Thursday, 31 January 2019

Makings of effort

Further from my blog posts 'This is proACTivity' and 'Energy Through Numbers', many people ask me why I am so enthusiastic and passionate about what I do and how I go about it.  I'm sure I usually respond with saying something generic like "I just do what I do" or perhaps there's an element of modesty there.  I know exactly why I do what I do and that's because I am just keen to learn, unlearn, do a damn good job and just do the best I can in whatever I do, it's just in my blood.  I make good effort with things.  A lot of my energy derives from the days of proving myself.  Still, everyday I am judged because I look younger than my years (stereotypical behaviour) and underestimating my abilities, which kick starts my motivation.  How can I move on from performing like I have something to prove to being more relaxed?  A question to be explored another time but did touch on here.  There are different kinds of effort, but in this text I am taking about the motivational kind.  If I had to sum up briefly how I do it:

  • Be open and willing to invest improving yourself
  • Be proactive
  • Be willing to step out of your comfort zone
  • Accept you don't know everything but be proactive in finding things out
  • Accept that you will make mistakes and fail, just learn from them
  • Recognise good advice from those that try to control/misdirect you - stay you
  • Possess the three 'E's - energy, enthusiasm and (put in) effort

I just want to do a good job and do it well and obviously receive necessary recognition for it - which to date has come in a beautiful abundance.  I'm not here to be a showman and entertain the masses and be the almighty 'look at me and what I've done'.  I'm a hard grafter, that is true, the more I put in the more I get out of it, that's the way I have always seen it.  To say I have a national/international accolade (as well as others), I don't consider myself one of those big named industry leaders, but a leader in my own right of my specialism and talents.

Since my book came out, I've realised that my modesty is out of date.  Like I have been encouraged at Nottingham Trent University, I need to be loud and proud of who I am and what I do.  I communicate well verbally, but I feel my thoughts are as powerful as the words I speak.  I somewhat struggle in reaching a balance of 'bigging' myself up against appearing as arrogant.  Not everyone likes to hear someone brag about their whole career and who they have 'hobbed nobbed' with.  So it's finding a balance of the two but remaining my core spirit of who I am and not crossing the line of being self-involved.  But we are allowed to be proud and announce what we have made happen and done towards the things that have become a reality - why shouldn't we?  In my experience don't rely on people to shout out for you or nobody will know what you do/did.

I was presenting PebblePad in a recent Associate Lecturers Programme session and I got involved in an activity beforehand.  I had describe myself in 6 words and without thought, I wrote this; "courageous in seeking betterment for myself."  I think that is a pretty outstanding statement for myself, maybe I was trying to tell myself something?  Likewise, two of my quotes below encapsulates the motivational person I am:

"I feel you have to be strongly passionate about learning to genuinely educate others. We will always learn, unlearn and relearn. Most importantly, mistakes and failures are a result of learning and it's perfectly ok to make them."

From the introduction of my book, 'Learning Technology', "It depends on how much you want something that determines the effort you put in."

I had an interesting chat with my friend Stuart Greensmith White, School Business Manager recently that actually ignited me to write this blog post.  We were talking about careers and they had an interview for a magazine.  It highlights some of my thoughts behind why I believe in my work ethic.


Me - "Girls' gotta work.  Ya gotta put effort in for good things."

Friend - "Lol, ah if that was the only secret of success there'd be a lot more competition.  Get luck added in too and that's more realistic. 😝"

Me - "That is the only thing...  That's all I've ever done.  Be willing to step out of your comfort zone not be confined to it."

Friend - "Nah we'll have to agree to disagree on that.  Lots of people work extremely hard and don't get the success they deserve.  Though success is quite a subjective thing too depending on what your motivation is.  Different for everyone.  😀"

Me - "Yeh and no lol.  Don't always rely on people to shout out for you and give you what you need.  It's your own responsibility to tell people, promote and voice yourself.  That said managers should recognise this, nurture etc and do their bit."

Friend - "Oh no no, you're right on that, everybody should take their own responsibility for sure.  Just that doing it doesn't guarantee it'll work out.  For fairness it should!"

Me - "Yeh it does work out. That itself is the effort, making it known and to right people and audience.

*friend interviewed for a magazine.*

That's awesome.  That will get you lots if attention.  So like above, use it well and build on it.  Don't shy away from it.  It requires you to take the effort to network from it."

Friend - "So what do you say to someone who tries everything and still doesn't get the recognition?  There's so much out there.  It's very sad."

Me - "What's everything entail?  That's very broad.  May be they haven't.  But if it's recognition they're wanting, leave the organisation because if you don't get it or enough within 2-3 years, move on.  But don't always expect to get that as it leads to disappointment."

Friend - "I guess so.  I don't think it's all that black and white.  There's a lot of grey areas."

Me - "It's simple it's nothing complicated unless you make it like that.  If it's you you're referring to, spend less on wanting recognition from those who aren't giving you it and focus your energy on people who you'll get it from and more.  Read the large quote in the acknowledgement of my book - sums it up.

Stop putting barriers up, you're making it impossible.  If you want it go make it happen."

Friend - "Nah we definitely have to agree to disagree on it.  If it was that simple, everybody would go for it.  It's not me I meant either - I look beyond me.  Besides ironically I know how much I'm recognised and appreciated by the reaction I got from not getting the job (and not just by one person)😝  Haha.  Well (respect intended) I don't need a book or a quote from anybody to tell me what to think!"

Me - "That's thing though, clearly not everyone is going for it.  Hence the opportunity.  Very stubborn aren't ya, *friend* knows it all. 😏

Either way my quote still screams truth and have seen it in others lives.  You can't rely on or blame others to give you what you want.  Energy is effort."

Friend - "Lol, I definitely don't know it all.  We all have seen life differently and had different experiences.  And met different people.  Everybody deserves respect for what they think.

We don't have to agree on everything 🙂  And it's a great quote and I wish it was true.  But I just don't think it is."

Me - "Exactly, a true educators response  - not a corporate/politicians stale black and white response.

And yeh we don't have to.  I'm more in tune with law of attraction/spiritual angle.  Some are not. I've seen enough proof,  I don't need convincing."


To me, the simplest form of effort is priorities.  We all do things that are high on our agenda. we make time and room for them.  For the things we aren't that fussed about we say we haven't got time.

I'm very proud I've shown people that I have exceeded what they didn't think I was capable of and that I am more than they thought I was.  I'm sure this enthusiasm and energy for what I do won't last a lifetime.  Especially when as I get older and my health takes more priority.  However, as I have done to date I'll just flow where the energy goes.

Like I once said " all starts with a clear intention to do it.  Plus, visualising every happy thought of what I want."  I feel that effort is supported by making things visual that will make them a reality.  Like they say, if you write something down you're most likely to do it.  Being visual is the way.  Humans are very visual beings, which goes right back to earlier cave drawings and such, a picture explains a thousand words...  When learning I find I can understand things more clearly seeing a visual of something.  However, there is a challenge in making it visual and deciding the best way to present it.  For example, recently I didn't understand something in someone's presentation, the way is was presented in a format wasn't as clear to me.  But when it was re-presented in a visual way, it clicked.