Peter Johnson & PiM

Insights Discovery & Deeper Discovery Licensed Practitioners

Look beyond the foliage

Apparently, Monday 17th January this year was classed as ‘Blue Monday’, certainly here in Britain. The day seemingly when New Year resolutions are abandoned, when the Christmas and New Year positivity has lost the positivity, when credit card bills have landed on the door mat, when there is still another two weeks before payday. And, I am, sure many more negative drops of misery were identified by the media, sadly joined in by social media feeds too. I briefly dipped into LinkedIn, which seems to becoming more of a ‘look at me’ stream of content where more of the ‘blues’ splashed about.
Enough! I rapidly turned off, logged off.
It seems that the media are keen to criticise and drone on about the state of people’s wellbeing, yet all too keen add fuel to the pyre rather than help. The old adage that bad news sells still seems to be the tired approach of people keen to preen their ego and be paid expensively for the sake of a few cheap comments.
I had not realised the day had this tag until I dipped in for my update on world events later in the day, only to be assailed with the view just mentioned. Whilst I keep up to date, I have learnt that if I am to look after my state of mind the negativity of the media is best avoided – by the way this ties in with research from Yale University.
Interestingly, later in the week I enquired of a few clients if they were aware of ‘Blue Monday’ - my client in Switzerland had not heard of this, my clients in Eire and the UK had. Well done the Swiss! Perhaps it is an import from the USA, yet to reach other parts of Europe.
Whilst I was speaking with my client in Switzerland, we discussed the greeting of people in England, often downbeat rather than upbeat.
I was reminded of this conversation as I walk by the river, seen in the picture, days later, when two people met who knew each other. In response to the enquiry of the other person’s health, the answer ‘not bad, not bad’ was forthcoming. Exactly the same downbeat words that surfaced in the conversation with the Swiss person.
As you can see it was a wonderful day, albeit barely above freezing. Fortunately, others had a more upbeat view. Indeed, a young lady was sitting on a bench by the river. She was well wrapped up, looked warm, as she tucked into her packed lunch. I passed a comment that she seemed to be enjoying herself; we shared a good giggle as she eventually admitted she was enjoying it so much, she had bitten off a bit more than she could cope with.
For many days the sky had been grey but light, and as I aim to go for a good walk most days. I have enjoyed the seasonal weather. So much so, that I have been keen to observe the skeletal trees, the visible old birds nests from last year, the trunks and branches hidden when in leaf. Seeing the birds as they sing and chirp, leaf yet to unfurl to keep them hidden.
This picture is bright. There was some sun and I loved looking through the twigs and branches, seeing the distant trees where one could peer right through and observe the amazing architecture of nature. Soon spring will beckon and leaf again will block our view.
In the world of behavioural profiling, using instruments such as Insights Discovery, there is the opportunity to observe the essence of who we are too.
When we lift our heads, take a little time, look carefully, properly, with respect, with awe at what the other person has in their ‘architecture’, we can really start to value people for who they are. There is so much that is positive. So much to value. So much treasure to find.
All too often we define people by their ‘foliage’, that instant first impression. Behind that first impressing though, there is depth. Discovering how someone else may experience the world can help us in our own appreciation and understanding of the world too.
Our first impression can and does get in the way.
The ‘moaning media’ tingeing the colour of what we experience with the ‘blues’ for their ever-depressing spin on our first impression.
We think we have all the knowledge we need, when that knowledge can get in the way of learning.
The ‘Blues’ of the any day can all too often be heard, yet when one really listens the ‘not bad, not bad’ develops into new messages about the person. The sandwich eater shared a little of herself in the brief exchange we had. I am sure the people who interacted with me took away an impression too. It takes a little longer to start to value the treasures behind the ‘foliage’ of each and every one of us.
Do you make the time? Do you make the effort?
I was reminded on this day to take a little longer to look, to listen, to explore, to question, to make up my own mind. That is a way to increase our understanding and appreciation.
Whilst it may be ignored by the media, I do wonder if there is a day later in the year called ‘Brilliant Monday’!
Perhaps if we all aim to make every day brilliant there would much more positivity that lasts beyond the faded festive season.
My best wishes,