…yes, yield to that temptation to do sum’thing different!…

…possibly mega-boring tale coming up… pass on by if yeez wish… I won’t mind… but I want to write and share this one anyway… if just to remind myself… 32 years ago, in 1986, my employers of the time felt the need to send me away to get my business brain recalibrated… they chose the Harvard Graduate School of Business – Advanced Management Program in Boston for me…

…it’s like a two-year intensive graduate course condensed into only four months… I was the second youngest (a callow 38 years old) in the class of 160 high-powered executives from all over the planet… mostly from the C-suite… we were each allocated a small ‘can’ bedroom, so small and cramped, I felt I had unpacked my suitcase and packed the room… the case study method had us pumping 3 case studies per day, visited-on in three different ways… in our own ‘can’ groups of eight people as a team at night… the second iteration was the following morning after breakfast, with a different set of eight participants, then thirdly, into the class auditorium session with the professors and the full class… it was a guerrilla course in business and management learning…

…however, of all the great things I did learn, the best piece of wisdom I picked up came from one of the Human Resource professor’s modules… he told the assembled executives, ‘We at Harvard track you ladies and gentlemen after you leave this course, and we can tell you that traditionally, within only two years of returning to your companies and businesses, fully two-thirds of you (over 100) will have changed either your job or your spouse/living partner… we know that our psychology studies show that phenomenon is down to this — most of you have been triple-A performers most of your lives in your careers, hence your presence here at Harvard, chosen by your employers… once you start to re-experience academia and all the things you’ve missed in your lives, the thought comes in, “Is what I’ve achieved to date only/all that my life has been about until now?”, and you search for a change… something different… we have a recommended antidote for you all… when you go back to your other-world routine, try to find each year something totally unrelated to your work, and get as intense about that as you have been about your professional careers.’… his words resonated with me, and when I returned to Hong Kong where I lived at the  time, I decided to learn how to swim, having been scared of being in water all my life up until then…

…I rang the local British Naval base (this was well before the pre-1997 handover to China)… they had a female swimming instructress who came to my block of flats, where we had a swimming pool beside the building… amazingly, within twenty minutes, she had me overcome my fear of being in the water and had me swimming properly in just the first lesson… I took further four courses of six lessons each with her, and it was the best summer of my life… I have not been able to maintain a new pursuit every year, but I’ve done many… professional lessons to enhance my existing singing skills… Spanish guitar, electric guitar…

…languages — Cantonese, Tagalog, Arabic  to add to my French, Gaelic, and  (halting) English…

…and ten years ago, along came the desire to write a novel… the rest is history in that respect… I have learned to publish on Auntie Amazon Kindle… I have become a blogger… I’ve put some of my poetry into print from decades ago up until the modern era… there are still some things on my To-Do-List learning to play piano…

…black-and-white photography… (I’ve still never owned a camera, apart from the mobile phone stuff which takes me eons to understand how to take pictures of my knee and toes when I don’t know I’m doing it… and through all of this journey, I truly believe that doing these things has made my business life much more productive and enjoyable… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

23 responses to “…yes, yield to that temptation to do sum’thing different!…

  1. I agree with you, Seumas – my ‘latest learning of new stuff’ has resulted in a short screenplay, that I’ve written and made into an 8 episode 3D movie serial – the first episode was posted last night at: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2018/10/17/a-tsra-short-film-pirates-of-the-high-seas-episode-one/ – the next one is tonight at 6:00pm UK time. 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brilliant Seumas… I am with you all the way. I love learning now far more than I did at school or college years.. and sometimes rue the wasted years…never mind.. onwards and upwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Meet the #Reviewers – Stevie Turner with Robbie Cheadle, Seumas Gallagher and Katzenworld #petsafety | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  4. Super post, Seumas. I went back for an MBA when I was 43. (34 years ago) It was an energizing experience,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t stopped either (perhaps slowed down), but now that I’m back in Barcelona I’m pursuing the radio angle and I am doing features for a news programme at a local radio. It’s a great way to keep the brain going and also to be kept up-to-date with what is going on here. And who knows what will be around the corner for all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. this makes so much sense and i love it. i began learning to ride a bike again, after many years of only spinning inside, and my grandsons moved me up from a ‘terrible’ ranking at the beginning, to ‘almost moderate’ before too long. ) i’m on my way!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha I also wonder at the marvel of all those unbidden photos of my knees and toes….I envy you that Harvard course and my wasted years..not wasted but I could have been more focused but hey ho no stopping me now …Great post 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Seumas, WOW! A lifelong learner! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. Made me think back all the things I did in life that enriched my right brain! Music lessons: cello, guitar & flute. The left brain worked overtime in 1957 to help me become a nurse, and by 2000 I’d made it to board certified nurse practitioner. Fun along the way learning languages (Italian, Greek & Japanese) in the countries I’d lived. So, yeah! All this led me to retirement and writing a book! Life is good! I share your take on doing “sumthing” enjoyable to be more productive in any kind of work! 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve read that learning new things is great for the brain. It seems to have greatly benefitted you in life. I’m sure you’ll keep up the good work. All the best. 🙂 — Suzanne


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