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Encore Tools

(Note: Again this BLOG follows on from last month. Visit to check this out)

Has anyone heard of an Encore before? When we were teenagers my parents would take my brothers, sister and I to lots of musicals. At the end everyone in the audience would start cheering and yelling “encore”. All the cast would come out and do another song. This worked well if you liked the show. If you didn’t you had to sit through it and try not to think about the ice cream you wanted instead. Thanks to your feedback and cheers after last newsletter I’ve decided to give you an encore. These are some extra tools in my tool belt I’ve discovered, tested and decided to keep along the way. They’ve allowed me to move forward. Hopefully they help you do the same thing. Encore tool 1: Mask, gloves, safety glasses These are your protection. Protection against anything which can harm you. It’s the same with having personal boundaries. Be clear about where your boundaries are. Yes, these will change over time and you might not know you need a boundary until you’ve been through a situation. I remember a mate of mine was driving and he started texting. I’d never been in a car with someone who had done this before. I said to him “I can send that text for you.” He said “it’s OK, I can.” I said “but you’re driving, that’s illegal. Just pull over.” He said “I won’t get caught I do this all the time.” I was like “I can drive for you while you text, I don’t want to be in a crash.” He said “it’s OK I’ve sent it now.” I had tried to use different ways to make it clear where my barrier was but at the end of the day we can’t control other people’s actions. He was happy to jeopardise his life, mine and maybe someone else’s but I wasn’t comfortable with that. I had to find a way which would allow both my boundaries and our friendship to be maintained. During a conversation he talked about how much his kids meant to him. Hmmm…this could be an opportunity. So, I decided to let him drive and see what happened. Sure enough out came the phone. I could have gone off my nut and told him to put the phone away but realistically do any of us like to be told what to do? Especially in that way? No. So I had to take a different approach. Instead I calmly asked “should you be doing that?” He replied “yeah it’s OK, I’ll be right.” I said “but will your kids be if you crash and die? Or worse end up a paraplegic and they have to look after you for the rest of their lives?” He quickly stopped texting and put his phone away. There is usually a way to maintain our boundaries and relationships with people around us. Sometimes we just need to get creative with the way we present it. Encore tool 2: Allen keys Allen keys only fit into specific holes (I’m not sure what the builder term is). They have to fit exactly to work. And that’s the same with where I choose my energy, time and effort to go. I only let it go into things that match my values. Values are things that are really important to us. We each have our own set of principles and guidelines we live by. These are our values. I’ve learnt over time that I feel more comfortable within myself when I’m doing things that are aligned with my values. Simple. Just like the Allen keys. If it doesn’t fit don’t do it. Encore tool 3: High vis vest The purpose of a high vis vest is to be seen. It’s paramount to your safety at a work site. So be seen. You’ll get to a time in your life (you’ll know when) when you’re ready to be seen. Be seen for who you are. What you value. What you have to offer to the world. It might not be now and that’s OK. It might not even be in 5 or 10 years time and that’s OK. Put that high vis on whenever the time is right for you. Be seen. Interesting thing about these encore tools I didn’t realise I had them until well after situations. Similar to a realisation I had about musicals. I remember one time I was saying to Dad that I didn’t really understand what that one was about (I think it was Fiddler on the Roof). He said “well, at the very least you’ve learned what you don’t like.” I could have rolled my eyes, inwardly groaned and disappeared to my room. But I didn’t. Instead I smiled. It wasn’t until much later I realised what I was actually doing was reaching forward and grabbing a new tool. We’re continually adding to our tool belts. What’s next to discover?

Something to think about...

“Circumstances don't make the man; they only reveal him to himself." - Epictetus Greek Stoic philosopher (I thought it was time for something deep and profound)

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