Need another holiday…

Back in the office. Back to work. Back to where I left everything…

You knew it was a matter of time before this popped up on my watch…

That’s right – my watch was telling me, a minute of deep breathing can reduce stress.

There’s a number of things that can stress us out. It could be work, people, surroundings…

What can stress do to us?

We don’t want that!

So, what do I do when i’m Getting a little stressed or a message of that nature pops up on my watch?

Well…. firstly, I try to get some fresh air.

Most of my time, I either spend in an air conditioned environment (like my office) or an aeroplane. And whilst I need to be in these environments, I do try to go out for a walk. Most of the time – the office is in a built up area, or town centre… but still…. a walk can help. 10-15 minutes of walking, clearing my mind… can help reduce stress.

In addition to the above point – I find an ice cream also helps.

Music. That also helps me. Some relaxing music helps. Not Dr Dre or Wu Tang Clan. Some soothing and calming music usually does the trick.

There’s a few things that can help to reduce stress…

So if you’re getting a little stressed or messages are popping onto your watch of the stress nature…. slow down, relax, try to enjoy like…. take it a little easy and my favourite – Go outside!

Smiley faces all round.

Turn that frown, upside down!

We all need to get away…

Bal, where have you been for the past few weeks? – no new activity on your blog…

Well… I did mention I was going to jet off for a few weeks in the sun and copious amount of food. Which I did. And thoroughly enjoyed.

This was my view for the past few weeks…

I didn’t realise how much I needed the break. I was going at 100mph. I had so much going on, both at work, my personal ventures, startups I’m involved, institutions I’m working with… and on top of that, lots going on at home!

It was only a few days into the holiday, that I was able to totally relax and reflect.

It was at the moment, I was floating on a pink lilo that I realised how fast I was going… and that not only did I really need this break, but needed to slow down and reflect.

We’re all guilty of it. Working. Head down. Moving forward. Not stopping.

But we need to.

So what did I do on holiday… well, I relaxed. I read a book (which was excellent by the way, and I recommend it!) – it was ‘The subtle art of not giving a f**k’.

I was also able to reflect… on everything that’s going on. Able to re-position, able to re-adjust some of my priorities, able to… re-fine my long term plan.

‘Bal… you have a long term plan?’

Don’t we all? – as I was taught at Kodak… Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.

I do always have a Plan B. Courtesy of Mr Mike Tyson, who reminded me… ‘Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face’.

So all in all…. great holiday, great book, great to re-energise myself, good to slow down and reflect and best thing… re-focus.

Busy July, Calm August…

As you’ve probably seen from my twitter feed and insta account – I’ve been travelling a lot in July.

To say it’s been crazy is an understatement. Rotterdam, Toronto, Berlin and Brussels.

But I’m hoping for a calmer August. Why? – well, I’m going on holiday…. That’s why!

Thoroughly deserved as well if I may say so… but in the back of my head, I’ll be thinking about emails, work going on, etc… There’s a wonderful chart that illustrates this…

I’ve said before… it’s important to take a break. Most of us, are on laptops. And there comes a time when our laptop slows down, we need to stop it – shut it down, and then start again. Similar to us… we have so much going on… mentally, that we need to shut down and start again.

I won’t be having my phone on. I will definitely not be checking emails. If someone wants me – you have two options… 1. Talk to someone in my team and get the best advice from them, 2. Wait for me to come back.

Admittley, I’m not taking the holiday at a busy time of the year nor is it during a period when everything is happening – you know these times in the year we come across. I’m taking it in August. During school summer holidays. But also – that shouldn’t matter. You should take your holidays, when you want, how you want!

I remember this post from Cristina when she went on holiday…

Brings a lot of attention about how important it is.

So folks, I won’t be posting much… you’ll get my Friday thought – because I know there’s a lot of people that watch out for them and enjoy reading them. Otherwise, a few weeks with no blogs… unfortunately. However, I will be back mid-August….firing on all cylinders (as they say!)

Thanks…Bal…sat on a beach… somewhere in the Mediterranean

Happy 100th Birthday Nelson…

On this day, in 1918… Nelson Mandela was born.

Now, most of you will know about him… his struggles, his fights and his wins.

What I wanted to do, was share some of his words… because he was known to write and share thoughts that would make folk think. Not only about the current situation but the future.

There’s a few quotes of his which I love…

Such a strong statement that can be applied to everyday, every walk… every life.

Then my favourite…

It’s all about education.

Learn and then, learn some more.


Didn’t they do well….

Let’s be honest.. hasn’t it been a great Summer so far, especially with the FIFA World Cup!

All the surprises… who would have thought Germany would’ve gone out during the group stages… or that Croatia would’ve made it to the Finals?

Or how’s about, England making it to the Semi Finals? I know… although there was a moment we all thought that the finals were ours… we did very well in Russia this summer.

But most in particular for me, it came down to one thing. Leadership.

That’s right… the leader, the manager, the person in charge. Mr. Southgate.

Couple of things that really stood out for me….. (that made it a bit magical).

1. The Passion.

A normally quiet kind of guy… composed and not necessarily always full of emotions… however, the passion was there.

When we won, there was a moment when Gareth would walk over to the fans and really encourage them… Thank them…. show the passion!

And this filtered down to the players. They played with passion. They stepped up and that’s one of the reasons why the England team did well.

2. The Experience

We know he’s been there. He’s experienced heart ache. He’s got the scars and the stories.

You have to have been through those times, those difficult times…. where either things haven’t gone right and/or you know what could’ve made it better.

And it’s that…that helps you learn. Make things better for the future. With experience…. comes that knowledge.

3. Humanity

There were several other words I could’ve used. Compassion. Kindness. Sympathy…..

After the Semi Final game…. Gareth, hugged each devasted player. Hugged the staff.

After the majority had gone home. Hugged his wife. It’s this quality that shows he cares. Deep down… he cares. It matters to him. A lot.

Even at the press conference, thanked the players, the staff, the fans – especially those who travelled over… thanked Russia for hosting such a wonderful World Cup, thanked everyone.

Thank you Gareth. You exceeded expectations.