New Years Resolutions: Choose Your Rabbit and Go

Focus is the Key to High Productivity

Focus is the Key to High Productivity

It was early morning on Day 2. The New Year fitness plan was holding up. On Day 1, I’d completed a full hour of exercise. In line with the movement towards BIG DATA, I counted everything. 6 minutes threading water in the pool. 52 minutes in the Jacuzzi. 2 minutes split between the sauna and steam room. You can overdo these things if you’re not careful! Then Linda, perhaps sensing a tiny bit of backtracking, unilaterally hired bikes. The cheek of her! We eventually agreed on the shortest possible route, a 22 Kilometer round trip from Westport to Newport. How hard could that be?  Not exactly the Tour de France. I don’t mean to be boastful, but I used to cycle a lot (bike from Santa when I was 9 and made it all the way up to the Phoenix Park from Cabra, at least 2 miles). You never really forget, do you? It’s like riding a bike.

Grinding It Out: The wind was behind us on the way to Newport. For some reason, I didn’t notice that it was also mostly downhill. A quick pitstop plus one Red Bull later and we were on our way back towards the hotel.  I’m not quite sure exactly how it happened, but over the next 2 hours the sport of Bike-Pushing was invented. When we eventually got back, I felt like John Wayne after 15 days herding longhorns (“Get down off the fireplace Granny; you’re too old to be riding the range”). Earlier, I’d wondered why anyone would bother renting gel saddles for an extra €2? Walking bow-legged to the hotel, that particular mystery had been resolved.  Those padded saddles probably save more lives than defibrillators!

Full Commitment: From previous holidays we know that minding 2 kids is twice as easy as minding one. So, we brought along a second one in an attempt to keep our own teenager somewhat human. Nicole’s’ friend is terrific fun. She plays for Shelbourne Football Club and is a candidate for the Irish Women’s Team, training several times every week (with an hour long commute each side of the training in addition to the matches, that’s a 15 hour weekly commitment). Needless to say, she was like Mr. Motivator when we were on those bikes and kept cycling back to see if we were OK. Geriatric Cycling – I’m thinking of formally suggesting it as a new Olympic sport.

Tough Gig: New Years resolutions are hard. Especially if you, like me, are a bit lazy. But the price to be paid for being great at anything is focus. The Chinese say: ‘If you chase two rabbits you catch neither’.  No achievement that’s worthwhile comes easy – in sport, business or life. OK, ready, steady, choose-your-rabbit. GO!

See you in the Sauna!


PS Lighter Note: A Man Called Brian… I’ve spoken to Kevin Griffin several times about sending me these sexist jokes, but he just won’t listen….

A man walked out to the street and caught a taxi going by. He got into the taxi and the cabbie said, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Brian”  Passenger: “Who?”

Cabbie: “Brian O’Sullivan. He’s a guy who did everything right all the time. Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happen like that to Brian every time.”

Passenger: “There’s always a few clouds over everybody.”

Cabbie: “Not Brian O’Sullivan. He was a terrific athlete. Could have won the tennis Grand Slam. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star. Jesus, you should have heard him play the piano. One amazing guy.”

Passenger: “Sounds like he was something really special.”

Cabbie: “There’s more. With a memory like a computer, he remembered everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine and which foods to order. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse and the whole street blacks out. But Brian O’Sullivan, he did everything right.”

Passenger: “Wow. Some guy.”

Cabbie: “Yeh. He really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good. He would never answer back even if she was wrong. The perfect man in every way.”

Passenger: “An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?”

Cabbie: “Well, I never actually met him. Brian died. I’m married to his widow.”

PPS Lighter Note Continued: Want to learn how to speak Dublin?

Have a look at this link (thanks to Paula Taylor for sending this on).

Check our website or call 087 2439019 for an informal discussion about executive or organization development.


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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