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Catching Fireworks

Deborah Henry-Pollard: Creative Coaching


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Posted on 15 August, 2019 at 6:15 Comments comments (0)

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Follow effective action with quiet reflection.

From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

Peter Drucker

When was the last time you were truly quiet?

Most of us will probably not remember the last time we were 'actively' quiet. By that, I don't mean the time just before we go to sleep when we are still thinking about the last email we looked at 2 seconds ago on our phone, or worrying about waking up in time for a breakfast meeting tomorrow.

We are in the constant hullabaloo of actual and virtual noise, being pulled by other people's agendas or impossible to complete to do lists. There is a constant call on our attention from emails, phone calls, podcasts, social media. Even if you aren't tied to your own mobile devices, you are assailed in the street by other people's music and phone calls, plus traffic noise and all the visual clutter such as adverts and shop windows.

We can let ourselves be carried on this tide of frenetic activity for many reasons. Perhaps it comes from mistaking activity of any kind for constructive work; but being busy isn't always being productive. I know for myself that when I went freelance after decades in 9 to 5 employment, I felt I wasn't working unless I was busy typing away at my computer. This came out of an expectation from previous employers who thought that if I was staring out of the window, I was obviously wasting company time rather than taking a moment to refocus and gather my thoughts. (As my own boss now, I know that many of my best ideas come after staring out of the window and letting thoughts drift.)

It can be because we feel that in order to prove we exist, we have to be connected to the rest of the world at all times via the umbilical cord of wifi, ready to answer that phone call, retweet that article, update our status. (This is a major problem for most of us in this technological age and one which is insightfully written about by Frances Booth in her excellent book, The Distraction Trap.)

Looking back over the Take Five blogs which have been written by my great guests, something which features strongly is the number of times people say that when they hit a creative block, they go for a walk to get away from all the distractions. Other people meditate to get back in balance (check out the Business Yogi for some good guided meditations). Some go fishing. For me, even though I often work at full speed, I am also very good at just sitting doing nothing in a park.

How and where you find your little piece of quietness isn't important. All that matters is that you find a way to turn off from the world on a regular basis. Not only will it relax and help de-stress you, you could also find a wealth of creativity bursting forth.




Take Five with Katy Cowan

Posted on 12 August, 2019 at 4:55 Comments comments (0)

The fabulous Katy Cowan is the mastermind behind one of my favourite websites, Creative Boom. This is an online magazine containing a wealth of information, tips and inspiration about all things creative. Everything about the site from the ease of navigation, to the fabulous visuals, to the informative blogs, is infused with Katy's commitment to and love of all things creative, which she champions with expertise and enthusiasm. And she does all this on top of her day job, running Boomerang, a digital agency in Manchester!

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

Constantly learn. I work in the creative industries and that means I get to be creative and always learn new things. As creative fields are crossing over so much these days and everything is becoming so much more collaborative, I not only get the wonderful opportunity to expand my skills but I get to understand projects from all kinds of different perspectives. I love looking back and seeing how far I've come, but also the endless possibilities of how far I could go in future. It's a very exciting time to be creative.

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

This is a tough one. There are so many people I admire. I would have to say Vivian Maier for some seriously wonderful street photography. I love the work of Kim Stanley Robinson - he's a science fiction writer and 'Red Mars' is an absolute classic. Jil Sander for fashion simplicity at its best. I'm bowled over by Naughty Dog and their recent The Last Of Us computer game - absolutely epic visuals and gaming experience - and zombies too! What more could you want!

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

I'm not sure I can answer this question. Because I've always been a very determined, self-driven character who 'makes things happen'. Plus all the mistakes I've ever made have only led onto greater things. I guess I'd probably tell myself to spend less time sweating the small stuff. 

If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

Down tools and get outside to seek inspiration elsewhere. I might grab my camera and just spend an hour walking around Manchester, doing some street photography. Or I might go to an art gallery to see other people's work. By taking a step away from my desk and doing something creative other than writing (which is essentially my job) my mind becomes uncluttered, I can re-focus and I have a renewed sense of energy and ideas.

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

I'd probably be a multi-coloured Converse trainer. Because they're a comfortable, dependable, laid-back kind of shoe but with a little fun, quirkiness and personality.





Posted on 8 August, 2019 at 6:05 Comments comments (0)

Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels

It's not the style that motivates me, as much as an attitude of openness that I have when I go into a project.

Herbie Hancock

Openness is a valuable attitude to have in any area of one's life, personal and professional. It is that quality of always being willing to consider new / different experiences, ideas and ways of looking at things. It often entails stepping out of your comfort zone, leading to all kinds of delights.  It can also be a bit risky and indeed part of the openness has to be of it going "wrong", but even that can be a contribution to growth and learning.    

Being open doesn't mean you automatically say "yes" to every new experience, although that could be a fun thing to try for a day. However, it does mean that if you do decide to say "no", at least it is coming from having given the invitation proper consideration. It is not just a knee jerk reaction coming out of fear or a "that's not how I usually do it" frame of mind. And you never know where new experiences might lead.

I was once part of a team of freelancers delivering an afternoon of workshops as part of the Artsmart programme. I kicked off proceedings with a talk about Vision. When I was approached to do it I said okay and I really enjoyed the experience.  

Two years previously, I was approached by another group to do a talk on the same subject. My very first reaction was to say no. Why? Because like Sheldon Cooper and an awful lot of other people, I didn't like speaking in front of "any group big enough to trample me to death"*. I had all those fears everyone has - why should anyone listen to me; what if I forget what to say; what if they think I am boring...yadda, yadda, yadda.  But I also knew in the back of my mind that this kind of public talk was a good thing for passing on information and ideas. So, under the cover of asking for more details, I gave myself time to screw up my courage and then said okay.

You know what? My first talk bombed. Absolutely. Completely. Utterly. I have never been asked back. The most entertaining part was watching tumbleweeds roll across the room during the awkward silences. I came home having decided that I would never do a talk again. Oh, but.... I had already said yes to doing the same talk a week later and short of feigning illness or losing my voice, I had to deliver.  

I could have made myself sick with worry by lingering on the bad experience. And I am not too proud to admit that I did have a morning of indulgent, “woe is me”, misery. Then I realised that both for my sake and that of my audience, I had to open my mind to the possibility that the next talk would be a fabulous experience. I spent a day going through every aspect of the talk, tightening it up and making it flow better. Then I spent time every day practising it. Then I delivered it in front of a real audience. And you know what? We all had a ball!  

Since then I have done talks and webinars and although I still get nervous before I start, through doing them I have met some wonderful people, had great feedback and been offered lots of other great opportunities.

So, where will being openminded lead you today?


*The Big Bang Theory: Series 03 Episode 18 – The Pants Alternative https://bigbangtrans.wordpress.com/series-3-episode-18-the-pants-alternative/

Take Five with Susan Clare

Posted on 31 July, 2019 at 4:30 Comments comments (1)

Susan Clare is an artist working in watercolours, acrylics and mixed media. She has the enviable lifestyle of splitting her time between England and Jamaica and this can be seen in a duality of her work. On the one hand, Susan captures the vivid sights, colours and atmosphere of the Carribbean, whilst on the other, she conjures up the subtlety and charm of the English countryside. The constant thread throughtout her work, aside from its skill and beauty, is  Susan's deep love of and commitment to nature, which she describes as being "immersed in the mystery of the natural world". Her work has won several awards and can be found in private collections in Jamaica, the Caribbean, England, USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and Iceland.

Susan also teaches and runs workshops when she is in the UK. She is the resident tutor at the Butterfly Arts studio in Terling and runs her own fortnightly workshops at HOFS in Hadleigh, Essex. She also runs full day workshops for the RHS Hyde Hall and for Arts and Craft Days. She is available for talks and painting demos for art clubs.

Her latest exhibition is a group show, 'Beyond Plastic' at the Minories Gallery in Colchester (3rd to 29th August) and is "an exploration of our relationship with plastic and the harm it is causing in our environment." 

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

As a professional, the moment when you see that flash of excitement in a viewer’s eyes – whether as a student or a collector, and you know that your painting has connected with them on an emotional level.


As a painter, there is nothing to beat becoming totally immersed in the mystery of the creative process and time flies by without my awareness of it.


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?


My next door neighbour and mentor in Jamaica, Jannette Eyles, is a fabulous sculptor and painter, who trained at the RA and has work in the collection of Her Majesty, The Queen. Apart from allowing me to paint from her studio for months, when I started to paint full time, in 1997, she imparted the invaluable habit of starting the creative day with a walk in the garden and a meditation (Blue Mountain Coffee to hand, of course). Amongst other programs, we have both worked through Julia Cameron’s, ‘The Artist’s Way’, more than once, when in need of a creative boost. (Is that cheating? I’ve got two heroines there!)

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Don’t paint to chase the market or what you think people want to see – paint from the heart and find an emotional connection with every piece of work.

If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

Take ten deep breaths and get centred, then ask myself, “What’s the core message, what’s important, here?” Usually this boils down to remembering to focus on appreciating and connecting with the natural world, respect for life, respect for each other. Focusing on those core motives for a few minutes, has the potential to dissolve any artistic block, (not to mention setting the whole world to rights, too!)

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?


A hand-made Jamaican sandal – unique but friendly, casual and fun, made for fresh air, an outdoor life and lots of walking, ready to slip off for a quick dip in the sea!





Take Five with Melanie J Hodge

Posted on 29 July, 2019 at 5:55 Comments comments (0)

Melanie J Hodge is a US born, British based painter who works with oils on glass in a reverse technique she was introduced to while living in Croatia. These are delightful and beautiful works in the Naïve style and she also offers workshops so that people can learn this technique themselves. She is a mother of two, whose son has autism with associated special learning needs and whose daughter has asthma, so Melanie needs a lot of flexibility when it comes to being at home and available at short notice. This helps to give context to her Artist Statement:

"My work explores my quest for self, sanity and creative expression against the demands of daily life. Drawing on landscapes known and dreams imagined, with spiraling stars and flowers that bloom out of season, my paintings are both my escape from the world and my strength within it."

As a result of her own experiences, Melanie also founded Creative Carers in 2014, which offers workshops and mini-respite for Parent Carers, Partner Carers, Adult Sibling Carers, Professional Carers, and those who have recently had caring roles.

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

I never wanted to suffer for my art, so when parenting responsibilities consumed my life it was easier to put my art making aside than to pursue it. Only that made me suffer in a different way. So, the very best thing about what I do today is that it works with the rest of my life, integrating my art making ambitions with my caring responsibilities in ways that are manageable and make sense for me.

I know it’s a bit crazy when you realise what goes into my paintings - but the very fact that I work on glass, in slow drying oils, in time consuming details, also means that I can drop my paintbrush for the school run or to nurse a fever, and come back hours later to wet paint without ill effects. Finding a medium that fit with my everyday life literally saved my sanity, while working in a naive tradition allows me to freely obsess about those things which make me happiest when I paint. As an extra bonus, the way I work allows me to separate a painting into many stages, allowing for an infinite number of short painting sessions which develop over many months without losing their magic. After years of frustration, I have found a way of expressing myself that adds more joy than stress to my world and everyday I am grateful for this gift.

Even better, I get to share my passion and skills with others - introducing naive art to new audiences, teaching snail-slow reverse oil on glass techniques in a fast moving world, supporting carers to share their knowledge and experiences with each other during Creative Carer workshops, and encouraging unconfident artists to take pleasure in the process of what they do and pride in their work. Helping others to gain confidence in their unique creative voice can be life-changing and these activities give my practice meaning far beyond the paintings I make.

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

The two artists I am most besotted with at the moment are Frida Kahlo and Leonora Carrington. I am inspired by their confidence and dedication in pursuing their own artistic visions, for their independence of spirit in living unconventional lives, and for putting so much of themselves into their artwork. Between Frida’s magic realism and Leonora’s symbol-filled surrealism I feel anything might be possible, and their biographies only reinforce this as the obstacles they faced make my troubles seem inconsequential by comparison.

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

I was so very lucky and someone actually gave me the most important bit of advice before I even started, “You can always come back to art.”

The person who said this to me was an art professor, who had himself done a science degree first time round. I was an undergraduate in literature, taking art classes for fun and really couldn’t see how being an artist was going to work for me so I didn’t switch courses. What I didn’t know then though, was that art would be the most portable career possible to me, and the only path on which I have ever felt most ‘me.’ His words, in time, became more than a reassurance, they became my lifeline. No matter how long the time I didn’t paint, I knew, when I was ready, I could come back. And when the opportunity arose, I seized it with both hands knowing that this time even if I didn’t know how art was going to work for me - being an artist was the only thing I wanted to work at.

So for anyone reading this, I would like to pass it on: whatever your passion is, follow it while you can and if (for whatever reason) you walk away for a bit, know you can always come back to it.

If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

For anything difficult my mantra is, “Remember to breathe.”

No matter the situation, if I remember to breathe I know that everything else will follow, time will move on, and either the problem will resolve itself or I will find a new way to approach it. Breathing can mean all sorts of things too, not just inhaling and exhaling (though that is always the first and best place to start). For me it is about slowing the breath, calming the flight or fight response, going for a walk, seeking out clear air on the Downs, in the woods, or at the seaside, and trying something different for a bit. I’ve learned that my creative blocks are a sign of things happening under the surface, so I try to practice patience - giving the problem a bit of space, so my mind can work on it in peace, and then, when the time is right, I find the words, the colour choice, the project, will emerge ready for the next stage of development.

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

A Saltwater Sandal - they are simple, straightforward and stylish in an understated way. They are practically barefoot and all I need to make me feel seven years old again, on summer holiday, dancing in the sunshine and splashing in the sea.




Posted on 24 July, 2019 at 10:45 Comments comments (0)

...I know there are many moments in my working day when I sit back and ask myself, How do I know that this particular creative decision on the dance floor, going from x to y, is right?  What makes me so sure I’m making the right choice? The answer I whisper to myself is often nothing more than “It feels right”.

Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

Working as I do with creative people, I love those moments when intuition tells them that something, as Twyla Tharp says, ‘feels right’. Ask the reasons why they made a particular creative choice and they often can’t give a logical answer, they just know and trust their instinct.

What I find bemusing is how often those same creative people don’t trust their intuition when making decisions outside of their practice.


There is a place, a very valuable place, for gathering information, planning carefully and making well thought through decisions.  Heaven knows, I have written enough blogs on the importance of planning). And there are also times when you need to trust your intuition, that ‘ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning’ (Oxford Dictionaries).


Intuition is that curious mix of experience, buried knowledge, auto pilot and the indefinable which come together, often in a split second, to help you make a decision or sum up a situation. And this isn’t just when putting paint to canvas or creating a dance step. Air traffic controllers, on top of all the vital left brain analytical skills, need a healthy amount of intuition as well to keep planes from crashing. 


Intuition is that thing which leaves you elated, even when you have weighed up all the pros and cons and taken the least obvious (and sometimes most ‘sensible’) course. Or which leaves you with that dull feeling in the stomach when you have made the decision you think you ‘should’ make.


Intuition can sometimes be the reason behind procrastination. As a born organiser, I love putting plans together and moving into action. But occasionally, I have all my coloured coded, detailed plans laid out and ready to go and yet they just sit there, glaring at me from my to do list. I try to force myself into action, but it just won’t happen. Then suddenly, something else clicks into place and I realise that my intuition had been blocking me because somehow, the time wasn’t right.    


So, what is your intuition telling you to do?

Take Five with Katie Iacovou

Posted on 18 July, 2019 at 4:35 Comments comments (0)

Katie Iacovou is a ceramicist who works with irregular forms which allow her a sense of freedom within the making process; finding beauty in the slightly wonky pieces. Hand building and coiling are used and there is a fluidity from the starting point to the finished piece.


Some of the textures and colours are influenced by the Cornish coastline and others by the rugged mountain tops you find in the Swiss Alps. These colours and textures are primarily shown in her organic bowl forms where the rims of the bowls are ripped and torn to achieve a rugged finish.


Katie completed a Studio Ceramics degree at Falmouth College of Arts, in Cornwall, then returned to London where she is originally from. Having had a long break from making due to work and family commitments she is now happily making again and working from her garden studio in London.

Katie's next exhibition is 'Land Over Sea' with my Take Five guest from last month, Laura Hepworth. It will run from 31 July-14 August at the Jeannie Avent Gallery in North Cross Road, East Dulwich, London. Laura and Katie will be taking influence from the natural beauty of the Cornish coast combining new canvases from Laura complimented by Katie's beautifully crafted ceramic bowls and sculptural pieces.

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

I love the freedom it gives me. I am able to be creative in my own little space and that is a luxury. I don’t work in an office environment anymore so I don’t have anyone to answer to. I enjoy planning my own day and I set myself weekly tasks and if I don’t achieve them they get pushed onto the following week. Life is a juggle because I also have a family to look after but this is why working from home is the perfect solution for me. Also I get to touch clay everyday!

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

Oh yes, so many to list! I love painters, potters and sculptors from the past and present. One of my biggest influences, from a young age, is Barbara Hepworth. I love how Barbara’s sculptures play nicely with space and form, and I’m particularly interested in the negative space she creates within an art piece. I also love how she combines other materials into her work, such as wire. There's something mesmerising about how Hepworth connects her large beautifully sculpted organic forms with the wire. Combining these two materials creates a beautiful space within the piece and it's this contrast between the two materials that attracts me and inspires me.

I’ve always enjoyed combining other materials with clay, such as driftwood, wire and glass and this is a direct influence from Hepworth. For me part of the joy and challenge is assembling these different materials together and connecting them to create a new art piece. Adding a piece of driftwood or metal to my vessels can completely change the overall look and the aesthetic of a piece. Other artists that have influenced me around the same time are Henry Moore and Picasso.

We also have so many amazing ceramicists but my top two are Lucie Rie and Kyra Cane.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Do what you love, if you are passionate about something then follow your heart.

Being creative makes my soul happy and I have such a deep passion for ceramics that it will always be a part of my life. Running a small business or being an artist is hard and I wish colleges and universities prepared students better for this part of running a business and not just the creative bit - although the creative bit is the bit we love doing!

I’d also say listen to your intuition and work hard towards your goals. If you are passionate about what you do then persevere and keep going no matter what ups and downs you come across. The ups and downs are part of the journey and we are always learning.

Challenges and obstacles will be put in front of you but if you truly believe in what you do then I believe you can succeed, having said that you need to put the work in. The universe won’t hand it to you!

If you hit a creative block what is your top tip for getting through it?

When this happens it’s time to walk away from you work. That’s when you need to go and do something else. It could be something mundane such as doing the chores or maybe going out for a walk around the park and being in nature. I work from home so I need to get out of the house occasionally. I’ll either go to the park or pop to the local coffee shop, and I usually bump into someone I know and stop for a quick chat. Whatever I do, I just need to forget about the creative problem, which I know can be hard. I feel that the creative side of your brain needs to be switched off by changing its focus for a while and then when your mind is relaxed, ideas eventually come to you. So, walk away is my advice.

Also when the idea does come write it down and if you don’t have a pen and paper to hand then I type it in my phone, using my ‘Notes’. I use my Notes a lot!

If you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

Mmm well ideally I’d like to walk around with bare feet at home but if I have to choose a shoe I would say trainers. Comfy and ready to sprint into action if necessary!







Posted on 11 July, 2019 at 3:55 Comments comments (0)

"One's performance is often heightened by the brilliance and generosity of other actors."

Cyril Cusack

How many times have you found that your work or career has been taken to another level, or just made a little easier, by the generosity of others?

It could have been a practical act such as: giving you a piece of information; showing you how to do some technical thing in a more effective way; introducing you to a useful contact.

It could have been giving you their time to: talk through your ideas; come to see your work; read your book.

It could have been a generosity of spirit: creating an environment where anything seems possible; giving you the space in the light to shine; inviting you to collaborate and up your game to their level; making one small positive comment about your work.

The best form of generosity is that which doesn't expect a quid pro quo and has no hidden agenda. This is the act done because it is the nice thing to do, the small thing which could make a big impact or just make the recipient happy.

Through my career, I can count many occasions when someone has given me advice or an opportunity which has been welcomed at the time and in retrospect has actually given my career a huge boost or set me off in a new and exciting direction. I remember the theatre marketing people who gave up their valuable time to talk to me about how they got into their business when I was looking for a change of career; the person who gave me a large job not because I had any experience but because they saw potential; the first person who trusted me with their future when I was training as a coach.

And perhaps more importantly, I can remember the times when people have come and told me about something they were able to achieve or a new way of looking at themselves which came out of a tiny comment I made along the way that I had more or less forgotten about.

What will be your small act of generosity today?

Take Five with Nicola Anthony

Posted on 9 July, 2019 at 4:45 Comments comments (0)

Nicola Anthony is a visual artist based between Dublin and Singapore, and an elected member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. In recent years she has completed three artist residencies, had a solo show at Singapore Art Museum, exhibited in the Kuala Lumpur Biennale, been invited to install public sculptures in Singapore and Los Angeles, and received accolades and recognition for her work. In 2018 she was invited by Steven Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation to create a permanent sculpture in their public entrance. She has been practicing for fifteen years and created exhibitions and commissions for art institutions and cultural foundations in Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Myanmar, USA, UK, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. She studied at Loughborough University in the UK and Central Saint Martins, (UAL).     

Using fire techniques on paper and metal alongside an innate ability to transform words into messages of profundity, her work is a journal of a thousand souls. She collects human testimonies, empowering and transforming them into contemporary art. From the playful to the heart-wrenching, each artwork is shaped by the narrative it contains.


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

Sometimes being an artist is a little like being an explorer. I am hooked on finding out about new things through my art, learning other peoples stories, memories and secrets, which often become the subject of the next artwork. Having a great excuse to go to all the exhibitions and be surrounded by inspirational work is rather nice too. 


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

Louise Bourgeois. Her artwork sticks in your head, and sometimes forces you to step into it, the physical experience is mysterious, unspoken, and with the tension of her family memories wrapped up in each piece. I admire her for being such a strong, determined artist, and for daring to be different. Most of all, I respect that she created such an eclectic body of work - she was not afraid to try new things and depart from the comfortable ‘niche’ that many artists can get stuck in. 


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

That setting yourself up as an artist is essentially setting up a one-person company. It’s tough to do, and even more difficult if, like many artists, you float out of your university studio and don’t realise this fact! As soon as I started to learn from the business world as well as the art world, I found it much easier to work with (and not begrudge) the fact that there are many elements of life as a creative that take you away from just doing the creative bit. I have always felt that this need not (and should not) change your creative nature - it can be an amazing complement to it. 


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

I have recently started a new process by embracing digital. I am a real ideas person, but my timing is all wrong. The inspiration usually comes at an inopportune moment, all at once, or not at all when I need it! I love the blogging process, so, I have started using a non-public blog to jot down any inspirations or thoughts that come to me. It’s like a sketchbook really, but one that is very useful as a very searchable catalogue of thoughts and snippets of inspiration. This serves as an amazing tool to rekindle my creative process when I get stuck - I can find previous ideas or brainstorms around the issue, or just pick a starting point at random.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

Something highly patterned like the amazing Yayoi Kusama polka dot shoes - they seem to possess some kind of magical power, or at least a vivid imagination that would lead to many adventures!




Posted on 3 July, 2019 at 4:05 Comments comments (0)

Sometimes we spend a lot of time thinking about doing something. Often a lot of that time can be spent thinking about all the things which could possibly go wrong if we do something. Prevarication is a great way to avoid mistakes.  (Or delay success.)

Considering risks is a sensible step to take before you a) cross the road in heavy traffic, b) swing an axe in a crowded room or c) light a cigarette with a blow torch. But sometimes in waiting for just the right set of conditions, time and opportunity can pass us by.


Often, the only way we can find out if something will work is by doing. Not thinking, not analysing, but actually doing.


How many of us learnt to ride a bike by reading a book or thinking about handlebars? Most of us just got on the bike. And how many of us rode it perfectly the first time? We  probably fell off a few times, skinned our knees and swore at the bike. Then suddenly, there we were, riding along like we had always been doing it.


Look down your list of things you have been meaning to do.


Which one will you do today?