#50DaysOfShades Day 40 of 50 – Setting boundaries and expectations

This one has been rattling around for a while as the temporary traffic lights have been there for a couple of weeks, only took that photo today but have been collecting other related images when out and about of the last week.

With the traffic lights in mind, even as children we are taught the importance of the red light, the stop sign. It becomes an unconscious act (hopefully) to notice it and respond to it. It is a boundary that is easy to understand, and we mostly have the expectation that others will adhere to it.

But I feel it’s always worth checking that the others have stopped. There is a quote along the lines of ‘There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom’. In this case have the knowledge others should stop, but the wisdom to check. And my lasting memory of this quote used a someone jumped the lights story to drive it home.

With this in mind, how we communicate our personal and business boundaries can create different result.

Do we just assume that something is understood, or do we reinforce/reiterate it when dealing with someone new, or someone we know in a new situation? Here the temporary lights are replacing an existing set that are damaged, but they feel the need to put a reminder sign up too. And this sign reinforces the ‘wait until green’ not ‘stop on red’.

The ’cyclist please dismount here’ is a polite request, I have no idea if there are penalties if you don’t.

But the ‘WARNING’ sign, No this (with a couple of reasons thrown in), no that, no the other. To me felt like demands, not warnings. Even to the point someone has taken offence (presumably) to the ‘no fishing, without a license’ line and scrubbed out the picture.

So even here we have three ways to express the boundary/set the expectation. Which I feel is worth bearing in mind when someone doesn’t hear/oversteps or deliberately confronts a boundary we have.
(that’s pretty much my 2200 characters)


How do you tend to state your boundaries?
Have you had situations where there was a misunderstanding about what the boundary was?

#businesscoach #businesscoaching #boundaries #expectations.

50daysofshades d40-i01 - boundaries

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#50DaysOfShades Day 39 of 50 – Today’s Reflections.

I have had a couple of days recently with just the photo, no post, no thoughts, no reflections on what the photo meant to me.

Today I want to make sure we have some reflections.

One of my reasons for redoing the #50DaysOfShades was to discuss the challenges that came up for last time. To share those experience (in retrospect) and hopefully help some of you overcome similar issues.

Those same challenges are not coming up this time round. They may surface at some point, but all the things I thought I would talk about do not feel relevant to what I am doing. So, they remain ideas but I don’t feel the need to weave them into a photo just so I can talk about them.

It feels more purposeful (at the moment) to share the thoughts that arise and speak to those.

When I think about reflection it’s not necessarily the context above of looking back (at what happened) but more the literal ‘what is looking back at me’.

This partly comes from various meditation/ mindfulness retreats where the phrase ‘Everyone is your mirror’ can be used to explore any emotional response you have towards someone.

The things that you see in someone else are/can be the things you see in yourself.
This concept works for both working within emotional responses (the stimulus is something you do/don’t want to exhibit yourself) and the unlocking of potential (if you can see it in someone else you can find it in yourself).

My use of the environment (my pictures) is me, in part, taking this to another depth. Having a whole extra set of stimuli to work with. I get to see, think, feel, explore things that otherwise would not have come to light.


Do you reflect on the past, or are you trapped there?
(Now the curveball question)
What do others see in you that you do not see in yourself?

#businesscoach #businesscoaching #reflection

50daysofshades d39-i01 Today’s Reflections
50daysofshades d39-i02 Today’s Reflections

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#50DaysOfShades Day 35 of 50 – Embrace it.

#50DaysOfShades Day 35 of 50 – Embrace it.

Today I deliberately went for a walk in the rain. T-shirt, shorts, sandals – no coat.

Why did I do that?

Partly so that I could Embrace it, Recognise it, Acknowledge it, Celebrate it, Appreciate it, Accept it. All the things I’ve been talking about over the last 34 days.

But mainly so that I could write/talk about it.

7 years ago on Day 26 of #50DaysOfShades 2015 (July 26th 2015) it rained. It rained for the first time since I had started 50days that time round. All I posted was “I said I had a plan, not a great plan but a plan, take the photo anyway, even the swans were enjoying the rain”

What I didn’t talk about at the time was anything that came up for me at the time.

Well I’ve had 7 years to think about it, let’s see what I’ve got to say!

There are many phrases about the rain, but two stand out for me (in no order, I actually flipped a coin to see which one to put first, before anyone asks) :

a – “It never rains but it pours” - PROVERB

b - “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.” —Vivian Greene

These two ends of the spectrum (a) being doom and gloom, (b) encapsulating the brightness, stand out to me they both capture the energy/direction that you look at them from. And in reality it is usually something in the middle so why not embrace it?

Today it neither poured (it actually stopped as I was walking to where I took the photo, I was not happy at that!) nor did I dance in the rain. (I did however once go swimming in an outside pool that was closed in a hurricane! My 10year old logic was I was going to be wet anyway and what better time to practice snorkelling than when the pool was empty.)

Pictures: Me in the rain, the rain on the river, views from the back (half cloud/half blue sky) and front (all cloudy) of my house when I got back.

So just like when crossing the road, look both ways, before making a move.


Which way do you normally look (without thinking)?
Next time could you look both ways?
Can you just embrace what is, without judging?


#businesscoach #businesscoaching #EmbraceIt #danceintherain

50daysofshades d35-i01 - not dancing but in the rain
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50daysofshades d35-i05

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#50DaysOfShades Day 34 of 50 – Acceptance

Today I had to come to a point of acceptance.

Acceptance that today's photo was going to be nothing special.

Acceptance that, at that point, I’d have nothing to say.

Acceptance that, just a photo is enough (by the rules I defined at the start).

Acceptance that, watching this game of tennis (Raducanu Vs Garcia) could leave me with little time to get a photo and write something.

And as soon as I did that:

I had my theme.
I had my photo.
I had more than the rules required.
I had the time to write (while watching) and I had done more than enough.


What is enough?

What can you accept, (of yourself and or others) as it is, to see what come of that?


#businesscoaching #businesscoach #acceptance #acceptyourself #acceptothers

#50DaysOfShades Day 34 (i01) of 50 – Acceptance

What are you doing?

One of the big questions about this project is explained in more depth on Day 4

#50DaysOfShades Day 33 of 50 – Going further afield

Today I went out on my bike (as you know I usually walk) for the first time in a long time.

I went further, I ended up in a field. All joking apart it did provoke the theme for the day. Let me explain.

This morning, for a reason that is not relevant here, I had to dig my bike out. So decided to go out for a ride, rather than my usual walk. As the bike has not been used for a long time I did not know if I would just do my normal walking route (to test the bike) possibly having to walk it back with a flat tyre (as the had needed pumping up) or would I end up going further along the river?

I cycled across the green open space you have seen in previous pictures, across a little bridge and kept going. Not a route I would normally take when walking, and not one recognised doing before on my bike.

When I say not one I recognised, the grass was long with a clear track (the width of a car) through it ending up at some water, I wasn’t 100% sure where I was. I did not recognise it as the riverbank and assumed I was on the edge of a pond/lake so stopped to take my photo.

I even checked maps on my phone to see where I was, it said the riverbank, but I didn’t believe it. But it is not like I was ‘lost’ so continued and guessed I’d work it out and cut back to the river at some point. I didn’t cut back, I didn’t work it out, I didn’t need to. I was on the river all the time. So simply kept going. All the way down to the next lock, where it’s sensible point to turn around.

My first point is, there are times when using a different method (in this case of transport) allows us to go further. But it applies in many areas of life, if we are stuck, if we find a limit we don’t have to just push through. We can find new ways of doing things that will get us where we want to go.

My second point is, just because we don’t know where we are does not mean we are lost.


Where are you stuck?
What can you do differently?
Do you know where you are (metaphorically)?

#businesscoaching #businesscoach #Breakinglimits #GoFurther #neverlost

ps. not my boat

50daysofshades d33-i01 Going further afield. Steve Wells in shade by his bike

Interested in business coaching?

What are you doing?

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#50DaysOfShades Day 32 of 50 – Finding the 3rd option

There are plenty of times in life when dealing with other people, either personally or professionally, that the two options on the table do not feel satisfactory to either party. And trying to do a bit of both (what most people end up doing when they talk about compromise) doesn’t really work either.

This is when we need to find the 3rd option, the something else that meets both the goals and does not devalue the original options.

Today was something like this. The weather didn’t know what it was doing, one minute pouring rain, the next bright sunshine. But both occurred while I was in the house working. By the time I was out and about it was just a bit dreary.  So, the photo was looking a bit nothingy.

At which point I made the choice to go for a 3rd option. A simple photo in the car. It fulfilled the need of taking a photo and gave me a topic all at the same time.

Questions for today.

Looking back, can you think of a time where you settled for a bad compromise? (ie where neither got what they wanted)
Can you now think of a 3rd option that would have satisfied both parties?

#businesscoach #businesscoaching #dontcomprimise #betteroptions #3rdoption


(as always one of the random pics that happened while taking the photo included)

#50DaysOfShades Day 32 of 50 – Finding the 3rd option

What are you doing?

One of the big questions about this project is explained in more depth on Day 4

#50DaysOfShades Day 31 of 50 – Appreciation.

#50DaysOfShades Day 31 of 50 – Appreciation.

Back on day 6 I wrote about recognising the resource around us, then yesterdays I wrote about looking at things differently.

Today for me was about appreciation (of these things).

Taking it a step further than simply recognising something, or looking at it differently, today I went fully into appreciating what those things give me.

Something as simple as the plants and flowers that people grow in their gardens along my road. A fruity pint of beer and the opportunity to just sit in the sun with nothing particular to do.

Different to Gratitude (giving thanks for), that has its place too. But to appreciate – recognise the full worth of.

Question for today:

You may already show gratitude for things, but do you really appreciate them?

#businesscoach #businesscoaching #gratitude #appreciation

#50daysofshades d31-i02 - Appreciation.
#50daysofshades d31-i03 - Appreciation.

Interested in business coaching?

What are you doing?

One of the big questions about this project is explained in more depth on Day 4

#50DaysOfShades Day 30 of 50 – Changing how you look at things.

Changing how we look at things is key to changing the outcomes we achieve.

Last night I was having a conversation with a friend about how when I’m out on my walks I try to do as much of the route as possible in bare feet. There is definitely something about walking in bare feet that makes me more aware of where I am walking (changes in texture, temperature underfoot etc). This simple practice is great for challenging the assumptions I make about what is / is not happening around me.

So today when I didn’t really want to go out for a long walk but wanted to get my daily photo I headed out with the thought of looking for a different place to take the photo.

Somewhere I’d normally walk straight past without even thinking and I picked this pretty grotty bridge which is fairly close to home.
I thought it could give an interesting frame for the picture, the green foliage contrasting curve of the mottled bricks that make the arch.

What outcome did all of this ‘looking differently change?’ you may ask.

Well as you can see from the third photo the dark clouds (that looked even darker with shades on) were closing in. Being able to achieve my goal sooner meant I was able to make it back home before they broke. Enabling me to remain dry.

Questions for today:

How do you challenge your own thinking?
Do you ever ask others to help you do it?
What outcomes are you looking to change in the next few weeks?

#businesscoach #businesscoaching #thinkdifferent #changetheoutcome


50daysofshades d30-i02
50daysofshades d30-i03

Interested in business coaching?

What are you doing?

One of the big questions about this project is explained in more depth on Day 4