I’m only human, after all

Posted: February 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


I am privileged to take to platforms and share, in keynote speech format, things that I feel are useful, that I have a keen interest in; that I believe will help other people by knowing about some new insight or case study and ultimately things that I’m passionate about.

I do so out of sheer exuberance, belief and determination to do MY bit to make the professional field I’ve come to be a part of better and more in-tune with the world and because I believe my calling is to help us – pardon the Anglo-Saxon here – unf*ck work.

I now add in a slide to my talks that says what I believe.  It goes something like this.

I believe…

If we designed better work, people would be happier about their work and able to live more fulfilling lives.

If we create new aspects of work to run alongside existing traditional models, we will make more progress than trying endless change programmes and restructures.

If we build working methods that allow people to come to life and discover themselves, their talents and their ambitions in life, we’ll have a more just and contented society.

OK, it’s a bit work obsessive but then my work is important to me and it accounts for a large part of most people’s lives.  And I’m ultra committed that the work I do is to impact positively on as many people as possible to make their working lives better.  The rest is down to them.

Can I impact on this?  We’ll see but I’ll keep pushing on.

I’m only human, after all.

I’ve been working with people from across Europe lately who, like me, are keener than ever to “connect the dots” and bring together as much progressive, purposeful thinking and doing into creating something better for us all around the economics, leadership, construct and ways of working for us all.  We’re giving it the unspectacular name of the Super Network.  Something that brings together as much as possible of all the networks; groups; enterprises; educators entrepreneurs out there.  It’s early days but there was a promising starting meeting this week in London I missed because of a fever.

I’m only human, after all.

What can even a super network do let alone one person like me?  I guess more than if I coasted through life; kept my head down and didn’t really give a shit about any of the turmoil, talent and opportunities we have around us.

I’m reading more than ever.  I’m getting outside of my echo chamber more than ever.  I’m spending time being kind to myself more than ever.  I’m trying to be as generous as I ever have been.  I’m neutralising the drains and focusing on the radiators in life.  I’m giving.  I’m being present. I’m opening up.  I’m being considered.  I’m allowing myself to be comfortable with paradoxes.  I’m laughing.  I’m crying.  I’m caring.  I’m being firm.  I’m shaking my head.  I’m smiling from ear to ear.

I’m only human, after all.

I lost a dear, dear Aunt this past week.  She was one of life’s stalwarts.  It gets us all in the end.  Yet I know she cared about what I stood for so that lives on like an indelible mark on my soul.  I haven’t shed a tear yet or even really felt pain and loss. I may do come the funeral but that’s because it’ll be time to do that. I’ll move on.  I’ll think about her now and then.  I’ll keep my mojo going because she’d want me to do that.  I’ll be grateful to the nurses who looked after her in her final months even though they’ll never know that.  It’s those people I want to make work better for.  I’ll use that feeling to keep me going.  Even I only have so much energy at times.

I’m only human, after all.

I’ve got a big deal coming up soon. I finish writing a book in about 2 months time.  It’s one of the biggest honours I’ve ever had in my life.  Even now I doubt it will be good enough.  That people will ridicule it.  And yet I know some will take heart and believe in my thoughts and experiences and will be using it to spur them on.  I like the doubts.  It’s a way of making sure I keep a grounded, philosophical view on the world and my part in it.  As Voltaire said “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

I’m only human, after all.

Like a lot of people, I’m still distracted even hurt by things like Brexit and Tr*mp.  By animal cruelty and environmental ruination.  I read about it, it saddens me and angers me.  I want to do stuff and yet feel so helpless.  I’ve joined the Green Party.  After being a lifelong Labour supporter, I had to do something other than be disconnected from everything to do with politics because it was in an almighty mess.  I’ve joined the Buckminster Fuller Institute.  Donated to the Obama foundation.  I am a fully paid up member of the RSA.  I haven’t been on any marches yet and I have donated to Hope not Hate.  I have reported and blocked people on social networks who are vile, vulgar and venomous.  It’s not much but I’m doing what I feel I can.

I’m only human, after all.

And still I believe.  That’ll I go that inch for others who I know will do the same to help me.  I’ll persist in sharing, caring and doing what I can for others because that services my need to give.  It’s not a generous act of wilful care, it’s because I want to do it.  It’s my need that happens to also be in service of something others might need.  I will, and am, working in the charity space and losing money whilst doing so not because I need a medal or want to go into insolvency gallantly.  Because I want to do it.  It’s all about me.  What matters to me.

I’m only human, after all.

I am loving the smart people who have chosen me, and I’ve chosen them, to be learning partners, mentor/mentee, coach/client and just friendly co-conspirators.  In some way or other, they mean something to me.  They care, I care, we share.  It’s not perfect.  I’m not always there, and they aren’t always responsive and so on.  BUT it works.  It’s fulfilling, joyous, helpful human contact.

I’m only human, after all.

Let’s just be humans.  Whilst we do what we can for others who are equally being humans and they do unto us.  After all, humanity, trust and conversations is all we really have and all we spiritually need.  I don’t even know what I want people to do about this piece.  I guess take heart.  Be comfortable being human and nice and kind.  I started this with Rag’N’Bone Man’s song in my head and this stuff just spilled out.  For as he says…

I’m only human, after all.

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  1. gareth bullen says:

    Great from the heart post

  2. Perry I’m sorry for your loss, and hope you find the space and time to grieve properly. Thank you for sharing your state of mind and the need to “join the dots” both inside and out. I don’t want to sound flippant but what you describe is our being-ness — the ups, downs, losses, triumphs etc. To stay connected is hard but I’ve found great solace in some of the wisdom traditions and whilst a book is no subsitute for direct experience, I realise that so many people have lived through much more difficult and extraordinary times than me and therefore my dent, as much as I cherish it, will never equate to some of my heros; but that’s no reason not to try. Anyhow, if you fancied catching up at some point, I’d love to share my thoughts on holistic lawyering and how a connection with a higher purpose has played out in our lives. Blessings Julian.

  3. […] I am privileged to take to platforms and share, in keynote speech format, things that I feel are useful, that I have a keen interest in; that I believe will help other people by knowing about some new insight or case study and ultimately things that I’m passionate about. I do so out of sheer…  […]

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