Just Another Blogger

Just Another Blogger – Blog 2 – 12/11/2020

Just Another Blogger

Sat on the sofa, laptop on lap. Willow (nervy, mostly lunatic husky crossbreed) curled up into a smaller than possible ball next to me. My Podcast for the day is run by a guy who commanded a US Navy SEAL team in Iraq and now runs an organisation that teaches leadership and how to get the best out of the people you’re supposed to be leading. Every company and organisation I’ve ever worked for has had leaders and managers who desperately needed his advice but only some of them realised it. He’s written various books on the subject, holds seminars and imparts a huge amount of free knowledge through his podcast. There aren’t many people who’d like you to buy their products but will also put out the product for free and will also explain what it means. He’ll have guests on, read through their books and discuss the events, the thought processes behind the decisions made, their effects on the battlefield and the aftermath of those actions. He’ll read through old US Marine Corps field manuals or long-dead Generals after-action reports, comparing and contrasting battles in the pacific to his own experiences in downtown Ramadi and, for our purposes, to how they translate into the civilian world.

So how does listening to military history and leadership podcast help? Even if you’re single, have no friends, are estranged from your family and you barely come into contact with other humans, you still have a team of one. Yourself. If you’re like me and have a partner and child, a dog who may as well be another child and a grumpy ageing cat then there’s more to think about, but the fundamentals are the same and this is why learning this stuff helps when you’re suffering through a bad headspace.

If you’re deep down amongst your demons, the last thing you really want to do is to push yourself. It takes energy that you feel like you don’t have just to think about all this stuff, let alone act on it and this is where I find podcasts are a great tool. I have a podcast on the go most of the time at home and whenever I walk to pick littlun up from school. I’ve found that mundane (but absolutely necessary) tasks like doing the dishes all become much easier with something for my mind to focus on and I’m learning about things I’m interested in or things that will help me have more control over my mind. There’s a ridiculous amount of podcasts out there to choose from so go and explore. I have around 10 go-to channels and they’re a mix of history, science, weird stuff, military and current events and between them, they help me with the puzzle that is my brain. If these don’t do it for you, there will be others that do.

One of the biggest things I’ve learnt from my own experiences and from observing others is that however far down the slippery slope you are, you have to want to make changes. It doesn’t matter how much help is offered if you don’t want it to start with. Explore some podcasts, get some inspiration to go somewhere else and start making some tiny changes in your life. Those tiny changes will build on each other.

My changes this week are both things I’ve not done in a while; my 9yr olds Brazilian jiu-jitsu studio has closed down during lockdown, so I’m using that as an opportunity to start working out again. I’m using the freeletics app (https://www.freeletics.com) and working through the sets with littlun. He loves that he can complete the reps before I can and it helps with my motivation massively. Win-win for both of us. Plus we get to laugh at each other when we’re struggling to walk upstairs and make stupid noises as we sit down. The other change has been to teach the boy chess. It’s a good mental exercise just in itself but for me, it also means I’m going to have to learn more about the game to be able to teach it properly to my son and he’s always having to push if he wants to beat me. I don’t let him win in any game we play but I will help him in the game to see positions from a different viewpoint and to explain why things either worked or not as the case may be. So we both learn, we both have to focus, it takes us away from screens and we both have to work hard to succeed.

On the DBT workshop front: I had my second introductory session on Tuesday, basically going through what the course will offer and emphasising that it’s up to you to make the once a week for 20 weeks commitment. I’ve signed up for the next course which will start in February next year. There’s only so many people and so much funding available so if I have to wait then that’s just how it goes. In the interim, I can continue to work on myself.

Keep safe everyone and if there are any particular podcasts you can recommend, write them down in the comments for everyone to check out.

Just another blogger

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