Archives for the ‘Poetry in Motion’ Category

Love Lures Life On

Poetry in Motion

I met an old friend on the tube the other day. Thomas and I first met in my English class all those years ago when we not only dreamed our dreams but dared to believe they were possible.

By the time I met Thomas, he was already a great English novelist and poet. I went on to read many of his novels so dumstruck was I by their freshness and their fineness in spite the two of us having been born more than a century apart.

Ode to Love

A curious and lesser known fact was Thomas’s own love story. Thomas met the love of his life, a certain Emma Lavinia Gifford, when he was thirty years old. He married her four years later. They eventually become “estranged”. Emma ended up living the rest of her life in the attic while Thomas went on to lead the life of a successful and great writer.

It wasn’t until his wife passed away that, at the age of 72, Thomas went on to write more than 80 poems (1912 – 1913) to reflect on their life together and apart. Many critics consider the poems to be some of his greatest work filled with fairness, fullness and freeness, the stuff that great poetry is made of.

As I recall this love story, I feel certain there’s a crucial lesson to be (re-)learned and remembered on this special day.

Matters of Love, Life and Death

The Way We Go

Love, Life and Death are just some of the things I think about during my long commute as a consultant. My mind cycles between these serious themes on a constant quest for ideas to increase the value I deliver – at work, at home and in my spare time.

Begin with the end in mind

Although our lives are enveloped by Uncertainty, one thing’s certain: we’re all going to become grass one day. (Preferably one fine day with clear blue skies and the sun shining.)

Make the most of your timebox

Let’s consider life as one finite timebox. Given we have a fixed amount of time (and we can’t be certain of how much there is), it’s all the more important to:

1. Prioritise our projects by ROI (calculated simply by dividing value by cost while taking into consideration constraints, risks and cost of delay – aka Agile Planning).

2. Create a plan to achieve whatever we need to turn our dreams into a reality.

3. Execute the plan, track progress then re-plan based on real-time information.

A lifetime worth of achievements

Somewhere along the way, most of us will “job” our jobs, do some work and discover our vocation. And amidst all this hullabaloo, many of us will continue to dreams our dreams. I like to think of those dreams as my “gold medals“.

Name that Gold Medal

The key to achieving our gold medals is to name them. Next, break them down into small enough steps that we can achieve in the shortest timebox possible in order to build then maintain momentum.

One way is to think of each of these small steps as gold stars leading towards the gold medal. I like to think of the gold stars like the mini achievements I collect when playing computer games. Get enough gold stars and you cash them in exchange for something you really want (like a new super-skill).

So where’s the love?

Love is what fuels what I do and how I do it. Over the last 3 years, I’ve managed to achieve a large gold star: to love what I do (and, yes, that means I love the work I do). Of course it hasn’t been easy, but it is possible and all the hardwork continues to be worth it.

So what’s my next gold star? To love what I do AND do what I love. Of course it won’t be easy, but some things are for certain: it’s not going to be as hard as I fear it would be and it’s going to be a lot of fun! As for the gold medal I’m working towards? Watch this space.

What is it you love doing? How will you achieve your gold medals?