Tag Archives: Outcomes

Have you lost the budgie?

Our six-year-old was excited to receive a baby budgerigar as his first pet. Hand-reared and only a few weeks out of the nest, it was incredibly comfortable using him as a perch and was even beginning to feed directly from his hand. An inside bird, its young wings were not yet clipped and so the rules were very clear – it could be outside the cage only if all house doors were closed.

This worked well for the first week.

In the second week, our son asked if he could take the bird outside, thinking it may enjoy the trampoline. Of course, the collective response from parents and older siblings was negative, again identifying the fact it could fly and would most likely fly away. Desperate to introduce it to the excitement of the trampoline, our boy ignored the response and headed outdoors. The budgie obviously wasn’t as enthralled by the trampoline as its handler and promptly flew off. The ensuing door-to-door search failed to find the bird, leaving one six-year-old distraught with, hopefully, a clearer understanding of consequence of actions. His siblings were also affected as they too had warmed to this new family member yet were now bearing the weight of this outcome as well.

I reckon we’ve all lost a budgie at some point. We’ve ignored the facts, the advice and then had to endure the consequence of our actions. Our son seemed to understand the bird would fly away yet such was his intent, he chose to ignore the facts. Sometimes our intentions can be so strong, that we disregard the reality.

The metaphorical budgie for us could be a friendship, a career, a business opportunity or anything else we deem as valuable. Yes, we sometimes have to take a punt, have a go despite the known risks. But when the reality is perfectly clear and the negative outcome is unavoidable, we need to simply stop. If we proceed we are clearly stating we are prepared to accept the consequences both for ourselves AND on behalf of all others who will be impacted yet have had no control over our initial action. Are we really prepared to do that? Should we do that?

As a pet, it’s better for the bird to be restricted in its environment than seeking to survive in a world for which it is ill-equipped, despite our want. What’s your budgie?


Image credit: ionia / 123RF Stock Photo

Take heed of the warning signs

My last post relayed my experience being part of a lock-down drama with an armed man on the loose. The odd thing about this event is that there were warning signs which I discounted.

Walking towards my destination to sample a recommended coffee-house, I came across a police car with lights flashing parked upon the footpath (sidewalk for my American friends). It wasn’t significantly unusual so it barely rated a second glance. As I turned the corner of this block, I was confronted with a second police car, and then a third just a few more metres ahead. Lights flashing, seemingly randomly, urgently parked. This was unusual. But I ignored it.

In retrospect, these three vehicles were warning of the unfolding emergency. However, despite noticing them and privately noting this was out of the ordinary, I gave them no further thought.

Are you like me and quick to dismiss the warning signs? Events, information or advice that is obviously present and within our realm of consciousness, yet we choose to discount. Could it be we assume the signs are not meant for us? Maybe we’re so super-confident of our chosen route that the warnings could in no way be relevant. Perhaps we are simply hoping that they don’t apply, wishing for our desired outcome.

Warning signs exist for a reason! We can choose to heed the warnings and amend our path accordingly or we can continue to discount their significance until the warnings transition to outcomes.

Don’t ignore the signs!


Image credit: arcady31 / 123RF Stock Photo

A 5-year-old ability does not yield a 12-year-old result

Running a family isn’t all beer and skittles you know, sometimes there’s work to be done! The lawn needs to be mowed, clothes washed and ironed (sometimes), beds made, rooms tidied, dishes done, floors mopped, bathrooms refreshed, toys packed away and so on. This stuff isn’t necessarily enjoyable but it’s the practical side of a building a family.

Team Mahoney is, well, a team. Not always a highly functioning team but a team nonetheless! Being a team we’re all responsible for the effective running of our home and as such there is a clear expectation that we will each contribute. A key I have learnt though is that whilst I have an equal expectation that we will each contribute, I need to have a different expectation as to outcome.

The simple fact is my 5-year-old has a different capacity to my 12-year-old and therefore a different outcome must be expected. I need to balance the anticipated result with the team member’s actual ability along with their application. If the ability is lacking (from my perspective), then this could simply be a function of age as well as how effectively the “how” has been demonstrated. Importantly, Team Mahoney have a number of age-specific tasks. For instance, my 5-year-old is a gun with matching socks and putting his clothes away – that’s his contribution to the laundry!

Accepting the varying outcomes also means that the work may have to be redone. Not immediately in the presence of the one who first attempted, but at a later time. Either that, or we need to be content with a result that is less than we would expect from ourselves (or an older sibling).

So if we want to ensure that each family member is afforded equal opportunity to contribute, then we need to accept different outcomes, and we need to equally praise the outcomes based on effort. Happy parenting!


Photo: Royalty free image purchased via 123RF Stock Photos