Showing posts from November, 2014

Amy Poehler and Delegation

Amy Poehler and Delegation I have ended up with a lot of responsibility lately. A lot of it is ‘delegated.’ This is not laziness. It is called utilising strengths in numbers. I help where I can. Anything creative is fine. There are other things I will never try. Like serious math.   I was looking for inspiration from someone who is not a genius, someone who is aware of her own limitations.   Then I stumbled upon the Harvard University2011 Class Day Speech by Amy Poehler.   Amy focuses on what she can do. She talks. Talking changes lives by motivating, informing, inspiring, persuading…   Whether it is courage or cognition, we all need help from others. This is a lesson Amy Poehler understands well. Sometimes doing less is more important than doing more. Amy  Poehler says, “The answer to a lot of your life’s questions is often in someone else’s face… You never know what is a around the corner unless you peek. Hold someone’s hand while you do it. You will feel les

Judith Durham to sing at Carols in the Domain

Australian hero Judith Durham will sing at Carols in the Domain on 20th December 2014.     Australia should treasure every moment with this super star's clear beautiful voice. Judith Durham most recently toured New Zealand, after Australia and the UK, for the Seekers 50th anniversary tour and album release. Judith is lucky to be alive after surviving a cerebral haemorrhage in 2013. Illness at any age is tragic. Hospitalisation of a national icon is heart breaking. Judith's voice is miraculously strong. The Seekers were named officers of the Order of Australia during their chart topping tour.   This blogger is highly enthusiastic about hearing Judith Durham singing for Carols in the Domain this year. It is the best Christmas present Judith could provide for Australia.

+-+ Plus Minus Plus

Plus minus plus: These three words were explained to me when I was 19. They evoked memories of three different words from childhood: Care And Share. +-+ is the equation also known as Commend-Recommend-Commend. What does it mean? How does it translate to everyday life? Commend someone with something that was done right. If we don’t know an aspect of our work was good, we might not know to do it again. Recommend a change or point for improvement. Don’t say all aspects were bad. Especially don’t use nasty language no matter how we feel about the work. Avoid generalizations that leave people guessing about the solutions. Also don’t recommend everything at once. An evaluation shouldn’t leave us biting off more changes than we can chew. Give specific practical examples of a few recommended changes. End with encouraging positivity. Some of my favourite evaluations simply recognised someone’s happy smile or willingness to try. Leave your evaluated person on a high note with anyt

Idleness is not Normal

I feel inspired by a headline used in one of Elizabeth Gilbert’s talks on the Oprah tour. She is against balance. Balance puts too much pressure on us to be a particular way. A friend recently had good intentions, when suggesting I should pose on the couch with cereal. This might feel natural for other people. But the image did not sit right with me.   It held some foreign assumptions. The cereal assumed that is the most responsible way to feed one’s self. It would be normalised. I am actually not used to milk at all. The orange lactose drenched carbs made me feel queasy.  A routine home made breakfast for me would involve: a chopped up tomato on toast, with sliced pear. That is too complicated to eat on a couch. So then I would be at the table with a knife and fork. Nothing extraordinary. But apparently that doesn’t have the same ‘ordinary’ affect.  It wouldn't be 'real' enough.  The couch sitting aspect was equally unsettling. I found myself watching te

Fresh Breath of Hurricane

Toastmasters is growing as an extraordinary place where leaders are made. All organisations are like families, and this one holds a special sentimental place in my heart. Toastmasters is the family I have known for years, introduced to me by Elizabeth and Gary.   I see all of you as aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. Any members, new or otherwise, are quickly adopted.  Friends such as Margaret and David allowed me to grow into the “Energiser Bunny” or a “Fresh Breath of Hurricane.” This transformation is not about me – I feel excited about the opportunities for other people to grow in the same way. But I do feel the need to acknowledge this extraordinary creative freedom.  What is it about this environment, which takes a shy girl and morphs her into a confident lady? It’s the encouragement. We commend something positive about someone, then suggest one subjective optional change, then we celebrate another strong point. Whether it’s speeches or general life, we encourage on

Happily Single

Singleness is amazing. It is joyfully independent. There is so much freedom to do almost anything.   I have nothing against coupled life. That's another fun adventure. But being single is not worse than being a couple. It's just different. And it has its own worth. This idea is turning into a blog post before it is then presented as a speech. I just realised I have to do a speech on absolutely anything tomorrow. What is the one issue which was pressing on myself and close friends? Singleness. Let's get to the bottom of it. There is never a quiet minute as a singular individual. There are so many friends to catch up with. There are so many projects to create.  Yet not everybody sees the amazing benefits. Life alone is different to the stereotypes. The most common are the hermit cat lady. The other is a philosophical explanation. Both images wrongly suggest there is something wrong with singles. My generation associate it with Bridget Jones. Who could forget that Br


It is time to get back to the real world. I spent the last three and a half days just hanging out in a different city. What does Melanie Wilson do when family shouts her a trip to Melbourne? Shop in factory outlets for glam bargains, watch a musical which feels freakishly relatable, then spend a whole afternoon in an art gallery. It's a good way to spend a few days. But it did something to my brain. There is a strange feeling being isolated away from those who depend on our work. Let's call them stakeholders. Anyone who has taken a break from work/study/volunteering will understand the difficulty in returning to normal. There is a habit we get into on holidays. Perhaps extreme quietness was the perfect contrast for a normally busy life. It showed me why I enjoy making the most of every minute of life. I grew too used to the habits of holiday life. Wake up in the middle of the morning. Reluctantly drag self from hotel apartment, to restaurant downstairs. Drag self b

Just Say Something

Just say something. If you consider yourself to be creative, then this message is for you. Just create something. What's creativity without a creation? My 'Drafts' box is starting to fill up in my blog site. Bundles upon bundles of blog posts are waiting to be read. Sitting there, waiting. What are they waiting for? My approval. I'm the only one who can release these blog posts into the world. I have drifted into a habit of self censorship again. It is time for change. Creativity should not crave perfectionism. As a speaker, I was taught there is no such thing as perfection. Yet that is what I waited for in my communications works. I recently created another edition of a newsletter. It sat in my 'Documents' folder. It waited to become that magical ideal issue. Who are we kidding? There is always something to change in artistic messages. It is still worth sharing. Eventually, it is time to let your creation out of the cocoon and let it soar. With that