The Most Important Piece of Wisdom That Has Served Me Well Throughout My WorkLife

Why Sharing Your Wisdom Through Stories is Helpful to People 

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

You Have Much of What You Need Within You, and What You Don’t Have, You Will Be Able to Find or Figure Out.

I actually don’t know where I first heard those words. I don’t believe it was from anyone I know.

I read a lot, so they could be words from a book. I also watch a lot of films and tv, so they could be words from there. And I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I could have heard the words there either.

Or it could be a phrase I coined myself — it certainly sounds like something I would say, and probably have said.

Sometimes I forget the things I say and will be reminded of something by family, friends or clients, words that they considered to be wise that I shared with them.

People actually tell me I’m wise — I really like that. Because it means that something I’ve said has helped them in some way. I like helping people.

However, I hasten to add. I’m not an ‘Advice Giver’. Anything I would have said would have happened by way of conversation — sharing my thoughts and experiences, which I like to think of as simply sharing stories — certainly not by way of dishing out advice!

I actually can’t stand ‘Advice Givers’, especially people who give unsolicited advice! They’re the worst.

My experience is that people who are really good at what they do, don’t give out unsolicited advice. Some will choose to be mentors, and in doing so, will share their experiences, through their stories. Stories are a wonderful way to help people — a wonderful way to impart wisdom without telling people what to do. People can always figure that out for themselves.

Sometimes they just need different perspectives, different ways of looking at things. Then they can find their own best way.

A conversation, a shared experience, a shared story is all that’s needed.

Because we all have much of what we need within us and what we don’t have, we’ll be able to find or figure out.

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POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 13/5/21. 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 Use Your Purpose To Help Others  

How To Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness

How To Fine-Tune The Superpower of Observation

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.

Chapter 17 I’m Taking Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast on A Moveable Feast Chapter by Chapter

Chapter 17 (of 20) Scott Fitzgerald

A Moveable Feast Chapter Seventeen, Scott Fitzgerald, Accompanied by Cashel Blue Cheese, Plum Chutney & Oatcakes paired with a glass of Red.
A Moveable Feast Chapter Seventeen, Scott Fitzgerald, Accompanied by Cashel Blue Cheese, Plum Chutney & Oatcakes paired with a glass of Red.

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 17 (of 20) Scott Fitzgerald accompanied by Cashel Blue Cheese, Plum Chutney & Oatcakes paired with a glass of Banyuls ’Tradition’ NV., at Vinoteca City, Bloomberg Arcade.

Notes From Chapter 17: Scott Fitzgerald

A WorkLife Book Club For One

Notes on Physical Description of Characters and Characteristics 

Scott was a man then who looked like a boy with a face between handsome and pretty. He had very fair wavy hair, a high forehead, excited and friendly eyes and a delicate long-lipped Irish mouth that, on a girl, would have been the mouth of a beauty. His chin was well built and he had good ears and a handsome, almost beautiful, unmarked nose. This should have not added up to a pretty face, but that came from the coloring, the vary fair hair and the mouth. The mouth worried you until you knew him and then it worried you more.

This, for me, was yet another masterclass in writing. A masterclass in physical description that led into characteristic description in a way that piqued my curiosity about what Hemingway meant about Fitzgerald in the last sentence. I was hooked and wanted to know more.

Notes on Self-Criticism and Self-Championing

Words of Wisdom

He spoke slightingly, but without bitterness of everything he had written, and I knew his new book must be very good for him to speak without bitterness, of the faults of past books. He wanted me to read the new book, The Great Gatsby, as soon as he could get his last and only copy back from someone he had loaned it to. To hear him talk of it, you would never know how very good it was, except that it had the shyness about it that all non-conceited writers have when they have done something very fine, and I hoped he would get the book quickly so that I might read it.

I believe we need to be our own greatest critic and greatest champion. I believe this needs to be done in a way that demonstrates humility. Through Hemingway’s description of Fitzgerald, in this moment, he personified this. Because of my beliefs in how this needs to be, I liked learning this about Fitzgerald. I also liked learning about Hemingway’s thoughts and beliefs on this.

Notes on Success

Scott told me that he had heard from Maxwell Perkins that the book was not selling well but that it had very fine reviews.

Scott was puzzled and hurt that the book was not selling well, but, as I said, he was not at all bitter then and he was both shy and happy about the book’s quality.

It saddens me to read this. But it doesn’t surprise me. So many great works of so many great people throughout history weren’t recognised or appreciated for their greatness. 

I read that for the rest of his life, The Great Gatsby experienced tepid sales and that it took decades for the novel to gain its present acclaim and popularity. 

I also read that at the time of his death, Fitzgerald believed his life a failure and that his work was forgotten.

And I read that by the 21st century, The Great Gatsby had sold millions of copies, and the novel is required reading in many high schools and college classes. The work continues to be cited by scholars as relevant to understanding contemporary America. 

Source Wikipedia

This, indeed, is a worthy accolade. It saddens me that it took so long to come. And it saddens me that Fitzgerald didn’t experience the success he deserved in his lifetime.

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.

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

Today I enjoyed Cashel Blue Cheese, Plum Chutney & Oatcakes paired with a glass of Banyuls ’Tradition’ NV., at Vinoteca City, Bloomberg Arcade.

Se souvenir de toi, Norma.

#FunFact1 When Louis & Jane Grubb set out to make Cashel Blue in the early 1980’s, their ambition was to create a farmhouse cheese that “truly represents the outstanding quality of Tipperary grass-fed milk.” Today, 40 years later and in the hands of the 2nd generation, Cashel Blue is still made by hand on the same 200 acre farm; Beechmount, in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Source Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers 

#FunFact 2 Bloomberg Arcade is built on a site of rich Roman history, the true extent of which was revealed during the construction of Bloomberg’s European Headquarters on Queen Victoria Street. More than 14,000 Roman artefacts were uncovered during the excavation, some of which are now on display just metres away at London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space. Here, you can experience the restored Roman Temple of Mithras and enjoy contemporary art commissions responding to the site’s unique history. Source Bloomberg Arcade.

#FunFact3 Talking about Roman History … “The Roman Empire was fuelled by wine, enjoyed by soldiers and Caesars alike. You don’t need a refined palette, fast cars and fat pay-checks to enjoy it. Wine is for everyone.” Source Vinoteca. I concur and so did Hemingway. He wrote “In Europe then we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also as a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating to me and as necessary, and I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking either wine or cider or beer.” 

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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 Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness

How To Overcome Self-Doubt Through Self-Appreciation

How To Recover From Rejection and Build Strong Resilience

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

Chapter 16 (of 20) An Agent of Evil

A Moveable Feast Chapter Sixteen, An Agent of Evil, Accompanied by 
Rump Steak and Dauphinoise Potatoes paired with a glass of Winter Rosé.
A Moveable Feast Chapter Sixteen, An Agent of Evil, Accompanied by 
Rump Steak and Dauphinoise Potatoes paired with a glass of Winter Rosé.

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 16 (of 20) An Agent of Evil, accompanied by Hereford Grilled Rump Steak and Dauphinoise Potatoes paired with a glass of Syrah Gamay ‘Diane’ 2021 (a winter rosé), at Vinoteca City, Bloomberg Arcade 

Notes From Chapter 16: An Agent of Evil

A WorkLife Book Club For One

Notes on Mystery

Words of Wisdom

‘We need more true mystery in our lives. The completely unambitious writer and the really good unpublished poem are the things we lack most at this time. There is, of course, the problem of sustenance.’

Hemingway was sharing words spoken by Evan Shipman, who he considered to be “a very fine poet who truly did not care if his poems were ever published.”

For me, there is so much truth in those words. I’ve encountered so many people in my WorkLife – people I’ve encountered in person and people I’ve encountered through their work – featured in books/publications/exhibitions … who quite possibly (and for which I am very thankful) I’ve only encountered because of “the problem of sustenance” – they took on paid work to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, a means of living to support themselves and perhaps a family … 

In a sense, this gave them freedom because once they had taken care of “the problem of sustenance”, they were then free to create without any external demands or influences on their work. This, I believe, is where true artistry and creativity lie. This, I believe, is where people from all walks of life and across all professions achieve their greatest accomplishments. All of this creates a sense of mystery because it doesn’t have to conform to external expectations. I love that.

Epilogue

Unlike previous times when I wasn’t sure when I’ll read the next chapter of A Moveable Feast over a glass and a plate. This time I know, because I read the next chapter over a cheese course and a glass of wine at Vinoteca City, Bloomberg Arcade.

… Let’s see where A Moveable Feast the next chapter story is going to take me …

… I can now share where  Chapter 17 (of 20) Scott Fitzgerald story took me  …

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

Today I enjoyed Hereford Grilled Rump Steak and Dauphinoise Potatoes paired with a glass of Syrah Gamay ‘Diane’ 2021 (a winter rosé), at Vinoteca City, Bloomberg Arcade 

Se souvenir de toi, Norma.

#FunFact1 The first mention of the dish Gratin dauphinois was on 12 July 1788 when it was served with ortolans at a dinner given by Charles-Henri and Lieutenant-general of the Dauphiné, for the municipal officials of the town of Gap. Source Wikipedia

#FunFact2 Vinoteca are redefining the wine bar. Sourcing exceptional wines. From grape to glass, every sip has an epic origin story waiting to be told. Stories that take you places. Igniting people’s passion for wine in a crazy-classy way without the stuffiness. (I concur) Source Vinoteca.

#FunFact3 As part of its commitment to London, Bloomberg reopened a lost portion of a Roman Road (Watling Street) now home to nine independent restaurants, public art and a pedestrianised haven in the heart of the Square Mile.  Source Bloomberg Arcade.

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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.

Your WorkLife Your Way

How To Live True To Who You Really Are

How To Let Curiosity Be Your Driving Force  

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.

How Honest Can You Be When Asked Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years? 

Is Our Worklife Really Defining Us? And Is That Such a Bad Thing Anyway? 

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

What do you say when you’re asked that ever-recurring and somewhat annoying question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” We’ve come to expect it at interviews, but what if it comes up in conversation at a networking event or a cocktail party?

It can be difficult in today’s economy to know where you’re going to be in the next five months, let alone the next five years and even if you do know, it’s a challenge to communicate your worklife goal, and if it comes up in a social setting, it’s up there in the annoying category of questions along with ‘What do you do?’

Is our worklife really defining us? And is that such a bad thing anyway? I suppose not if it’s deemed to be interesting, but what if you find your work uninspiring and you’re not motivated to talk about it.

And just how honest can you be? What if your five-year plan is to be semi-retired and living in the south of France with a little consultancy work to keep your hand in, and your real goal is to spend the next five years building a good network of contacts to facilitate this. Hmmm, perhaps it might not be such a good idea being completely honest in this instance, or you might be suspected of intending to run off with the company clients!

However, all that said, sometimes it does pay to be honest. For example, take a person working in the operations department of an Investment Bank. She’s finding the work completely mundane and goes nowhere to fulfil her creative spirit. Does she share this at appraisal time?

This did actually happen to Moira, and she chose to share in the knowledge that it could be the beginning of the end in terms of her career– but no, her faith in humankind was completely redeemed, if not blown out of the water when her manager suggested setting up a meeting with the head of Marketing and long story short she’s now planning a side step within her organisation. They’re even funding some of her training.

I expect now more than ever; organisations want to keep their good people, and giving them what they want will instil loyalty — the old adage of by giving you’ll receive eh!

It’s also worth noting if you are considering a change into something new and you can effect that change within an organisation where you’re known and respected, it’s a lot easier than getting your foot in another door.

And the moral of the story, well, I guess honesty can be rewarded, and it may even be the best policy!

.……………………………………………………………………………………

POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 6/5/21 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 Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively 

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 Use Your Voice To Express and Protect Your Identity

8 Questions to Gain Insight on How Speaking Up When You Need to Is Helpful 

How To Use Your Voice To Express and Protect Your Identity from School of WorkLife
How To Use Your Voice To Express and Protect Your Identity from School of WorkLife

Your Voice Comes From Who You Are and Who You Are Not.  It Grows Out of Your Identity, Out Your Own Unique Brand.

Carlos’s Story — Speaking Up Why? A Simple yet Profound Question

Carlos works in the hotel and leisure industry. He is quite an easy-going person, gets on well with people and is a good team player. Some time ago Blair joined his team, and from the very beginning, she just did not gel with Carlos. It was actually more than not gelling: she seemed to go out of her way to be uncooperative, and was openly critical of any ideas Carlos put forward at meetings. He found her disrespectful and difficult to work with.

He tried to get on with his work by interacting with her as little as he needed to. But it was a small team, and being in the hotel and leisure industry he spent long hours in his job, which meant long hours in her company. It soon came to a head and he knew he had to do something about it.

One day when they were alone, he asked her, “Why?” Blair stopped what she was doing and with obvious irritation asked, “What do you mean ‘Why?’ Why what?” Carlos answered, “Why do you behave in the way you do towards me?” “What are you talking about?” she snapped. Carlos answered, “Why do you behave in the way you do towards me? I get a sense you’re irritated by me, as you seem to be now. I’m not sure if it’s something I’ve done or said, but it would help to know, because then perhaps we could find a way of working together. Our work means we spend a lot of time in each other’s company, and I think it’s important we try to make this work, not just for us but for the morale of the team.”

Now Blair did not suddenly open up her heart to Carlos, she did not offer an explanation or apologise for her behaviour, she actually did not say anything. Maybe she did not know what to say, who knows. Even so Carlos was glad he had addressed the matter. It was a brief interaction, and he felt he had handled it in a professional way; and more importantly, he got it out in the open by letting her know her behaviour was unacceptable to him, and that he was willing to find a way to work together.

Although Blair did not respond initially to Carlos, her behaviour towards him did change. She was not so critical of his ideas, and they began to work together in a more cooperative way. While I do not think they will ever be the best of friends, they are actually getting on OK.

The situation Carlos found himself in is not so unusual, and it is one I hear in some shape or form time and time again in conversations with people. Some people will think: “Well I’ll put up with this person or situation while I’m in work, and then I can put it out of my mind once I’m outside of work.” The thing is we spend so much time in our work that it is not always possible or indeed good for our health and well-being.

Working with someone who has a demotivating impact on an individual or team can ruin morale, and it is important not to let a bad situation fester. I think by asking the simple question “Why?” we can open up an awareness to there being a problem, and get the message across that it is not acceptable, and that something needs to change. All of this from one simple question is quite profound, I think.

Develop Your WorkLife Story

This is your WorkLife. You get to decide who you want to be part of that. You have the power to shape the characters in your story through your voice, through what you say, and through what you do not say. Words are powerful, and so is subtext. You also have the power to write people out of your story.

Your Speaking Up Story Assignment

Think of your story of when you needed to speak up to protect your identity and you did.

To understand the deeper impact of this, answer the following:

8 Questions to Gain Insight on How Speaking Up When You Need to Is Helpful

1. What was the situation?
2. What led you to knowing you had to speak up?
3. What did you say? 

4. How did it go?
5. What was the outcome?
6. Are you glad you spoke up?
7. In hindsight, is there anything you could have, should have, would have done differently? 

8. What did you learn from this? 

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book, How To Use Your Voice To Express and Protect Your Identity. 

The stories I write are based on real WorkLife challenges, obstacles and successes. In some stories I share my own experiences, and with permission stories of people I’ve worked with, whose names have been changed to protect their anonymity. Other persons and companies portrayed in the stories are not based on real people or entities.

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POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 11/5/21. 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 Live True To Who You Really Are

How To Build Your True Personal Brand Identity  

How To Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness 

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 Insightful Questions to Help Turn a Special Event Into a Side Hustle 

How a Side Hustle Can Supercharge Your Skill Set and Effectively Future Proof Your WorkLife 

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 Side Hustle Can Supercharge Your Skill Set and Effectively Future Proof Your WorkLife … is part of a series of people’s stories of how a side hustle allowed them to: utilise their skills beyond the scope of their industry; create opportunities outside of their main work; use the skills they already had to take the initiative to get things done; build confidence in a new skills set; create an additional income stream; make connections; practice authenticity; develop independence; spread risk, and much, much more.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs. Those were Saoirse’s opening words at her university’s annual alumni day. But let’s hear Saoirse’s full address to understand her story:

A Case Study: How a Side Hustle Can Supercharge Your Skill Set and Future Proof Your WorkLife 

Saoirse’s Alumni Address:

Sage Wisdom

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs.

In my earlier talk How Creating Space Can Help Save Your WorkLife and Protect Your Wellbeing I shared how 1 Simple Step to Help You Shift From a Negative to a Positive Mindset, and how I instinctively knew that sharing my experience would help other people. 

I took the following approach to understand how I could do this:

  • I evaluated what I enjoyed about both my work and the weekend special event that I believed could become a side hustle;
  • I considered learning I wanted to undertake — areas of my WorkLife in which I wanted to grow and develop;
  • I thought about how I could combine skills from both to create something that was truly my own.

I’d begun my WorkLife as a freelance copy writer. When I had more work than I could handle, I outsourced it to fellow copy writers. This was reciprocated. This led me to founding a start-up business: a cooperative for freelance copy writers.

I enjoyed writing, I enjoyed bringing people together, I enjoyed working solo on smaller projects and I enjoyed collaborating on bigger projects.

I enjoyed the immediate and continuous sense of well-being and serenity I’d experienced by tidying my home. A weekend project which opened up my thinking to turn it into a side hustle. This was simply  because I felt it had greater scope. I enjoyed the enlightenment, inspiration and creativity that came to me through clarity in my thinking and from having a focused mind.

I wanted to learn how to enable people to learn and grow through self-development. That was my growth and development plan.

I asked myself: 

2 Insightful Questions to Help Turn a Special Event Into a Side Hustle

How can I make a difference in people’s lives?

What action will get me closer to the reality that I have just envisioned?”

The answer that came to me through reflection and self-feedback was that I could develop a mentoring programme for people who wanted to declutter their WorkLife.

I focused on people who had founded start-ups. After all, I knew their pain, so I knew there was value in teaching what I had learnt to other people, and I wanted to do something that made a difference for others. That was my marketing plan: to Market to a specific group based on a shared identity.

Book Wisdom

I re-read Give and Take by Adam Grant, the book that helped me when I was figuring out how to shift from freelancing to establishing a business that aligned with my values. The book enabled me to articulate what honouring my core values meant in this WorkLife transition. I wanted:

  • To build a successful company from the collective energy, intelligence and contributions from all team members;
  • To practice a win-win practice with our team and our clients, by treating everyone with respect, fairness and integrity, and expecting the same in return;
  • To serve and support our community by developing relationships that make a positive difference in people’s lives by enabling continuous learning, development and growth.

For me, this book holds the key to a more satisfying and productive WorkLife, better relationships and fairer profits. It’s helped me to play my part in creating a society in which people do better by being better. It provides an inspiring perspective on how to do better by being better.

I began by utilising my experience to teach what being a self-organiser is really like. I created a virtual declutter mentoring programme for people who wanted to take a DIY approach to organising their WorkLives — instructional videos and work sheets. I made my course accessible by charging only £19. I thought this was a good price point for adding value to the course while also making it available to more people.

Next, I developed a 4-week organisation mentorship programme: for people who wanted to establish a business in professional WorkLife decluttering. I put together short-term training packages, to educate people on how to handle their business from the initial start-up through to the developing stages of growth. I followed my principles of wanting to make the course valuable and accessible by charging only £79.

Finally, I contracted with a team to support high-end clients; people looking for onsite WorkLife professional organising. The cost for a 4-hour session is £299, which I outsource to my team. I take 20% commission from each job.

Words of Wisdom

In managing your own WorkLife learning, growth and development, ask yourself: “What do I want? and “What will make me more fulfilled?” Reflect on what comes up for you, then identify how you can make that happen, and from there develop your plan. Pay attention to what you discover along the way: I discovered I enjoyed empowering others rather than being on-site doing the physical work myself. This allowed me to adjust and adapt my plan.

Epilogue

You can view my earlier talk How a Side Hustle Saved My WorkLife and Well-Being on the university’s intranet to help you understand what led me to these simple steps of evaluating what I enjoyed about both my work and weekend special event; considering the learning, I wanted to undertake; the areas of my WorkLife in which I wanted to grow and develop; and thinking about how I could combine skills from both to create something that was truly my own. This had a significant and positive impact supercharging my skill set.

Each and every one of you can do the same. By taking responsibility for your own learning, growth and development, you can design your WorkLIfe transitions around investing in a diverse set of skills, and in so doing you can effectively future-proof your WorkLife. Thank you.

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book How To Start Something New In Difficult Times 

Last time Saoirse told her story of How Creating Space Can Help Save Your WorkLife and Protect Your Wellbeing 

Todays featured book is: Give and Take by Adam Grant

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 12/5/21. 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 Pursue The Superpower of Happiness 

How To Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively  

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.

How Creating Space Can Help Save Your WorkLife and Protect Your Wellbeing 

1 Simple Step to Help You Shift From a Negative to a Positive Mindset 

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

Three years ago, I was feeling the burnout from working the long hours required as founder of a start-up.

Those were Saoirse’s opening words as guest-speaker on WorkLife Wellbeing at her university’s annual alumni day. But let’s hear Saoirse’s full address to understand her story:

A Case Study: How Creating Space Can Help Save Your WorkLife and Protect Your Wellbeing 

Saoirse’s WorkLife Wellbeing Alumni Address:

Three years ago, I was feeling the burnout from working the long hours required as founder of a start-up. I was feeling overwhelmed and I knew I needed to reorganise my WorkLife. I lived in and worked from a small studio flat, and it was messy, it was disorganised, it was full of so much stuff, I could never find anything. But I didn’t have the time, energy or motivation to tidy it up, or so I thought.

Sage Wisdom

My dear and wise friend Anne came to visit, and over a few beers, I shared my woes, telling her how I no longer had the same clarity of thought in my thinking, and how I was struggling to focus my mind.

‘Tidy your home, and you’ll tidy your mind,’ she said. ‘But I don’t have the time,’ was my argument.‘Think of it as an assignment,’ she responded. ‘I think you’ve had too many beers,’ I said. ‘I don’t need to take on something else, I need to let go of something.’ That’s exactly my point,’ she said. ‘You need to declutter, and you need to take:’

1 Simple Step to Help You Shift From a Negative to a Positive Mindset

‘You need to reframe. ‘

‘You need to shift your focus from all the reasons why you can’t do something to emphasising what’s possible. By shifting from a negative mindset to a positive mindset you’re implicitly acknowledging that it’s possible. 

And I have the perfect book that’s going to help you,’ she continued, ‘It’s an easy, yet insightful read’.

‘Come over on Sunday and while you get started on it, I’ll make us lunch.’ ‘You really have had one too many,’ I responded, ‘if you think reading a book is going to help me.’ ‘All I ask is you give it a try,’ she answered. Knowing she wasn’t going to give up, along with the fact that her Sunday roast is the best in town, I agreed.

Book Wisdom

On arrival at her home that Sunday morning Anne took me directly to her wonderfully relaxing courtyard patio. Awaiting me was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo and soon to follow was a pot of her home-brewed coffee. Informing me lunch would be a couple of hours she left me alone. Wanting to make good with my promise to give the book a try, I got stuck in.

Anne was right, it was an easy read, and more importantly, it was insightful. It elicited self-feedback through self-questioning. Such as asking myself:

Why do I want to tidy?

I want a space that’s not cluttered was my response.

In preparation for getting started, I had to visualise my destination by asking myself:

What do I hope to gain through tidying?

I discovered my goal of wanting a space that’s not cluttered was too broad.

I had to think about it more deeply so that I could vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space.

Wanting a more serene lifestyle was what came to me. Closing my eyes, I saw myself in my home:

My bookshelves were choc-a-bloc, with the overflow of books on my windowsills blocking my view across the rooftops of London, and London life in the streets below. I had more books and magazines all over the floor of what is my workspace/ living room during the day and my bedroom at night. When I’d go to bed I’d have to move the clothes which wouldn’t fit into my already stuffed wardrobes from my bed to the floor, and then in the morning put them back on the bed, so I’d have a pathway to move around. My lifestyle could not have been called serene by any stretch of the imagination.

The book prompted me to go more deeply into what I meant by a serene lifestyle. I wanted windowsills and floors that were clean of clutter, to make my home a calm space to work from during the day, and a peaceful space to relax in at the beginning and end of my day.

In the morning I wanted to have my first coffee sitting in my window seat (which was also covered in clothes), slowly waking up watching the sunrise on a new day. At night, I wanted to sit and read looking out at a moonlit sky as the day came to a close.

I wanted to be enlightened, I wanted inspiration, I wanted creativity, which has always come to me through imagination. I wanted to day-dream — I’d been feeling blocked, and my night dreams were troubled — I wanted to be carefree.

Going deeper into knowing my Why (Why I want to tidy), led me to know what I wanted. This also allowed me to know that tidying would allow me to have the enlightenment, inspiration and creativity I wanted and needed to live my WorkLife with the serenity I deeply yearned. I had all of this knowledge by the time Anne came back to let me know lunch was ready.

With this knowledge came energy, the energy I needed to tidy my home. The book stipulated making tidying a special event. Thinking of special events reminded me of early morning hikes I always liked to take whenever I wanted to explore somewhere new and different, or when I simply wanted to be alone with my thoughts. I decided I’d make the following weekend my special event of tidying, and take the same approach as I did with my hikes by rising early when my mind was at its clearest, and my power of discernment sharp.

And it worked, I got everything I wanted. But what was perhaps most profound was the immediacy in which it worked, together with how what I wanted remained with me over the coming days, weeks and months, actually that never left. I now live a WorkLife filled with serenity.

The enlightenment, inspiration and creativity I gained, or actually regained, gave me back the clarity of thought I needed in my thinking, and allowed me to focus my mind. This was integral in saving my WorkLife because without that I risked losing everything. While I didn’t explicitly set out seeking wellbeing in my WorkLife through tidying, this came about as a natural, holistic and powerful by-product for which I am truly grateful.

Words of Wisdom

If there are times in your WorkLife when you feel overwhelmed or you’re reaching burnout, I encourage you to reframe. By shifting from a negative mindset to a positive mindset you’re implicitly acknowledging that it’s possible. That’s the beginning of a pathway to protect your WorkLife wellbeing through all your ups and downs.

Epilogue

What began from a place of feeling burnout and being overwhelmed in my WorkLife, took me on an unexpected path to not only overcoming my challenges but also coming through with a strong sense of knowing that my experience could help other people’s WorkLife wellbeing. This has led me to develop my weekend assignment of tidying into a side-hustle. I’ll share more about that in my talk later today: How A Side Hustle Can Super Charge Your Skill Set and Effectively Future Proof Your WorkLife. Thank You.

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book How To Start Something New In Difficult Times 

Next time Saoirse will tell her story of How A Side Hustle Can Super Charge Your Skill Set and Future Proof Your WorkLife.

Todays featured book is: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidyingby Marie Kondo

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 10/5/21. 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 Pursue The Superpower of Happiness 

How To Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively  

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.

A Lesson In How to Be Recognised and Rewarded For Doing Good Work 

How to Be So Good That They Can’t Ignore You

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

Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You … are people’s stories of how they created a WorkLife that was rewarding, fulfilling and meaningful. How they worked with people they admired. How they contributed in ways that was valuable, and how their WorkLife allowed  them to make a difference in a way that had a positive impact.

The hardest workers always get rewarded. By “rewarded” I mean both financially and in terms of responsibility. Those were Elaine’s opening words at her university’s annual alumni day. But let’s hear Elaine’s full address to understand her story:

A How to Be So Good That They Can’t Ignore You Case Study:

Elaine’s Alumni Address:

The hardest workers always get rewarded. By “rewarded” I mean both financially and in terms of responsibility.

Sage Wisdom

Tim Cook said: “There is a saying that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. The truth is, you will work harder than you ever thought possible, but the tools will feel light in your hands. He added something equally powerful: There’s nothing more beautiful than trying.”

As you prepare to go out into the world, wherever your WorkLife takes you you’ll want to stand out, you’ll want to be recognised, and you’ll want to be rewarded. But how do you achieve that? The answer to that question came to me through the superpower of:

Book Wisdom

I learnt lessons and drew inspiration from Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. It’s essential reading, not just for people in the restaurant business, but for people in any business, people who want to play an integral role in integrating the success of a business and the success of its community.

In the book, Meyer asks: “To imagine if every business was a lightbulb and that for each lightbulb the primary goal was to attract the most moths possible. Now, what if you learned that 49 percent of the reason moths were attracted to a bulb was for the quality of its light (brightness being the task of the bulb) and that 51 percent of the attraction was to the warmth projected by the bulb (heat being connected with the feeling of the bulb).” He said: “It’s remarkable how many businesses shine brightly when it comes to acing the tasks but emanate all the warmth of a cool fluorescent light.” He went on to say: “That explains how a flawless four-star restaurant can actually attract far fewer loyal fans than a two- or three-star place with soul.”

Like Meyer, in my WorkLife, I wanted to be a hundred-watt lightbulb, whose work is the sum of 51 percent feeling and 49 percent task.

I learnt that hospitality is present when something happens for you. It’s absent when something happens to you. These simple concepts — for and to — express it all.

I learnt to err on the side of generosity: You get more by first giving more.

This wisdom allowed me to know what I needed to do in order to stand out: I needed to work hard to be the best I could be; I needed to commit myself fully to always go the extra mile; I needed to pay attention over and above the task, to what was going on around me, to the people, the situation, in order to notice what else I could do that would allow me to go that extra mile.

I also knew I wanted and needed to be in this for the long-haul. As a graphic designer straight out of university, I had so much to learn, and because of that, I knew I needed to work with and for people I admired, people I could learn from. I knew I couldn’t compromise by taking something less than my ideal job, I knew I couldn’t settle for a place where I wouldn’t accomplish anything. I wanted and needed to make an impact with my work, to stand out for reasons that gave me a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. To be so good they couldn’t ignore me.

I encourage you to do the same. Do work that makes a contribution, work that gives you a sense of purpose, passion and pride. Work with collaborators who respect you, this is very important. You most likely won’t make a lot of money straightaway, but if you work with people you think are great, and you actually learn from them, that will be more valuable than immediate financial reward. But that will come too, along with greater rewards in terms of responsibility as you travel down the road of your WorkLife.

The principle of working hard is an old-fashioned principle, a principle that has stood the test of time. It’s a principle that you can all live your WorkLives by. It’s a principle that leads to many rewards. It’s a simple principle: the harder you work, the better you’ll become. The greatest reward: You’ll be so good they can’t ignore you.

Words of Wisdom

Why do I do this every day? This is a question I regularly reflect upon. Through self-feedback, the answers I’ve received include: it’s helping me achieve a goal that’s important to me; it’s helping me create freedom, independence, confidence and security. All good things to help me create the WorkLife I want. It’s about getting rewarded both financially and in terms of responsibility, it’s about what that allows me to do, who that allows me to become, how that allows me to serve others, and how through that I can achieve my dreams.

That’s a value that I try to live out every day. I encourage you to do the same, by following this simple practice of asking yourself: Why do I do this every day? Then take time through self-feedback to reflect by way of understanding how it can help you achieve your dreams to live the WorkLife you want.

I can’t wait to start work every day, and I hope all of you will get the same type of pleasure and reward out of what you choose to do.

Thank you.

Epilogue

Elaine’s grounded approach while following her bright star to live her WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride has led to her giving motivational talks at her university, her workplace and at events within her industry.

This story has been adapted from The School of WorkLife book How To Be Autonomous in Your Development and Growth 

Today’s featured book is: Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

.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 7/5/21 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 Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively 

How To Build Your WorkLife Around What Engages and Inspires You  

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.

Chapter 15 I’m Taking Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast on A Moveable Feast Chapter by Chapter 

Chapter 15 (of 20) Evan Shipman at the Lilas

A Moveable Feast Chapter Fifteen, Evan Shipman at the Lilas, accompanied by Creme Brûlée and Hot Chocolate
A Moveable Feast Chapter Fifteen, Evan Shipman at the Lilas, accompanied by Creme Brûlée and Hot Chocolate

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 15 (of 20) Evan Shipman at the Lilas, accompanied by Creme Brûlée and Hot Chocolate at Café Rouge, St Paul’s Churchyard.

Notes From Chapter 15: Evan Shipman at the Lilas

A WorkLife Book Club For One

Notes on Books

From the day I had found Sylvia Beech’s library I had read all of Turgenev, what had been published in English of Gogol, the Constance Garnett translations of Tolstoi and the English translations of Chekov. 

I loved being brought back to when Hemingway had first discovered Sylvia Beech’s library and to her generosity in sharing her books with those who appreciated them. I loved how Hemingway took me, the reader, through the time that had passed since that first meeting, through the books he had read.

Notes on Reading 

Words of Wisdom

To have come on all of this new world of writing, with time to read in a city like Paris where there was a way of living well and working, no matter how poor you were, was like having a great treasure given to you. You could take your treasure with you when you traveled too, and in the mountains where we lived in Switzerland and Italy, until we found Schruns in the high valley in the Voralberg in Austria, there were always the books, so that you lived in the new world you had found, the snow and the forests and the glaciers and their winter problems and your high shelters in the Hotel Taube in the village in the day time, and at night you could live in the other wonderful world the Russian writers were giving you. At first there were the Russians; then there were all the others. But for a long time there were the Russians.

I loved being reminded of the wonder of writing and reading. I’ve always loved reading, but when I was writing my last book, I spent a year writing far more than I was reading. That was OK. It needed to be done. But I wanted and needed to get back to reading more because, as a writer, reading is an integral part of my craft.

Taking Hemingway’s, A Moveable Feast on a Moveable Feast chapter by chapter has helped so much in getting back on track with my reading and flexing my reading muscle. As I write about my experiences, it’s helping me, as a new writer, to flex my writing muscle too. I am learning so much from Hemingway and from the experiences of taking the book to cafés and restaurants – the food, the drink, the ambience, the location, and the walk that gets me there and back. I can relate to Hemingway saying there is a way to live well and work and feel as though I have a great treasure given to me when I have time to read in a city like London. All of this doesn’t have to cost a lot – the food and drink and making time to read, when along with books, time is the greatest treasure, is truly wonderful.

When I finish this book, I plan to continue the practice of taking books on a journey – through the streets of London and further afield, hopefully. I know I too, will live in the new world I explore and discover by day, and I will also live in the other wonderful world that the writers from many different places will take me to.

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 16 (of 20)… An Agent of Evil took me …

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Today I enjoyed Creme Brûlée and Hot Chocolate at Café Rouge, St Paul’s Churchyard.

Se souvenir de toi, Norma.

#FunFact1 The world record for the largest creme brûlée topped out at 26 feet in diameter, weighed 1,600 pounds and was estimated to have two million calories. Source Mobile Cuisine  

#FunFact2 With the advent of printing, St Paul’s Churchyard quickly became the centre of the book trade in England. Originally it was dominated by foreign booksellers. Richard III’s only parliament of 1484 passed the act, which encouraged them to do business in London. Despite other protectionist measures, the king personally intervened that printers and booksellers were exempt from these. Source Wikipedia

#FunFact3 In 1964, Martin Luther King gave a sermon at St. Paul’s Cathedral to a congregation of over three thousand. Aside from being an activist, Martin Luther King was also a Baptist minister, and he spoke about three different approaches to life in a sermon now known as The Three Dimensions to a Complete Life. Source London Pass 

 

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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.

Your WorkLife Your Way

How To Be Autonomous in Your Development and Growth

How To Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively  

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

Chapter 14 (of 20) The Man Who Was Marked For Death

A Moveable Feast Chapter Fourteen, The Man Who Was Marked For Death, Accompanied by Poulet Breton
A Moveable Feast Chapter Fourteen, The Man Who Was Marked For Death, Accompanied by Poulet Breton

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 14 (of 20) The Man Who Was Marked For Death, accompanied by Poulet Breton at Café Rouge, Saint Katherine Docks.

Notes From Chapter 14: The Man Who Was Marked For Death

A WorkLife Book Club For One

Notes on Awards

At the time the Dial, an American literary magazine edited by Schofield Thayer, gave an annual award of, I believe, a thousand dollars for excellence in the practice of letters by a contributor. This was a huge sum for any straight writer to receive in those days, in addition to the prestige, and the award had gone to various people, all deserving, naturally. Two people, then, could life comfortably and well in Europe on five dollars a day and could travel.

This quarterly, of which Walsh was one of the editors, was alleged to be going to award a very substantial sum to the contributor whose work should be judged the best at the end of the first four issues.

It was not long after I heard rumours of this alleged award that Walsh asked me to lunch one day at a restaurant that was the best and the most expensive in the Boulevard St-Michel quarter.

‘There’s no use beating about the bush,’ he said. ‘You know you’re going to get the award don’t you?’

‘Am I?’ I said. ‘Why?’

‘You’re going to get it,’ he said.

‘I don’t think I deserve it,’ I said. 

I feel conflicted about awards.

Because today there’s an award for everything, and when there’s an award for everything, there’s an award for nothing.

In my work as a WorkLife coach, I help people to manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in a manner that is meaningful and fulfilling to them. I don’t need or want to win an award in recognition for this. That’s because I am simply doing my job. A job for which I am being paid to do. The greatest award or reward for me is the knowledge that I have played a part in helping my clients achieve their wants and needs.

For that reason, I have never applied or entered to win an award for the numerous award ceremonies within my industry. I frequently receive email invites to do so, which to me are just marketing ploys in which I have no interest.

The following quote from It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be, by Paul Arden, connects my thinking and beliefs about Awards to what I believe was Hemingway’s thinking and beliefs on the subject.

Words of Wisdom by Paul Arden

Awards create glamour and glamour create income.

But beware.

Awards are judged in committee and consensus of what is known.

In other words, what is in fashion.

But originality can’t be fashionable, because it hasn’t as yet and the approval of the committee.

Do not try to follow fashion.

Be true to your subject and you will be far more likely to create something that is timeless.

that’s where the true art lies.”

Notes on Conflict

In my work as a learning practitioner and writer, I create resources to help people self-direct their learning in the areas that are most important to them. 

To direct my work, I created the following 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.

This is where I experience conflict about awards.

I believe my work is helpful to people in enabling them to self-direct their learning. I would like to reach more people with my work. Winning an award would give me the visibility I need to reach more people. 

This, for me, connects to what Hemingway said about the annual award of, a thousand dollars for excellence in the practice of letters by a contributor. 

An award could open up so much for me by way of gaining recognition for my work.

But, as with Hemingway, I would need to believe that I am truly deserving of the award. For me, it doesn’t feel right to put myself forward for an award. I feel it needs to come from someone else who believes I am deserving of an award. 

Even writing this, I feel conflicted on the subject of ‘Awards’. 

And as much as I want to reach more people with my work. I think, for now, anyway, I will strive to do that in a more holistic way, I.e. sharing helpful content and endeavouring to build a following in that way, as opposed to building a following through winning an award.

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 15 (of 20)… Evan Shipman at the Lilas took me …

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

Today I enjoyed Poulet Breton at Café Rouge, St Katherine Docks.

Se souvenir de toi, Norma.

#FunFact1 Café Rouge was the favourite hangout for Bridget and friends in ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, the novel that helped make them a household name!” Source Cafe Rouge

#FunFact2 Central London’s only marina, St Katharine Docks, the area that once bustled with clippers, cargo ships, and dock workers is lined with the gleaming yachts and luxurious flats, offices, shops, bars, and restaurants. Source Foxtrail  

#FunFact3  The inner gatefold photograph for The Rolling Stones album Through the Past Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) was taken at St Katherine Docks by Ethan Russell in May 1969. 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.

Your WorkLife Your Way

How To Live True To Who You Really Are

How To Build Your True Personal Brand Identity  

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.