Having faith goes a long way – especially when things get rough

Faith in yourself that is.
Look, I have been through quite a rollercoaster ride lately: got a cataract surgery that turned into a retinal detachment, leaving me stranded at home for 4 weeks. And three out of which I had to spend the whole day (night included) with the head straight up. No driving of the car allowed, just stay put and wait for it to heal. I know understand a bit how prisoners at home do feel. Yeah, punishment. And this one piled in on another issue of relative exhaustion due to another problem that is now cured. I am glad this is behind me, I can tell you! As an independent professional, this means an income drop, shifted timelines, and too much idle time on my hands. Having a number of proposals open with prospects, this got me nervous obviously.

Choice is yours

There are two choices here. Either enter the realm of the victim and complain on how unfair things are or take it as yet another opportunity to learn. And that's rooted in your faith in yourself. The faith that things are going to be better, that you'll come out of it better in a way or another. As for anything, the first sale is to yourself!

So, what can be learned here?

Here is my take:
  1. Do not expect to kick back on your feet that fast after full anaesthesia, this will help keeping realistic expectations.
  2. Call prospects and clients to tell them about your issue. Most of them will understand. How would you react if they called you with a health problem? If they don't do you really want to work with such people? Thinking about it, I don't.
  3. It is a great idea to have insurance for those cases. I muttered every time I saw the bill but it turned to be a great idea. After talking with a few people, it is astonishing that a lot of them aren't covered. Look, it is not a matter of "if" here, it is a matter of "when"! Get one.
  4. Make sure you have either credit lines, cash in the bank, or any other form of credit secured at all times. It will come handy when you will need it. Bills do not care about your state. And have faith that you'll be able to generate enough new business to come back from the deep. Do not wait to be thirsty to go to the well.
  5. Call upon your support system: loved ones, family, and friends. Don't bury yourself in a hole. It is bad for the mood and bad for the speed of recovery. Ask them to bring you something special, it will lighten the day.
  6. Take care of the quality of your food intake. I am leaning towards organic food and it helps a lot. As a general rule, HiQ nutrients help, especially with brain work. Don't feast on greasy, oily, sugary foods.
  7. Medical care improves by leaps and bounds. Procedures are much improved from 10 years ago. There are new devices to measure, new materials, new lenses. And I met great people: surgeons, assistants, nurses. These are people who care.
  8. Take care of yourself first. If you don't, you can't be fully in the moment when it is needed.
  9. Turn idleness into opportunity. Read (or listen to) new material, focus on something alien to your habits. Open horizons.
So, to reach your top 3 outcomes, even when they just seem to swoosh miles away further, you need to have faith in your ability to resume the quest in a way or another. Yeah, you need to be an optimist! Until next time, keep the faith! --Philippe Back

Cumul des mandats en Belgique? Cumuleo vous tient au courant.

Exemples Elio Di Rupo: http://www.cumuleo.be/mandataire/11412-elio-di-rupo.php Bart De Wever: http://www.cumuleo.be/mandataire/11423-bart-de-wever.php Paul Magnette: http://www.cumuleo.be/mandataire/11386-paul-magnette.php Bonnes recherches!

Use Case 2.0 – Good stuff

The people at http://www.ivarjacobson.com have released an ebook on what they call the Use Case 2.0 The Definitive Guide. You can pick a copy. And also look at a presentation that may put some more context around it. They'll ask you to fill in all kinds of fields... It merges:
  • Use Cases
  • Stories
  • Kanban
  • Agile
  • Backlog based work organization
It is a workable system IMHO. There is a use case tracker described in there. Save yourself some time by taking my little Excel version.    

Query and Update Sparx EA Repository with SQL

Sample Script to do it (using the Execute undocumented op)  
option explicit
!INC Local Scripts.EAConstants-VBScript
!INC EAScriptLib.VBScript-Logging
' Script Name: SQL
' Author: Philippe Back
' Purpose: Demo SQL Invocation
' Date: 25/1/2011

Function SQLQuery(sql)
Dim sRes
LOGInfo("Query: " & sql)
sRes = Repository.SQLQuery(sql)
LOGInfo("Res: " & sRes)
End Function
Function SQLExec(sql)
Dim sRes
LOGInfo("Statement: " & sql)
sRes = Repository.Execute(sql)
LOGInfo("Res: " & sRes)
End Function
Sub Main
End Sub

How to identify your top 3 outcomes?

Yes, how to identify them? Let's have a shot.

5 key areas

First of all, let's look at the five key areas of life:
  • financial
  • intellectual
  • physical
  • spiritual
  • relational

Picture yourself at the center of these 5.

At this very moment in your life, are you financially happy, intellectually happy, physically happy, spiritually happy, relationally happy? Do you want more out of one area?

Pick an area of importance to you.

Of enough importance to make you invest time and energy in getting to the next level.
Write it down. Come on, do it, write it down on a scrap of paper.

A basic question

Now, ask yourself this basic question:  
How would I know when I'd reach 'it' in that very area?
  Yes, how would you know? Because without an indicator, you aren't gonna get very real on this one. The more precise you can get on the indicator, the better. Nobody said it couldn't be qualitative by the way. And an outcome doesn't need to be Earth shattering to be a top outcome. Just that it is of enough importance for you to commit to get in motion towards it. For long enough and with enough resolve so that there is a pretty good chance you'll make it. So, now turn your attention to the 'it' bit. Now that you have an indicator, it is much easier to define this 'it' more clearly.

Now write down: 

Top outcome in ..... : ...... I'd know I'll be there when: ... is true...

Reality check

You may well have been rationalizing all the way down. Yes, your mental mind may have done all the work. So, what is your gut telling you now? How do you feel when reading back aloud what you just wrote down? Try it. Repeat. Do you feel excitement?, fear?, butterflies in the belly? If there is nothing, you aren't exactly looking a anything resembling a top outcome.
But if you do, there is something in there!

Rinse and repeat, until you have your three

Pick another area, or the same, it doesn't matter. Do as the spirit moves you. And go through the process again. You just will have to do the reality check at the end until you have your three.

Formulation done!

If you are here without cheating, congratulations. If not, let's wonder why you didn't went through. Stop reading down and go through, will you? Good. Now that you have your list, the first step is set: formulating your top 3 outcomes. Next in line, materializing these outcomes into the world. But that will be for another time! Until then, make sure you get the butterflies in there. --Philippe

Lego Mini Me, funny…