How to Make a Difference in a Way That Has a Positive Impact 

How to Create a WorkLife That is Rewarding Fulfilling and Meaningful

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning
Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

Build It And They Will Come, Do A Great Job Building It And They’ll Stand In Line To Get In … are people’s stories of how they carved out a WorkLife that was rewarding, fulfilling and meaningful, how they worked with people they admired. How they contributed in ways that were valuable, and how their WorkLife allowed them to make a difference in a way that had a positive impact.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw. Those were Marco’s opening words at his university’s annual alumni day. But let’s hear Marco’s full address to understand his story:

A Build It And They Will Come, Do A Great Job Building It And They’ll Stand In Line To Get In Case Study:

Marco’s Alumni Address:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw

Two years ago, I interviewed for my dream job of advertising artist at my dream company. The process was really intense, but I got through the four rounds of interviews and reached the last stage — the dreaded “interview task”. You all know the drill: I had 4 hours to design a product that had a great UI (User Interface), was slick, and really stood out.

Now you also all know the actual time that goes into that 4-hour task is considerably more. The reality was I spent 40 hours preparing. But I was OK with that. This was my dream job, with my dream company, and I really wanted that job.

I didn’t get it. I was told it was a close call, and to re-apply in another year. I was totally gutted, and it took me time to pick myself back up. As I went through what I call my Rejection Recovery Resilience phase, I was reminded of something the actor Vince Vaughan said that helped me, and I believe will help you too. So I’ll share Vince Vaughan’s:

Words of Wisdom

“When you’re rejected, find a process where you allow yourself to feel disappointed. It is important not to turn off those feelings, but it is important to understand how to do that as quickly as possible to then become productive again, and start doing the things that are going to give you a better opportunity. The sooner you get back to your own growth, and what can enhance it, the sooner the chance of having what you want in life becomes greater.”

The time I spent in my Rejection Recovery Resilience phase brought me the fourth ‘R’: Reflection. I’m a firm believer in effective self-feedback through insightful self-questioning. I asked myself the question: “How can I use this experience to move forward in my WorkLife?” Through self-feedback I had an idea: I took the prototype I’d developed for the interview task, I added features, and I built it into an app which you may have heard of: NOQ. An app that allows people to queue remotely for the best restaurants in town. (People applauded — NOQ was a much talked about alumni success story.)

I built the app into a business I love. That wasn’t in my plan. That wasn’t the plan I had when I was starting out, when I was sitting where you’re sitting now. My plan then was to get a job as an advertising artist at my dream company. And you all know how that worked out.

Building the app into a business I loved actually happened quite organically, but because it wasn’t in my plan, I did need help along the way. I’m a firm believer in the:

Sage Wisdom

“When the student is ready, the teacher will come.” Buddha

This is exactly what happened. The help I needed came to me in many ways to include through the superpower of:

Book Wisdom

I discovered Principles by Ray Dalio. In the book Dalio shares the unconventional principles of life and work, that can be used by anyone to achieve their own goals. The book became my bible, I learnt so much from it. In particular, I learnt how to make decisions in the best possible way. I learnt that having the courage to make them comes from: a) going after what I wanted; b) failing and recovering well through radical open-mindedness; and c) changing/evolving to become ever more capable and less fearful.

I didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t need to. I asked people what they wanted, and they told me. I then found a way of giving it to them.

You can do the same. You can build a business you love, by letting your community build your business with you. Try doing something that’s good for you, good for other people, good for your community, and then let them co-write it with you.

I began from the simple principle of wanting to use real demand in the form of bookings. I built it and they came. Did I do such a great job building it that they stand in line to get in? Well as you know NOQ means no standing in line, instead, they queue remotely for the best restaurants in town.

That’s my last plug I promise.

Now go build it and they will come. Do a great job building it and they will stand in line to get in.

Thank you.

Epilogue

Marco’s story of how he let his community build his business struck a chord with the university. They asked him to develop a class that would help future students model what he had accomplished. The class was developed into an online course which has been made available to all alumni.

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book How To Recover From Rejection and Build Strong Resilience 

Today’s featured book is: Principles by Ray Dalio

WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories:

The intention of the stories I share is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories, you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles, failures and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

………………………………………………………………………………

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 5/5/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time.

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint.

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Build Your WorkLife Around What Engages and Inspires You  

How To Be Creative in Your Thinking  

How To Let Curiosity Be Your Driving Force  

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

How to Begin a New WorkLife Chapter in Difficult Times

Is It Ever Too Late Or Too Difficult For Your Next WorkLife Chapter?

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning
Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

From the original post – One year ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote this:

We’re living in very difficult times right now, with countries throughout the world introducing the toughest measures affecting how we go about our daily lives, ever seen in peacetime. We’re anxious and fearful for vulnerable loved ones. Almost overnight our lives have slowed down dramatically, nearly to the point of standstill.

We’ve all become more observant of what’s happening around us. Through the stories being shared we have learnt we need to take Covid-19 seriously, and that we need to take responsibility for our own behaviour, because we’re all key players in fighting this as an army of individuals.

Through our observation and the stories being shared we have also learnt about the greatness of humanity through the care and kindness being shown towards fellow human beings. And through our observation and the stories being shared we are also seeing hope and recovery.

It is the worst of times, and it will get even worse, but it will also in time get better. And when this time comes, we’ll need to focus on our next WorkLife chapters, for now we can use this present time to learn through observation to help guide us in knowing what we want the next chapters of our WorkLife to be.

I had revisited and revised a blog post I wrote some years ago, based on the TV series The Waltons, which I included in my book Your WorkLife Your Way. The chapter is titled:

Is It Ever Too Late Or Too Difficult For Your Next WorkLife Chapter?

I’ll begin with a little:

Book Wisdom

The book Good Night John-Boy by Earl Hamner & Ralph Giffin. A celebration of an American family and the values that have sustained us through good times and bad.

The book includes a description of each episode of the TV series, which combined wonderful stories and “teachable moments” in which adults and children alike learned the importance of honesty, hard work, respect, responsibility, self-sacrifice, kindness, compassion and humility. As is true in most families, the Waltons faced many challenges, occasionally stumbled along the way, yet they strived to live their lives within the framework of the values they believed and taught.

The book introduces readers to the Hamner family members who later became characters on The Waltons. Richard Thomas who played John-Boy said: “It’s significant that the Waltons celebrated familism and healing during the tough times of the Great Depression.”

A Case Study: The Story Of The Waltons In The Most Difficult Of Times. Is It Ever Too Late or Too Difficult For Your Next WorkLife Chapter? 

There have been many difficult times throughout history, perhaps none more so than the Great Depression followed closely by WWII. The Waltons TV series set during these times demonstrated how the family navigated their WorkLives during these difficult times.

When The Waltons first came to our screens it was set in the time of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, companies were closing down, and people needed to be creative in their thinking when it came to finding themselves a job or set up in business. Not so different to how it is now, really.

Then the storyline moved to World War II, which deeply affected the family. Their WorkLives became very different. It forced them to put aspects of their WorkLives aside or on hold. They had to diversify in line with the demands of the time. It was also formative in charting their immediate and pursuing WorkLife chapters. Not so different to how it is now, really.

What might have made it even more difficult for the Waltons was that they lived in a very small community, and so perhaps there wasn’t a lot of scope for enterprise. However when they did venture further afield to the bigger towns, there may have been more opportunities, but there was also more competition. Again not so different to how it is now, really..

And yet they all managed to find work when they needed to. They were quite inventive about it really and managed to utilise, embrace and nurture their unique talents, skills and attributes, whether that was in their small community or when up against the competition in the bigger towns and cities.

The grandparents and parents instilled strong values in the children, along with a strong belief that they could achieve their heart’s desire. They recognised and encouraged the unique talents, skills and attributes within each child and gave them a supportive push in striving towards their goals.

They didn’t have the financial capacity to fund their education, but the belief they instilled in each child provided a greater capability to achieve the WorkLife they aspired to, far more than funding their education would ever have done. Each one worked hard for what they wanted, which resulted in even greater appreciation and gratification. I think the old adage of “give a man a fish and he’ll eat well today, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat well for the rest of his life” is appropriate here.

The grandparents, parents and in turn the siblings were a great support to each other along their WorkLife journeys. They were, I think, both mentors and mentees at various stages as they all supported each other in their learning, growth and development. As much as we’ve evolved since the time of the great depression, and WWII, and organisations are becoming more international and global, many things remain the same.

We all have the capacity to be both mentors and mentees, to share our knowledge, wisdom and expertise, along with our kindness, compassion and humility; and even among the international and global organisations there is space for the values and beliefs demonstrated in the Walton family. Simple perhaps, but as I think many of us have come to realise in an increasingly complex world ‘simplicity’ is becoming a key value.

Earl Hamner Jr. based the characters in The Waltons off his own family.

John-Boy: From a young boy he had a passion to become a writer, and began by recording his thoughts about his family, friends and circumstances, writing stories in a journal. He wrote and published his community and college newspaper. On graduating he moved to New York to fulfil his dream of becoming an author. After the attack on Pearl Harbour, he enlisted in the military and wrote as a war correspondent for the U.S. Army’s newspaper Stars and Stripes. After the war ended, he returned to New York and turned his attention to reporting news. He went on to become a novelist.

Jason: Enjoyed composing music for harmonica, guitar and piano. He attended the Kleinberg Conservatory of Music. He joined the National Guard, and during the war became a sergeant in the army. He landed a job playing honky-tonk piano at a local tavern, which he later came to own.

Mary Ellen: Followed her ambition to go into medicine, gained an education as a medical worker and became a nurse. Ending up taking care of people out in the country by herself, she concluded they needed more medical expertise than she could offer, and so she continued studying medicine until she succeeded in becoming a doctor.

Ben: Had an entrepreneurial spirit and embarked on various schemes, some more successful than others. He too fought in the war and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. Between times he ran the family sawmill in partnership with his father.

Erin: Worked as a telephone operator while finishing school. She struggled to find her place, as she wasn’t an academic like John-Boy, or musical like Jason, interested in medicine like Mary-Ellen, or entrepreneurial like Ben. She took a part-time job at a business college. When the owner saw her helping out at the unattended front desk answering and assisting callers, he allowed her to work her way through the business school. She went on to become an executive secretary, then personnel manager, going on to become the plant’s assistant manager. Later in life she earned a teaching certificate, leading her to become a school principal.

Jim-Bob: Was fascinated by aeroplanes and aspired to become a pilot. However increasingly poor eyesight forced him to give up this dream. He went on to become a mechanic and opened his own business.

Elizabeth: Had an inquisitive mind and a talent for writing. She joined the Peace Corp. A free spirit, she struggled to settle down and travelled the globe looking for adventure.

Like the Waltons, we will come through this difficult time, not unscathed, not without sadness and not without loss, but hopefully with a strong resolve to appreciate the simple things in life: spending time with family and friends; being involved in our local communities; passing the time of day with strangers; walking in the great outdoors; appreciating the beauty of what’s around us; and everything good that remains with us.

Sage Wisdom

  1. Remember you will get through this, and things will be alright again. No matter how difficult and uncertain everything is right now, darkness never prevails;
  2. Be kind, look out for each other. You won’t be the only one worried. Talking will help, sharing will help. Look out for your friends, your neighbours, people you hardly know, family, because in the end we’re all family;
  3. Stay strong, stay positive, you’ve got this.

During this enforced active WorkLife pause be open to experiences that require deeper thinking, let this guide your self-feedback to learning what you need to learn, and to knowing what you can do with the learning you already have within you, in a new and different context. Being observant will allow you to know what to do next to make the most of this WorkLife experience. Ask yourself:

What do I already know that I can adapt to this WorkLife experience?

What parts of this WorkLife experience are best suited to teach me what I want and need to learn?

Words of Wisdom

You are the author of your WorkLife story. This is not the end, it’s just the beginning.

One year on: I’m struggling to know what to add. I’m thankful that I and those close to me have come through it safely, but yet I’m anxious in writing that, I feel we’re not out of the woods yet, and I don’t want to tempt fate. So, for now, I don’t have anything to add … for now …

Instead, I leave you with the same poem from last year, which still feels relevant.

Epilogue

I leave you today with a poem by Laura Ding-Edwards

Together

It feels like things are not ok

And this “thing” will never go away

Like all around is caving in

And no-one knows where to begin

What-ifs and fears are on the rise

And nobody’s able to disguise

The sadness of this sudden change

To life, routine; it’s very strange

But sit a moment with that thought

Forget the things that you’ve been taught

For a while there’s no rat race

A slower life put in its place

We suddenly have the space to stop

Appreciate the things we’ve got

The cusp of spring still breaks its sleep

Our birds return to trill & cheep

And hope and kindness start to bloom

And we find ways to lift the gloom

And so in this uncertain time

Take stock, reflect and redefine

Keep in mind it’s not forever

We’ll make it through with love, together.

Today’s featured book is: Good Night John-Boy by Earl Hamner & Ralph Giffin.

WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories:

The intention of the stories I share is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories, you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles, failures and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

……………………………………………………………………………

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 3/5/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning. 

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

……………………………………………………………………………………

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Plan Effectively: Professionally and Personally

How To Be Autonomous in Your Development and Growth

How To Overcome Your Fear To Live Your Life With Courage

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

2 Simple Steps to Transition Your WorkLife to Something New and Interesting 

How Your Current Skills and Experience Can Allow You to Change Direction 

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning
Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

A Case Study: What Does My Nespresso Coffee Machine Have To Do With Evolving WorkLives? By Which I Mean Your WorkLife Evolving

Well, quite a lot, actually.

Some years ago, I was asked to write an article on: Managing a Career in Turbulent Times for the Communication Directors Europe Magazine. I spoke about companies being more proactive towards the social pressure of protecting the environment while supporting Social Enterprise.

And so, take a company like Nespresso and their ecolaboration and sustainability programmes. It fits the company profile described above.

Is this something that you consider you would like to become involved in?

If so, you may want to examine how your current skills and experience would allow you to transition into a company/programme like this.

But there are no jobs advertised, I hear you say. That’s a mere technicality.

What I want to focus on here is how you could transition into a new role/company/programme like this (or whatever role/company/programme that is new and interesting to you), so you’re ready when you do see a job advertised or you want to speculatively approach them to express why you would be a great asset to the company.

2 Simple Steps to Transition Your WorkLife to Something New and Interesting

How Your Current Skills and Experience Can Allow You to Change Direction

Step 1. Consider your skills and experience that are transferable to a new role that is interesting to you.

Take the example of a communications specialist: now, communications are unilaterally deemed critical to the success of strategic initiatives.

Therein lies one simple but obvious reason, why armed with your expertise, you could prepare your approach to apply to a progressive company like this, when you see a role advertised, or you can speculatively approach them to show your interest to get on their radar for when the time is right for them to fill a new position. 

Now you may never have worked within this specific industry, and there may be a skills gap in terms of your knowledge/skills/experience, but if you can come up with a reason why you consider yourself to be an 80% fit for the company/programme then there’s a strong chance they’ll want to meet with you and many organisations will be willing and able to support the development of that 20% gap. 

This is because there has been a surge in cross-industry recruitment as employers are beginning to realise the importance of bringing in a broader range of Knowledge, skills and experience. They don’t want to miss out on the wealth of talent that is available elsewhere!

Step 2. Of course, you’re going to have to sell yourself to get them to meet with you in the first place, at which point, of course, you’ll be able to wow them and be offered the role. 

So you need to communicate a strong written presentation of your knowledge, skills and experience and the value you will bring to the company in line with their development strategy, which of course you’ll have researched and as the communications specialist, you’re just the person to draft that strong speculative letter and tweak your CV accordingly. – Job Done!

Those of you out there who don’t work in communications may think that’s all fine and dandy; it’s an obvious choice for communications specialists, but how can I, coming from a background in ABC, possibly transition into this XYZ company/programme? 

Well, you follow the same strategy as the communications specialist, you figure out how your knowledge, skills and experience could bring value to the company, and you research their development strategy. 

Then you compile your letter and tweak your CV, now I know you’re not the communications specialist, and perhaps words don’t flow as easily (or maybe they do), but you are writing about yourself and who knows you better!.

Nespresso is just one of many companies wanting to make a difference through their ecolaboration and sustainability programmes. I choose to use them as an example because their coffee is very much part of my world. 

You can research companies that have significance and meaning to you, that are making a difference on a social or another level that has meaning to you.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 29/4/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time.

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint.

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively

How To Build Your WorkLife Around What Engages and Inspires You  

How To Successfully Invent and Reinvent Yourself 

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

How to Act on Hard Feedback You Know to Be True When You Don’t Know What To Do 

1 Courageous Step to Make the Changes You Need to Make 

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning
Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

Has someone ever said something to you, which you knew to be true; something you wanted to change, but you didn’t know how; or something was holding you back, maybe you didn’t have the courage to do what you wanted, and needed to do.

You’re Not Generic, So Why Act That Way? Is part of a series of people’s stories of when they received feedback that cut to the chase. Feedback that in their heart of hearts they knew to be true, but yet they stopped short from making the changes needed.

You’re Not Generic, So Why Act That Way?

These words hit home for Chloe, she knew they were true. What she didn’t know was what to do about them.

But let’s back up a little to Chloe’s Story: You’re Not Generic, So Why Act That Way? Case Study:

Chloe was a Graphic Designer. Her intuitive ability to come up with ideas and her passion for excellence led her to become an influential and sought after designer. But somewhere along the way, something changed, but she didn’t know what, and without knowing the what, she was struggling to know what to do.

So, when her boss Ava said to her: You’re Not Generic, So Why Act That Way? These words hit home for Chloe. She knew they were true. What she didn’t know was what to do about them.

Sage Wisdom

Chloe met with Harry, a longtime friend and mentor, who always had a wise way of looking at and seeing things. He immediately asked Chloe the question she had been struggling with: “What’s changed?” Chloe still couldn’t answer. As much as she knew something had changed, she still couldn’t pinpoint what it was, or when it happened.

How to Act on Hard Feedback You Know to Be True When You Don’t Know What To Do

Harry suggested this was the question she needed to reflect upon. This was the question that would allow her to give herself the self-feedback she needed to be able to know what to do. He went on to suggest a book that might give her the clarity and insight she needed to be able to answer this question.

Book Wisdom

The book was: How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman

“In the book Millman has gathered astonishingly frank revelations from acclaimed designers. Anyone who struggles daily to create great work will be inspired and encouraged by these intimate glimpses into remarkable minds.” This praise for the book from Joyce Rutter Kaye (Editor-in-chief, Print magazine) spoke to Chloe, as did the stories in the book.

Vaughan Oliver in particular gave voice and words to what Chloe was feeling: “I would like to get back my love for graphic design, because I think I’ve lost it.” His story resonated with Chloe. He spoke about how he can get stuck in his mind, and how when that happens his anxiety increases, how his self-doubt creeps in. In answer to Millman’s question: “Do you have a lot of feelings of self-doubt?” He answered: “Oh, don’t we always, us creative people? Sometimes you’re on top of the world, and other days you feel worthless and wonder what you’ve done and what you’re doing.”

His response to Millman’s question of what he does when that happens, to crawl out, also resonated with Chloe. He said: “Quite simply, I go for a walk.”

Millman asked if he thought that self-doubt helps the creative process in some way. He said not his, and that in times past when he had deadlines every day, when he was doing a lot of work and there was a lot of activity around him, and the deadlines were relentless, the creativity was also relentless. There was no time for self-doubt.

He went on to talk about the change in the industry — both technological and cultural changes that have caused disempowerment, and it’s the disempowerment that fuels self-doubt. He said there’s lack of rebelliousness and surprise in the industry right now; and went on to say he no longer has the satisfaction at the end of the day, of a day’s work well done.

Everything he said resonated with Chloe. She had found her answer to the question: What’s Changed? It was an answer that went deeper and wider than she had realised, and it was painful. But she knew it was what she needed to be able to move on. She didn’t know if she would be able to get her love for graphic design back, at least not with how things currently stood within her industry, but what she did know, was what she needed to seek out in order to try to get that love back, and for now this was enough.

Epilogue

While Chloe has yet to get her love of graphic design back, she has gotten away from being generic

She did this by once again asking herself the question: What’s Changed? This time the answer that came to her led her to take:

1 Courageous Step to Make The Changes She Needed to Make

Chloe has  done that by bringing her point of view to the work. Her point of view was always what was unique and distinct about her, but the self-doubt that had crept in had somehow caused her to shift away from who she was. She figured she had nothing to lose in speaking her mind, and has taken the courageous step to do just that. She hopes this will also help in getting her love of graphic design back.

Words of Wisdom

“To me, success is not about money, it’s about what I design. If I get up every day with the optimism that I have the capacity for growth, then that’s success for me”. Paula Scher.

An Insightful Question a Time For Reflection and Effective Self-Feedback to Manage Hard Truthful Feedback

When you’re at a place of feeling stuck and not knowing what to do, when you receive hard feedback, that you know to be true, begin by asking yourself:

What’s Changed?

Take time to reflect on the self-feedback that comes to you through the answer. From this you will learn the courageous step you need to take to effect the changes you need to make.

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book How To Build Your True Personal Brand Identity. I developed it further into The Case of You’re Not Generic … So Why Act That Way? … for The Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies. 

Today’s featured book is: How To Think Like A Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman

WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories:

The intention of the stories I share is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories, you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles, failures and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

……………………………………………………………………………

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 27/4/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

……………………………………………………………………………………

 School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time.

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint.

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Live True To Who You Really Are 

How To Get To Self-Realisation and Self-Acceptance 

How To Overcome Self-Doubt Through Self-Appreciation

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

3 Effective Questions to Develop a Pitch Your Audience Want to Listen To 

How to Weave a Meaningful Story Into Your Presentation 

 

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning
Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

Have there been times in your WorkLife when you’ve had to pitch yourself or your ideas, when there was a lot riding on It?

Maybe it was in an Interview, or presentation, or you had to sell your idea to your team, your board or an investor.

Everything Is Riding On This … We’re Relying On You … people’s stories of when they had to deliver the pitch of their life, when their WorkLives and their future depended on it. When the stakes were high, and there was a lot to win or to lose …

The Future Of The Company Is Hanging On This, You’ve Got Three Minutes To Win Them Over Matt …

Matt, a man of few words at the best of time, was at a total loss of words on hearing this.

But let’s back up a little to Matt’s Story: Everything Is Riding On This … We’re Relying On You Case Study:

Matt works in accounting at an advertising agency. In the last year, he has somehow gone from reluctant speaker to the key speaker at this sales pitch.

Through a process of self-coaching, self-directing and self-leadership he has transformed his presentations from boring snoring to interesting and engaging. This was no mean feat considering his subject matter is numbers, doubled with the fact that Matt had begun from a place where people’s eyes would glaze over, followed by the earliest possible exits as soon as he began his presentation. He has gone from being invisible to suddenly being in the spotlight — or rather about to be under the spotlight!

SAGE WISDOM

Being an accountant Matt is quite a logical thinker. He is also quite wise, and so he turned to his inner sage for wisdom, by asking himself:

3 Effective Questions to Develop a Pitch Your Audience Want to Listen To

What do I need to do in this situation?

Why do I need to do this?

Why is this important to my audience?

The self-feedback that came to him was:

  • I need to create the experience in people’s minds of the experience I’m trying to share;
  • I need them to know why it matters;
  • I need them to know the powerful impact this can have.

BOOK WISDOM

Although Matt is a man of few words, he does have a love of words, and a passion for reading. Books are his go-to place when he needs stimulation for his ideas, his thinking and his challenges. Matt’s search for the book to help him in this situation brought him to: Ted Talks by Chris Anderson.

The guidance he received was:

  • When tackling tough topics, the structure of these is typically to lay out a series of facts that illustrate how awful a situation is and why something must be done to fix it — that can be emotionally exhausting —a  route around that — the  first step is to think of your talk not as being about an issue, but about an idea;
  • An issue-based talk leads with morality, an idea-based talk leads with curiosity;
  • An issue exposes a problem, an idea proposes a solution;
  • An issue says isn’t this terrible, an idea says isn’t this interesting;
  • it’s much easier to pull in an audience by framing the talk as an attempt to solve an intriguing idea, rather than as a plea for them to care. The first feels like a gift is being offered the second feels like an ask.

This was the guidance Matt needed to weave a meaningful story into his presentation, which he set about writing.

This is Matt’s Pitch:

“There’s an old myth about Picasso sitting at a café in Paris when a woman recognised him and asked him if he would draw up a quick piece on a napkin for her. Humouring her, he agreed.

“That would be $1 million,” he told her, once he was done. Confused and taken aback, she pointed out that it had taken him only 30 seconds to draw. He responded: “No, my dear woman, you are mistaken. It took me 30 years to draw that in 30 seconds.”

Imagine, if you will, hanging out in a café where the world’s most accomplished people converge, influential artists, thought leaders, experts in their fields. I’d like you to picture it in your mind, as you sit over coffee observing, watching the masters at work. As they converse, you capture their wisdom, through the knowledge they’re sharing, the stories they’re telling of their work-life experiences, the skills they’re teaching — learnt through years of blood, sweat, and maybe even tears. You watch 30-second demonstrations of work that has taken 30 years to master.

Now imagine, if you will, a gift. I’d like you to picture it in your mind, it’s quite abstract. So, envision what it looks like all wrapped up. But before I show you what’s inside, I will tell you, it’s the gift that has the power to do incredible things for everyone who opens it. It’s the gift that has the power to challenge, inspire and motivate. It’s the gift that has the power to bring new meaning to life, and to change lives.

You see, this is the gift of knowledge, the gift of the most brilliant of minds coming together.

Why? Because these brilliant people believe in the power of the gift of knowledge. They believe in the power of knowledge sharing. They believe in the potential of this gift, the potential to reach millions of people throughout the cafés of the world.

By now I know you’re dying to know where these cafés are, and is there a waiting list to get in? And how much does it cost people to drink coffee at such elite establishments?

The Answer:

These cafés are wherever people want them to be:

Their own homes, their workplaces, their local cafés, or a café in Paris, indeed a café from wherever they are in the world.

You see, the power of technology is bringing these brilliant people together to a café in cyberspace. A café where people can go, at any time, when they want to hang out in a place where the world’s most accomplished people converge.

And is there a waiting list?

No, there’s no waiting list, instead, there’s a membership that allows people access to this elite establishment.

And the cost to people?

£15 monthly membership — much less than the cost of a coffee a day.

How much will it cost you?

The seed-capital investment we need to bring this cafe to millions of people is £250,000.

And that’s an incredible deal. Why? Because this is the gift that keeps on giving.

What do you get in return?

20% share in this venture, together with the sense of accomplishment that comes from enabling the greatest gift that exists, to be shared. The gift of knowledge.

Thank you.”

EPILOGUE

Matt’s pitch was good enough to pique people’s interest. There were questions, which he and the rest of his team answered. Offers were made, which led to discussions and negotiations, which resulted in the partnership the company needed being formed, to ultimately bring their idea to life, and to the lives of people in cafes throughout the world.

WORDS OF WISDOM

When presenting an idea, flesh out each point with real examples, stories and facts. This is how ideas that you cherish can be built in someone else’s mind.

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book How To Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively. I developed it further into The Case of Everything is Riding on This … You’ve Only Got Minutes to Win Them Over … for The Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies. 

Today’s Featured Book is: Ted Talks by Chris Anderson.

WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories:

The intention of the stories I share is to inspire you through people’s stories of their worklife experiences. Through these stories, you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles, failures and successes they encountered along the road of their worklife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their worklife with passion, purpose and pride.

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your worklife Story.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

..………………………………………………………………………………..

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 26/4/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning. 

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Use Your Purpose To Help Others

How To Drive Your Vision and Motivated Abilities 

How To Turn Your Story Into a Powerful Presentation 

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Founder of School of WorkLife Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

Chapter 13 I’m Taking Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast on A Moveable Feast Chapter by Chapter

Chapter 13 (of 20) A Strange Enough Ending

A Moveable Feast Chapter Thirteen, A Strange Enough Ending, Accompanied by French Onion Soup.
A Moveable Feast Chapter Thirteen, A Strange Enough Ending, Accompanied by French Onion Soup.

Chapter 1 (of 20), A Good Café on the Place St-Michael, will take you back in time to the story that began my French culinary experiences while reading A Moveable Feast, chapter by chapter. From there, each chapter will take you to the next chapter and culinary experience. 

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Ernest Hemingway.

Chapter 13 (of 20) A Strange Enough Ending accompanied by French Onion Soup Funky Cellar, Spitalfields. 

Notes From Chapter 13: A Strange Enough Ending

A WorkLife Book Club For One

Notes on The End of a Friendship

The way it ended with Gertrude Stein was strange enough. We had become very good friends.

And we were getting to be better friends than I could ever wish to be.

Miss Stein and a companion were getting ready to go south in Miss Stein’s car and on this day Miss Stein had asked me to come by in the forenoon to say goodbye.

The maidservant opened the door before I rang and told me to come in and wait.

I heard someone speaking to Miss Stein as I had never heard one person speak to another; never, anywhere, ever.

‘I have to go’, I said and tried not to hear any more as I left but it was still going on and the only way I could not hear it was to be gone.

In the courtyard I said to the maidservant. ‘Please say I came to the courtyard and met you. That I could not wait because a friend is sick. Say bon voyage for me. I will write.’

That was the way it finished for me, stupidly enough. 

She quarrelled with nearly all of us that were fond of her.

She got to look like a Roman emperor. But Picasso had painted her, and I could remember her when she looked like a woman from Friuli.

I felt sad reading this chapter, perhaps the sadness Hemingway felt at the end of a good friendship. It seems Miss Stein pushed everyone away because of her quarrelsome nature. As with many characters throughout the book, Hemingway choose to remember the good about them, over the bad.

Words of Wisdom

This chapter is about the nature of life and of some friendships/relationships, perhaps. And sometimes, the best thing to do is to walk away, allowing as much dignity for both parties as possible. And in time, choose to remember the good over the bad. Because we all have good and bad within us. Choosing generosity of spirit is a kind thing to do. 

Epilogue

I’m not sure when I’ll read the next chapter of A Moveable Feast over a glass and a plate. 

 It most likely will be another spontaneous happening. It may take a little planning to keep the French theme going, or as I walk and explore and discover, it may not. …

I can now share where Chapter 14 (of 20)… The Man Who Was Marked for Death took me …

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Today I enjoyed French Onion Soup at Funky Cellar, Spitalfields. 

Se souvenir de toi, Norma.

#FunFact1 The French onion soup history dates back to the 17th century. Legend has it that the soup was invented by King Louis XV. Late at night, at his hunting lodge, he was very hungry, and he only found onions, butter, and champagne. He cooked the three ingredients and made the first French onion soup. Source World in Paris.

#FunFact2 Funky Cellar is a Delicatessen, Fromagerie, Wine Shop and Bar selling quality vintage goods. A concept store, bathed in 70s décor. All the decorations, furniture and artwork are for sale and have been hand-selected from top-quality vintage and second-hand markets across Europe. Source Funky Cellar

#FunFact3 Spitalfields takes its name from the hospital and priory, St. Mary’s Spittel, which was founded in 1197Lying in the heart of the East End, it is an area known for its spirit and a strong sense of community. It was in a field next to the priory where the now-famous market first started in the thirteenth century. Source  Spitalfields

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning?

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may want to self-direct your learning by starting your WorkLife Book Club For One, For Two, or for more people. Guidelines for Starting and Running Your WorkLife Book Club will help you do that. 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Live True To Who You Really Are

How To Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness

How To Fine-Tune The Superpower of Observation

You can view the complete collection here: The School of WorkLife Book Series.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers), it helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

Chapter 12 I’m Taking Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast on A Moveable Feast Chapter by Chapter

Chapter 12 (of 20) Ezra Pound and His Bel Esprit

 A Moveable Feast Chapter Twelve, Ezra Pound and His Bel Esprit, Accompanied by a Croque Madam.
A Moveable Feast Chapter Twelve, Ezra Pound and His Bel Esprit, Accompanied by a Croque Madam.

Chapter 1 (of 20), A Good Café on the Place St-Michaelwill take you back in time to the story that began my French culinary experiences while reading A Moveable Feast, chapter by chapter. From there, each chapter will take you to the next chapter and culinary experience. 

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Ernest Hemingway.

Chapter 12 (of 20) Ezra Pound and His Bel Esprit accompanied by a Croque Madame at Côte, Hay’s Galleria, London Bridge.

Notes From Chapter 12: Ezra Pound and His Bel Esprit

A WorkLife Book Club For One

Notes on Contrast and Sense of Place

Ezra Pound was always a good friend, and he was always doing things for people. The studio where he lived with his wife Dorothy on the rue Notre-Dames-de-Champs was as poor as Gertrude Stein’s studio was rich.

These opening sentences to the chapter served as a continuation of the masterclass in writing that began for me in the last chapter—a masterclass in how to use contrast to give a sense of place.

Previous chapters have helped me work through feelings, emotions and reactions to everyday happening in my WorkLife. They have also helped connect and reinforce learning that I’m experiencing as I go about my daily WorkLife reading books and stories and listening to podcasts.

Notes on Self-Awareness and Self-Directed Learning

His own writing, when he would hit it right, was so perfect, and he was so sincere in his mistakes and so enamored of his errors.

I love learning about people’s self-awareness and how they self-direct their learning. In this instance how Ezra learnt as much through what didn’t work, or perhaps even more, than through what did work. I, too, embrace the practice of self-awareness and self-directed learning in my WorkLife. I, too, learn as much, or perhaps more, from what doesn’t work.

Notes on Observation and Sense of Character

I watched Lewis carefully without seeming to look at him. I do not think I had ever seen a nastier-looking man. Some people show evil as a great race horse shows breeding. They have the dignity of a hard chancre. Lewis did not show evil; he just looked nasty.

I love learning about people’s power of observation. I believe it’s a critical skill in everyone’s WorkLife, and perhaps more so for artists – Hemingway as a writer, performing artists in developing their craft in stepping into a character, and visual artists in capturing their subject matter – person, place or thing. 

These sentences were also a masterclass for me as a writer in how to use observation to give a sense of character.

Notes on Bel Esprit

Words of Wisdom

Either you had Bel Esprit or you did not have it. If you had it you would subscribe to get the Major out of the bank. If you didn’t it was too bad. 

Hemingway was talking about Ezra’s generosity and how he loved to help artists that he believed in and how he would help anyone, whether he believed in them or not, if they were in trouble. The Major was T.S. Elliott. The Bel Esprit ‘Mission’ was to get him out of his dead-end job in the bank because he had insufficient time and bad hours to function as a poet. Hemingway was also full of Bel Esprit in making this happen. 

I loved learning that both Ezra and Hemingway were full of Bel Esprit because I love people with this attribute, one of whom I believe I am.

Epilogue

I’m not sure when I’ll read the next chapter of A Moveable Feast over a glass and a plate. 

 It most likely will be another spontaneous happening. It may take a little planning to keep the French theme going, or as I walk and explore and discover, it may not. …

I can now share where Chapter 13 (of 20)… A Strange Enough Ending took me …

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Today I enjoyed a Croque Madame at Côte, Hay’s Galleria, London Bridge.

Se souvenir de toi, Norma.

#FunFact1 The French approach to eating well is rooted in the concept of “terroir” – showing respect for the earth and the things it gives us. We only work with farmers and producers who share this mindset, ensuring we can offer you the best-tasting seasonal produce. Source Cote UK.

#FunFact2 Hay’s Galleria was at the centre of the trade and shipping port, most famous for its tea imports, until it was damaged during WW2. To mark its rebirth in 1987, a rivet-covered bronze moving sculpture, with the face of a man and the body of an industrial-age ship, named The Navigators, was installed. Source Hay’s Galleria.

#FunFact3 Operation London Bridge was the funeral plan for Queen Elizabeth II. The phrase “London Bridge is down” was used to communicate the death of the Queen to the prime minister, and key personnel setting the plan in motion. Source Wikipedia 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning?

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may want to self-direct your learning by starting your WorkLife Book Club For One, For Two, or for more people. Guidelines for Starting and Running Your WorkLife Book Club will help you do that. 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Use Your Purpose To Help Others  

How To Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness

How To Fine-Tune The Superpower of Observation

You can view the complete collection here: The School of WorkLife Book Series.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers), it helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

3 Techniques to Help You Relax When Under Pressure and to Think on the Spot 

3 Impromptu Response Structures to Help You Be Organised and Structured 

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning

Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

The Old Dog Story and Thinking On the Spot

This Is an old story that serves as a modern day reminder of how impactful the simple act of breathing is in enabling clarity of thinking.

An old dog starts chasing rabbits and, before long, discovers that he’s lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch. The old dog thinks, “Oh, oh! I’m in deep s… now!”

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old dog exclaims loudly: “Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here?”

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him, and he slinks away into the trees. Phew!,” says the panther, “That was close! That old dog nearly had me!”

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes. The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther. The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, “Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine!”

Now, the old dog sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, “What am I going to do now?” but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn’t seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old dog says… “Where’s that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!”

Moral of this story — Don’t mess with the old dogs! or wisdom only come with age and experience! …. or does it?

Nah, of course not.

“Awareness, not age, leads to wisdom.” — Publius Syrus

There are also techniques that can help you to relax when under pressure and to think on the spot.

3 Techniques to Help You Relax When Under Pressure and to Think on the Spot 

  1. Breathing — this may sound obvious, but deepening and lengthening your breath stimulates a relaxation response which creates a feeling of calm. That sense of calm holds the key to opening your mind to clearer thinking.

2. Listen and Pause — whether that’s to your own instinct of needing to know what to do or say next as the old sheepdog did, or whether it’s critical to the success of your answer in situations when perhaps you’re being interviewed, or you’re facilitating a Q and A, or you’re delivering bad news, for example, a company restructure which is going to have a significant impact on the WorkLives of the individuals present.

Really listening allows you to be completely present in the moment and is critical to the success of your action or answer. Then pause before you respond — as long as you don’t have a look of panic on your face, you’ll look pensive and respectful.

Pause even if you know the action to be taken or the answer to be communicated, especially if you feel under attack. Carrying out an action or blurting out a response without thinking it through will make you appear insecure and anxious. A thoughtful pause reminds you to slow down and collect yourself and your thoughts.

3. Organise — When having to think on the spot or having to respond to an impromptu question, the idea is to structure your response for clarity, brevity and impact.

3 Impromptu Response Structures to Help You Be Organised and Structured 

By learning a few impromptu response structures, your actions and answers will always be organised and confident. Here are three structures for you to try out:

Impromptu Response Structures:

  1. PREP: Position, Reason, Example, Position. In this model, first state the position of the topic, and then you state your reason for taking that position. Next, you provide an example or story that supports your reason. Finally, you summarise by restating your position.

2. PEP: Point, Example, Point. In this one, you start by making a point or stating a key idea or objective. Then you give an example or story that proves your point. Then you wrap up by restating the main idea or your main point. When you’re short on time, this is the way to go.

3. Divide and Conquer: This requires you to think quickly of a way to divide up your response, choosing between past, present and future problem-solving solutions:

  • Past: solutions that have worked before
  • Present: being completely in the moment to be able to react in time with a solution that will work in the here and now – as the old dog did!
  • Future: gathering intelligence to anticipate what the future holds, supporting you in being forearmed with informed solutions.

Then practice these techniques, because as we all know, practice makes perfect. You can do this by applying these techniques to everyday situations both in work and your life outside of work — maybe you want your child to eat more vegetables — begin by telling them this (stating your position) your reason is, of course, because you want them to grow up to be big and strong, then you tell them the story of the big green giant who ….. (you know where I’m going with this) and then you restate your position.

Practising the techniques when the situation or questions are easy, and you’re not under pressure means you can learn the structures quickly.

Then when you are put on the spot, you can easily relax, listen, organise and respond. Whether you’re attending a meeting, interviewing for a job, presenting a proposal, selling an idea, handling a question and answer session, delivering bad news, or dealing with a panther! Being able to respond clearly and concisely at a moment’s notice is a critical professional skill.

………………………………………………………………………………..

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 24/4/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning. 

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness 

How To Fine-Tune The Superpower of Observation 

How To Be Creative in Your Thinking 

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

Why a Flexible Mind is the Difference Between a Happy and Unhappy Person 

How Focusing on What You Really Want to Do Will Make You Happy 

 Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.
Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning

When we came out of the pandemic, I knew I was going to miss the time we had off. I enjoyed the solitude and having time to focus on doing the things I really wanted to do.

A Case Study: Three Things I’m Taking From The Time of the Pandemic and Bringing Forward: Daily Writing, Learning and Walking.

I love when I discover snippets of wisdom as I go about my daily WorkLife. I was listening to Don McLean, who was a guest on Cal Fussman’s podcast: Big Questions, when he mentioned: ’The Flexible Mind Concept’ He said: “Having a flexible mind is what makes a person happy, and is the difference between a happy and an unhappy person.”

He went on to say he could have spent all the time of the pandemic bitching about the fact that he wasn’t on tour, but he didn’t. Instead, he said: “OK, this is going to last a long time, so I’m going to forget about touring; I’ve got things I really want to do, so I’ll focus on those instead.”

I really related to that. I had published my first book: Your WorkLife Your Way: Make Your WorkLife Work For You, in December 2019 and the accompanying Your WorkLife Your Way Workbook in February 2020. I created workshops on each of the chapters in the book, and I launched events to run these workshops, which I subsequently had to cancel when the pandemic hit, along with the talks, I had planned to promote my book.

Now I could have rushed to get on the online learning bandwagon and turn each chapter’s live workshop into online workshops, but I didn’t. Instead, I focused on offline learning. I focused on writing stories. That’s because telling people’s powerful WorkLife stories of their challenges and successes are at the core of my work. I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

As a WorkLife learning practitioner, I’ve helped many people through times of change and uncertainty brought about in the past by economic downturns. I never cease to be amazed how resilient people are in times of adversity. These are the stories I’ve always captured, and during this time of great uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, these are the stories I continued to capture. 

Difficult times, situations and circumstances are where real learning takes place. This is where people surprise themselves when they discover how capable they are to come through what life has thrown at them through sheer grit and determination. This is where people realise they have so much within themselves to enable whatever is needed to happen to take place. This is where people have the realisation they need to have a flexible mindset to do what is needed to be done, to push through difficult times, situations and circumstances.

These are the stories that inspire so many more people to adopt a flexible mindset, to recognise and take ownership of their resilience and their abilities to do what is needed to survive times of great uncertainty and to come through with a renewed sense of belief in themselves. 

So instead of jumping on the online learning bandwagon, I stopped where I was, and I began capturing people’s present-day stories of what they were doing to survive in these times of uncertainty. And I also went to the past to uncover what people did when they had faced times of uncertainty. In capturing these stories, I wrote them down, and I began sharing them.

Don McLean said: “I thought what can I do to write a beautiful song that someone would love and enjoy, rather than tell my troubles to everyone. I’m a performer; my job is, no matter how bad I feel, is to go out there and deliver the show to make people feel happy, turn them on, make them cry, whatever, get ideas out there.” Unknowingly I had followed the same practice. I had immediately begun writing down, then sharing the stories I had captured. I, too, had worked to get ideas out there.

As well as spending my days learning and writing, I was also walking. Walking is something I love, and when I’m learning and writing, walking really helps me to make sense of things, it helps me to have ideas, it helps me to allow those ideas to percolate, it helps me to have realisations, it helps me to connect things, it helps me to put things in perspective. Walking helps me in so many ways – my thinking and my mental wellbeing, as well as my physical wellbeing. 

Now, all that said, I did have a period during lockdown where I wasn’t walking. I was so engaged in my learning and writing that I stopped making time for walking. I share how I got back to walking in my story:

3 Simple Signs That Got Me Back on the Path of Health and Happiness 

So, as lockdown restrictions are being lifted in the UK, and we were able to do more with more people, I found that I wasn’t rushing to get back to anything that remotely represents the hustle and bustle of everyday London life. If anything, I resisted it strongly. 

Because I enjoyed the time I had off. I enjoyed the time I spent learning, writing and walking. I will slowly get back to life that will be somewhat representative of life before the pandemic, and when I do, the three things I’m going to take from this time off from the world and bring forward are: Daily writing, learning and walking. Oh, and a flexible mindset too.

As Don McLean said of The Flexible Mind Concept when Cal Fussman asked him what would he say to people who maybe don’t think they practice this. He said: “You’ve had this experience, and now this is going forward, and you say what am I going to do with this week, and you say I’m going to learn something, I’m going to learn at least one thing every day.” He went on to say he learns lots of new things every day. 

So do I. 

Do you?

I leave you today with three questions:

What are some of the things that you learn as you go about your everyday WorkLife?

What has your experience of The Flexible Mind Concept been over the time you had off from the world?

What are the things you’re going to take from this time out and bring forward?

………………………………………………………………………………..

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 22/4/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning. 

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Pursue The Superpower of Happiness 

Your WorkLife Your Way 

How To Use Turning Points to Start Something Different and Better 

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

How a Life Altering Happening Can Give You a Strong Sense of Purpose 

A Lesson to Help You Determine What You Want to Be Remembered For 

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning

Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

How a life altering happening can give you a strong sense of purpose are people’s stories of how a disease, illness, accident or other unforeseen happening totally altered their lives. How their WorkLife paths were completely taken off track. How they navigated their long road to recovery. And How ultimately they came through the other side with a strong sense of purpose. 

I’m sorry but you have gangrene, both your legs need to be amputated from the knee down 

Jason listened to these words in complete disbelief and horror. 

But let’s back up a little to Jason’s Story: How A Disease Gave Me Purpose: A Case Study

Jason worked in events, a job which he really loved; and he was also a drummer in a band, which fulfilled his passion for music. He was married with two young daughters and life was pretty good. That was until Jason caught what he thought was the flu.  He had a lot of aches and pains, and was feeling really rundown. 

Then one day he collapsed at work and was taken to hospital. Examinations were made and blood tests were taken, the results of which led to those distressing words from Jason’s Doctor: “I’m sorry but you have gangrene, both your legs need to be amputated from the knee down.”

Jason listened to these words in complete disbelief and horror. As you can appreciate the road to recovery was long and hard from both a physical and emotional perspective for Jason. 

Jason’s illness had a devastating effect on his WorkLife ife. It meant he could no longer work in his chosen field of events. This was because he could no longer cope with the physical element of setting up events, which was a major part of his role and what he enjoyed. He also had to give up his drumming because he needed a sense of rhythm in his foot tapping to ‘feel the music’, and he no longer had that.

Jason had to have robotic limb replacements. He then spent months in rehabilitation learning to walk again. While in rehab he became friendly with Zeb, who shared with him the following:

SAGE WISDOM

Zeb was a military veteran.  He had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his last tour, he had come under attack while driving, causing his car to go out of control. He was pulled from the burning inferno, but sadly suffered severe burns to his face and body. 

On sharing his story with Jason, Zeb told him how what had happened had over time given him his purpose in his WorkLife. He said how it felt like all the stars had aligned the day he had the realisation that he could use everything he’d been through in his life to build something that would help other people realise that a disease, illness, accident or other unforeseen happening, while life-changing, is not life-ending. He did this by sharing his story, then asking people who had also experienced life-changing events through a disease, illness, accident or other unforeseen happening to tell their stories at the WorkLife Changing Events he ran.

Zeb went on to say, that looking back he couldn’t imagine where he’d be now, if he hadn’t gone through everything he did, saying that all of the challenges he’d been through had helped to determine his purpose, which led him to the WorkLife he’s living today. He said he’s passionate about what he does, and that he discovered he has an ability to make a positive impact to the lives of the people he connects with. 

BOOK WISDOM 

Zeb gave Jason the book: Life is Good by Bert and John Jacobs. Through simple life lessons, the brothers illuminate ten key “superpowers” accessible to everyone: openness, courage, simplicity, humour, gratitude, fun, compassion, creativity, authenticity and love. Their story shows how to overcome obstacles and embrace opportunity. Jason found the book moving, entertaining and profound. It became his guide for embracing and growing the good in his life. 

As Jason recovered, his determination to become agile and to build a good level of health and fitness pushed him to walk more and more. He had a love of the outdoors, and as soon as he could he ventured to his nearby park, and slowly he built up his walking ability. With that came a renewed zest for life. He spent as much time as he could with his wife and daughters in the wonderful parks of London, many of which were on his doorstep. He had plenty of time on his hands, and was determined to make the most of it, and indeed make up for the time he had lost during his illness.

He was considering the next stage of his WorkLife, and although uncertain initially what this would actually be, he began to think of it in terms of what he loved doing and what was important to him. He did a lot of his thinking when he was in the park, spending time with his wife, playing with his girls or just walking in nature maintaining his health and fitness routine. He got to know the people working in the park and talked to them about their WorkLives. These conversations led him to become a volunteer with responsibility for maintaining the upkeep of the park. Although he had no specific experience in doing this, he quickly grew to love what he was doing, and became more and more interested in the horticultural side of things.

One of the park horticulturalists noticed Jason’s natural ability in the work he was doing and spoke to him about the internship programme they ran each year, suggesting he apply for it. This is exactly was Jason did, and he was successful in securing a place on the programme. He is now developing his new career in horticulture.

Words Of Wisdom

“Life is not easy. Life is not perfect. Life is good.” Bert and John Jacobs

Epilogue 

Jason now tells his story at Zeb’s WorkLife Changing Events. To help shape his talk he asked himself: “What legacy or reputation do I want to leave behind? Through self-feedback that came from the answer he developed what he calls his WorkLife Slogan:

Happiness is a walk in the park.

“For me this sums up everything that’s important to me, my love of walking in nature, playing with my girls, walking hand in hand with my wife, walking alone with my thoughts, all the time maintaining my fitness and well-being. Recognising the positive impact of simply being in the park, being at one with nature has for me and my family and wanting to play a part in contributing to creating that impact for other people too. While also playing my part in helping the environment through my work. This is my way of giving back or giving forward, this is the legacy I want to leave behind, this is what I want to be remembered for. “

Today’s featured book is: Life is Good by Bert and John Jacobs

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book How To Use Turning Points to Start Something Different and Better. I developed it further into The Case of a Disease Giving Purpose for The Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.

WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories:

The intention of the stories I share is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories, you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles, failures and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

…………………………………………………………………………………

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 21/4/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning. 

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

………………………………………………………………………………

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Your WorkLife Your Way 

How To Use Your Purpose To Help Others 

How To Turn Your Story Into a Powerful Presentation  

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.