Are you comfortable in your own skin?

What a great idea

What a great idea

I invariably order peasant food when I’m out. Steak & Kidney pies.  Goulash. Hot Pots of all varieties. Perhaps it’s a throwback to the 1970’s. When we lived in rented accommodation, the trick was to treat each meal as if it were the last food you might see for weeks. Like a Boa Constructor, we attempted to devour the equivalent of a small deer at each sitting. Now that the danger of starvation has receded, I still lean towards comfort food.

Eating Prawns: I had a buddy who was also from a working class background and who wanted to climb the greasy management pole. So, when he was out at dinner with businesspeople, he would invariably choose ‘posh’ food. Prawns, capers, chickpeas. He’d order an Armadillo if it made him seem sophisticated. He has since become quite successful, but I think that’s more to do with his business nous rather than his penchant for exotic foods. He doesn’t need to pretend anymore.

Be Yourself:  Some things you can change. Education, body mass,  listening skills are all open to attack. Other issues are extremely difficult to change. Your accent, your family, your background. So, you need to differentiate between things you can work on and stuff which is best left alone. And, when you finally arrive at a place where you can declare: “I kinda like myself” you will be resident on a Happy Planet. Most people are so busy ‘becoming’ something, they forget that they are someone special, unique, talented – with a lot to offer that’s already in place. Of course, there are deficits – things that we’d like to tweak. For example, a couple of my sisters claim that ‘fat legs’ is a congenital deformity in the Mooney family. And you can never give up on the ‘continuous improvement’ cycle – provided that you enjoy the journey rather than fixate on some mythical end point when you will be ‘cured’ and all of life will be great thereafter.

There are a lot of people in Glasnevin Cemetery. It’s too late for them to change all those minor imperfections that niggled throughout their life. I just hope that they lived in the moment when they had the opportunity to do so and somehow found comfort in their own skin. Because, warts n’ all, you are already great.


Breaking News: My son Cillian came home last week and said: “Do you want to read this?”  He’d arrived too early for a college class and, with nothing better to do, bought a newspaper and actually read it. I have since conducted an extensive investigation and can definitively state that this event actually happened. Flabbergasted, I asked him: “How am I going to exploit your bad behaviour if you move from the Dark Side and start doing normal stuff? Nobody wants to read about ‘good kids’. You’re interfering with my growth plan i.e. exploiting my family for marketing”. He smiled and told me to “grow up”! Are we entering the final furlong? Could the longest teenage tunnel in history actually be coming to an end?  It’s probably too early to celebrate – but its rekindled an emotion which I had completely lost sight of. Hope!

PS Lighter Moment: Just got back from my mate’s funeral. He died after being hit on the head with a tennis ball. 
It was a lovely Service.

Funny Picture of the Week: Why some women remain single! I have a couple of female friends who, from time to time, bemoan the fact that they are single. In an effort to provide some comfort and general guidance, I want to remind them (and all single women out there) that there are worse things in life than flying solo.  This is a pictorial ‘theme’ which we will run over the next couple of weeks.  Enjoy!

Why some women stay single!

Why some women stay single!
















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About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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5 Responses to Are you comfortable in your own skin?

  1. Paul Donovan says:

    Paul, your story reminded me of when I was teaching my 16 year old son to drive. We were out in the car and in a safe area I was explaining from the passenger seat how to find that ‘sweet spot’ between clutch and accelerator, going into metaphors and analogies of remembering that egg behind the back wheel and trying not to break it by rolling back accidentally. My son switched off the engine, pulled up the handbrake fiercely and turned to me in a pained voice and said – ‘Look, I don’t mean to be hasty, but isn’t there a quick way of doing this?’ Young people want to grab every moment and because there’s so much going on they have no patience with ‘slow burners.’ We old folk have learned to delay gratification and like your blog suggests, we sometimes postpone living. We need to teach our children well as the song says. But we need to learn from them also.
    Loving the blog Paul.

  2. “Most people are so busy ‘becoming’ something, they forget that they are someone special, unique, talented – with a lot to offer that’s already in place.” That’s such a great thought for the day, Paul. I know far too many people who are on a the quest for the Holy Grail, and have no idea how to find it or even what it looks like, Such a waste of time!

    I used to teach clarinet to young people, and mostly their parents wanted me to get their offspring up through the exams to the top level as soon as possible, as if getting grade was more important than the enjoyment of the activity itself. But I had one enlightened pupil who pushed back, and when we found a style of music she really enjoyed we stuck with it – often her lessons involved just playing her favourite set or pieces, luxuriating in the nuances and variations we had time to explore together. She developed a real passion for the instrument because she enjoyed it so much by GOING SLOW. As her teacher I got so much more out of it too,

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