Category Archives: Wisdom From The Trenches

My Warrior Plant

“The true voyage of discovery is not just in seeking out new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)

Warrior plant – swiss chard spinach (unedited photo)
©2017 Regina Martins

Last summer I planted swiss chard spinach, a few plants in fact. Not many survived because I planted them late in the summer and wasn’t diligent about watering them daily. When winter came along I thought they would dry out and perish with the cold. To my surprise, this single plant came through the cold patches to thrive and grow new leaves, astonishing in their vibrant green-ness.

Because I live in an area that has mild winters it is not surprising that the plant survived. I read that it can survive for many years under these conditions. The more you cut off the leaves, the more resilient it becomes.

Now any plant in my garden needs to be resilient because I am not the best gardener. Tough hardy plants grow well with me.

“Resilient, strong, tough, hardy, adaptable, vigorous – these are all adjectives used to describe someone who is a warrior…as well as to describe plants as botanical warriors in their own right.” (http://eatbreathegarden.com/warrior-plants/)

The metaphor of plants that grow and adapt to their environment often is used to describe people who are warriors – those who thrive in adversity, moving forward all the time, learning from mistakes and successes, to become better versions of themselves each and every new day.

Google searches on warrior mindsets yield a variety of articles about business being a war and winning against others at all costs. I have a different view.

Cultivating a warrior mindset is first and foremost about YOU.

You – becoming a better version of yourself. Practicing self-reflection, gratitude, and humility, cultivating a mindset of growth and learning, continuously. Living your life, unapologetically. Seeking to make a positive impact on the world around you. Yearning to uplift those around you. Living your truth. Doing no harm.

“In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” (Albert Camus)

I love this photo of my warrior plant because of the contrast of the monochrome of dried leaves around the bright green of the swiss chard spinach plant.

Each one of us is a warrior. We all have the capability to thrive in the world and find our invincible summer, just like my warrior plant.

 

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.

 

The Artful Facilitator Programme

There’s a good reason for my absence from Wide Eyed In Wonder…I’ve been working with a partner on The Artful Facilitator programme which is launching in Johannesburg on August 15th. I’m so excited about it because it’s rather special – it’s meant to be an immersive experience, rather than just a dry contextless training that people won’t apply back at work.

Have you ever been in a session which has sucked all your energy because it’s been aimless? I know I have. Sessions where people have been on their laptops or checking email on their phones…not paying attention to the proceedings.

Then, of course, there is that one person who dominates the session, their voice louder than the rest. What about those sessions where everyone is in love with the shape of the problem and spend hours talking about it without moving into action before the time allotted to the session is over.  When people realise this they decide to have another session to make some decisions…or they rush through actions which haven’t been well thought through.

An artful facilitator can steer sessions to better outcomes, help generate new ideas and grow trust, collaboration and accountability.

agile42’s designer did a beautiful job on the brochure – isn’t it wonderful?

Well, that’s my sales spiel. I know that there’s a good chance that you don’t live anywhere close to Johannesburg, or South Africa for that matter. But it feels good to share this with you.

Cheers for now.

Regina