Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Midlife Success

We tend to think that it is the strongest that survive. The strongest boxers win their fights. The strongest athletes win their events. Those with the strongest intellects win the argument.

Whilst this is undeniably true, Charles Darwin recognised that whilst the strongest might survive (and thrive) in the short term, there is no guarantee that this will last.

Darwin identified thatIt is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.

Responsiveness and adaptability are the keys to success in the longer term. So we can all succeed, even if we aren’t the strongest or the most intelligent.

  • Having the best plan is not enough – how that plan is executed is the key to success.
  • Having the strongest relationship with your partner isn’t enough – those in successful relationships work at it and adapt as they go along.
  • Being the brightest and most intelligent is not enough – those who understand the insight and exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence are the most successful, in any walk of life.

So there’s hope for us all!

Those of us in midlife are particularly well placed in this regard. We have amassed a mountain of experience in a number of areas during our lifetime and we (more or less) understand the implications of our decisions. We have transferable skills – yes, you have transferable skills, list them!

These can be used to our advantage in every situation. Promotion at work, finding a new job, starting a new relationship, moving to a new area – it’s all down to your adaptability. Whether you succeed or fail is down to you.

Remember ‘No-one’s coming’. It’s down to you and you alone (with advice and guidance from as many sources as you can find).

Now here's the punchline....

How adaptable are you?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Do you recognise yourself?

According to my wife, we are all live our lives somewhere along  the autistic spectrum. Some of us are further along it than others. Those at the extreme end are diagnosed as suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism. Sufferers of autism are sometimes brilliant at one particular skill – they may have a fantastic memory or they may be brilliant artists or musicians. Stephen Wiltshire is a famous example of this.

Most of us are way down the other end of the spectrum. But we all exhibit traits which show our individuality but these can often irritate others – those who sit further up or further down the spectrum.

Do you recognise any of these examples?
  • Your partner lines up all of the packages in the cupboard very neatly with labels facing the front? You throw the new groceries in on top of the old ones.
  • Your partner leaves the wiping up cloth dirty in the sink. You always rinse it out so that it’s clean for the next person.
  • You make the bed when you get up. Your partner doesn’t.
  • You fold up the clothes waiting to be ironed. Your partner doesn’t.
  • At work, you sit next to someone who cracks his knuckles all day – it drives you mad.
  • You can always hear the lady on the other side of the office when she speaks on the phone – it would really help you to concentrate if she spoke more softly.
You get the idea. Does any of this matter? Well, yes it does. If you don’t recognise these traits in those close to you, relationship issues will follow.  Whether at work or home, recognise that we are all on the spectrum somewhere and we all have to make allowances for each other. Few of us are likely to change. You can point out what you see as deficiencies in others but you are more likely to start an argument than change behaviours.

So accept that we all have to make allowances for each other and you’ll spend less time stressed.

What habits do you recognise in yourself?

Now, I’m off to tidy up everything in the fridge...