times not so. I guess that's why they often say when writing that you should often have a look at it again in a few hours or days time and you'll notice that there are errors or better ways of expressing your ideas. We often find ourselves so absorbed in the material for so long that things can all seem the same and things that would normally be apparent are hidden to us. You will find that with time and an opportunity to relax your mind and give it a break, your fresh pair of eyes will pick up things.

Seeking another perspective
They often say the same about having someone else review and have a look at your piece to give that extra perspective. Having that other set of fresh eyes unabsorbed by the material will pick up those things.

A tool can be used in other ways
If as Abraham is saying that the only tool we have may only be a hammer, perhaps its time to do that they often say and that is try to think outside the box. This may simple mean rather than using the hammer in a conventional manner and using it to hammer down nails, perhaps consider whether the nail is really a nail in the first place?

While these are indeed things that we all do - both consciously and unconsciously as part of our problem solving and troubleshooting, it's important to be aware and realise that like reflecting, though it does seem like an extra step that we mightn't believe we have time for, a bit of time away from the problem or situation may enlighten you. So make time to take a break. You may find that you will at learn something that will prove useful for you for next time, and may see that you don't approach every problem as a nail, as it may be something else entirely different...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On grass...

Someone once told me that in the past to have grass was a privilege and often a sign that you are royalty, associated with royalty in some way, or at least well off like one.

As it was rare to have that extra bit of space in the UK, so over there, you will notice that footpaths often don't have grass alongside them (so I'm told - as I haven't actually been there before!). You would find grass in parks  but in the past these parks weren't open to the public and instead were reserved for the privileged.

Thinking about where Australia was colonised from, with the abundance of grass outside most of our homes, perhaps it was our previous land owner's desire to have that privilege and now we have grass everywhere in sight.

So I don't know if it's true, as I can't say I feel 'royal' as I cut the endless amount of grass in my front and backyard. But it's something interesting to think about and appreciate the grass that you do have, even as we approach our annual spring mowing season...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To the Duke of Ed...

The past few years I've been on many different adventurous, far and wide, and in many different forms and shapes. You'll probably find some of those adventures on my blog, floating around here and there but it's been during my journey that I came across a program that seemed to add that extra bit of encouragement for me to continue what I was doing - this was the Duke of Edinburgh program.

So I've been on youth camps, a sailing voyage, hikes, swims, cold and nice bbq fundraising days, to finding myself presenting and actively listening to an audience. All the while, I thought it would be good to keep myself focused and as I had been ticking many of the boxes already, and felt that it would make as a good record and recognise me for what I had been doing. As you never really know what and how much you're doing until you actually sit back and reflect on it, as a program like this encourages you to do.

During my journey I've found myself reaching outside of comfort zone, overcoming challenges and discovering new ways of building on the skills and knowledge I had. It's been interesting to see how passionate and active young people really are, and I'm glad to have met the new leaders of tomorrow. Who knows, I might have even camped right next to the future Prime Minister?

While I have completed the Gold level aspects of the award, the next step is attending the graduation ceremony for it which I'm sure will be fun. As it'll be great to hear and share stories all fellow awardees. I may be away for the upcoming ceremony this December but I'm sure when I do graduate I'll find it a fulfiling little experience...

My belated graduation...

After months since graduating I've finally been able to have my official graduation with a post-graduate I've been studying with the Australian Computer Society through their CPEP program (Computer Professional Education Program).

I started the course wanting to find out more on green and sustainable IT, but later found myself instead pursuing my interest in people and change through an elective called, 'Organisational Change Management'. While they did give me the option of pursuing further electives after completing it, for now, I think I'm all studied out! Rather, I'd like to take a break and focus on other areas of my life and perhaps put some of my knowledge into practice.

One can only study so much, and I've felt that as with most educational program, while you're intention is to pursue knowledge and understanding you can often find yourself lost in simply trying to fulfil the course requirements (i.e. complete assignments, homework, etc.). Given that I have now finished, my next personal task is to pursue any areas of interest that has been sparked during the program, particularly those I felt I may not have fully understood and/or would like to cover further.

People and change will certainty be one of those key areas that I will keep studying as I do work in the technology industry and while we often find the focus so much on the technology, it is generally the people who use it that end up making or breaking it. Workarounds and pushbacks are always found and so, helping them through any process of changes whether small or large I feel is important.

Essentially I've found the course as a great way to explore topic areas I probably wouldn't have otherwise been interested in and/or covered in the way they did. One can never know too much, so I'm happy to have undertaken and now completed the program.