Why you should fail from time to time

I met a friend of mine yesterday. Salma is a story teller and a content strategist. She told me: “Perfection creates no emotion !” I like that sentence. In my post: 5 reasons why you should stop trying to be perfect, I already evoked the fact that trying to reach perfection should not become a stress or an obsession. I’m more radical today. I advise you to fail !

There is no learning without failure. Scientists know that progress comes from analysis of failure. Look at a little kid trying to walk for the first time. Is (s)he running right from the beginning ? No. S(he) will fall a number of time before adapting the technique to reach an acceptable performance. Same when you learn a language or struggle with accounting for the first time.

It’s the same in business. Did you hear about the concept of “learning organization” ? Trial and error ? Lean marketing ? See http://theleanmarketer.com/about-the-lean-marketer/what-is-lean-marketing/ . All is about testing, checking, understanding, relaunching and so one.

I know a US company giving bonuses to their employees who fail ! Better reward those who dare and fail than those who do not dare!  Encourage your team to fail. Encourage your kids to fail. Encourage yourself to fail ! Do something, stop hesitating, move forward ! The train of life is not waiting for you. It’s already gone. Jump on it !5.jpg

 

7 tips to manage your sleep

A number of years ago I read a book called “Managing your sleep”. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the author and the editor but this book changed my life, well…my night life 🙂

At that time, insomnia was my habit. No two nights with a full sleep. It made me nervous and stress would come out the day after. Then I read that book and I got and kept a number of tips that I can now recommend to you:

  • Read a book before sleep…in silence

Or meditate ! Whatever time it is, close your screens ! Forget about TV, phone, tablet or computer. Screen must go to sleep too, but not in bed with you ! Music is great but at some point you should be in silence. Silence will appease your senses. Reading will make you dream even before sleep is there. By the way: don’t read anything like business publication or some job report ! Read a novel, something light !

  • Detox from phone !

Talking about screens, it’s time for you to “digital detox” ! A number of recent researches showed that addiction to screens excite the brain and lead to bad sleep. If you leave your smart phone open during night, you will unconsciously want to look at notifications. Same for telephone. My recommendation is clear: don’t answer calls, especially professional calls after 10 pm. If someone calls you with problems, you will absorb her (his) problems. If someone is excited about something, you will absorb the excitation. It may be nice but it will damage your sleep. The hour before sleep is for you to be alone with yourself !

  • When you wake up in night, don’t try to recover the sleep

So now comes the time when you wake up, generally between 2 and 4 am. You say: “oh ! no ! again ! ” and you start to be desperate. You WANT to sleep, you try to calm down but you can’t. You turn things in your head. Good or bad. No way ! Sleep will not come back easily, whatever you do. So, stand up and do something. Go drink or eat something you like. Enjoy the night instead of fearing it. Night is full of good things. Some fresh air maybe. Or some quietness. Learn to love your insomnia. Don’t think that you’re loosing sleep, think that you’re gaining time of life !

  • Don’t open your screens. Read or do something manual

If you reopen your phone or tablet or if you start playing games on your computer, time will spend easily but you will not rest your brain. Remember, the night should be relaxed time. Do things that you don’t have time to do during the day. Maybe listening to easy going music, meditating, exercising some yoga, baking cakes…Anything but soft ! After about 90 min (more or less), you will start to yawn. Sleep works in cycles of 90-100 min. Yawning means that a new cycle will come. Wait 5 or 10 min and let you fall into the arms of Morpheus… Morpheus was the god of dreams in ancient Greece.

  • Make your insomnia a creative experience

Insomnia always sounds negative. We say that we “suffer from insomnia”. Actually, it’s been proven that it’s one of the most creative period of time. A number of artists create during night. You’re waking up because your brain is active. Interrupted sleep is a source for the imaginary. You’re in another world, far away from day life constraints. A good way to do is to write down, before sleep, a number of issues you’d like to be creative about. If you wake up, take one and think. Imagine weird solutions. Like in a dream. Anything can be crazy during night. Daylight will bring you to reality !

  • Have a little notebook with a pencil to record your ideas

This is one of the most easy and practical tips I used. Most of the time when you wake up at night it’s because you think of tomorrow workload. “I should not forget to do this. I forgot to call Bob. I should think of it tomorrow…bla bla bla”. So, you try to keep it in mind  and it adds to your worries. So, do something simple: have a little notebook and a pencil on your night table. When you think of something, write it down. So, your mind is free to forget it. Remember: no screen, no smart phone reminder ! Just paper and pen. After a few days or weeks, the simple fact to have your notebook near you will appease you and you will probably never wake up anymore for “things to do tomorrow”.

  • Forget about sleeping at night only

One of the reasons we fear insomnia is that we fear to loose sleep hours and be tired on the following day. To avoid that feeling, learn to make several mini sleep breaks during day. You can do for 20 min (after lunch for example), 5 min or even 1 min (have a spoon in your hand and let you fall into sleep, when you really sleep the spoon will fall on the ground and wake you up 🙂 ). These sleep breaks will have a out of benefits and make you more productive. It will compensate for the time you were awake during the night. Sleep as animals do, little piece by little piece…

Hope this will help you feel better in life !

Be inspired !n-SLEEP-AT-WORK-large570.jpg

 

Believe in the value of “moments” !

Life is demanding, business is tough, time is scarce. But in this busy stuff, we need “moments” !

I believe in the value of “moments” ! We need good moments, exciting moments, lazy moments and self care moments. We can go for meditation, expect peace at a yoga course or listen to our favorite music. But we need for sure to escape. Not only to relax, but also to think. just think. I heard an interview of a great scientist today. He said he walks everyday, alone, in order to structure his thinking. His “moments” are fostering his intelligence.

So, this week, look at your timetable and save moments for you !

And if you can’t do it on a regular basis, book a meeting with a mentor.  If you don’t have one, ask me ! You should definitely try one of my inspiring moment 🙂Unknown.jpeg

5 reasons why you should stop trying to be perfect

Perfection is what we all thrive for. We’ve been educated with perfection in mind. At school, at home, everywhere, always we were told to be perfect. Perfect child, perfect scholar, perfect girl, perfect boy. We’re also asked to be perfect daughter & son, then perfect mom & dad, perfect sister, brother, friend and life partner. At work it’s the same. Be a perfect employee, perfect colleague, perfect boss ! We all know it’s impossible but we’re running after perfection all our life.

Well ! It’s not impossible, it’s counter productive. Today, being perfect is a handicap !

Trying to be perfect in all is dysfunctional. We focus our limited resources on behaviors that we will never be good at instead of focusing on our strengths. So we become average in all.

Trying to be perfect brings a continuous stress. We’re always struggling to reach a goal with no hope of being successful at it. We run to catch an ever flying bird ! But we go on and on…

Trying to be perfect gets us to care about non important things. We plunge into details to reassure us that we’re good. It makes us loose “the big picture”. In business, it’s a real pity. Thousands of people forget about the important to focus on some stupid details.

Trying to be perfect kills our creativity. Today, creativity is vital. No company or organization will survive without a good deal of idea generation. But more than generate ideas, we need to implement them. Imagine, implement, fail, understand and try again. That’s how we should learn today. By the way, this is how little kids learn to walk !

Finally,  trying to be perfect is boring ! How many days of our life have we spent at school with boring teachers trying to make us good in everything. The more bored we are, the less we learn and the worst we are.

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Forget about your shortcomings and focus on what you’re good at. This is true for people but it’s also true for businesses and any organization.

Be inspired !

Why whiz kids need an uncle !

I watched a nice movie in the plane getting me back to Europe. The Intern, with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. It’s the sorry of a old man joining a startup company founded by a young woman.

It’s sweet and fun but, moreover, it made me think about 2 things I want to share.

  1. Women leaders need a mentor. They are strong, free and successful but life is not always rosy ! It’s hard for them to be perfect in all. Perfect boss, perfect mother, perfect daughter, perfect, perfect, perfect… Society want them to conform to an ancient role while they struggle to lead better than men. It’s tough and they need to talk to someone neutral. Not a colleague, not even a friend, not their loved ones. Friends and families should be havens where you forget about job turbulence. A mentor can listen, reflect, advise without judging. It helps think clearer and make wiser decisions. This is what Robert De Niro character does for Anne Hathaway.
  2. Every company managed by young guys should hire a senior ! In this movie, Robert De Niro character seems out of date at the beginning of the film. His young colleagues look at  him with amusement. His way to dress, to act, to talk seem of another age. But then, they realize that his experience help them solve number of life problems. They become better educated and better in general. They get wisdom.

Watch the film, reflect and be inspired !12801339_958490804205755_4450148449954357009_n.jpg