Category Archives: Quotes

Finding A Place For My Hammock

In 2015 I came across this photo of Richard Branson lying in a hammock, on his phone, working…

Click on image to go to source

He has written about it a few times, here is an article, and it’s interesting that he notes that in the UK people don’t take leave, opting instead to remain in the office. Now, for me, that would lead to an unbalanced life.

I printed that photo and stuck it up in a place that I would look at various times a day. At the time I was working in a corporate, and it represented for me a change that I wanted to make in my life.

I wanted a more balanced life, one where I could work where I wanted when I wanted.

My dissatisfaction led me to write this article, and it was not long after that that I began working for the company I am with now. I have no office I go to – I’m either at a client, or I am at home. Or travelling.

My work has taken me to Berlin, Portugal, Barcelona, beautiful parts of the country I live in, Belgium and Thailand.

So, I pretty much can work where I want (no office to go to, yay!), the first part is done with a good level of satisfaction.

What I do now is the only work I know that I can take my wax crayons to work to create posters of information that help people integrate the learning a lot faster than powerpoint slides. Like this poster I created to explain Lean Thinking:

Lean Thinking explained in pictures
©2018 Regina Martins

I’m now working on the second part…the part about working when I want :-). This is proving to be a bit more challenging because it means having to let go of salary certainty and embracing uncertainty and risk.

Not my image, click to go to source

This will come I know. I just need to stop obsessing about it and enjoy the present. In the meantime, I still have that photo up where I can look at it several times a day.

Here are 4 different ways that help me deal with uncertainty:

  1. Meditation – it helps me focus on the present and deal with stress and anxiety. I’m not doing nearly enough meditation.
  2. Adaptive action – taking just one move at a time while keeping a view of the big picture, much like playing chess. Just decide on what my next wise move is and focus on that because that leads me to my next wise move and so on. That way I remain adaptive to change.
  3. Nature – being in nature grounds me and helps me keep my balance. I don’t get out to nature often enough. Sometimes just having the doors and windows open, letting the outside in and enjoying the sounds of the birds singing is enough to tide me over until I can get out into the countryside.
  4. Journaling – writing, journaling, reflecting on my inner thoughts. This helps me see clarity, usually not in the moment of writing, but later. The act of putting thoughts down on paper is therapy in itself. Journaling doesn’t have to be long descriptive narratives. Sometimes all I have time and energy for are bullet points, and that’s ok.
Click on image for source

Here’s to being comfortable with uncertainty, open to infinite possibilities, so that I can find a place for my hammock.

 

A Good Orator Makes Us See With Her Ears

So says Winston Churchill who was himself a superb orator. His wit and turn of phrase make him, in my opinion, one of the great orators of the 20th century. He was a product of his time, a leader the world needed in those difficult years.

As many of you might remember I am a Toastmaster and one of the things I do to pay the bills is train people. Who am I kidding…I love training. I have loved it less and began to love it more when I found my voice.

One of the things I  do in the Agile community in South Africa is giving back to it, by helping develop conference speakers. Up until now I’ve helped people with their conference presentations, from the slides to the story to the delivery. I’m branching out this year by starting a couple of steps before speakers get selected for conferences – at the call for papers stage – helping budding speakers craft their proposal.

I go to many conferences, and I vicariously live through many others via live tweeting. The names on the programme lines ups tend to be the same year after year and quite frankly, I’m feeling bored. I want to learn new things from new people.

There are so many wonderful members of this vibrant community that have so much to share, and perhaps they think they are not experts…but I don’t want to learn from experts all the time. I want to learn from people who are in the trenches, day to day.

So I’ve decided to do something about this. On Saturday I’m hosting a workshop to help prospective speakers refine their ideas, and help them with their proposals for the regional Scrum Gathering South Africa 2018 which this year is going to be held in Durban. In this way, I hope to play a part in helping to grow the Agile community of speakers and the Agile community in general.

The half-day workshop programme will flow in the following manner:

  • 8:00 – 9:00: Refreshments
  • 9:00 – 9:15: Connections
  • 9:15 – 10:00: Talk: What makes a great conference submission
  • 10:00 – 10.30: Go through the proposal submission format
  • 10:30 – 10:50: Tea, muffins, coffee, and fruit
  • 10:50 – 11:30: Group ideation
  • 11:30 – 13:00: Draft proposal preparation, and pitching to the panel

Conference talks of all types need to be interesting and engage the audience. It starts with a tenuous idea and ends with an audience that has seen with their ears. And a satisfied and courageous presenter that has cared enough and taken the time to share her or his knowledge and experience. 

 

Let’s Keep It Liquid Shall We?

Before 12h00 pm…

The 3Cs…Coffee and Carrot Cake
©2018 Regina Martins

“Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolatey cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle’s Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.”
― Sarah Vowell

Liquid