The Bear Facts.

In the UK, what do you tend to think about when asked about ‘military excellence’?

There is only one obvious answer unless you are prone to regimental/squadron/ship jealousy, isn’t there. The Special Air Service, of course. Tales of derring-do abound, but generally speaking we are awestruck about their training/selection procedures as much as we are their expertise, mainly because if they tell us what they do they’ll have to kill us. In the absence of operational disclosure, then, it’s their selection that remains legendary.

For those who know not, the SAS was formed as a commando-style unit operating behind enemy lines during the WWII desert campaign in North Africa. It was the idea of Col David Stirling and unless they’ve secretly changed it, their HQ is still referred to as the Stirling Lines.

I read this on LinkedIn the other day:

“As an alternative to ‘NY resolutions’ here are the Four Tenets by Col Sir David Stirling (founder of the SAS). Stick to them and it’ll be a good year.

  1. The unrelenting pursuit of excellence.
  2. The highest standards of self-discipline.
  3. Tolerate no sense of class.
  4. Humility and humour at all times.”

(That last one may be why they can get away with calling their officers Ruperts.)

I am pleased and abashed to say that The Three Resolutions are partly paralleled by those principles. The Four Tenets directly reflect the first two Resolutions. Remember, the first Two Resolutions state:

First Resolution – “To overcome the restraining forces of appetites and passions, I resolve to exercise self-discipline and self-denial.”

Second Resolution – “To overcome the restraining forces of pride and pretension, I resolve to work on character and competence.”

Stirling’s First Tenet matches the intent and practice of the ‘competence’ element of the Second Resolution, doesn’t it? The Second Tenet matches the First, eh? And there is a definite correlation between the ‘character’ element of the Second Resolution and Stirling’s Third and Fourth Tenet.

Great minds……

So if the officers, NCOs and men of the SAS think the Three Resolutions are sound – it is the Special Air SERVICE, so that’s the Third Resolution covered after all – then isn’t it a good idea to try our best to do the same in our own fields of endeavour.

Which is why I am abashed, because seeking perfection in execution of the 3Rs is not ‘easy’. In fact, while trying to live up to ‘my’ 3Rs can’t honestly match even the physical expectations of an SAS applicant, it is still hard.

Nevertheless, it’s worth trying. So, here’s my advice this week.

Be like Rupert.

“That’ll do.” Er, no it won’t.

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In a piece about the American education system and the perception that it was mediocre, Dr Bruce Lockerbie wrote a piece explaining why he thought that this wasn’t so. He listed the students that were taught by teachers who were assisted by support staff assisted by manufacturers, writers and editors who were assisted by policy- and law-makers and money. Each flea had a smaller flea, as they say. Each of those supporters were, or were the responsibility of, individuals. He concluded:

“Schools aren’t mediocre, but some of us who are administrators or teachers, and our students, have been half-hearted about our management, our teaching, their learning. You see, mediocrity is first a personal trait, a personal concession to less than our best, an individual lethargic resignation that says, “I guess good enough is good enough.” Soon, mediocrity metastasises throughout the body politic, causing the nation to be at risk; but always remember – mediocrity begins with ME!”

In the main, we all want to do a great job. We want our performance to be above reproach and our results to reflect the effort we put into our work, our relationships, our very lives. So why is it that we eventually resign ourselves to being and doing less than we are capable of?

We make excuses.

In fairness, those excuses can be quite valid, to some extent. We try hard, bash our heads repeatedly against rules, regulations, other peoples’ objections, obstructions and obfuscation and City Hall, and eventually we are beaten into thinking “I guess good enough is good enough.”*

Occasionally, the availability of time and materiel impact on our efforts and we do the best we can with the time and resources available – which I consider a valid ‘good enough’ – but now feel guilty that we couldn’t do better. In my own line of work, our effectiveness in terms of client service is often frustrated by the clients themselves, who kick off a process and then step back and absolve themselves of further responsibility despite an explicit need for their further involvement.

Sometimes, however, even as we say them silently to ourselves, we know that the excuse we are making is exactly that – a statement designed to excuse a temporary unwillingness to put a piece of ourselves into something which may increase our workload. Sometimes it is because we know that we are metaphorically digging a hole with the sole intention of merely filling it again. We see no conceivable result at the end of our toil, just the toil itself.

I don’t have ‘the’ answer, and I am certainly guilty of having such thoughts from time to time. But I do have ‘an’ answer.

Stephen Covey opined that ‘the enemy of the best is the good’.  Therefore, my advice to you and to me is to just try harder to make the effort to be better than mediocre. It may seem pointless in the moment to strive for a particular outcome, but that striving is a way of learning to do it better, faster, and even cheaper next time. It serves creation of our own system, which in turn can help create a standard that others can follow, to the benefit of all. That’s all Three Resolutions in action.

Why do you think software keeps developing? It’s because someone has discovered, possibly through frustration, that there is a better or more complete way to achieve a digital outcome.

My advice, dear reader, is – don’t be mediocre, be the best you can be all of the time. Or at least try. Even if you don’t quite hit perfection you’ll be a lot closer than you were. And a lot better than ‘good enough’.

A LOT better.

 

*The funny thing is that those people who browbeat and have their own sense of ‘good enough’ for their work expect you to maintain an excellent performance to which they sweetly avoid committing when it comes to their own roles.

Get the F on with it.

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You have, haven’t you? Even if nothing obvious, you have something in mind, don’t you? It IS January 1st, after all.

You have some idea of what you are going to ‘do differently’ for 2018. Some call them Resolutions (I can’t because of the title of the site), some call them Goals, NLP types call them Outcomes, but in the final analysis we are all talking about creating a new vision of how we are going to behave in order to get something we don’t have already.

Probably – and this is the painful part – the same things we promised ourselves last year and never achieved. Just like Yours Truly.

Why not start off by doing something at the end of this paragraph that you promised you’d do? If it is to start exercising, go for a fast-paced walk. If it’s to read a certain book,* pluck it from the shelf, blow off the dust and get to it. If you have to buy it, do it now. If it’s to cut back on sugary foods, go empty the cupboards of sugary foods. Duh!

Yes, now. Stop reading.

GET ON WITH IT. Time’s a-wasting. The year is flashing by already.  No more blog, just go.

(And off to the gym.)

 

*A certain book.

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Attendance is optional, productivity is not.

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Larry Winget, American motivator-with-attitude, says in the introduction to his book, “It’s Called Work for a Reason!”,

“Bye honey, I’m off to work!”

Oh, bull! You aren’t going to work at all. You are going to the place that isn’t home, where you have to dress a little better than you do around the house. You are going to a place that is full of other people who also just lied to their significant others. You are all liars – you AND those people you say you work with. You say you are co-workers, when the truth is you’re only co-goers.”

I admit I chuckled a bit at that. I am in an envious position where I can manage my workload and, getting it done quickly with (slightly imperfect) time management expertise, I have more down time than most. I try to do an excellent job, but am most challenged when I, like you, are trying to do an excellent job when another expectation-of-an-excellent-job rolls up, closely followed by more. It’s hardly surprising that we want a quiet 10 minutes to prepare for more work.

But Larry does have a point. We are paid to do more than turn up, we are (as my first employer actually told us on an induction course) to put in a good hard day and go home pleasantly tired. Unfortunately, the world has changed and that is now harder to do.

I’m not talking about back-breaking manual labour, even though that is ever-so-slightly less back-breaking than even it was.

The world has changed in that our ability to focus on ‘work’ has been severely compromised by our inability to focus properly on anything! Mobile phones pinging, bleeping, ringing or just being in view mean we MUST check them several times an hour – even if only to see why we HAVEN’T heard a ping or a bleep or a ring. Downtime also excuses a quick Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/WhatsApp session, doesn’t it?

Perhaps this is why we are now providing courses on ‘How to manage millennials’, a concept that confirms surrender to the ‘me’ generation, rather than suggesting, firmly but politely, that they are being paid to benefit the employer, they CAN be replaced if they don’t work hard enough, and the sun does NOT shine out of their baby-smooth bottoms.

You are paid to work, to produce.

Now, a slight counter-proposition, too. If you are not paid ‘just to be there’ as I suggest, then IF your productivity is good/excellent, IF your standards are high, and IF you can be seen to be a worker, THEN liberties can be given and taken.  I recall an amusing story about a CEO who wanted a manager to have a word with an employee who turned up at 8AM, but went home at 12 noon and played golf all afternoon. After some enquiry, the manager told the CEO, “He’s the most productive employee you have! Get him to teach everyone else how to do that and we’ll be rolling in it!”

Work is measured by RESULTS, not merely PRESENCE. But if you can produce the first through maximising the use of the latter without burning out, your job will be safe. Wherever you work.

 

I’m using a WIG. Or Four.

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Hello. I’m back.

I went away because I was a bit tired of espousing personal development philosophy while manifestly failing to come up to my own standards. Furthermore, as a direct consequence of said lack of integrity and the physiology that resulted, I felt bloody terrible. I had (still have) a dodgy knee, but carrying 42 lbs of spare weight wasn’t helping. All that weight was on my front, which probably didn’t help with the back. I was constantly tired when I woke up in the morning, and I was motivated only by virtue of the fact that I would do things only if they were on my prioritised action list in my planner. I could simply avoid doing things by not putting them onto the list. I needed space.

I booked some time off from work, and set myself only four WIGs – wildly important goals – for the 18 days available.

  1. Stick to a diet that had worked in the past.
  2. Go to the gym on every free day (i.e. those when I did NOT have whole days dedicated to other events – which only amounted to 2, anyway).
  3. Finish the edit of Police Time Management so that I can sell it through my professional body’s website.
  4. Clear and organise my attic.

Might not seem much but I had various events, meetings and other commitments to fill my time. Those 4 were the specific outcomes or strategies I chose that would address many of the physical and mental blockages that were causing my malaise.

How did it went?

  1. The diet I chose is known as the Natural Hygiene Diet (look it up). In a nutshell, only have EITHER a protein OR a carbohydrate ‘main’ accompanied by vegetables or salad, and avoid (as far as is reasonable) heavy sauces and other taste bombs. Eat lightly, and use fruit as your treats. It’s Slimming World without the sins. I also ate only four slices of bread the whole time. My only variance was a bit of a treat after a day-long conference and drive home, where I indulged in a sandwich snack and some sweeties.
  2. I surprised myself, here. I went to the gym every day but the two days when I had all-day commitments, sat on a static cycle for 45 minutes (and pedalled!), pushed some weight and did some gut-stressing leg raises. I even took my kit to an overnight halt before the aforementioned conference and did it in the hotel gym.
  3. I finished the edit far quicker than I thought and it will soon be available for purchase either on its own or as a freebie on an investigator’s course.
  4. This was a challenge because of an unexpected obstacle known as ‘other people’. I found it easy to sort out ‘my’ stuff – chuck, charity, colleagues, keep. Other people – predominantly ‘review, keep, put back’. And their proclivity for finding other things to do which could be done better/at other times/not at all, but seemed to pop up just when I was climbing the attic ladder.

How did I feel? Much to my surprise, by day 12 I felt physically much fitter, lighter, and more disposed to movement. On the final, 18th day, I weighed myself and I had lost 11.15lbs.

The attic is tidier and, most important, I can get at anything I need at short notice. (And I found some stuff I’d been looking for, for months!)

Success!

But why? Why did it work now and not before?

Anthony Robbins often says that when we change, it is for one of two reasons – inspiration, or desperation. The 100-Day Challenge, which I manifestly failed to execute, was born of the former, while the success of this moment was clearly, unequivocally and sadly founded on the latter.

I have said before that the principles (of successful living) work if you work the principles. The principles I worked this last 3 weeks were:

  1. WIGS. I set only four Wildly Important Goals, around which any other things were organised.
  2. Time Management. I recognised that I was sitting around ‘saving time’ and not ‘using time’, so deciding to use the gym at a specific time every day (4pm) was better than leaving it to ‘IF I have time’.
  3. Sensible eating. I realised that when I have been stuffing my face it has never, ever been because I am hungry. It is because I am bored. And I realised that seconds after a meal was completed, the ‘event’ was over and my mind and body had already forgotten. So why go to that effort? Just eat sensibly and feel just as ‘forgetful’, but healthier!
  4. I learned to cook omelettes, scrambled eggs and poached eggs. Thanks, Delia. Masterchef beckons.

One sobering event. Early on, I was at the gym when I met a friend I have known over 20 years, and I mentioned I was on leave and intended to use it daily. On day 11 I met him same place (and time) and he said, “I didn’t think I’d see you again.”

What does that say about me? What have I been communicating over the years, at least in terms of my physical state? Evidently, I have been saying, “Here I am again, this week’s fad. It won’t last.”

No more.

100-Day Challenge, Day 66. Truth Hurts. A lot.

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I have long been an advocate of integrity excellence, a fundamental (but not exclusive) element of which is honesty. The principle of truth, spoken loud. The valued exercise of telling it like it is, even when doing so discloses, as Al Gore would put it, an inconvenient truth.

And the inconvenient truth on Day 66 is this: while I maintain that the Principles of Excellence in the physical and mental spheres always work, I have failed to work the Principles. I have known what to do, but I have failed to do it.

In my defence, the ‘excellence’ I have sought to perform in the competencies I look to possess has resulted in my being appointed a ‘Masters Mentor’ with the Institute of Advanced Motorists, and I look to produce high-quality work on a professional level. I still do my funky thing for all those I seek to serve.

But physically I am a wreck. I am no further forward in terms of weight loss from Day 1. Exercise-wise I have the genuine reason of a knee injury which, as much as I tried to compensate through different approaches to exercise, just got too painful to move. Even walking was challenging. Where I failed most of all was to not adapt my eating habits (a) to lose weight ‘at all’ and (b) to compensate for the inability to work out.

The ultimate weight-loss principle is and always will be ‘eat less, move more’. I started this Challenge by using the ‘move more’ approach and that worked. But when the injury kicked in I did not then apply the ‘eat less’ approach and that has meant, well, failure. There are 34 days left so I can still do something, but I am not going to hit my original target unless Montezuma seeks terrible revenge, and as far as I know I have not offended any Mexican gods.

Of course, as a personal development writer this has to reflect on my reputation – a bit. I occasionally feel like the clown who is sad inside: the clown, promoting laughter and entertainment while forever crying inside. But part of my challenge might be that I eventually face the possibility that I am comparing my situation, and potential, to that of the truly great writers, performers and coaches in this field, and looking to play like Ronaldo while only having the talent of a (insert name of good, non-International football player here).

I am reluctant to settle for less than ‘perfection’. Nobody should do that. But even perfection is subjective, because as soon as it is achieved someone will always come up with an even better version of it. And even if I did approach an ideal version of me, that very approach would inevitably identify an even better ‘better’. That ‘even higher standard’ could be identified because one of the giants in my field found it, even if I didn’t. And then I would think ‘here I go again’.

Anyway, I will carry on moving ever forward, seeking to finally achieve those elusive, higher levels of personal congruence that will enable me to truly walk my talk and be the individual I would dearly love to be.

Perhaps, as I write that last sentence, I realise that I have to ask myself some sobering questions:

“Am I willing to work hard enough to be the man I want to be? Exactly how dearly do I want to be the best ‘me’ I can be? Do I want it enough? And – finally – do I actually have a clear idea of what that best ‘me’ will look like when I finally get to ‘be’ that person?”

I guess we’ll find out. But one thing must apply. I won’t blindly adopt other peoples’ standards and measure the final ’me’ against those. They have their values, beliefs and behaviours and they are not necessarily mine.

The ultimate identifier and judge of my congruence with my values and unifying principles will be – me. Eventually.

100-Day Challenge, Day 59. And a word about personal development philosophies

Holidays. Despite not going nuts on food and drink, and spending hours walking about, the curse of a holiday reared its ugly head and I gained two pounds. Suffice to say, the original objective is now impossible unless I suddenly obtain the capacity to train like George Foreman (in his boxing, not grill days). 41 days to lose 31 pounds is not impossible but when I achieved something remotely near that (losing a stone in 2 weeks) I spent the 14th day in bed and I suspect that my 55-year-old metabolism is not the same as my 40-year-old metabolism. Do any readers have suggestions or experiences that might be fun for others to read?

Speaking of holidays, how do you do yours? As a coach/trainer I find that I spend a lot of ‘time-off’ thinking about ‘time-on’. For example, as I toured many book shops during my break I found myself gravitating to the self-help section, and then cursing myself because I want to focus all my energies on Principle-Centred Self-Leadership and the writings of Stephen Covey. I’d pick up a book and then put it back – I don’t need to read these things any more! Why?

This is a piece of advice I give any clients of my courses. Find the ONE philosophy and system that floats your boat – and stick with it.

Why do that? Why do that and not explore potentially better alternatives to improved living and personal development?

The reasons are two-fold.

1.       When looked at deeply, the teaching is basically the same, even if the terminology and examples differ slightly. In The 8th Habit, Covey touched on this very subject. He was at a big-name leadership shindig and during a discussion with other greats he made this point – that fundamentally, what they taught using different words was the same stuff. All agreed. (And this is why seeing a book on leadership with a ‘new, different, better, latest leadership teaching’ tagline leaves me cold.)

2.       Trying to apply one system is a lot easier than trying to jump between different ones. Canfield’s Focusing System, Ziglar’s Goals Method, Allen’s Getting Things Done, The Seven Habits and others – all great, but you can’t ‘do’ any of them consistently  – and effectively – when you’re trying to ‘do’ all of the others. Find and use one system – I prefer the 7 Habits version because I have been applying it for 22 years and it works. But you might like the others. Just find ‘one’ and stick with that – or you’ll fail while desperately trying not to because your time is spent trying to juggle alternative technologies.

Recap – the philosophies are generally the same; the methodology serves those philosophies, but in slightly different ways. And different strokes suit different folks.

Find one route, and stick with that.

100-Day Challenge, Day 44. And about a ‘Cure’ for Stress.

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This week I have been mostly exercising every two days, eating sensibly and producing like a dervish. I discovered that ‘being on holidays’ equates to ’90-120 minutes a day dealing with voluntary tasks’, in that two days of this week felt like I was one of those CEOs who claims to get a million emails a day. Every single one I dealt with generated two more, I swear. Hence this input on Stress.

Stress is self-imposed. (Cue anger.) Okay, let me temper that a bit.

On Monday I went to Cardiff Yes Group, a post-Tony Robbins event ‘alumni’ event where personal development lecturers keep the audience ‘on track’ with their commitments. All are welcome, and there are UK-wide events available.

The speaker suggested that (one of) the reasons for stress arise from overwhelm and an inability to cope with change and pressure because life/we/bosses etc haven’t allowed time for our neurology to get respite from the constant changes of direction (e.g. from interruptions like constant demands for attention from emails). That inability to cope can be genuine and physical, or it can be a perception. By that, I mean that the stress is all too real to the sufferer but if they weren’t so pressured they’d realise they could control it, if they only knew how.

In other words, the stressed individual says, “I have 101 things to do and I just can’t see a way to do it.” The individual with a control strategy says, “I have 101 things to do today and 8 hours in which to do them. Do-able.” That is 480 minutes – about 4.5 minutes a ‘thing’, and for every ‘thing’ that takes a minute, that rate expands.

Time management might seem like a management cliché but in my opinion, from years of applying it, time management properly taught, accepted, encouraged and applied is an absolute – yes, absolute – cure for stress.

Please understand, I am not talking about stress resulting from trauma, accident, disaster, relationship failures and so on. That’s different, even if some relevant TM training can help. I am talking about task overwhelm in work and in the home.

Charles R Hobbs, in his epic book ‘Timepower’, suggests that high self-esteem is served by the ability to be in control of events. I am fairly confident when I suggest that those with genuinely high levels of justifiable self-esteem (as opposed to ego) rarely suffer from work-related stress. And that is because they are, or they feel they are in complete control of what’s ‘appenin’, OR they know that they can take control – even of the unexpected. They have techniques and approaches that enable that control.

In the mid-1990s I had what I call ‘an episode’ where this 6’ tall, macho, fightin’, drivin’, chasin’, action-man copper left a boss’s office in tears and went home before his shift was due to start. (Short version, I think it was slow burn.) Fortunately, I had been reading The 7 Habits and books like Timepower for years. I went home, took the wife and kids out for a family meal, and took stock. I recognised that what was happening was a stress build-up.

Then I took control and decided what I was going to do about the situation. I was back at work within 48 hours asking for what I needed to regain control. And got it. Never happened again.

We all know of people who do the tears thing and aren’t seen for months. They lost control and didn’t or couldn’t get it back, and that was because they didn’t know that there was an alternative to pills.

Values-based time management – might not be penicillin but by all that’s holy it’s a damn good treatment for what ails a lot of people.

Try it out. My book or theirs, you decide. It’s you who controls your decisions if you want to.

 

100-Day Challenge: Day 37. What can YOU do in 20 mins an hour?

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Yup. Reading the PMS daily does make a difference: I exercised after work daily, and spent the week finishing my planner pages with ticks all down the page. Lost some weight, got fitter (a bit, it’s only a week). Couldn’t ask for more.

Or could I?

Some friends have often asked how I manage to run an Institute, give driving advice, run a speakers club, do the social and side-business that those commitments entail, write a couple of books and compile this blog.

I, on the other hand, ask them how they manage to get so much done because my perception is that they are constantly being, doing and having a better social life than me, and their homes are pristine. (Occasionally it occurs to me that their houses are spotlessly clean because they’re never in them.)

When it comes down to it, the difference must be in the way we choose to spend our time and what lies behind how we choose to spend our time.

I’m not judging – the way they choose to spend their time and money may be different to how I do those things, but that doesn’t make either side ‘wrong’. It merely provides tangible proof that the things we value are different. Alternatively (and this is a bit deeper), our values are the same but the way we address those values is different.

For example – and see which side you fall – whenever I have conducted a values exercise I can be absolutely sure that for those who are parents, ‘Family’ always come at or near the top of the tree. And I look at the room and I see people who work 80 hours a week and who rarely even see the family that is so important to them.

Then I reflect on that values definition, and realise that while my value of family is defined to include ‘presence’, their value of family might just as easily (and validly be defined as ‘providing for their needs and wants by working hard to get the money that pays for them’. So we act differently on what we value to be important.

And what we ‘do’ takes up ‘time’. What I do to take up my time is write and serve the organisations I have joined. My friends spend their time differently – for example, running around after their children helping them learn, play, perform and so on. Which is something I used to do but now my kids are adults. What I do now is not necessarily what I did then. And I forgot!

How we spend our time is a reflection not only of our values but also that of our current situation – our obligations, duties, interests, and so on.

I get a lot done because I prioritise and plan my time. As a result, the reason I appear to watch so much television is because I have the time to do that. And said television is so predictable I can read a book or ‘do’ Facebook at the same time. (20 mins of adverts per hour helps. It’s amazing what you can get done in short bursts.)

Learn values-based time management. Apply what you learn to what you truly value. See if you can do more of what you value, less of what you don’t, and still get the things done that need to be done.

It is possible.

Buy My Book HERE. Read the opening pages at ‘Look Inside’. Available in Kindle or Paperback.

 

You’ve got me all wrong. Probably.

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Gretchen Ruben is an American author and lawyer, and I have enjoyed reading a couple of her books, most notably her last one – which has become an accidental precursor to her next book. In said next book, she will expand upon what she has called The Four Tendencies. These tendencies are four ways in which we can identify our predilection and motivation for action, or otherwise. Three of those are Upholder, Questioner and Rebel. Those of you who know me have already decided which of those three I am.

Guess what? You’re wrong.

According to the definitions and the pseudo-test she has provided and which I have circulated through Facebook (as requested by the test – read on and giggle), I am the fourth type – an Obliger.

Stop laughing.

An Obliger is defined as responding ‘readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations.’

To me, that means that when a person is called upon to do something for others, they do it. But when they have to do something for themselves, they don’t.

I see me in that definition. A sense of duty exists at the workplace, of course. Most of the time I go about my business routinely. I’ll plan my time to enable completion of the required work. But sometimes, when asked to do something, I might (do) whinge and bitch and suggest there is a better way. Nevertheless, in the end, I always do it. I oblige.

But when I call upon myself to do something and the only person to whom I am accountable and responsible is me – I waiver. A lot, in my experience. Even if I have seemingly volunteered to join some enterprise, I haven’t created an inner obligation – I have self-created an obligation to another.

A good friend recently suggested something to me, and while he isn’t aware of the Tendencies I think he did inadvertently confirm the solution for an Obliger. I had ‘complained’ that once when I get to the gym I can train – but thinking about going to the gym often stopped me actually doing it.

He suggested that when it comes to physical exercise (and my stated reluctance to go to a gym unless I could go there straight from work without having to think of something else in between) I would improve my chances if I exercised with someone else. Think about that – going alone is a problem, but if someone else was involved, my Obliger Tendency would ensure that I honoured my commitment to that other person.

Thinking through this using the paradigm of the Three Resolutions, any reluctance to comply with the First Resolution could and would be offset by compliance with the Third Resolution, confirming my hypothesis that adherence to one Resolution often serves compliance with another. Serving a friend would also and simultaneously serve me. So, where discipline is weak, service can provide support.

Me and Gretchen – we’re thinking along the same lines.

Today’s joke – Matt Damon’s chicken dinner has gone cold. Bourne’s Supreme’s icy.

Please buy me.