Tag Archives: Experience

Just because I wasn’t there doesn’t mean it wasn’t worthwhile!

I have guilty parent syndrome.

The challenge of fitting 4 weeks annual leave into 16 weeks of school holidays every year leaves me thinking that my boys have missed out; that their holiday experiences have not been worthwhile.

It’s not that my wife or myself do not spend time with our boys during the school breaks, it’s just we simply cannot spend ALL the time with them. We tend to assume to role of holiday program coordinator for when we’re not available – arranging incredible people to hang with them and for visits to friends. This often includes park trips, movies, swimming, sleepovers, theme parks, sport and for one of our boys this recent holiday, even a speed boat adventure!

So on the face of it, I reckon our boys thoroughly enjoy their holidays. And they enthusiastically (well, mostly…) proclaim they do.

It’s just that if I’m not there, I tend to think it wasn’t worthwhile… guilty parent syndrome.

Whilst my presence changes the dynamic and is certainly important, my absence does NOT equate to a lack of value. And this is something that seeps into other areas of my life. It’s almost as if I’m suggesting that without my direct involvement, something isn’t as worthwhile for all the other participants. This is more about my insecurity than anything else.

I need to have confidence in the plans I have developed, the people I have engaged  and allow them to create an experience with their touch. This then allows for those times when I am directly involved, for experiences to be flavoured by me, a genuine point of difference!

Whether it be family or work or anywhere else, we need to ascertain when we can be directly engaged and those times when we can’t, or perhaps, even shouldn’t. Empowering others should make an activity more worthwhile, not less.

Let’s create an experience-rich environment for our families and colleagues, with and without us!


What’s your story?

I love people watching. Not in the stalker sense, but rather observing people interact, preferably whilst I’m enjoying a darn fine coffee. What I’ve come to realise simply by observation, is that we each have a story.

Watching a young couple push a pram begs the question how did they meet? Perhaps they’re from opposite sides of the world or maybe they grew up together as neighbours. Every single one of us has a story. A story that defines who we are. A story that explains our decisions. A story that maps our future.

The unfortunate thing is that very few of us think our stories are worth sharing. We tend to think that because it’s our story, that it’s insignificant; that’s it just part of the puzzle of who we are. The opposite, in fact, is true. It’s because it is OUR story which makes it significant. My story belongs exclusively to me. Your story is entirely yours.

I recently posted the eulogy I was privileged to share at my dad’s funeral. It was during the writing of this piece it was again confirmed that EVERYONE has a story. Sitting down with my mum I discovered aspects of my dad which I either wasn’t aware of or didn’t fully appreciate until I had this fresh perspective.

Whilst each of our stories is unique, the potential impact of those stories is not. What I can learn, and have indeed learned, from someone else’s story has shaped my future, the part of my story that is yet unwritten. I can seek to deliver a different ending by taking heed of others’ experiences, through understanding their stories.

Let’s celebrate our own story. Let’s allow others to share theirs.


Lacking experience? That could be the key…

Now I’m all for simply having a go, trying something for the first time. But if we wish to excel then a little experience goes a long way!

The incredible learning from this idea is that it doesn’t have to be YOUR experience. Our lack of experience should not prevent us from tackling a challenge, rather it should excite us to combine our fresh, unbiased perspective with the practical experience of others. This could provide the key for not only you succeeding but it may also empower someone else who had a go and gave up, to go again!

Look around you. Are there people attempting things, achieving things that YOU would like to achieve? I hope so. Because we need to surround ourselves with people who will positively challenge us to rise up, to step out of our comfort zone and to grow into our potential. Once you’ve identified these people, get alongside them, share their journey to harness their passion, their knowledge, their skills. It is amazing how enthusiastic others become of you when you support their journey.

We begin our lives that way. No skills, no knowledge, operating purely on instinct. Thankfully, our parents come around us, encouraging us to roll, to take that extra step, to climb, to jump and to run! We simply respond to their encouragement, not understanding what failure is, only revelling in the excitement that surrounds us when we clap our hands, utter our first word, or toilet successfully!

When you’re next faced with what you see as a challenge, view it as an opportunity to build relationships, to share a journey, to grow into your potential. Your lack of experience may be the key!


Image credit: nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo