Getting Unstuck

Posted by Lémay Rogers

In today’s fast paced world, mindfulness, authenticity and a good work-life balance, are the keys to happiness. Our client, Lémay Rogers (Marketing Manager at Rentokil Initial South Africa) gives us some tips on how to achieve this.

At Spitfire Inbound our core values of authenticity, freedom, collaboration and being purpose-built highlight the need to focus on our clients, on their clients and also on ourselves as individuals. This article by Lemay Rogers, where she explores the 7 Da Vincian principles from Michael Gleb, highlighted for us the necessity of recharging, refocusing and re-prioritising to be able to integrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for us to live our core values in our daily lives.

Enjoy the read and the self reflection it evokes.

Getting Unstuck

Heraclitus wrote that the Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.  But in an instant world of fast moving technology, the demand for quick turnaround times and infinite routines to keep up, do you find yourself stuck?

As a society we speak of mindfulness and moving towards a balanced holistic approach to life. More and more people feel less mindful and more constricted because of our pace.  We've become excellent project managers and timekeepers in life but have failed to schedule time to rejuvenate ourselves. Limiting time to reflect, learn and think critically is giving us this anxious feeling of being stuck.


How do you become unstuck (in the right way)?

I recently found inspiration in a re-read of Michael J Gelb’s
How to think like Leonardo da Vinci - Seven Steps to Genius Every Day (1998). In this book Gelb explores the 7 Da Vincian principles and positions them in a framework to achieve your own genius - every day.  The principles:

  1. CURIOSITÀ (CURIOSITY) — “An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.”

    How many times a day do you ask “why” and “what if”? In our rushed routine lives we have become desensitised to questioning and take a lot of things at face value.  If you look at your role models and successful entrepreneurs you don't need to do a lot of research to find that they all keep questioning and turn their curiosity into success.
  1. DIMONSTRATZIONE (INDEPENDENT THINKING) — “A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.”

    I often wonder why people bury and hide their mistakes. Mistakes are our gifts. Experience and knowledge comes from learning from our own journey.  Push yourself to see life as a test kitchen rather than following someone else’s recipe.
  1. SENSAZIONE (REFINE YOUR SENSES) — “The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.”

    A byproduct of our busy lives is not stopping to “smell the roses”. We have become desensitised to our own experiences not taking it all in. Take a minute to consider how you made your last customer feel. Did you step into that last meeting well dressed in a crisp white shirt, a firm handshake, the smell of expensive cologne, speaking confidently, using words your customer responds to on an emotional level? Will you be remembered that way?

    In the age of customer experience how are you using your senses as a tool of influence and success.
  1. SFUMATO (EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY) — “A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.”

    Uncertainty makes us uncomfortable and over time we've developed coping mechanisms to rationalise it. One of the current tools being used by thought leaders is VUCA.

    VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations.

    Worth a bit of your time if you haven't used this tool. VUCA is a way of opening your mind to uncertainty and, like Da Vinci, finding creative ways of addressing challenges.
  1. ARTE/SCIENZA (ART & SCIENCE, WHOLE-BRAIN THINKING) — “The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination.”

    Referred to as whole-brain thinking this topic has a wealth of literature around it. It's not just about balancing your logic and creativity, it's about consciously embracing the principle. Tony Buzan, inspired by Da Vinci’s note taking style, developed mindmapping in the 60s - a great tool for whole brain thinking.
  1. CORPORALITA (MIND-BODY CARE) — “The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.”

    The stereotypical characters of ‘scrawny nerd’ vs ‘pretty but dumb’ are gone and buried. Today's genius has a healthy body that  complements a healthy mind.  If this wasn't the case, health insurance reward programmes and fitness trackers wouldn't do as well as they are.  Remember to take me-time to empower your body to support your powerful mind.
  1. CONNESSIONE (INTERCONNECTEDNESS) — “A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.”

    A theory that really took shape in the 50s, systems thinking is the examining of individual parts and examining how they connect and interact to form the system as a whole.

    The take away from connessione is vast when reading various interpretations of this point online. There are references to personal interactions between people, behavioural science, linking system thinking to purpose and measuring it through SMART goals.

    I'd like to suggest a look at connessione in two ways. Firstly, how do you interact with your environment and systems? Are you questioning, stress testing, experiencing and sharing even in uncertainty and with the possibility of failure?

    Secondly, how are we interacting as a unit - your family, social circle, business unit, company, etc?  Is your unit like-minded and pushing each other to do the above.

You may have gained some inspiration or a little food for thought. Possibly you are feeling more stuck than before. The first step is to be gentle with yourself and consciously decide to move towards developing your genius and mindfulness.

If you're looking for the perfect solution to achieve a good work-life balance, why not give the Pomodoro technique a try? This quirky time management technique will change the way you work. If you'd like to recieve more content like this, straight to your inbox, subscribe to the Spitfire Inbound blog. Our passionate team of inbound experts love sharing their insights, tips and favourite trends.

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